Friday, June 14, 2013

Quick Links

Sony’s Sub-$10,000 PMW-300 Is the EX3′s Successor | StudioDaily
Sony announced the PMW-300 camcorder, refreshing its XDCAM line-up with a semi-shoulder mount camera that uses the same EX-mount interchangeable lens system as the PMW-EX3, meaning both 1/2-inch and 2/3-inch lenses can be used. And it adds the broadcast-friendly 50 Mbps MPEG HD 422 codec to its recording options.

Behind the Scenes of the New Sony 4K Commercial | Sony Blog
If you’ve seen the spot, you know this was no small production. But what exactly does it take to create something like this? As it turns out, it takes 4 days on location and a whole lotta people. Our team selected Miranda Beach in New Zealand as the main set (ironic, since our Cinematographer on the job is Academy Award Winner, Claudio Miranda. No relation).

First impressions of the F55 | Sony
Cinematographer and hugely influential blogger Philip Bloom got his hands on the F55 back in April and immediately set about making a short film designed to put the camera through its paces. “It’s a surrealistic short film set in a disused tunnel, which really pushed the camera’s sensitivity and is a challenging first use of the camera,” he says. 

Regaining discipline and the importance of planning…PLUS a challenge for you!
| Philip Bloom
This brings us back to the idea of tight rushes. Editors love tight rushes…just not too tight. It’s always better to overshoot than undershoot. Nobody wants to run out of shots, it’s preferable to have too much to play with than too little…but the sign of inexperience is overshooting.

What Cameras Are Festival Filmmakers Using in 2013? | No Film School
From everyday devices (Apple iPhones) to old stalwarts (Panasonic AG-HVX200), and high-end (Arri Alexa) to DSLRs (Canon 5Ds), filmmakers are making quality movies with a dizzying array of cameras — over 33 were used in making this year’s Tribeca offerings.

The $900 JVC GC-PX100 camera looked interesting because it promises over-cranking of 200fps or more....but looking at this footage shot with the camera, I don't think it's very useable, except for home movies.
We took the JVC GC-PX100 into various shooting environments to test its high-speed frame rates, autofocus, detail, moire, rolling shutter, low light capabilities, dynamic range, color, saturation, and image stablization.

Canon EF 70-200 f/2.8L Non-IS Discontinued? | CanonRumors
Still seems to be listed at B & H for $1,299:
We’ve heard from a few people that the EF 70-200 f/2.8L is in the process of being discontinued. A few people have said they have attempted to get broken lenses fixed and have been told by Canon USA that parts for the repair are no longer available and will not be in the future either.

Technicolor's Color Certified Program ensures consistency across displays (video)
| Engadget
There's THX certification for TVs, ensuring potential buyers that they'll get solid home-theater visuals, so why shouldn't there be an equivalent for your gadgets' displays? Technicolor, along with software company Portrait Displays, is stepping up to the plate with a new standard for guaranteeing hue quality across PC and mobile panels. 

Resolve V9 "Copy a look with Auto Keyframes" | icolorist | Vimeo
How to copy a grade with 2 keyframed shapes from 1 clip to another using the Auto Keyframer

Creative Stop-Motion Makes Excellent Use of Forced Perspective and The Moon
| PetaPixel
In preparation for the all-night festivities to come, Vania Heymann, a second year student in Bezalel school of art and design in Jerusalem, put together this very creative mix of video and time-lapse that uses forced perspective and the moon to advertise the coming festival.

Steven Spielberg Predicts 'Implosion' of Film Industry | Hollywood Reporter
Steven Spielberg on Wednesday predicted an "implosion" in the film industry is inevitable, whereby a half dozen or so $250 million movies flop at the box office and alter the industry forever. What comes next -- or even before then -- will be price variances at movie theaters, where "you're gonna have to pay $25 for the next Iron Man, you're probably only going to have to pay $7 to see Lincoln." 

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Seminar: BRANDED ENTERTAINMENT Saturday, June 15th

Saturday, June 15th @ High Output Studios, Massachusetts
Coffee & Bagels 9:30 AM /
Seminars 10:00 - 12:00 Noon 
RSVP & Tickets: Working Methods Seminars Learn how brands work with agencies, producers, filmmakers, and content creators to create unique and engaging work in today's multi-platform media landscape. The seminar will also explore product placement in feature films, television and web content - and the rights and clearances involved when featuring products in a production.

Eric Korsh - VP Brand Content, Digitas
Arestia Rosenberg - Senior Content Producer, Hill Holiday
Michelle Ferullo - Product placement specialist for feature films and TV.
Moderated by: Margie Sullivan - Executive Producer, Redtree Productions

Boston 48 Hour Film Project

Tuesday was the Finale of the Boston 48 Hour Film Project. From something like 80 films, the final list had been winnowed down to 14 films. I'd already attended one of the six original screening nights, so statistically I should have seen at least two of these films, but I'd only seen one of them before.

There were some great videos. The winner "All for Knot" was a great piece of acting, shooting and editing, and three or four of the other movies were almost as good. All in all, pretty impressive.

Below are some of the best entries (unfortunately, I couldn't find a couple of other movies I wanted to include.)

Anything from The2ndAct on Vimeo

Behind the Scenes of "Love Hurts" from Ben Pender-Cudlip on Vimeo.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Quick Links

Adobe Premiere Pro CC and GPU support | Adobe
Also, some customers may be aware that in the past there was a not-so-secret way of enabling non-supported GPUs by the ‘hacking’ or removal of a text file. This is no longer necessary in Premiere Pro CC. As long as you have a reasonably modern card with at least 1GB of VRAM, you will still be able to enable that card in the Project Settings dialog.

Photographer, cinematographer and director, Tyler Stableford, like many others, started shooting video in 2009 after the release of the EOS 5D mkII. Over the last three years it has completely changed his business and landed him some big name clients but he’s still a storyteller at heart. I met up with Tyler at this year’s NAB show for a brief chat about his work.

New Rokinon 16mm f/2.0 Wide-Angle Lens for APS-C and Micro Four Thirds
| B & H Photovideo
Rokinon has announced a new 16mm wide-angle manual-focus lens for DSLR and mirrorless cameras in both the APS-C and Micro Four Thirds formats. As a standard wide focal length with an f/2.0 maximum aperture, it is bound to please APS-C and Micro Four Thirds shooters who have been looking for just such a fast and versatile optic.

An incredible achievement – Roald Christessen builds his own raw cinema camera and grading software | EOSHD
The camera has a global shutter CCD sensor, which is the same Trusense (ex-Kodak) sensor used in the Ikonoskop. It gives a lovely cinematic image and very filmic colour with no rolling shutter skew. To see what I mean read my two-part shoot with the Ikonoskop here and watch the shootout footage vs the Blackmagic Cinema Camera below.

A Different Kind of Alchemy: From Amazon Studios Development Slate Script to Novel | Hollywonk
Then the screenplay was optioned by Amazon Studios, and because of the publicity it received, the publisher contacted me to suggest that I write the story as a novel. I told him that would get right on it, and emailed him the manuscript five minutes later. Timing is everything.

Judge Rules That Movie Studio Should Have Been Paying Interns | New York Times
A Federal District Court judge in Manhattan ruled on Tuesday that Fox Searchlight Pictures had violated federal and New York minimum wage laws by not paying production interns, a case that could upend the long-held practice of the film industry and other businesses that rely heavily on unpaid internships.

We had this pilot script and we were budgeting it and scratching our head whether we should go ahead and greenlight this, and we were trying to figure out the production challenges. We knew it had to be able to stand next to projects in this genre being done on the big screen yet with a more limited budget.

The Mac that Thunderbolt built: The newly compact Mac Pro | C|Net
Instead of empty PCI Express slots and vacant hard drive bays, the new Mac Pro will come with six 20Gbps Thunderbolt 2 ports powered by three controllers separate controllers.

WASHER: These little circular discs that come packaged with nuts and bolts can be a videographer's best friend. You're in a hurry, you need to unscrew that bolt on the bottom of your tripod plate and you reach in your pocket for a dime - but come up with only a nickel. 

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Quick Links

Zacuto C-Shooter Hands On Review | Erik Naso
A review of the ($949) Zacuto C-Shooter for Canon EOS C100/C300/C500 Cameras:
The Canon Cinema EOS cameras are the most ergonomic camera I have used. So why use a rig for them? Well for a couple of reasons. If your trying to shoot ENG style then holding a camera with no rig can get fatiguing really fast. Try interviewing someone for over five minutes holding the C100 up without a rig. 

Amazon Storyteller: A Sort-of-Free Storyboard Tool | Michael Murie
| Filmmaker Magazine
On the face of it, it’s surprisingly easy to get started. The tool displays the script in a panel on the left-hand side. Click on a line of the script and the tool creates a new storyboard frame. 

“Have You Been in Jail Recently?” Chris Doyle on How to Be a Cinematic Artist | Allan Tong | Filmmaker Magazine
Doyle always carries this mindset when he handles a motion picture camera. “You see some words [in a script], and it says, ‘It’s very wet,’ or ‘It was a dry, dull day.’ How [] do you film a ‘dry, dull day’? So you have to get away from words. You have to find a way to give ‘a dry, dull day’ an image. That’s what cinematography’s about.

16 Recommendations For Filmmakers To Discover Best Practices For A Sustainable Creative Life | Truly Free Film
Focus on developing Entrepreneurial Skills as well as the creative.  The corporate distributors don’t need your work to the extent that they will ever value it as much as you will.  If you want your work to last, engage, and be profitable, it is up to you to be prepared to use it to ignite all opportunities

Lawrence of Arabia: Sony's Beautiful 4K Restoration | Creative Cow
One of the issues was that all the 70mm prints over the last two decades had been struck from the duplicate 65mm negative that was made from the 1988 wetgate-manufactured 65mm Interpositive, a process that serves to camouflage many of the scratches and dirt. "We did not have the advantage of scanning this large format film with a wetgate, so all the film's flaws were very evident directly from the original negative," said Crisp.

DPs of award-winning films speak at Cannes | ARRI News
Amid all the excitement, ARRI recorded video interviews with three cinematographers who had award-winning films at the festival, all of them captured with ALEXA. HELI, shot by Lorenzo Hagerman, won Best Director for Amat Escalante; OMAR, shot by Ehab Assal, won the Un Certain Regard Jury Prize; and ILO ILO, shot by Benoit Soler, won the Caméra d'Or.

Creating "The Pleasantville Effect" in FCPX | Larry Jordan | YouTube
Have you discovered the "Pleasantville" effect? This pretty cool effect allows users to keep a single object in full color while the rest of the shot fades into B&W. For more, check out this webinar excerpt from "How To Color Correct A Scene in FCPX"! 

How To Use Shape Masks in FCPX | Larry Jordan | YouTube
Trying to mask off the brightness of objects or areas in some of your shots? Learning more about Shape Masks can do a world of good. This webinar excerpt from "How To Color Correct A Scene in FCPX" shines some light on the subject!

Apple Announces New Mac pros (though shipping later this year)

Apple offers sneak peek at new cylindrical Mac Pro assembled in the USA | AppleInsider
The desktop also features dual workstation GPUs powered by AMD FirePro. That will allow up to 2 and a half times faster than the graphics of the last generation, capable of driving three 4K resolution displays on the new high-end machine.

Hell froze over: Apple previews new Mac Pro, video professionals rejoice? | Cinema5D
It looks like Apple relies entirely on Thunderbolt 2 (twice as fast as the current Thunderbolt) for expansion of any kind – even hard disks (it has flash memory built in, no hard disk drive). Expansion via Thunderbolt is a great idea, yet currently, there are very few devices available for that – it is possible to put some PCI Express cards into Thunderbolt housings but the solutions are very limited at this point. 

Apple reveal new 4K equipped Mac Pro suitable for uncompressed raw editing. Not just pro but genius! | EOSHD
Rather than have a fan and heat sink on every major component like in a PC, the new Mac Pro has a triangular unified thermal core at the centre with each component in contact with it on a different side of the triangle (via thermal paste). It then has a single fan to pull air through it. That is a genius design and surprising nobody else has done one on a desktop computer until now. 

Stop the CUDA panic! Adobe CC, Resolve, et al work fine on the new MacPro! | Philip Hodgetts
The preview of the new MacPro has, not surprisingly, polarized “the Internet”. It is however exactly the computer I thought Apple would produce for a new MacPro. Well, the tubular design was a surprise, but the lack of internal drive space, expansion slots were no surprise. But the lack of NVIDIA “cards” and therefore CUDA support, has alarmed many, quite needlessly.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Quick Links

A little rain in my Pocket | John Brawley
John takes another look at the Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera, which is expected to ship at the end of July.
Using the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera with native m4/3 lenses I moved around pretty easily and unobtrusively.  Yes. The camera did get wet.  I tried to keep it dry, but it was inevitable.
I shot mainly at ISO 1600, but the first few clips were shot at 800.

BMCC prores test footage | Alex K Lin | Vimeo
The Blackmagic Cinema Camera (the original, not the upcoming 4K)
My take on it is that the BMCC certainly has its own look. I think although Canon has avery mainstream and popular color matrix, rendering beautiful blushy skintones, the BMCC has very naturalrendering of skintones and film mode makes you start coloring with a nostalgic desaturated look...

Product Review: Zynaptiq Unveil | Larry Jordan
Can you remove reverberation? Maybe with this plug-in:
As I was researching last week’s webinar – 3rd-Party Plug-ins for Final Cut Pro X - a reader suggested I check into Unveil, by Zynaptiq. I did, and what I discovered was that Unveil does the impossible: it removes reverberation recorded into a voice track.

Produced By: J.J. Abrams on Film's Future and his Love-Hate Relationship With Tech | Hollywood Reporter
He said in choosing film for Star Trek Into Darkness, he wanted to match the look of the previous Star Trek film. “Also with all the CG, it was important to me that it was as warm and human and analog as possible. It may not be obvious to many of the people who saw it, but I think it is more important than people know.”

How I Share and Send Files With Clients – A New Edition to My Arsenal – ‘MinBox’ | Nate Weber
I export from Premiere (or Adobe Media Encoder, FCP7, etc) right into my dropbox folder. This way it’s uploading the second it’s done exporting. Vimeo is connected to Dropbox now, so I can upload it from the Dropbox server to Vimeo’s server much faster than over my own connection. 

15 Tips for Producers from the Cannes Film Festival | Scott Macaulay
| Filmmaker Magazine
Learn how to collaborate. When I asked the five panelists at my American Pavilion panel what advice they’d impart to those starting out, Parts and Labor’s Jay Van Hoy, a producer on the Critic’s Week selection Ain’t Them Bodies Saints, said, “Learn how to collaborate.”

How To Build Trust With Your Documentary Subject by Michael LaPointe | YouTube
Interesting ideas on how to deal with interview subjects:

More on Adobe Creative Cloud

Apples, Oranges, & Creative Cloud: My Thoughts on CC | Jack Nack
Jack works at Adobe and offers his thoughts on the Creative Cloud:
We’d work our butts off to deliver every possible improvement, but when crunch time came, we’d have two lousy choices: either rush to finish a feature & make the release, or cut it, putting it 18-36 months from customers’ hands. 

An Update on Creative Cloud | Aharon Rabinowitz | All Bets Are Off Productions
Aharon attended an Adobe presentation and reports on their pitch for the Cloud:
Another area where Adobe is trying to accommodate us is in the area of being able to open our previous work, even if we are no longer paying for creative cloud. Nothing is set in stone, as they were just polling the audience, but they are clearly thinking about it. They asked us if it would be acceptable if, even after subscription lapses, we would be able to open and render out old work – and to even have the ability to make changes without saving them.