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Apertus AxiomWe’ve been covering the work that the fine folks over at Apertus have been doing for quite a while. In fact, just under a month ago, we got our first taste of footage from their early prototype camera, the Axiom Alpha, and it was quite promising. In the spirit of NAB, where multiple new 4K cameras have already been announced (see our constantly-updating NAB News article), Apertus thought it prudent to make a major announcement of their own. Today they unveiled the Axiom Beta project and gave word that a crowdfunding campaign is imminent, which means that an extremely affordable 4K open-source cinema camera might be in your hands before the year is through. Read on for details on this major announcement from Apertus. More »

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Digital Bolex MonochromeAmidst the absolute craziness of NAB yesterday, especially all of the major camera announcements, one announcement seemed to slip past the mass havoc created by Blackmagic and AJA. I’m talking of course about the fact that our friends over at Digital Bolex have just released a brand new black and white variation on their popular D16 digital cinema camera. Read on to see what the D16M is all about! More »

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Resolve 11 EditingBlackmagic Design is on a roll at this year’s NAB! In addition to the major announcement of two new camera systems – the URSA and the Studio Camera - Blackmagic also unveiled version 11 of their world-renowned color correction software, DaVinci Resolve. The new version contains a plethora of exciting new features, but most notably, and somewhat unsurprisingly, Resolve 11 has over 70 new editing features and is now a full-fledged editing solution! Check out the details below. More »

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Blackmagic Studio CameraWe’ve already seen one major announcement from Blackmagic today, and boy was it a doozy. Blackmagic was far from finished, however, as they had another brand-spanking new camera ready to reveal to the world. Now that it looks like the low-budget cinema market is clearly in their grasp, Blackmagic is headed for the broadcast industry with a uniquely-designed studio production camera with a 10″ display and built-in fiber-optic connectivity. Check below for all of the details! More »

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Gone GirlEarlier this week, Adobe unveiled the features that will be rolling out in the next version of their Creative Cloud video apps, and the response thus far has been an incredibly positive one, especially for features such as DCP creation in Media Encoder and masking/tracking directly in Premiere. However, Adobe released quite a bit of other new information about their video products on Wednesday, most notably the fact that David Fincher’s upcoming film, an adaptation of the Gillian Flynn novel Gone Girl, is being cut exclusively on Premiere Pro by Kirk Baxter ACE. Will this be a major turning point for Adobe’s filmmaking software in regards to its use in Hollywood? Let’s take a look. More »

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Creative CloudIn 2012, Adobe unveiled the future of their software distribution strategy. Despite some initial hiccups in public perception, Creative Cloud has since taken the video post production world by storm. In addition to the monthly fee structure, Creative Cloud offered another major benefit over the Creative Suite — the ability for Adobe to push out major software updates and new features with a previously unheard of regularity. Now that NAB (filmmaker Christmas) is finally rolling around for another year, Adobe is releasing their next round of major features for their video-centric software, and let’s just say that the future is bright. More »

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s16 F55Ever since Sony officially announced their modular cinema cameras over a year and a half ago, the F5 and the F55 have been subject to a veritable plethora of firmware and hardware updates that have taken the functionality of these two already feature-packed cameras to a whole new level entirely. First it was replaceable optical low pass filters, then it was the ability to use s16 glass, and most recently was the announcement that the cameras would soon offer ProRes and DNxHD recording. And Sony is still at it, pumping out major firmware updates with oft-requested features from their users. Recently they announced v4.o of the firmware for these cameras, and few interesting new features are in the works. More »

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Werner Herzog DocLegendary German filmmaker Werner Herzog is truly one of the masters of documentary, and he has created more amazing documentaries than could be counted on all of your fingers and toes. In a rather unlikely partnership, Herzog recently teamed  up with several major cellular companies in order to craft a short documentary about one of the major issues that we face in our technology-laden society, texting and driving. The result is a doc called From One Second to the Next, and it might very well be some of Herzog’s most haunting and heart-wrenching work to date. More »

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Green Screen Premiere ProWe all know how important lighting is in the process of shooting a subject against a green screen. However, having the ability to pull a solid key from any footage (whether it’s well lit or not) is perhaps one of the most important skills for somebody to have in the world of post-production. This is especially important considering that many low-budget editors are now becoming the one man bands of the post-production process. Luckily, programs like Premiere Pro include a plethora of effects that can be used to pull a fantastic key every single time, and without the need to leave your NLE. More »

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Screen Shot 2014-03-29 at 2.26.41 PMAbout a month ago, the future of Panasonic’s video production tools became clear when we got the first details of the brand new Varicam camera system, which consists of a 4K-capable s35 module, a 2/3 HD module, and an external recorder that is interchangeable between the two systems. While all of the official details will be released at NAB in just one week’s time, the director of Panasonic’s digital imaging division, Kunihiko Miyagi, has just divulged some new information and given us some new pictures at which to grovel. Check it all out below. More »

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DaVinci ResolveIn the process of narrative filmmaking, a talented cinematographer can achieve the desired aesthetic through closely controlling the characteristics of light, color, and composition. In these cases, color correction shouldn’t really be needed (although a creative grade can certainly take the image to another level). In documentary filmmaking, however, where many of the images are captured sporadically as the action unfolds (which can very easily lead to mismatched footage), the process of creating a unified aesthetic is usually left to the colorist. Luckily, John Ryan Seaman of GranolaTech has some excellent tips for grading your documentary-style footage that should help get you up to speed on the core concepts and techniques for color correction. More »

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Chris DoyleAt this point, it should be no secret that Christopher Doyle is one of my absolute favorite cinematographers (he might even be my spirit animal). I’ve talked about him on many occasions, sharing a fantastic cinematography masterclass, as well as tons of interviews, plus a few more interviews. Maybe it’s his unique perspective on the filmmaking and artistic processes, or the fantastic way in which he moves the camera in relation to character blocking, or maybe it’s just that amazing hair style. Whatever the reason, Doyle is an amazing cinematographer and a one-of-a-kind artist, and there is much that we can learn from his unique, eccentric way of being. More »

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FCPX Mac Pro Maxed OutLate last November, Apple upped the ante with their video editing solutions when they released the long-rumored redesign of the Mac Pro alongside a major update to FCPX, one which was specifically engineered to provide maximum performance in tandem with the new machines. We’ve already seen some preliminary tests of the performance of this hardware/software combo, and the results were pretty convincing. However, the folks over at fcp.co went above and beyond the previous tests and pushed the new Mac Pro and FCPX to their absolute breaking point. Their results, which are pretty damn crazy, shed quite a bit of light on just how powerful this combo is. More »

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10,000,000 FPSEveryone knows that slow-motion makes everything cooler. It might as well be a scientific fact. However, there are cameras out there that can exceed the speed of many of our fastest cinema-style slo-mo cameras like the Phantom Flex 4K and the FT-ONE. One such camera is the HyperVision HPV-X from Japanese manufacturer Shimadzu, which can record at an insane speed of up to 10,000,000 frames per second. Of course, these super high-speed cameras are made specifically for scientific use and are typically very low in resolution, but that doesn’t mean that they can’t produce some absolutely breathtaking images. More »

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Inside Llewyn DavisOf the many amazing films that were released in 2013, few looked as unique, or as stylistically gorgeous, as the Coens’ love song to the 1960′s NY folk scene, Inside Llewyn DavisOf course, Roger Deakins, the regular cinematographer for the Coen brothers, was not available to shoot the film, so the prolific filmmaking duo turned to another industry legend, acclaimed French DP Bruno Delbonnel, who is most known for his stunning work on Amélie. The fine folks at Cinefii recently sat down with Delbonnel at the Cameraimage Festival in Poland, where he revealed many of the techniques that he used to create the unique aesthetic of Inside Llewyn Davis, as well as some insights into what it’s like to work with Joel and Ethan Coen. More »

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Scorpion LightAt this point, there should be little doubt that LED’s are going to play a crucial role in the future of film and video production, especially considering their benefits over traditional lighting technologies. It should also come as no surprise that we now have the ability to light with smaller fixtures as our cameras become more and more sensitive. It follows that small LED fixtures will be an essential tool for discerning cinematographers as time rolls on. A new company called Blind Spot Gear is taking this concept to a whole new level with the Scorpion Light, a tiny, high-intensity/high-CRI LED that can be easily modified and mounted anywhere (and I mean anywhere). Read on to see what all of the fuss is about. More »

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John TollAll of us who are aspiring filmmakers have a list of films that inspire us. Maybe we’ve even got one film, or one specific shot, that singularly piqued our interest in the medium and inspired us to work within it. In a recent feature over on the Empire website, 21 of the world’s most respected cinematographers, everyone from Roger Deakins to John Toll, shared the films and shots that inspired them. Here are a few of my favorites from this fantastic list. More »

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Google GlassIn 1960, the Eclair camera system revolutionized the way documentary filmmakers could interact with their subjects. As a result of this technological breakthrough, and the infinite possibilities of an unfettered handheld camera, cinéma vérité was born and handheld narrative films followed suit. Cut to the year 2014, and a new technology has surfaced that could once again change the way visual stories are told. I’m talking of course about Google Glass, and any other interactive eyewear that will surely come along soon. Even though Google Glass is mostly seen as a plaything for trendy techies, one filmmaker has already begun to tell stories in a way that we’ve never seen before, and the results are fascinating. More »

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Screen Shot 2014-03-16 at 11.47.00 PMBelieve it or not, shooting on film is still a legitimate thing (I know, it’s shocking). Despite the fact that digital imaging is finally matching the technical capabilities of film (and maybe even surpassing it in the case of DRAGON), many narrative productions are still shooting on good old fashioned celluloid. What does this mean for younger folks looking to make a career in the camera department? Well for one, it means that knowing your way around a film camera, and knowing how to load various types of magazines, is still a valuable skill in this industry, one that might land you a gig or two. Luckily for us, literally anything can be learned on YouTube, including the methods for loading film in a variety of popular magazines and cameras. More »

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darkenergylogoblogthm-224x134We’ve talked about the Cinnafilm Dark Energy de-noising plugin on several occasions. Most notably, Dark Energy played a crucial role in the post-production workflow of Shane Hurlbut’s DLSR-shot film Act of Valor. The good people at Cinnafilm also ran a Kickstarter campaign to judge interest in porting the plugin over to the OFX platform (which would have made it compatible with Resolve, Nuke, Avid, and a host of other applications). Even though that campaign didn’t succeed, the Dark Energy AE plugin is still one of the most wildly popular noise reduction/grain emulation tools on the market today. The only problem for most of us is that we’re not made of money. Luckily for us, Cinnafilm permanently slashed the price yesterday in honor of Einstein’s birthday.
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