Saturday, March 02, 2013

Quick Links

Working with Hair and Makeup – Interview with Maya Landi | Michael Murie | Filmmaker Magazine
Filmmaker: How do you age a person?
Landi: One of the techniques to use is to take a color that is a few shades darker than someone’s skin tone and very finely fill in the lines in their faces. You have them make different facial expressions to create different lines. To fill in the lines on the forehead, you have someone raise their eyebrows; to create crow’s feet around the eyes you have them smile and squint really hard.

Ep. 35 - "The Needie Awards" (with Michael Murie) | NeedCreative Podcast | Anticipate Media
I make a quest appearance on the latest NeedCreative Podcast:
In this 35th episode of the NeedCreative Podcast, your co-hosts Paul Antico and Jason Sidelinger are joined by our new newscaster, Michael Murie, to discuss the latest news in the independent video world - and to give our first annual "Needie" Awards for 2012, highlighting some of the best in the independent video/film production world! It's a little silly but informative fun. We also introduce a brand new News segment!

Canon Cinema EOS Systems: The Evolution Into the 4K Capture World with Larry Thorpe | Rule Boston
If you're in Boston, this will be worth going to: Wednesday March 6th, Learning Lab at 10am and Pub Night at 6pm
Learn how to navigate the world of digital cinema in 4K and 2K with Larry Thorpe, Senior Fellow, Imaging Technologies & Communications Group, Professional Engineering & Solutions Division at Canon, who leads a discussion of recording in 4K and 2K with the latest Cinema EOS cameras including the C500, C300, C100 and 1D-C. Larry will also examine 4K and 2K workflows and 4K external recorders along with the latest advances in 4K technology.

Avid’s Argo Oscar Accolades Shortlived Due to Accounting Issues | James DeRuvo | Doddle Me
Avid continues it's descent...
Roger Kay, a tech analyst for Wayland, says that while the professional editors are still cutting on Avid, the next generation is very comfortable on Final Cut Pro or Premiere.  “If you’re Steven Spielberg, you still need Avid, but how many Spielbergs are out there that need that,” Kay said. “It’s not enough to sustain a market. Of course, the great irony here is, that while Spielberg prefers to cut old school (on film), he’s recently been a sometime convert to digital.”

Google vs. Apple - The Race to Push Video to Your TV | Franklin McMahon | Broadcast Engineering Blog
Clearly inspired by Apple’s AirPlay and Apple TV, there are distinct differences on the Apple side of this kind of tech. There are numerous variances of Android OS flavors but Apple’s iOS has AirPlay built in to the OS. If and when Apple does decide to make its own TV, millions of devices, iPhones to iPads to iPods, would immediately be compatible. The Apple TV device is already gaining a lot of traction, and last year it sold more units than ever.

Friday, March 01, 2013

Quick Links

Blackmagic Solves Infinity Focus Issue with Cinema Camera, Will Require Hardware Fix | Joe Marine | No Film School
It seems that this problem mainly applies to specific lenses like the Tokina 11-16mm
When I tried the same collimated lens on some 5Ds, 7Ds and even a C300, the witness marks fall short of the expected distance which indicates to me that there’s some fair amount of tolerances built into the Canon cameras to cater for still lenses where the tolerances are not as critical as cine lenses.

Getting creative with a Lensbaby and water guns to make it rain
| Von Wong Photography
Enter the idea to use waterguns to create rain. They were light, portable, easy to clean up and easy to find. People weren’t terrified about the idea of having a watergun used in studio and it wouldn’t require any special setup. All I needed was a surface for the water to bounce off of and lo and behold, I’d have rain! (or something close enough.)

Why should I buy a TeleprompterVon Wong Photography
I’ve found that having one of these nifty devices can really help me improve the quality of the videos that I can bring your way. I took a little bit of practice to get things right. Initially I had problems with my eyebrows and expression and looked a little bit forceful… but after a couple tweaks, focusing on getting the right body language and proper camera angle it does deliver some really solid results.

A Radical Workflow Idea for Final Cut X Users | RON DAWSON | Dare Dreamer
I had previously thought that in order to create a compound clip, you had to have a project first. You would build a project, then select all the clips, then group them into a compound clip (which from here out I will just call “comp” for short). In watching John’s tutorial I learned that you can actually create a comp without creating a project first (they save the creation of a project until the very end). This was totally eye-opening for me.

Sony Action CamPlenty of Rad, But Too Much RTFM | Mathew Honan | Wired
It seems that the tiny Sony Action Camera is a great small camera, but not a great action camera...
The bottom line is that while this camera has a great app, is super small, and takes very nice video, it’s just not that easy to use. While I like it a lot, generally speaking, it seems better-suited for activities where it can be mounted externally and controlled with the app, rather than worn on the body.

Novo Camera Demonstration and a Side by Side Test Against The GoPro
| Cinescopophilia
Nick Lantz from Radiant Images demonstrates the steroid induced GoPro Novo digital cinema camera. The Novo camera is available for hire from Radiant Images starting at $250 a day up to $750 for a week.

Vimeo announces 'Looks' feature, now lets users add visual effects to videos
| Edgar Alvarez | Engadget
In partnership with Vivoom, the company announced today that it's bringing over 500 visual effects to the service as part of its Enhancer toolbox, giving folks the ability to easily add some flavor to their own video productions straight from a web browser. Furthermore, Vimeo's made it possible to preview these filters in real-time

From Shawshank to Skyfall, How Master Cinematographer Roger Deakins Got These Ten Shots | KYLE BUCHANAN | Vulture
The Big Lebowski"We were all laughing so much!" Deakins said of this trippy Big Lebowski dream sequence, where Jeff Bridges and Julianne Moore cavort among dancers wearing bowling-pin headdresses. "We were trying to re-create a Busby Berkeley feel. It was a high-key, very lit sequence; I wanted it kind of bright and white."

Disney's Chimpanzee | Definition Magazine
The remoteness of the location also called for it to be as light and portable as possible. Generally speaking, the more robust the camera, the heavier it is. Martyn was looking for something extremely special from the AJ-HPX3700 if it was to meet all his requirements. “Walking 15km a day through hot, humid rainforest with a camera bouncing around on your back is tough,” recalls Martyn. “The Panasonic camera was substantially lighter than the next camera we would have considered. What’s more, it never failed once in 350 shooting days.”

'Game of Thrones' director David Petrarca shrugs off piracy, says it doesn't hurt the show | T.C. Sottek | The Verge
Petrarca shrugged when a panel mediator noted that Game of Thrones was the most pirated show of 2012; the show was downloaded about 3.9 million times per episode, which was more than a million downloads per episode more than the second-most pirated show How I Met Your Mother. "That's how they survive," he said.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Sony Comments re Patent Suit Filed By Red Digital Cinema

This was posted on Sony's pro video website about the RED suit:

On February 12, 2013, Red Digital Cinema ("Red") sued Sony Corporation of America and Sony Electronics Inc. and alleged that the Sony PMW-F5, PMW-F55, and F65 digital cinema cameras infringe two Red patents. The F65 has been commercially available for over a year and the F5 and F55 were announced in October, 2012.

Sony has now had an opportunity to study Red's complaint and the asserted patents, and categorically denies Red's allegations. Sony intends to defend itself vigorously in the Red lawsuit. Sony looks forward to prevailing in court, thus vindicating the Sony engineers who developed Sony's quality digital cinema cameras.

Quick Links

Canon C100 Hands On Review | Erik Naso
Right off the bat I can tell you the image is fantastic! Sharp and natural looking. I shot in Canon Log mode at ISO 850 to get the most DR from the camera. When in log mode the LCD image gets darker. I used the View Assist feature setting in the menu to brighten up the LCD display. This helped. 

Canon Hosting Free Time Lapse Seminar w/ Vincent Laforet Coming Up Next Week | ERIC REAGAN | Photography Bay
For those of you in the Hollywood, CA area, Canon Live Learning is putting on a free seminar next week (March 6, 2013) with Vincent Laforet on creating time lapse sequences with DSLRs.

Some Like It RAW. Part 02: Low Light | Ryan Walters
Welcome to Part 02 of Some Like It RAW, where I am comparing the Arri Alexa, Blackmagic Cinema Camera, and the Red Epic. My goal for these tests is to explore how each of these cameras handle real world shooting environments. Part 01 explored how these cameras handle IR pollution. In part 02, I test the limits of low light levels, or underexposure. Continue on to watch the 11 minute video, read my summary, and get the downloadable RAW frames from each camera.

Cutting for Story: Editor Andrew Weisblum in Conversation | Heather von Rohr
| Filmmaker Magazine
In the editing room, Aronofsky knows exactly what he wants, but for the first cut offers “almost no direction,” to see what Weisblum will bring to the conversation, while Anderson dictates the first assembly according to how he envisions it — “once he sees that version, the floor is open.”

Ross Shain: What the Heck is Mocha? | Digital Production Buzz
As a follow-up to our segment with J-P Smith, we talk with Ross Shain, the chief marketing officer for Imagineer Systems, in more depth about what mocha is, who can use it, and what we can expect in the latest version. If you ever want to do motion tracking, you need to listen to this segment.

Compositing Tips for DaVinci Resolve | jonny | Jonny Elwyn
A collection of tutorials from different sources:
Here are a few handy quick tips for creating composites using external matte and multilayer matte nodes in DaVinci Resolve.

Visual effects are inexpensive | SCOTT SQUIRES | Effects Corner
The Visual Effects Industry is going through tough times in Hollywood, which has prompted various protests:
Ang Lee and everyone in Hollywood say visual effects are too expensive. We’ve created the worlds and characters that make their movies possible and the large profits usually associated with them. Yet their thanks to us is to tell us we’re too expensive. 

TUTORIAL SERIES: Explosive Training! | Andrew Kramer | Video Copilot
Our new massive training series is now online and it is FREE! Possibly the most advanced tutorial series we have created so you can see what it takes to work on a more in-depth shot. The first hour is compositing in After Effect then we learn to build advanced 3D assets!

Wednesday Rigging: Documentary Rig | Pascal Depuhl | DSLR Video Shooter
The photograph here shows me in a hangar in Kabul filming a short documentary about a humanitarian flight service in Afghanistan last year. The rig is set up to quickly go from being mounted on sticks, to go onto my shoulder – the long Easom cage rods on the back include the super light weight rubber shoulder mount from Half Inch rails. 

MFM Filmmaker Interview: Edward Burns discusses microbudget filmmaking
| YouTube
Writer/Director Edward Burns sat down with us at the Sundance Film Festival 2013 to discuss why he loves the freedom that comes with microbudget filmmaking, the compromises that are involved when working with less money, why digital distribution interests him more than conventional theatrical, using social media (primarily Twitter) to reach his audience and why he enjoys it.

The 7 Types of Film Festivals You Will Meet | Sean Farnel | IndieWire
If you're presenting a film at a third-type festival, it is more than likely that you have either already presented your film at first and/or second-type festivals, have been declined by those same festivals, or are super specialized. However, third-type festivals are a chance to get with your peeps, to allow your film to do the work it was meant to do, and to bask in the warm glow of unconditional love (or envy, depending).

Let 4K/UltraHD Speak For Itself | ANDREW ROBINSON
Sony doing it's best to only get positive reviews:
As of this morning my date with the 84-inch beauty is no more as they notified me, through my publisher and owner of Home Theater Review, Jerry Del Colliano, that I would not be reviewing their large 4K display. Further proof, in my opinion, that rather than let 4K speak for itself they’re going out of their way to manipulate the information.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Quick Links

Atomos Ninja 2 review with Canon C100 | Paul Joy
I’m definitely going to be investing in one of these recorders, it’s obvious that the AVCHD codec in the C100 is damaging the footage and I would prefer to know that my shots are being stored without being degraded. As well as retaining better quality the ProRes files are also a lot easier to work with than the AVCHD files and require less horsepower during post production.

Sony PMW F55 | DC-Camera | Vimeo
We were fortunate enough to receive the new Sony PMW F55 and take some shots out in the field. We are very excited about the capabilities of this new camera so tune in and join us for DC-Camera's review of the Sony F55.

Sony PMW F55 from DC-Camera on Vimeo.

Kim Beamish gets to grips with documentary shooting on Panasonic's AF101 in Cairo | Kim Beamish | DSLR News Shooter
I wanted to be able to interchange lenses, I wanted the larger chip for the image quality and depth of field but I just wanted it in a video camera. Then I read the article by Sky News Beijing Bureau Cameraman Andy Portch on a year with the Panasonic AF101 and GH2 cameras. I was in love. The AF101 had everything I wanted: XLR inputs for audio, ND filters, it worked the same way as cameras I was used to, if I set it up right, and it had the ability to take photographic lenses giving me that hallowed depth of field. No one I knew had one, and I only had weeks before my departure to Cairo, so I bought it.

How I Filmed a Feature Length Cross Country Cycling Documentary on $2500 With No Assistants | David Strauss | Fstoppers
Since basic pan and tilt shots were far too limiting in variety, I got adventurous with my equipment and used my car as a tracking option for my third kind of shot. For the trip, my car was equipped with a roof rack and a rear bike rack. These came in handy for attaching and stabilizing a camera. I secured a camera to the bike racks using a Manfrotto magic arm clamp but found that the magic arm alone did not provide much steadiness to the shots. 

Best External DSLR Mics – Guest Post by New York Film Academy
| DSLR Filmmaker
But don’t panic. There are, surprisingly, some pretty great external mics for less than £100. They may not be top drawer, but they’re almost guaranteed to be better than your built-in mic and it’s less hassle than going down the separate audio recording route. Here we separate the wheat from the chaff and highlight four great value, entry-level external DSLR mics.

Wide Open Camera Combat Cage For The GoPro Hero 3 | Wide Open Camera
Here is the first mock up drawing for the new WOC Combat Cage For the GoPro Hero 3 camera. We are moving at lightning speed to get a color 3D rendition and the first prototype out to you. We are working on the details for a possible Kickstarter campaign to help get the first 100 made. Stay tuned here for updates as we get them

Avid® Rough Cut ‒ Eddie Hamilton | Avid | Vimeo
This previously missing gem with features editor Eddie Hamilton was recorded live on our stage at NAB 2012. Eddie shares his passion for the art of editing and gives a behind-the-monitor look at the techniques he used on the films X-Men: First Class and Kick-Ass.

The Making of a Documentary Series About Branding | Jude Charles
| Dare Dreamer
Building the Brand Part One was filmed early 2011. DSLRs were already the talk of the industry and I really loved the intimacy DSLRs provided when it related to documentaries / profile stories. So for this documentary, I decided to film with the Canon 5D MK II and the Canon 60D. The lenses I chose were all Canon, 16-35mm f2.8L / 24-70mm f2.8L / 85mm f1.8 / 70-200mm f2.8L IS II / 100mm f2.8L IS. 

10 Basic Things Indie Filmmakers Need to Know about Digital Cinematography Before Shooting | Ryan Koo | IndieWire
First published on his filmmaker-centric site in 2010 and updated consistently since then, Ryan Koo's digital cinematography guide has been downloaded as a PDF over 800,000 times and is available to read with modified content as web pages on the No Film School site.

The All-new Cinema 5D | Cinema 5D
The Cinema 5D website is going through some changes...
For the new cinema5D, founder Sebastian Wöber has teamed up with Johnnie Behiri and Nino Leitner as new owners of the company. With our joint expertise and industry network, we will try to provide a regular flow of filmmaking equipment reviews from literally under one roof in our newly founded office in Vienna, Austria.

Bridezilla Bootcamp mkII - UK Cinematography Workshop (Spoof Promo Film)
| FX Films | Vimeo
Promotional piece that portrays filmmaking as a kind of addiction:
It's finally here! On 9th and 10th April, Reel Vision, Jeff Wood Visuals and I (FX Films, FX Media, WedFilm Academy) will be presenting our second Bridezilla Bootcamp workshop. It will be a two day event at Heythrop Park, Oxfordshire and will be bigger, better and more refined than ever before!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Quick Links

Something else: There is a rumor about a new Full Frame Sony NXcam
| SonyAlphaRumors
I hope it's not just a rebranded NEX-VG900:
One SAR source heard that a new “full frame professional NXCAM” will be announced for the upcoming NAB show in Las Vegas (April).

10 Lessons on Filmmaking from Beasts of the Southern Wild’s Benh Zeitlin
| Ariston Anderson | Filmmaker Magazine
2. Your film must be a done deal. Only the journey is negotiableThe mentality for our feature was always that we were going to make the film, no matter what. There was never this thing where we were going to write the script and then wait till someone gave us the money. It was always we’re going to make it, and here’s the starting date. If we get the money we’ll make it bigger. If we don’t get the money we’ll shoot it with our cellphones.

Film Scene: Shooting a multicam DSLR rock concert music video production
| Tony Reale
I used what was available to me which was a Canon XA10, 2x Canon 5D MkIIs, Canon 60D and a GoPro. We also had my Kessler Pocket Jib and a DIY dolly. As I plotted out the shoot, I realized to get a the fast pacing that they wanted, we’d need more footage than we would get just from 4 or 5 cameras. 

Filmmaking Tips From the Disney Masters! | Jonathan Cooper | Young Cuts
#1. Find a Hook for Your Character - Andreas DejaUse your life experience when making artistic choices
Draw on your memories to add depth to characters
Always ask: what is this character thinking and why is he thinking that way?

Instant Expert: Make it Slow, Fast or Timelapse: An Assortment of Products for Off-Speed Production | Ned Soltz | Creative Planet Network
A table of information about motion control software and hardware.

FCP X: Send Audio to Audition to Mix | Larry Jordan | Blog
If ProTools is your tool of choice, you’ll need to use X2Pro, from Marquis Broadcast. Check their website for tutorials.However, my preferred audio tool is Adobe Audition, so this article shows you how to get audio out of FCP X, into Audition, then the final mix back to FCP X.

Sharing Final Cut Pro X Projects | Jordan | Phantom Moose Films
Once you know how, it’s simple to share a project between editors in FCP X. In some ways, it’s even simpler than FCP 7, because if you keep everything in the same event, you’ll be reconnecting media each time with just a few clicks, rather than searching over multiple locations for different sets of files.

Quick Tip: How Does Shutter Speed Affect Video? | Rob Taylor | TutsPlus
1. 24 or 25 Frames per SecondIf you’re shooting for that filmic look, you should ideally be shooting at 24 frames a second (or 23.976, as is often the case on HDSLRs). If you’re looking to shoot for TV, shoot at 25p (that is, 25fps, progressive scan) in PAL countries and 30p in NTSC countries. Usually regional firmware variants enforce this distinction anyway. Why does the frame rate matter? That takes us to point two:

Films Using Arri Equipment Win Big On Oscar Night | Creative COW
Argo took home Best Picture honors as well as Editing and Adapted Screenplay, while Life of Pi was awarded Best Director, Cinematography and VFX Oscars®. ARGO used a hybrid of film and digital, capturing with ARRICAM, ARRIFLEX 435, 235 and ALEXA; the lighting package was provided by Illumination Dynamics. LIFE OF PI was captured in stereoscopic on multiple ALEXAs with ARRI/ZEISS Master Primes using Cameron Pace 3D rigs.

First Look. Digital Bolex D16 Lenses From Kish Optics | Wide Open Camera
Here is a quick take lens test with the brand new Kish Optics Digital Bolex D16 lenses. The lineup consists of a 10mm, 18mm and 38mm all fixed aperture of f4.0 with a screw in C-mount camera mount. Kish designed the optics specifically to compensate for the sensor on the digital bolex. 

Creating Backgrounds – Thumbnails and Reference Material | Pencils, Pixels and the pursuit of Awesomeness
In Elvin A. Hernandez’s new book Set The Action! Creating Backgrounds for Compelling Storytelling in Animation, Comics, and Games he discusses designing backgrounds that make character and story development more dynamic and realistic. Elvin put together a series of videos that provide some great tips and techniques for background development.  In this first video, Elvin takes a look at the importance of reference materials and creating thumbnails in preparation of background design.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Quick Links

Turning the Black Magic Cinema Camera into a Movie Making Machine
| Shane Hurlbut | Hurlblog
I love that this camera fell into a nice color palette and delivered pretty good skin tones, as well as holding the sky. Some of it felt a little clippy in the over exposure, but again, I was going to eye and trying to figure it out. I would say that I exposed a little hot. Many people told me not to starve this camera of light, but I think I went a little too far. With that said, the image holds up for a $3K camera

Blackmagic Film to Video plugin by Antler Post | Adam Roberts | Blog
Over the last few weeks I’ve been beta testing a Final Cut Pro X plugin developed by Nick Shaw over at Antler Post-Production Services.The plugin is a great workflow tool for Final Cut Pro X (FCPX) users who are working with footage from the Blackmagic Cinema Camera (BMCC) that will be delivered to television.

At the Bench: Introduction to the Sony PMW-F55 | Andy Shipsides | AbelCine
Sony has just started shipping their new F5 and F55 cameras, so I thought the timing was perfect for an At the Bench video. The cameras are so packed full of features that I opted for two 15-minute videos to cover the camera system. The first video goes over the F55′s form, function and IO capabilities, while the second covers its menu system, various recording modes and output options.

Make it Beautiful: The Workflow of a Professional Film and Video Colorist
| Robbie Carman | Power To Create
“In my room, all my gear is centered around monitoring and control,” said Carman.  “ A reference monitor lets me ensure I know with 100% accuracy what shots really look like.”Robbie runs DaVinci Resolve so he has the full set of panels from Blackmagic Design.  The control surface makes it much easier to quickly dial in fine adjustments and crank through hundreds of shots in a work day.

The Sunday Conversation: Malik Bendjelloul | Irene Lacher | LA Times
Yes, because I totally ran out of money. I started to shoot the film with a Super 8 camera. It looks vintage. It's just a couple of hundred dollars to film and develop Super 8, but I didn't even have that. Then one day I discovered a Super 8 app for my iPhone. It was $1 and I tried it and it looked the same. I did quite a few shoots with that iPhone.
This article says it was also shot on the Sony EX1:
An Oscar Nomination For “Searching For Sugar Man,” Shot On Sony’s PMW-EX1 | Jason Eng | Sony Blog
“Searching for Sugar Man,” a film that was shot on the Sony PMW-EX1 XDCAM camcorder and documents the search by two South African fans for legendary musician Sixto Diaz Rodriguez, is nominated for a Best Documentary Academy Award tonight.

The Panasonic AG-AC160A or the JVC GY-HM600 a question I am frequently asked | Philip Johnston | HD Warrior
Lastly if there is one single item that would sway me one way or other it would be customer service…JVC have excelled at upgrading the 600 camera with at least 3 FW upgrades over the last two months, I mentioned that in order for the flash banding to work you need to switch off the shutter which could be a pain when filming at a wedding so JVC have upgraded the software to have the shutter off as default which means the camera is always set to 50 fps in default mode.

ProRes vs ProRes – A first look at uncompressed HDMI with the Nikon D5200 vs the Blackmagic Cinema Camera | Andrew Reid | EOSHD
Compared to the Blackmagic Cinema Camera which outputs real 4:2:2 1080p in ProRes format, there’s far more detail from the Cinema Camera’s image and no evidence of weak 4:2:0 sampling like there is on the D5200. The image is nice and clean up to ISO 800 on the Cinema Camera and at ISO 1600 the noise grain is nicer on the Blackmagic but the D5200 is a bit smoother looking.

Nascar tries to ban fan's YouTube video of Daytona crash | Chris Matyszczyk
| C|Net
It's hard to imagine that, on seeing yesterday's carnage at Daytona when scores of spectators were hurt after debris from a crash flew a fence, someone at Nascar would have been thinking about a vital matter such as copyright infringement.Yet it seems that one no-doubt harassed Nascar operative did exactly that and demanded that a video taken by a spectator and posted to YouTube be removed.

Robbed at the Oscars | Stu Maschwitz | Prolost
A film that should have won didn’t, so that film was robbed. I can’t believe the Academy failed to recognize his performance.Here’s the thing: The right films always win at the Oscars. Because the Oscars are a popularity contest. You should no more lament “incorrect” Oscar results than you should question who was awarded prom queen.