Safe Editing Practices

One major trap of video production happens near the end. After all the planning of a project, shooting it superbly, capturing perfect audio and editing it into something special, it is all too easy to forget about some of the little things – which seem inconsequential, but can devalue a project. They are the things that other people might notice right away or maybe just you notice and once you do, it’s all that you can see.

A few of the important considerations are covered in this very helpful and clear guide: How to keep your job as an editor by Jon Chappell. He covers broadcast-safe images with luma levels, broadcast-safe audio with peaks marking and field dominance with field shifting. I, for one, have encountered all of the issues/mistakes covered in this guide.

I’m currently looking at making a quick guide to create mobile phone-style video, to be composited into a video for a “contemporary” effect. I am facing the challenge of devising different and new styles for many of the videos I make, which suits me as it keeps me on my toes and allows me to learn and use different techniques in post. Hopefully the guide will be available within the next week.

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Vimeo now available as an iPhone app

The “filmmaker’s YouTube” finally gets its own iPhone app. You find a higher quality of work over on Vimeo, but it still pays off to use both sites, depending on the project and client, of course.

I hope the site doesn’t get flooded with iPhone videos though (I don’t think it will, those will probably go on Facebook).

The RED ONE and The Cinematography of Winter’s Bones

If I was shooting a drama feature, a television pilot or really anything I could take my time over (soon enough), I would love to have a RED ONE. I was looking at the trailer for the upcoming film Source Code and found myself wondering what it was shot on. Turns out that they shot mainly on 35mm, with one segment using the RED – a technique that we are seeing a lot of now (this was also the case for Black Swan, albeit 16mm and Canon 5DMKiis and 7Ds). The director of Source Code, Duncan Jones, says in an interview that it was down to him seeing David Fincher’s test of Leonardo DiCaprio lit with a single match:

And Winter’s Bone: this is one that I kept hearing about but never managed to catch until the DVD release. Shot on a Red camera, with a partially inexperienced cast, this film is different and refreshing.

Here we have an interview with Michael McDonough, the cinematographer of Winter’s Bone, discussing the film.

The main benefits of the new large-sensor cameras, for me anyway, is the shallow depth of field, the ability to shoot amazing footage at low light levels and the price tag. That, along with the top-end systems available to consumers, levels the playing field and democratises filmmaking – but the content will always be king and hopefully it will result in a better range of entertainment.

UPDATE: More videos of remarkable things being done on RED cameras.

Adidas All In – Advertising Video

Sometimes ads are closer to what we, as video producers, create, than feature films. It’s nice to look at the full spectrum of media for inspiration but finding the top-level of material in our area can sometimes allow us to directly apply techniques and ideas.

Adidas have just launched their biggest campaign to date, it’s called All In and focuses on sport and music in this fast-paced 2-minute ad.

More information available at Design Taxi.

Free DSLR and Adobe CS eBook

Having shot a few productions on loaned equipment, I am excitedly awaiting the delivery of our own kit today. Deadlines and another short shoot this afternoon prevent me spending too long pretending it’s Christmas morning.

In the meantime, Richard Harrington has written afree eBook, which is available from a link on his blog. It covers some of the tools you can use in the Adobe Suite, which I am using more and more of – and considering trying out Premiere Pro to edit an upcoming production, when I have time to sink my teeth in to it.