Friday, July 05, 2013

Quick Links

Announcing: Sony’s First All 4K Ultra HD Media Player and Content Download Service | Sony
More on Sony's new 4K player, including the cost to rent or purchase features:
Also launching soon is Sony’s new Video Unlimited 4K Ultra HD service available later this summer with many more feature films, TV episodes and a variety of short-form video – all with 4K native picture quality and wider color gamut. The cost for Downloads of feature film titles as 24-hour rentals or for purchase will s start at $7.99 and $29.99.

Good thoughts on running a crowdfunding campaign....after you've got the money:
Decide that no matter what, you will do a bi-weekly update post-campaign to let your backers know where you are at. See your successful campaign as the true opportunity it is: getting people to root for you, not only for this project, but for your career, for who you are as an artist. You are your own media company, remember?

Every Step You Take – 1-hour documentary on CCTV in UK, for free | Nino Film
When I was still studying film, I spent one semester in England and started my work on a documentary about the omnipresent video surveillance in the United Kingdom. I teamed up with fellow exchange students from Spain and Austria and we started doing a lot of research on the matter – after all, we were surprised that the British public did not at all see video surveillance as an invasion of their privacy.

Ben Wheatley: 'I don't think I'll ever be a Hollywood guy' | The Guardian
Shot in 12 days last autumn, A Field In England had a "microbudget" – roughly the same as half an hour of TV, reckons Wheatley – which allowed him absolute creative freedom. He's always been very DIY, his company Rook Films producing or co-producing all of his cinematic output.

| News Shooter
Interesting comments about using the Canon to NEX version:
Much of our recent coverage of Broadcast Asia was shot by Clinton Harn using the Speedbooster with Zeiss ZE lenses on an FS700. Some Canon lenses work well too, but others such as my 24-105mm F4L tend to vignette a bit too much for my taste. There doesn’t seem to be much info out there online at the moment to tell which lenses vignette and which don’t – you need to try them out for yourself.

Rokinon 16mm f/2.0 ED AS UMC CS Lens In Stock | B & H Photovideo
B & H has the Canon, Nikon F, Pentax K and Sony Alpha mount versions of this lens in stock. Note that it's for APS-C sized sensors only.

The following is exhausting!
Split Screen Version of BTS Tony Awards Opening Number | YouTube
Tony Awards director Glenn Weiss created this split screen version of the behind the scenes opening number. Interesting to see the real time action.

Thursday, July 04, 2013

A bit of Canon News

Canon 70Doptyczne.p a Polish website has posted a hands-on with the new Canon 70D. Unfortunately, I can't read Polish, but they have posted some videos showing the auto-focus performance of the camera with the EF-S 18-135mm lens and the EF 100mm, so you can get an idea of how that new focus technology works.

EOS-M Price Cut | B & H Photovideo
Canon made an attempt to enter the mirrorless market with the EOS-M, but the camera got mixed reviews - autofocus performance was sighted in several reviews. Now it looks like they might be phasing out the first model, as B & H is offering a half-price deal on the camera.
Should you get one? No idea. It will work with regular Canon lenses, but you need to buy an adapter, which will set you back another $150.
The Canon EOS-M Mirrorless Digital Camera/ EF-M 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM Lens is now $349, while the Canon EOS-M Mirrorless Digital Camera with EF-M 22mm f/2 STM Lens is $299. 

Wednesday, July 03, 2013

Quick Links

Canon 70D | B & H PhotoVideo
This new camera looks intriguing, if only because of the new focus mode Dual Pixel CMOS AF which promises much faster and more accurate focusing while shooting. The demo looks good and a few people have had a chance to try it out and say it seems to work as advertised. Would I rush out and buy a new camera just to get that feature? Probably not, but it's good to see Canon actually adding an interesting - and useful - video feature to their DSLRs.

| News Shooter
This is all very technical but essentially it seems to work very well if early online sample videos are to be believed. What is even more interesting to me is how Canon claim to have been also be working on how to make the video AF look more smooth and natural too.

Ep. 51 - "The Dark Side" (with Gabe Cheifetz) | NeedCreative Podcast
In this 51st episode of the NeedCreative Podcast, your co-hosts Paul Antico of Anticipate Media and Ben Consoli of BC Media Productions talk all about the latest news of the trade. Then, they have a deep conversation about anger and negativity in creative communities and how to respond. Then, they are joined by Gabe Cheifetz Co-Founder of Final Cut Pro effects maker, CrumplePop, who's post about FCPx on their company blog sparked its own firestorm. Then Paul and Ben talk artist picks and more.

Sony’s First 4K Ultra HD Media Player Is Now Available | Mashable
Sony's FMP-X1, 4K Ultra HD Media Player device can be ordered online Monday for $699, and it will hit store shelves on July 15. The term 4K, also known as Ultra HD, describes a resolution that is four times greater than 1080p resolution — which is what you find on many HD TVs today.

From The Bill to Beverley Hills | Writers Guild UK
The next stage was to persuade a production company to take the project seriously. I was prepared to develop the screenplay on spec, but my agent’s assistant suggested we run it past a couple of companies to gauge their response. The first company to look at the story passed, but the second, Michael Kuhn’s Qwerty Films, immediately asked for a meeting.

Shooting corporate video on a 5K Red Epic and post producing in Final Cut Pro X
Chris McKechnie dropped us a line with the details of how he made a corporate video for Peragon. Shot on a Red Epic and post produced in Final Cut Pro X and REDCINE-X, we knew it was going to be a good read.

Is RED® EPIC® DRAGON Shipping Yet? | This Page Will Tell You!

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Quick Links

Arri Makes a “Baby Alexa”, Introducing the Alexa HD | Wide Open Camera
ARRI takes out some features, but the price is still $30.3K, or maybe $44K:
The key features lacking compared to other Alexa models is ArriRAW and high resolution, the camera is a straight-up HD camera with the Alexa’s classic smooth 14 stop of Dynamic Range, high ISO sensitivity, and uncompressed 12-bit 4444 or 422 max potential throughput.

The Rasmussen Brothers on Shooting the Low-Budget Horror Movie Dark Feed, Part One | Michael Murie | Filmmaker Magazine
I had a great time interviewing the Rasmussen brothers about their experience making a low-budget movie. This is part one of three:
We had just started playing around with the Canon 7D, and we were really impressed with the video quality. We decided that we could shoot a sort of Robert Rodriguez, guerilla-style film and stay within our budget. It was really the technology that made it possible; we realized that we didn’t need to have a fancy camera package, and we didn’t need to have a big production.

Canon C500 & Ki Pro Quad RAW Workflow | AbelCine
Last month I showed you how to set up the Ki Pro Quad with the Canon C500 to capture 4K ProRes files. Today I’m going to go over how to capture Canon RAW (up to 59.94p) using the Ki Pro Quad‘s Thunderbolt pass-through function and AJA’s CamXchange software. You can visit AJA’s site to download CamXchange software for free.

Tips on Filmmaking: Improve the Viewer Experience | Thaddeus Setla | Zacuto
Independent Website
This is the most custom way to create the experience. Depending on how web savvy you are this could be a great experience or frustrating one. Considering all of the platforms out there like WordPress, Joomla, Ruby on Rails etc, and my advice is to hire a graphic designer to get your branding down.

Breeder's Opening Title Magic | Imagineer Systems
Breeder is a design-­led motion graphics studio with an all­-consuming passion for storytelling. Founded in 2010 and based in Brisbane, Australia, the team at Breeder specializes in motion graphics - taking an idea from concept to completion. Imagineer spoke with Adam Sebastian West, creative director at Breeder; and his enthusiasm for his work is inspiring. We asked Adam and his team to talk a little bit about his shop and some projects they’ve been working on.

The Great Gatsby VFX | Chris Godfrey | Vimeo
My name is Chris Godfrey and I was the VFX supervisor on the film.Baz has graciously agreed to let us release this 'before and afters' reel to show our peer group the VFX work completed on his film 'The Great Gatsby'. While this specific reel was the work of Animal Logic (as my primary vendor), in total I worked with 7 vendors including Animal Logic, Rising Sun and Iloura in Australia, ILM in San Francisco and also Prime Focus and Method Vancouver. We also ran an amazing internal SWAT team that completed over 400 shots. Congratulations to all who did such fabulous work on almost 1500 shots.

The Great Gatsby VFX from Chris Godfrey on Vimeo.

Scott Ross interview extract | movieScope
More on the cons of tax incentives for movies:
Scott Ross: The offering of tax incentives is one of the main causes of turmoil in the industry, and could be the ultimate ruination of the industry. It’s like trying to treat heroin addiction with methadone. If you’re in the locale that gets the subsidies and tax breaks for a short period of time, it looks great and rosy for that time, then someone else a thousand miles away offers tax breaks, it doesn’t look so good any more.

We wanted to give the White House a different personality. A fine smoke was used on most of the sets to help materialize the light coming through the windows. In order to achieve a better color contrast between the shaft of daylight coming in the sets and the warmth of the practicals and multiple chandeliers, all of the film was shot using HMI fixtures. It was a premiere for me, and I was a bit nervous, because the technical challenges are numerous on a stage using HMI.

A look at the evolution of the screenplay:
Our fascination with film goes back to the late 1800s. Film started off as a novelty – practically a parlor trick using photographic techniques and the newly invented light bulb to project what looks like moving images on a screen.

Monday, July 01, 2013

Quick Links

Are you breaking the law by running a Crowdfunding campaign and not declaring your income? | Chris Jones Blog
Crowdfunding in the UK, using one of the existing platforms like InideGoGo or Kickstarter is the same as running an internet sales store.You are selling perks. All sales are taxable income and if your entire turnover is high enough, they are also VAT attracting too.

Making the Movie Was Easy, Crowdfunding Is Hard | Filmmaker Magazine
Making the movie was easy, crowdfunding is hard.Ok, that’s a ridiculous oversimplification, but not completely untrue. I’m currently in the midst of a crowdfunding campaign to raise post-production funds for my first feature film, Sidewalk Traffic (a comedy/drama about a struggling filmmaker and new father in post-Great Recession NYC), which I wrote, co-produced and directed this past winter.

3D Dead? Don’t Count It Out Just Yet | Variety
Pace says the next window of opportunity for 3D will come with the arrival of 4K Ultra-High-Def TV. Creatively, he says, 3D and UHD match up well: Both benefit from wider camera angles and less camera movement than today’s HDTV. Cameron-Pace Group is already shifting its “5D” production systems (2D and 3D together) to one 4K camera and one HD camera (4K for the 2D feed; HD on both eyes for the 3D feed).

The future of cinema and TV: It’s game over for the hi-res hype | The Register
Currently, the obsession is for ever higher pixel counts, an approach that disregards how we actually see moving images. If broadcasters have their way, we could be on course for some ridiculous format decisions.

Technicolor Color Assist - End of Life | Technicolor
Color Assist and Color Assist Looks are no longer available for sale. There will be no new updates to the product, but for our existing customers Technicolor will provide customer support through September 30, 2013. Technicolor will also offer a refund to any client who has purchased in the last 30 days.
Technicolor kills their Color Assist color grading application | Scott Simmons
| Pro Video Coalition
I was never able to find a place for this curious little application to fit in. I remember getting a demo at NAB 2012 of Technicolor CineLights and wondering exactly where this tool would fall into the market. It seemed to be then that pros would opt for more powerful and integrated tools while consumers wouldn’t go through the trouble of coloring their DSLR media at all unless it was in an iMovie. 

The making of a corporate documentary for Facebook: Planning, Shoot & Edit
| Philip Bloom
A few back and forths between myself and the agency, Blue Rubicon, plus Facebook of course, gave me a firmer understanding of the type of film they wanted: Something with the feel of a documentary showing Facebook’s education program and how it has performed in its pilot scheme. Naturally, this is a Facebook film so it needs to be a positive film that ticks their boxes. Remember, you are not making a film for yourself. This is for them.

Paul Thomas Anderson On Film School | FilmmakerIQ
You can learn more from John Sturges’ audio track on the ‘Bad Day at Black Rock’ laserdisc than you can in 20 years of film school. Film school is a complete con, because the information is there if you want it.

How much will Apple's new Mac Pro cost? | C|Net
Those Xeon chips, for instance, can go well past $2,000 (though Apple gets discounts from buying in bulk). The graphics cards could be even more, as Apple is making dual GPUs a standard feature. Also unclear is built-in storage, which IHS expects to start at 512GB.

Balls of Steel: The Zig-Zag Screenwriting Career Path | Script Mag
The truth is, there is no clear path to success in this industry. It twists, turns and winds, sometimes even backwards, all before any forward motion. The reality is, most people quit long before any real progress happens .... The first step to surviving Hollywood is defining the word “progress.” Progress doesn’t mean you have achieved success, simply that you are on the path to success.

S-Log 2 Footage from Sony FS700 (NEX-FS700) | F-Stop Academy
I had the opportunity to shoot side by side with 2 Sony NEX-FS700 camcorders last week. I wanted to compare the profiles against S-LOG 2. The S-LOG 2 curve wil extend the perceivable dynamic range of the camera so should give more latitude when colour grading. I’ve always ben impressed with the dynamic range of the FS700 and I usually shoot using Cine Gamma 4 and the Pro or Cinema colour setting.

Sony F55 4K Camera Overview by Earl Sisson, Broadcast Rentals of Phoenix/San Diego | Broadcast Rentals | Vimeo
Earl Sisson from Broadcast Rentals in Phoenix and San Diego gives an overview of the new Sony F55 4K video camera coupled with the Cabrio 19-90mm zoom lens. This 8.5 minute clip provides an top-level overview of operation of the F55 including basic menu selections, ISO, light balance, SLOG2, and other camera functions. Earl also shows other menu selections in the DVF-L350 LCD viewfinder.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Quick Links

Stanley Kubrick Exhibit @ LACMA | YouTube
Stanley Kubrick Exhibit at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art ( LACMA). Pictures taken with my iPhone and the video was edited with iMovie. Includes his cameras, movie posters, memorabilia, and shows exhibits from Dr. Strangelove and Full Metal Jacket.

Firmware – Canon EOS C100 | CanonRumors
  • A function has been added which allows automatic continuous focusing and iris setting on a subject in the center of the screen when using the EF-S18-135mm f3.5-5.6 IS STM lens.
  • The polarity of the XLR terminal has been modified to improve compatibility with external audio devices. The pin configuration has been modified to be consistent with the Instruction Manual.

SKIN - The 1st 5D3 Raw Short Film | Andrew Wonder | Vimeo
The first narrative short created using the Canon 5D3 and Magic Lantern Raw Module. Filmed entirely on steadicam with Wonderscope 1.5x Anamorphic Lenses. All footage was shot between 1250 and 5000 ISO.

SKIN - The 1st 5D3 Raw Short Film from Andrew Wonder on Vimeo.

and Andrew has blogged about it:
As much as I loved the form factor and intimacy of a DSLR, it was getting harder and harder to take out the 5D each day. With cameras like the F55 and Blackmagic Cinema Camera showing up promising amazing latitude and flexibility in post, I wanted more from Canon and the cameras they were trying to sell me.

White House Down - Behind the Scenes with Roland Emmerich | YouTube
The Trailer with some short comments and behind-the-scenes material