Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Links From Here & There

So long "Lights Out"
Matt Seitz at Salon takes a look at the just canceled FX drama "Light's Out" and tries to figure out why it didn't really work:
A film director once told me that he knew a screenplay needed rewrites when somebody asked him what it was about, and his description began with the phrase, "It's about this guy..." Scripts that are About This Guy can make unusual, sometimes engrossing stand-alone art house movies. But they don't make great TV shows.
It's a good piece not because he's trying to tear the show apart, but because he actually tries to diagnose the problems.
Salon: So long, "Lights Out" -- you coulda been a contender

The greatest tracking shots
I've always loved long tracking shots, even though in using them there is a danger that the viewer gets distracted from the story by the "art" of them. For a while I intended to start a list of great tracking shots, but never got around to it. And now I don't have to, because FimmakerIQ has done it for me, complete with links to YouTube clips!
Note: The Rope clip may seem rather plain, but Rope is a special case of special cases; it was shot as a series of long takes up to ten minutes in length (the maximum length possible on a roll of film.)
Note 2: The Shining was the second major motion picture to make use of the Steadicam (after Rocky).
FimmakerIQ: 25 Greatest Tracking Shots in Movie History

New Product Announcements
It's just before NAB and the new announcements are starting to trickle in.
  • Zacuto has announced their new products; the EVF isn't really new, but now it is up for ordering, and will be shipping next month. They also have a bit more info on the Scorpion rig that Steve Weiss demoed yesterday in the webchat at Planet5D. Zacuto: New Products

  • 3D Hero System GoPro has gone official with their 3D case for hooking up two GoPro Hero cameras and shooting 3D. It's $99. GoPro: 3D Hero System

  • Presto Presentation tool for Final Cut Pro. Singular Software announces the public beta of this new tool for Final Cut Pro to automatically synchronize footage of the presenter, presentation slides, and a video taken of the screen – creating a polished video of the presentation in just minutes. The demo is available to download: Singular Software

  • PHYX Keyer 2.0 for the FxFactory. Noise Industries and development partner PHYX Inc. announce PHYX Keyer 2.0, designed to work inside Adobe After Effects, Apple Final Cut Pro, Apple Motion and Apple Final Cut Express. PHYX Keyer 2.0 is GPU-accelerated for speed increases of up to 300% and introduces three new professional-quality plug-ins to the existing pack; Composite Matcher, FastKeyer, and MatteFuse. PHYX Keyer

  • Photo Montage slide-show for FxFactory also from Noise Industries Photo Montage presents users with more than one-hundred animated presets, twenty transition styles, easy re-ordering and re-timing options, and built-in motion blurring features for animating any type of still image within Adobe After Effects, Apple Final Cut Pro, Apple Motion and Apple Final Cut Express. Noise Industries: Photo Montage

Adobe Sneak-Previews things hosts some videos showing upcoming improvements.
  • Adobe Media Encoder: They've added lots of new presets (including the iPad!) making them easier to apply, and you can output to multiple formats. Sneak-Preview of Adobe Media Encoder Improvements to Encoding

  • Integration of Adobe Story Scripts into Premiere: Lets you move scripts from Adobe Story and embed them in Premiere as Meta Data. Export the script, add Scene numbers in Premiere to your clips, then import the script and it's embedded as meta data. You can then search based on the meta data. Also improves speech-to-text accuracy: Adobe Story Integration with Premiere Pro

  • New Motion Stabilizer for After Effects: The Warp Stabilizer replaces the original stabilizer. Analyzing takes place in the background, and "it almost looks like it was shot with a dolly." He also shows the track points the stabilizer adds to figure out how things move. It can even deal with Rolling Shutter issues which can make smoothing motion difficult. New Motion Stabilizer for After Effects

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