Friday, December 06, 2013

The News

Inside Canon Japan 2013 | Creative COW
In November 2013, I went on a Canon Optics Press tour to Japan with a small group of journalists, to meet with and interview a number of leading Canon executives. We also enjoyed a hitherto-rare event: a tour of Canon's optics factory in Utsunomiya, which has ordinarily not been open to outsiders (even several Canon employees on our trip had never been) where we met many of the people responsible for making those lenses and saw the processes that go into creating them.

Say Goodbye to Old 5.1 Audio and Hello to the New Immersive Sound Standard | Cinescopophilia
Now, Study Group 6 has developed a system for the next-generation ‘immersive’ and ‘personalized’ audio system, which will allow TV audiences to be ‘enveloped’ in the sound as it traces the source of the audio track both laterally and vertically across the screen.

SC6Dual TRRS input and headphone output for smartphonesRĂ˜DE
The SC6 is an input/output breakout box for smartphones and tablets. With two TRRS inputs and one stereo headphone output, the unit connects to any TRRS device and allows the use of one or two smartLav microphones as well as headphones for monitoring and playback.

What Do You Do When Your Funding Falls Through? PROXiMITY | Filmmaker Magazine
What do you do when the funding for your short movie falls through? Make a different short movie! That’s what Ryan Connolly of Film Riot did after a large portion of the funding he was counting on for his big-budget short film project Outsiders fell through just days before shooting was to begin.

Grant Petty reveals origins of Blackmagic cameras (concept was offered to major manufacturers) | EOSHD
Blackmagic CEO Grant Petty has revealed he approached camera manufacturers in 2011 with the idea of producing a DSLR-style model with high dynamic range and increased video quality but was turned down. “They don’t care about the product. Their only goal is to extract as much from the business as they can. It’s incredibly short-termist, and greedy”.

Panasonic GM1 review – another pocket cinema camera | EOSHD
Panasonic have chosen not to remove very much from the GX7 and GH3 in creating the GM1 and it’s paid off, for this is an excellent camera in its own right for shooting high quality video and stills. It’s a great alternative to the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera for those who want a larger sensor and smaller file sizes. 

BBC expect 4K to raise the bar for quality broadcasting | IP&TV News
“What’s significant about HD was that producers loved the process of actually making in HD, they loved the way it looked. If you’re making what you make in a way that looks so much better, it shows if your presenters are a bit rubbish, your sets are a bit rubbish, and your scriptwriting is a bit rubbish.”

The Timeless Question: “What is my Next Upgrade?” | Planet5D
1) A Prime LensNo matter what type of shooting you do, there is that perfect focal length that you find yourself going back to over and over again. Maybe it is the sweet spot on your walk-around/ run-and-gun lens, or maybe it is an end of your zoom lens that does not deliver quite as sharp an image as you would like. 

More Arguments In Favour Of Cloud-Based Production Services | Definition Magazine
With the BBC aiming to increase out-of-London production levels to 50% by 2016, an increasing number of dramatic programmes are set to be filmed on location outside of the capital – but still produced with the help of staff in other locations. Aframe’s work for Timeline TV coiuld show that cloud computing approaches are more than ready for prime time. 

Thursday, December 05, 2013

The News

Only 7% of U.K. Films Earn a Profit, Claims BFI Report | Filmmaker Magazine
Only 7% of British films released from 2003 to 2010 were profitable, claims a BFI report issued this week at London’s Screen Summit. 

Visual Effects on a Budget – Don’t Fix It in Post | Filmmaker Magazine
Visual effects supervisor Scott Squires appeared this week in an online webinar for entitled “Visual Effects on a Limited Budget.” His number one tip? – Don’t fix it in post.

The Best Thunderbolt Expansion Peripherals for Editors | Jonny Elwyn
So I’m thinking of upgrading my trusty MacBook Pro later next year, but it only comes with 2 USB 3.0 ports and 2 Thunderbolt ports and an HDMI port. So I’ve already begun looking into how to expand it’s usefulness through all these nifty Thunderbolt peripherals you can get these days. Here is an epic run down on some of the best available Thunderbolt devices.

The final part of the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera review…includes a look at the groundbreaking new dedicated Metabones Speedboosters | Philip Bloom
"It is a better camera because of the RAW recording, though I can't see myself using it." He thinks the Blackmagic Pocket Camera is a good, but flawed camera:
Well I am glad I did, and I am also glad I waited this long to do the 3rd part. My original intention was not for it to be a long term test, I just simply didn’t have the time to get it done. Thankfully, this delay meant I was able to include both the raw firmware and the crazy impressive new “Speed Boosters” from Metabones.

Easy DIY Camera Jib from stardard parts by Chung Dha | YouTube
In this video I will teach you how to build a camera jib with remote tilt made from various camera accessories and you can find in a camera shop. And only need to drill 4 holes through a plastic pulley and the rest is super easy to put together.

7 Books That Will Enhance Your Creativity As a Cinematographer | Shane Hurlbut
The Shadow of the WindOf all of the books on my visual storytelling journey, this is the best. The way Carlos Ruiz Zafon describes light, tone and the mood of Barcelona will transport you immediately into this magical time and space. Never before were my eyes opened as much as after reading his book. 

Canon EOS M2 Not Coming to North America | CanonRumors
Myself and Bryan over at TDP were told by Canon USA contacts that there was “no announcement of the EOS M2 by Canon USA planned.”

The Little Film that Could | Corey Steib
Back in August of this year the CreativeInletFilms Team decided to get back together and do the (2013) 48 Hour Film Project: Orlando which you where given only 48 hours to write, shoot and edit a film in 7 minutes of running time using only one prop and one line of dialog.

1: Never Compromise PerformanceIn the end a film can look lousy but work because of a great performance but not the other way round. That’s something always worth remembering.

Good Video Editing Techniques to Consider | MasteringFilm
Avoid cutting between shots of extremely different size of the same subject (close-up to long shot). It is jolting for the audience.

Story Stuff Is Story Stuff | Creative COW
I've been noticing more parallels between good editing and good writing. Story stuff is story stuff, but it's been interesting to apply tips meant for writers to editing video – unscripted or narrative, or whatever you might be cutting.

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

The News

#3 BEING AGGRESSIVE IS A KILLER IN THE INDUSTRY.You would think, after reading #2, that being aggressive WOULD be a killer. After all, the “don’t” in that myth was someone who was very aggressive. But he wasn’t just aggressive; he was obnoxious. Aggressive is calling again when you don’t get a call back, getting your project made even though there are doubters, or putting your hat in the ring for a job that might be a bit of a reach.

IS TV THE NEW CINEMA? From 'Scandal' to 'House of Cards,' Pundits Continue the Debate | IndieWire
TV is good enough now, as Nussbaum says here, that it's no longer necessary to grade on a curve. Yet embracing the notion of the Third Golden Age (GA3) often seems to make people less rather than more critical. Safe in the arms of PBS or HBO, they relax and accept things that they would be tensely be on guard against if they were watching a network.

New showcase of VFX, Editing and Motion Graphics

How Many Films Does The Average Low-Budget Filmmaker Make? | Filmmaker Magazine
Only 15% of writers, directors, producers and actors continue to work on either side of the budget margin, while just 13% of producers who produced a low budget film go on to make another one. Shocking still, a mere 3% of directors who make their first film go on to make two more.

How Much Can Your Film Make From Festival Screening Fees? | Filmmaker Magazine
Keeping in mind that each film is its own unique animal and that screening fees can be driven up or down by various factors, here are the results of The Film Collaborative’s data crunching:
Range: $13,500 – $72,000
Median: $32,650

Atomos today released a new version of their AtomOS for the Samurai Blade external HD-SDI recorder. Version 5.1 focusses on screen color adjustments with controls for Gamma, Y Lift and Y Gain.Canon Cinema EOS users will benefit from a new on screen C-Log colour display. A single button push allows the user to toggle between Rec. 709 and C-Log colour.

Why Amazon's Original Series May Be More Successful (If Less Interesting) Than Netflix's | IndieWire
Considering Netflix's growth in terms of both popularity and revenue, it seems safe to say that quality has driven quantity in its case. But what Amazon is trying to do is almost the opposite. If you want to watch the rest of "Alpha House" and "Betas" -- whose first three episodes were made freely available online -- you have to subscribe to Amazon Prime, the company’s service that gets you unlimited free two-day shipping for $79 a year and access to Prime Instant Video.

Hurl World (With Shane Hurlbut) GCS018 | Go Creative
Today we speak with Shane Hurlbut, A.S.C, the world-renowned cinematographer for 18 feature films including Terminator: Salvation, Drumline, Act of Valor and the upcoming Need For Speed. Shane shares his experiences shooting everything from multi-million dollar blockbusters to music videos and commercials, plus, we learn how his hugely successful, HurlBlog got its start. You may be surprised.

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Trost™: A New Kind of Camera Slider for the Toughest Shots on Earth

This just came in; a new slider company. Looks like a pretty solid system...

Minneapolis, Minnesota – Trost Motion today announced the availability of a new kind of camera slider, tough enough for antarctic expeditions but so precise that it can be used for long lens and macro photography.

Although it weighs only 15 pounds, a Trost™ can support fully-kitted RED and Alexa packages up to 560 pounds. Camera motion is so precise that it opens a new world of product photography – slow tracking shots across the face of a wristwatch, the bubbles on top of a caffe latte, or a gemstone set in a ring – all of these shots become possible and repeatable.

Trost™ sliders can also be combined in a 2-axis configuration, giving camera operators remarkable flexibility and lightning-fast setups.

“The design of the Trost™ slider was informed by three principles,” said Derek Trost, Lead Designer at Trost Motion. “Smooth, flawless camera movement; durability and reliability in the field; and a simple, elegant aesthetic. In the process, I think we’ve created a truly remarkable new tool for filmmakers.”

“We believe that this is a new kind of optical instrument, as significant as a new kind of camera,” said Gabriel Cheifetz, co-founder of Trost Motion. “If you think of all the camera slider shots you’ve ever seen, they are almost all wides and mediums. Camera movement in long lens and macro shots has been nearly impossible to achieve. We’ve now changed that, and the new filmmaking possibilities are very exciting.”

The News

New Blackmagic Camera Specific Metabones Speedboosters | Cinema5D
Another look at the new Speed Boosters for the Blackmagic cameras:
So, what do these adaptors offer in terms of increased light sensitivity and angle of view? The Blackmagic Cinema Camera Speedbooster offers a 0.64 angle of view increase, and a 1 1/3 increase in light sensitivity. The Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera Speedbooster offers a 0.58 increase in angle of view, and a 1 2/3 increase in light sensitivity.

10 Common Elements Of Award Winning Screenplays | Raindance Film Festival
2. Heroes Have A Second Problem To SolveIn your bog-standard Hollywood movie, the cliche is of the action hero shot in the chest, the bullet stopped by an object in their chest pocket. Usually this is a copy of the Bible, or a picture of the girl they left behind.

SNL Editor Adam Epstein: 6 Pieces of Advice for Editors and Other Creative People | Tribeca Film
Oh, hi there – it says here that you’re an “artist” whose process of discovery requires chaos and a complete lack of structure or constraints? Buuuulllllshit. Work clean. Work really clean. Creative pursuits are innately loose, free-flowing explorations dependent on intellectual flexibility and improvisation, but there still must be a solid, locked-down foundation that anchors even the most insane experiments.

Compound Clips as Projects in FCPX – My Response | Dare Dreamer Magazine
A response to concerns about using a "feature" of FInal Cut Pro X that might change:
Earlier this year I wrote about a radical workflow idea for Final Cut Pro X where you do away with the use of Projects altogether and instead use compound clips. The most common response I hear with regards to this is method is “What if Apple changes the way compound clips work and that messes up all of your projects?” It was recently asked in a comment on this blog, and I even heard that concern brought up on an episode of “Final Cut Grill.”

Lens flare: how to avoid glare when shooting wide-angle scenes | Digital Camera World
Lens flare method 01: Fit a lens hoodIf your wide-angle lens has a lens hood, get into the habit of fitting it. It will cut down on unwanted lens flare when shooting scenes lit by low sun. Alternatively, use a piece of black card or your hand to shield the front of the lens – but check the viewfinder to make sure it isn’t creeping into the frame!

Will Delays in Blackmagic 4K Prompt Going to Next Model? | DoodleMe
Some speculation about the Blackmagic 4K camera:
The suggestion comes from NoFilmSchool’s Joe Marine, who points out that an update of the CMOSIS CMV12000 4K Sensor is about to come out and it can image at 300 frames per second.  Marine says that the problem is that even the current model of the CMV12000 is capable of 150 frames per second, five times more powerful than the how it’s being used in the announced Blackmagic 4K Cinema Camera.

New Dell Monitors Deliver Four Times the Resolution of Full HD | Dell
Here comes the 4K displays. Dell has a $1000 28" UltraHD monitor coming next year!
  • New Dell UltraSharp 32 and Dell UltraSharp 24 Ultra HD Monitors provide superb visual clarity for design professionals and other power users
  • Dell 28 Ultra HD Monitor delivers Ultra HD resolution at mainstream affordable pricing

Blackmagic Design Announces New Apple ProRes Formats for HyperDeck Studio | Blackmagic
Update for the HyperDeck Studio:
This new software update adds three additional Apple ProRes™ file formats, ProRes 422, ProRes 422 (LT) and ProRes (Proxy) which provides customers with significantly reduced video file sizes while preserving full frame 10-bit 4:2:2 quality.

Hosed The Movie | Kickstarter
This campaign for a local movie ends today:
Hosed began as a web series that I wrote and created about a volunteer fire department in the fictitious town of Effingwoods, NH. The overwhelming support and demand from fans for more has led us to kickstarter. We are trying to raise $200,000 to cover the pre-production costs and get us one step closer to making this into a full feature film in 2014.

Upcoming Events in Boston

MPC YEAR END MEETING. Wednesday, December 4th.
Revere Hotel Boston Common • Theatre 1. 200 Stuart Street, Boston.
6:00 - 7:30 PM Cocktails, Hors d’oeuvres
7:30 - 9:00 PM Presentations
2013 Massachusetts Film Highlights, MassAccess, MPC News and Updates


High Output Studios • 495 Turnpike St. Canton, MA.
Coffee & Bagels at 9:30 AM. Seminars from 10:00 AM – 12:00 Noon.

For our final seminar of the year we will be joined by a diverse group of panelists who use a range of platforms to distribute and promote their content, and market themselves. An emphasis on how the online environment and social media are used to engage audiences will be discussed, with insights from our panel on how they successfully distinguish and promote their work.

Seminar Panel:
• Michelle Cove – Author / Filmmaker
• Dave Cutler – Social Media & Community Manager, TIBCO Spotfire
• Erica Derrickson – Hollywood East Actors Group
• Ian McFarland – Director, McFarland & Pecci
• Mike Pecci – Director, McFarland & Pecci


A test with the Sony NEX-FS100 and the Metabones Speed Booster.

Metabones Speed Booster
Samyang 24 & 35mm T1.5

Monday, December 02, 2013

The News

Continuous Three Light Setup with Special Effects Lighting | The Slanted Lens
A really interesting tutorial, both on lighting, creative visual effects, and types of fog:
Today on The Slanted Lens we will use a continuous three ight Setup with Special Effects Lighting to create lighting for a superhero shot using a simple set, smoke and cookaloris or cookie. We will demonstrate the different hang times of the three Rosco smokes. We will show how to make a clookie or cookaloris and how to use it. We will show our lighting breakdown for the shot. Last of all we will show a very simple way to fly a cape. This has been a great shoot. I have a better understanding of the different Rosco smokes and how to use them. I hope you will find this helpful.

Turbo.264 HD – a quick and dirty guide for Mac based editors | Matt Davis
Turbo.264 HD by Elgato is a Mac application sold as a consumer solution to help transform tricky formats like AVCHD into something more manageable. Rather than deal with professional formats like Apple ProRes, it uses H.264, a widely accepted format that efficiently stores high quality video in a small space. For given values of ‘quality’ and ‘small’, that is.

Cinema Zoom Lenses | B & H
A look at Zeiss, Fujinon and Canon Cine zoom lens:
In general, zoom lenses made for still photos are a poor fit for cinema production. You can use them, as many low-budget indie productions do, but they lack many of the necessary features that are required for capturing high-quality cinema images.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire Editor Alan Bell on Editing for Performance | Filmmaker Magazine
“At the beginning I was concerned about matching, but it’s all about the performance. I’m looking for the best possible performance. I don’t care if it doesn’t match, I’ll find a way to make it match later.” By doing comparatively simple things – taking a face from one take to another, or cutting out a hand that’s in the wrong place – he found he was able to save a good performance that otherwise would have been lost. 

New Cameras and Upgrades: Fall, 2013 Edition | Filmmaker Magazine
Who says you have to wait until NAB for new cameras? In the past month alone there have been several new cameras, upgrades and other devices announced. Here’s a quick look at some of the most interesting ones.

A couple of interesting pieces about the Sony NEX-FS700:
What gear did you use? For this project we used mostly the Sony FS700 for slow motion and the Canon 5D mkIII to get the proper close-ups and medium shots. When shooting sport it is definitely a good idea to have a couple of cameras on set to not torture your athletes, because otherwise you have to reshoot the scenes too often. Due to the nature of this impressive sport they get tired quite fast and you want to help them stay hungry throughout the day. Otherwise the performance and inspiration of the freerunners will suffer or you are risking them getting injured.

Quick review of the Sony FS700 V3 Firmware: 4K raw and 2K High frame rate | Philip Bloom
I reviewed the camera over year ago (you can watch the review near the bottom of this post) and bought it not long after that. For me it really was the super slow motion that sold me on it. As an owner of a Canon C300, I wouldn’t use it for normal speed recording, as it doesn’t come close image-wise for me and, especially in usability, it really is a bit of a pig to use! 

F0.74 – new Metabones Speed Boosters break boundaries | EOSHD
Metabones has brought out two Nikon G to Blackmagic Speed Boosters, one for the BMCC and the other for the BMPCC:
It’s with the new Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 that I feel this adapter is a massive breakthrough. The two perform superbly together. On the Blackmagic Cinema Camera the Sigma actually breaks a record – the world’s fastest Super 35mm zoom. A stunning 11.5-22.5mm F1.1 with the new BMCC Speed Booster. It goes to F1.05 on the Pocket Cinema Camera and the wide end benefits from actually being wide! Nearly 28mm in full frame terms.

The Sony A7 and A7r Camera Review | Steve Huff
Well, to all of you who are confused, let me ease your mind…the A7 is just as good of a camera for 99.2% of users as the A7R is. You will lose nothing and may even gain some by shooting with the A7 over the A7r. But I will get more into  this later on..for now, let me get back to my talk about Sony being revolutionary in the camera world..because they are really the only ones who are at the moment with Olympus right behind them.

Samyang 85mm T1.5 AS IF UMC Lens Review | ePhotoZine
A pretty positive look at the $349 Samyang 85mm Cine lens, though it's primarily looking at it from the perspective of still photography(!):
If you've ever fancied experimenting with a fast aperture prime telephoto lens before, but have been put off by the cost, this lens could be the answer. With a price that's around the same as hiring the Canon, Nikon or Sony equivalent for a couple of weeks, this lens represents outstanding value for money.

Sunday, December 01, 2013

Adventures in Continuity: Colombo

I don't make a practice of picking out continuity issues in movies, and I know how hard they can be to eliminate. Still, it can sometimes be fun to find them....particularly if something doesn't leap out at you right away and you have to go back to recheck whether what you thought you saw actually happened.

Such was the case the other day as I was watching the first Colombo episode: Prescription: Murder.

In one scene, a character (actually, the murderer) picks up the phone, and then hangs it up, and the chord very obviously sweeps around the front of the phone. Actually, the chord almost stands out too much; it's reasonable to assume they put the handset on the "wrong" way so that the actor could easily pick it up - now there's a funny little prop staging detail that probably wasn't even picked up on until they came to shoot the scene.

Anyway, he hangs up (frame 1):

And about five seconds later (during which we're assuming no one made another call) it cuts to another view showing the phone with a very different looking chord. In fact it's so tangled you have to wonder if that scene was shot first, and then they replaced the chord for the first scene. Note to that the handset is turned around...