The Sundance Film Festival 2019

Find out what new and potentially groundbreaking films will premiere this year
While Park City has moved away from its rowdy history as a freewheeling party town where swarms of celebrities bubble in hot-tubs while film distributors throw money around in all-night bidding wars, the Sundance Film Festival still remains the pre-eminent showcase for American independent film. Having screened some of the most groundbreaking films... Read more

Using Mocha Pro 2019 In Edit, Part 3

Keep tracking “alive” in the edit by using a specific version of Mocha Pro 2019
In my discussion of tracking, I first covered how tracking has developed over the years. Last time I talked about planar tracking and the new features of Mocha Pro 2019. I also promised that I’d talk about a particular version of Mocha that I think is great for editors. But first, a few words about getting up to speed with tracking. Even with... Read more

Hocus Pocus Mocha Magic, Part 2

The next generation of tracking is planar tracking, and Mocha Pro 2019 by Boris FX will help new users get started tracking more quickly
Last time, I talked about where we have come from in terms of tracking. More than a history lesson, I wanted to show where some old habits have come from regarding shooting for tracking in post. The next generation of tracking is planar tracking. As you might guess, “planar” comes from “plane”—a flat surface. Instead of the software tracking... Read more

Tracking From The Beginning

What once seemed like magic still is—but easier to do
Just recently, Dan Brockett wrote about automation in edit and motion graphics. He talked about scripts, intelligent software and plug-ins. One piece of software mentioned was Mocha Pro by Boris FX. Mocha Pro is a tracking tool popular among visual effects specialists, motion graphic artists and editors. Boris FX recently released Mocha Pro 2019, so... Read more

Why Log? Part 4

Dealing with log in post
In the past few posts I have covered raw vs. log, why shoot log, and how log works. As an editor, I need to bring this discussion back into post: How to deal with log in the edit. First, you need to determine if log was used. A quick glance at the footage may give you some hints. Log footage usually looks washed out with reduced saturation. But since... Read more

Shooting Video While Roaming The World

When traveling, there are plenty of challenges to face, especially when shooting video. Moving between 60Hz and 50Hz regions, flickering lights can wreak havoc on your shots.
I recently traveled from home (the United States) where we have a 60Hz power system, to India, where they have a 50Hz power system. Artificial lighting in any shot will flicker annoyingly unless you set the shutter speed or shutter angle appropriately. It’s an easy thing to miss when it’s a small light in the corner of a scene, but once... Read more

Why Log? Part 3

How log works
Previously, I provided an illustration showing how people can more easily see changes in light levels in the bright areas of a scene as opposed to the dark areas. We can take advantage of that attribute of human vision by storing that information in a non-linear way: log. Here’s a rudimentary example. Let’s say we store video using a digital file... Read more

VFX, Motion Graphics And Automation

Does a reliance on intelligent software make editors, visual effects and motion graphics artists better or just lazier?
Advanced new tools like BorisFX’s Mocha 2019 bring sophisticated automated tools to users
As a cinematographer, but also an occasional editor who either hires talented motion graphics artists or, in the cases where there isn’t enough budget to do so, does it himself, it recently occurred to me we’re living in a brave new world of automation. For a variety of reasons, such as I shoot a lot of small crew and even some one-man band... Read more

Evolving Roles

Taking on additional roles can help make you a more competent production person in any position
No, not those kinds of rolls. We’re talking job roles. For those of you who have been in the production business for more than a few years, you probably came up through your career primarily focused on one or two disciplines. You found a role that appealed to you, honed your skills, made connections, perhaps obtained some education or even a degree... Read more

Why Log? Part 2

Seeing is believing
The image above may look like a mistake, but it’s not. Instead, it will help me explain what “shooting log” is all about. Last time, I talked about how differently a still photographer and a cinematographer may deal with image capture. The photographer usually tries to capture what he sees, but a cinematographer tries to capture as much image... Read more