Director Tom Hooper came up with an audacious idea for the film version of the smash hit musical Les Misérables. “In my first meeting with Tom, he said, ‘I don’t think we can make this movie unless we record the actors singing live,’” recounts production sound mixer Simon Hayes. “He made it very clear that he wanted the movie sung completely through from start to finish because he felt it would be very difficult for the audience to connect with mimed performances for two and a half hours.
Quentin Tarantino’s relentlessly brutal and frequently hilarious slave rescue and revenge saga, Django Unchained, definitely has a soundtrack unlike any other film. Yes, the fact that it’s Tarantino explains a lot, but more important is that the film has roots in a very stylized genre—the Italian spaghetti Westerns of the ’60s and ’70s, with their broad characters, at times cartoonish dubbed sound, overblown musical interludes and copious blood. Leave it to Tarantino to turn all those elements up to 11 and have the kitsch supported by a brilliant, Oscar-winning screenplay.
In Hollywood “dutching” has nothing to do with wooden shoes or paying your own bill; instead, it refers to tilting the camera sideways. Most tripods will let you tilt up and down but not from side to side. If your tripod features ball leveling, it is not too hard to dutch the camera for a specific shot. If you do not have that feature, try mounting the camera sideways and tilting the head up or down.
A Quiet Spot
You want to record a voiceover audio track or interview in the field but there is just too much noise to get a clean recording. Try putting the talent in a parked car and rolling up the windows. If you want just a little ambience, open the window slightly, or make a separate recording of the outside ambience and combine the audio sequences in post.
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.