Thursday, September 25, 2014

Upcoming Events in New England

There's some interesting events going on in New England in the next couple of weeks:

9th Annual ITVFest Sept 26-28, Dover VT
ITVFest (the Independent Television and Film Festival) is the premier festival for showcasing, celebrating and distinguishing the world’s best independently produced television shows, web series, multimedia content and short films.

SMPTE/New England Sept 30 “Can you hear me now?” Boston, Wireless Microphone Frequency reallocation…again!
Initiatives and new regulations by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will change the radio frequency landscape...again. A few short years ago the 700 MHz band was reallocated and had to be vacated by wireless mics. Next year the 600 MHz band will be auctioned and thereafter re-purposed, posing even steeper challenges for wireless mic operators. 

MIT Hacking Arts - Oct 4th at The Media Lab in Cambridge, MA
This year's conference brings together great minds in film and entertainment from a Film/TV panel featuring leading filmmakers and film technologists from VHX, PBS/Frontline, and to a Virtual Reality panel featuring companies like Oculus, Framestore and Jaunt.

ILLUMINATION EXPERIENCE TOUR with Shane Hurlbut, ASC in Boston Thursday, Oct 9
The Illumination Experience Tour delivers an intense educational experience about the fundamentals of cinematography. Taught by Shane Hurlbut, A.S.C.—Director of Photography for 18 Hollywood films—this full-day workshop will teach you powerful principles and techniques you can immediately use in your filmmaking projects.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Response: Which iPhone to Get?

In response to my iPhone musings, I got the following reader email which actually sums up a lot of my second and third thoughts too:
You might have a point about the fancier camera, but otherwise I would buy the smaller model. Its screen is about the same size as that of my Nexus 4, and I don't feel at all like it limits me with a too-small screen. But I do sometimes stretch to get my thumb the reach to the other corner of the screen. It is plenty big for a phone.

A phone is a pocket thing. (Well, in my case it lives an ancient REI soft sunglasses case that I have on my belt.) Ubiquitous, handy, convenient, almost always with me. Small is crucial for all of that. Certainly a large screen is cool, but you need a place to put it: don't break a fundamental feature of a pocket phone by getting too big.

That is what your small tablet is for.

I have my phone with me almost always. I have my Nexus 7 tablet with me nearly as much. The bigger screen is great, yet it fits in some pockets (if I don't sit down). The Nexus 7 fits in the purse I take everywhere. When I can settle in for a moment, I don't grab my phone, I reach for my tablet.

You must have an iPad mini, right? It is a great little device, but the phablet-sized iPhone 6 Plus looks like a poor substitute, nor will it fit in your pocket. Seems a bad compromise in both directions.

But: If you are *not* someone who can put your phone in your pocket, hang it on your belt, etc., if you have to carry your phone anyway, then carrying a big phone might make sense. Frequently women don't get to wear such practical clothing as do men and have to carry their phones. In that case, a phablet-sized phone might make perfect sense. Particularly for women with big hands, and those with very long thumbs.

A final consideration: move fast and, for a time, people will oow and ah over your big iPhone 6 Plus. Kind of like bird with cumbersome plumage, it might be worth it for non-functional reasons.

I absolutely agree; a phone is a pocket thing. The thing is, I'm not sure that my iphone is really a phone any more. I haven't used it to "talk" to anyone in a couple of weeks.

And the other thing is; I don't have an iPad Mini. Maybe I should buy a Mini and the regular phone. I'll have to think about that...

The cumbersome plumage analogy also gives me pause, and I worry about the weight of vanity.  I have to make up my mind by tomorrow!!

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Which iPhone 6 to get?

The iPhone 6 (left) and iPhone 6 Plus schematics (right) next to an iPhone 4 (in it's case.) 
Lack of depth doesn't help with comparison!

My iPhone 4 is a bit long in the tooth, and I’d already decided I’d replace it when the new model was released, so today’s announcement was rather perfunctory for me. Except Apple has gone and released two models, one quite a bit larger than the other.

This wasn’t a total surprise as people have been rumoring a larger phone for months now. But there’s a big difference between reading rumors and an actual announced product, and even more so when it comes to sitting down and making a decision about which one to buy.

Which one should I get? I’m not sure. I think I might need to hold them in my hand to be sure. I even went so far as to print out the schematics of the phones to try and get a better idea of just how large they are.

A friend, who recently upgraded from the iPhone 4 to the iPhone 5, was complaining about how much larger the 5 was compared to the 4, and he didn’t like it.

Larger phones are definitely the thing right now, and I can’t say that I don’t think it would be nicer to have a larger screen given the amount of time I spend on my phone. And by “on my phone,” I mean doing non-phone related things like messaging, checking email and playing games. The amount of time I spend talking on the phone is so small that I don’t think I’m worried too much about looking like an idiot holding up huge large phone to my face to make a call.

But this large phone is seriously large; I’m not sure it will fit in many pockets comfortably. That said, I have to admit that a lot of the time I carry my phone in my hands. And I even try and leave it on my desk most of the day, so the amount of time it spends in pockets is pretty minimal.

And winter is coming soon, and the large phone should fit comfortably in my coat pockets.

And the larger phone does offer optical image stabilization over the digital stabilization in the “plain” iPhone 6.

Which means I will – probably – get the iPhone 6 Plus. I guess I have until Friday to decide.

Monday, September 08, 2014

Sony Announcement Tomorrow, AJA CION, Sandisk Sale

It's IBC week, so expect some equipment news this week.

Sony is going to announce a new camera tomorrow. Is it a FS700 replacement, enhancement, or something else? Initial rumors have been about a 4K FS700 II that will be priced about $10,000, but I was curious after seeing the teaser video that seemed to focus on web bloggers. A few very successful web bloggers might spend $10,000 on a camera, but I don't think the vast majority will. They are more likely to be thinking about a7S money. Maybe there's two cameras coming?

I was at the Mass Media Expo on Saturday and saw a presentation on the AJA CION, a $9.000 camera. The camera was supposed to ship this summer, and as they said, summer is over this month. They had no ship date, but the camera is being shown at IBC and it was suggested that there might be an announcement there.

The new Panasonic Varicam starts shipping this month, so there should be news about that too. Panasonic thinks it has a competitor to the ARRI ALEXA, so this isn't in the same price territory.

Lastly, I had a bit of a memory card disaster this weekend, which means I need to replace an old 16GB SD card. Fortunately, Amazon has a SanDisk sale today. 32GB SDHC Class 10 cards are now $14.99! while SanDisk Extreme PRO 240GB SATA 6.0Gb/s 2.5-Inch 7mm Height Solid State Drive (SSD) are $129.99.

Thursday, September 04, 2014

Mass Media Expo 2014

If you're in Boston this Saturday, you might want to check out this event:

Mass Media Expo 2014
Saturday, September 6, 2014 from 11:00 AM to 7:00 PM (EDT)
Boston, MA

Includes panels as well as an industry showcasing the most complete range of 50 film and media companies in Massachusetts; including top creative production & post production companies, suppliers, innovative products & organizations.

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

More 4K News

Just wrote something for Filmmaker Magazine about 4K camera news for Sony and ARRI, and a couple of new things happen.

The Blackmagic Design production Camera 4K is $500 off until September 5. Does that just mean Christmas is early, or is something else going to happen next week?

Panasonic has gone and announced a $3,4999.99 4K camcorder. The HC-X1000 features a 18.47 Megapixel 1/2.3" MOS Sensor, 20x lens, built-in ND, and records in MP4, MOV or AVCHD. It will only record 4K in MP4 format.
It will be interesting to see how the quality of the video holds up.

Friday, July 18, 2014

New Toys, and Cheaper Toys

Some exciting stuff has been announced/released the last couple of months.

Of course, there’s the Sony a7S, which just started shipping and is just an unbelievable low-light, full frame monster of a small camera. It also does 4K, though not too many people are doing 4K with it just yet, what with no inexpensive 4K recording options available. It wouldn’t be my primary camera choice, but if you have the bucks, it’s an intriguing little piece of hardware.
Or you could get the Panasonic GH4, and record 4K internally. You don’t get the low-light capabilities – at all – but you do get quite good 4K internal in a small package.

A lot of people are waiting for the Atomos Shogun ($1,995) to start shipping so they can record 4K from the Sony a7S. But if you don’t have that camera, are on a budget, and would like to record HD in 10-bit 4:2:2 ProRes, you might want to look at the Atomos Ninja Star. This tiny box is only $295. There’s no monitor, but as some have pointed out, it might be worth attaching to your GoPro when you send it up on your DJI Phantom.

Talking of DJI, they announced a brushless gimbal back at NAB, the DJI Ronin, 3-Axis Brushless gimbal stabilizer, and the price has just been announced and it’s pretty amazing; $2,999. If I had the money, I’d probably get one, even though there’s not a lot known about how well it’s software works, and it’s quite a bit heavier than the MoVI. And if it’s too heavy with that RED on it, just put a Blackmagic Pocket Camera on it.

Lower Prices

Meanwhile, there’s been some amazing deals announced the last few days (not forgetting the price for the DJI gimbal.)

Blackmagic Pocket Camera: Blackmagic has slashed the price of the Pocket Camera in half to $495:
With a normal recommended retail price of US$995, this Summer Special represents incredible value and is available for a limited time and will end on the 31st of August 2014. This Summer Special price is subject to limited availability, after which the price will return to the usual recommended retail price of US$995.
Evidently it’s a temporary cut, but I can’t really imagine they’ll put it back up to $1000 once the sale period ends. I’ve heard lots of good things from owners of the Pocket Camera; the image quality and the small size is a plus, and some people actually see advantages in the smaller sensor size of the Pocket for some situations. It’s not for everyone, but at the half the price, it’s even more intriguing…

Sony NEX-FS100: If you really like the shallow depth-of-field look of large sensor cameras, but find DSLRs a bit limiting, the NEX-FS100 might be the camera for you; and they just dropped the price by $1,500. It’s $2,499, and that includes a Metabones EF Lens to Sony NEX adapter. That’s pretty amazing; raising the question; how much longer will the NEX-FS100 be available, and B) is there a 4K replacement coming soon?

The NEX-FS100, when it came out, got a tremendous amount of press for it’s Super 35mm sensor, and a pretty good feature set given it’s price. It lacks built-in ND filters, and the picture isn’t as good as the (much more expensive) Canon C300 and C100; I know several people who bought the FS100 but then ‘graduated’ on to other cameras like the C300. The C300 has come down in price, but it’s still $11,999, and even the C100 is $5,499. They are really nice cameras, but too expensive for my budget.

Both of these price drops are quite significant. Is this just normal business, an indication of new models to come, or a sign that 4K is hitting the sales of HD cameras heavier than expected?

Monday, June 02, 2014


There will be intermittent reports for the next couple of weeks as I am currently in New Zealand on vacation. Or something like that.

If you didn't know they shot "The Lord of the Rings" or "The Hobbit" in New Zealand before you got here, it's hard to miss the fact once you arrive - particularly in Wellington. The airport has a sign on the front of it: Middle of Middle Earth. At one point they were planning to put up a sign Wollywood, in the style of the Hollywood sign, but they ended up not doing it. I'm not sure if I'm happy about that or not.

We went up in the bush and saw signs for Rivendell, and yes, it's the location of the shooting for Rivendell in the film, not a real place called Rivendell.

One other interesting thing about Wellington; they have these Wine Trail signs. The only problem; they don't actually seem to have any wineries in Wellington. Not that I've found, anyway.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Vimeo does Copyright and Other News

Vimeo Adds Copyright Protection | Anticipate Media
I was not surprised that Vimeo has announced a new copyright protection system. It's a necessary thing, really. I was however surprised that it will flag even private videos. These videos often contain temp music that will never be made public until purchased.

Staff Blog / Copyright Match on Vimeo | Vimeo
Keep in mind that Vimeo can’t tell you for sure whether your work would qualify as fair use. You must make that determination for yourself and at your own risk. However, we will do our best to help you understand the four factors, and if you can present a strong case for fair use protection, you’ll be better protected from claims of copyright infringement and have a stronger case for appeal.

Review and Approval options for Video Pros | Pro Video Coalition
If you search for the word “private” in the comments of that Vimeo blog post you’ll see many, many complaints from creators and editors that clients won’t be able to give feedback on cuts and music choices. And they are not happy. This is because many creators use Vimeo private links as a review and approval service for clients to look, give feedback on and approve cuts. It is drop dead easy to upload to private Vimeo links and it’s included in the price of a pro Vimeo account.

Other News

Canon USA Announces EOS C300 Autofocus Upgrade Availability | Canon Rumors
The upgrade provides a new Continuous AF (Autofocus) Function for all Canon EF autofocus Lenses, using Dual Pixel CMOS AF technology. A new AF Lock setting also lets you change the image framing while holding the desired focus. These critical focusing capabilities are designed to help reduce out of focus video while providing for smooth focus transitions and assist users when operating with small crews.

Are Filmmakers Using Drones Illegally? Looks Like It | All Tech Considered
This drone-for-hire operation is illegal according to federal regulators, who say that with very few exceptions, drones cannot be used for business until guidelines are in place for air safety and privacy. The FAA even issues a myth-buster fact sheet to debunk any misconceptions.

Check Out the New Zoom H5 Handy Audio Recorder | FStoppers
With many features you will find on the flagship H6 microphone but for more than $100 less, the H5 employs a system of interchangeable input capsules, allowing the best microphone to be used for every recording situation

The Ultimate POV Shootout | Creative Cow
In this review, I'm going to tackle all of the "name-brand" cameras available out there. This article will not provide the answer to "which camera should I buy?" The range of criteria is so broad that the question is beyond the scope of a single review. This review will provide information about which action-camera is best suited for specific criteria and provide information that may help you make informed purchasing decisions.

Creating and Importing LUTs for the Sony F5/F55 | AbelCine
In the video above, I show how to create both 1D and 3D LUTs in Sony’s Raw Viewer software and then import them into the camera. It’s a tricky process, so make sure to follow all the steps. In addition, many people like to work in DaVinci Resolve, so in the video below I show how you can create LUTs in Resolve and edit them to work properly in the F5/F55.

Quickly Swap Lens Mounts on Your Canon Cinema Zooms | AbelCine
Once the UMS Conversion Kit is installed by one of our factory certified lens technicians, the user can easily switch between various lens mounts in the field. Our lens technicians replace the factory EF or PL mount with our UMS Conversion Kit, which allows users to quickly swap between PL (included with the UMS Conversion Kit) and the IB/E Universal Mount System Mounts (available in Canon EF, Nikon F, Sony E, Sony FZ, and MFT mounts).

Sony UWP-D Wireless | B & H Photo
Rives highlights the key features of the systems, including the multiple battery and charging options, digital companding circuitry for improved transient response, pilot tone squelch suppression, channel synchronization, camera mounting options, interchangeable microphone capsule options, and backwards compatibility with UWP-V wireless systems.

First test in Central Park w/BMPC4k from somnang vann on Vimeo.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

The News

Cannes Panel: Studios Fight Piracy While Indies Embrace Digital Future | IndieWire
Ruth Vitale, executive director of the film industry's non-profit CreativeFuture initiative, sounded the anti-piracy gong, continuing to sing the plaint of content creators that piracy costs money for filmmakers. Elevated Sales' Cassian Elwes ("Margin Call," "Dallas Buyers Club") agreed with her, as did Fox's own anti-piracy czar, Elizabeth Valentina (VP of content protection litigation).

GoPro files for an IPO to grow its media empire | Engadget
Things are finally getting officially official, though: the company just filed its S-1 with the Securities and Exchange Commission, so you can expect to see the ticker symbol GPRO on NASDAQ in due course. There's no shortage of financial types digging through the document as we type (bits to note: the company managed to turn a pretty profit last year, and it shipped a net total of nearly 4 million cameras in 2013), but the story is clear -- GoPro is a big deal, and it's going to get even bigger.

A loner of French cinema; he is an onlooker, at one with his thoughts and with an inner commentary that spills onto the movie screen with vigour and passion. At 83 he is still very much into his craft, and his skill as an editor, though very much of the old school, still has the capacity to impress with jump cuts and graphics that leave you scratching your head and working hard to understand the reasons. But that’s the point: Godard likes his audience to work hard...

How to make good TV for the web, according to Amazon | Fortune
So it's a good time to be a creative in television?Absolutely. There's great demand for high-quality work. And for original, distinctive ideas. The kind of idea that would have been super-challenging 10 years ago is now perhaps merely challenging to get going. Anything is challenging, but there's an appetite.

Mixing Mediums: On the Differences in Directing Shorts, Features and TV | MovieMaker
What’s the difference between making a short film versus a feature film versus an episode of television? For David Greenspan – director of the Palme d’Or-winning short “Beancake,” the upcoming feature 51-50 Mall Cop, and 53 episodes of Grey’s Anatomy – the two biggest differences are time and creative control.

In Their Own Words | HD Video Pro
Ask cinematographers about their favorite "go-to" lighting tools and, as might be expected, you get a pretty diverse range of opinions and answers. What's more surprising is that while technical advances and the digital revolution have had a huge impact on the lighting world, spawning the increasingly popular ultra-versatile and ultra-portable LEDS, many DPs will still often rely on basics when it comes down to the aesthetics of capturing an image.

Xavier Dolan’s Mommy Was Shot In a New Aspect Ratio | Filmmaker Magazine
As far as I know, this is a first: Québecois auteur Xavier Dolan’s fifth feature Mommy premiered at Cannes today, and word has trickled out from first viewers that it’s shot in a ratio that’s new to the movies. 1.1 is a perfect square: think a CD cover photo.

Panasonic and Local Resellers to Showcase Pro Video Solutions in ‘See What You Missed at NAB’ Tour | Pro Video Coalition
Panasonic System Communications Company of North America, along with its Authorized Reseller Partners, will host a cross-country “See What You Missed at NAB” Tour in May and June. 

Phedon Papamichael ASC, GSC: A Life Behind The Lens | Vimeo
In this Cinematography Profile, Oscar-nominated Cinematographer Phedon Papamichael, ASC, GSC, talks about the early years, his first films, his shooting style, his collaboration with Alexander Payne, George Clooney & James Mangold, his music videos with U2, his colleagues, and more

Phedon Papamichael ASC, GSC: A Life Behind The Lens from Alexandros Maragos on Vimeo.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

The News

Craig Newman is trying to decide between the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera and the Pansonic GH4:
The battle of the compact cameras: Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera vs Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4 | Entendre
In this year’s equipment budget, after all the other necessary upgrades / purchases, there is enough to get one of these two cameras. I have been switching between the two on a daily basis and… I really don’t know.
If I needed a production camera, the Panasonic would win hands down, but that’s not my need.

Are Passion Projects a Waste?: 6 Filmmakers’ Perspectives | The Music Bed
A recurring topic in our conversations with independent filmmakers is how personal/passion projects have either launched, sustained, or saved their careers. For some people, like Hunter Hampton, personal projects have kept them from jumping off a creative cliff. For others, like Khalid Mohtaseb, passion projects have become a surprisingly effective marketing strategy.

Free Forms and Legal Resources for Filmmakers & Video Pros | PremiumBeats
Chase Jarvis has a detailed post on why you need location permits for photo and video shoots. He shares his personal experience in location scouting for a Lululemon shoot. He also explains that most businesses and towns actually want productions to come to their locations because it is free marketing. So be patient!

Top Ten Screenplay Essentials | The Script Lab
2. Outline Before WritingKnow at least how the story ends, begins, as well as the screenplay’s five major plot points before writing the script.

Dissecting the recent Adobe Creative Cloud outage | Pro Video Coalition
If you were signed in and working then the outage Adobe suffered most likely didn’t cause any issues. It was those who had to log into the Creative Cloud for any reason, be it accessing files, downloading any apps or reauthorizing a computer that saw problems. You can run the Creative Cloud apps on as many machines as you want but you have to log out of one and log in on another when moving from say one desktop machine to another desktop machine.

RØDE’s PinMic takes lavalier microphones to a new esthetic level | Pro Video Coalition
PinMic, the least obtrusive body mic I’ve ever seen, short of hiding a conventional lav inside clothing. With the PinMic, absolutely all components and cabling stay inside the clothes, except the microphone element itself, which connects to the rest via three tiny pins, which perforate the shirt or dress non-destructively.

10 Unconventional Steps to Get Your Indie Film Out in the World | IndieWire
When producer falls in love with that script and hires a casting director, thank your lucky stars that you're going to shoot a real feature! Meet a lot of talented up-and-coming actors for coffee. Hire a few and reject others. Even the ones you reject will go onto great success (e.g. Jason Siegel, Johnny Galecki). 

Avid ships their new Media Composer with new licensing options | Pro Video Coalition
Obviously the biggest news is the different pricing options that includes both subscription (“rent it”), perpetual (“own it”) and floating (“lease it”) options in the mix. I didn’t come up with those terms, that’s in the What’s New blog post. Flexibility is good but what has to be noted is that with the perpetual “own it” license you have to buy an Avid Support plan at $299 per year in order to get any updates.

Aerial drone photography near the arctic circle | SkyPixel
I returned a few days ago from 10 incredible days of flying a DJI Phantom 2 quadcopter in Iceland. Iceland’s natural beauty is nearly unparalleled, and I felt fortunate to be able to wander around the country with a camera that could be moved both horizontally and vertically in space. Iceland’s latitude is 66ºN, which means that it just brushes up against the boundary of the arctic circle. It is a challenging place to fly because of a few key issues. 

Coloring expert Patrick Inhofer offers a color grading course:
NEW! The Color Correction Home Study : Is it for you? | Tao Of Color
If you’re serious about learning color grading – would you turn down an opportunity to sit next to a professional colorist for a few days? Especially if he was offering you to take home the same film he was working on for you to explore on your own?That’s what this Home Study offers you.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

The News

B & H PhotoVideo is offering a free webcast on the Panasonic GH4 next week:
Panasonic GH4 Live Webcast Discussion: Professional 4K in the Palm of Your Hand | B & H
Tuesday, May 27, 2014 | 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Live from the B&H Studio in New York, B&H hosts a panel discussion with special guests Eduardo Angel, David Flores, and Mathew Frazer who will explore and discuss the new 4K Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4.

Dan Chung of News Shooter offers thoughts on the Panasonic GH4 vs the Sony NEX-FS100 (the latter is,as he notes, an HD camcorder.)

The job at hand is to edit a 60 minute documentary, colour correct the footage, perform a sound mix, add music and insert some motion graphics. At first glance things look relatively straight forward. In essence we are looking at a Road Movie, the car (first generation VW Beetle) has to get from Quitto in Ecuador too Ushuaia in Argentina. Every thing more or less happens in a linear fashion, Kilometre for Kilometre and country for country. The disclaimer here is that because the project is going on 5 years old, many of the tried and tested work flows will break!

FCP X: Move Projects To Audition | Larry Jordan
I’m of two minds about audio editing inside Final Cut Pro X. I like its ability to place and edit audio. But it comes up short when I need to clean-up poor audio or do some complex mixing. For this reason, I use Final Cut to mix audio for simple projects, but Adobe Audition when I need to get serious about my audio. (I don’t use ProTools because I’ve had such poor luck using iLoks.)

Final Cut Pro X Slowdown | LACPUG
Here is a list of some causes I have found and that have been reported by others. In some cases, a problem in the Mac OS or Final Cut Pro X itself could be the issue. If that's the case, we'll have to wait for a fix from Apple.

To this day, one of the most common questions that I get asked by beginner videographers & DPs that are new to the DSLR world is - ‘What is ISO’? I get that question so much that I wanted to answer it in this article once and for all, helping to explain the basic fundamentals of ISO to those that are just starting out.

PD Movie Remote Air Two | ikan
The PD Movie Remote Air Two wireless follow focus system is a complete solution that brings reliable performance to the most involved shooting situations.Designed for cine style lenses, this dual channel system allows you to precisely control both focus and iris/ zoom with a single unit. The durable aluminum unibody hand unit is lightweight, and features an OLED display with channel and connection strength read outs. With 20 channels to choose from, the unit maintains peak performance without interference up to 300 feet away.
This wireless follow-focus is $2,499 and available for pre-order. There's a video on Facebook.

Why That Video Went Viral | New York Times
In a study led by Rosanna Guadagno, a social psychologist at the University of Texas at Dallas, 256 participants much preferred to forward a funny video than one of a man treating his own spider bite. But they were likely to share any video that evoked an intense emotional response, Dr. Guadagno found.

FAA seeks to unleash small 'low-risk' drones for films and farms by November | Engadget
The overlord of all things that fly even wants to dole out permits quickly and aims to greenlight commercial flights (of machines that pose no security risk and weigh less than 55 pounds) as soon as November. According to Bloomberg, the agency has already started taking requests from various companies, though the FAA's unmanned aerial vehicle crew are still discussing how they can expedite approval requests.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

GH4 news and other things

Chicago Art & Architecture | Breaking in the Panasonic GH4 from H. Paul Moon on Vimeo.

Paul Moon has posted the above test of the Panasonic GH4:
Challenges that I posed this time around included rolling shutter, which you'll see in those lateral shots from the L train; pointing at the sun for black holes or blooming sensor; playing with depth of field for focus isolation; and aliased patterns which barely appear because there is no de-bayering from the sensor in UHD mode. Highlight protection and color depth is fair but not great: the GH4 still can't beat the Blackmagic Cinema Cameras that have more dynamic range, and record internally to 10-bit 4:2:2 at a much higher bitrate.

The ultimate explorer's camera? A review of the Panasonic GH4 | Story & Heart Blog
Regarding resolution, the Panasonic GH4 performs exceptionally. The footage, frankly, looks beautiful.Having 4k internally means that when you’re stuck—physically, by a barrier or a body of water, say, as is the case in filming on the Oregon coast—you still have options in post for cropping.

Shooting 4K for 2K on the Panasonic GH4 plus my pre-review short film | EOSHD
The video above was shot with the Nikon 55mm F1.2, Leica R 28mm F2.8 and Panasonic 14-50mm F2.8 OIS from the old days of Big Four Thirds. If you need stabilisation that lens is well worth a look. It does slow down by half a stop at the long end to F3.5 but it’s a great piece of glass which has character.

Tutorial: how to recover GH4 superwhite data in Premiere Pro | Vimeo
This Premiere Pro tutorial shows you how to recover clipped highlights when shot in 16-255 mode on the GH4.This only addresses highlights that were not clipped on the sensor itself but by the YUV to RGB conversion.This methods also works for any other camera that uses superwhites, and there's a lot of them out there...

Other News

Canon Collaborations: The Crew of VICE on HBO and their Go-To Gear | Vimeo
Find out why Jake and Jerry turn to the Canon EOS C300, XF105, XF305, and 5D Mark III to get the job done and learn how they configure their cameras while shooting in hostile environments. Then, check out their work by watching VICE on HBO, Fridays at 11PM.

I wanted the viewer to be immersed by what was going on and to be focused on the attention to detail and the beauty of what he was doing. For something like this to work you have to think about the style in which you want to shoot and also the best way to convey what you want the audience to see. I utilized almost entirely high speed frame rates for this piece. I didn’t do this just because I thought it would be cool to shoot high speed, but to help tell the story.

Matt Allard reviews Sony's new UWP series mics. They look pretty good, but I'm still wary of spending money on new mics at the moment:
I’ve been using a couple of UWP-D systems for a few weeks now and have been quite impressed. I’m not going to go over the technical stuff again today, but instead am going to look at how these new units handle and their build quality.

'3-D is a marketing gimmick' - Irish Cinematographer for Godzilla | NewsTalk
McGarvey says there have been one or two cases – such as Martin Scorsese’s Hugo and the award-winning Gravity – where it has contributed some visual depth but generally the cinema would be better off without 3-D.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

4K through the Mac Pro HDMI port with 10.9.3

Paul Antico sent in this report on his experience with the 10.9.3 update:

I just downloaded 10.9.3 and tested it on my 8 core late 2013 "new" Mac Pro D700s and my 5" late 2013 15" Retina Macbook Pro.

I have a 40" Seiki 4K display hooked up to the Mac Pro HDMI port.

You can now do "retina" on the 4K panel (HIDPI scaling) and it works ok in most situations. This means photos/video/visual content etc. are shown at native 4K resolution on a big 4K monitor or HDMI 4K/UHD TV, but the screen elements and UI remain at a normal size - say what you see on an iMac at 2560x1440 - but much sharper.

It's quite nice, and how the Retina Macbook Pros work. It's not a straight 2x scaling (it actually scales to 5120x2880 and scales down to UHD resolution, but from a slight distance it looks as good as the Retina screen does on my Macbook Pro.)

FCPX on those mentioned computers supports broadcast monitoring (HD, and 4K) via HDMI right out of the computer - in "A/V Output" mode the HDMI panel will show up if turned on. It won't however work with Final Cut Pro X to monitor in 4K UNLESS you turn the HiDPI "retina" scaling off first. That's easy enough to do and is a quick click of a button in display preferences. In fact FCPX won't show any video out on the panel in A/V Output unless the monitor is shown at its native resolution.

This is a little annoying, but not a huge deal. (I mostly monitor 1080P, so I use an AJA T-Tap for that.) That way I keep the 4K set at scaled to "retina" for general computing and using FCPX monitor 1080 off the AJA box on a different HDMI input. That way I can have the best of both worlds... a retina computer screen for watching 4K videos, retina websites, etc, and monitoring in 1080 with FCPX. But if I want to monitor 4K while editing, I have to switch the panel back to native resolution... which looks great in FCPX but makes anything else look tiny. Same goes if I want to use A/V output with any resolution if I didn't have a T-Tap; the 4K panel must not be set to scaling in OSX.

I thought that might be useful info; especially for those who might not even realize they could playout at 4K 24/30 out of HDMI on a 3rd screen while editing in FCPX with two other screens on a late 2013 Mac Pro or 15" Retina Macbook Pro.

On Premiere Pro CC you need a 4K playout box for unadulterated broadcast monitoring, OR you can simply move your viewer window up there. It will play in 4K in either scaled or native panel resolution. But that will be your program window, not a separate broadcast style monitoring with no UI elements. You can still use 3 screens in "retina" mode by splitting up the windows between the three screen with the 4K panel being HIDPI/Retina.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Adobe Cloud is down for a day and Other News

First, the good news:

Creative Cloud login offline for almost 24 hours (and counting) | Digital Photography Review
A serious outage has taken login functionality offline for almost 24 hours, leaving subscribers to Adobe's Creative Cloud unable to access their accounts or do much of anything else - including downloading new apps. As yet, Adobe has been unable to offer any indication of how long the outage will last, but a message on the CC homepage states that the company has 'identified the cause [and is] working to restore the service as quickly as possible'.
Adobe did offer this stop-gap solution:
Creative Cloud Help / Creative Cloud Service Outage | Adobe

Other News

Stu Maschwitz decides to return his Panasonic GH4

Shane Hurlbut, ASC, on Why the Canon C500 Is His Go-to Camera | Studio Daily
Canon is trying to create one frame, 24 times. Everyone else is trying to create 24fps [footage]. It's a completely different methodology. I have gravitated toward the Canon platform more than any other camera system. It emulates film exactly how I know it and how it lives and breathes in my soul.

3 Composition Rules You Have Probably Never Heard of Before | Light Stalking
1. Rule of IsolationComposition has many objectives. One of its major objectives is to highlight a subject – to make your main element stand out. There are different ways to do this. One of the ways to emphasize a subject is by means of isolation. In psychology, isolation means having no contact with other people.

NAB 2014 – ON THE COUCH – ep 6 – Zacuto, Rodney Charters, ASC & Bruce Logan, ASC | Cinema5D
This is a very special (sixth) 50 minute episode of ON THE COUCH, in which we had the pleasure of hosting my friend Rodney Charters, ASC, best known for his work as director of photography on “24″, “Shameless” and now the new “Dallas”, Bruce Logan, ASC, best known for his work on the original TRON, the original Star Wars films and Batman Forever, as well as the owners of Zacuto, Steve Weiss and Jens Bogehegn – both of them shooters with decades-long experience in production themselves!

Logic Pro X 10.0.7: Release notes | Apple
Apple release an update to Logic Pro with a lot of new features - and a lot of bug fixes too!
Logic no longer sometimes quits unexpectedly when:
Using the Option key to toggle all the disclosure triangles in the Project Audio window.
Dragging audio from the Project Audio window to the Tracks area.
Defining custom bank messages for a Multi Instrument in the Environment.
You insert a blank recordable DVD while Logic is running.

Viggo Mortensen Throws Shade On Peter Jackson; Says ‘Lord Of The Rings’ & ‘Hobbit’ Films Sacrificed Subtlety To CGI | IndieWire
Turns out Mortensen likes “The Fellowship of the Ring” largely because it was shot in one go. “It was very confusing, we were going at such a pace, and they had so many units shooting, it was really insane. But it’s true that the first script was better organized,” he said. “Also, Peter was always a geek in terms of technology but, once he had the means to do it, and the evolution of the technology really took off, he never looked back.”

Thursday, May 15, 2014

More on lenses

In response to yesterday's comments about the new Canon 16-35mm f/4 lens, reader Paul Antico writes:

I read your lens article. I have like 8 or 9 lenses ranging from cheap (but excellent) rokinons to the canon f2.8 70-200 is II which cost like $2400.

What lens do I use for video most constantly on my video cameras? The 24-105 f4L IS.  For video usually f4 or F 5.6 is where I want to be for most shots anyway to ease focus and allow a bit of depth. The lens looks nice, is relatively rugged, and has decent IS. It's a great all around stills lens too. And the c300/100 and my 5D3 have more than enough low light ability to compensate for the stop difference over 2.8.

Only on set up shots or interviews do I really use anything else actually. For quick setups and being mobile or running around, it wins every single time for quality and a great selection of useful focal lengths. (I use the 17-55 IS on the c100 too but it's a horrible lens body with nice glass inside).

Paul also passed along this notice from Canon, adding that's he's never seen his camera display the wrong f/stop.

Canon Firmware Update - Cinema EOS C300/C300PL

This service notification e-mail contains important information about your Cinema EOS C300/C300 PL camera. Please note that product service announcement e-mails contain advisory or informational content that may be critical to the proper operation of your product, including safety, update, and instructional messages. Please carefully review the information in this e-mail as it relates to your Canon product.

Thank you for using Canon products.

Firmware Version incorporates the following improvements and fixes.

For EOS C300
  1. Compatibility with the Canon RC-V100 Remote Controller (expected to be available in June 2014) has been added.
  2. Peripheral illumination correction data has been added for the [CN-E35mm T1.5 L F] EF Cinema lens and the [EF-S55-250mm f4-5.6 IS STM] EF lens.
  3. Fixes a phenomenon in which the EF Cinema lens F number was incorrectly displayed with Firmware Version 
For EOS C300 PL
  1. Compatibility with the Canon RC-V100 Remote Controller (expected to be available in June 2014) has been added.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

I love my lens, and that lens sucks...

Canon today announced a couple of lenses; an EF 16-35mm f4 IS lens ($1,199), and an EF-S 10-18mm f4.5-5.6 ($299). Interestingly, the announcement of the 16-35mm f4 lens seemed to have prompted a rather ho-hum reaction; some saying they'd stick with the EF 16-35mm f2.8, while others suggesting that the Sigma 18-35 f/1.8 is a better deal.

As someone who likes wide-angle lenses, owns the EF 16-35mm f/2.8, and has used the Sigma 18-35, I thought I'd weigh in on this new lens too!

Firstly, like Stu Maschwitz, I think I'm going to stick with my f2.8. lens. It's a nice solid lens. The Sigma lens is nice too, but it's not quite as wide, it doesn't work on full frame cameras, and I didn't find that extra 1 1/3 stops a must-have feature when I was using it.

The new Canon f/4 16-35mm lens includes IS, which is useful if you're moving the camera around, but other than that, this lens doesn't really stand out when compared to the other two.

What it comes down to is that, even though these three lenses seem very similar, they are three very different lenses that just crowd into a space and make the buying decision more complicated!

  • The Canon f/4 ($1,199) has IS. According to the specs, it's only marginally lighter in weight than the f/2.8 lens, but it does have a 77mm filter thread, while the f/2.8 is a staggering 82mm. If you're shooting mobile, this is probably the lens to get of the three, though the EF 24-105mm f/4 might actually be more useful.
  • The Canon f/2.8 ($1,699, there's currently a $200 rebate available) is faster that the f/4, but there's on IS. Do you want f/2.8, or do you want IS? That's really the question.
  • The Sigma ($899) is faster, but there's no IS, it doesn't support full-frame cameras, and it's not as wide. It's at least $300 cheaper than the other two, which might be enough for many to make a decision. It's also received a lot of rave reviews; and it has a 72mm filter thread. Interestingly, according to the specs, it's quite a bit heavier than the Canons, though I didn't really notice that when I had it. I would have guessed it was about the same as the Canon f/2.8, but I was only going by feel and the Canon is just a bigger 'feeling' lens due to it's diameter.

To be honest, I don't know which lens I'd buy if I didn't already have the f/2.8 lens. Each lens has it's own strengths and weaknesses. I guess I'm happy with the f/2.8, and the other two don't attract me enough to switch (and I can't justify having two of these.)

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Quick Links

Jay Leno was the commencement speaker at Emerson College this year, and he offered some surprisingly good tips for those interested in going into show business. It starts at 9:25
Comedy lights up 134th Commencement | Emerson College
The Andover, Massachusetts, native then gave graduates his “20 rules of show business in no particular order.” Those rules included: Never go on stage mad because “anger robs creativity”; when you get too comfortable, move on, saying, “you should always try to find the toughest audience”; and to not have a relationship with a partner who “doesn’t get it,” saying, “you need a soulmate, not a cellmate.”

Product Review: Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera | Photo District News
In my testing, I found the ProRes movie files to be almost on par with the RAW footage I shot, but they took less work in DaVinci Resolve. Let’s face it though: If you buy this camera, you’ll probably want to shoot the 12-bit RAW video and while it takes some time to process these huge files to get the right color, it’s worth it.

Memories from the making of the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey
"Why are we paying this guy so much money?" Ivor Powell shares his memories of '2001' and beyond | 2001Italia
I can confirm that the story is true: I worked on 2001 for nearly three years and although uncredited, apart from Ray Lovejoy (deceased Editor of the movie) I was one of the longest crew employees on the movie. I started off working as a publicity assistant, assigned to working within the Art Department - helping obtain tie-ins with all kinds of companies and then ended up working directly for SK as a kind of junior special effects production co-ordinator.

10 Tips and Tricks on Directing Motion from Pulitzer-Prize Winning Photographer and Director Vincent Laforet | IndieWire
4. Pay particular attention to the action in front of your camera and how you block your actors and if you have them, your extras.  If not, use your crew (if they are into it) to wipe the frame and create background action; it renders a much richer frame.

10 tips for editing video | TED Blog
The TED Talk editing toolkit is small when compared to ones used to cut a narrative feature or documentary. And that’s why it’s a good place to start as an introduction to the art of editing. We use continuity editing to maintain a consistent feeling of space and time over the duration of the talk. But overall, we strive to keep our edits invisible.

Clips on using Final Cut Pro X. Perhaps the most interesting is the one on DaVinci Resolve Round tripping 4K footage:
Understanding How FCPX Works – Workflow Round Up | Jonny Elwyn
When it comes to FCPX, seemingly more than anyone else on the internet, Sam Mestman is the most passionate advocate for professional creative workflows involving the power of FCPX at their core. He’s written about why he’s starting his new company FCPXWORKS over on

You can watch the 10 tips for on-set safety for free:
Ten tips for set safety |
Host Anthony Q. Artis covers shooting techniques for particular video challenges like portraits, tools to help you control light and judge exposure, and advice for the traveling videographer, such as putting together a great lens kit or packing a truck.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Quick Links

Check out the First Indie Short Film Shot on the 4K Panasonic GH4 | No Film School
Aside from being truly funny, the film does a great job of giving an entertaining overview of Panasonic’s new camera. Really, Le Cas GH4 is one part indie short, one part GH4 camera test, and one part pseudo GH4/5D Mark III shootout.

Editing Interview Footage – Tips and Techniques | Learning DSLR
I got to watch Chris Fenwick who has been an editor for many years to cut one of my videos while we were at NAB2014. Warning this is a long video, but I think you will learn a lot like I did.

Starting from Friday afternoon at 4 p.m., we see the production unfold through the lens of the Adobe Premiere editing software interface, revealing a constant state of video flux until dress rehearsal, airtime, and the export of the post-production version. Apparently, sometimes the process is daunting enough that it requires extra work in between the latter two.

The IBELUX 40mm f/0.85 was originally announced at the end of 2013, but this is the first time we’ve seen it in the flesh. This super fast lens is designed for compact system cameras, such as the Sony NEX, Panasonic GH and Fujifilm X ranges, and comes in most corresponding lens mounts (Micro FourThirds, Fujifilm X and Sony E-mount). It is not full frame, so will not cover the larger sensor of the Sony a7 however (you can of course switch to crop mode).

Shooting Abroad: Confessions from a Monolingual Filmmaker | Preston Kanak | Philip Bloom
Going into the project, I didn’t completely understand the role of a fixer but still coordinated to have one with us on the shoot as I knew there would be valuable to have one, especially with us not speaking Spanish. I have’t had the opportunity to travel much outside of North America so haven’t been on a project that I thought I needed one for. However, after this project, I will rarely travel without one.

Tutorial Shows You How to Convert Manual Still Lenses Into Cine Glass | PetaPixel
As shown in the video above, Pike takes three manual Olympus OM lenses — a 35–70mm f/4, a 75–150mm f/4 and a 50mm f/1.8 — and shares five steps that functionally change all of the lenses so that they’re as close to cine glass as you’re going to get at the price.

Oh gosh! Hasselblad in trouble? | SonyAlphaRumors
I really don’t know if the rumors are true but Photorumors claims to have “heard” that “Ventizz will pull the plug on Hasselblad very soon“. Ventizz Capital owns Hasselblad since 2011. A couple of months ago I reported that Hasselblad CEO Dr. Larry Hansen had been removed (article here). So probably something strange is going on…

Distributing the Cause of Dam Removal: Patagonia’s Push for DamNation | Filmmaker Magazine
Newman is the film’s marketing and distribution consultant, and along with the company and other partners he’s implementing an innovative campaign employing Patagonia’s customer base, collapsed release windows, partnerships with affinity groups and the old-fashioned hustling of DVDs.

GH4 lomo anamorphic 4K from Ryan Glover on Vimeo.

Friday, May 09, 2014

Quick Links

Creating Moonshine Kingdom: An Interview with Milton Horowitz and Ryan Forte | Filmmaker Magazine
Mooshine Kingdom director Milton Horowitz says that, like a lot of Americans, he grew up watching too much television. This eventually led to film school at Cleveland State University, where he met cinematographer Ryan Forte. “Ryan’s younger than me,” says Horowitz. “He’s 21, I’m 32, and even though we’re 11 years apart we still love the same types of films and the same movie techniques.”

4 years of film school in 12 hours: Vincent Laforet's Directing Motion Tour (and a chance to win a free ticket). | Story & Heart Blog
Throughout the workshop, Vincent stresses the importance of communication. It’s a benefit to both the people in your crew as well as to the talent and those who support the shoot from a distance—via budget, schedule, post-production, etc.—that a director or filmmaker’s vision is precise and accessible.

The Quiet Season – A First Timer’s Filmmaking Experience with Magic Lantern RAW | Planet5D
I’ll start out by saying my experience using Magic Lantern on the Canon 5D Mark II was fast, moderately simple (with a complex workflow), and delivered more for my budget than anything else in existence right now. You can read about my workflow near the end of the article.

Stanley Kubrick’s VFX Master Would Like to Introduce You to the Technology that Will Revolutionize Cinema | IndieWire
"UFOTOG" a 10-minute short, might be described as state-of-the-art-to-be: Shot in 3D, at 4K, and at 120 frames per second – or about five times the frame rate of the conventional 35mm motion picture – it also portends a revolution in the economics of filmmaking: Trumbull's process involves a skeleton crew, green screen, a "zero-G" camera crane that move with the touch of a finger and virtual backgrounds that are imposed in real time.

Upcoming Events

May 13 | New Orleans | DCS Event: Sony 4K End-to-End Demo in New Orleans May 13th | Digital Cinema Society
The Digital Cinema Society comes to New Orleans for our first ever area event on May 13th to Shoot, Color Correct and Project Sony 4K at VER Digital Cinema

May 22 | Boston | Adobe Video Pro Apps Post NAB with Dave Helmly, Kanen Flowers | BOSCPUG
DAVE HELMLY of Adobe“Revealing the Next Wave of Innovation in Video Pro Apps”KANEN FLOWERS of“From Script to Screen on 18:20 and HERO PUNK”


29 Miles: GH4 4K 25p in car test shots from Philip Bloom Reviews & Tutorials on Vimeo.
A few test shots of my just received GH4 in 4K 25p in Cinelike D with sharpness at -5 and contrast at -5 with soft contrast in additional settings. Recorded internally.

BMPCC Heli test from David Aldrich on Vimeo.

Thursday, May 08, 2014

The News

Do you think you can cut GH4 footage with other cameras like the Canon C300/C100?I think they will cut together just fine. I don’t think it will be a problem because it has such a flat setting. People think you can’t match stuff in post, but even the 5D with it’s vastly different look can be matched pretty close.

GH4 audio menu is getting better, but lacks the options of a broadcast camera. For example to split Ch1 to top mic and Ch2 to external. I remember a disaster with my 5D mkII when the cable was ripped from the camera in a scrum. The jack was left in the socket and no sound was recorded at all! Thankfully the GH4 has a headphone socket for audio monitoring so this shouldn’t happen now.

Product Review: Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera | PDN
But there are a lot of trade-offs to this remarkable little camera, including a few operational quirks that make it harder to use than you’d expect. There’s also a steep learning curve for the DaVinci Resolve software, which you’ll need to process and color grade your RAW video footage to get it up to snuff.

This is cool, though I'm surprised Andrew at EOSHD would make a fuss about someone using a T2i - after all, he's pretty much been saying that Canon hasn't really improved the video performance of their DSLRs since then!
Kendy Ty and the T2i – one guy doing amazing things with a 5 year old DSLR | EOSHD
Kendy Ty shoots with a Canon 550D / T2i and Sigma 30mm F1.4 (old version). The results are staggering considering the ‘low-fi’ performance of the gear. If ever there was a spur to get out and shoot something, this is it…

With Transcendence, Jess Hall, BSC, envisions a contemporary sci-fi tale for first-time director Wally Pfister, ASC. | TheASC
From the beginning, Pfister intended to shoot 35mm anamorphic and finish with photochemical color timing. “As we’ve become more reliant on technology, I think we’ve lost sight of the fact that some technology can overcomplicate things and can cost a lot more, and that’s my analogy with digital vs. film,” says Pfister.

So You Want to Get Into the Film Industry? Great Ways to Get Started | Huffington Post
When push comes to shove, though, it's not easy to gain access to experiences that realistically help young people know what the film and television world is all about, let alone gain requisite skills. And in order to get accepted into one of the undergraduate cinematic arts programs, you need to have God-given talent and some (if not a lot) of experience.

Digital SLR Video Tip: Shooting in Log | Adorama
AdoramaTV presents DSLR Video Skills with Rich Harrington. In this episode, Rich shows you how to capture log footage using the new Blackmagic Design Production 4K Camera.

Shooting with an Anamorphic Lens on an Ordinary DSLR | PetaPixel
All I’m doing is mounting a 1.9X squeeze anamorphic lens in front of my normal camera lens to create the beautifully wide and shallow image. You can find anamorphic lenses that don’t have that much of a squeeze. The range varies a lot and here you can find a 1.3X or 1.5X, but I prefer the 1.9X squeeze because it creates a more cinematic and narrow aspect ratio.

Whether it's the HERO3+ Black Edition and it's 4K video capabilities, or the earliest GoPro models that have humble beginnings and shot on 35mm film, from the moment this miniature camera manufacturer came on the scene in 2004, the way life has been captured will never be the same.

Love 'em or hate 'em, the popularity of social issue films is showing no signs of slowing down. Personally, I’m not a huge of fan of the genre itself. Don’t get me wrong, I care about making the world better. I started a film company with the vision to “agitate the sleep of mankind” after all, but story will always be king, and no one gets a free pass when it comes to that. 

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Quick Links

The Video Journalist Blackmagic Camera Rig and Workflow Guide (Part One): Getting your Rig Together on a Tight Budget | wolf crow
But then the Blackmagic Cinema Camera appeared on the market, and I knew this could be the camera I was dreaming for a long time. The only problem was, it didn’t really fit into my way of shooting. I do mostly hand camera under a lot of time pressure. Things are always live and happening, no one waits for me. So I had to find a way to mobilize the BMCC and make it VJ-able for a small price.

Hands-on with Sony's 2014 4K televisions | C|Net
Compared against the Samsung HU9000 specifically, the X950B had better blacks and shadow detail, according to the demonstration. The X950B held up remarkably well against the ZT60 as it was able to get better white highlights than the now-discontinued plasma.

Andy from Shriro explains that the iON Air Pro differentiates itself by being designed to work in tough conditions without a housing. The camera can go to 30ft under water and has an IPX8 rating. The form factor is bullet-like and can be headword in an over-the-ear position. The camera is capable of 1080P HD at 30 fps, but sadly there is no 24 or 25P which may limit its appeal for some. There is an option for wi-fi control and preview on a smartphone or tablet.

Sony F3 Resurrected – LUTs | Hingsberg's cinema blog
There are many who feel that working with slog is no big deal and that only a slight adjustment curve is needed in post to bring things back to normal. This is partially true, and in fact the way I had been working with slog back when I owned the F3 grading using curves straight off a Premiere timeline. But for a long time many of us have been looking for a proper way of unraveling slog to remove any limitations in the grading process and to get the image to a more “better” starting point for grading not to mention getting rid of that “Sony look”.

LUMBERJACK SYSTEM – For Paperless On-Set Media Logging Now Available | PR Web
Lumberjack System is a low-cost muscular, real-time media logging and pre-edit tool for Final Cut Pro X that works from any web-enabled device including iPads and syncs in the Cloud for such productions as reality and documentary, sports, worship, education, medical, legal and conferences/events.
Lumberjack System is Live | Philip Hodgetts
In developing and using Lumberjack System, we realized that we could do even more than translate the information from the shoot directly to Keyword Ranges in Final Cut Pro X: we could create keyword-based string-outs of those keyword ranges (a.k.a. selects). Not having to start with an empty Timeline gets me to creativity so much faster.

Tips to Make Your Text Look GREAT! | Larry Jordan
It was from Matthew all those years ago that I developed my love of using the right font for the task, which has carried over into my video work. By the way, Norbert Florendo has a great definition of the difference between “font” and “typeface:” A “font is what you use, and typeface is what you see.”

Ti West On Why Piracy Hurts Indie Film (and It's Not All About The Money) | IndieWire
The independent film world is a fragile ecosystem. It allows for unique experiences and challenging stories to be told by bold filmmakers in adventurous and often unproven ways. Studio films do not take the same risks. But this adventurousness, this ability to surprise us, is why we love indie movies. By supporting this ecosystem, we are supporting the possibility of original, rewarding experiences that would otherwise go unnoticed. 

A great explanation of film terms for those new to the industry:
What does that term mean? | imgur
Collaboration = No pay
Assistant = No pay
Seeking Film Student = No pay

Stunning ‘Awakening’ 4K Time-Lapse Will Awaken Your Desire to Visit New Zealand | Peta Pixel
Shot over the course of 4 months in New Zealand, Awakening is only part one of four, and if the first part is any indication, then we’re in for some truly spectacular visuals.

The 10 Types of People Who Work On Films | RainDance
1)   Urban Bear GryllsThe techie with a North face jacket, head torch, harness with various carabiners and straps, cargo shorts, unkempt beard and scraggly hair. Can produce any tool from many hidden orifices, thinks in Volts and Amps and is faster moving vertically than he is horizontally. Looks like he sleeps in the field behind the studio.

An Evening with the Arri AMIRA – New York | Abel Cine
At this event, AbelCine and Arri experts will be on hand to present both the technical aspects and the design philosophy that went into creating the AMIRA. Real-world usage will be discussed and footage will be screened. Additionally, attendees will get ample time to ask questions and go hands-on with the camera.
And if you're in Boston today, Rule Boston Camera has an AMIRA event today from 10am to noon.

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Quick Links

Vincent Laforet on Directing, Cinematography and Knowing Your Craft | Filmmaker Magazine
Laforet is currently undertaking a US workshop tour with the Directing Motion workshop, which will visit 32 cities over the next ten weeks. “I knew that there was a hunger for learning about the craft of filmmaking, and I thought this would be the natural next step,” says Laforet. “It’s a look back at everything that I’ve learned and applied, from both my work and working with other directors and cinematographers, and trying to condense that into how it relates to moving the camera and what’s in front of it.”

Red Wants to Make the Dragon a Live 4K Studio Camera | Studio Daily
Red is working to get as many Dragon cameras and sensors out the door as possible, but it did have some new tricks up its sleeve this year, including the Red 4K Broadcast Module ($6950), which adds an uncompressed YCbCr 4:2:2 video feed to the Red Dragon.

5D Mark III raw versus Panasonic GH4 | EOSHD
The GH4 is much closer than I thought it would be to the 5D Mark III in terms of colour, considering the compressed 8bit codec vs mighty 14bit raw. Dynamic range appears to be about the same too from my real-world tests, though these were not scientific.

Over the past five years I have seen my freelance photography work transition slowly into a specialism in multimedia – predominantly photography plus video. For many editorial publications, offering video as well as pictures is an attractive proposition and can stretch a single day assignment into two or three. Yes it is true it is not possible to shoot stills and video at the same time and get great results, but for feature stories, particularly those that involve a lot of travel, spending extra time to produce a video for online often makes sense for both me and the publication.

Enter Dave Aldrich at D|Focus Systems. From his California machine shop he has created a great little filter thread adapter that simply slides onto the front of the lens and allows you to mount 77m filters. It is constructed of delrin and is secured to the lens using a push-on fit. This means you can mount fixed or variable ND filters quickly and easily.

Random GH4 4K Footage ISO 1600 – ISO 3200 Monterey Bay Aquarium | CheesyCam
My first time taking the GH4 out for a 4K test drive. I decided to visit the Monterey Bay Aquarium again, and shoot everything under low lighting conditions. The thick glass made it hard to focus and images are not at it’s sharpest. Don’t take this as a good example of GH4 4K video samples. Now I know what not to do, I think i’ll get better footage the next time out.

The 12 principles of animation | Kottke
During the 1930s, animators at Walk Disney Studios developed a list of 12 basic principles of animation through which to achieve character and personality through movement. These principles were laid out in The Illusion of Life by Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston. #6 is "slow-out and slow-in"

Hot Docs: Advice from the Masters on Finding Your Documentary Voice | IndieWire
"I do films because it's love and I believe in people so much. Sometimes people are stereotyped or put into certain boxes and for me, when I see somebody stand up - whether it's in Eastern Kentucky or anywhere - and take charge of their lives, I feel so happy. I like to do films that allow the characters to bloom and to go places they've never gone. I feel so privileged to go with them," said Kopple

Big League Cine Summit
This free online workshop runs today and tomorrow.
Never worry about disappointing footage again. Because we’ve gathered 9 Top Cinematographers and Film Makers for an online cinematography summit called Big League CineSummit – on May 6th & 7th. And you can register today, for FREE.

Movi M5 Review for Weddings from IQvideography on Vimeo.