Saturday, January 21, 2012

Quick Links

RED Scarlet versus Panasonic GH2 | Andrew Reid | EOSHD
A look at some samples from David Cole of 3D rig builders Beampath, shot with the Panasonic GH2 and RED Scarlet:
The GH2 is certainly a match for the Scarlet in terms of resolution at 2K, even at a push upscaled to 2.5K.

The biggest difference is in latitude and compression in the shadows. The Scarlet has more latitude and a flatter picture profile because of its RAW recording format. Dynamic range is less on the GH2 and the lows look more highly compressed. Here I have boosted the lows in post on both shots to show what is going on…

THIS Sunday – Podcast With Philip Bloom | shoot.edit.learn
A live podcast with Philip Bloom on Sunday, January 22nd at 5PM Eastern:
So it’s that time again! We had so much fun during our last live video podcast and got so much great feedback that we decided to do it again. Karen Abad and I have invited Philip Bloom to join us this Sunday for a live interview and, of course, some q+a from all the viewers.

“Nightscapes” - A Look into creating a timelapse film on a minimal budget
| Phil Arntz | Daniel Freytag
In this guest post Phil Arntz writes about how he shot a timelapse film with minimal equipment:
When shooting sunsets or sunrises, you can also shoot manual, but you would have to factor for the change of light and see which part is most important for you and expose for that! Another method is to use AV Mode, which is aperture priority! You can use that and it will adjust for the changing light, although you will loose certain control over your image and will have flicker in your timelapse! The so called flicker, which is introduced by inconsistent exposures (some brighter or darker than the others) can be removed in post production however, but don’t forget to factor in the time, this takes!

S-Log and the Sony F3 – Part 3: Application | AbelCine | Vimeo
Andy Shipsides offers this tutorial on using the Sony PMW-F3:
In the third part of my S-Log series I took the Sony F3 outside on a nice bright day to show what S-Log can do. Jeff Lee and I headed up to the roof of AbelCine and found some shade to stand in, this allowed us to show the most contrast possible. I shot the blog in S-Log as well as in the standard video modes with the AbelRange profile that I created earlier this year. This way I can show just what S-Log enables in the camera.

Schneider Optics True Match Vari ND Filter. Wide Open Camera Quick Take Review | Wide Open Camera | YouTube
A look at an ND filter from Schneider:
Here is a Quick Take on the new Schneider True Match Vari-ND Filter. This is one of the better fader filters on the market. There are some limitations. For more info check us out at This bad boy is not cheap at around $450 US.

FCP X: Match the Sound of Two Clips | Larry Jordan | Blog
How to get sound levels in different clips to match:
2. Before we match the sound, we first need to match the audio levels between the two clips. While this isn’t necessary to do the match, you can’t get two audio clips to sound the same if the levels are not at least close to matching each other.
There are several ways to do this:
FCP X: Smoothing “Ken Burns” Moves
Larry also offers this tip for those using the "Ken Burns" effect:
If you are adding Ken Burns moves to two clips and you want to add a transition between them, apply the transition between the two clips FIRST, then add a Ken Burns move to each of the two clips on either side of the transition.

The C300 DPs--Dana Christiaansen | Fletch/The Association | Vimeo
This is a short piece from a recent boot camp where Dana Christiaansen talks about the advantages of hand-held shooting.

An Author Looks at iBooks Author | Alexia Van Hurkman | Blog
Alex likes Apple's new iBooks Author, but doesn't like the fact it's limited to the Apple iBookstore:
In the short term, it’s disappointing, because the team that created iBooks Author made a really, really nice piece of software. Something that I think is better at what it does then most other applications of its type on the market, for this very small niche of technical and textbook writers. I’d love to use it, and I would have paid good money were it a more general purpose tool.

Star Wars Uncut: Director's Cut

This is fun; but I don't think I can watch more than a few minutes of it; a crowd-sourced Star Wars:
Finally, the crowd-sourced project has been stitched together and put online for your streaming pleasure. The "Director's Cut" is a feature-length film that contains hand-picked scenes from the entire collection.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Ed Burns on Newlyweds

Filmmaker Ed Burns was on the appallingly bad* "Piers Morgan Tonight" last week talking up his $9,000 film project; Newlyweds. Any indie filmmaker should pay close attention to how Burns has been using social media and other unique ways to finance and promote his movies the last couple of years.

I found it particularly interesting that the budget for the $9,000 movie - after post work and other undefined things - was more like $125,000. Not a lot by big movie standards, but much more than $9,000!

Burns: I go to film schools all the time and talk to the kids and what's exciting is the playing field has been leveled. Now these kids can get in and they can make a great looking film, and that point of entry is so low. There isn't the economic hurdle anymore.

Burns: The thing that's amazing is, using social media now to publicize the film and we've done this thing where theatrical doesn't make financial sense for indie films, for the most part, so we did a digital distribution where it goes out on video-on-demand and certain companies like Comcast and Time Warner have done a great job recognizing that the indie audience doesn't go to the theater like they used to. They're sitting home at their couch; and iTunes is another major component. In seven days of release we have already made the budget back, times, I don't know, five or six, and not the nine thousand dollar budget, the budget all-in after post-production, is about $125,000.

Morgan:You've already made, what? half a million?

Burns: Ahhh....just, I'd say, a little shy of that. 
...and we did not expect to do this, we did a moive last year called Nice Guy Johnny, that did nowhere near that, I mean it did very well, but this has surprised everybody.

* Morgan seemed more interested in Burns' wife than the movie.

Quick Links

Thoughts On DVD Covers | Jared Flesher | Sourlands
Jared is working towards completing his documentary Sourlands, and in the latest post on his blog, talks about designing a DVD cover.
The feedback I’ve received from designer friends is that it’s a little dark overall, and rather serious. And it is, there’s no two ways around that. But I can live with a little dark and rather serious. If people don’t buy the documentary because they’re not in the mood to watch something serious, I can live with that. Sourlands is entertaining and occasionally funny, but at its heart it’s a serious film.

Mixing Voice and Music Fast in Final Cut Pro | Chadwick Paul | Blog
A tip for working with audio in Final Cut Pro:
Have you ever had a producer tell you to cut a few shots out of your video after you already made the “perfect” mix using clip overlays, keyframes, and rubberbands? Here is an old school technique I use that prevents this frustration. It keeps audio very flexible with the use of through-edits, crossfades, and the roll tool. Check it out and be happy!

Dave Gets a RED Epic Tutorial Before Shooting an Interview | Dave Dugdale
| Learning DSLR Video
A DSLR shooter gets a chance to play with the RED Epic:
A while back I did a BTS video of a camera crew using the RED Epic, after that I got an email from James Drake who is co-owner of, a local RED camera rental house in Denver, asking if I would like to see one and try it out. I was like, “Sure you bet, that would be fun”.

So we met up at Denver’s Union Station a few days ago and James gave me a tutorial on how to shoot with it which you will see here, after that I got to shoot a video interview with James using his Epic.

Sony Nex E-mount Tamron 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 OSS Di III VC AF comparison to Sony 18-200mm F3.5-6.3 Zoom Lens | mike kobal | Blog
Mike compares the Sony 18-200mm NEX [$799.99] mount lens to the Tamron 18-200mm Di III for E Mount [$739.00] (Note, if the Sony is bought as part of a camera kit, it's essentially $699, but they are still comparably priced.)
The Tamron is a little smaller, lighter and has two additional lens elements. The built quality of both lenses is excellent, featuring stylish metal bodies, the Tamron in premium black (which I prefer, also available in silver/grey) and the Sony in titanium grey. The built quality of both lenses is much better then the usual superplastic 50x superzooms.

Breaking Down the Documentary Process | Mike Rosen | Videomaker
A look at the basics to consider when you start your documentary project:
3) Documentary Equipment and Crew: Remember how we said you’d need money to shoot your documentary? Well, here’s where that comes into play. You may be able to cajole some friends into helping you out and you may be able to borrow your neighbor’s old camcorder for free… but let’s face it. You know you get what you pay for when you rely on the kindness of strangers (and friends). If you’re going to make a documentary, make it good.

New FS100 Tutorial Trailer from Sony Europe | Den Lennie | Blog
Den was one of the first to get his hands on the NEX-FS100, and now he's worked on a promotional Blu-ray disc for Sony about the camera:
Back in the late Summer I was approached by Sony Europe and asked if we (My buddy and creative partner Janes Tonkin of Hangmans Studios) would pitch a tutorial Blu-Ray to become a partner proiduct for the NEX FS100 for European Customers.

So James and I wanted to create a cinematic product that would really highlight how much you can achioeve with this gem of a camera ( and it's very affordable for what it delivers)

HyperDeck Shuttle 2 now with 10-bit Playback to the Avid DNxHD Format
| Cinescopophilia
Blackmagic has updated the HyperDeck Shuttle:
Blackmagic Design have released a new version of the HyperDeck Shuttle Solid State Disk recorder. The HyperDeck Shuttle 2 now replaces the existing model and also adds broadcast quality 10-bit recording and playback to the Avid DNxHD format for the same low price of $345. Your move Atomos.

Adobe Post Workflow on Mobius | Vincent Laforet | Blog
A video tutorial showing the workflow for editing Mobius, which was shot on the Canon C300:
A few months ago we did a piece on dynamic linking between Adobe Premiere and AfterEffects. In the above video, Jon Carr, gives a more practical breakdown of how these features were used on our latest film, "Mobius" – notably in terms of rotoscoping. During a particular scene in the film our protagonist (David Lyons) is taking pictures of a Cartel execution from an outcropping of rocks. Unfortunately, the rocks that we used on location were covered with graffiti (the location is usually a well trafficked off-roading recreation area).

Watch: 'Side by Side' Doc Trailer About the Film to Digital Evolution
| Alex Billington | First Showing
I think film is dead - Kodak just filed for bankruptcy protection - but some will keep fighting for it:
"There isn't yet a superior or even an equal imaging technology to film, but we're being forced to transition." Perfectly timed for the start of the Sundance Film Festival today is a trailer for a documentary called Side by Side, produced by Keanu Reeves, about the science, art, and impact of digital cinema.

Elevator pitch: 8 ways to take yours to a higher level | Amy Levin-Epstein
| CBS News
I hate elevator pitches, but if you think you need one, this article might help:
An elevator pitch is a form of marketing, and you need to know the product -- you -- well. "If you haven't taken the time and effort to truly understand your strengths and what differentiates you from others, your personal brand won't be as easy to communicate and won't stand out to others in your networking," says branding expert Chris Perry, MBA, founder of Career Rocketeer.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Be Careful What You Wish For...

For some time now I've been hoping that Apple would do some kind of interactive book publishing tool for the iPad. And today my wish was granted; they announced iBooks Author.

It looks pretty good too: a sort of Pages/iWeb type application that publishes to the iBook store. Apple has done a couple of nice things too; you can test it on your own iPad locally, and they will let us common folk publish to the iTunes store (previously, if you weren't a big publisher, you had to go through some publishing service.)

That's the good news; the bad news? Well apart from the fact that it only supports the iPad (no iPhone) and if you already have an iTunes publisher account, you'll have to create another account to publish books, there is one little fly in the will only run under Lion, and I'm still running Snow Leopard! (I have a policy on only upgrading OS's when I get a new machine, or when a software application requires it!)

So I have to spend the weekend installing Lion and getting used to that. I hope Lion doesn't break anything else...

MacWorld: Hands on: iBooks Author effortless to use, but iPad-only

New England SMPTE Meeting, OLED monitors and a little Canon C300 News

Last night was the January meeting of the New England chapter of SMPTE. SMPTE meetings are a bit of a hit-or-miss affair for me. Often they are very interesting, but sometimes things go over my head and I start to fall asleep. That was sort of how things were this night, though I did learn a little...

Up first was a talk about Holographic television by Michael Bove, Jr. of MIT’s Media Lab. No actual demonstration gear, just a PowerPoint presentation - points off from MIT's "cool" rating for that - though the first part was an interesting discussion of what holographic television is not (we're looking at you, Wolf Blitzer!), and what it is.

Michael said that in 2010 IBM claimed that Holographic television was going to be one of the top five technologies to impact our lives over the next five years; though he added that they didn't say what they meant by holographic television.

And now that I sort of know what it is, I'm not convinced it will make a dramatic difference over the next five years either.

Oh, and the Star Wars hologram's are not technically possible...

Did you know that this demo they did on CNN wasn't a real hologram?
 ...I thought it was a bad green screen job too.

Sonys Gary Mandle, Sr. Product Manager, gave an interesting presentation on OLED displays. It was rather…technical, with some interesting bits and pieces I could actually understand thrown in:
  • Manufacturing costs for OLED’s could be ultimately less than LCDs, as it's actually a simpler, less involved production process, BUT there's all the upfront costs they have to recover.
  • They are deciding whether to invest and build a plant to produce larger panels.
  • It’s been said before, but you really have to see an OLED panel in operation to understand what the fuss is; the deep blacks and response at low light levels are just incredible.
  • They say that the panels will last 30,000 hours; longer than many other display technologies. They have increased the size of the blue dots inside the display because the blue is the first color to go in these; and blue is still the first color to go.
  • The panels somehow adjust over time to keep the color accuracy up as long as possible.
  • OLEDs are very efficient, and Stacked OLED (SOLED) could be used to make lighting that is 10 times more efficient than fluorescents.
Sony make three levels of display; the E models for cinema [16.5" $15,300] applications, the F for television [$10,350], and the PVM for general consumers [$3,690]. The 24.62" E model costs $23,400! These are all manufactured on the same line, but then the panels are graded as they come off, and some of the support electronics are different.

He made an interesting observation that production of large panels (LCDs) has gone down over the past couple of years, while sales of small panels has gone up dramatically [*cough* iPad ] and that the way “we” watch television is changing. We’re watching a lot of stuff on small screens, and tiny screens. When he said production of small LCDs had gone up while large ones had gone down, I wasn’t that surprised; though it wasn’t something that had occurred to me beforehand.

So is an OLED worth that sort of money? When we’re talking about spending close to $20,000 on a camera to capture images, does spending the same to see the best reproduction of what we shot, too much? For me, sure, but maybe not for you!
Which is the LCD, and which the OLED?

Canon C300 News
Finally, I chatted briefly with John Rule of Rule Boston Camera about the Canon C300. He said that pre-sales of the camera have been “really good.” He also said that Canon has told them they will get three or four cameras at the end of the month - as will all the other dealers that are selling the camera.

It appears that it will take a while for the production to ramp up too; which is what Canon's Larry Thorpe said a couple of weeks back as well.

Since some people placed orders back when the camera was announced, if you haven’t ordered yet, you may not see the camera before the summer! (that’s what I’m guessing; John didn’t say that!)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Quick Links

B & H Pre-orders for Canon C300 | NotesOnVideo
I already posted the details on the pricing for the C300 and lenses; you can order it from B & H, or your local dealer. I must admit, though I did think the price was going to be $16,000 - didn't everyone - I was hoping it might be a little lower. Not that I could have bought one either way!

New Canon EOS C300 Digital Cinema Camera Hands-On Review | Trevor Boyer
| B & H
A 20 minute video about the Canon C300 with Rob Rives from B & H:
To devise the EOS C300, Canon leveraged and developed cutting-edge technology from several of its areas of expertise: sensors, image processors, professional video cameras—and of course, optics. The experts at B&H hereby present a hands-on review of the EOS C300, including field and studio tests that put the camera through its paces.

Dispelling the myths, is the Canon C300 worth $15,999? | Andrew Reid | EOSHD
Andrew isn't that impressed by the C300; he thinks you're paying way too much for built-in ND filters:
Now if I were to own a camera, it’d be DSLRs or FS100, no question. I don’t like the form factor of the FS100 but there is no denying that for $5,000 it slam dunks the C300 on the spec sheet. If this is not giving Canon sleepless nights, it really should be. In my view, Canon badly need to respond and bring out a mini stripped down version of the C300 which is to the C300 what the FS100 is to the Sony F3 or a much improved Canon DSLR without the kind of soft moire ridden image we have seen so far from their DSLRs.

LARRY THORPE ON THE CANON C300 | Michael Murie | Filmmaker Magazine
A brief interview with Larry Thorpe conducted at the recent Canon event at Boston Rule Camera:
Can you talk about how you’ve removed the noise?
I can’t talk an awful lot about it other than to say in the photosensor our guys were able to reduce the noise floor very significantly and extend the dynamic range, and that’s what gives this camera this incredible ISO capability.

Sony NEX E-mount gets Metabones $399 electronic Canon EF adapter / Canon C300 available for pre-order | Andrew Reid | EOSHD
We've been waiting for over a year for a certain Boston company to release an EF to NEX converter (with electronic interface), but now it seems some other companies are actually going to do it!
This is great news for NEX 5N and FS100 owners. Suddenly that limited range of E-mount lenses have been supplemented by the entire Canon EOS range! Metabones are set to release a fully electronic interface adapter for Canon EF lenses to Sony e-mount (NEX 5N, FS100). Unlike the bulky MTF adapter it has electronic communication between the Sony body and Canon lens itself so you can adjust aperture on the camera. It also supports IS and requires no external power.

Sony 11-16mm T3 PL and 18-252mm Sony F3 Lens Review | Matthew Allard
| Vimeo
Matt reviews the $10,000 Sony SCL-Z18X140 18-252mm lens and the 11-16mm T3 PL zoom.
Would I buy either of these lenses? Thats a good question. The 18-252 has a lot of strengths and some weaknesses. What it does offer is something that no other product has done before. A zoom rocker controlled Super 35mm lens with a big range. Yes it's not fast, but if your using it outside which I think most people would or in controlled lighting situations it's pretty good. You can still get reasonable shallow depth of field despite it not being a fast lens. It's not perfect, far from it, but it does offer a lot of convenience and a pretty nice image up until about 220mm.

Compressing Video For YouTube | Larry Jordan | Blog
Tips for compressing video for YouTube...but read the next article first...
While YouTube supports a maximum image size of 4K, the data rate for really large images is ridiculously high. For most web videos, given current download rates, the preferred image size is 1280 x 720. This means that when I shoot for the web, I shoot a 720p image. (Progressive is ALWAYS better for the web than interlaced. The advantage of shooting 1080i for repositioning/reframing shots is far out-weighed by the problems interlacing causes web video. 1080p is an ideal format, but not all cameras support it.)

Maximizing Your SEO with Video | Shawn Lam | Dare Dreamer
...after reading the previous article, this one might think you shouldn't be uploading your video to YouTube after all:
So now that we have defined and stated the goal of SEO, let me give you an example of what SEO is not: Posting a video on YouTube is not SEO. It can be a part of a link building strategy but it does nothing for your SEO. In fact, YouTube is robbing you of your SEO potential with each and every video that you post on their website and embed on yours. Now while I’m not going to go into detail in this post on the different type of links, I will say that a link under a YouTube video serves very little value to you in regards to SEO.

So You Call Yourself a DP? | Den Lennie | Blog
Den continues his series on being a DP, this time offering 21 things to check about lighting:
So that's the basic 21 questions that you will be asking yourself subconsciously every single time you turn up at a location. And don't forget, if you are lucky enough to do a recce then great, but most of the time, you simply don't have that luxury and so having a rock solid process is what you need to master in order to do your job well, get a great looking image and most importantly, impress the client - consistently.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS | Stephen Garrett | Filmmaker Magazine
Yesterday I linked to an NPR story about the art of movie trailers; I wish I'd seen this article as it makes a good companion piece:
Above all, and without exception, trailer editing is about rhythm. If you don’t have an innate sense of it, then your trailer will not sing. A trailer, cut well, will have a flowing motion to it, a sense that everything plays off everything else, and will propel the viewer through the experience of the film. Trailers build up excitement and anticipation, and a keen sense of rhythm heightens those sensations.

Rode presents two new Microphones designed for use with DSLRs | Daniel Freytag
| Blog
Dan takes a quick look at two new microphones coming from Rode; the VideoMic HD and the Stereo VideoMic Pro:
The Stereo VideoMic Pro builds on the feature set of the VideoMic Pro, with an ergonomic form factor perfectly suited to DSLR, consumer camcorders and large-sensor video cameras. The integrated shock mounting system provides superior isolation from vibration and mechanical noise that can otherwise degrade the recording quality.

Sony Bloggie Live Lets You Live-Stream Video Over Wi-Fi | Tim Moynihan
| PC World
Last year it was 3D, this year the Sony Bloggie Live [$249] does live streaming...what will it do next year?
While the camcorder records at full high-definition, live streams are limited to 480-by-270 VGA resolution in order to keep lag time and choppy footage at a minimum. Live-broadcasting from the device is limited to 30 minutes per clip, and a full 1080p version of the video footage is saved on the Bloggie Live's 8GB internal hard drive.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

B & H Pre-orders for Canon C300

Today is the day Canon allowed resellers to set/announce prices for the C300. So the fact that B & H is now accepting pre-orders probably isn't as surprising as the price; which is exactly what we thought it was going to be: $16,000. I know some were hoping it would be a bit cheaper...

Canon EOS C300 Cinema EOS Camcorder Body: $15,999.00
Canon EOS C300 PL Cinema EOS Camcorder Body: $15,999.00

Prices for the lenses have been set now too.

Canon CN-E 14.5-60mm T2.6 L S Cinema Zoom Lens with EF Mount: $42,750.00
Canon CN-E 14.5-60mm T2.6 L SP Cinema Zoom Lens with PL Mount: $42,750.00

Canon CN-E 30-300mm T2.95-3.7 L S EF Mount Cinema Zoom Lens: $44,650.00
Canon CN-E 30-300mm T2.95-3.7 L SP PL Mount Cinema Zoom Lens: $44,650.00

Quick Links

derekforeel | Derek Shantz | Twitter
Tested Canon C300 vs. Sony F3. F3 was cleaner at low ISO but got macro blocking at higher ISO. C300's noise much more fine and nicer blacks

Closing thoughts on the Canon C300 – Late night chatter with Rodney Charters, Drew Gardner and Lan Bui part 3 | Bui Brothers | The Bui Brothers Blog
The third - and allegedly last - part of this series on the Canon C300.

2012 reel | SnapRoll Media | Vimeo
SnapRoll has put together a pretty amazing reel of aerial video shots made using remote controlled aircraft:
For the past few years, SnapRoll Media has been at the forefront of remotely controlled aerial camera systems. Like most, we started out using DSLR cameras to record video, but it wasn’t long before the image quality wasn’t up to our standards. We began designing and building larger airframes to carry the weight of the cameras we and our clients wanted to use.
Equipment: RED EPIC, Phantom Flex, Phantom Gold

2012 reel from SnapRoll Media on Vimeo.

Stealth | Kessler
Kesslers latest product is a hybrid lightweight slider that retails for $799.95:
The Stealth is a hybrid slider that combines the lightweight portable rail & carriage system of our standard Pocket Dolly™ with the drag control of our CineSlider™. Features include drag control, smooth rolling precision stainless steel ball bearing wheels and multiple mounting options.
Two lengths available, the Standard 3' (40.5") or Traveler 2' (28.5"

Canon G1X video samples – DIGIC 5 – I’m not impressed | Andrew Reid | EOSHD
Does the video performance of the G1X indicate what the performance of the 5D Mark III will be like; i.e. not that great?
DIGIC 5 is built around a video core unlike the older DIGIC 4 and it largely determines whether Canon’s DSLRs in 2012 like the 5D Mark III, 1DX and 650D will be hit or miss because those too will all be DIGIC 5. So there is a strong possibility that the G1X is indicative of the image we will be getting from those. I certainly hope not…

Today DPReview posted some direct from the G1X Quicktime clips in 1080/24p H.264 format. EOSHD has the analysis…

Although this is a pre-production G1X, and there is still a chance video will be better optimised in cameras like the 5D Mark III, the video output of the G1X is extremely disappointing and I don’t think I will be getting one for video.

Sound: Which mic should I buy? | Oregon Filmmaker
A piece on recording good sound, though the write-up offers a tongue-in-cheek solution if your sound isn't that good:
So you are making a (No Budget) short film and you’ve just asked your jobless best friend to hold the microphone because awww Sound isn’t really that important. But then you get all your awesomely shot footage in the computer and “what” all the sound is SHIT. turns out your buddy you had do sound is a meth addict and seems to be constantly twiddling and rubbing his fingers on the boom pole causing hella-interference on the outputted sound. What do you do? well at this point there is only one option:

Canon EOS-1D X Battery Issues? | CanonRumors
Are there problems with the EOS-1D? Rumors think so:
It’s been noted that an official weight for the new Canon EOS-1D X has yet to be finalized, I’m told the battery is the reason for this. It was suggested they’re having “serious” issues with the new battery

What are the Best Video Formats for Online Distribution? | Mike Rosen
| Videomaker
A white paper on the best video formats for web distribution by Chelsey Grasso. It's free, but you have to give them your email address:
Whether it’s a question of finding the best compression for YouTube or choosing a format that allows your users to interact with the video, there is a video format out there for your exact purposes. Choosing the best video format for web distribution is absolutely vital for getting people to watch your videos on YouTube, Vimeo or other video sharing websites. We asked filmmaker/videographer Chelsey Grasso to decipher the mysteries of getting the best compression for YouTube and the web.

Sony NEX 5N shoots for BBC | Andrew Reid | EOSHD
Can you use cameras "below spec" to shoot video for the BBC? If you have that one-in-a-million shot, then of course you can! In other cases, it gets a bit murky...
BBC man in Vienna Johnnie Behiri has been rigging up with the NEX 5N to shoot for the BBC, which completely destroys the myth that DSLRs can’t be approved for broadcast work. Shot in 1080/25p with only the 18-55mm kit lens and 16mm F2.8 pancake, Johnnie says the NEX 5N ”is a lot of fun to work with. Its low light capability is very nice and working in even 1600 ISO is a absolutely ‘worry free’”.

Do You Want to Be Told What to Do? | Evan Luzi | The Black and Blue
Evan looks at Filmsourcing's amusing take on the business:, an invite-only site for filmmakers to share resources, has published a “politically incorrect” filmmaker’s career guide flowchart. It asks a series of questions — some serious and some sarcastic — to point you towards the ideal position for you as a crew member. The ranks range from Studio Head to Extra and all the way to Blogger.

The Art Of The Modern Movie Trailer | Brent Baughman | NPR
An piece on movie trailer production that aired this past weekend on Weekend Edition. Includes several interesting bits, including a popular cue that has appeared on several trailers:
The music is from a 2003 film, The Life of David Gale, which wasn't all that successful. But the soundtrack pushes just the right emotional buttons in a way that makes it irresistible to trailer producers.

"Sometimes in the back of your mind you know, 'I'm not going to use that cue. That cue's been used to death,'" says Lee Harry, Long's partner at Buddha Jones. "But I want to evoke a feeling. And this piece does it perfectly."

Monday, January 16, 2012

Adobe Press eBook Deal of the Week: Adobe Premiere Pro CS5 Classroom in a Book,

Each week, on Sunday at 12:01 AM PST / 7:01 AM GMT, Adobe Press offers a new eBook at $9.99 for a one-week period.
Adobe Press: eBook Deal of the Week

Quick Links

CES, Thunderbolt and Video hardware | carey dissmore | Blog
In this video Carey wraps up CES Thunderbolt news.
"A couple of things are becoming clear:
A) Thunderbolt is tricky and pretty expensive to develop, heck even the cable, which has chips right in the cable, is $50, and believe it or not, Apple may be selling that at cost. Also many developers are holding off for next-gen chip sets, parts, bridge-ports etc.
B) Apple and Intel are working to get the standard adopted by the entire world of PC architecture..."

4K for £4K and why you probably shouldn’t get a JVC HMQ10 | Andrew Reid
There doesn't seem to be a lot of enthusiasm for this camera, and maybe that's explained by the way it does 4K; it seems to be a bit of a kludge:
So whilst the sensor and the lens are about as unexciting as they get, it DOES do true 4K. I just don’t understand why they took the quadrant approach. SD cards are not suitable for 4K in any guise, putting 4 slots in there as a work around is even more bonkers than having 4 HDMI ports. Not only are small SD cards easily broken or lost in the hustle and bustle of a production set, HDMI is just about the weakest connection port known to man. That there are 4 of each makes 4x more likelihood of a related issue cropping up.

Editing Tip of the Week – Keep it Simple | Barry Clegg | Blog
Some good advice on prioritizing your work:
Sometimes it is a scenario of being able to manage your efforts with the time you have. On days I find multiple deliverables due at the end of the day I try and ask to get a synopsis of everything that I need to do so I can spend x amount of time of video 1, x amount of time on video 2, etc. It can be real frustrating to reach the end of your edit session and then hear “oh, we got this one more thing we have to do” and think “man, I could have managed this time much better if I had just known this needed to be done.”

Top 5 Ways to Avoid Catastrophe in Production and Post | Nathan Adams
| Studio Daily
Some good tips for things to do, and things to avoid:
2. The devil is in the details. If you’re using a new camera, switching to a new editing platform or changing your workflow, you’d better know everything about that element of your production. On a recent pilot for a reality show we had a combination of 28 cameras that we had to manage. Weeks before the production, the DIT and I used a stopwatch to time the media transfers so we knew exactly how many seconds it took to ingest media from each camera. Based on those calculations, we knew we needed 8 laptops ingesting material the whole time.

Panasonic interview: Learning from the fringe, taking small steps | Mike Tomkins
| Imaging Resource
Interview with Darin Pepple, Senior Product Marketing Manager, Imaging at Panasonic Consumer Electronics Co. for the website Imaging Resource. Covers quite a bit of video related stuff:
The GH2 has been out now for a little over a year, so people are wondering about the next model. There’s no one great thing I can say that we’re going to plan on and actually produce right at this time. Certainly, we’ll eventually produce something, right? But I think what you’ll see from us is to continue on trying to get a better and better and better video output for it. The GH product almost has a split brain. When I talk to people and I read the blogs--I participate once in a while on a few blogs just to see what people have to say--and there are two distinct worlds; completely right down the middle, video and still,at the high end.

My first experience with JAG35 Wireless Follow Focus (V1) | Alan Besedin
| Budget Filmmaker
Alan posts a report on his experience using the Jag35 Follow Focus; which is generally favorable.
One more thing I wanted to mention is that the JAG35 wireless FF can only be mounted only on 15mm rods. RED has 19mm rods,so there was no way to mount it directly on the rods. The FF had to be attached to a short 15mm rod (which might have been the part of the kit) which was then attached to a flexible arm and positioned upside down on the top of the rig. This meant that the motor was now spinning the opposite direction, making things a bit confusing for me. The ability to reverse the spinning direction would have been great in such situation, but there wasn’t one. Fortunately for people like myself, it looks like the upcoming V2 version of this follow focus will have reversible motor function on both focus wheel and aperture slider.
Jag35 Wireless Follow Focus V2 | CheesyCam
ChessyCam has posted a short video review of the follow-focus as well.

Advanced Tips for FCP X: Custom Resolution Timelines | T. Payton | CreativeCOW
How do you deal with custom resolutions for timelines in projects? This video tutorial shows you how to create a custom timeline, though you sort of have to cheat!

Report: Camcorder sales drop, are smartphones to blame? | Brennon Slattery | PCWorld
I guess we shouldn't be surprised....
The NPD Group’s tally of U.S. sales of consumer electronics during the holiday 2011 period showed a massive 42.5-percent drop in camcorder sales, and an overall drop of 5.9 percent (which was an improvement over 2010’s 6.2 percent decline). GPS units and point-and-shoot cameras were also hit hard, dropping 32.6 percent and 20.8 percent, respectively. The culprit? Smartphones.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Quick Links

HELLO 2012! & THE C300 | Casey L. Warren | mindcastle
Casey got to spend some time with a pre-production C300, and has written an extensive piece with his opinions of it:
The ISO performance is what really sets this camera apart. It was at first something I underestimated, then I began to pull the images I shot into the computer. 5000 ISO... wow, clean image and almost no grain. 8000 ISO, still a clean and clear image and the grain that was there looked wonderful. At 16000 & 20000 ISO the image definitely had lots and lots of grain, but it was something I could see myself using and being happy about. I think this camera will find its edge in the ISO battle, this is definitely where it's king.

French film director Sébastien Devaud uses EOS C300 to make ‘Out of Tunes’
| Canon
Short impressions piece with video:
“The C300 is a storyteller’s camera,” Devaud tells CPN. He was amazed how quickly he and his crew were able to learn to use the EOS C300. “It’s easy to forget about the technology and focus on the subject,” says Devaud, who since the launch of the EOS 5D Mark II has become an expert in DSLR moviemaking.

Can a professional really use Premiere Elements 10? | Allan Tépper
| ProVideoCoalition
An extensive look of the features present - and missing - in Adobe Premiere Elements 10.
Of course, it wouldn’t be reasonable to expect that the consumer version would include all of the features of the Pro version. If they did, then nobody would by Premiere Pro CS5.5. Here is a list (although not necessarily a complete list), so you can begin to determine whether you (as a video professional who reads ProVideo Coalition magazine) could use Premiere Elements 10 instead of Premiere Pro CS5.5 or some other pro editing application. Everything in this list is what’s missing from Premiere Elements

$20 DIY DSLR Shoulder Rig | Film Riot | YouTube
A very inexpensive shoulder rig:
And yes, we know this has been made plenty of times... But our build is about doing it as cheap, simple and effective as possible. We also chose to warp the pipe instead of cutting it so that it will fit perfectly to the body.

Linkage: January 2012 | S Simmons | The Editblog
An interesting collection of links to different articles relating to video editing:
This is a nice Adobe Premiere Pro CS6 wishlist with some 5.5 gripes. And it appears CS6 will ship in the first half of 2012.
Painting video frames in Photoshop can come in very handy.
Apparently you can get the full Sorenson Squeeze 8 with an Avid Media Composer purchase.
Goody. More words that sitting in front of the computer all day is killing you.

Mini Review of the Manfrotto Unica V Messenger RED shoulder bag £79
| Philip Johnston | HD Warrior
Philip looks at a camera bag from Manfrotto:
Manfrotto “The Unica V messenger is the perfect everyday companion for carrying your camera gear, laptop and personal gear. Gain quick access to your DSLR with lens attached, 17” Macbook (15.4” laptop) and personal effects in the upper compartment by using the top opening..
B & H has the Unica V Messenger Bag (Bungee Cord) for $89.99 with $15 rebate for $74.99

Otto Nemenz first Sony F65 | Jon Fauer | Film and Digital Times
I posted a link about this yesterday, but here's a little more information about the first F65:
With approximately 400 units pre-ordered worldwide, at least two major studios are planning to use it on projects that will begin shooting almost immediately upon delivery of the cameras.

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