Portable Audio Recorder Options For Filmmakers

A look at the Zoom H6, Zoom H5 and Tascam DR40 handheld recorders in action
Sound is obviously an important part of any video project, and we recently covered how having an audio pro on video shoots is necessary in order to help you capture the best sound possible. But that’s not always in the budget. Early this year, we took a look at what gear to use to get high-quality sound on a low budget and thought it would be helpful... Read more

Sound Advice: Shotgun The Dead Kitty

Cool it—we love cats. We’re talking about that furry wind-reducing mic cover. Sheesh, you guys!
audio for video
We’ve spent a fair amount of time on sound, particularly my disasters learning to deal with that undiscovered country. In particular, I’m going to share with you the greatest little external shotgun mic and its most excellently named accessory. I’m talking about the RØDE VideoMic GO. Not only is this a great little mic, it comes with two covers,... Read more

Camera Slider Techniques

A demonstration of slider techniques that will allow you to create unique shots
Camera Slider Techniques
Camera sliders allow independent and low-budget filmmakers the ability to create professional-looking slides that once were only possible with the dolly tracks used in big Hollywood productions. Over the years, we’ve reviewed various camera sliders, including the PMG-DUO slider, which you can see in action here. The use of a camera slider adds production... Read more

Sony a7R III U.S. Launch Live Blog

To a collection of the press, Sony officially unveils the Sony a7R III
Sony a7R III
This article was written live during the Sony event, 10 am EDT, Wednesday, the 25th of October 2017. Live coverage concluded at 10:49 am EDT A livecast of this announcement can be found here. Sony a7R III Sony’s Mike Fasulo took the stage at a private media event in New York City to officially announce the Sony a7R III, as well as two lens announcements. If... Read more

Finding Compression Artifacts

A useful tool for checking compression in your footage, with comparison example videos, too
compression artifacts
Previously, I’ve mentioned that the bit rate you choose for your video encoding can add artifacts to your footage. Dramatic changes in scenes and dissolves are some of the ways that can further cause problems. But how do you know where the actual problems are? How do you see them? What’s the real difference if you encode at 10 Mbps or 2 Mbps? There’s... Read more

DIY Production Versus Hiring The Pros

The danger of the one-man band
one-man-band productions
It never fails. Each year, it seems budgets for media production are getting tighter and tighter. I’ve been in the business of promoting and selling the services of my small production company since the early 1990s. In that same time, I’ve also marketed myself as a freelance cinematographer and producer. One long-term trend in media production that... Read more

Keeping Focus While Filming Moving Subjects

A video demonstration of four ways for filmmakers to keep focus
We recently shared an article that explains the limitations of focus-by-wire, and why a mechanical focus system is invaluable. On a related note, we all know that consistent focus can be a challenge in video work, and many filmmakers don’t have the budget for an expensive follow focus system. The video below discusses four ways to keep focus and then... Read more

Act Like A Director

Turns out there are good, solid reasons for all that “Lights, Camera, Action” dance you feel utterly silly doing
Director Thomas Gulamerian works with actor Iva Stelmak on the set of Courier X. Photo by Chris X Carroll Unlike, say, photography, filmmaking is a massively collaborative art form. Oh, you can do it all, but you definitely can’t do it all well. Nor can you do it all easily. You start with your bad self, a couple, three actors (God forbid some horse-drawn... Read more

Live From NAB New York

The East Coast iteration of the most important trade show in video is starting to look like a real thing
Control setup at NAB NY
Enthusiasm, and surprisingly, attendance, is excellent at the NAB New York trade show being held right now at Jacob Javits Convention Center in New York City. A long-running show that was only acquired by NAB within the last few years, it has been steadily adding vendors and attendees annually, and is shaping up to be a great alternative for many to... Read more

Is Your Bit Rate Good Enough?

Dealing with presets in compression software that encode a bit rate that may be too high
bit rate
Previously I talked about compression when you deliver your finished program. I mentioned that some presets included with compression software encode a bit rate that may be too high. As I mentioned before, bit rate is how much data is sent each time period (usually measured in seconds). The higher the bit rate, the more information is sent. With more... Read more