Camera Nerds: Having trouble getting 24p out of your Canon C100 and Ninja2?

We’ve been testing the awesome new Canon c100 cinema EOS camera, and the new Ninja2 external recorder. However, getting 24p out of the Canon c100 and into the Ninja2 has been a real trick… when you connect everything up, you’ll find the 24p option on the Ninja2 is “grayed out”.

After much time spent trying dozens of different options, I picked up the camera and moved it to another place.

And suddenly the 24p option worked!

I turned everything off, and tried again. No go! No 24p on the Ninja!

Then I waved my hand in front of the lens.

And the Ninja2’s 24p options became active, again.

Why?

Easy. By moving your hand in front of the lens, you’re telling the Ninja that the Canon c100 is sending a progressive signal inside an interlaced one. You’re showing the Ninja that there’s pulldown to be removed.

I know. Weird. But it works. I hope this helps a lot of you- I’ve seen dozens of people online begging for the Canon c100/Atomos Ninja2 24p “fix”. And this is it!

Corporate Videography on an iPad?

UCLA Anderson recently approached us to help create an informational video for prospective students. The catch: they wanted to shoot it on an iPad. Why? Because they wanted to emphasize that, just like an iPad or iPhone, their new Fully Employed MBA Flex program is flexible, and can be easily accessed whether you’re at home, at work, or on the go.

I wrote a short intro piece that showed FEMBA Flex in action through several scenarios, and we supplemented that with corporate video style interviews, and even a remote interview done on an iPhone from a student. We also had a couple of tricky visual effects shots, including screen replacement on an iPhone, and an After Effects shot created after the shoot based on client requests.

The experience of working with the iPad was difficult at times (it has a very limited dynamic range, and of course an almost-infinite depth of field), and at the time we shot the video there were very few tools available to help us use the iPad in a filmic/cinematic way (the exception being Tether Tools‘ excellent stuff- thanks guys!) but the client was thrilled with the final result, and it’s good to stretch a bit sometimes. I’m happy that, in the end, we were able to create a very credible corporate video presentation using only the iPad and its built-in camera.

Of course, I would not recommend this approach for most projects. The subject matter is what drove the choice to use iOS devices as our cameras for the video.

 

 

Latest Press Release: Video Agency PatrickOrtman, Inc. delivers for UCLA’s John Wooden Global Leadership Awards

Los Angeles, California (PRWEB) November 16, 2012

Video director and filmmaker Patrick Ortman created two films for UCLA’s annual John Wooden Global Leadership Awards last week in Beverly Hills.

The first film honored coach John Wooden’s storied life, including his amazing feats of success as a coach, and his philosophy for a successful life- his influential Pyramid of Success. The film also introduced the three Wooden Fellows from UCLA’s Anderson School of Management, each of whom embody Coach Wooden’s values.

The second film honored Indra Nooyi, PepsiCo’s Chairman and CEO and the 2012 recipient of the John Wooden Global Leadership Award. It celebrated her life story, from her early days in India through her professional career, culminating with her Performance with Purpose, Pepsico’s promise to do what’s right for the business by doing what’s right for people and the planet. It included interviews with colleagues such as Taco Bell CEO Greg Creed, and New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft.

UCLA’s Britt Benston, Director of Creative Services for UCLA Anderson School of Management, says “When I knew this would be a full-service, multifaceted request –with last-minute demands– there was no question about going with Patrick on this. Patrick can do it all: produce, direct, shoot, edit, create motion graphics, do the audio mix in ProTools, mastering, and more. He’s everything in a single resource. On top of that, he produced these challenging short films with soul and artistry. He would not sacrifice quality at any turn. As a reward, the piece earned multiple compliments and inquiries from members of our C-level audience.”

PatrickOrtman, Inc. is an award-winning Los Angeles, California video agency and corporate video production company, with clients ranging from the Fortune 500 to new tech startups in the USA and UK. The company’s website is http://www.patrickortman.com

What Is A Video Agency?

Over the past several years we’ve rapidly left behind any new business that isn’t related to video production, and we’ve brought in substantial and ongoing investment in tools and techniques that have helped us create award-winning videos for our clients, successful web series and mobile-oriented video properties, and best-of-class multi-platform video campaigns. It’s the way of the world- professionals specialize. We’ve become solely focused on delivering great video to clients, and maximizing their video’s reach. We’ve become, in short, a video agency.

But what, exactly, is a video agency? And why should one hire such an entity?

Rob David from mega-advertising agency Ogilvy wrote:
“It is unreasonable to expect brands to have a fluid understanding of the advanced video marketplace. The changes come too fast and new opportunities open on the fly. A Video Agency of Record not only brings a brand the best of the current landscape, but positions them for the ever-changing but increasingly disciplined road ahead. ”

And that’s exactly what we’re all about. We are video specialists- we know the web, we know video, and we know how to make the most of a client’s video efforts from a strategic point of view as well as the creative and technical points of view. A great video agency helps you cut through the noise, enhances your brand, and helps drive traffic to your website.

Now, why not call ourselves a video production company, one may ask. Simple- because to us a video agency is more than a video production company. To us, the words “video production company”  conjure up visions of antiquated broadcast-only projects with limited vision. A video agency is the fast adapting, leading-edge mammal to the corporate video production dinosaur.

A video agency delivers far more bang for the buck. We give you the sizzle and the steak, and we make old-fashioned corporate video look, well, really old-fashioned. In addition to knowing how to create great video, we know how to position your video efforts for today’s landscape, and that ever-changing road ahead.

Latest Press Release: Scarlet-X Upgrade for Corporate Video Clients

And why is this cool and relevant to our clients? Because we now offer two camera shoots for not much more money than a single cam shoot. Which means we’re raising the bar for our productions.

Here’s the release on PRWeb.

Does Your Company Video Evoke Strong Emotion?

If you’re hoping for your latest content to go viral, it has to do one thing: evoke strong emotion.
– Scott Stratton, Fast Company

Audiences expect quality these days. I’m not just talking about production quality, although in many cases that’s quite important. I’m also talking about the quality of your video’s story. Does your video even tell a story? If it does, is the story simple, honest, and direct? And does it appeal, on an emotional level, to your audience?

Video can be incredibly powerful, it’s the most effective way to intimately connect, to convey ideas and get your message across. But video has to be done right to be effective, and even more so if you wish the video (or better yet, the ideas you’ve presented in your video) to go viral.

These days, even corporate videos are expected to evoke emotion and tell a story. The old ways just don’t work anymore, audiences are more sophisticated and have higher expectations. And it doesn’t matter if your audience is the general public or your employees at a sales meeting. If you don’t work hard to tell your story in a way that grabs them, you’ve lost them.

 

 

Five Tips to Produce Quality Video for the Web

We do a lot of broadcast video and corporate films, but we also do a fair amount of video designed for the web. So I’ve learned a few things about how to do web video right.

Web Video Tip #1: If you’re still shooting using interlaced video- stop that! You shouldn’t be shooting interlaced anymore, anyway, unless you’re shooting sports videos. Even corporate videos deserve progressive-scan video signals, and web videos look a ton better when you get rid of that ugly “1980s” look by shooting with a camera that can shoot progressive, not interlaced.

Web Video Tip #2: Shoot to deliver your video at 24p. It looks way more filmic and cool.

Web Video Tip #3: If you’re going for a cinematic quality (and you should be, to stand out), try to minimize shaky camera moves. They scream “cheap amateur”. This is why you invest in things like tripods, dollies, and Steadicams.

Web Video Tip #4: Make sure you expose properly! You have no idea how much crappy video we see, here. Usually we’re asked if we can fix it. If the video involves blown-out highlights, we can’t fix it at all. Some places to watch for blown out video: foreheads of men. Noses. Anything that gets too shiny when you shoot. And yes, some video has blown out backgrounds. That’s usually not so bad, it doesn’t look as amateurish as blown out faces.

Web Video Tip #5: Audio quality matters! If you can’t use a dedicated soundman, then at least record with lavaliere microphones and listen to the audio as it’s being laid down. Ideally, you’ll be recording into a separate audio system. Why? Because most cameras’ onboard audio sucks. Sometimes, we run a mike into the camera and still record a separate, higher-quality mike into our dedicated audio recorder. Then, in post we use software that automatically syncs the good audio to the camera audio. Then again, we almost always use a dedicated soundman, too.

Upon reflection, each these tips applies equally well to almost any kind of video you create, if you’re going for a quality look for your message. But many companies and organizations don’t put as much thought into creating a web video as they do when creating, say, a corporate film or a TV commercial. As the web becomes the dominant medium in our culture, learning to do your web video correctly will help you stand out, and give your message the best chance possible of connecting with people.

DaVinci Resolve Re-Grade Project

I recently finished a course in DaVinci Resolve, and as part of my post-graduate work I’m taking some time to re-grade some projects I directed last year. Here’s the first, a re-imagining (and slight edit, with new audio tracks in ProTools, to boot) of my TVC (that’s tv commercial) “Too Many Cooks”.

Article: Video Production Tips For Agencies

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These days, it seems like most web design and social media clients are asking about incorporating video into their projects. The days of an unscripted, unrehearsed talking head welcoming you to the client’s website or Facebook page are thankfully almost over. Video isn’t a novelty, anymore. It’s an expected part of the online experience. And whether you’ve decided to roll your own video, or hire a professional to help, there’s a few guidelines you really should follow to make sure everything turns out well.

The level of video production quality still varies quite a bit on the web, but the fact is that smart businesses are realizing that effective video, just like an effective website, tells a story. Oftentimes, figuring out that story falls to you- even if you’re not writing the script for the video, it’ll often be your job to work with your client to develop the creative brief that you’ll then give to your video agency of choice. I’ve found the best way to get started with figuring out your video’s story is the same way you get started with a new website design project or social media campaign- that is, you ask a lot of questions.

However you phrase it to your client, your first job is to figure out Continue reading

About PatrickOrtman, Inc.

PatrickOrtman, Inc. is one of the top-rated video production companies in Los Angeles and New York City. We make high-end corporate videos, and commercials for TV and digital for clients that include 11 Fortune 500s.