Category Archives: Articles

“Create A Time-Lapse Video” by Amon Focus

Check out this fantastic article by filmmaker Amon Focus on how-to create a time-lapse video on

Create A Time-Lapse Video
It’s easier than ever to do with the latest digital cameras and basic software

Using time-lapse photography, you can produce videos that are able to show the world in a way in which the human eye doesn’t ordinarily see. Plants can grow in mere seconds, a sun can rise above a city in moments, and you can see a complete day unfold in less than a minute.

Because of one of the more extraordinary advancements in camera technology—the ever increasing speed of image burst rates—creating a time-lapse video can be as simple as holding down the shutter and editing the images into a short video. Making a skilled time-lapse project that’s able to engage an audience and stand out above the crowd, however, can take some patience, some planning and a bit of know-how. But there has never been a better time to learn, especially since so many of the best time-lapse videos are ending up as popular viral videos that have been seen by thousands of viewers.

Creating a time-lapse video requires that you scout and plan, and then be ready to adapt. Focus says he has “learned to always have a Plan B,” in case he finds that his chosen location won’t work due to weather conditions or other circumstances beyond his control.

I’m always looking for compositions that are full of action, color and visual drama. With experience, it becomes intuitive. If something moves me enough to pull out my phone and capture it, then I’ll probably return to that spot for a time-lapse.

Sometimes I want to shoot places that are out of my reach. I may be at an event or restaurant that has a view that can be accessed only with the owner’s permission. I’ve been known to chat up a waitress—not for her number, but to get a boss’ name to look up. Or, I’ll find a business card or brochure and email the company. In the email, I include links to examples of time-lapse photography and offer to provide HD copies of what I shoot at their site. I was ignored a lot in the beginning, but over time, I got more and more green lights. Pretty soon, I had enough time-lapses to create a promo that I now use as a skeleton key. It has opened many doors.

When preparing for a time-lapse, I format my memory cards, set my camera to manual, turn off the autofocus on the lens and set the image size to medium JPEG. There have been times when I’ve forgotten to do this and used up a sizable chunk of space because I shot the time-lapse in RAW. I shoot in medium JPEG because the image size is big enough to export a 1080p HD file without losing quality. If I were shooting for film or a high-end production, I’d choose RAW for a higher-quality video. Otherwise, RAW takes up too much space….


DOX – “A Pioneering Experience”

Paul Devlin talks about the BLAST! ArtistShare project – what worked, what didn’t work, and the future of independent film financing.

Published in DOX Magazine.

Read the full article here!

“Although ArtistShare is a fan-based funding platform developed for the music industry, a documentary filmmaker decided to break new ground by trying it out to fund his latest documentary. He shares his experiences in the following.”

The business of making films is changing fast, and independent artists must adapt quickly to a landscape in constant flux. New technology is erasing traditional funding models as quickly as it is creating new ones. One need only look to the recent collapse of the music industry to wonder how quickly and how drastically the film industry will be similarly transformed.

But does watching the music industry fall off the cliff first give the film industry an opportunity to soften our own inevitable fall? Can we learn from their mistakes and adapt their responses to our own unique challenges? I took a chance that a new innovative funding model for music artists called ArtistShare could also be adapted to fund a factual film. The risk, of course, is that pioneers are often identified by the arrows in their back.

My goal to completely finance my film BLAST! by adapting Artist- Share’s fan-based funding platform was not achieved, but the model does show promise. I offer up the following analysis of the successes and failures we experienced so that other filmmakers can develop this model further.

Replacing Record-company Funding

New technology has gradually transformed the music business from a retail industry into a service industry. Internet downloading has permanently undercut CD sales, record companies are collapsing and live shows now eclipse traditional retail revenue for major artists.

Clearly the record-company funding model for emerging and mid- level artists is disappearing. So how will new music be created and distributed, and how will these artists get paid in this new landscape? In response to the changing landscape of the music industry, Artist- Share’s CEO Brian Camelio developed a new funding model to allow fans to fund their favourite artists. Similar models have emerged in the meantime, but ArtistShare claims to be the first.

ArtistShare provides a web-based template through which musicians can offer their fans an opportunity to purchase tiered participation in the creation of their new work. For example a “Gold Participant” may pay a large amount of money to get an Executive Producer credit on the CD, access to recording sessions, a personal performance from the artist, and more. High-end offers emphasise access and exclusivity…..

Read the full article here!

Artifactuality on the DevlinPix logo

Our in-house designer Drew Zimmerman,  did a fantastic job on the logo design for DevlinPix.  Thanks, Drew! Christine Moh of Artifactuality was impressed enough to feature the design on her website.

Read the full article here!

“Our friend and independent film director, Paul Devlin, incorporated his documentary film company, DevlinPix, in the beginning of this year. Along with the event, he had his company’s new logo/symbol designed by a talented designer, Drew Zimmerman.

The number one reason why we liked this logo is because of its simplicity. The designer has boiled down the words “Devlin Pix” to its most simple form, while adding unique qualities to the individual letters D & P to make this symbol harmoniously represent the company’s core function.

The lower case of letters D & P just happened to be the upside-down form of each other. The designer saw and utilized this opportunity to create a symmetrical, visually balanced symbol. The ascender of the D & the descender of the P were strategically drawn, “sliced” and positioned so they subtly suggest film strips on a projector and/or reels of film.

The color chosen for the logo, in my opinion, is a true reflection of Paul’s personality–a peaceful cool bluish gray for a quiet, intelligent, cool guy.

This is a very nice, well crafted, classic, memorable logo for DevlinPix. Congratulations, Paul!”


Blast! Director Paul Devlin on the IRS’s battle with documentary filmmakers.

Read the full article here!

Last year at a summit meeting of the independent film community called “The Conversation,” Ira Deutchman was compelled to propose, “Filmmaking has never been a business…it’s a hobby.” Sentiments like this are not uncommon after the hardships filmmakers have faced in recent years, the multiple threats to our business models that accompanied both technological change and the global economic crisis. In fact, many filmmakers have been forced to re-evaluate the economic viability of their entire enterprises.

Soul-searching in tough times is important, but our community must be extremely careful with our language and avoid using words like “hobby.” Why? Because the IRS is listening! If you are deducting filmmaking expenses from other sources of income on your tax returns, then you must identify your filmmaking as a for profit business and not a hobby.

Documentary filmmakers have become especially vulnerable to the perception that they are engaged in a hobby rather than an activity for profit. Because development takes so long and revenue sources are so difficult to sustain, filmmakers often endure losses over many years. They persevere because they become so passionate about their subject matter and the need to spread their message to the world that generating a profit may not seem primary.

Unfortunately the unfair and incorrect perception that documentary filmmakers are not interested in profit has resulted in unsettling scrutiny of our industry by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service. In a case now in U.S Tax Court in Arizona, the IRS has been asked to demonstrate whether or not the primary purpose of documentary filmmaking in general is “to educate and to expose” and is thus “an activity not engaged in for profit.”

This may sound absurd, but it is very serious. If the IRS wins their case against Arizona filmmaker Lee Storey (Smile ’Til It Hurts: The Up With People Story), documentary filmmakers may no longer be permitted to deduct expenses associated with making their films from other sources of income. Furthermore, filmmakers who have already deducted these expenses may be faced with potentially ruinous audits.

Read the rest of the article at!

Paul got MARRIED!

Emily Callis Raabe and Paul Josiah Devlin were married Saturday at the home of the bride’s parents in Charlotte, Vt. James W. Murdoch, a friend of the couple who was granted a one-day permission by the Vermont Superior Court to serve as an acting Superior Court judge, officiated.

See the full announcement here!

BLAST! Theatrical run in Filmmaker Magazine

In a recent print issue of Filmmaker Magazine, Director Paul Devlin talked about the challenges facing an indie filmmaker pursuing a theatrical release. Paul discusses the often conflicting opinions and advice he received from friends, family and filmmakers alike:

“I discovered there’s no shortage of conflicting opinions and emotions when it comes to whether or not a non-fiction feature filmmaker should try a theatrical release these days. I heard both “You’re crazy. It’s a big mistake. The model doesn’t work anymore. Don’t do it!” and “You can’t stop now, before you’ve crossed the finish line. You have no choice. You must do it!””

Editor Scott Macaulay comments on the longest article ever published by FilmmakerIf you want to know what you’re in for in terms of work, finances and emotions after you decide to self-release your film, you need to read this piece.” More here.  You can read Paul’s article in its entirety here. (pdf)