Friday, December 24, 2010

News from Here & There

It's the holidays! Time for some Do-It-Yourself projects!

How to make a rockwool acoustic panel
A short how-to-video on Vimeo on making acoustic panels with rockwool and costing about 1/4 the cost of professional panels. I just wish the music in the background wasn't so in the foreground.
Vimeo: How to make a rockwool acoustic panel

How to build a dolly
"Well, I know I'm not the first to do this, but I won't be the last. What follows is my Dad and I building a skateboard dolly. It came out great. For around $100 here is what we came up with... "
mike.miller.producer: Skateboard Dolly Build

A Panasonic AG-AF101/AG-AF100 test shot
We had the opportunity to make a test shoot with Panasonics new AG-AF101 in order to see what this baby can do. We shot on a cold and snowy hamburg day in an old, dark factory with a small crew. We had about six hours of shooting and a hell of a time!

101 Images - AG-AF101 from Saubere Filme on Vimeo.

And this is an awesome little piece of video/animation:

Happy Holidays from DANIELS on Vimeo.

H A P P Y   H O L I D A Y S !

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Chocolate Film

Sebastian Wiegärtner shot this corporate film for on the Canon 7D using Canon 24-70 mm 2.8 and Canon 100 mm 2.8 L IS macro lenses and the Kessler Pocket Dolly Traveller 2.0 and Manfrotto 504 HD w/ 546 GBK legs. Shot in 720p / 50fps and graded in Apple Color, with additional exposure adjustments in Magic Bullet Looks.

Looks like the holidays to me!!

Image Film Chocolate Manufacture from Sebastian Wiegärtner on Vimeo.

News from Here & There

Marshall V-LCD50-HDMI 5" Monitor Review
Michael Reichmann of The Luminous Landscape reviews the new Marshall V-LCD50-HDMI 5" Monitor:
If you're a camcorder or DSLR user shooting video you likely already know of and understand the advantages of a small HDMI monitor. The LCD50 will be found attractive because of its small size and low weight, its modest price – just over $500 at B&H – and range of attractive features.
The Luminous Landscape: Marshall V-LCD50 HDMI Monitor

Redrock Micro NANO Running Man Rig Review
Eric Koretz at The Image Hunter reviews the new light-weight Running Man rigs from Redrock:
The video definitely wouldn’t have been as stable if I didn’t have that Nano. The Running Man handheld rig is quick to build, stable when using and easy to pack away. It fills a need that is surprisingly hard to create in hand held rigs.
The Image Hunter: Redrock Micro NANO Running Man Rig
B & H: Redrock Mico Nano - RunnningMan [$439.95]

Industrial Light & Magic and Pixar in Collusion
No, that's not a new movie. It's come to light that Pixar and ILM had an agreement not to steal each others employees. They agreed to three things:
  1. No cold calling of each other’s employees. 
  2. Notification when making an offer to an employee of the other firm. 
  3. No counteroffer above the initial offer when offering a position to the other company’s employee. 
VFX Soldier: ILM Pixar Collusion Court Documents

True Grit
The Coen Brothers version of True Grit opens today. I'm a fan of the original movie, which starred John Wayne, but am also looking forward to the new version. The brothers claim that they have never seen the movie, and that theirs is based on the original book. It will be interesting to see how the new movie compares; the trailer for the movie has scenes so similar to the original, it almost looks like a remake.
You can read an interview with the brothers;
Deadline New York: OSCAR: Joel And Ethan Coen Q&A On 'True Grit'

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Panasonic GH2 Shipping In America?

Amazon says the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH2 [$998.19] is temporarily out of stock, but Engadget reckons that some are turning up in the hands of lucky buyers...
Engadget: Panasonic's Lumix GH2 now shipping in America

News from Here & There

How to Speed up rendering in Final Cut Pro
In Red Giant QuickTip 26:, Apple Certified Master Trainer, Simon Walker, shows you how to speed up rendering on the Final Cut Pro timeline.
RedGiantSoftware:  Red Giant QuickTip 26: Faster Rendering in Final Cut Pro

Comparing the Sony PMW-F3 to the Canon 5D Mark II
Fxguide has some video that compares these two cameras, and demonstrates that the F3 has less rolling shutter, and doesn't have the artifacts you can get from the 5D because of it's line-skipping algorithm (the 5D has to go from the high-resolution sensor image down to a 1920 x 1080 image very quickly, so it uses a fairly crude algorithm to do it. This can cause moire patterns in fine details.)

Some commentors think that the cameras shouldn't be compared because they aren't in the same price range, but that's wrong; independent and some big-studio filmmakers are using the 5D Mark II (just see Canon's recent television add) and the F3 is going after that market.
FXGuide: F3 vs. 5D Mark II

Jag35 Electronic Follow Focus
An electronic follow focus for ~$500? Available in the spring of 2011? We shall see....
Jag35: Electronic Follow Focus

Building the Mac Edit Room
The Digital Filmmakers Podcast has an interview with Ned Soltz that discusses specific hardware and software options to build a system for Final Cut Pro, Avid Media Composer and Adobe CS5. From capture cards to monitors to storage systems, they cover the good, the bad and the ugly. NewMediaWebinars: Digital Filmmakers Podcast Episode #33

Does 120 million hits on YouTube = money?
The band OK Go has received a lot of exposure on the net with their unique and imaginative music videos, but does that success actually translate into a successful recording career? And does that even matter? Lead singer Damian Kulash recently wrote a column in the Wall Street Journal about his band's philosophy:
For most people, the obvious question is: Has this helped sell records? The quick answer is yes. We've sold more than 600,000 records over the last decade. But the more relevant answer is that doesn't really matter. A half a million records is nothing to shake a stick at, but it's the online statistics that set the tone of our business and, ultimately, the size of our income.
Not everyone is buying it. Darren Robbins at The Zeitgeisty Report thinks Kulash is "one of the more delusional self-appointed champions of indie rock," and points out that OK Go parted ways with their label (EMI) partly because they weren't making enough sales.
In truth, as “The Blue Man Group Of Rock & Roll”, OK Go’s genius lies in their realization that being in a band these days has little to do with music. Devise one visually stunning video or event after another, keep your name in the press, and you can continue to find corporations willing to pay you for appropriating whatever hipster cache they believe you might have.

It’s “The Great Rock & Roll Swindle” all over again, albeit this time minus the music.
He also thinks that OK Go owes much of it's success to EMI's early support, though I think they owe it to the success of their treadmill video; and I don't know how involved EMI was in that...

But the real point is; if you have an audience, and are making money from corporate sponsors, what's the problem? If OK Go is a video band, rather than a music band, who cares? The real question is; is this a model others can follow, or can there only be one OK Go?
Wall Street Journal: The New Rock-Star Paradigm  
The Zeitgeisty Report: OK Go singer Damian Kulash on the future of the music business

Everything's bigger in Kansas
Did you know that the largest IMAX digital screen in the country is in Wichita Kansas? Me neither, but it just opened last Friday. Be careful to heed this warning:
There is a potential for getting sick during an IMAX movie. "It happens on some of our screens when the picture is in your whole field of view," said Dan Gray, vice president for operations. But it depends on the person and the movie, and maybe only a couple of scenes from a particular movie.
Wichita Eagle: West-side IMAX opens today with 'Tron'

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Color Grading Tips

I previously mentioned that Aaron Williams has been tweeting color grading tips. Clearly the effort aroused some attention, as he is now blogging the tips with more detail (and graphics)

The latest tip concerns using RGB Parade to make simple color adjustments.

Amazon Deal-of-the-Day on Roku XDS Streaming Player

Amazon's Deal-of-the-Day today is $20 off the Roku XDS Streaming Player. $79.99

Roku allows you to instantly stream tons of entertainment on your TV. Watch over 100,000 movies and TV shows from Netflix, Amazon Video On Demand, Hulu Plus and more. Listen to music on Pandora, or listen to your own iTunes playlists. Watch major sports, news, or original Internet programming.

Amazon: Deal of the Day

A cool little "making of" video

Stillmotion Photo + Cinema was hired by Canon Canada to make an advertisement about a new service they are offering where they will turn a photo into an oil painting (using real oils and real artists!) Interesting.

But what I found particularly interesting is the making-of-video. I actually like it better than the commercial!
...we wanted to bring the viewer into the scene where they are hammering on the deck but to do that we had to get very low to the ground where the action was. one of the things i like most about the cinevate atlas30 is the ability to shoot underslung. we actually removed the legs and just rested the end blocks on apple boxes so that we can quickly go between standard and underslung mode throughout both shoot days.
There's a blog post explaining how the project was planned and shot, working with a slider, etc. There's some nice shots in there...

canon artworks behind the scenes from stillmotion on Vimeo.

Stillmotion blog: Artworks By Canon

Apple to shut down download site.... comes the Mac Apple Store.

It's been reported that the Final Cut Pro download site will close on January 6th...that's the same day that the Mac Apple Store opens, so I don't think you can take that as an indication that Apple is abandoning Final Cut!

Monday, December 20, 2010

FXFactory Update 2.5.3, plus PHYX Stylist

Noise Industries has released a free update to FxFactory, 2.5.3. This update adds two new effects; an Analog TV filter which adds scan lines, distortion and the curve of an analog tube TV to footage, while the Channel Switch transition emulates a channel switch on an analog TV.

PHYX Stylist is a new set of filter effects that includes Skin Light (for adjusting skin tones) as well as Fog Generator, Cathode Ray (emulates night vision, old or damaged televisions and electronic rifle scopes), Haze Removal and Sparkle Star (photographic star filter)

All work with After Effects, Final Cut, Final Cut Express and Motion.

Video demos: Analog TV, Channel Switch & PHYX Stylist.
Noise Industries

News from Here & There

Creative COW DSLR Video Podcast
Richard Harrington and Robbie Carman have started a podcast on DSLR Video. You can download it from iTunes.
CreativeCow: Creative COW DSLR Video Podcast

DSLRs for Digital Cinema
DP, effects cinematographer and VFX supervisor Dave Stump talks about how he thinks HDSLRs fit into the film cinemtographers toolkit. He's neither totally for or against them, seeing both the advantages and disadvantages:
It obeys a really old axiom, that when the only tool you own is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. If you know only one kind of camera, then every job you do looks like a job for that camera. But ultimately, what we learned from CAS is that every camera has its strengths and weaknesses. If you let the job tell you which camera to use, rather than just your knowledge of only one camera, then you are ultimately doing the greatest service to your producer.
Creative COW: DSLRs for Digital Cinema: Their Potential, Your Responsibility

Diana Lens for your HDSLR
Photojojo has a $60 Diana Lens for your camera:
It's a lovely plastic lens that transforms your beloved hunk of metal and glass into a digital toy camera. Yesiree you can now get that lovable Lo-fi "technology" on your digi cam from Lomography's series of Diana plastic cameras.
Photojojo: The Dreamy Diana Lens

Amazon Cloudfront
I hadn't even heard of Amazon's service for commercial distribution of online video, but this article explains why you might want to consider it.
Chruchcrunch: 6 Reasons You Should Use Amazon CloudFront for Your Videos

Canon XF100 Test/Review
Slashcam has some test results and a review of the Canon XF100 (which should be out soon)
Slashcam: XF100

The 12 Hours of Editing:
On the twelfth hour of editing, my client brought to me:

12 Different versions
11 Logo updates
10 Tapes of B-roll
JoyOfFilmEditing: With 12 days left until Xmas, here are the 12 hours of editing

Philip Bloom Short Film Competition - What This Year Has Meant To You

Philip Bloom has run a few short movie challenges over the last few months, and now he has an end-of-year competition that even has some prizes.

You have until December 31st to produce a video no longer than 5 minutes that reflects what this year has meant to you.

More Details: The biggest and best “weekend/ holiday challenge” so far…PRIZES TOO!