Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Links From Here & There

Feed & Water Your Editors
A short piece at ProVideoCoalition looks at the Johnny CashHurt” music video directed by Mark Romanek, and how it changed between shooting and completion. The article goes on to suggest that the editor Robert Duffy was partly responsible for that:
A good editor can elevate your vision far beyond what the initial concept was, and this case is a very good example of that.
This reminded me of an interview with Romanek on NPR a few months back, where they also talk about the video, how it came about, and how it was shot (the relevant section starts at 17:00.) He also recounts that there was some concern amongst the family about the final video:
I didn’t talk to him after that. I know that Rick spoke to him and his family. They were very, very moved by the video, and they were very shocked by it’s candor, and there was some discussion about whether it was a good thing or a bad thing, and I was told that it was John who said, ‘no, it’s really good, let’s put this out, it’s okay. It’s the truth.’ And you know, there’s Johnny Cash for you.
Fresh Air NPR: Director Mark Romanek Tackles 'Never Let Me Go'
ProVideoColation: Editors: Quietly Making You Look Better Since 1903

Cinema & Journalism
Dan Chung of The Guardian, produced a video a week or so back about the Tsunami aftermath which prompted some negative reaction. I think that reaction can be summed up as; many felt it was overly cinematic and struck the wrong note for reporting on something so tragic and recent. Obviously, peoples objections - to slider moves and the choice of music- could be influenced by a lot of things, and with the tragedy still so close - and ongoing - it seems a little odd to even be mentioning the arguing about a single video about the event. But Dan has now posted his own response to these discussions, so it's worth revisiting briefly.
People will not like everything I do – some people may not like anything I do – and considered criticism has helped me improve my work. I am grateful to those who have spoken up for me, some of whom did not like this piece but respected my intentions. I feel there has been a valuable discussion around this video and despite some of the negative responses to it I still believe cinematic journalism is a way to involve audiences in world affairs more.
DSLRNewsShooter: Tsunami Aftermath video – my response to the debate

Sony PMW-F3 Impressions
Euan Preston gives his views of the Sony PMW-F3 after spending a few days shooting with it. He's generally happy with the camera and the image quality, and notes that if you're a Sony EX user, everything is where you'd expect it to be, with a few exceptions:
One of these exceptions is the Expanded Focus button which, for reasons which remain elusive, is to be found on the top right hand side of the body toward the rear. When shooting hand held it becomes necessary to grow a third arm in order to operate it.
He wasn't so happy with the LCD and viewfinder; the peaking function was unreliable, and expanded focus "didn't expand enough," and he found the build quality a bit lacking (plastic parts.)
EuanPreston: Sony PMW-F3 – My Impressions

Zeiss Compact Lenses
Jonathan Chema reviews Zeiss Compact Lenses after spending a weekend shooting with them:
For cinema lenses, they are super light! The focus markings are easily distinguishable, iris is super smooth, and focus rotation large. Traits you’d expect in a cinema lens- then again Zeiss has done something previously unachievable here. [...]
The 14 blade aperture creates a bokeh that's organic and pleasing to the eye.
He likes them, and while acknowledging that they might be a bit expensive for many DSLR users, he notes that they are somewhat "future-proof" because you can change the mount on them (if you end up changing cameras in the future.)
JonathanChem: Zeiss Compact Prime Review

Quick Links
  • RED EPIC-X Delayed due to problems in getting parts from Japan. "We still feel that we can deliver all EPIC-X orders by summer's end but it will be "back-end" weighted. April and May will be "light"." Reduser: Bad news...

  • Panasonic AG-AF100 with the Ki Pro Mini. Darren Abate over at the Panasonic AG-AF100 User Central blog has some interesting articles, including one on using the new Ki Pro Mini with the Panasonic AG-AF100.
    "Note the difference in the histograms between the two [AVCHD & Ki Pro] after the color move was applied. The frame that was recorded with the Ki Pro Mini held together nicely, while the AVCHD frame broke apart immediately."
    He does note that it gets hot: First Day with the Ki Pro Mini on my AF100

  • In Behind the Scenes: How to Make a Movie Trailer for Your Product (or Book) at FourHourWork, Tim Ferriss takes us through the steps in creating a trailer for the book The 4-Hour Body, the budget of which was $12,000. makes for interesting reading about the process, particularly the last-minute problems with rights clearance for the music.

  • Motorizing Your Slider After finding that he couldn't get consistent, constant speed movement with his slider, Weeliano decided to create his own do-it-yourself solution and documents the process (from starting with an electric drill, an idea which he quickly abandoned!) If you're "handy" this post may be for you: My Attempt to motorize my IGUS based slider

  • HDSR Shooting. Rick Sammon and David Leveen are going to be teaching an HDSLR workshop in New York this summer, and in this video they talk about a demo video they shot and how they did it. Vimeo: Rick and David talk HDSLR Behind the Scenes

  • YouTube Dominates Online Video Ad Business. Revenue could exceed $1.3 billion in 2011, which may be approximately 65% of the entire industry's revenue: VideoNuze

  • People are spending more time watching online video: On average, viewers of online video spent 4 hours 39 minutes watching in January, an almost 45 percent increase from the period a year earlier.
    NewYorkTimes: Caught Up in the Online Video Stream

  • Unsurprisingly, you have to wonder if the DVD is dead. Disc sales industry-wide are down about 15% year-over-year, but Disney CEO Bob Iger says “People are still buying [discs]. … They’re just not buying as many of them, and the primary reason, I would argue, is that they have other things to do.” HomeMedia Magazine: Iger: DVD Is Not 'Dead'

  • Shooting with a £380k Cineflex HD gyro stabilised carbon fibre turret. Robin Schmidt recounts shooting a boat race using an impressive - and expensive - piece of remote-controlled camera gear: ElSkid:Shooting The Boat Race With A Cineflex

  • Panoramic Video for News gathering. Dan Chung posts about a video process Danfung Dennis is experimenting with to capture a wider field of view (180 degrees?) that can then be projected onto the inside of a dome or played back in an interactive iPad app. It looks sort of interesting, though it reminds me of QuickTime Panoramas, and they never became more than a small niche. DSLRNewsShooter: Sundance winner Danfung Dennis previews Condition ONE – a DSLR based virtual reality system for news


Roger Ebert's 1987 Predictions
In 1987 Roger Ebert made some predictions about the future of movies to OMNI magazine. He did pretty well, predicting amongst other things:
We will have high-definition, wide-screen television sets and a push-button dialing system to order the movie you want at the time you want it. You'll not go to a video store but instead order a movie on demand and then pay for it.
Read a recap at PaleoFuture: Ebert's Art Film Revolution (1987)

Sony PMW-F3 Sizzle Reel: Used to showcase the Sony F3 Camera at the launch event and the NAB Convention 2011

Sony F3 Sizzle Reel from Cassandra Brooksbank on Vimeo.

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