Saturday, May 05, 2012

Quick Links

Do Filmmakers Really Need A Digital Camera As Beautiful As This One?
| John Pavlus | CoDesign
John Pavlus considers the design of the Blackmagic Cinema Camera; as in how it looks, not what it does:
The Blackmagic Cinema Camera looks more like an iMac crossed with a Polaroid than a piece of production equipment: all smooth aluminum curves and lush matte plastic, with a sheer touchscreen interface gracing the back panel. The aluminum body allegedly gives the camera a rugged solidity without excessive weight.

Behind the Scenes with the Phantom Miro's | filmbot | Vimeo
Shooting with the new "lower cost" Phantom high-speed camera:
Shot on Phantom Miro M series
Edited with Adobe Premiere Pro CS6 & After Effects CS6
Graded in Davinci Resolve
Plugins- Red Giant Denoiser II
Apple Mac Pro & Macbook Pro

How one young filmmaker has embraced Final Cut Pro X | FCP.Co
Comments from young filmmaker Chris Gatewood who is using FCPX:
Since the introduction of FCPX, I've gotten very aggressive with tackling complicated projects; its faster, leaner, and the organization was really intuitive for long term projects. I've been an intern at a few production companies shooting and editing with FCP7 and Premiere. But as I've gotten more experience, I've ventured off into not only editing and shooting, but directing and producing music videos, corporate films, and narrative films professionally.

Zacuto has been sponsoring a yearly camera comparison - The Shootout - and here Steve Weiss of Zacuto talks about it:
Norm chats with Steve Weiss and Bruce Logan, A.S.C. about Zacuto's Revenge of the Great Camera Shootout challenge for 2012. Steve Weiss is the co-founder of camera accessory maker Zacuto and Bruce Logan is the famed cinematographer who worked on the original Tron, Star Trek, and Star Wars films. Steve and Bruce talk about the digital cinema cameras they tested and why good technique is so much more important

Trippy Example of Hitchcock Zoom Shot on a Beach | Michael Zhang | PetaPixel
Steven Spielberg used this technique for a shot in the movie "Jaws" too:
“Dolly zoom” is a technique that was popularized by Alfred Hitchcock in his film Vertigo, after which it was commonly referred to as “Hitchcock zoom” and the “vertigo effect”. The basic idea is to photograph (or film) a subject while moving towards or away from it, and at the same time changing the focal length to keep the subject at the same size in each frame.

NAB 3D News Report: Sony PMW-TD300 | 3D Guy
A 3D video of a 3D video camera from Sony, the $30,000 PMW-TD300:
With new offerings from Grass Valley,GoPro, Emotion 3D, StereoTec, Vision Research, Canon, Black Magic Design, Adobe, RED and many more.
New tech advances like HFR or High Frame Rate video were showcased what scenes from the upcoming Hobbit shown at 48 frames per second. RED introduce us to the future of projection with laser powered REDray 4k projector.

ProAm DVC250 Camera Crane Review | Luc Buelens | Vimeo
Video review of this $500 camera crane:
Just bought a ProAm DVC250 Camera Crane and did some testing. The crane is made of aluminum and is quite solid, the tripod witch is also made of metal, is still not very stable under the weight of the crane and counterweights.
The crane performs well but is a bit wobbly when stopping or changing direction.
Overall, the Crane works well and is a good investment for it's value !
The optional electronic Pan & Tilt head is performing very well and makes the unit into a very usable item to get those special shots you might want.

Writing for Animation & Games – Character Development | Jean Ann Wright
| Best Animation Books
While this is written about characters for animation, it may apply to other genres:
Consider these other norms. Real people are often in conflict with their character opposite. However, some people seek out others that complement their strongest traits. Usually, people are a combination of two or more types.

PluralEyes 3.0 preview! Bruce Sharpe gives planet5D a sneak peek | Planet 5D
The developer of PluralEyes gives a demo of the latest version:
Many of you are pluralEyes lovers and we know you’re excited to see what is coming in the next release – and we’ve got it for you! Bruce Sharpe gives us the scoop and a preview of what is coming in the next release as well as an overview of some of Singular Software’s other products.

[News] Nikon D800 Has Confirmed Focus/Viewfinder | Lee Morris | Fstoppers
Oh no, first Canon with the light leak in the 5D Mark III, and now the Nikon D800 has a problem:
Steven’s camera (serial number 3003228) seemed to have 2 separate issues; focusing, and viewfinder alignment. Sometimes autofocus worked properly, other times it was way off. When the camera did focus properly the scene still looked slightly out of focus through the viewfinder. After doing some tests with live view and then comparing his D800 to another, Steven confirmed that there was something very wrong with his copy.

Staples Slate | The Black and Blue | Facebook
Improvising a simple slate:
With little time to spare, I repurposed my $1.99 binder from Staples into this slate. I found a stick on the ground and used black paper tape, two washers (for clackers) and white gaff tape to create this low-budget state.

Rule Boston Camera TEXPO - June 5

If you're in the Boston area you'll want to check out Rule Boston Camera's TEXPO event next month. Last year's event featured a wide number of exhibitors and was well worth attending:

Rule Boston Camera
395 Western Avenue

Tuesday, June 5
5:00 to 9:00pm



Friday, May 04, 2012

Quick Links

RED's 4K shootout canceled two days after its announcement | Jeff Blagdon
| The Verge
That was quick. The 4K shootout RED proposed died two days later:
Just two days to the hour after RED challenged the world with a 4K camera showdown on June 4th, the company is pulling the plug on the competition. RED’s founder and CEO Jim Jannard announced the cancellation on his company’s site, saying "several companies have refused to participate" and "the grief and complication don’t warrant the effort."

Color Correction - My thoughts | Chris Fenwick | One on One
Rather than using a color correction tool, Chris explains why it makes sense to use your NLE or a plug-in to do color correction:
So what is the alternative? Working in my editor, ON my timeline, using plugins. I find that this method of work saves me a LOT of time. Can I get the exact same results… probably not. Can I AFFORD the exact same results? NOPE. I can’t. I work in the real world where money is ALWAYS tight. Often times the “color work” that I do on a project is not even be requested of the client and it is details that I am doing for myself to satisfy my OWN desires.

Participating in the Sci-Fi London 48 Hour Film Competition | James Sharpe
| Tumblr
James writes about taking part in a 48 hour film competition:
On the day, it was tough, it was tough to know what directions to give our actors and it was tough to keep in mind what was best for the story. It was tough for our actors too. Literally every take was different and I thought the film was going to be a nightmare to edit and was never sure whether or not we even had a complete story.

Carl Zeiss and 6 New Cine Lenses Video Tour | Cinescopophilia
A look at Zeiss' announcements from NAB:
Richard Schleuning, National Sales Manager Americas of Carl Zeiss shows off the 6 new cine lens products from Carl Zeiss and takes us on a small video tour. Carl Zeiss have introduced two Compact Prime CP.2 lenses (the CP.2 15/T2.9 and CP.2 135/T2.1), three Compact Prime CP.2 Super Speed lenses, and one Compact Zoom CZ.2 70-200/T2.9 lens.

Everything You Need To Know About Multicam Editing in FCPX | Danny Greer
| Premiumbeat
Some how-to's on multi-cam editing:
The multicam editing experience in Final Cut Pro X streamlines the more clunky process present in earlier versions of FCP. Improvements to the FCPX multicam tool include the ability to simultaneously view and edit 64 separate video tracks – none of which need to share the same resolution, frame rate or codec! Audio and video can be automatically synced using FCPX’s built-in Audio Analysis feature.

HDSLRs are indeed very common in all video production these days | Planet5D
I'm not sure it's really news anymore that HDSLRs are being used in professional situations:
Well, in one of the scenes they showed a BTS of the President in the Situation Room and low and behold, there were several HDSLRs in there. And it was obvious that in this particular scene, the video closeup of the President that was shown was shot with the Canon HDSLR (unknown model – tho most likely the Canon EOS 5D Mark II)

The NAB Interviews With Shawn Lam: The Vinten Blue5 Tripod System
| Shawn Lam | StreamingVideo
Shawn Lam interviews Boston DP Tom Guilmette on Vinten's new Blue5 tripod system:
The new Vision blue5 has the same superb functionality as the extremely successful Vision blue system launched at last year's NAB Show, but with a higher carrying capacity of 12.1 lb to 26.5 lb / 5.5kg to 12kg @ 100mm CofG. This makes the Vision blue5 ideal to support the latest generation of larger cameras used by professional videographers.

How They Write A Script: John Michael Hayes | Scott Myers | Go Into The Story
These are excerpts from the book “Backstory 3: Interviews with Screenwriters of the 60s”, edited by Patrick McGilligan (which appears to be out of print). This article highlights some thoughts from the writer for Rear Window, To Catch A Thief and other Hitchcock movies:
I think suggestion is better. I’d rather say things through a literary device that’s interesting than just say it out flat. So much of my dialogue is indirect, with layers of meaning, sub-rosa meanings. It’s more challenging to write that way, and people remember the lines. Frequently, people came up to me for autographs, and they quote some of those lines from my Hitchcock movies.

F3 S-Log Stage Presentation | Sony
Video from NAB of "The Art & Tehnology of the F3 and S-LOG" with Alister Chapman. It's almost an hour long. Note that it has a posting date of 04/25/2013, so it's great to know what's coming this year!

Starship Detritus—The Artwork is Finished! | Alexis Van Hurkman | Blog
An update on a series project Alexis and illustrator Ryan Beckwith are developing; the storyboards are now done!:
The very first thing I did, after Ryan and I storyboarded the first episode, and he created the first complete set of roughs, was to record a group of temp actors reading the script, and edit together an animatic in order to get the timing of the show right. This has been our reference going forward, and as soon as I get my hands on the full finished set of artwork, I’m looking forward to updating the animatic with the color art.

Portable EntertainmentHome EntertainmentComputersCamcorders
Digital Cameras & Gear
Pro Audio
You go to B&H

Thursday, May 03, 2012

Quick Links

The 5D Mark III Fix | CanonRumors
It appears that the Canon 5D Mark III "light leak" has been fixed - with tape: has received their first shipment of fixed 5D Mark III bodies. They did what any of us would have done, they disassembled one to see what the fix was. It turns out the fix is two pieces of black tape.

Canon EFS 17-55 causing vignetting on the C300 | Paul Joy | Blog
Paul originally posted that he saw some vignetting with this lens but thought it was caused by the lens hood, but now it appears it's not just the hood. He also tried a couple of Canon L lenses, the 16-35mm and the 17-40mm, and while they don't have the vignetting, they don't have Image Stabilization either:
I’m still seeing some vignetting from this lens so I decided to try out Canon’s other wide zooms, specifically the 16-35 f/ 2.8 L and 17-40 f / 4 L.

I really like the image from the 16-35, I’m not sure why it’s less exposed than the others, the metadata confirms a setting of f/3.5.

PMW-F3 Firmware Update V1.4 | Sony | Facebook
Sony will have a firmware update for the PMW-F3 in late May which will have a number of features:
Power Zoom Tele/Wide control can be assigned to ASSIGN 1/2
422 1080p S&Q recording up to 1080/59.94p with SR-R1, from 17fps to 60fps Recording to SR-R1
Format: 1920x1080 /23.98p, 25p, 29.97p, 50p and 59.94p

Impromptu Critics | Chris Weatherly | Blog
A filmmaker worked hard to get Steve Weiss and Philip Bloom to review his short film, and unexpectedly managed to score an impromptu review at NAB, along with Steve Goldblatt:
I don’t want to rehash everything that was said here so I’ll do a quick summary. It was a huge honor to have these guys critique the story. I was shocked as they kept calling it a “film”. I always call my stuff “video”, but if they elected to use the word “film”. I was okay with that.

| Digital Convergence | Podcast
A discussion of Autodesk's new version of Smoke:
Autodesk's Marc-André Ferguson joins Chris Fenwick, planetMitch and I today on the Digital Convergence Podcast to talk about Smoke 2013. Marc-André gives us the scoop on the new Smoke. With a price reduction from $15K down to a more accessible $3,495, combined with a slick new UI that will make most NLE users feel right at home - Smoke 2013 is poised to be the "super-app" that has proved to be elusive for so long.

Workaday Lens Tests on FS100 | Matt Davis | Vimeo
A quick test with a wide number of lenses: Canon 35-105mm, Sony SEL18200, Canon 50mm 1.2L, Sigma 50mm 1.4, Nikon 17-55 G, Samyang 35mm f1.4, Tokina 11-16mm f2.8,
I have too many lenses in my bag. Time to work out which ones are keepers, which ones go on ebay. The longer lenses aren't represented here, but it's chilling to see the difference 3 stops makes on my 'antique' Canon FD mount 50mm 1.2.

FWIW, the Nikkor 17-55 is the closest I have to parfocal. You'll have to trust me.
The Sony Kit Lens converts an FS100 into a pretend EX1 with its very wide range, and previous tests demonstrate that f8 on this lens is equivalent to a respectable f2.8 on a half-inch sensor camera - 'just enough' DoF.

Days Out with the Phantom Miro M120 | filmbot | Vimeo
A filmmaker gets to play with the new high-frame rate camera from Phantom:
I was lucky enough to be the first person to shoot with the new Vision Research Phantom M120 camera systems. This is just a sample of a project I have had in my head for a while. With help from Abel Cine I was able to test out the camera's before they shipped and put this little edit together. Being able to have a small form factor high speed camera like this for my projects is a long time wish.

First time Filmmaker F-Up #59 – Dialogue Is Recorded on Set | Daryl Goldberg
| MasteringFilm
The pros - and cons - of audio looping (or ADR):
If you get creative, looping can provide a much cheaper alternative for fixing problems than reshoots. Have a confusing plot point? You can sneak in a line that clears it up. Want to change a line or even just the line’s delivery? You can make something serious that was sarcastic, sarcastic that was serious, happy that was sad, or even give a character an entire new accent he didn’t have while shooting.

Behind the Scenes on 'Canis Belli,' an EPIC Short Film (Part 3) | Robin Schmidt
| No Film School
Robin's third article about shooting a short film with the RED EPIC. Covers use of the camera as well as other issues they encountered during filming:
The Epic itself is actually too sharp. In many instances our DoP Ben Spence actually put filters in to pull some of that sharpness away as it can look too hyper-real. Film has a flattering quality, softening without losing resolution and the Epic can look a little too crisp. This effect is exacerbated by shooting anamorphic with all the extra vertical resolution you gain.

Shooting with RED Epic #5: How Epic’s Auto-Focus Works Against You When Off
| Evan Luzi | The Black and Blue
And Evan explains a minor issue with the EPIC and auto-focus lenses:
The main annoyance that arose was the Epic’s undeniable urge to reset the focus ring on the lens everytime it was powered down and booted back up. I had made sure to set the focus mode to “MANUAL,” in which absolutely everything is manual with no assists, but without fail, the camera would still reset the focus ring to its closest distance on boot-up.

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Quick Links

Sony NEX-FS700 Pricing
You still can't order it, but B & H is listing the prices for the Sony NEX-FS700 body only at $7,999, and for the camera with 18-200mm ket lens at $8,599. Delivery expected June 30.

When Sony was saying that the price would be "under $10,000" I was assuming it would be $9,999, so I'm almost shocked to see it $2,000 under $10,000. Of course, I'm shocked again because I can't afford that either.

Still, that seems like a good price and makes you wonder how much longer Canon can sell the C300 for twice the price (of course, we haven't yet got the full details on the NEX-FS700 and how it's image compares to the C300.)

FS700 Price Confirmed - It's Under $10k, but by Just How Much? | E.M. Taboada
| No Film School
More comments on the pricing, and some links to videos:
Once the 4k upgrade details come out we’ll know more about just how it stacks up with other cameras in that market space.

What do you think? Is $8k the sweet spot? How much do you think they’ll charge for that 4k upgrade? Are you in a rent-and-wait mode?

Sony NEX-FS700 slo-mo & autofocus documentary test reel shown at NAB 2012
| David Leitner | Vimeo
An example video shot on the NEX-FS700:
I received a pre-production Sony NEX-FS700 and hastily shot these tests on New York City's High Line the weekend before NAB. I finished the edit assembly the morning I left for Vegas, then recorded an impromptu intro and voiceover in my hotel room upon arrival.
All scenes were shot 1080p at either 24 fps (tripod) or 240 fps (handheld). Lenses were two Alpha zooms--a Sony Zeiss 16-35 and a 24-70, both mounted with an LA-EA2 A-mount to eMount adapter--plus the 18-200 kit zoom that ships with the F700.

Will 4K Trump 3D, Canon C500, Canon EOS-1D C, Sony NEX-FS700 and JVC GY-HMQ10?…it seems likely | Den Lennie | F-Stop Academy
Den comments on seeing footage shot with the JVC GY-HMQ10 being pretty awesome, and puts down those that think 4K is still a couple of years away:
I hear some ridiculously naive statements like ’4K transmission and delivery is years off’ so it’s not relevant but I disagree. Remember when HD first hit the technology shows, nobody had HD ready TV’s, but what HD gave us was the ability to acquire 5 x the information of Standard definition.

A Youtube Exec's 3 tips for viral ad success | AUSTIN CARR | Co.Create
Lucas Watson, VP of global video sales at YouTube gives some suggestions on how to be a success:
"The first rule is that the work has to be grounded in great human insight--people who understand the audience who they serve," Watson says. "That has nothing to do with YouTube; it has to do with people. The brands that understand the human insights better than other brands have a better chance [of success]."

Create A Vintage Look in Post with Film Stocks | Danny Greer | Premiumbeat
A quick look at Digital Film Tools filters:
The plug-in simulates over 288 color and black and white film stocks, giving your digital images a vintage or cinematic feel (a look that’s totally en vogue right now). The preset styles are based off of real-world film stocks from Fuji, Kodak, Polaroid and others.

It's a Wild West Camera Shootout: Jim Jannard and RED vs. the World on June 4th | Joe Marine | NoFilmSchool
Jim Jannard evidently didn't care for the latest video camera shootout run by Zacuto, and has issued his own challenge. Of course, does he honestly think Sony, Canon or any other camera makers is going to show up for a test he is running?
It seems that Mr. Jannard has a bone to pick with the people at Zacuto, and he wants the world to see in 4K. He’s unhappy with the tests (I couldn’t see the newest test at NAB thanks to technical difficulties) since the final output for all of the camera shootouts thus far has been 2K, and it levels the playing field for those cameras that can’t shoot above 1080p.
RedUser: Real camera tests...

Last week in After Effects | Rich Young | ProVideoCoalition
A collection of links and resources on After Effects:
Here’s another summary of the last week of news on Adobe After Effects — with more on CS6, new scripts, time-lapses, light arrays, looks, and assorted tutorials and plug-ins new and old.

Using R/C Helicopters to fly your camera: Part 2 | Michael Murie
| Filmmaker Magazine
The second part of my series at Filmmaker Magazine:
In this second part of an interview with Eric Austin of HeliVideo, Eric talks about camera control, future cameras, and the most amazing sequence he’s shot so far:

How The Avengers Got “Deleted” | L.V. Anderson | Slate
You can't accidentally delete film, but you can accidentally delete digital files. Of course, it's harder to scratch the latter:
How easy is it for a digital projectionist to delete an entire film? Slate asked Steve Kraus, whom Roger Ebert has called one of “the best projectionists in the nation.” Kraus told us that it’s as easy as deleting any important file from your computer. “It’s click to delete from the server and an ‘Are you sure?’ confirmation,” he explained over email. “Of course, as with most computers it's not really gone … but probably only a real computer geek could get into the system to ‘undelete.’”

Avengers Interview with Irish cinematographer Seamus McGarvey | Paul Byrne
Interesting interview with the DP for The Avengers:
We shot The Avengers Assemble on digital, and for me, I've always shot on celluloid and film, on big cameras. This we shot on an Arri Alexa camera, and it was liberating in the sense that you could use different formats. We shot Canon 5D, we shot film as well, for slow-motion work. There was just no law to it, really; you can do just whatever you like.

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Quick Links

Four new Picture Profiles for The FS100 2.0 | Frank Glencairn | Blog
Frank Glancairn has come up with more picture profiles for the Sony NEX-FS100:
The FS100 finally received the 2.0 firmware update, so it´s time for some new profiles.
My main goal was to get good looking skin tones at daylight. For other situations, play with the white balance till the skin tones are right and everything else should fall into place
For best results: Adjust your black levels to Zero (you can even go a hair below, as I have learned) for every single scene.

Becoming A Specialist VS. Jack (hack) Of All Trades! | Mike Sutton
| Wide Open Camera
Mike Sutton explains why it makes sense to specialize:
You need to find your calling in a time where everyone claims to be an expert at every aspect of filming. In the world I live in only a focused professional gets the gig and when they do its at a prime rate. There is no bartering rates as a specialized pro. Your rate is your rate and because there is only a handful of you (the expert) doing it the rates are protected in your field.

NAB 2012 - Red Rock Micro | jared abrams | Vimeo
Q: What's the difference between the Red Rock Mico Follow Focus, the Berger Engineering Canon EF to NEX adapter, and Santa Claus?
A: Santa Claus has been seen in stores.
But at NAB 2012 Red Rock seems to think their Follow Focus will be out...soon.

Random notes from my first “real world” Adobe Premiere Pro CS6 edit
| Scott Simmons | ProVideoCoalition
Scott writes about his time spent with Premiere Pro CS6:
The new interface in PPro CS6 is so much better than before. Much cleaner, much more pleasant to work in. It’s a very fast interface to move around in with very little hesitation when you do things with the exception of the next comment.

New Skyfall Pics Shot On Arri ALEXA | HD Magazine
A couple of photographs showing the Arri Alexa on the set of the latest Bond movie.

Game Change: Avid Media Composer Advice for the FCP 'Switcher' | Oliver Peters
| Creative Planet Network
Thinking of switching from Final Cut Pro to Avid Media Composer? This article might help:
Multiple Sequences
FCP editors like working with multiple tabbed sequences in the timeline window and find this functionality lacking in Media Composer. In fact, it’s there, just not in the same way. Under the pull-down menu in the upper right corner of the record window (Canvas in FCP parlance), Media Composer editors have easy access to any previously opened sequence.

Average Video Editor Salary – How to Make More Than Your Competition
| Danny Greer | Premiumbeat
How much do you make?
The Bureau of Labor Statistics‘ most recent report shows that film and video editing positions are projected to grow only 5 percent from 2010 to 2020, slower than the average for most occupations. The Bureau states that the consolidation of video related positions is partially responsible for this slow growth, as producers and reporters are becoming increasingly more responsible for editing their own work.

memory and storage tips for Warp Stabilizer and 3D Camera Tracker
| Todd Kopriva | Adobe
A post from Adobe on memory usage in Premiere Pro and After Effects CS6:
After Effects CS5.5 and later and Premiere Pro CS6 include the Warp Stabilizer effect. After Effects CS6 includes the 3D Camera Tracker effect.

When applied to short clips, these effects work quickly with low memory requirements, but you can begin to notice some problems with longer clips, as the memory and storage requirements increase with the duration of the clips.

Notes From The Editing Cave: The Mike Staniforth Edition | Jon Connor
| Shoot Edit Learn
Mike Staniforth says that though he uses AVID MC daily, his software of choice is now Final Cut X along with After Effects. Find out more in this interview:
I think the obvious characteristic one needs to be a successful editor is patience. Beside waiting for render times and the obvious amendments from the client, you need to be patient in your own ability as an editor because every little detail matters, all down to a single frame.
You need a keen eye for detail, spotting the little details that most people overlook, makes all the difference.

Final Cut Pro X and Auto Backup | Mark Spencer | ProVideoCoalition
Podcast explaining how to use the new Auto Backup feature:
Steve Martin shows off the new Auto Backup feature in the 10.0.3 update in Final Cut Pro X. He shows how Final Cut resolves a corrupted project file by using this powerful feature and lets you restore your project to its prior condition.

| YouTube
An interview with Douglas Trumbull, one of the leading proponents of high frame-rate movies:
Harry Knowles sits down with film legend Douglas Trumbull who created visual effects for films like "2001: A Space Odyssey," "Close Encounters of the Third Kind," "Star Trek: The Motion Picture" and "Blade Runner." Together they cover the evolution of film and the state of film projection today.

Canon C300 Review: For When Your Movie Deserves Better Than a DSLR
| Michael Hession | Gizmodo
Gizmodo takes a look at the Canon C300. They like it, but think it should be $6,000 cheaper.
The C300 is bliss. It's simple and intuitive to use—a surprise, since a pro-level beast like this could come with a convoluted web of buttons, acronyms, and menus. The C300, however, strikes the perfect balance between being customizable and user friendly.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Spend a day with Blackmagic Design

Blackmagic Design is hosting two events; Los Angeles Wed 16th May and New York Thu 24th May
Come and see the complete range of Blackmagic Design solutions for broadcast, post production and live events! This is a fantastic opportunity to see our newly announced NAB 2012 products for the first time after the event in a series of demonstrations and theater presentations.
Register here: Spend a day with Blackmagic Design

Quick Links

NAB 2012: Is BMD the new RED, Part 2? | Adam Wilt | ProVideoCoalition
Adam puts together nearly all the outstanding questions about the Blackmagic Digital Cinema Camera:
A “normal” lens for the BMDCC will be something like a 20mm, so ultrawide EF-mount lenses like the Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8, Canon EF-S 10-22mm, or the Canon EF 14mm f/2.8L are your best wide-angle bets. The widest Zeiss ZE lens, the Distagon 18mm F/3.5, isn’t very wide on a 15.6mm-wide sensor.
I also think he has a point when he writes: it’s funny how folks gave Sony endless grief about the lack of NDs in the large-sensor NEX-FS100, but I haven’t heard any complaints about the similar omission on the BMDCC.

Mike Valentine – Depth Of Field | Anwar Brett | movieScope
Mike worked on The Bourne Ultimatum and multiple Bond movies, and is one of the world’s leading experts on shooting underwater. Here he talks about how he got into the business, and some of the factors involved in shooting underwater:
When we go underwater, people appear to be very pale and washed-out. That’s because the first colour in the spectrum absorbed by water is red, and a lot of red is contained within our skin. This means that we have to replace the lost colour underwater. I’ve developed a technique of using certain lighting fixtures underwater, Kino Flos based on tungsten or daylight colour balance as a very soft source, which we can also use to act as a very soft fill.

Canon EFS 17-55 causing vignetting on the C300 – or maybe not! | Paul Joy | Blog
Interesting reminder that the Super35mm sensor of the C300 is actually larger than an APS-C sensor, and how this might impact using EF-S lenses (which are designed for the APS-C cameras), though it turned out Paul's problem wasn't the EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 IS USM Zoom Lens.
The super35 sensor on the C300 is slightly wider than the APS-C sensors on crop frame Canon DSLR’s. This results in the edges of the sensor capturing a bit more of the light coverage than say a 7D or T3i. I had initially put the vignetting issue down to the EFS lens not being able to cover the sensor sufficiently.

Today I was using the lens again and noticed the issue wasn’t there.

Three Random Things I’ve Found Out While Using The Canon 5D MK III  | scottbourne | Photofocus
Three little things learnt about the 5D Mark III:
1. You can use a zoom lens while in video mode, but it has to be a fixed (not variable) aperture lens so that the exposure doesn’t change while you record.

Lighting with Canon’s 1DC DSLR 4K Capture Project “The Ticket” | Shane Hurlbut | Blog
Shane has posted a couple of pieces about shooting with the EOS 1D-C. This one covers lighting, and is worth reading about how to light scenes, whether or not you are interested in 4K DSLRs:
One of my favorite shots was when Emma exits the car. She looks so beautiful, the moving blue light playing on her face. She looks like a little kid in a candy shot. I wanted to light this section with an urban feel. I embraced the orange sodium vapor lights on Sunset Blvd. and flagged a couple off of her so that the light came from one direction and that was from the right side as a back light.

Tutorial - After Effects Render Queue and Presets | Chris Fenwick | One On One
Chris posts a couple of After Effects tutorials:
One thing that can speed up your work and allow you to make less mistakes in AE is knowing the ins and outs of your Render Queue and making your own custom presets. In this tutorial I walk thru some steps that will allow you to know your renders are right the first time.
The second one covers how parenting in AE works, with an accent on 3D composition:
Tutorial - Parenting in After Effects - Dance With Me

NAB 2012 – Jag35′s affordable ultralight rig & follow focus | Cinema5D
A quick look at two new goodies from Jag35: a low cost shoulder rig for consumer camcorders, and a low-cost follow-focus:
Jag35's continues efforts to create useful HDSLR gear at extremely low prices continues with the new DvRunner rig, which is targeted at people with small camcorders, but looks like it wouldn't mind to add extra stability to an HDSLR either.

C300 to Alexa Color Matching Test | Infrastructure Productions | Vimeo
Trying to color match footage:
A quick attempt to match the C300 to the Arri Alexa using a video comparison shot by Shane Hurlbut. I think I probably could have gotten much closer if I used the 422 mpegs straight from the camera.

Peter Jackson Says To Wait Until You See 'The Hobbit' In Full Before Judging The Results Of 48fps Filmmaking | Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist
Peters says "don't worry; you'll get used to it":
“At first it’s unusual because you’ve never seen a movie like this before. It’s literally a new experience, but you know, that doesn’t last the entire experience of the film; not by any stretch, after 10 minutes or so,” Jackson further explains. “That’s a different experience than if you see a fast-cutting montage at a technical presentation.” But of course, that does beg the question that if a "fast-cutting montage" wasn't the best way to present this new format to viewers, why did they choose to go down that path?

Sunday, April 29, 2012

The Camera Company's 22nd Annual Pro Video Show

It's not quite NAB, but if you're in the Boston area, it can be worth checking out The Camera Company's Annual Pro Show:
Fri. May 11th, at The Dedham Holiday Inn, 55 Ariadne Rd. Dedham, MA., 02026.
Our lowest prices of the year. See the latest Broadcast and Pro Video equipment from Sony, Panasonic, JVC, Canon and many more. And this year, join us as we introduce our new concept in pro video and filmmaking learning, The Camera College. Instructed by this regions most influential experts, The Camera College promises informative and innovative classes, sure to keep you at the top of you game.
Free admission to show.

Quick Links

6 Filmmaking Tips From Stanley Kubrick | Cole Abaius | Film School Rejects
Some advice from Kubrick, based on quotes from the man:
Try to See Everything
"I try to see every movie, I have projectors at home, so it's a little easier for me now; those pictures that I can borrow prints of I run at home, and those that I cannot, I go and see, but I try to see everything."

Using the New Warp Stabilizer in Adobe After Effects CS6Adobe Press
An excerpt from the forthcoming Adobe After Effects CS6 Classroom in a Book
In previous lessons, you’ve used many of the essential 2D and 3D tools you need for motion graphics design. But Adobe After Effects CS6 also offers motion stabilization, motion tracking, advanced keying tools, distortion effects, the capability to retime footage using the Timewarp effect, support for high dynamic range (HDR) color images, network rendering, and much more. In this lesson, you will learn how to use the Warp Stabilizer to stabilize a handheld camera shot and to track one object to another in an image so that their motion is synchronized.

Keying and Compositing Green Screen Footage in Adobe Premiere Pro CS6
| Adobe Press
An excerpt from the forthcoming book: Adobe Creative Suite CS6 Production Premium Classroom in a Book:
How easy, or difficult it is to pull a “clean key” (essential to achieving a convincing final result) depends on a variety of factors having to do with the quality of the footage. Was the background evenly lit? Was it recorded in a video format optimal for Chroma Keying? Does the subject have strands of long hair, or is the subject moving very quickly through the shot? These and other factors will determine whether you can achieve a satisfactory result with a single click, or if you will need to make some adjustments to get the look you want.

How to use Premiere Pro CS6 keyboard shortcuts | tutorial | YouTube
A tutorial from Richard Harrington:
This specific tutorial is just a single movie from chapter six of the Premiere Pro CS6 New Features course presented by author Dave Crenshaw. The complete Premiere Pro CS6 New Features course has a total duration of 3 hours and 23 minutes, and covers all the changes in CS6, including a redesigned and customizable user interface, a new Audio Mixer, improved multi-camera editing, revised trimming behavior, improved video adjustment layers, and more.

Elgato releases non-Apple Thunderbolt cable | 9 To 5 Mac
Great news: someone other than Apple is now selling Thunderbolt cables! Bad news: they are more expensive!
At $60 a pop, Elgato’s follow-up to the March release of Thunderbolt SSD is more expensive. The cable is also much shorter at just 1.6-foot compared to Apple’s 2-meter offering.

It is black, too.

Considering FCPX, a year later | Documentary Tech
A roundup of Final Cut Pro X opinions, one year on:
Now that the dust has settled, where do we stand?
In a post last week on FCPX, Philip Hodgetts noted one possibly-surprising fact: FCPX installs in just these few months have now surpassed those of FCP7. It makes sense in a lot of ways: At $299, more people can make the leap than with the $1,599 price point they had confronted in the past. For newbies, the program builds from their iMovie experience.

WHAT PRIVACY? | David Rosen | Filmmaker Magazine
A look at the latest privacy law making it's way through Congress:
The Electronic Freedom Foundation and other groups have raised serious objections to the bill. EFF notes that the law gives “companies the power to read users’ emails and other communications and hand them to the government without any judicial oversight whatsoever…” Going further, EFF warns that the bill’s definitions of “cybersecurity” and “intellectual property” are too broad, thus smuggling the discredited SOPA legislation into law under a new name.

Field of View Comparator | Abelcine
Abelcine have updated their Field of View comparator to include the Blackmagic Cinema Camera.

Developers begin bringing 'Magic Lantern' firmware to Canon 5D Mark III
| Evan Rodgers | The Verge
Soon you'll be able to hack your Canon 5D Mark III:
Earlier today, Alex Dumitrache of the Magic Lantern firmware development group posted the image above of the 5D Mark III displaying a rudimentary "Hello, World!" string. This might seem insignificant, but it indicates that Canon hasn't taken drastic measures to prevent the firmware from being modified. The Magic Lantern Team has brought the custom firmware to the 5D Mark II, the T2i / 550D, and many other models.

CABLE WOES | David Rosen | Filmmaker Magazine
Cable television faces an uncertain future:
Viewer erosion is one factor contributing to cable’s woes. As reported by the NCTA, the industry’s trade association, over the last decade, basic subscribers have declined by over 13 percent, to 58 million in 2011 from 66.9 million in 2001. This has contributed to the slowing of advertising dollars. In 2011, video services accounted for 58 percent of the industry’s revenue whereas in 2001 it made up 78 percent.

Forget the Future, Plan for Now | Walter Biscardi | Blog
Switching between NLE's, again and again...
Adobe has made tremendous strides forward with CS6 but there are still areas that we would like to see addressed, particularly under the hood and some core edit functions, so I’m looking ahead to 2013 for a potential more widespread rollout of Premiere Pro in our workflow. Of course, we had no idea Autodesk was going to drop this new, more edit friendly, version of Smoke on us and I’m already giving them feedback on where I’d like that product to go in the next 12 months.

Shooting with RED Epic #3: You’re Limited with Monitor Outputs and Options
| Evan Luzi | The Black and Blue
Evan has been collecting together a series of tips on shooting with the RED Epic:
...unlike the RED One which had dual outputs for RED branded LCDs and EVFs as well as an HD-SDI output, the Epic gives you one RED display output and one standard HD-SDI feed.
Essentially, you’re working down from three outputs for three monitors to two outputs for three monitors. So what does this all mean?


Peachpit Press is offering an "eBook Deal of the Day," and this week the title is Richard Harrington's Creating DSLR Video: From Snapshots to Great Shots. The book sells for $16.49 on Amazon, and $10.99 in the Kindle edition, so you only save $1 - but you could buy yourself a McDonalds hamburger with that!: Creating DSLR Video: From Snapshots to Great Shots