The 10 Best Documentaries of 2017

By Vlad Albescu

As with every year, feature films have managed to gather a lot more attention than documentaries in 2017. Take “Icarus,” for example. It just won the Academy Award for Best Documentary at this year’s Oscars. However, it’s gotten 10 times fewer user ratings on IMDb than Best Picture winner “The Shape of Water.”

We can only conclude that people don’t really watch documentary films nowadays. That being said, some of last year’s best films were documentaries. Even more, many of the films on this list were better than most of the feature films that drew out audiences last year.

The number of documentary films released in 2017 is huge and this is without taking into consideration the miniseries documentaries. However, we tried to select the top 10 we think stood out of the crowd.

Let us know in the comments what your favorite 2017 documentary was and which ones you think were snubbed from this list.

10. David Lynch: The Art of Life

David Lynch The Art Life

David Lynch is one of the most fascinating figures in the cinema world and not only there. While many know about Lynch’s films and his television work on “Twin Peaks,” not so much is known about Lynch’s work as a musician and painter. Lynch had a strong artistic vision and a huge desire to make a name for himself from the start, but before being a director, he was a painter.

“David Lynch: The Art of Life” shifts between Lynch sitting in his garden, his 5-year-old daughter Lola watching him as he works on one of his paintings, and old pictures from Lynch’s past, while he recounts his early days from childhood until directing “Eraserhead,” his first feature film.

However, those who are expecting to watch a detailed account of Lynch’s life and to → continue…

From:: Taste Of Cinema

8 Reasons Why Christians Have Lost Credibility in Today’s Culture

By philcooke

We’d like to say we were shocked, but the truth is, we were expecting the criticism. My friend and marketing expert Jonathan Bock and I were asking people on the street what they thought about “Christians.” The response? Hypocritical, judgmental, harsh, phony, insensitive, bigoted, and exclusive. Not exactly the “Fruit of the Spirit” the Bible describes […] → continue…

From:: Phil Coke

10 Great Movies That Are Perfect Combinations of Art and Entertainment

By Dilair Singh

The Square

Aside from directing, acting, writing, and all the other obvious aspects of cinema, another crucial component of film is the business side of things. The careful balancing of art and commerce is a fine line between a potentially great film or one that is lackluster.

On one hand, if a movie is too personal to a filmmaker’s experience, or too “artistic,” it could be considered a colossal disaster. On the other, if a film is focused too much on the “entertainment” factor, it can risk alienating some of its audience. A good example of this concept would be the filmmaker Nicolas Winding Refn, who walked the line successfully with Drive. Unfortunately, he followed that with the much less commercially appealing Only God Forgives.

In contrast, when you look at a filmmaker like Spielberg, you get almost the perfect example of straddling the line between art vs. entertainment. He’s the director that popularized the concept of the Blockbuster with hits like Jaws. Spielberg would go on to make several films for “high-brow” audiences and people that just want to be entertained simultaneously (e.g., Catch Me if You Can).

Filmmaking is one of the riskiest, most expensive art forms to produce. Making a film is a gamble, it requires an investment that may or may not be profitable. Producers have to feel like they will at least receive their investment back.

In order to make financing less precarious, audiences are seeing more and more of the same predictable type of films that are almost guaranteed to pay off. Superhero movies are a great example of this; although they are technically impressive, and draw large audiences, it’s sometimes difficult to take them seriously because they fail to take any real chances.

For this list let’s take a look at a few movies by directors who were → continue…

From:: Taste Of Cinema

Canon Fills Gap In Primes With 20mm T1.5 CN-E

By Matthew Duclos The Canon CN-E Primes have been out for quite some time now and have been tested on and off set by bloggers and cinematographers alike. There’s no doubting the capability of the CN-E Primes at this point. Beginning with a mere three prime lenses – 24, 50, and 85mm, Canon filled out the line with … Continue reading Canon Fills Gap In Primes With 20mm T1.5 CN-E → continue…

From:: Matthew Duclos

Free Atomos Shogun Inferno update will let you capture 5.7K RAW on the Panasonic EVA1

Credit: Atomos

Atomos’ Shogun Inferno and Sumo19 external HDR monitor/recorders are about to get a free upgrade that will really delight owners of the popular Super 35 Panasonic AU-EVA1 cinema camera. The update—full details incoming at NAB 2018—will allegedly allow EVA1 owners to capture 5.7K RAW video direct from the sensor at up to 30fps using the recorders’ 6G SDI connections.

If you pull that down to 4K resolution, you can record Raw video at up to 60fps in Apple ProRes or Avid DNxHR (2K/120p or 4K/30p in CDNG RAW). And finally, if you drop the resolution further to 2K, you can record slow-motion Raw video at 240fps direct to Apple ProRes or Avid DNxHR. According to Atomos, “the resulting frames are super clean, detailed and capable of withstanding heavy grading.”

Credit: Atomos

For those of us not into video, it’s worth noting why this is a big deal.

The Panasonic EVA1 is the type of camera that a lot of DSLR/mirrorless users consider when they get serious about video. Support for 5.7K Raw on a ~$7-8K cinema camera of this quality is pretty compelling. It’s a logical next step for people who want to go beyond DSLR/mirrorless video.

We won’t dive into the Shogun Inferno or Sumo19’s other features here, but you can learn more on the Atomos website. And if you already own one of these recorders, keep an eye out—this free AtomOS update will be released at NAB 2018 later this month.

Press Release

Atomos Shogun Inferno and Sumo19 unlock the Panasonic AU-EVA1 5.7K RAW output

Melbourne, Australia – 02 April 2018 – Panasonic’s AU-EVA1 is a great Super35 cine camera with excellent low light capabilities – winning wide-spread acclaim since its launch last year.

Now users will be able → continue…

From:: DPreview

Intel unveils Core i9 laptop CPU, promises the ‘ultimate’ content creation experience

Intel just revealed its 8th Generation laptop CPUs, and sitting at the top of the heap is a behemoth. Behold the Core i9-8950HK, a chip the company is calling “the highest-performance laptop processor Intel has ever built.” Equipped with 6 cores/12 threads, this unlocked chip boasts single-core Turbo Boost speeds of up to 4.8 GHz and promises “the ultimate content creation experience.”

Of course, that’s just marketing speak, which is why Intel came to this press release armed with some benchmarks. According to the company, the 8th Generation Core i9-8950HK can edit 4K video up to 59 percent faster than a machine sporting the 7th Generation Core i7 with same discrete graphics (in Adobe Premiere Pro).

It’s also 29 percent faster in general performance, and 41 percent faster for gaming.

Of course, you don’t have to go all the way up to the Core i9 to get great photo and video editing performance out of your laptop. All of the 8th Gen Intel Core mobile processors revealed today pack some punch, with 6 cores and 12 threads available in both the 2.6GHz Core i7-8750H and 2.2GHz Core i7-8850H. According to Dell, these deliver 68 percent faster photo editing compared to a 3-year-old system.

This latest generation Core i9 CPU is already popping in the recently revealed Dell and MSI laptops, and more high-performance and gaming laptops will surely follow suit. To learn more about the new 8th generation mobile chips, check out the full press release below or check out this product overview presentation.

Press Release

Intel Core i9 Processor Comes to Mobile: The Best Gaming and Creation Laptop Processor Intel Has Ever Built

Today at a global event in Beijing, Intel unveiled the first ever Intel® Core™ i9 processor for laptops. Part → continue…

From:: DPreview

Firmware: v1.1.2 For the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV

By Canon Rumors Canon USA has finally released the long-awaited new firmware for the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV. Firmware Version 1.1.2 incorporates the following improvements and fixes: Support has been added for chromatic aberration correction, peripheral illumination correction, distortion correction, and Digital Lens Optimizer when using Digital Photo Professional to process RAW images captured with the following … → continue…

From:: Canon Rumors

The Lowdown on Working With Subtitles In DaVinci Resolve 14

By Lewis McGregor NLEs generally operate similarly, but when it comes to captions, things change. Here’s what you need to know about creating subtitles in DaVinci Resolve. → continue…

From:: Premium Beat

Facebook Messenger adds 360-degree photo and HD video support

Facebook just released an update that brings high-definition video and 360-degree panoramic photo support to Messenger. The update follows the high-res photo support Facebook added to Messenger in November 2017, expanding the quality and type of content that users can privately share with each other.

For 360-degree photos, users capture the panoramic content using their phone’s camera app or a third-party app, then share the panorama in Messenger like any other photo. The app automatically processes the panorama, converting it into an immersive 360-degree image that recipients can ‘explore’ by either moving their phone around or tapping and dragging the photo. Panoramic photos feature a compass icon in their upper right-hand side.

High-definition video sharing, meanwhile, supports the sharing of 720p videos from both the Camera Roll and a user’s newsfeed. To distinguish these videos from standard definition videos, Messenger now shows an HD or SD marker with the content.

360-degree photos are now available to all Messenger users on Android and iOS. HD video support is only available in the following countries:

  • Australia
  • Belgium
  • Canada
  • Denmark
  • Finland
  • France
  • Hong Kong
  • Japan
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Romania
  • Singapore
  • South Korea
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Taiwan
  • UK
  • USA

→ continue…

From:: DPreview

MIOPS Splash: The world’s first smartphone-controlled water drop photography kit

Camera trigger company MIOPS has launched a new specialized photography kit that aims to help photographers get into water drop photography. Called the MIOPS Splash, this standalone kit doesn’t require an extra trigger, and is said to be the first of its kind that’s controlled with a smartphone.

MIOPS Splash doesn’t just control a flash or camera, it also controls the timing and size of a liquid drop, essentially taking all of the hardest parts of out of water drop photography. Settings are chosen using a companion smartphone app, and users are given two setup options:

In addition to the Splash kit, which is available now for $80 USD, MIOPS offers the Splash Holder kit for an extra $20. The Holder kit enables users to mount Splash on a tripod with an included tripod mount and box clip.

The MIOPS Splash kit comes with a 2-year warranty and is available now with free global shipping. To learn more about Splash or order your own, head over to the MIOPS website.

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From:: DPreview

Shooting a Feature with an iPhone the Soderbergh Way

By Jourdan Aldredge Learn how you can master smartphone filmmaking with some tips and tricks from one of the most innovative filmmakers in the game. → continue…

From:: Premium Beat

The Hands On xK International Workshops in Munich

By (Tony Costa)

The Hands On xK International Workshops in Munich

To put up a full week of seminars and workshops is already a tradition in the HFF Film and Television School in Munich. Every year in March during the semester vacation, studios, auditoriums and the facilities are open to receive dozens of lecturers and professionals for a full week on experimenting equipment and to interchange knowledge. The concept is not so much directed to students but to professionals and teachers to improve knowledge, to get acquainted with new equipment, new trends and most of all to learn from each other’s.

This year was specially different. More workshops, more companies involved a lot more state of the art equipment supplied by the manufacturers and rental houses. It was indeed a very hectic week. In the building, every single studio, seminar room, theatre was occupied by a lectures in a total of 36 masterclasses running at the same time. Almost all fields were covered. Post-production, VR, Advanced post, VFX, 360º degrees, Camera, Lenses, Lighting, Documentary Film, Sound, sound for 360º degrees, Production, color grading, green production, green shooting, thesis shots for phd’s researches and extensive testing of cameras, lenses done by many of the lecturers present.

The industry, let’s say, the manufacturers and rental houses support the initiative by supplying large amount of equipment for experimentation and testing. This year was a record breaking of a considerable number of lenses. Rehoused from P+S Technik; Vantage with several anamorphic; spherical from Zeiss, ARRI, SW Sonderoptic/Leica and Fujinon. More than 50 companies amongst manufacturers, rental houses, post-production houses were represented during the week which culminated with the screening of all tests and workshops in the blue cinema room where attendees and lecturers shared their experimentations and tests.

To put all this together is only possible with the support of the SFT (Das Studienzentrum für Filmtechnologie) which stands → continue…

From:: Imago News

Adobe update adds full Sony A7III RAW support

By SonyAlpha Admin

Adobe issued a new Camera Raw April Update which adds a multitude of new features and full Sony A7III support. Sony A7III in USA at Adorama, BHphoto, Amazon, BestBuy, FocusCamera, BuyDig. Sony a7III in Europe at Amazon DE, Calumet Germany, Amazon UK, ParkCameras UK, WexUK, Amazon FR, Amazon IT, Amazon ES. – Thanks Benji

The post Adobe update adds full Sony A7III RAW support appeared first on sonyalpharumors.

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From:: Sony Alpha Rumors

Japan’s NHK will demo an 8K camera that can shoot 240fps slow motion at NAB 2018

NHK Fukuoka Broadcasting Bureau. Credit: Soramimi

Japan’s national public broadcasting organization NHK is developing an 8K slow-motion camera capable of recording ultra-high-definition content at 240fps. The technology was announced in a press release (partially translated here), and will be showcased at NAB 2018 in Las Vegas next week. Though 8K monitors and televisions are still in their infancy, the broadcaster is pioneering 8K technologies in anticipation of future demand.

To that end, NHK also plans to showcase a new 8K VR display during NAB 2018. The display is designed to eliminate the pixelated look common to current VR headsets.

NHK’s 8K 240fps camera

Finally, future 8K broadcasts may benefit from the NHK’s new transmitter technology, which reduces an 8K broadcast from a huge 40Gbps to a more manageable (but still huge) 8Gbps. The transmitter then converts the content into an IP-based signal for live broadcasting, a process that allegedly happens in “tens of microseconds.”

According to AV Watch, NHK anticipates using its new 8K technology for sports broadcasts (think Tokyo 2020 Olympics) and other content featuring fast-moving objects starting later this year. Unlike existing solutions, the NHK system is said to offer better compression and transmission for a very low delay while maintaining 8K quality for live shows.

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From:: DPreview

DoCaption’s LRBox Ancillary Data Platform Brings All-in-One Yet Modular Licensing Approach to Closed Captioning Broadcast and Monitoring

By Dundee Hills Group

VALENCE, France — April 3, 2018 — DoCaption today announced that it has updated its flagship LRBox platform-based product line, a comprehensive series of hardware tools for SDI ancillary data management including, but not limited to, closed captioning and subtitling. DoCaption’s LRBox products now are available in a modular software solution tailor-made for the company’s portfolio of closed-captioning/subtitling encoders, decoders, and monitors.

“By bringing LRBox products into the software realm, we can offer our customers complete solutions with the benefit of modular licensing,” said Renaud Desportes, director of product management and worldwide sales at DoCaption. “LRBox users enjoy state-of-the-art closed-captioning technology and the flexibility to select and configure other critical tools in the manner that best suits their operations.”

The LRBox line includes the WST (ETSI EN300706)/OP42/OP-47/ST-2031 and CEA-608/CEA-708 closed-captioning/subtitling encoders, inserters, databridges, and monitoring devices. All products can be equipped with additional modules including de-embedded audio out, GPI I/Os, RS-232/422 serial I/Os, and more.

The LRBox platform provides as standard a program SDI I/O that is bypass-relay protected, as well as a secondary SDI-configurable input or output, a combination that supports, for example, ancillary data bridging or captioning monitoring with captions overlaid on the video. A fast Ethernet port and a USB port allow for flexible data exchange, simple configuration access, and in-the-field firmware upgrades.

The LRBox platform is available as a stand-alone, small-form-factor box with optional rack- or shelf-mount brackets; in a single/dual-channel setup in a 19-inch, 1RU rack-mount chassis with redundant power supplies; in a high-density, 3RU 19-inch rack-mount chassis that supports up to 10 channels; or, for OEMs, as a single card (small-form-factor 100-mm x 160-mm Eurocard).

“We are proud to offer our LRBox platform as a tailor-made, modular software solution for our subtitling/closed-captioning encoders, decoders, and monitors portfolio,” added Desportes. “The LRBox product line fills a gap in professional captioning → continue…

From:: Student Filmmakers