4K In The Mainstream

Is it time?

If you attended NAB this year, you probably thought the 4K conversion already happened. Everywhere you looked was a new 4K camera system, 4K recorder or 4K compatible NLE or workflow solution. In the early ’00s, you probably remember a similar scenario when HD (1920 x 1080 resolution) was being heavily pushed, even though few filmmakers had access... Read more

Micro-Filmmaking

How an iPhone app could launch millions of filmmakers

It’s often said that the best camera is the camera you have with you, and for most of us, it would be our phone. In the still photography world, camera phones have completely destroyed the point-and-shoot camera market, and for good reason. Many of the new smartphones on the market, such as the iPhone 5 or the Galaxy Nexus 4, contain an 8-megapixel... Read more

GoPro Goes Cinema

Is an inexpensive 4K camera helpful or hurtful?

A few years ago, a little company with a little consumer camera made the pro video scene. They showed their wares at NAB and placed them in the hands of a few shooters with massive Twitter audiences. Initially, GoPro was seen as a novelty, a cool little tool that delivered good video and nice stills. Since then, GoPro has upped their game by making... Read more
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Digital Democracy

The dark side of a level playing field

With just a few dollars, a would-be (or wannabe) filmmaker can purchase a DSLR for less than $1,000 and a program like Final Cut Pro X for $299, and go on to produce a movie that, if good enough, could be seen at your local multiplex. But what if it isn’t good enough for theatrical release? Just as remarkable, a filmmaker now can upload a movie—minutes... Read more

The Right 8 Bits

What’s two bits between friends?

For DSLR shooters, the cool current "must-have" feature is Clean HDMI. When used in conjunction with a digital recorder, cameras like the Nikon D4 and D800, as well as the Panasonic GH2 and a few others, can capture high-quality ProRes files via the cameras’ HDMI output. ProRes is a lossy intermediate codec that gives you a much higher... Read more

Disruptive Tech v2.0

With lower margins, the 99% wins

Many years ago, when I first started attending trade shows like NAB and Cine Gear, you always could count on seeing impressive booths from industry-standard companies like Panavision, Kodak and Apple, as well as pro rental houses displaying massive dollies and cranes. But, for me, like many indie filmmakers, the equipment was out of reach, as well as... Read more

Reality Is Relative

How Rango’s photo-realism is changing the future of movies

Misinformation isn’t always unintentional. As Martin Scorsese’s Hugo made lovingly clear, filmmakers have always been magicians and illusionists, expertly blurring the line between reality and fantasy. But while early audiences naively ducked and scattered at the novel sight of a train thundering toward them on the silver screen, audiences... Read more

Over/Under

Does HDR help take the art away from cinematography?

One of the most difficult tasks for a director of photography is controlling the contrast range between highlights and shadows. This technique usually separates the good cinematographers from the bad, and oftentimes differentiates the look of film versus video since one of the biggest giveaways for video is blown-out highlights. So far this year, the... Read more

New Categories

The RED Scarlet-X vs. the Canon EOS C300

When the RED ONE was released back in 2007 at a price point of $17,500 (body only), it created a whole new market for the production industry. This new market consisted of filmmakers or cinematographers who might not be shooting at the studio level yet, but by owning their own camera package, it gave them an advantage in competing for jobs. RED immediately... Read more

Stream On

The Netflix effect

In the past few years, the world of content distribution has changed as dramatically as the process of content creation. For readers of HDVP, sites like Vimeo and YouTube have allowed indie filmmakers to distribute their short films to a global audience 24/7 in a high-quality HD presentation, along with an online community that provides helpful (or... Read more