Friday, August 16, 2013

The News

Need Creative Podcast Episode 57 is a celebration of the Music Video artform!
Ben Consoli of BC Media Productions is joined by Stephen Gottlieb, founder of A website dedicated to music videos and their creative community. We talk about the current state of the music video industry, the upcoming MTV Video Music Awards and how you can become a better music video director or producer.

Guest Post: Building a Story’s Foundation … One Board at a Time | Hollywonk
Using the Amazon Studios Storyboard tool:
Jeanne Veillette Bowerman is a screenwriter, columnist, and co-founder of #scriptchat, a weekly gathering of writers on Twitter. Amazon Studios asked her to try Amazon Storyteller, a tool that lets you turn your script into a storyboard (like hers). Here’s how it went:

Story Structure: The Art of the Dilemma | Script Mag
When I came to the recognition that having a strong dilemma is the key component of the setup in each story arc, my perspective opened up. I teach the idea that if you have a powerful enough dilemma at the opening of your TV pilot, the series should be the answer to the dilemma. 

How To Conduct A Camera Test | Ryan Walters | Zacuto
Camera tests are getting overlooked and written off as unnecessary by a lot of productions these days. It is unfortunate that camera tests are not seen as valuable, as they can be informative and can potentially reveal unforeseen issues prior to walking onto set. It is always cheaper to resolve a problem before the shoot than it is when everyone is standing around on set waiting for a solution to materialize. 

GoPro Action-Camera Housings and Mounting Solutions | B & H
Since they’re used in a plethora of conditions by a variety of athletes, photographers, and videographers, it makes sense that GoPro offers dozens of different mounting solutions and housings for their HERO3 camera. Most of the mounts and housings are also compatible with the older GoPro HERO cameras as well. Read more to learn about many of the latest GoPro housing and mounting options available for action-sports enthusiasts.

Steadicam Curve is Coming Soon! | Sweepstakes
The Curve is a tiny steadicam designed for use with the GoPro. It's coming can't even order it yet, but you can enter to win one on their site.

The Videos

For the end of the week, three pretty informative videos...

BlackMagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera - A Few Quick Tips
Special note about SD card compatibility (or lack, thereof)

Zoom H6 Review/Tests/Comparison to Tascam DR-60D and Riggy-Micro RM333
A detailed look at the new Zoom H6 ($399.99) and comparison to the Tascam DR-60D ($349) audio recorder and the juicedLink RM333 Riggy Micro Low-Noise Preamp ($399)

Tripod Steadicam!
Film Riot turns a tripod into a form of Steadicam

Thursday, August 15, 2013

The News

(SR5) New NEX-FS700R and NEX-FS700RH camcorders to be announced soon too | Sony Alpha Rumors
Practically no details about a suspected enhancement/replacement for the Sony NEX-FS700.

Using Lens Files | Sony Community
Doug Munro has posted a lengthy forum post about creating lens files for the Sony F55:
First we setup the Flares. Flare refers to how some of the light coming through the lens bounces around causing and overall increase in the brightness level this causes the blacks to get lifted from the zero point  and the flare adjustment brings the blacks back to zero. This is done by shooting a properly lit grey scale chart, you then using a WFM set the lens exposure an set the green flare adjustment so that the 2 black chips are at zero then overexpose the lens by one stop.

Shooting Documentaries with Sony's NEX-FS700, PMW-F5, and PMW-F55 | Sony Professional USA PRO | Vimeo
In this Cine Gear 2013 presentation, Cinematographer David Leitner discusses his experiences shooting "hand-held" with various camera systems, and focuses on his experiences using the PMW-F5, F55, and NEX-700 in various configurations.

We're all still a bit shocked that Blackmagic has dropped the price of the original Cinema Camera to $1,995 (which is less than the Kickstarter price for the Digital Bolex):
Usually a price drop of such magnitude is an attempt to clear inventory for a new model, though I don’t think for a moment this is the case here. I believe there is a something else going on here which reaches to core of what Blackmagic Design are about as a company and reveals a strategy which is destined to succeed.

The D16 in the Wild | Digital Bolex
Speaking of the Digital Bolex, development continues:
The camera wasn’t the newest model–the engineers in Toronto need all the newest parts for development–but it was the same camera we shot still tests on in July, updated with the latest firmware. Firmware which was written for the newer boards, so Mike wasn’t sure how it would run on the old parts

Final Cut Pro Is Dead (Or Why I'm Stuck With Premiere) | Ryan Walters
Ryan explains why he's convinced to stick with Premiere rather than Final Cut Pro X, though he seems to ultimately justify it based on something else:
And, since I cannot buy and own only Photoshop, I have to subscribe to a service that comes with the one program I need, and others that seamlessly integrate with it. Why am I going to shell out even more money for a separate editor? It just does not make financial sense to pay twice for the same thing...

Light Leaks | Vegasaur
They appear to offer a set of free light leaks; though I haven't tried them:
Light Leaks Free 20 free light leaks that add a dreamlike and vintage quality to your footage

Why Do We Want Better Cameras If We Keep Making the Photos Look Worse? | Peta Pixel
We're not attempting to capture reality, just what we wish reality was....
The most obvious manifestation of this phenomena is the enormous popularity of Instagram and its nearly requisite filters. It’s almost not an “insta” if you don’t apply a filter. This trend is so incredibly pervasive, that it gave rise to the #nofilter hashtag. As if one couldn’t believe a sunset could be so fantastic as to not require the use of a filter!

[COOL JOBS HOLLYWOOD] Be a Cinematographer | Ebony
Meet Donald Morgan, winner of seven prime-time Emmys, one of the most sought after cinematographers in the film industry. He recently spoke with to share insights about his illustrious career.

Interview Challenge: OMC vs. Dolly Crew | Vimeo
This is kind of interesting/amusing, though I'm not sure you'd compare a full dolly to the One Man Crew...more likely a cheaper slider. Despite the fun ad, unfortunately it doesn't appear to be shipping yet,

Interview Challenge: OMC vs. Dolly Crew from Redrock Micro on Vimeo.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013


Traveling with the Sony F55 | Sony
A post by Gavin Rawlings about shooting with the Sony F55:
I remember the first shot I filmed with the F55. It was at the top of the largest sand dune in the Simpson Desert; Big Red. The environment just leant itself to being filmed in 4K. I combined the 4K shooting with Canon’s 30-105 light weight zoom and the F55 produced some remarkable imagery

Upcoming Adobe Webinars
Create a distributed production pipeline with Creative Cloud
Thursday, August 22, 201310:00 AM - 11:00 AM US/Pacific
Controlling Time in Adobe Premiere Pro CC and After Effects CC
Thursday, August 29, 201310:00 AM - 11:00 AM US/Pacific

TECH: Complete Guide to Aerial Photography & Videochase jarvis
Helicopter safety. It is critical that you understand how to navigate your way safely in and around this machine. There are two hard and fast rules that all helicopter people live by when it comes to helicopters: 1) Never walk around the tail-end of the helicopter while its on the ground and 2) the pilot is always in charge. Always.

6 Tips for Effectively Shooting Behind The Scenes | PetaPixel
1. Know When to Be InvisibleI feel like a common mistake photographers make when shooting behind the scenes is trying to be too invisible to the talent. While it’s true that you don’t want the people you’re shooting to be too aware of your presence for fear that they’ll put on a show for the camera that feels fake you also don’t want boring footage/photos.

144 frames of grade-a, raw motion! | Digital Bolex
The Digital Bolex appears to be moving closer to an actual product:
We had a very special delivery in LA on Friday, so we were busy over in Digital Bolex land. Here’s a little preview of what we were up to. A six second, 24FPS present from us to you to get the week moving!

What Cameras Are Festival Filmmakers Using in 2013? | No Film School
Most popular? Arri Alexa, Canon 5Ds (I guess some filmmakers didn’t specify the Mk when responding to the survey), RED EPIC and Sony F3 — roughly in that order, with the RED EPIC and Sony F3 tied.

DragonFrane 3.5 The latest release of this stop motion tool is now available

7 Deadly Sins of Worldbuilding | io9
Interesting piece for writers and filmmakers about creating science fiction and fantasy worlds:
2. Not explaining why events are happening now.Chances are your story revolves around all heck breaking loose in your fictional world. (Or your fictionalized version of the "real" world.) One major worldbuilding flaw is not explaining why heck is breaking loose now, as opposed to 20 years ago or 20 years from now. Why is the dark elf army showing up now? 

A M A Z O N   S A N D I S K   S A L E   T O D A Y

Tuesday, August 13, 2013


Been curious about using Magic Lanten? This piece is great because it's a detailed interview with someone who has actually used it, and had some concerns about it too:
When the team announced they had cracked silent imaging, and that RAW video was on the horizon for the 5D mkIII, I’ll admit, even with my prior use of the firmware, I didn’t exactly jump straight on board. My mkIII was my primary source of income, and for it to break or malfunction while using an alpha build, no matter how small the chance, was not an option I could afford to take.

And if you've been tempted by Magic Lantern, their latest claim: 14 stops of dynamic range is - to me - more intriguing that shooting RAW.
Magic Lantern cracks “dual ISO” on 5D2 and 6D for 14 stops of dynamic range | Planet 5D

It seems that Sony does have a "lens camera"; basically a lens with a sensor inside it that you attach to - and control - using your smart phone. It's an interesting idea; turn your phone into an even better digital camera, I'm just not sure if people will actually buy it.
I guess it depends on; how expensive it is, how big it is, how good the pictures are, and how well it integrates with the phone.
People with smart phones are still buying small point-and-shoots. Could it replace that? Sure, but get a couple of things wrong and it won't sell:
(SR5) Hot! First images of the new DSC-QX10 and DSC-QX100 lens-cameras! | Sony Alpha Rumors
Lens-camera: What you see on these images are the DSC-QX10 and DSC-QX100 lenses. Actually these are not normal lenses! They have built-in sensor, Bionz processor, Wifi/NFC wireless connection and SD card slot. 
First Pictures of Sony’s Groundbreaking Lens Cameras Surface | PetaPixel

Zacuto Axis | Zacuto
The latest gadget from Zacuto is an arm for attaching your EVF. It's for sale for $565.00
The Axis is our most adjustable, universal EVF mounting option! It is compatible with the Red Bomb EVF, Alphatron EVF, Zacuto EVF, Cineroid EVF and many more. It is designed to come from the top of your camera set up, it leaves plenty of room at the lens for focusing and will work with the widest of lenses.

How Google Search Drives Moviegoing | Filmmaker
Google publishes a whitepaper: “Quantifying Movie Magic with Google Search”.
The first assertion that Google makes is that moviegoer decision making is highly research-led. Their data shows a 56% year-on-year growth in movie-related search. When researching movies, 61% of moviegoers claim to turn to online resources to guide their decision. 

Netflix' Worst Nightmare Becomes Real | Yahoo
What was once originally a five-year deal, of which two were exclusive, has lapsed. Now enters Amazon. But what is Netflix thinking? This continues the streak of yet another misstep for the struggling movie giant, which has seen its stock price erode during the course of the year.


Ever wonder how f-stops are calculated:
A Primer On The Math Behind F-Stops | DYPhotography

I can believe it, though they don't say who these cameras will be coming from:
20 new 4K cameras to arrive before NAB 2014 | Red Shark News

If you're waiting for the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera, keep waiting. This is just some pictures - an unboxing really:
RedShark exclusive: First look at the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera | Red Shark News'

10 Filmmakers' Top 10 Films Lists: Scorsese, Kubrick, Allen, Tarantino, Nolan and More | IndieWire

Monday, August 12, 2013

The News

Hollywood’s Biggest Bang for Its Buck | Economix | The New York Times
This is fascinating:
The genre with the biggest box office R.O.I. was actually documentary, with domestic box office returns averaging 12 times the original production budget, and global returns at nearly 27 times the original budget. 

Interesting piece about Neutral Density filters:
Like most people I have never really taken the time to look into how ND filters shift colour, so the results were quite surprising. While a lot of modern day video cameras have built-in ND and IR protection even these can produce a certain amount of colour shift.

Say Hello to Rec. 2020, the Color Space of the Future | Wolfcrow
Rec. 2020 is the designated color space for ultra high definition TV, or UHDTV, in both its variants: 4K and 8K. It gets its name from the standards classification: ITU-R Recommendation BT.2020. Rec stands for ‘recommendation’.

MediaStorm Guide to Setting Up Shots | MediaStorm
Here’s how Director of Photography Rick Gershon explains it, “When you ask a person to repeat something, you’re no longer documenting what’s real. You’re making your subject act. The implication is that what they’re doing is not good enough. 

How To Create Something From Nothing On the #BMCC | Den Lennie | F-Stop Academy
I always begin with the 18mm lens. I settle on an establishing shot. I call this the postcard shot. If you imagine you were hired to shoot a postcard of the place you are in what would you show in one frame that would best represent they scene that you are seeing? This has the added benefit of allowing you to survey the scene and look for other interesting shots

First Full-Quality ProRes Clips from the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera Have Been Released | No Film School
Dynamic range looks pretty good in these test clips. The footage has a very similar look to the original BMCC, and that makes perfect sense since they are supposedly from the same sensor family — with the Pocket simply being a scaled down version. 

3-Axis Brushless Gimbal Camera Rig From China For $1,000 Delivered | Cinescopophilia
Everyone is making brushless gimbals now:
One of the good things about Aliexpress is you don’t have to buy in bulk like other online wholesale platforms, instead it’s very easy to purchase a one off item. So a Chinese 3-axis brushless gimbal camera rig will set you back just US$1,068.00 with free shipping.

By employing directors with backgrounds in drama, the studios hope action-heavy films will be infused with greater depth. The catch, however, is that drama directors are usually inexperienced at, and thus incapable of, properly handling their material that is the film's main selling point, or one of them.

Apple’s evolving view of “pro” | Ken Segall
What is Apple's grand plan for their "pro" apps? Who do they think will buy the upcoming Mac Pro?
So Steve ultimately renewed his commitment to the pros—but he never said that this commitment wouldn’t evolve. Clearly Apple has changed its thinking about the pro market, and how it can best serve its pro users. Some won’t like it, but basically it’s the difference between Final Cut Pro 7 and Final Cut Pro X.