Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Toolbox

  • Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018
Blackmagic Audio Monitor 12G unveiled
Blackmagic Audio Monitor 12G
FREMONT, Calif. -- 

Blackmagic Design has introduced Blackmagic Audio Monitor 12G, a new, upgraded model of its extremely popular rack mount audio monitoring solution. The new Blackmagic Audio Monitor 12G features 12G-SDI video input, HDMI output, analog and AES/EBU inputs, a powerful class D amplifier, dual subwoofers, extended range speakers, an LCD and precision meters that can display VU, PPM and Loudness ballistic scales.

Blackmagic Audio Monitor 12G will be demonstrated on the Blackmagic Design InterBEE 2018 booth at #8216.

The Blackmagic Audio Monitor 12G features the latest advanced 12G-SDI technology, along with professional balanced analog XLR and AES/EBU audio inputs, as well as consumer level HiFi audio inputs. That means customers can use it with virtually all analog and digital equipment. The multi rate 12G-SDI connection automatically switches speed based on the input signal, making it compatible with all SD, HD Ultra HD and DCI 4K equipment and formats up to 2160p60. Customers also get a 12G-SDI loop through for sending the original signal back out to other equipment, and an HDMI output for monitoring the signal on a big screen television.

Designed to fit in a single standard rack unit, the Blackmagic Audio Monitor 12G is incredibly small yet features a surprisingly loud, crystal clear sound. The powerful new class D amplifier, combined with a dual subwoofer design and new extra wide range speakers, delivers a wide and smooth frequency response curve with crisp highs and powerful deep bass. It’s powerful and loud enough to hear in noisy environments such as broadcast equipment rooms, in the field in a fly away kit, or on the road in an outside broadcast truck.

The elegant front panel is designed from a solid block of machined aluminum and features a volume knob, control buttons, a standard headphone connection, precision meters and an integrated LCD screen. The audio meters feature 27 individual multi colored RGB LED segments per channel so the meter scale is infinitely customizable, making it easy to monitor a wide dynamic range. Meters can be customized to display VU, PPM and Loudness ballistic scales with a choice of EBU or BBC meters. Plus, they’re brightly lit, clear and easy to read, making them perfect for viewing in both bright or dark environments.

“The exciting thing about Blackmagic Audio Monitor 12G is its incredible sound quality and the fact that it can be used anywhere, and works with virtually any signal,” said Grant Petty, CEO, Blackmagic Design. “It’s completely flexible and is perfect for monitoring broadcast feeds and transmissions in control rooms, monitoring audio in tight broadcast trucks, or even when working in a post production suite!”

Blackmagic Audio Monitor 12G will be available in November for $1,195 from Blackmagic Design resellers worldwide.

  • Monday, Nov. 12, 2018
Sigel shoots portion of "Bohemian Rhapsody" with vintage Cooke Speed Panchros
This image released by Twentieth Century Fox shows Rami Malek, left, and Gwilym Lee in a scene from “Bohemian Rhapsody.” (Alex Bailey/courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox)
LEICESTER, UK -- 

Newton Thomas “Tom” Sigel, ASC chose a full range of original Cooke Speed Panchros, with a slightly new housing and updated mechanics from ARRI Rental UK, to shoot the early years documented in the 20th Century Fox/Regency production of Bohemian Rhapsody.

Sigel needed to capture the idealistic energy of Freddie Mercury and his future bandmates when he first came to London in 1970. To accomplish this, he made use of a full vintage set of Cooke Speed Panchros, with a very light net at the back of the lens and a special LUT for the Alexa SXT that was specifically designed for the period. This set-up was used for the entire first act of the film, with Sigel relying mostly on the 40mm lens, with the 25, 32 and 50 as secondary lenses.

“It is very golden and romantic, but also a little raw — hand-held and grainy,” explained Sigel. “I had used the Cooke Speed Panchros in the past--when they weren’t so vintage!--and was always fond of the look. We did tests with a number of lenses and camera systems to find the right recipe for the film. While we looked at a few other lenses, we just kept coming back to the Speed Panchros. Combined with the Alexa SXT, the custom LUT and light netting, it spoke to me for the look of the period. I wanted something to reflect the early days of the 70s...a romantic/nostalgic kind of look.”

But Sigel would need to transition from those early days to a more modern look. To accomplish this transition, the film makes use of Queen’s fourth appearance on the BBC’s popular TV program Top of the Pops in November 1974.

“Their appearance on Top of the Pops was a good way to make the transition,” said Sigel. “I used an ARRI ALEXA 65 mixed with Sony Betacam [introduced in 1982] to shoot the ‘Killer Queen’ set and while there weren’t a lot of cameras around, finding tape to record on was even more difficult. But this combination made the transition to Queen’s rise to fame less abrupt.”

One of the more memorable moments of shooting Bohemian Rhapsody for Sigel was the shooting of “I Want To Break Free” using 16 and 35mm film. “That video was shot on an Arriflex 35 BL--the exact same camera that photographed Freddie’s very last video, just before he passed away.”

While many cinematographers can still find the vintage Cooke Speed Panchros lenses available for rent, complete with updated housings and mechanics, some prefer a more modern version of the same lens--the Cooke Panchro/i Classic. This lens range comes with a hardened PL mount and Cooke’s /i Technology for frame-by-frame digital information capture, while remaining true to the original look of the Speed Panchros produced from the 1920s through the 1960s. These T2.2 to T3.2 prime lenses are available in 18, 21, 25, 27, 32, 40, 50, 65 MACRO, 75, 100, 135 and 152mm focal lengths.

“I have a long history with Cooke,” said Sigel. “Back in the 1980s, I went to the factory in Leicester and picked out a 9-50 zoom lens for my documentary camera. Whether vintage or new, the quality of Cooke lenses is a constant.”

  • Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018
Filmlight to showcase Baselight v5 at Inter BEE, Tokyo
A view of the Merge option in Filmlight's Baselight v5
LONDON -- 

FilmLight will demonstrate its creative and technical commitment to Japanese television broadcasting and postproduction with its own booth at Inter BEE 2018 (Makuhari Messe, Tokyo, November 14-16, #3311). This marks both the five-year anniversary of the FilmLight office in Tokyo, and provides the opportunity to showcase the latest version of FilmLight’s color grading and management platform, Baselight v5, for the Japanese market.

“Movies and premium television are hugely important in Japan, and it is vital that users of our cutting edge creative tools are well supported,” said Koichi Matsui, head of FilmLight KK, the company's Japanese branch. “Having a sales and support team in the heart of the Japanese industry is proving to be a great success among our valued customers, and I am very excited to further the direct relationship with our clients at Inter BEE this year.”

The latest release, Baselight v5, offers new features that help to streamline the most complex and time-consuming workflows both within the color grading suite and in collaboration with editing, VFX and 360˚ VR. The same software toolkit has been implemented across the product range, from Prelight for on-set visualization, the Daylight dailies system and the expanding Baselight Editions range for editing and VFX, as well as the high-powered Baselight grading stations. 

New features include intelligent branching, which means that different operators can now work on the same scene simultaneously with ease, either to perform specific tasks or to create multiple deliverables.

With HDR a hot topic, new Baselight functionality is also aimed at developing looks within the extended range and color gamut, which can then be faithfully retained across the multitude of delivery formats expected today. Boost Range, for example, is an automated tool to boost the dynamic range of an image from SDR to HDR using complex spatial processing to achieve a natural look, while Texture Highlight uses frequency analysis to avoid blocky highlights. 

Toei Digital Lab in Tokyo recently purchased an additional Baselight TWO system targeted at TV productions such as those for Netflix, NHK and other 4K/UHD programs. 

“Baselight v5 puts every creative nuance at the colorist’s fingertips for grading and VFX,” said Soichi Satake, sr. colorist at Toei Digital Lab. “With the new Base Grade, for instance, we can precisely reproduce the image that was achieved by adjusting camera exposure on set. The control of burnished highlights has become easier too, especially for deep shadows.” 

“FilmLight’s 24/365 support is a tremendous help for us, especially the remote diagnostic ability,” he added. “Our workflow in Japan sometime differs from those in other countries but the FilmLight team understands our needs and improves the features to meet what we require. FilmLight aggressively works through all new request features, so that I find Baselight evolves rapidly to match the path of our constant evolving needs.”

Baselight v5 will be demonstrated on the Baselight TWO system and within Baselight Editions on booth 3311 in hall 3 at Inter BEE 2018.

  • Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2018
ESTA elects board members
NEW YORK -- 

The Entertainment Services and Technology Association (ESTA) has elected four board members: Steve Surratt of Texas Scenic Company who will become treasurer; Steve Roudebush of BMI Supply who returns as dealer & distributor director; Steve Terry of ETC who will assume the position of manufacturer director; and Mike Garl of Mike Garl Consulting who will serve a second term as professional services director. 

All start a three-year term on January 1, 2019.

ESTA is a non-profit trade association based in North America with members around the world. ESTA’s members are responsible for creating some of the most important programs in our industry including the Technical Standards Program, Entertainment Technician Certification Program and Rental Guard. Membership in ESTA supports: increasing safety through the development of standards and certifications; educating members and providing business resources to increase profitability; representing the interests of the industry to government, regulatory bodies, and related industries; and raising the bar for ethical and professional behavior.

  • Monday, Nov. 5, 2018
Sigma ships 3 new lenses
Sigma's 56mm F1.4 DC DN Contemporary lens
RONKONKOMA, NY -- 

Sigma Corporation of America, a still photo and cinema lens, camera, flash and accessory manufacturer, has revaled pricing and availability of two brand new lenses announced at Photokina--Sigma 56mm F1.4 DC DN Contemporary ($479 USD) and Sigma 40mm F1.4 DG HSM Art ($1399 USD). In addition, Sigma is now shipping the Sony E-mount version of its “Bokeh Master”– Sigma 105 F1.4 DG HSM Art ($1599 USD).

The brand new Sigma 56mm F1.4 DC DN Contemporary lens completes the Sigma large-aperture series of portable wide-angle, standard and telephoto prime lenses in Micro Four Thirds and Sony E mounts, including Sigma 16mm F1.4 DC DN Contemporary and 30mm F1.4 DC DN Contemporary. Featuring compact design, light weight and outstanding image quality offered in Sigma’s Contemporary line, this latest lens stuns with a beautiful bokeh effect and the amount of brightness expected from F1.4 lenses even in the mid-telephoto range for cropped sensor cameras. In addition, this lens is characterized by smooth and quiet autofocus ideal for video shooting. Compatible with the Sony E mount Fast Hybrid AF, it also achieves precise AF tracking. By using the face recognition or eye AF functions of the camera, focus will continuously be on the face or the eye even if the subject moves during the shoot.

The brand new 40mm F1.4 DG HSM Art is Sigma’s first lens developed originally to live up to the sought-after angle of view and performance standard for a benchmark cine lens. This lens effectively arranges three FLD (“F” Low Dispersion) glass elements and three SLD (Special Low Dispersion) glass elements to correct axial chromatic aberration and magnification chromatic aberration. Designed for exceptional sharpness at maximum aperture, this lens excels at available light photography. With less than 1% distortion and near non-existent sagittal coma flare, this lens demonstrates consistent optical results featuring both 8K-compatible resolution and a beautiful bokeh. It is available for Sigma, Nikon, Canon and Sony E mount camera systems.

And the Sigma 105mm F1.4 DG HSM Art is the ninth lens in the Sigma F1.4 line-up designed for full-frame cameras. To combine outstanding wide-aperture, mid-telephoto performance with F1.4 brightness at maximum aperture, this lens incorporates 17 optical elements in 12 groups, including three FLD glass elements, two SLD glass elements and one aspherical lens element. This optical setup minimizes axial chromatic aberration to deliver ultra-high resolution along with ample peripheral light volume, which minimizes vignetting. As a result, the area in focus is extremely sharp, while the out-of-focus area features a beautiful bokeh effect with highly natural colors, making this a desired lens for portrait photography. The optical design also minimizes sagittal coma flare, making it an excellent choice for capturing starry skies.

  • Sunday, Nov. 4, 2018
Verizon CEO to keynote at CES 2019
ARLINGTON, Va. -- 

The Consumer Technology Association (CTA) TM today announced that Verizon CEO Hans Vestberg will deliver a keynote address at the upcoming CES® 2019. CES is the global showcase for 5G driving innovation across industries, from smart cities to self-driving vehicles, digital health and telecom. Vestberg’s address will take place at 4 PM on Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2019 in the Venetian’s Palazzo Ballroom. Owned and produced by CTA, CES 2019 will run Jan. 8-11, 2019 in Las Vegas.

5G networks will be 100 times faster and five times more responsive than today, with an extremely high data rate and low latency - transforming industries and providing endless possibilities for new services and applications. At CES 2019, the world’s most influential tech event, Vestberg will explore the future of connectivity through 5G as it fuels new technologies and services that will blend our physical and digital worlds. Vestberg will take a deep dive into the impact of 5G that will change our world for the better – from building smart cities infrastructure to improving education, aiding first responders and beyond.

“Verizon is paving the way for 5G, which will improve the lives of citizens around the world fundamentally changing how we live, work and play,” said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO, CTA. “Only at CES can you touch, see and feel 5G’s impact across industries and hear from global experts leading the charge to harness the potential of 5G and its impact on future innovation. We welcome Hans Vestberg to the CES keynote stage and look forward to hearing Verizon’s plans for the future that will spur new markets, create new jobs and connect communities around the world.”

Vestberg was named chief executive officer of Verizon Communications, a leading provider of wireless, fiber-optic and global Internet networks and services, in August of 2018. He previously served as Verizon’s chief technology officer and president of Global Networks, with responsibility for further developing the architecture for Verizon’s fiber-centric networks. At Verizon, Vestberg has focused on delivering seamless experiences for customers over network assets. These assets consist of the U.S.’s leading and largest 4G LTE network, the world’s first commercial 5G broadband internet service, and residential fiber networks. As a global internet backbone, Verizon’s undersea cable network carries much of the world’s internet traffic, and fiber assets in 45 of the top 50 markets in the country. Verizon’s latest products and services will be on display at CES 2019 in CES Tech West, located in the Venetian, Toscana #3705.

Vestberg spoke on a 5G Keynote Talk at CES 2018 and has also keynoted while CEO of Ericsson. He joins a dynamic lineup of confirmed CES 2019 keynote speakers, including AMD’s Dr. Lisa Su, IBM’s Ginni Rometty and LG’s Dr. I.P. Park. Additional keynote speakers will be announced in the coming weeks.

CES features 4,500 exhibitors across 2.75 million net square feet of exhibit space. The 2018 event attracted 182,198 attendees, including a record 63,784 international attendees, according to the official show audit. Conducted by Vault Consulting, LLC, the CES audit provides absolute verification of exhibition records, including direct on-site observation, examination of registration systems and testing of attendee records.

CES 2019 will showcase life-changing technology, with leaders in the 5G revolution such as AMD, Ericsson, Intel, Nvidia, Qualcomm, Sprint and T-Mobile showcasing their latest 5G applications. The show also provides access to the very latest transformative tech such as artificial intelligence, augmented and virtual reality, smart home, smart cities, sports, quantum computing and more.

  • Thursday, Nov. 1, 2018
Nepal Television upgrading to HD by January 2019, selects FOR-A resources
FOR-A HVS-2000 3 M/E video switcher
TOKYO -- 

Given a mandate from the country’s Ministry of Information and Communications Technology, Nepal Television, the national broadcaster of Nepal, must fully upgrade to high-definition by January of next year – which also marks the broadcaster’s 34th  anniversary.

By January 31, 2019, Nepal Television will be running three HD studios, replacing all of its current equipment from SD to HD. As of that date, all new equipment must be installed and on-air so that Nepalese viewers can enjoy HDTV broadcasts from the country’s national broadcaster.

The selection was made in October to work with FOR-A’s Southeast Asia office to fulfill the networks’ quick turnaround, future 4K upgrade path, and budgetary requirements. Nepal Television will utilize two FOR-A HVS-2000 2 M/E video switchers for two of  its studios, one HVS-2000 3 M/E video switcher for a biggest production studio, and dual-channel FA-9520 signal processors for frame synchronization, color correction, and up/down/cross/aspect conversion. The Nepal Television has been using HVS-390 video switchers in two studios, including one regional studio in Kohalpur.

Nepal Television will also upgrade the master control room (MCR) and program control room (PCR) for its two national channels (NTV and NTV PLUS) to full HD. Nepal Television will use two FOR-A MFR-3000 routing switchers - one in the Master Control Room and one as a redundant router. In the program control room, FOR-A’s MFR-1616 routing switcher will serve as the upstream router, the HVS-100 as the on-air production switcher, and FA-9520’s for all signal processing.

In a joint statement, Chinta Mani Baral, HOD, engineering, and Hari Prasad Bhandari, chief of studio transmission and maintenance of Nepal Television, said, “FOR-A is known for the ruggedness and reliability of its product range and its modern design. From video switchers, to routing switchers to signal processing, we were able to deal with one premier manufacturer in Japan, which was a big benefit to us. They’re able to meet our pricing and tight turnaround time and make sure we’re fully HD by January 31, 2019.”

  • Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2018
Marquis Broadcast appoints Paul Glasgow as managing director 
Paul Glasgow
PANGBOURNE, BERKSHIRE, UK -- 

Marquis Broadcast--which develops specialist software to perform tricky integrations, including apps for postproduction, disaster recovery, analytics, cloud workflows and large complex enterprise middleware integrations--has promoted Paul Glasgow to managing director following the retirement of Chris Steele. Glasgow joined Marquis in 2016 with nearly three decades of management experience including senior roles at Sony, EMC Media Solutions, Avid Technology and ChyronHego. 

“I would like to thank Chris for his outstanding contribution to the growth and development of Marquis Broadcast throughout his six years as managing director,” said Christoffer Kay, chairman of the board. “He was also instrumental in the early decision to include cloud workflow into our product line which enables us to support an exceptionally high number of cloud platforms. Chris will continue to be active with Marquis Broadcast in a consulting capacity.”

  • Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2018
iPads, Macs get new screens as Apple pushes creativity
Apple CEO Tim Cook speaks during an event to announce new products Tuesday Oct. 30, 2018, in the Brooklyn borough of New York. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)
NEW YORK (AP) -- 

Apple's new iPads will more closely resemble its latest iPhones as they ditch a home button and fingerprint sensor to make more room for the screen.

As with the latest iPhone models — the XR and XS —the new iPad Pro will use facial-recognition technology to unlock the device and to authorize app and Apple Pay purchases.

Apple also unveiled new Mac computers, including a MacBook Air laptop with a high-resolution screen.

Tuesday's announcements took place at an opera house in New York, where the company was emphasizing its products' ability to create music, video and sketches. Neither the Mac nor the iPad generates as much revenue for Apple as iPhones.

Tablet sales have been declining overall, though Apple saw a 3 percent increase in iPad sales last year to nearly 44 million, commanding a 27 percent market share, according to research firm IDC. Apple has been promoting its high-end iPad Pro as ideal for artists, photographers and other creators.

The smaller of the two new Pros will have a larger display, with an 11-inch screen rather than 10.5 inches, as measured diagonally. For the larger, 12.9-inch model, Apple is fitting the same-size display into a smaller device — about the size of a standard sheet of paper.

The new iPads will have an LCD screen similar to the iPhone XR rather than the more vibrant one found in the top-of-the-line iPhone XS models. The displays on the new iPads don't run to the edges as much as they do on the iPhones.

The new iPads start at about $800.

An optional companion pencil will now be able to attach magnetically to the iPad for storage and charging.

Apple is bringing a high-resolution display to its low-end MacBook Air, something until now limited to pricier models such as the MacBook Pro products. But the starting price is now about $1,200, $200 more than before.

The Air also joins higher-end Pros in sporting a fingerprint sensor, something the iPad just lost.

Apple also announced an updated desktop computer, the Mac Mini, starting at about $800.

The company says both Macs will use aluminum left over from producing iPads and other products.

The new MacBook Air and iPad Pros will now use a standard, oval-shaped connector called USB-C. That means accessories using the iPad's old Lightning port will need adapters. But the change will allow people to charge their iPhones through the iPad.

All the new products come out Nov. 7.

Apple also is releasing a free software update for iPhones and iPads on Wednesday with previously announced features such as group video chats on FaceTime.

  • Monday, Oct. 29, 2018
Google to give away $25 million to fund humane AI projects
This March 19, 2018, file photo shows the Google app on an iPad in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)
SUNNYVALE, Calif. (AP) -- 

Google will give away $25 million to projects that propose ways to use the artificial intelligence of computers to help create a more humane society.

The grant program announced Monday is part of a broader Google initiative called "AI for Social Good" that aims to ease concerns that advances in artificial intelligence will eliminate jobs and perhaps even be autonomously deployed by militaries to kill people.
Other technology companies have taken similar steps to address ethical issues in AI. For instance, Microsoft has committed $115 million to an "AI for Good" initiative that provides grants to organizations harnessing AI for humanitarian, accessibility and environmental projects.

During a presentation in Sunnyvale, California, Google demonstrated how its AI technology is already being used to diagnose diseases, help people with disabilities, predict areas likely to flood and protect endangered species.

Despite commitments like those being made by Google and Microsoft, the specter of AI going horribly awry lingers.

Even as it pledges to do good things with AI, Microsoft is pursuing a massive U.S. military contract that prompted an open letter earlier this month from a purported group of Microsoft employees worried the company might be betraying its own artificial-intelligence principles. Microsoft reaffirmed its resolve to win the military contract in its own blog post last week, promising to address any ethical concerns that may arise if it ends up working on the project.

Google decided not to bid for the same military contract that Microsoft wants after some its own employees protested. The company concluded the contract, potentially worth $10 billion, didn't comply with its AI principles , which preclude the technology from being used to "cause or directly facilitate injury to people."

The company's AI For Social Good program was already in the works before Google employees raised objections about the military contract, said Jeff Dean, a senior fellow overseeing AI.

Google's nonprofit arm will announce the winners of its AI grants next spring at an annual company conference.

MySHOOT Profiles


Director
Laurie Rubin
Director

Visual Effects and Animation

MySHOOT Company Profiles