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

The Lens Dilemma

No matter the camera you shoot with, you have never had as many choices in high-quality glass to mount to it
2018 has been the Golden Era of lenses for digital cinema, mirrorless and DSLR cameras. High-quality glass used to be something that basically Hollywood used for cinema and television and the rest of us got by with high quality yet different class lenses. For me back in the day, it was a Leica Super 16 zoom lens for my Arri SR2 and B4 mount servo zoom... Read more

Why Log? Part 1

Why not just shoot raw?
In a previous post, I quoted someone who dropped off a drive and said, “We shot log.” The term “log” gets used a lot. For some, it means a lot, and for others, it’s just another term they need to use if they want to be considered a professional. As someone with both still and motion backgrounds, I think it’s interesting how different still... Read more

Metadata Tool To Uncover The Facts?

Editing blind, until now
Last time I mentioned there are times when I don’t know how the footage I’m editing was captured. Specifically, I want to know if there was a particular LUT (Look Up Table) that was used while monitoring on location or one suggested by the Director of Photography (DP) for use in post. Sometimes the edit software automatically pulls up the right... Read more

Editing Blind?

Sometimes you don’t know what you have
It’s surprising how often I don’t know what I’m looking at. Sometimes a hard drive lands on my console and I need to start cutting. My questions about where the content came from often go unanswered or maybe the answer is just an equally unhelpful “we shot log.” I don’t really think it’s laziness. People are just so busy, or have... Read more

Reliable Data, Part 3

Here are some ideas to make you consider what could happen if you don’t pay attention to keeping your data safe
Over a series of posts (that you can find here and here), I have talked about keeping your footage safe during post. Most discussions on data safekeeping are about multiple location backups and long-term archiving. While all of that is very important, I have concentrated on thinking about data safety during an edit. What would happen if you lost footage... Read more

Reliable Data, Part 2

Using RAID to protect your footage
In part 1 of this post, I differentiated between archiving footage from a shoot and keeping footage safe during post. I wanted to get editors to think about what would happen if you lost your media. More importantly, consider how media loss could affect the deadline. How long will it take to get back up and operational? It’s certainly something... Read more
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