Friday, July 19, 2013

Red Giant's Spy Vs Guy and BulletProof @ BOSCPUG

Last night was the latest Boston Creative Pro User's Group meeting, featured Aharon Rabinowitz, Director of Communities for Red Giant, talking about their latest short film Spy Vs Guy, and Adobe Certified Master Trainer and Apple Certified Master Trainer Simon Walker talking about Red Giant's latest application: BulletProof.

Now I could talk at some length about Spy Vs Guy, or you could just watch it (it's 16 min. long.) I could also talk at some length about how it was made, or you could just watch the Behind the Scenes:

BulletProof is described by Red Giant as "a complete offload, prep and delivery solution." I could also tell you a bit about what I saw at the demo of BulletProof, or - if you have a Mac - you could just go and download the free public Beta and try it out yourself.

[I just want to point out that it's very hot here in Boston at the moment...]

Well, if you really want to know a little more:
For those not intimately familiar with these films from Red Giant, director Seth Worley has now made several short films for Red Giant, and this is the most ambitious so far (though I think that can be said about every previous one!)

These films are made on a comparatively small budget, though both Rabinowitz and Worley are on Red Giant's payroll, and they are spending money on cast and crew, props etc. So while this short film cost a fraction of what a Hollywood feature does, it probably cost a lot more than many low-budget projects cost. That said, they continue to demonstrate what it's possible to do without extravagant budgets.

Aharon noted that they went over budget when they didn't get the permitting in time for a street shot they were planning. Calling everyone back for an extra night cost an extra $3,000.

While the story, camerawork, music and effects are all excellent, I particularly love the props they create for these projects. There's a tremendous amount of detail that goes into these short films.

An instruction manual and box of darts, both carefully aged

Magnetic glove prop

Talking about his collaboration with Worley, Aharon noted that while he's Seth's boss at Red Giant, during the making of these films, Seth is the boss. Aharon went on to make an interesting observation about working on creative projects with other people. "When you suggest changes," he said, "you need to think about whether you're trying to make it better, or make it your own."

It's still hot, so I'm not going to go into great depth about BulletProof. Besides, there's a free beta available to download and try. Admittedly it's Mac only, and only works with DSLR media (no AVCHD or MXF support at the moment) but you can try it out.

BulletProof provides a way to import media (and simultaneously make a second or third backup if you like), attach meta data, preview and make rough cuts from clips, apply simple looks, and then export in a variety of formats.

I think for those in a production environment - particularly where you have a crew and you want to review material as it's being shot - BulletProof could be very useful. Just being able to import content and make a copy (that's checksum validated) could be worth the price of admission.

I use Adobe Prelude at the moment to ingest material, and as I sat in the demo, I kept seeing things that I wished Prelude did. But on the other hand, more than half of the things that BulletProof does (the tagging, previewing, adding looks) are things that I don't see myself doing for most of my projects. So it's a bit of overkill for me. I also didn't like that it appeared that I had to export the physical media, i.e. make a second copy; I couldn't just send Premiere an XML that pointed at the original media. [NOTE: I could be wrong on that, I just didn't get a chance to ask if that was an option.]

Still, I think for many BulletPrrof would be a useful tool, and worth taking a look at.

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