Showing posts from March 13, 2011

Current Projects: Filmmaker Ben Zidel

Ben Zidel is a young Boston-based filmmaker who's putting together plans to shoot his first feature early this summer. I talked to him about it at a recent Boston Media Makers get together. What's the story of the movie? The story is called The Road Home . It's about what happens to two different people surrounding a tragedy. A girl gets killed in a hit-and-run accident and we deal with the aftermath for the driver, and we also deal with the aftermath for the boyfriend who lost his girlfriend. It's sort of how their lives intertwine and eventually come to a dramatic climax in the end. Who wrote the script? It's based on a short script and film that I wrote and directed, and my buddy Ray Lisi wrote the feature adaption of the short. And you're planning to finance it yourself? Yeah, we plan to do some self fund-raising through our production company, which we are starting now, producing commercials on a budget for local businesses. We are in talks with

Quick Links

Google offers the YouTube Creator Institute for future filmmakers, talk show hosts, sportscasters and media executives. Happens this May. Any U.S. citizen over 18 is welcome to apply, and candidates may apply online at from now until midnight on March 25 Robin Schmidt explains how he did the post effects on his latest SMR video: Behind The Edit – SMR VS Facebook The 30 Seconds of Action Challenge . Three submissions will be selected to represent the festival as Official Bumpers of  ActionFest 2011  at events and screenings, and each finalist will receive two VIP badges for this year’s festival Embedding a Speech Transcript in a Flash Video with Adobe CS5 : Michael Hurwicz shows how to create a scrolling transcript synced with a Flash video, using Adobe Creative Suite 5 ( Story, OnLocation, Premiere Pro, Soundbooth and Flash Professional ). Sony PMW-F3 Tests: Dennis Ersöz has posted videos comparing latitude with the Panasonic AG-AF1

Edward Burns talks Indie Filmmaking

Edward Burns , the Writer/Director/Actor who makes "those small talky New York movies about the Irish guys from Long Island," conducted an informal Q & A about his latest indie project via Twitter yesterday. Burns first came to fame with the film The Brothers McMullen , which was shot on a shoe-string budget of $28,000, and though he's produced films on much larger budgets since then, he is now focused on very low-budget indie films; "I went hat in hand to the money guys for years. Just couldn't do it anymore. Decided to write smaller stories and never looked back." The latest movie,  Newlyweds , just finished shooting, and is now in post-production. It was shot with a budget of $9,000 and a tiny crew; three guys rotated responsibilities. The plot of Newlyweds he describes as "they think they have a nice easy marriage. Then reality hits." What follows is most of the tweets from last night (he also posted some photos from the production.)

News From Here & There

Shooting tips Dylan Reeve , the Edit Geek , provides some shooting tips for cameramen that will help editors (as well as cameramen who also edit!) While these seem like common sense, the 6 tips are key to making your editing life easier (and some of these might be unexpected, like number four.) 4. The Preset is Your Friend This one is a little contraversial, and I’ve actually had a stand up argument with a shooter about this – but I’ll lay it out here anyway. Stop manually white balancing and use your camera’s presets. There, I said it. DylanReeve : Shooting Tips From The Edit Suite 4:2:2 Color In this 10 minute video from the February UKFCUG meeting, Matt Davis and Rick Young talk about 4:2:2 vs 4:2:0 color encoding. MacVideo : Technology Talk: how big a deal is 4:2:2? Featuring, Matt Davis & Rick Young Sony PMW-F3 Travis MacRitchie provides an unboxing video for the Sony PMW-F3K (the kit that includes three lenses.) At the end of the clip there's some compar

Report: Blackmagic Design DaVinci Resolve Workshop

This past Tuesday, David Catt of FilmSystems gave a free two hour workshop on DaVinci Resolve organized in collaboration with BOSFCPUG and Blackmagic Design . The event happened downtown at Emerson College. David has been working with Resolve for more than 20 years and was even product manager for Resolve before moving to FilmSystems two years prior to the sale to Blackmagic. "But wait!" I can hear you say. "You can barely find your way around the Three-way Color Corrector in Final Cut Pro , and you're going to a workshop on a high-end color correcting tool?!" Well, true, I still haven't even figured out Apple's Color , but there's something very cool about watching someone who knows what they are doing apply color correction to a scene. To watch David take a somewhat plain scene, and then adjust contrast and brightness, soften the highlight clipping, brighten up the clouds with a traveling matte, then add green to folliage and yellow to ro

Japan woes causing price increases already?

Tom Guilmette reports via Twitter that the price of Sony XDCAM discs has gone up: The cost of a single layer sony 23.3 GB xdcam disk went up from $19 to $34 overnight. As at 11:20 EDT, B & H lists the PFD23 23.3 Gigabyte XDCAM Laser-Disk   at $33.50. I don't buy XDCAM media, so have no idea what the usual price is... But a number of Sony factories are closed due to damage, and the remaining ones are facing shortages of electricity, etc.; Bloomberg : Sony, Toyota Shut Factories After Power Shortages Follow Earthquake Damage I encourage everyone that can, to donate something to the Red Cross or charity of their choice to help those in Japan. G I V E    T O   T H E   R E D   C R O S S

News From Here & There

Sony PMW-F3 lenses only fit on the PMW-F3? Sony sells a three lens kit in addition to the PMW-F3 body , but you can only buy the lenses with the camera. Sony says that the lenses are PL lenses ( see : PMWF3K ) Sony offers two affordable models of the PMW-F3: one is without a lens, the PMW-F3L; the other includes three PL lenses (35/50/85-mm, T2.0), the PMW-F3K. BUT, several people have reported that these aren't "standard" lenses and they don't work with other cameras. Philip Johnston at HD Warrior is the latest to report this: This is where I take issue with Sony they have dedicated their prime lenses to fit on this camera only, so you can’t use them on any other camera, this may be for technical reasons but as we know Sony don’t make lenses, a third party has made these lenses but to Sony’s specifications. Note too that Philip currently has both the AG-AF100 ( AG-AF101 ) and the P MW-F3 in his possession (the former is his own, the latter is on loan

News From Here & There

WebM plug-in for IE 9 released Google has released a plug-in for IE 9 that plays their new WebM video format. CNET: Google releases WebM video plug-in for IE9 Google : WebM Video for Microsoft Internet Explorer 9 (Preview) And Google has also bought Green Parrot Pictures , a company that specializes in software that enhances and improves the quality of video, including motion prediction algorithms for stabilizing video. Engadget thinks it will improve the quality of hand-held video on YouTube . Maybe they could run " Battle: Los Angeles " through it... AJA Raffle AJA is running a raffle that could win you a Ki Pro Mini , Kona 3G or other converter. You can get the entry form at the website, BUT you have to drop the form off at NAB to enter! ( Can someone out there drop my name in please?! ) WIN @ NAB with AJA Shaky-Cam is so Blair Witch The shakycam has received negative attention from many quarters over the years; even Matt Damon said that people had s

Large Sensor News

The Horror In Japan Dan Chung at DSLRNewsShooter links to two pieces shot in the aftermath of the devastating Tsunami. The first piece, by Matt Allard for Al Jazeera , was shot using the Sony PMW-F3 and a Tamron 18-270mm cheap lens to provide "maximum flexibility." The second piece, by Dan (while on assignment for The Guardian ), was shot with a DSLR. DSLRNewsShooter : DSLRnewsshooter’s Matt Allard and Dan Chung file reports from the Japan Tsunami zone Kitting out your camera At the Zacuto site, director Timur Civan talks about kitting out your camera, focusing on the PMW-F3 : Sometimes starting a camera package over from scratch is more complicated than it seems.  You need to look at all the work flow issues, power systems, monitoring, connectors, cables, converters and approximate what you need as far as camera support. However, until you actually put the camera together and see where all the parts go, you won’t know what you really need. Zacuto : St

Helmet cam - looks like a headache in the making...

To shoot a video for the Nike iD Royale design challenge Zack Mctee built a helmet cam to hold a Canon 5D Mark II using a football helmet and some Redrock pieces. He says "it was heavy but pulled through like a champ." You can see a video of the rig: Vimeo : RedRock Micro Advanced: Custom Helmet Camera w/Canon 5D And the video he shot with it here: : Zack Mctee – Nike iD (Video)

Apple News

More Final Cut Pro Speculation No Film School offers more speculation about the future of Final Cut Pro , including the suggestion that Apple will sell through the App Store and offer it in parts (seems kind of likely.) NotFilmSchool : Will Apple Split Up Final Cut Studio and Sell the Components a la Carte? Fix for Apple TV coming AppleInsider reports a software fix is in the works for a problem with the Apple TV : Last week, AppleInsider first reported on the screen flickering problems caused by the 4.2 update for Apple TV. The problems occur on a variety of TV sets from different manufacturers, affecting major brands including Sony, Panasonic, Hitachi, Samsung and Toshiba. No date set for the fix. AppleInsider : Fix in the works for Apple TV screen flickering issue iTunes has just 4% of US digital video market. Netflix 61% I'm surprised Apple isn't doing better than that. AppleInsider : Apple iTunes takes just 4% of US digital video market as Netflix dominates

News From Here & There

Is the iPad 2 faster at editing than a MacBook? No. Well, yes according to this piece in AppAdvice , but I think the tests may be somewhat skewed in the iPad 's favor (and even if it is faster, it only works with a limited set of media!) There are a couple of reasons why these ultra powerful machines failed to compete with the iPad 2. The iPad 2 may have a special H.264 video encoding chip that enables it perform really well. The Mac version of iMovie may have a slower encoding engine. We are not sure what the reason is, but once again iOS devices seem to be the clear winner here. The results of this test are below. AppAdvice : iPad 2 Beats Out MacBook Pros In iMovie Speed Tests! iPhone app for video stabilization HandHeldHollywood profiles a new app for the iPhone , Movie Stiller , that will stabilize video (after it's been shot.) In my brief tests, I found that this easy-to-use app works well at reducing minor shakes, even on pans. If you shot your footage on a pogo

Sony NXCAM Super 35mm camera news

Due to ship in May? Anthony Mozora on DVInfo reports that Creative Video in the UK now lists a ship date for the NXCAM Super 35mm camera of May 2nd. DVInfo : Sony to expand 35mm large format NXCAM lineup Sensor Resolution and Filter Arrangement It's been widely reported that the NXCAM Super 35mm camera will use the same sensor as the PMW-F3 , but there's still some things we don't know about that sensor. While Sony announced the resolution of the chip (3.43 Megapixels) they haven’t disclosed how those pixels are used to generate an image, though according to Sony, it has a “very interesting” color filter array. When I asked a Sony rep at the Camera Company show last weekend when Sony might reveal these details, he clearly didn't know, though he speculated they might be waiting until the NXCAM is released (I think that was a real guess on his part.)

Two amazing little cameras from Canon

This weekend I saw the Canon HF G10 and Canon XA10 at the Camera Company show. When Canon announced these cameras back at CES, I was intrigued because: though they use a small sensor, the native resolution of the sensor is 1920 x 1080. they have several pro-features including color peaking for focusing and full manual controls. and the XA10 also includes a detachable handle that adds XLR audio jacks. But there's been some other interesting things going on over the past month - notably the Sony NXCAM Super 35mm - and I sort of forgot about these cameras. But that might be a mistake. Canon Vixia HF G10 Build These are small cameras; on first inspection they look fatter and beefier than the previous top-of-the-line consumer camcorders from Canon like the VIXIA HF S20 , but that's really an illusion, the HF G10 is only fractionally bigger, and 50 grams heavier. They are also molded in a matte-black plastic with a creased leather-like pattern on the surface, whi

CNN Using Steadicam For Studio Segments

With the ongoing tragedy in Japan, I've been watching a little more CNN than usual. I must admit I don't usually watch a lot of CNN, so I was surprised when I saw them using a camera stabilizer - like a Steadicam - to shoot some of the in-studio talent. Perhaps this allows them to move more quickly in and out compared to a camera on a dolly? [ Though obviously not fast enough as this shot shows! -Ed ] If you're shooting mainly static shots of talent - as they seemed to be doing - using a stabilizer does tend to make the video a little "floaty"; which is probably not desirable, though I really only noticed it after I saw the stabilizer!

Blackmagic Design DaVinci Resolve Workshops

Just a reminder that the BOSFCPUG is hosting two free Blackmagic Design DaVinci Resolve Workshops tomorrow, Tuesday, March 15, 2011 at 4:00PM and 7:00PM EST . You may register for only ONE—the two are exactly the same. INSTRUCTOR: FILMSYSTEMS’ David Catt has been working with Resolve for more than 20 years. He was a London-based colorist when he saw a demo of a DaVinci system in 1986 and quickly became one of the first colorists in Europe to work on DaVinci . He has worked for DaVinci as a demo artist and product manager before moving to FILMSYSTEMS. COST: FREE to the Public with Registrations Eventbrite : BOSFCPUG FREE Blackmagic Design DaVinci Resolve Workshops + Giveaway! More on Resolve Toni Gozum has written a post comparing Da Vinci Resolve , to Digital Vision’s Nucoda Film Master : I find the two machines to be extremely different from each other, but neither is better than the other. I believe each has its own particular forte, and depending on what kind of

News From Here & There

Script Supervisor for iPad Taz Goldstein at Hand Held Hollywood writes about Script Supervisor , an app for the iPad that keeps track of things on set; daily logs, production reports, you can even read screenplays. It will be available shortly, and interestingly, Taz says that it will be free, but the companies websites is very vague about the details. HandHeldHoolywood : Coming Soon: Script Supervisor for iPad RED Epic-M Digital FX has posted a short video showing the new Epic-M up close: Vimeo: Red Epic-M Digital Cinema Camera Using Final Cut Pro Some NLE's let you rearrange the workspace in different ways.  Walter Biscardi describes the different ways that he arranges the editing windows in Final Cut Pro depending upon what he is doing: This is my Rough Cut layout. Maximum space for the bins and thumbnails where I want them.  Tiny timeline because for the most part I’m just straight cutting and putting in dissolves with little or no attention to audio.   I use

March 31st BOSFCPUG + BOSDSLR Mixer Featuring Yan Shvalb & Cinevate

The next Boston Final Cut Pro User Group and Boston DSLR Mixer has been announced: WHEN : Thursday, March 31st TIME : 6:30pm (doors open at 6pm) - 9PM - THEN networking continues afterwards at Pizzeria Uno nearby! WHERE : Exposure Place Studios, Studio A, 219 Bear Hill Road, Waltham, MA 02451 FEATURING: NYC-Based DSLR Filmmaker YAN SHVALB of on "Manipulating Time" - Time Remapping in FCP and Motion and Timelapse Workflow (plus more!) Shooting with Cinevate Gear! AJA Video Update with our friends Jay Ignaszewski and Peter Price Plus we will screen DSLR Shorts from Members! It's free if you register prior to the event. $5 at the door. EventBrite : March 31st BOSFCPUG + BOSDSLR Mixer Featuring Yan Shvalb & Cinevate

First sighting of Sony NXCAM Super 35mm?

Cinescopophilia thinks Den Lennie , founder of the F-Stop Academy , might be shooting with one of Sony's new NXCAM Super 35mm cameras. He's tweeted some pictures (not showing details of the camera) and said: "There's something in this box that is going to turn the indie film making world upside down." "Can't show more than this but it's very very exciting" Twitter : Den Lennie Cinescopophilia : Den Lennie Teases News Of A Prototype Camera He Is Using: Sony FS-100?

News From Here & There

CES says people want 3D cameras In a press release, the CEA says: Nearly one in four (23 percent) digital imaging enthusiasts are likely to purchase a 3D digital camera within the next year, according to a new Consumer Electronics Association (CEA)® study. [...] Enthusiasts are also showing interest in 3D camcorders, with one in ten indicating they are likely to purchase one within the next year. Similar to 3D cameras, enthusiasts say they would use 3D camcorders for natural scenery (51 percent) and historic places (43 percent), but enthusiasts also view 3D camcorders as valuable for use in shooting sporting events (45 percent). But noting that 3D TV sales aren't doing well, Shane McGlaun at SlashGear is skeptical. SlashGear : CEA says that consumers want 3D cameras CEA : 3D DIGITAL CAMERAS SPARKING ENTHUSIAST INTEREST Preparing for a Film Shoot Filmmaker William Speruzzi lists fifteen things to do to prepare for a film shoot: 4. Let someone else supervise the script

Boston DSLR Street Photography Meetup Invitation

Posted on the Boston DSLR Meetup group by Chris Swearingen : Anyone want to plan out an hour or two of daylight or night-time street photography? If you're interested in doing something, please check off you're going so we can see how much interest there is, and decide on a date / location. It would be nice if we could meet and go from Harvard Square to Central Square and beyond, walking on mass ave is a great spot for street photography. Or even other Boston locations closer to downtown, with easy public transportation. Time and date are completely up in the air. BostonDSLRMeetup : Street Photography (near mass ave) Harvard Square to Central Square and beyond