Director Philip Kaufman has a talent for telling a good story against the backdrop of history. The Right Stuff (covering the United States’ race to space in the 1950s and ’60s) and The Unbearable Lightness of Being (the 1968 Soviet invasion of Prague) made their marks, and the latest, Hemingway & Gellhorn, continues the trend.
“When I had my first talks with NBC, it was clear that they wanted this to sound like a heroic, World War II score,” recalls composer John Keltonic, referring to his most recent project, Their Finest Hour, an hour-long documentary hosted by Tom Brokaw that aired in primetime on the last Saturday of the London Olympics. “No synths, no screaming guitars. Just that rich, historic feel that we’ve come to associate with that time.”
July 2012, Laguna Beach, Calif. I’m locked away in a motel room trying to write a feature film screenplay. Fortunately it’s cold and wet outside—summer in Southern California isn’t what it’s cracked up to be. I have a book with me, How to Write A Movie in 21 Days by Viki King.
I’ve written before about the importance of having a professional calibrated monitor on set to maintain image integrity, and I can’t stress this enough. Without a professional-grade monitor that you can precisely calibrate, the image you’re looking at while shooting is at best a guess at what the image might look like.
The holidays are coming around again, which is a great time to pick up seasonal goodies that can be squirreled away for future video projects. Costumes, makeup and special effects such as spider web material and glow-in-the-dark paint are all available in stores this month. For extra savings, buy them during the after-Halloween sales.
JVC’s GY-HMQ10 4K compact handheld camera, equipped with a GoPano Plus lens attachment, shot the 360-degree interactive video for “She’s So Mean,” the new single from Matchbox Twenty’s album North. The video places the viewer in the center of a large room while the four members of the band perform around them on all sides.
Animation studio LAIKA, headquartered near Portland, Ore., streamlined the photography and workflow of its latest stop-motion 3D feature film, ParaNorman, using 60 Canon EOS 5D Mark II cameras and other advanced digital technologies.
Today’s cloud networking and storage environments are a little like the Wild West. Innovators and entrepreneurs alike are aligning definition to technology, applying marketing for new perspectives and finding applications that can serve the masses, all the while attempting to understand what the cloud offers as a value proposition.
In the early 1990s I worked on databases using a DEC VAX mini-computer. I used a Macintosh SE with a terminal emulation program, and data resided on a whirring box in a mysterious, heavily-cooled room down the hall. I anticipate that in the future I’ll be able to sit in my darkened suite and edit footage that resides in a very large room of quiet machines somewhere else on the planet. I’ll be able to render and deliver that footage remotely as well.
Many cinematographers have opined that Nikon brought out the video-enabled D800 in response to the popularity of video capabilities in the Canon EOS 5D Mark II. Or maybe the D800 was inspired by the fact that the D7000, Nikon’s first HDSLR capable of 1080/24p video, wasn’t received as warmly as Nikon would have liked. (Of course, the initial lack of D7000 supplies caused in part by the October 2010 flooding of some Nikon plants in Thailand didn’t help its introduction.)
Working in video production, there are a lot of processes: You’re recording, ingesting, rendering, encoding, transcoding, uploading. You’re evaluating capabilities, compatibilities and configurations. That’s what it is to be a video professional.
In 2011, Michel Gondry turned heads by accepting a directing assignment that is unique among the films on his resume, which includes Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Be Kind Rewind, Human Nature and many visually groundbreaking music videos. The Green Hornet was a would-be Hollywood blockbuster that brought a comic book property to the big screen while folding in the comedic talents of Seth Rogan in the title role. The budget was reportedly $120,000,000.
Set in a post-apocalyptic future without electricity or any of the technology we rely on today, NBC’s Revolution tells the story of a young woman, Charlie (newcomer Tracy Spiridakos), who must face warlords and unpredictable militias as she attempts to discover the role her family played in the disaster that set civilization back centuries. The new series from creator/executive producer Eric Kripke, with executive producer J.J.
Julia Pott is a British animation director now living in Brooklyn. “Belly” is the animated short she created for her thesis at the Royal College of Art in London in 2011 that tells the tale of a rescue mission filtered through childhood memories and surreal representations of very real feelings.
What was the inspiration for “Belly”?
London, April 1982. I’m CEO of Molinare. After months of planning, we launch Britain’s first satellite TV service, Satellite Television plc. A year later, 80 percent is sold to Rupert Murdoch for $1. Today, my fledgling is called BSkyB and has a market value of $18 billion.
How I missed out on both the $1 and the subsequent 18 big ones is another story—this story is about how, 30 years later, I cut the cable and ditched the dish.
Our Home Theater
You already know about plenty of my ongoing, relentless obsessions—Ingmar Bergman, Douglas Sirk, R.W. Fassbinder, Louis C.K., Lina Wertmuller, Lena Dunham, images taken from the International Space Station by astronaut Don Petit—and that most magnificent of them all, time-lapse videos.
I love action cameras. In fact, I have four GoPros: three original HD HEROs and one HD HERO2. I have taken them through water, used them suction-cupped to my car, and paired them in GoPro’s stereoscopic enclosure mounted on a K-Tek Norbert. I am not a particularly athletic individual, so my GoPro reel doesn’t include skateboarding, skydiving, bungee jumping or surfing footage, but those little GoPros still have allowed me to do things I couldn’t imagine doing with my stable of cameras, which range from DSLRs to a Sony PMW-F3.
Red Giant Software launched the preset-based “looks” market when it released the browser version of Magic Bullet Looks in the fall of 2007. Visual effects director and software designer Stu Maschwitz overhauled the original product to create a self-contained color correction and “looks creation” interface, where tools were grouped according to how they fit into the flow from in front of the camera to post. Magic Bullet Looks ships with tools and a number of presets, which can quickly be previewed on an image.
The direction of Apple’s product development efforts and the current status of the Final Cut Pro ecosystem has professional editors a bit rattled. One by-product of this uncertainty is concern over whether it is wise to master final files in one of the ProRes codecs. This concern opens the door to other codec options, like Sony XDCAM or Avid DNxHD. One powerful solution is Panasonic’s AVC-Intra codec, a 10-bit, 4:2:2, I-frame compression scheme based on the H.264/AVC family.