Saturday, May 21, 2011

Events Calendar

Rapture Weekend Film Challenge
Philip Bloom has issued another weekend film challenge:
Your film is simply about the end of the world…do what you want! Make it fun, scary, silly, epic…It’s up to you…this should be a blast to make…I am going to try to make one too!!

Keep it short and punchy…no more than 3-5 minutes, less is fine!
PhilipBloom“The end is nigh” Rapture Weekend Challenge

London DSLR Meetup May 26
If you're in London on May 26, Philip Bloom is also holding a DSLR meetup "just to the right of the London Eye."
I will show people who need to be shown how to do timelapse and I will guide people through how to do HDR bracketing timelapses too. This is free, done for fun!
PhilipBloomLondon DSLR meetup on the South Bank. Learn how to shoot timelapse and HDR timelapse

Adobe Road Show: June 2-21 | Los Angeles | San Francisco | New York
Join Creative Suite video experts for a free, in-depth seminar on Adobe Creative Suite 5.5 Production Premium. Covers Adobe Mercury Playback Engine in Adobe Premiere Pro, the new Warp Stabilizer in After Effects, and a high-performance audio tool, Audition—now included in CS5.5 Production Premium.
  • June 2, 2011 - Los Angeles, LA Film School, 5:00pm to 9:00pm
  • June 14, 2011 - San Francisco, Adobe Headquarters, 4:00pm to 9:00pm
  • June 21, 2011 - New York City, The New Yorker Hotel, 4:00pm to 9:00pm
Creative Suite: Adobe Road Show

Sony PMW-F3 Workshop
Sony is working with Maine Media Workshops on classes that will include their PMW-F3 and NEX-FS100U camcorders. HD cinematographer, producer/director/editor, consultant and founder of Vortex Media, Doug Jensen, who is also a member of Sony’s Independent Certified Experts (I.C.E.) team, will teach one of these; “Digital Cinematography with Sony’s Super 35mm HD Camcorders,” August 7-13.
dv.comSony Teams With Maine Media Workshops For Pro HD Training

News From Here & There

Report from the Single Chip Camera Evaluation
Snehal Patel attended a screening of the Single Chip Camera Evaluation (SCCE) - a series of tests comparing different digital cameras - and has written up a fairly extensive set of notes of his impressions of the cameras. His impressions seem to be similar to other reports I've read, with the Sony PMW-F3 performing particularly well - for the price - though the Arri Alexa is probably the overall winner, and the Canon DSLR's didn't do that badly, even if they weren't quite as good as the better cameras.
Sony PMW-F3 - SURPRISE!  This is the one camera that continually made me sit up and take notice.  It's incrediblly affordable for the kind of ability it has.  I've seen earlier footage from the F3 which I thought was very "video-like" (it's a term I like to use which means that the image reminds me of NTSC-style interlaced video even when the camera is set to shoot like film in 24p, etc.)  But when I saw the SCCE, it got me hooked!
One other interesting fact; Gale Tattersall, DP of House, was also at the event, and said that the next season of House will be shot using the Alexa.

Zacuto is shooting some of these events and is assembling a web documentary about the project that will be available later this year.
FearlessProductionsSingle Chip Camera Evaluation (SCCE) screening, Hollywood DI
NotesOnVideoResults from the Single Chip Camera Evaluation

Crowd Funding
Brandon Walter Irvine has put together a fairly in-depth article about crowd funding, and the two most popular crowd funding sites: Kickstarter and IndieGoGo. The article compares the differences between the two sites, as well as offering tips on how to run a crowd funding campaign.
As for the presentation of the campaign page, it's conventional wisdom that the video posted on your campaign page is very important. “Every project should have a video,” said Kickstarter’s co-founder, Yancey Strickler in a phone interview, adding that 80 percent of projects have one. Broderick added that many campaigns have been successful because the video has personalized the campaign by including the filmmaker.
TheIndependentCrowd Funding 101: How to Maximize Your Online Campaign

If you're thinking of crowd funding, Vimeo offers their own tips page:
Another important thing to remember is to keep your users updated. Using Kickstarter’s built in blog/update feature, remember to regularly update the project page to let people know your progress. Most users promote their project by showing concept art updates, updating contributors on their free gift statuses, or keeping users involved with behind the scenes footage
VimeoFunding your project on Kickstarter

Final Draft iPad App on Hold
Hand Held Hollywood reports that the Final Draft iPad app has been put on hold. Some Final Draft users were eagerly looking forward to this app, but it appears that the developer has either run in to technical difficulties, or re-thought the development process.

The companies official announcement said in part:
In order to integrate with future Final Draft products, we’ve redefined the development roadmap of our Final Draft Mobile app. As a result, the app will be released at a later date 
HandHeldHollywoodFinal Draft For IPad Has Been Delayed Until "A Later Date"

Review of Adobe Creative Suite 5.5 Production Premium
Oliver Peters reviews the latest update of CS5.5 in a fairly extensive article for
If you’re new to Premiere Pro, this is the version to try. Interchange is good with Final Cut Pro, you can work with Media Composer or FCP7 keyboard layouts and it includes Ultra – one of the best green/bluescreen keyers in any NLE. I found all of the applications to be very stable, even though I’m running beta versions of the software. Once again, Adobe has ratcheted development up a notch and it shows.

DaVinci Resolve Demo Video
Interested in DaVinci Resolve? Blackmagic have posted a video demo showing you how the program works. It's more demo than tutorial, but provides a good tour of features and how things are done, including using the motion tracker.
YouTube: DaVinci Resolve Demo

Quick Links

Friday, May 20, 2011

Roger Deakins Still Shocks People with End-of-Film Talk

Never mind tomorrow's Rapture, it seems that some industry people are still shocked to learn that film's day is done. UK Cinematographer Ed Moore attended a talk last night given by Cinematographer Roger Deakins, and tweeted:
Roger Deakins produced an audible gasp from the crowd by very plainly stating he doesn't see why he'd ever shoot film again
Odd that the crowd was so shocked, given that for the last three or four months, all that Roger has been talking about is the end of film: gives me more than I can get with film. It's not because I can do it digitally, and it's not because it's easier, it's because it gives me more options.
- Roger Deakins Jan 2011
I don’t personally think film emulsion is going to be used for very much longer at all. I know people have been saying that since — well, since I started in the business — but I really think this year and next year will be it, really.
- Roger Deakins Feb 2011
I'm probably going to use Alexa on my next shoot — it seems very likely.
- Roger Deakins Apr 2011

Pub Night @ Rule Camera with the Sony PMW-F3

[Oops, I accidentally deleted this post, and had to recover it, - Ed.]

Last night was, as John Rule introduced it, the first annual Rule Boston Camera Pub Night, though he then corrected himself and said he was hoping it would be a monthly event. Free pizza, free beer and a talk about camera gear? Where do I sign up?! For this first Pub Night was well worth attending, not just because of the free beer and pizza.

The main presentation was given by Sony PMW-F3 specialist, Joe Schimizzi, and Joe really seemed to know his stuff about the camera. He was able to answer questions on just about everything, from recording options, upcoming lenses and firmware updates, to why the Sony PL lenses don't seem to fit on other PL mount cameras (they were supposed to, but Sony is aware that there's a problem with some mounts.)

Joe Schimizzi

They had two PMW-F3's on display, one with the kit PL lenses, and one with an Angenieux Optimo lens.

Sony PMW-F3 with Angenieux Optimo lens

Joe showed some early videos that were shot using prototype cameras and he talked about how they were shot; what recording options, etc. I'd seen most of these videos before, but it was interesting to hear more details about how they were shot.

There was a lot of stuff covered, and I'm going to write up some more notes about the different topics over the weekend.

Rule has been involved with other evening meetings hosted by groups like the Boston Final Cut Pro Users Group, and also offers the LearningLab series, which are occur most Wednesday mornings, but this was there first Pub Night, and it was a little more relaxed, and with free beer. Also, being in the evening, it was easier for me to make it.

I hope they do some more.

Free beer. Did I mention the free beer?

If you've never been, Rule does some great events, and they don't always seem to put them up on their events page, so if you're in the Boston area, drop them a note and ask to be put on their email list. That way you'll know when they hold the next Pub Night.

Rule: Events Page

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Quick Links

Atomos News & Updates
Atomos, makers of the Atomos Ninja and Samurai,have a news section that features a report from NAB, as well as articles on:
  • STRIPPER 1.0, their reverse telecine application that recovers progressive video from material that has been output as an interlaced signal. Most if not all major makers of video cameras apply this technique to 24p, 25p and 30p footage that is output through HDMI.
  • Support for HDMI: It’s worth repeating this.You will probably find that the framerate you have your camera set to record to is not the same as the video signal coming out of the HDMI connection.
  • Camera Compatibility
  • Does the Ninja work with DSLR cameras?
Atomos: News+Updates

Atomos Ninja Review
If you're thinking of getting a Ninja, Gorilla Pictures has a - short - review "in-progress":
I really wanted to put it in a real world test so I took it on a job with me to Hong Kong for a solid week of shooting.  Initial feedback is it’s a brilliant tool that really speeds up your workflow.
GorrillaPictures: Atomos Ninja Review

Internet Kills TV
The BBC asks if the internet is killing television; of course it is! But this article has quotes from three experts:
"I think the over the top experience has been very beneficial to the market, because it has stimulated traditional pay TV operators into waking up, and realising consumers want a more on demand experience, that meets the criteria of what we call media 3.0, this anytime, anywhere content experience."
BBC: Is the internet going to be the death of television?

New iMac harddrive replacement
MacWorld covers the issues with upgrading the internal hard drive of the new iMacs. They also note some possible solutions and work-arounds.
MacWorld: Difficulties abound when upgrading a 2011 iMac's hard drive

High Frame Rates
Very Cool Fireworks at high frame rates (captured with the Phantom Flex, of course): Vimeo: "The Phantom Flex Menace"

Another Phantom Flex production, featuring a flying breakfast. This includes a short "making of" video: Bruton|Stroube: Breakfast Interrupted

Patrick Eggert has posted a nice series of shots made with the Sony PMW-F3 and a Kessler crane. He offers the following advice: So bottom line get a F3 and a kesslercrane and you're set! Vimeo: Sony F3 Test Shoot w/ Kesslercrane

A battle scene shot as though cameras were weapons: YouTube: Battle At F-Stop Ridge

Upcloming Events in Boston

If you're in Boston tonight, May 19, stop by the Rule Boston Camera "Pub Night" with a discussion and demo of the Sony PMW-F3.

Featuring Philip Hodgetts on FCP X and Yan Shvalb for Adobe on "What's New in CS5.5 Production Premium"

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

News From Here & There

Thinking of Using Kickstarter to Finance Your Project?
Filmmaker Nathaniel Hansen offers 7 tips:
Through trial and error on over a dozen kickstarter projects, hours of lectures at Emerson College, and countless meet ups, phone calls and emails with artists and innovators, I’ve refined a “best practices” list that I share when I decide to get involved with a project.
NathanielHansen7 Things to Consider BEFORE you Launch your Kickstarter Project

Movie Nerd Humor has a really interesting article looking at the "5 Annoying Trends That Make Every Movie Look the Same," and what's interesting - apart from the fact that it ignores that movie studios have always been derivative - is how technically nerdy the article is:
To be fair, it's not necessarily laziness per se. Your average colorist has to grade about two hours of movie, frame by frame sometimes, in the space of a couple of weeks. It doesn't take that many glances at the deadline bearing down on the calendar before you throw up your hands and say, "F*&k it. Everybody likes teal and orange!"
Wait! Colorist? What is this site? Is Cracked no longer a humor site? It says "America's Only Humor Site Since 1958" at the top. Is that 19:58 yesterday?

Here's the complete list:
  • #5. Movies are Color-Coded by Genre
  • #4. Everything Else is Teal and Orange
  • #3.Ramping (aka, Everything Slows Down Then Speeds Up)
  • #2. Faking the Documentary Look, Even When it's Not a Documentary
  • #1. 3D That Somehow Makes the Movie Look Worse
And the article actually has frames from movies as examples, and explanation and everything. Let me say, the list is actually interesting, but I'm not sure why it's on a humor site...
Cracked: 5 Annoying Trends

Web Video Text
Richard Harrington offers tips on how to review on-screen text to make sure it's readable when played back:
We recommend staying in your desk chair but reducing the playback window to 50 percent (or even 25 percent) magnification. You can also change the resolution of the Program Monitor to quarter or half quality.
RichardHarrington: Testing Font Readability

The State of Digital Media Players
Peter at Gdgt Weekly Newsletter looks at digital media players like Boxee and AppleTV and wonders if it's really about the media libraries (Netflix, YouTube, iTunes etc) rather than the capabilities of the boxes themselves:
Once everyone starts offering more or less the same set of features and services on their box, it makes it tough to differentiate on any other basis than price, which is why it’s really not that surprising to see how aggressive prices have already become.
Gdgt: Discussion about Digital Media Players

A 48 Hour Film Competition
Benjamin Eckstein took part in the recent Boston 48 Hour Film Competition, and writes about it, providing some tips for those considering entering a future competition:
48HFP Tip #1: I think picking a location and deciding no matter what, that you’ll shoot there, is a great way to go about the 48HFP.) 
BenjaminEckstein: And yet another... 48 Hours

Apple Upcoming Event: Never Mind
Now they seem to think that the BIG upcoming event at the Apple stores is just a Back-to-School promotion and store rebranding.
AppleInsider: Sources: Apple gearing up for back-to-school promotion as early as next week

Just For Fun:

For the Final Cut Pro editor: Final Cut Pro: A Day In The Life, a rap music video.

...and if you like your humor without music, Inspiration Studio's does their bit on the Sony PMW-F3:

ProKit 7.0 (Snow Leopard 10.6.6 and later)

About ProKit 7.0 - released May 17
This ProKit Update fixes the following minor issues:
  • Improved support for PopOver style tooltips.
  • Improved support for Font Smoothing.
  • Addresses an issue with an unwanted gap between a menu and submenu.
  • Fixes leaks and improves stability for the color picker and timecode interface in Final Cut Pro and Motion.
  • Improved compatibility when importing assets from older versions of Soundtrack Pro.
  • Fixes an issue with the scrubber appearance in Logic Express and Logic Pro.
  • Addresses AppKit related crashes in Motion.
This update is recommended for users of Final Cut Pro, Motion, Soundtrack Pro, DVD Studio Pro, iPhoto, Aperture, Final Cut Express, Logic Pro, MainStage, Logic Express and iAd Producer.

Apple: ProKit Update

Unfortunately, I installed the update last night, and Motion continued to crash regularly for me!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Rule Camera Pub Night - See the Sony PMW-F3

Rule Camera Boston is having a Pub Night this Thursday, May 19th 6:00pm - 8:00pm

Pub Night is an opportunity each month to gather some industry folks together for a beer and take a closer look at the latest gear in a casual, relaxed environment.

Joe Schimizzi, Sony's F3 Specialist will host the FIRST MONTHLY PUB NIGHT with a hands-on tour of the Sony PMW-F3. Q&A will follow along with a chance to test the camera for yourself.

Space is limited: RSVP:

Quick Links

Camera Recorders
Abel Cine has posted a chart showing the specifications for different camera mounted HD recorders. The chart includes details on recording format, media, inputs and other information.
AbelCineCamera-Mounted Recorders Comparison

Sony HXR-NX70 First Impressions
Philip Johnston at the HD Warrior got to play with the Sony HXR-NX70 for 45 minutes and loved it (he's also already ordered his own.)
The camera performed flawlessly and it was great to be able to set your gain to 0dB giving you a very punchy picture indeed. I am a big audio buff and having balanced XLR inputs is a joy.
HDWarriorSony HXR-NX70 camcorder “1st Play”

Who Doesn't Love A Good Apple Rumor?
Is Apple up to something? Could a big announcement be coming sometime around May 20 or 22? Or maybe just iCloud? Rumors suggest something is up.
AppleInsiderMore evidence suggests Apple has plans for 10th anniversary of retail

Avid has announced that the following are now available—Media Composer 5.5.2, Symphony 5.5.2, NewsCutter 9.5.2. Free upgrade for customers running 5.5.x or 9.5.x. Avid: Download Center for Avid Video Products

Massachusetts Documentary Filmmaking Summer School
A 4-week program working with independent documentary filmmakers. June 6 - July 1, 2011
June 6 - 10: Documentary Video Boot Camp with David Tames
June 13 - 17: Producing the Documentary with Maria Agui Carter
June 20 - 24: The Documentary Camera with Stephen Maing
June 27 - July 1: Editing the Documentary with Bill Anderson
Massart: Summer Film School

DaVinci Resolve Update 7.1.2: Blackmagic Support Center

Adobe RED EPIC Importer Preview. This updates the RED support in Adobe After Effects CS5.5, Adobe Premiere Pro CS5.5 and Adobe Media Encoder CS5.5 to support the latest Color Science and Firmware for RED EPIC digital cinema cameras. Adobe Labs

Chrosziel Offers Lightweight Support for Sony NEX-FS100 and PMW-F3, two base plates with rails and one shoulder rig:

I Thought They Were Just Photos

A friend works as a Real Estate Agent, and recently he was representing a property that an owner wanted to rent. When putting together the listing for the property, the agent took some photos of the property because, as he says, the clients often provide terrible pictures. A month or so later - before the property was rented - the owner changed his mind and decided to sell the property. The owner also decided - as was his right - to choose a different agent and agency to sell the property.

Because he works on commission - and the property hadn't been rented - no money was paid to the original rental agent for the work he'd done in listing the property.

A few weeks later, the rental agent happened to notice that the pictures he had taken were being used by the new selling agent in their listing. When he contacted the agent, they said that the owner had provided them...

...and when he contacted the owner to find out why they had provided his pictures to the new real estate agent, he got the response "Oh, I thought they were just photos."

Which got my wondering; what does that mean? That photos have no value? Or that the owner did not value the time and effort used to take the photos? Is this ignorance, or someone with an exaggerated sense of entitlement? Or is it that the internet makes people think that any photo is in the public domain?

Coincidentally, Larry Jordan posted today about an experience he had where someone took videos he'd posted on YouTube and reposted them as their own.
...a reminder to everyone that when you make copyrighted material available for free, or download a program from a source like Pirate Bay without paying for it, you are depriving someone of an income, and possibly someone from having a job.
Fortunately, the person took down the offending videos after Larry sent them a complaint.

Meanwhile, the Social Times just published "The Complete Guide To Fair Use & YouTube" which is mostly taken from a YouTube talk on fair use, "Mashups, Parodies & Lip Dubs: Ask A Legal Expert About Fair Use," by Anthony Falzone, executive director of the Fair Use Project and associate director Julie Ahrens. It covers the various interpretations of Fair Use, though be warned:
Before you read any further it is important to point out that this information should be taken only as general guidance and not legal advice. If you aren’t sure one hundred percent about how fair use law relates to your specific situation then you should consult a lawyer.
See also:
Larry's Blog: Copyright and Communication
Social Times: The Complete Guide To Fair Use & YouTube
YouTube: CIS Fair Use legal experts answer questions about YouTube

Monday, May 16, 2011

Buying a Camera: Canon G12 vs. Sony NEX-3

I often get asked my opinion on cameras. Unfortunately, just as often I don't have a clue about the cameras that the person is asking about; but I'm always willing to offer an opinion!

A friend recently asked my opinion of the Canon G12 vs the Sony NEX-3. He was looking for a camera for personal use; something that would take good stills but also take some video of the family. He'd looked at the NEX-3 at a Best Buy and felt it was kind of clumsy with the large lens sticking out of the small body, and it didn't seem very rugged.

Here is an edited version of my carefully considered opinion. Notice that I sort of tried to steer him in one direction:

I think the G12 is nice. I checked the video specs and it supports 720p, which is the same as the NEX-3. The NEX-5 supports 1080p, but for casual use, 720p is pretty good.

The G12 is a really excellent still camera, with some video capabilities. I actually thought about getting an earlier model - the G7 I think - a few years back, but ended up getting a different Canon PowerShot model instead. Personally, I wasn't impressed by the optical viewfinder on the earlier model because it didn't feel at all like a DSLR optical viewfinder; it felt the same as a cheap point-and-shoot, and I was hoping for something a bit better. That's totally a pet peeve of mine, and if you tried it out and liked it, then that's great!

My other concern is that it sounds like the video is a little limited. I bet it does a better job than the iPhone, but there's limitations to these point-and-shoot cameras. From the review on DPreview:
You get some basic in-camera video editing, but just like the S95, the G12 cannot be manually zoomed during movie shooting (see the clip above for the effects of digital zoom), and focus must be preset before recording commences.
With the Sony NEX-3, the zoom is on the lens, so you can zoom during shooting (but having played with it, I know that the zoom isn't very smooth....the lens barrel is a bit stiff, but at least you can zoom!) That may be the only advantage the NEX-3 has; other than size and the ability to switch lenses

My *feeling* is that the NEX-3 would be slightly better as a video camera, and the Canon G12 a slightly better still camera. It really comes back to what's important to you? If you mainly want to shoot stills, and capture a few video sequences now and again, I think the G12 would be great. If you want to shoot equal amounts of video and pictures, I'd probably choose the NEX-3.

Did you look at the NEX 5? The case of the NEX-5 is metal instead of the plastic on the NEX-3. It might feel more solid; though it's the same basic form factor; a tiny camera hanging off a big lens.

You might also look at an Olympus PEN, like the E-PL2 and see if you like that better. I'm not sure that it's any better in the video department, but it's in the same price point.

If you have no specific goals and needs, I think either of these cameras would take good pictures and video. Since it's for personal use, I'd look at interface, and see how it feels to operate it and use it. Which camera do you feel most comfortable with?

Of course, he bought the Canon G12, and is very happy with it!

See also:
DPReview: G12: New Features
B & H: Sony Alpha NEX-3 Interchangeable Lens Digital Camera w/18-55mm Lens (Silver) [$599.99]
B & H: Canon PowerShot G12 Digital Camera [$499.95]

News From Here & There

Where's Those Thunderbolt Accessories?
An interesting article at MacWorld about the difficulty in finding Thunderbolt cables, never mind Thunderbolt devices:
How slow was the USB roll-out? We reported on the original iMac in our July 1998 issue; our really big round-up of USB devices didn’t appear until July 1999, eleven months later.
So sure, buy those Thunderbolt iMac's, they'll eventually be useful; just don't hold your breath for wide availability of Thunderbolt devices...
MacWorld: Waiting for Thunderbolt

Low Light Test
Kevin Ritchie has posted a short video comparing four cameras in low light using skin tones; the Canon 5D Mark II, 7D, Panasonic AG-AF100 and Red One MX.
The subject was lit using only a small LitePanels LED at 50% approx 4ft away. Due do the camera's different light sensitivities I have lined up the comparisons based on the subjects skintone exposure or IRE on a waveform monitor.This video is being used a part of my presentation at the Producer's Guild East meeting on 5/17/11 at Blue in Philadelphia, PA.
In addition to seeing noise and color differences, it's fascinating to see that when he adjusts the image so that they match on a waveform monitor, the ISO's of the cameras are somewhat different: The 7D and 5D at ISO 4000 matches to the AF100 at 2500 and the Red One MX at 6400.
VimeoCanon 5dmk2, 7D, Panasonic AF-100, Red One MX low light test

Saving 16mm Film
Just this weekend I was at a conference where the impending end of film was bemoaned, so it was interesting to see this article about an attempt to get the BBC to reverse it's move to end 16mm film as an approved acquisition medium.

However you feel about this, it's kind of ironic because the BBC's standards have also been working as gatekeepers against some digital acquisition methods, like the Canon 5D Mark II. Now the same organization is moving to get rid of film, with even 35mm in question:
The guidelines state that 35mm film stocks are permissible for HD delivery, provided they are 3-perf or 2-perf daylight (no tungsten) with an ASO rating of 250 or less.
The argument against film seems to center on grain and how that impacts digital compression in transmission:
“We have to think about the transmission chain and unfortunately using MPEG4 images are highly-compressed and a 16mm source going through MPEG4 encoders will deliver noise which is unacceptable for HD. For the same reason we have banned the introduction of filmic effects. At lower resolutions the encoders make the overall picture look soft on transmission.”
European Federation of CinematorgraphersIndustry galvanises to save 16mm

Film vs Digital Acquisition
In an interview at StudioDaily, Colorist Trent Johnson - who worked on Priest - describes the breakdown of film vs digital in the projects he works on:
Today the breakdown is 50/50 film to digital. If you ask me again in 6 months, I bet it will be about 40/60 film to digital.
StudioDailyColorist Trent Johnson On Priest's 4K DI

Checking Your Surroundings
Jonathan Bregel at Next Level Pictures tells about a shot that got a little awkward, and was close to going really bad, while shooting at a "Trap House":
My crew and I all look at each other as if this is something out of a movie. 6 film crew guys, in the middle of a "Trap House", surrounded by about 30 "Trap House Tenants." Not good. I immediately grabbed my camera and ran it to the truck as my gaffer, Boyd Hobbs, and his g&e wrapped faster then a posse of superheroes. Just as we got everything back to the truck and were waiting for the producer to get back on set, the 2nd AC, Jimmy Costigan, had reminded me that some of our camera gear was in fact, IN THE CRAZY GUYS TRAP!
I don't think I'd go shooting in a location like that.
NextLevelPicturesNLP Shoots Music Videos for Rick Ross, Wale, and Jadakiss

Web Video and Advertising
Social Times seems to think that Web Video will become more and more important in marketing, and notes 5 upcoming trends:
Interactive Video Will Become The Standard For Advertising
As technological advancements are made in the field of web video, plain old commercial spots just won’t cut it anymore. Viewers are becoming less and less impressed with cut and dry video campaigns, now that more brands and companies are introducing interactivity to their video campaigns.
I'm not convinced myself, but maybe some people like to interact with ads...
SocialTimes: 5 Upcoming Trends In Web Video Marketing That You Need To Know About

And just to prove me wrong, here's an article at The Wall Street Journal about Interactive Music Videos
In “3 Dreams of Black,” which Milk prefers to call an interactive film, the viewer takes control in certain sequences, using the computer mouse to steer a stampede of morphing wildlife, or build structures in a vast desert. Five months in the making, the video shows off a burgeoning technology called WebGL, which allows an Internet browser to render 3-D graphics in real time.
WSJArtists Experiment With Interactive Music Videos

Tao of Color Sunday Morning. Check out Patrick Inhofer's weekly collection of interesting articles with a colorists bent. [TaoColoristSunday] 05-15-2011 (Obsessed With Clouds)

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Virtual NAB

I checked out the Virtual NAB show today, and it was everything I feared it would be; a collection of videos and materials you might expect to find on the web anyway, a few interactive chats, and not much else.

Perhaps most disappointing was that there were only eight companies represented, the two most interesting were Canon and AJA, and Canon didn't really announce anything that exciting at NAB anyway. No Sony, no Redrock or Zacuto. No Panasonic. Now if one of those had been represented, I might have had some questions for them!

Most of the time, company reps only answer pretty obvious questions anyway; by the time a product has been out for two months, any question the company is willing to answer has already been answered somewhere on the web!

I don't think "Virtual Trade Shows" are going to catch on; not if they continue to be as pointless as this was. NAB Virtual Show

Stability problems with Premiere CS 5.0?

At one of the sessions at the MIT Media in Translation conference, one of the speakers said that several people he knew who had switched to Premiere when 5.0 came out, were moving away from it due to problems with stability; long project load times, and random crashes.

The comment was made almost in passing, but I was rather surprised as I hadn't heard any reports of problems with Premiere 5.0.

I queried the speaker, and he said that what he'd heard might be considered anecdotal, but several people he knew had become frustrated enough with Premiere to stop using it.

So; Premiere 5.0 users? Problems? No problems? I'd be interested to hear.

Todd Kopriva from Adobe posted a comment noting that users should install the three updates they've issued for improved stability:

Adobe: Adobe Premiere Pro CS5 (5.0.3) update: performance improvements, bug fixes, and Quadro 5000M and 4000 CUDA support]

News From Here & There

Changing Lenses
Philip Johnston at HD Warrior talks about dealing with dust on sensors of interchangeable-lens cameras. He offers tips on how to clean the sensor, and also where and how to change lenses to reduce the chance for dust. He even recommends using a portable Film Changing Room to reduce dust, though unless you're in very dusty situations, that seems a bit extreme to me!

He makes an interesting observation about the Sony NEX-FS100:
Lastly the new Sony FS100 seen above will be far more prone to dust as the sensor apart from being Super 35mm is fairly close to the front of the camera itself.
HDWarrior: Cleaning the sensor of an interchangeable lens camcorder

Preditor: Producer + Editor
Noting that as the industry changes, rolls are often being combined, Oliver Peters looks at the Producer/Editor, or Preditor [though I seem to encounter more Editographers, Editors + Cinematographers.]

The best part of the piece is his advice for those who want to get into the industry, and what areas to focus on:
What advice is there for people about to enter college, are now in a college program or early in their career? First, I would offer that many college “digital media” programs are probably a better starting point than the more traditional “film programs”. Of course, that’s not a blanket statement, as many schools are adjusting their curriculum to stay relevant.
He also lists the five skill sets you need to master for success as a “new video professional.”
digitalfilms: Rise of the Preditor

Ranting: It's what the internet was invented for
Claiming he posted this before he meant to, David duChemin has a three (maybe four) rant post on the things that annoy him, specifically:
...if I hear one more supposed teacher post a ludicrously over-processed HDR image and tell the world it’s closer to what the eye sees things I might re-consider my reluctance to rant about it.

Without using the strong language I’d like to, it’s really, really, really, overdue for us to stop the lunacy about gear... We need to stop patting people on the back for derivative, repetitive, imitative work and lovingly encourage them to move forward.

But Oh Lord am I tired of the discussions about going back to film because it’s better.
PixelatedImageNo Such Thing As Better

Dealing With Rejection
Jason Brubaker explains how he deal's with rejection; oddly, it doesn't involve voodoo dolls or anonymous calls to the IRS: instead, he suggests having multiple projects in different stages of development.
FilmmakingStuff: How To Deal With Filmmaking Rejection

Getting Started
Ira Glass from This American Life, while acknowledging that when you start out you're going to produce a lot of stuff that isn't that great, offers this advice:
... if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know it’s normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story.
DesignTalk: Nobody tells this to beginners

The Visualmakers
The Visualmakers is a documentary filmed at the 2011 NAB Show that seeks to find out what unites independent filmmakers who use the latest breed of relatively affordable digital tools [is that code for DSLRs? -Ed]. The trailer for the documentary has been posted, featuring: Kevin Shahinian, Cristina Valdivieso, Jon Connor, Vincent Laforet, Mick Jones, Julia Swain, Robin Schmidt, Jared Abrams, Ben Eckstein and Philip Bloom.
NeedCreative: The Visualmakers - Preview/Trailer Is Here!