Vegas Movie Studio Platinum By David Hague The familiar light grey facade of the Vegas family has been changed to a black motif in Vegas Movie Studio Platinum (and I suspect this will flow through to Vegas Pro as well. All the kids are doing it!) that is not unattractive. In fact, the whole interface has been made over and somehow looks cleaner and more businesslike. Text descriptions and icons are sharp and clear and if there is any criticism, you may have to change your monitor's contrast a little as on my Dell 27 XPS All-in-One, the vertical lines in the timeline were quite faint. In the past if someone suggested you could get probably 85% of the power of Premiere and After Effects together in a package that sells for under a hundred bucks, you'd think they were barking mad and aiming to be the Pres of the USA perhaps! ...Read More »
DP Benjamin Gaskell Shoots the Latest Installment of the Witness Project Documentary Series with a Blackmagic URSA Mini 4.6K In late 2015, Smock Media, a Venice Beach-based film and VR production company, and the Victims of Communism (VOC), a Washington, D.C.-based human rights organization, came together and started The Witness Project. Beginning with a two-episode pilot that told the tales of life in communist regimes, the Witness Project debuted at a screening at the Library of Congress and began the greater journey into the victims' stories and inherent strength. Building on that success, Smock Media and VOC decided to expand the series into an eight-episode arch for 2016, with even more slated for later years. DP Benjamin Gaskell was brought on to tackle the first episode of the second installment, which would set the tone for the rest of the documentary series. The episode focused on Anastasia Lin, Miss World Canada 2015 and 2016, and her story. ...Read More »
Manhattan College Upgrades to 4K Television Studio with Blackmagic Design Manhattan College is a private liberal arts college located in Riverdale, NY, a neighborhood in the northwest portion of the Bronx. In 2008, the college formed a new communication department, and as part of that initiative they began building a new, professional television studio for students in the broadcasting/telecommunications program. It took several years, but after putting in several proposals the department received the funds necessary to upgrade the studio to HD. While researching new equipment, Michael realized that Blackmagic Design's line of studio products would allow them to leapfrog over HD and upgrade the studio to 4K for roughly the same price. ...Read More »
Content Insider #505 - VR Progress By Miles Weston After years VR is finally a solid foothold in the game and video content industries. The biggest problem with the technology is that people (VCs and young developers) were convinced it was going to immediately take over the world and we'd all be walking around like minions. But rehashed games and video scripts only hurt the rapid rise. Game developers, filmmakers/production people have gained a lot of experience on what to do and not do with the technology and the new stuff is really, really great. It's a whole new entertainment experience that brings you in and lets you control the action. And it's getting better with each new release! ...Read More »
IamAVL Supports Local Asheville, NC Music Scene With Blackmagic Design Nestled in western North Carolina's Blue Ridge Mountain range, the city of Asheville is well known for its vibrant local arts scene. In 2012, a group of music lovers came together to form Independent Arts and Music of Asheville, or IamAVL for short. It's a community-based web channel and full service production company that integrates video production, studio recording sessions and live performances into a seamless channel for the creation of high quality content. ...Read More »
ASSIMILATE Congratulates Post-Production Artists for Their Work on Films at Sundance 2017 At the Sundance Film Festival 2017 in Park City, Utah (January 19 - 29), the roster includes filmmakers whose post-production companies used ASSIMILATE's SCRATCH(r) post-production tools in their digital workflows. ASSIMILATE is extremely pleased to congratulate its customers for their creativity and artistry in the following films and documentaries in the following Sundance categories. ...Read More »
Action Cams By David Hague No doubt there were a lot of so called "Action Cams" in Chrissy stockings this year or under the tree. These are bound to be one of the hottest items around, as they do a far better job than the humble smartphone for taking video of such pastimes as skateboarding, skiing, mountain bike riding, surfing, fishing or any of a few hundred other fun things. But while in general action cams are easy to use, to get the very best footage - like the really good stuff you see on YouTube, Facebook and Vimeo etc - there are some things you can do to improve your shooting out of sight! ...Read More »
Resolve 12.5 By David Hague Over the years, I have used many, many different video editors - Adobe Premiere 4.2 was probably my first NLE, followed by a long stint with Sony (now MAGIX) Vegas and flutters with AVID, EDIUS, one called Speed Razor and of course I have reviewed just about every package our there over the last 20 odd years costing from hundreds to many thousands of dollars. So, when I am told that a full on, top featured package as used by the Hollywood heavyweights is available for free, of course my ears prick up just a little and I want to know more. Is it so complex that I won't be able to grasp its workflow? Or does it require so much computer horsepower my modest Dell XPS 2710 all-in-one won't drive it? Perhaps the claims are overblown? ...Read More »
Content Insider #500 - Tomorrow's Entertainment By Miles Weston Every year folks peek behind the curtain and tell you what stuff is going to take place next year and what technologies/products are going to succeed...and fail. Jeezz might as well skip the year. Not me. Nope I want to give you an idea of what the tomorrow way out there is going to look like 25 years from now, specifically entertainment. That way if you make money in the industry you can speed up or adjust your course to be ready to succeed in a big way. If you're just an entertainment consumer then you can prepare yourself for how good things are going to be. If I'm a little wrong come back in 25 years and I'll graciously accept your gottcha comment. If you ignore my crystal ball projections do it at your own peril! ...Read More »
Templestone Productions Shoots Candlelit Concerts for Music Documentary with Micro Studio Camera 4K At Dallas based Templestone Productions, Brad Ballew's main goal is to help his clients tell their story. He recently had the opportunity to shoot a unique concert series for a music documentary featuring the Irish choral group Anúna. The group sings a cappella arrangements of traditional and ancient texts from around the world. To keep the quality of his shooting high but his travel kit light, Brad purchased Blackmagic Design's Micro Studio Camera 4K. ...Read More »
Bern Universitys Applied Sciences builds communication training stations and completes workflow with LMS, MAM and P5 Archive Communication training is a core part of many industries as well as educational institutions. For customer contact, management, patient communication and many other scenarios, interactive training of these skills is needed. At Bern University of Applied Sciences in Switzerland, communication training of medical students with the goal of improving patient communication has been part of the curriculum for many years. Recently, a new infrastructure was built to streamline the trainings and their management. The solution was built around a centralised media asset management (MAM) server to allow for efficient workflow automation, including archiving. The video recording stations were built using highly reliable components and a web application was developed to allow remote control and tagging from iPads. Integration with existing planning tools was implemented to significantly reduce the management overhead of the training program. ...Read More »
Content Insider #494 - VR Film Work By Miles Weston Shooting, producing a VR film sounds terribly romantic. Heck filmmaking itself sounds like a whale of a lot of fun rubbing elbows with studio bigwigs, stars, living the fast life...what could be a better way of making a fab living? Ask most filmmakers and they'd probably say just about anything would be more "fun" because it's a lot of work juggling everything to educate, entertain your audience. VR film production is even worse because you're venturing into a totally new area where the viewer suddenly is part of the action and if you think actors are unpredictable viewers are worse. And there's no safety net because it's a new frontier. Hard, exciting but talented people are mastering the new arena for people to enjoy. ...Read More »
Content Insider #493 - VR Filmmaking By Miles Weston After a bumpy start VR filmmaking is starting to move forward. The craftspersons have and continue to do a lot of testing and refinement to find out what works, what doesn't and why. Along the way they're getting a lot of help from camera, system and tool producers to deliver consumers can immerse themselves in and enjoy again and again. The costs are already coming down as more and more filmmakers work with the new medium. Momentum is building and it's needed if HMD and solution producers are to sell the volumes we need to deem it a success. The good stuff is really good. The rest...not so much. ...Read More »
Content Insider #492 - SMPTE Power Play By Miles Weston SMPTE may hold it's technical conference in Hollywood but it's not about the glamour (ok maybe a little) it's all about making better stuff that will entertain you and others. All the good tools are in the cloud to keep costs under control more people are working in the cloud and storing content there - especially for backup of the backup and archiving. VR is now on everyone's to-do list but no one is overpromising. No one wants another '3D is the killer' message flying around. The people who are doing it seriously and well are doing it right and it's awesome. Computer, storage and HMD producers are waiting for the list of titles to grow. SMPTE just wants the standards to be fairly firm so the expectations and quality is what viewers expect. ...Read More »
There's a new Sheriff - err, a new Studio in town! Vista Studios is L.A.'s first studio built with a purpose, designed specifically for high tech 4k/UHD production. Nearly completed, the brand-new studio in Playa Vista/Silicon Beach, offers a convenient west side location. Vista Studios is a 30,000 sq. ft. technology campus that includes: 4 sound stages totaling 17,000 sq. ft., all are 4k ready and have complete production support. Vista Studios is located in the high-tech area of Playa Vista a.k.a. Silicon Beach, putting the studios close to many of L.A.'s most innovative tech and digital entertainment companies. The proximity to LAX is very convenient. ...Read More »
Pocket Cinema Camera and DaVinci Resolve Used on Panic At The Disco's "Don't Threaten Me With a Good Time" Music Video Panic at the Disco is on top of the music world with a massive worldwide tour supporting their album, "Death of a Bachelor," that debuted at number one on the Billboard charts. One of the most popular songs on the album is "Don't Threaten Me With a Good Time." The song's music video puts the band's lead singer, Brendon Urie, in some very uncomfortable situations after a night of drinking and dancing. Uncomfortable as in an "aliens/monsters are trying to eat me" type of situation. But what makes the video unique is that it is shot from the viewpoint of the attacking beast. Initially taking on the form of a human female, the video follows both Brendon and his attacker as they meet in a bar and dance through the night, .until the evening ends badly for Mr. Urie. ...Read More »
Content Insider #486 - 360, VR Everywhere By Miles Weston I'd probably enjoy IBC just as much even if it weren't in Amsterdam but I sure wouldn't want to find out. Or maybe the city just looks better through 360/VR glasses because everyone at the convention centre seemed to have the suctioncup lines on their face. But the discussions at IBC - suppliers, studios, networks, filmmakers, production people - always seemed to touch on how quickly VR had come and how much further it had to go. True VR isn't "brand new" because it's been around since 1929 (Link Simulator) and the first headsets were introduced in the 1960s but now we've got affordable cameras to shoot 360 video and defining VR films. Most of the films are short right now - under 30 minutes - but it won't be long before we have a solid feature film. ...Read More »
A Look "Behind-the-Scenes" of Immersive VR By Lou Wallace With 2016 being its breakout year, 360° VR productions are everywhere. And VR headsets - like Samsung GearVR, Google Cardboard, or Oculus Rift - are making it a quality, immersive experience. But what's going on "behind-the-scenes"? ASSIMILATE is at the forefront of supporting VR with its new SCRATCH VR Suite that includes all the post tools - conform, color grading, compositing, and finishing - to work in 360° media, and includes SCRATCH Play for playback and SCRATCH Web cloud-based collaboration and review tools that are automatically formatted for 360° viewing in VR headsets. Getting out in the field with customers, Lucas Wilson and Jeff Edson, CEO at ASSIMILATE talked with us about how they are responding to the VR market with its SCRATCH product line to offer creators the streamlined professional and powerful production and post-production tools that are needed to enhance and finalize the look-and-feel of VR content. ...Read More »
Telling the History of St. Louis Organized under the banner of the Missouri Historical Society, the Missouri History Museum, the Library and Research Center, and the Soldiers Memorial Military Museum in St. Louis are not your typical local history institutions. In addition to the main museum building, which houses public galleries, classrooms, and an auditorium, it also consists of a Library and Research Center. Here is housed a library, archives, artifacts, documents, photos and prints, moving images and sound. The institution also runs the Soldiers Memorial Military Museum, which was builtas a local military museum honoring individuals from St. Louis who we lost in World War I. ...Read More »
Content Insider #483 - Little But By Miles Weston We know you take storage for granted except when it's slow, not available, dies. But filmmakers are always thinking about their storage. They don't want much just fast, rugged, reliable, HUGE and inexpensive. No I didn't say cheap I said inexpensive and it was the last check mark for the filmmaker because reshooting is way too expensive and often impossible. At FMS (Flash Memory Summit) awhile ago industry experts - manufacturers, integrators and filmmakers - spent a day telling the attendees how they work, how they use flash and what they need to handle the growing volume of content they capture, process, produce and finalize for folks to consume at the theater as well as on their TVs, computers, tablets, smartphones. Great content is too valuable to lose. Just ask the people who make their living as creative visual/audio storytellers. ...Read More »
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