Last October, RED Digital Cinema astounded the professional production community once again by bringing out a new camera: the EPIC-M Monochrome. In an era of high-frame-rate 3D, 4K/8K and expanding color gamuts, it’s a glorious black-and-white throwback to an era when images favored greyscale over chrominance and dazzling contrast over spectrum saturation.
Let’s take a brief trip back to high school science class and revisit the electromagnetic spectrum. Sound waves, radio waves and gamma waves represent specific frequencies in the electromagnetic spectrum, the range of all frequencies of electromagnetic radiation. The spectrum includes wavelengths from 1 angstrom (one ten-billionth of a meter, or one-tenth of a nanometer) all the way up to AM radio at 100 meters in length and beyond.
As you know, I love to see how the role of video is expanding and evolving in our everyday lives. This could mean video as art—like the works from Greg Barth, Diana Thater and the creative minds at KLIP Collective —or it could mean video as science, like the videos being produced on the International Space Station (see dv.com/space for some of my favorites).
Spanish photographer Enrique Pacheco captures the beauty of Morocco in this stunning short film which combines timelapse and slow-motion sequences.
He writes on his Vimeo page, "Morocco is a country that awakens in the photographer a desire for adventure. From the green mountains of the northern Rif to the arid and warm desert of Erg Chebbi, Morocco offers endless opportunities to get those fantastic images that we have always dreamed of. This trip to Morocco was certainly one of the most rewarding and enriching I have done so far, both for traveling alone and for the magnificent results that I have achieved."
Pacheco used a Sony A99 and Sony FS700 to capture his images. Watch below.
A&E's new series Bates Motel is designed as a contemporary re-imagining of the early life of Norman Bates, the knife-wielding villain of Alfred Hitchock's 1960 classic, Psycho. In the series we meet a teenage Norman (Freddie Highmore) and his young mother, Norma Louise Bates (Vera Farmiga) and explore the bizarre, insular world they share at the old motel.
Sony Creative Software is the home for an innovative set of audio and video editing and mixing tools originally developed by Sonic Foundry. These include Vegas Pro (video editing), ACID (music creation) and Sound Forge (audio editing), which have traditionally been tightly integrated with the Windows operating system. On the other side of the fence, Mac OS has enjoyed a wide range of creative tools, especially with regard to audio production and post. Until recently BIAS Peak had been the go-to two-track audio editor and mastering tool for Mac-based audio engineers, but the company has apparently withdrawn from the market, leaving an opening for some new blood to step in.
With fierce competition among news teams, the first crew to get the story on the air wins the prize. JVC’s recently introduced GY-HM650U allows field shooters to capture high-definition footage and wirelessly send the video files to an FTP site anywhere in the world—saving expensive satellite transmission costs and enabling the crew to move on to the next location.
Boris Continuum Complete 8 from Boris FX has finally made it to Apple Final Cut Pro X and Motion 5. Customers purchasing BCC 8 will receive installers for both new and old versions of Final Cut and Motion. FCP X users will install the new 64-bit version designed for the updated FxPlug architecture—bringing to FCP X one of the most comprehensive plug-in sets available.
LOOK Effects produced the visual effects for Summit Entertainment’s Warm Bodies, which opened in theaters on Feb. 1. Based on the book of the same name written by Isaac Marion, the film was directed and scripted by Jonathan Levine and stars Nicolas Hoult and Teresa Palmer. This zombie movie slash romantic comedy blends elements of horror, teen angst, humor and the power of love thanks to visual effects crafted by the team at LOOK Effects.
The Jennings have disagreements like so many other couples. Where should we live? Do we really understand each other? How should we raise the kids? But unlike most, they also have a Soviet double agent tied up in the trunk of the family Oldsmobile. This odd situation exemplifies the tone of FX’s new series, The Americans. Set in the early 1980s as Cold War tension mounts and the threat of nuclear conflict hangs over the world, KGB sleeper agents pose as ordinary Americans while secretly performing spy missions for Mother Russia. Philip and Elizabeth Jennings (Matthew Rhys, Keri Russell) are the two such agents at the heart of the series that plays off the combustibility of relationships, whether between a husband and wife or military superpowers.
In 1957, a group of eight young scientists started their own transistor company, Fairchild Semiconductor. The company’s radical innovations helped make the United States a leader in space exploration at a time when competition with the Soviets was all-consuming. Co-founder Robert Noyce ran the new company and co-invented the integrated circuit, which would become an essential component of modern electronics. Told through the story of Noyce, who went on to found Intel, Silicon Valley premiered on PBS’ American Experience on Feb. 19. The film was directed and edited by Randall MacLowry of Film Posse.
Billed as a web series about dressing like a grownup, Put This On is the brainchild of series creators Jesse Thorn (@JesseThorn) and Adam Lisagor (@lonelysandwich). The show offers sartorial wisdom and guidance on men’s classic style with gentle wit, genuine knowledge and passion.
Yamaha’s 125th anniversary dealer concert, featuring a performance from Elton John backed by a full orchestra, was streamed using NewTek’s TriCaster live production solution to viewers throughout the world.
Chris Richardson and Marc Pierce have grown Warm Springs Productions into a major provider of reality TV programming, including the popular Mountain Men for the History Channel and the Travel Channel’s Making Monsters. The company, which they opened in Missoula, Montana, in 2008, has developed a niche portraying adventurous outdoorsmen and their journeys sometimes way off the grid. For the partners and the crewmembers who regularly staff their shows, this isn’t merely their work, it’s a way of life.
Known for his role as Ruxin in the FX comedy series The League, along with stand-up specials and roles on Community, Childrens Hospital, Parks and Recreation and Portlandia, Nick Kroll returned to Comedy Central in January as the creator/writer/star of the newly minted Kroll Show.
House of Cards is Netflix’s bold, $100 million foray into episodic television production. Executives at the streaming video service saw a perfect opportunity to break into original programming, in part because executive producer David Fincher’s movies do well on Netflix, as do political thrillers in general. Netflix is breaking more new ground by releasing the entire 13-episode first season at once, an acknowledgment that viewing habits have changed.
When a television show runs for more than 37 years, it must be doing something right. Such is the case with NBC’s Saturday Night Live. And when the same director of photography remains involved in the show for more than a decade, he must be just as successful.
Barely five years ago the Panasonic VariCam was the principal acquisition device on wildlife television series, including the BBC blockbusters Planet Earth and Blue Planet, but today you would be hard-pressed to find any major wildlife TV series relying on 720p/60 VariCams, despite their superb colorimetry and “film look.”
Back Focus Foul Up
I recently offered a free back focus chart to anyone who wanted one. Unfortunately my e-mail account decided not to cooperate and many of your requests did not reach me. If you want a chart, please send (or re-send) an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org and I will get one to you as soon possible.
During a recent outdoor live shoot, the talent needed to see a monitor. Despite the built-in hood, however, the sun was washing out the picture. Our solution was to grab a nearby 20 gallon plastic trash can, lean it on an equipment case so the top pointed at the talent, and put the monitor in the bottom. Our makeshift hood provided more than enough shade that the screen was clearly visible.