Directors Series: Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained The success of 2009’s INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS sent director Quentin Tarantino off on another career-high. It was the realization of an idea that had been a long time coming, with Tarantino purportedly first conceiving the idea around 1994, after the production of PULP FICTION. In 2012, he realized yet another…
Bombing a pitch happens to everyone, but sometimes you have no idea why it did. Let’s go over a few scenarios.
Pitching a movie or TV show is an art form. You go in, weave an entertaining tale in around fifteen minutes, and then field a series of questions. Afterward, some people meet up and decide if they liked your pitch.
Those people are usually executives or creatives that can make the project happen.
But sometimes you don’t have to wait for the execs.
Sometimes you know in your heart of hearts that you bombed that pitch.
Trust me, I’ve been there.
Bombing is its own art form. A spectacular spiral of problems and guttural noises that leaves you feeling weak and the knees and nauseous. But it’s something you need to get used to because all writers bomb pitches. Every single one. I have bombed plenty.
There are many reasons you can bomb a pitch. And them ore you’re aware of the reasons, the more you can do to keep yourself from bombing it.
So, come with me as I look back on some bombs, and share your own stories and lessons in the comments.
Fans of crazy bokeh take note: a leaked presentation photo and a report from Fuji Addict claims that Venus Optics—the makers of Laowa lenses—are actively working on a new line of f/0.95 lenses for full-frame and APS-C sensor cameras.
The photo below was allegedly leaked from “a small presentation” by Venus Optics in China, but most of the information we have is from Fuji Addict and their an unnamed source. According to FA, the Argus line of lenses will be made for both DSLR and mirrorless cameras with both full-frame and APS-C sensors.
There seems to be at least one lens in the works, and though the final mounts and focal length haven’t been decided yet, the report claims that it will likely be between 20 and 35mm.
That’s all we know for now, though we’ve reached out to our contacts at Venus Optics on the off chance that they’re willing to confirm or tease any official information. We’ll update this post if and when we hear back.
Given the early stage in development of this mysterious new line of lenses, it’ll probably be 2021 by the time we see anything with the “Argus” moniker, but the rumor sites seem certain about this one: affordable f/0.95 lenses from Venus Optics are coming… it’s just a matter of when.
UPDATE: Though the original report claimed that mounts were not finalized, Fuji Rumors is reporting that the lenses will definitely be made for the Fuji X-mount, and will include “the widest f/0.95 lens on the market.”
Canon USA has announced a successful lawsuit against two eBay sellers who were allegedly peddling counterfeit ‘Canon’ batteries. The camera company had filed a complaint against the defendants in October 2019, claiming the sellers were using its trademarks and that doing so could ‘mislead the public as to the source and authenticity’ of the products, potentially to their peril.
The legal victory took place on December 12, 2019, in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. According to Canon, the defendants in the case were barred from ‘infringing and counterfeiting the valuable Canon trademarks.’ The sellers will also be required to pay Canon a ‘significant amount of money,’ according to the camera company.
Below is a copy of the court documents, obtained by PetaPixel:
Counterfeit batteries put both the operator and their camera at risk, Canon explains on its website. These products may be poorly made and prone to overheating; they may also offer lackluster performance when compared to the real thing, resulting in frequent recharging and shorter lifetimes. Signs of a counterfeit battery include lack of an anti-hologram sticker on the bottom, modifications to the company’s logo and an inability to communicate with the camera.
The Australia Emergency Bushfire Fund is the first to benefit from the new FXhome initiative ‘Pay What You Want’ announced by the company as an answer to requests from users of HitFilm Express.
Now you can support the software you love and also contribute to important causes around the world. That’s the message from FXhome, as the company announces the launch of its “Pay What You Want” initiative that will help fuel future development of HitFilm Express while also “Paying it Forward” with contributions to important causes; ‘The More You Contribute, The More We Give’ announced FXHome.
The Good Will program now announced appears in support of the HitFilm Express community: ‘Pay What You Want.” The inspiration came from the HitFilm Express community’s continued requests for options to contribute to the future development of the historically free video editing and VFX software. After exploring the options available, FXhome has developed an entirely new initiative that enables users to contribute financially, ensuring that those funds will be allocated for future development and improvements to HitFilm.
Donate to WWF and Australia
It does not stop there, though. We live through times when it is important to look at the world around us and help to protect it. So FXhome decided that, additionally, the company will contribute a percentage of the proceeds of ‘Pay What You Want’ to organizations dedicated to global causes important to the Company and its community. At its launch, the FXhome ‘Pay What You Want’ initiative will donate a portion of its proceeds to the WWF and the Australia Emergency Bushfire Fund.
HitFilm Express remains a free download, however, first-time customers will now be offered the option to ‘Pay What You Want’ on the software and some exclusive, deep discounts on HitFilm add-on packs and effects. The larger the contribution from customers, the more FXhome will donate.
Coinciding with the release of ‘Pay What You Want,’ FXhome is also releasing HitFilm Express 14, featuring a new and simplified export process, new text controls, a streamlined UI and a host of new features. HitFilm Express 14 remains a free download, however it is the first version of HitFilm Express also eligible for the new ‘Pay What You Want’ initiative.
‘Pay What You Want’: How it Works
For new customers who would like to download HitFilm Express 14 and also contribute to the ‘Pay What You Want’ program, there are three options available:
Starter Pack Level: With a contribution as little as $9.00, new HitFilm Express 14 customers will also receive a free ‘Starter Pack’ of software and effects that includes:
Color tools including Exposure, Vibrance, Shadows & Highlights, Custom Gray, Color Phase, Channel Mixer and 16-bit color
Additional VFX packs including Shatter, 3D Extrusion, Fire, Blood Spray and Animated Lasers
Content Creator Level: With contributions of $19 or more, customers will receive everything included in the Starter Pack, as well as:
Edit: Repair Pack with Denoise, Grain Removal and Rolling Shutter
Color: LUT Pack with LUTs and Grading Transfer
Edit: Beautify Pack with Bilateral Blur and Pro Skin Retouch
VFX Artist Level: This level offers customers who contribute from $39 to $99 everything in the Starter Pack Level and Content Creator Level, and adds:
Composite Toolkit Pack with Wire Removal, Projector, Clone and Channel Swapper
Composite Pro-Keying Pack for Chroma Keying
Motion Audio Visual Pack with Atomic Particles, Audio Spectrum and Audio Waveform
VFX Neon Lights Pack with Lightsword Ultra (2-Point Auto), Lightsword Ultra (4-Point Manual), Lightsword Ultra (Glow Only) and Neon Path
VFX Lighting Pack with Anamorphic Lens Flares, Gleam, Flicker and Auto Volumetrics
What’s New in HitFilm Express 14
HitFilm Express 14 adds a number of VFX workflow enhancements to enable even more sophisticated and visually stunning effects for content creators, including a simplified export workflow that allows users to export content directly from the timeline and comps. New benefits to the HitFilm Express 14 workflow include:
Video Textures for 3D Models: For creators who already have the 3D: Model Render Pack, they can now use a video layer as a texture on a 3D model to add animated bullet holes, cracked glass or changing textures.
Improvements to the Export Process: In HitFilm Express 14, the Export Queue is now an Export Panel, and is now much easier to use. Exporting can also now be done from the timeline and from comps. These ‘in-context’ exports will export the content between the In and Out points set or the entire timeline, using the current default preset (which can be changed from the menu).
Additional Text Controls: Customizing text in HitFilm Express 14 is now simplified even more, with Text panel options for All Caps, Small Caps, Subscript and Superscript. Users can also change the character spacing, horizontal or vertical scale, as well as baseline shift (for that Stranger-Things-style titling).
Usability and Workflow Enhancements: In addition to the new and improved export process, FXhome has also implemented new changes to the interface to further simplify the entire post-production process, including a new ‘composite button’ in the media panel, double-click and keyboard shortcuts. A new Masking feature adds new automation to the workflow; when users double-click the Rectangle or Ellipse tools, a centered mask is automatically placed to fill the center of the screen. Masks are also automatically assigned colors, which can be changed to more easily identify different masks.
Effects: Users can now double-click the effects panel to apply to the selected layer, drop 2D effects directly onto layers in the viewer, and some effects – such as the Chroma Key and Light Flares – can be dropped on a specific point, or select a specific color to key by. Users can also now favorite ‘effects’ for quick and easy access to users’ five most recently-used effects from the ‘Effects’ menu in the toolbar.
Additional Improvements: Users can now use Behavior effects from the editor timeline, click-drag across multiple layers to toggle ‘solo,’ ‘locked’ or ‘visibility’ settings in one action, and access templates directly from the media panel with the new ‘Templates’ button. Menus have also been added to the tab of each panel to make customization of the interface easier.
Open Imerge Pro files in HitFilm: Imerge Pro files can now be opened directly from HitFilm as image assets. Any changes made in the Imerge Pro project will be automatically updated with any save, making it easier to change image assets in real time.
Introducing Light Mode: The HitFilm Express interface is now available in Light Mode and will open in Light Mode the first time you open the software. Users with a pre-existing HitFilm Express license can easily change back to the dark theme if desired.
Pricing and Availability
HitFilm Express 14 is available immediately and is an entirely free download. Customers downloading HitFilm Express 14 for the first time are eligible to participate in the new ‘Pay What You Want’ initiative. Free effects and software packs offered in conjunction with ‘Pay What You Want’ are only available at initial download of HitFilm Express 14. For more information, or to download HitFilm Express14, follow the link to FXhome’s website.
In an entertaining new head-to-head video, Henbu traded his $5,750 worth of professional photo gear with his brother Nathan, who had recently acquired a Sony a6000 kit on sale for about 500 bucks. Then they went out and tried shooting several of the same locations using their respective kits.
No matter the location, Henbu is able to take advantage of his experience and knowledge of composition, color, and even just the basics of how to use and set the camera in order to capture much more pleasing images. Our favorites are the shots around the 6:22 mark, which really stand out from the rest.
In fact, even when they picked the same or similar compositions, it’s immediately obvious which photographer took each shot.
Check out the full shootout above for a fun Friday afternoon reminder that, while gear might help you get a better shot (or do more of the work for you), nothing can replace experience and an understanding of the art of photography.
We covered the Canon 1D X Mark III when it was first announced, but Canon USA has now released two incredibly detailed white papers outlining the still and video capabilities of the 1D X Mark III. And the details within? Equally incredible. Let’s see what we can learn!
Canon 1D X Mark III – Top Line Takeaways
To start with, the sensor itself is similar to the sensor on the 1D X Mark II. However, as I understand it, the processor and the storage media are the major upgrades. The new Digic X processor is roughly 3x faster than the dual Digic 6+ processors seen in the 1D X Mark II, allowing for higher resolutions and frame rates, obviously RAW video, noise and sharpness processing, battery life, and more horsepower dedicated to the new AF modes. Independent of any sensor upgrades, this should noticeably improve performance across all modes.
In the video whitepaper, it also becomes clear that Canon intends to make the most of its two CFExpress slots. The Canon 1D X Mark III can record 5.5K RAW video, it can record oversampled, uncropped 4K 10-bit 4:2:2 video, or it can record BOTH, one to each card slot at up to 60fps.
Canon Log, and WTF is an “OETF”?
One of the big acronyms repeated over and over in this paper is OETF. It stands for “OptoElectric Transfer Function,” and is the very technical way of describing the systems and equations that convert light into an image. In whatever way Canon has designed the pipeline from the sensor to the memory card, they have made the specific logarithmic characteristics of C Log an integral part of the journey. This C Log OETF is the primary one used in photo mode as well as video mode. When you are shooting video with the 1D X Mark III, consider C Log your default setting, not an optional feature. You can record video without in regular REC709, abandoning C Log, but unfortunately, that means you will be recording in 8-bit. Otherwise, your options as far as frame rates and resolutions remain the same in either mode.
To all of the technically-minded people out there
More Miscellaneous details on RAW Video
To quote Canon directly: “There are small differences between Cinema RAW Light of the EOS C200 or EOS C500 Mark II, and the RAW video of the EOS-1D X Mark III.” The exact nature of those differences remains unclear, but what we do know is that the RAW video here records in 12-bit depth, up to 2600 Mbps if you shoot 60fps. That is 2.6x higher than the Canon Raw Light output by the C200, which clocks in at merely 1Gbps. The lesson here: get big cards, and get lots of them.
Do these new details change your opinion of the camera in any way? What questions do you still feel are left unanswered? Let us know in the comments, and keep your eyes peeled as we get closer to the release date!
A wedding photographer in Australia is suing a wedding venue and styling company for over $500,000 after she slipped on a piece of fabric and shattered her knee—an incident she says could have been avoided and has cost her hundreds of thousands in lost work.
In 2017, photographer and cinematographer Bernadette Draffin was shooting a wedding at the Cherbon Waters Equestrian Centre in Brisbane when she slipped on a sash that came loose from around a guest’s chair, breaking her knee in four places. She told the Daily Mail Australia that the injury required surgery and months of physical therapy, took a toll on her personal life at home, and has hurt her ability to work as a photographer.
She tells the Daily Mail that she’s “still struggling” from the accident, is unable to do more than one wedding per week, and must now pay an assistant “at least $1,500 per wedding” just to help her get around. In all she’s seeking damages to the tune of $577,164, including $100,000 for lost income and $258,030 for potential future income that she won’t be able to earn.
Draffin is reportedly suing both the Cherbon Waters venue and the styling company, Captivating Moments, claiming that they are both to blame for her injury—the venue for failing to address the loose pieces of fabric after they were allegedly told that they were a potential hazard and should be picked up, and the styling company for not properly securing the fabric to the chairs.
Ms. Draffin’s lawyer, James Hickman, tells The Courier Mail that he hopes the accident “will serve as a cautionary tale to all companies involved in wedding planning to be extra vigilant about the safety of their guests.”
We’ve reached out to Ms. Draffin and the Cherbon Waters venue for comment on this story, and will update our coverage if and when we hear back.
Fotodiox has launched its new Vizelex Cine ND Throttle Fusion Smart AF lens adapter for connecting Canon EF lenses to Fuji G Mount GFX mirrorless cameras. The adapter features integrated Fusion tech for using autofocus and other automated functions, as well as a built-in variable neutral density filter with 1 to 8 stops (ND2-256).
Fotodiox says users may notice vignetting when the adapter is used with certain Canon EF lenses; for these instances, the product features a switch for changing from medium format to 35mm mode. As well, the adapter has a switch for directly toggling from aperture priority to program mode. Firmware updates are delivered over micro USB.
Other features include an all-metal design, the promise of high-precision construction, chrome-plated brass mounts and a geared rotating ring for adjusting the ND filter. The adapter is available now from Amazon, B&H Photo and Adorama for $550.