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Hi, I'm Dan-O. I am a singer songwriter and I also like making instrumental music which you can use royalty free. Click here for info on licensing my music and songs for your video, photo slideshow, film, app or other media. For questions about my music see the FAQ.

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YouTube Creator Trends, News and Videos

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I have always been inspired to create something and that’s all I really understand in life. I know that YouTube video creators can relate to that! Here are my latest YouTube creator trends, news and video updates for the week.

The best thing I ever did as a musician is stop asking people what they think and just put it out there. The Wisecrack team seems to think the same thing, just do the best with what you have available to make videos with a great story:

Some things can only be said with music. That is especially true when placing music in a film to express emotion:

More interesting news…

Is Facebook going to overtake YouTube for video sharing!?… looks like it may: Read More >>

Minecraft Stars on YouTube Share Secrets to Their Celebrity
Read More >>

In First Decade, YouTube Redefined Celebrity Read More >>

Where can I find Legal Copyright Free Music for Youtube?
Read More >>

How to Legally Use Music in Your Films and Videos Read More >>

Studentfilms.com now has a section just for royalty free music… studentfilms.com/music/

Shutterstock Royalty Free Music Now Offers License at $49 per Track

Stock Music  Royalty Free Production Music   ShutterstockShutterstock now offers royalty free music with a license for $49 per track.

They have a new music collection that customers can use for a per-song fee.

Until now Shutterstock only licensed images and video footage. Music content is the logical next step.

After the launch the per track fee will probably jump to $79 and a subscription will also be offered.

Read the full story.

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How to Become a YouTube Partner: Benefits, Rewards and Money

If you are wondering how to become a YouTube partner and take advantage of the many benefits and rewards like earning money, it is incredibly simple, free, and easy. It offers some extra features for your account that you can use to make a better channel. Taking advantage of the perks of Youtube partnership gives you extra functionality on your Youtube videos, channel, and profile.

It’s very easy to verify your account to become a Youtube partner. Starting on your Youtube channel profile click on Dashboard from the drop down menu at the top of the page and then click on Channel Settings. This will then prompt you to verify your account. Select your country from the drop down menu and choose a method to receive your verification code. If you opt to receive it by text message you will put in your phone number, wait for the text message code, and then put it into the form. Click Submit and then Continue and your account with be verified as a Youtube partner.

When you return to your channel settings page you will see that there are more features marked green as available for use. As a Youtube partner you can add longer videos, create content ID, add external annotation, and choose a custom thumbnail. You don’t even have to have any views, subscribers, or videos to verify your account as a Youtube partner so you can start using these exclusive features from the get-go.

Note that verifying your account is different than monetizing it. Choosing to monetize your account is to enable your videos to earn money through ads, either before the video plays, in the side of the window, or over your video. You can also opt to stream live events, although that is not immediately enabled by the verification of your account.

Tutorial: Sound Design Jobs in Film

This is a sound production tutorial provided by the Light Film School. The objective of this tutorial is to outline sound design jobs in film and teach indie filmmakers more about sound production. The video offers useful tips and advice for the many indie filmmakers who often work on a limited budget, deadline, and crew. With some extra time, creativity, and a modest investment, an indie filmmaker can greatly improve the audio production standards of their film projects.

Who Works in the Sound Department?

Before getting into the audio techniques in earnest, the tutorial first covers the average structure of an audio production department. Sound production has multiple stages, with crew members performing the work at each stage:

Boom operators/Mixers: These people are responsible for the early stages of sound production. Boom operators capture the audio, while the mixers set the proper levels and recording of the audio. The sound that they capture on set is called production sound, and on many indie film sets, the job of boomer and mixer is performed by one person.

Sound Editors: The sound editor receives the production sound. This person closely works with the director to oversee how well the audio matches the overall soundtrack. The editor also manages the post-production sound team. The following people are managed by the sound editor:

Dialogue editor. This person works exclusively with the project’s dialogue track.

ADR editor. This person re-records any dialogue that couldn’t be captured on the set.

Background editor. This person lays in and edits the background tracks, whether simple ones or complex atmospheric tracks that define the environment’s acoustics.

Sound effects editor. These people research various sounds in sound libraries or record non-diegetic sounds. These are sounds that are not produced by the events within a scene, but are present to set the mood or tone.

Folly artist. These people handle the “folly” sounds like punches or footsteps. In other words, diegetic sounds that are the result of actions in a scene.

Music editor. This person will work with the soundtrack by editing and syncing the music into the project.

Re-recording mixer. This is the person who takes over the sound once everything is finished and mix together all elements to build a final soundtrack.

In larger budget films, these roles are played by various people, but on some indie sets, they’re played by only one or two people. Regardless, a successful sound production process depends on how well the boom operator and mixer are able to capture production sound. No level of sophisticated editing can fix bad production sound.

How to get good sound?

The film script and good location scouting are two factors often overlooked in getting good sound production. For instance, consider the scenes written into a script. Sometimes writers will put in scenes (like a daytime industrial setting) that offer too much noise. While writers don’t need to change their script to suit sound productions’ demands, it’s important that the latter think creatively and anticipate obstacles. Thus, investing time into location scouting is crucial to quality audio production. In addition, the sound crew needs to consider the kind of equipment they’ll use and where they’ll position themselves within a location, in order to get the best results.

It should be noted that while you can play around with the sound of a location during editing, you can’t isolate or delete bad sounds. It’s best to do a proper job of recording in the first place. Some people aren’t aware that certain sounds share frequencies with others. Thus, if you try to delete a “bad” sound in your film, you may end up changing the dynamics of the “good” sound because they share the same frequency.

Overall, there are many factors that go into good sound production, but the most important one is having all departments work together to solve problems. Below are ten tips for ensuring this:

1. Turn off all mechanical and electrical devices.
2. Close all doors and windows.
3. Scout for quiet times at the location.
4. Close the set and implement a “no talking” rule.
5. Allow the boom operator and mixer into rehearsals. This will help them figure out their sound levels and position themselves within the scene so they don’t cast shadows against walls.
6. Perform test recordings.
7. Capture wild lines you need to re-record.
8. If the scene requires crew to move around, have them minimize sound and impact by wearing soft foot ware like socks.
9. Test the noise level of your props and be aware of which ones are noisiest (bracelets, necklaces, phones, etc.).
10. Give sound recorders time before and after the shoot in order to capture room tone.

In many instances, sound crew have the heavy burden of being understaffed, pressed for time, and not given enough time to prepare. Just because this happens often, it doesn’t mean that it should. Good sound is the responsibility of everyone on the set, and it will only happen if the sound crew is given ample time to set up and test. In the long run, you’ll get a better production because of it.

Different Types of Camera Angles and Shots with Examples

Check out this video for various types of cinematography camera angles and movement techniques.

There are lots of great examples of shots you can use in your videos and films:

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The Basics of Camera Angles

Every independent film maker needs to know the basics of camera angles and shots, and for those that are unaware of these basics we have developed a short guide to camera angles and how to use them.

Main Type Of Shots

Long Shots: Long shots are primarily used to show your subject in its entirety. If your subject is an actor then a full body shot will provide an air of distance and make your audience feel like an outside observer.

Medium: Medium shots are from the shoulders up and can be used to convey dialogue.

Close Up: Close ups tighten in on your subject if it is an actor, you would tighten in on their head and face.

Extreme Close Up: Extreme close ups zoom in very tightly on your subject and take up the entire frame of your camera.

Low angle: The low angle is placed at the feet of your subject looking up. It denotes power making your subject seem stronger or better than the object it is observing.

Bird’s Eye View Shot: This shot is perfect for showing the emotion of your character or viewing the scene from above in a god like way.

Dutch Angle: The Dutch angle is slightly off kilter and makes the scene seem uneasy and stressful.

How to move Your Camera

Now that you know the basics of camera angles you can now learn how to move your camera. For example, panning your camera from left to right communicates movement with your audience and sets up the scene. Tilting your camera up or down denotes movement and lets the audience decide for themselves what is happening in a scene. How you stand or what you use to shoot with also has a direct impact on the shot. The dolly shot is very popular and it uses a dolly to zoom in or out on your subject depending on the emotion you want your audience to feel. The crane shot also uses some added assistance by placing the camera on a crane and raising and lowering it according to the desires of the cameraman.

Why use these angles?

Different angles produce different emotions and psychology for your audience. Depending on how you move the camera, you can denote a dialogue structure, drama, suspense, or horror. Once you understand the psychology of film you can then produce movies that move your audience.

Free Film Studies at Ghetto Film School Online

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The academy award nominated director, Spike Jones, has been invited to the Ghetto Film School, to offer a free online film studies Master Class for the Ghetto Film School. This is a unique program where young filmmakers from around the world get together in order to discuss more about filmmaking and storytelling. Spike Jones accepted their invitation and held a conference, talking about this business and about the main challenges that they need to overcome. He responded to several questions and he gave them a creative assignment created by himself.

The first lesson he wanted to share with them was that every actor is different, so each one of them works differently. This is why a director should know how to give specific notes. Jones showed them the importance of the rehearsal, not only because they get to repeat together and see how it works out, but mainly because during that period the coworkers get to bond with each other, creating friendships and developing a common language. In this way, they’ll be able to get a better understanding of each other while working together at a project.

When it comes to the writing part, Jones had an interesting insight, saying that it’s essential to share the writing with the others. In this way they will not only get the others’ feedback, but they will also get their own feedback. He emphasized that by sitting down and telling someone a story, he gets the opportunity to actually hear it out loud. Therefore, he may hear what works and what doesn’t work. The same thing happens with the test screening. So those who want to work in this industry should share their ideas.

Working in the film industry may be exciting, especially because people get to do what they like. A great advice was the necessity to choose role models and to focus on great movies. He exemplified by saying that whenever he sees a great movie, he keeps it alive in his mind, taking it everywhere. Such a movie may rest in his mind for a week, a month, or even years. In this way, whenever he will need inspiration, he will go back to that movie.

Another essential thing that can be related to any kind of activity, and not only with filmmaking, is definitely the ability to make friends. After all, coworkers spend a lot of time together and it’s important to work in a relaxed and friendly environment. Besides the work with his team, he also likes to get the opinion of a group of writers and directors, mainly because he loves their work. Thus, he values their opinions so he tries to get a feedback whenever he finishes a script or when he’s editing a movie.

Between the questions posed during this conference, there has been a question about story boards. Jones expressed his personal opinion about these, by saying that they are important as long as there is a complicated sequence. Otherwise, there are many sources of inspiration and one shouldn’t stay too focused on a fixed idea.

Filmmaking Video: Rutger Hauer Intro to Short Film Making

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This filmmaking video features the renown Dutch actor and writer, Rutger Hauer as he offers his professional insights with an introduction to short film making. He begins the video with a memorable quote by a colleague, Robert Rodriguez: “what you need to know about filmmaking can be taught in a week.” In response to that quote, Hauer proposes to create this video with the objective of teaching the essentials of film in a 13-minute video.

Hauer starts by proclaiming that if you want to be a filmmaker, then just print your name and the title, “filmmaker” on a business card. Pass around the card to your friends and tell people that you’re a filmmaker, because once you convince yourself that you are, you will be. Seeing yourself as such is important to embarking upon your filmmaking career.

RutgerHauer_OdFest

Rutger Hauer
Photo: http://oiff.com.ua

In addition to seeing yourself as a filmmaker, Hauer adds that you need the right blend of creativity and technical knowledge. Creative people are born creative, says Hauer, that’s “luck” as he calls it. Most technical people haven’t a clue about creativity. On the other hand, creative people have a difficult time thinking high-tech and they often rely on tools and methods they don’t fully understand. However, as Hauer emphasizes, if you have both creativity and some technical skills, then no one can stop you.

This leads to Hauer’s second point of insight: you already have some experience by watching movies, but watching films isn’t enough if you want to make them. You need to grab a camera, make movies, and more importantly, make mistakes. Making mistakes is what makes us good. If you have a scenario in your head, just start writing.

The following are some of the topics that Hauer covers, with the intention on touching upon all the essential aspects of making a successful, budget film.

Making a cheap film. Making budget films always force you to be creative, especially when it comes to finding the right location. Hauer suggests that you write a screenplay that doesn’t require a lot of money. Instead, look around you and evaluate what you have in your immediate environment for use: a pet, your parent, a butterfly collection, a garden, etc. “Even the smallest balcony garden can be your film jungle” he says. Hauer’s first film, Starfish Tango, involved a small story, two dancers, two actors, a village, and seven dolphins and yet was a success.

Getting the plot “out of your head.” Hauer’s third point of insight involves creating storyboards for getting the film out of your head and onto the screen. More importantly, you need to think about the frames and what needs to be present in each scene in order to tell the story–close your eyes, focus and make up the pictures, don’t just pick from some royalty free photos you find on the internet. You should also think about whether or not the story moves you, if all the characters are present, or if the plot is too fast. More importantly, creating a storyboard for the movie allows you to see whether or not it makes sense. The quicker you get your idea onto the storyboard, you quicker you can begin to shoot.

Cameras. You don’t need a sophisticated camera for your first or second film. In fact, just using a Flipcam is enough, and if you need to create steady shots, just use a tripod. If you want more movement in your shot, you can try mounting the camera on a skateboard, having someone push you in a wheelchair, or drag the camera on the floor atop a towel or blanket. Lastly, act “softly” in front of the camera: avoid overacting or crowding the camera with too much action. As a rule, the closer the camera is, the less acting you need to do.

Lighting. Experiment with the lighting. Walk around and see what spots are best left dimmed and which ones need a lot of light. As you move the light around, do it softly so it will look nice and natural on camera. You filters like curtains in order to get a dim effect. Use the reflections in cars, windows, the color of a table cloth, or even the movement of leaves to help you play with lighting. Hauer demonstrates how one can play with lighting by placing a towel over his computer’s camera and noting the slight, but important difference it creates.

Editing. It’s important to be patient and take your time in order to ensure a film of high quality. This is where you can add sound or music (either make your own music or own it, so as to not infringe on copyright).

After all of this you will have your first, simple film. He ends with saying that while you cannot make simple films in Hollywood, you can make them in school and on your own time, so take advantage of this freedom. He wishes the viewers success and fun in their project endeavors.

9 Freeware Music Sites: Free Songs for Use on YouTube Videos

9 Freeware Music Sites  Free Songs for Use on YouTube VideosI get lots of questions about freeware music sites. If you have listened to my music and you still need more options, here are some suggestions for free songs for use on YouTube videos from Russell Hasenauer at Indy Mogul:

In this segment of “Friday 101” Russell tackles the often asked question of where to find free online music that users can legally add to their Youtube videos, movies, or other projects, you can see this pages even if you don’t know the language by using sites as Localizer.co that translate the site to your language. As a result, Russell presents his “Friday 101 Ultimate Awesome Free Music List F’Real 2012” along with a brief introduction to Creative Commons licenses.

All of the music sites that Russell presents in this episode of “Friday 101” provide free music. This is made possible by Creative Commons Licensing, which allows people to use content if they abide by the terms of the content’s creator. In doing this, the creator maintains the copyright on his or her own work. The only requirement for using Creative Commons music is that one needs to maintain the license of the creator’s choosing. While you can visit CreativeCommons.Org for more information, below is a synopsis of all the kinds of CC licenses you may encounter:

Attribution license: this is the simplest license to work with, because it allows you to do whatever you want with the work. You can alter it and use it for commercial purposes, and all you need to do is attribute it back to the original creator, usually with a link to the person’s page.

Share-alike license: This license stipulates that if you use a song or other piece of content, the work in which you use it should itself become a Creative Commons work. This means that if you use a song with a share-alike license for your movie, then your movie should also be available via Creative Commons.

NoDerivs license: This license stipulates song or content may be used in different projects, but that you cannot alter it in any way or remix it.

The last license is called the NonCommercial License, which allows free use of a piece of music (and it allows alterations), but only if that music will not be used for monetization purposes. If you plan to monetize your videos, be especially careful with these kinds of licenses.

In terms of finding great sources of free music for your videos, movies, and projects, Russell’s first suggestion is Kevin MacLeod from Incompetech. MacLeod has over 2,000 songs on his website, all of which are free to use for Youtube videos, commercials, or films. If you’re a Youtube partner using his music, you have the option to monetize your videos. MacLeod’s only requirement is that users give him credit for his work, whether in the movie titles or in the description of the uploaded video. MacLeod’s Incompetech is one of the largest music websites (providing the music for this very “Friday 101” video) that allow users to search for music by genre and by field.

In addition to MacLeod, Josh Woodward at JoshWoodward.com is another source for music. Woodward generally does acoustic music with lyrics, but one benefit of using his site is that almost all his songs have an instrumental version. This comes in handy when you’re making a movie and suddenly need to fade out the lyrics and only leave in the music.

Another source for a variety of free music is Free Music Archive. Because this particular site has many licenses, when searching for music, so do through the site’s search bar on the right-hand side. After clicking on “search music” you will get a search box, in which you should check off “commercial purposes” so that the results will give you songs that are fine to use for monetized projects.

Royalty Free Kings is another website that offers a wide selection of free music. When searching the site, Russell recommends that you scroll down the menu on the left-hand side of the website to find the free music section. If you use their music, be sure to give them credit and link back to their website. Be aware that they have a $250,000 budget cap, which means that if your project’s budget exceeds $250K, you cannot use their music for free.

Matt MacFarland at MattMacFarland is another easy-to-use website for free music. This is an attribution-only music website, and they sort their music according to the tempo. Audionautix, like Matt MacFarland, just requires you to place a link back to their website and currently features over 250 songs of different genres. Anthony Kozar also has a few tracks that may suit the tastes of those looking for experimental-sounding music.

FreeMusicForVideos is yet another site that offers free music for your video projects. They offer a wide selection and their interface is user-friendly. Another website recently found by Russell is BeatsRoyaltyFree. This website features all kinds of genres, but especially hip-hop and electronic beats. All music on this site is free to use commercially, unless the page from which you download the song states otherwise.

There are also new websites from which to choose. Make sure to contact the following artists first before using their music: The first is a group recommended by a viewer, Tyler Johnson, who recommends music by a group called Noize Index. The group makes a wide array of their music available through their YouTube page. There are two other SoundCloud pages worth mentioning: the first is by Abhilash Buch who owns the page, SoapandFoam and has created music for Indie Mogul. He’s recently made his music available for creative commons, along with his brother, Tanmay Buch at TanmayBuch. Tanmay also just opened up a music page available for Creative Commons usage.

Russell recommends that if you like the music all of the above artists provide, and find yourself using it over and over, you can donate a few dollars to them. The majority of these artists have a Paypal account linked to their music websites. An attribution, as well as a small monetary donation, is a great way to show your support. Below are a couple of videos that Abhilash scored for Russell, so you can get an idea of his work.

In addition, here is a list of all the above-mentioned sites. Make sure to check these sites carefully, as some rules may have changed since this video was filmed:

Incompetech.com
JoshWoodward.com
FreeMusicArchive.org
RoyaltyFreeKings.com
MattMacFarland.com
Audionautix.com
AnthonyKozar.net/Music
FreeMusicForVideos.com
BeatsRoyaltyFree.com
YouTube.com/NoizeIndex
SoundCloud.com/SoapandFoam
SoundCloud.com/Tanmay_Buch

Top 3 Free Online Sound Effect Download Libraries

If you are a film enthusiast and enjoy shooting, editing, and splicing films or videos you are probably always on the lookout for good free sounds. There are lots of good sound effect websites that you can visit to find exactly what you’re looking for. Here are the top 3 free online sound effect download libraries with Mp3s and wavs including some of their most notable qualities. Start at the top and work your way down to find the sound that you’re looking for.

Freesound.org. This is a massive database of sound effects and there are new ones uploaded daily. The majority of the sounds are created by users so they are organic and original, unlike those out of a sound stock collection. Look for public domain licensing so that you can use it for any project and note that attribution and non-commercial licenses restrict what you can use the sound for. They also have one of the largest collections of room tones or ambient noise tracks that you can use to fill in the audio of a scene or contribute to the ambience of a location.

Soundbible.com. Here’s another that is on par with Free Sound. However, to make things extra easy for you they’ve separated their sounds into more categories so they’re easier to search. There’s even a royalty free sound category so that you can be sure to avoid sounds outside of that category if you’re going to monetize your project.

Sweetsoundeffects.com. These high quality sounds are available for download in packs. Simply put in your email address and you’ll be able to download the packs that you want. Plus, there’s a whole section for sounds from movies so that you can download lightsaber effects, for example. If you can’t find what you’re looking for you can submit a request for a sound and you may see it available for download in the future.

Still searching for the perfect sounds? You can also check out soundjay.com, soungle.com, jojikiba.com, and soundeffectsfactory.com!

Best 5 Free 2D and 3D Animation Software | Free to Download

Here are the best 5 free 2D and 3D animation programs that are completely free to download and use. These include Blender, Sweet Home 3D, BRL-CAD, FreeCAD and SketchUp. All but SketchUp are completely free for personal and commercial use. They’re open source software and they’re cross-platform so they will run on Windows, Macintosh and Linux.

Blender is a 3D animation and design program. You can draw and manipulate objects in 3D space. They’ve done entire animated movies similar to what Pixar would make. Check out Sintel and Tears of Steel for instance.

You can do animations, games, or 3D objects with Blender. You can make some very realistic-looking objects with Blender. There is also a really great community online with repositories, where you can actually find different 3D art that you can use in your own animations or your own rendering using open licensing.

Sweet Home 3D is a program for designing a house or building layout and arranging furniture in it. You just draw it up in a 2D space and it will create a 3D model of that 2D layout that you draw. Then you can just drag furniture into it. It’s great if you’re going to redesign your house or if you’re planning an addition.

This next two BRL-CAD and FreeCAD are very similar to Autodesk AutoCAD and they have a lot of the same features as AutoCAD has. BRL-CAD  has been extensively used by the military for several decades and it has lots of the models associated with it. There are military vehicles and weapon systems included. With BRL-CAD and you render actual parts. Like an axle and rim for a landing gear assembly for an aircraft. You can actually create blueprints from these parts and build these just like you would with any AutoCAD or any CAD design program.

FreeCAD is 2D and 3D. You can do a lot of the same things you can do with BRL-CAD or with AutoCAD. Keep in mind there’s a learning curve involved with all of the software. If you want to invest the time in learning these CAD programs, then you can create some very, very useful things with them.

SketchUp by Google is not an open source program, but it is still free for personal use. It’s really easy to just draw things and it’s kind of fun to use to – you can create houses, vehicles or any kind of 3D object. It’s used a lot in architectural applications. SketchUp  works on Windows and Macintosh. All of the models you see on Google Earth and Google Maps were drawn in Google SketchUp.  Check out the video for some cool examples.

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