Friday, February 21, 2014

The News

AJA Io 4K gains 50/60 fps 4K/UHD High Frame Rate Support | Cinema 5D
AJA Video Systems recently announced their latest free software update for the Mac adding 4K/UHD High Frame Rate for their Io 4K.  The I/O supports Thunderbolt 2 and 4K workflows, including the new Mac Pro as well as daisy chain.
I didn't realize, but it appears that the AJA Ki Pro Solid State 4K recorder is shipping.

Review Part 1: Blackmagic Production Camera 4K vs. Canon 1DC | Cinema 5D
In terms of image quality the 4K of the Blackmagic very well matches the 4K of the 1DC. Sharpness is visually identical and gone is moiré and aliasing as we had seen it on the first Blackmagic Cinema Camera. Nice!!!

Can You Figure Out Which Camera Shot Which Shot? | CreativePlanet
Rick Young posted a compilation video of his work shot over a number of years with a number of different cameras. A week later, he revealed which camera had shot which segment.
The following cameras were used: Sony PMW-EX1R, Sony PMW-F3, Sony PMW-EX3, Blackmagic Cinema Camera, Panasonic HPX171, Sony HVR-Z1, Canon 5D Mark II, JVC GY-HM100

Get Your MoVI Moving: Part 2 | Rule Boston Camera
Like any relationship, there are highs and lows. The M10 and I have shared all of these moments from the early headaches at the shop to the winter sunset walks along the Charles River. As our relationship has grown over the past few months, I have learned to appreciate MoVI for what it can do for the entire production community. It is a true game-changer that provides new opportunities and ease.

The S1000 Octocopter" The Latest Flagship Drone from DJI | Videomaker
The S1000 will start at just around $4,000; but don’t get too excited about that price just yet. You’re going to need an 8-channel radio system, a battery, and a charger before you can get it into the air. You’re also going to need a gimbal if you’d like to fly your camera with the best results, and the ZenMuse Z15 gimbal will run you another $3,000.

Video production with a GoPro Hero 3 - A beginner 'How-to' | VideoMaker
Typically when other action cams record at 1080p, they have a sort of fishbowl effect which distorts the outer sides of the video and can make it look amateur. Using the higher video resolution like 4K, however, will give you enough raw footage to be able to crop in during video production and get rid of the outside fishbowl effect. this will leave you with a high quality image with little to no pixel degradation and no image distortion.

Free Infographic Effects for FCP X | FX Factory
Create infographic titles and charts with Data Pop Free.  Choose from 4 professional quality Final Cut Pro X titles for different types of charts and graphs: bar, pie, ring, and number.

Improvising Screenplays: Writing Great Movie Loglines Using the Improv Concept of ‘Game’ | Script Magazine
First, a quick recap. Game is simply a means of establishing a consistent pattern, generally emanating from the first “unusual thing” in your scene. It could be an unexpected “high concept” or character choice — John Belushi’s classic SNL Samurai Delicatessen sketches were based around the simple idea of a deli guy…who happens to be a samurai.

How Netflix Is Setting the New Norm in TV Watching: The Viewer Is In Control | IndieWire
This is called “binge” viewing. It seems an odd word to describe this phenomenon. As in “binge” drinking for example. We immediately picture someone who gives into his worst impulses and has no control.Curiously it is just the opposite. Why? Simply put, the viewer controls the experience. This option breaks the standard release pattern for new “TV” episodes.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

The News

Covered this a few days ago, but News Shooter offers more detail on 4K recording in the Odyseey 7Q
Convergent Design Odyssey 7Q firmware upgrade to record 4K RAW and Compressed with the Sony FS700 | News Shooter
Probably the most popular camera to pair it with has been the Sony FS700R. That’s because the Odyssey7Q is the most economical, lightest weight, lowest power draw RAW recording solution for it. Up until now the Odyssey 7Q/FS700R RAW recording combo has been limited to 2K resolution – you had to buy Sony’s own AXS-R5 recorder and HXR-IFR5 interface if you wanted 4K RAW. 

Panasonic Focuses 4K Video on Camera Market | Wall Street Journal
“It’s clear we can’t attract customers with products in line with what we’ve done in the past,” Katsuyoshi Tanaka, Panasonic’s group manager in charge of product planning, said in an interview on the sidelines of a camera show in Yokohama.“We’re hoping 4K will be the trigger to create a new market,” he said.

Interesting view on 4K:
Catching Up with Newton Thomas Sigel, ASC | ASC
“It’s funny, because almost every movie now is finished in 2K, even the ones with big visual effects, and very few of the visual effects are being done in 4K because of the cost and the difficulty,” he said. “So I think the whole 2K/4K argument is as much marketing as anything.

An Updated Guide to Applying LUTs to Log Footage | AbelCine
One of the most popular blog posts I’ve written was a guide to Applying LUTs to Log Footage in various NLEs. Since I posted it, a lot has changed in the popular NLEs; the tools used to apply Look Up Tables are now included in many of them, and they are generally better than ever.

Some amazing work done for the movie Enders Game, a lot done using After Effects scripts:
Screen UI Design | Jayse Hansen Portfolio
A key story point throughout the film is Ender’s nifty holographic tablet where he engages in numerous games to test his skill and strategy. Ender’s a kid genius, so he loves tons of data. This is my dream iPad so I had fun with it. I mocked this little guy up in C4d and After Effects.
Ender's Game GUI/Holograph Reel | AEScripts
I personally used the crap out of many aescripts + aeplugins tools - including some built by Zack Lovatt (who I worked with on Robocop) with my requests specific to the needs of Ender's Game such as Create Pivotal Null and tweaks to Explode Layer Shapes. I now use those all the time.

Eric Kress Lighting Workshop – part 1 | ASC
During the workshop Eric demonstrated simple variations of lighting close-ups of a man and a woman near a window. When we designed the session, Eric and I chose the theme of dual close-ups because lighting matching close ups is something that every cinematographer has to do often.

Julia Child 'Edits' Videotape | The Atlantic
It's a little video, just more than a minute long, that was filmed and produced for WGBH's 1964 Christmas party, a spoof meant only for the eyes of the station's staff. In it, WGBH producer Russell Morash asks chef Julia Child, "Exactly what is videotape?"

The “all you can watch” Netflix distribution model…can we be trusted? | Philip Bloom
The point of this post is really to actually get your opinions about the changing way we are watching TV. Since the advent of things like Tivo and Sky+ i never watch commercials anymore. If I want to watch a show “live” then if it has commercials I start 15 minutes later and then can fast forward through them. 

Exposition: Do modern audiences want less of it in stories? | Go Into Story
Just in general, I think modern audiences need less exposition than they used to. We see this with the compression of events in what comprises a typical Act One in contemporary scripts. If you go back and watch movies from the 80s, they generally spend the entire first half-hour setting up the Protagonist’s Ordinary World before launching them into the adventure. 

3 most common complaints about agents by scriptwriters | Writer's Digest
1. “My agent never calls me back!”“There are a lot of people who don’t return every phone call,” says literary manager Jeff Thal of Ensemble Entertainment, “even if you’re friends with them.”

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Quick Links

Johnnie shot the mini-doc below using the camera and demonstrates what it can do in capable hands. We talked about what it was like to use the camera for real world shooting, how it handled and how the image looks. With the recent price drop to $2995 US it is the cheapest 4K Super35 (approx) sensor camera by far, but how does it fare when put to the test?

How To Write A Press Release For Film | Raindance
Being able to correctly format a press release will not only show your competence in public relations, but it will also make your release look much more legitimate. As a result, the event or news story you wish to promote is less likely to be ignored by the journalist.

Amazing Night Vision Cam Captures Full Color HD Instead of the Classic Green | PetaPixel
Announced by Japanese company Komamura, the KC-2000 doesn’t just see in the dark, it does it in full color HD. The results are impressive, and you don’t even have to take our word for it, check out the comparison video above to see just how well the Falcon Eye does in near-total darkness.

Using a boom mic may sound like a simple job, but the truth is, it’s a lot harder than it looks. It takes focus, stamina and a little technical know how to get it right. We show you the right way to use a boom mic, including set up, operating techniques, positioning, choosing the right mic for the job and achieving audio perspective.

The Great Migration: From Mac Pro Tower to Mac Pro Tube | Creative COW
Then Apple announced the new Mac Pro with all expansion handled via a few Thunderbolt 2 ports, and I briefly saw my life flash before my eyes. How would I use all my existing stuff? How much would it cost to replace the stuff I couldn't carry over to the new machine? How would my workspace look with all sorts of new crap lying around?

Watch the FilmmakerIQ series of filmmaking histories and tutorials | FCP.Co
We are a bit late picking up on this excellent video series, FilmmakerIQ runs through different cinema editing styles, technologies and the history behind them. Worth a watch just to see a crazed chimpanzee trying to edit film!

'Life After Pi,' doc on fall of visual effects house, to debut | Los Angeles Time
They coped the only way they knew how: They picked up a camera and began interviewing their colleagues to document the fallout and help explain the forces that led to the near-demise of one the industry’s most storied effects firms.

Roger Deakins Will Not Return To Make 'Bond 24' Look Gorgeous | IndieWire
At dinner with Deakins last night I learned some news that makes me sad: He won't be shooting the next Bond.

Craigslist jokes: Looking for RED owner with NO TALENT (Los Angeles)

Okay, this Craisglist post is mildly amusing...

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The News

Ten Tips to Indie Filmmaking | Creative Cow
TWO: PLAN YOUR WORKFLOW BEFORE YOU SHOOT ONE FRAME As we have been shooting with the Canon 7D quite often, we had developed a pretty great workflow for shooting, transcoding to Prores, and using Plural Eyes with Final Cut 7 to sync all the sound (which was recorded separately from picture, into a TASCAM multitrack recorder).

Uncover the Digital 'Holy Grail': How to 'Get a Film Look Without Shooting Film' | No Film School
A webinar with VFX artist & colorist Jerome Thelia details just such a process, regarding the Oscar-winning short film Curfew. Read on for details.

gearlist seen in the video:kessler crane shuttle pod ( 8ft version ), CineDrive Pan / Tilt head, custom roll axisthe shuttlepod and P/T head is controlled via netbook and kOS. the roll axis is controlled with a oracle controller ( changing this soon to cinedrive ).

Free two page Professional Call Sheet Template | Cast and Crew
I’ve looked high and hard for a great call sheet template… even a good call sheet template… even just a usable call sheet template!!! I was not able to find one that really did the job. I was always jealous when I got hired to go on set to DP a shoot and the call sheet was all nice and pretty and more importantly easy to read and looks easy to use! An easy to use call sheet was nowhere to be found.

Coveted by top movie makers, this is how Cooke makes their lenses | Red Shark News
Cooke Lenses are coveted by top-end movie makers and any serious filmmaker that can afford them. RedShark's Phil Rhodes has been to their factory in Leicster, England

New 0.7x Baveyes adapter now shipping on eBay | SonyAlphaRumors
These Baveyes work just like the Speed Booster but do cost much less. Of course we will have to see if they are almost as good as the Metabones. Let me know if you find some test and samples. Thanks!

7 secrets of writing indie film | The Black Board
Rely on Character Centered StoriesIndie films are much closer to plays than Hollywood flics.

Nikon D5300 Review and why DSLRs are dead for video | EOSHD
Even if DSLRs get 4K which has been the case with the Canon 1D C, the photographic giants just don’t seem to bother putting any other video features in to sweeten the deal. The 1D C was barely unchanged from the 1D X whereas the mirrorless GH4 is based around a camera that was optimised for video from day one.

ODYSSEY7Q TO RECORD FS700 4K RAW | Convergent Design
4K RAW recording will be a part of the FS700 Record Option on the Odyssey7Q.  It will be made available as part of the upcoming February Firmware Update for the Odyssey7Q.  Any current owner of the FS700 Record Option will receive the 4K RAW capability as part of the firmware update and at no additional cost.

Monday, February 17, 2014

The News

Interesting - though maybe not unsurprising - that scaling down from 4K increases the color accuracy. I guess what's surprising is that it actually goes to 4:2:2...
Discovery: 4K 8bit 4:2:0 on the Panasonic GH4 converts to 1080p 10bit 4:4:4 | EOSHD
Actually the theory is 8bit 4:2:0 4K material from this camera can be taken through a workflow in post that converts it to 10bit 4:4:4 1080p – with all the smoother tonality, better colour and workflow advantages that format brings. This is a big leap for 1080p based on the much more expensive C300 which only does 8bit 4:2:2.

This blog answers questions for readers that want to get into the entertainment business.
And...Action! | Blogger
Getting Jobs in Entertainment question 1279: do you think having a weird hair color is hurtful and limiting or is beneficial and makes you stand out as an actor?

Making the App: Cadrage Director's Viewfinder for iOS and Android | FWD.Labs
We started talking about "making an app" about three years ago over a beer, initially just to see if we could pull it off. It was pretty soon clear that it was going to be a filmmaking app, as this would combine our qualifications nicely — Daniel has a degree in informatics and Anselm is a cinematographer.

Presentation videos from Larry Jordan's 4K & Final Cut Pro X seminar | FCP.Co
The bad news is that from the videos we have watched, there isn't a great mention of using 4K with Final Cut Pro X. The good news is that there is one cracking half hour video featuring Ian Andes from G-Technology. (We of course know that Philip Hodgetts always presents well, no matter where or when!) We should also get a plug in for Larry's FCPX training courses as he has very kindly published these videos for free, hopefully there are more to come.

New Sony A6000 & Canon T5 Cameras Reveal the Strategies of Two Completely Different Companies | No Film School
Not to harp on Canon (because Nikon isn’t much better), but Canon has essentially released the same 18MP camera over and over again for the last 3-4 years. The only thing that has changed is the body and some features here and there. Still the same 30fps at 1080p, and they are still sticking with the mirror technology even though it’s clear that it’s on the way out, especially for lower-end cameras.

A commercial for Acura provided further inspiration and ideas for how this spot could be executed. Pay particular attention to the last :30 or so of this :60 commercial and you’ll see some parallels to the final spot we created.

It’s been said that the best way to learn is by teaching. Recently I made a tutorial on shooting B-roll for the public media education site – this gave me the chance to scrutinize a lot of my shooting habits and routines.

This Video compares the New Blackmagic Production Cinema Camera with its little sister the Pocket Cinema Camera. The Winner is a hard guess...

Hybrid photography innovator and LUMIX Luminary Team member Giulio Sciorio provides his impressions on the new LUMIX GH4 Digital Camera System.