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How to Use Location to Enhance Short Video

Thursday, 14 May 2015

A brief scan of this week’s top ten viral advertising videos will quickly reveal one feature they all share: a strong location.

 Of the top ten ads, 4 portray breathtaking locations as the center of their short videos. The other 6 also use location meaningfully – from a boy’s bedroom to the large warehouse loft of an adult man.

Take a look at these 4 ads and the locations that feature strongly in them:
Yosemite Dawn Wall

Google App
Grand Canyon

Kate Spade
Sunset Tower Hotel

Delamar Dry Lake, Nevada Desert

Sometimes you know your location before you know your script, sometimes the location becomes necessary because of the script and sometimes amazing just happens.

In this ad, the location isn't a single strong focal point, but a series of specific locales that are integral to building the character in just seconds ( a boys hero-adorned bedroom denoting admiration and innocence, an empty gym denoting strength and dedication, a pristine garage denoting mechanical skill and precision, a winding hilly road denoting athletic adventurism)
In film, as in writing, location can act as another character. It can also be used to develop characters and offer a deeping understanding.

In short video, the location can shave minutes off the script by saying in one second what would take time to reveal in action or explain in dialogue. Of course, too many locations or inappropriate locations and you've expanded shoot time and blown your budget.

That’s where celtx and it's array of apps comes in.

With the celtx Scout app, you can check out potential locations, sending photos and details to your team and receiving their comments. The location manager can bring the director of photographer along – in his or her back pocket.

It’s important when scouting locations to look at more than the light, ambient sound, and terrain, Logistics can make or break a location: is there a power supply nearby, is there easy access for film crews and equipment. Even if your “location” is simply one corner of your office, taking a series of photos with the scout app will help you record lighting, nearby outlets, access routes for the camera… the idea is to shoot with the logistics you have.

Once you capture those details with the Scout app, you can add the scenic and lighting focused pictures to the storyboard in the Online Studio or the Shots app, and add the photos of power sources, access routes, and even bathrooms to the catalog for cast and crew. With our media reports, you can make sure shoot day reports are accompanied by photos depicting locations of electrical outlets, bathrooms, and where craft service is going to set up!

After the location is determined, tagging it in your breakdown allows you to populate the catalog with a location map. On the schedule stripboard you'll be able to arrange shoots by location to minimize move days.

The shoot day reports will then list the location, display the map, calculate sunrise and sunset times, and even provide the weather report.

And if the weather calls for rain, don't worry about those printed reports getting soaked. Equip your cast and crew with the Reports app, and you can push those shoot day reports to them, wherever they are – syncing to all their devices in one click.

We can't help you find the ideal farmyard and mansion, but once you've located it, we want to deliver the tools that will help you maximize it.

Squatting Bugs with Mustard Pickles

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Here at Celtx we're always ready to stomp on bugs. With the Online Studio we've got the option to push bug fixes and new releases whenever we want.

We know you want to get down to the business of writing and pre-production, and we want to make sure nothing gets in your way. As a member of the support team, I take special relish in the squatting of a bug. Being able to respond to our clients issues and solve in a timely manner is what makes us tick.

This week's release, titled Mustard Pickles (we'll get to that later), took care of some issues that had cropped up just recently:

  1. we fixed an issue that allowed users to drop text into their scripteditor which was breaking their scene navigator; 
  2. we corrected the way the last pages of the script displayed in print preview; 
  3. we obliterated some issues with our notifications system; 
  4. and we improved the way people work with multiple files - pushing updates from the breakdown and catalog to the schedule when both documents are open 

We've mentioned before that we take the release names from a local radio station's news headlines. Our choices this week involved some real interesting ones like "Drunk Man Found Wandering Off" or these:

But we had an even better idea for this one.

Ross is another member of the support team. He feels the same relish I do in bug squatting. But what he doesn't relish is mustard pickles. He hates them, actually.

So this week's release is named in honour of Ross: Mustard Pickles. Not to make fun of him for his dislike of them but to pay homage to him for suffering for his art. The biggest headline around the Celtx offices this past week has been our own Ross Moore and his film team making the Top 60 cut in the Cinecoup $1 million prize competition with their entry Can Con.

Watch below as Ross throws his fear and distaste to the wind (and feel free to vote and share):

Ten Tips for Writing Great Dialogue from the People Who Know

Tuesday, 31 March 2015

One thing we're always asked here at Celtx - besides the obvious questions on the software itself - is how to write good dialogue. From novelists, playwrights to screenwriters and - yes- even poets, dialogue is an important struggle. Check out these tips from great writers of all genres on writing believable, beautiful dialogue

Focus on Fans: Wesley Chambers, UK

Friday, 27 March 2015

Wesley Chambers is a 32 year old filmmaker from London/Kent. He drew our attention last week with a series of tweets:

Wesley made us curious. He obviously knows and loves Celtx; we wanted to know more about his experience as a filmmaker and in using Celtx. So we reached out:

Five Things Celtx Fixed This Week

Thursday, 26 March 2015

On Monday, March 23 at 10am our time, Celtx released a production update for the Online Studios.

It goes by the humble name of v. 2.72 (edit: I've just discovered that our developers secretly name them after weird headlines. This weeks? Quartet of Thieves). It comes after  v. 2.71... and it's one of just a long schedule of bi-weekly updates.
One of our Celtx developers, Dylan Chrysochou, wrote over 300 lines of code this week to make sure your script doesn't go "out-of-bounds."
This is what happens behind the scenes as you're tapping away on those scripts. Our development team taps away on the backend: fixing, refining, designing and testing to make sure we're offering the best product possible.

So here's Five Things Celtx Fixed This Week (we actually did a lot more than five, but these are the highlights out of 27 fixes and improvements):