you hello everybody today to tuck it we’re talking to Luke Newman from newman films this is episode 12 so sappy be welcome to the indie film academy podcast where it’s all about learning how to make and market your independent film online and now your host Jason bah hey everybody welcome to the indie film academy podcast i am your host Jason buff welcome for another show glad you could join us today today we’re going to be talking with Luke Newman of Newman films now if you don’t know about Newman films just go to youtube right now well okay after the podcast and check out all the tutorials and all the great content they have on their youtube channel you know they were one of the first groups of people to really come out with a lot of high quality tutorials for DSLR filmmaking and you know everything from visual effects to you know whatever but everything kind of DIY and things that you can do on a low budget so check that out and you know if you want to subscribe to this podcast that would be wonderful and leave a serve you that would be even better if you like it and don’t forget to go to indie film academy com and subscribe to our newsletter and we’ll send you a free ebook okay let me get started with the interview my first question to Luke was about his background and video in filmmaking and how the group from newman films came together I’ve been into video since I was a kid my parents had an old VHS camcorder that I used to mess around with and make movies with my friends and you know my siblings and stuff like that and didn’t really ever start to take it seriously until like my mid 20s or so and that mostly just started out as weddings local stuff kind of toyed with the idea of going down to film school you know heading down to LA doing all that stuff but my wife and I you know we do everything behind Newman films we didn’t like the idea of you know moving down to LA you know new marriage and all that stuff it just made a little more sensing you know with YouTube taking and all that stuff we kind of figured why not try it just where we live you know this is a perfect time in Phil you know indie filmmaking to really do that and one of the only I mean you I think before you could probably make a career doing this stuff but I think it was a lot harder we did it we don’t even live in a big town we don’t even live in we live in organ you know out in the out in the country and you know 10 20 years ago that wouldn’t work so yeah like I said it started out just as weddings and stuff like that and then I think I uploaded a video just a random tutorial I I I did something in Sony Vegas like how to conform 60 frames per second to 24 and i just i uploaded that not really with no point to it I just kind of thought yeah you know I was actually looking for this tutorial online I couldn’t find it so I figured that’s the kind of tutorial that I’d like to see and just kind of you know adding my take on that to the internet because I learned so much I never went to film school so everything I’ve learned is through other people providing information and so you know just I got the idea to upload this one tutorial and got a lot of views and people you know they they were looking for that kind of information and all that kind of stuff and so that just kind of started it it was like well you know I might have some other ideas on stuff that I don’t see online you know and so it was almost like adding to the online encyclopedia of filmmaking information and now I mean there’s just every you know there’s every single tutorials out there all the informations online now so it’s you know it’s different now than it was five years ago and how are you learning all this stuff that you were putting online um I mean you know a mix of tutorials that people had already done or just trial and error probably 60 40 with trial and error being usually the case and that’s just that’s just the way I’ve always learned I wasn’t a great student in high school or college I dropped out of college and I I’ve only ever learned things just through trying myself and then failing and then realizing oh that’s the way it needs to be done right did you start with the it was this kind of like after two thousand eight and all the DSLRs had already changed over or did you stay yeah yeah it was it was

right after that um I I originally was using some like sony handycam and then you know the 5d mark two came out and I was paying attention to all that stuff but it was too late cost too much money I couldn’t afford it and then I remember there was a commercial for the t2i the canon t2i and that was the first one that was kind of within within my budget and the thing with that one too was I mean before then you had just being able to put any lens on it that you wanted was a big deal like you know in hindsight the canon t2i wasn’t great but it’s like you could use all these different lenses and so that was you know that that brought so many different ideas to the table and that’s that was our first kind of jump into dsl ours was the canon t2i but only because it was the only thing we could afford at the time right and you were shooting weddings at that just weddings when ya writer writer yeah right at first we were shooting weddings and we actually bought two canon t twice my wife was the photographer and then I was the videographer and we kind of did like package deals and stuff like that and then the tutorial stuff that was just you know kind of on the side just like I said when if when I first started doing it I had no idea what it was I was just uploading videos you know for for 20 people you know 20 subscribers or something but that has evolved definitely into being or our kind of main thing over the past four years right now do you watch some of those old videos and kind of cringe at them or do they they hold up um not I mean not really because I kind of look at it it’s just like my own path to just understanding video and stuff that goes into it more like it’s all it’s funny in a way but at the same time back then and still now I don’t really like to upload videos where I’m saying hey this is the right way to do things it’s more like here’s something I learned through trial and error and here’s the workflow on how I did it but I you know I it’s never really claiming like oh I know what I’m doing so I don’t you know like I look at it like I have no professional training so you know any of the things that I’m going to throw out there that are you know quote unquote educational are gonna be more like I’ve found these to be true in my own workflow if you like it great if not you know I’m not claiming that this is the way to do things so in that way i think watching old videos there’s not too many cringe-worthy moments that I mean there’s a few obviously but it’s not too bad right I still love your your video about creating the giant rig yeah I mean I’ve shown that to a few people and they’re they’re like exactly the kind of people that like you know they parade in with like right now like a little teeny camera they just have all this stuff all around it so they look like they’re shooting with like an old panasonic you know cameras right well I mean you know the the thing about that is like I I’m guilty of it too it’s like that’s where the joke came from is you know we’re all I think we’re all guilty of it so yeah that was a fun video now are you primarily shooting are you still doing videos like I’m do you do wedding still and stuff like that are you guys completely just doing the the products and Newman films like soundtracks and things like that yeah I mean we’ve we stopped we haven’t done a wedding for probably three years and that mostly just stems like I didn’t like doing weddings they were kind of stressful you know I mean live event somewhat if you’re used to kind of having control over the lighting and what you’re shooting and you shoot a wedding it’s just a completely different beast altogether so it stressed me out quite a bit so I was happy to give that up but we mostly we mostly at this point kind of focus on our own our own products our own videos I mean every once in a while we’ll take on an outside gig but you know I mean at this point the youtube thing has like I said evolved into something that it now kind of deserves most of our time and you know if we’re not building that it’s like well it we can at least use it as an avenue to do creative stuff on our own as well so it’s been it’s been a good evolution over the years I think right now can you talk a little bit about beacon and how that came into existence yeah so and what is what it is for people who don’t know what it is

right at the beacon is a sci-fi webseries self-produced with the idea being you know I wanted to make the transition from just like straight up tutorials and being an educational channel to being more of like entertainment I I mean I like filming narrative creative stuff but at the same time I realized well the channel is built on people expecting educational stuff so the beacon is kind of like my compromise to that of we’re going to film this sci-fi web series and then to go along with it is going to be these in-depth tutorials that kind of look at every phase of production so to make that work we kind of have to do everything ourselves you know what i mean so like writing the music doing the special effects cinematography acting editing you know all of it if we do all of it that leads to more interesting tutorial content which you know that’s what our channel is based on so yeah i mean it takes a while to do them just because I want to satisfy you know my own desires for doing creative stuff and making it high quality and that takes a lot of time by itself but then you know also we have to film all this behind the scenes tutorial stuff like the first episode I think was seven minutes long and the tutorial content ended up being around an hour you know so it’s you know it’s bordering on feature-length content when you factor in the tutorial stuff which we put equal amounts of time into right yeah that’s one of the things that sticks out is like how well produced you know the shorts are great you know but it’s like the production value on the behind the scenes is pretty amazing yeah I mean that you know that goes into like my wife and our friend Pete who’s the actor like when we’re filming this stuff there’s only three of us and you know my wife films all the behind-the-scenes and you know it’s kind of just like we all chip in and and try to make it as high-quality as we can but with three people it obviously takes a while right now do you find that you have to write stories and episodes and really the beacon seems to be created around the idea of something that you could do with a three-person crew you know do you find that that’s the kind of things that you do yeah actually the rig when i first started having the idea for the beacon it was much bit was a much bigger idea right it was you know like and I mean that you almost have to write that way you can’t write with limitation like you know you can only do this for three people so you need to only write three characters or you know just based all around that so the original idea was quite a bit different from what we’re doing now and we actually went out and we filmed quite a bit of this idea and got into the editing process and it was just like you know hit a dead end it was like we can’t do this with this budget we can’t Tim from you know the visual effects alone or just way above what I know how to do so you know half way into filming the first episode I kind of restructured the entire story and at that point I did kind of cater it to like well what can we do realistically with our budget with what I know how to do from visual effects and you know all that stuff without going totally broke so yeah the the original idea is definitely still there but it has been restructured a bit you know to work and now that we’re two episode like two episodes are done we’re working on the third episode we’re definitely on the path now of like knowing what it’s going to take and knowing about how long it’s going to take to film and so it’s it’s it’s different now than it was when we were filming the first episode right how long is a typical episode take to shoot and do everything for include abomb yeah I you know it’s it’s tough because we do it in our spare time um we and you know I guess I’d we don’t take too many paid gigs but we do from time to time and it’s kind of like will those take precedent over the beacon for now and then you know the other you know the other people we collaborate with they have jobs and they have you know their lives and stuff like that so like the second episode you know we’d film we’d get a weekend in and then we’d have a two-week break and we do another weekend so and then you know reshoots and stuff like that I would say from beginning to

end you know five six months but again I think the process gets faster the more episodes we had done the first episode I think took a year second episode took about six months and just the way this third one is written I see this one only taken a couple months right do you own the space outfit uh yes you know and I was a that was a big like the in the first episode we didn’t own the space outfit we had to rent it and it was kind of expensive so you know that was tough it was you know the first time we had to kind of schedule everything scheduled the spacesuit and you know all this different stuff and line up schedules and that after after filming that one we were just like well it’s going to be a lot easier if we own these costumes so for basically from that point on we we’ve tried to just buy everything out right so that that fits within our shooting schedule is there any sort of like copyright or anything with using costumes i mean i don’t i don’t know how all that works but i mean like if people are trying to shoot something similar and they go to a costume shop can they use that in a narrative film and like have the elders that something they have to create themselves I mean you you know like the costumes we have in the beak and they’re kind of custom-made so I mean you could you could go to the guy that built that made the space suit and have them make something similar but yeah I don’t actually don’t know about copyrights I’m assuming like I’m assuming you know well actually I think it depends on on how you’re filming because you see you know Star Wars parodies online where they’re using stormtrooper costumes and and I’m assuming it just depends on how you release it and where it’s going to be released to so now the gear that yeah edges are sorry but anyway no go ahead go ahead the are you using your own gear I mean do you own all that or do you have to do you rent whenever you go out you’re like on a what the red or something yeah we have the red dragon and then we use the Panasonic gh4 for behind the scenes and usually the only thing gear wise will rent as lenses most the beacon has been shot on anamorphic PL mount kawa anamorphic lenses and we found this ye the trouble with renting lenses that i found is they’re generally cheap except you can’t people usually don’t split up their sets and i don’t i don’t need a 40 a 50 a 75 and a hundred millimeter when I film I usually stick to two focal lengths and I don’t know why well yeah for the beacon most the time is a 40 and a 75 because I do like that wider anamorphic look and then if I ever need to get in a little closer the hundreds a little too close so i found the 75 was a nice in between so we actually found a rental house that does split up their sets gearhead camera rentals and he you can just rent one anamorphic lens and they’re only like a hundred bucks a day so that that definitely helped us be able to to use the lens as we wanted to use and that was a big factor in the look of the beacon I think right now you said a 40 millimeters that considered like different for film linds versus a photographic lens because a 40 monographic wouldn’t be very wide well I mean since its anamorphic it’s actually a you’re actually getting a and it’s a2x squeeze you’re getting a 20-millimeter field of view I think on the height you’re getting a 20-millimeter field of view and on the width you’re getting a 40-millimeter field of view so at you won’t see too many anamorphic 2x lenses that are wider than you’ll see a 35 but depending on the sensor you know if you have a larger sensor like the dragon the 35 might not even work so yeah with anamorphic 40s usually about as wide as you can go okay would you attribute shooting anamorphic I mean is that what’s giving you that really kind of amazing film look that you guys get um I mean the one thing that I found with shooting anamorphic is and the same thing with the dragon like I don’t believe at all that the camera can make that much of a difference in what you do right but when you do look through the LCD of the red and you can’t have an anamorphic lens on there your mind

automatically kind of just hey that looks like a movie if that’s you know your subconscious because you watched a lot of anamorphic stuff in the 90s as a kid that could be it but that my mind automatically just goes wow that looks really cinematic and I’m not I’m not even doing anything so naturally that’s the lenses and the camera but in you know with that I think it does kind of force you to up your game a little bit to where you know you see this this beautiful image in your mind just starts going with all these like oh this kind of shot would be cool you know and and your mind starts to work a little more creatively Florida and that’s probably just me personally but that’s what I find is is not so much anymore but when I first started using those anamorphic lenses I was getting really excited just with the look right now it when you’re looking at the image I mean is it compressed or is it all like does it all figure it out for you so you can look to the view the the red LCD does figure it out it crops it and then when you get into post that’s not the case so you bring it in you bring it into actually Premiere Pro might might might make them the correct aspect ratio automatically but I do a lot of work in After Effects and so when I bring it in the image is stretched 2x tall and it’s you know it’s like a four by three pie damage so you definitely have to do some post work to get it looking right right and you can also shoot I was watching one of your tutorials about shooting anamorphic on a GH force so maybe people who don’t have the budget for a dragon I mean what would be the would you recommend shooting in a morphic on a gh4 as well yeah I mean I really like that they did that that they unlocked a four by three and even a one by one recording mode because it does allow for anamorphic shooting and you can shoot anamorphic on a normal 16 by nine sensor it’s just you probably don’t want to use a 2 X lens which is the really really tall image you want to use like a 1.33 which there’s plenty of those lenses out there and even the I think lettuce and SLR magic have fairly affordable adapters that you screw onto the front of your normal lenses and it gives you that anamorphic stretch and with a 1.33 stretch on a normal like just sensor shooting 16 by 9 that stretches down to that cinematic aspect ratio so it depends you know depends on what camera is shooting on and that usually determines what kind of anamorphic lens you want to choose okay now how do you learn all this stuff I mean how does one know like all this stuff about anamorphic and I mean is there a big book that you have somewhere no it was it was really confusing at first like i didn’t understand a lot of it but again with trial and error just i learned a ton when I just tried one out you know when I when I put an anamorphic lens on and I took it through to post I was like oh okay that’s what the stretch factor means because I I need to stretch it this much to get it looking right so 2x lens you stretch the the height of the image down to fifty percent you know and because that’s the 2x number right there right and just using him a couple times kind of made that hadn’t made a lot more sense now when you’re shooting what is what is the huge difference between say shooting with I mean obviously they’re huge differences in size but safe for like the the photographic quality of shooting with the gh4 which is obviously under 2,000 bucks and then something like the dragon what’s like the huge difference there um the colors and the dynamic range like for me I I don’t care too much about the difference in resolution I don’t need 6k and when I film in 6k on the dragon I just I scale it down the 4k at the end right but the colors and the dynamic range or just a that’s the thing that surprised me the most of the Dragon is it’s actually kind of hard to overexpose your highlights like we’ll be out filming in the bright Sun and we’re in a forest and you know above the tree line you can see the bright sky and with the g-h force is white like there’s nothing there right but with the the dragon you have this very subtle roll off and then it’s not quite white it’s just like it’s like a very off white and it just it makes all the difference in

the world the you know most people probably won’t notice but that that has always stuck out to me and then the colors it just doesn’t take much to get the dragon image looking looking cinematic and I have enough time with it that you know I have a couple what files that just like I know how to make that image look good in post whereas the gh4 takes a lot more time and it’s taken a lot of time just to get the camera profile right and then have a corresponding let file and post and I’m comfortable with right but i’m pretty comfortable with the gh4 at this point all right now when you um would you compare it to like shooting an HDR something is that like a raw file that’s coming out or is it like a of the of the dragon yeah it’s there it’s compressed raw Oh calm and I mean you have a lot of flexibility you know you can you can change the gamma you know you can make it a log profile in post or you know not you can change the white balance I mean you have a lot of flexibility so it’s almost like I’m you know it makes you a little little lazier I guess but you know it with such a small production like ours it allows me to focus on different stuff like I don’t have to spend so much time thinking about the camera I just I basically look at the histogram and I’m like okay if it’s if it’s I know where it needs to be and that’s it let’s roll right now what what do you kind of where I’m sorry well as we’re with the gh4 like you really gotta you have less dynamic range to play with see if you have something overexposed you need to slap on a ND filter you know you really need to work a lot more to get that image looking right on the gh4 hmm now you mentioned working with nuts what would is the I want to go into more detail about that but can you talk about what you’re like say you’re setting up for a scene and you’re setting up for you know to shoot something what what are the things that you do to your camera what kind of settings do you have and what what do you do to make sure you’re you’re getting everything exactly the way you want it um you know it’s it’s tough it’s kind of like a fly by the seat of your pants deal where you know it it generally is well I mean like I said with the dragon it makes it so easy that I don’t find myself putting too much thought into that I think more about the camera movement you know in the composition than I do at camera settings I mean definitely when you get a new camera that’s what your mind is is focused on but I think the place you want to get to with your camera is where you’re not thinking about that stuff you know when you’re when you’re comfortable with the camera that’s when you’re not thinking about the settings and what you need to do to get the image right you’re just you know that by heart and you’re focusing on other stuff now do you do any sort of calibration or do you just kind of say okay I can if I’ve got the color balance or things like that I’ll just figure it out in post yeah I mean as sad as it is to say there is a lot of that mindset of like yeah I’ll be able to fix a lot of stuff in post and you know if I am on a job where I’m just a DP my mindset might change but something like the beacon when it’s like yeah you know we’re we’re doing all these different things and doing BTS its kind it is a nice luxury to have to just kind of know that well I mean it doesn’t have to be perfect right now I spent two minutes setting up the shot and and now anything that’s kind of wrong with it I can fix later on right now in terms of luts do you can you explain just give an overview of what let’s are for people who are kind of just getting started and how that works in camera and also in post-production yeah a lot is a stands for lookup table and it essentially you apply a file to your shot and post it I mean a lot is basically just a file and they come in several different file formats and you apply them to your shot and they make adjustments like contrast saturation and all that stuff so there are essentially you know color grading presets but the nice thing is they’re not specific to you know anyone software that they work for pretty much every editing software and you know I mean a big part of luts than that I like to use

is I create a lot I for specific shots you know like for the beak and I have just folders of lüt files that I’ll use for anyone seen you know some of them might be specific to a certain time of day and lighting style and some of them might just be more basic you know like contrast and saturation boosts or reductions and I definitely stack let files on my shots you know sometimes I’ll mix you know four to five of them on any given shot right now is that something so you’re doing that in the camera as well as doing it in after effects or is it totally for just post production it’s totally I mean with the dragon is totally in post-production they say they’re going to be able to or they say they’re going to add lut files in camera at some point but it hasn’t happened yet and very few cameras have that I wish they did I would love to you know be looking at what my color rated shot is going to be while I’m filming and there are ways to do that but at this point that’s I don’t do that I just it’s all a post-production workflow thing and you create those in After Effects I actually create those in a third-party software I don’t remember it’s I think it’s called 3d lut creator and I basically have I take us till you can take a still image so i’ll make a still image of my shot or my scene and then you take that into this program and you can create a lot files in there okay and that’s for a lot of people that don’t know that’s really what gives certain sit you know certain styles two different filmmakers so you guys have 14 right you know all all different kinds of and you guys that’s one of the products you sell is luck files that you can you know make it look like Wes Anderson or make it look like right yeah that was actually the blockbuster Lutz that’s a product that we spend quite a bit of time on and the idea behind that was just like try to well the process for creating those was actually pretty fun we I’d take a still from a blockbuster movies like let’s say Wes Anderson took a still from a Wes Anderson movie and then we tried to recreate that still so let’s say I think one of them was from Moonrise Kingdom at the name of it I can’t promise week yeah we titled all the lut files to be close so ours was sunrise Kingdom credit so I don’t remember what the name of the actual movie was but you know we tried to recreate a scene from that Wes Anderson movie with all these different cameras and then I would sit there and get the lut files from each camera to match that Wes Anderson look so you know it’s kind of tough because some people they’ll they’ll buy the Lutz and they’ll apply them to footage and they’ll be you know they’ll email or something and say like this doesn’t look anything like Wes Anderson and my response is usually like whoa okay you ought to understand how they’re made first and then that that kind of reveals you need to have your before image looking kind of like a Wes Anderson movie so there’s so much there’s so much stuff that goes into a Wes Anderson shot that you know an underexposed shot inside of your house isn’t going to look right when you apply the lot so yeah I mean you know there’s a certain amount of there’s a certain amount of work that has to go on on the person’s side that’s actually going to use the Lutz now when you’re on location I want to talk for a second about shooting in some of the you know one of the big things that you notice about just about all of your films is they they have amazing locations and how do you go about you first of all how do you go about finding the right locations and also how do you plan for shooting in those locations in terms of where the sunlight is and all that um so for the for the beacon and for most of our stuff we try to make it we tried to film it within our state of Oregon you know like we’re we’re proud of our state we like traveling around it and you know there’s so many locations especially on the west coast that might be a little more epic but we there’s a lot of variation in Oregon so part of it just comes from we like hiking and we like you know going out in nature and exploring so we sometimes we’ll just stumble across locations that’s like oh this is this would be a great location for the beacon

and yeah I mean a lot of it just has to do with loving being outside being in nature and in exploring and you know I’ll spend a lot of time looking on google maps if it’s a location i haven’t been to i’ll go to google maps and then get it to where the photos of the area show up and I’ll just kind of like hover around different areas of the state and you know sometimes you’ll find stuff that is off the beaten path we’ll go and check it out but yeah I mean I think I think if it was 20 years ago and I had to take just a job in the industry it’d probably be a location scout I think that’s that’s a lot of fun right so do you have to plan like you can’t just arrived at like twelve o’clock in the afternoon and say okay let’s start shooting I mean do you can you have to like sit around and wait for the Sun to be in the right area you know I mean part of it is that but but like I said with a small crew I mean sometimes we just have to make it work you know sometimes we only have a weekend and unless we want to take a year to film the episode it’s like well we gotta we gotta double up and we got to go to like three locations today and we really don’t have any choice on the sunlight so a lot of it is you know working with what you have bouncing light diffusing light and you know working in post-production again like I said you know with the lut files and all that stuff to get that look because we can’t always rely on the perfect time of day with our with our shooting style do you think it’s better for filmmakers who don’t have a high budget to maybe try to work with a better camera just so they don’t need to hire so many people to manipulate lights and do stuff like that I mean not necessary did with the t2i looks good and with like the 5d I I think a lot of it just has to do with you know not being a fur or take you know caring about the image enough to to light a little bit you know I mean when you’re outside you don’t have a ton of control but you can bounce light you can you can diffuse light that’s not that hard and if you don’t have somebody to hold the reflector just you know put one up on a stand or you know there’s different ways you can go about it but no I think it’s one of those things to wear now that we are using a nicer camera it definitely makes it easier but that never really stopped us from trying to get a good image with a with a lower budget camera do you have any advice for using a reflector um I mean not really like when we used like I said a less expensive camera and you have less dynamic range sometimes you need to bounce quite a bit of light like let’s say you’re in the forest you’ve got the sky in the background the skies just white and it’s over exposing and you need to you need to get down you know you put some ND filters on and get quite a bit darker to even see that blue sky to do that you need to get quite a bit of light on your talent and you know a lot of times that just means like reflecting putting them right next to a big Sunbeam and just bouncing the light you know three feet from their face just to be able to expose the shot and you know that’s the kind of stuff we would do it’s it’s it’s hard on the talent hopefully they’re basically looking into the Sun but but you know I mean there you don’t have to do that but i kind of think like well that makes the camera look like it’s not a lower budget camera because everything’s exposed properly and now with the dragon like week we can just use a white fill you know we don’t have to bounce sunlight so much the dynamic range is always always kind of in check on that camera so i can even draw draw a mask in post and bring up the exposure in that mask and you know fill in some light that way too so it does definitely help but i think it’s better to learn learn to do it with a lower budget camera first and then you’ll appreciate having the options in post to not have to worry about it right now I bet Pete appreciates to not being like well I know your day I reflector yep well he’s a he’s a photographer right you know he does a lot of like photography stuff and he knows I mean he does it to his models he he puts a bunch of bounce and Phil on him so when he’s in front of our camera which is you know it’s really the only

time he acts is just for our stuff you know he’ll kind of start to wince and I’m like no you know I’ve seen your pictures you put your models through this no second uh yeah right now what what gear can you kind of like not if you’re going out and driving out into the middle of nowhere what is the gear that you just you know have to have with you that you feel you know kind of naked without need a reflector need some sort of camera movement like I do not like just tripod shots I need a dolly we’ve been using a product called ultra dolly for years and it’s just it’s a little tea like a metal tea that you put your tripod on and has wheels on the bottom and then use PVC pipe as your track um and I I really like having that and then nd filters and do you I mean if I’m out in nature yeah I definitely need some nd filters right do you bring like lights at all do you I mean I remember you you were showing how you shot up a scene that was in a cave and you said that you brought like a big battery pack and lights down there and everything can you talk about what I mean what kind of lights are using and what kind of battery pack that requires yeah so that that was for the beacon and you know just going on to nature to me is a little different than the beak and like the beacon I want a little more of a cinematic feel so that we just had some Home Depot lights like one of them was a spotlight a tungsten spotlight and it was just in one of those home depot clamp housings and i’m trying to think we added a little LED light so i think we just had to two maybe three lights two LEDs and then that home depot light and we powered that home depot light with this big backup battery that they’re normally used for computers I think um and it lad it powered that light for about 45 minutes it’s really heavy and the look we like you said we went into a cave and it was snowing out and it was you know quite a hike from our truck to the location so it was like it was worth it because i really enjoy i like that shot that’s one of my favorite shots but we did have to carry you know a 25-pound battery and it’s just all it’s awkward you know there’s no easy way to carry it you know it’s worth it now but while we were filming it was you know I was getting some grief for having to bring that out yeah this can be a little hairy too sometimes too yeah yeah I’m now moving a little bit more into post-production can you talk about your process for now when you’re shooting these do you like when like say Pete’s doing an action sequence do you look at that and say okay we’re going to do a wide then we’re going to do a close-up then we’re just going to do some you know random b-roll and then you’ll I mean do you just kind of shoot a lot of stuff and then try to put together or are you pretty much like okay I know exactly what we’re going to shoot and you don’t get it together um I mean I it’s definitely more of just kind of freestyle like i like i like not knowing exactly what i mean if I’m I could never do storyboards I could never have a shot list I mean I can have a shot list but yeah you know I generally know where the scenes going and what we’re gonna do I just don’t know the specifics sorry I don’t know the specifics of the scene from a cinematography standpoint and I think it helps that I edit this stuff because I’m thinking I’m constantly thinking while I’m filming as an editor yeah so like let’s just take a sequence from the beacon like Pete slides down this cement incline and he shoots like four guys during the slide and then falls off a little like drop off and lands on the ground I you know while I’m thinking of that scene I invision heat shot and as we do it I’m thinking of an as an editor like the beat is going to go like this and you know there’s going to be three quick shots and they’ll be close ups and then you know you’ll need this shot of him sliding off so I think it helps editing and knowing about the editing process when you’re filming now when you what what do you primarily use for for post-production you want a mac or are you doing pc i’m on a pc on right now i’m on a laptop a gaming laptop and it’s

it’s pretty good it’s fun it’s fast you know i mean it’s not great but I mean for it handles 4k to handle 6k with the Dragon so it’s fine for what i need and i generally i’ll get into premiere and i’ll make my i’ll do my edit and with something like the beacon actually it’s it’s even it it’s more complex than that i’ll do scene by scene and i’ll generally i’ll work on a scene that’s like two minutes and render those out as DPX sequences well first I’ll get the scene edited in Premiere then go over to After Effects color grade do any visual effects and then work on the audio in adobe audition the music all that stuff and I’ll almost make these little mini movies and render those out as DPX sequences and then peace the whole thing together in one premiere timeline at the end any PX is just a reference file for premier you know it’s it’s it’s an image file but it’s pretty lossless it’s a really high-quality image file okay and you know just go into YouTube it’s like I don’t really mind losing a little something going to h.264 as long as I have that master DPX sequence you know for lip for later on burning the 4k blu-ray when it comes out or something like that right okay now so you do that you put your edit together and then at the very end you grade the whole thing again why you that’s that well that’s what I mean is I usually like to great as I go and so that’s kind of why I break it up into individual scenes so I’ll generally take a scene from start to finish and so you know with episode 2 of the beacon for instance I had ten scenes or something in different folders and they were all ready to go and I just find it a little easier to work that way because I like to see the grade as i go i like to hear the finished audio as i go and if that time line gets too big with all those 6k files it my system is going to slow down so it’s kind of like i can my computer can handle it but i do have to kind of work around it a little bit and that’s where that editing at as individual scenes comes into play okay now the two things I want to touch on you know lastly our your process for doing visual effects and also for scoring so what I assume that the scoring come at the very end of the whole process after visual effects and everything or do you leave a space there and you say ok there’s going to be this great you know cool asteroid scene um well the scoring I I sometimes will get ideas from music first and I’ve been into music longer than I’ve been into video and I I honestly like riding music as much as I like doing anything on the video side so sometimes I mean for the beacon I wanted to I wanted to get in touch with what the character is doing so my wife and I would actually hike out to the locations we were going to film and I’d bring my laptop and a little a little midi keyboard and I’d write some of the music out there and Marika would sing the vocals and we’d record all this stuff out in nature just to kind of be in the shoes of the character but that was before we had shot anything so writing the music actually started to give me ideas of of a scene and of individual shots so that that’s the song that’s in the intro of episode 2 from when he’s in the spaceship when he leaves the spaceship and then he’s standing up on these this rock cliff that whole sequence was kind of I got the ideas for those from the song so I mean what is the process of like composing for Phil I mean I really know nothing about the do you have to time it out perfectly are you sitting there with like markers of when you have to hit this beat and hit this you know well I mean traditionally you know a composer will write their music to the locked visual so they did they definitely have to to work that way you know you have to work the music around the visuals but with the way that that I write and coming up with the songs first it’s the other way around my edits are usually cut to the timing of the song ok so yeah

so and that’s not always the case I mean the second episode of The Beacon for instance the whole intro was cut to a song that was recorded before the visuals and then after that I didn’t have any music for some of the scenes that we filmed so I just kind of filled in those spaces with new stuff and at that point I wrote in specific things so it just kind of depends you know sometimes for episode 1 of the beacon I wrote a bunch of songs that I had originally like I said the idea for the beacon was originally something totally different and so I wrote songs for that stuff and then those songs just didn’t work and I probably could have tried to make them work but you know sometimes it works sometimes it doesn’t and you also sell music right i mean you can like buy it by the soundtracks you’ve already created and put them put them into your own films right right yeah we just we do some royalty free stuff and that all stemmed you know I before I did any of that I would just use songs from movies that I liked or you know and I would get copyright notices and all this stuff and and then I you start using video copilot spro scores and I you know I used one of their songs in a video and then I heard that same song so many other places that I was like Hannah kinda kinda just makes you think of that other video when you watch our video because it’s the same song you know that’s how big of a factor music plays so that that idea was like you know I want to try riding stuff I don’t think it’s too hard I mean even if it’s just one note you know at least it would be our one note to this thing so you know many samples they’ve come a long ways and the technology behind them has come a long ways where as you know in the 90 early 90s the MIDI technology was like the Super Mario theme you know right really just not sounding great to now you know they record full orchestras from all these different mic positions and they have them play each note in you know a ton of different articulations so it’s like if you kind of understand the computer side of things and that takes a while and if you fork out the money for the good samples it really is it’s an amazing experience and you have your hands on so many different instruments and they all sound so good that it’s a lot of fun and just the idea that sitting here on a little midi keyboard I have these sounds that sound pretty close to the real thing I mean I doubt even this you know even one of the best violinist in the world could tell the difference between a real violin and then a sample violin with somebody that knows how they’re using the samples because they’re technically the same thing they’re recording all these real instruments so so what’s definitely a fun I mean yeah but what are you using what schools I you I used to use protools actually I still do for most of it and then lately i’ve been using sony acid Pro and it’s actually it’s only like 99 bucks or something like that whereas Pro Tools I don’t know their five six hundred or something like that so yeah I mean and the thing I noticed is if you know something about editing video that that goes a long way the tips you’ve learned is being a video editor a lot of it translates into doing music um just the interface dealing with like tracks and you know adjusting the tracks to the timeline like snapping there’s just a lot of different things importing exporting all that stuff there’s obviously some specific things you need to learn but if you have you know any musical talent at all I you know you should be writing music for you know if there’s really no reason you shouldn’t at this point it is really easy like I’ve always said i don’t think i could play live any of the songs I’ve ever written and that’s it’s sad you know I’ve talked to I’ve talked to guys that have made their living being like studio musicians and I tell them like oh yeah you know like I’ll play him a song or something there’s like wow and I was like you know I don’t deserve any credit cuz all I did was just hit a bunch of keys on the keyboard and then go through with my mouse and and create this piano piece just by changing the individual notes with my mouse and it really doesn’t take any musical it’s more like a t20 you

need eighty percent computer know-how and twenty percent musical no house now what do you mean you change it with your mouth well so I mean you can you can hit a bunch of keys on the keyboard yeah let’s say you have a piano sample loaded you could you could just take your elbow and go down the keyboard then you could go in with your mouse and adjust Oh your mouth that’s enough let’s you’re saying mouth right okay no no yeah yeah got it okay going with your mouse and just create this you know this masterpiece of a song line that you could never play live and you’re just doing that with a computer in your mouth and your mouse right and those are just samples that you’ve recorded and you know right okay you know somebody somebody got a really talented piano player and they rented a really nice studio space and they have really nice microphones and they just have that piano player go through and play each note on the piano once and then maybe some chords and and they do all these different recordings so really it’s just you’re using your keyboard to trigger WAV files that’s really all it is now when you say you work with Sony is that are you buying additional VST instruments from other places or does it kind of right you everything that you already know yet right i mean sony is where I do all the compiling but the samples i’ll use eight do i use a lot of their stuff I use projects am east west and see east west projects am-8 do and those are the main three right and you know some of them have better sounding string some of them have better signing horns some of them have better sounding percussion one of the samples that I just got recently is actually hans zimmer it’s all his samples from like the dark night oh wow and all this stuff yeah it’s a lot of fun and I actually use use some of that in the beacon that the second episode that first song you can hear some of these some of that percussion stuff is the Hans Zimmer samples and there’s like you can use that in any production I mean is that copyright free and everything yeah yeah I mean he you know he he used him for all those movies and then he decided just to make a product out of it yeah pretty cool then that came out after you guys did the Batman stuff though right yeah unfortunately okay now talk talk to me for just a little bit I don’t want to you know we’re going a little overtime but about your visual effects work because one of the striking things also about the beacon is you know all of these shots of space and you’ve done some really you know thorough tutorials about all that but could you just talk a little bit about the process of making those yeah all of it’s done in aftereffects which you know I mean a big a big part of my visual effects knowledge is video copilot and I think that’s the case with a lot of people online that do visual effects and they have a series of tutorials it’s just like basic after effects like just here’s what you need to know and i think it’s five tutorials but you know i just i spent a day watching those and just from there started to try different stuff out and then i use for 3d stuff i just use their plug-in element 3d and lately I’ve been I mean for episode 3 which we haven’t filmed yet there are the requirements for visual effects are a bit more advanced so I’ve been that’s kind of why it’s been taken allows I’m actually learning quite a bit of new stuff on creating models creating models and you know getting realistic lighting and awe it’s a little more advanced stuff that will definitely be part of the tutorials for episode 3 but you know at this point it hasn’t been anything too crazy it’s just basic knowledge of after five and then basic knowledge of the video copilot plugin element 3d and I mean if you have those two things you take two days to watch tutorials on that stuff anybody could be at the level that I’m at its really it’s not too complicated like you get into the the 3d stuff the 3d software and that stuff gets really complicated I actually looked into game creation a little bit for episode 2 the opening sequence of the beacon episode 2 raised in the spaceship that’s actually a level I was working on I was working on a game like a video game level and you know like there’s a software called unreal it’s like unreal engine 4

development kit or something created the the spaceship level and then you can go through there with a digital camera and do all this different stuff so that’s that’s actually how the visual effects were done for that so I’m actually working on a tutorial for all that that’s there’s just a lot that goes into it so it’s taken some time but that’s all more advanced stuff I mean after effects is really powerful and then that element 3d plugin just for what it does it’s really amazing now the same thing with that I mean if a filmmaker wanted to come in and try to shoot his own you know Star Wars or something and wanted to use element 3d what do you know if they could do that i mean is that something that you are you producing stuff that you can like take out of there and like it belongs to you after that door yeah I mean you know anything that you do in that sense is is fair game I mean videocopilot even provides you know models and stuff like that but a you know like if you buy a 3d model from turbosquid com I mean part of that is you can use that in your own productions and you know I think for Star Wars you know I think that’s obviously a there’s a probably a lot of copyright stuff there but if it’s this fanfiction I it’s usually a fair game no I mean I don’t mean actually making Star Wars I just mean it seems like you know the technology has advanced so much I’ve always I keep expecting to see all these movies coming out with visual effects and everything but it just hasn’t really happened you know there’s a couple of fan things out there and shorts and but you haven’t really seen somebody really take the technology and kind of like go crazy with it you know I mean yeah I mean though that’s one thing that I wanted to try and do with the third up that I’m trying to do with the third episode weekend is is taking what after effects and element offers and trying to replicate some higher end stuff so I mean one of the things for episode 3 is is character duplication you know we have one space suit like one you know kind of like it’s like the halo the halo master chief suit we only have one of them and to create an army of guys it’s like well you definitely need to get into visual effects and if you want to keep it 2d you know you can do green screen or you can do you know some some in camera tricks but if you want to get a little more creative with it it’s like you need 3d models so that’s what there’s some new techniques out and I don’t want to give too much away but to create 3d models and then to use them with in After Effects to kind of do some stuff to create cg armies you know so that’s kind of that’s what I’ve been looking into that’s what I’ve been working on and that is I don’t know if we can handle it I don’t know if after effects can handle it I’m not at that point yet but it’ll be cool if it does work out so you try to import your own models into element is that right yeah and then element has built-in like duplication stuff so you can you import one model and you say okay now create 2,000 of these guys and spread them out over spread them out over the screen and like a partial you know make thing right right so yeah yeah yes you basically do a particle system and then you make you know give them a little variance in size and and then also you know I’m going to want to animate them a bit too so that’s I mean that’s a whole different thing that’s just a rabbit hole learning so much stuff and hitting dead ends but you know I think I’ve found a way to make it work in after effects right and I don’t think a lot of people realize sometimes that a lot of like that that can be done with green screen like I saw a thing that Gareth Edwards did not too long ago where he was showing how he created this giant battlefield or whatever for like Genghis Khan or whatever and he just had a hundred of the same like one guy doing like different movements in front of a green screen and then he just took that into a compile a I guess after effects is what he uses right yeah wewe actually did that yeah we’ve done we’ve done that a few times and the downside is just that you can’t you have to stick to 2d moves you you know it’s either well and then one thing we’re doing with the beacon is we’re incorporating motion control dollies so it is that same 2d idea but if you can replicate the same camera move over and over and over at the same speed you know which what that’s what motion control is then you can get into some camera movements where you have multiple people so that’s something we’re going to be doing for the closer up shots hey you know and

then mixing it in with the CG models and stuff like that that’s pretty hardcore admit the motion control is that like does that matter yeah it’s yeah it’s it’s not too bad I mean you just you basically go into the the motion control menu and say I want to I want the dolly move to be this speed and then I want the pan tilt move to be at this speed then you just do that same move five times and then you know you have your actors doing five different things and just try to not have them overlap but I wouldn’t even do I don’t know where I’m going to do green screen so it’s just literally drawing masks and after effects to make it work if there are characters that need to overlap then you do green screen right yeah I remember seeing that in the the back to the future movies when I was like the big thing I did was right um yeah that stuff I mean you know it’s tried and true right now I have my last two segments and I will leave you in peace okay so the the last segment my second to last segment is called The Time Machine and basically grabbed the idea is what would loop Newman of today tell Luke Newman of say ten years ago when you were first starting out what what advice would you give to yourself well ten years ago I was in college for something I didn’t like so doesn’t have to be specifically ten years but you know younger yeah to the younger filmmaker and not a baby you know like just yeah that’s full um i would say uh just focus on stuff that excites you you know like trying to do stuff that you think other people will like or even having that idea in your head it usually doesn’t work because for whatever reason i think creative people don’t put they feel like it’s not there one hundred percent their thing and so if there’s any inkling of doing it for somebody else or like oh i think this could be i think people might like this or I think you know if it’s not true to who you are then you won’t put a hundred percent into it and it just won’t do what you want it to do so you know I mean I I did a little bit of that early on like oh I think this video could get views and that never works you know so it’s like I just if something sounds interesting just do it and you know people have subscribed to the channel they’ll probably like it too because they like your channel so I you know a lot of it I think just comes from living life and discovering who you are and growing up you know so it’s less filmmaking advice and more just life advice just I think if something everybody goes through right follow your authentic self right right and you know I mean whatever that is you know try it try to find what that is and then just follow it okay now the the other one is for people who are listening who want to go out and have something you know to to help them out on their way what can you name one book or movie or resource that has really been influential in your filmmaking career um not really I mean it’s just a collection it’s just a collection of thing right my biggest thing but again this is like I said just me personally is trial and error does a much better job of that than any book or movie or any like being passive in any way being active is the best way to learn and so yeah I mean I realize some people learn that way like there’s some people that they need to learn by the books and that’s just how some people learn new stuff I was never that way and so that way never really I never learned anything from it you know so I think again it just goes back to knowing what kind of person you are knowing what you’re looking for but as far as books or movies like that just didn’t really fit with me personally right did you have any like feel sorry of that um yeah I mean I like yeah you know it I don’t actually want I don’t actually watch that much stuff and people always kind of get offended by that but it’s like I I like going out like I like being out nature and I like the the process of filmmaking more than I like watching filmmaking but i mean i’ll be you know i mean i like i like a darker con liked

raising arizona which was the Coen brothers back in the day last Mohicans movies definitely shaped and had a bigger effect on me when I was younger but now I mean I I’m been to the movie theaters and I think two years well so it’s like I you know and it’s not that I don’t like watching movies it’s just I’d much rather be out creating stuff I think right you’d rather make make them watch yeah and I actually I watch a little more TV you know netflix and all that stuff um yes I think I’m more of a TV guy now okay do you have any plans do you have the goal of at some point making like a normal feature or do you plan on doing more just the web series like you’re doing it now yeah i mean i don’t really have any desire to do a feature I think and that goes to why I don’t watch that many movies just I don’t have the page like I think I have ADHD I don’t think I could stick with a 90 minute idea for that long right my ideas were always you know they’re quick and I want to that’s why the web series I think works better is so that i can i can kind of work on a long-term idea but in between that do different stuff but i would definitely you know I think TV would be more up my alley than working on any sort of feature and we’re actually exploring distribution for the beacon right now we actually signed something a couple weeks ago I I don’t know where it’s going to go but you know that that’s always been to me something I think I’d be better suited for well Luke man i really appreciate you coming on and talking to me yeah thanks for having me can you tell people how to get in touch with you and how to find you online and all that good yeah our youtube channel is just Newman films any um A&N like the microphone and most of our stuffs on there and then our website is Newman films net alright man thanks a lot I appreciate all right thank you and that was my interview with gluten Newman of newman films i want to thank Luke for coming on the show and being such a great guest next week we’ll be talking with Emily best of seed and spa mark that’ll come out Tuesday so that’ll do it for today we’ll see you next week thanks for listening to the indie film academy podcast don’t forget to join our newsletter for more tips and tricks on how to make and market your film online go to www indie film academy com beat Wow