ART OF THE CUT with the editor of 2019 Cannes Palme d’Or winner “Parasite”

Parasite won the prestigious Cannes Palme d’Or in 2019. In this Art of the Cut interview, we discuss the unique methods and workflow used in production and post for that film with South Korean editor, Jinmo Yang.

Jinmo has been nominated for several Blue Dragon and Grand Bell Awards for his work through the last several years and won a Blue Dragon for the film Byuti insaideu (2015). (The Blue Dragon and Grand Bell are the South Koran equivalent of the Oscars.) He last collaborated with Parasite‘s director, Joon-ho Bong, on Okja, and also worked with him on his films Sea Fog and Snowpiercer.

This interview is available as a podcast. In the podcast version, the voice most commonly heard Is Jinmo’s interpreter and occasionally you hear Jinmo answer in English. In this transcripted interview, I changed all of the dialogue to come directly from Jinmo, so some pronouns (I/he) are changed throughout.

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

HULLFISH: I saw a Parasite. I loved it. It was great.

YANG: Thank you.

HULLFISH: At the very beginning of the movie we see the son going off to teach the English class and you chose to watch him as he travels to the Park’s house. In other instances, we jump straight to a location without seeing the travel. For example, you don’t see him go back and tell his sister, “Hey, you’re going to be the art teacher.” She’s just there. What’s the difference? Why show one and not show another?

YANG: That’s actually a good catch. For the second scenario, where we have the sister visit the mansion, we actually did have a scene there in the script but we decided to omit it. This is related to director Bong’s style. What he usually does is, he shows things pretty much just once, and he rarely reintroduces it again and again unless showing it again has its own significant meaning.

HULLFISH: Sometimes on films I’ve edited, if you show the travel, it’s sometimes a case of giving the audience some space. For example, if you have a very emotional scene and you’re going to a very funny scene, sometimes you can’t put them back to back so you need some “shoe leather.”

Tell me about the temp score that you use. The score is very sparse. What did you choose to temp score with?

YANG: I usually use director Bong’s previous music, mostly, or the numerous work-in-progress pieces of music that didn’t make it to the final cut of his previous films.

HULLFISH: Does he usually use the same composer?

YANG: No. It changed from before Okja. But it’s the same music composer as Okja. So this is his second collaboration with this new composer.

HULLFISH: Did you use any temp from the composer that had not been used in Okja, like from the composer’s other films with other directors?

YANG: We did borrow from classical music. For example, for the sequence where the family cooks the ramdon they used a Vivaldi soundtrack.

HULLFISH: I love to talk about inter-cutting. In this movie, there’s a sequence where the father is practicing his housekeeper scam speech intercut with when he’s actually delivering to the Park’s. Can you talk about how close that was to being scripted and how you changed it? Why were certain points “practice” and certain points “real?”

YANG: In the screenplay, it was always planned as a cross-edit sort of ordeal, but the initial assembly of that sequence was far longer and it dragged. The main problem was that the lines the father rehearsed during their rehearsal were shown again during its execution so it felt rather repetitive. So what they resorted to was to just use it once even though it’s a cross-cutting scheme. It’s as if they’re having a conversation.

Ki-Taek, the father, rehearses one line and we may cross cut to Mrs. Park as if she already heard the line. So she’s reacting to the rehearsal line. And while editing that sequence we gradually cut all the fat off it so it only had the essential elements inside.

HULLFISH: There are a few times where the camera pans between actors instead of using traditional “coverage.” Was there traditional coverage for those moments? What can you tell me about those?

YANG: If sometimes the acting or the timing was off, we resorted to getting different takes and stitching them together as if it’s one panning shot to perfect the timing and the rhythm and the acting. Director Bong and I frequently do this sort of “VFX stitch work” to perfect the timing as if it’s one shot – stitching various takes together as one shot.

HULLFISH: Lots of editors do that on a two-shot, but on a pan? That’s pretty brave.

YANG: During our previous collaboration we practiced this technique a lot and we think we have perfected it into an art.

HULLFISH: I did not realize those were VFX shots — a split. I had no clue. I’m assuming there was other coverage — overs for each one of those — what made the director want to use a pan instead of typical coverage?

YANG: To be completely honest with you, there was no coverage. Those were the only shots I could resort to. That’s Director Bong. He rarely shoots coverage unless it’s really, really, really necessary.

HULLFISH: That’s amazing. Wow! That’s fantastic.

YANG: That’s one of the amazing things about Director Bong. He doesn’t resort to coverage. Even without coverage, I’m able to solve the problem by resorting to certain methods and techniques.

HULLFISH: What would some of those techniques be?

YANG: Just to preface the answer: director Bong doesn’t even shoot masters. The reason why he does this is that he knows how he’s going to cut the film and where to cut certain shots. But when problems arise, what director Bong and I usually do is stitch various elements of various takes together as if it’s one shot, so we can perfect the timing or make certain shots longer or shorter to perfect the rhythm and the timing.

HULLFISH: When the original housekeeper comes back to the house — when she’s at the door and she’s seen using the doorbell camera — through almost the entire scene she is seen through the doorbell camera, but then you chose to cut to her outside in the rain. Can you talk to me about that sequence and how you cut it and why it was cut the way it was?

YANG: Initially, we had the exterior — the rain shot — appear a couple more times, but — like we said earlier — director Bong and I only like to show things once. So we just wanted the drastic contrast — the impact of the drastic contrast — once. We believe that’s the only thing we needed. The reason why we shot the doorbell that way – with bad resolution – was to make the reappearance of the housemaid — Moon-gwong — more funny, and a bit obscure. That was the intention behind that shot.

HULLFISH: Tell me a little bit about your relationship with the director. How do you collaborate together? This is your second film, right?

YANG: Actually it’s our fourth collaboration. I was also the onset editor of the film Sea Fog — for which director Bong was the producer — and I was also the onset editor and VFX editor of Snowpiercer. It was one of his American films.

One thing you have to know about the Korean film industry — especially the network between directors — is that every director pretty much knows each other. There’s a tightly knit group and they have a connection. They talk with each other often.

I was the on-set editor on Snowpiercer and Director Bong became aware that I ran my own editing booth and that’s when he decided that for his next project, he would work with me as the main editor.

Most of the Korean film industry uses an on-set editor where the editor edits on set while shooting is occurring simultaneously and during this on-set editing we get the main structure of the assembly — what the film is going to look like — and then when we move on to the editing phase it’s usually director Bong and me in the editing booth and we fine-tune the details — the timing and the rhythm.

One of my strengths is that I am very apt with VFX work — CGI work — so Director Bong is very trusting in me to do that sort of work.

HULLFISH: What editing system are you using and is the VFX work in the editing system or After Effects or something else?

YANG: I cut on Final Cut Pro 7 and use After Effects for VFX.

HULLFISH: You mentioned that there was so little coverage and that Bong has such a distinct idea for the editing — for example, not to shoot a master — how do you know what director Bong’s plan is? Do you talk about that before you even cut dailies?

YANG: That’s an important role of the on-set editor. On-set editing isn’t just merely an editor being on set and editing while the shooting is happening. What’s happening is that the on-set editor receives the LIVE feed from the camera videotap instantaneously and they cut the footage instantaneously and by doing this they check if it works — if it requires more footage.

HULLFISH: And then in your edit booth, you have to go back and replace the videotap with the actual footage?

YANG: Yes.

HULLFISH: So how is that done? Timecode? Or how are you replacing the videotap feed with the final?

YANG: These days I use time code to match that up, but previously it was just eye-matching.


There is a point in the movie where it’s raining very heavily. Talk to me about the music and the interplay of the music and the rain and sound effects of thunder.

YANG: Even during the editing phase, there are lots of sound layers in the sequence. The plan was for the sound to grow gradually — become more intense and stronger and when the music appears, the sound effects and the music are tied together. All these sounds become intertwined. And then it becomes a tad bit calmer when they arrive at their basement apartment. That was the design plan for that sequence.

I’m very shocked that you noticed this. Not many people refer to this scene. Director Bong emphasized that the sound and the music had to become the most intense and the strongest at the point where they almost arrive at their basement house — that’s when the sound is the most intense and chaotic.

That was during the editing phase. I don’t really know how they mixed the sounds together in the sound booth.

HULLFISH: In the United States, the editor is often on the sound mix stage. It sounds like that’s not the practice in Korea.

YANG: The editor isn’t involved directly in the sound mixing but I visit the sound booth often. One important thing during the editing phase is that all the sound-related notes that are created during the editing phase. Then we send it off to the vendors for them to work on. So all the notes — all the requirements — are created during the editing phase. Director Bong makes a note of it with me and then we send it off to the sound mixers.

HULLFISH: How much temp sound effects work did you do?

YANG: The thing about Director Bong is that he prefers to do as much as he can Inside the editing booth. So what usually happens is I take care of almost all the sound — all the temp sound effects — and I fine-tune the timing of those sound effects. But the problem is that the sounds are low quality. So I assume that almost all of it gets replaced during sound mixing.

HULLFISH: I would think that the production sound during that rain sequence was unusable. Was that all sound effects and ADR?

YANG: I tried to use the location sound as much as possible, but for the rain sequence the location sound couldn’t be used.

HULLFISH: What is your process as you start getting dailies? You’re getting dailies straight off of the videotap. How close are you on set? Are you literally next to video village or are you isolated but close to the site?

YANG: Right next to the video village.

HULLFISH: Cutting on Final Cut Pro 7 with local storage? A big hard drive?

YANG: Yes. Thunderbolt.

During on-set editing — before I’m actually on set — I study the storyboards thoroughly. So when they actually shoot, I’m conscious of how I’m going to edit the footage. At the moment the director yells “cut,” I’m finished editing the footage within ten seconds. I just set the in and the out and cut the footage in.

Just an FYI: I was the on-set editor until Okja, but for Parasite I sent my assistant editor as the on-set editor because I had to be in the editing booth.

HULLFISH: What were you doing while the on-set editor was cutting? Were you trying to match the onset editor’s work?

YANG: What usually happens is: the on-set editor sends over his or her work and the dailies, then in the editing booth I fine-tune the editing work so that once director Bong is wrapped, he has the on-set assembly and his fine-tuned assembly ready so that we can begin editing A.S.A.P.

HULLFISH: So you are actually in the edit booth watching dailies like a normal film not as a videotap, obviously. Are you choosing the same takes?

YANG: There are times that we change the take. Sometimes it remains the same.

HULLFISH: Is the on-set editor actually getting feedback from the director almost like a script supervisor would? In the United States the editor is only getting notes from the director, but the on-set editor — as you describe it — could be getting direct feedback from the director, since they’re in video village.

YANG: Yes. You are absolutely correct. The on-set editor also checks for continuity as well. They check with the director constantly throughout the shooting process. It’s as if the on-set editor also works as a script supervisor — although we do have a script supervisor — we share the same sorts of work in checking whether continuity is correct.

One of my plans – when I begin editing in the States – is to apply this on-set editing system. I plan to import the idea into the U.S.

HULLFISH: The other person that uses a very similar system is Tim Burton. Director Tim Burton has an on-set editor that’s taking a videotap as they’re shooting and they’re actually editing the same way. I did an interview about shooting the live-action Dumbo movie and it is described there.

YANG: I didn’t know. Wow.

HULLFISH: And on one of my last films, we weren’t using a videotap, but I was just offset when I edited during dailies.

Before I worked for one of my regular directors, back in the early straight HD video filmmaking days, they brought the full-res footage straight from the camera into their FCP7 system and would cut with that as it streamed off the camera in HD. Some people are using methodologies similar to yours, but very, very few.

When the director chooses takes on set, oftentimes the choice that they make on set is not what they would make when they finally see all the takes or see the takes in context. Does that happen?

YANG: Yes. You are absolutely correct. The take that director Bong chooses isn’t etched in stone. It just usually means that the blocking is correct and it’s enough that we can move on to the next shot. What usually happens is that we select the perfect shot while we’re in the editing booth together during editing.

Director Bong has a very efficient workflow. His process is incredibly efficient.

HULLFISH: How do you approach a blank timeline? The director seems to have such a vision for the scene, but how are you choosing the shots that you’re editing when you start cutting a scene together?

YANG: I’m not too concerned about director Bong’s distinct vision. What’s usually the case is that the shots I think are perfect usually align with the shots that director Bong thinks are appropriate. That’s probably why director Bong and I work together. As more and more projects accumulate, our time together is becoming shorter and more efficient. So now we’re at the point where even without speaking we know at what point to cut, at what point it’s finished and it’s okay.

At some points, director Bong just leaves it to me. For example, director Bong may just say, “This sequence is dragging. Please fix it. Make it faster.” Then the next day he’ll check it and say, “It’s fine.” Sometimes it works like that.

HULLFISH: I’m really interested in the approach to actually cutting the scenes. So you have all the dailies. You’ve got an edit that’s been done on set. How do you choose where to start?

YANG: Director Bong does not shoot master shots, so the storyboards kind of dictate what shots have to be used, so it’s already pre-decided. This is just exclusive to director Bong.

Not every Korean director does this, but for director Bong – for each scene – the first shot and the final shot of the scene is already predetermined. Although the scene as a whole can fluctuate and we can do tweaks and changes, those first and last shots are already predetermined at that point. Even if we do want to use another shot, the shots aren’t there. It just doesn’t exist, so we have to use those first and last shots.

HULLFISH: How much did the structure of the film change from the script? Did things have to get deleted or moved or switched in their order?

YANG: You might be sensing a pattern by now, but with director Bong, the structure rarely changes. However, there were a couple of scenes that were omitted.

The structure within a scene often changes. For example, using cross-cutting. The intention of the scene changes from the script.

The other thing that’s interesting about director Bong is that he doesn’t do rehearsals. He likes every take to be fresh and genuine, so no two takes are ever the same. Often the acting is different. There is a change in something within the takes.

Just as a side note, Kang-ho Song who performs Ki-taek — the protagonist — usually nails the first take. I believe that his best takes are the beginning takes. The takes he does, in the beginning, are the most genuine. The exception is when they have a lot of lines in a take. If that’s the case, then the latter half of the takes are usually the better ones.

HULLFISH: And if one actor is best in early takes and another is better in later takes, then what do you do?

YANG: There were those instances. One of the ways we resolved this problem: there was a scene where Ki-Taek’s family is celebrating inside the mansion with drinks and food. There was this one shot where we have Ki-taek — the father — talking and then we slowly pan to the drinks and then we pan to the mother and the problem was that Ki-taek really nailed the first half of the takes whereas the mother nailed the second half of the takes. The problem was that the shot had no cutaways. It was just one continuous panning shot. So I had to stitch different parts of different takes together to make it one shot, so we had perfect acting for both actors within that one shot.

We created this line — this yardstick — for where we could cutaway, which was in the beverage bottles and at that point we stitch to a different take, but it looks like one seamless shot.

Director Bong knows that this is one of my strong points. I’m very apt at doing this. Sometimes director Bong requests some unearthly request. He wants something stitched together that is very intricate and difficult.

HULLFISH: How close was your assembly edit to the final? What was the length of your assembly before you started on the director’s cut?

YANG: The on-set assembly was about twenty or thirty minutes longer than the final.

HULLFISH: Because there is such a clear vision for the film, does it then become much harder to try to cut that 20 minutes out?

YANG: No, not at all. Trimming down the duration is a frequent task that I have to do. For example for Jee-woon Kim’s movie, The Age of Shadows, the on-set assembly was three hours and 30 minutes and I had to cut it down to two hours and 20 minutes. Compared to that, Parasite was a cakewalk.

HULLFISH: What was the schedule for shooting and then for post until you got to the final mix?

YANG: The shooting took roughly four months and then we edited the film for three months.

HULLFISH: Tell me a little bit about using Final Cut Pro. Have you tried other NLEs? FCP7 is just not going to work anymore eventually.

YANG: Yes, you are absolutely correct. The reason why I use it is that I’m used to it. I used Final Cut Pro from the very beginning of my career. For now — regarding sound mix and the workflow — it’s really simple to use. However, I haven’t been able to update my OS for four years.

HULLFISH: In Korea do you cut in reels as we do in America? In other words, you break the film into 20-minute chunks? Or are you editing on an entire two-hour timeline?

YANG: It’s a case-by-case basis. When I feel that the scene is too intense and requires special attention, I’ll edit that scene separately or by reel. There are times where I cut the whole assembly at once. Nevertheless, when I turn it over to other post-production vendors I turn it over via reels.

HULLFISH: Yeah, that makes sense. The vendors usually want reels.

YANG: The directors frequently want to watch the whole thing, so working in reels or just scenes often doesn’t work.

HULLFISH: When you were bringing the footage into the Final Cut Pro system, what were you editing with? What media type were you editing with?

YANG: ProRes HD. The files sent to director Bong are full HD, and others get half HD.

HULLFISH: Anything else?

YANG: It’s an incredible honor to work with director Bong always. Even now – as you are interviewing me – I never really had this experience before. It’s very rare. It’s all thanks to director Bong.

HULLFISH: Awesome. It was a pleasure speaking with you. I love the film. You did a marvelous job. It was an honor to talk to you today.

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

YANG: Thank you. My pleasure.

A really interesting article on one of the characters of this movie is about the set and production design of the house in IndieWire. Check that out here. Or this story from Architectural Digest.

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

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 the editor of 2019 Cannes Palme d’Or winner “Parasite” appeared first on ProVideo Coalition.

Nikon D750 Replacement Coming in Early 2020 with 24MP Sensor, Better AF and More: Report

The D750 is a favorite among Nikon DSLR shooters, but in 2019 it’s really starting to show its age. Thankfully, the latest reports hint at a replacement coming sooner rather than later, and as of this morning, we have our first set of rumored specs for the unconfirmed DSLR.

This set of specifications come from Nikon Rumors, who claims that the camera will not be called the D760. Instead, sources tell NR that the camera will be “a merger of the D700 series and the D800 series” with a model number between D760 and D800.

Beyond this, several of the rumored specs read like a DSLR version of the mirrorless Nikon Z6: with a 24MP BSI sensor, 4K/30p and 1080/120p video support, better high-ISO performance than the D850, touchscreen, updated UI, and built-in WiFi and Bluetooth. Where it differs will be the dual UHS-II SD memory card slots and a (obviously) DSLR-style autofocus system with between 51 and 153 AF points.

As with any “first set” of rumored specifications, we suggest taking these with a grain of salt, but it sounds like Nikon does have a D750 DSLR replacement in the works for those users who don’t want to jump on the mirrorless bandwagon. According to Nikon Rumors, the official announcement “could be as early as January-February.”

Volta packs an 8,000mAh power bank into the handle of a camera rig

A new Indiegogo campaign is seeking funds for Volta, an 8,000mAh power bank packed into a camera rig top handle. The product features multiple 1/4″ and 3/8″ screw mounts, a removable ‘handle component,’ and two interchangeable 21700 batteries, which are the same power cells used by Tesla.

The top handle design is presented as a convenient way to tote around an extra power bank — one that, in the case of Volta, features a USB-C port on the front of the handle offering 7.4v versus the 5v commonly offered by commercial external batteries. When Volta isn’t needed as a handle, that component can be removed to use it as an ordinary power bank.

The team behind Volta presents the device as being akin to the combination of an NPF-970 battery and a top handle, but as noted by DIY Photography, the claim doesn’t quite hold up. The 8,000mAh capacity comes from two 4,000mAh power cells wired in series, which works out to 29.6Wh; Sony’s 6,600mAh NP-F970 7.2v battery, on the other hand, features 47.4Wh.

Regardless, the Volta is available to back on Indiegogo with pledges starting at $32 USD. Shipping to backers is expected to start in December 2019, assuming the campaign is successful and everything goes according to plan.

Via: DIY Photography

Disclaimer: Remember to do your research with any crowdfunding project. DPReview does its best to share only the projects that look legitimate and come from reliable creators, but as with any crowdfunded campaign, there’s always the risk of the product or service never coming to fruition.

See Canon’s ‘Dramatically Improved’ Eye Autofocus in Action

Portrait photographer Manny Ortiz recently got the chance to try out Canon’s recent autofocus update for the EOS R, and the news is good: according to Ortiz, the update has “dramatically improved” Eye AF performance and totally changed the usability of the EOS R for portraiture.

Canon made much of its recent firmware update for the EOS R and EOS RP, claiming that it significantly improves the accuracy of the Eye Autofocus tech build into both of those cameras. The company’s own demos seemed to back up this claim, but there can be a world of difference between marketing demos and real-world experience.

Enter Ortiz, who went out onto the streets of New York City, at night, with the Canon EOS R and the RF 85mm f/1.2 lens to see if the Eye AF could keep up in these challenging real-world conditions. Spoiler alert: it can.

Despite using only available light from street lamps and neon signs, occasionally augmented by some fill from a Lumee LED lighting bracelet, Ortiz says that “almost every shot gave me tack sharp eyes at f/1.2,” even though his model Sarah was wearing very long eye lashes. That includes shots like the one above, taken from a distance as strangers walked through the frame.

If you’ve watched any of the previous real-world Eye AF demos and comparisons published online, you’ll know that Canon’s implementation was a bit behind the competition when it first launched. The EOS R’s Eye AF would trigger later and seemed to lag behind once it did.

The BTS footage above makes it clear that this has changed and changed dramatically. Eye AF engages much earlier, and the sample photos Manny was kind enough to share with us are all tack-sharp on the eye—whether we’re talking about headshots or full-body shots from a distance:

“Not only is [the autofocus] more precise and more predictable, but it is so much more accurate now in continuous Eye Autofocus,” says Ortiz. “It reminds me of my Sonys. It gets the eye ball it doesn’t get the eye lash anymore […] so so good.”

Check out the full video up top to see the EOS R, RF 85mm f/1.2 and the latest Canon autofocus update in action, and hear all of Manny’s thoughts on this setup. And if you want to see more great portrait photography and real-world camera tests like this one, definitely subscribe to Manny’s channel while you’re at it.

Image credits: All photos by Manny Ortiz and used with permission.

The Distinct Feel of the Budget-Friendly Irix 150mm Macro

You should always have a macro in your kit, and with the new Irix 150mm macro, owning that lens becomes easier than ever before.

A macro lens lets you get a very, very close up shot of something. While long lenses, like a normal non-macro 135mm prime, are wonderful, they often have far out close focus distances (on some anamorphic lenses, as far away as 6 feet!) that make it hard to get that “just the iris of an eye” shot you are looking for.

A macro lens lets you get that tight insert on an eye, a pencil tip on paper, or any other detail of the scene that is going to help you tell your story and make your editor’s life easier in post. Every job I do I am sure to make sure there is a macro somewhere in the kit—often the beautiful but very-expensive-even-as-a-rental ARRI macro, and there have even been a few jobs I’ve done that shot only on macro.

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The American Society of Cinematographers Joins Imago

Kees van Oostrum ASC, the President of the American Society of Cinematographers, announced during the Camerimage opening ceremony in Torun, Poland, on Saturday 9th November, that the Board of the American Society of Cinematographers (ASC), has decided to join IMAGO as an Associate Member, as a step to increase international collaboration. Both for IMAGO, the […]

The post The American Society of Cinematographers Joins Imago appeared first on Below the Line.

Should Disney Be Broken Up Before They Destroy Movies?

It’s difficult to avoid Disney’s dominance. But is it too late to ever break the conglomerate up?

No Film School readers are savvy media consumers, so I’m sure we already know that when it comes to media production and distribution, Disney as a company owns just about everything. They’ve got studios, networks, theme parks, music, digital marketing companies, and more. If you need it, here’s a refresher on all the companies Disney now owns.

And as of Nov. 12, Disney+ has officially rolled out, throwing the media giant even further into the streaming game, too. (They own Hulu already.)

But do they really need all this power?

That’s a question author Matt Stoller asked when he published an essay on Nov. 5 proposing a break-up of Disney.

The whole piece is a really interesting read, but here are the main takeaways. Prepare to feel frustrated and learn why you should care why Disney controls what you get to watch.

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Fstoppers Review: Plugable’s Thunderbolt 3 Drive

Fstoppers Review: Plugable's Thunderbolt 3 Drive

A well-devised digital storage system should be one of the most crucial considerations for every digital creative. With larger and larger camera sensors constantly emerging on the market, we find ourselves needing to accommodate and functionally access enormous raw and video files. Like many photographers, I face a near-constant search for the perfect storage solution. This month, a new Thunderbolt 3 SSD by Plugable is emerging on the scene, and I have a feeling it is going to change photographers’ and videographers’ workflows in a drastic way.

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Disney+ Changed the Han Shoots Greedo Scene Again

Everyone was excited for the launch fo Disney+, but now we’re wondering what other classic titles they’ve changed after this iconic Star Wars: A New Hope scene was edited. Again.

We can all agree that Han shot first. Well, all of us save for George Lucas from the years of 1997 to 2019.

Star Wars has been a work in progress since the movie debuted in 1977. Lucas famously added more CGI in his 1997 rerelease and changed the story. The scene Lucas continues to tinker with — Han shooting Greedo in the cantina — has undergone another small but significant edit with its debut on Disney+ and fans are not having it.

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Rumor Claims Olympus will Shut Down Its Camera Division Within a Year

Over the weekend, an admin on the Personal View forum published the shocking claim that “closure is near” for Olympus’ camera division, writing that the company’s camera business was less than a year away from being shut down. The claim has sparked a firestorm of speculation and rebuttals.

The post was published by Personal View admin Vitaliy_Kiselev, and it doesn’t mince words. Kiselev claims that it’s “total instability now in camera division” at Olympus, and that a “sudden closure press release” could arrive as early as January 2020. This information is allegedly based on “some of their ex engineers,” and was posted alongside Olympus recent financial report, which shows a 17% year-over-year dip in revenue for the imaging division.

These claims were quickly picked up by Photo Rumors, and the rumor has since spread like wildfire; but as coverage spread, so did attempts to deny that any of this was true.

Earlier this morning, competing rumor site 43 Rumors published its own report that calls the claim “100% BS.” Several “high-level Olympus managers” have allegedly reached out to the rumor site since the original post began to pick up steam, denying that there is any truth to this rumor.

“The Imaging Business is a driver for all other successful divisions too (particularly for the medical business),” writes 43 Rumors. “[The executives] also reminded me that they invested a lot of resources to move the factory and make it more future proof (as it will reduce the production costs).”

As further proof that Olympus’ Imaging Division is alive and well, the rumor site points to Olympus’ recent corporate press release that clearly states that the “Imaging and Scientific Solutions divisions remain crucial components to the overall Olympus business,” because of their impact on the company’s most important (and most profitable) business: Medical technology.

Which brings us right back where we started: with no more official information than we had before, far more confusion, and a good bit of online flaming to show for it. The idea that Olympus will stop making cameras seems to come back around every year, if not every quarter, and not without reason. But the problem is that there is no way to either substantiate or discount these rumors in their entirety.

On the one hand, drawing conclusions based on info from “ex-engineers” is flimsy at best and gossip at worst. On the other, the very corporate press release mentioned by 43 Rumors is attached to a presentation that makes it abundantly clear that Olympus’ corporate goals have nothing to do with cameras and everything to do with med tech.

The only reasonable conclusion that we can glean from the official information available is that the “imaging division” will continue to play an important role in Olympus’ future. Whether or not consumer cameras will factor into that division for the long haul is anybody’s guess. In the end, the idea that Olympus might nix its camera division entirely is neither a certainty nor “100% BS”… it’s 100% speculation. Don’t let anybody tell you otherwise.

FiLMiC announces Firstlight photo app for iOS 13 smartphones

FiLMiC announces Firstlight photo app for iOS

FiLMiC announced today it has extended its mobile filmmaking and still imagery expertise to the photography market with the launch of Firstlight for iOS.

Right on the heels of Adobe’s announcement of its Photoshop Camera app for Android and iOS, FiLMiC reveales its own ambitions to have a slice of the smartphone photography market, with Firstlight, presented as an app able to deliver an enhanced iOS photography experience for photographers of all skill levels, with intuitive controls and clean interfaces that offer high-end camera features on iOS devices. No Android version planned, I am afraid.

Contrary to Adobe Photoshop Camera, that will only be available in 2020, Firstlight is immediately available from the Apple App Store, and is a FREE download. The app, says FiLMiC, offers “access to a compelling set of features that provide an enhanced photo shooting experience for photographers of all skill levels.  Photographers will be drawn to the clean interface and intuitive controls to dial in shots with precision and accuracy and yielding the results they most desire.”

FiLMiC announces Firstlight photo app for iOS

Key FREE features

All Firstlight customers have access to the following free features:

  • Fast, intuitive focus and exposure controls: Tap the screen to set focus/exposure, tap again to lock.
  • AE Mode: Included is our proprietary Auto Exposure mode for setting shutter/iso combination.
  • Cross-swipe manual controls: The most intuitive way to manually adjust focus and exposure. Swipe across the image to dial in your perfect shot. Swipe up and down to adjust exposure. Swipe left and right to adjust focus.
  • Reactive analytics: A foundation feature of FiLMiC Pro and now in a photo app. Manually adjusting your focus and exposure will automatically apply focus peaking or zebra stripes to make sure you get your shot just right.
  • RGB Histogram: Dynamically shows the exposure profile of the image across all color channels.
  • Vintage film simulations: The magic of Firstlight is in our realistic tributes to authentic film stocks. A range of film simulations are included for free with the app.
  • Film grain: Apply natural looking film grain effects to give your photos that ‘film look’. Medium grain is included as a free option.
  • Vignette: Apply a subtle dark vignette to your image. Medium vignette is included as a free option.
  • Lens selector: Quickly switch between all available lenses on your device. Go from tele to ultrawide with the tap of a finger. (Note: camera/lens support is device specific).

Some professional features

Additional professional camera features included with the free download include:

  • Burst mode
  • Timer
  • Flash
  • Grid overlays
  • Aspect ratios: 4:3, 16:9, 3:2, 1:1, 5:4
  • Expanded shadow detail
  • JPG or HEIC Selection
  • HDR control (for iPhone Xs, Xs Max, Xr and newer devices only)
  • Volume button shutter and support for most bluetooth camera shutter remotes
  • FiLMiC Pro quick launch button (for owners of FiLMiC Pro)


The Premium Membership Subscription

The Firstlight photo app is completely free, but FiLMiC also offers a Premium Membership Subscription for photographers who want to capture the full potential of the app. Firstlight Premium Members will gain access to a host of advanced features as well as new film simulations that will continuously be developed, along with in depth education materials that elevate the artistic potential of all members, regardless of skill level.

Premium Members will have access to:

  • Shutter and ISO priority modes for maximum creative expression and sport shooting capability. In addition to Auto Exposure, users can set specific Shutter Speed or ISO values to adhere to, and allowing the app automatically adjust exposure for the unlocked value.
  • Expanded film simulation options: Premium members will be the first to sample the majority of Firstlight’s non-stop release schedule of realistic film simulations.
  • Film grain: Fine, coarse and ISO adaptive options are available, in addition to medium grain included in the free version.
  • Adjustable vignette: Low and heavy options in addition to medium.
  • Configure burst mode with additional options for slow and fast burst rate.
  • Anamorphic adapter support: Attach a Moondog anamorphic lens or any other 1.33x Anamorphic smartphone lens to capture gorgeous wide aspect photos.
  • RAW: DNG and TIF formats for full control over your photo edit. (note: Film simulations are not supported in Raw formats)
  • Custom Function button: Assign favorite Firstlight settings to the custom function button to quickly access them from the main screen.  For photographers who frequently switch photo formats or aspect ratios, or shoot in burst mode or with countdown timer often, all of these options can be configured and customized.
  • Custom live analytics: Adjust the colors and sensitivity for focus peaking and zebra stripes to personalize processes for dialing in focus and exposure.
  • Embedded copyright: Set copyright info in the app and it will be encoded in the exif data for the photo.

FiLMiC Firstlight is compatible with any iPhone that works with iOS 13. Those devices include the iPhone SE, 6s, 6s Plus, 7, 7 Plus, 8, 8 Plus, X, Xr, Xs, Xs Max, 11, 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max.  As mentioned above, FiLMiC Firstlight is available immediately as a free download from the Apple App Store. Firstlight Premium Member Subscriptions are available for $0.99 per month, or for an annual subscription rate of $7.99.

The post FiLMiC announces Firstlight photo app for iOS 13 smartphones appeared first on ProVideo Coalition.

Nikon Says Its Cameras Need to Justify Their Existence as a Business

The digital camera industry has been nosediving as of late, and Nikon is feeling the pain. In its latest financial results, Nikon revealed some grim numbers and an even darker forecast. The company’s business of selling cameras and lenses will no longer be its biggest revenue-generating segment.

In an interview with Nikkei back in August, Nikon CEO Toshikazu Umatate stated that although imaging profits had fallen to 1/6th of its peak back in 2012, he expected profits to bounce back to ¥20 billion ($188.7 million) within three years.

Now Nikon is admitting that it overestimated how much its new Z Series line of full-frame mirrorless cameras would brighten its prospects.

In its 2nd quarter results for fiscal year 2020, Nikon revised its financial forecasts for the year, dropping its predicted revenue from the imaging business from ¥260 billion to ¥235 billion (a drop of nearly 10%) and lowering the operating profit from ¥12 billion (~$110 million) in profit to a loss of ¥10 billion (~$92 million).

Nikon blames the forecast change on an “overestimation of market size/share” and the fact that the shift toward full-frame mirrorless cameras away from full-frame DSLRs “has not accelerated as expected.”

Nikon’s Precision Equipment business is expected to start generating more revenue and significantly more operating profit than the Imaging Products business (¥51B vs -¥10B, respectively).

The revenue and sales charts of the imaging business aren’t heading in the right direction.

While Nikon’s other business segments performed mostly in line with expectations, the Imaging Products business underachieved.

“Business environment has deteriorated further as market shrinkage accelerates and competition intensifies,” Nikon says. “Increased costs from Z-mount system lineup expansion also a burden.”

Nikon says that in addition to overestimating how many mirrorless cameras it would sell, the market deterioration in digital cameras as a whole has been worse than expected.

So moving forward, Nikon is planning to take drastic steps to right the ship. It says it will “fundamentally transform” the structure of its Imaging Business to “revitalize” it amidst the ongoing “harsh environment.”

Restructuring and optimization will be happening in plants and units around the world.

The goal of all this? To “generate enough profits to justify [Imaging Products’] existence as a business unit.”

In other words, Nikon cameras and lenses need to start contributing to Nikon’s bottom line again instead of weighing it down.

Five Narrative Feature Winners Announced for Fall 2019 SFFILM Westridge Grant

SFFILM, in partnership with the Westridge Foundation, announced today the five narrative feature film projects that will receive $100,000 in development funding from the organization. Awarded twice annually, the SFFILM Westridge Grants are one of the few U.S. sources of grant support for narrative features in the development phase. The grants target US-based filmmakers whose films take place primarily in the States and which focus on “social issues and questions of our time.” FALL 2019 SFFILM WESTRIDGE GRANT WINNERS 
all dirt roads taste of salt
. Raven Jackson, writer/director; Maria Altamirano, producer – development/packaging – $20,000 
Through lyrical portraits evoking the […]

Photographer Shoots Fashion Images on Top of the World’s Deepest Lake

Photographer Shoots Fashion Images on Top of the World's Deepest Lake

A photographer has released a captivating collection of images combining elements of both landscape and fashion, as she photographs models wearing extravagant dresses atop the deepest lake in the world, located in southern Siberia, Russia, which remains frozen for most of the year.

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Have a look at this dæmon battle clip from HIS DARK MATERIALS!

The VFX are made by:
Framestore (VFX Supervisor: Robert Harrington)

Release Date: November 4, 2019 (HBO)

© Vincent Frei – The Art of VFX – 2019

The post HIS DARK MATERIALS appeared first on The Art of VFX.

Improve Your Photography: Ask Santa for a Tripod

Improve Your Photography: Ask Santa for a Tripod

The tripod is often overlooked in today’s photography community, and it is a shame that it is. Perhaps photographers today think that a tripod is old school or that modern cameras have image stabilization, and therefore, a tripod isn’t needed. I disagree, and if you aren’t using a tripod for some of your photography work, you are missing out.

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