CFC Blog

SAICFF 2014 Postponed

November 3rd, 2013

San Antonio Christian Film Festival 2014

An announcement came out a couple of weeks ago concerning the San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festival for 2014. After some financial trouble and possibly other ongoing issues at Vision Forum, they have decided to postpone the SAICFF 2014. The full release said:

"Update Oct. 21, 2013: The Christian Filmmakers Academy and SAICFF for 2014 have been postponed. Due in part to financial concerns and for other reasons, the Board of Vision Forum Ministries is looking to bring greater accountability to our practices and events, and therefore is allowing more time before launching this significant event once again. A relevant issue to address is that though the 2012 SAICFF was a great spiritual victory, lacking the necessary sponsorships it resulted in a significant financial loss. Vision Forum Ministries has maintained a large loss at this event for several years now, but the reality is that a ministry of our size cannot sustain this under the present model.

We believe the Christian Filmmakers Academy and the SAICFF are best executed in conjunction with each other, and that more time is needed to raise and put funds in order to maintain the previous level of excellence. Therefore, both events for 2014 are postponed with the anticipation of opening them again in 2015. Any funds paid in advance for film submissions, Academy participation or SAICFF entree fees will be refunded."

This is definitely a sad release, as many were anxiously anticipating attending this festival next year. However, hopefully they'll be able to regroup and make this work for the SAICFF 2015! Be sure to check back often as we keep you updated on the future of the San Antonio Christian Film Festival.

Tutorial: DIY Boom Pole

October 30th, 2013

For anyone who has or has had a boom mic, you may realize once you get it that you need a boom pole to go along with it. How else will you be able to get good sound out of your boom mic unless you place it right over your actor on camera? So, when you venture over to Amazon to purchase a boom pole, you tend to see a recurring theme - they're expensive... Very expensive. So, if you're anything like me, you realize you don't want to pay $100+ for a long stick to attach a microphone to, and would rather look for a different solution.

So, today I thought I'd share this video with you that I found while looking for a cheap way to make a boom pole. He has some very great ideas on how to make one very inexpensively using much cheaper things, like a light bulb changer. Hopefully this video will be useful to you in trying to build a boom pole!

Spotlight: Sony Movie Studio Platinum

October 28th, 2013

Good HD video editing software

Today we spotlight for you our favorite consumer-level video editing software for the PC - Sony Movie Studio Platinum. If you're looking for a good, fairly inexpensive movie editing program to piece together some of your videos, look no further than this program. With it's hundreds of special effects, rendering options, and abilities, Sony Movie Studio Platinum will help you get it done.

I have really enjoyed using this program and the more I learn it, the more I really like it. I edit almost exclusively in this program now, only using a few other things for various projects. I love how you can create as many video and audio tracks as you need, and you're not limited to a set amount such as 16. It also works beautifully on a dual-monitor display, as you can move the various windows around maximizing a dual-screen experience. You can export all the way up to 1080p HD, and there are dozens of different options for exporting.

Overall, I really think this is my favorite video editor I've ever used. Without having to shell out a whole lot of money for Final Cut Pro or something higher end, this is definitely the perfect experience for a consumer-level video editor.

King's Faith Now Available on DVD

October 22th, 2013

King's Faith Movie Now Available

A new Christian film is now available to order! King's Faith, a film by Provident Films, was released today and is now available to order online! If you haven't heard of this new movie, the synopsis reads:

"After Brendan King's life spiraled to rock bottom, the teen found hope in a new relationship with Christ while serving time in a juvenile penitentiary. Recently released from prison, Brendan finds solace in the foster home of a couple struggling with suppressed grief. As the city-bred teen enrolls at a suburban high school, he finds support from a group of believers. Yet the bonds of his old way of life—and the gang that wants to know where he hid their stash on a long-ago night—are strong. In his darkest moment, Brendan found faith. Now he must decide if it's worth the price to hold on to it. Available now on DVD from Provident Films, King's Faith stars Emmy Award winner Lynn Whitfield, along with Crawford Wilson, Kayla Compton, and James McDaniel."

If you want to find out more about this movie, be sure to visit their website or learn more on our New Movies page. If you have seen this movie, be sure to let us know what you thought of it in the comments below!

Discussion: Sound or Video?

October 20th, 2013

Sound vs. Video Quality

I realized today that it's been a long time since I've posted a discussion question for you all. Possibly one of the biggest questions in the movie making world is which is more important - audio or video? Say you're given a certain amount of money to spend on your film and you can only afford to have great sound quality with low video quality or high video quality with low sound quality. Which do you pick? I'd say this is definitely a hard decision and there's lots to factor in, but I would probably go with the better sound quality. I love great sound quality and it's always something I always look for in films. But that's just my opinion - what do you think? Post in the comments below and let me know what you think!

Spotlight: Rode NTG2

October 15th, 2013

Rode NTG 2 Review

Recently, I was finally able to acquire a new shotgun mic, the Rode NTG2 Condenser Shotgun Microphone. While I've been able to have pretty good video quality with my Canon Rebel T3i, I've had a lot of trouble getting decent sound for various video projects. The onboard camera microphone obviously couldn't do, and the Audio Technica lapel mic I've been using can really only go so far. So, finally, we were able to obtain a shotgun mic, and I've been having a lot of fun with it.

While a full review may follow shortly after I've had more time to use it, I just wanted to spotlight this amazing new microphone we've finally acquired. So far, a lot of the tests have been very good, with dramatic quality improvement from the onboard camera microphone. The Rode NTG2 amazingly cuts out the hiss, and provides amazing voice samples with remarkable clarity.

For now, I've been using an XLR-3.5 mm cord and plugging it into our Olympus VN-702PC. I hope to eventually get a Zoom H4n for it, but for now the Olympus seems to be working just fine. We'll be back soon to give you more information on this microphone and let you know our final thoughts on it. Stay tuned!

Unstoppable Movie Review

October 9th, 2013

Kirk Cameron Unstoppable Review

Last Thursday, my family and I were able to attend the second showing of Kirk Cameron's film Unstoppable. We were in a room filled with well over 150 people, all anticipating this new film we had been looking forward to for several months. As the theater began to darken, we all sat down in our seats and quickly quieted down. The film began to roll...

The beginning of the theatrical version of Unstoppable begins with Kirk Cameron interviewing a couple of men about Liberty University, a big Christian college who helped support this movie. After talking with them for around 10 minutes, he enters a large gymnasium packed with Liberty University students. Here he begins to talk some more, along with a few interviews and songs sung by Mandisa and Warren Barfield. After maybe a half an hour since the lights dimmed, the actual movie finally begins.

As the movie begins, Kirk Cameron tells the story of a 15 year old boy that he knew who died. He questions why God lets bad things happen to people, and journeys throughout the movie to find the answer. He decides to go back to the beginning of the bible and begins to tell the story of Adam and Eve's fall and the death of Abel and so on. The format of the movie is basically Kirk Cameron talking to the camera, with little segments of Adam and Eve and Cain and Abel woven in. Eventually it deviates from that and has scenes of Kirk Cameron in various places, an oddly-placed "humorous" scene of a board meeting, and scenes of a funeral. Then, the movie ends with Kirk Cameron, wrapping up and making his point.

As our family left the theater, we all decided that we liked the movie, and there were some interesting points to be made, but we didn't feel that it had a very cohesive plot. It skipped rather oddly from bible story to bible story, and decidedly jumped over large, important parts of the bible. Some of the sections of the movie seemed thrown together, and there didn't seem to be a single line running through one story to the next. The whole movie deals with a very serious topic, and is very saddening when you learn of the 15 year old boy dying, and it just seems odd to throw a single scene into the center of the movie that tries to add a little comedic relief.

The camerawork in the movie was definitely phenomenal. There was an interesting point where you see Cameron realize why God lets bad things happen to people, and the camera turns from black and white to color, which added an interesting "aha" moment to the film. The overall quality of the film is superb and there was never any scene that took away from the overall quality. The bible scenes were well shot and very realistic, but in the opinion of my family, it was possibly a little too artsy. There was a lot of unnecessary blood and gore, and would definitely be a detractor for a family with young children wanting to see the film. The scene where Cain murders Abel was a little overly violent, and not particularly appropriate for young children.

Overall, the film was enjoyable, and our whole family enjoyed our outing to go see this Christian film. It was well shot and had some interesting points, but did have some strange and seemingly out of place scenes strewn throughout the film. I would encourage you to see this movie once it releases on DVD next year, as it is definitely worth your time. Clearly, Kirk Cameron worked very hard on this film and it definitely is of the highest quality. Even with a few unnecessary scenes and odd quirks, Unstoppable is a film that is definitely worth seeing.