Time For Time Code

Adding time code to non-time-code devices, and recording ambisonic sound for 360º video
Made in Germany, the small and lightweight Tentacle Sync box works in conjunction with software to provide frame-accurate time code to almost any recording device. TIME CODE WITH TENTACLE SYNC Q I work for an ad agency, and we shoot a three-camera meeting each month using Panasonic DMC-GH4 cameras. It’s my job to edit all of these into a highlights... Read more

What To Do When Equipment Is Ruined

Proper planning often can mitigate disaster, but if the worst happens, follow these strategies for saving your assets
What To Do When Equipment Is Ruined
A still from video taken by “C.R.” Caillouet documenting the results of a flood in his home, the regular HDVP columnist was hit hard by a severe storm that deluged nearly four decades of his personal video archives. Caillouet urges donations for disaster recovery efforts to Team Rubicon (teamrubiconusa.org) and Habitat for Humanity (habitat.org).... Read more

Markets And Festivals

The differences between film markets and festivals, with advice on the best way to promote and sell your independent film
The differences between film markets and festivals, with advice on the best way to promote and sell your independent film
Markets and festivals aren’t the same. Filmmakers may find this confusing because some festivals operate alongside a film market, as is the case in Berlin and Cannes. Sundance is a festival; however, an informal market has now grown up around it, with distributors bidding to acquire rights to films. FILM MARKETS Markets are generally only open to... Read more

Get Ready For The Next Wave Of Innovative Broadcast Standards

ATSC 3.0 is being deployed to challenge OTT services like Apple TV and the Internet
Get Ready For The Next Wave Of Innovative Broadcast Standards
Periodically, we hear that over-the-air (OTA) broadcasting has been diagnosed as dying, laid low by some new technology promising to better inform, entertain or educate us, measure our preferences or sell us products. After each such announcement, we find that broadcast isn’t really dead, but transformed and risen out of the ashes of its past. It’s... Read more

Doubling Data And Interlace Info

Shoot extra frames and fix it in post? Plus, interlaced versus progressive is still a thing—tips for when only half the resolution is required!
Interlaced video saves a lot of bandwidth. What do you need to be concerned about with interlace capture? DATA CREEP Q Recently I was working on a project where I wanted to shoot some B-roll shots. I was thinking I’d like slo-mo. The camera I had access to allowed for shooting at 60p. My camera operator and I were of differing opinions on how to work.... Read more

Editing And Recording Audio At Bargain Pricing

Sony SpectraLayers Pro for sound editing, plus the Sennheiser AVX wireless audio system
Sennheiser’s advanced, but affordable wireless AVX system with lavalier, handheld, transmitter and receiver.
Sony’s versatile SpectraLayers Pro audio-correction software with graphical interface for adjustments. AUDIO EDITING ON A BUDGET Q I’ve been looking for a better way of tweaking and processing my audio. I mostly shoot live events, weddings and corporate projects, where there’s occasional background noise that I’d like to remove, sounds like... Read more

Risky Business: Financing Your Feature Film Part 2

Part Two on how to score film financing, with a detailed examination of equity investments, financing from producers and soft money
Risky Business: Financing Your Feature Film
In the last issue, we covered some of the most important ways to finance a feature film. To wrap up, let’s take a look at the remaining options, namely equity investments, financing from producers and soft money. EQUITY INVESTMENTS With equity investments, an investor shares in potential rewards, as well as the risks of failure. If a movie is a hit,... Read more

Is HDR What You Think It Is?

What high-definition-range capture brings to video
Is HDR What You Think It Is?
When done professionally, HDR results in a massive increase to brightness. The Dolby Vision™ HDR projection system, for example, provides up to 31 foot-lamberts of luminance, while a typical theater experience will offer half that level of brightness at only 14 foot-lamberts. Here, Final Cut Pro X is used to create an HDR simulation with footage from... Read more

Off The Charts

Shooting charts to communicate with your colorist, plus set-it-and-forget-it won’t cut it for exports

CHARTS A couple of columns ago, I answered a question for someone who wanted to be properly prepped for an upcoming color-grading project. I mentioned that it was important to make sure the colorist had the right information about the footage. This led to a discussion of formats, camera types, profiles, etc. What I didn’t mention was that you can... Read more

Camera Matters

Effects to quality along the imaging chain

Do you need a pro camera to make good pictures, or do you just pay for more features? In my career, I’ve had to work with some of the largest and smallest cameras, and to figure out how to get usable pictures from as many as possible. The results haven’t always been satisfying to me. I haven’t always had the time to figure out the best solutions,... Read more

Risky Business: Financing Your Feature Film Part One

The most important part of any production begins with securing funds to make it all happen

Editor’s Note: Veteran entertainment attorney and producer’s rep Mark Litwak, Esq., joins HDVideoPro with a column devoted to all aspects of film financing and distribution. Independent films can be financed in a variety of ways. In addition to self-financing a movie, the most common methods are: 1) loans; 2) borrowing against pre-sales; 3) donations,... Read more

Decoding Deliverables

An alphabet soup of output formats for television and streaming systems
Last month, I talked about shooting in 4K or UHD, but does “4 times full HD” make any sense elsewhere in the deliverables chain? I suggested that the UHD shooting decision should be driven by what most viewers actually see, and I noted that it might make sense to put more bits into dynamic range or improved color, instead of more resolution. We... Read more