Category Archives: Post Production

Things for Today

On-Set Job: Script Supervisor

If you’ve only worked on small budget projects or been in a black box you most likely haven’t worked with a Script Supervisor. Ever wonder what a SS does? LightsFilmSchool.Com has a great interview and overview of what a Script Supervisor does on and off set.
Why Your Film Needs a Script Supervisor

Equipment: Camera

I admit it… I love cameras! Although I don’t shoot as much as I’d like due to a busy schedule, I really do appreciate the technology that goes into a modern camera. It is a bled of analog and digitial technologies that records the “here and now” for the future historians. Here’s a in-depth review of the Panasonic AG-DVX200. I have a Panasonic HMC-150 and it is a work horse. I’d buy this camera if I had enough work to justify the purchase.

DVX200-P1040081-720x556

Equipment: Recorders

Over the past few years the economics of the computer revolution have trickled into the video world. There’s this theory in the computer world called Moore’s Law which simply states advancements in digital electronics such as processor, memory capacity, sensors and even pixel density will double every 18-24 months while prices stay relatively the same.

This observation works well for the patient buyer. As electronics advance, prices of equipment from two years ago start to decline, sometimes rapidly.  Although my explanatino isn’t eliquent or totally concise the bottom line is that camera and camera related electronic/computer equipment will continue to get better and cheaper.

An example is the announcement from Atmost that they are cutting, significantly, the cost of the 4K recorders. Here’s the story from  No Film School.

Atomos-Shogun

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Filed under Jobs, Post Production, Pre-Production, Production

This Week’s Things: 10/30/2015

Equipment

What is this thing: Tangent Ripple – Color Correction Panel
Article Link: http://nofilmschool.com/2015/09/tangent-ripple-color-correction-control-surface-you-can-actually-afford
tangent_ripple_control_panelNotes: Doing a lot of color correction/color grading? Want a tactile panel? Here’s an affordable solution. 

 

What is this thing: Black Magic URSA Mini
Article Link: http://nofilmschool.com/2015/09/everything-you-wanted-know-about-working-blackmagic-ursa-mini
Notes: Doing a lot of color correction/color grading? Want a tactile panel? Here’s an affordable solution. URSA-Mini

What is this thing: Artemis Maxima
Article Link: http://www.premiumbeat.com/blog/amazing-new-camera-rig-artemis-combines-a-gimbal-and-stabilizer/
Notes: Gimbals and Stabilizers are getting better and cheaper. Well, almost cheaper. Here’s a cool G&S but it will set you back 20K or so.Artemis Maxima

What is this thing: Paralinx Video Transmitter and Receiver
Article Link: http://nofilmschool.com/2015/09/paralinx-ace-wireless-video/
Company Website: http://www.paralinx.net/store/paralinx-ace
Notes: I put together a pretty good Wireless TR/RX for about $ 600.00. However sometimes, you want a vendor complete system and this one is pretty reasonable at $ 1,299.95.paralinx_ace_sdi_combo

Film Making Tips

What is this thing: 10 Lessons on Filmmaking From Wes Anderson
Article Link: http://nofilmschool.com/2015/09/everything-you-wanted-know-about-working-blackmagic-ursa-mini
Notes: I’m #6 on the list for a 4.6K URSA mini at Showcase Video in Atlanta, Ga. for a URSA mini. I’m hoping that this will take my capabilities to the next level as a Cinematographer. Here’s a good review of the URSA mini.

What is this thing: Enough Coverage is Enough – Why shooting too much coverage can be a “bad thing”.
Article Link: http://www.premiumbeat.com/blog/why-shooting-too-much-coverage-is-bad/
Notes: In my experience as a DP I find that Directors who shoot way too much coverage do so because they are not prepared. Shooting too much coverage is usually done by inexperienced Directors during their “learning” projects. Don’t be a Dump-Truck Director. Get the coverage you need and know what coverage you need by preparing before you get onset.

Color Grading/Color Correcting

What is this thing: How to apply a LUT in Premier Pro
Article Link: http://www.premiumbeat.com/blog/quick-tip-applying-luts-to-footage-in-premiere-pro/
Notes: LUTS are cool. Here’s a basic quick tip on apply them in Premier Pro!
Need pre-made LUTS – here’s Rocket Rooster
While you’re looking at LUTS, here’s a quick tutorial on how to Save Lumetri Color Presets within Premiere: http://www.premiumbeat.com/blog/quick-tip-saving-lumetri-color-presets-in-premiere-pro/

What is this thing: Learn Resolve
Article Link: http://www.premiumbeat.com/blog/the-best-places-to-learn-resolve/
Notes: Want to learn Resolve and Color Grading? Here’s list of resources where you can start.

Editing

What is this thing: How to Organize Your Digital Film Media
Article Link: http://www.premiumbeat.com/blog/how-to-organize-a-feature-film-edit-like-a-pro/
Notes: I have a friend who has the filmmaking “eye” yet he is the worse organizer of his digital media. Some artists just don’t have that attention to detail, especially while doing the edit. They are so concerned with getting the film edited the way they see it that the chaotic mess of the project doesn’t bother them. However, if you ever want to be an effective editor you need to learn how to organize your digital assets. Here’s an article that can help get you started.

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Filed under Camera Support (Tripod, Gimbal, Steady Cam), Cameras, Directing, Editing, Equipment, Green Screen, Post Production, Special Effects, Wireless

This Week’s Things: 05/18/2015

3D Software

 What is this thing: Software – 3D Compositing
Article Link:http://www.thefoundry.co.uk/products/nuke/non-commercial/
Notes: Do you want to learn 3d Compositing on an industry standard platform? Nuke now offers a non-commercial, fully functional (almost) version. Have fun learning!image

Post Production

What is this Thing: Post Production Action Element
Things Type: Free post production video elements
Linkhttp://www.premiumbeat.com/blog/329-free-action-elements-for-video-editors/
Notes: You never can have enough action elements for your post production. Premium Beat has links to 329 free action elements. Go get ‘em!

image What is this Thing: Free HD Design Elements
Things Type: Free post production video elements (4K)
Linkhttp://rampantdesigntools.com/free-download-sign/
Notes: Love the free “real” video elements.

What is this Thing: Post Production After Effects
Things Type: 10 Free After Effects Assets
Linkhttp://www.premiumbeat.com/blog/10-free-after-effects-assets/
Notes: 10 After Effects assets such as preset, plug-ins, effects. Who doesn’t like free?

What is this Thing: Post Production After Effects
Things Type: Free Distortion Kit (template)
Linkhttps://www.rocketstock.com/blog/free-after-effects-template-digital-distortion/
Notes: On a roll with the free After Effects templates!

image What is this Thing: Post Production After Effects
Things Type: Free Dynamic Car Gauges (template)
Linkhttps://www.rocketstock.com/blog/free-after-effects-template-dynamic-car-gauges/
Notes: Rocketstock is giving away a car-gauge template for those street racing projects.

What is this Thing: Video Editing – Premiere
Things Type: Creative Cloud Next – 2015 Release What’s New
Linkhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O1clWi4hta4
Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CidKLsPsht0
Notes: I’ve been an Adobe Premier/AE/Photoshop user for a very long time. Adobe continues to add more features to their suite of video/image editing with every release. A lot of people were upset with Adobe changing their licensing model. There are benefits to the cloud pricing model and there are liabilities. For me, the benefits outweigh the liabilities. I like the fact that I’m paying for the applications a little each month while I’m actually making money using them. The biggest benefit is that as Adobe adds features I get them. This thirty minute video cover in-depth some of the major updates to the next version of Premiere Pro. The second link is a five minute video interview with Patrick palmer of Adobe about some of the new features.image

What is this Thing: Video Editing – Premiere
Things Type: How to Move Audio Keyframe with a Keyboard Shortcut
Linkhttp://www.premiumbeat.com/blog/three-quick-tips-for-editing-in-premiere-pro/
Notes: I like keyboard shortcuts.

What is this Thing: Video Editing – Premiere
Things Type: Pull Selects Faster
Linkhttp://www.premiumbeat.com/blog/premiere-pro-tutorial-pull-selects-faster-than-ever/
Notes: There is more than one way to work within Premiere. Here’s a good tutorial on how to pull selects from the source monitor.

Video of the Week

The guys over at Film Riot are having a summer of shorts. This month they debut Seth Worley’s short film: Real Gone
Linkhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=50F5Lhea8Lw
Notes: There’s a lot of behind the scenes and general filmmaking goodness over at the FilmRiot.Com website.image

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Filed under After Effects, Films to Watch, Post Production, Premiere, Software, Tutorial

The NAB 2015 Equipment-Feast!

The North American Broadcaster Association annual Las Vegas extravaganza has come and gone. I haven’t had the joy of attending a NAB yet. I usually find walking around for hours on end and not being able to buy 99% of the coolness would drive me crazy. So, I sit in the comfort of my chair and surf for hours on end looking at all the reviews and being driven crazy that I can’t buy 99% of the stuff I see! I know, the definition of LOONY. 😉

Lots of coolness at NAB again this year. Let us start out with…

Cameras

image Canon C300 Mark II
Product Link: http://www.usa.canon.com/cusa/professional/products/professional_cameras/cinema_eos_cameras/eos_c300_mark_ii
Notes: Canon has upgraded their C300 first generation and added 4K amongst other features. One nice features is that the C300MII will record 4K internal via CFast cards. CFast is not a cheap investment though. However, for run-and-gun you now have to option of 4K on a small form factor camera without a bulky external monitor/recorder. The draw back is that Canon has priced this camera firmly in the professional level with a street price of $ 15,999.00

image Red Weapon
Product Link: http://www.red.com/products/weapon-dragon
Notes: Red’s “4th” generation camera package. Red surely will be credited with the digital revolution for filmmakers. This next incarnate builds on the Dragon sensor and adds more flexibility to the camera body and more importantly a 8K, full frame (Vista Vision), 40mm x 20mm CMOS sensor.

image Blackmagic URSA Mini
Product Link: https://www.blackmagicdesign.com/products/blackmagicursamini
Notes: For $ 2,995.00 this is another great announcement from Black Magic for the budget minded filmmaker. I would have preferred ND filters to be included, but for the price, you can deal with having to have a matte box or a ND filter for your lens. Althought $ 2,995.00 is the bare bones price, you can expect to add another $ 500.00 to make the camera complete with shoulder mount and v-lock battery plate. As a bonus, you get a complete copy of DaVinci Resolve ($ 995.00 value).

image Blackmagic Micro Cinema Camera
Product Link: https://www.blackmagicdesign.com/products/blackmagicmicrocinemacamera
Notes:

Not to be outdone by Blackmagic, Blackmagic also announced a cool little remote control 16mm micro cinema camera. At just $ 995.00 it has a lot of options for use. The small form factor will allow it to be used on aerial platforms and in situations where a small package is highly desirable. For me the Micro Four Thirds lens mount is an issue as I don’t have any equipment to support that format.

image Panasonic AG-DVX200
Product Link: Ha, can’t find one.
Notes: I have a HMC-150 and absolutely love it. Yes, it is old technology and was a entry level professional camera. But, I tell you this – for run and gun and live events it provides very nice HD images and hasn’t given me one minute of issues. With all the latest camera developments it seems like Panasonic is in lala land. Sure, they have Lumix line of cameras and those are incredible for their price. Panasonic has introduced the DVX200, which looks great for certain use-cases. The cost is anticipated at $ 5,000 bucks.

image JVC GY-LS300 4K Micro Four Thirds
Product Link: http://pro.jvc.com/prof/attributes/features.jsp?model_id=MDL102318
Notes: Again, for me, the 4/3’s mount system is a deal breaker since I’ve invested in EF and E-Mount lens. However, the big announcement at NAB is that JVC has dropped the prices for this camera to the $ 4,300 dollar range. There are a lot of camera options out there now at unbelievable price ranges.

Gimbal

image DJI Ronin “M”
Product Link: http://www.dji.com/product/ronin-m/feature
Notes: This is a smaller, lighter and cheaper version of the Ronin that came out last year. At $ 1395.00 this gimball will support packages up to 8lbs., which covers a lot of camera packages.

Aerial Platform/Drone

image 3D Robotics Solo
Product Link: http://3drobotics.com/solo/
Notes: I have a DJI Phantom II with a GoPro 4 and love the images I get. This quad copter/drone from 3D Robotics has more flying features and video downlink features and for the all-in price of $ 1399 it is one of the better deals going for a GoPro platform.

Monitor

image LG 31MU97-B 4K DCI Display
Product Link: http://www.lg.com/us/monitors/lg-31MU97-B-4k-ips-led-monitor
Notes: There are cheaper professional 4K monitors and there are more expensive ones. This one from LG claims a 99.5% Adobe RGB colour gamut. At a street price of $ 1,295 this monitor is getting good reviews.

Software

Adobe Creative Cloud NEXT
Product Link: http://creativecloud.adobeevents.com/ccnext/#/od-video/full
Premium Beat’s coverage of the major updates: http://www.premiumbeat.com/blog/video-editors-rejoice-adobe-unveils-creative-cloud-next/
Notes: I am a Adobe crack product addict. Yea, I think for the price even the Creative Cloud subscription is a deal. You get so many products that are category leaders. If you’re making money in the film/video business the Creative Cloud product suite is a set of tools that you simply can’t go wrong with.
image

DaVinci Resolve 12
Product Link: https://www.blackmagicdesign.com/products/davinciresolve
Notes: I’m just getting into using Resolve. The great thing about Resolve is each version has “lite” version that is free to download and use. Usually a light version is, well, light on the features. But Blackmagic doesn’t do that with Resolve. Most filmmakers can get along with the free version. Over the past three years Blackmagic Designs has slowly increase DaVinci from a color grading/correcting software package to a more full featured correcting and editing solution. Resolve 12 boast 80 new features including multi-cam editing, media management tools, new audio engine. Here’s a “What’s New” video from Black Magic: https://vimeo.com/124839943image

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Filed under Cameras, Color Correction/Grading, Equipment, Monitor, Post Production, Software

This Week’s “Things” – Week of 1/19/2015

Film Making Process

What is this Thing: 15 Mistakes Beginning Filmmakers Make
Things Type: Education – Filmmaking
Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t1myw_0W5E8&x-yt-ts=1421782837&x-yt-cl=84359240image
Notes: I’m really digging this guys videos. I previously sent out a video Darious did on the three act screen play. Darious maintains a great pace, shows examples and entertains us as he gives good advice on filmmaking. You can catch Darious at his Youtube channel.

Lighting Equipment

What is this Thing: LED Light Ribbon
Things Type: Equipment
Link: http://store.litegear.com/default.asp
imageNotes: I have purchased LED light ribbons in the past, but haven’t used them on a shoot. This site sells higher end LED ribbons – found this site through DP Shane Hurlbut’s website. These ribbons are pricy compared to the LED light ribbons I’ve purchased off Amazon. Without testing I don’t know if they are worth the extra cash – I’m sure they are useful , else Shane’s team wouldn’t use them.

Audio

What is this Thing: Four tips for increasing the quality of voice over’s in Adobe Audition.
Things Type: Education – Adobe Audition
Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=6x__NthInRs
Notes: For tips for using Adobe Audition to enhance voice over’s. I use Audition, not exclusively, for a lot of sound enhancing when editing. Here are tips on using hotkeys, equalizing, normalizing and dynamic rendering in Audition.

What is this Thing: Sound Acquisition on Set.
Things Type: Education – Sound Acquisition On Set
Link: http://vimeo.com/116200417
Notes: Sound Designer/Mixer Jonah Guelzo discuss on set sound acquisition. Get the sound at the source instead of trying to fix it in post. Good information here, but looks like the information was sponsored by Rhode. I have Rhode equipment and have never had any issues.

What is this Thing: Wireless Transmitter & Receiver.
Things Type: Equipment – Wireless Audio
Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?x-yt-cl=84359240&v=uvtpkFhWX0A&x-yt-ts=1421782837
Notes: Rode announced a new Wireless audio product using 2.4GHz transmission technology. The price on B&H is $ 399.00. HH’s take: I have several Sennheiser wireless transmission and receiving products and haven’t had any issues, but they start at around $ 629.00 for a transmitter/receiver pair. I have Rode microphone products and haven’t had any issues. I wouldn’t rule out 2.4Ghz technology, just need to test it in a real-world environment before you purchase.

Post Production

What is this Thing: After Effects tutorial for creating Animated Polygon Titles.
Things Type: Education – Adobe After Effects
Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uuaBg1agd70&feature=player_detailpage
Notes: The Andrew Cramer from video Copilot does a 22 minute tutorial for creating animated polygon titles in After Effects.

Movie Business

What is this Thing: How Are Oscar Nominees Chosen
Things Type: General Information
Link: http://mentalfloss.com/article/54560/how-are-oscar-nominees-chosen
Notes: This still doesn’t explain why Best Picture is filled with artsy films!!! I just think those voting Producers are F’ing with the general public with their nominations.

Color Correcting/Color Grading

What is this Thing: The best order of operation for Color Grading & Color Correcting
Things Type: Color Grading and Color Correcting
Link: http://noamkroll.com/the-best-order-of-operations-for-color-grading-why-it-makes-all-the-difference/
Notes: Noam Kroll discusses the best order of operations for color grading. HH’s take – over the past few years I’ve had to learn how to do color grading and correcting out of necessity since we didn’t have budget for a dedicated colorist. At first I color corrected and graded to fix stupid shooting errors. After getting somewhat functional, you find that color correcting and grading actually gives you another opportunity to add life to the footage. In the future I hope to get on projects that have budget for a dedicated colorist – trust me, they are worth every penny.

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Filed under Audio, Business, Color Correction/Grading, Eductation, Equipment, Lighting, Post Production, Sound Design, Wireless

This Week’s "Things" – Week of 1/12/2015

Directing

What is this Thing: Directing Advice
Things Type: Directing – Four Common Mistakes
Link: http://www.premiumbeat.com/blog/four-common-mistakes-made-by-feature-length-directors/
Notes: Four common mistakes made by directors.

What is this Thing: Directing Advice
Things Type: Directing – Talk from David Fincher
Link: http://guru.bafta.org/david-fincher-a-life-in-pictures
Notes: Great quote “Don’t fall victim to other people’s laziness”. He goes on to say being a jack-of-all-trades and knowing your way around all phases, roles, and tools of film production is going to not only make you an asset on-set, but it’s going to keep you independent and free to create the films that you want to create, because you can rely on your own knowledge and skill to get things done.

What is this Thing: Directing Advice
Things Type: Directing – Michael Bay Talks Michael Bay
Link:http://vimeo.com/115009465
Notes: Gawd, I hate this video? Why? Low budget Directors will hear things and see things on the video and think “this is the way to do it.” and then argue that it’s ok for low budget filmmaking. Bay gets a lot of heat for his style. Who cares, his “action” movies are some of the best out there. He and his crew know how to immerse an audience into the movie and reality simply disappears for two hours.

Writing

What is this Thing: Character Review – The Protagonist
Things Type: Writing – Educational
Link: http://www.scriptmag.com/features/script-notes-major-character-types-protagonist
Notes: All great scripts are driven by characters. In this five article series Michael Tabb goes through each character type. This article covers The Protagonist.

Editing & Post Production

What is this Thing: Tutorial – Export Settings for Delivering Your Project
Things Type: Post Production
Link: http://vimeo.com/115534648
Notes: David Kong goes step by step through the process of exporting your video project using Adobe Media Encoder for final delivery.

What is this Thing: Tutorial – Everything You Need to Know About Codecs
Things Type: Post Production
Link: http://vimeo.com/115534648
Notes: David Kong goes deep in this tutorial and really gives solid information on all you ever wanted to know about codecs. He covers:

  • What a codec is – And how it differs from a container.
  • Different types of codecs.
  • Bit Depth – What it means and why it matters
  • Chroma Sub sampling – 4:4:4, 4:2:2, and 4:2:0, and when it becomes an issue
  • Spatial Compression and Blocking – One of the most common artifacts you see with normal work
  • Temporal Compression – Long-GOP codecs, inter-frame compression, and ALL-I codecs
  • Lossless vs. Lossy compression – How image compression differs from data compression
  • Bit Rate – How to calculate bit rates and the differences between kbps/kBps/Mbps/MBps
  • Raw – Briefly, the difference between Raw, compressed, and uncompressed

Equipment

 What is this Thing: Electronic View Finder (EVF)
Things Type: Equipment
Link: http://vimeo.com/97975143
Link: http://philipbloom.net/2015/01/15/gratical/ – Philip Blooimagem discusses the Gratical in his blog. He basically says it’s pretty good and he’s selling his Sony EVF. There’s a video review as well.
Notes: Zacuto has for pre-order their Gratical-HD EVF. Not for the faint of heart at ~ $2900.00 bucks. I have a several Zacuto products (Z-Finder, Z-Finder EVF and a great rig for my FS-700) so I know first hand the quality of their products.

What is this Thing: Equipment Rental
Things Type: Equipment
Link: http://www.sharegrid.com/
Notes: ShareGrid is a peer-to-peer renting website that is suppose to make it easier to rent equipment from individuals. Currently it is in closed beta in the L.A. area.

What is this Thing: Insurance
Things Type: Business Practices
Link: http://dslrvideoshooter.com/gear-insurance-best-solutions-tips-tools/
Notes: I started looking around last year for insurance – production and gear. This article is a great summary of the options for safe guarding your equipment. I like the link to InsureMyEquipment.Com – $500 dollars a year – pretty good deal.

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Filed under Codecs, Directing, Editing, Electronic View Finder, Equipment, Insurance, Post Production, Writing