Saturday, October 27, 2012

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Everything changes... IMPORTANT post | Jannard | RedUser
Red to drop the price of the EPIC on November 1st:
So. We could easily pretend and invent a new model to justify a lower price with higher performance. You are too smart for that. So are we. Instead... we will just lower the price of EPIC.EPIC continues to be modular. Dragon will be an upgrade. Meizler is a module. All is good in the world if you accept the fact that everything gets better, cheaper, faster and for less money over time.If you bought an EPIC in the past 30 days... we will offer a credit towards accessories. That amount will be posted along with the new EPIC pricing. Nov. 1st is when it happens.

The Business of Screenwriting: The Power of “No” | Scott Myers
| Go Into The Story
Sure, you would have been out the money, but you would have earned some creative karma. And if you have the good enough sense to reject a project that is clearly not one you have any business writing, something good will come your way. Maybe not enough perhaps to send Scarlett Johansson or Jude Law mystically scampering your way proclaiming their undying love to you – but a writing project that is more interesting and less soul-draining.

How Photoshop's Lens Blur Effect Creates Realistic Chroma Key Backgrounds
| Richard Harrington | Adorama
When you have a photo you want to use as a background, sometimes the focal point or the depth of field isn't suitable for using behind your subject when keying a green screen. In this in-depth episode shot exclusively for Adorama, Rich touches up four photos to use as potential backdrops for his green screen project. By using tools such as the camera lens blur effect, masking, or the blur tool you can make your own custom depth mattes that will work perfectly with your chroma key.

GoPro bets big on its Hero3 Black Edition | C|Net
the Hero3's smaller chassis, on-device display and controls, and superior resolutions and available frame rates make it the obvious winner in a spec battle. If you're a semi-professional or prosumer sports camera enthusiast, taking an extra day to figure out the Hero3's more complex control scheme is totally worth the greater amount of on-device flexibility of shooting modes.

Follow Focus | blue Studio | Vincent Laforet | Blog
Here’s a new, extremely full-featured follow focus from Redrock Micro.  The microFollowFocus | blue Studio is the professional upgrade to the microFollowFocus version 2.  The design is generally the same, but is slimmer, and now includes two adjustable hard stops that can be used to set close focus and infinity so that you don’t pull past either of these on still lenses, which spin infinitely.

Rick Young looks over the new FCPX 10.0.6 | Philip Johnston | HD Warrior
Unified Import
Use the new single-window interface to import from all sources, including file-based video cameras, DSLRs, external hard drives, and network locations. Choose the customizable List view to display a variety of clip metadata, or switch to Filmstrip view for a visual representation of all your footage. Even add commonly used locations to the Favorites sidebar for fast access.

Canon Can’t Even Make a Billion Dollars Anymore | CanonRumors
Canon’s Q3, 2012 results have been announced and the news is horrible. Canon only had revenue of $10.3 billion and an operating profit of $908 million. What’s at fault? Well, according to Canon: “negative impact of economic deterioration” in China and Europe. As always, the yen was blamed as well.

B.C. teen arrested for photographing mall takedown | CBCNews
Jakub Markiewicz ,16, said he was in the mall in September and took a picture of what he thought was a newsworthy event — a man being arrested by security guards. But Markiewicz said the guards quickly turned on him, demanding he delete the photo, which he couldn’t do because he was shooting on a film camera.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

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Mike Burnhill: While the EOS-1D C is based on the core specifications of the EOS-1D X, it has been further optimised to provide even higher quality video performance that’s suitable for cinematic production. While both cameras feature the same sensor and processor, several of the circuit boards are different due to the high data rates and internal heat generated by up to 4K shooting.

Capturing the Essence of the Edit | Ron Dawson | Dare Dreamer
One of the most effective ways you can shorten an edit is to get rid of all the ums, pauses, and tangential thoughts an interviewee gives. Usually the more nervous a person is, the more of these they will have. So it behooves you to make them as comfortable and at ease as possible during the interview itself.

Shoot Like a Pro Series - Interview Basics | Sony Professional | YouTube
Basic interview lighting in a video tutorial:
In this episode, you will learn tips & tricks for lighting and shooting an interview, indoors and out.The "Shoot Like a Pro Series" is directed by Chuck Fishbein, Crazy Duck Productions.

An interview with Michael Barrett, DP: Doing "No Good Deed" with Sony's F65 [PDF] | Sony
NOTE: If you're on a Mac, make sure you open this in Adobe Acrobat Reader; it may not display correctly in Safari or Preview:
This camera had a direct impact on the length of a shooting day as well as the locations chosen for filming. The sensitivity of the camera allowed for the use of much smaller lights, where were faster and easier to position. We were able to move in and out of locations that might otherwise have needed additional manpower and time.

Mac mini catches up to 2010 Mac Pro in benchmark tests | Electronista
The new Mac mini has reportedly reached performance levels comparable to the previous-generation Xserve and Mac Pro desktops released in 2010, according to benchmark tests posted by colocation service provider Macminicolo.

Redrock microRemote? | Ryan P. Kelly | RedUser
Ryan Kelly Shares His Thoughts on the Redrock Micro microRemote
Really love the System. I especially like that with the fingerwheel plugged in...turning on the wireless unit Maps the lens to the wireless. Turn off the wireless and control goes back to the fingerwheel...remapping it again. No need to recalibrate the lens when you want to switch.

American Cinematographer Spotlights ‘The Master' | Cigarettes & Red Vines
The decision to shoot the film in 65mm was "very trial-and-error" according to PTA. Cinematographer Mihai Malaimare Jr. confirmed, "At first, we were using 65mm for close-ups and sometimes for extreme wide shots. But as we watched our film dailies, which were 35mm optical-reduction prints from the 65mm negative, we were amazed at how different the 65mm looked from anything else we were seeing, even at the reduced resolution.

ENCRYPTING BASIC TV | David Rosen | Filmmaker Magazine
On October 12, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) unanimously approved a measure to allow the major cable companies to encrypt basic tier programming. Basic tier consists of traditional “over-the-air” broadcast channels. Previously, the leading Multi-System Operators (MSOs) were permitted to only encrypt programming offered as part of more expensive packages.

Want more crowdfunding? Target the Democratic states | Nathaniel Mott
| PandoDaily
Indiegogo goes into further depth on its site, but the results seem to suggest that if you’re looking to raise money for a creative endeavor and have something to offer in return, go with a Blue state (specifically New York, California, and, oddly enough, Oregon). If you’re simply looking to raise a little money and can’t offer anything in the way of rewards your best bet would be to target Red states (like Wyoming, West Virginia, and Arkansas).

Canon 5D Mark II Price Drop

The venerable Canon 5D Mark II is currently selling for $1,699. The $400 rebates end Oct 27th, though Canon’s rebates have already been extended multiple times and I can’t help think that they’ll probably continue until the camera is discontinued. The 5D Mark III has also dropped to $3,199.

$1,699 for a full-frame sensor DSLR which still does a pretty good job of capturing HD video is a very attractive price. The 5D Mark II has fallen in price almost $1,000 from when it first appeared. $1,699 is what I paid for the Canon 7D.

I’ve wanted a full-frame sensor DSLR for a long time – I like to use wide-angle lenses! – so I’m very tempted to buy one. The only problem is that, for video, today I'd rather save my money for the Canon C100 or the Sony NEX-FS700.

Way Back Machine
This September 17, 2008 post is the first I wrote on the 5D Mark IIThis SLR does bigger movies. Turns out I had no idea what this camera was going to be:
If I hadn't just bought the Panasonic, I'd jump out and get one of these; and yeah, I know it isn't practical as a primary video camera, but I think it could be really useful for special effects with wide-angle lenses. Oh, and a wicked-awesome SLR!!
...By the 21st, sample videos were out and Vincent Laforet was talking about shooting with the camera. It was just four years ago.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

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Canon 5D Mark III update to unlock high-end HDMI video | Stephen Shankland
| C|net
Canon promises an update to the 5D Mark III firmware in April of next year:
When shooting video, HDMI Output makes possible the recording of high-definition uncompressed video data (YCbCr 4:2:2, 8 bit) from the EOS 5D Mark III to an external recorder via the camera's HDMI terminal. This, in turn, facilitates the editing of video data with minimal image degradation for greater on-site workflow efficiency during motion picture and video productions. 

Canon 5D Mark III Getting Uncompressed HDMI in Official Firmware Update
| Joe Marine | No Film School

So why is Canon announcing this now, when we can’t get it until next year? There are a couple possibilities, but a good theory might be that they are trying to take away a little of the thunder from whatever Sony is announcing at the end of this month. It’s likely going to be a new camera with 4K capabilities that will slot above the F3, and while that’s worlds away from a Mark III with clean HDMI, this announcement may get some of the focus back on Canon.

What's new in Final Cut Pro X | Apple
Apple announced the iPad Mini, new hardware, and also released a significant update to Final Cut Pro X:
Multichannel Audio Editing
Edit multichannel audio faster than ever. A simple keystroke reveals separate audio channels when you need them and collapses them when you don’t — right in the timeline. Easily disable individual channels or select ranges for fine control of timing and volume. And access the Inspector to view details of any audio file, rename individual channels, or hide them in the timeline.

Final Cut Pro X: Best practices for updating | Support | Apple
Before installing an update to Final Cut Pro X from the Mac App Store or performing steps in Final Cut Pro X: Troubleshooting basics, be sure you have a current backup. Follow the steps below to back up your Projects, Events, and your current version of Final Cut Pro X.

Apple sneaks out significant update to Final Cut Pro X | Serenity Caldwell
| MacWorld
Version 10.0.6 is Final Cut Pro X's most significant update yet: The program now supports the RED camera line, adding both native Redcode Raw editing and transcoding to Apple’s ProRes format. The update also adds new multichannel audio editing tools to the timeline, dual viewers (allowing editors to compare shots on the fly)...

Final Cut Pro X 10.0.6 Update | Philip Hodgetts | Blog
Persistent In and Out Points
You got them. And it’s a good implementation, allowing multiple ranges to be created in a clip. I am not a fan, and wish it were an option. Over the last two months I’ve added keywords to “ranges” I didn’t intent to have because the In and Out were held from the last playback or edit I made. Not what I want.

Final Cut Pro 10.0.6 Quick Look | Mark Spencer | Pro Video Coalition
Paste Attributes.Yes, finally, you can now choose specific attributes to paste to other clips.  But most importantly, Apple has improved on it by letting you “stack” attributes so that previous attributes will not be wiped out by the ones you are pasting. You can even paste Audio Enhancements. This is something you could not do in previous versions of FCPX.

Editing Canon MXF footage in Final Cut Pro X ( FCPX ) without transcoding
| Paul Joy | Blog
After downloading the demo version of MXF Import and running the installer nothing much seemed to happen, but the next time I ran FCPX and navigated to some C300 footage with the import window it could see the MXF files.
One word of caution here. if I selected an individual MXF file in the import window dialogue box and tried to preview it FCPX would lock up, so that part didn’t work to well.

Actors and Actresses: What are the biggest misconceptions about acting, actors and actresses? | Marcus Geduld | Quora
One of the hardest aspects of acting is listening. Actors have memorized the script, so they know what everyone is going to say. As humans, when we know what someone is going to say, we tend to tune out. We do this without thinking about it, and it's really hard not to do it, as anyone who has ever been lectured by a parent can tell you. 

Corporate vs. Documentary Interviews | Ron Dawson | Dare Dreamer
I used the popular analogy of Michelangelo carving a statue out of a block of marble. He starts with the block, then chips away at it until it becomes the statue. Likewise, when conducting interviews during a documentary, the interviewee is that block of marble, and you’re chipping away (using your questions as the chisel) to get down to the “statue,” which is your story. Naturally, you’ll continue to chip and sculpt in the editing room.

5 Reasons you shouldn't wait to "Fix It In Post" | Chris J. Russo | Film Independent
1. Work backwards – think from finish to startOnce your editor comes on board, determine what your post needs are before you start shooting. Create a post workflow from the beginning that works. “Ask yourself, ‘what kind of movie am I making?’ The next Brokeback Mountain? Or Paranormal Activity? You need to devise a plan for how to make the movie you want.”

SMPTE 2012: Douglas Trumbull Urges 'Experience-Creating' Cinema
| Carolyn Giardina | The Hollywood Reporter
“It is now possible to make movie experiences that will be tremedously lifelike,” Trumbull said of the use of high frame rates, adding that this would be appropriate for use with the “types of content that IMAX has explored over the years. … such as being on board the space station. I would also like see dance, opera, Cirque du Soleil.”

Apple announces new iMacs with great features for video editors | Gary
| Videoguys
WOW! This is the iMac I've been waiting for! Ivy Bridge i7 processors, NVIDIA Kepler GPU, Fusion drive, Thunderbolt and more! Not sure if it has USB3 ports or not. The ability to upgrade to 32GB of RAM is sweet! This should become the go to desktop for Mac based video editors. The Kepler GPU will ignite the Mercury Playback Engine. . I'm sure the new FCPX will run great on it, and I'll bet Avid Medai Composwer 6.5 will as well.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

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A Complete Guide to Turning Your Garage into a Video Studio for Under $500 | Ryan E. Walters | No Film School
I’ll be the first to admit nothing replaces a professionally built sound stage or studio. I’ve had the opportunity to shoot on a wide variety of stages and I appreciate what they bring to a production. However, I have also needed a space where I could shoot some of my stock footage, as well as record my training videos. And I need that space to be affordable and accessible to me at any time. So I converted my garage into a mini “studio.” To learn how I got this done for under $500, continue reading 

| Filmmaker Magazine
The new toys that will be available shortly:
When the Sony NEX-FS700 was announced, 4K support was promised sometime in the future. The camera is now shipping, but it still hasn’t been explained exactly when 4K support will be available, and what it will cost, or what hardware will be required. As recently as two weeks ago, Sony reps were still vague on the cost details, though they did say that more information would be available shortly.

Sony NEX-FS700 Professional Camcorder Review | VideoMaker
More of a look at the features and capabilities of the camera:
Even though the FS700 and FS100 look very similar, there are several key differences that give the FS700 an edge over last year's model as well as the competition. The FS700 packs a lot of new features into a body that is slightly larger than the FS100, yet looks and feels nearly identical in practice.

FAQ: How can I play or preview sound (audio)? | After Effects FAQ List | Adobe
You can preview audio in several ways. The thing to keep in mind is that pressing the spacebar is not one of these ways. See the "Preview video and audio" section of After Effects Help for instructions for using RAM preview, playing only audio, and scrubbing audio.

October Camera Update | Digital Bolex
The silver lining is that we’ve hired an additional hardware guy, and two more software guys to work in house, so from now on we won’t be using any outside contractors for our engineering work. It will take a little time to get them up to speed, however. But once they’re settled in we should be moving a lot faster.

GoPro Formula Drift Camaro footage from GoPro HERO3 at 2.7K Color Graded
| Scott Simmons | YouTube
This video is a color graded clip from the new GoPro HERO3 camera. It was shot at 2.7K resolution, 23.98 fps and graded from a Cineform .mov file on a Baselight. That file was exported as a ProRes HQ file and encoded in Sorenson Squeeze using a modified WebM preset. The original resolution of the clip is viewable by choosing Original from the YouTube quality menu.

10 People To Avoid In Creative Industries | Kid In The Front Row
Good list; but how do you identify these people before the fact?
3. The Stressy.At the beginning of a day on set; maybe their hair looked weird. Or maybe someone gave them the wrong kind of sandwich. And they turn it into a big bag of stress. And they don't get over it. And they think the wrong kind of sandwich has caused a catastrophic nightmare, of which your project may never get over.

Corporate Video Interview Tips from the Best | Ron Dawson | Dare Dreamer
Get up close and personal. One tip he gave was to sit extremely close to the subject. Almost uncomfortably so. Keep your eyes locked on them. This will keep them distracted from all the gear, and keep the conversation more personal.

Consumer Electronics Association names Ultra HD definition of 4k | DP Review
The group also defined the core characteristics of Ultra High-Definition TVs, monitors and projectors for the home. Minimum performance attributes include display resolution of at least eight million active pixels, with at least 3,840 horizontally and at least 2,160 vertically. Displays will have an aspect ratio with width to height of at least 16 X 9. To use the Ultra HD label, display products will require at least one digital input capable of carrying and presenting native 4K format video from this input at full 3,840 X 2,160 resolution without relying solely on up-converting.

| Filmmaker Magazine
Here’s something I’ve always wondered: why are film investments always focused on the film, not the filmmaker? In other words, why don’t investors taking a chance on a first-time filmmaker get more than just the usually non-existent returns from that debut feature? Often what hits after the debut of a first feature is not the film but the filmmaker.

Is cinema losing its grip? | Peter Aspden |
A look at three books about the movies:
Some caveats: there is in all three of these books a disappointing over-concentration on Hollywood. The possibility that the future of cinema lies elsewhere is not meaningfully discussed but it is surely likely in our globalised times. 

Canon Wins 2012 Technology & Engineering Emmy® Award
| Broadcast Engineering
Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, announced today that Canon Inc. will be recognized at the 64th Annual Technology & Engineering Emmy® Awards for “Improvements to Large Format CMOS Imagers for Use in High Definition Broadcast Video Cameras.”

Monday, October 22, 2012

Quick Links

Handheld with a BMCC – Behind the scenes with Puberty Blues | John Brawley
| Blog
This is a good example of what to expect when shooting handheld with a BMCC. The camera had no rig at all and I was just handholding a straight body. I spent a single day shooting this and a day editing it together. I’ve seen a few discussions about not being able to shoot handheld with the BMCC. 

After Effects: Offsetting Position Keyframes | Zola | MotionWorks
In this Prosential tip, guest host James Zwadlo (@zola85) demonstrates different techniques for repositioning a keyframed motion path in After Effects

How to Build Your Own Hackintosh Mac Pro | Danny Greer | Premiumbeat
Apple is expected to announce an iPad Mini this week, but probably not a Mac Pro update. If not, you can always build your own Hackintosh following these articles from earlier in the year:
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.

Ep. 18 - Narrative Short Film (with Sean Meehan) | NeedCreative
| Anticipate Media
In this 18th episode of the NeedCreative Podcast, your co-hosts Paul Antico and Jason Sidelinger were joined via Skype by special guest Sean Meehan of Cross River Pictures to discuss Paul's new short "Arrowhead" and the challenging nature of very short narrative film. We also go over the many happenings in the past week in independent filmmaking. 

The Definitive Sony NEX 7 Video Rig | Michael Britt | Photo Cine News
So my goal for a great Sony NEX-7 rig was to make it small and portable like the camera, and to be able to switch to vertical orientation quickly and easily. Starting with the tripod head, I bought the Manfrotto MH055M8-Q5 Photo-Movie Tripod Head. This is billed as a hybrid head and it really works pretty well. It’s a ball head in one mode and a fluid video head in the other. 

Portrait of a projectionist | Philip Bloom | Vimeo
Portrait of Ridwaan Fridie. A film projectionist in the Labia theatre in Cape Town, South Africa for the past 24 years but with big changes on the horizon where does that leave Ridwaan?
Shot on the Canon 1DX in available light using the Canon 50mm F1.2, 100mm L Macro, Rokinon Cine 24mm T1.4. Rokinon Cine 14mm T3.1. Canon 70-200 F4

South Africa 3: New mini doc “The sea water drinkers” | Philip Bloom | Blog
Another short from Philip, this one shot with the Sony NEX-FS700:
For the vast majority of this piece I shot with the excellent optically, but mechanically a pain in the arse 17-55 F2.8 Canon with IS. A great handheld lens for APS-C and Super 35mm. I also used my “sniper lens” the Canon 100-400 for picking off long shots and lots of those super slow motion shots.


Sunday, October 21, 2012

Quick Links

Conforming and Finishing A Film in After Effects | SpliceNPost | YouTube
Behind the scenes look at how the short film "Reasons" was conformed and totally finished in after effects. The whole idea for the film was to build a workflow which was built around conforming my final cut and finishing it in after effects without the use of a smoke, avid ds or assimilate scratch which I use mostly for finishing. The hardest part of it all, you might think, is conforming your edits in AE, but it tends out that it's more easier than you think. 

CANON CINEMA EOS: THE C500; C300; C100 | Movie Machine
An overview of the three Canon cinema cameras.
EOS C500
2 versions are available: one to work with EOS lenses and the other designed for PL mount lenses. This cameras outputs 4K over 3G SDI and delivers the best possible imaging performance required by filmmakers. Aimed at top level production for cinema and broadcast.

The Canon EOS-1D C is Different Than the EOS-1D X on the Inside | CanonRumors
The information I have received backs up what Canon said at the development announcement of the EOS-1D C, it does in fact have a different hardware configuration inside. While the DIGIC V processors, image sensor and AF module are all identical to the EOS-1D C, there is in fact “reworked circuitry and design to dissipate heat for the 4K recording”.

Jordan Goldman on Editing Homeland | Bryant Frazer | Studio Daily
Similarly, a scene showing Carrie suffering an emotional breakdown after her CIA mentor (Mandy Patinkin) discovers that she's running unauthorized surveillance on Brody's home life, was cut in a fragmented style. "I used a lot of jump cuts to suggest a frantic state of mind — that she's really upset and losing control of things." That scene is a great example of the show's jittery style, which is exemplified by a jazzy title sequence that seems to comment on the brilliant but very nonlinear way that Mathison's brain works.

The Business of Screenwriting: Bitching About Pitching | Max Millimeter
| Go Into The Story
And that leads to the biggie. You come to pitch, I want concept, I want characters, I wanna see the movie, but mostly I want passion. This is a story you believe in, okay? This is a story you have come up with, you have sweated bullets over, you are willing to fight for, a ball-bustin’, titty-shakin’, in your face, goddammed big deal. So act like it, okay?

So You Want to Keep your Camera Safe? Here’s How | Ben Evans
| Digital Photography School
8. Scratch your Email Address on the Bottom and on the Battery
My girlfriend flat-out refused to engrave hers, so we settled on stickers! They’ll help honest souls return your camera to you, while an engraved name ruins resale value and makes it easier to trace so might help with theft. Email your serial number to yourself today.

Battle of Tokina 80-200 Zooms | f/2.8 vs f/4 | VintageLensesForVideo
The Tokina 2.8 is obviously better in every way, which was not a massive surprise, but there is not that much difference by the time you get to f/5.6 in video mode.  Both lenses produce pleasant bokeh and I must say, even though  the bargain f/4 zoom is not as good as f/2.8, it’s still a usable lens, especially good for someone how doesn’t have any lenses covering these focal lengths any needs something that could at least cover it until the invest in better glass.