FCPX Color Correction–Using Scopes, by Larry Jordan

Great little video that shows you why and how an editor uses scopes in color correction, including some nice little FCPX surprises you may not have known.

Even if you use Color Finale (like I do), this video gives you some vital (and simple) basics that are needed to make it all work right.

Sony PXW X70–How the 60mbps codec performs compared with the 100mbps AX100 in 4K

I thought I’d share this post from the Sony PXW X70  Shooters Facebook page which contains a significant piece of information on the X70s 60mbps versus the 100mbps of other 4K cameras. The difference that hasn’t been covered until now is the difference between the XAVC-L professional codec (which is new) versus the XAVCS codec. Here’s the post in full:

Some may know that I did some tests comparing/contrasting the AX100 4K 100 mbps XAVC-S and the X70 4K 60 mbps XAVC-L. These tests were of virtually the same footage shot at the same time and projected in 4K onto a 15-foot screen in a high-end 4K color grading suite here in Los Angeles. In the opinion of two cameramen and two colorists present (one of them the senior colorist), while both cameras looked excellent, the X70 images looked slightly superior. They definitely graded better.

There have been various discussions about why Sony didn’t put 100 mbps in their professional camera but did so in the consumer version. Briefly, the two codecs are significantly different and the professional codec performs better.

I just received this word from Sony’s X70 product manager regarding possible future 100 mbps in the X70: “We are working on that, but have not clarified whether or not whether it is technically feasible to incorporate 100Mbps. It is different from those of consumer FDR-AX100 and other models.”

As a note, I’ve been so busy I haven’t yet upgraded my own X70 to either the latest firmware or the 4K upgrade–something I hope to get to in the next week or so. -Joe

FCPX–Cutting a Live Show Using the Multi-cam Editor

Just saw this short clip showing a sample of cutting a live show (cameras still recording) in the multi-cam editor in FCPX on a Mac Pro.

It’s a 4-camera sample and the live recordings are happening at the same time on the same Mac Pro whilst the shots are switched live in the multi-cam editor. I don’t see why it wouldn’t work for 6,9 or 12 cameras.

Extreme Run and Gun

run-and-gun

(originally published on the Run and Gun Videography Blog)

I was happily working in the bright sunshine atop a hillside doing some preparatory work on a steel peacock sculpture my wife made that will be raised next week for a BBC program on Belvoir Castle.

The castle itself looked down on me from a mile away across rolling fields and lakes.

About an hour into my project, hands partially covered in sticky black mastic,  I heard the rumble of our Landrover approaching. My wife arrived to tell me there was an emergency at the castle. There was a lavish Hindu wedding ongoing and the videographer hadn’t shown up.

Naturally I explained why I had to say no. No preps. No 2nd or 3rd cameraman arranged. Simply too risky. And besides, I was already having fun.

She left.

20 minutes later I heard the rumble of the Landrover again. This time she popped out with the castle events manager who pleaded with me.

The ceremony was scheduled to begin in 90 minutes.

Great.

30 minutes later I was there, one hour before the ceremony.

The bride and groom explained that they wanted the whole ceremony and all the speeches that would occur afterwards at lakeside the reception dinner. Since the traditional Hindu ceremony itself was going to be two hours, that meant it was likely going to be a 2 1/2 hour program.

Normally, for a wedding,  I’d hire an additional cameraman or two in addition to planting a couple of additional static cameras of my own and use my X70 hand-held for all the interesting shots.

I only had time to hang one additional camera on a long shot of the ceremony.

I stayed close to the action with the radio receiver for the priest on the X70.

So far, no big deal, right?

In fact it was going rather well despite it all being unfamiliar to me–that is until 20 minutes from the end of the ceremony my battery died (wasn’t paying attention). I swapped it out quick to be greeted with a warning that the camera was unable to save the recording. It asked me a dumb question: Did I want to recover the file?

So I answered the dumb question and then it told me that there was a data-base error and asked me another dumb question: Did I want to re-build the data-base? Anyway, I spent a few seconds chatting back and forth with the camera in this fashion and a few seconds later everything seemed to be back-to-battery.

When the ceremony was over I changed both cards.

I wasn’t sure if it was a problem with one card or both. It didn’t tell me that. So naturally I was a bit concerned the rest of the evening.

It got worse.

The same thing happened toward the end of the speeches on the new cards. And this time it wasn’t because the battery had died.

I had smartly routed the audio to the receiver on the other camera (NX30), so at least if it happened again (as it did), I’d have the good sound.

But now I was really freaked.

They specifically wanted the whole ceremony and all the speeches.

All the B roll was fine (drinks in the rose garden, cannons being fired, long shot of the venue from atop the hill where I was so rudely interrupted only hours before. But the meat of the whole wedding was in severe jeopardy.

When I got home I put in the first of the cards that reported the error. Heart sank. The main chunk of the ceremony (with the good sound) wasn’t there. Same with the second card, though there were more files on that one, but the important bit was gone.

Strangely, the reception speeches and stuff seemed to all be there.

Long story short and twelve hours later after a lot of research (and purchase of) card recovery software (that reported “0” volumes on card), I tried rebuilding the data base in the camera again. (It said everything appears to be fine).

Stuck it back in the computer again (as one does) and suddenly there were a lot more files. Was the important one there? YES! In fact, they were all there.

(somebody correct me if I’m wrong, but apparently sticking the card in and out a few times can have this result–and that’s honestly the only thing I did in the end)

Anyway boys and girls, that’s ONE reason why you have multiple cameras on a live event of any sort. You can lose one and not lose the whole show.

 

Boris FX Filter Package Giveaway

Boris (1) Features: 21 Filters & 300+ Presets • Stagelights, Spotlights & Volumetrics • 3D Lens Flares & Sweeps • Glitters, Glares & Glints  • Cross-host License Compatibility:  Adobe After Effects, Premiere Pro, Avid Media Composer, FCP X (Motion 5), Resolve, Sony Vegas Pro Operating Systems:  MAC OS-X, Windows Note: Go through the entire ordering process.

With the coupon code entered ‘bcclights’ just before hitting ‘submit order’ the price will change from $299 to $0. Valid until 31 July 2015. http://www.borisfx.com/store/products/continuum-units/lights/

Here’s another link for the same: http://us6.campaign-archive1.com/?u=067f5a758fc7da9813d25d913&id=1f0ee7e88c&e=38a1b4f538

Some have replied to the first one saying “it doesn’t work”. It will work. If you’re not a current Boris FX customer and don’t have a login you do have to register. And you do have to fill in everything, including card details. The coupon window will be there the whole time, but the ONLY time it matters is after all other details are entered. You then enter the code and then hit submit. The price will change to $0 and where your card details were entered it will say (to the effect), “payment details not required”.

I received my download link and have downloaded and installed. So don’t worry. All they’re getting out of this is your email address and your details so that–if you want–you can easily order and pay for anything else in the future.

Corporate Video Sample

(originally published on the Run and Gun Videography Blog)

In the book Run ‘n Gun Videography–the Lone Shooter’s Survival Guide I went into some length to describe an atypical approach to shooting corporate videos which I’ve done successfully for several years now. In short, it’s a method of deriving the narrative content (or script) from an interview.  And it does take some knowledge of how to do an interview.

Anyway, I recently completed a 2 day shoot from which I produced 11 different videos. This company produces a diverse range of product protective covers as well as cotton bags and what was wanted was an overall video for the site’s home page or ‘about us’ page, several short narrated demonstration videos on their best selling products and a few more narrative driven ones, also on their best selling lines.

The sample I’m showing here is one of the latter.

This series is now one of my favorites, and the reason is that this guy was so likeable and sincere, even self-deprecating, which, oddly enough, is perfect for the UK audience which responds better to soft-sell than hard-sell.

Even he was very nervous about the whole being on camera thing and I really had to twist his arm. But he was so easy to talk to that he easily forgot about the camera and just continued to be his normal, likeable self. This, and several other short videos like it, was produced from only about 40 minutes of interview, and like any other narrative script derived from an interview, it was pieced together to create a seamless narrative even though it wasn’t recorded in the order you will hear it.

Now maybe this isn’t fair, but in the process of uploading his videos YouTube offered up some ‘related videos’ which are some of his competitors.

I’m including a couple samples–the first which I think is rather typical and the second which is simply a home-made video for a business. Please do not comment or do anything to criticise them. Rather just notice the differences and learn something from them. This is why I wrote the book Run ‘n Gun Videography–The Lone Shooter’s Survival Guide.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=leT4TveP6Nw

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wcf2oCXSc4E

Now, to be honest, despite what I wrote in the book, it isn’t always as easy as I describe.

The project previous to this one was an example. Very nice guy, but very self-conscious. Though I managed to break him out of it part of the time, I had to use interview material that was a bit more stiff in places, including the beginning. That one was a 12 minute video meant to replace his frequent need to take clients and brokers on 90 minute tours of the factory. It was a 2 hour interview, which tells you how difficult it was. Most of the time he was covered by B roll and for those moments he was in good form I’d bring him back on screen so you could see the passion and get a feel for the continuity of his talk (which was really created from 2 hours of interview to appear to be a seamless 12 minute talk). If you ever wanted to know how coal briquettes are made that video is last on this page. It’s titled and tagged so as to not come up on searches for that company, and is offered here only for education purposes in the context of this post.

 

Does the Sony PXW X70 4k upgrade import and work with FCPX?

I’m not going to get to this upgrade for another week or so, but just got this comment in on the Video Whisperer Blog, and I’m taking his advice:

Hi, my name is Hartmut writing from Berlin, Germany.
Dear “Whisperer”: You can call out loudely that it is very easy to import and edit 4Kmaterial recorded by the SONY PXW-X70 on an iMAC (latest edition) and FCPX (latest edition). It is working perfectly and the results are amazing if you consider how cheap and tiny this camera is!

Best Rechauds

Hartmut

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