Monday, August 20, 2018

Toolbox

  • Tuesday, Jul. 10, 2018
Dejero, Draganfly partner on real-time video transport
Draganfly's Commander UAV bundled with the Dejero EnGo mobile transmitter
WATERLOO, Ontario -- 

Dejero, known for cloud-managed solutions that provide video transport and Internet connectivity while mobile or in remote locations, has formed a technology partnership with Canadian-based sUAS (small Unmanned Aircraft System) industry experts, Draganfly Innovations Inc. The collaboration sees Draganfly’s Commander UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) quadcopter bundled together with the Dejero EnGo mobile transmitter, providing real-time video transport from the air. In addition, the companies’ combined expert knowledge will bring new and innovative solutions and services to Dejero’s broadcast customers and Draganfly’s customers across the many industry verticals they serve.
 
This collaboration enables broadcasters to integrate live video captured with UAVs into their newsgathering, sports and event coverage, and video production for television and online audiences. It will also facilitate Dejero in reaching new industries and applications, providing real-time on-board video transport over IP to the military, public safety, and government sectors that Draganfly has traditionally operated in.
 
The Draganflyer Commander UAV is a remotely operated, unmanned, miniature helicopter designed to carry wireless camera systems. The professional quality, powerful, easy to fly aerial platform is specifically designed for high endurance applications such as public safety, search and rescue, agriculture, mapping, aerial photography, and more. Dejero’s highly versatile EnGo mobile transmitter will be instrumental in reliably providing high-quality live video from Draganfly’s Commander, which will in turn allow Draganfly to elevate its offering.
 
“Historically, UAV use in broadcast has been challenging, in particular when it comes to providing high-quality video with low latency and with the reliability needed for live broadcasts,” explained Kevin Fernandes, VP of sales at Dejero. “Through our collaboration with Draganfly, we can provide an effective solution for broadcast and media organizations, as well as other industries requiring the reliability and picture quality that customers require.”
 
“We are thrilled to be adding broadcast-quality live video feeds to our Commander vehicle,” said Draganfly president Zenon Dragan. “The timing couldn’t be better as we’ve recently expanded into contract engineering and custom product development. Our partnership with Dejero will greatly support this.”
 
Well-versed in the design of sophisticated multi-rotor aircraft, ground-based robots, and fixed wing aircraft, Draganfly also provides custom payloads, ground-up software design, electronics, UAV program development, and flight training.

  • Thursday, Jul. 5, 2018
Encore's Pankaj Bajpai turns to Baselight to color the story of Picasso
A scene from "Genius: Picasso" (photo courtesy of National Geographic)
LONDON -- 

The second series of National Geographic’s popular series Genius focuses on the extraordinary life of painter Pablo Picasso. Colorist Pankaj Bajpai at Encore in Hollywood was charged with creating the look that evoked the time and place as well as the art.

Bajpai was the colorist on the first series of Genius, which featured Einstein and was set in Germany. Series two inhabits the much warmer climes of Spain and Paris. Working with DP Mathias Herndl, it was the place that led them to the look: “We anchored ourselves in the quality, color and texture of the Spanish light in Málaga, the birthplace of Picasso,” Bajpai explained.

The series tells the story of Picasso (played by Antonio Banderas) and his complicated, chaotic lifestyle which was the source of his vibrant paintings. National Geographic and the show’s creator Kenneth Biller were concerned with creating the sense and style of the first half of the 20th century. “A key challenge was to maintain the authenticity of the period, and yet somehow keep a contemporary flair,” Bajpai recalled.

“We start with Picasso’s father and his memory of the bullfights--it’s all incredibly warm,” he continued. “Then Picasso as a young man, with many candlelit interiors. And towards the very end the palette becomes sparse and cold, as his life becomes more isolated.”

Herndl shot the series using the ARRI ALEXA, and Bajpai was involved from the earliest days of the production. “Mathias and I have a long working relationship, and much of our understanding is intuitive--it’s a partnership where few words are exchanged. I know Mathias’s instincts when he is shooting, and he knows how I might approach the captured image. When it all comes together, it’s wonderful.”

At Encore, colorist Bajpai used the latest Version 5.0 of Baselight software, giving him access to Base Grade, FilmLight’s popular feature of the colorist’s toolkit. “It allowed me to approach grading using the classic zone system for the first time, which was tremendous. It is possibly one of the most practical and significant advances in grading technology in a long time.

“There are many scenes in the show where there are old European-style big and bright windows,” he said. “To be able to maintain details in the high-high-highlights and low-low-lowlights and still keep everything in between was unbelievably fast and clean.”

Executive produced by Ron Howard and Brian Grazer, Genius is a major success for National Geographic. Season one was the network’s most-watched show of 2017 and earned the network a record 10 Emmy nominations.

  • Monday, Jul. 2, 2018
Academy's Sci-Tech Awards Committee exploring 8 areas for Oscar consideration
The Motion Picture Academy's Scientific and Technical Awards ceremony in 2016.
LOS ANGELES -- 

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced that eight distinct scientific and technical investigations have been launched for the 2018 Oscars®.

These investigations are made public so individuals and companies with devices or claims of innovation within these areas will have the opportunity to submit achievements for review.

The deadline to submit additional entries is Wednesday, July 18, at 5 p.m. PT. The Academy’s Scientific and Technical Awards Committee has started investigations into the following areas:

  • Systems for the creation of motion graphics for motion picture content
  • Remote, distributed, secure and collaborative review frameworks of dailies and sequences
  • 2D, multi-layer, raster, image editing and digital paint systems used in motion picture production
  • Dense-mesh accurate animated facial geometry capture
  • Texture layout toolsets
  • Efficient, sequence-based paint and rotoscoping toolsets
  • Capture of facial appearance for photorealistic rendering
  • Lavalier microphones widely used in motion picture production

For more information on the Scientific and Technical Awards and to submit similar technology, click here.

After thorough investigations are conducted in each of the technology categories, the committee will meet in the fall to vote on recommendations to the Academy’s Board of Governors, which will make the final awards decisions.

The 2018 Scientific and Technical Awards Presentation will be held on Saturday, February 9, 2019.

The 91st Oscars will be held on Sunday, February 24, 2019, at the Dolby Theatre® at Hollywood & Highland Center® in Hollywood, and will be televised live on the ABC Television Network at 6:30 p.m. ET/3:30 p.m. PT. The Oscars also will be televised live in more than 225 countries and territories worldwide.

  • Thursday, Jun. 28, 2018
NEP mobile unit selects FUJINON 4K UHD zoom lenses
Shooting a Seattle Mariners’ game at Safeco Field
VALHALLA, NY -- 

Mobile production provider NEP Group has equipped its latest truck, the M-15--a 4K unit featuring advanced IP delivery capability--with a range of FUJINON 4K UHD lenses. While build on the M-15 is in its final stages of completion, the new lenses are being used to cover Seattle Mariner baseball games for the Root Sports Northwest network. Currently, the eight FUJINON UA107x8.4BESM 4K Box Field lenses, three UA24x7.8BERM 4K UHD lenses and three UA14x4.5BERD 4K UHD Wide-Angle lenses complement Grass Valley LDK Series 4K UHD cameras on NEP’s M-5 for Seattle area baseball coverage.

In addition to being a fully 4K capable production truck, the M-15 will be NEP USMU’s second ST 2110-capable regional mobile unit. (SMPTE ST 2110 standards specify the carriage, synchronization, and description of IP streams for real-time video production and playout).

“We appreciate our longstanding relationship with Fujifilm and are looking forward to M-15 hitting the road, complete with our new 4K UHD lenses,” said Glen Levine, president, NEP U.S. “The IP system alongside the superior production tools will propel live coverage to a whole new level. For now, the lenses are already creating outstanding images of the Mariner games on the M-5.”

“Production teams and crews like the quality of NEP’s newest set of FUJINON lenses.” Speaking about the UA107x, Levine added, “We went with these lenses because of their 900mm telephoto and their ability to do tight shots from long distances. Camera operators have come back from the games happy with how tight they were able to go.”

NEP’s M-15 will be fully 4K capable. “The cost/performance ratio of the entire FUJINON 4K lens range makes them ideal for this new truck,” said Levine. “We always do a thorough cost evaluation, but we will never sacrifice quality to cut costs. These lenses offer great quality while being cost-effective.”

  • Wednesday, Jun. 27, 2018
Filmotechnic USA introduces electric EVU camera car
Filmotechnic's Electric EVU
LOS ANGELES -- 

Filmotechnic USA, one of the largest camera car companies in the world, introduces the newest edition to its fleet, the Electric EVU. Filmotechnic is known worldwide for its Academy-award winning fleet of stabilized camera car systems. Filmotechnic headquarters and fabrication facilities are located in Los Angeles, with support offices in Detroit, Atlanta, Dallas and Orlando.

According to Filmotechnic manager John Urso, the Electric EVU was developed to facilitate the need for camera car shots where emissions or noise are not wanted. “There is demand for a camera car that can be used where internal combustion vehicles are prohibited, such as on a soundstage,” he said. “The EVU also works great on noise sensitive shoots, such as filming horses for a Western.”

The EVU operates in silence while capturing all the action with fluid acceleration. With zero emission, the EVU expands the possibilities of getting the best shot. One rig configuration features the Filmotechnic’s Telescoping U-Crane, the noted robotic crane, paired with the company’s Flight Head Mini, a fully digital gyro-stabilized flight head. “This is just one of many arm/flight head combos this vehicle can handle,” said Urso. “We can provide a variety of rig options based on the job at hand, fully customized to meet a customer’s specific need.”

  • Tuesday, Jun. 26, 2018
Fletcher, Adcock unveil 2018 Camera Comparison Chart
Thomas Fletcher

The 2018 Camera Comparison Chart, compiled by industry vets Thomas Fletcher and Gary Adcock, has been released, based on info gathered from numerous conversations with various cinematographers, rental houses and manufacturers. Fletcher began publishing the Camera Comparison Chart in 2007 and it has become an annual industry reference source ever since, providing a handle on a rapidly changing camera and optical landscape.

Yet while the Chart can prove valuable, it does not tell the entire story as Fletcher and Adcock issue the caveat that portions of the Chart are subjective and not scientifically collected data--though every effort has been made to gather accurate information to help producers make educated decisions on camera and format. Fletcher and Adcock urge producers and others to look at camera images and to consult with a cinematographer.

The 2018 Camera Comparison Chart spans offerings from the likes of ARRI, Blackmagic Design, Canon, Kodak, Panasonic, RED and Sony. Fletcher and Adcock thanked those offering assistance and feedback in the collection of data, including cinematographers Geoff Boyle, Phil Holland, Jim Mathers, David Stump, ASC, Marcelo Trotta, ABC and Bruno Vieira; Scott Dale of VER; John Deboer of Sim; Megan Donnelly of AbelCine; Stosh Durbacz of Fujifilm; Michael Koerner of Koerner Camera; Mike Sippel of ARRI Rental; and technologist Adam Wilt. Also providing their expertise were Susanne Mayer, Fredrick Merten and Marc Shipman-Mueller of ARRI, Tor Johansen and Tim Schumann of Blackmagic Design, Joe Bogacz, Alan Craig Lewis, Tim Smith and Larry Thorpe of Canon, Brent Carter, Brian Henderson, Kenta Honjo and Alan Zarnegar of RED, Steve Cooperman, Mitch Gross, Stephen Mahrer and Barry Russo of Panasonic, Peter Crithary and Simon Marsh of Sony, and Mike Brown of Kodak.

Here’s the 2018 Camera Comparison Chart:

Click image for downloadable PDF

  • Tuesday, Jun. 26, 2018
Zoe Iltsopoulos Borys named VP/GM of Panavision Atlanta
Zoe Iltsopoulos Borys
WOODLAND HILLS, Calif. -- 

Panavision, designer, manufacturer and rental provider of high-precision optics and camera systems, has named Zoe Iltsopoulos Borys to lead the company’s Atlanta office as VP and general manager. Borys will oversee day-to-day operations in the region, and ensure Panavision’s customers continue to receive the highest level of service to support their production needs.

“Zoe is a respected partner to the cinematic community and we are pleased to have her on the team at Panavision,” said Michael George, Panavision’s chief operating officer. “Her understanding and familiarity with the needs of our customers will be an invaluable addition to our presence in the region. Filmmakers can be confident that they will continue to receive our superior service, along with our innovative Panavised camera systems and premier lenses.”

Borys’ 25 years of experience in the motion picture industry includes business development for Production Resources Group (PRG), and general manager for Fletcher Camera and Lenses (now VER). This is her second turn at Panavision, having served in a marketing role at the company from 1998-2006. Throughout her career, she has been responsible for bringing innovative technology to the creative community, empowering them to bring their vision to the screen. She is also an associate member of the American Society of Cinematographers.

Panavision’s Atlanta facilities, located in West Midtown and at Pinewood Studios, are the largest suppliers of camera rental equipment in the southern U.S., with a full staff of prep technicians and camera service experts. The Atlanta team has provided equipment and services to productions such as Avengers: Infinity War, Black Panther, Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, Baby Driver, and Pitch Perfect 3, among others.

 

  • Monday, Jun. 25, 2018
RGBworks Studio builds new color grading suites with DaVinci Resolve software and panels
FREMONT, Calif. -- 

Blackmagic Design announced that Guangzhou based RGBworks Studio, a postproduction company that specializes in color grading and was founded by veteran directors and colorists, has built its new high end color grading suites and training facility around Blackmagic Design’s DaVinci Resolve Studio software. RGBworks also installed dozens of DaVinci Resolve panels, including the DaVinci Resolve Advanced Panels, Mini Panel and Micro Panels, across the suites.

RGBworks Studio brings leading film and video artists together, and is led by director Andre Ho, who has 20 years experience with production and postproduction and has won numerous awards for his directing work on television commercial projects for clients such as Cheung Kong Holdings and HSBC. Also on the RGBworks team are Zhang Junbin, a DaVinci Resolve colorist who has colored promos for hit variety shows such as “Singer,” “I Am A Singer,” and “Mars Intelligence Agency,” and commercials for Midea Freezer, and Trumpchi colorist Yin Yonghuan, who has worked on numerous TVCs for international brands such as Lancome, Johnson & Johnson, Nissan, and Jaguar. Also at RGBworks Studio is colorist and Blackmagic Design certified DaVinci Resolve trainer Django Jiang Tie.

With close connections with top artists and experts in the film and television industries of Hong Kong and mainland China, RGBworks Studio is able to provide consulting, film production and post production as well as coordination and liaison services for projects to be executed in mainland China.

RGBworks Studio has 13 Mac based DaVinci Resolve Studio systems in a number of different suites. These include one color grading theater equipped with the DaVinci Resolve Advanced Panel, a Barco projector and the latest iMac Pro for feature film projects, a suite consisting of the DaVinci Resolve Advanced Panel and the latest iMac Pro for commercial projects, a suite with the DaVinci Resolve Mini Panel and a Mac Pro for TV show and online movie projects, and a DaVinci Resolve training room with ten DaVinci Resolve Micro Panels and Macbook Pros.

“We chose DaVinci Resolve Studio as our only grading tool because it has a proven workflow for feature film and TVC projects, which are what we focus on, and it has been recognized by the industry as a standard,” said Jiang Tie, who designed the workflow for the facility.
 
He continued: “Resolve’s collaborative workflow allows our different colorists to work on a same project simultaneously, greatly improving the efficiency, which is unique compared to other grading tools. Also, Resolve’s editing is powerful and simplifies the interactions between colorists and editors, which is another key to efficiency in postproduction.”
 
Jiang Tie also noted DaVinci Resolve is perfect for training new postproduction professionals. He said: “From a trainer’s point of view, DaVinci Resolve is easier for people to learn and allows its users to focus more on creativity rather than technical stuff. Also, Resolve is now being extensively used by companies around the world for editing, color grading, audio mixing and more, which means our trainees will have more opportunities to get hired once they are through with the training. Moreover, the much lower cost of a capable Resolve system won’t be a burden for them.”

Since early 2018 to date, with DaVinci Resolve, RGBworks Studio has completed promos and TVCs for Hunan TV’s hit show “Singer 2018,” home appliance giant Midea, popular music platform and social network Tik Tok (Douyin), Nissan, JD.com and local governments.

  • Wednesday, Jun. 20, 2018
JVC ProHD cameras anchor Center for Media and Design at Santa Monica College
The new Center for Media and Design at Santa Monica College features three JVC GY-HM890 ProHD cameras in its production studio.
WAYNE, NJ -- 

JVC Professional Video, a division of JVCKENWOOD USA Corporation, announced that Santa Monica College in Santa Monica, Calif., has added JVC GY-HM890 ProHD cameras to the production studio in its new Center for Media and Design.

The studio features three GY-HM890s paired with JVC FS-790 ProHD fiber optic system modules, which connect directly to the camera body via a hidden 68-pin connector. Each camera is mounted on a Cartoni pedestal and is equipped with a CueScript prompter.

Gail Fetzer, associate professor, said the cameras are used to teach multi-camera production, with students producing talk shows, music videos, and other content that is shared on YouTube and Facebook. 

Santa Monica College purchased JVC cameras in 2011 for its flypack production system, and later purchased the GY-HM650 ProHD mobile news cameras for student newscasts. Brad Lemonds, media coordinator for Media Production, wanted to stay with the same user interface for the new studio cameras. “It was a no-brainer to go with JVC again,” Lemonds said.

Located in “Silicon Beach,” an area in Los Angeles’s Westside that includes hundreds of media firms and technology companies, the Center for Media and Design provides a single facility for SMC’s media content development and design programs. 

According to Lemonds, classes moved to its new facility in phases. The first film classes began last fall, with radio classes following in the next eight-week session. Video production began in January, and students “walked in and had to pick up their jaws,” he said. “It’s a pretty awesome workspace.”

The control room and flypack are modeled after production facilities used by the Big West Conference. “Our students will either go directly to the job market or transfer,” Lemonds explained. “We wanted to emulate their systems. We’re trying to provide close to ESPN quality.”

While the Center for Media and Design is still finalizing its workflow, Santa Monica College is already planning to expand its production schedule in the fall with an advanced track for sports production. The center is considering additional GY-HM890s to update its flypack, and recently received several JVC GY-HM170 4KCAM compact camera for its documentary classes.

  • Monday, Jun. 18, 2018
Upside rebuilds its post systems with Blackmagic 12G-SDI products
Upside's machine room
FREMONT, Calif. -- 

Blackmagic Design announced that Japanese postproduction company Upside rebuilt their studio around Blackmagic Design 12G-SDI technology. As part of their upgrade from HD to 4K60p support, the company installed DaVinci Resolve Mini Panel, DaVinci Resolve Micro Panel, Teranex Express, DeckLink 4K Extreme 12G, Smart Videohub 12G 40x40 and Videohub Smart Control.

Upside was founded in 2012, specializing in editing and color grading for dramas and short films. It also has departments for shooting and lighting, and supports the complete workflow from shooting to postproduction. To meet the demand for more 4K60p content, Upside decided to upgrade their existing HD studio to support 4K60p in September last year. There are three audio engineering rooms, seven editing rooms and one grading room. Many Blackmagic 12G-SDI products were installed in the machine rooms, as well as in the editing and grading rooms.

“We already had DaVinci Resolve Advanced Panel in the grading room. Online editors can apply color correction, now that we installed DaVinci Resolve Studio and Mini Panels in every online editing room. It eliminated the necessity to go to the grading room and has made the workflow more efficient. We sometimes produce a project simultaneously with DaVinci Resolve Studio, grading the material in a grading room and applying effects in an editing room. It makes the workflow enormously more smooth since you can work on a project at the same time. We also installed DaVinci Resolve Micro Panels and because you can carry around DaVinci Resolve Micro Panels, we sometimes use them for color correction on location,” said Kazunari Kurusu, a director of the postproduction department.

By building the machine room with Blackmagic 12G-SDI products, they were able to reduce cables and make connections simpler. There are 4K and HD monitors in the grading and online editing rooms, where Teranex Express is used to convert 4K signals to HD and which are also used in the online editing rooms.

In the company’s machine room, they have installed two units of Smart Videohub 12G 40x40 routers, one for HD and the other for 4K. These are at the center of the whole post production system, with signals switched on Videohub Smart Controls installed in each editing and grading room. Multiple units of DeckLink 4K Extreme 12G are used for inputs and outputs on every machine in the editing and grading rooms.

“There were no other possible choices for us when we planned to build this machine room other than using Blackmagic products, many of which support 12G-SDI. We had been using Blackmagic products for five years with no problem so we find them reliable and trustworthy. Not only are they affordable, the performance of every product is wonderful,” he concluded.

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