Saturday, October 06, 2012

Quick Links

Working With Canon Log | Andy Shipsides | AbelCine
Recently I have been getting a number of questions about Log mode in the Canon C300, which is great because that means that many of us are using this mode. However, there are some really important things to know before jumping in. Canon has recently published a white paper on Canon Log that is full of great info. It’s not exactly light reading, however, so I’ll try to outline some of the important information about Canon’s Log curve in this blog.

Nikon Says BBC Approves D4 & D800 DSLR Cameras, But Is That Right
| Cinescopophilia
Maybe the Nikon DSLR's aren't BBC approved:
Nikon have boldly announced that their flagship DSLR cameras the D4 and D800 have been tested by Alan Roberts the former BBC tech big wig and they have been deemed broadcast approved, but are they? While Alan Roberts did appear to rate the Nikon D4 saying “The results were encouraging” and “Exposure range is, potentially, as high as 13 stops.” Alan’s conclusion of the Nikon D800 clearly states “This camera cannot be recommended for serious programme-making."

How To Build A Rain Machine | Raj Khepar | DIY Photography
Neat! How to make a Rain Machine: I want to do it; but I need a project first....
Now using a hosepipe and a hell of allot of zip/cable ties I simply spiraled out from the center trying to keep it fairly even distance between them. After trimming the zip ties I started making the holes; Bare in mind that in order for it to look natural as rain, it has to spray upwards and then fall at gravities pace. To start with, based on information gleaned from the internet I used a tiny drill bit and drilled them. This was a terrible idea.  instead use a spike, like a pin...

Litepanels Intellectual Property Statement | Litepanels
Litepanels releases a statement about their patent litigation:
Litepanels filed for patent protection of its technology when we first began developing the application of LED for use in the media/creative arts of film, television and photography. We do not own patents on all LED technology. In fact, our patents specifically refer to the application of full spectrum, white LEDs for image capture in those mediums. Litepanels lighting products also include a number of preexisting technologies for which we pay licensing fees to the owners of those patents. We seek similar licensing agreements with companies that wish to use our intellectual property.

Interview with Nino Leitner at Photokina 2012 | Oliver Eberhardt / FilmDuene
| Vimeo
In this interview the austrian DoP Nino Leitner gives some interesting insights about the Black Magic Cinema Cam, problems with raw workflow and new developments on the camera market.

Chris Fenwick Talks Final Cut Pro X on Crossing the 180 (X180-085)
| Dare Dreamer

Today we have part 2 of my conversation with veteran editor Chris Fenwick. This week’s show is all about Final Cut Pro X and Chris’s take on the program as a Non-Linear Editor. But more than that, he really gives some poignant advice about how to look at the industry as a whole. From learning new gear and new programs, to adapting to change, to the things the FCPX does well, those it doesn’t, and some great insight into other NLEs.

Five Camera Kit Essentials For $5 | Jared Abrams | WideOpenCamera
Five useful little things:
Twist Jar Opener. This can work as a follow focus, a zoom stick or help remove a stuck filter. These are great all around tools to have in your kit.

The Cineped: Full 360° Rotatable Slider | Shane Hurlbut | Hurlblog
The Cineped is a full 360° rotatable slider with a carrying capacity of 95 lbs that can mount Mitchell or ball mount tripod heads on top of it. It is sturdy, versatile, and portable and can be mounted on top of a set of Mitchell sticks, on a Fisher dolly, or on the Quatro 4 legged camera support system. We have been testing the Cineped with the Quatro support. Even with a large camera system, it produced smooth movement.

Review: Edelkrone Focus One Pro, EVF & Monitor Holder | Tony Reale
| NextWaveDV
The Focus One Pro works as well as a follow focus should: you turn the focus handle and it rotates the focus barrel of your lens. Pretty simple. But where it separates itself from other models is in its marking disk design and adjustability. Having the marking disk facing the camera op makes pulling focus much more optimized for a single shooter.

Sony PMW-200 | Boguslaw Spala | Vimeo
My first 10 min with Sony PMW-200. And short low light test vs Sony PMW-EX1R. Both camcorders - FULL AUTO MODE.

Sony Big Air Triples POV Competition | Sony | YouTube
Thousands of fans hit the iconic Venice Beach boardwalk last week to watch 18 of the world's best BMX and skateboarding pros compete in the Sony Big Air Triples -- a collaboration between Sony and ASA Entertainment to launch Sony's new point-of-view video camera, the Action Cam. We bring you the exclusive POV footage from the athlete competition.

Friday, October 05, 2012

Quick Links

NEX-EA50 Review. Great Value For The Money | Alister Chapman | XDCAM User
A generally favorable review of the new Sony NEX-EA50, and some comments about the new zoom lens that it comes with:
The pre-production unit I played with had a tendency to shift the image left and right as you alternated between zooming in and zooming out and if you used manual focus there would be some small shifts in the focus through the zoom range. I’ve had quite a few discussions with Sony about this lens and I think you do need to be realistic. This lens has been built to meet the demand from end users for a cheap servo zoom for large sensor cameras. 

Advanced Green Screen | Matt Schwarz | Vimeo Video School
Last time we took a look at the fundamentals of using a green screen. Now we've taken those skills to the next level and used them in an all new Vimeo original, where Casey Donahue gets thrown off our building without actually putting him in harm's way. Our all around favorite editor, motion designer, and fastest man alive Bill Bergen shows us the steps:

Sony PMW-200: An interview with Sony product specialist David Young at Pro Motion Hire | YouTube
Pro Motion Hire invite Sony's product specialist David Young into their office to talk about the PMW-200 over a cup of coffee and some cake. We posed questions to David from our clients in this informal and very interesting chat with Pro Motion's Malcolm Jeffries. Shot on a Sony PMW-200 and Sony PMW-500 to show how well the cameras cut together, we have left this footage ungraded as a physical example of what is being spoken about.

Analysis: YouTube alienates amateur users by courting pros | Gerry Shih | Reuters
The tweaks, which lowered the number of overall views across the site but boosted the average time viewers spent in each video, prompted many of YouTube's amateur providers to cry foul, arguing that the move favored longer, professionally produced content. 

Nikon D4 & D800 - first DSLR cameras fit for broadcast | MyNikonLife
Interesting report, though some of the reports of BBC acceptance/denial of certain cameras can be difficult to confirm:
Nikon’s pro range reaches new heights this week as the D4 and D800 have opened an important door into the professional video broadcasting market. Both models have become the first DSLR cameras to pass the very elaborate European Broadcasting Union (EBU) test, commonly referred to as the BBC Test.

Shooting a Spec Commercial for BMW | Markus Braun | Dare Dreamer
The writer decided to make a spec commercial. This article is interesting because it talks mostly about the work involved, though it's unclear whether the effort was worth it; other than to have something to add to your reel (which is not necessarily a bad thing.)
The most striking thing that happened to me while making this film is connected to the search for the right music. I got to the Free Music Archive, a platform on the internet that offers music under creative commons licences. I found this cool artist, named Carsie Blanton, who wrote the song “Idiot Heart”, which seemed to fit perfectly to my film and to the mood I wanted to create

The Coming H.265 Wave: What it Means for Businesses | Randon Morford
| Streaming Media Magazine
Note: Randon Morford is the director of desktop and core technology development at Sorenson Media,
HEVC has the potential to deliver the same resolutions at half the data rate of H.264. This creates new opportunities in the video chain that don't exist with H.264. Content distributors can deliver 1080p video while maintaining the same storage constraints, or they can maintain 480p and 720p resolutions and cut their storage needs in half.

Digital Convergence Episode 93: The Tomorrow | Podcast
Today’s show is devoted to answering some of our listeners questions. Chris goes in deep with his techniques on shooting and editing an interview. There are some good practical tips in this lively discussion.

Meizler Module | RED Digital Cinema | Vimeo
A look at this module for the RED camera which adds a lot of functionality:
Along with an array of popular connections and ports, the Meizler Module features wireless video, audio and timecode transmission - eliminating clutter and crowded accessories. Proxy recording and focus/iris/zoom control also top the list of Meizler features, making it RED's most advanced module yet. With the introduction of the new REDsync app, you'll be able to change metadata, add notes, and slate with timecode using your iPad/iPhone/iPod touch device

10 TED Talks for Filmmakers | FilmmakerIQ
This collection of 10 TED Talks for filmmakers includes, Rob Legato on special effects, Kirby Ferguson on Remix, Andrew Stanton on story, JJ Abrams, James Cameron, Elizabeth Gilbert on tapping your inner genius, Kevin Allocca on why YouTube videso go Viral, Amy Tan on Creativity, Tiffany Shlain on Crowd source Filmmaking, and Erik Johansson on Photo manipulation.

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Quick Links

Shooting with a prototype of the 4K Canon DSLR:

  • While we didn’t do scientific tests with the camera it feels like what the 1DC offers is definitely a step up from the DSLRs that we came from (the MK3) in terms of latitude and dynamic range.
  • Again, we didn’t do scientific tests with it, but in using it for several shoots, we feel it performs noticeably better than the 5D3 and 1DX. 
  • The LCD on this thing feels very much in line with that of the 1DX.

BlackMagic Cinema Camera Image stabilization test | michael beck | Vimeo
I just got the 1.1 beta firmware for my BMCC and I thought I would shoot a quick test. This is shot at 300mm with IS off, the on. The audio is in camera and you can hear the IS motor running :) not surprising, don't be alarmed!This was my 70-300mm f/4.5-5 lens @300mm Hand held.

Sony NEX-VG30 Test Shots | NTcreativestudio | Vimeo
This Video was shot using Sony latest NEX-VG30 with new 18-200 power zoom lens. *Edit using FCP 7, No Colour adjustment was done.

The Impact of Cinema Cameras on a TV News Shooter on 9.26.12
| Rule Boston Camera  | Vimeo
Rick is a gifted DP and has a great story to tell about shooting news and how that informs his other creative work (and vice versa):
Award-winning DP and Photojournalist Rick Macomber discusses the challenges of covering breaking news stories for TV -- from talking himself out of dangerous situations to the tools he uses and the impact of DSLR cameras on the current style of news coverage.

Moving From Part-time to Full-time Video Production | Tristan Pelligrino
| Dare Dreamer
Know your strengths. In so many cases, we are exposed to individuals who “just want experience.” I certainly appreciate this since I was in the very same frame of mind many years ago. I honestly just wanted to get my hands into everything. But, for many employers, they are looking for a specific skillset or to fulfill a specific position.

"A Liar's Autobiography" Filmmakers Switch to All Adobe Workflow for Tribute to Monty Python Member | Adobe
An animated movie produced with a variety of animation tools. Much of the work was done in After Effects, and the finished movie was assembled in After Effects and Premiere:
Made Visual Studio and Bill and Ben Productions switched to an all Adobe workflow based on Adobe Creative Suite Production Premium to bring the animated Graham Chapman memoir to life. 

Setellite | PlanetVFX
On set VFX organizer for the iPad that's selling for $11.99 through 10/10: iTunes: Setellite - Planet X FX
  • Collect and organize VFX specific data
  • Create custom templates for your VFX forms
  • Extend and manage the build-in library
  • Make use of extensive reference options
  • Link pictures and drawings to slates
  • Export and share your data in PDF or CSV

Lightworks for Linux: The Developer's Story | Rob Fearnside | RedShark News
A new website devoted to the NLE Lightworks. This article talks about the upcoming Linux version:
The initial goal with the Linux version was to try to make it as similar to the Windows version as possible. Now, if you run the two versions side by side, it's extremely difficult to tell them apart, so in that sense, I'm very pleased with the results.  Additionally, because we went through the process of splitting the code into OS dependent and independent pieces, we've ended up with a cleaner, more maintainable codebase which will benefit all of our future development across all platforms

Nine tips to avoid editing meltdown | David Shapton | RedShark News
2. Test your worklowBefore you start work on a paying project, make sure you can actually do what you said you’d do! If you’ve got a deadline to deliver a stereoscopic Blu Ray with a 5.1 soundtrack, make sure you have the tools to do the job, and that they actually work in your setup. (Off topic: Make sure you know how to do it as well!)

The Power of Serialized Storytelling | Tyler Weaver | Pencils, Pixels and the pursuit of Awesome
An excerpt from Tyler's book: Comics for Film, Games, and Animation: Using Comics to Construct Your Transmedia Storyworld:
A technique I made use of with my Whiz!Bam!Pow! project was what I call “perceived serialization.” Perceived serialization creates the illusion that the adventures of a character in a comic are ongoing, even though we only produced one comic book. By numbering the comic, Whiz!Bam!Pow! Comics #7, we implied that there were issues before and, of course, issues that followed by ending the adventures of both characters (The Sky Phantom and The Sentinel) with a cliffhanger.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Quick Links

New series of free Adobe TV training videos: Discovering Adobe Story
| Ellen Wixted | Adobe
Using script templates for different types of scripts—Adobe Story can create film scripts, TV scripts, A/V and multicolumn scripts and more, all with industry-standard formatting.
The basics of working with projects—With Adobe Story you can create projects that group related scripts and supporting documents. For example, you might be working on a multi-episode mini-series that in addition to a number of scripts also includes character bios, research documents and more.

Is Final Cut Pro X Becoming a True Player | Ron Dawson | Dare Dreamer
One of the reasons I personally have been hesitant about making a switch to FCPX was because I wanted to be able to hire editors who used the same program I do. Certainly all the pros I may want to hire won’t use FCPX. But ironically, the editors I have on my extended team all use FCPX. At first I chalked it up to the fact that they’re just young. (Well, most of them are. One of them is old like me.  But now that more vets are trusting FCPX, I must say, I’m strongly considering it.

‘Beat Assistant’ Automates Music Timing in After Effects | Danny Greer
| Premiumbeat
A new plugin by software developer Mamoworld aims to simply the process of cutting to the beat in After Effects.  Beat Assistant uses music analyzation technology to identity the beats per minute in a track.  From there, it will mark the beats on an AE timeline using a default or custom annotation (marking every other beat, every bar, etc).

Is creative work only for the privileged? | Scott Macaulay | Filmmaker Magazine
The difference today? It’s probably harder to get the kind of related work — like script reading — that is a natural fit with unpaid work like film interning. Otherwise, the reliance of independent film to free labor has only increased. 

Roma Wrap | theC47
A video clip shot on the Sony NEX-FS700, but the really interesting thing are the notes at the bottom, with comments about the Canon C100:
The FS700 held up well but is a bit quirky. High speed is great. I'll talk more about it in future episodes. I do feel that bothe the FS700 and C300 have their place and if high speed isn't a requirement (which it was for this project), then the C100 is probably a camera worth considering.

Some notes on shooting underwater:
The first issue was selecting the housing. With help from Cameras Underwater I soon learnt it’s not just the housing; you have to select an appropriate ‘extension ring’ to match the lens used. Then there’s the port, which is like a giant front element which the lens looks through. Wide angle lenses are critical when shooting large objects underwater; the closer you can get to your subject, the less water and floating ‘debris’ to degrade your image.

The raison d’ĂȘtre for the lowBase is to allow 15mm rods and accessories to be easily attached to the camera, while not adding much bulk to the body. Follow focus units, matteboxes and handgrips can then be added to the setup. The baseplate is made of aluminium which has been precision-machined to reduce weight as much as possible.

TV news is vulnerable in US | Robert Briel | Broadband TV News
Only about a third (34%) of those younger than 30 say they watched TV news yesterday; in 2006, nearly half of young people (49%) said they watched TV news the prior day. Among older age groups, the percentages saying they watched TV yesterday has not changed significantly over this period.

Canon C300 $1,000 rebate | B & H
First Canon offered two-year 0% financing, now there's a $1,000 rebate on the Canon C300, bringing the price down to $14,999. You can still get the 0% through December 31st.

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Quick Links

Gear Comparo: GoPro Hero2 vs Sony Action Cam - Video Recording Modes
| Kevin Huggins | Vimeo
The Sony Action Cam definitely seems bluer which looks better in the sky, but not so good in other situations:
3. I have had my GoPro Hero2 for about a year and I've used it about a half dozen times. I was attracted to it for its 120fps, but at SD resolution it isn't great. I was hoping for much better things with the Sony Action Cam especially since it has 120fps at 720p HD. The 120fps looks better in the Action Cam than the Hero2, but that's to be expected since it does have better resolution at that frame rate. However, from the comparisons of the other video settings, I am not too sure the Action Cam is any better than the Hero 2.

7 Reasons Why Black Magic Rules – and DSLR is Done | Facundo Campos
| Raindance Canada
2) Dynamic Range is in the Details: 13 Stop Dynamic Range
[...] Black Magic has such wide dynamic range that it can see the details in the shadows and the highlights, meaning that shot would’ve come out perfectly exposed, with the details in the windows evident.

Getting started with the Blackmagic Camera raw in Davinci Resolve | Dan Moran
| Philip Bloom
My friend and excellent colourist from Smoke and Mirrors (and formerly BMD), Dan Moran has done a fantastic getting-started tutorial with Resolve for free. It’s great info and really helpful. If you feel this was useful please show your thanks for Dan by using the new tipjar feature on vimeo.  You need to visit the actual page here to do that…click the title on the video or the link below to do this…

Nesting in Adobe Premiere Pro | Clay Asbury | Premiumbeat
A common use of nesting in Premiere Pro is to combine a series of short sequences into one master sequence.  This is especially useful if you’re working with a long-format project (multiple acts for instance) or a project that naturally falls into different sections (perhaps a series of interviews).  By doing each section in it’s own nested sequence the project may become more manageable.

Why I have moved over to Adobe Premiere CS6 from Final Cut 7 | Philip Bloom
Since getting CS6, I have been sinking my teeth into it and found it incredibly rewarding and exactly what I needed FCP to become. It’s also better for mac users without Nvidia cards as the Open CL means we can get the Mercury Engine working on non-Nvidia graphics cards. Multi-format timelines with NO TRANSCODING? Brilliant!

Preliminary Recommendation WIN For Litepanels LED Lighting Case
| Cinescopophilia
More on the Litepanels court case:
So what does the preliminary recommendation mean?The recommended general exclusion order suggests stopping the importation of all LED photographic lighting devices and components that breach Litepanels patents instead of just LED lighting devices and components manufactured by the respondents.

Ep. 15 - Collaboration (with Rick Macomber) | Need Creative Podcast
The latest episode of the Need Creative podcast is out:
In this 15th episode of the NeedCreative Podcast, your co-hosts Paul Antico and Jason Sidelinger were joined via Skype by now regular guest Rick Macomber of Macomber Productions and CBS to discuss the past week's events in indie filmmaking and technology and to discuss the important topic of Collaboraton. 

FCP X: Travel Matte | Larry Jordan | Blog
In Final Cut 7, it takes four layers to achieve this affect. In Motion, it takes, essentially, one mouse click. So, this week, I set myself the goal of creating this effect in Final Cut Pro X. It wasn’t as simple as I expected, but we can get there – and there are a lot of interesting effects to learn along the way.

Monday, October 01, 2012

Quick Links

Review: GoPro HD HERO2 | Steve Douglas | LAFCPUG
Positive review of the new GoPro Hero 2:
This new camera version is no slight improvement. It is a major upgrade in all ways and areas highlighted by its new, faster and larger sensor and its wonderful new menu which makes utilizing the GoPro HERO2 an extremely useful filming tool. As I alluded to earlier, the GoPro HERO2 beats all competitors in this niche of camcorder/cameras hands down.

No Concessions: Digital Disaster at the New York Film Festival | Bob Cashill
| PopDose
Digital projection problems at the New York Film Festival:
It had been a trying day: apparently a DCP of a Mexican film shown in the afternoon, Here and There, was plagued by intermittent subtitles that were here and there for half an hour until the problem was fixed. That was nothing compared to this utter fiasco, however. Has a festival presentation ever been cancelled due to a mechanical glitch? Not in the film cans days that I can recall.

This Killing Business: A Feature Film Case Study | Chris Portal | Blog
Federico Muchnik, a Boston based director and producer, who recently completed his feature film debut, This Killing Business, was a recent guest at Rule Boston’s Learning Lab Series, presenting a 2 hour case study on his experience developing, shooting, editing, and the currently in process effort to distribute his feature.

Are we still taking the DSLR seriously for video? | Philip Johnston | HD Warrior
Philip really likes the look of the Sony A99,  and thinks it puts Canon's C100 to shame (amongst other cameras):
Will this be any better than a Canon C100 at two times the cost of the A99, sadly I think the A99 will out perform the C100, I have seen the AVCHD 1080 50p picture from an A77 and it was fantastic so with a better full frame sensor the A99 will give spectacular shallow depth of field pictures, this is the DSLR Canon should have given you two years ago.

PlaZma Light – Coming Spring 2013 | Zacuto
Zacuto announces expected shipping date for a new LED light:
Steve and Jens, in their quest for perfection, are working on increasing the already high output level, CRI and conducting intensive testing to make sure the PlaZma Light is at the Zacuto standards level. 4th generation production models are being tested daily at Zacuto. Several units have run at full power for 60 days without interruption, drop testing & accessory testing is also being conducted. The PlaZma Light should be in production supply in January 2013

After Effects: Copy and Paste Shortcuts | Motionworks
In this Prosential tip for After Effects, guest host Travis Wade demonstrates some must-know shortcuts for copying and pasting.

Stop buying expensive wine | Chris Berdik | Salon
While this is about buying wine, some accepts of it apply to buying other things:
While marketers spend billions crafting the emotional appeals of labels and brands, prices are just numbers. Nevertheless, they are powerful preference makers. Specifically, we often assume that more expensive goods are better. Behavioral economists call this the price-quality heuristic. It’s based partly on the assumption that price gauges demand by rational consumers.

The Wingeater | Dragon Frame
A look at a stop motion movie from Nicole Emmons:
Production was a true labor of love, literally. I was very fortunate to work with a group of talented people that kindly donated their time and dedication to the project. The live action section featuring actress Catherine Strecker, was shot by Helder K. Sun on a Fries Mitchell 35MM camera using Zeiss Primes lenses that were rented from Ken Stone Camera in Frazier Park, California.


Adventures in Long Form, Learning Lab at Rule Boston Camera, Oct 3
From the North Pole to Miami Beach, Mark Chesak has edited TV documentaries for adventure sports, reality TV and investigative journalism for 15 years. At today's Learning Lab, Mark will share editorial tips and tricks for wrangling thousands of hours of footage and hundreds of Avid Bins in Media Composer 6.5 and beyond.

BOSCPUG Visual Storytellers: "Big Top Without Borders" And "Subscription", Oct 11
Featuring an engaging evening with Bestor Cram, Producer Susan Gray, Cinematographer Jesse Beecher of Northern Light Productions and and Boston Globe Journalist and Co-Producer Linda Matchan on BIG TOP WITHOUT BORDERS, also featuring filmmaker Norman Lang and Screenwriter Mark Pollina for a screening conversation on SUBSCRIPTION

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Camera Pricing News

The prices for two recently announced cameras seem to have been ironed out, as the Canon C100 and Sony NEX-VG900 now have prices at B & H. Meanwhile, the 5D Mark II has an increased rebate.

When it was announced, the price of the C100 was listed at "around $8,000" though there was talk of it being closer to $6,000. I have to admit I was doubtful, but lo and behold the Canon C100 is currently priced by B&H at $6,499.00. That's still a lot of money, considering it doesn't do higher than 30p, is 8bit and HD and records in AVCHD. It competes with the NEX-FS700, which gives much higher frame rates and will have 4K support in a couple of months. And costs $7,999. Which is best? Ehhhh.....

Meanwhile, the Sony NEX-VG900, the full-frame E-mount offering is now priced at B & H at $3,298.00. I still don't know what to make of that camera. Maybe the reviewers will love it, but personally it doesn't appeal to me. It seems a bit expensive for what is a consumer camera, as much as a "full-frame" camera is interesting. I think I'd save my money for the C100 or FS700. Assuming I had three grand lying around in the first place.

Finally, the rebate on the Canon 5D Mark II has increased to $400, resulting in a price of $1,799. It's thought that they are clearing out the end of the inventory, so if you've been thinking of getting one, now might be the time.