2Jun

I’m Busy

final cut studio 2



Looks like I will be busy for a while, Final Cut Studio 2 arrived last week and I’m using it to cut a virtual tour for a client. I shot it all in DVCPROHD, 720p. I have ideas of combining this video tour with an interactive map and even some really cool oldschool QuickTimeVR nodes of key locations- all in Flash, probably. The tour will also be available for the client in DVD format with motion graphics and other stuff.

Maybe it’s a bit crazy to do a paying project with a brand new set of software upgrades, but so far no problems. In fact, some of this project really needs the updated Final Cut software- I’m doing some really nice stabilization in Motion for it, and I’m using Color to do things like make grass greener than it was, etc.

2Jun

I’m Busy

final cut studio 2



Looks like I will be busy for a while, Final Cut Studio 2 arrived last week and I’m using it to cut a virtual tour for a client. I shot it all in DVCPROHD, 720p. I have ideas of combining this video tour with an interactive map and even some really cool oldschool QuickTimeVR nodes of key locations- all in Flash, probably. The tour will also be available for the client in DVD format with motion graphics and other stuff.

Maybe it’s a bit crazy to do a paying project with a brand new set of software upgrades, but so far no problems. In fact, some of this project really needs the updated Final Cut software- I’m doing some really nice stabilization in Motion for it, and I’m using Color to do things like make grass greener than it was, etc.

22May

Changes and Additions

I’ve changed the blog around quite a bit this week, so if you’re now missing something you liked- sorry. And if you look around you may find a whole lot of new stuff you like even better.

I’d also like to mention that the new EmptyStreet website is up and running at www.emptystreet.com. EmptyStreet is my web design/development company, we’ve been around since 1993 and we do all sorts of fun yet corporate projects.

22May

Steadicam Work

steadicamI spent 5 hours yesterday with a camera strapped to me, capturing material for a client.

The steadicam worked out pretty well, even though the day was a bit windy- wind is the bane of steadicams, it throws them off balance.

I’ll post stuff in a few weeks, once the spots are completed. I’m definitely getting a lot better at operating this rig.

19May

FSB Article on Movie Decision Making

FSB (Fortune Small Business) magazine had an article this month about making decisions. Specifically, on making bad decisions. Not surprisingly, they used the movie business as their example of how not to run your business.

They pointed out that in general Hollywood movies get made because of relationships- the studios like to do business with known quantities. They, like all of us, prefer to work with their friends. This goes for actors, writers, directors, etc.

But it seems that these relationships don’t really have much to do with a movie’s success. In fact, the more relationships a movie sports the WORSE is tends to do at the box office.

So why does the movie business insist on dealing with writers, directors, and actors that they have relationships with? Why not put that money towards more truly competitive projects that could reap a lot more cash for the studio?

Easy. FSB got it wrong- success or failure in the movie business is not really about how a particular movie does at the box office. It’s often a lot more about doing favors for your friends and expecting favors back from your friends. It’s about keeping your job. It’s about making a defensible decision, even if it’s completely the wrong decision.

And really, how is that any different from the rest of corporate America?

17May

I Really Like My Panasonic HVX200

hvx200 I’ve had my HVX200 for only a few months, and I’ve used it on a bunch of jobs- mostly small commercials, industrials, a concert film, and a short drama. I love this thing! First of all, I was smart enough to get a few P2 cards (you need P2 cards to record high definition with a HVX200- it records to solid state media, not tape, when doing highdef). And my Apple MacBookPro now has a nifty device by Duel Systems, which plugs into the cardbus slot and allows me to offload the P2 cards extremely quickly into my Mac. The new version of Final Cut Pro (shipped, should be here in a day or two) makes the P2 highdef workflow even easier. It’s also backwards compatible with my DVX100.

On set my HVX200 absolutely kills the other “prosumer” cameras I’ve used- the DVX100, the Canon H1 and XL2, and the Sony Z1:

I love the Z1 in every way except one- it records interlaced and it doesn’t record 24 frames a second. It’s great for video and industrials but for more filmic things it means I need to spend a ton of time in post converting it to progressive frames and a better framerate. That’s what we used for “Headhunting” and “Deliverance By The Slice” and it worked very well. But I don’t always have the time to do all this post work for clients on tight deadlines. Plus, it’s tape based. And that sucks.

The XL2 is nice, but it’s only standard def. And it’s tape based.

The DVX100 is still a cool camera (I used it as Bcamera for the concert video). But it’s getting old, and it’s only standard def. And again, it uses tape.

I hate the Canon H1. Just hate it. It was used on that PSA I helped out on last fall. Plus, it’s tape based.

Going tapeless with the HVX means I don’t have to log tapes and wait for long imports, and I’ve found that for my work 3 P2 cards work just fine. Most importantly, the pictures and sound are absolutely incredible. I do a lot of greenscreen, and the better colorspace of the HVX200 over the (also nice) Sony Z1 is really a godsend.

I don’t normally go on about a product. But this camera has changed how I work, all for the better.

20Apr

Not A Foot Fetish Movie

FeetI uploaded more raw stills from the movie “The Visit” that I shot for my friend Erica. They are here.

These are raw HVX200 frame grabs. All I did was stretch the images back to the size they would be projected at. Yes, the image at right has had an 85 filter added to it in post. I was goofing around with filters.

The movie turned out pretty well. Look for it in festivals soon.

I’m finding that I can get away with a lot more with this camera than with others. For instance, we shot at Cedars Sinai and on Sunset Blvd. No hassles from anyone. And the footage came out pretty nice.

I am extremely excited about Apple’s new Color application- sure, for critical jobs it is best to hire colorists. But for a lot of jobs, this opens up a ton of interesting possibilities. And since I do some of my own compositing and effects work I think I’ll take to Color like a duck to water.

20Apr

I’m Gonna Be A Creative Cow

My friend Brandon and I are working on a tutorial for Creative Cow, the largest pro video site on the Internet. The tutorial will document how we planned, shot, and edited a concert performance with multiple cameras and no synchronization.

I know, that sounds a bit geeky. So it goes…

20Apr

I’m Gonna Be A Creative Cow

My friend Brandon and I are working on a tutorial for Creative Cow, the largest pro video site on the Internet. The tutorial will document how we planned, shot, and edited a concert performance with multiple cameras and no synchronization.

I know, that sounds a bit geeky. So it goes…

20Apr

Heaven Just Got A Lot More Crowded

Woah. The Catholic Church decided that Limbo doesn’t exist, after all.

For those who don’t know, limbo was the place where unbaptized babies and good people who didn’t believe in the church doctrine or who died before they could partake in the wonders of being Catholic went instead of heaven. You know, like the people who died before there was a Catholic Church at all.

You gotta love a religion that proves its vitality by changing the rules centuries into its existence. I guess in the end they decided that maybe making one small nudge in the direction of God loving all of us would be a neat idea.

© Copyright 2017. All Rights Reserved PatrickOrtman, Inc.