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The last few posts have been about both the corrective and creative uses of color manipulation. Now it’s time to get purely creative with the most over-the-top color manipulation plug-in in After Effects: Colorama. 

This powerful effect is initially overwhelming, because it can do so much from sedate tinting to psychedelic color cycling. So let’s start with a gentle but thorough introduction to how it works, and then in the next two posts we’ll get into the mild and wild applications of it.

After Effects Classic Course: Colorama 1 – Overview - YouTube

This movie previously appeared in our Insight Into Effects course on Lynda.com/LinkedIn Learning. They’ve retired that course from their library, so we’re making the movies from it available publicly for free. Click here for the playlist of previous movies we’ve made available.

The post After Effects Classic Course: Colorama 1 – Overview appeared first on ProVideo Coalition.

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I was looking for a couple of specific things on Amazon early this morning and kept seeing some other things here and there that could be useful for the editor. I am in no way responsible for how much money you may spend. A caveat … not all Prime Day deals are the best in the world. And you have to be careful as Amazon seems to put just some “regular deals” in the list. For example, it may seem amazing to save $459.96 on this 2 TB G-Technology SSD but the same $289 price can be found at other places like New Egg. and the 2 TB isn’t listed as a “Deal of the Day” anyway. But the 1TB G-DRIVE mobile SSD is listed as a “Deal of the Day” for $156.23 but you can get that price at New Egg as well after going through some shenanigans to get the price.

So buyer beware as companies are always trying to take your money first and give good deals second. Some deals are listed to remain through Tuesday while some have limited times. You must be a Prime member to get them. Regardless here are a few things that might be right up the video editor’s alley. There are tons of TVs, iPads and other devices that any editor would use but I tried to make these products below a bit more niche. I may or may not have purchased a few of these items.

If you find anything good please post a comment below.

Elgato Stream Deck – Live Content Creation Controller with 15 customizable LCD keys, adjustable stand, for Windows 10 and macOS 10.11 or later

$99.99  I’ve always wanted to try one of these!

Neewer Microphone Isolation Shield – Foldable Tri-Fold Studio Mic Sound Absorbing Foam Reflector for Any Condenser Microphone Studio Recording Equipment

$47.99

 

LaCie Rugged Mini 4TB External Hard Drive Portable HDD – USB 3.0 USB 2.0 compatible, Drop Shock Dust Rain Resistant Shuttle Drive, for Mac and PC Computer Desktop Workstation PC Laptop

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$119.99

XSKN Apple Final Cut Pro X 10 Shortcut Design Silicone Keyboard Skin Cover for Macbook 13 15 17 inch (US & EU Layout)

$11.19 I don’t usually recommend these visual keyboard overlays for editing as they become a crutch but hey … it’s Prime Day!

Purgo USB C Hub Adapter Dongle for MacBook Air 2018/2019, MacBook Pro 2019/2018-2016, Ultra Slim Type C Hub with 4K HDMI, 100W Power Delivery, 40Gbps Thunderbolt 3 5K@60Hz and 2xUSB 3.0 (Space Grey)

$47.99 There are a ton of USB-C hubs on the Prime Day Deals … search and find your favorite.

SanDisk 1TB Extreme Portable External SSD – USB-C, USB 3.1

$167.97 This one says “you save $180.02.” I’m suspicious so you might find it around the ‘net for the same price without being a Prime member.

Wacom Intuos Graphics Drawing Tablet with 3 Bonus Software included, 7.9″x 6.3″, Black

$49.95 It’s a “lightning deal” so get it soon.

Boogie Board Blackboard Writing Tablet – LCD Drawing Pad and Electronic Digital Notepad – Reusable and Erasable Ewriter

$29.99 I listed a Boogie Board in my 2017 Christmas Gifts for Editors and I still love mine.

Drobo 8D 8-Drive Direct Attached Storage (DAS) Array – Dual Thunderbolt 3 Ports

$961.26 It’s a lightning deal, not lasting all day!

Adobe Premiere Rush | Video editing software, mobile & desktop | 12-month Subscription with auto-renewal, PC/Mac

$119.88/year but says the price at the checkout is $95.99. But you’re probably a Creative Cloud subscriber and can just download it.

DISDIM USB C Extension Adapter Cable, [183cm/6FT] Thunderbolt 3 USB 3.1 Type-C Fast Charging,4K HD Vedio, Audio Transfer, Data Sync Extend Cord Compatible with MacBook Pro,Nintendo Switch,Pixel 3/2/XL

$11.99 The title of this cable misspelled VIDEO so might want to take that into consideration but it’s a good price for an extender.

UGREEN USB Audio Adapter External Stereo Sound Card with 3.5mm Headphone and Microphone Jack for Windows, Mac

$7.19 I have one of these and love it.

Elgato Cam Link 4K — Broadcast Live, Record via DSLR, Camcorder, or Action cam, 1080p60 or 4K at 30 fps, Compact HDMI Capture Device, USB 3.0

$99.99

Comica CVM-V30 LITE Video Microphone Super-Cardioid Condenser On-Camera Shotgun Microphone for Canon Nikon Sony Panasonic Camera/DSLR/iPhone Samsung Huawei with 3.5mm Jack

$31.99

Keurig K-Mini Single Serve Coffee Maker with AmazonFresh 12 Ct. Colombia Medium Roast K-Cup Coffee Pods, 6 to 12 oz Brew Size

$49.99 I’m not a fan of the single-use coffee system but I do admit it’s convenient for an edit suite.

FlexiSpot M3B Standing Desk – 47″ Wide Platform Stand Up Desk Riser with Quick Release Keyboard Tray

$208.60 This isn’t my beloved Varidesk but looks like it could work too.

The post Some Amazon Prime Day deals for video editors appeared first on ProVideo Coalition.

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Recently, the music video for Childish Gambino’s This is America won one of two Grand Prix prizes in the Entertainment for Music category at Cannes. Jury president Paulette Long described the video as a cultural phenomenon, saying that “Every so often a video comes out and it points a finger and makes us admit that we need to do something different. When I first saw it, I was shocked, I was stunned and I thought it was brilliant.”

As the video was done in Premiere, Adobe gave me the opportunity to have a talk with the editor of This is America, Ernie Gilbert, who has also worked with Donald Glover and Director Hiro Mauri on the show Atlanta.

From Ernie’s site, he has edited music videos for the likes of John Legend, Trippie Red, 2 Chainz, ScHoolboy Q, Linkin Park, Portugal the Man, Shawn Mendes, OneRepublic, Death Cab For Cutie and many others. Combined these videos have over 1 Billion views on Youtube.

In television, Ernie has assistant edited on Emmy, Golden Globe and Peabody award-winning shows like Baskets (FX), Atlanta (FX, and Barry (HBO). Recently he’s had the pleasure of cutting the Amazon pilot for the reboot of the BAFTA award-winning show People Just Do Nothing. His edit for the Drew Michael HBO Comedy special was described as “…the Most Polarizing Comedy Special of the Year” by the New York Times. He’s currently editing an unannounced HBO project. 

In commercials, Ernie has worked with some of the largest ad agencies in the world and brands like Jordan, DirectTV, Banana Republic, Reebok, American Eagle, and Fox Sports. His work has premiered during the Daytona 500 and been seen in Times Square.

In 2019, Ernie will be making his narrative directorial debut in the form of two short films titled Nine Minutes (Constance Wu, Reggie Watts) and Easy 8 (Byron Bowers, David Rysdahl).



KENNY: YOU’RE A PRETTY MULTI-FACETED GUY, AND THESE DAYS YOU KIND OF HAVE TO BE A LITTLE BIT OF EVERYTHING, BUT DO YOU MAINLY SEE YOURSELF AS AN EDITOR OR DIRECTOR?

ERNIE: That’s a really good question. I’ve straddled that line now for like a decade [laughs]. Like, straight out of college I made my money directing and editing music videos being based out of North Carolina where my rent was $300 a month. It was out of necessity, I couldn’t afford an editor on a $5,000 music video if I wanted to be able to live, so I cut everything myself and really grew to appreciate how much happens in the edit and how much is made in the edit, and I think I’ve kind of been straddling that line since. I’ve directed a couple of shorts, I have one coming out early next month that stars Constance Wu from Crazy Rich Asians called Nine Minutes… but I love editing. It’s how I’ve paid most of my bills since moving to LA back in 2012.

It’s probably the least sexy of the two but there’s so many opportunities. The biggest secret to editing is it just takes time: the time to get perspective on a cut, the time to dig through all your options and try things and make mistakes… so what ends up happening is everybody wants to go shoot the latest music video, or everybody wants to direct and be in charge creatively, and that kind of leaves a void in a lot of different circles where if you know how to edit and get on ten people’s list as somebody they like to work with you’re never going to not have work. The fun side effect for me, as somebody who wants to direct and tell my own stories, is that I get to sit in the room with the showrunner, or with the creator, or with the director, and be a part of that conversation and be a part of those creative choices. If I was like, a Camera PA I would work on a show like Atlanta for 40 days, I would never interact with anyone creatively outside of maybe my department head, and then I have to find another job. Whereas being an editor, or an AE, I’m on a show like Atlanta for six months and I’m in all those conversations, I’m watching all the rough cuts and watching all the dailies… I find that to be creatively fulfilling.

SO YOU GOT YOUR START IN NORTH CAROLINA SHOOTING TOUR VIDEOS FOR BANDS, WHAT DID THAT LOOK LIKE?

Yeah I was at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. We had a TV show called Music Seen, and it was just live concerts; bands would come through town and we would shoot four or five MiniDV cameras, edit it together, maybe do an interview with the band, and then air it on our Student TV Station (YouTube wasn’t a thing yet). This is was when I was in college, ‘05 to ‘09, so this was a time where not every band had access to gear. Like, there was no good camera phones (like the iPhone now shoots better quality than what I could have shot back then) but because of that, video was still kind of special, ya know, it wasn’t as accessible. I found very quickly that bands wanted that content, and it was just kind of the next gradual step like “okay we filmed this live band, what else can we do with that?”

I actually did two National Tours, one with a band called Sullivan on tooth & Nail Records, and I ended up making a feature-length documentary about them and in the process of making that they broke up, which made for a good documentary, where we got to see their struggle living on like $5 per diem and sleeping in Walmart parking lots… I got deathly ill that tour with like the flu or something, but it was amazing!

I got to tour with another band called Bay Side, they were on Victory Records at the time, basically running camera during the day while they were doing stuff, filming their concert in the evenings, and then going back to the tour bus loading up a couple of Firewire 800 drives on a little table and trying to cut together content that they could share from the road. Ultimately those things got pressed onto DVDs and special edition CDs back when people are still buying that stuff.

SPINNING DRIVES MUST HAVE SUCKED ON THE ROAD, BUT THAT SOUNDS AWESOME WHAT WAS YOUR WORKFLOW LIKE?

I was with them, shooting and editing, dumping P2 cards as the bus bounced out down the road hoping that my hard drives wouldn’t crash…

YOU WERE THE ONLY ONE?

Yeah it was out of necessity, like, I think for that Bay Side doc I got paid $500, and at the time it was the “most money I’d ever heard of!” but in hindsight they got a really good deal [laughs].

AND YOU WERE ON PREMIERE THEN?

Actually at that point it was still Final Cut 7, which is what I learned in high school. I made the switch to Premiere I think around CS6, back in 2012. I saw the writing on the wall: Final Cut X came out, didn’t have what we wanted, and basically found that with Premiere I could set my keyboard shortcuts to “Final Cut” and I was basically cutting within a day. From there I signed up for Creative Cloud when that came out and I’ve been using that as my main NLE since.

VAGUELY ON TOPIC, WITH YOUTUBE BEING THE MAIN SOURCE OF VIDEO NOWDAYS I SEEM TO NOTICE A TREND WHERE SO-AND-SO DOES SOMETHING FANCY, OR A NEW PRODUCT COMES OUT, AND EVERYONE TAKES THAT AS THE THING TO DO OR BEAT. THERE APPEARS TO BE A LOT OF… I DON’T WANT TO SAY PLAGIARISM BUT JUST A LOT OF THE SAME THING; PEOPLE JUMPING ON TO TRENDS AND THAT’S THE GOAL INSTEAD OF MAKING NEW STUFF. DO YOU HAVE ANY OPINIONS THERE? DO YOU THINK THERE’S A SIGNAL-TO-NOISE RATIO PROBLEM OR IS MORE BETTER?

Personally I’m a big fan of the democratization of filmmaking. I think it’s really cool that like, if you have Creative Cloud you have the same tools that Emmy award-winning TV shows or feature films have, you know? You have that tool set that you can fit in your living room in North Carolina and you can learn those skills. I think that’s really cool that you don’t have to like, buy a $30,000 AVID or whatever they used to cost.

As far as things being duplicated or ripped off I mean I think that’s just kind of the creative struggle amplified, right? We want to be able to reference things, we want to be inspired by things as creators. I know in “music video land” something that’s changed since I started is treatments have gotten very photo-centric. There’s a couple famous Spike Jonze treatments where he just wrote three paragraphs on a typewriter and sent it off to The Pharcyde or whoever, but now a treatment is 14 pages of reference images and all these things… these days people want to be able to know what they’re getting before they get it, but I think that can be kind of restricting because… what if I have an idea for something that hasn’t been made yet and now I have to present reference images of it? That just means I’m presenting reference images to things that have already been made and now all the sudden this thing has shifted into something similar that’s already been made.

I also think too like, culturally and creatively we like seeing something cool and want to do it ourselves and now that the tools are accessible to everybody… I feel like when the DSLR Revolution happened everybody was like “okay I’ve got to shoot everything wide open”, the gimbals came out and everybody’s like “now everything’s steady”, the drones came out and everybody’s got drone shots in everything… we like seeing stuff and then being able to do it ourselves. I think getting all those tools in new hands is really cool for the industry in the long term because it means that you can have a kid winning Sundance at 20 or whatever. You can have new voices that otherwise may not have been able to tell the story they wanted to tell because they don’t have access. I think it just goes to show that you kind of have to up your game a little bit you know? You can’t just coast by on good production value. You’ve got to have something to say, you need to have a perspective or a unique vision. You can’t just go “okay it looks good, now it’s out there”

WE’LL GET TO THIS IS AMERICA IN A SECOND, BUT IN TERMS OF EDITING I SAW YOU ALSO DID JUICE BY LIZZO WHICH INVOLVED A LOT MORE MODERN EFFECTS-TYPE STUFF AND OBVIOUSLY ISN’T DONE IN A COUPLE TAKES. WHAT WAS THAT PROCESS LIKE, WERE YOU DOING ALL OF THAT YOURSELF OR DID YOU PASS IT OFF TO SOMEONE?

Both. I like to do as much as I can in the offline edit and temp those sort of things out. I find that the best workflow practice for me is “let’s get it as close to final as we can in the offline” because with a music video, your client at the end of the day is the artist and you’re technically working for the label, the management companies going to weigh in with their opinions, but at the end of the day if the artist doesn’t like it, you’re done. So with me, anytime there’s a creative intent from one of my directors that we’re trying to sell through to an artist, I want that as close to what the creative intent is going to be as possible because otherwise you’re fighting battles that you don’t need to be fighting. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been working on a video it’s like “that’s not done yet, just tell the artist it’s going to look cooler when it’s done” and you can say that in an email but until it looks cool it doesn’t look cool. There’s been issues with effects-heavy videos that I’ve done where we get notes back like “the energy is not right”. And it’s like, the energy’s not right because you’re looking at an artist on a green screen not the effect that we’re going to apply, so I try to do as much as I can in the offline.

For the Juice video, our director Quinn had a graphic designer friend who was mocking up kind of what the “QVC” logo would be, the late night logos… so I’m dropping those things in and I’m using different plugins and effects to try to add the channel change glitches and the VHS look again just to sell it through as much as we can.

USING, WHAT, PROBABLY THE RED GIANT PLUGINS?

For that one yeah, we used a lot of the Red Giant stuff.

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SO GETTING IN TO THE MEAT OF THE MATTER, HOW’D YOU GET LINKED UP WITH HIRO MAURI? WHAT DOES THE ROADMAP TO THIS IS AMERICA LOOK LIKE?

I started working with Hiro back in 2015 when we did the Atlanta pilot. I had just done 40 episodes of Comedy Bang Bang for IFC and Absolutely Productions and the Post Producer, Kaitlin Waldron, had just done Tim & Eric’s Bedtime Stories at Absolutely… she was talking to an editor of mine that I went to school with named Eric Notarnicola who wrote and edited on Who is America for Sacha Baron Cohen and Nathan for You (he’s an amazing Director/Editor himself) and Kaitlin was just asking for a recommendation for an Assistant Editor position for the pilot so I got the call.

At that point it was 2015, I moved to LA in 2012, I’d been listening to Childish Gambino since kind of that first EP, and I had been following Hiro basically since I moved to LA through his music video work, so when Kaitlin called and was like “Hey we got this pilot it’ll run for six weeks with Hiro Mauri and Donald Glover” I knew I had to do it and left Comedy Bang Bang early. I had a guarantee of probably eight or nine months of work there, so I gave that up and took the six weeks on the Atlanta pilot and that’s when I first met Hiro.

At that point Hiro had done 20-someodd music videos. Everybody from Spoon to Earl Sweatshirt… he introduced me to a lot of his Director buddies. He’s repped at Doomsday Entertainment for music videos, so I worked on a bunch of different music videos with some of his friends. I had already been cutting for other people, but that was kind of a good break and then a year prior to This is America, Hiro had a video for A Tribe Called Quest that he had me cut for him that was all motion control and very effects-heavy.

I don’t claim to be a VFX artist but I know enough to be dangerous, and I know enough about it to pre-visualize how things are going to work. So with that video, because it was all motion control repeating the members of A Tribe Called Quest and different versions of Busta Rhymes interacting with each other, we basically did like the rough cut in Premiere pulling selects and then immediately went into After Effects to make garbage mattes and track mattes, basically trying to sell through to the label and the artist what it was going to look like in the end.

So we were wrapping up Season Two of Atlanta and Hiro came in to the office one day and said “hey you guys wanna hear the new Childish Gambino song?” and of course we all jumped at the opportunity. A couple weeks after that I was working on some stuff for Rae Sremmurd for a director named Mike Piscitelli at Pulse Films, and I hit up Hiro and was like “Hey Hiro, you said you were doing a video for that song you played for us, who’s cutting it?” and he was like “We don’t have anybody yet, do you want to do it?” and I was like “of course!”

He sent over the treatment and as soon as I read the treatment I knew it was going to be amazing. From there it was off to the races. They did a day of rehearsal where they shot on Alexa, just as a safety, and then they shot the main day on 35mm (it was like Monday or something), we got the scans back basically on Wednesday, I had a cut together on Thursday, Hiro sat with me on Friday, and we sent to Donald over the weekend. Donald wanted to see half of one take switched, so we did that, picture locked that Monday, sent it off to VFX, the VFX came back in on Thursday, and then it was literally down to the wire with delivering where I had to run the drive to the color house MPC down in Culver City myself, wait for color to be finalized, and then upload it from there so that we could hit the Saturday release deadline.
NO KIDDING? SO IT WAS BASICALLY LIKE AN EXPENSIVE INDIE SHOOT! [laughs]

Aaahhhhhhhh I mean, Hiro talks about how (and this is him relaying this information to me so, take it with a grain of salt) they had like two AD’s on that shoot, like only two. I was just like “how did you… like, there’s a guy doing a 13-foot fall in the background! How do two AD’s pull off all of that!?” and he was like “we made it work!” [laughs]

SO HOW DO YOU EVEN APPROACH EDITING SOMETHING THAT IS ONLY A FEW CUTS, AND PROBABLY ONLY HAD A FEW TAKES OF DUE TO SHOOTING FILM? JUICE HAS A LOT OF ‘EDITING’ BUT THIS IS ALMOST ASSEMBLY, NO?

I have dumb analogies for everything here’s my dumb analogy for editing.

The director and the writer are like the chef, you know? They came up with the recipe, they went shopping for the premium ingredients, they brought that back into the kitchen, they’ve thrown it in the pan, they’ve baked it in the oven, they’ve assembled all those pieces.

As the editor I’m like the sous-chef. Maybe I made a little sauce on the side, but then it’s my job to plate the meal and gave it to the waiter to carry out to the table, so in the case of This is America, I was given 5 Michelin Star ingredients from a 5 Michelin Star chef and it was basically my job to put it on the plate, make sure it looked okay.

GREAT WORK-TO-RETURN RATIO ON THAT ONE THEN HUH? [laughs]

I’ve cut dozens of music videos at this point, and it is funny to me that This is America is the one that everybody loves, not because it’s not an amazing video because it is, but from an edit standpoint I just had to put in the most amazing food on a plate, you know what I mean? They did such a good job.

What I love about Hiro and Donald and working with them is that they are intentional. They don’t want to find it out in the edit. I’ve worked with directors that shoot everything at 60 frames a second so that at any moment they can go to slow motion; Hiro and Donald would never do that.  They shoot with a purpose with intentions and I think it shows.


IT MUST HAVE FELT GRATIFYING TO WIN THE GRAND PRIX AT CANNES, DID YOU JUST GET A PHONE CALL LIKE “HEY WE WON THIS?”? 

Basically.

I MEAN CONSIDERING THAT THE VIDEO WAS SO WELL RECEIVED AND MADE SUCH AN IMPACT, DOES IT JUST FEEL LIKE ‘ICING ON TOP OF SUGAR’?

I mean, I think it’s the coolest video ever and so of course I wanted to win all the awards, but I really hate talking about myself, or bragging about myself, so I’m like [rushed] “yeah, It won, cool!” ya know? It’s not an ungratefulness, I’m very grateful that I got to be involved, it is just like you said “icing on top of sugar”, you know?

What it boils down to for me is, I’m just I’m glad that the video resonated with people and made an impact. To me it shows that like, music videos can still be relevant in an age where often times the most popular ones are just a… recreation of a TV show or a movie from the 90s or something, you know? The fact that a video can have a message, can elevate a song… I mean, when that video came out my mom called me that day like “hey Ernie, that music video you said you were working on was in my Google News Alert.” and that just doesn’t happen with music videos.

I think what the Cannes win means for me is that, in our culture which is so quick to move on to the next thing 23 hours later, the fact that This is America is still resonating with people a year and a half after it came out is really cool.

The post An interview with “This is America” editor Ernie Gilbert appeared first on ProVideo Coalition.

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A week of editing video, in a hotel, for a conference brought to my attention a company called RentAComputer.com. I had never heard of them before and I have no idea how long they have been around but it was a fantastic option for what we needed. Show up at a hotel, shoot video on-site at an adjacent convention center, shuttle camera cards back and forth between the convention center and the hotel, edit video of the day’s events during the day and show them that evening at the nightly gathering of 3,000 people. Not an unusual gig at all these days. Rather than having to pack and transport a desktop editing system or cut on the cramped screen of a laptop RentAComputer.com delivered a fully featured iMac Pro right to the hotel.

What I was most impressed with was the packaging and the speed with which we were able to pack everything up and move hotel suites when our original location had construction noise in an adjacent room. Part of that ease can be attributed to the simplicity of an iMac Pro and plugging in a portable, external RAID but sliding the iMac into its shipping case really helped.


The system shipped in a light but sturdy foam lined shipping container. There was no need to tape anything as it had Velcro strips built in to hold it closed.


The system came with the iMac Pro extended keyboard and the wireless mouse. I brought my own trackpad and scrolly ball mouse. We cut on our own Sony Portable RAIDs.


When we were done we slid the iMac Pro back into its shipping container and attached the pre-printed return label.


Besides the Velcro straps to make sure the container was closed the unit came with two plastic ties that threaded through both halves of the shipping container to make sure they didn’t come apart. Call for a FedEx pickup or drop it at a store to ship and done!

The laptops also came with an external mouse and mousepads for each system rented.

A few bullet points from the How It Works page of their website further explains the process as they do a lot more than just shipping an iMac Pro to a hotel.

  • We deliver or ship direct to your business or event location. Same day and next day services available in select locations.
  • We offer damage insurance with our rentals. If you opt to purchase damage insurance it will help mitigate the cost of fixing or replacing equipment damaged during your rental.
  • We offer flexible rental periods, whether you need it for a day, a week or a month! If you need to extend your rental or return your equipment early, its no problem!
  • We can preload your software on your rental equipment, and even duplicate your custom configuration across hundreds of units. The perfect service for large quantities and training classes!
  • When you rent a large quantity of units we provide you with a spare units just in case something goes awry. If in the rare case you need equipment replaced, we will send out a replacement ASAP.
  • Experienced technicians are available to setup, install and take down your rental equipment or to be on-hand to support your entire event should you need it.

The Prices page can give you another good idea of how much everything costs as well as a lot of the other things they rent. Our total package with the iMac Pro, a couple of laptops and an iPad came in at a little over $1000.

It was a great on-site editing experience to walk into a hotel and have an editing computer waiting on you to work with. You have full access to the system with admin passwords so you’re able to install software as needed. The company asks you to uninstall anything you place on the system as well as signout of any accounts before returning the rental. I can only assume they reimaged the hard drive before shipping to the next rental. I’m sure there are other easy computer rental companies (there’s even RentACamera.com! Different company but similar name) as you can rent most anything online these days but I hadn’t experienced these folks before so I thought it was worthy of a blog post.

Finally…. after a day sitting down in a hotel chair I eyed the RentAComputer.com packaging sitting against the wall and thought, “that will make a nice standing desk.”

And it did … making the week go by a lot easier and saving my back some pain.

Do you have other similar computer system rental compaines you’ve used and recommend? Please let us know in the comments below.

The post Need to rent a computer for onsite editing? appeared first on ProVideo Coalition.

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The luminous 25 to 400mm zoom lens (equivalent to 35mm) f/2.8–4 ASPH on the new Leica V-Lux 5 makes it ideal to capture photo and video in low ambient light. Leica says it’s a superzoom camera for explorers.

The Leica V-Lux 5 is a photography camera, but it also does video, and it makes sense to start with the moving images, here at Provideo Coalition. The camera can capture video starting at 3840 x 2160 4K/30p: 100 Mbit/s all the way down to 1280 x 720 HD/25p: 10 Mbit/s. It does 3840 x 2160 4K/24p: 100 Mbit/s, just in case you ask. In Full HD it offers 60 frames per second, for flexible and adaptable filming, and gives users, says Leica, “enormous scope for the realisation of creative ideas in editing and post-processing.”

It the Leica V-Lux 5 the camera for all your videography? Probably not, but one has to remember that cameras always represent a compromise: you have to use them according to their specifications and fully understanding the limitations. This is not a modular concept like the recently announced Sigma fp, or a big Hollywood-style Sony VENICE; it’s a “bridge-style” camera as I would call it, or a point and shoot as the market prefers, that does not offer interchangeable lenses, but represents an excellent package for travelers or explorers, as Leica states. In the right hands, this can give good results. And its your chance to have a Leica at what can be considered an affordable price: $1,250.00.

A sensor custom-tailored to match the lens

At the core of the Leica V-Lux 5 is a 1-inch sensor with a resolution of 20 megapixels, enough for high-quality detail-rich images. The sensor’s maximum sensitivity of ISO 12,800 further expands the photographer’s capability to shoot in any situation – even in the most challenging lighting conditions. A word of caution, though: at high  ISO grain or digital noise may be visible in your images, so count more on the luminous apertures of the zoom lens included.

A camera with a fixed lens has one key advantage over models with interchangeable lenses: the lens and camera are built to work together and there are, usually, no compromises. The V-Lux 5 sensor has been custom-tailored and calibrated to match its expansive zoom lens, ensuring an especially precise rendering of details and natural colors.

The Leica DC Vario-Elmarit 9.1–146 mm f/2.8–4 ASPH. lens of the V-Lux 5 (equivalent to 25 to 400 mm in 35 mm film format) delivers, says Leica, “outstanding imaging performance throughout the entire zoom range, whether shooting with macro, wide-angle, standard or telephoto settings”.  The focal range is shorter than some “superzooms” delivered by other companies, but is within what is usually needed by most people, and does not suffer of the problems and compromises of very long zooms in terms of detail and luminosity.

Shake-free stills or footage
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The 25 to 400 mm zoom equivalent in 35mm) is a luminous lens, with maximum apertures of f/2.8 and f/4 for the respective extreme wide-angle and extreme telephoto settings. This means the camera is ideally equipped for capturing pictures and video in low ambient light. The presence of an integrated optical image stabiliser contributes to shake-free stills or footage too, even without a tripod. And as last resort you’ve the option to raise the ISO value.

To ensure that decisive moments are never missed, the Leica V-Lux 5 takes only around 0.1 seconds to focus sharply on a subject. Even when shooting in fast and dynamic situations, a burst rate of up to 12 fps ensures that photographers always have sufficient exposures from which to choose the best for their needs. Alongside innovative features like Post Focusing and Focus Stacking, the range of options offered by the Leica V-Lux 5 also includes useful functions such as Face Recognition or 4K Burst Mode.

To control all this you’ve the option of using the rear LCD or the EVF. With a resolution of 2.36 megapixels and OLED technology, the newly developed electronic viewfinder brings a higher contrast ratio and improved colour depth – while simultaneously consuming less power. In addition to the EVF, the back of the camera features a fully-articulated 3“ touchscreen panel. This is not only ideal for reliable assessment of images before and after exposure, but also makes it easy to shoot from unusual angles.

Charge the camera from a power bank

Leica is also accepting the reality of social media sharing, and the Leica V-Lux 5 is the first model of the V-Lux line that can be used with the Leica FOTOS App. With it, photos and videos can be quickly and easily transferred for post-processing or sharing in social networks at any time. But the Leica FOTOS App as other, I would say, more interesting features: after establishing a Bluetooth connection between the camera and an iOS or Android smartphone, the app can be used to change settings and remotely control the camera – particularly practical when it’s not within easy reach. The Leica FOTOS App can also actively export GPS positioning data from the smartphone to the camera.

Because this is a camera for explorers, and adventurers have, sometimes, difficulty getting access to power sources, the V-Lux 5 can be charged via a power bank, just like your smartphone – streamlining your travel.  This means that if you prepare beforehand, running out of power on your travels is no longer a problem, as the camera can be recharged via USB from all sorts of other devices.

Sometimes, a Leica V-Lux 5 is all you want

A camera like the Leica V-Lux 5 can be the ideal camera for traveling, once you understand its limitations and advantages. With the DC Vario-Elmarit 9.1–146 f/2.8–4 ASPH. you are always prepared wherever your photographic journey leads you and life’s unexpected moments. Its vast focal range of 25mm to 400mm (35mm equivalent) caters to virtually all specializations of photography, and, I dare say, video.

The beauty of it is that you can experiment with bokeh, capture wide-angle, standard, super-tele and even macro shots – all without having to carry additional gear or spend valuable time changing lenses. Sometimes that’s all you need/want. With dimensions of 136.7 x 97.2 x 131.5 mm and a weight of 812 g (with battery), the Leica V-Lux 5 is a good option, if you urgently want a Leica for your adventure. The camera is available now! If it looks familiar, it’s because it is similar to the Panasonic FZ-1000 II introduced last February. If you love the specifications and do not need the Leica “red dot”, the Panasonic version costs close to $900.

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Digitell, Inc., a conference recording company that covers more than 100 events every year, captures video content with the JVC KY‑PZ100 and says it has a number of advantages over other PTZ cameras.

More than 30 years ago, Digitell, Inc. was established as a conference recording company in Jamestown, N.Y., recording content using audio cassettes. Today, the company has a list of international corporations and associations, hosts a proprietary platform for its internet broadcasting, and captures video content with KY‑PZ100 robotic PTZ network video production cameras from JVC Professional Video, a division of JVCKENWOOD USA Corporation.

The KY-PZ100 is a robotic pan, tilt and zoom video production camera. It’s the first PTZ camera that features JVC’s unique IP communications engine providing network connection via Wi-Fi, 4G-LTE (through the use of an external adapter), or cabled LAN. It’s designed to be used as a stand alone remote camera or as part of a multi-camera system in both studio and field environments. In addition to its 3G-SDI and HDMI outputs, it is also capable of reliably streaming 1080i/60, 1080p, 720p, and 360p video with 2-channel audio – all with minimal latency and forward error correction.

Advantages over other PTZ cameras

Paired with the JVC RM‑LP100 remote camera controller and CCU, the PTZ cameras are streamlining productions, reducing costs, and simplifying shipping for the company, which covers more than 100 events every year. “The ROI is off the charts,” said William Bacon, director of marketing for Digitell. “There were so many benefits right out of the gate.”

Bacon said the KY-PZ100 had a number of advantages over other PTZ cameras, including its integrated SD media card slot for on-board recording, live streaming capabilities, SDI output, and 30x zoom lens, which is more than sufficient for coverage in most auditoriums and event spaces. He also praised the smoothness of the RM-LP100 joystick control, and said the presets are “amazing” for following panel discussions.

“The joystick is just so fluid,” Bacon added. “It takes very little ‘stick time’ to get comfortable with that controller.”

Smaller size of JVC PTZ cameras is an asset
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Digitell has nine KY-PZ100 cameras, most of which were purchased last summer initially to support a multi-room conference in France. The cameras helped the company avoid renting full-size cameras with long-throw lenses and larger tripods, which created significant savings for the customer.

Shipping is also simplified with the KY-PZ100. Bacon said the smaller size of the PTZ camera allows an entire production package to be shipped in one Pelican case, including the camera, controller, tripod, encoder, audio board, and cables.

A typical event setup has a PTZ camera mounted to a lightweight, seven-foot tripod that is surrounded by pole barriers with retractable belts to keep attendees away from the equipment. As a result, clients do not have to rent two risers (one for the camera and a separate one for the camera operator to minimize camera shake).

PTZ workflow reduces personnel requirements

Both the SDI output from the PTZ camera and a PowerPoint graphics feed from a laptop are fed to an encoder, so the producer can share either source (or both via a two-shot) with the web audience. Digitell also takes a feed from the venue’s sound board to a small Tascam field mixer for better audio control, and loops the feed to the PTZ camera for on-board recording.

Digitell sometimes uses up to three PTZs in one room, including a dedicated camera for audience participation. Instead of separate camera operators standing on risers throughout the conference, one camera operator sits next to the producer and adjusts the PTZ cameras with the RM-LP100. The PTZ workflow reduces personnel requirements and eliminates the use of expensive wireless headsets for communication.

“Having a camera operator off of a riser and sitting next to the producer is crucial for getting the best shots possible,” Bacon said. “Remote color balance and exposure are also a must. The presets make it possible for an operator to work the camera and produce a stream by themselves.”

To find more about JVC KY‑PZ100 robotic PTZ network video production cameras, visit the website and download the “white paper” available.

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The SIGMA fp is the first camera resulting of SIGMA’s participation in the L-Mount Alliance. It is presented as enough for serious still and cine shooting in the highest image quality.

SIGMA’s take on an entirely new system camera is represented by the SIGMA fp, now announced. With this model the company aims to build a system that offers “great versatility and scalability that allows mixing-and-matching of a variety of interchangeable lenses and accessories.” It’s a concept that sounds a bit like the “universal” concept introduced by Olympus and Kodak with the Four Thirds system, which in fact went nowhere. Curiously, two companies that adhered to the Four Thirds system, Leica and Panasonic, are now part of the L-Mount Alliance, from where the SIGMA fp derives. It will be interesting to see how the SIGMA fp fares, now that cameras using the L-Mount are making it to the market.

SIGMA fp Concept Movie - YouTube

The SIGMA fp is not a closed system, though, and that’s how SIGMA wants it to be. In fact, in presenting the camera the company says that with the SIGMA Mount Converter MC-21, SIGMA SA mount and SIGMA’s CANON EF mount lenses can be used, making the best out of one’s lens investment, as more than 50 different lenses can be used. Not bad for a whole new camera system!

Is the SIGMA fp the smallest full-frame cine camera?

So, the world’s smallest and lightest “pocketable full-frame” camera, as SIGMA wants the fp to be known, is a mirrorless model that takes advantage of the short flange focal length and large diameter associated with these systems to offer a model small and casual enough to take anywhere, anytime, and high-spec enough for serious still and cine shooting in the highest image quality, all in a robust and classy body.

The SIGMA fp incorporates a back-illuminated 35mm full-frame Bayer sensor with 24.6 effective megapixels in a compact body, and boasts great versatility and scalability that allows mixing-and-matching of a variety of interchangeable lenses and accessories. SIGMA kept, wisely I would say, away from its own Foveon sensor technology,  going for a solution that is popular. The company teased about a FOVEON model coming later, but don’t hold your breath.

According to the company, “the environment that surrounds shooting and art creation is undergoing radical changes. In this day and age when one user may have both a high-performance interchangeable lens camera and a smartphone camera, using them flexibly according to specific purposes and settings” , so SIGMA stopped and questioned the inherent value of a digital camera.

An open and liberal system
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As a result, SIGMA set itself to develop a user-oriented digital camera that reflected the idea of “how a camera can be” in a more flexible and true-to-life manner, without conforming to manufacturers’ ideas of camera-centric categories and hierarchy. The “smallest and lightest body possible” with which one can express their creative ideas whenever they want, combined with a “full-frame sensor” that is suitable for serious occasions without compromising on image quality, and “superb build quality” that makes the camera the perfect linchpin of a high-performance lens system.

The result is the SIGMA fp concept an “open and liberal system” that allows one to pair the camera with lenses and accessories, whether from SIGMA or other brands, using a variety of attachments, complete with “versatile scalability” that makes the camera adaptable to any scenes. From a gimbal to a drone, the SIGMA fp seems able to adapt, and interesting proposition for many users.

The engineers from SIGMA had as their top priority to realize three concepts all at once and without requiring any trade-offs:

  • Pocketable full-frame│Impressive portability and power
  • Scalable│Versatile scalability
  • Full-fledged, liberating shooting functions

SIGMA selected only the elements and mechanisms that were truly needed with no compromise to create the SIGMA fp as the embodiment of an “entirely new digital camera that SIGMA can offer to the world right now.” With overall dimensions of 112.6×69.9×45.3mm and body weight of 370g, without battery and card, the SIGMA fp pretends to be that camera.

Designed with photographers and videographers in mind, the SIGMA fp features a “highly intuitive UI” that allows one to move between full-fledged still and cine shooting modes with just one finger, making for a “seamless and truly creative tool” that goes beyond style and genre differences. As a video machine, it offers, at least on paper, some exciting options, and that’s the center of this article.

Inspired by professional cinema cameras

The SIGMA fp was conceived with filmmaking in mind, and SIGMA says that “in addition to genuine accessories designed exclusively for the SIGMA fp, the camera supports cinema camera-like user interfaces. It has solid compatibility that makes it a perfect camera that fits right into filmmaking settings”.  The camera was designed and inspired by those used on professional cinema cameras, so it uses a large-size heat sink is mounted between the LCD and camera body. Combined with a heat dissipation coating applied to the outer surface, the SIGMA fp achieves, says the company, highly effective heat dissipation. It prevents overheating at high temperatures or in long hours of use.

The SIGMA fp’s Cine mode comes with a variety of special functions that are comparable to those of professional cinema cameras. From shutter angle display and waveform display for exposure and color information, to zebra patterning, it comes with the functions and screen displays that can be used in the same way as with conventional cinema equipment.

Director’s Viewfinder and external recording

The SIGMA fp has a director’s viewfinder function that allows the user to simulate different angles of view and how an image looks, on cinema cameras. It supports cameras by major manufacturers commonly used in filmmaking. It supports not only the latest large format cameras such as ARRI ALEXA LF and RED MONSTRO 8K but also filmcameras and anamorphic lenses as well. The feature of recording/playing video with the director’s viewfinder function enabled is to become available via firmware update scheduled at a later date.

SIGMA says that “aside from professional cinema cameras, the SIGMA fp is the first camera that supports external recording in 12-bit CinemaDNG format. With up to 4K UHD/24fps recording, it produces video data that can be used even in filmmaking. The feature of playing CinemaDNG footages in-camera is to become available via firmware update scheduled at a later date.

The camera also supports All-I (All-Intra) recording, which makes it possible to maintain high image quality while reducing file size, allowing light data available for recording and editing. The record format that best suits the purpose of the video can be selected. Check SIGMA’s website for detailed information about the characteristics.

With a series of other features included that both photographers and videographers will appreciate, the Sigma fp is an exciting new solution within the L-Mount universe. It may not be the “universal” camera that SIGMA wants it to be, but it’s a camera trying to get a few things right. The SIGMA fp will be available this Fall and with it the company aims to introduce a new system camera that will overturn the paradigm of “digital cameras.”

The post SIGMA fp: a pocketable mirrorless camera for serious cine shooting appeared first on ProVideo Coalition.

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Paul Crowder, ACE is a London-born, L.A.-based editor. I last spoke with him when he edited Ron Howard’s fantastic tribute to the Fab Four: “The Beatles: Eight Days a Week – The Touring Years.” Before cutting “Eight Days,” Paul edited and directed dozens of documentaries and shows and was probably most famously associated with the 2001 Sundance Audience Award-winning documentary, “Dogtown and Z-Boys.”

Paul and I reconnected for this interview as he completed another musical documentary collaboration with Ron Howard about the world-famous operatic tenor, Luciano Pavarotti.

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

HULLFISH: To start off there’s this great opening home video — kind of impromptu performance in this Amazon theater (meaning the Amazon jungle, not the internet retailer). Tell me about deciding to start the movie in that way. It’s not an obvious way to start this film.

CROWDER: No. What I felt when I was making the very first structure of the film was that we need to hear his voice from the outset because really that’s what it was all about. If it wasn’t for his voice being as amazing as it was, he’d just have been a regular opera singer, so hearing his voice was always the key. We had built another completely different idea where he was battling with nerves before going on stage. We were sort of stumbling around with the opening. Now, we had this interview with Andrea Griminelli, who was the flautist on his tour and he told us this story how they went into the jungle and Luciano sang in this opera house in the middle of nowhere and then he told us that he had video of it. We did his interview in Italian because we wanted everyone to talk in their native language so they could really express themselves correctly. He told us he’d send it to us. So we waited and waited and he finally sent this footage.

So now we’ve built our film. We’ve got a lot of the film done with good sections and we finally see this footage which is beautiful, but what do we do with it? It sat around for quite a while and then when we were really thinking about the beginning and Mark Monroe said “I have an idea, send me the raw Amazon Footage.” And he wrote this whole beginning based on that. Watching the footage and hearing Luciano, and you sit back for a second and listen to his voice in that place and realize that it’s just been recorded on a camcorder — not even like a very good one at the time — and he’s doing it by hand you can hear his fingers on the camera, but the beautiful, natural amphitheater acoustics and the theater itself, and just the power of his voice with a little piano — it was like, “why did we not think of this sooner” and it was just one of those moments where you find something and your beginning comes together. It was one of the last things we did. It was one of the last big, big decisions that we made was that opening of the film. It was the same with the Beatles. We had a whole bunch of different beginnings for the Beatles. And right at the end after a screening in New York, we had a sort of “come to Jesus moment.” Once again, Mark had the ideas of the suits. They put the suits on. They take them off at the end. They become Sgt. Pepper. So we built the scene with the suits.

editor Paul Crowder, ACE at Abbey Road Studios for the mix.

You never know where the strengths of your films are going to come from sometimes. That’s what’s really great about this craft, I’m sure you know, that you discover so much within it and you get to have a moment like this suddenly come up and kick your film off in the most perfect way. Because what we always want to do is surprise your audience. Give them something they’re not expecting. You’re in the Amazon jungle in 1995. What are we doing here? And then this story develops and then you see this incredible candid moment that no one’s ever seen before. And it’s presented in its raw form.

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HULLFISH: It also showed that he doesn’t need to perform for some gigantic audience. He just wants to sing.

CROWDER: Exactly. He’s also probably thinking, “Caruso stood right here and sang. I’m right where he stood.” Eventually, we went back to Andrea and got him to tell us the story in English because we felt that it would be nice if — at the beginning of the film — that we didn’t have to have people reading subtitles.

HULLFISH: Do you remember what the original idea had been to start the film prior to choosing the Amazon footage?

CROWDER: We originally decided to start with him singing Ave Maria. Ave Maria with imagery — a montage. It’s actually the same concert and performance that we use at the end, but there’s no film or video of that performance. The imagery on the screen was just going to be of the theater, imagery giving a sense of stage, of lights, of makeup, all the elements of a production of opera and just a couple of images of him. Again, the idea of being, I don’t really need to look at him. I just need to listen. Just take in the voice. This is what the fuss is all about. This is why we’re making the film. Just listen. But it was a fairly long piece. It’s a five-minute piece. And it’s hard to sustain that without solid imagery to back it up. It worked in its own sense, but it was a tad self-indulgent. Arias don’t just edit down. There isn’t a place we can jump from here to there. It isn’t four-bar chorus verse. It doesn’t quite work that way. We had musical experts try to find a way to compress the song and they couldn’t. So we moved on from that.

HULLFISH: I know that you are a musician and a drummer, so you have a great musical background yourself, so how much did that help you in trying to work through some of these musical numbers work with?

CROWDER: Massively. It is very helpful having musical knowledge. Understanding musical theory is something I did in my pre-teens. Knowing about keys and knowing about chords and what chords can go next to each other and what transitions can work when editing down a complicated piece. Can you go from this phrase to that phrase musically? Does that musically make sense? What’s wonderful is that my assistant Sierra Neal is also an incredible musician herself, so I could double-check with her. I have to say how incredible Sierra was — what an amazing asset she was to this whole production. I met her at the end of The Beatles film, she helped us through the on-line, she is just brilliant. She gets a music supervisor credit with me on this as well because she was very instrumental in finding the right arias for each section as we went through the film.

HULLFISH: There’s a great montage of what a fun guy Pavarotti is, and it gives the audience a sense — right off the bat — that this is not going to just be a stuffy opera documentary. I love that at the top. Tell me a little bit about that montage and why it was there.

CROWDER: Exactly. We’ve had this beautiful singing moment. Now we start out with him at home doing something that he’d later become accustomed to doing — painting. So that’s a classic scene of just relaxing at home and a little verite, we’re going to go behind the curtain. You’re going to be at home with him. We’re going to show this side of him. I was very aware of his sense of humor — about his upbeat look on life. At the end of the film, I wanted everyone to be able to say, “I wish I could have met him.” We definitely wanted to get his humor out there throughout the film, but definitely at the top it felt like: now that we’ve had this moment of singing it would be great if we sort of brought the pace up a little bit — got the audience’s energy going.

Detail of the audio tracks of the Avid timeline

That was one of the musical pieces Sierra picked — where we come up with a nice upbeat piece of music and then we just show these clips: one of him making a joke, just coming in with the punch line. You don’t need to hear the joke. You don’t even need to know what the jokes about. Making faces, playing soccer, singing with a flower — you get that this guy likes to have a laugh. You definitely know that this is a fun chap. He also takes himself seriously. You see him meeting Kofi Anan — the head of the U.N.

We wanted to give this sense that he’s a broad character — this is not just an opera singer. There’s more to this man. He’s fun and he’s serious and he’s giving. There are so many traits to him that we always wanted to keep trying to push. These great moments that show you “There’s the guy. There he is in real life.” Those things carry so much weight.

HULLFISH: When you run a montage like that at the beginning it sets the tone for the rest of the movie.

CROWDER: Yes. Well here’s the thing: the pacing of operatic music is not upbeat. It’s generally slow-paced. Even the liveliest of songs might get serious and make the film drag a little bit, so wherever possible we wanted to keep the pace up. Try and get to things quickly. That was a particular moment where we thought: “let’s get out of the gate and get moving here” because we knew we had a little speech coming and then we were going to do some of the backstory. It was going to slow down a little, so let’s make sure we’ve got some pace upfront to kick us along and give us a sense that the film’s going to have these moments too. So establishing the rhythm early on.

HULLFISH: There’s an early interview with him — and it’s an interview that makes a return at the end of the movie — and I’m assuming that your desire was to stay on his face while he’s doing this interview, so you used these little VHS transition effects to cover some edits, I assume. Tell me about choosing to do that and why you don’t do a cutaway.

Nicoletta Mantovani and Luciano Pavarotti

CROWDER: Basically we didn’t have anything to cut away to. She’s shooting him on the balcony. The ocean is happening in the background and because of the way we were cutting up some of the audio, you could hear the ocean get cut, so we had to add our own ocean sound effect to help cover the transitions and give us a sense of place. On the videotape that comes from there’s footage of the sunsets and some trees and then suddenly we’re on the balcony with him, so that’s all that we had of the moment. So I didn’t really have cutaways and I wasn’t too into the hard cutting that shows you that there’s definitely an edit happening here. So I used those video transitions because the video was kind of crappy anyway. I thought I’d lean on the crappiness to try to soften the fact that we were pulling up the edits. We had to rush the on-line and really didn’t achieve those transitions as well as I would have liked. I used Sapphire effects and they do a really good job. But I didn’t really hone in on getting those looking as natural as possible. Did they frustrate you?

HULLFISH: No. Certainly not. What I wanted to talk about was that sometimes, with a critical on-camera interview — or in narrative on an important line — you don’t want to cut away from it even if you have to pull something up. You don’t want to go away from him in that critical moment. You don’t want to be off of his face.

CROWDER: That was really it. I didn’t want to leave the moment. I wanted to keep the moment is if he’s here — he’s talking to us — he’s drawing us in. We want to just engage with him. I don’t want to cut to pictures of what he’s talking about. Just let him talk to us. There’s a great rule that the longer you’re on one shot, the more believable it always becomes. When you edit, you’re tricking the audience to a degree, and when you stay on a shot it reveals a lot more about the whole thing. You just get more and more sucked in.

I wanted to stay on him, which is why I didn’t want to do the cutaways. I did consider a FluidMorph (Avid “invisible” transition) but there were a couple of edits that that wasn’t working with.

HULLFISH: How did you deal with all the Italian language stuff? You mentioned that you did interviews with people in whatever language they were most comfortable with. How were YOU coping with all those different languages in the edit bay?

CROWDER: Well, when we did the interviews we had a translator. It was actually my cousin, Michaelangelo, and he did a simultaneous translation. So we had earpieces in so we could hear him, so they would give their answers to our questions, we’d understand their answers and we could follow up based on what we knew and then when we were asking our questions Mike would translate our questions in Italian to them. He was in a separate location monitoring and we would feed his questions through a speaker to them and then mute that. So we had that audio all the time and we had our transcripts and I used Avid ScriptSync to death in this thing. So we had transcripts to work with based on his translation.

However, when you’re editing language and you want to edit language in English, you put your verbs and nouns and things in different positions. So when you’re editing Italian you can’t be literal. You have to edit the Italian to be in Italian. Another one of Sierra’s great attributes is that she speaks Italian — and I speak Italian — so we double-check with ourselves and then we also sent edits out to somebody else who was completely fluent to treble check that we got the Italian edits right. In the initial stages, it was straightforward because we had the translation that we had done simultaneously during the interviews.

HULLFISH: You were listening to the Italian because you speak Italian or you were listening to your cousin who was on another audio track?

CROWDER: I’d listen to my cousin because it was much easier. We slipped the audio because he was always delayed by a few seconds.

HULLFISH: You mentioned ScriptSync. Did you ScriptSync to his English translation?

CROWDER: Yeah. We could have done Italian as well, but we just went with the English version. That took me to where I needed to be in the ballpark of where I needed to be, but because it’s Italian — because you have to edit it differently — you do have to pay a little more attention to finding the correct in and out in the Italian. The fabulous thing about the Italian language is when people are comfortable, a lot of words get melded into one. Three words get blurred into one sound. That’s one of these little things you have to deal with when working with a different language. You’ve got to make sure that at the end of the day that when it gets played in Italy, the Italian sounds right and understandable to the locals.

HULLFISH: How did you deal with all the video and film formats?

CROWDER: About halfway through this film, I panicked a little bit, wondering if we should have edited it in 25fps instead of 24fps. But at the end of the day, you still have to deliver 23.98fps. What Sierra decided in our set-up was to have a different project for every frame rate, because Avid can handle all these frame rates in one timeline. So we digitized everything in its native frame rate. Anything that did not have to have sync sound, we would transfer frame for frame instead of trying to match it back to the 23.98. So 25fps or 29.97fps were all slightly slowed down. We did some transfers through the Teranex and the rest were done through the Baselight in on-line. I won’t be using Baselight again, by the way. It was a nightmare. We were staying 1920×1080, so we didn’t need it. We should have just on-lined it from the Avid.

HULLFISH: So you think you could have online in Avid Symphony?

CROWDER: Absolutely. It would have been much, much easier. Certainly would have been easier translating a lot of the effects.

HULLFISH: Sounds like your problem with the Sapphire VHS transitions would have been better or easier in Symphony.

Screenshot of the project organization in the Avid Project window

CROWDER: Yeah. It was a needless pickle that we didn’t need to be in.

HULLFISH: There were several very creative transitions between stories using these opera posters that animated. I loved those. Tell me a little bit about that.

CROWDER: Those were done by Inka Kendzia who I’ve used to do the graphics on Eight Days a Week and I’ve worked with her since 2004. She’s done pretty much everything I’ve worked on. The idea was to try and get something organic. We wanted to be able to teach a little more about opera to everybody, so there were a few operas that we knew we were going to feature somewhat heavily throughout film and we figured it would be nice to put up a poster and have it give you a little one-liner as if it was a film poster of today.

HULLFISH: A logline.

CROWDER: Exactly and give that to the audience so they can learn a little bit about the opera that they’re watching. Inka and her team came up with a really nice design. She worked on the photographs too, giving them kind of a 2-and-a-half-D look to them (not quite 3D). They came together well and they are a nice touch to the film. We succeeded in the vision of it.

HULLFISH: You talked a little bit about the pacing and the rhythm of things and there are really nice moments where you break up an interview or the transition between interviews with just a few seconds of music — just to give a breath. Talk to me a little bit about determining when you’re not just going to have back-to-back-to-back dialogue — when you’re going to open it up for a little bit of music.

Paul Crowder, ACE (center) with mix team

CROWDER: Well generally the music speaks to me. This is why I like to build everything with music and not add music later. I like to do the radio cut first, so I have the bites and the music working together. Generally, it’s because you’ve got a nice succinct bite — it’s made its point. You don’t want to step on this little moment where they’ve said something and the audience needs to be able to digest that, but you’ve got a perfect moment to rest in because the music has this lovely little piece here and we can just come up of that section and go off. We took great pains to the sections of the film that the backing music was a piece of music from an opera that was reminiscent of where we were in our story. So it was a sad piece of it was a poignant piece or a dangerous piece — we were choosing the aria or musical piece that matched the storyline we were in. For Example, When Pavarotti’s manager Breslin arrives in our story I used the musical piece that introduces “Scarpia” the nemesis in Tosca.

HULLFISH: Talk to me about determining structure. Some of it is very simply chronological. You start when he’s young and you go older and older. But there are definitely places where you break from that chronological structure. Were you creating modules and then determining where the modules went?

CROWDER: No, not really. You want to be as un-chronological as you can when telling a story, especially one that covers from cradle to grave. We had various versions where we came into the story at different moments but it felt natural after “Who is Pavarotti, the man?” to show where he comes from. But there was a lot that happened in his childhood that — when we laid it all out, when we did the whole war and his whole childhood, and it was to a beautiful opera piece, it was a really great 15 — 20-minute section of our first cut, that was completely chronological. We go all the way through what happened to him during the war and getting sick but we just needed to get to him singing. We needed to get to his first performance of La Boheme as soon as we can. And because of naturally where we knew the story was going to go through the performance of “Miss Sarajevo” — he was going to start doing these concerts for kids caught up in the war — we thought that we could move the war part of the biography down to Sarajevo. Then, when he gets sick, we could move that childhood sickness somewhere else in the story where it’s relevant to something else. The key was to find the places where we can still get all this information that’s very important to learn about him but doesn’t have to come so chronologically. That way, we can get to where the audience wants to be — with him singing — as soon as possible.

Luciano with one of his daughters

HULLFISH: There’s a great little section where one of his daughters says something about “my father is a thief” and you used a series of punch zooms on a photo to great comic effect.

CROWDER: That was in the section where we’re introducing his children — his girls — and we thought, “what’s a good opera piece of children?” So I found a good piece from Carmen and I’m laying out her sound bites and putting it together and the music immediately after she says “my father is a thief” is right there with a musical moment aching to be embellished visually — right in the vicinity of where her bites have ended up, and I thought, Well that will be great! When she says “he’s a thief” we can just have a good comedic moment, like, “What are you talking about Willis?” so I just punched in on the music beats.

HULLFISH: There’s a pop culture reference you’re not used to hearing in an interview about editing opera documentaries. Some of my younger viewers..

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At DigiPro 2019, Foundry’s Head of Research Dan Ring will be presenting on “Jumping in at the Deep End: How to Experiment with Machine Learning in Post-Production Software”.

The 8th DigiPro, or Digital Production Symposium 2019, happens in Los Angeles on 27 July 2019, as part of SIGGRAPH 2019. The event is an open window to the future, as it  brings together the world’s premier creators of digital visual effects, animation, and interactive experiences. During the one day event, Scientists, engineers, artists, and producers share ideas, insights, and techniques that bring innovation to real-world production.

Foundry, the leading developer of creative software for the Digital Design, Media and Entertainment industries, reveals its plans for SIGGRAPH 2019, and those include participating at DigiPro 2019 Symposium. Foundry’s Head of Research Dan Ring will be presenting on “Jumping in at the Deep End: How to Experiment with Machine Learning in Post-Production Software”.

Behind-the-Scenes of Spider-Man

The DigiPro 2019 event will open with a keynote that sets the tone. Under the title “Swing Behind-the-Scenes of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse”, Peter Ramsey, from Sony Pictures Animation and Danny Dimian, from Sony Pictures Imageworks, take the audience through the challenges of creating the big screen version of Spider-Man.

From animation to technology, artists were challenged with developing new tools and techniques to create a groundbreaking visual style for this fresh and highly original film, which introduces Brooklyn teen Miles Morales and the limitless possibilities of the Spider-Verse, where anyone can wear the mask. For this year’s keynote, co-director Peter Ramsey and visual effects supervisor Danny Dimian will discuss their experiences while making the film.

The program includes three sessions, The Nitty-Gritty, Learnings and Artist Tools, divided in a total of 10 segments.  Physically Based Lens Flare Rendering in “The Lego Movie 2”, Distributed Multi-Context Interactive Rendering, or Creating Interactive VR Narratives through Experimentation and Learning are some of the titles of the different presentations, a clear suggestion of the diversity of themes and techniques covered.

Machine-Learning in Post-Production
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A team from Foundry, composed of Dan Ring, Johanna Barbier, Guillaume Gales and Ben Kent will participate in the session entitled “Jumping in at the Deep End: How to Experiment with Machine Learning in Post-Production Software”, which also includes Sebastian Lutz, from the Trinity College Dublin.

The information related to the session points to the fact that in recent years we’ve seen an explosion in Machine Learning (ML) research. “The challenge is now”, continues the note, “to transfer these new algorithms into the hands of artists and TD’s in visual effects and animation studios, so that they can start experimenting with ML within their existing pipelines.”

The session at DigiPro 2019  presents some of the current challenges to experimentation and deployment of ML frameworks in the post-production industry. It introduces Foundry’s open-source “ML-Server” client / server system as an answer to enabling rapid prototyping, experimentation and development of ML models in post-production software. Data, code and examples for the system can be found on the GitHub repository page.

Foundry’s All Stars 2019

Foundry’s present at SIGGRAPH 2019 extends beyond the Digital Production Symposium (DigiPro 2019). Returning for the third year, Foundry’s own All Stars event will take place on Sunday, July 28th, with speakers from the most innovative companies from around the world including Digital Domain, DNEG, Nike, More VFX, LAIKA, Method Studios and Weta Digital. The event features an inspirational keynote from Marvel Studios and opening remarks from Mikki Rose, SIGGRAPH 2019 conference chair.

Foundry is also supporting the SIGGRAPH Student Volunteer Program, the annual JPR SIGGRAPH Luncheon and the new Pipeline Conference, taking place on Sunday, July 28th. Foundry’s Exhibitor Sessions will take place on Monday, July 29th and Tuesday, July 30th. They will focus on Education, Look Development and Lighting, Cloud-Based Solutions, solving creative challenges with Nuke and Modo in 3D design.

Foundry at SIGGRAPH 2019

Jody Madden, Chief Product and Customer Officer at Foundry, commented: “SIGGRAPH is a great opportunity for us to meet our customers and share the latest updates on our products and innovations with the wider industry. We are thrilled to return this year with our third annual All Stars event with another impressive line-up of speakers sharing their work that truly brings imagination to life with our products. Complemented by a suite of exhibitor sessions on everything from education to research, we’ll have something for everyone.”

Mikki Rose, SIGGRAPH 2019 Conference Chair, commented: “I am very excited to be speaking at Foundry’s All Stars event this year, where I plan to address how our industry can continue to thrive and foster creativity by creating a more diverse and inclusive future for artists. Foundry’s All Stars speakers this year truly show how powerful software can inspire creativity in artists and studios from all around the world.”

Foundry will be located at Booth 925 during SIGGRAPH 2019, where they’ll be showcasing products in partnership with Lenovo and NVIDIA. Foundry’s team will also be present at the NVIDIA Limelight event on Monday, July 28th with the latest Modo updates and in the NVIDIA Booth on Wednesday, August 1st, discussing Machine Learning. Foundry’s products will also be showcased at the following booths: WACOM, NVIDIA and AWS.

The post Foundry at DigiPro 2019: Machine Learning in Post-Production Software appeared first on ProVideo Coalition.

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How well does your computer run Adobe Premiere Pro CC? If you want to know, get the new benchmark for Adobe Premiere Pro CC, a tool Puget Systems uses to check the computers the company builds.

Launched December 2018, and available for both Mac and Windows as a FREE download, the Puget Systems Benchmark for After Effects was the company’s way  to celebrate 18 years in business. The software does what the name suggests: it gives users the chance to gauge the performance of their Mac or PC-based workstation, test for optimal configurations for their workflow, and decide if they need a new computer or not. If the answer is YES, then Puget Systems may have a solution for you.

Now the company releases the Puget Systems Adobe Premiere Pro CC Benchmark, another FREE download that will allow users to test their computers. In sharing the app the company says “at Puget Systems, one of our primary goals is to make sure that our customers end up with a fast, reliable workstation that is perfectly tailored to their unique workflow. The main way we do this is by benchmarking a wide range of hardware in Premiere Pro (and numerous other software packages) that we then publish in our ongoing series of hardware articles.”

Benchmark, then compare

While it is true that you can go and read the articles (and my opinion is that you should do so), the best way to know how well your own computer works with Adobe Premiere Pro CC is to compare its results with those from other machines. That’s the reason why Puget Systems is also sharing their internal Pr benchmark, making it available for public download so that anyone can compare their own computer to the company’s latest Premiere Pro hardware articles.

As the company puts it, while the benchmark tool does ensure that they are selling the right hardware, it does not give their customers a complete idea of how much faster a new workstation would be compared to their existing system. So, making the internal Pr benchmark available for public download represents another step to make things easier for anyone deciding to buy a new workstation.

Three benchmark apps from Puget Systems

The Adobe Premiere Pro CC Benchmark is, as the previous Puget Systems Benchmark for After Effects, compatible with both Windows and Mac-based systems, so everyone can see how good is the computer they use. The Premiere Pro benchmark looks at both live playback and export performance with a wide range of codecs at 4K and 8K resolutions as well as at 29.97 and 59.94 FPS. In addition, there are dedicated “Heavy GPU Effects” and “Heavy CPU Effects” sequences that are designed to individually stress the GPU and CPU beyond what a typical Premiere Pro user will do.

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With this new app, Puget Systems offers now three benchmark solutions, the first of which was the Adobe Photoshop CC Benchmark. You can find them all on the company’s website, were you’ll also find a series of interesting articles about benchmarking, hardware and  more. Whether you are interested into buying one of Puget Systems’ workstation or simply get a better grasp of how things work in the real world, the website is worth a visit. Even if you don’t live in the USA, the only country where Puget Systems sells its workstation, you can get some ideas from their articles on how to build the best workstation without breaking the bank. That’s what I did with the last machine I built, a DREAM MACHINE for 2019!

The post Puget Systems launches a new FREE app: Adobe Premiere Pro CC Benchmark appeared first on ProVideo Coalition.

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