Saturday, February 11, 2012

Quick Links

A look at AVID media composer 6 | Tej Bebra | Philip Bloom
A sort-of follow-up to the earlier article on Philip's site with editors discussing FCPX:
Avid opening up to third party support really means they are going aggressively after editors and post production houses that are not happy about the state of current affairs with Apple FCPx. Now combine that with Avid Media Composer’s 6 new support of Apple Pro Res capture and encode, and you can really begin to see how much this means to the industry and how devotedly Avid has re-structured itself towards the editor. It really was not that difficult for me to transfer my Final Cut Pro projects over to Avid Media Composer 6, and continue using my BlackMagic Design UltraStudio, AJA , or even my Matrox MXO2.

How to export chapter markers from Final Cut Pro X | Digital Rebellion
A work around using Pro Media Tools:
There are several workarounds, such as adding chapter markers in Compressor, but these can be quite tedious as you need to create them manually. Luckily QT Edit in Pro Media Tools can automatically create chapter markers directly from the markers in your Final Cut Pro X timeline.

Here's how to do it:

Final Cut Pro X Master list |
A list of FCP X articles, including a pretty complete list of FCP X 10.0.3 articles.

DaVinci Resolve 8.2 beta 4 | Blackmagic Design
Blackmagic releases a beta 4 for DaVince Resolve that includes FCPX XML 1.1 support.

Rather disappointing results from my RODE subminiature lapel microphones
| Philip Johnston | HD Warrior
Philip encounters a problem with his RODE subminiature microphones:
I plugged the first lapel mic into my XLR cable only to get a buzzing noise…mains hum. Since this was the first time using the Canon XF100 I sat down to go over the audio settings in the menu, after exhausting all my options in the menu I changed the XLR cable, no joy.

Digital cinema cameras that save energy and resources | Sony
Article from Sony claiming substantial energy savings with films shot and broadcast digitally:
Skipping the step of film development also eliminates the need to use water and chemicals for this process, and there is a significant reduction in CO2 emissions. In contrast to a regular two-hour movie requiring six reels of film, the same movie produced with digital cinema technology can fit on one hard disk, which enhances distribution efficiency and lowers associated CO2 emissions.

Stereo 3D Video Production with GoPro | Jeff Foster | ProVideoCoalition
A look at the GoPro Hero 3D system:
The 3D Hero system works with both the original Hero camera and the new Hero2, but you may need to check for a current firmware upgrade to be sure your cameras will function properly. Check the GoPro site for update announcements. (The system is not compatible with the Hero 960 or standard definition cameras.)

Ed Burns Is Forever Indie | Paul Osborne | MovieMaker Magazine
I missed this interview with Ed Burns from last month:
EB: Obviously you have the freedom you don’t have in big-budget filmmaking, because you don’t have the guy who cuts the big check looking over your shoulder. Whether it’s somebody from the studio or just a private financier, no one is asking to know why, in the middle of the day, you’re deciding to scrap a scene or change a location. It allows you to be more nimble, more spontaneous. You free yourself from the traditional production shackles, which you need when you’re spending millions of dollars. When each production day costs you several hundred thousand dollars, you’re very accountable to what you get done. But in our case, we didn’t have to play by those rules.

Falling on Def Ears: Marketers Slow to Embrace HD Ads Luddites could miss out on as much as $8.2 billion per year | Anthony Crupi | Adweek
I'm skeptical!
After studying return path data culled from some 100,000 DirecTV households, DG and Kantar discovered that viewers are much more likely to stick with an HD spot than an ad shot in vanilla SD. All told, retention for HD spots was 18 percent higher than for standard-def spots, and that lift jumped as high as 28 percent when the ad in question was slotted in the “A” position of the commercial pod.

Filming Sherlock with DP Fabian Wagner | Philip Johnston | HD Warrior
The British seem to be on a roll with television programming lately; I quite enjoyed the first season of Sherlock.
Q12. If given a choice would you choose another camera to film Sherlock? i.e.. Sony F65, Sony F3, Canon C300 or a RED camera. Right now the Alexa would be my only choice, there are other good cameras but I like the Alexa best for all the above reasons. The medium is developing very fast right now though so you never know what might happen next.

Friday, February 10, 2012

More on the Blackmagic Intensity Extreme & Shuttle

I posted about the Blackmagic Intensity Shuttle Thuderbolt [$227] and the Intensity Extreme [$284] the other day, and I wanted to find out more about them. Here's what I have found out so far.
Intensity Extreme

My sources tell me that the Intensity Extreme should be shipping VERY soon. Officially it's supposed to be out Q1, but it may start shipping as early as this month.

The Intensity Shuttle Thunderbolt will be later, probably more like early Q2.

As I had surmised, the Intensity Extreme is essentially a more rugged (aircraft grade aluminum casing), portable, and Thunderbolt version of the Intensity Pro [$189] card, while the Intensity Shuttle Thunderbolt is the desktop version. One downside is the Intensity Extreme doesn’t do 1080p60/50.

The Intensity Shuttle Thunderbolt (the original Intensity Shuttle [$189] is a USB 3.0 product) will do up to 1080p60/50, but it's larger, not as rugged, and you'll have to wait for it.

Blackmagic tells me that customers that ordered the Intensity Extreme when it was announced, then realized the Intensity Shuttle Thunderbolt is better suited to their needs, can change existing orders that have not been filled.

Finally, apart from the 1080p60/50 difference, technically, there are no image quality differences between the two. Quality would be effected only by variables like source, cables, etc. If you were to have the same inputs/outputs for each, image quality would be the same.

Blackmagic Design: Intensity Models

Quick Links

How to Import C300 Footage in Avid, FCP X and Premiere | Andy Shipsides
| CineTechnica
Explains the software you need, and how to work with C300 footage:
Canon provides a piece of software called the Canon XF utility, which is used to playback and download clips off their original media. It also has the ability to view clip metadata, mark timecode, and even apply a LUT to Canon Log footage for viewing. The XF Utility is hard to find on the internet, so here is the latest version (also including Log & Transfer and AMA plugins). The C300 records to Compact Flash cards, so a simple CF card reader is all that is needed to attach C300 media to your computer. Launching the XF Utility gives you the window below:

MATH THE BAND "Four To Six" music video | Jonathan Yi | Vimeo
Jon shot one of the early promo videos for the C300 (which Canon didn't actually show at their announcement event) and now he's back with a music video shot with the camera:
Shot on a prototype Canon Cinema EOS C300
Additional explosion coverage angles shot with Red Epic and Canon XF305
After the release of "Canon EOS C300 = Awesome", Canon USA allowed me to shoot "whatever I wanted" on a newer prototype C300 in January. I wanted it to be as weird as possible, so I made this with my friend Sam and enlisted some friends. We hope you like it.

Light Craft Workshop Fader ND Review | jeremy widen | Widen Media Blog
An ND filter review:
Everyone knows that using an ND (neutral density) filter on a lens will allow you to knock down light a few stops. But having to constantly switch between different NDs slows down a production; and for guerrilla shooters that could be crippling. Enter the Fader ND MkII. This ND has an adjustment ring that allows you to swing between 2 and 9 full stops of ND.

CANON EF TO PL, IS IT POSSIBLE? | Matthew Duclos | Circle of Confusion
Can a Canon EF lens be converted to PL mount? Is it worth it?
This shows exactly what the problem is in most cases. the difference of the 44mm Canon EF mount and the 52mm PL mount is a mere 8mm but those 8mm make a huge difference. You essentially have to remove 8mm of material from the back of the lens to accommodate a PL mount. In this case that could mean cutting into critical components such as aperture linkages, focus mechanisms, and anything else that is located at the rear of the lens. This is where the expensive part comes in.

FINAL DRAFT for iPad is Finally Here! …and it’s only a reader? | Taz Goldstein
| Hand Held Hollywood
Everyone was expecting a little too much it seems:
The app is officially called Final Draft Reader, and as you guessed, it’s meant for reading Final Draft scripts on the go. It has no screenwriting functionality at all. Zip. I’m sure that will come as a major disappointment to many. I admit, I was bummed when I heard the news. But the fact is, Final Draft never said they were releasing a screenwriting app. That was all of US!

Avoid These 3 Practical DSLR “Gotchas” for a Smoother Shoot | Evan Luzi
| The Black and Blue
A few tips for new DSLR shooters:
3. You Have to Choose Between a Monitor or the LCD
When working on a true cinematic production, you’re used to having multiple monitors to see what the camera sees. At the very least, you’ll have a director’s monitor at video village, a witness monitor mounted to the camera, and an external viewfinder (EVF) for the camera operator.
WIth DSLR’s, you have to choose one of those.

How to Survive Filmmakers’ Big Egos | Eve Light Honthaner | Masteringfilm
Interesting article on dealing with difficult people:
I’ve worked for some very difficult people, and it always makes the job that much harder. When you’re in this type of a situation, though, you’re the only one who can decide if it’s worth it. Is your need for the paycheck, the credit or the experience more important than what you’re having to endure? Sometimes it is. I know many people who just refuse to work for or with the notorious big-ego-bad-temper types, and if you were to ask them why, they’d simply say, “Because life is too short.” Others do it willingly because some of the toughest producers and directors also happen to be some of the most brilliant filmmakers.

'No Future in Photojournalism' Interview: Dan Chung | Barney Britton
| Digital Photography Review
Dan has a great blog, the DSLR News Shooter, and here he's interviewed about going from photojournalism to video:
'A lot of it has to do with what editors are asking photographers to do and my impression is that editors are basically asking for video more in the US and Asia than they are in the UK. I’ve been running DSLR video workshops in the UK now for a year and they’re always packed out, so there’s obviously an appetite there, but it’s early days.'

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Quick Links

7 professional editors share their FCPX experiences | Philip Bloom | Blog
Seven editors provide very detailed explanations of their views on FCPX:
If you think this sounds like flowery hyperbole, you may be right. It’s hard to think of ways to convey feelings about software. So, I am merely trying to express the small sense of elation that I felt when I realized the upside of losing my trusted track framework. I felt encouraged to experiment more. I felt slightly liberated in my timeline edits. For someone who grinds away in editing interfaces day after day, year after year, for more than a decade, this was a notable change. There is something new here; a different way to edit.

Final Cut Pro X named PCMag's Editors Choice for high-end video editing
| Daniel Eran Dilger | AppleInsider
Interesting award, though I wonder if architects look to PCMag for software recommendations?
After its third minor update, Final Cut Pro X has been awarded "Editors Choice" for high-end video editing by PCMag for "loads of power, ease-of-use, and no-wait performance" and its "highly usable and precise interface."

Moving From iMovie to Final Cut Pro X | Larry Jordan | Larry's Blog
So many joked that FCPX was just iMovie Pro, but here's instructions for iMovie editors moving up to FCPX
With the recent release of FCP X 10.0.3, a lot has been written about the ability to – at last – move Final Cut Pro 7 projects to FCP X. However, there’s another segment of videographers that can also easily migrate to the power of Final Cut Pro X: iMovie users. Let me show you how this works.

Nikon D800 1080p sample leaves videographers giddy | Chris Davies | SlashGear
They don't seem to actually justify the claim that the Nikon D800 [$2,999.95] is leaving videographers giddy. I'm not saying it's not, it just would be interesting to have some explanation of the claim!
There’s also a behind-the-scenes clip showing how the D800 showcase was put together. It’s an altogether impressive piece of work, with the DSLR showing its strengths not only in capturing smooth high-speed footage but also in low-light situations and under harsh indoor lighting which can often spell death for flesh-tones.

Johnnies Behiri Tries Out A Pre-Production Nikon D4 And Gives His First Impressions | Johnnie Behiri | DSLR News Shooter
Thoughts after spending 24 hours with a pre-production Nikon D4 [$5.999.95]:
- Audio quality: Very nice. I dare to say that the D4 is producing a cleaner sound than my Tascam DR-100 audio recorder.
- Needless to say, having a headphone socket is a real treat.
- Crop factor: I can’t say enough good things about this function. Simply put: AMAZING! Nikon representatives told me that the best video quality produced by the camera is at the 2.7 crop factor setting. You are able to toggle between full screen and 1.5 crop factor as a second option.

DIGITAL CONVERGENCE PODCAST EPISODE 60: The Uber-Megapixel Nikon D800 And Has FCP X Got Its Groove Back? | Digital Convergence
Both the Nikon D800 and FCPX in one podcast!
Are the new Nikon D800 and D800E - each sporting a huge 36 megapixel full-frame sensor - worthy competitors of the venerable Canon 5D Mark II? planetMitch ( gives us the details on these new Nikon cameras.
The big news last week was Apple's 10.0.3 update to FCP X. Post-production guru Chris Fenwick ( gives FCP X's new multicam feature a thorough work out on a new music video that was shot last week.

Joy Ride - Behind the Scenes | Sandro | Vimeo
Behind the Scenes video of "Joy Ride" directed by Sandro for the Nikon D800.

Joy Ride - Behind the Scenes from Sandro on Vimeo.

Sony Announces Expansion of E-mount Lens Including 5 New Lens Types
| The Sony Blog
Not much detail here, and I can barely read the diagram!
For those doing the math, that amounts to 8 new lenses in addition to the 7 currently offered. Though official specs of the new lenses have yet to be released, we are able to share a larger diagram outlining the Sony Imaging Team’s strategy for this lens roll out. Take a look and as we get more info, we’ll be sure to share.

Cheap DIY Follow Focus Solutions | Evan Luzi | The Black and Blue
From clamps to Zip Ties, Evan looks at several very cheap follow-focus solutions:
Most of these DIY follow focus units will be more usable on still or ENG lenses. This is because those lenses are not geared like Cine-style lenses and a lot of these solutions depend on the sticky rubber of the still lens’ focus ring. Still, this could be a jumping off point if you’re trying to make a DIY cine-style follow focus

First Day Shooting With Sony F65 | M. Night Shyamalan | WhoSay
But will this be the first movie shot on the F65 that is actually released?
Day 1. Two firsts. This is the first time I am shooting on a digital camera. The camera I am using is a Sony F65, and I am the first filmmaker to use it.

Kessler Crane Equipment Test | Chris Weatherly | Blog
Most of this short film is shot hand held, with a few "epic" shots done with the crane:
Yesterday I got together with several of my video making friends to test some new Kessler Crane gear that Josh Fulkerson had purchased. Our main focus was to use the Kessler KC 12/8 Crane with Revolution Head and Oracle Controller. Josh also purchased a Cineslider, but I’ll save that for a rainy day.

Kino Flo LED Celeb 200 | the C47
This new LED light isn't out yet, but this may be the first look at what the presenter describes as "LED v2.0". Street price over $1,000, but under $2,000 [so $1,999 -Ed]

Autoscript Launches Pro Prompting App for iDevices | TVTechnology
PicoPrompt is $69, though there is the free version too:
Autoscript has partnered with Teleprompting Techniques to offer a professional prompting app for use with the iPod, iPad and iTouch. PicoPrompt is available via the App Store, along with Picoscroll, a free scroll app. Autoscript is also offering a scroll control and a connector for the i-Series range. It is also offering an upgrade to its WinPlus software.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

TVnext: Boston February 27, 2012

I didn't go to last years, and I probably won't be going to this years, but this day long conference organized by Hill Holliday could be interesting:
With over 25 speakers, TVnext is organized into three segments: INTEGRATION presents social TV case studies from some of the leading television networks. INSIGHTS dives into the research and learnings from the millions of social impressions we create while watching TV. And INTERACTION features the latest innovations of interactive TV on both the primary and second screens.
Date: February 27, 2012

Time: 8:30am – 5:30pm (EST)

Location: The Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston

Tickets: $450

Contact Us:


Mic Handling 101

Last week I went to an event at Rule Boston Camera given by Sennheiser’s David Missall. He provided a lot of tips, including this one on reducing handling and cable noise on lavaliere mics (especially cardiod mics - which are more susceptible - though omnidirectional's can suffer from it too.)

Just below the mic, loop the cable a couple of times and then tape it together (David uses surgical tape, which he says is also really useful for taping mics and wires to people's bodies!)

As I understand it, the loop cancels out a lot of the noise that can travel up the cable (and can also absorb some of the tension if the cable gets pulled.)

Mic handling seems to be a bit art-and-science, for more, see also: Sounds Of New Mexico: LAVALIERS: AN OVERVIEW [PDF]
DVInfo: How to use a Tie Microphone (Lav)

Quick Links

Canon announces Canon EF 24-70 F/2.8L II USM, plus EF 24mm F/2.8 and the EF 28mm F/2.8
Yesterday morning I posted a link to a rumor about the new Canon EF 24-70, and then Canon goes and actually announces it that day, along with a 24mm F/2.8 IS USM and a 28mm F/2.8 IS USM. The latter two include IS which, according to Canon, "combats motion blur by four stops."

In addition to a redesigned optical system - and it does have an 82mm filter thread - the mechanical structure of the 24-70 lens has been improved to offer enhanced zoom durability and greater shake and shock resistance. This is an interesting change, as according to an article I read about lens reliability, the current 24-70 was susceptible to early wear and tear compared to other Canon lenses.

B & H is already taking preorders at $2,299, which makes the current model $1,000 cheaper. I really wonder if the EF 24-70 F/2.8L II is worth that $1,000.

Pop Photo: New Gear: Canon EF 24-70 F/2.8L II USM and Two Wide-Angle Primes With IS
CanonRumors: Canon EF 24-70 f/2.8L II Announced

Sony FS100 & Zeiss Lenses a Perfect Match | Den Lennie | Blog
Den explains why he's getting rid of most of his Canon glass and replacing it with Zeiss to use with his Sony NEX-FS100. It's not just because of the lack of an aperture ring, though that is a big reason:
Then I did a shoot with Robin Schmidt and he has a set of Zeiss Contax and I really enjoyed using them. It's like having a set of cinema lenses and working to a fixed focal length discipline is very enjoyable because you work within set parameters of field of view.

Q and A with Bunim/Murray’s Mark Raudonis about their recent Avid switch
| Scott Simmons | ProVideoCoalition
Interesting follow-up on Bunim/Murray’s switch away from Final Cut Pro:
Pro Video Coalition: One question that many might be wondering is why not move Bunim/Murray to Final Cut Pro X?
Mark Raudonis: [...] Everything is SAN based, and a collaborative workflow is a central part of our creative process. After much testing, we concluded that FCP-X was not going to allow us to maintain the efficient workflows that we had developed over the years with FCP legacy.

FCPX and Making the Right NLE Decision for YOUR Business | Ron Dawson
| Dare Dreamer
And if you're thinking of switching yourself, here's some things to think about first:
Come Up with 3 or More Options. Consider at least three options seriously. Don’t just jump to any one program because that’s what most people may be doing. Remember, you’re making the choice that’s right for you. Based on your business plans, you may find another program is a much better fit for your business. But you won’t know that unless you look into them.

Want To Know UK’s TV Programme Delivery by Digital File Requirements
| Cinescopophilia
The specs for delivering video:
The Digital Production Partnership DPP is a partnership between British television networks ITV, Channel 4, Sky, Channel Five, S4C, UKTV and the BBC and has unveiled its new Technical and Metadata Standards for File-based programme delivery for the UK and International broadcast television markets.

Shoot Notes | Sam Morgan Moore | DSLR 4 Real
Sam breaks down a scene, cut by cut:
Experienced video shooters can probably skip this post but if you come from stills you might be interested..
'Physical Chess' is a little piece I made for fun, I hope it stands alone as a film or report or something
Thats kind of a first for me - pulling all the strings together, begining midde end, audio, picture..

Episode 41: Owning, Renting, and Selling Gear | DSLR VIdeo Shooter
Should you buy or should you rent? This video presents some thoughts:
  • Opportunity Cost – Understand that everything has an alternative cost.
  • Buying – Figure out what you use for every shoot.
  • Renting – Rent for those special gigs that require kit you don’t usually need.
  • Selling – Get rid of the gear you haven’t used in the last 6 months.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Rule Boston Camera - February Learning Labs

An interesting set of Learning Labs this month at Rule Boston Camera:

FEB 8 10am to 12noon

FEB 15 10am to 12noon

FEB 22 10am to 12noon

FEB 29 10am to 12noon

Vincent LaForet coming to Boston February 23

The Boston Creative Pro User Group is bringing Vincent to Boston at the end of the month:
Spend an evening in screenings and conversation with DGA director and Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Vincent LaForet! This is a rare opportunity to connect with Vincent in person - Vincent will screen and discuss various works that he has created in the intimate and state of the art Bright Family Screening Room. Vincent will talk about his transition from shooting with HDSLR cameras to his present work with large sensor cameras like the RED Epic, Phantom and his latest work shooting with the new Canon Cinema EOS C300 Digital Cinema camera. In an engaging message, Vincent will share how, while technology, from Canon cameras to Adobe Premiere Pro and After Effects, has changed the way in which Vincent today creates as a filmmaker, the importance of Story is top priority fueling Vincent's passion for Cinema and Visual Storytelling.

Quick Links

Review of the RED Scarlet-X | Philip Bloom | Blog
Philip risks the wrath of RED fanboys by reviewing the Scarlet. He says it's mostly positive:
Unfortunately the cool feature from the Epic, that is HDR-X, the ability to capture two streams of information at a different exposure simultaneously to create a much higher dynamic range, is missing in 4k. It only appears at 3k and even then only for 24p, not 25p.

The camera shoots up to 5k and when it does that the part of the sensor used is larger than super 35mm. More like APS-H. Unfortunately it is useful for nothing more than stills or timelapse as its fastest frame rate is 12FPS. Although you can get away with a little video with it if you need it as you can see in my test video.

Canon EF 24-70 f/2.8L II | CanonRumors
Rumors of a new 24-70 lens from Canon have been circulating for as long as the rumors of a 5D Mark III, and many think it will be available as a kit with the 5D III too. If it has an 82mm filter, then that's wider than the current model [77mm], but the same size as the current 16-35mm. A little more costly too at $1799-1899.

Cosina Voigtlander Nokton 17.5mm F0.95 – official! | EOSHD
Another low-light wonder for Micro-Four Thirds from Cosina:
Cosina are releasing a sister lens for the 50mm equivalent Micro Four Thirds 25mm Nokton F0.95.

The new lens will be equivalent to 35mm on full frame and features the same incredible aperture of F0.95 for extra depth of field control and low light performance on the GH2 and other Micro Four Third (MFT) cameras.

Eastern State Penitentiary - Canon C300 | Kevin Ritchie | Vimeo
A nice video shot with the C300. A separate version with ISO and grade/ungraded examples can be seen here: Eastern State Penitentiary Canon C300 - Canon Log w/ ISO Data
I spent about 2 hours wandering around Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia, PA with my Canon C300. I wasn't looking to test anything in particular, more just become familiar with the camera. I shot Canon Log the entire shoot and varied my ISO from 850 to 6400.

I was very impressed with the form factor of the camera. The EVF is very sharp and easy to focus. The LCD is bright and usable in daylight. As far as I can tell there is no moire. The camera has an extremely clean image to 2500, with acceptable noise to 6400.

Kicking the tires on the Final Cut Pro X 10.0.3 Multicam update | Scott Simmons
| ProVideoCoalition
Scott takes a look at the new multicam feature:
Don’t believe everything you read about the new FCPX multicam. It is good, well thought out and it presents a whole new set of tools when dealing with multicam setup that makes it the leader of the pack. While I wouldn’t go so far as to say Apple reinvented multicam editing with this release I would say they rethought it.
For a tutorial on how multicam works: FCPX INs and OUTs - Multicam Part ONE | Andy Neil | Creative COW

Final Cut Pro 7 crashing? The solution – update FCP7 when Final Cut Pro X is already installed | Nino Leitner | Nino
If you are doing a new install of Final Cut Studio 7, then install Final Cut Studio XFCP7 will get moved into a folder, which means that Software Update won't see FCP7 and update the FCP7 apps. This article explains how to fix that:
The solution is quite simple – temporarily re-name your new versions of Final Cut Pro, Compressor, Motion and Qmaster to “Final Cut Pro X”, “Compressor X” and so on, and move all the legacy apps from that Final Cut Studio folder back to the Applications folder. Then run Software Update. It will immediately recognize the files and suggest a Pro Video update which updates Final Cut Pro 7 to version 7.0.3 – the last version it will ever see.

UPDATE of G-LOG Profiles Version 1.1 | Frank Glencairn | Blog
Frank has updated his popular G-Log for the Sony NEX-FS100:
Fist of all: Thanks to all for that positive feedback and all the brave folks who tried my G-Log profiles. After gaining more understanding what the “color depth” actually does, here are the new profiles for G-Log (1.1).

Video Feeds and 'Unvarnished Truth': Hidden Cameras Capture 'Hell's Kitchen'
| James Careless |
A little background on the making of Hell's Kitchen: The most amazing thing? The Sony BRC-H700's they use so many of, cost $7,000 a piece!
To accomplish this goal, Weed employs 69 Sony BRC-H700 robotic pan/tilt/zoom HD cameras. These are scattered around the Hell's Kitchen complex, with many hidden behind one-way glass to provide unnoticed surveillance. (Twenty-six of these units are IR-capable for night shots.)

TUTORIAL: Maya 101: Intro to Maya | Daniel Reynolds | YouTube
It's not really directly video related, but here's a 17 minute tutorial on Maya 3D:
Welcome to 3d! In this Maya tutorial, we get you up and running in Maya 2012. We will create a cute little sword to demonstrate certain principles in the world of 3d. Enjoy!

Adobe Creative Cloud to be priced at $49.99 monthly, includes Creative Suite 6 and Lightroom 4 | Jacob Schulman | The Verge
More on Adobe's subscription plans:
Later in the first half of 2012, Adobe will introduce Creative Cloud, an end-to-end service offering that will grant users access to its upcoming Creative Suite 6 apps and provide ancillary services starting at $49.99 a month if you commit to a one year contract.

New WOC Hot Shoe Adapter For Sony NEX 5N. Under $40 | Wide Open Camera
WOC is looking at making a hot shoe for the Sony NEX-5N that's only $40:
The biggest downfall of this camera is the proprietary Sony flash mount. It limits the available on camera accessories to expensive Sony products to the tune of $129 for a hot shoe adapter for the Sony Nex 7. We decided to make our own. Dave Aldrich of Design By Dave on Twitter helped make our idea a reality.

Accusys A08S-PS RAID PCI Express | Steve Douglas | Ken Stone Final Cut Pro site
A review of this $3,000 enclosure and PCI card (drives not included!):
By now you should be assured that this is one wickedly fast RAID suitable either for individuals or companies working within a SAN. During the testing and the time I spent with it, it left me impressed on all levels. My contact with both the marketing and support personnel was most rewarding and educational. Support for the ACCUSYS RAID is provided by the dealer's representing ACCUSYS.

SONY HMZ-T1 Personal 3D Viewer Review | Marshal Rosenthal | Gadget Review
A review of the Sony HMZ-T1 Personal 3D Viewer [$799.99], which doesn't appear to be available yet:
Putting the Sony on for the first time is a bit involved because a correct fit is vital to seeing a uniform image. Place it on your head as if it was a catcher’s mitt or, for those less sports inclined, as if you were putting on a baseball cap starting from behind the crown of your head. Pull the Viewer forward and down until your nose meets the bridge at the front. Now you make two adjustments — one changing the distance between the two lenses and the front of your eyes using push-in tabs for forward/backward movement; then readjusting the clips attached to a plastic strap framework that grips the side of your head.

Monday, February 06, 2012

Behind-The-Scenes video: "Playing With The Canon C300"

I previously wrote about a test shoot I attended with the Canon C300 a couple of weeks ago. To recap;
Daniel Bérubé of the Boston Creative Pro Users Group (formerly the Boston Final Cut Pro Users Group) arranged for the location, and the use of an EF mount Canon C300. Also present were Don Bérubé (who helped configure the camera and shot a lot of stills of the event), Baylee Ricci who graciously acted as a model, while DP's and shooters who got to play with the camera included Rick Macomber, Chris Loughran, Benjamin Eckstein and Norman Lang, with several others dropping in.
Apart from Don and Dan, no one had used the camera prior to the event.

Here's the video I shot "behind the scenes" of the evening. There's also interviews with Dan, Rick, Chris and Ben. I'm told that the actual video shot with the C300 will be posted online sometime soon. Special thanks to Dan, Rick, Chris and Ben for letting me shoot them learning to use the camera and also for letting me interview them.

Thanks also to Mike Sutton, who arranged for the loan of the Kessler Pocket Dolly and Crane.

See also: NotesOnVideo Playing with the Canon C300

Sunday, February 05, 2012

Capturing video for streaming with HDMI rather than Firewire

At today's Boston Media Makers meeting, Steve Garfield brought along a Blackmagic Design UltraStudio 3D [$945] to demo. He explained that if you want to stream video live from a video camera, it is getting increasingly hard to find cameras with Firewire ports - the way most people have been doing it for the last ten years. Now most of the video cameras output only an HDMI signal.

UltraStudio 3D

The UltraStudio 3D is one solution that lets you connect to an HDMI source, and then connect the UltraStudio to a recent Mac via Thunderbolt. Steve said that it worked well, though the UltraStudio 3D costs almost $1,000.

For those on a budget, Blackmagic has two other devices; the Intensity Shuttle Thuderbolt [$227] and the Intensity Extreme [$284] It doesn't appear that either are shipping just yet, and I believe the primary difference between the two models is that the Intensity Extreme is smaller and more rugged, making it more suitable for use in the field.
Intensity Extreme

Blackmagic Design: Intensity Models

Quick Links

Interview with gaffer Eddie Knight about working on Stephen Spielberg's Warhorse:
AN: How about the battle sequences that take place at night?
EK: David Devlin, the lighting director Janusz brought over with him, really likes to use a lot of light and he came up with the idea for a massive lighting bank that we then constructed, with something like 26 Dino pods, two 250 Lightning Strikes and an 18K ARRIMAX. It went back to a dimmer operator and all the pods could flash on cue, in time with the explosions. We had two of those, 120-foot up on cranes, and then other smaller units around with ARRIMAX 18Ks and Dinos flashing. They even put in a CableCam rig with flares on; there were four huge cranes with all these wires and it took them days to rig it. Then when they let off the first flare it scared the horse and Spielberg told them not to use it again!

7 Things You Should Never Say To Filmmakers | Elliot Grove | Raindance
Personally, I don't mind hearing "I really liked your movie"
Fade Out
Want to get noticed by a filmmaker? Just say, with conviction: "I really loved your work." And be prepared to follow up with specific scenes and references which will demonstrate you have seen and studied their film.

Building a better dolly | Frank Glencairn | Vimeo
Nice video of the metal-work involved in assembling a heavy-duty dolly; it might give you an idea for your own construction, but there's no actual plans or instructions!:
A friend of mine, that runs a speed shop helped me to bolt my construction together (I suck at welding).
It stil looks a bit prototypeish, cause there are some bits and the finishing missing, but you get the idea.

Adobe: Here's why Creative Cloud is worth $600 a year | Stephen Shankland
Adobe explains all the things you'll get, including Adobe's Muse and Edge, Lightroom 4, and early access to new features. They also say that if the adoption rate is high enough, they could go to an all-subscription model:
Creative Cloud has several other elements, too, including 20GB of online storage that can be used to sync files across multiple machines, access to Adobe's digital publishing tools for repackaging magazines or other content for tablets, use of the TypeKit service for using fonts on Web sites, and use of Adobe's Business Catalyst service for hosting Web sites.

Digital Filmmakers Podcast Episode #83 | Filmmaking Webinars
In this free podcast Larry Jordan talks about Advanced Video Compression Techniques, specifically answering more questions that were asked in their compression webcast:
In this episode, Larry Jordan talks to us about the advanced features in Compressor 4, then compares them to Telestream Episode Pro. In between all of that, he manages to also talk a bit about FCP X.

Your First Draft: The Easiest Hardest Draft You’ll Ever Write | Jill Remensnyder
| Zacuto
Another in a series from Jill on scriptwriting:
Some writers are blessed with the ability to sit and write without direction; nothing but an idea, inspiration, and dedication to seeing their idea come to life. The majority of people I meet who set out blindly like this usually end up discouraged or driven to madness when their story hits a brick wall or the characters (and/or premise) that appeared bulletproof in those passing daydreams end up flailing and falling apart by the 2nd Act.

How It's Made: Football Games in 3D on TV | Sony | YouTube
How a live 3D sports broadcast is made:
From angles to goal post cameras we got the inside scoop in how they bring us in how they make us feel like we're on the field while sitting on our couches. Now though tomorrow's game will not be broadcast in 3D, we thought we'd plant the seed now to encourage networks to try it out. If anything I'd like to see some rockin commercials in a third dimension.

Final Cut Pro X Comments | Twitter
@rhedpixel | Richard Harrington
I do believe that Apple is (now) aiming for pros (as well as others) with #FCPX... watching a preso where their doing best to show me that.

@editblog Scott Simmons
I'm about done playing with this new #fcpx for the night. some solid features in this update. It might win back a few folks but others, nope