Saturday, August 11, 2012

Quick Links

How Not To Market Your Movie | Jason Brubaker | Filmmaking Stuff
  • Nobody cares about your movie unless they care about your movie.
  • Stop sending long emails talking all about YOU. What’s in it for me?
  • Really? You want to make another no-budget drama with no star talent?

Usain Bolt Took a Bunch of Photos with a Swedish Guy's Camera. Who Owns the Rights to the Sprinter's Snapshots? | Krystal Bonner | Slate
Under most countries' intellectual property laws, including the United Kingdom’s, the person who actually pushed the button owns the photograph, unless the work was made for hire. That means Wixtröm technically does not own the copyright to Bolt’s photos, unless he and the sprinter negotiated a rights transfer in writing.

F3 Act II | The Sony Tech Guy | Pro Video Coalition
A wrap-up on the updates to the Sony PMW-F3 which were announced a couple of months ago. Also the CBK-MH01 which appears to "just" be a monitor hood; rather expensive at $619.95.
Sony has refreshed the PMW-F3 Super 35mm camcorder, reconfiguring it as the PMW-F3/RGB. The last three letters signify that 10-bit 4:4:4 RGB output and 10-bit S-Log gamma—previously extra-cost options—are now standard equipment. In addition, we’ve introduced a free firmware upgrade—version 1.40, created an accessory LCD monitor hood, and launched two lenses: a PL mount zoom and an interesting FZ mount servo zoom.

Red claims Dragon is 'single most significant sensor in the history of image capture' | Steve Dent | Engadget
Red Camera's bombastic CEO, Jim Jannard, says that internal testing of the new 6K Dragon sensor proves that it's the new "resolution and dynamic range king." He also claims it will be "the cleanest sensor you have ever seen, ISO 2000 looks better than MX [the current sensor] at ISO 800."

| Filmmaker Magazine
The excitement - and troubles - of being an independent filmmaker:
These are the times we live in, when making the movie is only half the battle. The other half is distribution and the roads are becoming fewer by the minute. There was a day when you could possibly get your film into one of the premiere festivals, where it had a chance not only to be seen, but also picked up by a distributor. This window has been steadily closing as of late and distributors have wisened up.

Canon USA | YouTube
Canon USA now has their own YouTube channel. You can see this video shot on the C500:

Soccer City USA, a story in the making | LEVYfilms | Vimeo
More high-speed with the Sony NEX-FS700.
Sony FS700U First Test, 250fps, side-by-side with the F3, anamorphic. The FS700 had an anamorphic lens, the F3 was upres'd and cropped. The FS700 was handheld with a 50mm. The F3 on sticks with a 70-200mm.

Foundlight's FS700 test | FOUNDLIGHT Productions | Vimeo
More high-speed.

World: Meet Tommy | MrPizzoman | YouTube
Sony FS700 @ 240 frames per second.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Quick Links

Anatomy of a Grade - Ep 09 - The "Bleachy Western Look" | Chris Hall | Vimeo
A tutorial for DaVinci Resolve; though I think you'll need to know Resolve to follow along:
Colorist Chris Hall demonstrates a "Bleach Bypass" effect on a period Western film. Special thanks to DP Andrew Russo ( for the great photography!

Fixing A little “Got-cha!” in the LightWorks to Premiere Finishing Workflow
| Peter J. Haas | aBlogAbout.Haas
Peter is using an interesting workflow from Lightworks to Premiere:
I’m currently cutting a feature documentary in EditShare’s latest Pro version of LightWorks, and we’re very interested in revisiting this workflow for finishing. We were running some tests yesterday and noticed a interesting little bug in the workflow we hadn’t noticed before.
After a successful import of the AAF sequence into Premiere, the media relinking kept returning an error for files we knew matched. It didn’t seem to be an issue with the AAF, as some of the media seemed to relink just fine.

| rampant design tools
Workflow for Final Cut Pro and Premiere:
If we don’t have time to wait for proxies. (Usually we can let them convert overnight, and be ready for the next day.) Then we just copy the H264 files and edit them natively in Adobe Premiere CS6, It’s just a little harder on our older systems.

Rokinon 8mm Cine Lens Review | Caleb Pike | Vimeo
It seems that even the budget lens makers are bringing out a lot of Cine lenses:
I have had the Rokinon 8mm Cine lens with the Canon mount for a month now, and I have to say I really like it. It is such a fun lens. Composing shots has never been as entertaining. At first use I thought 8mm is almost too wide to be useful, but after taking the lens downtown and shooting a good deal with it, I really think there is a place for this lens in my bag.

Samyang announces T1.5 35mm, T1.5 24mm and T3.1 14mm VDSLR lenses
| PhotoRumors
And heres more (Samyang actually makes many of the Rokinon lenses) The Samyang 35mm T1.5 is already available for pre-order under the Rokinon brand for $549:
The construction of the new lenses has been based on previous types dedicated for photography. Their main feature are racks co-operating with follow – focus system, and a ring rotated continuously. Thanks to these alterations it is possible to precisely and silently operate focus and depth of field. Another facility is putting aperture and focus scale parallel to the axis of the lens and aperture marked with number of transmission T. Lenses are compatible with Nikon and Canon cameras.

Realistic Bounce and Overshoot | Dan Ebberts |
Scripting with After Effects:
In this article you've seen the difference between overshoot and bounce simulations. Hopefully that will help you in choosing the appropriate simulation for your own animations. You've also seen how to ensure that your overshoot simulations match up with your incoming animation.

Digital Convergence Episode 85: The 7D v2.0 | Digital Film TV
Latest version of this podcast:
The lead story from the newsroom is Canon’s release of the version 2.0 firmware update for the Canon EOS 7D. planetMitch explains what is in this update and what it means for photographers and videographers. As usual we go on a tangent on the value of having malleable hardware – hardware that can be updated with new features with just a software update. We talk, too, about the Blackmagic Design Cinema Camara – can it be rightly called a “baby Arri?”

Featured Filmmaker ~ Rodney Charters | Shirley Baugher | Zacuto
A profile and interview with cinematographer Rodney Charters:
A. While shooting “24”, I began experimenting with a video camera. I shot a scene with a traditional movie camera; then I shot the same scene with a video camera to see the difference.
Q. What were the results of the experiment?
A. Actually, I was blown away by the sound and lighting capabilities of video. I thought the video camera did a brilliant job of capturing the motion picture image; and I was impressed with the mobility and versatility of the equipment. I was able to do a scene and immediately go back and look at what I’d shot. That’s a big advantage for a cinematographer

FMX Action Caught By Adixxion | JVC | Facebook
Sample video shot with JVC's action camera the GC-XA1 Adixxion {$349]:
More action captured by our Adixxion action cam! This time it's of freestyle motocross (FMX) rider Derek Garland.

Why Packaging Your Film Means Writing for Your Audience (and Why the First 10 Pages Matter So Much) | Christopher Boone | No Film School
Comments on a recent WGAw educational panel:
As many of us here consider ourselves DIY filmmakers, the thought of packaging our scripts with talent may not cross our minds frequently. Yet, even for the most independent project, we need an audience. As writers, we need to write for our audience. By this, I don’t mean we should pander to the audience or write what the audience expects.

Order Up | Red Giant | Vimeo
A year ago Red Giant and director Seth Worley produced an amazingly inventive video called Plot Device. Now they are back with another short:

Order Up from Red Giant on Vimeo.

Thursday, August 09, 2012

The Canon C300 or the Sony FS700?

If you were buying a camera at the moment, which one of those two would you pick? That is a question that seems to keep coming up the last couple of weeks, and I ended up discussing it again last night with someone trying to make that decision. No conclusions were reached; I think part of the problem is that the head says "The Sony NEX-FS700 [$7,999] is half the price of the Canon C300 [$15,999], it doesn't make sense to get the C300" but the heart says "Yeah, but get theC300!"

As I see it, the pros and cons of the cameras (compared to one another, not to other cameras) are:

Sony FS700
  • Price (half the price)
  • High Speed (Super-slow mo)
  • Supports wide range of lenses
  • 4K maybe[1]
  • No idea what the 4K costs
  • Support for Canon EF lenses limited by the lens adapter capabilities
  • LCD panel positioning is limited
  • AVCHD compression[2]

[1] Still no info on when, what cost, and what cost for the hardware.
[2] Some people think AVCHD isn't professional, while others say it's fine. The camera also outputs through 3G-SDI, but the image quality difference between that and the AVCHD image doesn't appear to be noticeable.

Canon C300
  • Great low light sensitivity and organic looking "noise"
  • Better support for EF lenses
  • Better and more flexible LCD placement
  • C-Log [3]
  • Dual Compact Flash recording

  • Price
  • Lens choice more limited [4]
  • 8-bit, older compression format [5]
  • Price
[3] The FS700 has improved picture styles, but no Log support.
[4] You have to choose either the EF or PL mount camera.
[5] Many people think the 8-bit image is still excellent.

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Quick Links

Big Ass Light Test at EVS | Chris Collins | Wide Open Cameras
Testing different film lights; with example video:
We decided to gather as many edison plug film lights and put them against one another. We tested tungsten lights, LEDs, HMIs, and flourescents. We kept it simple: we lit our subject, Simone, with each light without any diffusion and through a 2×3 silk. Everything took place inside a 12×12 black duvatyne tent. Everything was shot on a Sony Fs100 with Metabones adapter and Zeiss ZE 35mm. Take a look at the results…

Canon EOS 7D Firmware 2.0 Available for Download | CanonRumors
Finally! Manual audio gain for the 7D:
*Note At the time of posting, the firmware was not available if you select Mac OS X Mountain Lion, select Lion instead.

Quick review of the Sony PMW 200 and a ten minute challenge! | Philip Bloom
| Blog
The PMW-200 [$6,299] is billed as the replacement for the PMW-EX1 [$5,899]. Philip seems to like it:
Unfortunately, having never shot with the Canon XF300, I cannot compare. All I can say that as a replacement for the EX1, it’s better in a few ways. The low light is improved. The codec is improved and the lens is better. There are other improvements such as better button placement, and the EVF is pretty good!

SONY NX-70 “Problems reading SDHC cards” | Philip Johnston | HD Warrior
The error code is C:13:01 or C:13.06 both error codes indicate an error reading the SDHC card and no matter what make of card you use the error wont go away. This potentially serious problem only surfaced recently after the chap installed the new firmware which allows operators to record onto both card and internal memory.

SHOOTING WITH A DISABILITY | Jack Marchetti | Filmmaker
Jack Marchetti describes film making - with a visual disability:
If you can’t see in the dark, due to lack of light perception amongst your non-functioning rod photoreceptors, how do you make a dark and gritty crime drama?

Tripping over cables, placing your hand on the d.p.’s shoulder to guide you through the set, or having someone walk you to the bathroom in a dark bar you’re shooting in doesn’t necessarily inspire confidence in your cast and crew.

Welcome to the world of filmmaking with a visual impairment.

Feature-length documentary chronicling the career of acclaimed filmmaker Peter Bogdanovich (2011) | Cinephilia & Beyond
In this interview, he tells the story of his life as a director, reviews his films, their making, how studio choices and films were produced, and his approach as a craftsman, and also fun anecdotes about declining The Getaway, The Godfather or The Exorcist…

Speaking of the New Mountain Lion ‘Save As’ Command | John Gruber
| Daring Fireball
I don't like Apple doing away with Save As..., and this "fix" seems like no fix:
If one edits a document, then chooses Save As, then BOTH the edited original document and the copy are saved, thus not only saving a new copy, but silently saving the original with the same changes, thus overwriting the original.

Modifying Lights: DSLR | Video Skills with Rich Harrington: Adorama Photography TV | AdoramaTV | Vimeo
Richard Harrington has been doing a bunch of videos for Adorama TV:
When preparing for an on-camera, professional interview, it is important to try to get the most out of the lighting you are using. In this episode, Rich demonstrates how to get the best skin-tone, hair light, and background light by using different light modifying techniques. Learn how to use lighting accessories such as gels, dimmers, flags, reflectors, and cookies to get a great-looking interview.

Digital Cinematography with Sony's Super-35mm Camcorders | Doug Jensen
| Vimeo
An impressive reel; pity they didn't say what cameras they used:
This is a highlights reel from my 2012 "Digital Cinematography with Sony's Super-35mm Camcorders" class at Maine Media Workshops. Everything was shot over the course of three days. Nothing has been graded.

Digital Cinematography with Sony's Super-35mm Camcorders from Doug Jensen on Vimeo.

Pixar’s Story Rules, Illustrated in Lego | Alex Eylar | Slackstory
Last year, Pixar story artist Emma Coats (@lawnrocket) tweeted 22 rules of storytelling like ”give your characters opinions” and “no work is ever wasted.” Alex Eylar, aka ICanLegoThat, has illustrated twelve of those rules with Legos. He gave us the chance to premiere them at Slacktory.

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Misbehaving trackpad

Last night the trackpad on my MacBook Pro started to misbehave. It acted like I was double-clicking or just clicking, nearly all the time. Context menus would open randomly, and it kept selecting parts of the web page as I tried to scroll though it.

This started out as a slight annoyance, and quickly got worse.

While it was still - almost - manageable, I went into System Preferences to see if I could turn off or adjust some of the behavior there. That didn't work. I tried attaching a mouse. That worked for about five minutes, before that too was being stymied by the behavior of the trackpad, which was still detecting mouse clicks and presses randomly. It became worse and worse, and operating the computer became an adventure; it was like I had a mad three-year old clicking at things as I was working. Applications I was trying to launch were removed from the dock, other applications were opening unintentionally, and it was switching from one application window to another as I dragged the cursor across the screen. In short it became inoperable.

I did a hurried Google search and found some people reporting a somewhat similar problem after a software update. I haven't updated the software recently, but I restarted the computer to see if that fixed the problem. No such luck.

Then I noticed that the computer was very hot. Very hot. Now MacBooks tend to get pretty toasty when you're playing Flash video, or editing video, but this was extra crispy.

So I stopped using the computer and left it to cool down.

This morning things seem to be back to normal; the trackpad is working like it used to. I'm hopeful that it was just a one-time thing, and that this is not an indication of future problems.

Oddly, I had been recently considering getting something to help cool the MacBook, as I have noticed how hot it's been getting, particularly during these warm summer months. I've been looking at something like this: Cooler Master NotePal X2 Laptop Cooling Pad [$22.99 Amazon]

The reviewers seem to mostly like it; but several have said that the base of the MacBook doesn't really stick to the plastic top of the unit, and the MacBook has a tendency to slide off! One user recommended using velcro to keep your MacBook in place.

If anyone has any experience using these kind of devices with their MacBook (or even other laptops) I'd be interested in hearing.

A couple of interesting posts from Apple Forums:

macbook pro 2011 - severe overheating issues | Apple Discussions
In using your MBP on your lap, you've been ignoring the instructions that came with it:

"Set up your MacBook Pro on a stable work surface that allows for adequate air circulation under and around the computer. Do not operate your MacBook Pro on a pillow or other soft material, as the material can block the airflow vents. Never place anything over the keyboard when operating your MacBook Pro. Never push objects into the ventilation openings."

"The bottom of your MacBook Pro may become very warm during normal use. If your MacBook Pro is on your lap and gets uncomfortably warm, remove it from your lap and place it on a stable work surface."

Trackpad gets stuck on drag mode | Apple Discussions
Sounds to me like your trackpad might be overheating. I have seen this problem before on PC's and MACs. When a trackpad overheats it can at times think that it is constantly pressed down.

Monday, August 06, 2012

Quick Links

DaVinci Resolve 9: How To Upgrade the Pain-Free Way (plus 5 favorite features)
| Patrick Inhofer | Tao Of Color
The biggest problems I’ve had is when I upgraded an existing database and started working within that database. All sorts of funkiness would happen. Features wouldn’t work, buttons wouldn’t activate, projects would get flakey. The easiest way to avoid those problems?
  1. Create a brand-new fresh database
  2. Backup the old database
  3. Upgrade the old database
  4. Import any existing project into the new database.

“Anniversary Day” 1st Boston 3 Minute Short Film Challenge | Rick Macomber
| Macomber Productions
Rick has posted his own blog on the 3 Minute Film Challenge:
Sean had what I consider to be the best light – the magic hour – for his story, as you will see below. I thought he dealt with the changes in the afternoon/evening light very well in the time he had to finish. The C300 also performs very well in low light conditions. The only lights we used on Sean’s short were one Litepanels Micro LED and one Switronix Torch LED BOLT.

Tutorial - After Effects Basics | Chris Fenwick | One On One
Still trying to figure out After Effects? - this tutorial might help:
This is a walk thru of how to set up a basic After Effects project and how to make a basic lower third. It should take you thru some useful beginning tools in the application. Its basically designed for the editor who says, “well, I can open an AE file and change some text, but thats about it.”

Green Screen Production: Ep 106: DSLR | Video Skills with Rich Harrington: Adorama Photography | Richard Harrington | YouTube
When preparing to record a subject in front of a green screen, it is important to find the correct lighting and backdrop. Once you have the green screen set and a test subject lit, you are ready to record and key your new background in post-production In this episode, Rich demonstrates several techniques to keying in Adobe After Effects.

Hands-On Review: MOTU Track16 | BH Online Videos
A look at the MOTU Track16 - Desktop Studio FireWire/USB Interface [$549]
The latest audio interface technology combines impressive conversion quality and high input/output counts into small desktop devices. MOTU has long been a contender in the ring of high quality digital audio. This 10 minute video takes a thorough look at Track 16, MOTU’s latest audio interface. It also gives quick look into their flagship DAW, Digital Performer.

Jordan Cronenweth Document | StephenMurphy | Blogspot
Stephen has put together a PDF with frames from different films by DP Jordan Cronenweth [Stop Making Sense, Blade Runner]:
Sometimes, when I'm studying the work of another Cinematographer, I like to put together a simple document collecting some of the images they've created that I particularly admire. It helps me see the evolution of their lighting style over time and gives me a high benchmark to work towards in my own work.

NeedCreative Podcast Ep. 7 - The Tip Show No. 1 | Anticipate Media
The latest episode of this podcast is out, covering a lot of topics including:
  • The new KineRaw S35 camera
  • Alex Buono visits WGBH to talk Canon Cinema
  • LEDs are green!
  • Flags & Scrims

How AT&T Integrated Olympic Results Into Its Ads So Darn Fast | Rae Ann Fera
| Co.Create
How to turn a project around really quickly:
BBDO then created six versions of the commercial in advance, two for each sport alternately featuring a male or female athlete, with hundreds of different endings to account for a predicted range of winning times. AT&T worked with longtime broadcasting partner NBC to arrange for access to the footage within unusually quick turnaround times so that they could create a campaign that would stand out from the hailstorm of sponsored messages.

The Worlds of Viral Video | Off Book | PBS | YouTube
I'm not familiar with this, but it appears to be from a program about social media and video:
"Viral Video" is the signature phenomenon of internet media. Something akin to pop songs, these videos with irresistible hooks have saturated video culture online and have now evolved into a multitude of sophisticated forms. Whether rooted in comedy, spectacle, schadenfreude, cuteness, politics, performance, or deep meaning, the idea of viral videos, and the huge audiences they generate, have forever changed the values and potential impact of video online.

Zacuto Fee-N-G Review | Spirit Juice Studios | Vimeo
The Zacuto Fee-N-G rig [$1,530] looks like a great shoulder rig for those shooting ENG News style; though the name is a bit weird...
The Zacuto Fee-N-G is an ENG style rig compatible with all DSLR cameras. It is a lightweight & compact, in-line kit ideal for run-and-gun & all types of handheld shooting. The single Zgrip attached to the front of the DSLR baseplate allows for precise camera control without the added weight of a dual handgrip system. With one hand on the grip & the other on the lens, the shooter is always prepared to make critical adjustments to focus & zoom.

Sunday, August 05, 2012

Quick Links

Vintage VS New Lens Shoot Out! | Steve Oakley
Check out 2 new lenses against some 20 to 30 year old vintage glass. Surprising results in shooting resolution charts and real world images. In the mix are the Rokinon / Samyang 35 1.4 and Tamron 17-50 2.8 against classic vintage glass : vivitar 28 1.9, vivitar 28 f2 and kiron 28 f2

The Art and Technology of the PMW-F3 | Sony | Facebook
Sony has released a new brochure on the PMW-F3 :
NEW! PMW-F3 brochure with case studies, latest firmware information, features, and much more. Click here to download it: PMWF3 Brochure (PDF | 7.37 MB)

Skin Deep | Matthew Allard | Vimeo
Matt shot this video using the Sony PMW-F3.

Nokia PureView 808 Review (vs iPhone 4S) | Andrew Reid | EOSHD
Before the iPhone I was very interested in camera phones and Japan was leading the way with stuff like the Sharp 903. It had an optical zoom, auto-focus and 3MP sensor as far back as 2002. The initially very poor 2MP camera on the first generation iPhone in 2006 made me think twice about getting one but I did anyway because the rest of it was lightyears ahead of the competition. Nokia meanwhile have long had a line of top end camera phones but not the same fluency in smartphone OS design or the broad range of apps like Camera+, Filmic Pro and Instagram.

Seagate completes purchase of LaCie in quest to become king of the hard drive | Terrence O'Brien | |Engadget
Seagate has successfully acquired a controlling share of LaCie stocks. The provisional price of €4.05 per share could increase to €4.17 if Seagate manages to accumulate 95 percent of the company's stocks in the next six months. As of now, however, it hold just shy of 65 percent, enough to take control of the French manufacturer.

Swiss Snowboard Team @ Gentlemen's Summercamp Schnalstal 2012
| Andreas Kostner | Vimeo
A lot of this video was shot using a Hexacopter:
Zum Einsatz kam ein Photohigher Hexacopter, Glidetrack Shooter, HDSLR Devices Crane MK3, Sony HDR-CX700, Canon 5D MK III, Canon 35mm, Canon 70-200, Canon 24-105 und Samyang 14mm

My new music documentary shot on C300 and FS700 | Philip Bloom
Taster of soon to be released documentary about lead singer/ songwriter of Turin Brakes’ Olly Knights and his attempts to break his writer’s block which spanned many years by going back to complete basics and recording a solo album in his own home using old analogue gear from ebay.

Canon C300 vs. Sony FS100: Image Resolution Test | Jose Luis Hugo | Vimeo
Result: The Canon C300 has much more details and resolution in the image compared to the FS100. At 500%, the C300 shows it has a cleaner image compared the FS100. At 1000% magnification, the image from the FS100 is blurry while the C300 still has details in it.

Meet the 2012 Sundance Filmmakers #36: Mike Birbiglia, "Sleepwalk With Me"
| Indiewire
An interview with comedian Mike Birbiglia about his first new film:
But when I directed my first short in college- which was called "Extras" - I lost thousands of dollars and made an unsatisfying and incomplete film. Standup comedy became an outlet where I could perform my writing without losing thousands of dollars per week. After doing standup comedy as my job for 13 years, I circled back to film and here we are.

Motion 5: Make Audio Move Video | Larry Jordan
This article was suggested by Kiara Lovisetto, a newsletter reader in Italy, who wanted to know how to get video to pulse in time to music.
While we can’t do this in any version of Final Cut Pro, we CAN do it in most versions of Motion, starting with Motion 2. While easy to do, it is NOT obvious.

How You Turn Music Into Money in 2012 (Spoiler: Mostly iTunes) | Robinson Meyer | The Atlantic
Very interesting to see where the income on the web is:
The avant garde cellist Zoe Keating has allowed us see her revenue model. Earlier this summer, she posted the details of her Spotify earnings, revealing that every time someone listened to one of her songs, she made about three tenths of a cent. She also posted her iTunes earnings at the time.