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GoPro Inside ENG CameraNews Shooter has been reporting at the BIRTV show in Beijing, and they’ve come across something that you have to see to believe. I’ve managed to put together some ridiculous rigs in my time with cameras, and will likely do plenty more of them down the road, but hacking a GoPro HERO3 into an ENG camera is beyond anything I ever would have thought to do. Check out the video to see some of the footage from this monstrosity: More »

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Atomos Pro Coiled HDMI CableThough the HDMI standard was never meant for the rigors of professional use like SDI cables with locking BNC connectors, external recorder-maker Atomos has decided to produce their own pro HDMI cables that are made for production. These cables, originally developed for their ultra-small Ninja Star recorder, are coiled and available in all different configurations, from Micro to full-size HDMI all the way to full-size HDMI to HDMI, and everything in between (and a number of them also come with right angles). What makes these cables different, however, is that they are designed to be tighter-fitting, and stay inside your camera and your monitor when you need them to. More »

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F5 hack tutorial

The internal 4K hack for the Sony F5 has been getting a lot of press lately, and for good reason. It adds tremendous value to an already-stellar camera, and best of all, it’s incredibly simple. In case you haven’t heard about the F5 hack yet, check out our post on it from several days ago in which we not only share a bit of background on the cameras and how the hack is done, but also some of the potential implications of the hack. And if you’d like to check out Sony’s brief corporate response to this situation, you can read it here.  For those of you who are up to speed and are keen to see how it’s done, Brian Hallett over at Pro Video Coalition shared a helpful video and article that will show you just how simple the process is. More »

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The Twilight ZoneBack in the day, before I was a teenager, and possessed neither status nor a pager, I stayed in every New Year’s, because New Year’s Eve is probably the least child-friendly holiday going (other than Administrative Professionals and Secretaries Day). While others froze in Times Square, I got to watch the 24-hour Twilight Zone marathon on Channel 11, aka WPIX. In retrospect, as a kid (okay, maybe a weird kid), what appealed to me most in the show was its uncanny allegories and just off-kilter aesthetic, its plots that were almost, but not quite, cheesy. More »

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Requiem for a Dream - Jennifer Connelly Looking Into CameraBack in July, a number of filmmakers and scientists participated in an event in Hollywood called “Movies in Your Brain: The Science of Cinematic Perception.” These panels focused on how we perceive movies and how they affect us emotionally and scientifically, and in the most recent clip, writer/director Darren Aronofsky and psychologist/neuroscientist Jeffrey M. Zacks talk about stories and how movies affect us: More »

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Nebo SliderThere’s no doubt about it — a well-done, well-placed motion shot can make your project look like a million bucks (or that it cost that much to make, at least). There are all sorts of relatively inexpensive tools out there that can do a wide range of jobs, from simple pans and tilts to complicated motion-controlled slides for time-lapse pieces, but not spending a ton of money isn’t the only thing on an indie filmmaker’s wishlist (though it’s probably at the top). Documentarians filming Alpine ibexes in the European Alps, narrative filmmakers whose day of shooting includes multiple locations, and me, a very, very lazy individual, look for gear that is not only on the cheap side, but also lightweight and portable. More »

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4K Close-Up on the Sony F5 with Paul ReamA new hack for the Sony F5 has allowed it to shoot 4K XAVC internally just like its bigger and more expensive brother, the F55. While there are other differences between the two cameras, like a global shutter and 4K outputs on the F55, this hack shows that the over-$12,000 price difference between the two models may be more superficial than at first glance. Sony is aware of the hack, and has now given an official response. More »

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Screen Shot 2014-08-29 at 3.03.44 PMBelieve or not, there was once a time when camera movement was limited to either the dolly or handheld. The thought of a camera freely and smoothly floating through the air, thus combining the stability of a dolly with the unrestrained freedom of handheld, was an absolutely preposterous one. In the early 70s, however, a Philadelphia-based filmmaker and inventor by the name of Garrett Brown undertook the challenge of creating a new camera movement system that would capture the world in a way most similar to how the human eye perceives it. It was out of that desire that the Steadicam was born. More »

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Blackmagic Production Camera 4K No LensThe Blackmagic Production Camera 4K has seen its share of issues, some of which the company is finally starting to address. What has never been a question is the tremendous image quality when the camera is working correctly, and how inexpensive it is considering it has a global shutter Super 35mm sensor, and can shoot both 12-bit 4K RAW and 4K/1080p 10-bit ProRes files. Now it’s even more inexpensive.For a limited time (possibly as early as September 5th according to some resellers), the Blackmagic 4K is going for just $2,500, which is $500 off its normal price. More »

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Yekra White on Black Large 700 PixFor independents and studios alike, the online distribution of movies is a game that’s heating up rather rapidly. There’s already a handful of players in the game, so the first question I always ask to new platforms is: what are you offering that the others aren’t? Funded with $3M in venture capital last year, YEKRA launched today, and they have a lot to say about online distribution. They have a really interesting affiliate program in which you can earn money by curating or sharing movies that are hosted on their platform. However, instead of trying to solely funnel people into their streaming platform, they are bringing their platform to you. So what does a VOD movie theater experience look like anyways? Let’s find out. More »

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Put Your Eyes to the Test 12 Camera ShootoutLet’s take a walk down memory lane. Remember two years ago, when Zacuto and Kessler put together what might be considered the most epic camera shootout ever conceived? I sure do, but not because of the results or any one camera being superior to the others, but because it drove home the point that we live in an era where any camera — from the iPhone 5 to the Sony F65 — can produce professional results as long as the person behind the lens knows what they’re doing. With that said, digital cinema technology has come a long way since the 2012 shootout. More »

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ThelmaMartyOf all our modern directors, there is perhaps none with a more eidetic memory than Martin Scorsese; defined as an ability to recall precise images, sounds and objects, three of the main elements of motion pictures, Scorsese seems to remember every shot in every film he has ever seen, and probably some films he hasn’t seen yet. It’s what makes him such a complete filmmaker; he’s a master of technique, able to conjure any cinematic effect he likes, and yet he never makes a film that feels less than his. Of course, this is to ignore the efforts of his editor, Thelma Schoonmaker, with whom he has worked for nearly his whole career. Check out this (of course, incomplete) list of key editing moves in Scorsese films, as well as a look at the power of influence in film. More »

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Sony F$ 4KFor the past few years, the practice of hacking a camera’s firmware in order to increase the feature-set of said camera has been commonplace and quite popular, especially in the case of the original GH2 hack and, of course, Magic Lantern with Canon DSLRs. However, up to this point, we haven’t really seen or heard about folks hacking higher-end cameras in order to increase performance. Until now, that is. Paul Ream, a working cinematographer, recently figured out how to hack the Sony F5 so that it enables the camera to shoot 4K internally, a task which significantly closes the performance gap between the F5 and its much more expensive big brother, the F55. Furthermore, this hack raises some interesting questions about the ethics of companies limiting the functionality of their products in superficial ways. More »

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HyperlapseInstagram played a huge role in making vintage photo filters accessible and ubiquitous. Through the years they’ve added new looks, a social media dimension, and a Vine-like short video application. Yesterday, they took their brand to the next level by launching a standalone app that photographers and videographers alike (as well as everyone else) will appreciate — Hyperlapse, a time-lapse app that has some pretty exciting features: its simple design, sharing capabilities, and especially its image stabilization technology, which is not only absolutely key for time-lapse photography, but was something absent in mobile videography/photography until now. More »

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The Congress House Studio Austin TX — The ShopKeeper A documentary about Mark Hallman

Folk-rock artist Rain Perry has some important questions about the music industry, so she’s chosen celebrated music producer Mark Hallman to be the subject of a new documentary. The Shopkeeper takes us to Austin TX, where, after 35+ years in the business, Mark Hallman is still making music in his studio, The Congress House. How can Mark’s life path (a songwriter turned producer) help answer questions about the state of things now? How can artists make a living in the age of Spotify? How has technology influenced artists and audiences alike? Rain sits down with No Film School to discuss being a “noob” to filmmaking, how it compares to creating music, and important lessons she’s learned so far. More »

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metabones speed booster lens adapter canon ef to mft micro four thirds m43Metabones has already provided shooters with a variety of Speed Boosters — lens adapters that optically counteract crop factor, increase light transmission, and in many cases even maintain smart lens control. Now, Metabones has announced a new addition to the Speed Booster line: a Canon EF to Micro 4/3 mount model that will effectively allow the Panasonic GH4 (and other Micro 4/3 cameras) to have the field of view of a Super 35mm camera and also increase your lens’ maximum exposure one stop. Metabones is also going to offer an equivalent adapter without the expensive optics just to control Canon lenses on your MFT cameras. More »

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ARRI AMIRA 4K UHD 3840 x 2160 ProResWe’ve heard some talk about a 4K ARRI camera, and even a rumor about a 6K 65mm camera from the company, but nothing has really materialized until now (mostly because they haven’t felt it was necessary). The first 4K camera from ARRI will not be a new model, but a software update to the AMIRA that will let it shoot internally to ProRes at 3840 x 2160 UHD up to 60fps. The AMIRA, which has recently started shipping and is being used extensively by NFL Films, will get the software update by the end of 2014. But what about the fact that the AMIRA and the ALEXA share sensor technology and ARRI doesn’t yet have a 4K sensor in their cameras? More »

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BitTorrent Sync New Version 1.4When BitTorrent’s file transfer app BitTorrent Sync hit the 1 million user mark earlier this year, we knew they would only continue to become a go-to way to transfer files. They are now at 10 million user installs and it’s one of the only ways of bypassing “the cloud” when transferring files over the internet. With version 1.4, they’ve brought us new sharing features and a redesigned user interface, saying, “No cloud means faster transfer speeds and that no third parties ever have your data; your data belongs to you.” More »

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Darius BrittDespite the fact that the internet is brimming with tips and tricks for becoming a better screenwriter (we even have our own in-house guru, Christopher Boone), the screenwriting gods rarely make divine promises of favor to mere mortals like us. No, prosperity, whether measured in money earned or pages written, does not come easy; it all depends on how hard and tenaciously you’re willing to work. So, what are some practical things we can do as screenwriters now that will foster beneficial writing and creative habits later? Filmmaker Darius Britt shares 8 screenwriting tips that can help you build a solid foundation and improve your skills. More »

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Rokinon LensesFor the past few years, Rokinon lenses, which are manufactured in Korea by parent company Samyang, have been widely popular with the new generation of DSLR filmmakers, largely because of their affordability. The manufacturer then hit a home run when they began to introduce cine versions of their most popular primes, with de-clicked apertures and built-in focus gears. For anybody wanting a full set of their cine primes, however, there was one massive problem. There’s a 24mm, a 35mm, and an 85mm — all with a constant T/1.5 aperture — but no 50mm to round out the set. For many people, myself included, this glaring omission prevented us from investing in a set of these lenses. Luckily, Rokinon has just announced that a 50mm T/1.5 will be officially introduced at Photokina 2014 in roughly three weeks, much to the delight of low budget filmmakers everywhere. More »