Aputure officially announces “Light This Location 2019” contest

Aputure is proud to officially announce Light This Location 2019, a filmmaking contest of EPIC proportions! This year, Aputure teamed up with some big brand names in the filmmaking industry, bringing a life-changing prize package that includes a RED HELIUM 8K Camera + $200,000 in cinema gear! Here is what you need to do. Create … Continued

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Real-Time In-Camera VFX: Next Generation of Filmmaking

Real-Time In-Camera VFX: Next Generation of Filmmaking

Visual effects (VFX) are a great way of achieving spectacular results when the budget doesn’t allow filming for real or it’s too risky for the actors. Up till now, these were achieved mostly by filming on green or blue screens. This new way of filmmaking presents a way for shooting scenes with VFX directly in camera.

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ART OF THE CUT with Kevin Tent, ACE on editing “Peanut Butter Falcon”

Kevin Tent, ACE, has been nominated for an Oscar and numerous ACE Eddie Awards for his work on Election, About Schmidt, Sideways, The Descendants, and Nebraska. He also won an ACE Eddie for The Descendants.

Today, Kevin and I discuss his work on in indie film, Peanut Butter Falcon, which he cut on Adobe Premiere.

(This interview was transcribed with SpeedScriber. Thanks to Martin Baker at Digital Heaven)

HULLFISH: Last time we talked was when you did Downsizing. You did that with director Alexander Payne. You’ve done a bunch of films for him.

TENT: I’ve done pretty much every film that he has directed except for his French short that was released a few years ago. I was on another movie when he did that. I started out with him on his very first feature Citizen Ruth then Election then About Schmidt then Sideways, The Descendants, Nebraska then Downsizing. I think that’s all of them.

HULLFISH: What is the key to those long-term relationships, like Joel Cox and Clint Eastwood, Thelma with Martin Scorsese, Sally Menke with Quentin Tarantino?

TENT: Personally we get along very well. We’re similar in some respects. He grew up in Omaha I grew up in Buffalo, New York. We’re about the same age. And when we first met he said the producers had been dangling a lot of very established editors in front of him but he didn’t want to have a “godfather,” he wanted to have a partner.

I do other projects between his films as it takes him longer to get his next one going. So I’ll go edit something else. I like to think when we’re back together I’m a sharper editor than I was when I left him last. But he’s a very good editor in his own right too, and I think that goes for Marty and also Quentin. I think they’re not only great directors but very very good editors, to begin with.

HULLFISH: I didn’t know you were from Buffalo. I’m from nearby — Brockport, NY. I used to be a news cameraman for WOKR-TV in Rochester and shot in Buffalo all the time. I went to SUNY Brockport.

TENT: I went to SUNY Oswego, but then I dropped out and moved to California and went to film school out here.

HULLFISH: Is this a new director for you?

The Peanut Butter Falcon

TENT: Yeah. I’d worked with the producers before (Albert Berger and Ron Yerxa), they had been working on the cut for a while — the directors (Tyler Nilson & Michael Schwartz) were editing themselves — and they needed some help. Albert and Ron produced Election and Nebraska. And they’re going do Alexander’s next film. They asked “Hey, would you help us out?” So I came on and worked with the guys (Tyler & Michael) and also worked with Nat Fuller who I would like to give a big shout out to, too.

HULLFISH: And Nat had worked with you before as an assistant, right?

TENT: Yes. Many years ago I worked on Maleficent, for Disney. Just for a short time and he was an assistant on that movie. I remember him being a really sweet guy. That was maybe six or seven years ago. It was a nice coincidence that we hooked up again. He’s made the move into cutting. He joined Peanut Butter Falcon right before I came on. Nat has now gone on to cut Stranger Things. He’s done two, I think three seasons of that!

HULLFISH: What was the schedule like for you guys? You said that you’ve got a bunch of movies coming out all at the same time, so you probably edited this a while ago?

TENT: It was over a year and a half ago that we finished. We finished in February or March 2018. So it’s taken a long time to come around. I think they waited for South by Southwest and they had to finish the music and stuff like that. So it just took them a while. It seems like people are really responding well which is great. Have you seen it yet?

HULLFISH: I have not seen it.

TENT: It’s pretty great. It’s a feel-good movie, but really funny. It’s just one of those magical things where everything kind of seems to work.

HULLFISH: This is a film that you were brought on to kind of in the middle…

TENT: The directors were editing themselves. But, you know it’s hard to edit your own stuff especially if it’s your first movie. I think that makes even harder. And Michael — one of the directors — has done a lot of commercial editing and a lot of stuff like that. So it wasn’t like he didn’t know anything, but a feature was a little more challenging. They had written it and they had directed it and they were very close to it.

When I came on one of the bigger things I tackled was reducing the subplots of the movie to really subplots. They were wed to a lot of things that I felt you didn’t need to really focus on so much. There was a backstory with Tyler (Shia LaBeouf) and his brother which I reduced to flashbacks instead of full-on scenes. That really helped the overall flow of the movie. It was something they probably would have gotten to on their own at some point. But it’s hard to let go of stuff that you wrote and directed.

But being able to step back I could see that that was kind of clunking up the beginning of the movie. We went with a more abstract approach to some of these flashbacks. Which ultimately were more emotional. It was a little hard for them at first, but they knew the movie was getting better and better as we embraced some of these changes.

HULLFISH: You were brought on by the producers. Did that cause any political difficulties or was that a useful thing?

TENT: Well, it’s definitely useful for the end project. The guys — Tyler and Michael — were really pretty supportive right off the bat. They knew that they were kind of stuck. They knew they needed to do something to shake it loose so they were supportive.

I had asked just to work for a few weeks on my own to get to know the footage and also experiment because I hate experimenting really radical ideas with people in the room. You always feel like you’re under time constraints and you don’t want to spend half an hour doing something stupid. So sometimes you don’t try things, but when I’m on my own, I will try all different things and sometimes they work, sometimes it just is a catalyst for something else.

HULLFISH: How long did you work on the film?

TENT: About ten weeks I think. So about what a director’s cut would be. I think I worked for six weeks on my own. Couldn’t quite get to the whole movie done by that time. Then I had a week or two of just working on the ending with Nat. Nat had done a lot of work roughing it in, he did a great job.

The ending’s this big wrestling match and it’s got a lot of cross-cutting and stuff going on, so that took some time. Then we previewed it and then we did about maybe two or three weeks of changes after that. But it didn’t really change too much from the preview. The cut was in good shape. We scored very well at the preview and that was exciting.

HULLFISH: You talked about the cross-cutting in the final scenes. Do you mean like between an A and a B story?

TENT: Yeah, an A and a B. Between a wrestling match going on and then there’s a bad guy (John Hawks) coming for Shia’s character and then there’s a C story with Dakota Johnson handcuffed to a car steering wheel and she’s trying to get loose. So we’ve got all these bits going on.

HULLFISH: I know it was a while ago, but when you think back to that cross-cutting of those storylines what were some of the things that caused that scene to really need attention?

The Peanut Butter Falcon

TENT: You want it to be suspenseful so you have this wrestling match going on and Zack is losing the wrestling match. You have to build that up. And at the same time, you are trying to get all these storylines to climax at one point. So you don’t want to be in the wrestling match too long before you cut to the next thing so that people don’t forget that storyline — well, not forget — but lose their emotional attachment to it. I think it’s all about emotional attachment. So you want the audience to be emotionally attached to the wrestling match. You want to be emotionally attached to Dakota Johnson trying to get loose from the car. And you want to be emotionally worried that Shia has got the bad guy coming after him. So you want to keep that balance going, and that just takes finessing and time to play around with it.

HULLFISH: I’m really interested in the fact that it’s a process, right? It’s not just a one and done kind of thing.

TENT: Yeah… It’s a process alright. You work and work and work on it and then you look at it the next day and say, “No. Not working yet.” Maybe I have to rethink how it starts or drop whole sections. Or put sections and beats back. It’s constantly changing until it suddenly feels right. Or right enough at that moment. The next day you start again. Maybe refine the sequence or maybe it works enough to move onto the next step and actually show it to people.

HULLFISH: You talked about directing a little bit. You’ve directed several things. What do you think you’re directing does for your editing or vice versa?

The Peanut Butter Falcon

TENT: I directed a movie a couple of years ago called Crash Pad. I’ll tell you what it did for me in the editing room. I was already extremely empathetic to directors. I am probably more empathetic than most about how difficult it must be on the set, but after the experience of directing I had even more empathy and more sympathy for how difficult it is to catch anything that’s good on camera. In my opinion, it’s a miracle a movie ever comes out good. So I think I’ve gained more empathy, understanding, and sympathy for the directors I work with. Less judgmental of the footage and more accepting of what we’ve got.

On the flip side, I had one comforting thought in my mind while I was directing, that — worst-case — if something’s really bad – I can cut it out and figure out some way around it. So that was a big plus for me while I was directing. The biggest thing is having understanding and sympathy and empathy for the footage you have. Sometimes there’s a tendency for editors to complain: “Why didn’t you get that shot?” I don’t think I’ve ever been a big complainer although I’m sure I said those exact words before but I know “it’s hard out there.” Now I am more careful to not be critical of that kind of stuff, and just accept that this is the footage. What do we do? How can I be the best editor to fix what the problems we have right here?

HULLFISH: You mentioned that for the directors you were working with on this film even though that they CAN direct, it’s great to have another set of eyes. When you directed, you hired somebody for your film. You knew that despite how well you edit, you needed someone else to cut for you.

TENT: Well I couldn’t help myself. I really couldn’t. I did some editing too. I was like, “Oh my God! This is a mess! I think I’m the only person that can try to get myself out of this one.” Franco Pante was the main editor, we worked really closely together. It was fun. And he was terrific. We just passed scenes back and forth. He’d work on this and I’d work on that and then he’d take it back and try this. It was creative, productive and fun.

HULLFISH: You don’t edit with other people a lot do you?

TENT: A couple of times, but primarily I’m a one-man band, which I kind of like, but I would do a bigger project.

HULLFISH: You just seemed to be happy about working with another editor — there’s that collaborative sense and you get to talk to somebody else and throw things back and forth. Some people do that a lot and some people don’t.

TENT: It all depends on the project too. Every project’s different, which is one of the great things about the film industry.

HULLFISH: On other films, when you’re finished with dailies do you start assembling scenes — one scene to the next — immediately? When do you start assembling scene to scene to scene?

TENT: If you have two scenes that they shot that actually go together then I would probably put the two scenes together while I’m assembling. But other than that I keep them all separate in a bin and then when I have a bunch of them and I can tie them together and if I’m missing one I’ll just put “scene missing” graphic and keep on going.

HULLFISH: With some of the films you’ve done, they’re pretty quirky. Do many of them have ad-libbing in them?

TENT: Alexander’s movies? Not much ad-libbing.

HULLFISH: So, they’re the kind of movies that are written with very specific dialogue in mind?

TENT: Yes. He likes the actors to follow the dialogue. So his movies may feel that way sometimes — and maybe Sideways — Thomas Haden Church did a lot of ad-libs but for the most part actors stuck to their pages because that’s how he likes it.

Other movies — Peanut Butter Falcon for instance — lots of ad-libs. Shia is a really remarkable actor and even if he’s ad-libbing he’s so into his character that it just seems so natural and he’s really amazing. I had never edited any footage of his before and I was very impressed with him.

HULLFISH: When you’re working with those kinds of performances there can be tonal differences from one take to another. Do you try to control temperature and tone through performance or take choice? Is that something that you find you’re able to do with some actors?

TENT: With some actors, yeah.

HULLFISH: How are you making those determinations of where the edit needs to be as far as the temperature of a performance?

TENT: It’s really hard to give a specific. I think that’s what editing is all about. You’re constantly adjusting especially subtle performances. It could be dropping a line. It could be adding a reaction shot in a certain spot. It could be shortening a scene by half. There are countless ways to play with a performance, so it’s hard to say.

The Peanut Butter Falcon

HULLFISH: I’m talking more because he gives you a range of performances and so you’re choosing, “Maybe this performance is better than this performance but the tone or the temperature of this performance is better for this spot in the movie.”.

TENT: Yes. You’re constantly doing that too. That’s constantly happening. You also don’t realize, or can’t tell, till you start watching the movie as a whole. That’s when you might notice that the character’s kind of one way and all of sudden they’re up high and then they come back down, so you want to adjust that so it all seems believable. So it all seems realistic and true and that you don’t have a performance that takes anyone out of the movie. That’s something you’re always looking for but you might not know that until you put the whole movie together or put three or four scenes together.

HULLFISH: Then with a movie like this one where you’re talking about kind of changing parts of how the movie was originally written you’ve got a performance that somebody thought was going to be used one way but now it’s used as a flashback or if you tighten up a movie, one of the things that I found before — let’s say you’ve got to take out a couple of scenes — when you do that you realize the two scenes that weren’t supposed to go back to back are joined so the performances don’t work now back to back.

TENT: It’s true. That happens all the time. You just kind of figure it out while you’re working on it. Make adjustments to performances in one or both scenes. Or manufacture a few beats between with establishing shots or music or something. A lot of times the audience will let you know about this too. When you screen it for people they’ll feel those bumps in performance if it’s not right. And even if you didn’t see it then you’ll hear about it and realize, “Maybe there’s an adjustment we can make.”

HULLFISH: Can you talk to me a little bit about those screenings.

TENT: It’s super nerve-racking. I always get really nervous because you never know what’s going to happen or how it’s going to play. You hope your movie is playing pretty good. You think it’s in the ballpark. But you don’t really know until you screen for an audience and then you find out for sure.

On Peanut Butter Falcon we had a small producer’s screening after the first six weeks. And they (producers and directors) were happy. It was feeling smooth. It’s telling the story. We’re getting a sense of everything, and it’s a fun ride. That was a very positive screening, but I was very nervous. And our first preview I was nervous too because everyone you’re working with knows the movie fairly well but you never know what an audience is going to say. You’re hoping that they’re going to like it. On Peanut Butter Falcon the screenings were consistently positive, which is good. It gave us even more confidence to keep on going in the direction we we were going in.

HULLFISH: Do you take notes during those screenings or no?

TENT: I don’t. But I remember pretty much everything. At least I think I do. I just try to feel the audience. I can kind of feel when we lose them. So I’m like, “OK. We’ve got to do something in this area because they’ve lost their patience or they’re disengaged.” I think I really just watch for engagement and disengagement and I can feel that. Also, I’ll remember, “I’ve got to fix the bad sound here. Maybe there’s another take of this.” And I’ll remember those kinds of things when I go back to the cutting room.

I used to take notes and I take a notepad with me in case somebody has a good idea I want to write it down, but I find that when I go back to a movie I usually remember what people have said or what I felt. Or what I think they felt.

HULLFISH: This movie was edited in Adobe Premiere which is new to you correct?

TENT: Yes. I inherited a Premiere project. I had used it once briefly before but this was my first time really using it.

HULLFISH: What was the training like? Did you go in a little scared or skeptical?

TENT: I was definitely scared but I jumped right in. I should have probably done things differently, like taken a class or two, but it was one of those situations where I had to start right away. The people at Adobe were very gracious and very helpful, but basically, I just sat down and started using it. Oh and I watched a couple of videos on YouTube. So there was a big learning curve for me and in hindsight, I probably should have taken a class or had someone to sit with me for a day or two or more.

HULLFISH: You just dove right in. That’s brave.

TENT: Yeah, just dove right in, I think it was more foolish than brave. It was a little hard because I’m so used to using an Avid and Premiere does have a way that you can set it up like an Avid, but upon reflection, I wish I wouldn’t have done that. People have told me that it’s not really like cutting with an Avid. You should use it how it’s meant to be used. But it happened so fast. I was trying to relearn it through the lens of an Avid user, and that was kind of hard.

HULLFISH: Do remember how it was organized? Was everything in one project like it is in an Avid? Or did they break it up into separate reels, maybe?

TENT: It was all in one project. Nat and I had to really reorganize it. We had to build it into more of a traditional movie project because it didn’t come that way. Tyler and Michael were used to doing small projects, their shorts, their commercials. And they just loaded tons of footage into a system and started cutting. Honestly, it was kind of a mess. The project was a gorilla to wrestle to the ground and organize, but we did it.

HULLFISH: What are some of the ways that you needed to organize that you felt helped you edit when you did the organization?

TENT: Well, for one thing, we created group clips. Clips hadn’t been grouped yet.

HULLFISH: So, grouping the clips so that you could use them as multi-cam.

TENT: Yes. I don’t think the guys had considered that. We also set up bins and organized them so we could see the clips and takes visually. I don’t think we even had bins organized by scene if I remember correctly. Nat was a big part of getting us up and running.

HULLFISH: With group clips, do you find that the value of those is just being able to cut from one angle to the next without having to find it and match it?

TENT: Yeah I think it’s really useful. Also, I look at group clips together sometimes. For example – in one particular scene in Peanut Butter Falcon, the “A camera” had covered the actors celebrating a birthday party and the “B Camera” rambled around a bar handheld. Picking up various tidbits of footage. A band playing, people cutting cake, people clinking glasses. Having the clips linked helps me remember where a particular “b-cam” shot might be. I’ll remember when an actor says some line, go to it and then look for the corresponding “b-cam” bit I was thinking of.

HULLFISH: Another thing that I would think that an inexperienced editor of any kind or of any age might not organize properly is archiving sequences or edits of scenes or reels. Was there a need to create archival bins of reels that had been delivered or stages that had been reviewed?

TENT: Yeah. Do you mean did we do that in Premiere?

HULLFISH: Yeah when you finally organized.

TENT: We did do that and we did save cuts. I save versions of stuff all the time. If I’m mid-scene when quitting for the night, I’ll save that version from that night in case I want to go back and steal something that I’ve changed the next day of cutting. We were constantly archiving cuts and stuff like that.

HULLFISH: Was there anything in Premiere that you liked?

TENT: I do like a lot of it. I like how you can move tracks around the timeline. And the graphics that they use for the waveforms are very useful, especially for music. We did a lot of music cutting, so that was really handy.

Like I said before – I think if I could do it all over again. I would have taken classes to learn how to use it how it’s intended to be used.

HULLFISH: Anytime somebody complains to me about Avid, for example, I’ll ask, “Well, do you really know how to use it?” I’ve edited two movies in Premiere. I cut one movie in FCP7, and then everything else I’ve cut in Avid. I know my Final Cut Pro experience was bad because I didn’t know what I was doing. So there’s really nobody to blame but myself.

TENT: Me too. I feel that way too. But it was just so fast that I just had to sit down and get started. But then I also think that’s a good way to learn. Just sit down and start doing it.

HULLFISH: Oh yeah. Start blasting through.

TENT: What do you prefer if you’re given the choice?

HULLFISH: For me I prefer Avid. But that’s definitely because of my comfort level with it. You and I have probably been on Avid about the same amount of time. I’ve been on Avid since 1992. So when you’ve been working on something that long, I know it inside and out. I can do whatever I want to do I don’t have to think about what I’m doing, I just do it. And I also troubleshoot fairly well. And when I get on Premiere, there’s so much stuff to like, but then I get lost.

TENT: And there are workarounds, but you just don’t know them. It was a good experience. I’m glad I had a chance to use it.

HULLFISH: What have you been working on since?

TENT: I also have another movie coming out soon that I worked on as an additional editor. It’s called The Brian Banks Story which is also really good. And then a sweet comedy also really good called Otherhood. It’s a Netflix film. Really cute and charming and funny.

Also, I did a film a few years ago called Disconnect with a director friend: Henry Alex Rubin — a great film that nobody ever saw and his new movie Semper Fi is coming out. I’m not sure when. That was the other one I did last year. I had a busy year. I was doing lots of smaller films that were done quickly. The last thing I actually finished was Otherhood, which is out now. I finished that in April.

And up next – I’m waiting for Alexander to start his next film hopefully in October.

HULLFISH: That’s a big issue with a lot of editors who work with directors that always want them to be part of their projects. If you’re the favorite editor of a director, how do you schedule your movies to time out with their movies? You don’t want to sit around too long with nothing to do, but you want to make sure you’re available.

TENT: Right. Yeah. It’s tricky. It’s really tricky. I’ve always — knock on wood — been lucky that it’s kind of worked out. There’ve been a couple of times where it’s overlapped and that’s always been nerve-wracking. I don’t like doing that. Too stressful.

HULLFISH: Tell me about trying to negotiate that.

TENT: It’s hard. It’s really hard to do. Downsizing was a good example. I was finishing my movie while Downsizing was in production. Alexander was OK with it overlapping and we, fortunately, had Joe Bini come in and help. He and I were both cutting while I was trying to finish my movie, but I found it very stressful. Like I wasn’t giving Downsizing enough attention and then I also thought I was not giving my own movie enough attention.

HULLFISH: When you get dailies — when you’re looking at a blank timeline — what do you do?

TENT: I select things I like as I go along. So I start watching dailies and even if it’s a reaction shot I’ll throw it in the timeline and save it. And I’ll just keep collecting stuff, even sound effects sometimes. Like a door closing or something. I’ll think “Oh, that’s really good. I’ll save that.” I just kind of keep these various things in the timeline, just collect my favorite moments and then start putting it together. Basically editing is hunting and gathering at the same time.

I used to watch dailies all the way through, then go back and start collecting and cutting. But now it seems it’s more efficient to watch and collect at the same time. I copy my selected goodies and start cutting with them and keep pushing all my selects south in the timeline. So sometimes my first cuts of scenes will have behind them, tons of junk or leftover clips of stuff I pulled.

HULLFISH: And how are you using that collection? You’ve got a big selects reel of stuff. Are you cutting from that? Do you pop that in the source monitor and edit from it? Or do you put it in the timeline and use it as a starting point?

TENT: That’s a good question. I do both. Sometimes I’ll match clip to the original daily and cut it in twice.

And then I’ve also gotten into — and maybe you have too — stacking takes on top of each other. Alexander and I do this a lot.

Talking earlier about how we’re regulating performances — we do that a lot, so we’ll have — this performance which is a little hotter, it’s a little angrier here, let’s keep it but I think we should go with this one right now. Then keep on cutting but we keep going back and looking. Sometimes they stay in a cut for a really long time and then other times, once we get it put together, we’ll decide that this is the one we should keep.

HULLFISH: And you’re doing that on two different tracks?

TENT: You can mute that clip in Premiere, which is cool. Avid can do that now too. We’ve been using it for a few years.

HULLFISH: You’re not talking about muting the audio, but muting the entire clip or track, right? So that the clip is in the timeline but if you don’t see it visually or hear it audibly.

TENT: Right.

HULLFISH: Resolve does something similar which allows you to have alternate takes in the same clip in the timeline and switch between them. And even if — for example — let’s say in one take the delivery of a line in a segment takes two and a half seconds but you’ve got another take where there’s a little pause in it and maybe it’s three seconds? It’s still in the timeline as one segment and if you watch one it pushes everything down a half a second or pulls it back a half a second. It’s really cool.

TENT: Really?

HULLFISH: Yeah. Check out Alternate takes in Resolve.  It actually even flows between takes that are different lengths so you can see both takes in context of the edit without changing the length of either take.

With a lot of your films — well most films, right? — The plot is about one thing but then the subtext is something different. What does that mean to you when you’re trying to cut a film and you know this film is really about loss even though it seems to be about wrestling?

TENT: I think what’s interesting is that… That’s something that evolves. Peanut Butter Falcon is a good example of what you’re saying. It’s really a movie about family and you don’t realize it at first. And all the editing we did eventually made that subtext stronger. It’s not something consciously we were trying to do but I think as the film evolved and got tighter and more focused that came to the surface. And that’s what’s kind of sweet about the movie. You have these three main characters who are all kind of orphans and alone and then through this crazy story they all hook up and become a family. Very sweet.

Subtext is something that I think you can’t really force. It’s a big question. I think those things just kind of hopefully evolve organically and naturally. I think that’s why Peanut Butter Falcon works so well. Very strong undercurrents which an audience feels more than intellectually thinks about.

HULLFISH: Let’s talk about the idea of how you deal with a director — and it would be interesting for you to talk about how it’s different with someone that you work with so often, like Alexander. Your collaboration with him might be very different than with other directors that you worked with less.

TENT: My approach is I am just pretty honest of what I think is better for the movie. Michael and Tyler were great fun to work with. We had our differences and ultimately it’s their choice what they decide, but I’ll give my pitch of why and what I did as opposed to how they had it before. And then it’s kind of up to them to either go for it or not.

I’m not super pushy, but one time I said that to Alexander and he said, “Oh Yeah right!” (sarcastically) (laughs) I think I try to be really clear on why I make some of the decisions I make. And why I think something is better for the movie or for a character.

A lot of it is personal preference. Ultimately they’re the director of the movie and they have the final say. If I REALLY believe in something I’ll go back to it again — a couple of times — but I usually abide by my “Three Time Rule” which is that I only bring up a significant idea or cut three times. Like dropping a scene or swapping a performance. If the fish aren’t biting the first time around and I really feel it’s important I’ll bring it up two more times over the course of the cutting. It might be the very last day of the mix where I’ll bring it up a third time — if I really believe in it — but after three times you have to let it go. You don’t want to become annoying or create trust issues with the director. Plus… so many times while cutting I thought something was so critically important, then I see the movie later and I think… “what was I worried about? That still works.”

HULLFISH: As far as relationships that are more established, like with Alexander, the other advantage that you’ve got is that you’ve maybe said stuff to them that they didn’t agree with, but it was later shown to be correct so they see — eventually — that you were right. And when that happens enough times you gain some credibility.

TENT: Right. I know. It’s true. But he and I – we don’t get into anything like that. We don’t take ownership of things in the movies. I figure what happens in the room when we close the door – happens and whatever comes out comes out. We don’t say to ourselves “that was my idea.” Because it’s never really anyone’s idea. It’s a combination of people working on a project or scene and whatever comes out is what comes out.

HULLFISH: Right, because on something where you truly believe, “That was my idea.” It was still triggered by….

TENT: Yes!

HULLFISH: …your director maybe saying something that didn’t work, but that’s how you came up with your idea.

TENT: Exactly. So that’s why I think the editing rooms is this sanctuary where stuff happens and when it comes out of the room hopefully it’s good. Who knows or cares why things came out the way they did? It was a combination of everything that happens in there.

HULLFISH: Because the producers brought you onto this film was there any tension between the directors and the producers and your relationship with them?

TENT: In this circumstance, everyone I think felt there needed to be some help or they needed some fresh eyes on the project. I had breakfast with Tyler and Michael right before I started — and they were excited about having someone else help, because I think they had been working really hard, but they were just stuck a little bit.

HULLFISH: So two directors?

TENT: Tyler and Michael Yeah.

HULLFISH: How did they interact with each other?

TENT: It’s interesting. They’re really great guys. They’re super talented. They’ve known each other for years. They’re really good buddies. They made a short film together, and they know Zach. It’s a great story behind the making of this movie. Zach, they met at a filmmaking camp in Florida I believe where Zach’s from — for Down’s syndrome children and adults. They really love Zach and Zach’s so lovely — you’ll see it in the movies. They decided to work on a script with him. So many of the ideas in the script are things that Zach came up with. They were so open to his ideas. Zach loves wrestling so we’re going to work this wrestling thing into the movie. Zach loves to swim, so we’re going to work this swimming thing into the movie and that’s how they wrote it. That’s how they directed it and that’s how they were in the editing room too.

HULLFISH: Thank you so much for chatting with me. I really enjoyed talking about this movie with you.

TENT: I can’t wait for you to see it. So please let me know. I’d love to hear what you think.

Art of the Cut book cover
Art of the Cut: Conversations with Film and TV Editors

To read more interviews in the Art of the Cut series, check out THIS LINK and follow me on Twitter @stevehullfish

The first 50 interviews in the series provided the material for the book, “Art of the Cut: Conversations with Film and TV Editors.” This is a unique book that breaks down interviews with many of the world’s best editors and organizes it into a virtual roundtable discussion centering on the topics editors care about. It is a powerful tool for experienced and aspiring editors alike. Cinemontage and CinemaEditor magazine both gave it rave reviews. No other book provides the breadth of opinion and experience. Combined, the editors featured in the book have edited for over 1,000 years on many of the most iconic, critically acclaimed and biggest box office hits in the history of cinema.

The post ART OF THE CUT with Kevin Tent, ACE on editing “Peanut Butter Falcon” appeared first on ProVideo Coalition.

Mike Kelley Critiques Your Architectural Photos

Mike Kelley Critiques Your Architectural Photos

In the latest video from Fstoppers, professional architectural photographer Mike Kelley critiques images submitted by fellow photographers. All of the images were submitted by architectural photographers who are part of a closed group on Facebook.

[ Read More ]

X-Rite’s i1Photo Pro 3 Plus profiler can calibrate for difficult surfaces, brighter displays

Calibration tool manufacturer X-Rite has announced an updated i1Photo Pro profiler that it says is designed to provide greater accuracy when measuring from heavily textured and high gloss papers. The professional-grade i1Photo Pro 3 spectrophotometer has a larger measuring aperture to compensate for imbalances caused by uneven surfaces and uses a polarizer to cut through reflections on high-gloss papers and on textured surfaces such as canvas.

The profiler is also now able to read from much brighter displays when performing screen calibrations, with a maximum of 5K NITs allowed for. The i1Photo Pro 3, along with the i1Profiler software, can also be used to emulate M0, M1 and M2 conditions after a single scan to demonstrate how images will look under various types of lighting when optical brighteners are present in the target paper.

X-Rite says the device has been developed in response to the broadening of the range of surfaces now being printed on, and the increasing brightness and resolution of backlit displays.

X-Rite has also launched a new calibration table for those really serious about print accuracy. The i1iO Automated Scanning Table allows automated patch reading for reflective and transparent materials, and can work with a thickness of up to 33mm.

The X-Rite i1Photo Pro 3 Pro costs $2199/£1750, while the i1iO Automated Scanning Table costs $2995/£2400. For more information see the X-Rite website.

Press release:

X-Rite Now Shipping i1Photo Pro 3 Plus

The new i1Photo Pro 3 Plus from X-Rite is an ultra-precise spectral colour measurement solution that is optimised for Colour Perfectionists who print digitally on a wide range of specialised materials and surfaces.

Birmingham, UK, 15th August 2019 – X-Rite Incorporated, the global leader in colour science and technology, is now shipping the new i1Photo Pro 3 Plus, a spectral colour measurement solution specifically designed for professional photographers who print on challenging textured and glossy photo media looking for the most accurate colour in their RGB print workflows. i1Photo Pro 3 Plus combines the new i1Pro 3 Plus spectrophotometer and i1Profiler software to deliver the ultimate professional-level colour management for displays, projectors, scanners, RGB printers and cameras.

Current profiling solutions are limited in their ability to measure textured, rough, or uneven surfaces and cannot accommodate various material thicknesses. Many devices do not have the resolution required to ensure the highest colour quality when printing detailed patterns, metallic effects, or photography images. This leads to costly colour errors and rework, which impacts a photographer’s bottom line.

“The i1Photo Pro3 Plus builds on the success of the i1 Family and removes the variability to create accurate ICC profiles on a broader range of photographic materials,” said Liz Quinlisk, Photo and Video Business Unit Manager, X-Rite. “Photographers will see the immediate value by incorporating the i1Photo Pro 3 Plus into their RGB print workflow, resulting in more accurate, repeatable colour and improved shadow detail, as well as a reduction of waste and an increased return on investment.”

New in the i1Pro3 Plus spectrophotometer:
Larger 8mm aperture supports new materials and substrates used in digital printing.

Polarisation Filter (measurement condition M3) that reduces specular highlights and shadows to provide “better blacks” and richer colours on rough surfaces and glossy media, like canvas prints and fine art photo papers.

High Brightness Measurement up to 5K NITs for ultra-bright displays.

Simultaneously measure M0, M1 and M2 in a single pass to account for optical brighteners so photographers can quickly predict how colours printed on optically brightened substrates will look under different lighting conditions.

New LED illuminant that improves device reliability. The i1Pro3 Plus allows for four measurement conditions (ISO 13655 M0; M1: D50; M2: UV Excluded, M3Polarised).

Transmission scanning support for backlit materials.

Longer scanning ruler to support wider charts.

“We are used to seeing bumpy shadow measurements from unpolarised devices on glossy textured media like canvas. With the new polarisation feature in the i1Pro 3 Plus, our M3 measurements are dramatically smoother in the shadows – perfect in fact,” commented Scott Martin, Founder, Onsight, a leading workflow consultant for print, prepress, design and photography.

New X-Rite iO Table
In addition, X-Rite announces a new i1iO Automated Scanning Table that supports the i1Pro 3 Plus hardware. This hands-free test chart reader offers automated colour profiling on a variety of substrates with reduced risk of colour measurement errors. It is ideal for colour perfectionists who want to speed up and automate the measurement process and eliminate manual strip reading. The new i1iO table can be used with a variety of materials including canvas, textiles, ceramics, corrugated, etc. and supports materials up to 33mm thick, with the optional z-axis spacer. It also supports transparencies and backlit materials.

Additional i1Pro 3 Plus Solutions
In addition to i1Photo Pro 3 Plus, X-Rite is now shipping these new i1Pro 3 Plus solutions:
i1Basic Pro 3 Plus – includes monitor calibration and quality control for monitors and printers
i1Publish Pro 3 Plus – includes CMYK+ printer module and all features of i1Photo Pro 3 Plus

This Rare 75mm f/1.9 Cinema Projector Lens is the King of Swirly Bokeh

YouTuber Mathieu Stern is a weird lens expert, but even he didn’t realize the gem he’d uncovered when someone sold him an old cinema projector lens for 2 Euros at a flea market. It turns out this rare 75mm f/1.9 lens produces some of the most intense swirly bokeh Stern has ever seen.

Since this lens wasn’t made for any camera that Stern had ever used, he actually had to 3D print a solution in order to attach it to his Sony mirrorless. The lens fits into a 3D printed expansion ring, that fits into his m42 helicoid adapter, that attaches to a m42 to E-mount adapter, that finally attaches to his camera.

Fortunately, this complicated setup worked, allowing him to film the footage above and the stills below with a lens he’s now calling “The Swirly Bokeh Emperor”:

Check out the video up top to see a bunch of test footage shot with the lens, and if you liked this, then head over to Mathieu’s website or subscribe to his YouTube channel for a lot more weird/rare/old lens tests. He always has something unique and interesting up his sleeve, like this video shot with a 100-year-old Kodak Vest Pocket Lens.


Credits: Photos and video by Mathieu Stern and shared with permission.

The Death of Photoshop: A Warning to Photographers

The Death of Photoshop: A Warning to Photographers

Photoshop’s days are seriously numbered thanks to the likes of AI, machine learning, and neural networks. The question is, what should photographers be doing to prepare for this big change?

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Moment launches 37mm Cine filters and mount for use with smartphone cameras

Mobile photography company Moment has launched a new 37mm Cine filter set for smartphones, including a compatible mount. Though Moment already offered a series of filters, those products were designed for the company’s mobile lenses. The new 37mm Cine filter set, however, is made for use with a phone’s camera using its native lenses.

The new filter mount is designed for use with Moment’s existing smartphone cases for iPhone, Pixel, OnePlus, and Galaxy models. Users who don’t already have a Moment phone case can order the new 37mm Cine filters and mount in a bundle that features a phone case, 37mm ND filter, and 37mm CPL filter. This bundle costs $99.96 USD.

The new 37mm Cine CPL phone filter set is available with the mount and CPL filter for $49.98 USD, plus there’s a 37mm Cine ND filter set with the mount and ND filter for $39.98 USD. Both new filters are scratch-resistant and feature hydrophobic, anti-static, anti-reflective, color-corrective coatings on cinema glass.

The filter mount will work with any 37mm filters and 37mm cine lenses, according to the company. The entire 37mm Cine filters and mount line is available now from Moment.

ON1 Unveils ON1 Photo RAW 2020, ON1 Video 2020, ON1 Sync and More

ON1 let loose a barrage of announcements today as it prepares to release a new suite of software for 2020. In all, they announced two desktop apps, one smartphone app, and one service: ON1 Photo RAW 2020, ON1 Video 2020, ON1 Photo Mobile 2020 and ON1 Sync.

Details about each of these apps and services are a bit thin for now, but there’s a lot coming down the pike from ON1 over the next several months.

ON1 Photo RAW 2020

The major announcement is, of course, ON1 Photo RAW 2020: an update to the company’s photo organizer, raw processor and pixel editor that will be released this fall. The 2020 version of the application will include new AI-powered features called AI Match and AI Auto, four new Effects filters (Weather, Sun Flare, Color Balance, Channel Mixer), Custom Camera Profiles, improved noise reduction, a map view, a Print Module, and “significant speed and performance enhancements.”

The public beta of ON1 Photo RAW 2020 is slated to launch in mid-September, but details about the new features, a full release date and pricing will all be announced at a later date.

ON1 Photo Mobile 2020

Next up is a new ON1 Photo Mobile app for both iOS and Android, which will come with an integrated camera with “pro-level controls” and RAW image capture. ON1 promises to integrate photo editing tools from ON1 Photo RAW into the app, so you have advanced control over color, tone, enhancing shadows, removing distractions, and more. And if you take advantage of ON1 Sync (see below) you can seamlessly sync edits between the mobile app and its desktop companion.

ON1 Photo Mobile 2020 is scheduled to arrive in early 2020, no public beta here.

ON1 Video 2020

Joining the photo editing app is ON1 Video 2020: a video editing app “explicitly designed for the photographer.” ON1 calls this “a simple, yet robust video editor that removes the learning curve of other video editors,” complete with easy-to-use tools for trimming, enhancing, adding audio tracks, grading and sharing video clips. You’ll also be able to create time-lapses and slideshows, or pull high-quality still-frames.

A public beta of the app will launch mid-November, with the final release scheduled to arrive in “early 2020.”

ON1 Sync

Finally, ON1 also announced a service that pulls all three of the above apps together. It’s called ON1 Sync, and it promises to let you “view and edit photos on all your devices without requiring you to store them in the cloud or a closed system.” Take that Adobe. The service allows you to store your photos anywhere, access them from all your devices, and sync edits seamlessly.

Most importantly, ON1 promises to prioritize privacy, explaining that the service does not grant ON1 any rights or permissions over your content, including “[using] your photos for image analysis or any sort of marketing purposes.”

ON1 Sync will arrive as an optional service alongside ON1 Photo Mobile 2020 in “early 2020.”

To learn more about any of these apps, head over to the ON1 website.

So much of what ON1 announced today felt and sounded like a shot across Adobe’s bow. The press release went to great lengths to emphasize how ON1 puts photographers first, letting them choose how they store their images, edit their photography, and pay for their software. The additional emphasis on not having to store your images in the cloud to use their syncing service was yet another blow.

The question is, do any of the above options intrigue you? If you’re an ON1 Photo RAW user, let us know if you’re excited about the next iteration. If you’re not, let us know if today’s announcement makes you want to give ON1 a serious look.

Why Photographers Need to Start Asking: What GPU Does My Computer Have?

Why Photographers Need to Start Asking: What GPU Does My Computer Have?

Your computer’s graphics card isn’t just for games anymore — with recent updates to essential core products, including Lightroom and Photoshop, there are a number of reasons why you should start paying attention to your GPU.

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ON1 Video 2020: a video editor explicitly designed for photographers

ON1 Video 2020: a video editor designed for photographers

A new video editor is born, and this video editing app is explicitly designed for the photographer who also shoots video. A public beta for ON1 Video 2020 will be available mid-November.

Modern cameras shoot stills and video, and that has helped photographers to discover the magic of moving images, even if stills are what they capture the most. Photographers have different needs when it comes to video, and not all of them need to use the classic NLE’s available to create their work. Sometimes, they just need to have the right tools to do some video editing, but don’t want to bother learning, as ON1 says, “complex videography terminology like other editors to quickly create stunning clips.”

One of the reasons that keeps photographers away from video is the – steep – learning curve for the majority of video editors. Photographers who create slideshows with digital tools as ProShow Producer, for example, are familiar with timelines, audio tracks, fades and other features, but tend to get lost when faced with the complex interface of most NLEs. Some of the modern apps offer easier interfaces, but they still “speak” a language that is not understood by photographers. So, having a company as ON1 stating that their ON1 Video 2020 “will be a simple, yet robust video editor that removes the learning curve of other video editors” had me interested.

ON1 Video 2020: a public beta in November

There are multiple reasons for photographers to be excited about the idea of ON1 Video 2020. Those who have used the multiple creative options present in ON1 Photo RAW, which in fact started long before, with plugins as Perfect Effects, followed by the Perfect Photo Suite, have always dreamt of being able to use some of those effects in video, as many of them seem adequate to, for example, color grading. In fact, I’ve asked ON1 before if there were any plans to introduce a video editor under their name. When in a recent version of ON1 Photo RAW the ability to view video files was included, I asked again if a NLE was in ON1’s plans. Well, they have just confirmed it with ON1 Video 2020.

Next November, when a public beta for ON1 Video will be available, users will have the opportunity to confirm the extent of features from ON1 Photo RAW that appear as options in the video editor. What we know now is that ON1’s NLE will include tools for trimming, enhancing, adding audio tracks, grading and sharing video clips using tools, adjustment sliders, and techniques typically found in a photo editing workflow. Additional features will include the ability to create professional time-lapse videos, slideshows, high-quality still-frame captures, and, yes ON1 confirms it, seamless integration with ON1 Photo RAW.

The company says that ON1 Video 2020 will be the perfect solution for wedding, action, and drone photographers. A public beta for ON1 Video will be available mid-November, as I wrote above, with the final release in early 2020. I am curious to see how photographer-friendly this NLE is going to be!

ON1 Photo RAW 2020 in 11 languages

There is more coming from ON1, and the first to arrive is the next major release of ON1 Photo RAW 2020, the professional-grade photo organizer, raw processor, layered editor, and effects app, available this fall. Significant new features include AI-powered features AI Match and AI Auto, four filters in Effects (Weather, Sun Flare, Color Balance, Channel Mixer), Custom Camera Profiles with X-Rite, SmugMug integration, improved noise reduction, a map view, a Print Module, and significant speed and performance enhancements.

ON1 will also update the entire preset library and add lots of new looks and styles curated from today’s hottest photographic trends. For the first time, ON1 Photo RAW will be available in eleven languages including English, German, Spanish, French, Japanese, Korean, Simplified Chinese, Russian, Portuguese, Italian and Dutch. ON1 will release a public beta in mid-September. Details regarding the complete feature set and pricing for ON1 Photo RAW 2020 will be available at that time.

ON1 Video 2020: a video editor designed for photographers

ON1 Photo Mobile 2020 app

Photographers who use smartphones have not been forgotten, and there is a new ON1 Photo Mobile 2020 app for iOS and Android. The app will, says ON1, “allow you to capture raw photos on your smartphone using the pro-level controls you are familiar with on your interchangeable-lens camera”. Photo editing tools for color & tone, enhancing shadows, removing distractions, or adding vignettes, from ON1 Photo RAW will also be available in the new ON1 Photo Mobile.

In addition, a new optional service add-on, ON1 Sync, will allow you to wirelessly send raw photos from ON1 Photo Mobile directly to ON1 Photo RAW on your desktop or laptop computers with the non-destructive editing settings intact. You can also push edits from ON1 Photo RAW on your desktop or laptop computers back to ON1 Photo Mobile providing a complete, open, photo editing and organizing system.

ON1 Video 2020: a video editor designed for photographers

ON1 Sync and privacy concerns

The new ON1 Sync service provides you complete control of your photos, says ON1. With it, you will be able to view and edit photos on all your devices without requiring you to store them in the cloud or a closed system. The new service will also sync albums, presets, and more between all your devices. ON1 Sync gives you the benefits of the cloud for less and allows you to control where your photos live. You can store your photos on your desktop or laptop computer, an external hard drive, in any of the popular cloud services or on your mobile devices, and you can still access them from anywhere.

For those worried with the eventual privacy problems created by an always connected world, ON1 states that “your privacy is also extremely important to ON1 and using the ON1 Sync service does not grant ON1 any additional rights to the content syncing with this service. ON1 does not have permission to use your photos for image analysis or any sort of marketing purposes. With ON1, you are not the product, you are in complete control of your photos and your privacy.”

The post ON1 Video 2020: a video editor explicitly designed for photographers appeared first on ProVideo Coalition.

Instagram says viral meme about new content ‘rule’ is a hoax

Instagram has dismissed another viral spam image that is circulating on its platform, this one claiming that, starting tomorrow, all user content will be made public (including deleted messages) and that the company will be able to use images against users in court. Instagram brand communications manager Stephanie Otway told WWD, ‘There’s no truth to this post.’

The image has gone viral thanks to, in part, accounts with large numbers of followers that reshared the claim, including ones belonging to musicians, actors and politicians. The image tells viewers that they must reshare the meme to prevent Instagram from using their images and other account details, but doing so is pointless and only helps surface the spam content.

This isn’t the first time claims related to user content have gone viral on social media. Facebook was forced to address similar claims in 2012 and again in 2015, for example. Instagram details the information it gathers on users and how it utilizes that information on its official Data Policy.

Presenting ‘Glory’: A Photo Experience That I Surprised My Supporters by Delivering to Their Doorstep

Presenting 'Glory': A Photo Experience That I Surprised My Supporters by Delivering to Their Doorstep

It’s time for something different. Ever have that great idea, but you may just let it fizzle away? Me too. But this one wasn’t getting away.

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ON1 announces upcoming Photo RAW 2020 update, two mobile apps and ON1 Sync

ON1 has announced the impending release of ON1 Photo RAW 2020 as well as three new products: ON1 Video, ON1 Photo Mobile and ON1 Sync Service. ON1 says in its press release that ‘in the coming months’ it will launch a ‘complete line of photo and video products to all levels of photographers providing an integrated creative workflow.’

ON1 Photo RAW 2020

The first product to arrive is ON1 Photo RAW 2020, a successor to ONE1 Photo RAW 2019 that brings with it new AI-powered features and more. Specifically, ON1 says Photo RAW 2020 will feature ‘AI Match and AI Auto, four filters in Effects (Weather, Sun Flare, Color Balance, Channel Mixer), Custom Camera Profiles with X-Rite, SmugMug integration, improved noise reduction, a map view, a Print Module, and significant speed/performance enhancements.’

Additionally, ON1 Photo RAW 2020 will be available in eleven languages for the first time, including English, German, Spanish, French, Japanese, Korean, Simplified Chinese, Russian, Portuguese, Italian and Dutch.

ON1 says it plans to release a public beta for Photo RAW 2020 in ‘mid-September’ 2019. Until then, pricing and further details on the new and updated features will remain unknown.

ON1 Photo Mobile 2020 App

ON1 has also announced it will soon release ON1 Photo Mobile 2020, an Android and iOS app that will allow you to both capture and edit Raw photos on your mobile device. According to ON1, the app ‘will allow you to capture raw photos on your smartphone using the pro-level controls you are familiar with on your interchangeable-lens camera.’ In addition to capture, it will provide basic editing tools to adjust the captured images.

ON1 Sync

Alongside the ON1 Photo Mobile 2020 app, ON1 has announced ON1 Sync, an optional service that makes it possible to ‘view and edit photos on all your devices without requiring you to store them in the cloud or a closed system.’

The optional add-on for ON1 Photo Mobile 2020 will sync albums, presets and more between devices. ON1 doesn’t elaborate on how exactly it’ll work, but says ‘You can store your photos on your desktop or laptop computer, an external hard drive, in any of the popular cloud services or on your mobile devices, and you can still access them from anywhere.’

ON1 also emphasizes its priority on privacy, saying using the ON1 Sync service won’t grant ON1 any additional rights to the content, nor will the company ‘have permission to use your photos for image analysis or any sort of marketing purposes.’

ON1 Video 2020

Last but not least, ON1 has announced ON1 Video 2020, a new video editing application that it says was ‘explicitly designed for the photographer.’ ON1 says it ‘will be a simple, yet robust video editor’ with tools for enhancing, tripping, editing audio, grading and sharing videos. ON1 says ON1 Video 2020 will work seamlessly with ON1 Photo RAW 2020.

A public beta for ON1 Video 2020 is expected mid-November with a final release timeframe of ‘early 2020.’

Photographer Shares the Story Behind this Incredible Astrolandscape Photo

Two days ago, photographer Paul Schmit captured what he’s calling “the most difficult and technical astrolandscape shot I’ve ever planned and executed.” It’s an incredible shot, showing the ISS transiting the sunset in front of some picturesque radio towers atop a mountain peak. This photo was weeks in the making, but Schmit tells PetaPixel he almost missed it.

Schmit originally shared the story behind this shot in a Facebook post, where he did a good job of summarizing why this photograph is so special.

“For over a year, I’ve been waiting for an opportunity to capture the International Space Station moving across the face of the sun as it rises over a landscape,” writes Paul on Facebook. “This turns out to be an immensely challenging task, requiring that the ISS cross in front of the sun far enough from my vantage point so that its apparent elevation is relatively low in the sky (then allowing for a landscape element); plus, the ISS shadow can’t just be low in the sky, it also must pass over a suitable, well-positioned landscape element; plus, there must be a way to get to the exact location that will afford a simultaneous view of sunrise over that landscape element (~2 minute event) and the ISS transit (~1 second event).”

We spoke with Paul this morning, and it’s incredible just how difficult this shot was to capture, and how nearly he missed it. When you’re planning a shot this precise, the smallest deviation in scouting and planning software like The Photographer’s Ephemeris and PlanIt! can lead to a missed shot.

“Tiny errors in perspective (~0.1 degrees) caused by inaccuracies in the topographical mapping software could make or break a shot,” he explains. A dry run the day before revealed that this was, indeed the case. “Very small errors in the software’s landscape rendering led to the sun rising ~1 minute later than expected, signifying a mere 0.2-degree error in simulated perspective, but enough of an error that I would have missed the transit while waiting for the sun to rise.”

He tried to compensate, but with just 2 minutes until the transit and sun’s disk already starting to rise, he had to reposition or miss the shot.

“I quickly slid my telescope/camera off its sturdy mount, tucked it under my arm, and ran 40 feet down the hillside, chasing the shadow of the mountain as it crept downhill,” says Schmit. “With only 45 seconds to go, my dad shouting out the times to me, I laid on my back, propped the telescope on my knees, and frantically scanned back and forth trying to find the sun in my LCD screen.”

Picture it: he’s lying down on his back with the scope propped on his knees, hand-holding his Nikon D500 and a 2000mm FF-equivalent lens, his father/trusty photography partner Gary shouting out reminders as the seconds tick away… and it worked! He fired off 10 shots just as the ISS began its 1.4-second transit across the sun. To get a sense or just how close he was to missing the shot entirely, Schmit put together this half-speed GIF of all ten shots aligned in post:

Here it is at full speed without the frames aligned. The GIF is a bit dizzying, but it really captures the frantic feeling of the moment:

Two minutes later, the sun had already disappeared behind a bank of clouds.

“Sure, there is some minute pixel-level blurring due to handholding a telescope at ~2000mm FF-equivalent focal length after sprinting downhill; and yes, I risked missing the event completely had the sun not suddenly appeared on my LCD screen at just the right moment,” says Schmit in closing. “But, with that in mind, I think the final image is much more dramatic with individual trees and branches appearing below the radio towers, captured from over 3 miles away by a photographer fearing he just ruined countless hours of preparation and missed the shot.”

We totally agree. The photo, the planning, the near-miss, it makes for one of the most exciting landscape photo stories we’ve heard. And the final shot is that much richer for it.

Not that Paul is a stranger to capturing amazing images. Here are a few more ISS transits, astrophotographs, and some cool time blended landscape images he sent our way this morning:

We hope you enjoyed this amazing photo story as much as we enjoyed telling it. To see more from Paul, be sure to visit his website or give him a follow on Instagram.


Credits: All photographs and gifs by Paul Schmit and used with permission.

Moment Launches New 37mm Filters and Filter Mount for Your Smartphone

Moment just launched an exciting new product for smartphone photographers: a line of high-quality 37mm Cine filters and compatible filter mount that you can attach directly to your Moment smartphone case.

Previously, you could only use Moment’s filters on the company’s smartphone lenses, making it impossible to use a filter with your phone’s native wide or tele lenses. The new filters and filter mount changes this, allowing you to slap any screw-on 37mm ND or circular polarizing filter directly onto one of Moment’s smartphone cases.

As with all of Moment’s filters and lenses, the new 37mm ND and CPL filters use B270 cinema-quality glass and boast hydrophobic and scratch-resistant coatings. Plus, since they conform to the 37mm standard, you don’t even need to buy their filters: you can use the filter mount with any 37mm cine mount rings or filters you already own.

Here’s a quick intro and shooting demo that Moment put together to show off the new filters:

Today’s launch includes a rotatable circular polarizing filter (CPL), ND filters from ND4 through ND64, and a 37mm filter mount that connects to a Moment phone case on one side and lets you attach any 37mm filter on the other. The stainless steel filter mount will cost $10, the CPL filter costs $45, and the ND filters cost $35. Or you can pick up the whole filter set for $130.

No matter which filter you buy, they all come in a foam-lined CNC machined metal carrying case for protection.

If you’re interested in the new 37mm Cine filters or the filter mount, head over to the Moment website to learn more or order a set for yourself today. If you order within the next 72 hours, you’ll get 20% off any of the new filters or filter kits, so there’s a reason to move fast if you’re interested.