Is 3D On Its Last Legs?

Not quite, but the writing is on the wall

In 2008, I attended the first 3D Entertainment Summit. Delivering the keynote was DreamWorks CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg, who proclaimed that in film’s 100-plus-year history, there have been three major milestones that have advanced the art of filmmaking: sound, color and, now, 3D (obvious hyperbole to promote upcoming DreamWorks Animation 3D releases). ... Read more

On The Wrong Track

Tracking updates, LTO warnings, and judging LED color

TRACKING Q I read with interest your column on tracking and also the information on mocha, and wanted to give tracking a try. I shot some stuff and brought it into my system and was amazed at how it all locked up solid. In the past, I would have never thought it was possible without days of tedious adjustments and flipping back and forth between frames.... Read more

Smoke ’Em If You Got ’Em

Fighting fire with fire isn’t always a good idea

Is fighting fire with fire a good idea? As you’ll see, the answer is, "Not always." Several years ago, I wrote, produced and directed a training video on forest firefighter safety. The program dealt with the many dangers of fighting wildfires on the ground. Shooting a program like this requires the cooperation of active fire service... Read more

Location Sound On The Go

The Tascam DR-40, and international wireless usage

TASCAM DR-40 Q I’m looking for my first portable level digital audio recorder. It will need to operate on batteries or AC power, need to have dual audio XLR inputs and must have decent audio metering. The catch is that my budget is $200. Is there anything out there that I should be looking at? A friend loaned me his Zoom H4n, and I wasn’t... Read more

HDTV Standards

Looking under the hood of Rec. 709

At AbelCine, we do a lot of camera matching; customers bring in their cameras, and we do our best to create matching scene files. Recently, two cameras were brought in with a simple request attached, reading, "Please match to Rec. 709." This may seem like a normal request to some of you, or it may have you scratching your head. The term Rec.... Read more

Table Manners

We should have listened to the elephant

Several years ago, I was called upon to shoot a commercial at a manufacturer of custom billiard tables in the Midwest. The company had asked their advertising agency to come up with a concept to illustrate the strength of the company’s line of high-end tables. The agency decided, after consulting with the manufacturer’s engineers, that they... Read more

Say, What?

LTO, Part II, and dealing with sync issues

In my last column, I responded to a question about how to archive all of this data we’re capturing and brought up LTO. As promised, here’s a little more about the flavors of LTO. Prior to LTO, archiving technology was spread across a number of competing and proprietary systems. Many of you have heard of DLT. This is a tape-based system,... Read more

Film Is Dead!

Film Is Dead!

Film is dead! Long live digital! That’s the mantra everyone seems to be spouting these days. Even the most die-hard celluloid lovers admit that even if film isn’t quite dead yet, it’s definitely on life support with digital looking to pull the plug. There’s just one little problem with all of this: The attending physicians (and... Read more

Lockit Buddy II And Triton FetHead Phantom

Recording external time code, and affordable phantom power

EXTERNAL TIME CODE Q We’re producing a project using five Canon EOS 5D Mark III DSLRs. We’ve already produced several projects utilizing two Canon EOS 5D Mark IIs with a Zoom H4n audio recorder. For this upcoming project, we’ll be recording audio using a Sound Devices 664 audio recorder. The Sound Devices recorder has a built-in time-code... Read more

Exposing Frames

Shutter angles, plus as the big elephant in the room: archival

SHUTTER ANGLES Q I’ve moved to using cameras that have a more cinema background, but I feel a little insecure about setting up for recording. I have a pretty good handle on how I want to set my exposure, but setting the shutter has been a bit confusing. At first, I thought I understood about changing the shutter setting and getting my brain around... Read more

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

Getting It White (The First Time)

The importance of proper white balance

At AbelCine, we’re known for our custom scene files and looks. These can be powerful tools for manipulating your image, but oftentimes, getting the best result is all about getting the right white balance in your camera. White balance is one of those adjustments that seems simple but can really make all the difference to your image. I get a variety... Read more
MENU