Filmmaking

16Dec

Los Angeles Video Production Company PatrickOrtman, Inc. Completes High-Profile 25th Anniversary Web Video For The Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC)

(This press release was posted to the world, but never made our blog. Oops!)

PRESS RELEASE: Los Angeles, California- Los Angeles based video & film director Patrick Ortman announces the completion of the 25th anniversary promotional video for Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. based nonprofit Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC).

The video’s unique concept, traveling 20 years into a possible future where Muslims are more accepted in positions of impact and leadership in American politics, the entertainment industry, and in media, was realized visually through PatrickOrtman, Inc.’s partnership with Oscar-winning Barney Burman’s B2FX special effects company. “Working with B2FX was critical in realizing our vision. We had to age them realistically 20 years into the future, and the client absolutely did not want it to look cheesy” says Ortman “MPAC trusted us with a concept that was perhaps a bit creatively risky, so we went to the best- and we’re thrilled with how it turned out.”

Hasnain Syed, Creative Director at MPAC, added “Having had previous experience working with Patrick, I turned to him to help us create a unique video about our organization. Patrick loves to think outside the box. We needed someone who was not going to follow convention, but throw ideas out of left field – which is exactly what we got. What makes Patrick stand out is that he values ideas before execution. If the idea is great and catchy, he’ll figure out a way to make it happen within your time and budget. That there is an awesome partner to create awesome projects.”

MPAC is an American institution which informs and shapes public opinion and policy by serving as a trusted resource to decision makers in government, media and policy institutions. MPAC is also committed to developing leaders with the purpose of enhancing the political and civic participation of American Muslims.

PatrickOrtman, Inc. is a leading Los Angeles-based video production company with offices in New York, NY and Austin, TX.

13Dec

Wrapping a Bi-Coastal Project

Los Angeles Wrap Shots- 2013

Here we are in Los Angeles this week, at the wrap of our recent bi-coastal video production project (we can’t say who it’s for, yet). We shot in Boston, Washington D.C., New York City, Minneapolis, and in Los Angeles and San Francisco for this one, and the best thing of all about this project (besides the people) is it’s a project that can make a difference in the world, for children.

That’s a fitting project with which to close out the year.

Except we’re not done with 2013, yet. We still have three other projects in process at our various locations, and two of those are at our new Austin, Texas location.

Oh, and this next photo is how we all felt inside to wrap this amazing project:

Joyful Wrap

 

24Oct

New Blackmagic Toy, New Work

Blackmagic Camera

Here’s our latest video production tool. OK, toy. But a very, very nice toy. I mean, tool. We’ve been testing one of the world’s first Blackmagic Pocket Cinema cameras, as we prepare to do a big project on both coasts of the USA. The camera takes some getting used to, but I love the picture it gives, and being used to the RED world, I’m not scared to shoot in full-manual mode with our lenses. To me, that’s normal. And I’m used to the idea of making the color happen in post. What the Blackmagic gives us is an incredibly small, incredibly flexible tool to capture all sorts of gorgeous images.

If you’re looking for an automatic camera that fixes your mistakes- don’t get this cam. But if you’re looking for a tool that’ll let you dial in exactly the look you want, and you’re doing higher-end pro projects, get one. Or two. They’re tiny.

24Sep

“Unlaced” Official Selection SoCal Independent Film Festival

Director Patrick Ortman's film "Unlaced" is an official selection of the SoCal Independent Film Festival

Woohoo! The SoCal Independent Film Festival has chosen my movie “Unlaced” as an Official Selection of their 2013 film festival. It play s Saturday, September 28 (that is THIS SATURDAY). If you’re down in Orange County, here’s the link for tickets: http://socalfilmfest.com/2013-screening-schedule/

We’re playing in the “Beyond Intense” section. Which, I guess makes sense.

I continue to be honored and thankful that “Unlaced” has gotten such a good reception from film festivals. It’s a tough story, covering a subject that makes most of our society feel very uncomfortable.

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.

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.

 

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