With the increase in shooting ratios and shortened production schedules, many directors turn to shooting their project with two cameras for the entire time. Since REDs and Canon HDSLRs are bountiful and reasonably priced to buy or rent, even a low budget indie film can take advantage of this. Let me say from the beginning that I’m not a big fan of shooting with two cameras. Too many directors view it as a way to get through their shooting schedule more quickly; but, in fact, they often shoot more footage than needed. Often the B-camera coverage is only 25% useful, because it was not properly blocked or lit for. However, there are situations where shooting with two cameras works out quite well. The technique is at its most useful when shooting a dramatic dialogue scene with two or three principal actors. (Click the images below for expanded views.)
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Editors looking for an alternative to Apple Final Cut Pro view Adobe Premiere Pro CS6 as the logical choice, but there’s more to this release than a hypothetical FCP 8. I’ve reviewed and used each version of the Creative Suite for many years and Premiere Pro is one of the few NLEs where each new version exhibits tangible performance improvements. Creative Suite 6 is no different, with performance tweaks and expanded GPU usage in Photoshop, After Effects and Premiere Pro.
Adobe’s video bundle, CS6 Production Premium, is a complete end-to-end workflow solution covering ingest to distribution. Adobe Prelude (ingest, transcode and logging) becomes the substitute for OnLocation, which was geared towards the tape-based world. SpeedGrade adds film-style color grading to the package. Production Premium is a 6GB file download, plus there’s an additional 21GB of optional sound effects and music loops that Adobe customers may also download for free.
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Timing is often everything when it comes to indie filmmaking. That’s certainly the case with Higher Ground, the directorial debut by Academy Award-nominated actress, Vera Farmiga (Up In The Air, Source Code, Nothing But The Truth). The film about the struggle and coexistence between faith and doubt is inspired by Carolyn S. Biggs’ memoir, This Dark World. It features Farmiga in the lead role of Corrine Walker and follows her through three phases of her life. The film has appeared at the 2011 Sundance, Tribeca and Los Angeles Film Festivals and is currently in distribution through Sony Pictures Classics.
Successfully pulling off a highly-regarded, low budget feature is a challenge for anyone, but even more so, if you are the director, the lead actress and pregnant on top of that. Living in upstate New York, Farmiga happened to be ten minutes away from BCDF Pictures
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Avid made the jump to 64-bit in November with its mainstream Media Composer 6, Symphony 6 and NewsCutter 10 software. This highly anticipated new release includes ten cornerstone features: 64-bit code, Open IO, ProRes integration (Mac only), Avid Marketplace, AMA support for AVCHD, a new DNxHD444 codec, expanded stereo 3D tools, 5.1/7.1 surround mixing, Avid Artist Color control surface support and a modernized user interface. Avid has made significant architectural changes to the product without altering the behavior and interaction that veteran users rely on. A few hoped-for features, like resolution independence and background rendering, had to be left on the backburner, but are still slated for some future release.
I installed Symphony 6 on my two-year-old Mac Pro, along with a simultaneous upgrade to Lion (Mac OS 10.7.2 recommended) and the installation of a Blackmagic Design Decklink HD Extreme 3D card. Symphony is now available as software, so…
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I’ve noticed that a lot of people don’t turn sync locks on in the timeline. That seems like a shame to me. In the old days this feature was buggy and many people ended up avoiding it. But now I leave them on all the time. The reason is simple — sync locks allow you to make complex trims on multi-track sequences all day long and still be in sync when you’re done.
Specifically, it means that when you’re trimming, you can ignore any track that contains black at the blue cursor. No more need to create add-edits in black and put rollers on them. And no need to get rid of those add-edits later.
You can go from the first image below to the second in one step. Even though trim rollers are only on V1 and A1, everything stays in sync, and all downstream clips move forward.
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The interest in HDSLR production and post shows no sign of waning. Although some of this information will seem redundant with earlier articles (here and here), I decided it was a good time to set down a working recipe of how I like to deal with these files. To some extend this is a “refresh” of the Round II article, given the things I’ve learned since then. The Canon cameras are the dominant choice, but that’s for today. Nikon is coming on strong with its D7000 and Panasonic has made a serious entry into the large-format-sensor video camera market with its Micro 4/3” AG-AF100. In six months, the post workflows might once again change.
To date, I have edited about 40 spots and short-form videos that were all shot using the Canon EOS 5D Mark II. Many of the early post issues, like the need to…
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We now know where the four “A”s are headed. With the dust settling just a little, picking your favored approach to post is shaping up into three choices: the software suite, the all-in-one and the toolkit. That’s not to say you can’t mix these options up a bit, but let me outline each approach. Before I start, let me clarify that these choices are designed for the needs of small shops that post the average types of projects, including corporate videos, commercials, reality TV shows and low budget indie films. If you only cut studio films or are a high-end VFX specialist, then your world view is likely to be quite a bit different. So, let’s start.
A. The Software Suite
If you wanted to build your facility around a complementary suite of applications as I outlined in this previous post, then Apple Final Cut Studio had…
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I’m currently cutting a digital feature and this has made me think about editing styles. Here are an even dozen tips that I feel will make any budding film editor better at this craft. I’m sure not everyone will agree with all of these points, since they come out of my own approach and style. Nevertheless, I hope they offer some takeaway value for you.
1. Cut tight – The best editing approach is to cut tight scenes without becoming too “cutty”. This means taking out unnecessary pauses between actors’ delivery of dialogue lines. Sometimes it mean tightening the gaps within dialogue sentences through the use of carefully placed cutaways. It may also mean losing redundant lines of dialogue, after the director has reviewed your cut.
In general, my approach is to start with a cut that is precise from the beginning as opposed to cutting the first pass sloppy…
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