Diplo’s “So Long” Music Video Uses URSA Mini Pro and Blackmagic RAW

Diplo’s latest music video, “So Long,” featuring country artist Cam, was shot using the URSA Mini Pro 4.6K and utilized the Blackmagic RAW format.

Produced at the 2019 Stagecoach Festival in Indio, California, the video and song are a departure from Diplo’s EDM base, taking a deep step into the country music genre. The departure proved to be an enjoyable challenge for Director Brandon Dermer. Known for his DIY approach to his work, Diplo discovered Dermer’s death metal music video for Nekrogoblikon in 2012 and became a fan. The two have worked on several projects since, including the TV series, “What Would Diplo Do” for Hulu.

Blackmagic URSA Mini ProFor “So Long,” Diplo reached out and asked if Dermer would be interested in creating the new video. “For making a video about a DJ playing a country music festival,” said Dermer, “it was one of the most punk rock experiences of my life.”

The team was given unprecedented access to Stagecoach. “We knew we were going to have crazy access to the event grounds like no one else has ever had, except maybe Beyonce at Coachella.” The goal was to capture the experience as completely as possible, including performance video of Cam as well as striking documentary footage of the event. “Going into this, none of us knew what to expect in regards to how Diplo would be received by the Stagecoach audience. We wanted to get it all on camera.”

Shot with multiple cameras, Cinematographer Wojciech Kielar was eager to see how the URSA Mini Pro and Blackmagic RAW compared to other formats. Kielar operated one camera and his operator Justin Cameron shot with the URSA Mini Pro. Initially, Kielar followed Diplo and Cam backstage while Cameron grabbed beauty shots and various footage of the attendees. For the concert, both cameras captured Diplo and Cam’s performances on stage.

“We recorded in Arri ProRes 444 and Blackmagic RAW,” said Kielar. “Both cameras have a pretty big dynamic range and produced wonderful images.”

Dermer and Kielar used multiple country music video and film references as inspiration and chose a style that captured the feeling of Stagecoach while also keeping the rich saturation of EDM. “We married the best parts of those looks together,” said Kielar, “and had a plan to give the video a gritty feel, while also saturating colors as a nod to the EDM style.” They turned to colorist Ryan McNeal to create the final look using DaVinci Resolve Studio.

Having worked with Dermer and Kielar extensively in the past, McNeal felt he had a strong sense of what their goals were for the video. He sought out a unique combination of country music vibe with a filmic style. “We used heavy grain and warm highlights to enhance that film look,” said McNeal, “and I kept the overall exposure of mid-tones and shadows low for a thicker negative feel.”

Combining Blackmagic RAW with other formats proved easy in DaVinci Resolve. The wide dynamic range gave McNeal plenty of range to match, and in the end, is confident the viewer won’t be able to tell the difference. “It’s always fun working with beautiful images from Brandon and Wojciech,” said McNeal. “And Diplo in a country music video? What’s there not to like?”

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WME Sues WGA Over Not Hiring Them

The next chapter in Hollywood’s favorite abbreviation fight.

Mega-agency WME has filed a lawsuit against the WGA, as this Hollywood Reporter article outlines. WME is claiming the WGA has broken federal anti-trust regulations by ordering its writers to fire their agents after negotiations between the WGA and the ATA (Association of Talent Agents) broke down over the practice of packaging—or more accurately, packaging fees.

In case you missed it, you can check out our latest update on this delightfully convoluted saga or get completely up to speed by reading all of our coverage.

Acronymity

It’s simple: as The Hollywood Reporter reported, WGA and ATA negotiations broke down, so WME is suing the WGA. THR has another article wherein a USC professor breaks down the WME IPO and worries that it could be DOA. Confused yet? If you are, it’s understandable. Let’s break down the acronyms:

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Get Your First Look Behind the Scenes of ‘Bond 25’

It’s here! The first official look behind the scenes of “Bond 25”.

Today the official James Bond Twitter account released our first glimpse into the filming of untitled “Bond 25” with Daniel Craig returning as 007 and Cary Fukunaga (True Detective, Maniac) directing.

After much speculation, and even a leaked photo, this behind the scenes footage confirms that “Bond 25” is being filmed on 35mm Panavision cameras. Director of Photography Linus Sandgren and Fukunaga have a history of taking full advantage of film as a medium, and from what little we’ve seen, it appears this is no exception.

Check out the BTS footage below:

The footage does not reveal much regarding the plot of the highly anticipated next installment of the James Bond franchise, but it does convey a strong sense of tone. The high-contrast, lush color palette seems to be heavily inspired by filming on location in the Caribbean. Evidence of filming on 35mm, including light bloom, slight lens flare, and capturing natural textures are all highlighted in the behind the scenes sneak peek.

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Enter the Action Scene Challenge to Win $10K in Film Gear

The Action Scene Challenge from LaCie and Ryan Connolly is giving filmmakers a chance to win some amazing new gear.

From June 24 to July 29, 2019, LaCie is partnering with Ryan Connolly of Film Riot for their Action Scene Challenge contest.

They invite filmmakers to produce and submit 60-second high-octane action shorts that showcase their directing prowess and high levels of technical skill. It should be a full story, with a hook, rising action, and a conclusion. (This might be a good time to remind yourself why story and character matter in action sequences.)

The entries must be posted on Instagram with the required tags and hashtags.

You can also submit behind-the-scenes footage in a separate prize category. This also must be posted on Instagram and tagged.

The Prizes

The grand-prize winner will win the following gear:

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Men In Black International Cinematography with Stuart Dryburgh ASC

On this weeks Go Creative Show podcast, host Ben Concoli talks to Men In Black International cinematographer Stuart Dryburgh ASC. Stuart Dryburgh ASC is an English-born New Zealand cinematographer, working in Hollywood. Stuart has shot such movies as The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, The Great Wall, Bridget Jones’s Diary, The Piano, and The Recruit. … Continued

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The Straightforward Video Guide to Teleconverters

The Straightforward Video Guide to Teleconverters

I consider teleconverters to be an essential piece of photography gear for wildlife photography. Check out this great video on what makes them special and how to get the most out of them.

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IFH 328: Producing Terrance Malik & Building a Mammoth Empire with Tanner Beard

Producing Terrance Malik & Building a Mammoth Empire with Tanner Beard Today on the show we have renaissance filmmaker Tanner Beard. I Had the pleasure of meeting him at the Mammoth Film Festival this year. His adventures in Hollywood are pretty amazing. Tanner Beard is a film and television actor, producer and director as well…

The post IFH 328: Producing Terrance Malik & Building a Mammoth Empire with Tanner Beard appeared first on Indie Film Hustle.

Advertising Photographer Erik Almas Asks: Is Having an Agent Today as Important as It Used to Be?

Advertising Photographer Erik Almas Asks: Is Having an Agent Today as Important as It Used to Be?

The famous advertising photographer Erik Almas ponders the business question any commercial artist asks themselves: do I need an agent?

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Photographer Uses Robots to Shoot Commercial Videos

Photographer Uses Robots to Shoot Commercial Videos

As advanced technology becomes more affordable, we seem to be seeing more and more photographers and videographers using robots to help them create jaw-dropping work, which requires precise movements. These machines are no longer only in the domain of the likes of NASA, Google, or Hollywood — and that’s really exciting.

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NewFilmmakers Los Angeles Call For Entries

The California Film Commission is partnering with NewFilmmakers Los Angeles for the “What’s You’re L.A.?” competition – a community outreach program that puts Los Angeles focused small films on the screen. It’s an opportunity for indie filmmakers to get noticed and compete for more than $60,000 in prizes. The submission deadline is Friday, August 23rd. […]

The post NewFilmmakers Los Angeles Call For Entries appeared first on Below the Line.

2019 Cine Gear Expo Technical Awards Winners

The Cine Gear Expo’s Technical Awards are the expo’s annual recognition of the products with the industry’s technical advancements that have been introduced since the previous year’s LA Expo. After reviewing and evaluating 130 of the technologies submitted and presented at the 2019 Cine Gear Expo, the team of industry expert judges has chosen to […]

The post 2019 Cine Gear Expo Technical Awards Winners appeared first on Below the Line.

iPadOS Finally Makes iPad Worth Considering for Professionals

iPadOS Finally Makes iPad Worth Considering for Professionals

After a few compatibility and speed tests, for the first time, I will be leaving my laptop behind when I go on a seven day trip out of the country later this month. It’s all thanks to iPad’s new iPadOS, which this year will provide support for external drives and a group of other pro features we’ve been starved for since the iPad first came out.

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Select Metabones adapters can now shoot up to 10 fps AF-C on Sony a7 III cameras

In 2017, Metabones released a firmware update for its EF-E Speed Booster and EF-E Smart Adapter lines that added a 10 fps maximum continuous autofocus (AF-C) frame rate to the Sony A9. In an announcement today, the company revealed it’s brought that same functionality to the Sony a7 III model.

The latest update brings 10 fps AF-C to the a7 III via firmware version 62 for the EF-E Speed Booster Ultra I and II, EF-E CINE Speed Booster Ultra, EF-E CINE Smart Adapter and the EF-E Smart Adapter IV and V. These products can be updated over USB with firmware version 62 available to download in the Metabones app.

Metabones explains the 10 fps in the ‘Advanced Mode’ is the theoretical maximum, with both subject movement and the lens AF speed both impacting the actual shooting speed. The company recommends users set the in-camera ‘Priority Set in AF-C’ to ‘AF’ for the best accuracy and hit rate, but warns that it will come with a decrease in frame rate.

The company says older adapter models can be updated to firmware version 62, as well, including the original EF-E Smart Adapter I and II launched in 2012 and the EF-E Speed Booster launched in 2013. These older models don’t feature USB ports, however, so customers will require factory service to get the upgrade. As well, these models will only work in APS-C mode.

Owners of these discontinued products must contact Metabones customer service about upgrading. The company’s firmware downloads can be found here.

Press release:

Metabones® Firmware Pushes A7 Mark III Maximum AF-C Frame Rate up to 10 fps

Vancouver, Canada, June 24, 2019 – Two years ago, Metabones® added support for Sony A9 with a maximum continuous autofocus (AF-C) frame rate of 10 fps by firmware to its EF-E Speed Booster® and EF-E Smart Adapter™ lines of fully-electronic adapters. Today, the same feat is extended to A7 Mark III.

How to upgrade:

  • EF-E Speed Booster ULTRA I/II, EF-E CINE Speed Booster ULTRA, EF-E Smart Adapter IV/V and EF-E CINE Smart Adapter are equipped with USB ports and they can be upgraded to firmware v62 by downloading the latest Metabones App. Choose the “Advanced Mode” checkbox before clicking the “Update” button. To encourage new firmware adoption, the user is assured that the upgrade is reversible to any previous version released in the last 2 years.
  • New customers may set the adapter to “Advanced Mode” with Metabones App or by following the procedure in the online user manual.
  • Even the original EF-E Smart Adapter I/II from 2012 and the original EF-E Speed Booster from 2013 can be updated to v62 and benefit from 10 fps AF-C with A9 and A7 Mark III, but without any USB ports, factory service is required to upgrade the firmware of these discontinued products, and they work only in APS-C mode. EF-E Smart Adapter III (2013) can also be factory-serviced to v62 and is the earliest adapter with full-frame camera support. Please contact Metabones customer service for details.

To achieve the highest possible AF-C frame rate on A7 Mark III, the adapter is set to “Advanced Mode”. On the camera we recommend setting “Priority Set in AF-C” to “AF” for the best accuracy and the highest hit rate, even though that will decrease the frame rate. 10 fps is the theoretical maximum and just how close we get to that is highly dependent upon the AF speed of the lens used and the speed of subject movement.

The fastest frame rate is achieved when the subject is at or near the center where phase-detection autofocus (PDAF) is used. Unfortunately only the central PDAF points are effective, because using all of the PDAF points of the camera would have required metadata about the optical formula of the specific lens used, which we do not have. All the PDAF points can be used by setting the Speed Booster or Smart Adapter to “Green Mode”, although the periphery points will still not be as effective as the central ones.

Some older lenses may have reduced accuracy and/or speed in “Advanced Mode”, but they can still be used in “Green Mode” on A7 Mark III at a lower frame rate (3 fps). “Green Mode” is also faster at single autofocus (AF-S).

With Speed Boosters and Smart Adapters breaking down compatibility barriers, Metabones believes that the products themselves need to be continuously updated with new firmware to cope with new technologies, new cameras and new lenses. Patrons see value in Metabones products in the long term for compatibility with the broadest range of cameras and lenses and for the firmware updates. Leverage the 10 fps continuous autofocus feature of the best-selling full-frame mirrorless camera today using 32 years’ worth of EF Mount lenses.

Download and support page: https://www.metabones.com/article/of/contact-us

3 Pillars of Editing: Cuts, Effects, and Motivation

It’s not only important to know how to cut and apply effects but to also know why you should (or shouldn’t).

There are only three kinds of cuts to make when editing. Obviously, there are derivatives of the three kinds of cuts, but for all of the flashy, flamboyant, and fun-filled films we watch with magnificent, magical, mind-blowing visuals, they all utilize the same baseline of three unbelievably simple kinds of edits.

The three basic cuts

Before you type your fingers into bloody nubs at the end of your palms in the comments section, I want to state that there are many ways to think of editing (sound, special effects, music, foley, offline, etc). Right now, I’m just talking about editing film and video clips.

So what are the big three?

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Apple Watch With a Camera? Newly Published Patent Shows Intriguing Design

Apple Watch With a Camera? Newly Published Patent Shows Intriguing Design

The Apple Watch has been a major success for the company, and is an even bigger business than the dominating iPod ever was. With the many different paths the Watch could follow going into the future, there’s now hints that the device could be made into a wearable camera thanks to these newly granted patents.

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DJI denies sending flight data to China, looks to manufacture in the U.S.

DJI’s Mavic Enterprise Dual is used by government agencies to aid in numerous efforts.

A little over a month ago, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (USDHS) sent out an alert stating that drones manufactured in China presented a security risk. This past week, representatives from Da Jiang Innovations Science and Technology, better known as DJI, told a Senate subcommittee that the company does not automatically collect data, including flight logs and photos, from its users to share with the Chinese government.

In a letter addressing the Senate subcommittee, DJI’s Vice President and Regional Manager, Mario Rebello, outlined the numerous benefits drones provide both the private and public sectors. He also clearly stated that ‘DJI drones do not share flight logs, photos or videos unless the drone pilot deliberately chooses to do so […] this data stays solely on the drone and the pilot’s mobile device. DJI cannot share customer data it never receives.’

Rebello also warned of potential economic fallout should the Chinese company fall victim to speculation coupled with unverified information presented to the Senate subcommittee at a hearing called Drone Security: Enhancing Innovation and Mitigating Supply Chain Risks. ‘We believe industry and government have a shared responsibility to build on this momentum and keep our skies open for safe and secure commerce and innovation. Unfortunately, some witnesses who appeared before the Subcommittee want to limit competition, innovation, and the availability of drone technology based solely on its country of origin,’ the letter adds.

‘We believe industry and government have a shared responsibility to build on this momentum and keep our skies open for safe and secure commerce and innovation.’

DJI supplies roughly 70 percent of the drones in the U.S. market, according to recent estimates. It offers up a diverse range of models including the Mavic Air and now a Government Drone. The latter is currently being developed and will not be able to transfer any data collected during flight wirelessly or online.

Lightweight, compact, and versatile, the Mavic Air is popular among consumers.

Unlike most of Huawei’s business, DJI has not been put on the Trump administration’s blacklist. Nevertheless, by establishing a manufacturing base in California, they hope it enables them to continue selling products in the U.S.

In response to the Trump administration’s recent crackdown on technology manufactured in China and escalating trade war, the Shenzhen-based company, which is privately held, plans to repurpose a warehouse in Cerritos, California, to assemble a variety of drones in its product line. While production in the Cerritos facility, which was formerly used to store inventory, will only represent a small fraction of DJI’s overall production, the company hopes that manufacturing on U.S. shores will help it fulfill some necessary federal requirements.

DJI plans to assemble 60 percent of its new Government Drone in Cerritos once approval by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection is secured. Once verified, they can file for certification as the devices produced in the warehouse will satisfy the requirements set forth by the Trade Agreement Act. Under the Act, government agencies are required, by law, to purchase products made in the U.S.

‘This new investment will expand DJI’s footprint in the U.S. so we can better serve our customers, create U.S. jobs, and strengthen the U.S. drone economy,’ the company said in a statement. Building on this momentum, the company yesterday released its Government Edition hardware and software solutions aimed at local, state, and federal agencies.

Photojournalist Accused of Faking Photos of Violence in Honduras

A photojournalist is being accused of faking an award-winning series of photos that purportedly show hitmen in Honduras carrying out violent acts.

Fstoppers published a report that accuses Swiss/Italian photographer Michele Crameri of staging shots and publishing the photos with fake captions. The report is based on evidence and statements provided by both fellow photographers and the Honduran fixer who helped connect Crameri to gang members during four trips the photographer made to the Honduran city of San Pedro Sula between 2015 and 2018.

Crameri’s photos were published as a series titled Sicario, A Job Like Any Other, and the work has won at least 15 awards, according to Crameri’s website.

But according to Honduran journalist Orlin Castro, who served as Crameri’s fixer, the photographer was joking with the hit men and asking them to demonstrate their execution techniques when the photos were shot. Crameri then published the images with deceptive captions stating they showed actual violence.

For example, here’s one of the “execution” photos found in the series:

And here’s the caption that Crameri attached to the image:

Col Central. Pedro, taxi driver by day, sicario by night. The gang boss is threatening Eduardo in order to get information about his brother Carlos, a rival to Pedro who, for more than a month, has not paid the fee (extortion) for being able to do his job in the area where the two work. After being threatened, Eduardo will call Carlos.

Another photo in the series shows a hitman in a similar pose with another “victim”:

Honduran photographer Tomas Ayuso and Italian photographer Francesca Volpi tell Fstoppers that both of these photos were staged shots showing the hitmen “fooling around for the camera,” and that the “victim” in the bedroom photo is actually Crameri’s fixer, Castro.

And in another photo that appears to show a gangster pointing two guns at a victim through his windshield, the car is actually the one Crameri was traveling around Honduras in — markings on the car in the photo match other photos of the car Crameri was using.

“While working for Crameri, Castro was told that the staged images of the sicarios pretending to threaten people would only be used for Crameri’s personal archive,” Fstoppers writes. “The fixer says that he specifically told Crameri not to publish the photograph of him being jokingly threatened with the gun.”

But it seems that Crameri ignored Castro’s wishes and went a step further by publishing the photos with deceptive captions.

Parallelo Zero, the agency that represents the photographer, tells PetaPixel that it has decided to drop Crameri after looking into the matter. Here’s the agency’s statement:

Parallelozero has, after further internal inquiries, decided to terminate its working relationship with the photographer Michele Crameri and to cancel the contract for the feature that goes by the name of “Sicario”. Crameri was asked about the authenticity of the two images in question and was unable to provide convincing evidence to counter the accusation that they were in fact staged and that the accompanying captions were therefore not completely true. The photographer had, since the start of his relationship with Parallelozero in 2017, repeatedly assured us that all the photos were authentic and he had signed a contract in which he took complete responsibility for the authenticity of both the photos and the captions. Parallelozero has acted in good faith and believes that it is an aggrieved party in this matter. It would, however, like to apologize to anyone who has in any way suffered as a result of the publication of these images.

Crameri hasn’t yet responded to our requests for comment regarding these accusations, but the photo project has been quietly removed from his personal website in the days since this controversy erupted.


Image credits: Photographs by Michele Crameri and via Parallelo Zero/Fstoppers