Friday, March 08, 2013

Quick Links

BMCC vs Red Scarlet vs Sony F5 | Planet 5D
From being onset and not looking at the footage in post production, the Sony F5 was the winner. It is a great ‘do all’ camera with an amazing image. Unfortunately, we can’t edit this footage in Premiere CS6 because there is no plug in that allows us to do so. The only way I could show the shots is with a screen shot via content browser. Anthony is going to see if he can get it into Davinci Resolve.

Tutorial: Creating 3D Graphs in After Effects by Joe Mason | MICHELE YAMAZAKI
| Tool Farm
There are many ways inside of AE to add a third dimension to those boring old 2D charts. If you’ve got the time and a small budget, I would recommend a 3D plug-in such as Zaxwerks 3D Invigorator or ProAnimator in order to turn a flat bar into a full three-dimensional cube that can animate and grow to a corresponding value. The following screen captures were taken from animations created in Zaxwerks 3D Invigorator. Download a free demo of Zaxwerks 3D Invigorator or ProAnimator here.

Ep. 36 - "A Conversation with Rodney Charters, ASC" (with Michael Murie too) | NeedCreative Podcast
In this very special 36th episode of the NeedCreative Podcast, your co-hosts Paul Antico and this week again Michael Murie are joined by Award-Winning Director of Photographer Rodney Charters, ASC. Rodney is perhaps best known for being the DP on the long running series "24" on Fox, but also is currently shooting Dallas, and has shot Nashville, Nash Bridges, Shameless and much more.

Avid — Has the Ship Sailed (or Even Sunk)? | Richard Harrington
Mark my words… Avid will make a desperate announcement at this year's NAB (if not sooner). Their 'we're focussing on the pro market' strategy is too little and too late. The pros they want to keep are moving on in records numbers (let alone dwindling).

Organizational Tips for FCP X | Oliver Peters | digitalfilms
The beauty of Apple Final Cut Pro X is in its power to organize media. When editors take advantage of these tools, FCP X can prove to be a very fast way to cut. I’ve covered some of these concepts in previous posts on “Rethinking NLE Design”. . . Click on the thumbnails to see an enlarged image for an expanded view of each of these tips.

| DSLR News Shooter
We previously featured the Kessler Pocket Jib Traveller when the company posted a teaser video earlier in the year. Now they have unveiled the full details of the mini crane in this new instructional video by Preston Kanak. It certainly looks like a great solution for the on the go DSLR shooter.

10 Things Bad Production Coordinators Do That Drives the Rest of the Office Crazy | COURTNEY | How To Film School
2) Don’t Delegate/Over Delegate – I have run into this problem more often than not. I am either working for someone who tries to do everything on their own or I am working for someone who wants me to do all of their work. It is rare that I have found a nice balance.

Movie Studios Are Setting Themselves Up For Huge Losses | Kirsten Acuna
| Business Insider
In 2009 there were five films with budgets at or above $200 million... By 2012, eight films had budgets of $200 million or more.

| Matt Allard | DSLR News Shooter
The KineRAW is an interesting camera. It has a very unique look that I can’t really explain. I like the grain and noise structure, and while it may not resolve as highly as some other cameras, I’m still amazed that a small company from China has been able to create such a low-cost RAW camera. It’s an incredibly easy camera to operate, and even though it was an engineering sample, it never once stopped working or had a single problem.

Television's Future Has a Social Soundtrack | Deb Roy | Harvard Business School
But all that has changed with the sudden rise of realtime social media, particularly Twitter. Just in the United States, tens of millions of people are talking to each other as they watch TV. This year's Super Bowl alone spurred over 24 million tweets. After 80 years of sequestered viewing, television audiences worldwide have forged Twitter into a social soundtrack for TV. If you are not part of the soundtrack yet, chances are that you will be soon.

BBC to buy 500 plus JVC GY-HM650 camcorders…”Well done JVC”
| Philip Johnston | HD Warrior
Over the course of 2013, the BBC will purchase over 500 units of JVC Professional’s GY-HM650 ProHD network-enabled camcorder, to be used in their newsgathering operations both throughout the UK and globally. Key features of the GY-HM650 are flexible dual codec capability, network connectivity, and overall ease of operational use.

Kubrick camera | Kubrick Collection
Stanley Kubrick was famously precise about his equipment. His most famous and special items of equipment were the Carl Zeiss F0.7 Lenses which were remounted for him by Ed DeGullio to fit a specially modified Mitchell BNC camera. These lenses were hugely difficult to operate - requiiring a full 5 rotations to allow the camera to rack over from the viewing position to the filming position. These lenses have an exquisite shallow depth of field, as well as a soft bocka unseen in lenses since.

Thursday, March 07, 2013

Quick Links

Digital Bolex image quality – Exclusive look at sensor samples and footage
| Andrew Reid | EOSHD
Uncompressed raw is basically a direct sensor tap.
The Digital Bolex camera features a Truesense Imaging CCD (ex-Kodak). As there’s no image processing pipeline, just debayering – the sensor pretty much determines the image from the camera.So by looking at a development rig with the same sensor, we get a glimpse of what the Digital Bolex can do.

Infographic: SXSW 2013Did the Big Guys Crowd Out the Crowd Funders? (And Other Burning Questions…) | Amanda Farmer | Austin Freelance Writer
How are the films chosen? Are there formulas? Trends? What type of filmmakers get accepted? Specifically: Do crowd funded, totally obscure indie films really stand a chance, when $200,000 is considered “Ultra Low Budget” for Hollywood films entering the same festivals?The upcoming SXSW Film Festival seemed like a perfect opportunity to do a little research. I spent a few days poring over the SXSW website to gather what data I could before wrestling with Google to fill in the missing pieces.

Torrenters, Six Strikes and You’re Out! | David Rosen | Filmmaker Magazine
The campaign is designed to monitor peer-to-peer (P2P) networks for copyright infringement and is being promoted through an industry front group, Center for Copyright Information (CCI). Online users who allegedly illegally download copyrighted content will be sent a series of six warning, each one raising the stakes for noncompliance.

Will Accounting Woes at Avid Spark Big Changes or an Acquisition? | Chris Potter
| ScreenLight
If the desire for change is strong, or the accounting problems run deep, then Avid may be forced to look at some more radical options. What are some of the options that could be on the table? As I see it, the alternatives include more restructuring, an investment in innovative products, a private equity buyout, an outright sale of the company, or a breakup of the company. What is the likelihood that each of these options will happen? Read on to find out.

Getting your work out there. The festival vs the online release | Danny Lacey
| Philip Bloom
One of the key aspects of my work, at this stage, is building an audience, some might call it a tribe. I think it’s essential for the modern day indie filmmaker. The unique way in which I’m doing this is by sharing absolutely everything I am going through as a filmmaker online. Through my film website, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Vimeo.  Note, building up an audience takes time, often years and it’s a great way of attracting talent to your projects as they can see quite clearly just how serious and professional you are.

Digital Convergence Episode 113: Warning! Speed Change Ahead | DigitalFilm.TV
Are we keeping with change in our art and craft?
Getting constructive feedback from our customers
Script writing for promo videos

The Miracle of Visual Effects, will it continue? | Effects Corner
Because studios push and push and push the visual effects companies. They try so hard to squeeze every penny out of the visual effects companies and workers that they try everything they can. They lobby and get huge subsidies from states and countries to pay them, the studios, to make movies there. It’s not to the taxpayers benefit in those locations. And it's decimating the visual effects industry and that short sightedness is going to bite them.

4K at BVE in London and future proofing | London Photography and Video
Philip Bloom's presentation "The DSLR journey: from the 5D mkII to the 4K 1DC" was so popular that over 150 people were turned away each day, including me on Tuesday. Philip has not been too positive in the past about 4K's future but one of the reasons I follow him on twitter (@PhilipBloom) is because he is prepared to have his mind changed. He had shot a pop video with Olly Knights on the Canon EOS-1D C the previous week, quickly edited it in Adobe Premiere and Dissolve and produced a 4K ProRes 422 file which the venue guys converted to a DCP to show on the 4K projector at BVE.

Taking a sneaky peak at Cantemo Portal workflow for Final Cut Pro X | FCP.Co
When Apple axed Final Cut Server, it left a void in the digital asset management (DAM) market. Possible replacement company Cantemo has published a sneak video preview on the FCPX and Cantemo Portal workflow.

The Art of Steadicamfrom | Refocused Media | Vimeo
Invented by Garrett Brown in the early 70's, the steadicam shot -- or 'steadishot' -- has become one of the most dynamic and exciting forms of cinematography and is one of the most engaging visual techniques in a filmmaker's storytelling arsenal.
I was inspired to make this homage to the art of steadicam cinematography when browsing the database of "top" clips over at, which are rated by the community.

Pro Sony camcorder (NEX-FS100UK) catches daredevils tightrope walking | Sony
| YouTube
Our friends from SkySight Aerial Imaging strapped our NEX-FS100UK interchangeable lens camcorder to their flying radio control helicopters. The result? This flipping awesome, adrenaline inducing video. Watch as brave souls throw themselves off cliffs and test the limits of their balance on a tightrope strung across a ginormous canyon.

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Quick Links

How to make an HD camera rig for less than $3K - including the camera!
| Craig Marshall | Red Shark News
Putting together a rig based on the NEX-VG20....I think I'd use the NEX-EA50...
The VG20 sports a large 4 piece spatial on-board microphone with a ‘dead kitten’ blimp and full manual audio control circuits with auxiliary microphone inputs and a headphone output jack. Although the VG20 is equipped with an external stereo microphone input, there are no balanced XLR microphone jacks. Remember, Sony does not advertise the VG20 as a ‘professional’ camera.

Ang Lee and the uncertainty of success | Jeff Lin
From age 30 to 36, he’s living in an apartment in White Plains, NY trying to get something — anything — going, while his wife Jane supports the family of four (they also had two young children) on her modest salary as a microbiologist. He spends every day at home, working on scripts, raising the kids, doing the cooking. That’s a six-year span — six years! — filled with dashed hopes and disappointments.

Avid DNxHD vs. Apple ProRes vs. GoPro Cineform: Recompression Generation Loss | Angelo Lorenzo | Fallen Empire
So what exactly is the take away if you won’t see this level of compression “in the wild”? It seems that Avid’s DNxHD either has more aggressive compression or pre filtering/blurring than the other codecs which may lead it to being less suitable for a greenscreen intermediate than ProRes or Cineform. 

14 Trends Filmmakers Should Watch In 2013 | Elliot Grove | Raindance
2. Socially conscious filmmakingFilmmaking that embraces important topics. Documentaries like Lottery of Birth, House of Numbers, How To Start A Revolution and Jeremy Irons’ Trashed are just a few of the growing number of films made by politcially and socially aware filmmakers.

Top 10 Cities to Be a Moviemaker: 2013 | Kyle Rupprecht | MovieMaker
7. Boston, MA (score: 27.5)And speaking of production, the city is host to many production (and post-production) facilities, including Modulus Studios and Sound & Vision Media. Boston also has some burgeoning film schools—including programs at Emerson and Boston University—but the town, culturally, remains more literary than cinematic. The only thing holding Boston back right now is resident moviemakers’ access to new work. 

Slo-mo gets a different point of view | TVBEurope
Quick look at the Polecam:
The LMC Antelope Pico PoV camera is particularly suitable for live sports production, and has been used for the German Bundesliga and Winter sports – a Pico was used on a white Polecam (to disappear into the background) at the start gates at the Alpine Skiing World Championship in Schladming. Polecam’s Founder, Steffan Hewitt, also recently used the Pico in China, to cover the Rory McIlroy/Tiger Woods Duel at the Jinsha Lake Golf Club in Hengzhou.

Review – Canon EF 85 f/1.2L II | Justin VanLeeuwen | CanonRumors
The more I used this lens, the more I got to know it, the better my images became, and the more impressed I was with it.  Often relying on flash modifiers and scenes built with speedlights and strobes, I took pleasure in exploring natural light situations, and allowing focus isolate my subjects instead of contrast.  I know that if it was a regular piece in my kit I would likely bring it to every job I had just to try for some of the impressive three-dimensional feeling images it creates.

Video Compression for the Web – Part 1: A Brief History | RON DAWSON
| Dare Dreamer
I’m not even going to pretend to understand all the complexities that go into this 5th revision of hypertext markup language. Suffice it to say that a key component of it is the added simplicity of displaying videos online. It is a standard that does not require Flash. And more and more content producers are switching to creating HTML5-compliant videos and websites. (Here’s a great overview of HTML5 Video).

Sony F55 - Out for a Skate | Nigel Akam | Vimeo
I shot this test footage with the F55, recording the XAVC 100mb, and 4K codec. Transcoded in Davinci Resolve 9.1 lite to Pro Res hq. Edited in Premiere CS6.We shot overcranked in S&Q mode to 60 fps, as well as some 23.98. Hypergamma 4, and S-log2 were used. Only colour grading was to white balance a couple of shots at beginning that looked blue. ISO ranged from 1250 to 5000. We're trying to show footage straight out of the can.

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Quick Links

Lightworks for OS X to be revealed at NAB | RedShark News
They've been promising a Mac version of this NLE for a couple of years...could it be just around the corner?
Note that this is a first showing of the OS X software and that it will still need to go through the same stages as the Linux version: probably a private Alpha, and then a public Beta. But because of the similarity of large portions of the code, testing on all three versions benefits each specific one as well.

Review of the Sony NEX-EA50 camcorder | Philip Johnston | HD Warrior
Philip gives the Sony NEX-EX50 a very positive review - about the only thing that it really lacks is built-in ND filters. Low-light isn't too bad either - maybe not as good as the more expensive cameras, but it's no slouch...and it's only $3,599...

Sony NEX- EA50 Review from Philip Johnston on Vimeo.

Canon Announces the Development of New High Sensitivity Sensor | CanonRumors
I wonder how much ND you have to slap on the front of this...
Using a prototype camera employing the newly developed sensor, Canon successfully captured a wide range of test video,*4 such as footage recorded in a room illuminated only by the light from burning incense sticks (approximately 0.05–0.01 lux) and video of the Geminid meteor shower.

Sony Responds to RED, Blackmagic Fix and Avid Continues to Decline
| Michael Murie | Filmmaker Magazine
Two weeks ago RED announced that they were suing Sony for patent infringement for technology used in Sony’s PMW-F5, PMW-F55, and F65 cameras. Last week Sony posted a response on their Pro video website. First noting that the F65 has been commercially available for over a year, and that the F5/F55 were announced in October, they go on to say:

Review: Drift Innovation HD Ghost Action Camera | Definition Magazine
Detailed review of the Drift HD Ghost Action Camcorder:
Action cameras aren’t particularly renowned for their image quality, but in good light the HD Ghost performs very well. Colour rendition is good and even the internal mic performs well enough (except for the inevitable wind noise at high speed). There have been various reports of the camera mis-judging exposure, but I wasn’t able to provoke this behaviour with the latest firmware.

using the Canon EOS 6D in movie mode (model: Anastasia) | Neil vN | tangents
A test with the Canon 6D....unfortunately it doesn't really address image quality compared to other cameras; I've heard some say the 6D isn't as good at the 5D Mark III:
The big differences between the 6D and 5D mark III – the 6D doesn’t have a headphone jack to monitor the audio being recorded. This is a huge drawback if you want to use the camera specifically as a video camera.
Please note:  testing the video quality for artifacting and moirĂ© is outside the scope of this review. So you would want to do more research here.

Get a Sneak Peek at the Sony F5 and F55 | Zacuto
Zacuto was lucky to have Kari Hess from Abel Cine Tech visit with the Sony F5. Check out this first look video as Steve Weiss, Jens Bogehegn and Kari Hess discuss the features, rig set up and much more for the Sony F55 and F5!

Replay: Image Restoration and Touch Up in After Effects Seminar
On Thursday, February 28th, Toolfarm's Michele Yamazaki demonstrated project-saving methods of restoring and touching up images using Boris Continuum Complete in Adobe After Effects. Here is the archived video of the event, in case you missed it, and more information on links mentioned in the session.

Why a visual effects company can win Oscar for Life of Pi and still go bankrupt
| Brent Bambury | CBC
When Rhythm and Hues Supervisor Bill Westenhofer accepted the Oscar for his company's visual effects work on Life of Pi, he was played off the stage before he could tell audiences the company is bankrupt, and the industry is suffering. Scott Ross, founder of Digital Domain and former general manager of Industrial Light and Magic, explains why even Oscar winners can go broke in the VFX industry's race to the bottom. 

Excerpt from Revenge of the Great Camera Shootout 2012 | Zacuto | Vimeo
Interesting advice for film students:
Alan Thatcher and Janusz Kaminski discuss their time at Columbia College and what approach film students should take to be successful in the film industry.

A New York State of Post | StudioDaily
But California does not offer a separate credit devoted solely to post-production, and New York does. It is this difference, say those closest to the Empire State Film Post Production Credit, that could eventually put New York City's post business on a par with Los Angeles, Vancouver and London.

In Oakland, Photojournalists Covering Crimes Become the Victims | CAROL POGASH
| New York Times
Watch your gear; the thieves are watching...
Robberies and assaults are changing the way journalists report in Oakland. Armed, plainclothes security guards sometimes accompany news crews on pieces, even mundane ones. Some camera crew members are refusing to take assignments in Oakland at night. And while crime provides the daily drama for much of the local television news, reporters are spending less time on the street and more time at the Oakland police department.

Monday, March 04, 2013

Quick Links

LC: We didn't actually light them that much. Traditionally the way day-for-night has always been done in the past is that you take an image lit by daylight -- ideally on a day where it's a nice bright source rather than being overcast -- and you then turn that sunlight into moonlight by underexposing a couple of stops in-camera and some more in post, twisting everything towards a cooler look with increased contrast. What we did was to expose normally and apply the LUT, which is the equivalent of creating the look in the grade, but with the advantage of being able to monitor it on the set.

The Speed Booster – a New Type of Optical Attachement for Increasing the Speed of Photographic Lenses [PDF] | Brian Caldwell and Wilfried Bittner | Metabones
A white paper on this new optical adapter for full-frame lenses on APS-C format DSLRs:
Ever since the introduction of DX and APS-C format DSLR’s many have wondered why it isn’t possible to build an “inverse” teleconverter that would reduce the focal length. After all, this sort of attachment, called a focal reducer, is widely available for telescopes. The short answer here is that the reflex mirror of DSLR’s gets in the way, and makes the design of a true general purpose DSLR focal reducer essentially impossible.

Red Dragon - Anticipated Coverage | Art By Phil
A chart showing the coverage on the Dragon sensor on a Project Target courtesy Duclos Lenses

Saturday Night Live shoots with Canon C500
Alex Buono ‏‪[@AlexBuono‬] DP at the SNL Film Unit, tweeted that a skit shown on this weekends show was shot on the Canon C500:
We like to broadcast our workflow tests here at SNL: here's our C500/Gemini 4K overnight experiment, "Z-Shirt"
Saturday Night LiveZ-Shirt | Hulu

VFX Solidarity: Is the Future of the Visual Effects Industry at Stake?
| Micah Van Hove | No Film School
Wonder why all your production friends on Facebook have changed their profile pictures to a familiar shade of green? News of Rhythm & Hues Studios going bankrupt, the studio behind the recent Oscar-winning Life of Pi, has acted as a catalyst for awareness.
It Ain't Easy Being Green-Screened: One VFX Artist Speaks Out at Risk of Being Erased and Replaced | Maggie Kraisamutr | IndieWire
What has happened to the animation industry a decade ago is now happening to the VFX industry. Due to poor management, bad business deals, and the comparative cheapness of outsourced labor, the VFX industry is at risk of imploding. The biggest advantage that animators have over VFX workers is that they have the benefit of union representation to standardize and protect their terms of employment.

Rodney Charters Showreel 2013 | Rodney Charters | Vimeo
This weekend I sat in again with Paul Antico to interview Rodney Charters for the Anticipate Media NeedCreative Podcast. It was a great interview; Rodney talked about a lot of stuff covering shooting with digital, lighting, and much more. Definitely check it out; it should be up later this week.
And Rodney just posted his show reel.

Rodney Charters Showreel 2013 from Rodney Charters on Vimeo.

Faruqi & Faruqi, LLP Encourages Investors Who Suffered Substantial Losses Investing In Avid Technology, Inc. To Contact The Firm | Yahoo
Things just get worse for Avid, though this looks a bit like ambulance chasing (until we known what the full story at Avid is):
Faruqi & Faruqi, LLP, a leading national securities law firm, is investigating potential securities fraud at Avid Technology, Inc. ("Avid" or the "Company") (AVID).

Steven Spielberg Developing Stanley Kubrick's Dream Project 'Napoleon' As TV Miniseries | KEVIN JAGERNAUTH | IndieWire
"I've been developing Stanley Kubrick's screenplay -- for a miniseries not for a motion picture -- about the life of Napoleon. Kubrick wrote the script in 1961, a long time ago," Spielberg told French network Canal+. 

Inside ILM – The History of the Magic | FilmmakerIQ
Grantland takes you into the storied confines of George Lucas’s Industrial Light and Magic headquarters to marvel at the art and relics from Lucas’s films, including the Yoda fountain, original ‘Star Wars’ character sketches, Slimer from ‘Ghostbusters,’ and much more.

The Zero Budget Software Suite | Christian Bell | Raindance
These packages give you an entire office set up for every stage of the filmmaking process, from drawing up budgets and schedules, writing your script right through to advanced editing and special effects.  All for a most reasonable price.  Free.

Former senator Chris Dodd made $2.4 million as MPAA head in 2011
| Adi Robertson | The Verge
2011 was Dodd's first year at the MPAA; more notably, it was also the year that saw the inception of extraordinarily unpopular anti-piracy bill SOPA. Dodd was instrumental in pushing SOPA — which was authored by Representative Lamar Smith (R-TX) — and was up-front about paying politicians for their support.

Sony F5 – F55 Booklet v5.5 February 2013: Special Edition | Film & Digital Times
An update on their previous report on the Sony PMW-F5 & F55:
Updated (v5.5) on Feb 27 with latest revisions and software versions of Sony F5 and F55 cameras. This is a free online edition only. We are not printing on paper.