Saturday, June 08, 2013

Quick Links

There were so many interesting things that came over the transom yesterday it seemed necessary to do a special Saturday update:

Raw is not log, log is not raw. They are very different things | Alister Chapman
An important difference:
Raw simply records the raw, unprocessed data coming off the video sensor, it’s not even a color picture as we know it, it does not have a white balance, it is just digital “1′s” and zeros coming straight from the sensor.
S-Log, S-Log2, LogC  or C-Log is a signal created by taking the sensors output, processing it in to an RGB or YCbCr signal and then applying a log gamma curve.

10 Most Expensive Mistakes Filmmakers Make | Elliot Grove | RainDance
2. Your Friends Can’t Act
I know you think your script is pretty damn good (lets face – none of your mates have the balls or the know-how to tell you it sucks) and now you really want to squander whatever nest egg your producer has whipped together for your budget?

The Camera as Narrator: V/H/S/2 | Nicholas Rombes | Filmmaker Magazine
The film theorist David Bordwell’s ideas about narration in film are pretty well accepted. For Bordwell the totality of a film’s techniques, ranging from sound to editing, constitute the narration of a film. The “invisible” style of filmmaking perfected by Hollywood during its classic era meant that everything from style to sound to narration was sublimated to the larger project of storytelling.

DP Alex Buono on Saturday Night Live‘s Evolving 4K Workflow | Studio Daily
"There's no mandate from NBCUniversal," Alex Buono, a DP who has worked for the Film Unit for the past 15 seasons, told StudioDaily. "it's more like, 'Hey, if you guys want to test out some 4K workflows, that would be great.' The network knows that someday they'll be going 4K, and they need to start steering the ship in that direction.

Build your own MoVI camera stabilizing rig for around $500 | Imaging Resource
You can see Antos talk about the rig and watch some footage from it in the video below. While not perfectly smooth, apparently it can be tweaked for better results by spending a bit more time making sure the camera is perfectly balanced in the gimbal, and by tweaking the gimbal's software. But for something that's 1/30th the price of the MoVI, it's a much more affordable option for small-budget film-maker using a light camera.

Directing 101 | Video School | Vimeo
It's important to go into your production knowing fully what you're talking about. Really invest yourself in the script and know it from front to back. By knowing your screenplay and storyboards really well, you know all of your shots, which leads to better time management and more successful planning of the actual shoot.

Netflix, Hulu, and the future of American television | BGR
The latest NPD numbers show Hulu growing at a surprisingly robust pace. Its share of U.S. shows streamed in Q1 2013 jumped to 10% from 7% in the same period one year earlier. Netflix still stands in majestic solitude with an 89% share, but its dominance is not preventing Hulu from gradually gaining ground.

My BulletProof Presentation at NAB2013 | Stu Maschwitz | ProLost
Bulletproof is an organizational tool which enables you to ingest and tag media, color correct on-set, and organize your footage to provide a complete solution to getting media ready for the edit. Stu explains from experience the many uses which Bulletproof offers. Described, as the other half of your camera, Bulletproof is currently available to download as part of an open beta program.

Old Mir lens 35mm ƒ2 used with a Metabones speed booster adapter on my Sony NEX-FS100 | mata-telinga | Vimeo
No particular fantastic images - the interest of this video is the combination of the extraordinary Metabones speed booster adapter and an old russian lens. - The manufacturer Metabones says on their site that it doesn't work to combine old M42 type of lenses with their adapter but it does. For sure it took some grinding etc on the cheap (>10 US$) M42 to Canon EF mount adapter. But that gave me with one operation a number of very good lenses.

Old Mir lens 35mm ƒ2 used with a Metabones speed booster adapter on my Sony NEX-FS100 from mata-telinga on Vimeo.

Sony NEX-FS100 Metabone promotion | Sony & B & H Photovideo
Sony is offering a promotion; buy a Sony NEX-FS100 from an authorized distributor and they'll send you (6-8 weeks) a Metabones EF lens to Sony NEX Smart Adapter ($399 value):
End Users can receive a Metabones EF Lens to Sony NEX Smart Adapter (MARK II), after purchases of a Sony NEX-FS700U, NEX-FS700K, NEX-FS100U and THE NEX-FS100K series Professional Camcorder during the promotion period from a Sony Authorized Reseller, Reseller of a Sony Authorized Distributor or directly from Sony. Eligible product must be ordered by and shipped to the end user within the promotion period in order to qualify for this rebate.

Friday, June 07, 2013

Quick Links

Google: Online searches for movie trailers can predict box office turnout with high accuracy | Salon
Trailer-related search trends four weeks out from a movie release provide strong predictive power for opening weekend box office revenue. Trailer search volume on Google coupled with both the franchise status of the movie and seasonality can predict opening weekend box office revenue with 94% accuracy.

Sequel to Thunderbolt is all about 4K video | Ars Technica
That, in fact, is Intel's overriding message. Intel's announcement blog post focuses heavily on the creation and consumption of 4K video, almost to the exclusion of everything else. To that end, Thunderbolt 2 doesn't include an increase in the total throughput the connection can provide, but it does aggregate the data channels together.

Visual: Standard Frame Rates | Indie Tips
24p or 23.98 (or 23.976 if you want to get really technical) is the most common frame rate used for motion pictures and is generally what you are used to. It’s the classic film look setting that gives you that comforting aesthetically cinematic motion.

Rarevision RAWMagic for 5D Mark III – batch Cinema DNG converter for Mac! | EOSHD
Rarevision are the creators of 5DToRGB, and developer Thomas Worth has today released an early beta version of their converter for 5D Mark III raw files on the Mac. I’ve tested the app and it does exactly what it says on the tin. Cinema DNG sequences grade beautifully in Blackmagic DaVinci Resolve.

Three beautiful examples of RED 4K films edited on Final Cut Pro X |
A treat this morning. No new products, no plugins, not even a new lens flare pack, just some great examples of 4K RED work that has been post produced in FCPX. Grab a coffee (you will get thirsty) and enjoy!

Tascam DR60-D Review and Uncompressed Audio Samples with RØDE NTG-2, RØDE NTG-3 and RØDE Videomic | OliviaTech
A look at Tascam's $349 4 channel recorder designed for use with DSLR cameras:
In the video below we take a look at the Tascam DR-60D 4-Channel Linear PCM Recorder. The DR-60D allows you to capture up to four simultaneous channels of audio and store your recordings to SD or SDHC memory cards.

Video: Capturing audiences and engaging fans in today’s disruptive environment | TransMediaCoalition
Houston Howard, Co-Founder and Chief Storyteller at One 3 Productions, talks about the evolving face of transmedia and its importance in capturing and maintaining audiences in today's disruptive, multiplatform world.

First two Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 lens tests: Surprising good performance at full aperture!SonyAlphaRumors
No price yet, and it is APS-C (not really a problem unless you have a Canon Mark II or III) but this Sigma 18-35mm looks interesting at f/1.8, and it looks like it might perform well. I have Canon's 16-35mm f/2.8 L lens which is one of my favorite lenses...
“We were surprised again after seeing the test photos. You expect from a zoom lens at fully open aperture somewhat lesser performance in the corners. The Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 however scored exceptionally well, even at the 18mm f/1.8 corner tightened remains very good. The bokeh of the lens looks very stylish, and distortion remains well within bounds.”

What Filmmakers Want To Know Most About Film Distribution Right Now With John Reiss | YouTube
"How can I get somebody else to release my film?"

Letus Helix in the pottery workshop | Schneider Productions | Vimeo
This was my first test of this awesome device, which is perfectly compatible with Kessler Oracle system.Insane moves, precise & repeatable motion control at an affordable price make it a unique combo.BTS shot by Iulian Petrar

Letus Helix in the pottery workshop from Schneider Productions on Vimeo.

Thursday, June 06, 2013

Sony updates software & special deals

Sony have announced some firmware updates and some special camera bundles.

Special PMW-F3 Toolkit available now through August 26th!
Sony doesn't say how you get the packages; contact your dealer I guess...
In the PMW-F3G444 Kit, we've added an Optitec adapter to increase the range of applicable lenses to include the Canon EF series. The RGB output and S-LOG Gamma module, previously an option, are now standard equipment. The on-board XDCAM takes advantage of Sony's well-established post workflow. However, we've also included the Convergent Design Gemini 4:4:4 recorder in this package. The Gemini 444 offers several recording options that takes the PMW-F3 all the way to uncompressed RGB recording. This package has what it takes to tackle the most challenging of projects.

Special PMW-F5 Package available now through August 26th!
1) The PMWF5KCLCD Kit features the PMW-F5 with the DVF-L350 3.5" LCD viewfinder. The second Kit, the PMWF5KCEL features the DVF-EL100 OLED viewfinder. Both Kits are packaged with a range of high quality and flexible accessories:
2) To enable the use of EF mount lenses with the F5 camcorder, we have included the highly stable "Optitek" EF to Sony F mounts lens adapter with both kits. 

NEW Firmware AXS-R5 v1.20
A bit of confusion about the 2.0 software for the NEX-FS700 announced today (listed below); does it do anything? is it actually new or has it been out for a while?
It appears that what Sony has released is this new firmware that will let the HXR-IFR5 work with the AXS-R5 and NEX-FS700, which means you'll be able to record 4K from the NEX-FS700 to the AXS-R5 recorder - for a sizable chunk of change. You have to upgrade the NEX-FS700 too.
The only problem; the HXR-IFR5 isn't shipping yet.
We have released new firmware for the AXS-R5 recorder. v1.20. This update fixes an issue where Life indication for some AXS memory cards was displayed incorrectly on the media status display. For details about the Life indication, refer to the operating instructions of the connected device. Recording reliability has also been improved.
HXR-IFR5 is the new interface unit for the NEX-FS700 camcorder allowing the 2K / 4K RAW signal from the FS700 to be recorded to the AXS-R5 RAW recorder. This firmware update for the AXS-R5 RAW recorder adds support for the HXR-IFR5 unit. Pictures of the interface unit connected to the AXS-R5 recorder are below. 

Firmware v2.0 for Sony NEX-FS700
v2.0 firmware is available for download

Workflow white paper
new workflow white paper for the F5, F55 and F65

Quick Links

Canon 1D C Internal 4K Workflow | Shane Hurlbut | Hurlblog
We have run many posts about the 1D C and its powerful 4K in camera capture, but I have really never discussed the workflow. Many people have asked about how I am processing these huge files, and in the blog survey, you requested more about post workflow, so I thought I would go into how we roll it out. KISS (keep it simple stupid) is our mantra.

THE SONY FS700 = A PERFECT DOCUMENTARY TOOL? | Sam Price-Waldman | News Shooter
Ultimately, what steered me to the FS700 over the C100/C300 was the ability to use the Metabones Speed Booster, an adapter for Canon EF lenses that gives an extra stop of light and the effective field of view of a Canon 5D (not the Super35 crop factor, as with the C300). 

So … Will We See That New Mac Pro Next Week, or What? | StudioDaily
Will the Mac Pro be announced next week?Maybe! Apple CEO Tim Cook promised "something really great" in this category would be released in 2013 and, as recently as NAB, Apple was reaffirming that promise, albeit with no further comment about when or what we were going to get

Consumer (Canon T4i) vs. Professional (Canon 6D) | Rae-Anne LaPlante | Zacuto
The first thing I noticed when I took my first shot with the Canon 6D was the color of my image and the sharpness. The image quality of the 6D is 82.0 compared to the 62.0 of the T4i. This score is calculated through various factors of color depth, dynamic rang, and low light performance. 6D’s resolution is 20.9MP compared to the T4i’s 17.9MP.

What Can I Get for $2,500 to $5,500?Features and options can nearly double for the discerning shopper seeking the most professional potential and bang for the buck. This price range is, arguably, the sweet spot when it comes to finding a professional production unit that will address most needs, from event to business, commercial and entertainment. 

Samyang 16mm f/2.0 expected in July | B & H PhotoVideo
Sanyang has announced a 16mm f/2.0 lens, in a variety of mounts. At $449 it's not that expensive, but note that it is an APS-C sized sensor.

  • For DSLRs with APS-C Sized Image Format
  • Aperture Range: f/2.0-22
  • 25.6mm Equivalency in 35mm Format
  • Two Aspherical Lens Elements
  • One Extra-low Dispersion Element
  • UMC Lens Coating
  • Manual Focus

Imagineer Systems’ mocha Pro v3.1 is a powerful finishing application
| Michael Guncheon | HDVideoPro
Opening up the application, I found the interface well set up for quick access to the tools needed to work on the scene. The viewer shows the clip you're working on, and a toolbar at the top presents most of the tools needed to create and adjust the splines (2D shapes) used for tracking.

Digital Arts opens 4K theatre in NYC | Post Magazine
Digital Arts’ ( new theatre offers the latest 4K color grading and finishing capabilities, with state-of-the-art audio technologies. The theatre offers 27 seats, a Christie 4K projector with a 17-foot 4K mesh screen from Image Screens, DI via Assimilate Scratch and DaVinci Resolve, 7.1 audio, quad Pro Tools systems and Facilis Terrablock storage. It’s ultra modern while still giving off a vibe of old Hollywood.

The Manfrotto MVH-500AH tripod head £130 | Philip Johnston | HD Warrior
A very short review of this tripod head, which is currently $124.99:
Firstly unlike the latest range of “bridge technology” tripod heads who all have a 75mm – 100mm ball head the MVH500AH is the first of the new generation to sport a flat head.

How the Internet Killed Photojournalism | Allen Murabayashi | PhotoShelter
But let me be clear. Even with the change in consumption habits, the Sun-Times didn’t necessarily make the right choice in dismantling its photography department. The belief that a print journalist with an iPhone will suddenly understand how to use photography to tell a story, not to mention comprehending the ethics of photojournalism, is naive at best. 

Kawasaki Makes the Case for Self-Publishing | Publishers Weekly
Start with a Kindle E-Book: “When all the dust settles, for us, Amazon is about 85 to 90 percent of the action,” Kawasaki said. “There’s all these other platforms, but if you can make it with Kindle you’ve got it made….If you make it on Kindle the rest is cream.”

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Quick Links

Film look with the F55 on “Uncommon Enemies”Dennis Hingsberg
DP Dennis Hingsberg talks about shooting with the Sony F55:
For setting exposure I used my light meter religiously along with the waveform monitor built into the ikan D7W. Most of the scenes I was lighting for a max contrast ratio of 5:1 but generally talent was lit between 2:1 and 3:1, or sometimes more depending on where on the set they were or how the light was suppose to be motivated. I kept middle grey in the low 30’s and any bright light sources from exceeding 60-65 IRE.

the Scent | Stefan Müller | Vimeo
Stefan Müller is an Independent Film director from Austria who recently purchased a Canon C100 and sent us a link to his "first real life test of the camera," a short film called "The Scent."It's nicely done - especially the dog's performance!
It was shot using the internal AVCHD compression on the C100, using a Canon EF-S 17 - 55 f2.8 lens; a Rode stereo Video Mic Pro; a Manfrotto 055xpro tripod with the 501 head and a Kessler Stealth Traveller Slider.

the Scent from Stefan Müller on Vimeo.

Shooting in Snow and Ice with the Canon C100: Interview with Ben Pender-Cudlip | Michael Murie | Filmmaker Magazine
Ben Pender-Cudlip is a Boston-based documentary filmmaker who recently switched from shooting with a DSLR to the Canon C100. His first project shot on the C100 was a short that included a segment on ice climbing. In this second part of our interview with him about switching to the C100, Pender-Cudlip talks about the project and what it was like to use the camera in these conditions.

Arrested Development at Shapeshifter | Randy Coonfield | Creative COW
For season 4, Arrested Development shot on the RED Epic. Using a typical television workflow, these original files were being converted to an uncompressed format, such as DPX. But Dakota Pictures, the production company that produced Arrested Development, was looking for a way to improve the efficiency and flexibility of the process.

Looking For a Gig vs Creating Your Own as a Filmmaker | Thaddeus Setla | Zacuto
I had just gotten my feet wet with this documentary and it was clear that if I wasn’t telling the genuine stories of first responded around the world, who would? I had found my niche, and even though I wasn’t the first person to tell the stories of the first ones who responded, I had to be better and I had to do it different! I started following people like Shane Hurlbut, ASC, Den Lennie, and many more people that not only inspired me, but took the time to speak with me.

Loslassen - Letting Go Teaser Trailer | Götz Raimund | Vimeo
A feature being shot on the Sony F5 + AXS-R5 Recorder, Sony F3 with Gemini 444 and FS700 with Samurai 422. They've posted a lot of behind-the-scenes material on their Facebook page.

Loslassen - Letting Go Teaser Trailer from Götz Raimund on Vimeo.

Movie In Color
Interesting color breakdowns for frames taken from a film.
A blog featuring stills from films and their corresponding color palettes. A tool to promote learning and inspiration. Updated daily.

Blackmagic Camera Tutorial Series | Color Grading Central
Excited with a challenge and loving to share my knowledge and insights with others I embarked on a journey to discover what this camera was all about, what it could do and all that it had to offer. I’m pleased to bring you my learning’s and discoveries of this camera in my brand NEW Blackmagic Camera Tutorials Series, a FREE learning experience for those just getting started with and wanting to take full advantage of the camera’s capabilities and RAW color grading workflow!

Extending the Ken Burns feature in Final Cut Pro X |
In this week's episode of MacBreak Studio, Steve and Mark take a look how to extend the functionality of the built-in Ken Burns picture moving tool. If you want a pause in the movement, then read on.

Dive Provides Visual Effects For Summer Blockbuster “After Earth”
| Creative COW
DIVE’s work on the film included a number of complex visual effects shots featuring set extension, sky replacement, paint, rotoscoping and compositing. DIVE also created 3D elements to enhance the wreckage of the spaceship and the debris field created by the crash.

Fast & Furious 6: Explosive Effects | Wired | YouTube
A behind the scenes look at the work of visual effects house "Double Negative" who created a crashing and exploding Antonov aircraft.

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Quick Links

How to ensure your extinction: look at what newspapers are doing
| Vincent Laforet
First they came for the communists:
This week the Chicago Sun Times made what might just be one of the most clearly shorsighted decisions in its history:  they let go of all of their photography staff.

Is Digital Democratization Of Content A Myth? | Edictive
So who has benefited from the digital revolution in TV and film?  Not the content creators, certainly. Even the production of DVDs has declined, with Blu-Ray not providing the expected boost to the DVD market.   Mainly, the distributors and existing corporate players have been the beneficiaries of the digital revolution.  It’s the video streaming websites, aggregators and distributors who are making the money.

Why Final Cut Pro X's killer feature may be yet to come... | Mike Fernandes
Maybe Apple will help with that democratization thing...?
Think about that for a moment. Let's say I am an indie filmmaker. I shoot my project and edit it in Final Cut Pro X. Once I have a product that I am happy with, I click on the share button and there's an option to upload my masterpiece directly to iTunes.
My wonderful film is now available for anyone to rent or buy. And Apple using their current business model of profit sharing takes a cut of the film for the distribution and then pays me the rest.

Ep. 48 - "Run 8 Rider" (with Sean Meehan) | NeedCreative Podcast
In this 48th episode of the NeedCreative Podcast, your co-hosts Paul Antico of Anticipate Media and Ben Consoli of BC Media Productions are joined by Boston area Director/Producer Sean Meehan talk the latest news in video production. Then they are talk about the making of the music video "Thanksgiving Day" by the band Run 8 Rider. 

Switching from a DSLR to the Canon C100: Interview with Ben Pender-Cudlip
| Michael Murie | Filmmaker Magazine
Ben recently switched from shooting on a DSLR to the Canon C100. In part one of this interview he talks about his experience switching to the C100, and in part two he talks about the first major project shot with the camera: documenting an ice-climbing expedition.

AbelCine’s New Family of Resolution Analysis Chart | AbelCine
Jesse Rosen, AbelCine’s Director of Technical Development, designed the charts, beginning with extensive research on what to measure, the many patterns and designs to consider, and evaluating what worked and what didn’t. Many of our specialists and rental technicians spoke with AbelCine clients and personnel to gather their opinions and input on what should be included in the new charts, and continued to check in every few weeks throughout the process. The result is a fantastic new focus chart we think our clients will love using.

Kinefinity KineRaw S35 Hands-on Review | EOSHD
The Kinefinity KineRaw S35 is the most complete debut camera I’ve ever seen. Packed with features, it simply doesn’t feel like an S35 version 1.0.
In terms of the image it is also very good – hardly an major weaknesses, though if there’s one thing that could be better it is the rolling shutter skew. It’s similar to a DSLR and therefore more severe than what you’d get from the Arri Alexa or RED Epic.

Anatomy of a Logo: Star Wars | Tenth Letter of the Alphabet
Really interesting how loose the use of the logo was at the beginning...
The film, Star Wars, premiered on May 25, 1977. Today, on its 36th anniversary, I’m examining the evolution of the film’s logo.  During the film’s pre-production, a decal (below) was produced. In the first Official Star Wars Fan Club newsletter, reprinted in the Star Wars Scrapbook (Chronicle Books, 1991), there was an explanation about the decal by Ralph McQuarrie, who did the art

Kodak Pacts to Supply 20th Century Fox With Film | Variety
I'm not dead yet!
The venerable Rochester, N.Y.-based firm, much shrunken in bankruptcy, has pacted to supply Fox with motion picture film for both features and TV. Deal covers film for “content creatin, distribution and archival,” according to Andrew Evenski, pesident of Kodak’s Entertainment & Commercial Films Division.

Mirroring comes to Compact Flash | HD Warrior
Not sure I get the point of mirroring on the same card:
Japanese company Amulet is poised to release a CompactFlash card that allows images and video files to be backed up instantly using RAID-style ‘mirroring’. In mirroring mode, the card effectively becomes two storage devices, and records images to both partitions simultaneously. As such, a 64GB card offers 32GB of actual storage space in mirroring mode.

Monday, June 03, 2013

Problems Managing Media

I’ve been using Adobe Prelude to ingest media from my cameras for the last six months or so, and apart from a slightly rocky start, have been generally happy with the way things have worked.

But I had an interesting ‘adventure’ last week with some media management issues.

I had recorded an hour-long presentation (and some other material) using three cameras, and then used Adobe Prelude to ingest the content. Part way through one ingest, I ran out of disk space! I had to cancel the import, then spend several hours moving data back and forth to clean up enough space on the work drive to continue working.

Once I had enough free space, I went back to Prelude and checked the last clip that it had imported, and then continued importing the rest of clips on the camera. Then I moved the clips to Premiere Pro and started editing.

Half way through the edit, I realized that one of the clips was only 22 minutes long, not the hour-plus of the other two; I had just synced up the tracks, put them in the timeline and started working, I hadn’t checked that they all ended at the same point, I just assumed…

Surprise! The camera actually records in 4GB segments, so the hour long clip was really three or so sub-clips; this is something that’s sort of hidden in Prelude which displays the “clips” you recorded, rather than all of the sub clips. It’s not really obvious, especially if you happen to overlook the odd numbering of the clip names in the ingest window (i.e. the numbering of the clips isn’t continuous…another thing I hadn’t really paid any attention to.)

FORTUNATELY, I hadn’t deleted the memory cards yet, so I could reimport the problem clip using Prelude.

BUT, I had already done a bunch of editing in Premiere that I didn’t really want to lose. Could I replace the original clip with the new imported clip from Prelude?

Here’s what I tried:
1. I first tried finding a way to substitute the clip, but nothing in any of Premiere’s menu’s leapt out at me.

2. So I figured I’d just delete the original media and reconnect.
Since Prelude had imported the new clips into a new directory on the drive, I decided to cheat a bit; I quit Premiere, renamed the original clip (just to save it in case it didn’t work) renaming both the .MTS and .xmp file (I don’t know what the xmp file is, exactly, but I believe it’s a metadata file that Adobe uses.)
Then I relaunched Premiere.
It now let me extend the clip in the timeline, which was a good sign, BUT Premiere wouldn’t play the video beyond the last frame in the first segment, even though it let me extend the clip in the timeline beyond that point. Rather odd.

3. In a bit of desperation, I relaunched Prelude, thinking I’d resend the clip to Premiere.
Now Prelude was unhappy with the new clip because I’d moved the media in step 2), but the ‘old’ clip still appeared, AND it played all the way through in Prelude.
So I sent that ‘original’ clip a second time to Premiere, figuring I might have to replace the clip manually. This added a second occurrence of the clip to the Project in Premiere BUT I didn’t have to do anything more; the ‘original’ clip now also played correctly in Premiere, solving my problems.

And all was right with the world…

  1. Never Assume.
  2. Check the beginning and the ending points of all your media.
  3. Don’t delete your original source files until you are certain they have been moved across to your computer correctly.
  4. Oh, and check that your work drive has enough free space before you start a project.