Saturday, June 23, 2012

Rule Boston Camera Learning Lab - The Art of Color Correction

Colorist Rob Bessette of Finish Post presents an overview on the art of color correction with a step-by-step look at the finer points of Black Magic Design's DaVinci Resolve:

WED: June 27th, 10:00am - 12noon

Quick Links

Canon 1D X Has Sharper Video Image Than The 5D MKIII – Comparison Video
| Dan Chung | DSLR News Shooter
Note that this is the $6,799 1D X he's talking about, not the upcoming 4K 1D C; does anyone else get the naming of these cameras confused?:
Quite what Canon engineers have done here is unclear to me but I suspect that the fact that the 1D X uses a 18 megapixel sensor versus the 5D mkIII’s 22.3 MP one makes a difference. They may simply have come up with a better video processing algorithm or perhaps there is just a different default level of sharpening (as zero on the camera’s menu is a purely arbitrary calibration anyway). I think that there is more to it than sharpening though as there are no signs of halos or other negative effects.

Canon EOS C300/C300 PL Cinema EOS Camera Firmware Version
| The Digital-Picture
Canon rolls out a minor firmware update for the C300:

  1. Genlock synchronization can now be used to synchronize the camera’s 24.00P, 24.00PsF, 23.98P, and 23.98PsF input signals.
  2. Adds the Korean language to the camera’s menu.
  3. Minor corrections to simplified Chinese language menus.

'Roots' - Shooting on the Sony F65 | David Procter | Blog
Post on using the F65, [Note: the blog doesn't allow links to articles, only to the site itself]
Workflow-wise I had tested the S-LOG RAW 4K with Mission Digital & Dirty Looks but in the days leading up to the 'Roots' shoot Sony released the SLOG2 update. This opened up an array of new options for recording compressions. After some further testing with DIT Mark Kozlowski at Filmscape Studios, we opted for SLOG2 RAWLITE which seemed the best compromise of quality and file-size, in the region of 10GB per minute, as opposed to around 17.5GB per minute of the full RAW. Safe in the knowledge that we had no heavy postwork, I felt comfortable that the smaller file sizes, giving us more valuable stock, so to speak, was a worthwhile trade-off.

Behind The Scenes Making of "Underwater" Music Video | Karl Taylor | YouTube
Karl provides lots of interesting information about how he shot a music video:
This is a behind the scenes look at the making of "Underwater" Music video for singer Colette Falla.
I just put this together to demonstrate how we put this project together and did it on just DSLR cameras and lenses with no budget!

Boston Adobe CS6 Production Premium Premiere Featuring Al Mooney & Simon Walker | BOSCPUG
Upcoming BOSCPUG meeting. Registration will go live on Monday June 25th:
Al Mooney (@al_mooney) has extensive technical, sales and marketing experience in the media industry. As product manager for Adobe Premiere Pro software, Mooney is responsible for defining, delivering, and supporting the overall feature set and functionality

Switronix Torch LED BOLT Review | Rick Macomber | Vimeo
Rick provides a video review of this LED light:
This is the newest member of the Switronix Torch LED family. It’s called the BOLT.
It’s 1/6th the size of a 12 inch LED Panel and it’s 2 times as bright. No kidding.
It has two dimmers – one for the 32K set of LEDS and one for the 56K LEDS. You can control them
separately or blend both the tungsten and daylight LEDs together to deliver a very bright light with a color temperature of around 41K.

Amazon Studios Announces the First Four Projects on Its Series Development Slate | Holywonk
Amazon's attempts to bolster film production continue:
A “Hell” of a deal, the end of the world, a magic monkey and a plaid sheep — these are the first projects selected for the Amazon Studios Series Development Slate. One is a children’s show, three are comedies and all four were discovered via the Amazon Studios site. (Learn more about how to submit your own ideas here.) All receive $10,000 option extensions.

The First Wedding In the World Filmed With Ultra-High Definition 3D Cameras
| Gizmodo
Overkill or peek at the future? My vote is overkill:
Gizmodo's friend Peter Chang—from Golden Gate 3D—sent us the teaser trailer for the world's first 3D wedding video shot in stereoscopic 3D on 5K resolution RED Epic cameras. They didn't take any photos, as "each frame can also be extracted as a high resolution 3D still image." That's a technique that some photographers are using now with mixed results—although most photographers don't film with RED Epics.

Don’t Be Stupid: The IATSE Local 600′s Free Guide to Setiquette | Evan Luzi
| The Black And Blue
Evan recommends this free PDF:
Kim Gottlieb-Walker, a talented still photographer and member of the IATSE Local 600 International Cinematographer’s Guild, has made available a guide on setiquette written by several veteren crew of the camera union.

Failure FTW with Ted Hope and Ed Burns | Vimeo Festival + Awards
From Vimeo's recent awards, a talk with Ed Burns and Ted Hope talking about working as a creative:
Not succeeding plays a hugely important role in the creative process. This session features Ted Hope and Ed Burns discussing the importance of embracing failure in creative work, with postcards from their own personal dark days—jobs that went wrong, ideas that fizzled out, expectations decidedly unexceeded—and exploring how failing miserably is crucial to artistic achievement (and even finding happiness).

Martin Guitar unveils Jeff Daniels custom guitar | Dustin Schoof
| The Express-Times
I can't usually put in links to articles about guitars in a video blog, but this is a guitar for actor Jeff Daniels, who is starring in the new HBO series Newsroom:
Product booklet: The OM Jeff Daniels Custom Signature Edition [PDF]
Upper Nazareth Township-based C.F. Martin & Co. has announced its new Custom Artist Edition Guitar, the OM Jeff Daniels, according to a news release. The guitar was designed in collaboration with the singer-songwriter and "Dumb & Dumber" star, according to the release.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Quick Links

Blackmagic Cinema Camera: Can It Run with the Big Boys | Marco Solorio
| Creative COW
A look at the upcoming Blackmagic camera, focusing on green screen work:
I seriously cannot wait to start shooting serious chromakey footage with this camera. For this application, DSLR cameras aren't even in the city of the ballpark this game is playing in. I dare think a Sony F3 or Canon C300 is even in the parking lot. For chromakey production, can this little $3000 camera play at a level with the likes of ARRI Alexa, RED Epic, and the Sony F65? From what it reads on paper, it sure does seem like it and seems like fair game. Time will tell once serious chromakey productions are lined up.

Drobo 5D Introduction | Drobo | YouTube
Drobo announced a couple of new drives today, the 5D for desktop use, and the Mini for mobile use. Both add support for Thunderbolt. The 5D has two Thunderbolt ports and one USB 3.0 port, will cost under $850 and the release date will be announced in July:
Learn about the exciting new features of the Drobo 5D. The Drobo architecture has been redesigned from the ground up to meet the data storage needs of today's media creators and demanding professionals. It includes both Thunderbolt and USB 3.0 connectivity, along with an innovative use of solid state drives (SSDs).

The State of the Union of Final Cut Pro | Scott Simmons | ProVideoCoalition
A year on from the release of Final Cut Pro X, where do things stand:
So who’s using FCPX? A lot of one-man-band videographers I think; smaller operations doing “same day edits” usually seem very enthusiastic about FCPX’s speed as long as their originating format is supported. Wedding videographers seem to have really taken to FCPX. Apple does have an in-action section for FCPX on their website that highlights some higher end use.

How-to: $14 Lightweight Over-the-Shoulder Snorricam (Body-Mounted Camera Rig) | indymogul | YouTube
I love working with PVC pipe, and here's a cheap shouldercam solution:
In this DIY build episode, Griffin designs a $14 third-person body-mounted camera rig out of PVC pipe for his GoPro Hero2 camera, to capture unique over-the-shoulder shots during the Warrior Dash.

Adobe Premiere Pro CS6: Latest Release Supercharges Performance, Debuts SpeedGrade | Oliver Peters | Creative Planet Network
A look at Premiere Pro CS6:
Importing a sequence from one project into another also imports some associated master clips, even though they already exist in the project, which results in duplicate master clips in the project browser. If you delete the duplicates, the imported sequence is negatively affected. Going back and forth a few times like this would result in a lot of unnecessary extra clips and potentially some real problems.

The Best Action Camera | Brent Rose | Gizmodo
Gizmodo looks at four action cameras: Drift HD, Ion Air Pro, Contour+, and GoPro Hero 2, and judges the Hero 2 to be the best:

In terms of image quality, the Hero 2 simply won out. It's about on par with the Contour in terms of sharpness, but when it comes to colors, the Hero simply dominates. It also handles contrast better than the others. All of the kits come with a waterproof housing, which keeps the camera dry up to 197 feet deep.

Tiffen Steadicam Smoothee for iPhone 4 | Joshua Goldman | C|Net
It's been out for over a year, but here's a look at the Smoothee; oddly, it's "highly recommended":
Regardless of how well it works, for most iPhone users the Smoothee is overkill. Its size and weight pretty much kills the whole convenience of shooting video with your iPhone and using it well requires more effort than just taking out your iPhone and shooting a clip.
I reviewed the Smoothee here: Steadicam Smoothee Review

Hands On With The New Canon 40mm f2.8 STM Pancake Lens | Dan Carr | Blog
A YouTube video that looks at this new lens from Canon, which seems to be getting positive reviews:
I’m pretty excited about this lens since I’m always trying to shave some weight off the gear that I carry and I’ve never been satisfied with ANY of Canon’s 50mm offerings. A pocket sized 40mm might just be the ticket so I ordered one right away.

Canon 40mm Pancake – How Did They Do That?? | Roger Cicala | LensRentals
Though Roger notes that manual focusing is difficult:
My first impression was the build quality was better than I expected. It has a metal mount, not plastic. The aperture blades appear more curved than most of the Canon 7 blade aperture rings, making a more circular opening. The little STM motor is not silent, but it’s pretty quiet. It’s also not lightning fast (as expected) but autofocus is certainly quicker than a Canon 85mm f/1.2 lens. And it’s amazingly tiny — the rear lens cap is about half as big as the lens.

Movie studio groundbreaking scheduled at Devens | Hiroko Sato | Lowell Sun
Really? A film studio in Massachusetts? Seems hard to believe:
The groundbreaking will be for the first phase, which involves the construction of two buildings -- one with four sound stages, each of which would be 18,000-square-foot, and the other building with 20,000-square-foot mill/shops and equipment storage area. Once built, the space will be rented to production companies.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Quick Links

A Guide to Permits for Filming in Difficult Locations | Marcee Miller | Artbeats Blog
Advice for shooting in public - and non-pubic - spaces.
1-A. Start early. Some park permits can take six weeks!
1. Research – what is worth shooting in the city/location of choice?
2. More research – where are the subjects located? Are they private or public? Are they going to be part of a street scene or panorama, or will they be the subject of the shot?

Sony NEX-FS700 is shipping?
B & H still says that the NEX-FS700 is expected to ship in July, but Peter Crithary of Sony tweeted that some are already shipping:
NEX-FS700 cameras begin!

10+ steps to becoming mega successful in video production and probably winning many awards whilst becoming super rich!! | Philip Bloom | Blog
Philip explains how to be a success:
2: The work will not come to you. Sitting around waiting for that big break if about as likely as winning the lottery. No matter how well received your student film from film school was received Adidas is NOT going to call you up to make their next spot. You will need to put in a lot of hard graft. Getting your name out there may never happen. I know countless talented directors and writers who are not doing what they should be doing as there simply is not enough work in that field to support their families. They make corporate films, anything to bring in the money.

Making the switch: Premiere Pro 6 | Allen Williams | Post Magazine
A Final Cut Pro user - and Adobe beta tester - decides to make the switch to Adobe, after also looking at Avid:
The answer is - it's not terrible. But its also not sexy, it's not sleek, and it's creaking with old age. Avid has some really nice features in it. But compared to Premiere Pro 6, its like using a hammer and a chisel inside a cave wall.

So is Premiere Pro 6 the perfect program? Not yet - it's still a work in progress. Adobe is determined to make it great. Unlike Apple, whose only concern these days is making toys for consumers, and editing systems for Grandpa. And Avid is simply stuck in the past.

Speedgrade CS6 Workflow for Red Epic and Scarlet | James | 5K Insight
A video tutorial:
We at 5k Insight are very impressed with the incredible amount of enhancements Adobe has packed into the latest update. A longtime Final Cut user shook his head and told me, “Final Cut is Dead”. As a long time Final Cut User myself, I wasn’t excited about the new direction Final Cut was heading either. But, lucky for us, Adobe has really stepped it up in their newest release.

The tutorial below is a basic look at how to get your footage into Premiere CS6 (no more Adobe labs plugin!) and take it into Speedgrade (which supports R3D!!!)

Rick McCallum – Reach For the Sky | James Clarke | movieScope
A producer who works with George Lucas talks about producing, and the difficulties for those starting out:
This is the worst time for film finance. How do you make a movie for something under three or four million or over 150 million? For anyone starting out, trying to get three million is like us trying to get 150 million. It’s very tough to make anything. Look at Box Office Mojo and look at the cost; you can add 50 per cent to the budget they show. If it says 100 million budget, chances are it’s 150 million. One out of 100 films makes money.

How to Build Your Own Hackintosh Mac Pro | Danny Greeg | Premiumbeat
Tired of waiting for a new MacPro? This links to different tutorials on building your own Hacintosh:
Lifehacker has addressed this need with a post outlining the tech equipment you need to build your own Hackintosh Mac Pro. They offer up three options for creating either an entry-level, mid-range or high-end version of the Mac Pro using standard PC hardware. Even the most basic Hackintosh on this list is faster than Apple’s current Mac Pro.

How and Why to Make a Short Film Documentary with No Budget – Part 1
| Ron Dawson | Dare Dreamer
Part of a series on the process of creating a short documentary:
I don’t know how many times it’s been said, but it’s been said a lot. Pre-production planning is paramount to any film. Your project can live or die in how well you plan. As you might imagine, planning for something like this was intense:

Apple Announces 2012 Summer Filmmaking Camps for Kids | MacRumors
Summer camp at the Apple Store:
Apple is again offering free summer camps for kids at its retail stores, focusing on filmmaking using iMovie. Each session of the camp, which is targeted at children ages 8-12, includes two 90-minute weekday workshops where students will learn about filmmaking and then create their films in iMovie using footage shot themselves. The session concludes with an optional Saturday morning film festival in which participants can screen their films for friends and family.

Thoughts on 3D, 4K+ and Prometheus | Vincent Laforet | Blog
Vincent prefers 4K over 3D, and offers his thoughts on the critical reaction to Prometheus:
I think the future is 4K+ personally. The key word is "future." I think that it will be awhile until the industry (outside of tentpole films) will make the leap in terms of their workflow, distribution and until we have 4K+ televisions at home. I do think the future of cinema for large budget films is in higher resolution when those films can be enjoyed in high end theaters, with top of the line projectors (that are maintained) and large (30+ foot) screens.

Two Special Effects Breakdowns from “Prometheus” | FilmmakerIQ
Two YouTube videos looking at effects in Prometheus:
Visual effects supervisor Martin Hill from WETA Digital goes into great detail during his interview about the opening sequence, the creation of life.

Behind the scenes about how the Digital wizards at MPC created the movie’s incredible ships and planetary environments, including the fateful crash of The Prometheus and the fleeing Engineer’s Juggernaut.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Quick Links

Canon EOS 5D Mark III Firmware 1.1.3 | CanonRumors
The firmware update adds some fixes for several lenses, as well as:
  • Fixes a phenomenon in which an image may become underexposed when using the Auto Lighting Optimizer for continuous Auto Exposure Bracketing (AEB) shooting.
  • Fixes a phenomenon in which the backlight of the LCD monitor may not turn off depending on the camera settings and timing.
  • Fixes a phenomenon in which the camera’s power may not turn on when a super-telephoto lens*1) is mounted to the camera with an extender*2).

DSLR Case Study: Lie With Me | HD Magazine
Director Jamison Brandi explains how he went about shooting his feature with the Canon 7D:
“We were not going to spend thousands of dollars a day on all the Prime lenses so we came up with a plan to cover our shooting range. We decided to use the Canon zoom lenses, the 24-70mm and the 70-200m. We didn’t want them as zoom lenses but were going to set them at certain focal lengths and use them as Primes lenses in that way.

Sony launches next generation 4K digital projector | Ian Sandwell | Screen Daily
Digital comes to more theaters...
SRX-R515 is designed in particular for use in small or medium sized screen auditoriums and for budgets of smaller cinemas, also allowing them to offer new services beyond traditional content such as sports, theatre and multi-user big screen gaming.

A PC Tower of Power: HP z820 RED Edition (with CS6 Inside) | Beth Marchant
| Studio Daily
HP develops a custom machine for RED editing:
Terry Brown, HP Workstations Vertical Market Manager [...] says Adobe was a driving force in the collaboration. "This really came together when Adobe said to us, 'We need to create a system that's a reference system for RED workflows in Adobe Premiere. CS6 is coming out and we have a huge amount of questions from customers who are confused about their current platform and we need to be able to guide our them to what system we think is going to do the job, especially with RED workflows, which tend to be pretty CPU- and GPU-instensive and RED ROCKET-intensive."

Zacuto Revenge of the Great Camera Shootout | Alister Chapman | XDCAM User
Alister talks about seeing the Zacuto Shootout footage:
The discussion at the end of this set of clips was very interesting. One of the main conclusions drawn was that as much as assessing the actual look of the camera we were also assessing the DoP’s artistic interpretation of what made a good shot. Some clearly favoured highlights, some shadows. It was clear to us all that in the right hands almost all of the cameras were capable of producing great looking pictures in this controlled environment (would be interesting to see a less controlled scenario).

Investing in DSLR Lenses for Cinema Use? Here Are Some Tips for Picking the Right Ones | Joe Marine | No Film School
Tips on choosing lenses taken from Matthew Duclos:
His first suggestion is to get a good set of prime lenses, but not the L series lenses from Canon, as they don’t have accurate distance markings, have more looser internal parts, and are harder to service than manual focus prime lenses. While there’s nothing wrong with them optically (they are amazing), if you are going to invest in lenses, you want something that will be easy to service but will also allow the most flexibility on the most camera systems

Is 2/3″ also dying? Fast track to S35 Digital Cinema | Michael Sutton
| Wide Open Camera
Thoughts on the fact that a rental company just sold several Sony F35's for under $10K:
...the fact that 2/3″ seems to be dying off in favor of S35 size sensors limits the acceptability of a S16 image to a user base that demands more. It seems strange because people still buy 1/3″, 1/2″ cameras all the time. Some people spend almost ten thousand dollars on these cameras.

Some Demo Videos:
Some NEX-FS700 footage here, with the obligatory slow-mo included:

FS-700 Demo | Genesis Matrix | Vimeo

CORAÇÃO by SONY NEX-FS700 | SSSmarimo | Vimeo

Singapore by Night | Alister Chapman | YouTube
Here's a compilation of a few clips I shot of the city of Singapore by night. I used a Sony PMW-F3, NEX-FS700 and NEX5N for the shots. I used S&Q motion at 1 frame every second in the F3 and FS100 and then tweaked the speed in post. The last two shots are from the FS700 at 100fps. Well I had to stick some slow mo in there somewhere!

Canobie | Anticipate Media | Vimeo
Paul shot this handheld with the Canon C300:
Shot with a 24-105 Canon lens, completely and utterly handheld (grip attached) with no stabilization hardware at all or monitor unit. Running around with my child meant I had to gather shots on a moment's notice so I was quite limited in what I could get.

Portable Lighting with the Rosco LitePad Kit | Shane Hurlbut | Hurlbut Visuals
A look at an LED light:
I am always in pursuit of new lighting technology, and this Rosco LitePad kit knocked me out with its size, versatility, color and punch. This light is LED technology, but used in a very different way than all the other lights on the market. It requires no heat syncs like a LitePanel light and is 3/8 of an inch thick. The big difference is that it does not fire the LED directly at you. It fires them sideways onto a white source that becomes your light. This is a very big deal. We are always looking for soft sources, and these are very creamy without diffusion added.

Red October | Shaftoe | imgur
Shooting a plate for the Hunt for Red October. Oddly enough, I saw a bit of a documentary last night about a real-life event that was partly the inspiration for the book:
I forget the year but I was part of a crew that worked with Boss Films to create the plate shots for the Hunt For Red October. This was the setup for the scene where Ryan and Ramius were on the conning tower at the end of the film.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Rule Boston Camera TS3Cine High-Speed Camera Learning Lab - June 20

This weeks Rule Boston Camera looks to be an interesting one with hand-on with the TS3Cine High-Speed camera:
See the portable and affordable TS3Cine high-speed, high-resolution camera in action along the Charles River. Meet at Rule for a quick intro and head across the street for a live shoot (weather permitting--otherwise, indoors).

Time: 10am to 12noon with Breakfast
Showroom Demo at 12noon:Sound Devices PIX 240 Video Recorder with Haley Parizo.

Problems with Final Cut Pro X projects

Reader Ross Hunter dropped me a note last week about a problem he had encountered after updating Final Cut Pro X with a project crashing. He outlines the issue below, along with the solution he found [Note: this is an amalgam of a couple of emails]
Final Cut Pro X has been crashing for me when trying to open one particular project since the update. At first I was unable to open one of my projects. FCPX would crash every time. Other projects opened normally. Finally after digging through the crash log, I saw it was having trouble with a Motion project. I removed the Motion project and FCP would then open normally.

But it later crashed during rendering. I had earlier deleted all render files thinking they might be the culprit. The backup file behaved the same way as the current project file. The suspect Motion project also crashes motion.

I've done the standard trashing of preferences, then render files, but the crashing persists. There are other similar reports now appearing on the Apple FCPX boardRight now, I see six different threads on the first page of postings. One poster on the Apple list said he'd been contacted by Apple.

Ross Hunter

A couple of days later, Ross let me know that he thinks he has solved his problem:
I'm still seeing people posting problems with FCPX, but my project now appears to be stable. I've gone a day or two without a crash.

I found two problems:
1. A Motion project was keeping my Final Cut project from loading and causing a crash. I removed and recreated the Motion project.

2. I found a still image in my project that was causing background rendering to stop with a crash. I turned off background rendering and replaced the image.
Since that time all has worked smoothly.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Canon Filmmaker Award Program


LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, June 18, 2012 – Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, today launched the new Canon Filmmaker Award Program in partnership with Film Independent, the non-profit arts organization that produces the Spirit Awards and the Los Angeles Film Festival. Open to eligible Film Independent Fellows, Los Angeles Film Festival alumni, and Spirit Awards Nominees and Winners, the program is designed to help emerging filmmakers ‘leave no story untold.’

Winners of the Canon Filmmaker Award Program will be lent a Canon Cinema EOS C300 camera package to create their next feature length narrative or documentary film, or in special cases, short films. Announced quarterly over the next year, the application process for the Fall Period opens today and will accept submissions until August 1, 2012. All applications are to be submitted via the Film Independent website,

“We are thrilled to be partnering with Canon, a company that shares our vision of supporting cinema as art, on this new Canon Filmmaker Award Program,” said Josh Welsh, co-president, Film Independent. “So many of our Fellows are already working with Canon's existing equipment, so to be able to shoot their films with these new cameras will truly elevate their production experience and bring their films to life.”

Canon U.S.A. announced the new program at the 2012 Los Angeles Film Festival, a preeminent cinematic event presented annually by Film Independent at L.A. LIVE in Downtown Los Angeles. From June 14-24, 2012, the Festival will screen nearly 200 feature films, shorts, and music videos, including Virgin airlines’ “Departure Date,” shot with the Cinema EOS C300 at 35,000 feet. Just a few of the other projects on the Festival’s diverse roster that were filmed with Canon imaging equipment include “A Band Called Death,” “About Face,” “Beauty is Embarrassing,” “An Oversimplification of Her Beauty,” “Red Flag,” “Remote Area Medical,” and “Reportero.”

As one of this year’s Platinum Sponsors, Canon partnered with Film Independent to bring an exciting new slate of programming for filmmakers and festivalgoers.

On Saturday, June 16, 2012, Canon invited Los Angeles Film Festival attendees to explore the company's line of Cinema EOS products at the Filmmaker Lounge, including touch-and-try demonstrations of the acclaimed Cinema EOS C300, EOS 5D Mark III, and new 4K Cinema EOS C500 and EOS-1D C cameras. The experience culminated in the much-anticipated event “Canon Celebrates Cinematographers,” hosted by Shane Hurlbut, ASC, and Richard Crudo, ASC, where established and emerging industry professionals convened to honor the art of cinematography. Canon, along with co-sponsor HBO, also hosted the annual Fellows and Industry Mixer at Katsuya at L.A. LIVE on Sunday, June 17, 2012.

On Saturday, June 23, 2012, Canon will screen “when you find me”—a short film produced by two-time Academy Award® winner Ron Howard and directed by his daughter Bryce Dallas Howard, as part of Canon’s Project Imagin8ion. Immediately following the screening, Canon will host a unique panel discussion with some of the key creative and technical minds behind the production, including Kevin Chinoy, producer, Freestyle Picture Company; Andre Lascaris, director of photography; and Evan Pesses, chief lighting technician. The event will close out with a screening of Dante Ariola and Jeff Cronenweth’s short “Man and Beast,” filmed with the new 4K Cinema EOS C500. The screenings and panel, moderated by Canon film and television production advisor Tim Smith, begin at 10:00 am at Regal Cinemas L.A. LIVE 12.

Quick Links

LAFF 2012: Cinedigm's Chris McGurk Predicts a Digital-Driven Indie Film Renaissance | Gregg Kilday | Hollywood Reporter
Thoughts on the positives of digital distribution:
McGurk, whose Cinedigm offers alternative programming to theater owners, argued that “narrowcasting” is part of the solution. And instead of holding out for a 500-theater wide release, he suggested, filmmakers should follow the example of a film like Margin Call, which combined a VOD release with a more limited theatrical roll-out.

Into the fire with FCP X | Oliver Peters | digitalfilms
Oliver documents his experience using Final Cut Pro X on a real-world project:
If you work with a lot of different FCP X jobs, you quickly learn that there is no internal way to manage different clients’ work. You either have to move these files manually from the Final Cut Events and Final Cut Projects folders to an “inactive” folder(s) – or you have to use a utility like Event Manager X.

Gareth Evans – Fighting Spirit | novieScope
Director Gareth Evans explains how he developed his indie movie The Raid, and some of the low-budget techniques used:
Working with a $1.2m budget, we knew we had to be creative with the action scenes and find ways to achieve high energy by using every DIY indie trick we had. This extended across all departments. Using a FigRig stabilisation device, we were able to pass the camera from one DoP to another, giving us the illusion of the camera defying gravity while also travelling through extremely tight spaces.

Seamless Video Editing – A Look Toward the Future | Danny Greer | Premium Beat
Computers will soon put us all out of a job:
What if a computer editing application could tell you where to make your video cuts? A new application being developed by researchers at UC Berkely and Adobe Systems aims to do just that…helping editors identify the best spot to make a cut based off of audio and visual features of raw footage. The program can auto generate seamless transitions to make the cuts visually smooth and undetectable.

Software Review: Adobe Master Collection – Premiere Pro, Prelude, and Speedgrade CS6 From Adobe Systems | T. Michael Testi | Blogcritics
This article on the video applications in Adobe Master Collection highlights the new features added to each application, including SpeedGrade:
Professionally designed looks,– filters, and effects that come with SpeedGrade that will provide visual impact to your productions in the form of .look file presets. They include a 3D LUT, along with the SpeedGrade grading parameters, making them a rich and powerful interchange format with other Adobe tools — both After Effects and Photoshop CS6 support application of SpeedGrade .Look files. The 3D LUT component of .Look files can also be exported for use with other products.

Lip Sync in After Effects | Rich Young | Pro Video Coalition
A second collection of tips on creating Lip Synch:
Here’s a few more lip sync video tutorials for After Effects. They’re very similar in using time remapping, basic expressions or converting audio to keyframes, etc. instead of CC Split, Reshape, or other effects

Woody Allen's Cinematographer Has 6 Life-Saving Tips for Low-Budget DPs
| Jay A. Fernandez | Indiewire
Lighting can highlight character. And headaches, if you’re not careful.
“Of course, your work has to first correspond to who the character is and what the story is about,” he said. “The most important thing to bring out when you shoot a movie is to figure out how you’re going to light the location in order to bring it into this area of the character.

Bravely going where Pixar animation tech has never gone | Daniel Terdiman
| C|Net
Pixar's next movie, Brave, comes out at the end of the week. This article explains some of the new techniques they came up with to render the movie:
The new software took a significant amount of work, May said, and allowed Pixar to make both hair and fur that wasn't considered likely to pull audiences away from the story. But doing so itself took more than a year, Chung said. And before they were able to fine-tune the software to solve the problem, there were endless days of watching Merida's curly hair explode, or of watching the fur on Angus, Merida's horse, fly off as he ran around.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Quick Links

John Brawley on the Blackmagic Cinema Camera | @brawlster | Twitter
John is playing with pre-production Blackmagic Cinema Camera footage. The footage is embargoed, but he has posted some comments on Twitter:
Ok. Just looked at the first ProRes log clips from the #BMCC in Resolve and they are freaking awesome. Mind blown
What's awesome about the log ProRes clips is that they have an awful lot of range in the grade.

Revenge of the Great Zacuto Shootout Part 1 – Review | Andrew Reid | EOSHD
Andrew goes through all the camera footage, offering his thoughts - and some guesses on identity - on the performance of each:
Zacuto’s 2012 shootout is off to an compelling start. Despite that I have some suggestions to make it even better. I’d like to see fewer sound bites, rather, for the cinematography experts to speak a little longer. I’d happily watch an hour long episode and get the full flow of their wisdom. I’d like for there not to be such a large gap between episodes. 1 month until the next showing is too long and by then there will be tons of spoilers about the results on internet forums.

Canon T4i / 650D review – video samples [UPDATE:] noisetest | Cinema5D
A video review of the new Canon:
The handling of the camera was nice, although I didn't find the button layout perfect for video (having to reach with the wrong hand to the wrong side of the camera).

I didn't test audio or autofocus with the dedicated STM lenses.

| DSLR News Shooter
A low-light comparison of the Sony NEX-FS700 to the Sony F3 and Cinema 5D Mark III. I would have guessed that the 5D did better in low light than the FS700. Not sure if I'm surprised it does worse than the F3....
From my observations the FS700 struggled the most out the 3 cameras. It tended to produce the most noise. I think once you start going over about 1600 ISO you have to watch out for noise that may start to appear in your footage that could cause it to be unusable. Honestly speaking it all depends on what you are shooting and what you are shooting for. In a news environment you could very easily get away with using the FS700 camera at 6400 ISO and even 10000ISO if you had to.

My thoughts on FCP-10 | Philip Johnston | HD Warrior
Philip is still trying to decide whether he likes Final Cut Pro X. He's still running into some technical issues with it, though he likes it better now:
CONCLUSION : To date my experience with FCP-10 started off very badly and has become very positive over the last week, the program was less than useless till v 10.0.4 arrived and v 10.0.5 has certainly made my iMac version a lot more responsive. So far although I bought into Premiere Pro CS6, with lack of 3rd party support compared to FCP-10 and a learning curve I am now glad to have waited for FCP to mature though Mr Apple needs to get updated Thunderbolt enabled, hi-end graphic card MacPros ASAP…PLEASE !

First Time on Set? Don't Make These Rookie Mistakes | Joe Marine
| No Film School
Some tips to avoid getting thrown off set...

  1. Thinking You Should be Directing
  2. Touching Gear Without Permission
  3. Avoiding the Chain of Command
  4. Assuming Your Boss is Your Friend

"Dunes" Voigtländer 17.5mm on GH2 | Hugo Goudswaard | Vimeo
Short film shot with the new Voigtländer 17.5mm.
Superb lens. Bit bigger then it's sister the 25mm. Feels robust and super smooth.
Shot in the dunes in the north of Holland. Shot with a GH2, Glidetrack SD

4K Interoperability Agreement Based on the JPEG 2000 Broadcast Profile
| Cinescopophilia
4K moves towards a standard:
Following the recent adoption of intoPIX JPEG 2000 compression solution by NTT-AT, intoPIX and NTT-AT signed an agreement on 4K interoperability based on the new JPEG 2000 Broadcast Profile to ease the 4K adoption in the Broadcast & Video Production market.

Why Vimeo Is the Web Video Platform to Watch (in Full-Screen HD!)
| Kasia Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg | The Atlantic
Why some filmmakers like Vimeo over other video sites:
Even as the web video space gets more crowded, Vimeo continues to be the destination for content creators and viewers looking for cutting-edge videos, beautiful playback, and a remarkably positive community. A world away from cat virals, Vimeo is winning by nurturing the next generation of filmmakers (well, videomakers) and promoting their most innovative work. Their festival last week provided a fascinating look at how they're doing it.

THE WILLOWS (Canon C300) | Rick Macomber | Vimeo
Rick shot this nice summer short with a borrowed Canon C300:
I was lucky enough to borrow a Canon C300 from Dan Berube of BOSCPUG so I could really familiarize myself with it in order to use it to shoot the Boston premiere of Zacuto USA's Revenge of the Great Camera Shootout 2012 last week. It was my 3rd time with the camera. The first time I only had it briefly to shoot HUSTLE, a BOSCPUG collaboration we did a few months ago ( And one more brief collaboration with Paul Antico on a collaboration called The Cost: