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Tip #1842: Blackmagic Updates Studio Cameras

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

New gear targeted at streaming and small studios.

The new Blackmagic Design Studio Camera (image courtesy: Blackmagic Design)

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Blackmagic Design updated their studio cameras, HyperDeck recorders, and Web Presenter, a small switcher designed for live streaming. According to their press release:

The new Blackmagic Studio Cameras include design features such as carbon fiber reinforced polycarbonate and large integrated 7″ viewfinders so they are very light weight making them much easier to transport and setup than large traditional studio cameras. To eliminate the need to reach around to adjust the lens zoom and focus, the optional focus and zoom demands let customers adjust the lens from the tripod handles just like a large studio camera.

  • Blackmagic Studio Camera 4K Plus (US$1,295): Designed as the perfect camera for ATEM Mini. It’s the same high quality broadcast camera, but the HDMI centric design removes all the expensive broadcast connections so it’s much lower cost. The HDMI is incredibly powerful as it connects video to the ATEM Mini, while at the same time camera control, tally and the remote record trigger is sent to the camera using the same HDMI connection. That makes it very fast to set up for a job.
  • Blackmagic Studio Camera 4K Pro (US$1,795): Designed for powerful SDI switchers, Blackmagic Studio Camera 4K Pro adds professional 12G-SDI and 10G Ethernet connections. That’s perfect when the camera is located a long distance from a switcher. There’s a 12G-SDI output and a 12G-SDI program return input that includes camera control, talkback and tally. You also get the same powerful HDMI output with control features. Plus the 10G Ethernet connection allows all connections on a single cable for a SMPTE style workflow that’s much lower cost.

Blackmagic also released a new family of HyperDeck Studio recorders (available immediately): Feature better design, upgraded codecs and support for more media types. All models now support record and playback to H.264, ProRes and DNx files, as well as PCM or AAC audio. Plus all models support SD Cards and UHS-II cards, with the Pro models adding extra SSD support.

There are four different models of HyperDeck Studio, perfect for all types of work:

  • The 3G-SDI based HyperDeck Studio HD Mini model (US$495) records and plays H.264, ProRes or DNxHD files onto SD cards, UHS-II cards or external USB disks in SD and HD formats up to 1080p60.
  • The larger HyperDeck Studio HD Plus model (US$695) adds better transport controls, front panel headphone and speaker, 6G-SDI with fill and key out, SDI monitoring and records H.264 up to 1080p60 or ProRes and DNxHD up to 2160p30.
  • The full rack HyperDeck Studio HD Pro model (US$995) is the same as the HD Plus model but adds two SSD slots and a machined metal search dial with clutch.
  • The incredibly powerful HyperDeck Studio 4K Pro model (US$1,495) records H.264, H.265, ProRes or DNx in SD, HD and Ultra HD in standards up to 2160p60.

EXTRA CREDIT

Here’s the full press release.


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Tip #1843: Digital Anarchy Updates Rough Cutter

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

Transcriptive Rough Cutter allows you to make video edits via a text transcript.

Logo courtesy: Digital Anarchy

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Digital Anarchy updates Transcriptive Rough Cutter. Creating transcript-based rough-cuts in Premiere Pro and online, Transcriptive Rough Cutter for Premiere, the PowerSearch metadata search engine and Transcriptive Web App are designed to harness text-based video editing.

Their integration with Premiere Pro and each other allows Adobe users to create collaborative, transcript-based rough cuts in Premiere Pro and quickly share transcripts online. By using either the Rough Cut or Selects workflow, Transcriptive Rough Cutter provides two powerful ways of creating transcript-based rough cuts in Premiere.

A Rough Cut new feature let’s you delete text from a transcript, either in Premiere or the Transcriptive Web App, and have Transcriptive automatically create a sequence based on that edited transcript creating edits in the sequence where the edits in the transcript are.

What we’re calling Transcriptive Selects is really just an improvement on existing functionality. It’s easier to set In and Out points in Clip transcripts and insert them into a sequence. We’ve also rewrote portions of PowerSearch to make it faster and better able to handle a large number of results. So the process of finding text and inserting it into an assembly is much more powerful.

Here’s the link to the Digital Anarchy website to learn more.


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Tip #1836: The Inside Tips Take a Hiatus

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

The Inside Tips will return in September.

Photo credit: Jonas Ferlin, Pexels.com

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The Inside Tips are taking a hiatus for the month of August. We’ll be back the first week of September with more Inside Tips.

Thanks for your readership and comments. Enjoy the rest of your summer.

Feel free to contribute some tips of your own here.


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Tip #1810: Charlie Kaufman’s 10 Screenwriting Tips

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

Everyone speaks with a unique voice – find yours.

Charlie Kaufman (Image courtesy Screen Plays.)

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This article, written by Jason Hellerman, first appeared in NoFilmSchool.com. This is a summary.

Charlie Kaufman is the screen-writer for I’m Thinking of Ending Things, Antkind, Anomalisa, Adaptation, Synecdoche New York, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Being John Malkovich, and other collaborations with Mark Kermode and Spike Jonze.

He presented a 17-minute video outlining his 10 Screenwriting Tips (see it here).

Here’s his list:

  1. Failure is a badge of honor
  2. Make the story and themes eternal
  3. Make your writing honest and meaningful
  4. Say who you are, and people will recognize themselves in you
  5. Don’t explain themes of your own work, let each individual take their own meaning from it
  6. Leave it ambiguous for the audience, but explain your thoughts to your collaborators
  7. Approach your work like your dreams would and throw away conventional approaches
  8. Add layers to your story, so it will be interesting for multiple viewings
  9. Find your own way into the industry until you get to the work you were meant to do
  10. Find the unique writing process that works only for you

Watch the video to hear how Charlie explains each of these.


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Tip #1812: An A.I. Upscaling Shootout

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

Given his examples, I had a very hard time seeing any difference.

Original zoomed 2X (top) vs. Topaz Gigapixel AI (bottom). Image courtesy of Nick Lear.

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This article, written by Nick Lear, first appeared in ProVideoCoalition.com. This is a summary.

One of the burgeoning fields in post-production is Artificial Intelligence (AI) or machine learning. For example, upscaling or “uprezzing” is something most editors do every day without thinking much about it. Drop in a 720p clip into your HD 1080p timeline and scale it up to fill the screen and move on. The issue is that simply scaling the clip looks soft.

NLE’s today default to using a simple zoom for up-scaling because it is fast. But, thanks to AI, there are more options available today than ever before.

When we talk about A.I. there are broadly two types of artificial intelligence. The first, called General A.I. (or AGI), is real intelligence like a human has – think of a robot that can really think for itself. The second is narrow A.I., a.k.a machine learning or pattern recognition or neural networks. It is this that is being leveraged to find those missing pixels.

Here’s his leaderboard in order of quality:

  1. Adobe Camera Raw
  2. Topaz Video Enhance AI
  3. Pixop
  4. Topaz Gigapixel AI
  5. Alchemist
  6. Davinci Resolve Super Scale
  7. After Effects Detail-preserving Upscale

NOTE: While this lists the results in terms of quality, the first few choices are also the hardest to use.

The article provides more details, comparison images and a video showing the results of uprezzing film from 1911 to 4K.

Here’s the link


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Tip #1817: PBS Moves Short Film Festival to VR

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

The broadcaster is using AWS resources to create and deliver the VR experience

Image credit: PBS

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TV Technology reports that PBS has added a virtual twist to its 10th Annual Short Film Festival, enabling audiences to view curated stories by independent filmmakers via the immersive WebXR beta experience “Screen on the Green.”

The festival, running from July 12 to Aug. 31, added the new virtual reality dimension to this year’s event in response to the continued reluctance many people feel about attending large gatherings even as pandemic restrictions begin to ease. Prior to 2020 when many large gatherings and events ceased due to the pandemic, the PBS Annual Short Film Festival was an in-person event held in Washington, D.C.

With the help of VR and leveraging several Amazon Web Services (AWS resources), the PBS Innovation Team has recreated the theater experience so audiences of up to 300 at a time can view all 25 films, which play consecutively, on a large, outdoor cinema screen at the center of two different virtual environments—a daytime space with cityscape views and a moonlit outdoor landscape. “Screen on the Green” gives the filmmakers a new platform to reach a wider audience.

Viewers can access the VR experience with compatible headsets, including the Oculus Quest, or via a web browser, AWS said.

Here’s the link to the PBS site.


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Tip #1789: 1 Beyond Launches New Tracking Cameras

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

Automated cameras are ideal for remote production.

1 Beyond Falcon camera. (Image courtesy of 1 Beyond)

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1 Beyond Inc. makes automated cameras, cameras that follow a speaker’s movements without requiring an operator. Last week, they announced two new, lower-cost cameras: the Hawk and the Falcon.

The Falcon is a powerful presenter tracking camera that smoothly pans, tilts and zooms to follow a presenter. Its small form-factor is well-suited for smaller rooms. It is the first ePTZ camera from 1 Beyond and uses a 4K image sensor which is cropped to HD for output. It uses facial and motion detection for tracking and is designed for rooms up to 25 feet deep.

The Hawk is a tracking camera specifically for the room participants. It combines two 12x optical zoom PTZ cameras, a wide-angle reference camera and six audio-locating microphones in a compact shelf-mountable solution. Built-in facial detection and voice detection software uses a new algorithm to accurately point a camera at whoever is speaking. Switching between cameras is seamless and automatic. The wide-angle reference camera feed is also available for an establishing shot of the room. Hawk is designed for rooms up to 30 feet deep.

Here’s the link


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Tip #1797: 5 Truths From an Indie Producer

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

Planning, budgeting & contacts. The pillars of producing.

Image courtesy: Lilla Le Dieu.

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This article first appeared in NoFilmSchool.com. This is a summary.

I’m Lilia Le Dieu, a freelance producer, and I’m sharing a few lessons learned throughout three years in the creative industry. I have worked on short films, features, commercials, and music videos in the U.S. and Belarus.

My short films have collected over 50 official selections in international film festivals. Today, I’m sharing some knowledge that could be useful for other filmmakers, especially for those working on non-union shoots.

  1. Over-preparation is key. Murphy’s Law works hard, but it works overtime when it comes to filmmaking. In my experience, being extra OCD about every little thing and having a backup plan for it pays off. Have insurance, literally and figuratively.
  2. Fire [the] wrong people for the job, before it’s too late. If you’ve hired people, and they start to disappoint during pre-production, do not wait until the fire catches up. Talk to them, resolve conflict, or fire them and move on.
  3. Budgeting is everything. The art of budgeting should be taught in schools because so many things go right when you prepare for the costs and allocate money efficiently. This skill is usually honed when you’ve dealt with projects of different sizes. In my practice, contractors that ask for unreasonably high payments usually are not as competent as you might think.
  4. Don’t underestimate post-production. Listen, it’s not hard to edit and color grade a film. What’s hard is to meet the deadlines/budget, keep the vision consistent without sacrificing quality, and make the most of the footage you have. You can fix it in post. This argument is definitely valid for music videos.
  5. Reach out to EVERYONE. Filmmaking is a joint effort, impossible without the help of other talented collaborators. Once I find the right people, we stick together, as I make sure to attach them to every project. Don’t be afraid to contact someone who seems way out of your league. Also, do the opposite. All of us have started somewhere.

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Tip #1798: Product Reviews of the Un-reviewable

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

NewsShooter reviews the production gear you never knew existed.

Yup, it’s the Røde Thread Adapter

Topic $TipTopic If you are looking for product reviews of production gear that go way, WAAY deeper than cameras and big-name software, check out NewsShooter.com.

On the current home page of NewsShooter, you’ll find reviews of:

  • Camera cages
  • Lighting brackets
  • Monitors
  • Lenses
  • Focus pullers
  • Thread adapters

Thread adapters? How can you find enough words to fill a review of “a handy little device that can be attached to bags or other equipment so you always have a set of thread adaptors with you.”

But, they do.

This is a fun website for the geek in all of us.

Here’s the link.


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Tip #1786: 5 Ways to Turn Your Camera Vertical

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

These five mounting systems assure steady vertical shots.

Wooden Camera Vertical Plate (image courtesy of PremiumBeat.com)

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This article, written by Tanner Shinick, first appeared in PremiumBeat.com. This is a summary.

If you’re at all involved with full-time or freelance content creation, then it’s likely someone is asking you (with ever-increasing frequency) to produce vertical video. And that means it’s likely you’ve been asking yourself: “What are the best ways to mount a camera vertically?”

Here are five of our favorite answers in the form of products that will make shooting vertically a breeze.

  1. Tripod with 90-Degree Tilt
  2. UURig Vertical L-Bracket
  3. Manfrotto L-Bracket Q2
  4. Wooden Camera Vertical Plate
  5. Portrait Mode on Ronin RS2

The article illustrates all five options, and provide links to learn more.


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