Saturday, March 30, 2013

Massachusetts Production Coalition: 2013 Seminar Series Announced

Last year's seminar series was very good. Each one consisted of a panel of filmmakers or subject matter experts talking about their experiences:

Event Info & Registration: Working Methods Seminars

We are delighted to announce the dates for a new Working Methods Seminar Series. 

Join us for a great collection of Seminars for 2013 with topics developed from feedback in our first series. Each seminar will be an opportunity to learn from a panel of accomplished professionals in a relaxed and intimate environment. The seminars include time for audience Q&A and networking.   

SCREENWRITING: Saturday, April 13th 
High Output Studios 
Coffee & Bagels 9:30 AM / Seminars 10:00 - 12:00 Noon

2013 Seminar Schedule
April 13  *  Screenwriting 
May 18  *  Legal Seminar 
June 15  *  Branded Entertainment
September 7  *  The Independent Filmmaker 
October 5  *  Marketing & Social Networks
November 2  *  Composition & Soundtracking

Friday, March 29, 2013

Quick Links

Apple aims to win over video editors | Chris O'Brien | Los Angeles Times
That campaign, timed to coincide with the National Assn. of Broadcasters convention that starts April 6 in Las Vegas, will feature users like Julian Liurette, who followed the firestorm from his video editing desk in Toronto at the Globe and Mail newspaper.

What's new in Final Cut Pro X [X 10.0.8]  | Apple
  • Sony XAVC
    Shoot with Sony’s latest professional digital video cameras — the F5 and F55 — then import XAVC files directly into Final Cut Pro X and start editing immediately. With support for resolutions up to 4K, you can work natively or convert to Apple ProRes in the background for even better performance.
  • ProRes Log C
  • Multichannel Audio Editing
  • Unified Import
  • Streamlined Share
  • Dual Viewers

XAVC APPLE FCPX plugin [ Edited ] | Sony
Here is the XAVC plugin for Apple Final Cut Pro X that enables native XAVC editing
NoteThis plug-in requires:
Final Cut Pro X 10.0.8 or higher for XAVC format
Final Cut Pro X 10.0.6 or higher for XDCAM format
This plug-in supports SxS Card but not Professional Disc. XDCAM Professional Disc users can use Content Browser software to ingest material into Final Cut Pro X.

Ang Lee Talks “The New Illusion Of Cinema” At London’s 3D Creative Summit
| Deadline
I don't think Lee is going to endear himself with the VFX community:
Speaking of the cost of visual effects, he said he had feared that the economic reality of Pi would not match the artistic demands of realizing it. “It would be like the number Pi: it keeps on going and makes no sense.” 3D, then, was a way to keep the budget manageable.

F5/F55 Quick Tip: Updating Firmware | Ian McCausland | AbelCine
Sony recently released a new firmware update for their F5/F55 cameras. Firmware v1.10 comes with a number of image processing and metadata improvements. See below for a full list of the changes:

Switronix TorchLED BOLT variable temperature LED light review | Andrew Reid
This is a very powerful panel. It is 200 watt and gives 7300lux at 2ft and 3800lux at 1m. You can mount it on the camera, or use it as a stand-alone ‘sun gun’ which is how I used it. The BOLT has a standard 1/4″ mount thread (metal) on the base and comes with a 1/4-20 swivel hot shoe mount in the box.

Hacked Panasonic GH2 and a GH3 on multicopter shoot BBC Top Gear special in Africa | Andrew Reid | EOSHD
The interesting thing about this is that you can get some nice video by attaching a small camera to a small aircraft...
The company Extreme Facilities who provided the BBC with multicopter drones for the recent Top Gear Africa Special have posted some behind the scenes shots of the GH2 and GH3.

JVC ADIXXION GC-XA1 On RC JET (Malaysia) | qick1314 | YouTube
And an even smaller action camera attached to a small model plane:
JVC ADIXXION GC-XA1 attached under a RC JET plane which fly with the speed of 300km/h.

Shooting Video with the Nikon D800 | Nice Lady Productions | Vimeo
This video has relevant information for Nikon D4, D600 and D7100 camera users, as the video shooting settings are very similar. Please note: you can not change the Aperture in Live View Manual video mode on the D600 and D7100 cameras unless you use a lens with manual aperture on the lens, but you can on the D4 and D800/e. D600 and D7100 are wifi enabled (with an adaptor) for transferring files and controlling the camera remotely.

Shooting Video with the Nikon D800 from Nice Lady Productions on Vimeo.

SNL Backstage: Behind the Scenes with the Film Unit | NBC

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Quick Links

Color Grading A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III, Part 2: Chris Martin on the Art of the Post-Grade | Michael Murie | Filmmaker Magazine
In this second part on the color grading of the movie A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III, Chris Martin of SPY describes his work to complete the final grade, the workflow, and the color look of the picture.

Buying stock footage with the Pond5 plugin for Premiere Pro CS6 | Scott Simmons | Pro Video Coalition
I used it several times when working on some stock footage based edits but hadn't had the opportunity to actually carry out the whole purchase and conform process from within PPro until a recent project. Keeping in mind this product is still in beta, here's a few cautions and gotchas that I ran across while working.

The History (and Future) of Rotoscoping in After Effects | Adobe
After Effects has evolved throughout the past 20 years to make rotoscoping a less eye-bleeding task. Check out how After Effects has changed throughout the years and get a sneak peek at the evolution of rotoscoping.

24-Hour Creative Session: Adobe MAX Logo | Sue Garibaldi | Adobe
Jessica Walsh and Stefan Sagmeister of Sagmeister & Walsh have decided to reinterpret our Adobe MAX logo in a 24-hour creative session that will be live streamed, which they’re endearingly calling “play” (sounds like hard-work to us).

Rumor has Apple TV set using 4K Ultra HD panel | Electronista
Seems odd to me that Apple would jump into 4K:
Apple's long-anticipated TV set will use a 4K Ultra HD (3840x2160) panel, according to supply chain sources reached by DigiTimes.

Danny Boyle Says 3D "May Be A Phase" But Calls Ang Lee's 'Life Of Pi' "Incredible"
| Joe Cunningham | IndieWire
"I don't use 3D," he said. "I'm a spectacle wearer, so I hate going to 3D movies because you have to wear two pairs of spectacles, which makes you feel like even more of a prat. You know how everybody feels a bit of prat wearing 3D spectacles? You as a spectacle wearer feel a double prat."

Indiegogo's Field Guide Breaks Down the Process of Crowdfunding to Help You Run a Successful Campaign | V Renée | No Film School
The thing that I like about the field guide is that it gives me something to do. It gives me boxes to check, goals to set, and things to consider. It has it all there clearly labeled and linear, ready for my humble fumblings with a multi-colored gel pen.

Lightworks on Windows | Matt Sandford | Lightworks
The development work on the next version of Lightworks 11.1 is going very well and with nearly four thousand users registered and testing the latest Beta versions we have been making excellent progress. Such an enormous amount of feedback - and the time it takes to respond to it - means that we are slightly behind with making the 11.1 Windows version available for release but it is nearly complete. We are aiming to have the release version ready for 30th April 2013

Jason Brush and Michel Reilhac Discuss the Second Screen and New Interactive Cinema at SXSW | Scott Macaulay | Filmmaker Magazine
That turned into a conversation about the second screen — using a viewing device like an iPad or iPhone alongside a television set — and the new ways in which filmmakers can experiment with the cinematic form.

Imagineer Systems Partners with CoreMelt at NAB 2013; Unveils New Version of SliceX for FCP X Powered By mocha | Creative Planet Network
Imagineer Systems, creators of the Academy Award winning mocha Planar Tracking technology, today announced it has partnered with CoreMelt to integrate Imagineer’s Planar Tracker into SliceX, the shape masking plug-in for FCP X. SliceX is available for demonstration at the Imagineer Systems booth at NAB 2013 during the week of April 8, 2013 at booth #SL3329 in the Plug In Pavilion in the Las Vegas Convention Center.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Quick Links

Cinematographer Tobias Linden explains the advantages of a RED EPIC
| Freytag Film
No other camera manufacturer has ever polarized the filmmaking community like RED does. Since its launch, the company has led the way in terms of 4K+ acquisition, while at the same time ignoring standard business practices (e.g. upgrade paths; actual delivery dates). Today, a RED EPIC can be found on sets of big Hollywood feature productions, television, advertising and even low-budget independent films. But why is the EPIC so widely spread?

RED Solves EPIC and SCARLET Fan Noise Issues, Also Introducing New Fans at NAB | Joe Marine | No Film School
Jarred Land recently posted that the RED engineers have developed a new smart algorithm for controlling fan speed (and therefore fan noise):
The new algorithm constantly monitors temperature and fan speed and starts quieter than the existing quiet setting for the first few minutes and then slowly steps up fan speed up as temperature increases the longer the take goes..

Color Grading A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III, Part 1: Ryan Bozajian on the Art of the Pre-Grade | Michael Murie | Filmmaker Magazine
Like most motion pictures, Roman Coppola’s latest film, A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III was color graded in a DI theater at a post house. Unlike many films, this final grading only took two days; extensive “pre-grading” was done using Resolve Lite at American Zoetrope’s own facilities, while the final grade was performed at SPY using the full version of Resolve.

Stephen Nakamura: Color Grading “Oz The Great and Powerful”
| Digital Production Buzz
“OZ The Great and Powerful” was recently released in theaters nationwide and there’s a lot of buzz about the “look” of the film. Stephen Nakamura, of Company 3. one of the most sought-after DI (digital intermediate) colorists in the industry, is one of the key people responsible for the look of this film. In addition to Oz, his work has been seen on countless features, including Prometheus, Zero Dark Thirtyand the upcoming Spring Breakers, from director Harmony Korine.

Semel Chair David Magee talks about his career 3-14-2013 | Emerson College
David wrote the script for Finding Neverland and Life of Pi, and gave a very interesting talk about how he became a screenwriter, and what it was like to work on these pictures.

Looks good...but I suspect expensive to unlock the recording features...
The Odyssey 7 will retail for $1295 US – which would be a great price if you were just getting a stand alone OLED monitor – but your getting much more than just a monitor.  The Odyssey 7 is a state of the art external recorder than is capable of supporting a wide range of recording formats...

Camera Shopping? Here’s What You Haven’t Considered | Thaddeus Setla | Zacuto
Camera Companies… Listen UpEducate us on the full eco-system of your cameras and make sure we walk away confident on our next production. Offer us the chance to connect with experts in the field. Give us the satisfaction of knowing that you genuinely care about our success. And if you have a moment to listen about our struggles, do it — it might just be the golden idea in your business model that changes the game for you!

The 10 Commandments of Slating | Evan Luzi | The Black and Blue
2. Thou shall write only what is needed on thy slateThou shall write only what is needed on thy slate and no more than what is relevant and informative.Let not the temptations of doodles, jokes, and extra information appear except as and when they shall be — under thy Lord the Director’s permission — perceived as useful and meaningful.

3D a proven failure, 4K unlikely to succeed – HBO | Andrew Reid | EOSHD
I have not owned a terrestrial or cable TV set for 3 years and have no intention in changing. I watch TV via on-demand services online (from major broadcasters) and movies on a home theatre projector, most of which I stream or download in 1080p via iTunes, NetFlix and LoveFilm online. I dislike the way 3D looks and I don’t feel it adds to the emotional immersion of a story. 3D completely removed me [from] The Hobbit and I couldn’t get properly engaged with the characters.

Here we go the end of an era | Rodney Charters |
FujiFilm is taking last orders....

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Quick Links

Sidewalk Traffic: Interview with D.P. Dave Kruta | Michael Murie
 | Filmmaker Magazine
The most challenging thing was having to shoot that many pages with a minimal crew. There were a few nine-page days which were out of control. Many days I had only one G&E person. Many people on board were doing their first feature so there was definitely a learning curve, but I think we were successful.

#SXSW2013 | Elle Schneider | Digital Bolex
SXSW was the first time we’ve been able to accurately show people the weight, size, and ergonomics of the camera, and people really responded to it, taking tons of photos and videos. Hundreds of people stopped by the booth to chat with us and check out what we were doing, including backers and many who had stopped by last year to discover the project in its infancy.

Digital goes back to the 70′s – 1st impressions of Dog Schnit Optiks Flare Factory 58 lens and sample photos | Andrew Reid | EOSHD
On my test shoot (stills only – I have yet to use it for a video project) I had SO MUCH DAMNED FUN with it. I was shooting more than I otherwise would have, it really encourages you to experiment with the flare and colour cast not just with the composition and focus, so in that sense it adds another dimension to the shoot. Though you can opt to have the normal variable aperture blades, if you take a custom shaped aperture hole you get a fixed aperture, but you wouldn’t want to stop the lens down too much as the raison d’être of the lens is to create the look it does whilst WIDE OPEN at F2.0.

Digital Convergence Episode 115: The Age of the Indie | Planet 5D
Mitch, Chris and I talk to author and indie filmmaker Mike Carroll. He’s been on the show before (back in episode 75) and he’s back – this time talking about the second edition of his book Naked Filmmaking: How To Make A Feature-Length Film – Without A Crew – For $10,000-$6,000 Or Less Revised & Expanded For DSLR Filmmakers (Volume 1)

Ep. 39 - "Audio Hijack!" (with Matt Russell and Ben Consoli)
| Need Creative Podcast
In this special 39th episode of the NeedCreative Podcast, the show is hijacked by Ben Consoli of BC Media Productions! Ben, a previous guest on the show, is joined by sound engineer Matt Russell to talk all matters sound. And there's some Final Cut Pro X info and tips in there for Pros as well.

Now Shipping: Zeiss CZ.2 70-200 T2.9 Compact Zoom | Mitch Gross | Abel Cine
Zeiss has begun deliveries of their first Compact Zoom, the CZ.2 70-200 T2.9. This lightweight lens is a sister to the Compact Prime lens family, which means that it shares versatile traits such as Full Frame 35mm coverage (it’ll cover the Canon 5DM3 and 1D C) and professional cine style gearing and marking.

FCPX for Talking Head Interviews | Ben Consoli BC Media Productions | Vimeo
Using FCPX for talking head interviews is easy and provides a very powerful searching capability thanks to its Metadata structure. Check out how I use FCPX for talking head interviews.

FCPX for Talking Head Interviews from Ben Consoli BC Media Productions on Vimeo.

Adobe Defends Its Ridiculous Australian Pricing Before Parliament | DL Cade
| Peta Pixel
While Microsoft and Apple cited distribution chains, copyright and competition, Adobe went a different direction, citing the personalized service offered by Adobe’s Australian website, and high local running costs. As Adobe’s Paul Robson explains:“I run a local operation, that operation has costs, those costs include the salaries of our staff, the leases on our buildings.”

15 Directors Unceremoniously Fired Or Replaced On A Movie | IndieWire
The recent debacle with “Jane Got A Gun” -- director Lynne Ramsay was a no show for work on the first day of filming apparently having clashed with the producers -- is an unfortunate peg with which to take a look back at filmmakers who were fired, replaced or walked off a film, but history is full of interesting tales of films gone awry thanks to the regrettable loss of a film’s director.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Quick Links

Tackling Concerns of Independent Workers | Steven Greehouse | New York Times
The Freelancers Union, which is based in Brooklyn, doesn’t bargain with employers, but it does address what is by far these workers’ No. 1 concern, by providing them with affordable health insurance. Its health insurance company covers 23,000 workers in New York State and has $105 million in annual revenue.

Adobe Encouraging Flights to US For Cheaper Prices |  ZACH SUTTON | F|Stoppers
Adobe pushes Australian's into the Cloud. Will everyone else be next?:
While this price is comparable to the US price of the product, the box prices for their products are as much as $1000 more in Australia than in the US, for essentially the same products. “If Australian customers don’t see the value of Adobe’s software, they can buy another company’s software” Robson said. “Alternatively, they can take a trip overseas or import the American version.”

Self Distributing Your Film – Lessons from a Real World Case Study | Jonny Elwyn
| Premium Beat
The first lesson to take away from Lisanne and James’ heroic effort is that it is entirely possible to fund, make, distribute and ‘sell’ your independent film through your own hard work, determination and dogged persistence. The tools, platforms and opportunities are available and open to anyone who wishes to make use of them. That doesn’t mean of course that success is guaranteed...

For Photographers, Competition Gets Fierce | CAREN CHESLER | New York Times
Daryn Backal, 49, did a little of both. He said he once had a thriving wedding photography business in Victor, N.Y., charging $3,000 to $5,000 a wedding and bringing in about $90,000 a year. But as some new faces joined the field, charging less than $1,000, he said he saw his revenues drop to around $60,000 a year.

Timeline: A History of Editing goes digital with lots of new material
| Scott Simmons | Pro Video Coalition
Timeline: A History of Editing is an amazingly detailed book about just what the subtitle says, a history of editing. Written by John Buck, Timeline is something we’ve spoken about before but it recently got even better with the release of Timeline: Digital Edition One. This iPad specific book is updated for iBooks on the iPad with “photographs, video material, original brochures and animated patents, as well as audio clips and exclusive interviews that document the lives of editors and the craft of editing from the very beginning.”

Netflix: 4K Streaming Within 2 Years, 'House of Cards' 4K Encodings This Year. Can Indies Benefit? | Joe Marine | No Film School
I know some of you will already be saying that the TVs are too expensive and you need a gigantic screen to see the benefits, or that the broadband speeds aren’t up to snuff yet in U.S. These are valid points, but this transition is happening, whether any of us like it or not.

Postproducing “The Place Where You Live” | Alexis Van Hurkman | Blog
Of course, using my primitive compositing as a reference, I was then able, using Dropbox and with compositing supervisor Marc-André Ferguson’s help, to organize and hand off all of the plates to the team of artists and compositors who are remotely creating the final VFX, including the actual HUD graphics (graphics design by Brian Olson at Splice Here, compositing by Aaron Vasquez).

Brian Bowen Smith on Trusting Your Gut and the Creative Process | DL Cade
| Peta Pixel
In the above video, he uses three photo shoots to exemplify the versatility and creativity required to be one of the best. From Hillary Swank in a studio, to Matthew Fox in an airplane hangar, to Gabrielle Union on the beach, each shoot exemplifies a different lesson that Smith hopes you’ll walk away with.

Exploring the World of Color Theory with a 3D Modeling Program | Mark Meyer
| Peta Pixel
Pretty pictures...I don't really understand it all:
Once in XYZ space it is easy to see that the ProPhoto gamut completely contains the smaller AdobeRGB gamut. You can also see that the white points (the top right vertex in this image) are aligned because I have adapted them to D50. It’s a necessary step when comparing colorspaces with different white points.

How Groucho Marx was saved | SEAN COLE | Salon
Interesting tale about the - almost - loss of a television classic:
And they were running out of room, so they were either going to destroy it – which they did all the time. I think there’s a lot of the Steve Allen stuff from “The Tonight Show” that’s all gone. One of Groucho’s very close friends, Oscar Levant, had a local show in L.A. called “Information Please” and it was apparently incredible. It was all Cinescopes, and I think it was all destroyed.