… for Random Weirdness

Tip #897: The Real Reason for a 12K Camera

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

12K is all about improving 4K image quality.

The Blackmagic Design URSA Mini 12K camera.

Topic $TipTopic

Last week, Blackmagic Design released a new version of the URSA Mini camera that shoots 12K video frames! Why???

As many of you know, I am not a fan of ever-larger frame sizes; or the massively huge files these formats create. However, recently, Simon Wyndham, writing for Red Shark News,  wrote a thoughtful analysis of the thinking behind this camera.

The entire article is worth reading, including a discussion of why the camera supports Blackmagic RAW, but not ProRes or ProRes RAW, and the new way it uses to record raw sensor data that bypasses deBayering. Like I said, an article well worth reading.

NOTE: Here’s the article link.


However, the key behind Simon’s analysis for me was his thinking about 12 K images. Here’s an excerpt:

“Blackmagic Design didn’t really make the camera with the resolution it has so that you can film in 12K. You can do this perfectly easily of course if you want to, but the real reason why it exists is so that you can shoot exceptional 8K and 4K.

“It was famously said that the perfect resolution for a camera is 100MP (14K). Why? Because the human eye consists of 100 million rods and cones. The 80MP of the 12K URSA Mini is well on the way towards that ideal. At resolutions as high as this pixels become pretty much irrelevant. It becomes a point at which digital, for all intents and purposes, becomes analogue.

“Noise structure becomes incredibly fine, and with oversampled lower resolutions it becomes averaged out further. Subtly of detail and texture structure is picked up that you simply do not achieve with a native 4K or even 8K camera. At this sort of resolution, while aliasing technically still exists, it is visually reduced to nothing. It’s just too fine to see. High frequency edges become naturally smooth.

“Even on a 4K television, and in some instances an 8K one it is possible to see the edge structure on something like sharp white text on a dark background depending on the distance you sit. At ultra high resolutions these high frequency edges are totally smooth. And as we’ve mentioned many times before on RedShark, higher resolutions are not necessarily about more detail, but much more about edge smoothness.

“So primarily the 12K URSA Mini is not about actually filming 12K on a daily basis, but it is about filming extremely high quality oversampled lower resolutions.

“Do you need the extra resolution? No, you can work perfectly well with your existing 4K camera. But, and it’s a big but (no Shrek reference intended), we are in the business of producing the best pictures possible. And while high resolution isn’t the only arbiter of picture quality, it is an indisputable fact that it is most certainly an important one.”

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Tip #898: Top Ten Single Take Music Videos

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

One take means much more pressure on production – but the results are worth it.

Screen shot from OK Go “The Writing’s on the Wall.”

Topic $TipTopic

The folks at MotionArray have compiled the Top Ten One-Take Music Videos. Because, why not? This article first appeared in MotionArray.com. This is an excerpt.

We often focus on the art of editing, but what about the art of not editing? What we mean here, is the very tricky art of directing and shooting a scene in a single take. And in this case, we’re taking a look at some of our favorite single take music videos.

Here’s their list. The link at the top provides more details and a link to each video. Enjoy debating your own top ten.

  1. Lucas – Lucas with the Lid Off
  2. Feist – 1, 2, 3, 4
  3. Cibo Matto – Sugar Water
  4. Interpol – No I in Threesome
  5. Gary Jules – Mad World
  6. OK GO – The Writing’s On The Wall
  7. Bat For Lashes – What’s A Girl To Do
  8. Weezer – Undone, The Sweater Song
  9. Sia – Chandelier (One Take Version)
  10. OK GO – Upside Down & Inside Out

… for Random Weirdness

Tip #899: Essential Gear for a Production Company

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

Buy gear as you need it, not in anticipation of needing it.

Blackmagic URSA Mini 12K camera.

Topic $TipTopic

This article, written by Jourdan Aldredge, first appeared in PremiumBeat.com. This is an excerpt.

From 4K cameras and gimbals to editing software and computers, here’s a look at the essential gear you’ll need to start your own video production company.

While you’ll find lots of content online that insists you should immediately get your hands on a high-end camera, a couple of new drones, and some studio space — — I actually suggest starting small when it comes to cameras, gear, and equipment.

Larry adds: My philosophy is to buy your gear using client dollars, rather than your own, as much as possible.

Here is the essential gear Jourdan recommends:

  • Versatile 4K Hybrid Camera. Any video production company that wants to get work needs to have a 4K camera ready to go at a moment’s notice. Luckily, there are plenty of surprisingly affordable options.
  • Go-To Cinema Camera (Own or Rent). You can get more work — broadcast commercial shoots and the like — by offering clients a higher-end cinema camera option. However, I’d suggest renting high-end cameras until you’re certain you’ll need one consistently enough to warrant the investment.
  • Tripods, Gimbals, and Rigs. For those just starting out, I recommend investing in at least one: tripod, slider, handheld rig and gimbal/steadicam.
  • Three-Point Lighting Kit. Invest based on current needs, then expand. Specifically, start with a simple three-point lighting kit that’s functional, easy to move quickly, sturdy enough to not fall or break, and priced in a way that won’t limit your resources elsewhere.
  • Audio Recording Bundle. Audio needs vary drastically from shoot to shoot, but I’ve found that having these basics will cover the majority of your projects:
    • Multi-channel audio recorder
    • Shotgun boom mic
    • Boom mic pole
    • Boom mic stand
    • Wireless lav kit
    • Multiple headphones
  • Quality Editing Computer. If you’re offering full service (also called turnkey) video production that includes editing work, then I highly recommend putting most of your investment resources into your computer(s) and editing workflow. Apple computers — like the Apple Mac Pro, iMac Pro, and MacBook Pro — have never let me down.
  • Editing Software. There’s no wrong answer here. Adobe Premiere Pro, Apple Final Cut Pro X and DaVinci Resolve still rule the industry.


In the article linked above, Jourdan provides specific gear suggestions, with links to learn more.

… for Random Weirdness

Tip #879: 5 Key Corporate Video Client Types

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

Every client is a steppingstone to more work.

Production image courtesy of Pexels.com.

Topic $TipTopic

This article, written by Jourdan Aldredge, first appeared in PremiumBeat.com. This is an excerpt.

Let’s break down the five most common clients in corporate video production, and explore how you can prepare for their on-set and post-production needs.

By investing in your clients, it’s easier to turn them into partners (and even friends) who you can work with as if you’re on the same team. In fact, I’d say that anyone interested in corporate video production should make it a serious goal to get to this “same team” mentality with their clients. After all, the best client, as they say, is the one who keeps coming back to you.

  1. One-Off Productions. These clients can be found on all your job boards, industry specific forums, or even from word-of-mouth recommendations. Take these projects when you can, but always push to turn them into bigger roles in the future. My advice is to show up, do great work, be positive, and try to talk with the highest-level stakeholder you can find.
  2. Event and Live Streamers. These are by far the most boring — and often the most logistically challenging — of the video projects you might be called on to produce. They can also be the most consistent and lucrative. My advice for these types of clients is to work early and often to make your video services a holistic part of their events.
  3. Social Media Marketers. It’s been reported that over 78% percent of people are watching videos online every week, and 72% percent of customers prefer learning about products or services through video. As such, many of the corporate video opportunities you’ll find moving forward are going to be specifically focused on social media video content.
  4. In-House Production Support. It’s no secret that companies up and down the Fortune 500 create a lot of video content. However, the idea that their in-house resources include enough people, gear, and time to handle all of their video needs is naive. A solid point of contact within the marketing or production department of a big-time company can quickly become your best client. If you do good work and make their life easier, they’ll call you whenever they need more support.
  5. The Creative Branding Partners. This might be the best client of them all. You should work to ensure that every single one of your previous clients views you and your company this way. At the end of the day, clients are going to come back to you because they have video needs, but also because they like you, respect your work, and trust you to deliver a quality product.

The link at the top has more examples and links to videos.

… for Random Weirdness

Tip #880: Insights on Being a Producer

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

Making films is a business. The Producer is CEO.

Film set image courtesy of Pexels.com.

Topic $TipTopic

This article, written by Jourdan Aldredge, first appeared in PremiumBeat.com. This links to five video interviews with industry producers on what it takes to step your career up to the next level.

Interviews feature:

  • Mark Heidelberger
  • Toby Halbrooks
  • Christina Sibul
  • Bonnie Curtis
  • John Paul Rice

I really like John Paul Rice‘s comment: “Start from the end. Start from the very end and work your way back. Don’t start here and go forward without knowing where you’re going to end up… It’s a clear objective of where you should be at this stage. It should be a logical conclusion because everything should flow forward as it flows backwards, as well. You won’t miss anything that way.”

Jourdan’s article summarizes the interviews, then links to them so you can watch them yourself.

… for Random Weirdness

Tip #881: Starting a Motion Graphics Studio

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

“Know what you’re getting into before you start.”

“Being Brilliant” is not enough. (Image courtesy of Pexels.com)

Topic $TipTopic

This article first appeared in MotionArray.com. This is an excerpt.

MotionArray interviewed Yesael Sumalave, owner of Witness, about starting a motion graphic studio. They talked about how he decided to open a studio and what you have to think about before jumping into running a motion design business of your own.

Topics include:

  • Getting Started
  • Industry Insights
  • The Business Itself
  • Advice for Artists
  • Favorite Work

As Yesael says: “Really think about it, and think about all of the things that go into running a studio. You won’t just be sitting around making art. You have to deal with clients. You have to deal with managing talent. You have to deal with billing and a lot of other things that aren’t art-related. … Know what you are getting into before you start.”

… for Random Weirdness

Tip #861: NewTek Launches Training Site

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

new classes provide training and, if needed, certification.

NewTek University logo.

Topic $TipTopic

Last week, NewTek announced exclusive learning and certification opportunities through NewTek University. NewTek University courses range from operating guides to classes on selling NewTek solutions.

All learning materials are available online and on-demand, connecting users with an unparalleled learning opportunity no matter their location or time zone. New team members can be brought right up to speed in no time with new content being added to the existing library throughout the rest of 2020.

Class fees start at $895 and exams at $249. Free sample classes are avaliable. All courses are available 24/7 online on-demand.

For more information visit: here.

… for Random Weirdness

Tip #862: How the Lockdown Affects Production

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

This article describes ways to continue production during lockdown.

“American Idol” got creative to finish its 18th season.

Topic $TipTopic

The folks at TV Technology released an article on “How Did the Lockdown Impact Video Production Workflows.” This is an excerpt.

Joseph Hopkins writes:

A number of major video productions have managed to continue successfully despite having their workflows disrupted by COVID-19 and the restrictions lockdown measures enforce. One of the main reasons some producers endure is because their teams have been able to adapt to working in the “new normal” by utilizing a combination of emerging technologies and time-tested IP transport solutions.

Yet, these are not simply band-aid solutions, but instead are examples of an acceleration in the evolution of production workflows taking place across the media and sports industries. This transition to IP infrastructure has exposed new capabilities not available through traditional satellite and is proving to be a framework on which to build solutions that will overcome the challenges facing the media industry today, and in the future.

Here’s the link to the full article.

… for Random Weirdness

Tip #864: 5 Things to Build Trust with Clients

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

Success as an editor requires two key things: Trust and Comfort.

Zack Arnold. (Image courtesy of Frame.io.)

Topic $TipTopic

Award-winning editor, Zack Arnold, writes in a blog published by Frame.io on how to have a long-standing career in media. Here’s an excerpt.

It isn’t the software. We are not keyboard monkeys, we are storytellers. Our ability to tell compelling and engaging stories and make an audience feel something supersedes our knowledge of any specific piece of software.

Clients care if you can tell compelling stories, move people emotionally, and deliver on deadline. And most importantly, they care whether or not they can work with you in a dark room for 60 hours a week (without you murdering each other).

If you’re interested in becoming an editor who is considered great in the room, there are only two things you have to focus on: Trust and comfort. To get there, consider these five points.

  1. Create a safe environment, i.e. a “No Chaos Zone”
  2. Accept that everyone has their own process, and set clear expectations on Day 1
  3. Embrace and experiment with new ideas (no matter how stupid)
  4. Become a ninja at finding “The note behind the note”
  5. Become so fast you can finish people’s sentences (and find any shot instantly)

Zack’s entire blog is an outstanding read. Read it all here.

… for Codecs & Media

Tip #863: What HDMI 2.1 Means for 8K and HDR

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

The new HDMI standard supports future image quality growth.

Image courtesy of TV Technology.

Topic $TipTopic

The folks at TV Technology released an article on “What HDMI 2.1 Could Mean for 8K, HDR” This is an excerpt.

James Carter and Henry St. Leger write:

What is HDMI 2.1? The new standard for HDMI was confirmed back in November, 2017, but has yet to trickle down into mass-market television hardware. When it does, though, it will mark a big step for both the AV industry and home viewers wanting to get the most of their TV series, films, broadcast, and games consoles.

When High Definition Multimedia Interface (or HDMI) first arrived on the scene, everyone rejoiced at no longer having to use bulky SCART connectors, or those confusing component video cables, ever again. Instead, HDMI offered high definition video with a connector that was just a little bigger than a standard USB plug.

…The headline feature here is support for 8K content at 60 fps, but there are also a number of minor features that add up to a much more capable standard such as support for Variable Refresh Rates, Dynamic HDR, and Quick Media Switching, which should make it faster than ever to change between the devices attached to your television.

Here’s the link to the full article.