Watch Netflix Take Some Deep Dives Into the Making of ‘The Irishman’

Netflix channeled its inner “Blu-Ray by mail” past and is releasing a behind-the-scenes look at the making of Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman.

I have watched The Irishman three times since its release and I think it’s, so far, the best movie of the year. It’s hard to imagine making such a sprawling epic. Now, you don’t have to. You can just watch some behind-the-scenes featurettes on the movie and see how it’s done.

You see, Netflix is channeling its past delivery service, but this time they’re digitally bringing the special features to your front door.

While Roma marked the first time that the The Academy took Netflix seriously, awarding that film with a Best Director Oscar and a nomination for Best Picture, The Irishman hopes to replicate that success. And Netflix is doing so with a full-frontal assault on the industry with Scorsese’s latest gangster epic. By the time they’re done, they’ll have to drop some weapons into the Schuylkill River.

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Rian Johnson Reveals His Writing Process Behind ‘Knives Out’

Knives Out is an original film that overperformed at the box office Thanksgiving weekend, thanks to its inspired and clever script. Here’s how writer-director Rian Johnson came up with the idea for the screenplay.

If you’re like me, you spent your Thanksgiving holiday stuffing your belly with pie and your eyeballs with Knives Out.

The film was exciting and electric. Every character popped off the screen and there were so many tropes and twists that it felt like we were in the hands of a master. Without going into spoilers, I’m mildly obsessed with the ideas inside this screenplay.

That’s why I was so excited to see that Rian Johnson sat down with Entertainment Weekly to answer some of the burning questions fans have about the story.

How Rian Johnson Wrote ‘Knives Out’

Writing a murder mystery can be fun, but there are so many things to juggle that they can really screw with your head. Still, nothing is more fun than having the beginning seeds of a mystery story. It’s exciting to spread out the zigs and zags, to brainstorm throwing people off.

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ART OF THE CUT with Anne McCabe, ACE

In 2011, Anne was nominated for an ACE EDDIE for her editing of an episode of Nurse Jackie. In 2013, she won an ACE EDDIE for her editing of an episode of The Newsroom.

Her other work includes the films Can You Ever Forgive Me?, Dirty Grandpa, Adventureland and the TV shows, Succession and Damages among many others.

Today we’re discussing her movie, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood. I start the interview describing an interview I had heard with Anne’s director, Marielle Heller.

This interview will be available as a podcast December 3rd, 2019.

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

HULLFISH: I just heard an interview with your director, Marielle Heller, and she was describing the difference between Tom Hanks — who is expressive and moves his body, as many of us do, gesticulates with his arms — and Mr. Rogers, who is very still. He finds his position and he stays there. Does that kind of quietness change the way that you have to edit his performance?

McCABE: Yes. It’s a kids’ show. It’s for very young children. And Fred Rogers, when he thought about doing Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood, wanted to look directly into the camera as if he’s speaking to a young child – maintaining eye contact and taking his time – giving them time to process what he said. I have children — they’re older now — but when they were young, I was always seeking out these television shows that were calm. Not a lot happens because very young children when they’re very young, need something slow.

So, for Tom Hanks’ performance, Marielle was always coaching him to go slower — to take his time. And of course, that’s a challenge in the edit, because, you don’t want it to go on forever. But the opening scene, Tom Hanks takes his time. He speaks slowly and it’s almost like you’re teaching the audience how it’s going to be. It’s not going to be a quick-paced, slick, quick edit kind of movie.

HULLFISH: When you were trying to decide on the delivery of a line or the pacing of when he speaks compared to someone else speaks. Did you feel like you needed to regulate that in Mr. Rogers’ time instead of a faster-paced conversation or interaction?

Director Marielle Heller, Cinematographer Jody Lee Lipes, first assistant director Tomas “Dutch” Deckaj, Matthew Rhys and “A” camera operator Sam Ellison on the set of TriStar Pictures’ A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD.

McCABE: Oh, for sure. I was very much embracing awkward pauses. That was the thing about Fred Rogers. He didn’t mind having a pause. There are many scenes in the movie where there’s an uncomfortable pause and it feels like the tension rises. It’s sort of counterintuitive in a way, but having silence actually creates more drama rather than less.


There’s a good example later in the movie when Chris Cooper is basically on his deathbed and his family is around him and he brings up the subject that he might not be around anymore, and everyone in the room stops because they don’t really want to talk about it. They don’t know what to say, and there’s a long pause. The audience really feels it. It makes everything screech to a halt. And then, Tom, as Fred, says, “It’s OK to feel this. It’s OK to talk about death. It’s okay to have these uncomfortable feelings.” Tom was very much coached by Marielle to be slower and patient and take his time. Those were definitely the takes that we were looking for while we were cutting his performance.


Tom Hanks stars as Mister Rogers in TriStar Pictures’ A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD. Photo by: Lacey Terrell

HULLFISH: Did you feel like you had some kind of obligation or special responsibility because you were dealing with a real person?

McCABE: Oh, for sure. Mr. Rogers has an incredible following and people are very protective of him, so we felt a huge responsibility to be respectful to his message and the original show. Marielle and Tom Hanks weren’t going to do some imitation of him. They weren’t going to try to be too southern or do an accent or copy the way he spoke verbatim. It was important to honor him, but not do an imitation that might feel cartoonish.

We were respectful of the show, too, because everyone who worked on it did a ton of research and the people who were involved in the original show were very much involved — mostly during production because they were in Pittsburgh.

In fact, some of the actual people are in the movie as extras. In the scene in the restaurant when it pans across people listening, Joanne Rogers, his actual wife is in the shot and the real Mr. McFeely, and the real Bill Isler. It was important to keep them connected to the show. Also when I edited scenes from the show within the movie, I tried to maintain that style, which was not slick. It felt very hand-made, so the cuts were not quick. Sometimes there’s a little delay.

There’s a section when we go into the Picture Picture about how people make a magazine. When we were cutting that, we very much tried to mimic the style of the show, with the same length of dissolves, to honor the way that the show was. This is not a fast-paced moment.

HULLFISH: I’ve got access to a couple of scenes that the studio gave me. Can you tell me a little bit about cutting this scene and seeing the unusual nature of Mr. Rogers’ performance and delivery and how you have to deal with that?

McCABE: He was always very focused on the person that he spoke to. When he was talking to somebody, he was only thinking about that person. His mind was not racing to what do he needed to do next. And I think it was actually quite frustrating on the actual show because people would come to visit and he would get very focused on talking to somebody and listening. He was a great listener.

So in that scene, he is talking to a young child with a medical problem. He’s listening to the kid and everyone in the crew is waiting around to start shooting and waiting for him to finish up. And finally he finishes up and he starts the tent sequence, but then he sees Lloyd, and they stop again. He goes to talk to Lloyd and everyone on the set is groaning.

It’s kind of a fun, awkward moment, too, for Lloyd, who is the person who is stopping the production. But then the scene goes on to show Mr. Rogers trying to put up a tent. It’s a real thing that happened where he had trouble setting up a tent. It started to make the late-night shows. But Mr. Rogers had a good sense of humor about himself, but in the movie, it’s an example of showing how he was okay with making a mistake. It’s all right to make a mistake. Children also need to see that. You’re not going to get it right every single time.

HULLFISH: Can you talk to me about what the movie REALLY is about? What is the theme? And then how did that affect your editing to know that that was the theme of the movie?

Mister Rogers (Tom Hanks) meets journalist Lloyd Vogel (Matthew Rhys) in TriStar Pictures’ A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD.

McCABE: Well, I think the themes of the movie are really about patience, kindness, acceptance, and understanding. And it’s also somewhat about redefining masculinity because it’s about two men and two fathers and people who have suffered childhood trauma. The movie allows these men to be vulnerable and talk about their feelings and come to terms with how being a man and a father is not defined in a way where you always have to be strong.

Bookended around working on this movie, I was working on the show Succession which I really, really enjoyed cutting, but it’s about these back-stabbing people. Then I went on to Mr. Rogers where it’s all about acceptance and forgiveness. (Director) Mari and I are both parents and we really took away — while we were cutting the movie — feeling like it was important to be more accepting and forgiving and take our time and patience and to become better listeners.

HULLFISH: You mentioned Succession. That had to be “cultural whiplash” to go from one to the other.

McCABE: (Laughs) Yes, for sure. I love working on different types of shows and movies and alternating between television and film because I think it keeps you very fresh in a way as though you’re looking at this with new eyes, and also just the different types of material. Creatively, it’s so much fun to work on all different types of material and different ways that things are shot.

Director Marielle Heller on the set of TriStar Pictures’ A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD.

These two things could not be more different. Succession — the way that is shot — the cameras are always moving. There are so many cameras, so many different angles. You’re always crossing the line. You’re cutting for performance and it’s all very quick. I joked with the showrunner — Jesse Armstrong – that it was a big change from Mr. Rogers, and he said, “No, no! It’s very similar because it really shows people how not to act.”

The pacing on Mr. Rogers was so different. It was important to take our time. Of course, you still need drama. And pacing was hugely important. You don’t want it to drag or feel slow, but it had an entirely different pace where the pauses and the scenes just have a lot of weight to them even in the silences.

HULLFISH: Do you find that when you switch that you had to re-cut some of your scenes because you found that you cut them too much like your previous project or did that not happen?

McCABE: No, that definitely didn’t happen. I actually did the movie, Can you Ever Forgive Me, with Marielle Heller, and then I did season one of Succession, then I did Mr. Rogers, and then I did an episode in season two of Succession, so I’d already work with (Neighborhood director) Mari, but I think it’s really more about: you see the footage and the script and they tell you about what needs to be happening.

Director Marielle Heller and Tom Hanks on the set of TriStar Pictures’ A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD. Photo by: Lacey Terrell

Succession is drama but it has a lot of humor, and with that kind of show my instinct is: this is fun. In Season 2 the episode I did had a scene where Kendall is doing this ridiculous rap where he’s trying to impress his dad. For me, I’m watching that rap, and I want to see what the people’s reactions are. There’s a comic instinct to it.

With the movie, it is much more like: how am I feeling here? I was really putting myself in Lloyd’s shoes and trying to process how he felt – meeting Mr. Rogers. It was a much more personal, emotional journey cutting that.

You mentioned that the film tells you how it needs to be cut… The film speaks to you about what you need to do. Can you explain that concept any more in-depth than that, or provide an example of what you mean?

McCABE: Definitely. So, there’s a slight backstory. Lloyd is a journalist and he’s been assigned to do a little profile on Mr. Rogers. This is based on a true story of a real journalist — Tom Junod — who did a profile in Esquire of the real Fred Rogers.

Matthew Rhys in TriStar Pictures’ A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD.

Lloyd’s character is not particularly thrilled to do this profile. He thinks that Mr. Rogers is a hokey kid-show guy. But when he goes to interview him, Mr. Rogers starts to get under his skin and he starts to notice things about Mr. Rogers that are making him uncomfortable about things in his own life.

Lloyd is trying to get dirt on Mr. Rogers. He’s hoping he can crack him and that he can find out: “Is this guy for real?” So in this scene — after they have already had several interviews and Mr. Rogers has invited Lloyd to his apartment — as I was cutting the scene, I was thinking, “What would it be like if it were me?”

When I was a kid I remember my cynical older brothers thought Mr. Rogers was absurd. Here’s Mr. Rogers acting in that kind of hokey Mr. Rogers way and wants to show you puppets and he speaks in this sing-song voice.

I really put myself into Lloyd’s shoes. Lloyd is trying to dig into Fred and Fred starts asking about Lloyd’s life. During that discussion, we learn that there had been some childhood trauma with Lloyd, and you see Lloyd start to crumble a little bit.

Tom Hanks and Matthew Rhys star in TriStar Pictures’ A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD.

I absolutely put myself into Lloyd’s shoes. Similar to my own life, Lloyd’s character’s mother died when he was young, so I felt very, very close to Lloyd at that moment and cut the scene keeping that in mind.

So Lloyd starts to crumble and gets teary and Fred is really getting under his skin, but he can’t quite take it, so he turns it and shakes it out of himself and tries to start getting at Fred. And there’s also a comic element to this scene — and this is one of the reasons I’m so proud of the scene — is that it has so many different elements. There’s the trauma. There’s the fear and the sadness that’s revealed by Lloyd, but then there’s actually humor where Mr. Rogers is pulling out puppets and sort of shoving them into Lloyd’s face — something that he’s not expecting at all.

Tom Hanks does an incredible job. They both do. You see the tears in Lloyd’s eyes. But you also see the hurt in Tom’s eyes as Lloyd asks him some very difficult questions. He realizes that it’s not all so easy for him either. He’s really trying to do the right thing. He’s really doing his best to be a good father, but it’s a challenge. And then he talks about the difficulty with his teenage son.

HULLFISH: Can we talk about this scene?

McCABE: That’s the first interview. There’s a kind of sparring and a dance and a lot of it is done with looks and pauses. Lloyd is interviewing Fred and he thinks he’s gonna get the standard answers and he’s got this assignment that he’s not particularly thrilled about. But as he asks a difficult question, Fred turns it back onto Lloyd and asks, “Why do you have this black eye?” He doesn’t allow him to escape.

In this scene, Matthew Reese does an incredible job because you can’t quite look away. He can’t shy away from the tough questions. He can’t quite lie to Mr. Rogers. That’s the power of Tom Hanks too, he has this look. He’s really channeling Mr. Rogers by focusing and honing in and looking and having that empathy behind his eyes. It’s something that can’t be faked and we played around a lot with the timing of how long the pauses would be to keep the tension up, but also to not stretch it out too long.

HULLFISH: To show his empathy, you need that sense that Mr. Rogers is truly engrossed in listening to the other person. Did that affect how and when you went to reaction shots, to emphasize Mr. Rogers’ listening skills and honesty in caring for the other person? How do you represent that on film?

McCABE: For sure. We’re always playing around with the reaction shots and the pauses. And then, of course, like any movie — you’re an editor, too — there’s always so much more material. The first cut of the movie is always substantially longer.

Writers and Executive Producers Micah Fitzerman-Blue and Noah Harpster on the set of TriStar Pictures’ A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD.

HULLFISH: How long was your first assembly and then how long is the final movie?

McCABE: The final movie is about 1:49 with credits. I think the first cut was a good 45 minutes longer than that. And of course, it’s not just like we were only removing things, because you’re lengthening some places as well, but you’re always trying to boil down to what’s important and what keeps you engaged.

Sometimes it’s powerful to have a longer pause than what was in the first cut. Or the scene will be more interesting if you remove lines from it, or occasionally adding a line — like an ADR or something.

You’re always having to reshape the beginning of the movie on almost every movie I’ve ever worked on. It’s always the set-up that you’re working on the most.

HULLFISH: What was a moment at the beginning that you were trying to get to sooner?

McCABE: We needed to get to the moment where Fred meets Lloyd. The crux of the whole movie is their relationship, and you don’t want to wait too long.

Matthew Rhys in TriStar Pictures’ A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD.

That said — and as you know as well — we’re always cutting out a lot of the beginning, but you hope that they do shoot a lot of the beginning because you need to know who the character is. You need to set-up the story, and if you have nothing there, it’s not going to work.

The truth is, you want a lot of material because you want to be able to hone it down and choose all the best parts and have some choices there. It’s the same with Succession. Those episodes are about an hour long and the first cut is always like an hour and a half or longer. It’s really difficult what to cut out, but because there’s so much good material that means you’re boiling down to something that you feel really strongly works.

HULLFISH: It’s like Michaelangelo with a piece of granite, right? If the shape of that granite was almost the same size and shape as the David, you’d be stuck with that shape. But if you’ve got a bigger piece of marble, you can choose the pose.

McCABE: Absolutely. Yeah, that’s a great analogy. You need something to shape.

HULLFISH: When did the two of them meet in the movie approximately?

McCABE: I think it’s probably about 10, 15 minutes in.

Director Marielle Heller on the set of TriStar Pictures’ A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD.

HULLFISH: You said you’d worked with the director before, but you also said that you had this similar experience to one of the characters in the movie. Is that something you discussed with the director? Or if you were trying to win this job from a director that you hadn’t known before would you say, “I lost my mom just like this character lost their mom?”

McCABE: I don’t know that I would have shared something so personal in an interview. In an interview, I would be very much focused on the script and the story in front of me.

When I was working on my previous movie with the director, I shared it naturally in conversation. It definitely helped me work on a movie about loss. Absolutely, I could relate.

There’s a line in the movie where Mr. Rogers turns to Lloyd and says, “I’m sure if she saw you today — what you have become — she would be proud of you.” That’s something that always resonates with me when I watch the movie.

HULLFISH: In my interview about The Goldfinch with editor Kelley Dixon, ACE, she said that when she interviewed for that gig, she mentioned to the director that — similarly to the main character in the movie — she had been orphaned when her mother died at a similar age and had been taken in by her mother’s family but felt like she was always a guest or almost an intruder.

Tom Hanks stars as Mister Rogers in TriStar Pictures’ A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD. Photo by: Lacey Terrell

McCABE: In some ways, bringing up trauma is a conversation stopper. But I would say that Fred Rogers is somebody who would say “talk about these things.” One of the messages of the movie is “this is part of life and it’s something you discuss,” you know?

HULLFISH: Absolutely. I’ve worked on some tear-jerker movies, and every time I go through it — even after 100 times — I’ll cry. It’ll choke me up. Do you think that that’s part of being an editor? Having that emotional connection?

McCABE: I think so for sure. I think that people who are drawn to editing have a sense of empathy. You need to be empathetic to your characters and you need to be able to put yourself in the shoes of the person in the scene. When you’re cutting between two people, you need to think, “How does the line make this person feel?”

You’re choosing emotional performances and you need to be able to relate to those emotions. I would say that (director) Marielle Heller is somebody who is incredibly empathetic and very much attuned to people’s emotions. To be a good editor, you need to be able to understand emotion.

HULLFISH: Can you talk to me specifically about shot selection in this scene?

McCABE: Lloyd is coming out of a dream sequence, which was something we kind of came up with in the editing room to really get the sense that Tom was getting in his head. We dissolve from a little puppet of Daniel Tiger to a close up of Lloyd tossing and turning. And then we pop out to the wide to show that he’s out of the dream.

The phone call is interrupting his sleep and Andrea is in bed with him on a wider shot. Then the coverage goes to Fred in his kitchen. The cinematographer — Jody Lee Lipes — has got an incredible eye and for color, too. He played around a lot with like browns and blues in this movie. Fred is in his kitchen, which is very blue. There were various sizes on him. I remember a wide shot that pushes in and then a somewhat intimate profile of his face. Then we cut back to Lloyd’s closeup and we do a pre-lap to the concert hall.

HULLFISH: I love the use of pre-laps. Is there a particular reason — especially in that instance — why you chose to pre-lap into the concert hall?

McCABE: We’re going to a whole new location. There’s the humor of this older guy calling him ridiculously early in the morning and waking him up, so the pre-lap is the music from the concert in the next scene. Fred has invited Lloyd to a concert hall to hear the Uptown String Quartet. There was an actual episode on the original show where they played.

Matthew Rhys and Susan Kelechi Watsonin TriStar Pictures’ A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD.

The pre-lap is sort of a shorthand. Fred says, “I want you to come down and let’s talk again.” You’re jumping to a new location. You’re jumping to an entirely different scene where you’re gonna be on stage and hear these wonderful musicians play. So we’re pre-lapping the first note of the song that they play — which is a kind of jarring, strong chord — and it’s a way of making a big leap to another place without having to see him get dressed, get on a train, go up to the concert.

It’s filmmaking language where you don’t have to show all the shoe-leather. But also it’s cool. I feel like sometimes the pre-lap really works to kind of leap you into another situation.

HULLFISH: You mentioned the fact that you and the director came up with this idea in post of having a dream sequence before the scene where Fred calls in the morning. Can you talk to me about how and why that decision was made? That dream sequence was not in the script?

McCABE: I have to give total credit to Mari for this because she was the one who came up with this idea. Lloyd had been watching all this footage of Mr. Rogers and doing all this research and relating to his own childhood trauma and we wanted to show that Fred was getting under his skin, so we went into this little dream sequence and we used little pieces of scenes that had been lifted to create this imaginative dream sequence.

Tom Hanks stars as Mister Rogers in TriStar Pictures’ A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD. Photo by: Lacey Terrell

Also, it was an opportunity to show some of the puppets from the original show that weren’t in the movie. People are very attached to all the different puppets that Mr. Rogers had on the actual show, so it was kind of fun to be able to introduce them.

But mainly it was to illustrate that this interview was getting more complicated for Lloyd and it wasn’t easy for him and it was making him think in a different way.

HULLFISH: It’s so interesting that you mentioned about the dream sequence being created in post-production because in Arrival they did the exact same thing — to show that the aliens were getting under Amy Adams’ characters’ skin, Joe Walker and Denis Villeneuve created a dream sequence that was not in the script and it was just done in post. (You can read about that in this Art of the Cut interview with Joe Walker.)

I love that the solution was the same for this movie.

McCABE: Well, I think that editors are always trying to come up with ways to use great footage and to create more beats and moments for places where it’s important in the movie.

HULLFISH: Thank you so much for giving me so much time today. I really appreciate it. It has been a wonderful talk. I think a lot of people will get a lot out of it. Thank you for joining me.

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

McCABE: Thank you so much, Steve. It’s an honor to talk with you.

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 Anne McCabe, ACE appeared first on ProVideo Coalition.

Blind Spot Gear Power Cage & Power Bracket

Blind Spot Gear has launched their 7th Kickstarter campaign with the Power Cage & Power Bracket. Combined, the two products provide a modular powering system in addition to an L-bracket style baseplate. Power Cage The Power Cage can also be used standalone as a regular power bank. As well as 1/4″ mounts to attach accessories … Continued

The post Blind Spot Gear Power Cage & Power Bracket appeared first on Newsshooter.

The Wandering DP Podcast: Episode #204 – Rachel Morrison ASC

We have Rachel Morrison ASC on the podcast this episode to talk about her latest film (actually shot on film as well) Seberg.

WE chat about the film, the limitations of the project and how Rachel used those to help define the look of the film, how having a young family changes your decision making process, and her choices after Black Panther.

It was a real pleasure to chat to Rachel and I know you are going to enjoy the knowledge she shares in this episode.


Patreon Podcast #138 – Commercial References

On the Patreon Podcast this week we look at one of the commercials that I used as a reference throughout the pre-production process of the feature last year.  

This spot was shot by Steve Annis and we take a look at some of the lighting and composition choices that caught my eye and discuss how to take those ideas and try and make them your own.

To see the images and listen to the special breakdown podcast click the link below:

The Wandering DP Patreon

Featured Guest – Rachel Morrison ASC

The post The Wandering DP Podcast: Episode #204 – Rachel Morrison ASC appeared first on Cinematography Podcast & Tutorials.

Litepanels Gemini 2×1 Firmware Update

Litepanels has released new firmware for its Gemini 2×1. The latest update adds extended color temperature selection, a massive library of popular gel colors along with more extensive DMX and wireless control and many other refinements. I reviewed the Litepanels Gemini 2×1 on the site, and you can read that review here. Wide CCT Range … Continued

The post Litepanels Gemini 2×1 Firmware Update appeared first on Newsshooter.

Sound Devices MixPre v5.00 Firmware

Sound Devices has new firmware (v5.00) for all MixPre mixer-recorders, including the new MixPre II Series. All current and legacy MixPre and MixPre-M models receive useful improvements and features, including flexible USB output routing and USB hub support. Additionally, version 5.00 introduces the new MixAssist Plugin, bringing Sound Devices’ automixer to the MixPre Original Series … Continued

The post Sound Devices MixPre v5.00 Firmware appeared first on Newsshooter.

Portrait Lens Shootout: Fujifilm 56mm f/1.2 Vs Zeiss Batis 85mm f/1.8

The most recent “APS-C vs Full-Frame” comparison comes from our friends at Sonder Creative, and it’s a portrait photography lens shootout between the ZEISS Batis 85mm f/1.8 and the Fujifilm 56mm f/1.2.

For this latest test, Sonder’s Usman Dawood teamed up with photographer Anete Lusina, model Danielle Warwick, and assistant Alex Cousins. Together, they borrowed some gear from UK-based rental house Hire a Camera and put these two lenses to the test using a Sony a7 III for the Batis and a Fujifilm X-T3 for the Fuji lens.

The two lenses produce a very similar (if not exactly identical) field of view and depth of field on their respective cameras’ sensors when shooting wide-open, and so Dawood wanted to see which was the better portrait shooting setup. It it worth dropping $2,700 on the Sony/Batis combo, or would portrait photographers be better served by saving some money and only spending $2,200 on the Fuji setup?

Dawood and Lusina both took turns shooting with each system, and it turns out that this was a good idea, because they didn’t end up agreeing on which one to recommend.

Both agreed that the Sony/ZEISS combo performed better in terms of both speed and overall sharpness–especially at the corners–but Dawood felt the Fuji had more “character” and Lusina wound up recommending the Fuji overall simply on the basis of feel. It just goes to show that there’s more to comparing two lenses than evaluating corner sharpness and calling it a day.

Looking at the sample images below, which do you prefer? (Click for larger size)

Sony a7 III with ZEISS Batis 85mm f/1.8

Fujifilm X-T3 with Fuji 56mm f/1.2

There are noticeable differences in terms of the image quality and character that each combo captured, and which you choose should have more to do with your preference and shooting style than it does with any rock-solid definition of “better” or “worse.”

Watch the full video up top to see how each of these “pairings” performed, and check out Sonder Creative YouTube channel if you want to see more head-to-head gear comparisons like this one.

‘Honey Boy’ Director Alma Har’el Explains How to Jumpstart Your Directing Career

Alma Har’el’s Honey Boy is a beautifully complex story based on Shia LaBeouf’s experience as a child actor.

Shia LaBeouf is as complex a public figure as they come. The 33-year-old celebrity, whose career jumpstarted as a child actor on Even Stevens and went on to span a host of Michael Bay movies and other Hollywood fare, has been at the center of many scandals over the years, including drunk driving accidents and arrests for belligerent behavior and possession of drugs.

At one point, it seemed as if LaBeouf’s trail of infamy might eclipse his acting career altogether. Then, he was court-ordered to attend rehab. While seeking treatment for PTSD, LaBeouf wrote the script for Honey Boy, a semi-autobiographical account of his traumatic childhood. The Amazon Studios film heralds a new chapter for LaBeouf. It is evidence of serious, clear-eyed self-reflection—the kind that can only be produced by an artist who has stared his demons in the face.

“Natasha [Braier, the DP] created very complicated setups of lighting that she could operate in real-time.”

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Why You Should Study Your Bad Photos

Why You Should Study Your Bad Photos

When you are culling your photos and come across a bad image, you probably just delete it and move on. But perhaps you should linger on it for just a bit, as you can learn just as much (if not more) from bad images than you can from good images. This excellent video discusses why that is.

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New Facebook Tool Lets You Transfer All Your Pictures to Google Photos

Facebook has released a new tool that’ll allows you to bulk-export all of your photos and videos to another service or social network in just a couple of clicks, starting with Google Photos.

The tool was announced on Facebook’s About website by Director of Privacy and Public Policy Steve Satterfield, and it’s part of the social media giant’s participation in something called the Data Transfer Project. The DTP is an “open-source, service-to-service data portability platform” that wants to make it easy to carry your personal data from one service to another.

Facebook, Google, Twitter, Apple, and Microsoft are all participants, and this tool is Facebook’s way of getting out of the gate first.

Once a user has access, the tool will appear in Facebook settings under the Your Facebook Information tab. The company didn’t reveal too much more about how the tool will work, but based on the included GIF, you’ll simply select the data you want to transfer (photos and/or videos), the service you want to transfer it to (starting with Google Photos), and click Start Transfer.

To ensure security, you’ll need to enter your password one more time before the transfer is initiated, and all data will be encrypted when it’s copied and transferred out.

The so-called “photo transfer tool” begins rolling out today, but it’ll only be available to users in Ireland at first. A world-wide rollout will follow in “first half of 2020” after Facebook has done a little “refining” based on user feedback.

(via Engadget)

Here’s When Martin Scorsese’s New Movie Starts Shooting

Killers of the Flower Moon has been a book adaptation that Scorsese has been wanting to tackle for some time. Now, The Irishman director is bringing it to the big screen.

Martin Scorsese is going from The Irishman and neverending opinions about Marvel to his next project.

Killers of the Flower Moon, a film adaptation of David Grann’s non-fiction book that Scorsese has been attached to since at least 2017, is set to go in front of cameras early next year. The film, which will reteam stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro for the first time since 1993’s This Boy’s Life, is scheduled to start shooting March 2020, according to an interview Irishman and Flower Moon cinematographer Rodrigo Prieto gave to Collider.

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A Better Way to Warp Your Images

A Better Way to Warp Your Images

In the past, if you wanted to distort or warp a section of your images, there were a few options to go about that process. New in Photoshop 2020, this video shows the updated method for that specific area.

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A Brief History of Disney’s Bizarre Relationship With Aspect Ratios

Disney’s allergic reaction to aspect ratios has been a problem long before they rolled out their new streaming service. Here’s why it should worry filmmakers.

A minor controversy erupted when Disney+, the company’s new direct-to-consumer streaming platform, debuted and (surprise!) the aspect ratio on The Simpsons was messed up, with the boxy original 1.33:1 aspect ratio stretched for widescreen TVs. (This wound up ruining many of the series’ best visual gags and rightfully angering Simpsons purists.)

Disney has stated that the original aspect ratios would be available as an option sometime in early 2020 (hopefully along with the commentary tracks, another option that was on the Simpsons World app that, sadly, wasn’t ported over) but it also speaks to the company’s oftentimes bizarre relationship with aspect ratios.

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This Guy Installed Doom on a Digital Camera from 1998… and it Works!

Popular retro tech YouTube channel LGR recently pulled off something pretty awesome, if totally ridiculous. The channel’s host Clint Basinger managed to install a working copy of the original video game Doom onto a Kodak digital camera from 1998. Really gives new meaning to the term “point and shoot” camera, doesn’t it?

The camera in question is the Kodak Digital Science DC260 Zoom, which featured a respectable 1.6MP CCD image sensor, 3x optical zoom, and CompactFlash storage for an asking price of $1,000 ($1,575 adjusted for inflation). And the reason it’s the perfect candidate for this particular conversion is that it uses an actual PowerPC CPU and 8MB of on-board RAM that ran an actual operating system called Digita OS.

This operating system was way ahead of its time, allowing developers to create third-party apps for these Digita OS cameras so that you could potentially do things like edit your images in-camera. But, of course, Basinger had something different in mind:

The actual install is surprisingly simple. The heavy lifting–read: coding–was already done by the folks at MAMED! more than a decade ago, so all you have to do is download the files and add them to the appropriate directories. It’s no more than a three-step process, and once you’re done, the camera will take care of the rest. Once installed, you can boot into Doom from the Applications section of the menu.

Once he’s done showing you how to play Doom on the camera, Basinger hooks the camera up to a monitor using its included AV cable and goes on to install some of the other games that have been ported over to the Digita OS platform and are readily available. With all the available games installed, this little Kodak camera turns into something of a mini gaming console, which is just plain cool.

Incidentally, this isn’t the first time we’ve seen a working version of Doom installed on photography gear. Way back in 2014, security researcher Michael Jordan (no relation to the basketball icon) managed to do the same thing with a Canon Pixma photo printer. I guess from now, when it comes to photography gear, we should replace “but will it blend?” with “but will it play Doom?”

(via DIYPhotography)

Sony overtakes Canon and Nikon to dominate the full-frame camera market in Japan

Sony has overtaken Canon and Nikon to claim the top slot for full-frame camera market share in Japan, according to BCN Ranking. Sony showed growth in the overall full-frame, APS-C and fixed-lens digital camera categories from November 2018 to October 2019, as well.

Ultimately, Sony saw its total full-frame camera market share in Japan increase from 31.6% to 38%, while Canon was bumped down to second place at 36% market share compared to last year’s 37.8%. Nikon came in at 24% of the full-frame market, a decrease from last year’s 29.1%.

As the figure below shows, Sony dominated both unit sales (dark blue) and total value sales (light blue) across all three camera categories. Canon and Nikon were down across the board with the exception of a slight 6.6% full-frame unit sales increase from Canon over the past year.

Nikon saw the most severe decreases in unit and value sales across the board, experiencing more than a 30% drop in value sales in the APS-C market, among other things. In comparison, Sony experienced a more than 44% increase in value sales in the same category over the past year.

BCN notes full-frame mirrorless and DSLR sales comprise of just 10% of the overall camera market, which is largely dominated by APS-C mirrorless and DSLR cameras.

The company also notes that Canon and Nikon’s slow move into the full-frame mirrorless market has given Sony a headstart; only time will tell whether the company manages to hold its lead as competition heats up.

In 2018, Sony stated intentions of becoming the ‘top brand in the overall camera market,’ a goal it has made considerable progress in achieving. As DPReview reported in May, Sony took the #2 spot from Nikon in the interchangeable lens camera market last year with 23% of the market share (based on revenue).

Sony said at the time that it had claimed 24% of the overall global still camera market in its fiscal year 2018, an increase of 4% compared to its global market share in 2017. Meanwhile, Nikon’s struggles were reflected in its most recent quarterly financial report; the company revised down its Imaging Products revenue outlook for the fiscal year ending in March 2020 due to shrinking sales.

Facebook rolling out new tool to transfer your Facebook photos to Google Photos

In 2018, Facebook announced its participation in the Data Transfer Project, a collaboration between tech giants Apple, Google, Microsoft and Twitter designed to make it easier for users of online services to move data securely and easily between those services.

Facebook is now getting the Data Transfer Project moving by announcing an open-source tool that lets you move all your Facebook photos to Google Photos. For now the tool is only available to some users in Ireland but should be available globally in early 2020.

Facebook also says the tool will work with other services which are likely Apple’s iCloud and Microsoft’s OneDrive.

The Best Cyber Monday Deals for Filmmakers

Not into waiting in line? Then take advantage of all the Cyber Monday deals on your favorite filmmaking gear.

Black Friday may be over, but that doesn’t mean the savings are. Cyber Monday is in full swing, so find out how you can save money on some of the most popular film gear brands out there.

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