TaoTronics Active Noise Cancelling Headphones

I really love these noise cancelling headphones from TaoTronics.

Eclipse time-lapse from NY

I used my Canon 5D Mark III to video the solar eclipse today. I had to resist the urge to look at the sun but I didn’t have the special glasses so I headed the dire warnings (can’t think of any time when looking at the sun is recommended…). The sky never really got dark and there was intermittent clouds as well so it wasn’t really apparent that the sun was being blocked. The neighbors dog seemed to notice and was barking during the time when the sun was covered. The next one in 2024 will give us here on the east coast a different look so that will be fun!

Premiere Pro CC 2014

Depend_timelineI am really enjoying using Premiere Pro CC 2014. If you had told me 3 years ago that I would be singing the praises of Premiere, I would have laughed and said no way. However, after having fully made the switch and having edited a good number of projects with the CS6 and CC versions, I am a convert. It is now my preferred choice of NLE’s and the more I use it, the more I like it. I really like how it handles file based media like P2 and XDCAM natively and can even handle H.264 media. I recently worked on a project which I will elaborate on in a subsequent post, that had a very short turnaround time, and I don’t think I would have been able to complete it as quickly as I did with Avid or Final Cut Pro 7 (I am still not using FCP X). The footage was shot on multiple formats, including XDCAM, ProRes, and some footage I shot using my 5D Mark III. I did transcode the H.264 files but the rest was just imported natively and I was quickly able to start editing. The slowest part of the process was copying the files off the cards.

I also like the integration of the other CC programs like Photoshop and After Effects and I am learning how to use Audition for smoothing out the sound. Media Encoder has replaced Compressor for me – it’s great to cue up an output and keep working in Premiere and it also works well for transcoding batches of files and making multiple versions. I still like Handbrake but I’m using it less and less as I get more proficient with AME. While Davinci Resolve is my color correcting app of choice, I am also learning SpeedGrade so I can take advantage of its connection with the other programs.

Another plus of the CC bundle is that with the 2 seats I get with my subscription (which I really think is a great pricing model despite what others say), I have it on My Mac and on My Dell PC and my settings are always in sync. The Creative Cloud software has been a great upgrade for my Dell system, which has 2 NVIDIA cards and accelerates those programs with CUDA.

Premiere is also gaining reputation as a serious contender to Avid’s lock on feature films. David Fincer recently posted his film “Gone Girl” with Premiere. Here is a link to a Studio Daily article about some aspects of the workflow: http://www.studiodaily.com/2014/08/inside-gone-girls-6k-review-and-editorial-pipeline/
I’m sure we will hear about more projects using Adobe Creative Cloud.

5 Minute Spot for Stemage Skin Care

Just finished working on a 5 minute spot for Stemage, a new skin cream that uses stem cell technology to stimulate the skin’s production of collagen. The spot is hosted by supermodel turned media mogul Kathy Ireland – don’t laugh, her brand is a billion dollar empire!

I cut the spot using Final Cut Pro 7 because the original long form was also cut on FCP7 and the project was way too big to try and transfer over to Premiere-there was over 12 TB of footage. Some of the graphics were made using AfterEffects and Maya on my Dell T5500 PC. Here is one that illustrates the healing effects of Stemage:

It was tough going back to cutting on FCP7 because it is such a graphics heavy show that the rendering was quite painful. Hats off to Daniel Johnson who did the skin animation and Rik Bogusz who did the other graphics for the spot.

Wolfgang Puck’s new Pressure Oven Videos

Recently I worked on videos for Time-Life about Wolfgang Puck’s new Pressure Oven. It was a great experience working with Mr. Puck, shooting the videos at his world-famous restaurant, Spago, in Beverly Hills.


Wolfgang Puck and Raff

He is a real pro at doing demos and was very fun to work with. Along with editing 12 videos, I was B Cameraman using my Blackmagic Cinema Camera.


Shooting Wolfgang Puck with the Blackmagic Cinema Camera


BMCC with HPX-3700

The primary footage which was shot on a Panasonic HPX-3700. I am very pleased with how the BMCC footage came out and integrated with the 3700 footage.

Click below to view one of the videos:

Wolfgang Puck’s Rotisserie Chicken Video

I shot RAW Cinema DNG and used DaVinci running on my Dell Precision T5500 to create footage and cut the segments using Final Cut Pro 7 on a MacPro. This will probably be the last job I cut with FCP7, as I am making the transition full time to cutting in Premiere Pro CC or Avid Symphony. I have been using Premiere and Avid on both PC and Mac platforms and I am not missing FCP7 at all… The Tesla card in the Dell really makes DaVinci work great and is so much faster than using a MacPro for creating dailies and finished footage. I am currently using Premiere Pro CC to edit a national spot for Euro-Pro and will have a report on that experience soon!

Here are additional videos that I edited:

How The Wolfgang Puck Pressure Oven Works!

Wolfgang Puck’s Pressure Oven Cooks Food Faster!

Wolfgang Puck’s Pressure Oven Makes Entertaining Easier!

Wolfgang Puck’s Pressure Oven Can Roast, Bake, and Rotisserie!

Wolfgang Puck’s Pressure Oven Bakes The Perfect Cinnamon Rolls!

New camera stabilizer called MōVI looks impressive.

Vincent Laforet has been teasing us recently about a new piece of gear that he describes as a “gamechanger”. Today he has revealed on his blog that it is a new digital 3-axis gyro-stabilized handheld camera gimbal which weighs under 4 pounds, costs $15,000 and doesnt have many of the challenges associated with traditional stedicam systems. The video showing it in use is quite compelling. I hope to be able to see it at NAB next week – the company that makes it, Freefly Systems, will be at booth #C9848.

Here is a video that shows the device:

Here is a video Vincent directed showing it in use:

MōVI from Vincent Laforet on Vimeo.

This short was shot with the The "MōVI" – a digital 3-axis gyro-stabilized handheld camera gimbal. The completely silent device weighs under 3.5 pounds bare and can be operated solo, or with the help of a second "gimbal" operator with a joystick to pull off some incredible moves. To read more about it go to: http://wp.me/pjtZ0-2a4 The BTS Video is at: https://vimeo.com/63357898

To download extra features go to: http://vimeo.com/ondemand/movi

All proceeds from the "Tip Jar" and Vimeo on Demand will benefit the Lollipop theater network http://www.lollipoptheater.org/ – a nonprofit organization that arranges showings of first-run movies to children confined to hospitals.

This short was shot ENTIRELY handheld with the MōVI, a Canon EOS 1DC (at 4K) and a Canon 24mm 1.3 Cine Prime (and a Zeiss 18mm CP.2 for the aerial shots.)

Firefly Pain Relief System

Here is a spot I recently edited for a great client, Prizm Medical.

“Tommy Collins’ Fashion Shots” Show #3

Tommy Collins gives his views on fashion, this time it’s the men’s turn:

Blackmagic Design Announces Blackmagic Cinema Camera with Passive Micro Four Thirds Lens Mount

A second Blackmagic Camera has been announced:

IBC 2012, Amsterdam, Netherlands – September 7, 2012 – Blackmagic Design today announced a second model of the Blackmagic Cinema Camera that features passive Micro Four Thirds lens (MFT) mount, so customers now have an even greater choice of lens options when shooting. The new Blackmagic Cinema Camera MFT model supports any Micro Four Thirds with manual iris and focus, and is also easily adapted to other lens mounts such as PL via third party adapters. The ability to use third party adapters to allow other types of lens mount is due to the Micro Four Thirds lens mount being much closer to the image sensor and allowing space for adapters to other lens mounts.

See the whole press release here:
Blackmagic Design Announces Blackmagic Cinema Camera with Passive Micro Four Thirds

I’m going to stick with the Canon EF mount version which I ordered and should be here soon. I’m happy that they seem to be continuing to develop the camera and are thinking about other options.

“Tommy Collins’ Fashion Shots” Show #1

Here is the first Tommy Collins’ Fashion Shots show, that I cut on Premiere CS6 and AE CS6 on the Dell Precision T5500: