The beautiful thing about film is that it requires a collection of visionaries to collaborate on one project. With multiple artists telling the same story, via different mediums, the message rings all the clearer and pulses through the entire film. There’s no chance of the emotion being misunderstood when we are experiencing a film with almost all of our senses as well as our hearts and souls. Film is a message powerhouse because of the many talents working together through writing, performance, cinematography, lighting, music, or wardrobe.
Costume designers use wardrobe to construct the identity of characters because clothes are an expression. Whether that expression is simply of mood or something deeper is up to the designer...but perhaps no wardrobe displays this as beautifully as Milena Canonero’s costumes in Marie Antoinette.
The film opens around the time Marie Antoinette was pledged to marry Louis-Auguste and briefly touches on the preparation for her marriage. Marie was quickly thrust into the world of obligation when she took the French throne with her husband to solidify a fragile alliance between Austria and France. This transition from Austrian girl to French Dauphine is expertly portrayed by Marie’s nearly violent disrobing and changing into her new attire. She is robbed of her prior identity and emerges, instead, as a French queen.
As Marie finds her place in court her infamous frivolity begins to take center stage. Brighter colors, bigger wigs, and custom Manolo Blahnik shoes are just as decorated as the desserts she indulges in. Another courtier describes her with, “I think she’s delightful. She looks like a piece of cake.” In Marie’s gratuitous indulgence is where we see Canonero take the most artistic liberty… but nothing too far from factual. Even Marie’s dusty pink hair harks back to women dusting their wigs in pink powder while still embracing modern rococo punk and pop culture trends.
As responsibility and duty begin to seep into her life all the more, Marie’s dresses suddenly mimic the walls and textiles of Versailles. She blends into her landscape...almost to the point of disappearing and losing herself within the identity of the palace.
With her primary queenly duty being that of conceiving an heir to the throne, Marie is burdened by this obligation. When the time comes and she has finally met the expectation we see a visual sigh of relief in both her character and costume. Trading rigid structure for free flowing white dresses perfect for wandering the gardens or time away at The Petit Trianon and The Queen’s Hamlet.
As the revolution grows in intensity, and Marie mourns the loss of her son, she switches from her airy, motherly dresses back into the more formal gowns in muted somber colors and heavy materials. The unrest is evident in every aspect of her appearance.
When these emotive colors and textures are used in a medium that is primarily visual (film) they emphasize emotion and help the story progress. Through expert costuming, with a healthy mix of historical accuracy and artistic liberty, Milena Canonero was able to tell the entire story of Marie Antoinette through costumes alone.
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Fair Use Act Disclaimer. Copyright Disclaimer under section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, education and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing.
If you're on social media at all you've likely seen something about Bo Burnham's directorial debut: Eighth Grade. Admittedly we walked into the theater expecting something in a similar vein to Burnham's stand up style and while the musical humor and carefully scripted elements were there... a lot of honesty about middle school and anxiety was too. Bo's ability to empathize combined with his desire to be honest makes for a story with heart.
In most interviews, Burnham explains his motivation for making the film as a means to show how he feels about social media and how IT makes US feel. He's a fan of what platforms like Youtube used to be: kids reviewing Yankee candles and other such wonderful obscurities. Burnham does make us more self aware while also giving a voice to a new generation of creators who maybe no one is watching or has yet to discover. He is able to draw our attention to the double life many of us lead while having to represent ourselves on social media and in real life, and how often those lives are completely different. He draws attention to the way we feel: connected yet lonely. And of course he delivers this perspective and feeling without ever sounding preachy. So let's take Burnham's film as a gentle word of warning and seek more honesty for ourselves and in others online.
What do you think content creators could do to embrace a more realistic representation of themselves? We love to follow the adventures of daily vloggers with the knowledge that we are still only catching glimpses of someones life... however, daily updates from someone you admire, or empathize with do create a useful platform for simple honesty and even ugly truth.
If you've been considering trying daily vlogging we've created some Days of the Week Transitions for you to download and use in your own YouTube content. Just subscribe to our newsletter and have early access to all of our free downloadable features.
If you have 15min to spare be sure to check out this fantastic video by Josh Keefe Called Why Christian Movies are BAD | The Problem with Christian Media Part 2. We love using Youtube for supplementary education and are especially fond of this "philosophical analysis" trend amongst movie YouTubers. Josh's perspective is both fair and extremely insightful. Support him by subscribing to his channel and follow him on Instagram. Let us know your thoughts!
Also, if you haven't already, be sure to sign up for the Echo Newsletter and get free sounds, music, transitions and more delivered to your inbox!
Echo Cinematics is a team of cousins, siblings, and friends providing southwest florida with quality cinematic productions. As a film crew comprised entirely of young entrepreneurs we strive to bring a fresh perspective to any project we encounter. We love to put imagination in motion and help our peers in the process! But first, you should meet our team! (Also, check the end of the post for a special freebie!)
Writer and Director
Hello there, Evie here, your whimsical, tea sipping, novel reading, hopeless romantic. I bring stories to life with a writer’s heart and wouldn’t describe myself as having a typical director's personality. With gentle guidance, I love working closely with my brother to craft each shot like a painting. We’ve been described as “morphing into one person” when we’re on set which I think is very true. Although my roles on the Echo team are typically scriptwriting and directing I also love foley work! Portlandia is one of my favorite shows simply because they’ve mastered the art of comedic sound, hiding in a little studio, using all kinds of gizmos and gadgets to mimic realistic sounds perfectly appeals to my detail oriented self. Give me a meticulous project and a quiet corner to work in and I’ll be set for hours! The conditions are perfect for reflection, listening to music, and dreaming up ideas for the future.
Cinematographer and Editor
When I was a kid, not a single day went by without me running around the house filming everything using our Hi8 camcorder. With the help of my sister, we would recreate scenes from all of our favorite movies. It was a blast! About 1,000 tapes later, at the start of the digital video age, I began to shoot and edit goofy videos for YouTube with my friends. Each “masterpiece” we created helped me continuously learn, and grow my skill level. The images became more cinematic, and the plot lines more serious. My love for film only growing stronger. By 2011, I was junior in high school and at that point trying decide what I wanted to do as a senior project. Sure enough in June of that year we met Gabe and his siblings who we’re all studying film. Almost instantaneously we started piecing together our premiere project “Interfuse” After 7 months of hard work building a set in a garage without air-conditioning and shooting in countless locations around our hometown, Interfuse premiered in front of an audience of 200 people and was well received. It was that night that I knew that I wanted to be a cinematographer. Today I spend my life amongst a tangled mess of wires cameras, analog synthesizers, and a collection of vintage effect lights. I love every aspect of sound and visuals. Whether it's the way gentle evening sunlight hits a textured surface, or the drone of a sawtooth wave as a low pass filter opens up. I'm passionately driven to seamlessly blend visuals and audio to make a coherent and satisfying work. Being self taught, I have pushed myself to become an independent learner. I’m always on the quest to find the latest innovative gear to bring any vision to life, and with the help of close friends, I strive to make every project a cinematic work of art.
Composer and Compositor
"Hey everyone! Gabe here, the visual effects guy and composer of the team. Making videos started as passion-fueled past-time with family and friends long before it became my profession. We were just kids having fun emulating our favorite films and TV shows, but at the same time also learning to work together effectively, leveraging everyone's budding skills and interests to create something we love. I learned so much of what I know today in those early years: the power of a good film score and how it can transform and elevate the footage it's paired with; the satisfaction of wow-ing people with a special effect that actually looks realistic; even creating my first scrolling credits sequence and remarking on how it made the project feel like a "real movie". While we all did a little of everything back then, I quickly found myself drawn to and focusing on mostly post-production. I love working with technology and the limitless options it provides, allowing for small teams (or a one-man-band like me, in the case of music composition) to achieve the professional look and sound you might only expect from big-budget studios. It has been a dream to continue to work and grow alongside the same tight-knit team as we had in those early years, honing our craft and being able to work alongside new people to reach an ever-growing audience. On behalf of everyone at Echo, welcome to the family!"
Producer and Public Relations
Hello Friends! I’m Becky. The newest addition to the group. The film industry is not one I ever thought I’d be a part of. My first job out of college was planning events. Simply put: I had to orchestrate multiple people to follow a plan. I had no employees, so it was a one woman show. Quite a feat! At that time, I had no idea how valuable the lesson of diplomacy would be. Since then, I’ve helped launch multiple small businesses as well as my own. Building teams, and creating processes that ensure productivity is where I excel.. So, you’ll probably find me somewhere on set, with a clipboard, maybe some wine, and definitely a plan in place. Most of my work is done during pre-production, or behind the scenes, and is what most think of as the boring stuff. But, creating a plan then bringing it to life is what I live for, so stick me behind a desk with a phone in my hand and I’m living the dream! Oh, and if you call us, I’ll be the one answering. Nice to meet you! 😉 We are so pleased to have you.
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Sign up here for free sounds, music, transitions and more! Welcome to the Echo family!
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What is an anamorphic lens? The term anamorphic is derived from the Greek word anamorphōsis which means transformation.
In production, two classes of lenses are most common: spherical and anamorphic. Most anamorphic lenses are just spherical lenses with additional glass elements that compress the output. This glass also reduces light transmission and introduces some distortion.
Spherical lenses project circular images onto the camera sensor without affecting their aspect ratio. While anamorphic lenses, project an oval shaped version of the image that is horizontally compressed...this image is then uncompressed in post...and you end up with an image that is stretched horizontally but not vertically.
So in short: Anamorphic lenses squeeze your image into the frame...and when the image is de-squeezed in post...you’ll have a wide screen with a tight crop.
If you do a little research, you’ll probably find that most of your favorite directors are partial to anamorphic lenses.
Weirdly enough, anamorphic lenses are actually known and used for their “imperfections” or quirks. Anamorphic flares are typically stretched horizontally and there is a noticeable vertical stretch to items that are out of focus. Bokeh is typically oval in shape. These lenses offer really shallow depth of field. Images in the foreground stand out from the background so much that they almost look 3d. Anamorphic lenses also tend to warp the sides of an image just a little. Because of this they sort of force you to put what’s important towards the center of the frame. (Ex: Wes Anderson)
If you’d like to mimic that vertically stretched bokeh and a few JJ Abrams lens flares, in your own work, you can easily make an aperture disk to achieve the effect... We decided to test out this tutorial by MJ Production: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W5xI5hwL8rw and then added our own flair by testing several different filament options.
All you will need is:
Clear Lens filter
Black poster board
First measure the width of your lens filter.
Set your compass to 1/2 that width and draw a circle on your black poster board.
Draw two intersecting lines through the circle.
Resize your compass by placing it on the edge of the circle and extending the pencil end to nearly the top of the circle. Draw two parabolas.
Cut out your circle, and cut out the middle of the aperture disk.
Glue fishing line to the top and bottom of the disk.
Note: you can try using multiple things as filaments besides fishing line. We tried strips of a ziplock bag seal which produced some cool distortion on camera.
Screw the the clear filter on to your camera. We used a 50mm lens. Using small rolls of tape adhere your aperture disk to the exterior of the clear filter. By adhering the aperture disks with tape you can easily swap them out.
To see the aperture disks in action check out the short video samples below! And if you try this out for yourself tag us on instagram! @echocinematics - Also let us know what you think of the music it's an Echo Original!