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Tip #1544: Pick the Best SloMo Frame Rate

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

Not all frame rates are created equal.

(Image courtesy of Lisa Fotios, Pexels.com.)

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This article, written by Lewis McGregor, first appeared in ShutterStock.com. This is a summary.

NOTE: The key feature of this article is a video tutorial illustrating all these frame rates.

It wasn’t too long ago that shooting in slow motion was reserved only for cinema cameras. Or, at the very least, high-definition slow motion was reserved for cinema cameras. Today’s cameras now provide higher frame rates as a matter of course. However, which slow motion frame rate should you use for your online content? Too slow and a simple footstep may take five seconds to complete. Too fast and you may not slow down your footage enough.

  • 48/50 fps. Double the frame rate is, in fact, perfectly adequate to capture several elements in slow motion. Because it doubles a single second, it’s not slow enough to become fully evident that slow motion is taking place. Still, contradictory to that, it’s slow enough to emphasize a moment in time.
  • 60 fps. So, 60fps are great for the dramatic character moments. It’s slow enough to be noticeable and put emphasis on the given moment. Whether that’s the hero shot, closing in on an emotional moment, or slowing downtime in an important scene. Essentially, where there’s a human character involved and bringing you into the character’s frame of mind in a human moment.
  • 120 fps. Typically, any time something is happening faster than we can humanly see, or at least any subject that becomes obscured with motion blur—like animals running, liquid, or fast-action sports—can benefit from 120fps.
  • 180 fps. The same principles apply as 120fps, as we’ve moved out of the region of reasonable purpose to film humans at this speed. So, it’ll be useful for elements that have many fast-moving subjects that need to be slowed even further. When we push past 180, we’re moving into special use frame rates typically used for advertising, wildlife, and sports.

IN SUMMARY

  • 48/50fps for emphasizing small moments to mean something bigger.
  • 60fps for character/scene importance and bringing the audience into the bubble of the character.
  • 120fps for fast-moving subjects, elements, and sports.
  • 180fps will pull from above, but with greater emphasis on slowing things down.

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Tip #1545: What Media Tech Can Expect Post-Pandemic

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

Life will not be the same – hopefully, it will be better.

(Image courtesy of Pixabay at Pexels.com.)

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This article, written by Jenny Priestley, first appeared in TVBEurope.com. This is a summary.

TVBEurope wanted to find how the industry is feeling about the future. We asked a number of key industry figures how they view the next 12 months and whether the industry will return to pre-pandemic workflows.

“A lot of what has been put in place to cope with the pandemic, will become established ways of working and doing business, including home and remote working, remote production workflows, increased streaming volumes and direct to consumer propositions,” says James Arnold, chief commercial officer at Red Bee Media.

“On the vendor side there have been some excellent changes made during the last 12 months,” said Ciaran Doran, Rohde & Schwarz’s director of marketing, broadcast and media. “Such as improving how we demonstrate products and solutions via cloud technology and video conferencing – meaning we don’t all jump on a plane as fast as before. This not only improves efficiencies but saves the planet. But it’s crucially important that we return to getting to meet each other because creativity is at its peak when we engage with each other – and business flows from that human interaction too. Overall, we don’t see the future as a challenge, we see it as exciting. When the day to day rules get broken new opportunities arise and that’s when innovation takes a leap forward.”

“I think we learnt that change is possible if we really have to and used in the right way, technology is a facilitator of quick change more than we think,” adds Erik Ahlin, head of sales and marketing at Vidispine. “I think we also learnt that face-to-face meetings and interaction is still very important. It seems highly unlikely that even as travel restrictions and social distancing measure ease that any business, including the media industry, will return completely to pre-pandemic ways of working – not least because we were already trending towards many of the changes that have been made, those trends have just been accelerated.”

Yvonne Monterroso, director product management, at Dejero believes the pandemic has accelerated the adoption of new technologies and transformed future workflows into the workflows of today. For her, the key word for the next 12 months is enablement: “In the longer term, I don’t think we’re going to be talking about bit-rates or encoding formats or networks speeds or if it’s cloud or on-premise, we’re just going to be talking about enablement – talking about people and how their jobs can be simplified from a technical and content perspective, no matter where they are located.”


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Tip #1543: Use B-Roll More Effectively

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

B-roll illustrates what your audio is talking about.

(Image courtesy of Pexels.com.)

Topic $TipTopic

This article, written by Anthony Najera, first appeared in PremiumBeat.com. This is a summary.

B-roll, in a straightforward definition, is supplementary footage or alternative shots used in a video, in contrast to your “A-roll,” which is your main footage or primary shot. By definition, B-roll is secondary to the main image, but that doesn’t mean it’s not important to the storytelling. I’d argue B-roll can be just as important—or even more impactful—than A-roll when used properly.

The importance of B-roll is multifaceted. There are quite a few reasons we use B-roll in video creation—in practical terms, for storytelling, and for aesthetics. But, if you boil B-roll down to one practical purpose, it would be its importance in editing. B-roll gives the editor options when cutting up a video and a way to mask cuts when just using main footage won’t work.

Not every cut and piece of information has to be rapid-fire, back-to-back. Let the visuals do some work and let the story breathe a bit. B-roll can be the perfect way to pace a story and give the information on screen a little time to settle in with the viewer. The video isn’t a sprint to the finish line, it should be an enjoyable experience.

[ Editor’s Note: AMEN! So many editors cut like they are being paid by the edit. Drives me nuts!!! ]

When used correctly, B-roll can supply the audience with information or context to the main subject of the video. B-roll can show the literal act of what’s being discussed on camera or show the location of where an event is taking place.

Types of B-roll:

  • Exteriors/Establishing Shot
  • Cutaways/Inserts
  • Reenactments
  • Stock Footage

Although its called “B” roll, that doesn’t mean it can’t be the main visuals doing most of the storytelling. B-roll isn’t inherently second string—give the B-roll footage an opportunity to do the heavy lifting within a project. An editor can create a sense of tone and environment through the use of B-roll that the main footage wouldn’t be able to accomplish. Lean into that.

EXTRA CREDIT

The article has lots more ideas on how to use B-roll effectively, along with several links on capturing and editing effective B-roll.


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Tip #1524: The IP Video Revolution in Here

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

The second video revolution is here: IP.

The Primestream logo.

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The evolution from baseband to IP turned into a revolution in 2020 for the broadcast and streaming industries as the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic forced operations to double down on remote production workflows and technologies. Video technology companies and producers have turned to IP-based production like never before, embracing its efficiency, flexibility, and ability to meet rapidly changing requirements cost-effectively.

PrimeStream just released a new white-paper: “The IP Broadcast Revolution” that discusses this transition. The white paper takes a closer look at this massive paradigm shift. We trace the IP revolution from RF and baseband to IP, from satellite and microwave antennas to SIM cards, and from the broadcast operations center to the cloud. From there, we introduce the Primestream IP Broadcast Network Operation Center™ (NOC), which is enabling the future of video workflows through powerful solutions such as Media IO and Xchange™ Media Cloud.

The white paper is only 7 pages long, profusely illustrated and easy to read.

White paper link.


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Tip #1525: Monetize Images Using Blockchain

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

NFTs verify ownership and provide potential royalties.

(Image courtesy of Alesia Kozik, at Pexels.com.)

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This article, written by Alejandro Medellin, first appeared in Shutterstock.com. This is a summary.

The seemingly-overnight meteoric rise in popularity of NFTs (non-fungible tokes) has confounded many, including myself, begging the question: What are NFTs? Are they a cryptocurrency, a form of digital media, a speculative asset? The answers are no, kind of, and yes.

NFTs are digital assets whose ownership is verified by thousands of computers around the world using blockchain technology. Turning a regular digital asset into an NFT is called “minting,” which “tokenizes” the digital asset on the blockchain. NFT’s are sold using cryptocurrency, so the buyer and seller need a cryptocurrency wallet to participate in the transaction.

The digital asset itself is no different than non-NFT media, but its verification on the blockchain gives owners of the NFT legitimacy. While some people may buy NFTs because they like the content, many are treating NFTs as speculative assets, which are purchased because they may increase in value and sold for profit. With many NFTs selling as one-offs or in limited quantities, the digital scarcity increases the value of an NFT over time.

When an NFT is sold, and the transaction is verified on the blockchain, owners have digital proof of their purchase. That doesn’t mean they own the original asset or the copyright for that asset. They just own access to the NFT version of that thing, which is verified and cannot be changed unless sold. The blockchain verifies the transaction, which acts like a digital receipt that validates ownership of the NFT.

NFT ownership can be bought and sold, which is verified each time on the blockchain, but the original creator of the NFT is permanent. Typically, artists receive payment once when they sell their artwork, but selling an NFT is different. Each time an NFT exchanges hands, the original creator of the NFT receives a cut of the profit, which is a royalty payment. With the hope that NFTs appreciate in value over time, creators could make more on royalties than the initial price of the NFT.

The entire article is worth reading – as NFTs are simply another revenue source for our digital assets. The link is at the top.


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Tip #1527: Directing Advice from Denis Villeneuve

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

Fear of failure is far worse than failure itself.

Behind the scenes of ‘Arrival’  CREDIT: Paramount.

Topic $TipTopic

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

NOTE: The heart of this article is a video interview with Denis Villeneuve on how he directs.

Overcome failures by acceptance. In thinking about creating a sequel to Blade Runner, Denis said that you have to accept the fact that you can, and (likely will) fail, and that that’s okay. Accept that fate, and once you do, you become free. To get rid of the pressure of potential failure, you need to accept that it can happen, place less focus on it, and just put your mind toward creation. That is the only way you can create without boundaries.

Create tension with realism. Villeneuve says that one of the key elements for tension is that you need to make people relate to the narrative through the subconscious mind. Villeneuve says that you have to bring in something for your audience to relate to, and give them a clue to create suspense about something that will happen. Make the audience wonder.

Strive to create poetry. Villeneuve says that at the end of the day, the reason why everyone goes to see movies is to be moved by the poetry of the image. That, he says, is because those images had a profound meaning. That meaning is orchestrated by the movement of the camera, the light, the design, and the elements that create an invisible meaning. To Villeneuve, this is poetry.

The original article is linked at the top.


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Tip #1508: Streaming Subscribers Pass 1 Billion Worldwide

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

Tradition media is down, streaming media is way up.

Image credit: Ranker via TV Technology.

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According to TV Technology (link) global streaming subscriptions jumped well past 1 billion. Reporting on the Motion Picture Association’s annual THEME report, TV Technology wrote that the total number of online video subscriptions jumped to 1.1. billion at the end of 2020.

TV Technology writes:

MPA’s categorization of online video subscriptions specifically refers to streaming services, like Netflix and Disney+. In 2020, 232.1 million new subscriptions were added across the world, a 26% increase from 2019. Meanwhile, cable subscriptions decreased by 2% in 2020, dropping to 530.7 million globally.

In terms of revenue, the pay-TV subscription market, which excludes online video in the MPA report, was $233.1 billion. Despite a decrease in subscriptions, cable actually grew its revenue by $871.4 million to $111.6 billion, keeping it as the largest subscription video market. Online video is the third largest subscription market and increased $14.3 billion (34%) in 2020.

When looking specifically at the U.S., online video subscriptions shot up to 308.6 million, an increase of 32%. Virtual pay-TV subscriptions also saw an increase, adding 12.1 million subscriptions in 2020, up 29%. Cable and satellite subscriptions both declined.

However, like the global market, cable remains the largest subscription market in terms of revenue in the U.S.

EXTRA CREDIT

Here’s the Motion Picture Association report.


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Tip #1509: 2 Newsletters to Track Broadcast Media

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

These cover technology, business and trends.

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There are two reports I get every day that are very helpful in tracking what’s going on at the high-end of the media industry: broadcast and film.

First, is TV Technology. They are a part of Future US Inc., an international media group and leading digital publisher of dozens of special-interest publications.

TV Technology website: www.tvtechnology.com

Future US website: www.futureplc.com/brands/


The other is a daily newsletter from the NAB called “NAB Smart Brief.”

NAB’s Smartbrief is a daily snapshot of broadcast industry news pulled from numerous leading media sources. Smartbrief contains summaries of the news that matters to you, written by expert editors to save you time and keep you informed and prepared.

Smart Brief website: www.nab.org/news/smartBrief.asp


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Tip #1510: A Quick Guide to Steadicams

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

Steadicam is a handy way to get professional stabilized footage.

Steadicam Aero (image courtesy of Tiffen.)

Topic $TipTopic

This article, written by Lewis MacGregor, first appeared in PremiumBeat.com. This is a summary.

Once mastered, Steadicam is a handy way to get professional stabilized footage.

The world of Steadicams and stabilized footage has drastically changed over the last decade. At one point, the costly tool was reserved only for professional broadcasts, TV, and cinema. Yet, with new filmmakers born of the DSLR revolution yearning for something similar, we also saw the birth of inexpensive stabilization tools that followed the principle of Steadicams, but the results weren’t as successful. Further into the decade, we then saw the birth of the consumer-priced gimbal, and now everyone can obtain smooth footage.

Steadicams have seemingly reverted to professional productions only, whereas low-budget and new filmmakers opt towards a gimbal like the DJI Ronin-S.

A Steadicam is a camera rig that’s uniquely designed to stabilize camera shake. It mechanically isolates the camera from the operator’s movement, allowing for a smooth shot, even when moving over an asymmetrical surface. First created in the 1970s, the Steadicam quickly took Hollywood by storm as a better option for shooting smooth tracking shots.

A Steadicam, unlike a gimbal, primarily achieves smooth footage from a series of counterbalance weights and operator skill. Unlike a gimbal, which uses a motor to help achieve stable footage, the Steadicam’s primary tool is gravity. As such, the use of a Steadicam comes with a steep learning curve, and it’s also why a Steadicam operator is a designated position on a production. It requires skill and expertise to master.

This in-depth article continues with lots of Steadicam example videos and the following subjects:

  • Why Would I Need a Steadicam?
  • How Do I Set up a Steadicam?
  • How Much Do Steadicams Cost?
  • The Less Expensive Alternative
  • More Info on Steadicams (including a variety of links)

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Tip #1487: 8 Filmmaking Lessons from “Mission: Impossile”

Larry Jordan – LarryJordan.com

8 Ways to Improve Your Story-telling

Tom Cruise, Mission: Impossible. Credit: Paramount Pictures

Topic $TipTopic

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

Perhaps my favorite film franchise of all time is Mission: Impossible. There are lots of amazing lessons to learn from [this first film], but today we will focus on eight of them.

  1. Embrace canted angles. When it comes time to do your movie, think about shaking up the camera angles from the boring norm.
  2. Set pieces must be memorable. One of the best things about the first Mission: Impossible is that it set the standard for set pieces. When you set out to make your movie, think about how the set pieces stand out.
  3. Write yourself into a corner. When you write your story, get the character to a place where you have no idea how to get them out of it… and then get them out of it.
  4. Stars still have power. In this era, we think about the faces that can sell movies. If you are trying to sell [your film] to studios, consider packaging with a star. Or at least someone with a face that has star power.
  5. Practical effects hold up. When in doubt, do your effects practically. They will stand the test of time.
  6. You don’t owe the original anything. When you are adapting an idea, you do not owe anything to the original. You owe the audience the best story you can muster. Focus on that, always.
  7. Collaboration is key. [This] first movie really was a collaboration between the star, director, writers, and the studio. Everyone had their own agendas going into this movie. [Still,] everyone acted like professionals and made appropriate concessions for the vision [of the film].
  8. Know when you’ve had enough. Mission: Impossible became a very successful series of films, but Brian De Palma only directed one of the installments. In an interview with AP News, De Palma said sequels were about money, and he wasn’t in it for that. Is there a lesson here for you? Choose your projects with your heart, not your wallet.

EXTRA CREDIT

The original article includes more details and multiple videos illustrating these points.


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