Friday, March 21, 2014

Quick Links

Reimagining an ID: Sound & Vision | Filmmaker
In 1972, WGBH created a station ID with a logo sting by Gershon Kingsley. That sound has become closely associated with WGBH, and they’ve made several updated IDs using that original Moog synthesizer sound through the years.

Five Things Not To Do When Shooting a No-Budget Film By Yourself (And Why I Did Them Anyway) | Filmmaker
D.P. Sean Porter’s credits include Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter, Eden and, opening on Friday at the IFC Center, Eliza Hittman’s It Felt Like Love. Here he contributes a guest blog post on the latter film, listing the five rules he made for himself that he wound up breaking when shooting this highly recommended micro-budget picture.

Hands-On Review: the Canon VIXIA Mini X Full HD Camcorder | B & H Photovideo
Join Mia McCormick, of Kelby Media, as she discusses the Canon VIXIA Mini X Full HD Camcorder, and why it may be the video blogging tool for you. This video explores the specifications of the camcorder, including the 12.8MP sensor, which captures Full HD, and the f/2.8 lens with ultra-wide-angle and close-up recording options, as well as the unique design of the camera, which features an articulating screen and kickstand for hands-free operation. 

Create Lower-Contrast Footage with Cooke Optics miniS4/i Uncoated Lens Elements | B & H Photovideo
While color grading gives you the flexibility to adjust images in post, there are intrinsic qualities inherent in the construction of the lens itself that can't be fully replicated. And with on-set grading becoming more commonplace, the ability of a DP to create a "look" on set with just lens selection can endear them to the director and lead to future work. Cooke Optics, one of the major players in the cinema-lens world, lets DPs do just that by offering uncoated front/rear elements for their miniS4/i series of lenses.

Zacuto Launches Innovative Canon & Zeiss Cinema Lens Supports | CanonRumors
Lens supports are an essential but often time consuming and fiddly tool in a filmmakers arsenal. The Zacuto product design team recognized this challenge and has created two new innovative, quick release lens supports that fit seamlessly into any cinematographers workflow. The Zacuto Zeiss Lens Support and Canon Lens Support are fast, easy, unobtrusive and best of all, require no additional work when changing lenses.

Canon’s Plans For NAB 2014 Next Month [CR1] | CanonRumors
We’re told from a new source what Canon plans to do for NAB 2014 next month. We’re told that two new cameras are planned for the announcement, at least one being in the Cinema EOS line. It’ll have CFast 2.0 and be PL mount. 

Panasonic talks the rise of 4K, says it will not follow the failings of 3D | Trusted Reviews
Although insisting there is still a place for 3D content in the home entertainment space, Cunningham has suggested that the industry has learnt from the lack of early content which hampered the technology’s adoption.

How they made the biggest stunts in Need for Speed | FXGuide
“Once we did all that,” continues Hurlbut, “we took all these tests and edited them altogether and all the cameras were labeled just one through nine. We sat in the theater at Technicolor on a forty foot screen and we chose camera no. 6. And that happened to be the Canon C500 and that became our A camera. What Scottie really loved about this camera was how beautiful the skin tones were, how real it made everyone look and everything feel. The ARRI Alexa was our B camera, the 1D C was our C cam and the GoPro HERO3 was the D camera.”

“A Bit Of A Chat” with Ken Plume | Fred Entertainment
In this episode, I have a chat with filmmaker Terry Gilliam about Zero Theorem, Monty Python, quotes, bios, parapets, and chasing Quixote.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Quick Links

If you have any interest in Panasonic's upcoming 4K digital mirrorless camera, the GH4, then you should watch this interview with Panasonic rep Matt Frazer.
Zacuto’s First Look: Panasonic Lumix GH4 | Zacuto
Panasonic representative, Matt Frazer, visited Zacuto headquarters in Chicago to give us a first look at the Lumix GH4. This latest offering from the Lumix lineup is making headlines as the first-ever (DSLM) digital single-lens mirrorless camera with built-in 4K video recording.

Review of the Zacuto C300/ C500/ Blackmagic Pocket Camera Z-Finder PLUS get yourself a nice C-Cup for your C100! | Philip Bloom
When Zacuto brought out the first Z-Finder for the 5DmkII almost 5 years ago suddenly we had a hope in hell of getting our shots in focus. Since then they have refined it, brought out the cheaper junior and of course added their EVF for it. I still use the Z-Finder Pro on the back screen of my Canon 1DC all the time. It’s an essential piece of kit that I cannot recommend enough.

Canon USA Announces Cinema & Enterprise CPS Programs | Canon Rumors
Canon U.S.A. Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, announced today that the Canon Professional Services (CPS) program has been expanded and now provides support for all Cinema EOS products.

The Art of the Cut: “12 Years a Slave” Editor, Joe Walker | Pro Video Coalition
It’s not often that Hollywood’s stars publicly recognize the great stewardship that an editor of a film has of their performance. But it’s a long journey between what an actor emotes in front of a camera and the reception of that performance by an audience. The director certainly has a strong influence on that performance, but the editor (with the director’s guidance) is the final gatekeeper of the performance the audience sees and the context in which it’s seen.

10 Tips for Shooting Video in Europe | Crews Control
The basic formula is simple, TV frame rate divided by the Power frequency x 360 = required shutter angle. For example, in the US, if a camera is being shot at 24fps, and the lighting is 60Hz,   the shutter angle is calculated as   24 / 60.00 x 360 = 144 degrees.

Rig manufacturer Shape are getting into the brushless gimbal market with their new ISEE II. To be released officially at NAB 2014, the gimbal is the first product in their new Shadow series. The ISEE II is a 2 axis gimbal that is designed to work as part of a shoulder rig setup. As can be seen in the video there is a grip mounted toggle controller for tilt up and down.

TMB Loves Freefly + A Free MōVI Rental | The Music Bed
We recently got a MōVI Freefly in the TMB office, and we haven’t gotten any work done since. We love the thing, and we love the guys who made it. But instead of me pretending like I know what I’m talking about, I thought I’d ask Christian, our resident filmmaker, to tell me what he’s particularly geeked out about.

Vision Research Phantom v1610 Test Footage - 18,484 FPS at 1280x720 from Tom Guilmette on Vimeo.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Quick Links

5 Tips for Working in High Frame Rates | Production Hub
Learn from Matt Drake and his DP Matt Novello, the team behind Bullet Theory Films. They recently shot a commercial for Sinter Fire Bullets’ frangible ammo. The team wanted to avoid using CGI effects, so they chose to shoot with the Phantom v711 at extremely high frame rates (up to 80,000 fps) to capture the live bullets.

1. Use the weatherWhether it be sun or storm, you can use the natural weather and natural light to add highlights to your shot. As an example, the photo above shows a bike rider jumping off a dirt mound, but it shows the white fog in the background which really pops the image of the rider.

Are Quadcopters Legal? | B & H Photo
What Changed?
Before attempting to answer that, we should consider why this legislation is being pushed through now. RC enthusiasts have been operating small-scale unmanned aircraft for decades, and many of the new aerial-camera platforms like the Phantom are apparently just adaptations of existing RC systems that are being rebranded as flying camera support.

The Ever-Evolving F55 and F5 | Rule Boston Camera
2K Center Scan mode is not to be overlooked.  Normally, you’re always using the full Super 35 4K CMOS sensor regardless of what resolution you want to shoot.  Windowing in on the sensor, though, allows the ability to use Super 16mm lenses which offers more choices for look, cost, and weight.  This is a great feature that got a lot of people’s attention.

The following new options are now available:
- HD ProRes 422 HQ
- Added recording modes for the Sony FS700, including 4K RAW and 4K RAW – to – HD ProRes 422HQ (superior to in-camera HD)
- UHD and 2K 12-bit on the Canon C500.

Blackmagic Design Announces Blackmagic MultiDock with Thunderbolt 2™ Technology | BOSCPUG
Blackmagic Design today announced a new model of the Blackmagic MultiDock with super fast Thunderbolt 2 technology. The new Blackmagic MultiDock replaces the previous model and is available now from Blackmagic Design resellers worldwide for only US$595.

A film is not a flirtation, it's a relationship | The Black Board
I often think the fact that, as it were, I’ve written half the number of films I could have or should have done, has been to my advantage. Because I like to really live with an idea. A film is not a flirtation, it’s a relationship.

George Lucas on the Meaning of Life | Brain Pickings
Scholars who have studied myth and religion for many years and have connected all of the theories spawned over the ages about life and consciousness and who have taken away the superficial trappings, have come up with the same sensibility.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Quick Links

It appears that this commercial was shot on the ARRI Amira:

German manufacturer Denz is the first to offer a solution with their custom PL conversion. It requires the tube of the original EF lens mount to be carefully milled out, providing the additional space that the larger elements on some PL lenses need.

Black Magic Camera Battery Exploded (Aftermath) | YouTube
After getting footage for the Kickstarter video for me new game, my Black Magic Camera's battery exploded, spewing smoke violently. We ran out of there for safety reasons. However, knowing we had to get some footage of it, we put damp rags over our mouths and ran back in to grab some footage.

An overview of Sony's upcoming 4K camcorder, the FDR-AX100:
Sony FDR-AX100 4K Handycam | B & H Photovideo
Paired with the built-in 12x Carl Zeiss Vario Sonnar T* lens, these cameras will render a 35mm equivalent of 29-348mm. The lens also features a 7 blade iris, a maximum aperture of f/2.8-4.5 and a minimum focus distance of 0.4” (1 cm). Truly courting the prosumer market, both cameras also offer built-in ND filters in four increments (1/4, 1/16, 1/64 and 0 ND).

Sony has a couple of articles about projects shot with their PMW-F55:
Documenting extreme skiing with the F55 | Sony
The aim of the trip was to film a cinema commercial – dubbed ‘Project Chile’ – promoting both the team and G-Shock Aviator watches. While the production team was shooting the commercial, a separate film crew, equipped with a Sony F55, were busy capturing behind-the-scenes footage and on-the-slope interviews with the RAF ski team, creating a mini-documentary of the event.
A Polynesian Adventure for the F55 | Sony
When French production company Tagra Productions took the F55 to Tahiti to shoot a 4K production they took full advantage of the camera’s ability to record both 4K and HD rushes concurrently. In this video, Producer Olivier Chiabodo and Cameraman Laurent Célarié explain the benefits of having instant access to HD and 4K versions of their material.

Simple Tips for Achieving the Soft-Focus Look | B & H Photovideo
One solution involves the use of a spare UV or clear filter and a little petroleum jelly. Smear a generous portion of jelly on the front of the filter and you will have a really soft look. Smear only a circle around the outskirts of the filter and you will get a look similar to an Instagram filter. Really, you can just have fun.

Attention, Filmmakers: Here's the Distribution Advice You Need to Read | IndieWire
Over the years, I’ve seen too many filmmakers become embittered by their distribution deals. Sometimes they had unrealistic expectations, sometimes they got caught in bad deals. The filmmakers who feel disgruntled range from those with niche titles all the way to the most successful directors.

George Lucas’ Request to Today’s Filmmakers: ‘Don’t Forget the Basics’ | Variety
“Don’t forget the basics. Don’t get enamored with new technology, because it’s not new. Just the medium we’re working in is new, but that doesn’t change anything. The art of what we do is exactly the same. It’s beyond technology. It’s the art of movies.”

Stephen Lighthill, ASC Explores the Value of Learning How to Shoot Film
Stephen Lighthill, ASC, AFI Conservatory's Cinematography Discipline Head & Senior Filmmaker-In-Residence, explores the value of learning how to shoot film as an integral part of a progressive film school education.

Drone Wars (Of The Legal Variety) | Forbes
The FAA quickly announced it would be appealing the ruling, which stays the decision until its ruled on by the full National Transportation Safety Board. The FAA says its worried about safety with a bunch of drones in the air, but it also made changes to its “myth busting document” about unmanned aircraft, notes Drone Law Journal, changing at least one “must” to “are advised to.”

Monday, March 17, 2014

The News

CalDigit T3 Thunderbolt. Versatile And Fast In A Sleek Package | Erik Naso
This very handsome solid enclosure comes with three drives in four different capacities starting at $450 for the 3TB model with standard HHD. 6TB, 9TB and 12TB configurations retail for $749.99, $899.99, and $1199.99. Several options are also available with SSD drives.

The C100 is a great camera. A lot of people have rubbished it, mainly due to the price and lack of a few features such a more powerful codec, faster frame rates for slow motion, the absence of a SDI output, the tiny viewfinder and ridiculously placed EVF, but you know what? this camera just works and works well. It’s reliable, the image is wonderful and the low light, now at 80,000 ISO is brilliant.

ONE DAY IN BOSTON 24-Hour Filming Event to Focus on Boston on April 26 | BOSCPUG
The world’s largest media collaboration, ONE DAY ON EARTH, is launching a new project to document the topic of ‘cities’ this April 26th. One-day filming events will take place in 11 major US metro areas, including Boston.

Sound and Vision | Ron Sussman
Sound, particularly music, is such an integral part of the visual experience. I am not just talking about movies, but since this blog comes from an editor’s perspective, it’s hard to not mention certain musical themes and the instant visual association they make. Personally, I cannot hear the Blue Danube Waltz and not instantly picture scenes from “2001: A Space Odyssey”.

I Think Film Production Can Quickly Become Endless Checklists and That’s a Mistake | Light Film School
I don’t like storyboarding too much. Sometimes it takes the energy and the life out of things, everything becomes so constructed and predictable sometimes. I like to stay fresh and have an open approach at all stages. I like to set up the boarders with a rather strict concept, script or likewise, but give myself the ability and the freedom to play within those limitations and without forcing “pre-taken” decisions on a shoot.

Improvising Screenplays: Writing Great Movie Loglines Using the Improv Concept of ‘Game’ | Script Magazine
In my last column, I introduced the concept of “game,” used by improvisational actors to provide structure to a scene. Game enables improvisers to hone in on a scene’s central comedic concept, heighten it, and explore its consequences to greatest effect. Demonstrating how the same technique can be used when writing for film, I hopefully inspired you to start looking for game in comedic, and even dramatic, movie scenes.

Real life lens comparison! Leica VS Yashica VS Canon VS DogShidtOptiks on FS700 Slog2 | Mattia Santino Merli | Vimeo
This is NOT a scientific test. My goal was to compare different lens in the same situation. Same lut applied to all, NO sharpness added in post.
Lens tested: Leica Summicron M 35mm F2.0, Yashica 50mm F1.4, Canon 24-105 F4 @50mm, DogShidtOptiks Flare Factory 58 F2.0-22
Shot on FS700 with Slog2.

Deep South – Art Film Made with the Canon C100, 5D III, and GoPro Hero3 | Planet5D
The film was shot on the Canon EOS C100 Camera, the Canon 5D Mark III with Magic Lantern and with the CineLook custom picture style, and the GoPro HERO3+ Black Edition action camera and a DJI Phantom Quad-Copter with 2-axis brushless gimbal.

Pretty amazing footage shot on a DJI Phantom!