First Thoughts of the New Adobe CC

A few months ago I wrote about the death of Adobe’s Creative Suite, and how Adobe is moving to a subscription platform. Their transition is now complete, and the new Creative Cloud programs are out in the wild. I want to give you a very brief first look at the Creative Cloud suite and how it relates to the previous versions, and upgrading. Continue reading “First Thoughts of the New Adobe CC”

Preparing to Shoot Outdoors

Once you have decided how to tell your story (i.e., creative treatment) it is time to decide where the shoot will take place. In many cases during pre-production, the team determines that some of the video needs to be shot on location. The outdoors provide a realistic environment and are used when a studio just won’t cut it. I personally love shooting on location, but there are always a few things to prepare before getting started. Continue reading “Preparing to Shoot Outdoors”

Why Hire a Makeup Artist

Video production crews can have a wide range of resources – it all depends on the time of shoot involved. Just to give you a basic idea, Media Match lists over 300 different positions (collected from IMDB, Wikipedia and skillset.org). As you can see, there are many different skillsets to consider when assembling a production crew. The difference between having a specific crew member or not, can have a huge impact on the video. Continue reading “Why Hire a Makeup Artist”

An Itinerary for Capturing Timelapse Footage in Pittsburgh, PA

Some shoots have weeks of planning while others have days or only hours. I came into work on a Wednesday and at 3PM Chad told me about a project we had which required a few shots from Pittsburgh, PA. One of the shots included a sunrise timelapse on a Friday, which means I needed to be in Pittsburgh Thursday. Here’s a video including some of the stuff I captured.

Anyway, in order to show what an itinerary would look like when capturing some timelapse footage, I wanted to put everything into a table. Here’s what my itinerary looked like for the production in Pittsburgh, PA:

Wednesday

TimeDescription

3:00 PM Get called in to the boss’s office. Go over project, what we have already done and what we need. Get a rough shot list started and gear list.
4:00 PM Get concrete shot list with times and estimated sun position. Have detailed gear list. Begin contacting friends in the area to hopefully get a Pittsburgh Ambassador.
5:00 PM Check in with Chad to make sure we are good to go. Have an outline for the next day of getting everything together. Let the finace know I will be in her city.
7:00 PM Pack lots of warm clothes, my own gear that I want and get $40 cash out of the bank (it is always a great idea to have cash in the city).

Thursday

TimeDescription

12:00 PM Go over all the details and have a final shot list. Confirm that my point of contact (college buddy) is 100% a go for tomorrow. Verify where to get coffee.
2:00 PM Make last minute changes, scope out driving routes and all parking (knowing that this may all change again)
3:00 PM Get on the road and beat traffic (somewhat successful)
7:00 PM Get in Pittsburgh. Have dinner with the fiance. Set alarm for 6:00am and try to get some sleep.

Friday

TimeDescription

5:22 AM Try to eat something. Have the fiance pack food. Get to my location.
6:45 AM Miss a turn. Miss another turn. Stress that I will miss the sunset.
7:15 AM Get to Mt Washington in plenty of time. Scout best set up location. Find best location.
7:25 AM Get A camera on tripod, set settings and begin timelapse. Set up GoPro for timelapse. Set it and forget it. Set up B camera and see where other timelapses will be good.
7:52 AM Enjoy a cloudy sunrise and begin to think of plan B (no sun). Take iphone pictures of setup and landscape. Send to work, friends and family.
8:00 AM Friend is running late, no worries. Begin to wonder why I didn’t dress warmer and wishing I had thick socks on.
8:30 AM Realize sun isn’t coming out. Change point of focus to clouds.
9:00 AM Friend shows up. Hugs. No coffee. Take away the hugs.
9:30 AM Set up car for the car mounted shots. Wonder why my boss is letting me do this. Drove around the city and through Fort Pitt Tunnel.
12:00 PM Set up final timelapse. Scouted locations for lunch.
12:30 PM Wrapped. Realized I had only 6 miles left until empty. Found gas and made it home safely and with some good footage.

An Introduction to the ikan Follow Focus

Let’s be honest. Buying gear is fun. Waiting all day for the UPS guy (or other delivery service) makes you feel like a kid again. Your significant other may not understand, but I do! When buying gear it is easy to get caught up in rigs, tripods, lenses, lights and monitors. However, one thing that a lot of people overlook is a follow focus. The good ones can be as expensive as a rig, but for a good reason. So, let’s take a look at what a follow focus can do, explore a few options and get an introduction to the ikan follow focus. Continue reading “An Introduction to the ikan Follow Focus”

Becoming a Premiere Pro (or Semi-Pro)

It’s official! 522 Productions has made the jump into Premiere Pro CS6. Up until now Final Cut Pro had been the only NLE I had used, and given the often hectic atmosphere of a video production company, I was uncertain I would be able to make a seamless transition into the new platform. But with a little time and patience, I’ve become quite comfortable with Adobe’s new system, and I’d like to share a few tips with you about how I was able to do this. Continue reading “Becoming a Premiere Pro (or Semi-Pro)”

A camera test between the Canon 5D Mark III and Sony F3

In the 522 Productions studio we compared the Canon 5 Mark III and Sony F3 for an upcoming shoot. The goal was to find the camera that would give us the best look for a serious interview. The creative brief called for tight shots and we wanted to see every detail of the actor’s face. Continue reading “A camera test between the Canon 5D Mark III and Sony F3”

Learning Mastering a new editing suite

After all the time and effort I put in with Final Cut Studio, I thought that would be the only editing suite I’d ever use. I had shortcut keys memorized, could quickly edit sound files in Soundtrack Pro, create lower thirds in Motion, export into any thinkable medium in compressor and even make an interactive DVD with DVD Studio Pro. So why in the world would I think about switching to a new editing suite? Final Cut Studio 4 never came but Adobe CS6 did. Continue reading “Learning Mastering a new editing suite”

Reel it in

What makes a good demo reel? How long should it be? In what format should it be cut? There is a sea full of opinions to these battling questions. So here’s one more. A demo reel, though it is not really even a ‘reel’ anymore, demonstrates an artist’s best chosen works in a short compiled video. It is commonly used to lure in potential clients or employers. The video is often also known as a show reel, pitch reel, sizzle reel, highlight reel, marketing reel, and too many more to name. No matter what kind of fishing you’re doing, let’s just call it a reel, so we’re all in the same boat. Continue reading “Reel it in”

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