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kinefinity kineraw mini 6k 4k 2k raw high definition video cameraThere’s been a lot of buzz regarding affordable 4K acquisition recently, and for good reason. How about affordable 6K? You may know Chinese manufacturer Kinefinity for its strangely familiar-looking family of cameras, but with features like simultaneous compressed and uncompressed RAW recording and very competitive pricing, it’s a family with merits all its own. Our crew on the floor of NAB 2014 talked to Michel Juknat, a Kinefinity european distributor, discussing the ~$5K KineMINI 4K camera in depth and hitting upon the upcoming KineMAX 6K camera. Check out the video below — plus some KineMINI footage from Michel himself. More »

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GTX_Titan_Z_nvidia graphics card processing unit gpu processor video card high definition hd video 4kOver the last year or so, major software such as Adobe Premiere Pro and REDCINE-X have joined DaVinci Resolve in leveraging GPU power for improved performance. GPU acceleration coupled with greater native RAW format support and forward strides in GPUs themselves means good things for the future of independent media production. And concerning that last part about GPUs getting better, well, both NVIDIA and AMD had some pretty serious things to announce over the past week — NVIDIA with its $3000 dual-GPU GeForce GTX Titan Z, and AMD with its FirePro W9100 featuring 16GB of RAM. Check below for more details. More »

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google drive cloud storage syncing file sharing service desktop mobile appUntil recently, Google Drive didn’t necessarily have more going for it than similar services like Dropbox. Tight integration with Gmail makes permissions management a breeze, and the real-time collaboration abilities offered by Google Docs is arguably revolutionary. Drive’s desktop syncing app has always felt a little tacked-on, though, whereas Dropbox’s version has felt truly native since day one. In any case, Google recently made what may be the most convincing point of argument yet to use their cloud app by expanding its storage pricing system exponentially. In other words, the $10 I used to pay monthly for 200 GB now gets me 1 TB. In what TechCrunch calls cloud “storage wars,” that kind of upgrade is a pretty big deal. But as filmmakers, why do we care? More »

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nyrius aeries pro digital wireless hdmi hd high definition video transmissionWe’ve touched upon a few wireless high-definition video solutions before. You may be familiar with Teradek’s Cube and Bolt units, as well as the Switronix Recon. In the wireless HDMI corner, the Paralinx Arrow provides 10-bit 4:2:2 1080p60 at 300 feet line-of-sight for under $900 — clocking in well under the three aforementioned SDI options. However, if $900 is too steep for your chordless monitoring budget, there may still be an option for you. The Nyrius ARIES Pro provides some of the key functions of the Arrow, mainly the wireless HDMI part, for $250 or less. Furthermore, when hooked up to USB charging cells and a SmallHD unit, you’re suddenly talking a very affordable HD wireless monitoring solution. More »

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kendricken_celluloid_film_fuji_fujifilm_production_manufacture_cancelWith modern digital cinema cameras, it is often preferable to achieve a look that is more “cinematic” than “digital.” No one factor creates a filmic feel, but the precedent is simple enough — film itself. The emulation of emulsion may depend on anything from lens choice and lighting to grading and grain plug-ins, but there is one sure-fire way to get a true film look: using film. Celluloid acquisition may be beyond the budget of your shoot, but using a “film intermediate” process — that is, transferring color corrected digital footage out to film, then scanning back to digital — could be one technique for splitting the difference. A webinar with VFX artist & colorist Jerome Thelia details just such a process, regarding the Oscar-winning short film Curfew. Read on for details. More »

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Google ChromecastSince Google released Chromecast last year, the little ‘HDMI dongle’ has had two big things going for it — Netflix and YouTube. Of course, given its simplicity and ridiculously low price of $35, it hasn’t had much going against it either. Even with some creative work-arounds via Google Chrome ‘tab casting,’ Chromecast’s downside has been its short list of natively supported apps — despite subsequent support for Hulu, Pandora, and HBO GO. Well, all that’s changed, because Google has announced the public release of the device’s SDK. In short, this turns what was a very exclusive party into a fiesta that any developer can join. Many more native apps are sure to follow, but how can this benefit filmmakers? More »

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cleantechnica led street lighting lights lamps sodium vapor mercury clean green la los angelesAfter Michael Mann set out to direct Collateral, the story’s setting moved from New York to Los Angeles. This decision was in part motivated by the unique visual presence of the city — especially the way it looked at night. Mann shot a majority of the film in HD (this was 2004), feeling the format better captured the city’s night lighting. Even the film’s protagonist taxi needed a custom coat to pick up different sheens depending on the type of artificial lighting the cab passed beneath. That city, at least as it appears in Collateral and countless other films, will never be the same again. L.A. has made a vast change-over to LED street lights, with New York City not far behind. Read on for why Hollywood will never look the same again — on film or otherwise. More »

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teradek bolt wireless hd high definition hd-sdi hdmi video monitoring odyssey7q convergent design monitor recorder camera shootingWe’ve recently talked quite a bit about the Teradek Cube’s unique combination of capabilities – but if zero-latency, “mission critical” wireless HD monitoring is needed, the Bolt is Teradek’s purpose-built solution. Offering both HDMI and HD-SDI pairs, the Bolt is capable of completing a wireless follow-focus package or rough-and-ready director’s monitor. When paired with Convergent Design’s monitor/recorder Odyssey7Q, twin Bolt receivers allow the 7Q to monitor not one but two camera feeds wirelessly. This, in addition to the two-thousand foot range of the upcoming Bolt Pro 2000 unit, may present some exciting monitoring options for the future. More »

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Camera technology is not the only reason it’s an exciting time to be a filmmaker. Manufacturers such as AJA, Atomos, Blackmagic Design, Convergent Design and others offer increasingly inexpensive solutions for bolstering and customizing camera workflow — especially when it comes to external media recording and monitoring. Some of these devices provide functionality shooters have long sought after, and still others bring capabilities some of us may never have even dreamed of. The Teradek Cube is one such device, and here is the first part of my full review. More »

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Netflix 4K4K is pretty much “the next big thing,” like it or not. Of course, for 4K to really mesmerize you in your living room, there will need to be both UHD TVs and 4K content available — eventually. As far as the content side of things goes, Netflix is taking 4K delivery very seriously. And while widespread availability of true ultra-high def media is going to take some time, you may not have to wait nearly as long for select Netflix presentations in 4K. In fact, if you own one of a select few types of smart TVs, you may be watching the second season of House of Cards in 4K this coming Spring. More »

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trost durable field camera slider shooting platform movement steel 01The DSLR revolution ushered in an explosion of one-person-crew gear options, and the slider has been no exception. Many manufacturers offer variations on the basic yet effective sliding camera platform, including Redrock, edelkrone, DitoGear, and Rhino. Now, a manufacturer called Trost is introducing a very sleek-looking slider aiming for extreme dependability and durability. Trost sliders feature hand-machined steel components, a quickly adjustable design, and the strength to support (some of) the weight of a 1983 Toyota Tercel. If you had any sliders on your holiday wishlist, you might want to check below for more details. More »

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lenzhound wireless lens motor control system wireless follow focus kickstarter camera shooting filmmakingOur recent post on the Redrock microRemote made it pretty clear that the desire for an even more inexpensive wireless follow focus solution is very real. As it would turn out, there is a very affordable alternative with significant momentum on Kickstarter — the Lenzhound Wireless Lens Control System. Going for under $400, the Lenzhound is also notably based on the Arduino open source electronics system. With these powers combined, Lenzhound might just be the most affordable wireless lens control system aiming for ‘pro.’ Read on for the Kickstarter video and more details. More »

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symphony-io-thunderbridge-promo-home-studio-recording-interface-thunderbolt-mac-apple-audio-soundIn the past year or so, we’ve seen a number of don’t-knock-em-till-you-try-em mobile audio recording innovations. Along with such tools as RØDE’s iXY & smartLav iOS microphones and the accompanying RØDE Rec app & RØDEGrip, we also saw Apogee release an upgrade to its iPad/Mac preamp/interface/mic device, the Apogee ONE. Apogee’s suite of high-quality audio devices scales all the way up to its Symphony I/O interfaces. In a recently announced promotion, Apogee is offering its Symphony 64 | ThunderBridge interface for connecting Symphony I/O to Thunderbolt Macs at a 50% discount. Read on for possible configurations and pricing details of this limited time offer. More »

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vhx self distribution release audience foreign movie film sales filmmaking releaseAs the tools available to the independent filmmaker expand and improve, so do a number of services facilitating direct distribution. Several non-Louis C.K. success stories have emerged, often emphasizing the benefits of crowdfunding and the importance of social media outreach. One such service, VHX, has recently posted a tip we don’t hear quite as often. It’s something that seems totally obvious — and is comparatively ancient as far as actual technology is concerned — but can, according to VHX, greatly impact the success of directly distributed media. The tip? Adding subtitles to your film. More »

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Video thumbnail for vimeo video 'Ender's Game' Color Pipeline is Even More Epic Than the Movie - No Film SchoolFile-based acquisition affords filmmakers endless flexibility all the way through post production. Given the many possible workflows, it becomes important to tightly manage everything for efficiency, quality-control, and sanity. Or, as post company Light Iron puts it below, “Not All Post is Created Equal” — especially when the task is to maintain a consistent color pipeline across 900 VFX shots and the remaining non-VFX material, not to mention managing 75 TB of camera RAW data. Now, the company offers a fascinating (and exhaustive) look at the DI job it performed on the sci-fi epic, Ender’s Game — one which demanded exactly such a process. Check out the 20-minute case study video below. More »

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film ltk links tutorials knowledge filmmaking camera shooting cinematography tips tricks directingLast year, NFS readers heard from Tobias Deml when he did something awesome — rigging an Android tablet not only as a Canon DSLR monitor, but also a touch-screen controller. Now, Toby has shared something even more awesome. Over the course of a year or so, he thought it may be useful to compile an organized list of filmmaking links on everything from shooting to rigging to costuming to distributing. The result is FILM LTK — standing for links, tutorials, and knowledge — and useful it most understatedly is. For Toby’s breakdown of over 250 links to all things filmmaking, check below. More »

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sony a7r mirrorless full frame still photography video camera 1080p hd high definition recordingStill photography may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Sony, but that hasn’t stopped the manufacturer from developing an array of DSLR and mirrorless camera systems. A very recent announcement from Sony makes it all the more clear that the company isn’t messing around. Sony would like to introduce you to two new full frame mirrorless photography cameras (with 1080p video, of course:) the 24 megapixel A7, and its big sister, the 36 megapixel A7R. These cameras natively accept NEX E-mount glass, as well as Sony alpha mount glass with some adapting. They also shoot up to 1080p60 on-board video in either AVCHD or MP4, or feed you clean uncompressed video out via HDMI. Read on for more details. More »

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Video thumbnail for youtube video AbelCine Lays Out The ARRI ALEXA XT - nofilmschoolThere has been some significant news on the Arri front over the past few months — namely, that the growing Alexa family is forking out ‘budget’ HD-specific and Doc-friendly body implementations. All the while, AbelCine has been a great resource on keeping us all up to date on the family’s tech specs & specifics. This trend continues as AbelCine’s Andy Shipsides walks us through Arri’s Alexa XT system. Briefly, the XT series upgrades Alexa to Codex-powered internal ARRIRAW recording. Andy’s videos go through the ins and outs of this system — detailing everything from virtual media to live-grading metadata. Read on to check out the videos. More »

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project drive in honda movie theater digital projection film cinemaWhen was the last time you saw a movie at a drive-in theater? What would you do if you knew you could help save the few remaining drive-ins from “going dark” forever? Interestingly enough, American Honda (yes, that Honda) is giving you that exact opportunity. According to its Project Drive-In campaign, there are merely 368 drive-ins still open for theatrical screening in the US. As many drive-ins face the financial leap of upgrading to digital projection — or the looming alternative, shutting down permanently — Project Drive-In has helped save 9 theaters, donating digital projection systems to 5 of them outright. There’s still many theaters, however, that could use some serious help. Read more for details on Honda’s ongoing Project Drive-In & Indiegogo campaign. More »

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anthony bourdain parts unknown zach zamboni cinematographer camera shooter director of photography cinematography documentary cnnA few weeks ago, I was excited to learn several things involving one of my favorite TV series — Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown. The first was that Season 1 had picked up two Emmys, one of which was awarded to its documentary-style cinematography. Soon after, I was fortunate enough to catch Parts Unknown DP Zach Zamboni speaking at a Rule Boston Camera Pub Night. In his presentation and the subsequent Q&A, Zach discussed things I’ve wondered about since the show was still called No Reservations: details of the crew’s  difficult (sometimes) improvisational shoots on the fly, far from home, with limited resources. And Emmy-winning footage as a result. To hear Zach’s full thoughts on the technical — and philosophical — aspects of his Emmy-winning shooting, click through. More »