Monday, May 16, 2011

News From Here & There

Where's Those Thunderbolt Accessories?
An interesting article at MacWorld about the difficulty in finding Thunderbolt cables, never mind Thunderbolt devices:
How slow was the USB roll-out? We reported on the original iMac in our July 1998 issue; our really big round-up of USB devices didn’t appear until July 1999, eleven months later.
So sure, buy those Thunderbolt iMac's, they'll eventually be useful; just don't hold your breath for wide availability of Thunderbolt devices...
MacWorld: Waiting for Thunderbolt

Low Light Test
Kevin Ritchie has posted a short video comparing four cameras in low light using skin tones; the Canon 5D Mark II, 7D, Panasonic AG-AF100 and Red One MX.
The subject was lit using only a small LitePanels LED at 50% approx 4ft away. Due do the camera's different light sensitivities I have lined up the comparisons based on the subjects skintone exposure or IRE on a waveform monitor.This video is being used a part of my presentation at the Producer's Guild East meeting on 5/17/11 at Blue in Philadelphia, PA.
In addition to seeing noise and color differences, it's fascinating to see that when he adjusts the image so that they match on a waveform monitor, the ISO's of the cameras are somewhat different: The 7D and 5D at ISO 4000 matches to the AF100 at 2500 and the Red One MX at 6400.
VimeoCanon 5dmk2, 7D, Panasonic AF-100, Red One MX low light test

Saving 16mm Film
Just this weekend I was at a conference where the impending end of film was bemoaned, so it was interesting to see this article about an attempt to get the BBC to reverse it's move to end 16mm film as an approved acquisition medium.

However you feel about this, it's kind of ironic because the BBC's standards have also been working as gatekeepers against some digital acquisition methods, like the Canon 5D Mark II. Now the same organization is moving to get rid of film, with even 35mm in question:
The guidelines state that 35mm film stocks are permissible for HD delivery, provided they are 3-perf or 2-perf daylight (no tungsten) with an ASO rating of 250 or less.
The argument against film seems to center on grain and how that impacts digital compression in transmission:
“We have to think about the transmission chain and unfortunately using MPEG4 images are highly-compressed and a 16mm source going through MPEG4 encoders will deliver noise which is unacceptable for HD. For the same reason we have banned the introduction of filmic effects. At lower resolutions the encoders make the overall picture look soft on transmission.”
European Federation of CinematorgraphersIndustry galvanises to save 16mm

Film vs Digital Acquisition
In an interview at StudioDaily, Colorist Trent Johnson - who worked on Priest - describes the breakdown of film vs digital in the projects he works on:
Today the breakdown is 50/50 film to digital. If you ask me again in 6 months, I bet it will be about 40/60 film to digital.
StudioDailyColorist Trent Johnson On Priest's 4K DI

Checking Your Surroundings
Jonathan Bregel at Next Level Pictures tells about a shot that got a little awkward, and was close to going really bad, while shooting at a "Trap House":
My crew and I all look at each other as if this is something out of a movie. 6 film crew guys, in the middle of a "Trap House", surrounded by about 30 "Trap House Tenants." Not good. I immediately grabbed my camera and ran it to the truck as my gaffer, Boyd Hobbs, and his g&e wrapped faster then a posse of superheroes. Just as we got everything back to the truck and were waiting for the producer to get back on set, the 2nd AC, Jimmy Costigan, had reminded me that some of our camera gear was in fact, IN THE CRAZY GUYS TRAP!
I don't think I'd go shooting in a location like that.
NextLevelPicturesNLP Shoots Music Videos for Rick Ross, Wale, and Jadakiss

Web Video and Advertising
Social Times seems to think that Web Video will become more and more important in marketing, and notes 5 upcoming trends:
Interactive Video Will Become The Standard For Advertising
As technological advancements are made in the field of web video, plain old commercial spots just won’t cut it anymore. Viewers are becoming less and less impressed with cut and dry video campaigns, now that more brands and companies are introducing interactivity to their video campaigns.
I'm not convinced myself, but maybe some people like to interact with ads...
SocialTimes: 5 Upcoming Trends In Web Video Marketing That You Need To Know About

And just to prove me wrong, here's an article at The Wall Street Journal about Interactive Music Videos
In “3 Dreams of Black,” which Milk prefers to call an interactive film, the viewer takes control in certain sequences, using the computer mouse to steer a stampede of morphing wildlife, or build structures in a vast desert. Five months in the making, the video shows off a burgeoning technology called WebGL, which allows an Internet browser to render 3-D graphics in real time.
WSJArtists Experiment With Interactive Music Videos

Tao of Color Sunday Morning. Check out Patrick Inhofer's weekly collection of interesting articles with a colorists bent. [TaoColoristSunday] 05-15-2011 (Obsessed With Clouds)

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