Moscow Gets the Tilt-Shift & Timelapse Treatment

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Great use of tilt-shift and timelapse techniques in this video that makes Moscow look very vibrant and inviting…

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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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“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

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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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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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Sony NEX-FS100 – Super 35mm Camera

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The advancements in camera technology over the last 10 years has been amazing. The quality that is now available at very affordable prices was unimaginable not long ago. A new camera from Sony looks particularly impressive to me and I’m looking forward to trying it out on a project.

I’ll let Sony give you the technical details…

“The NEX-FS100UK is an interchangeable lens camcorder featuring a Super 35mm sensor equivalent in size to Super35mm film like that used in the PMW-F3, and a Sony E-Mount 18 to 200mm zoom lens. Developed specifically as a digital motion camcorder it is capable of producing footage with shallow depth of field similar to that of a film camera and capture with high image fidelity.”

Here is a video featuring Den Lennie at F-Stop Academy breaking down the camera and their use of it on a recent music video shoot…

And here is the music video they shot for Cozi…

The camera is available at B&H Photo for $5599 with a lens and $4999 for just the body.

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Showrunners – The Documentary

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A showrunner is the person that makes a Television program go. He or she runs the show. They make sure that everything that is supposed to get done…gets done. The new documentary “Showrunners” by Des Doyle peels back the curtain on the life of successful showrunners. Here is the trailer. I will definitely check this one out.

Showrunners Trailer from Showrunners Documentary on Vimeo.

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Awesome Time-Lapse Video

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Props to Dominic Boudreault for this really well done time-lapse video starring Montreal, Quebec, Toronto, New York, City and Chicago.

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Amazon Studios Offering Licensed Music for Free

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Amazon Studios is now offering its registered users a library of movie score and soundtrack music that may be used in test movies at no charge. There are 2,000 tracks to suit most any scene or mood, from comedy to thriller and from love to anger.

Amazon Studios holds a monthly contest for independent filmmakers who can upload test movies to the site. Filmmakers can now choose from these licensed music tracks to use in these films. From the Amazon Studios site…

“At Amazon Studios, test movies help filmmakers and writers get the feedback they need. Music is an important part of how test movies can evoke more engaged responses than scripts alone. Like good-quality sound and voice acting, music adds emotional resonance that keeps viewers ‘in the movie.’”

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