Rosco has announced the release of MIXBOOK, which they claim is the world’s first digital swatchbook. MIXBOOK has been engineered by the LED lighting and color experts at Rosco. It has been made with the sole intention of letting filmmakers and other lighting professionals pre-visualize their gel and LED colors, and then communicate those color … Continued
Headlining our Deals of the Week, save $100 on the RØDE NTG2 shotgun microphone.
This week in filmmaking deals: RØDE drops the price of the NTG2 Shotgun Microphone from $369 to $269, while JOBY offers a $70 discount on the GorillaPod 5K Kit. Hot off of its big Mavic Mini announcement, DJI is now offering the Osmo Mobile 2 Handheld Gimbal at an 11% discount. Also, the Moment Lens Sale is in full swing, giving you 15% off of the purchase of one lens and 20% off of two. Finally, Adorama is offering a special price on the Aputure LS C300D LED Light, saving you a whopping $300.
With the recent release of both Final Cut Pro 10.4.7 and Catalina, editors are faced with multiple decisions: do I update to Final Cut Pro? Do I update to Catalina? Do I do both? What are the benefits of each?
My recommendation is this:
First, go ahead and update to Final Cut Pro 10.4.7 if and only if you are already using or comfortable upgrading your OS to Mojave (it won’t run on High Sierra). Why? Even though there aren’t a whole lot of feature improvements in 10.4.7, you should see noticeable performance improvement in playback, rendering, and exporting because 10.4.7 has been completely rewritten with the Metal API.
To understand more about what that means, check out the video on FCP X and Metal below. Before you upgrade FCP X, make sure to watch the video about upgrading, also included below. At a minimum, zip up youe 10.4.6 version so you have the option of going back if need be.
And there are a few new features you’ll get access to as well, including great new HSL controls for color masks and advanced HDR workflows. Check out both videos below for more on these features.
Second, do not upgrade your OS to Catalina just yet. If you do, you will no longer have access to any 32-bit applications, and certain older media formats will no longer work in Final Cut Pro X. To figure out if you have an important 32-apps on your system, check out this article. And here is a help article that explains what video formats will and will not work in Final Cut Pro X running on Catalina (hint: scroll to the bottom).
Once you’re sure you are ok with your apps and you have transcoded any old video formats, you can consider moving to Catalina – but take your time on this one, it’s a big transition.
The post Should You Upgraded to Catalina and Final Cut Pro 10.4.7? appeared first on ProVideo Coalition.
PowerToys are a set of utilities for power users to tune and streamline their Windows experience for greater productivity. The original Microsoft PowerToys appeared for Windows 95.
If you’re old enough to have used Windows 95 and the first version of PowerToys, then this new version for Windows 10 feels less than impressive. In fact, the version everyone can download now, after being made available, earlier, for Windows Insiders, with the Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 19013, only offers two tools against the 15 tools that made it to the original Windows 95 version. It’s a start, though, and we may well see more tools added to the renewed PowerToys.
The original PowerToys, developed for Windows 95, is a set of freeware system utilities designed with power users in mind, developed by Microsoft engineers – from the Microsoft’s Shell Development Team – in their spare time, and offered as a way to add or change features to maximize productivity or add more customization. It’s like having the option to look under the hood of your OS, and change things that make it run faster or better.
From Windows 95 to Window 10
One of the most popular tools in the original PowerToys was TweakUI, a tool allowing users to modify the Windows Registry, but using a graphical user interface instead of the regular RegEdit option. Besides being “error proof”, it was faster to use and the user did not need to have knowledge of the registry structure.
Most of the tools worked correctly on later versions of Windows up to Windows XP, but the changes introduced in Windows Vista and newer versions made the OS not compatible with PowerToys, which vanished from computers, only kept as a memory by those who used intensively Windows 95. Windows XP also had its own version of PowerToys, with the tools available as separate downloads.
SyncToy, a backup PowerToy
The Windows XP version had a series of very popular tools at the time – 2009 and forward – including CD Slide Show Generator, which generates a slideshow from photos burned to a CD, Image Resizer , that allows right-clicking on multiple image files inside Windows Explorer to batch resize them, Color Control Panel Applet, that allows managing color profiles, changing color profile associations for devices, viewing detailed properties for color profiles (including a 3D rendering of the color space gamut).
The same set also included the Power Calculator, a more advanced graphical calculator application than the built-in Windows Calculator, and a tool I used for years to synchronize files and folders in Windows versions XP, Vista and 7: SyncToy. It was the simplest way to create backups, inside the computer or on external drives, without having to use any other apps. Besides using it for myself, I showed to participants at photography workshops how they could create backups within Windows.
FancyZones and PowerRename
PowerToys v0.12 is now available for you to try. As of yet, it’s still a short story, but we can only hope it is the start of a long journey. On May 8, 2019, Microsoft relaunched PowerToys and made them open-source on Github. The first preview release was in September 2019, which includes FancyZones and the Windows key shortcut guide. Version 0.12 only has two tools, but users can add their own additions and customizations to PowerToys, so we may see the tool set grow.
PowerToys v0.12 may not have many tools, but those it has will appeal to many people. FancyZones is a window manager that’s designed to make it easy to arrange and snap windows into efficient layouts for your workflow. PowerRename, does what its name suggests: if you’ve ever wanted to batch rename a bunch of files, this is the utility for you.
The team behind the project is also working to add support for Windows 10 in Dark Mode, where appropriate, wrote by Brandon LeBlanc in a blog post at Microsoft Insider. The team is ”extremely proud and humbled by the 11,000+ stars received” and Brandon LeBlanc adds that “we love all the suggestions and deep thought everyone has been putting into their contributions. If you’re interested in helping build out a PowerToy, contribute a bug fix, correct documentation, or suggest a feature, please head over to the PowerToys GitHub and learn more.”
The post The popular Microsoft PowerToys utilities are back, now for Windows 10 appeared first on ProVideo Coalition.
Please Note: Once you press play it will take a few seconds for the episode to start playing. Selling Scary Stories To Tell in the Dark with Cody Meirick Today on the show we have filmmaker Cody Meirick. Cody is the director of the documentary Scary Stories, based on the wildly popular book series Scary…
The post IFH 360: Selling Scary Stories To Tell in the Dark with Cody Meirick appeared first on Indie Film Hustle®.
Danny Elfman Masterclass: Learn Film Music from the Legendary Master With his first soundtrack for Tim Burton’s Pee-wee’s Big Adventure, Oingo Boingo founder Danny Elfman went from playing rock and new wave to trying out his own new adventure: creating film scores. Since then, he’s crafted soundtracks for more than 100 films. His composer-director collaborations…
The post Danny Elfman Masterclass: Learn Film Music from the Legendary Master appeared first on Indie Film Hustle®.
Wireless video has become the latest must-have?
Not sure if you’ve felt that distant or perhaps not-so-distant call yet, the siren song of wireless video? What exactly do we mean when we say wireless video? It’s a somewhat amorphous term in the production world but generally, wireless video transmission is used by either:
A. Assistant Camera operators to pull focus, iris and/or zoom or DIT (Digital Imaging Technician) who’ll also monitor picture, tweaking the camera settings as the shoot progresses.
B. Directors, to see what the camera operator is shooting
Of course, there’s also video village, which if you’ve never been on a larger production set, you may not be familiar with the term. Video village is usually one or more video monitors that are set up and receiving the video feed from one or more cameras on multiple camera shoots. Depending on the production and the size of it, video village could just be the director and possibly producer, all the way up to good-sized video villages that may be occupied by a script supervisor, producers, writers, ad agency people on commercial shoots, along with clients and possibly the DP on larger shoots where the DP may not be operating a camera. Outdoors, video village is often placed under a pop-up tent and may have walls of curtains or Duvetyne to make the environment inside conducive to viewing the monitor(s) in ideal lighting.
This is all on the receiving end, but what about on the camera end—how do you send your video signal to the various people on set who may need or want to view what your camera is shooting? Just a few short years ago, wireless video systems were pretty costly and were really the exclusive domain of higher-budget Hollywood shoots. Since then, like every other form of technology, the costs for wireless video systems have steadily fallen while the quality and features have just as steadily climbed. Wireless video systems have become the cool thing to have on the many different types of sets.
Who Can Benefit From Wireless Video Transmission?
Even on small documentary shoots, for instance, if you’re a camera operator working in close quarters with a sound mixer, it can actually improve the sound that the sound mixer is capturing. How does wireless video improve sound? It’s simple, if your boom operator has a small monitor they can view as they boom, they can carefully ride the frame line, placing the microphone as close to the edge of frame as possible, making sure using the monitor that they can see when their boom mic intrudes into the shot. The closer the mic can be located to talent, the better the signal to noise ratio, which can give you better sound.
Hair and makeup artists, production designers, wardrobe and countless others can all benefit from an occasional look at what the camera is seeing as well. But there isn’t usually room for the entire production team to hover around a monitor in video village. Now that we’ve established how wireless video can actually improve the end product on set as projects are shot, let’s take a look at:
The Newest Way To Get Into Wireless Video With Little Budget
I recently shot BTS footage on a series of commercials. I was shooting on closed sets where space was at a premium. As the camera operator, I was able to carve out a tiny space, underneath some grip gear on set to shoot BTS footage of the commercial being shot. Unfortunately, the space on set was so tight; there literally was no place for my producer to be on set, so she had to wait outside the set. I realized that it would be valuable if my producer could at least see the shots I was shooting on set to offer her feedback and notes and to give me direction on other potential shots she wanted me to shoot.
I did a lot of quick research for this article and realized that even for the lower-end option, I was looking at probably over $3,000 to get set up with a wireless transmitter, receiver, monitor, battery system for all, cases, cables, sun shades, etc. Unlike on some higher-end projects we shoot, I didn’t think the client for this project would be willing to pay additionally for wireless video. If you can’t bill out the wireless system as a line item, you aren’t paying it off and eventually gaining profit from renting it to your clients, it’s just an expense. Sure, if we were shooting the commercials themselves, the client would pay for things like wireless video systems because the spots have higher budgets. But for BTS coverage, based upon our experience, the client would probably not want to pay for wireless video.
It seemed that wireless would help my producer do a better job and would ensure that I was shooting all of the shots she wanted and would make the end product closer to the producer’s vision for the shots she wanted. After doing some digging, I discovered that an interesting product that was shown at IBC 2019 was finally shipping, the Accsoon WIT08 Cineeye. I immediately ordered it to try it out to see if it would solve my issue.
There were two things that made the Cineeye extremely interesting to me, the first being that it was inexpensive. Perhaps too inexpensive, I bought it from B&H Photo Video for a mere $219. The second thing was that the Cineeye has no receiver because it uses wireless internet video instead of HDMI or SDI output, which is plugged into a video monitor. To view the output of the Cineeye, you merely download an app to your phone or tablet; select the Wi-Fi signal that the Cineeye is transmitting and you have live video in the palm of your hand. Amazing. And the app is no slouch as it has lots of different viewing tools and options, and you can even download LUTs into it to view LUT corrected output.
I ordered the Cineeye after the first day shooting when I discovered it might be helpful on set. It arrived before the day two and three commercial shoots the following week. The packaging was nice, the unit came with a ¼” 20 female socket on the bottom that would provide easy mounting points. The unit came with a variety of cables to adapt full-sized, mini and micro HDMI output to the full-sized HDMI input on the unit. The internal battery on the unit is rated to last around 3 to 4 hours, but the good news is the unit can be used as it charges. I first ran the Accsoon Cineeye with the D-Tap from my V-Mount battery powering my camera, but on the next shoot, I instead mounted a small Lithium-Ion candy bar battery to the rear panel of the Cineeye to save space and stretch the run time for the unit to all day.
I happened to have an iPad laying around that I used to use with our drone but replaced it with a Crystal Sky Monitor for the drone, so I decided to turn the iPad into a dedicated client monitor. I even happened to have a Hoodman for it and a ¼” 20 mount so it could be mounted to a light stand, allowing the iPad to be used in direct sunlight with the sunshade.
I put the Cineeye to work over the next two days of the commercial shoot and then the following week on a live event with three cameras so the other two camera operators could see my shot to make sure their shots were significantly different and editable against my shot. I attached one of my inexpensive Anker batteries to the back of the iPad holder so that the iPad could also operate for long periods of time. On both shoots, the clients were happy and impressed that I was able to provide them with a wireless video feed, quickly and painlessly.
If you mostly work in higher-end production, wireless video has almost become a given. But for BTS, EPK and documentary shooting that I often work on with lower budgets and leaner resources and crews, wireless video often has remained out of reach as many of these types of clients actually need wireless video for their shoots but haven’t yet become conditioned to budgeting for wireless video transmission. This will evolve. Once clients have used wireless video, they’ll want it and will value it.
The Cineeye is far from perfect. It uses a decent amount of battery power to run. The app isn’t great yet, but it’s very functional and usable. The transmitter is one more thing you have to hang off of your camera rig and one more source that you need to power. When you turn your camera and the Cineeye off to save battery, you sometimes have to reboot the app to see the live feed again. The Cineeye only accepts HDMI video, not SDI, so luckily our A camera has both types of outputs, but this does mean one more cable on your rig as well.
The range of the Cineeye is limited, around a 300-foot line of sight, but considerably less if there are walls between you shooting and your viewing audience on their phones and/or tablets. Speaking of which, the Cineeye supports being viewed by up to three devices at once. The app is available for iPhones, iPads and Android, although from what we’ve read, the performance on Apple devices is better. The picture is surprisingly good, but the Cineeye only transmits video, not audio, so your viewers will be able to see what you’re shooting but won’t be able to hear what your camera is recording.
The way I look at it, it was a very handy, easy, simple and inexpensive way to dip my toes into the wireless video experience. If it begins to pay off, it could be time to invest in a higher-end, more capable system, but if it doesn’t pay off, it’s still one nicer feature/service we can offer with our day rate that can be incredibly helpful in certain situations. I suggest picking one up and trying the wireless video thing, if you never have. It’s quite handy.
The Society of Camera Operators (SOC) has announced the recipients of the Technical Achievement Award to SONY’s Venice Extension System, Rialto. The Society hosted a full day of demonstrations with technologies presented to the blue ribbon panel of judges, award winning Active & Associate members of the Society. SONY will be presented their Technical Achievement […]
Canon has announced firmware updates for the EOS 90D DSLR and EOS RP Mirrorless cameras that will enable 23.98P in video mode.
The future inclusion of 23.98p for certain stills cameras over firmware updates was announced earlier this month.
The PowerShot G7X Mark III, G5 X Mark II, and EOS M6 Mark II will all get the same update, but for the EOS 90D and EOS RP, the time is now.
It was a strange omission from the offset, one reminiscent of early 5D mkII days, when you originally couldn’t control manual exposure.
But after what has seemed like a positive response to user feedback, you can now enable 23.98p through a firmware update, for both fullHD and 4K recording formats.
Said firmware update will improve compatibility of the Canon 85mm f/1.8 USM and f/1.2L Lenses on either stills body.
The post Canon 23.98p Firmware Update Now Available for EOS RP and EOS 90D appeared first on cinema5D.
As I mentioned previously, there are lots of uses for proxies: dailies/client viewing, transcriptions and more. But they’re also used for editing. I’m an editor so proxies for post is what I care most about, and I’ve had both successes and failures with them.
There are several reasons to use proxies in editing. For example, when you don’t want to send out original footage. Maybe the amount of footage is such that somebody editing offsite won’t have the storage required.
Perhaps you’re spreading a project across multiple editors in different locations. Or you’re traveling and want to work on a laptop. Because the proxies are compressed copies of the original footage, storage requirements are reduced.
Another reason for not sending out the original footage is to protect it from misuse. You might use proxies compressed with watermarks and/or timecode burned in to minimize—or at least track—unauthorized usage.
In the above examples, the workflow starts with ingesting the proxies rather than the original footage. Then—after the edit sequence is “locked”—the original footage is linked to the clips in the sequence, replacing the proxies. For that to happen, there has to be a specific link between each camera-original file and its proxy.
To ensure that link, you must make sure proxy filenames are accurate and unique. Accurate, meaning they resemble the filenames of the original clips that they represent. Unique, in that you don’t have folders and folders of CAM01.mov files.
If the filenames aren’t accurate, you could have a mess when you go to finish. A “clip” in your sequence named Proxy_WilmaIntvw_01.mov won’t automatically link to the original clip if the original is named Interview_Wilma01.mov, let alone A002C001.mov. And if the clip names aren’t unique, CamA_008.mov in one folder might be confused with CamA_008 in another.
While I’m not a fan of renaming original footage, renaming might be necessary in order to relink the work. But the time to rename is before any editing starts.
Timecode becomes important particularly if you aren’t able to address unique filenames. If some of your clips were shot by a camera that starts timecode at 1:00:00:00 for every take, you could have multiple drone01.MOV clips that start at 1:00:00:00. To editing software, these clips appear to be identical.
In situations like this, relinking the original footage stops being an automatic process and moves into a tedious “one clip at a time” operation. Easy enough for a few clips, but if you have multiple days of shooting with multiple cameras, it can turn into a very long relinking job. And this all needs to happen before you can even start finishing.
Of course, you could change the timecode, especially if you want to transcode files to another codec. For example, you might have some h.264 files that you know won’t perform well during edit and that need to be converted to another format—like ProRes. During that process, you could also change the starting timecode to something other than zero.
But how can you ensure that the original footage relinks correctly? Test, test, test!
More on that next time.
The Sound Devices 888 is the third product within the 8-Series, filling the gap between the 833 model and their most advanced 36-track Scorpio mixer-recorder. The 888 sports 20 tracks, 16-channels and eight very low noise 8-Series mic preamplifiers. It ships with several powering options and offers control surface operation by USB connection (via MCU). Let’s take a look!
Sound Devices 888 – Feature Overview
One of the features widely used in the industry – the Dugan algorithm for auto-mixing – is also what Sound Devices uses within their product. The idea behind this auto-mixing algorithm is that many microphones cannot be monitored and attenuated at the same time by a single person. Thus, unused channels – when not appropriately adjusted – will bring hiss, reverberation, rumble and other disturbances as noise into the mix. With Dugan’s auto-mixing algorithm or Sound Devices’ own “MixAssist” involved, the 888 can handle auto-mixing for up to 16-channels of audio inputs.
Similar in size to the well-established 788T, the 888 has the following compact dimensions: 5.1 cm x 24.5 cm x 18.5 cm. At 1,83 kg (without batteries attached), this mixer is about 580g heavier than its smaller brother, the 833 (weight: 1,25 kg, without batteries). The 888 is usable in-bag/over the shoulder or within a professional sound cart.
Features well-known from other Sound Devices products, such as Dante support for Ethernet-enabled sound-transmission capabilities, which came with the Scorpio (32 channels Dante I/O) are now coming to the 888, too. The 888 consequently has a notable 16 channels of Dante I/O. With this support, it is amongst the smallest devices featuring this characteristic.
To store all of the recorded data, the 888 comes with 256GB internal storage, just like the 833 and Scorpio, and provides 2 SD card slots. Since this is meant for audio recording – depending on the number of tracks recorded simultaneously, the bit-depth and sample rates chosen – 256 GB possibly store weeks of production recordings onto the device. Since the mixer-recorder can record to those three media simultaneously, SD cards can be turned over to production and for transcription services, while keeping a full backup stored within the device at the same time.
Features from the 8-Series
Just like the other 8-Series mixer-recorders, the 888 has an in-built TC generator, AES support (in/out), separate faders and trim controls, dedicated coms, and returns and 2x L-Mount (NP-F series) battery slots with internal charging and device powering capabilities. Of course, other powering options like its TA4 DC input or a smart battery are also available. Additionally, there is another battery included with the TC generator, which will hold the accurate TC for up to 4 hours when power is off, and no other power-source is active.
Not available with the MixPre Series by Sound Devices, for example, the 8-Series also has a distinctive and updated architecture and routing functionality. This design allows for every physical input to be fully-routable and sent to any bus, output or track.
The Sound Devices 888 is currently available for pre-order.
What do you think of this portable mixer-recorder? Is this a product you would work with during your productions? Let us know in the comment section beneath.
Guillermo del Toro Screenplays Guillermo del Toro is the master of monsters. His love for monsters can be seen throughout his entire career. From Mimic to his masterpiece Pan’s Labyrinth to Pacific Rim. He is one of the most sought-after writer/directors in Hollywood. His latest film, The Shape of the Water won the Oscars® for…