Lost In The Supermarket

Recording sound in a crowded supermarket and other issues

RECORDING SOUND IN A CROWDED SUPERMARKET Q I’m doing sound on a series of walk-and-talk commercials with a spokesperson that will shoot in a real working supermarket—yes, I know, buzzing refrigerator cases, buzzing fluorescent lights and lots of stuff that we don’t want to hear. We get to block off a portion of the store to shoot, but... Read more

Getting In Sync

Singular Software PluralEyes 2.0 for Final Cut Pro

Q I’ve just purchased a new Canon EOS 7D for a film project that I wrote. We’re hoping to submit the film to some local film festivals. The audio on the Canon isn’t good, so we’ve been using a Zoom H4n audio recorder to record sound. The big slowdown for me is when I try to sync the H4n audio with the Canon EOS 7D audio. I’m... Read more

I See Dead Pixels

Dealing with a dead pixel on your sensor

As part of my responsibilities at AbelCine, I handle a number of technical-support questions from our professional clients in the field. One such inquiry I recently received was in regards to a "dead pixel" on a CMOS camera sensor. A client of ours had recently purchased a Sony PMW-F3 camera from us, and he was troubled to find a bright... Read more

Not Having A G’Day

Figuring out a stutter effect, and the segmented frame

Q Hi, guys—e-greetings from Down Under! Hey, I’ve had an ongoing issue with my magnificent Canon EOS 5D Mark II. The majority of my work is in model and corporate photography, now that I’m a semiretired television broadcast cameraman. However, I do use the 5D Mark II from time to time to shoot TVCs and corporate video for the Australian... Read more

Lectrosonics D4 System

A four-channel, wireless audio system

Q I was recently hired to provide location sound for a new reality television pilot. I have a sound-cart-based system I’ve successfully used on features for years, but this will be my initiation into reality television. The producer has made it clear that she needs four-channel audio feeds to each camera to save the labor of syncing external sources... Read more

What’s A Violet Wand?

Don’t Google it at work!

At AbelCine, we offer sales, rental and service of all types of professional video cameras, and as part of that work, we also get a wide variety of technical-support questions. The majority of these questions are pretty straightforward, and we can answer them right away, but sometimes a question pops up that causes us to scratch our heads. Sure, these... 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

Testing, 1-2-3

A calibrated test chart can make all the difference

Sometimes changes in technology lead to new concepts or even newer technologies, and other times new technology brings up the need to reexamine technology that has been around for a while. One piece of technology that was once old and is now new again is the test chart. While many think “digital” takes care of everything, there are many... Read more

One Giant Megaphone

A grain silo amplifies screams of bloody murder

A long, exhausting day of shooting was nearing the end. The crew had endured the hot sun and dusty, smelly barnyard conditions all day. We just needed the night to complete the last few scenes on Lee Martin’s The Midnight Hour, a local Michigan indie series that I was the DP on. For this particular episode, I was filling in for the sound/boom... Read more

A Strange Scene

Sought for questioning in a murder investigation

A couple of years ago, we were shooting a short video for a competition, and we needed an unusual vehicle. Since it was going to be Satan’s car (and I don’t think the devil drives a hybrid), it had to be unusual. We ended up borrowing an old hearse from one of our buddies. We spent the better part of a Saturday shooting the video. Because... Read more