Friday, July 19, 2013

Red Giant's Spy Vs Guy and BulletProof @ BOSCPUG

Last night was the latest Boston Creative Pro User's Group meeting, featured Aharon Rabinowitz, Director of Communities for Red Giant, talking about their latest short film Spy Vs Guy, and Adobe Certified Master Trainer and Apple Certified Master Trainer Simon Walker talking about Red Giant's latest application: BulletProof.

Now I could talk at some length about Spy Vs Guy, or you could just watch it (it's 16 min. long.) I could also talk at some length about how it was made, or you could just watch the Behind the Scenes:

BulletProof is described by Red Giant as "a complete offload, prep and delivery solution." I could also tell you a bit about what I saw at the demo of BulletProof, or - if you have a Mac - you could just go and download the free public Beta and try it out yourself.

[I just want to point out that it's very hot here in Boston at the moment...]

Well, if you really want to know a little more:
For those not intimately familiar with these films from Red Giant, director Seth Worley has now made several short films for Red Giant, and this is the most ambitious so far (though I think that can be said about every previous one!)

These films are made on a comparatively small budget, though both Rabinowitz and Worley are on Red Giant's payroll, and they are spending money on cast and crew, props etc. So while this short film cost a fraction of what a Hollywood feature does, it probably cost a lot more than many low-budget projects cost. That said, they continue to demonstrate what it's possible to do without extravagant budgets.

Aharon noted that they went over budget when they didn't get the permitting in time for a street shot they were planning. Calling everyone back for an extra night cost an extra $3,000.

While the story, camerawork, music and effects are all excellent, I particularly love the props they create for these projects. There's a tremendous amount of detail that goes into these short films.

An instruction manual and box of darts, both carefully aged

Magnetic glove prop

Talking about his collaboration with Worley, Aharon noted that while he's Seth's boss at Red Giant, during the making of these films, Seth is the boss. Aharon went on to make an interesting observation about working on creative projects with other people. "When you suggest changes," he said, "you need to think about whether you're trying to make it better, or make it your own."

It's still hot, so I'm not going to go into great depth about BulletProof. Besides, there's a free beta available to download and try. Admittedly it's Mac only, and only works with DSLR media (no AVCHD or MXF support at the moment) but you can try it out.

BulletProof provides a way to import media (and simultaneously make a second or third backup if you like), attach meta data, preview and make rough cuts from clips, apply simple looks, and then export in a variety of formats.

I think for those in a production environment - particularly where you have a crew and you want to review material as it's being shot - BulletProof could be very useful. Just being able to import content and make a copy (that's checksum validated) could be worth the price of admission.

I use Adobe Prelude at the moment to ingest material, and as I sat in the demo, I kept seeing things that I wished Prelude did. But on the other hand, more than half of the things that BulletProof does (the tagging, previewing, adding looks) are things that I don't see myself doing for most of my projects. So it's a bit of overkill for me. I also didn't like that it appeared that I had to export the physical media, i.e. make a second copy; I couldn't just send Premiere an XML that pointed at the original media. [NOTE: I could be wrong on that, I just didn't get a chance to ask if that was an option.]

Still, I think for many BulletPrrof would be a useful tool, and worth taking a look at.

Thursday, July 18, 2013


It's Thursday here in Boston, and it's been a hot couple of days, with no relief in sight! I hope it's cool where you are.

If you are stuck in Boston tonight, come to the BOSCPUG meeting with Red Giant, who will talk about BulletProof and stuff.

A couple of days ago I erroneously stated that Blackmagic had said their new pocket cinema camera would ship on time. ahhhh...that wasn't really true, so I'm hesitant to post this, but a British distributor is evidently a big disturbed about whether the camera (and the 4K camera) will arrive on schedule. Of course, they are in Europe...

Interested in the MōVI? Alex Buono (DP from Saturday Night Live's Film Unit) has posted a cool demo of the unit made at his Visual Storytelling Tour event (the tour is going on through out the country, and there are still a few dates left.)

For actors and filmmakers, some casting directors wrote an article about 5 Things You Need To Know About Your Agent and Manager.

Netflix evidently does some odd cropping of some movies - seriously odd, as you can see in the examples at this tumblr: What Netflix Does.

Interested in the latest trends in visual effects? Check this two part article at FxGuide: The State of Rendering. Speaking of which, FilmmakerIQ has posted this look back at the history of visual effects and green screening.

Zeiss has come out with a new series of lenses; Touit. These seem to be only for "mirror-less" APS-C sensor cameras. They are smaller, and a bit cheaper than their 35mm lenses, though I see the 32mm f/1.8 is still $900. Get's a nice review at Fstoppers. The Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 zoom, still not shipping yet, but continues to get high-points for image quality. It'll set you back $799.

And if you want to look at come serious Cine lenses, Erik Naso got to play with a couple of Canon's Cine lenses and has posted his review. Canon has also posted a piece about Erik's opinion of the C100 in a case study.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013


The Daily Show almost goes Dark

The third segment of Monday night's episode of The Daily Show was taped using "consumer cameras" after a power failure occured. It's not clear what cameras were actually used (someone tweeted that they were consumer cameras), though it looked like they really needed to do a white balance, and at the end of the segment a microphone boom could be seen!

This is not the first time an evening show has been recorded under "difficult" circumstances, or with consumer cameras. The Craig Ferguson Show has had problems with the lighting system and resorted to flash lights, and Jimmy Kimmel taped an episode of his show using a laptop webcam.

The show shot with consumer cameras

Apple releases Logic Pro X

Apple released a new version of Logic Pro X, and while it's too soon to be certain, it looks like the initial reactions are more positive than Final Cut Pro X received. It's just $199, AND it can connect to Final Cut Pro X.
Final Cut Pro X XML Export multitrack projects to Final Cut Pro X with support for Final Cut Pro X compound clips and plug-in automation.
A number of new features include :
Logic Pro X includes Drummer, a revolutionary new feature that provides a virtual session player that automatically plays along with your song in a wide variety of drumming styles and techniques, and Flex Pitch, which provides integrated pitch editing for audio recordings. Apple also introduced Logic Remote, an innovative new way to play and control Logic Pro X from your iPad®, giving musicians the flexibility to create and mix their music from anywhere in the room. 

Rocky Radio ‏@RockyRadio
#LogicProX is hands down the best DAW I've ever used in my life! That + the Logic iPad remote makes for a killer combo!!!

BeatSneaker ‏@BeatSneaker
Playing with the new #Apple #LogicProX & I'm very impressed! Loads of cool new synths & features... #HAPPINESS #WIN

David Mesiha ‏@soniccanvas
#LogicProX anyone noticing problems with latency?  I seem to need to use the latency mode way more often!

Review: Logic Pro X | The Loop
Clearly, it hasn’t been discontinued, and I can tell you from my own experience, this is far from a GarageBand knockoff. This is the same professional digital audio workstation software that we’ve used for years, only better.

Other News

Looking for a slider? The Edelkrone SliderPlus is really, really tiny, yet has a pretty big travel distance. Interested in Adobe Cloud, movieScope has an interview with filmmaker Richard Jobson on using the Cloud, while moviefone has an interview with the director of a documentary about Killer Whales.

If you have a Sony NEX-EA50, you may be interested in these setup's that Erik Wittbusch is using with his camera, meanwhile, Doug Richardson explains why he never reads people's scripts.

Toby Lockerbie talks about the upcoming firmware update for the Sony NEX-FS700 which improves it's lowlight capabilities, and Jon Reiss explains how NOT to make a Kickstarter video.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013


Vincent Laforet has posted the latest news on the MōVI M10s - it will ship in 30 days, and the MōVI M5 will be available in October-December, and cost $4,995.

Meanwhile everyone seems to be creating camera cages for the GoPro as Cinescopophilia highlights the cage from CineShark and two from Lensse.

Tech News has a piece about using an octocopter to shoot some Gettysburg battlefield footage,

4/3 Rumors reports that John Brawley of Blackmagic tweeted the Blackmagic Pocket CInema Camera will ship on July 25th. [Oops, no he didn't. He tweeted that the firmware now includes new features: Auto-focus & battery percent remaining - see comment below - Ed] (You can pre-order at B&H for $995)

Over on YouTube, The Basic Filmmaker offers some basic tips on lens buying (buy the best you can, lenses are more important than cameras, etc..) and if you're looking for a good podcast, the latest NeedCreative Podcast features Cinematographer Will Barratt discussing the horror genre, as well as the Adobe Creative Cloud update, a review of the Blackmagic Ultrastudio Mini Monitor by Paul, and much more.

Interested in 4K color correction? Studio Daily has an interesting piece: Colorworks Executes an Apocalyptic 4K DI for This Is the End

When should you finance that new camera (or lens)? When they offer 0% financing would be my answer, oh, and when you know you can pay the bill. Over at Red Shark, Pater Savage offers more thoughts and goes into the whole thing in some depth: Is Financing Right for You?

David Slade has started a new site: My First Shoot: My First Shoot is a weekly interview series where directors interview directors about their "first time".

Interested in Stop Motion Animation? Over at VideoMaker, Josh Funk offers three important concepts every animator should know: Timing, Motion Arcs and Overlapping Action.

Thinking of shooting RAW? Peter J. Haas offers some advice in Preparing to shoot RAW | RedShark News. A fairly in-depth piece covering size difference, cards, shooting ratios and managing media.

Other announcements:

Finally the Bitter Script Reader explains why science-fiction writers should avoid techno-babble:

Monday, July 15, 2013


PMW-F5 WILL get 240fps and Anamorphic De-Squeeze!! New Firmware Timeline | Alister Chapman | XDCAM User
The F5 will get the ability to record 2K raw at 240fps (with the R5). In addition it will also get 1.3x Anamorphic De-Sqeeze. Sony have just released an updated firmware timeline. There are no major changes to the timing of the already announced features, but now we can see that in the July release the cameras will get Reel Number and Camera ID for SxS recordings.
NEW Firmware Timeline Charts - July 2013 | Sony
Highlighting the big update this month is the HD - 10 bit SR Codec, (SR File). This codec has been strongly requested for episodic television and feature film work; since it’s an extremely robust algorithm that is visually lossless (areas of every frame are uncompressed). Also, 220Mbps 4:2:2 and 440Mbps (both 4:2:2 and RGB) result in very manageable file sizes and very easy to decode.

Final Cut Pro X Audio Filter Tips | Mac Pro Video
When dealing with Audio in Final Cut Pro, there are two primary filters that help our audio during video work. In this article I’m going to share some tips about them to increase the overall quality and value of your video production, in order of workflow. Remember, audio filters are only used to fix problems.

Freebies for FCPX | Jonny Elwyn
If you’re on the look out for some free generators, effects, and such for use in FCPX, then this round up of some of the best free downloads available on the net, should satisfy that search.

8 More Brushless Gimbal Camera Rigs and a Break in Timecode to Follow | Cinescopophilia
With the upsurge in hype and the degree of interest with brushless gimbal camera rigs, we believe if someone comes up with a rig made totally out of PVC then that will be Break in Timecode for those camera rigs. Till that happens relax, sit back, grab a drink and take in eight brushless gimbal camera rigs we stumbled across. Some of the rigs are prototypes and some are first test videos.

Hands-On Review: Zoom H6 Handy Handheld Recorder | B & H Photo Video
What strikes me as impressive about the H6 is how easily it could be used in such a variety of applications. The swappable capsule system shows it is an obvious choice for ENG type scenarios, but the H6 can just as easily be used to record live bands; integrate the XLR/TRS input capsule and you have 6 inputs to receive signal from a mixing board. Its USB connection even allows you to use the H6 as an audio interface.

Canon 50D Magic Lantern raw review | EOSHD
Whilst there’s no doubt that the 5D Mark III overshadows the 50D in terms of raw performance, the 50D completely thrashes the 60D, 70D and Rebel for raw video capabilities and is the best Super 35mm sensor Canon DSLR for raw.

I now have Movcam rigs for my F3, FS700, BMCC and now my F55.  So why am I choosing Movcam over any other brand out there on the market? For me it comes down to the following:  REAL WORLD PERFORMANCE.

BulletProof Beta 2 | Red Giant
The second public beta of BulletProof has been released. 
How does the free beta work? The BulletProof beta is here and we want you on our team. Over the next few months, we’re listening to creative professionals who actively shoot, capture and prepare footage for post-production. We're offering you "pre-release" or beta versions of BulletProof, and your feedback will go directly into improving BulletProof.
BulletProof Summer Tour 2013 | Red Giant
Visting San Francisco, Boston, Los Angeles, New York and Atlanta:
You've heard the buzz surrounding our newest addition to the Red Giant family—want to get a demonstration of how BulletProof can help simplify your production workflow? Come and see us as we tour the US this summer
You've got a great camera, you've got a great editor; how do you manage everything between them? Join the Red Giant Team and London-based Guru Simon Walker as he demonstrates BulletProof, a complete media prep and delivery solution that simplifies how you handle footage every day. 

Protecting Your Data: How to Backup Your Design Files | PSD Tuts+
Different designers and photographers have different workflows and different methods of keeping their work organised. Some may prefer to keep everything on their computer’s internal hard drive while others may be reliant upon external hard drives to store their work. Because of this disparity, what may be the best backup solution for one person might not be any good for somebody else.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Cinemek Storyboard Composer App is 99 cents

Cinemek's Storyboard Composer HD app for the iPhone/iPad is now 99 cents. As a simple storyboarding tool it's quite cool; you can simply take photos of locations, add figure shapes to indicate your actors, and then add camera moves.

I wrote a review of the original iPhone app here: Hitchcock - iPhone Storyboard App