Friday, December 28, 2012

Quick Links

Canon C100 Hands On Review | Erik Naso | Blog
Nice, detailed blog about working with the C100. Makes me wish I could afford one:
Ergonomics and ease of use.This is a big one, so I I’m going to start here. Shooting all day handheld is hard enough. With the way the C100 is laid out it’s the most ergonomic camera I have used so far, straight out of the box with no add-ons. Here is why:
And for some more footage shot with the C100Short Film Scene with the Canon C100 | Ryan Emanuel | Vimeo

How To Prepare Yourself For RAW | Ryan Walters | Blog
Shooting with the Blackmagic Cinema Camera:
The last thing that needs to happen before you head out to set, or leave for remote field work, is to make sure that your media is formatted properly. This is especially true if you will not have access to a DIT, or a computer system, as you cannot erase cards in the camera. As of this writing, that formatting needs to be HSF+, so you will need a Mac to format the drives correctly.

Gemini 4:4:4 Workflow: Importing Footage | Andy Shipsides | Abel Cine
Working with the Canon C500:
Not too long ago I put together a video blog on how to use the Gemini 4:4:4 to record video and ARRIRAW. Since that time, Convergent Design has added the ability to record Canon Raw from the C500 to the Gemini. In my video I give a quick demonstration of the Gemini working with the C500, and then show how to import footage from the Gemini via their Transfer Station and a Seagate Go Flex adapter. 

Aspiring filmmakers go hands-on at SXSW Film’s new Come & Capture Film Factory | Ryan Lakich | Culture Map
This spring, directors pursuing their big breaks will get invaluable hands-on time with tools needed in order to bring their visions to life. For the first time in 2013, SXSW Film will present the inaugural Come & Capture Film Factory, an event that will run over the course of four days during SXSW, from March 9 until March 12.

16 Cameras in 2012 “Two more than last year” | Philip Johnston | HD Warrior
Philip looks back at a year of camera announcements:
Canon also announced the 4K C500 but spoiled it by taking off the hand grip one of the best features when using the Canon C300. Canon also decided to make the C500 2K recordable internally leaving you the expense of having to buy an external 4K recorder, this in my opinion is the sole reason for the C500 sluggish sales.

Hold your horses: Canon not ready to put 5D Mark II out to pasture just yet
| Dan Havlik | Imaging Resource
A non-denial denial about the end of the Canon 5D Mark II [$1599 right now]....which, even though they deny it, has to be coming soon...
"At this time we have no update regarding the status of the EOS 5D Mark II DSLR camera," a Canon U.S.A. spokesperson told Imaging Resource. "This product has been faithfully selling in the market since 2008 and has helped usher in a new era for Canon with the introduction of the Cinema EOS System."

The One-Offs: A Short Film Made with the Canon EOS C300 | Steve Mims | DV Info
This is from some time ago, but I'm pretty sure I haven't linked to it, and it goes into the C300 in some depth:
This article is my account of using the C300 to shoot a short film. It is a complete chronicle of the effort, including stills and video clips. For those who would prefer to skip ahead, I’ve broken the piece down into hyper-linked sections:

Behind the Magic: "Marvel's The Avengers" - Anatomy of a Shot | ILMVisualFX
| YouTube
While "The Avengers" posed many visual efffects challenges, one of the larger challenges was pulling together the "tie-in" shot during the third act of the film. Rather than frames, this single shot is measured in minutes on screen and is one of the longest effects shots in the film. It incorporates both practical special effects and extensive digital visual effects by ILM. The New York City environment that serves as the setting for this shot (and virtaully the entire alien invasion) is computer generated by the visual effects team at ILM.

Behind The Scenes Of Epic Indie Film: The Underwater Realm | Rebecca Britt
| F Stoppers
The Underwater Realm has been in development for some time, and they've posted lots of making-of videos during that time, but now it's finally done:
Shot entirely on the RED Epic and using customizable underwater housing, submersible speakers, surface monitoring and some amazing breath holding, this series is one of the most impressive indie film series I have had the pleasure of viewing.

Kathryn Bigelow Talks "Torture" Controversy, Her First "Failed" 'Hunt For Osama Bin Laden' Film & More About 'Zero Dark Thirty' | Rodrigo Perez | IndieWire
"There's no question that methodology is controversial but there was no debate about whether or not to include it in the movie because it's part of the history," she said. "That's an element we were working with. It was a question of working with the material and finding the right tone and balance. And also exploring other methodologies. Over the course of the decade many different approaches were utilized. Throughout that decade you see all the permutations and surveillance that were utilized. And the rest is history. It was all about finding the right balance."

No One Uses Smart TV Internet Because It Sucks | Mat Honan | Wired
Never seemed a good idea to me:
I think I can explain all of this with a single thesis: Smart TVs are the literal, biblical devil. (That may be overly broad. Perhaps they are merely demonic.) But the bottom line is that smart TVs typically have baffling interfaces that make the act of simply finding and watching your favorite stuff more difficult, not less.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Roku RT Streaming Player

I just bought a Roku LT Streaming Player player. I bought the “cheap” RT model, which is limited to 720P, partly because Amazon was having a sale on it, and partly because I didn’t really think I’d see much difference between 720P and 1080P. The 720P looks pretty good to me, but then I watch DVDs quite happily as well.

I also have a first generation Apple TV, which I don’t use as much as I had originally thought I would. I use it to occasionally rent a movie, but I do that so infrequently you could probably count the number of movies I’ve rented this past year on the fingers of one hand.

The reason I bought the Roku was not because I was looking to replace the Apply TV, or I was unhappy with it in any way. Rather, I got it because I have an Amazon Prime membership, and the Roku, unlike the Apple TV, will stream Amazon movies.

And with Amazon Prime you get access to quite a few movies and TV shows for free. It’s not endless, but as a free add-on (free after the $50 for the box, and $75 for Amazon Prime I’m already playing) it’s pretty good value! I’ve also watched Amazon movies on my MacBook, and even on the iPad (using the Amazon player app). Both work very well, but sometimes I’d rather just watch a movie on TV.

The player and it's remote

Installation is simple, though I wish it had come with an HDMI Cable rather than the old RCA cable. I had to spend another $5 to buy a cable from Amazon. The power supply is in a small brick attached to the power plug, which is always problematic when you are plugging them into a power strip.

When you set up the box, you do have to register it with Roku, and give them a credit card. I actually used a Gift Card that I had to register the device.

Operation is simple and straightforward. It’s much like navigating the Apple TV, though when scrolling through a list of movies it has the habit of repeating the same movie multiple times in the list (at different places.) That’s probably an Amazon issue rather than a Roku one.

Cables, adapter and batteries for the remote are the only other parts included

The image quality at 720P on my TV is very good. I watched four movies over the course of about five days, and they all played well except for one. Towards the end of Clear and Present Danger the movie started hiccupping every minute or so, and even flashed to a green frame at one point. I don’t know whether there were problems with the download, the transmission, or the encryption of the movie. It’s not something I’ve had happen with Apple TV; though I have had that pause because it was unable to complete downloading a movie, but it’s never hiccupped. I’ll be interested to see how often this problem occurs.

But if you have Amazon Prime and haven’t been making use of the free movies, then I’d recommend this device.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Quick Links

Cameras: 2012 Year In Review | Michael Murie | Filmmaker Magazine
1. The end of film
Film’s been having a tough time of it, but did anyone in 2011 think that 2012 would be the year that film would roll over and die?This was the year that Kodak went bankrupt, Fuji announced they would cease production of motion picture film, and the major film companies announced the timetable for moving toward 100% digital distribution. It was also the year that a James Bond movie was shot digitally.

I have been very impressed with the performance and look of this lens.  Its ultra sharp wide open which in itself is amazing.  There is also very little if any noticeable chromatic aberration.  Now this is normally a problem with very fast lenses.  It seems very hard for lens manufacturers to get sharpness combined with lack of chromatic aberration.  SLR MAGIC seems to have got this lens spot on.  

Seven Ways to Make 2013 Your Most Productive Year Ever | Joshua M Brown
| The Reformed Broker
1. Stay Away from "the News"
The news is mostly not news. Believe me, I traffic in this stuff online and on-air every day. But let's say it was all "real news"...then what? It isn't as though you're able to react to it, at least not all of it. In fact, the less of it you react to, the better off you probably are. My friend David Merkel talks about making as few decisions as possible, thus limiting the amount of bad or forced ones. This is the kind of advice that sounds so simple and obvious that it can't possibly be true - but it actually is true.

'Argo' Screenwriter Chris Terrio Describes His Research Immersion to Create Taut Thriller | Christopher Boone | No Film School
Terrio is no overnight success as you’ll learn from watching the video, even though Argo marks the first time many of us have noticed his writing talents. So keep writing, because overnight success stories like this are usually a decade in the making.

Editing 'Zero Dark Thirty:' Dylan Tichenor and William Goldenberg Assemble the Perfect Procedural | Oliver Peters | Creative Planet
The film was conceived before the raid on bin Laden’s compound occurred. It was to be about the hunt, but not finding him, after a decade of searching. The SEAL raid changed the direction of the film, but Bigelow and Boal still felt that the story to be told was in the work done on the ground by intelligence operatives that led to the raid. 

Q&A: The Diamond Brothers on the Blackmagic Cinema Camera | Bryant Frazer
| Studio Daily
We had, coincidentally, just purchased a full set of Duclos Cine-Mod Leica Rs for use with a Canon mount. We have both PL and Canon mounts for our Epics, and we prefer manual lenses — well, because they’re manual. We used those on the Blackmagic EF-mount camera. They’re not electronic, so they don’t take advantage of any of the on-board iris capabilities.

In the Field with the Blackmagic Cinema Camera | Bryant Frazer | Studio Daily
A continuation to the above article, more tips on using the camera:
The BMCC's sensor size translates to a "crop factor" of about 2.3 versus full-frame sensors. That means DPs are packing lenses that tend to the wide side. Solorio reports getting the "most pleasing" results on the wide side with the Sigma 8-16mm f/4.5-5.6 zoom, and suggests the Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 as a somewhat faster lens.

Micro Expression: Exploring Motion Image Photography | Abraham Joff
| Untitled Films
A look at the Canon 1D C:
The other Huge advantage that the 1DC has over its rival 4K cameras is the expanded sensitivity of the latest sensor technology from Canon. The new benchmark achieved by 5Dm3 in low light performance has been raised again here with very useable vision captured as high as 12,800 in our testing. This is a big point to note when comparing the low light nature of RED cameras and another reason this camera is the obvious choice for quickly changing environments where you have little or no time to “light”.

9 Copyright Laws Every Video Producer Should Know | Amy Manzer | VideoMaker
Recording Location. Generally, you have the right to video at or from public places such as public streets, parks, and public events. However, your subjects also have privacy rights. You do not have the right to record at or from private places such as someone's home or business, without a signed release.

Canon C100 2012 Review | HD Warrior
Over the last week Philip Johnston at HD Warrior has collected together several reviews of new cameras from different users:
It’s definitely not a perfect camera. The main downside is that Canon’s Marketing Department were overzealous in crippling the C100 to protect the C300 – 720p50/60 is the standard for DVD material (great SD with web friendly HD) but is absent from the C100. There’s no intervalometer even though there’s a half-hearted Slow Shutter mode. The EVF is barely adequate for ensuring that the camera is pointing in the right direction, and neither the EVF or the Panel should be trusted for exposure and colour balance.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Quick Links

SNL’s Digital Evolution | Dan Brockett | HD Video Pro
Interview with SNL Cinematographer Alex Buono:
The limited availability of talent has been a notable factor in Buono's mind-set about gear. "My overriding goal has been an evolution toward flexibility," he says. "Working with so many great writers, performers and guest hosts, we have to be able to react to improvisation quickly. The last thing I want to tell the director or writers is, 'I need another 20 minutes to re-light if we want to shoot it that way.'

Editing raw video on a $900 Hackintosh (with $5000 Mac Pro levels of performance) | Andrew Reid | EOSHD
Let down by both Apple and Microsoft, I researched a third solution. A Mac Pro without the unattainable price tag. As a Macbook Pro user, the install files for the latest OSX – Mountain Lion were downloadable from the App Store since I’d already purchased it. I used UniBeast to install these on my PC. The disclaimer is that this is against the EULA (End User License Agreement) of OS X so not an officially supported solution.

After Revolutionary Run, Is This Finally Farewell to the Canon 5D Mark II
| Dave Kendricken | No Film School
I’m sure I don’t need to get any more sentimental about this announcement — the implications of the news speaks for itself. Many of us likely owe our initial discovery and subsequent readership of this site to this very camera. Ironically, given the force of change this workhorse exerted on the low-budget world, this is a rather unceremonious way to break the news.

Canon CN-E Primes - Review | Magnanimous Media | Vimeo
Comparison of the Canon Cine lenses with Canon's regular L lenses:
Jonah talks about the CN-E lens comparison. DPs Scott Regan and Teddy Hoffman joined me in playing with the new Canon CN-E Cine Primes on the C300, Scarlet-X and AF100.

Fred Raskin… Editing, Quentin Tarantino and Fast and the Furious
| The Cutting Room Podcast
From being an up and coming film editor on films such as Annapolis, Fast and the Furious Tokyo Drift and Fast Five to Quentin Tarantino’s man in the cutting room on Django Unchained.  Fred Raskin has earned his strips by assisting on Kill Bill Vol. 1 and 2 and as additional editor on Punch Drunk Love.  Now he has earned his spot in one of the most exciting cutting rooms in the world.In this Episode Raskin and Gordon talk about getting into the business, being a part of the Fast and the Furious series and of course teaming up with Quentin Tarantino.

Adding Camera Movement Zoom and Dolly Techniques | Studio School TV
| YouTube
On this weeks episode of Studio School Josh continues the basics with some simple camera movement techniques. We discuss Zooming or Punching as well as Dolly-ing or Pushing. A few dolly techniques are also discussed such as Tracking, Counter-moving, Reveal, and Circles. Then we combine the Zoom and Dolly for a technique called the Push-Pull.

How to Spin a Camera Around the CN Tower | Candy Glass Productions | YouTube
Interesting demo and instruction on creating a "spin around a building."

Holiday 2012: Action Cameras | Brian Klem | B & H
Each year, action-camera technology continues to improve and action-camera popularity continues to grow. Most major camcorder manufacturers now have at least one action camera, and there are a handful of other companies that specialize exclusively in action cameras and accessories for those cameras. Companies like GoPro, Drift and Contour have had the most success because they dedicate the bulk of their research to developing exactly the sort of performance the customer wants. 

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