Sib Law's poetry, photography, and other musings

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Posts Tagged ‘film

New Media is “Like Film on Speed!”

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Rocket’s Tail spends a lot time talking with the people who make online video possible from the business standpoint. But, there are some fantastic creators out there who are putting their ingenuity and artistic predilections to entertaining the rest of us. They play a critical part of the development of this industry. What do they expect when they get involved in online video projects? How do the projects stack up to their expectations? This past week we caught up with some of the people who have created O-Cast (Anne Richmond, Leah Johnston, Kate Kuen, and Turner Smith). They and others have put a lot of time and creative energy into the NYC online video hit O-Cast. Here is what they had to say:

Syndicate your shows with Blip.tv (Interview with Dina Kaplan)

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Dina Kaplan has a number of shows that she really enjoys and they are all on a network that she co-founded with Mike Hudack, Justin Day, Charles Hope, and Jared Klett. They are on the ground floor of a critical evolution in syndicated content; online video. Boasting some fifty thousand shows currently and constantly adding more, Blip.tv recently added syndication to a wide variety of aggregation portals like: iTunes, YouTube, Roku, Tivo, and many more. Where Hulu aims to purvey the highest quality content from the top-tier studios and networks and YouTube is targeted at “every-user”, Blip.tv aims to develop the middle tier of webseries productions and syndicated them (with advertising) to a wide range of portals.

Rocket’s Tail recently caught up with Dina to hear her thoughts on what differentiates them in the market place, the coming evolution of 3D, and the future of online video.

New York Times tackles 3D

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Thank you James Cameron for helping the world see that, yes, 3D is pretty darn cool; even with cheap versions of the goggles. I may be ready for my cool Ray-Ban styled 3D glasses; but the rest of the world is just now getting a handle on this fact, “What?! I can watch football live in 3D?!!!!” And happily as CES, the worlds largest consumer electronics show, gets fully underway this week in Las Vegas; we will be treated to a bevy of articles about the coming 3D revolution (at least that’s what broadcasters are hoping!).

This morning the New York Times jumped with both feet with this article: Television Begins a Push Into the 3rd Dimension.

If you found it here, pass it on and send people back! Thanks.

Written by @SibLaw_Official

January 6, 2010 at 9:59 am

Get Ready for 3D to Kick You in the Face!

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Yeah, you heard it right…kicked in the FACE! I recently sat in the screening room at 3ality (said: three-ality) Digital in Burbank, California. A camera swept across the stadium toward Bono and the Edge in a clip from the U23D concert movie, and I brought my fingers to the side of my neck to check my heart, which was pounding! Quick cut to a kickoff in last year’s Super Bowl in 3D. I’m not talking about a layer of one team, a layer of another team, and then everything else. I’m talking about a real three-dimensional image; smooth 3D from the closest player to the very back of the stadium, the way my eyes naturally see it. Absolutely amazing! And still, most of the population is perplexed by all the 3D talk.

Over the past year the press has done little to clear up why some people are talking so much about 3D television. The same questions always come up: Do I really need to buy yet another TV to get 3D? Can’t I watch 3D on my current TV? Do I have to wear those funny glasses? The immediate answer to these questions is always “Yes,” and then the writer goes into tech speak and my eyes roll back into my head as I start thinking about something on another website and click away from the article.

After watching the sample in the screening room, we walked into the lobby, where we watched clips from popular television shows in 3D. Again, the images were incredible. So what’s the big deal? Why can’t I have my 3D TV now? Well, you can…sort of. Get ready for the rich-nerdy-tech-girl down the street to have the coolest, newest TV technology before you do. But it won’t be long before you can have it too!

Acer is coming out with a cool new laptop pimped out with a 3D monitor that’ll run somewhere in the neighborhood of $800. But the real test will be next year when FIFA and Sony team up to produce 25 live sporting events in 3D. What I’ve heard is that the events will feature Manchester United, that 3D monitors will be placed in pubs throughout England, and that 3D glasses will be given out with beverages  (gives a whole new meaning beer goggling!).

So here’s the key for me: blow-your-mind-incredible production values. What made those images of the Super Bowl and the U2 concert and even the nature images in the 3ality Digital screening room so compelling? They were well produced. When I was watching them, I wasn’t thinking, “What great 3D images.” I was thinking, “Wow, what an incredible experience!” The impression was so mind-bending because it wasn’t just about the 3D images, it was about being engaged with and immersed in the content. It would be pure joy to be in a pub in England with a group of happy (um, drunk) fans when that first ball comes flying out of the television at them. Now that’s just good clean fun! Fortunately, James Cameron and Steven Spielberg are leading the charge with 3D films. We can hope that equal heavyweights lead the charge in television.

While I was at the 3ality Digital studio, Angela Gyetvan gave me a brief tour of their system for capturing 3D images, as well as talked about common misconceptions regarding the technology. Please enjoy the tour…and meeting Angela:

When I left 3ality Digital that afternoon, those images kept coming back to me. The experience was unforgettable! Not only do I want to own the latest and greatest technology to view this incredible new content, I want to start shooting in 3D…now!  So, yes, you will need glasses, but the latest versions look more like Raybans. And, Yes, you’ll need a new TV, because, NO!, your current TV absolutely will not play 3D like this. Once you see 3D this way, you won’t want to go back.

Meet Sir Groovy

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David Leibowitz is Sir Groovy in my book! As Chairman of SirGroovy, he oversees an organization dedicated to music by connecting “TV Producers, Music Supervisors, Filmmakers and AD Executives to indie labels worldwide.” I had the chance to sit down with David at Digital Hollywood this Fall. Here is what we discussed:

Written by @SibLaw_Official

November 25, 2009 at 11:27 am

FlipMino HD Reviewed

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(Please note the YouTube Demo of the FlipMino HD is embedded below.)

As you can imagine, I shoot a lot of video. Usually, I find myself behind Panasonic equipment and have grown to like their P2 system and the incredible color they provide. But, let’s face it, none of the Panasonic P2 cameras tuck nicely into your back pocket. Earlier this year, I was watching something on Tim Street’s Blog and asked him what he was shooting on. Turns out he was using one of the Flip standard definition cameras at that time. Quick perusal of their website and I picked up a FlipMino HD. I’ve now shot some 20-30 interviews on the camera and plenty of other footage. What I have found is that I have some strong likes and dislikes about the camera. Here they are:

What I like:

  • This thing is darn small! Truly it’s smaller than my mobile phone (a blackberry), so it tucks away nicely, even into tight pair of jeans.
  • Especially in bright daylight, the clarity of the images is pretty spectacular. In the demo below, please note the incredible blue sky and silhouetted mountains behind the subject about half way through.
  • The flip-out port/USB charger – on the ultra models you have to buy batteries, but on the Mino, the charge comes directly from the computer. (Please note that I once uploaded video from a hub, which didn’t provide power back to the camera and spent a day wondering what the heck happened to my new camera, which the hub had drained of power!)… This is a personal preference thing, but I like the fact that if I plug it in each night when I’m shooting, the camera is ready to go when I wake up in the morning.
  • The software needed to make a quick video is located on the camera, meaning that if you have access to a computer and the internet, you can make a quick video edit and post it to the world from virtually any cafe in the world (save parts of China and Cuba, where they would be screened).
  • Surprisingly, the camera is pretty good in lower light situations. In side-by-side comparisons with the Insignia, the footage from the flip was much better.
  • This may seem funny, but I really like the handy little pouch the Flip comes in. Not only is a storage bag, but it doubles to keep the lens clean; excellent for yielding high quality images.

What I don’t like (or just bugs me silly):

  • A red/orange light comes on the front of the camera when you are shooting. My finding is that this can unhinge a subject. We were shooting a public meeting one time and as soon we hit record, the public officials stopped talking. LAME!
  • The codec – What I have been told is the way Flip fits so much video data into its camera is by shooting to square pixels. Whether or not that is true, I don’t know. What I do know is that the Flip video has difficulty when being edited outside of the Flip video software. I captured some excellent interviews earlier this year and wanted to marry them up with a cool intro for Rocket’s Tail. The Flip Video just wasn’t compatible. Additionally, I have tried to upload the movies to Youtube without going through the export process or it’s native (upload to Youtube) option only to have Youtube’s file conversion fail. So, while I like fitting so much footage into the camera, I want video that is more compatible with other systems (PLEASE NOTE: I also shoot on an Insignia, which comes at a similar price, and I find similar issues with it’s footage).
  • The editing software – On the one hand, I very much like that there is editing software in the camera. On the other hand, some aspects of the software are limiting: 1). Low word count and/or control of the title screen and credit screen, 2). software only allows 4 pieces of footage to be edited together, 3). it doesn’t natively allow you to incorporate non-flip video in the edit (I know I keep coming back to melding video from different sources… but, it’s important to me!)
  • The microphone is located on the operator’s side of the camera… this is completely weird. I have heard that newer versions of the camera have fixed this… but for now, when you watch a Rocket’s Tail interview that was done on the Flip… my questions will be louder than the subject’s answers.

The Demo:

I had the fun happen stance of unknowingly introducing Liora Mendeloff (InstantMediaKit.com) to Matthew Gill (Burn the Boats Produtions), one of her clients. After raving about his experience with InstantMediaKit, Liora did what any good marketer would do; she asked for a testimonial. She pulled out her Flip Ultra and I immediately pulled out my FlipMino HD. What I tried to do was capture various lighting and sound situations available in the moment. There are some close-up and perspective shots. At times the subject is in silhouette. You be the judge.

Summary

The FlipMino HD has some great applications, but it’s not great for every application. If you’re doing Gotcha! journalism, the record alert light is not going to help. However, it’s great for those on-the-fly interviews or footage that will be instantly posted through the system, the images are great. If Flip comes out with a camera that delivers footage fully compatible with alternate editing systems, I want to check it out!  For versatility, ease-of-use (and pocket), the Flip takes the cake!

Dana Tower, COO of pond5 (video footage production resource)

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Something that really stood out in my interview with Dana Tower about pond5 is that one the four things he wants you to remember about pond5, is they are friendly! Dana was certainly amiable in his interview with Rocket’s Tail and having perused some of the footage on their website, it ranges from the lovely to the banal to the vintage; much of it in HD. Prices for a royalty free clip begin at $5 and seem to be centered between $35 and $50. So, when you need that one-of-a-kind shot of an orangutan in HD and don’t have time to spend a day at the zoo, head on over to pond5 (http://www.pond5.com/).

Written by @SibLaw_Official

October 1, 2009 at 8:49 pm

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