Another Cool Timelapse…San Francisco

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Very cool video titled “The City” from WTK Photography on Vimeo.

an excerpt from his page…

“This timelapse is about a year in the making. I started sometime in June of 2010 and finished it on August 19, 2011. It wasn’t constant work of course, just working on it every now and then. I’d estimate I have invested anywhere between 250 and 300 hours on it. Most of this was time I spent walking, biking, or riding the bus to locations I was shooting. There are very few locations I used a car to get to. Total frame count is about 28,000 frames and 85 different shots. All the frames weren’t used in the final product as I edited down the clips. You will notice that some of the shots were shaky. San Francisco is a very windy city and even my heavy tripod couldn’t remain still. In hindsight I should have bought a different head. All photos were shot in JPEG and then some light editing in Lightroom. Compiled into .mov clips in Quicktime Pro and then all brought together in Final Cut Pro.”

The City from WTK Photography on Vimeo.

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Carlsberg Beer Gets It

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I love the fact that marketers are getting creative with their inbound marketing campaigns. We will see an explosion of rich media content on the web in the next few years and marketers are only limited by their own imaginations. It appears that the team at Carlsberg put their thinking caps on for this one. Very clever.

At the time of this posting, it has been viewed over six million times on YouTube.

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“Inception” Zero Gravity Scene

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This is Kuh-Ray-Zee. Amazing how much technical wizardry goes into the making of a film with the ambition of Inception. I remember after seeing this last summer with a couple buddies. We went to the neighborhood bar after the showing, had a couple cocktails and discussed the movie. We were all guessing about how they did the hotel hallway fight scene. I assumed they used some sort of rotating set but I honestly thought they used the Vomit Comet to shoot the scenes where they were floating in zero gravity.

This video shows exactly how it was done and it’s quite ingenious. Inspiring what can be accomplished if you have the money to hire the best in the business and let them get busy.

Check it out…

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IRS Targets Documentarians as “Hobbyists”

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This is disturbing news. Apparently, the IRS is going after documentary filmmakers and forcing them to prove that they are making films as a career and not just a hobby. In other words, if a person spends days, weeks, months, years writing grants, doing fundraising campaigns, shooting in all kinds of situations (many of them grueling), editing under tight deadlines and then trying to sell and distribute their product for a profit, that might be deemed a hobby by the government if they fail.

Paul Devlin has the complete story here at filmmakermagazine.com.

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Three Cheers for “Plot Device”

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Seth Worley of Nashville just hit the jackpot. His short film, Plot Device, is getting lots of buzz and The Hollywood Reporter says this in a recent post –

“When it hit the web at the end of June, the video started making the rounds at film studios and agencies, and calls started coming in. Now the 27 year old is planning an August trip to Los Angeles and has lined up meetings with CAA, UTA, WME, some management firms and producers.”

Seth just happens to be really into making TV and movies and a short he created for a contest got noticed by Red Giant. The maker of Magic Bullet and other software apps for visual media asked him to create a promo for Magic Bullet and Plot Device was the result of that. Sounds like he might be someone to keep an eye on.

Check out Plot Device…

By the way…his budget was $10,000.

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Crazy Rube Goldberg Video…WOW!

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I’ve always been fascinated with Rube Goldberg contraptions. I think it’s something about the combination of creativity and engineering skills put to use purely for the enjoyment of the creators and the audience. This is a particularly impressive example. It’s also a great example of inbound marketing for the corporate sponsors. How much did they have to pay to get nearly 100,000 views in the first two days on Youtube? Probably not that much.

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Editing on an iPad

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I do a lot of productions where I travel by plane to shoot for a day or two (or more) and then bring all the footage back for editing. When it makes sense I take my laptop and a drive so I can transfer all my footage to the drive and possibly even lay out a rough cut on the timeline. This works great, but sometimes my laptop is a bit bulky considering all the other gear I bring.

That’s why this video looks promising for the future of very basic editing on an iPad (or any tablet, for that matter). Final Cut, Premiere, Avid, whatever. If I can travel with an iPad and a tiny drive and accomplish the same thing…color me happy.

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FCP X: What Apple Should Have Said

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When Apple gave their sneak peek of FCP X in April, they should have then released some sort of statement to the editing community. The release should have read something like this…

We are excited to be preparing for the release of Final Cut Pro X this coming June. We are extremely proud of the work that our developers have put in to this new application and believe that it will show our loyal customers that Apple is fully dedicated, long-term, to the craft of editing for film, television, video and the web.

With that in mind, we want to stress that this first release in June will be a Beta version of the application. We wanted to get it into our customers’ hands as soon as possible, but there are some things to keep in mind.

First, this is not an update to your existing version of Final Cut Pro. This is a completely new application. Therefore, it will not overwrite your existing application and you can use both your existing software and the new FCP X on the same computer. We feel this allows producers and editors to continue working on any existing or legacy projects for as long as they need to, while gaining confidence and comfort with the new workflow of FCP X.

Second, this Beta release will have some things missing that editors rely on. Rest assured we are working to include these things down the road, whether as a built-in feature or as a third party plug-in from one of our trusted partners. What’s missing from the Beta release? Multi-clip editing, the ability to assign specific tracks for certain elements, management for multi-seat facilities and a few other things that we are committed to incorporating in future releases.

So, you might ask why not just wait until it is complete to release FCP X. Well, we thought the best way to improve this product is to get it into the hands of all the great editors out there actually practicing the craft of editing on a daily basis, and then benefitting from all the excellent feedback that would be generated.

Thanks for reading, and when FCP X is released in June, please let us know what you think. Until then, happy editing!

After releasing this statement they should have continued to hit these talking points to anyone and everyone that would listen.

The reason for doing this is obvious; by giving us a glimpse and then retreating to their bunker in Cupertino, they ceded control of the narrative to the blogosphere…a dangerous proposition indeed. So what did we hear in the hours, days and months after that night in April? From Apple – nothing. From anyone with an opinion and a keyboard – “This is the end of FCP.” “Apple doesn’t care about us.” “It’s just a glorified version of iMovie.” …and on and on and on. Everybody bloviating and making statements of certainty without really knowing much of anything.

Of course, there were people on the other side as well, who applied the rosiest of perspectives upon that Rorschach Test of a presentation. And what ends up happening? Everybody is disappointed.

We’re talking about Public Relations 101. Set expectations. Control the narrative. Flatter your base (AKA kiss ass).

The big question as I see it is why didn’t they do something like this? I can only come up with three possible options.

1) Incompetence
2) Arrogance
3) Incompetence & Arrogance

Either way, somebody should be very worried about their job at Apple.

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Final Cut Pro X: Back Away from the Ledge

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I must admit I am amused by the hyperbolic reaction to Apple’s release last week of Final Cut Pro X. It is apparent that either a large percentage or a very vocal minority had determined before even using the software that Apple had destroyed their popular NLE application. Maybe they did just that. Or maybe this is the first step in revolutionizing the way we all edit. Nobody knows right now.

It is obvious to me that Apple really mishandled the rollout of this new product and misjudged the way the professional editing community would react. I think that Apple has become used to just rolling out new products and having the world genuflect at their altar of genius. Unfortunately for Apple, the editing community is a bit different than the consumers of iPods, iPads and iPhones. Professional editors like to feel special and a bit above the crowd when it comes to technology, and I often notice a bit of annoyance at Apple for being so focused on consumer products while treating their suite of editing products as less important. But it doesn’t take a genius to realize that Apple makes a hell of a lot more money from the consumer market than it does from its various niche products.

But just because Final Cut Pro is not Apple’s flagship product doesn’t mean they don’t care about it. In fact, I think this complete redesign shows their long-term commitment to the professional editing market. The question is not if FCP X is ready for prime time now, but if it is the dominant NLE in a few years.

There are plenty of blog posts out there about how Apple screwed up, with lists of “what’s missing” from the software. I think most of these writers are making uninformed assertions. While I agree that there are some troubling signs from this latest release, it seems that almost all (but not all) of the criticisms have been answered by the FCP development team.

As for myself, I am going to hold off on judging FCP X as a success or a failure until I have an opportunity to download and learn it…and that probably won’t happen until they have released updates with some of those “missing” features. For now, I will continue working in FCP 6 & 7 for some clients and Avid for others.

Here are a couple of very informative articles about FCP X that clarify what is fact and what is fiction. Read the comments below each article for more insights into the issues and for a taste of the passion.

from Studio Daily…

Should You Upgrade to Final Cut Pro X?

From New York Times…

Professional Video Editors Weigh In on Final Cut Pro X

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BBC to File Reports with iPhone & iPad

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Sometime this Summer, BBC reporters will file reports from the field with just an iPhone or iPad. They will have the capability of incorporating video, audio and stills. They will be using an app developed by the BBC specifically for this purpose. Apparently, they will also be using third party apps for live reporting.

The amazing thing about this story for me…is that it is not really that amazing. Technology over the last ten years has really transformed the way we create, distribute and consume media and it just keeps accelerating. Our ability to take existing platforms and applications and create a workflow that caters to our individual needs has become expected. The term gamechanger gets thrown around so often now that it hardly means anything anymore.

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