Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Toolbox

  • 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.

  • Friday, Jun. 15, 2018
Gener 2 chooses Avid workflow to launch CNN affiliate in Albania
BURLINGTON, Mass. -- 

Gener 2, one of the largest construction and civil engineering companies in Albania, has selected a broad set of Avid solutions to launch its first TV channel, A2 TV, in partnership with CNN. The channel will be an exclusive CNN affiliate headquartered from a major production hub in Tirana.

A2 TV’s 24-hour news service will cover Albania and reach millions more outside the country. The new channel needed a reliable end-to-end solution to support around-the-clock news coverage and provide journalists and users with the most advanced broadcast news workflow. Powered by MediaCentral®, the Avid workflow will bring state-of-the-art news production to A2 TV, which is expected to begin broadcasting later this year. The solution was installed by broadcast technology specialist and Avid partner, Teratek.

“Given CNN’s international standards and reputation, and Gener 2’s position in the Albanian market, it’s extremely important that A2 TV features the very best technology,” said Andri Kasneci, CEO of A2. “With our new channel, we are looking to set new milestones in the Albanian media, and Avid’s solutions are essential to achieving this.”  

A broad range of Avid news solutions is outfitting the new facility. MediaCentral | Newsroom Management will serve as the dynamic nerve center of A2 TV’s advanced story creation, management, and distribution, and MediaCentral | Production Management will accelerate the entire production workflow, empowering collaboration to get projects done faster. The integration of Avid NEXIS® shared storage is critical to meet the demands of 24/7 rolling news with true storage virtualization, scalability and power. With Avid Media Composer®, A2 editors will have the industry-choice video editing software to elevate their storytelling.

A2’s full suite of Maestro graphics solutions will give 2D and 3D graphics capabilities and includes Maestro™ | News universal controller for video and graphics, Maestro | TX for channel branding graphics and playout, and Maestro | PowerWall for innovative display control from a touchscreen interface. AirSpeed® will be seamlessly coupled with A2 TV’s Maestro solutions for versatile media ingest and playout.

“This is an exciting opportunity to help design a system from the ground up and see some of Avid’s newest innovations at work,” said Tom Cordiner, SVP, global sales at Avid. “We’re confident that A2 will realize its ambitions and we’re eager to see the results.”

  • Thursday, Jun. 14, 2018
Real-time gear rental bidding platform ShareGrid PRO debuts
Via ShareGrid PRO production managers can shop for the best deal on gear from trusted rental houses.
LOS ANGELES -- 

ShareGrid, a company that three years ago made its name in the film gear business with its indie style peer-to-peer rental service, is shaking things up again with a radical new approach to sourcing gear. They are calling it ShareGrid PRO and this time it’s aimed at serving large commercial and studio productions.

“This is very different kind of gear rental experience,” said ShareGrid’s CEO Marius Ciocirlan. “This new tool is designed specifically for the gear needs of large productions.”

The magic of ShareGrid PRO comes from the company joining forces with over twenty rental houses who will give quotes in a real-time bidding platform to supply all the gear for a company’s upcoming production.

“PRO is a producer’s dream tool” said Brett Blake, a Los Angeles based freelance producer. “It removes so many steps in the process of getting rental quotes and shopping around to work with new rental houses. I loved using it.”

Producers save time and money
ShareGrid PRO is a new patent-pending, centralized bidding and booking system. Production managers can submit their gear requests in under two minutes at www.sharegrid.com/pro. Each request is automatically turned into a project dashboard to view the returning bids, message rental agents, make changes, share with their team, and instantly book the gear. No more email threads.

Once a bid is selected, the client can checkout with their insurance and credit card or purchase-order already on file. Productions then communicate directly with the rental house by phone, sms, email or through the web to arrange pickup and prep. No additional payment authorization forms, contracts, or separate communications are needed. No need to manage multiple accounts since ShareGrid serves as the agent for all the rental houses.

An unrivaled value proposition
Production companies benefit from ShareGrid PRO because they get the combination of one-stop digital convenience, choice, and the reliable service of a brick-and-mortar rental house. ShareGrid PRO does not require any fees, contracts, or disclosure of the project and company details. Production companies only pay the price of the bid they select.

“ShareGrid PRO ensures productions are getting the best deal,” said Ciocirlan.

Through ShareGrid PRO, a rental house’s service, price, available gear, location, and reputation are compared and evaluated so production managers can easily choose the best deal for their projects. Once they find what they like, they can book it with a click. 

“ShareGrid PRO was born out of necessity,” said Ciocirlan. “This is what producers have consistently asked us for. Many industries are changing rapidly with new tools and services, it’s important for all of us who supply film gear to change too.”

Rental houses get new business
Once seen as unlikely allies, ShareGrid and rental houses have more recently found a symbiotic relationship. “The past year has brought ShareGrid and rental houses together because we need each other,” says James Keblas, ShareGrid’s Director of Business Development. “ShareGrid knows how to build the best digital marketplace, while rental houses know how to provide the best gear service. This partnership was inevitable.” 

“ShareGrid has done a great job evolving their platform to benefit professional rental houses, specifically in the growing marketplace” said Suren Seron, owner of Stray Angel Films, an integrated rental house in West LA. “They have added badges, filters, fraud detection and other services that give us much more visibility to the community. PRO is the culmination of years of marketplace experience and was the logical outcome for a true online rental platform and professional rental house partnership. We view it as a promising and very valuable sales tool for growing rental houses like ours.  This brings in more business and gives us a competitive advantage through increased visibility to key decision makers at established production companies, MCNs, studios, and major content platforms.”

Brent Barbano, Los Angeles based cinematographer and ShareGrid Co-Founder described ShareGrid PRO as, “giving rental houses the ability to focus on service. Great service is the differentiator in this business. Most of the gear is the same, what rental houses provide that is special is service; being there when equipment goes down, taking proper care of their gear, and being the best at their craft.” Brent jokingly added, “We are forming the Justice League of gear rentals.”

  • Tuesday, Jun. 12, 2018
Morgan Beall named Ncam's VP of North America 
Morgan Beall
LONDON -- 

Ncam Technologies, a developer of real-time augmented reality technology for the entertainment industries, has appointed Morgan Beall to the role of VP of North America sales. With the expected growth in Ncam’s core markets of broadcast graphics, film and TV VFX, sports, and enterprise AR, Beall will play a key part in developing Ncam’s presence in North America and Canada, as the company prepares to open a dedicated sales and support office in Los Angeles.

Beall joins Ncam from RED Digital Cinema where she spent six years in increasingly senior sales roles, most recently as business development manager.

Ncam CEO Nic Hatch said of Beall, “Her extensive knowledge of the media technology industry together with her proven sales acumen will help us to expand Ncam’s reach in the region and deliver a more localized sales and support experience for our valued North American and Canadian customers and partners.”

Beall said, “We have only scratched the surface of augmented reality and its possibilities, and I’m excited to have the opportunity to bring Ncam’s advanced technology to a wider audience.”

  • Monday, Jun. 11, 2018
ARRI Makes ARRIRAW Available for AMIRA
ARRI AMIRA
MUNICH, Germany -- 

ARRI is enabling owners and operators of AMIRA cameras to record in ARRIRAW. The change will involve the installation of the new Software Update Package SUP 5.3, and the purchase of a license. It will give cinematographers the option to record ARRIRAW 2.8K up to 48fps, which increases the versatility of their AMIRA even further, and gives them more options to offer clients.  

“It’s a response to an increasing demand,” said Markus Duerr, the ARRI AMIRA product manager. “With the growing popularity of ARRIRAW, more and more AMIRA users have been asking us to make it available to them.” 

ARRIRAW data produced from an ARRI AMIRA can be considered a digital version of a camera negative. It is the only format that retains the camera’s natural color response and great exposure latitude as uncompressed and unencrypted sensor data. The originally recorded raw data remains pristine, providing flexibility in postproduction and raw data archiving. 

The ARRI AMIRA is a versatile camera system that combines exceptional image quality and affordable CFast 2.0 workflows with an ergonomic design optimized for single-operator use and extended shoulder-mounted operation. Ready to pick up and shoot straight out of the camera bag, AMIRA is tough enough to take anywhere and features in-camera grading with preloaded 3D LUTs, as well as 200 fps slow motion. It is suitable for a great variety of production types, from reportage and corporate films, to TV drama and low-budget movies.

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