Author: admin

20Sep

Keeping Busy

We’ve been busy over here. This morning at 1am we delivered the first cuts of 5 new web videos for a major technology company based in Seattle.We shot on Canon C-series (we’re starting to really love the look those cameras give us), through Zeiss primes, and recorded to an external Atomos Ninja2 to give us a thick, massively gradable image to push around in DaVinci Resolve. Other post tools included the usual Adobe suite of products.

Behind-the-scenes photos and the videos themselves to come later, once the new product is launched.

28Aug

A Fantastic Yelp Review

“Onto the review:

–Patrick is an absolute pro that has won my business forever.

–He knows what he’s doing. While I plan on producing more commercials with Patrick, I will never again need to worry about what camera we’re using, what shots will look like, how the camera should move, or what should be in a set. Patrick’s on it.

–He is involved in every step of the way. Some competitors pass projects through the production process like an assembly line. I don’t like assembly lines for creative processes. They work for repetitive tasks, but not dynamic, creative projects. In an assembly line, every person on the line puts their part in and, if there’s a problem with the finished product, everyone points the finger at someone else. Here, the buck stops with Patrick. There is no assembly line — he is involved in every step of the way to ensure that the final product is perfect.

–Collaborating with Patrick is fun. He has superb ideas himself, but throughout my project, we bounced hundreds of ideas off of each other. Patrick really has the vision to help determine whether an idea or suggestion has potential or not.

–Actors and production staff love working with Patrick. I tend to ask a lot of questions and I ask the crew how they like working for Patrick. Not a single person had anything negative to say; in fact, they raved about Patrick, especially when comparing him to other producers they had worked for.

I am looking forward to my next production with Patrick. Definitely 5 stars.

To see the commercial Patrick produced, check it out on YouTube:
http://www.youtube.com/w…

(Patrick’s Note: I love what I do, and I love working with clients who “get it”. Working together with Kevin was a dream)

Original link for the full review.

28Aug

Non-Profit Video Production with Oscar-Winning SFX Makeup Artists

We recently created a video for a Los Angeles-based nonprofit called MPAC. MPAC is an organization that’s dedicated to developing leaders with the purpose of enhancing the political and civic participation of American Muslims. They needed a low-budget, yet interesting video- and didn’t want the same old rah-rah corporate video thing.

So they came to me.

We worked through some meetings, and I came up with an idea: what if instead of trumpeting historical events, we took a look into a possible future? A future in which American Muslims participated more in politics, media, and Hollywood (areas in which the American Muslim community has lagged behind other groups).

The problem became, how do you do this and not look cheesy? From the start, I wanted a Hollywood special effects makeup company on the job. I knew I’d do some digital makeup work, but I needed a great base to start with. I made a few calls, and found the gang at Barney Burman’s B2FX (Barney recently won an Oscar for his work on Star Trek) was willing to work with our tiny budgeted, yet interesting storyline.

The video turned out very well, and is currently part of the client’s marketing as they raise funds to support their ongoing programs in Media, Hollywood, and Politics for 20somethings who want to get involved.

Check out the video on our homepage.

Here’s some pictures we took at B2FX during prep:

 

24Aug

Why the Blackmagic Cinema Camera May Not Be Right For You

Photo courtesy Blackmagic

Photo by Blackmagic

I love the Blackmagic Cinema Camera. It’s fantastic. Makes gorgeous pictures. But in doing tests for a possible new project, we found one issue: moire. See, the BMCC doesn’t have an optical low pass filter on it. That manifests itself in some nasty moire if you’re shooting, as we were, architectural shots of a city. You know, situations where there’s going to be a lot of tight, fine line details.

Luckily, there’s an add-on OLPF coming out from a third party that’ll alleviate this problem. That, plus the global shutter of the rumored 4K Blackmagic Production Camera, may actually prove itself to be quite viable for projects like the one we’re undertaking.

 

20Aug

A Post About Visual Effects

The best visual effects are pretty seamless. You don’t know they’re there, basically. The fact is, on a decent production- even on small ones- it’s quite common for us to do a whole lot in the visual effects arena that the typical viewer won’t notice, unless you saw the original shots. Don’t like the view out the window? Easily changed. Don’t like the sky above? We can change that. Actress has a pimple? Digital makeup. We’ve created whole worlds on greenscreen stages for clients.

Speaking of small productions, here’s a really simple, low-budget VFX shot for an app promo we did. We didn’t have the budget to bring in a Hong Kong taxicab, but the client really wanted one. So we brought in a normal car off the street, and made it look like a Hong Kong taxi, including putting it into a street in Hong Kong, complete with window reflections and more.

 

29Jul

Do Cameras Matter in Filmmaking?

When the RED first came out, it changed everything. The picture was stunning for the price. Yeah, it was buggy, but they eventually ironed most of that out. And today, we have a plethora of amazing choices when it comes time to choose a camera for our films. Even on the lower-budget end of things.

These days, most professional camera systems are capable of fantastic pictures. There’s a particular few cameras that I personally like for filmmaking, though. And they are these: Canon’s C-series, Blackmagic’s cameras, Sony’s recent 35mm sensor cams, and (under certain circumstances) the RED. If you’re renting, throw in Alexa, of course.

Any of these cameras can give you a startlingly fantastic image. And it’s been like this for a couple of years, now.

The difference between the images you get and the images the pros get, though, isn’t the camera itself. What really sets the work apart is your choice of lenses, and lighting. These days, assuming you’re using a good camera system, the camera you’re using matters far less than your talent and your lens collection.

I know a bunch of camera fanboys just shit themselves, and are rising up to argue. That’s fine- you guys keep on arguing stupid things like specs and resolution. We’re set on making beautiful images. The fact is, once you reach a certain threshold in camera technology, what starts to hold you back is the optics. Great optics are not cheap, by the way! And your ability as a filmmaker to sculpt the light and create a look matters a lot, obviously.

So do cameras matter in filmmaking? Yes, and no. But certainly, rather than obsessing over camera specs, I think one would be wise to spend that effort on learning how to light and getting some good lenses. Bonus: lenses are a fantastic long-term investment, unlike cameras.

 

29Jul

BTS Photos: TV Commercial Production

Here’s a ton of BTS (that’s Behind-The-Scenes) photos from my most recent TV commercial production. I directed it, and it was a local commercial for a real estate company. Enjoy!

© Copyright 2017. All Rights Reserved PatrickOrtman, Inc.