Thursday, November 15, 2012

Quick Links

Blackmagic Cinema Camera Problems Solved?
Camera Shipping Update: 11/15 | Grant Petty | Blackmagic Forum
The good news is that we got a small shipment of sensors that the sensor supplier had tested with their new test setup and they were all ok when we built cameras with them. This is good because they will now be able to see sensors that are contaminated and not ship us anything that's unable to be used to build a camera.
Also, the sensor supplier has done a small run of sensors at the new company that's bonding the glass and they got almost a 100% pass rate, which is also great. This means they finally have a solution to bonding on the glass that looks like it will work.

Sony F5 and F55 pricing released, by mistake! | Alister Chapman
A rough conversion of the prices gives us the following:
PMW-F55 Camera Body £23k/$36k
PMW-F5 Camera Body £13.6k/$22k
ASX-R5 Raw Recorder £4k/$6.5k

Sony not doing well financially | Photo Rumors
After their stock hit 32 years low and its credit rating was cut to near-junk status, the company decided to sale convertible bonds in order to raise 150 billion yen ($1.9 billion) for their imaging division.

Building the ultimate Final Cut Pro X edit suite if money wasn't a problem |
What's a maxed out iMac cost?
So a bit of maths gives us a grand total of about $11,750 which is an amazingly low figure considering the suite will fly through 1080 broadcast pictures with ease. It is actually hard to spend a huge ammount of money on editing kit as the component pieces are now so cheap!

Is Final Cut Pro X Becoming a True Player | Ron Dawson | Dare Dreamer
more recently, 25+ year editing veteran Chris Fenwick claimed a recent major project he did for Mini Cooper couldn’t have been done without the power of FCPX. (In case you missed it, part 1 of my interview with him aired last week on my show. Tomorrow, part 2 hits iTunes and it’s a whole show dedicated to his take on FCPX. It’ll be on the blog Friday).

Review: Aja KiPro vs. Blackmagic HyperDeck Shuttle 2 | Daniel Freytag
| Freytag Film
Sounds as the HyperDeck is a completely crappy piece of hardware, huh? Well, actually it isn't. The HyperDeck Shuttle is a wonderful recorder if you don't need many options. It does everything for you! Simply plug in a source, press power and press record. I'm glad I bought one and I'd buy one again. You need to remember that it only costs $345 (or ~$500 with a drive). The KiPro costs 11x as much....

Blackmagic Design have announced a free update to allow their HyperDesk Shuttle 2 SSD recorder that allows it to record in the popular ProRes 422 HQ format. This means it benefits from reduced file sizes and much greater direct-to-edit compatibility with Final Cut Pro compared to the original firmware. The Shuttle 2 can now record 1080P up to 10-bit 4:2:2 if your video camera is capable of outputting it via HD/SDI or HDMI.

Marshall V-LCD50-HDMI 5 Inch Professional Liquid crystal display Video Monitor With High-definition multimedia interface Connection Reviews | Reviews Monitors
I recommend Marshall V-LCD50-HDMI 5 Inch Expert LCD Video Monitor Along with HDMI Connection for anybody. Marshall Electronics introduces a brand new addition to its’ well-liked and well-praised lineup associated with portable camera-top monitors. This particular new portable device is the perfect solution with regard to DSLR and video clip professionals seeking to catch their best shots

Nikon Use Janusz Kaminski In The Vincent LaForet(sic) Role | HD Magazine
Designed as a project to demonstrate capabilities of the Nikon D800 HD-SLR camera, world-class writer/director Guillermo Arriaga and award-winning cinematographer Janusz Kaminski will direct and capture a short film, combining the darkness and suspense of a horror film with the elegance and beauty of high-calibre cinematography.

10 Renowned Directors Offer Their Advice on Filmmaking | Justin Minich
| No Film School
It’s helpful to have a framework on how to approach the filmmaking process based on years of collective experience to build on and incorporate into your own approach to filmmaking. Here I’ve put together a list of videos from 10 well-known directors to help you do just that:


A Bit More On BOSCPUG Meeting

I wrote about the Final Cut Pro X presentation at Tuesday nights BOSCPUG meeting, and completely left out a part of the meeting that was perhaps as educational as Abba Sahpiro’s talk. Because in addition to that talk, several film makers talked about – and some even showed - their films at the event.

To start things off, Dan BerĂºbe invited two filmmakers who had shown their films at last weekend SNOB Film Festival to get up and briefly talk about their films.

Steve Riley came all the way from Texas with his film Shooter. Steve is a professional photographer by trade, and this is his first film. You can see the trailer on YouTube : Shooter

Noel Barlow said she is a couple of years out of film school, and directed and produced ‘Giddy in Love,’ a story about a quirky librarian who is ‘looking for love in all the wrong pages.’ With a cast of 12, she described it as a labor of love. Film website : Giddy In Love

Director Marie Della Croce and DP Ben Consoli showed their short film ‘Grace Period,’ and talked about the making of the film. Maria said that on this project they really learned the power of the plan. “We really made sure that we had a plan in place before we shot anything. We went through the screenplay line by line and shot by shot and went into the first day shooting knowing exactly what we wanted.”

Ben explained that the movie was shot on the Sony NEX-FS100 and edited on Final Cut Pro X. They encountered several problems with locations and equipment. The NEX-FS100 was a substitution as two days before shooting started they lost the Canon C300 they thought they were going to use.

Ben said that the visual inspiration for the film came from ‘Boardwalk Empire.’ He said he had become obsessed with the way they had under-illuminated interiors and blown out windows and hot backlights and sidelights. Maria Della Croce | BC Media Productions

To cap the evening, we got to see “Measuring Matthew,” a short directed by Gul Moonis and DP’d by Chris Portal. This movie was shot on the Canon 5D over the course of five days, though one day started at 7am and stretched through to 2am. Their biggest problem was that at the last moment they had to improvise a green screen because they were having problems with shadows from trees when shooting the balcony seen. Interestingly, it was also cut on Final Cut Pro X.

Chris added one important piece of advice; “I would avoid shooting with a fog machine. It was so troublesome trying to get it to work and getting the right amount of fog and trying to get the hand held shot, that put us over by quite a bit.” FaceBook | Measuring Matthew

All in all, the meeting was a great combination of information and visual entertainment.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Should I Give Final Cut Pro X Another Try?

Last nights Boston Creative Pro User Group meeting featured Abba Shapiro giving a run down on the new features in the 10.0.6 update to Final Cut Pro X.

If you haven’t been following Final Cut Pro X’s evolution, the latest recent upgrade featured a number of UI changes and enhancements, many of which seem to address the complaints that many Final Cut Pro 7 users had when they first tried Final Cut Pro X:

Want a preview window as well as a Timeline viewer? FCP X now offers that as an option.

Had problems with multi-channel audio? FCP X now lets you Expand Audio Components and start adjusting the individual channels.

Frustrated that FCP X didn’t remember the In and Out points for a clip once you start working with another clip? Now FCP X remembers them for you!

Found the Magnetic Timeline a little frustrating? Now you can put clips beyond the end of the timeline – it actually inserts a blank slug. You can also move clips that are linked, without having the linked clips move.

So on the face of it, a lot of the little things that drove me to distraction when I first tried FCP X now appear to have been “fixed.”

And, there’s several other enhancements; selective pasting of attributes, Improved Export (Sharing) options – including the ability to create a batch export -, and the ability to export a Range of a project, as well as individual clips. What’s not to like?

Of course the problem is that in the mean time, I’ve spent the last couple of months slowly coming to terms with Adobe Premiere Pro CS6. Do I really want to go back now and spend some time trying to learn FCP X? Because even though I think they’ve addressed a lot of the issues I had with FCP X, it’s still a very different UI to what I’ve been used to. And I’ve just spent time learning one new NLE.

Still, it does demo well.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Quick Links

A Portrait of Stockholm | Den Lennie | F-Stop Academy
Shooting with the Blackmagic Cinema Camera and Zeiss lenses:
Why Zeiss?
Several reasons really; I like the metal construction as this makes them extremely durable. The ZF .2 are Nikon mount and have built in aperture ring which really does make a tremendous difference when exposing because you can adjust the aperture ring smoothly rather than in stepped increments when using Canon less with electronic iris control. I had two fader ND’s a Heliopan 77mm and a Genus 82mm and a series of adaptor rings for each lens. I’m also using a cheap nikon to canon adaptor that I bough at B&H earlier this summer.

Blackmagic Cinema Camera post workflows | Oliver Peters | digitalfilms
After Effects offers another solution. You can open CinemaDNG image sequences, make adjustments with its camera raw importer, and then render out final, graded movie files. Naturally, plug-ins like Magic Bullet Looks add more options for custom styles.

2012 Boston SuperMeet with Ang Lee editor, Tim Squyres | Chris Portal | Blog
Other highlights of the evening included Kanen Flowers discussing his workflow producing comedy shorts for Scruffy.TV, and the New York City Diamond Brothers who shared their experience using the new Black Magic Cinema Camera under a variety of setups (with and without light setups; handheld documentaries; interior and exterior shoots; etc.), which reiterated the many features (and limitations) of the BMCC that have been documented by many on the web.

After Effects Preset: Rolling Shutter Fix | Brent Pierce | Cineblur
So, to address this inevitable problem, I’ve created a free After Effects preset that fixes it. Simply apply the preset to your footage, and adjust the angle to “straighten” your footage.

If no one watches the stuff you’re going to produce, then is there any point in making it? There are hundreds of filmmakers who face up to this demon every single day. Indie film by 2012 has become echo chamber-like. It’s also, incidentally, one of the primary reasons Ted Hope moved from New York to San Francisco to take up the helm of the San Francisco Film Society. He just couldn’t work out how to earn a living from his work anymore.

Ep. 21 - Broadcasting with Brian (with Brian C. Weed) | Need Creative Podcast
In this 21st episode of the NeedCreative Podcast, your co-hosts Paul Antico and Jason Sidelinger were joined via Skype by special guest Brian C. Weed in Los Angeles to discuss the latest news in independent filmmaking. Then we talked about experience shooting with HDSLRs and the Canon C300 on "Last Call with Carson Daly" for NBC, as well as his other experiences including working on a Hollywood set with Joss Whedon (The Avengers, Firefly). 

PURVES / TCHAIKOVSKY | DragonFrame | Blog
The challenge for Tchaikovsky was not only to make a very limited budget go a long way, but also to try to get a respectful flavour of the man and the music in just thirteen minutes. We could only afford one puppet and one set, and that certainly will dictate how you can tell a story. Sometimes such limitations do force creativity.

How to Make a Lower Third in After Effects: Bammo VFX Tutorial | bammo
| YouTube
Want to learn how to make lower third graphics for your videos? In this episode of "Bammo Basics," Ryan shows you the best way to use After Effects to make your graphics, no matter how simple or complex you want to do it.

Creating Reports in Adobe Story | Adobe
Story has powerful automated report creation built-in. This episode shows you how to set them up.

Half of YouTube's original video content partners won't make cut | Steven Musil | C|Net
About a year after the video-sharing site launched an ambitious program to challenge the cable industry by investing $100 million into the development of dozens of new YouTube channels, many of those channels will not receive a second round of funding.

Report: Foxconn Could Be Building Large 4K LCD TVs for Apple by Next Year
| James DeRuvo | Doddle
There’s a new report out there that Foxconn may be gearing up to start building 4K Ultra HDTVs for Apple up to 130 inches in size by next year. The report is based on a statement by FoxConn VP Jeng-wu Tai that the Apple gadget manufacturer will be building LCD panels based on Sharp LCD components. And with Apple recently throwing a life preserver to save Sharp’s flagging TV business, it looks more and more likely that we’ll be seeing elite based iTVs by next Christmas.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Quick Links

| Filmmaker Magazine
The third part of the series about the production of the low-budget indie movie Game Changers, with filmmakers Rob Imbs (director) and Benjamin Eckstein (cinematographer):
Eckstein: The thing that surprised me is how we’ve been lighting the film. We’ve been pretty sparse in what we have been doing, and I am definitely not a believer in “don’t light.” I love lighting. I think about lighting all the time, it’s totally the thing I’m most passionate about. But it was kind of surprising how much we were working with practical lights and just reshaping practical lights rather than bringing in a ton of our own fixtures. I think that is something that would have been different with the AF100.

Every Little Thing You Love | Overdue Films | Vimeo
The BOSCPUG SuperMeetUp took place last Friday. Unfortunately, I was only able to be there for the first half hour, but I did get to see a great short film, "Every Little Thing You Love." It's also a music video set to the music of The Bynars. It was shot on the Nikon D7000, with the help of volunteers, some Emerson students and on a very small budget. Definitely worth watching.

Rokinon 35mm T1.5 Cine vs. Canon 35mm f/1.4L | Marco Solorio
| OneRiver Media Blog
Samyang actually makes these lenses, and for film making they look like a very good, budget lens. The cheapest 'cine' lenses available I think.
I have the non-cine 35mm lens, which is a bit of a drag as I'm trying to decide whether to sell it and get the cine model.
They also offer an 8mm T3.8 fisheye [$349], 14mm T3.1 [$49], 24mm T1.5 [$749], and 85mm T1.5 [$349]. Most of these aren't widely available yet.
Note that Samyang lenses are also sold under other names including Rokinon and Bower.
All in all, I have to say I’m very pleased with the optical results of the Rokinon on the Cinema Camera. Is it worth the $550 bill, or does the extra $1k on the Canon make it a much wiser solution? Honestly, despite some of the build-quality hits on the Rokinon, I’d say this is actually a nice companion to the Cinema Camera. If I was starting my lens collection from scratch specifically for the Cinema Camera and I wanted to save some coin, I wouldn’t have any issue buying these lenses to build my collection from.

Five new E-mount Rokinon/Samyang lenses released and preorders!
Sony Alpha Rumors
It appears that Samyang is going to make the same lenses available in the E-mount.
Bhphoto listed five new E-mount lenses from Rokinon Samyang! These are all Cine lenses (smooth aperture control). Someone raised the question that this may be a BH mistake. But their text clearly says it’s for NEX.

Could We Split the Difference? | Alexis van Hurkman | Blog
I find I’m a bit skeptical when someone asks me to do something incredibly brash and bold. I don’t want to spend too much of the client’s time working up an elaborate grade when all they want, in fact, is something pretty simple. On the other hand, you want to take the client seriously, and if they really are looking for something bold, you don’t want to seem too meek, lest you’re thought of as a creative simpleton.

Sennheiser G3 Sony UWP Shure FP Azden 330 Wireless Mic Shootout
| Dave Dugdale | Learning DSLR Video
Comparing four wireless mics: the Sennheiser EW112-p G3, Sony UWP-V,1Shure FP and Azden 330LT
Audio Quality TestThe Sennheiser and the Sony sound really good, they both have some low end and the “S” sounds don’t sound unnatural, perhaps the Sony has to much S sound. Both sound very similar.The Shure has a little more nasal sound to it, like I have a slight cold and my nose is a little clogged. The Azden doesn’t sound that bad if you can concentrate with all the background hiss.

GoPro Hero 3 Black 2.7K 24fps Cine Test With Leah Petersen Stunt Motorcyclist. 4K & 2.7K Downloads | Jared Abrams | Wide Open Camera
The strongest attribute of the new GoPro Hero 3 Black is the 2.7K 24fps Protune Cine mode. Chris Collins hooked up this shoot with Leah Petersen. We decided to stick with the 2.7K 24fps Protune rather than drop down to any other resolution. We know what 1080 x 1920 60P looks like and forget about 720 x 1280 120fps. We wanted the best resolution possible. The 4K would have been nice but I do not trust it for anything beyond portraits.

New Nikon D600 Firmware Update Could Make It the Best Bang for Your Buck Full-Frame DSLR | Joe Marine | No Film School
The other big problem with the D600, which may or may not be addressed in this new firmware update, is the fact that the HDMI output only fills 95% of the screen. Just like Canon’s 5D Mark III, the live view output is window-boxed (though that will change when Canon releases the uncompressed HDMI firmware upgrade for the Mark III next year). Even though Nikon has made the HDMI output on the D600 recordable, having to zoom in post to fill to 100% makes the 8-bit 4:2:2 capability a lot less useful.

How To Get Out Of A Funk | Alex Lickerman, MD | The Creativity Post
Commit to a new goal. Sometimes my listlessness is purposelessness in disguise. Human beings are not only intrinsically driven by a sense of purpose but also seem to require a sense of purpose to lead a satisfying life. It needn’t be a grand purpose, but it must be a purpose that feels important to you.