Friday, November 08, 2013

The News

5D Mark III raw video (Magic Lantern) versus KineRAW MINI for image quality | EOSHD
Overall I prefer the 5D Mark III because of the full frame look to lenses and Canon colour science. That said, colour isn’t baked in with raw. It’s very much in the hands of the colourist – it’s just that the KineRAW MINI’s output often needs that bit more effort in post than with Canon raw.

After Effects Creative Cloud Updates | ProVideoCoalition
The Rigid Mask Tracker, which can take an initial mask shape you’ve drawn, and adjusts it from frame to frame as the enclosed object moves around the screen. There are some limitations - such as the object must be “rigid” (think windows instead of moving lips) - but it works surprisingly well.

Canon Introduces the DP-V3010 4K Monitor | CanonRumors
The Canon DP-V3010 4K Reference Display measures 30 inches wide diagonally by 7.4 inches deep to help minimize space requirements and provides a 2000:1 DCI-compliant contrast ratio, uniform brightness, very wide viewing angles in all four directions, internal color calibration and additional advanced features.

The quick answer to that is…As much as I like the GH3, I would rather use my bmpc in 25fps then the GH3 in 50fps 1080p. Simply because …There is something definitely ‘MAGIC’ about the pocket camera.

Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera Review | DSLR Video Shooter
This camera review was a tough one… A big part of me loves this little camera, but the other wants nothing to do with it. It is a case of so close yet so far away. To see what I’m talking about, watch my full review belowBLACKMAGIC ANNOUNCES DAVINCI RESOLVE 10 | FilmmakerIQ
Blackmagic Design today announced the release of DaVinci Resolve 10, available now for download free of charge for all existing DaVinci Resolve customers. DaVinci Resolve 10 is a major upgrade that includes innovative on set tools, new editing features, support for OpenFX plug-ins and more.

FCP X: Enable Multichannel Audio | Larry Jordan
stereo audio is very hard to edit because you can’t adjust each track individually for levels, pan, or even to remove a click from a single channel. For this reason, I now recommend recording audio as “dual channel mono” because it allows each track to be manipulated independently.

Film Festival Secrets: 5 Types Of Film Festivals | Raindance Film Festival
There are really 3 basic reasons to attend a film festival:
  • to expose your film to acquisition executives and hopefully sell your film
  • to win awards
  • to get reviewed and interviewed to create buzz

Can you please explain the difference between optioning a screenplay and buying the rights to a screenplay?
“When somebody buys a screenplay, they own it. When somebody options a screenplay, you own it,” said Galsor. The question is how much they pay you to keep it off the market, he added, when it gets optioned.

NEW Firmware release Version 2.1 (for Sony PMW-F5 & F55) | Sony
The big news in this release is support for 4K Live via the upcoming CA-4000 Fiber adapter for the F55. Other enhancements in this release for both F5, F55 are noted below.

Thursday, November 07, 2013

The News

Don't Mourn Blockbuster. Weep for the Video-Store Era | IndieWire
Blockbuster Video is dead, or at least it will be by January, when the company will close the 300 stores it operates and end its DVD-by-mail service. The Los Angeles Times says franchised and licensed stores will stay open -- no number is given -- but chances are they're not long for this world either.

Interview with Visual Effects Artist David Luong | Grey Scale Gorilla
David Luong is currently a Senior Cinematic Artist II at Blizzard Entertainment, He’s been working in the visual effects industry for nearly 8 years. He currently does lighting, compositing, and matte painting for Blizzard’s cinematics on games such as Diablo 3, Starcraft 2, and World of Warcraft.

Independent Videographer and Cinematographer Adam Lyons Converts to Sony Pro Camcorders | Sony
He uses different camera combinations for different projects. Lyons prefers to use the Sony FS100 for music videos and other small productions, because of its feature set and small and light form factor, giving him the combination of mobility and image quality. He is also extremely satisfied at the newer, easier workflow the camera provides him.

The Sony F55: It is The Most Interesting Camera in The World! | Crews Control
In production, the camera has a skin detail levels to soften the look of the skin, and make best friends with the on camera talent. A multi matrix can identify any color section in the frame, and the DP can change the color value or hue. Slow and quick recording for slowmo and fastmo… a slow shutter to open the iris and freak out the sensor with too much information to the point of drunken blurry craziness (in various degrees of course).

If you want to use your smartphone or tablet to get high quality audio, you need an external mic. The RØDE SmartLav is designed to do just that. Paired with your favorite recording app, or the free app from RØDE, this little mic can give you a portable audio solution.

Grading? Screen Writing? Technical Writing? Directing? Meet Alexis Van Hurkman | Mixing Light
In this installment of the Mixing Light Colorist Profile series, we are very excited to interview writer, director, colorist (sometimes in a different order, as you’ll hear in the interview) Alexis Van Hurkman.  If you’ve been around the world of color or even just a bit interested in color correction and grading in the past decade, you’ve no doubt heard of Alexis.



Crisis Media Management on the FRONTLINE
Boston Avid Users Group
Wednesday, November 20, 2013 from 6:30 PM to 9:00 PM (EST) Burlington, MA
Join us Nov 20 at Avid where FRONTLINE's Associate Director of Broadcast, Chris Fournelle, and Post-Production Supervisor, Megan McGough, will illustrate media management strategies and workflows from acquisition through broadcast. On the recent fast turn-around documentary "Egypt in Crisis" Chris was on the ground in Cairo as pro-Morsi supporters clashed with government forces.  He and Megan will demonstrate how FRONTLINE plans for situations like this, the tools used to get it done, and some of the lessons learned along the way.

BOSCPUG Meeting Featuring Alan Bell, A.C.E
Thursday, November 21
- A Conversation with Alan Edward Bell, A.C.E. (THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE)
- “Brother Sister” - A Feature Film Workflow: Noam Kroll
Film editor Alan Edward Bell A.C.E., is best known for his work on Little Manhattan, (500) Days of Summer, Water For Elephants, The Amazing Spiderman, and the soon to be released “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.” Alan’s resume spans over twenty four years of post-production experience and includes a long list of credits in editorial as well as visual effects. He resides in Los Angeles with his wife and two children and 16 chickens.

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

More from Canon on the C100 focus upgrade

Yesterday Canon announced a Dual Pixel AF upgrade for the Canon C100. It promises faster focusing, but you have to send the camera in to Canon to get the upgrade - which costs $500 - and the upgrade will be available starting February 2014.

I was wondering what the upgrade involved (was the sensor replaced?), and whether it would be a permanent upgrade to future models, so I sent an inquiry to Canon. They responded:
1. There is no need to change the image sensor in the EOS C100 digital video camera in order to perform this feature upgrade.
2. This is an optional upgrade, and as such it will not be installed at the factory for future shipments of the C100.

If you're interested in the upgrade, you might want to check out Jonah Kessel's article about it at News He's not really sure he needs the feature, but the article also includes a description of how it works: CANON C100 UPGRADE: DUAL PIXEL CMOS AUTOFOCUS BREAKS INTO C SERIES CAMERAS | News Shooter

The News

The State of 4K | Filmmaker Magazine
I tried to sum up what's going on in 4K at the moment...
Technology tipping points – when something goes from the unusual to the commonplace – can happen with unexpected rapidity. Has 4K reached a tipping point, and if so what aspect of 4K? Acquisition, production, distribution, or all three? If you’re shooting a film today, should you be shooting in 4K?
But of course, things keep changing. Here's an article that ARRI was promoting yesterday because it makes the case for dynamic range over resolution:

Why 4K Might Not Be the Best Way to Attract Consumers | The Hollywood Reporter
But what if they could choose only one? By a show of hands, the majority of the hundreds of engineers in attendance voted for better pixels, with a fair amount choosing faster pixels (higher frame rates), leaving 4K a distant third with just a few supporters in the room.

From Chicago to the Moon: The power of 4K resolution and how to make it work for you creatively | Philip Bloom
Now with 4K and higher video on HD timelines, it’s becoming quite common. In video, the danger of course is we use this reframing ability to be lazy and not get coverage. That’s a bad idea, never be lazy….also the frame size will change but the DOF won’t, nor will the field of view, that would change by cropping but would on a tighter lens giving a better looking image to cut too if they are cut together.

How We Did It: SNL - "The Midnight Coterie of Sinister Intruders" | Alex Buono
Alex provides a very detailed piece about the shooting of an SNL sketch. Well worth reading, whether you like SNL or not!
Wes Anderson loves his controlled color palettes and we debated the color of the sets on this spot more than any other spot I’ve worked on.  Eventually we combined the dark pink signature color of “The Royal Tenenbaums” with the wall-papered flourish of “Rushmore” for the living room along with the faded yellow and teal palette of “Life Aquatic” and “Moonrise Kingdom” for the bedroom and kitchen.

iMovie (2013) and Final Cut Pro X 10.1 | Alex.4D
When Apple releases big new revisions of software we can insights into their thinking on application design and features. When Final Cut Pro X appeared in 2011, it was very different from the previous version. In the process of rewriting it from scratch they changed the main user interface metaphor and didn't have the opportunity to recreate every feature from Final Cut Pro 7.

PMW-F3, Onboard Codec Slog? | Sam Morgan Moore
Sam continues playing with his new Sony PMW-F3:
So everyone says don’t use the thin onboard codec to record Slog [on the PMW-F3 -Ed]. I am sure there are some gotchas, but it aint that bad..Out of the camera. Grey at 38? Not in my book.

'Anchorman 2' Is The Latest Film To Get The Superticket Treatment | Forbes
The hotly-anticipated film hits theaters December 20th but fans will be able to see the film two days early by purchasing a Superticket. The tickets go on sale November 26th through Fandango. Paramount has yet to announce how much the tickets will cost and what kind of perks come with them.

Nikon announced a new DSLR. I wouldn't normally cover it - it doesn't record video! - but I have a soft spot for DSLR cameras, and old Nikon's in particular. However, they want $3,000 for it, which seems expensive...Unfortunately, some people seem unimpressed anyway:
Dear Nikon… | EOSHD
It is true I don’t get the same emotional kick out of using the 5D Mark III for stills as I do the Fuji X100S, Sony RX1 or Olympus OM-D E-M5. But there’s really no such thing as a retro camera market. People bought into the Fuji X series because the cameras as a whole were compelling in terms of functionality not just design.

Nikon Df vs. Canon 5D Mark III vs. Fuji X100S | Stu Maschwitz
Gordon seems to conclude that Nikon didn’t quite get it right. For myself, I’ve concluded that I already own an expensive, hefty, full-frame DSLR—and while it might not look hipster-retro, it feels great, and using it is second nature to me. Upon closer inspection today, I was reminded that it is, in fact, covered with knobs and dials.

A short skating video I filmed with my Sony F55. Recorded at 120fps and edited natively in FCPX. This is WITHOUT the 2K OLPF installed. I definitely would recommend installing the 2K OLPF for the F5/F55 HFR options.

Chuck Fishbein takes the PMW-300K1 to NY for a test shoot. Video was shot using 4:2:2 50mb at 23.98 fps.

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Canon offers focus upgrade for the C100

Canon to Offer Dual Pixel CMOS AF Upgrade for the EOS C100 Digital Video Camera

New EOS C100 Camera Feature Upgrade Offers Outstanding Continuous AF Performance for Documentary, Electronic News Gathering, and Small-Crew Productions

MELVILLE, N.Y., November 5, 2013 – Canon U.S.A. Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, announced today that the Company will offer an optional feature upgrade for the EOS C100 Digital Video camera which will support innovative Dual Pixel CMOS AF autofocus technology, enabling continuous autofocusing with Canon’s entire EF lens lineup[1]. This optional upgrade is expected to be available in February 2014 for a cost of $500.00 and will require the EOS C100 camera body to be shipped to a Canon service center.

The Canon feature upgrade will provide the EOS C100 camera (first introduced in November 2012) with greatly improved autofocus (AF) functionality made possible through Dual Pixel CMOS AF technology. First employed in the EOS 70D digital SLR camera launched in August 2013, the innovative new AF technology helps facilitate greater shooting efficiency across a variety of shooting situations. For users that work with moving subjects, this optional Dual Pixel CMOS AF upgrade for the EOS C100 camera will allow for a smoother, more natural autofocus that can be particularly useful for video markets like documentary, sports, event and wildlife.

Canon’s Dual Pixel CMOS AF makes use of the Company’s proprietary CMOS sensor technology with a new structure that both captures light and performs phase-difference detection autofocus. While focusing on the EOS C100 camera is primarily performed manually, the feature upgrade will enable smooth continuous AF, a capability that can be particularly beneficial when operating with a small production crew, electronic news gathering, or run-and-gun documentary-style shoots.

The Dual Pixel CMOS AF functionality offered through the feature upgrade supports continuous AF with all compatible Canon EF lenses for subjects positioned in the center of the imaging area. The complementary use of the contrast signal achieves advanced AF stability that helps reduce the occurrence of image blur. Also, the inclusion of an AF Lock function contributes to expanded shooting flexibility through focus preset, which allows users to set a desired focus distance in advance, and the ability to alter the photographing range or composition after establishing focus.

This optional feature upgrade increases the speed of the EOS C100 camera’s One-Shot AF function by approximately two-times, which enables users to focus on a subject located at the center of the screen with the push of a button, a feature that is currently supported on 104 Canon EF lens models[2].

This feature upgrade service will be made available to users through Canon’s product maintenance centers. For more information about this update, please visit the Canon U.S.A. website at

[1] Excluding manual focus Cinema, TS-E, MP-E, and EF Cinema lenses
[2] As of November 7, 2013.

The News

D3ing the F3 | Sam Morgan Moore
Working with the Sony F3:
So I've been fiddling around with Sony Slog footage from my new camera. The trouble is that it is so flat ‘where to go’?Then I realised, make it look like a camera you like, and the Nikon D3 stills camera is a camera I like.

Exclusive images show skydivers' terrifying collision and chaotic plunge | NBC News
This is about the most amazing footage I've ever seen:
The cameras strapped to the skydivers' helmets were supposed to memorialize their perfectly timed jumps and exhilarating descent from two small planes to the earth 12,000 feet below.

What I didn’t realize then was that the financial necessity fueling my venture into the commercial video world, would not only change how I view the online video landscape, but also elevate my ability as a video journalist dramatically.

Found: Long-Lost Movies Now Showing at MoMA | Opening Ceremony
But, like old Polaroids, lost films also have a habit of turning up in odd places––everywhere from GARDEN SHEDS to ANTIQUE SALES to BARNS to archives halfway around the world from where they were originally made. It’s the job of people like Josh Siegel, associate film curator at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, to hunt those films down, restore them, and, sometimes, screen them, as he is now at MOMA’S FESTIVAL OF FILM PRESERVATION.

Playing the Casting Game: Finding the Next Jennifer Lawrence or Raising the Money to Hire Her | IndieWire
“More than 90% of directing a picture is the right casting,” suggests Martin Scorsese in the revelatory documentary "Casting By." Producers might well reach a similar assessment for financing a picture as well since actors remain by far the most enticing lures to potential investors.

Lavalier Microphones | BH Online Videos
Lavalier microphones are often the appropriate choice in many ENG, public speaking, and theatrical scenarios. In this video, Rob Rives teaches us the basics of lavalier miking and shows us several different lavalier microphones in various price ranges. We hope you enjoy the video, and invite you to view the wide selection of other instructional and informative videos at B&H InDepth. Just click on the "Videos" tab at the top right of the landing page.

How drones will change your life | CNN
The United States doesn't allow for commercial drone usage at all, though that's expected to change in 2015, when the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) aims to put a plan in place to integrate drones in U.S. airspace. In the meantime, says West, the U.S. is losing $10 billion in potential economic impact for every year the FAA delays.

What Is the Future of Television? | inc
Whether you are a business owner ensconced in the film or TV industry, an entrepreneur looking for the opportunities that flow from disruption of those industries, or a consumer enjoying the evolution of entertainment, change is coming--and quickly.

We’re About to Lose Net Neutrality — And the Internet as We Know It | Wired
As a result, Verizon took the FCC to court to void the 2010 FCC rule. Verizon went to court to attack the part of the rule forbidding them from discriminating among websites and applications; from setting up — on what we once called the information superhighway — the equivalents of tollbooths, fast lanes, and dirt roads.

Sony Digital Motion Picture Centre Europe Events and Workshops | Sony
If you're in the UK this looks interesting...and free!
CineAlta is revolutionising the way that feature films, TV dramas, documentaries, music promos and commercials are being created. This workshop will equip you with an understanding of the processes required to produce your next idea for the big screen with CineAlta.
What you will learn:
- Set up and operation of the F65, F55 and F5 CineAlta cameras.
- An opportunity to shoot "pre-scripted" shots on the set that challenges the cameras' capabilities.
- Understanding the RAW on set and post production process.
- Grading pictures in post-production.
- Viewing the result.

Monday, November 04, 2013

The News

D16 Camera from Digital Bolex Could Be Released in Just a Few Weeks | NoFilmSchool
In a blog post over on the Digital Bolex site, Joe and Elle mentioned when we can expect the first cameras to be released, and also posted some photos of the completed paint job and metal work on the camera:

Mark Schimmel, Director/Producer Finds the Sony FS100 the “Right Tool” for any Job | Sony
“The camera helps to create a subtle and stunning ‘bokeh’ effect combined with depth of field, which is very important to the look and feel I am always trying to achieve.  The sensor also delivers outstanding exposure latitude for HD shooting. During the Wrangler project when I was shooting in the roping arena, there was no artificial light, only ambient light filtering through a translucent roof covering. The camera’s exposure latitude allowed me to shoot at 60 FPS in low light conditions. The end results were outstanding.”

Shooting “The Whistler” on ALEXA | Colton Davie
Because of our tiny crew, the lighting setups had to be pretty simple as well. The night before, we pre-rigged a couple of the rooms with kino-flos so that we could come in and shoot with minimal setup time.

Arri Alexa vs. Canon C500 Part 2 | Shane Hurlbut
I knew that we would be doing a ton of shots inside the cars with our actors physically driving and I wanted to make sure that by just adding a little dashboard fill light I could literally drive down our race route and not have to add a light. We tested the Arri Alexa in this configuration and noticed right away the physicality of the camera’s size was incredibly limiting. Yes, we had an Alexa M body ready to go, but I knew we could not afford more than one. 

The History of Cinema Sound in Infographics: From 'The Jazz Singer' to 'Gravity' | IndieWire
This infographic from Dolby documents the development of cinema sound technology from some of the first scratchy sounds in the earliest "talkies" nearly 90 years ago to the stereo era of the 1970s and finally, to the incredibly rich audio of current films like "Gravity," which features Dolby Atmos sound.

Understanding Premiere Pro Transitions | digitalfilms
The confusion comes, because Premiere Pro filters are based on a similar architecture to After Effects. Therefore, applying third-party transitions in Premiere Pro needs to be done in much the same manner as in After Effects.

Raw goes mainstream – Adobe Premiere CC native Cinema DNG support tried and tested! | EOSHD
Adobe have the best debayer for raw around. I still convert my 5D Mark III and Blackmagic Cinema Camera raw files from DNG to an editable format in Adobe After Effects because the end result looks better than DaVinci Resolve.
Well as of today with Premiere CC update 12.1 Cinema DNG raw video is an editable format, directly in Premiere – dramatically speeding up the workflow for video shot with Magic Lantern on Canon DSLRs and the Blackmagic cameras.

Zero Budget Software Suite For Filmmakers | Raindance Film Festival
Luckily, by the wonders of open source development, just about every £500 software package has its freebie equivalent. 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.

Writing a Video Treatment | Photofocus
2. What’s the Concept?  You’ll want to be able to quickly summarize the theme and objective for the video. Describe to others the core message and frame its delivery method.

Misrepresentation: The Art of Bullshit | Secret Director
The best people I’ve ever worked with were deeply aware of how far they still needed to go. I don’t give a shit about humility. You can be as arrogant as you like around me as long as you have the chops to back it up. I’ve been around the block many times now and you will not pull the wool over my eyes. So don’t try.

NSA Files: Decoded | The Guardian
This isn't really about video - though it does include several video interviews carefully integrated into the body of the article. The interesting thing for me is the use of video and interactive elements mixed into the text of the article. Even if you aren't interested in the topic, it's interesting to see this mix of elements.

Sony 4K Ad - plus making of | YouTube
Sony shot a 4K ad, and you can see it and watch a making-of video on YouTube.

A d v e r t i s e m e n t