Friday, November 02, 2012

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| Filmmaker Magazine
Filmmakers Rob Imbs (director) and Benjamin Eckstein (cinematographer) are currently shooting a low-budget independent feature film, Game Changers, a drama/comedy about two video-gamers who are approaching their late twenties. With an initial target budget of $30,000, Game Changers might be better described as a shoestring budget feature, given that they began shooting with only half that amount raised.

Thread: Attitude adjustment... | Jim Jannard | RedUser
Red announces new prices:
Now… here is the new pricing: 
5K EPIC-X Brain- $19,000
5K EPIC-X Monochrome Brain- $20,000
5K EPIC-M Brain- $24,000
5K/4K Scarlet Brain- $7,9504.
5K RED ONE M-X Battle Tested- $4000 (includes CF or SSD recording module).
The RED ONE is End of Life. Battle tested is all that will be available from here on out.

RED Cuts EPIC Price in Half: EPIC-X Now $19,000, SCARLET Under $8K, RED ONE Goes 4.5K for $4K | Joe Marine | NoFilmSchool
This is good for consumers, it means you can enter into the RED system for a lot less money than previously thought, and it also means the new Dragon equipped EPICs should compete price-wise with the new cameras from Sony (without most of the compressed modes of course). This also means we should see some reductions in used camera price.

The Sony NEX-VG900 Full-Frame Camcorder | Michael Christensen
| B & H Photo Video
The NEX-FS100U has a Super 35mm Sensor. It measures: 23.6 x 13.3mm.
The NEX-VG900’s 35mm full-frame sensor measures: 35.8 x 23.9mm.
Even a professional cinematographer would be hard pressed to describe—in no uncertain terms—the relative aesthetic merits of the two formats. Nevertheless, there is a certain breed of cinematographer that will slip into a glassy-eyed reverie as they contemplate the mysterious beauty of the “full-frame look.” In practical terms, there are a few objective benefits.

How to Light for Specific Camera Blocking: Master to Close-Up | Shane Hurlbut
| Hurlblog
I believe we all have gotten a little overindulgent in the use of soft light because we think, “I want it to feel natural”; “I want it to feel like ambient light, not lit”; “I want to go with available light.” I have heard many of these descriptions. It is your job as a cinematographer to translate that into a lighting language that will deliver exactly what the director wants. His or her description doesn’t always mean soft light. What about the illusion of soft light, while you are using a harder source?

Tuesday Tip: Last Minute DIY Sound Booth | Olivia | OliviaTech
Immediately after my coverage of PhotoPlus Expo 2012, I was going on vacation and needed to send a few voice over recordings back to the studio. When recording in a small untreated room you would normally have problems with an echo or reverb. Our solution was to build a frame of insulation around the microphone to prevent my voice from traveling around the room.

Sony F65 Camera Used in the Production of Anti-Bullying Film 'Sticks and Stones'
| Creative Planet
“Sticks & Stones” also provided the perfect outlet for veteran DP and DIT Steve Romano. Starting out in film, Romano never felt digital gave the proper skin tone with minimal noise. But as the world turned toward the ease and cost effectiveness of digital, he embraced the technology and is now shooting with the Sony F65. After shooting “Sticks & Stones” with the Sony camera, he feels the F65 achieves that proper balance.

FireWire's demise: Here's how to cope | Mel Beckman | Infoworld
The seemingly obvious solution to a FireWire ouster is the one Apple released this fall: its $29 Thunderbolt to FireWire Adapter. This one-way adapter (you can't use it to convert a Mac FireWire interface to Thunderbolt) supports a FireWire 800 attachment; you can then use a FireWire 800-to-FireWire 400 conversion cable to attach FireWire 400 devices.

New Adobe tech to help video editors | John Nack | Adobe
It’s far from the flashiest task, but placing cuts & transitions in interview footage can be crucial to telling a story. Adobe’s Wil Li plus UC Berkeley-based collaborators Maneesh Agrawala and Floraine Berthouzoz have unveiled “a one-click method for seamlessly removing ’ums’ and repeated words, as well as inserting natural-looking pauses to emphasize semantic content.”

Thursday, November 01, 2012

Quick Links

| Filmmaker Magazine
As interesting as the new technology – and promised 14 stops of dynamic range – is, these two cameras also show that Sony has been listening to, and are making a serious effort to woo customers. While the image quality of the PMW-F3 was widely lauded, it wasn’t a shoulderable camera – without a third party rig – and while the LCD Panel was good quality, it wasn’t in the right position when you had the camera on your shoulder. Sony has reworked the design, added a shoulder rig option, and will offer three EVF options; an improved LCD EVF, an OLED EVF and a 7″ LCD.

Introducing the PMW-F55 | Sony Europe
Richard Lewis, Cinematography Product Specialist, provides a detailed, hands-on tour of the new CineAlta 4K cameras. All the key features, including the flexible modular structure, multiple recording formats, menu controls and important accessories are shown. The 18 minute video also demonstrates recording on SxS Pro+ and AXSM memory card, including RAW and XAVC codecs.

SKYFALL set to be the biggest Bond yet | ARRI Group News
An interview with cinematographer Roger Deakins:
Roger Deakins: I first used the ALEXA on IN TIME (2011) and on that film I had a huge amount of night exteriors, so I needed a camera with speed and versatility. I did side-by-side testing and found that there was so much more latitude in the file from the ALEXA than in a 4K scan of a film negative. I was also drawn to the subtle fall-off to highlights and the enormous amount of detail in the shadows. It was the first digital camera I had seen where I thought the technology had crossed the knife edge and taken us into a new world.

| The AWSC Blog
Enter The Swedish Gangster, my very smart colleague and friend from Portland who shall remain nameless. He heard me kvetch enough about Pro Tools and the clunkiness to suggest a truly elegant solution — Adobe Audition using an Apogee Duet, a very small box that takes up very little space.

Mac Fusion Drive: pro users beware | Robin Harris | ZDNet
People who make a living on their Macs working with big files shouldn't risk letting HFS+ move their data around any more than they must. There will be corruption and you won't know it until it is too late. That makes FD a bad idea for pros

Agenda Announced for the Boston SuperMeetUp, Nov. 9 | ProVideoCoalition
The CPUG Network has announced the Third Annual Boston SuperMeetUp, to take place on Friday, November 9, 2012 in Theater 1 at the Revere Hotel Boston Common in Boston, MA. Featuring Oscar nominated film editor Tim Squyres, A.C.E., NYC based directors Jason and Josh Diamond and San Francisco based filmmaker Kanen Flowers, this SuperMeetUp promises to be one of this season’s premiere social gathering of the New England creative production and post community. Tickets are on sale online only.

Cinematography of 'American Horror Story: Asylum' Uses Classic Tools to Terrify in 35mm | Dave Kendricken | No Film School
One vital piece of the puzzle that is AHS is its look, which is being achieved on 35mm film — especially notable when FX’s own Sons of Anarchy and Justified, for instance, have opted for Alexa and EPIC respectively. Courtesy American Cinematographer, here’s a look at the shooting style of this aggressively original program — and just in time for the show’s Halloween episode premiere!

MoChat 18 Transcript & Summary | Paul Conigliaro | Motion League
Last night on MoChat we discussed getting started with expressions in After Effects. Adobe posted links off the bat for examples and basics. As far as the go-to & first learned expressions, loopOut() and wiggle() seemed to be the most common. For learning more about expressions, there is Harry Frank’s After Effects Expressions series, an FXPHD course taught by Harry as well, AE Enhancers, or a bonus chapter in Creating Motion Graphics.

Sony Internet TV, Blu-Ray & Google TV Review | Sarah Auerswald | Sarah & Sons
The Sony KDL-EX645 Internet TV was easy to set up because it’s got built-in Wifi. All we had to do was plug it in, turn it on, and join our home’s Wifi network. Voila! We were able to watch Netflix through our streaming account – ditto our Amazon Prime streaming account. The TV also comes loaded with Hulu Plus, Video Unlimited and blinkx, for lots of video streaming options.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

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Sony F5 and F55 (From the horses mouth – not speculation…) | Den Lennie
| F-Stop Academy
The truth is we have never had it so good as film makers.  There are a truly incredible range of tools now from all the major manufacturers.  We win on all fronts.  I don;t see the F55 as a camera I’d ever own but rent for sure.  The F5 may be one to invest in but until we know pricing who knows.Lets not forget that just because these new camera exists does not make the F3 with SLog and less of a beast and the FS700 and FS100 are still incredibly powerful visual tools.  It always comes down to what you do with them…

| Matt Allard | DSLR News Shooter
Firstly, I’ll give you my personal opinion of these models based on the specifications: on paper these certainly look very attractive indeed, with Sony really listening to the end user and offering cinematographers two very good cameras.  From workflow to viewfinders, recording formats, specifications and the modular design, Sony seems to have ticked a lot of boxes. But the proof will be in the pudding and until we see some vision or I get to actually use one, I’m not going to make any wild statements about how fantastic they are.

Sony Details F65 Roadmap Heading into 2013 | Bryant Frazer | Studio Daily
First up, and due before the end of the year, is a v2.2 update to remote-control capabilities that will improve the camera's functionality in live situations, such as sports coverage.Next spring, we should see version 3.0 demonstrated at NAB. The F65 currently generates a 4K x 2K RGB signal from its sensor, but this upgrade will enable 8K x 4K, 6K x 3K, and 8K x 2K.

Sony FS700 Gets 4K RAW Recorder Adapter for 2K, the HXR-IFR5
| Cinescopophilia
Sony are in the final stages of developing the HXR-IFR5 interface unit, which will allow the Full HD Super Slow Motion NEX-FS700 camcorder to capture stunning 4K RAW cinematic content in combination with the Sony AXS-R5 RAW recorder. In addition to realizing the full potential of the FS700’s imager, the ability to record RAW affords tremendous workflow flexibility in post production.

Traveling with the RED Epic | Vincent Laforet | Blog
Lately, I have been using the Petrol DigiSuite DSLR Camera Case (pictured left) to house my EPIC and accessories.  This is a carry-on size roller case (much like the ThinkTank rollers I have used for over a decade for still cameras) but this bag’s notable difference is the heavier-duty customizable velcro padded inserts so you can customize the internal layout and the fact that it was designed specifically for DSLRs/Cine cameras and accessories such as matte boxes.

Video Editor ‘Lightworks’ Linux Release Limited to Select Few
| Joey-Elijah Sneddon | OMG! Ubuntu!
But one key cavea affecting that release doesn’t seem to have been communicated very well: the alpha is only available to a handful of people.People who, as one poster on the Editshare boards put it, “happened to see the right forum post at the right time”.The window of opportunity to become a tester opened in 2011, and closed in 2011.

GoPro Hero 3 Black - How To Update | Maxwell Decker | YouTube
This video we will be going over how to manually update your GoPro Hero 3. Most people use CineForm, and I would as well, but for some reason it won't let me update through Cineform. If you have any questions comment below and be sure to like and subscribe!

GoPro HERO3: Black Edition vs HERO2 (Underwater Comparison) | bikeskills
| YouTube
Some side-by-side video comparing the new Hero3 Black edition with the Hero2. Keep in mind that in this video the Hero3 uses the standard housing as does the Hero2. While the Hero2's underwater performance is better with the separate u/w housing, it's not up to what the Hero3 Black is capable of, both above and below water, with the standard housing. We will post video comparing the Hero3 Black with the Hero2 using the u/w housing.

How to Make a Cheap DIY Rain Guard for Keeping Your DSLR Dry
| Richard Gottardo | PetaPixel
I’ve always been asked how I keep my equipment dry while shooting storms, and I figure with Hurricane Sandy on the way, now would be a good time to share! This is a very simple, inexpensive, easy-to-use, and effective solution to shooting in the rain! It costs less than 5 dollars, but I have never felt the need to purchase anything to replace it.

George Lucas' $4 bil graceful exit | Brian Lowry | Variety
Star Wars 7? God help us... suspects there will be far fewer naysayers about the studio buying Lucasfilm in a $4 billion agreement. The Tuesday announcement slipped in the not-incidental tidbit that there will be a seventh "Star Wars" feature."Win-win" is an overused term in media circles, but this marriage represents one of those rare situations where, to quote Darth Vader, it's "all too easy" to see the motivations on both sides.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

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Breaking news: All you need to know about Sony's new "F" cameras | Ned Soltz | RedSharkNews
Officially, no price, though Philip Bloom says $18K for the F5 and $50K for the F55:
The PMW-F5 is based around the same 4K 11.6 megapixel sensor as the FS-700. The F5 records internally MPEG-2 50Mbps 4:2:2, SR 220Mbps 4:2:2 (future free firmware upgrade records to SR 440 Mbps 4:2:2 or RGB 4:4:4) or XAVC 4:2:2 HD or 2K at frame rates up to 120 fps). With the newly introduced R5 4K recorder, the SDI output from camera will record 2K or 4K 16-bit linear raw to Sony’s new recording media AXSM.
The PMW-F55 shares the same color filter array as the top of the line PMW-F65 as well as incorporating a similar global electronic shutter to eliminate the rolling shutter issues found in CMOS sensors. It adds to the F5 up to 180 fps in XAVC 4:2:2 HD and internal XAVC 4:2:2 2K up to 240fps as well as 4K with frame rates up to 120 fps. The F55 supports both QFHD for no-cropping to 4K for televisions as well as full 4096x2160 4K in the XAVC codec.

Sony's website: The New F
Sony F5

Sony F55 and F5 | Jon Fauer | Film & Digital Times
Today, Sony reveals their new F55 and F5 cameras. Expect to see prototypes shooting on locations near you. Working cameras ship in January 2013. Some have called the F55 a companion to the F65, and the F5 an upgrade beyond F3. Many will call them Sony’s first comfortably shoulder-resting, modular, compact 4K cameras.

At the Bench: Sony NEX-EA50 Camera | Andy Shipsides | AbelCine
This new member of the NEX lineup is sort of the little-but-bigger brother of the FS100. It has many of the same features as the FS100, but it is designed to go on your shoulder with a unique shoulder pad design. The NEX-EA50′s sensor is not the same as the FS100′s though – it is an APS-C size sensor that can do both 16mp stills and HD video. The E in the EA50′s name stands for “event” and you can tell that Sony built it for those applications. A new 18-200 servo motor-driven lens ships with the camera, giving you the ability to do slow, but smooth zooms.

Blackmagic updates DaVinci Resolve to V.9.0.3 | Post Magazine
Blackmagic Design ( has updated its DaVinci Resolve to V.9.0.3. It now includes a new timecode feature to add timecode to non-timecode cameras, improved CinemaDNG control palette, AAF and XML clip management, enhanced stereo 3D grading and support for XML round tripping in the new release of Final Cut Pro X version 10.0.6. Resolve 9.0.3 is available immediately for free for existing DaVinci Resolve and DaVinci Resolve Lite users. 

4 Questions to Ensure your Criticism is Constructive | VideoMaker
Question #2 – Not Right? Or Not Right for Me?It's hard to judge somebody's work without instinctively trying to modify it to be more like your own. Maybe you don't prefer a certain color scheme, or you don't care for handheld camera work, and your own predisposition is affecting your judgment of somebody else's work. It's important to give an artist the space to express their own style.

First Person: Barry Levinson goes digital for 'The Bay' | Los Angeles Times
The fun of working with such raw products is that it forces you to rethink editing — in some scenes, you really can't do any editing. As an example, we have a scene with a teenage boy and girl down by the water. We would like to see both of them, but how? We don't have the freedom to do a master shot. So how do you handle that type of a sequence?

Ep. 19 - NinoFilm Pt. 1 (with Nino Leitner) | NeedCreative
In this 19th episode of the NeedCreative Podcast, your co-hosts Paul Antico and Jason Sidelinger were joined via Skype by special guest Nino Leitner of NinoFilm in Austria to discuss a veritable cornucopia of recent indie filmmaker-related news. Then Nino will join us next week in episode 20 to go over what he does, his projects, and his outlook on film. 

Monday, October 29, 2012

Quick Links

CAMERAS: Thoughts on the Canon C300’s Color Science | Art Adams
| ProVideoCoalition
In the end I used Cinema2 gamma, because it did the nicest job of holding highlight detail in the clouds while adding a pleasing contrast to the rest of the image, and the EOS Standard color matrix with matrix gain set to -30, which gave me accurate but understated color that looked like what I saw by eye. I white balanced the camera in sunlight and came up at 6100K, which looked great. 

At last! Lightworks for Linux will be available starting on October 30th | Editshare
The version that we will be releasing in October will be very similar, and also similar to the current Windows version that many people are already using.What version of Linux is required to run the Lightworks alpha?Initially it will be Ubuntu 12.04 only, with an aim of supporting other versions at a later date. 

Dual Viewers in 10.0.6 | Final Cut Pro X Tutorial | Dan Allen | YouTube
In this HD Voice tutorial for Apple Final Cut Pro 10 we learn not only how to enable the dual / two / multiple / double / source record viewers with Cmd+Ctrl+3, but how to use this to enhance and excel the editing process, learning the benefits and origins of the source-record workflow, considering theories of incoming and outgoing clips, and visually comparing clips for compatibility or contrast between the event viewer and your timeline / storyline / project viewer.

Kicking the tires on Final Cut Pro X 10.0.6 | Scott Simmons | ProVideoCoalition
The problem with the Event Viewer comes when you’ve got your Event Library set to a filmstrip view. Since there’s no dedicated “mini timeline” under the Event Viewer you can lose track of both which clip you’re viewing in the Event Viewer as well as where in that clip your playhead is parked. While you can see the clip name at the top of the Event Viewer the cryptic camera name often means nothing.

How Transparent Does a Freelancer Need to Be? | Freelance Switch
You don’t have an obligation to tell most of the general public anything. You want to share at least some of what you do, in the interest of marketing, but you don’t need to be too detailed when it comes to your failings, medical procedures or priorities beyond work.

StillMotion’s KNOW Tour – A Review | Ron Dawson | Dare Dreamer
You should go into this workshop knowing what it is and isn’t. It is NOT a workshop that goes into specific detail about how to shoot or edit a certain way. What it is in essence is a more “cerebral” journey into the art and craft of filmmaking by breaking down the decisions you make along the process.  As Amina pointed out in the beginning, “You’re not going to learn SM’s “secret sauce.” They don’t really have one. Their “secret sauce” is making decisions with a purpose, beyond “it looks cool.”'

Intro to Night-Vision Videography | B & H Photo Video
This video discusses night-vision videography and takes a look at two cameras, Sony’s HXR-NX70U and HDR-PJ760V, both of which have built-in infrared modes. You’ll learn the basics of working with infrared light and how to improve your night-vision videos with special, infrared light kits, like the Sima SL-100IR and the Litepanels MiniPlus IR. Finally, the video recommends the Bushnell StealthView 5X monocular and illuminates its various night-vision capabilities.

The Effect of Color | Off Book | PBS | YouTube
Color is one of the fundamental elements of our existence, and defines our world in such deep ways that its effects are nearly imperceptible. It intersects the worlds of art, psychology, culture, and more, creating meaning and influencing behavior every step of the way. Most fascinating are the choices we make, both subconsciously and consciously, to use color to impact each other and reflect our internal states.