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Digital tools kickstart helmers’ careers

Low budget leads to high performance

The next time Godzilla trudges back onto screens, breathing fire and generally laying waste to the CG world around him, his cinematic wrangler will likely have come into his own with the help of some low-budget digital filmmaking tools.

Helmer Gareth Edwards got the Godzilla gig from Warner Bros. after he made the indie sci-fi thriller “Monsters” with off-the-shelf low-cost gear. Edwards is sure he wouldn’t have a career if the tools weren’t so easy to pick up.

“Basically, without access to things like cameras and editing equipment that doesn’t cost very much, I wouldn’t be making movies right now,” he says. “And seeing more tools come along is important because it gives you more ways to continue making movies, even if a studio doesn’t say yes to something you want to do.”

Edwards and indie filmmaker Jacob Rosenberg will be part of the Digital Rebels: The New Generation of Filmmakers & Storytellers panel at the NAB Show. Rosenberg, whose skateboarding documentary “Waiting for Lightning” comes to theaters later this year, also thinks digital leveled the creative playing field.

“What we’re really talking about is the revolution that has come since companies like Canon made the 5D that you can use to shoot a professional quality project, and companies like Adobe made tools you can use on your laptop to edit your film,” says Rosenberg. “It’s an entirely different situation when you only need a few thousand bucks to make a movie than if you need tens of thousands to do it.”

More on NAB 2011:
Mission for Moonves | Battle for broadband | Gurus flash forward | Digital tools kickstart helmers’ careers

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