MUCH BETTER BLACK

Zoic’s Mike Romey discusses previs app ZUES:Scout

By Randi Altman

Visual effects studio Zoic has released to the masses an iPad-based previs tool they developed while providing shots for VFX-heavy shows such as Once Upon a Time, Intelligence, Pan Am and V. The app is available now via iTunes for $9.99.

According to Zoic (@zoicstudios), ZUES:Scout (Zoic Unification System) offers seven main modes: View allows the user to move the camera around and save camera positions for shock blocking purposes; Measurements mode allows users to bring real-world measurements into a virtual world; Characters mode can be used to insert character cards into the virtual location; Props lets users add, move, rotate and scale set props that are available for in-app purchase; Previs Animation lets users explore camera moves for previs and rehearsal purposes. The Tracking mode allows users to use the tablet as a virtual camera with the CG view matching the Continue reading

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Review: Boris FX: Boris Continuum Complete V.9

By Brady Betzel

These days there are only a few one-size fits all plug-in packages worth the price of admission, and unfortunately when working on a new project it’s pretty hard to convince the line producer that you need more than one package.

Usually when an editor asks for Boris Continuum Complete (BCC), GenArt’s Sapphire, or even the lower-priced Red Giant Universe, the line producer will laugh a little when they see the price tags (multiplied by the amount of systems it would have to go on). Then, if you are lucky, they may even say, “Ok, choose one.”

So in this review I chose one: I will take a look at a couple of the latest updates to Boris Continuum Complete V.9’s plug-in library as well as give insights into whether BCC is right for your situation. I will be referring to both the Adobe After Effects/Premiere plug-in as well as the Continue reading

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Soundcrafter pieces together the varied sounds of ‘Boyhood’

By Jennifer Walden

A decade in dog years is said to be roughly equivalent to 70 human ones. I think that calculation holds true for technology too. Okay, maybe not to that extreme, but it does seem that way.

Richard Linklater, director of the new film Boyhood, which was shot over a 12-year period using the same cast but different tools must certainly feel that way. Let’s not even get into the different camera formats and focus on the audio. The first six years of production audio were captured on now-defunct tape formats, making the audio post process dicey at times, to say the least. Cross your fingers, hit play on the deck and pray the magnetic emulsion on the tape didn’t deteriorate. That is, if you still have the proper deck to play back that tape.

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Blog: Why you should consider the Southeast Creative Summit

By Kylee Wall

Building on the success of last year’s first-ever Southeast Creative Summit, the video production conference will be returning to Atlanta this November 7-9 with even more workshops and some fresh faces presenting them.

What is the Southeast Creative Summit exactly? It’s like this: three days of production workshops taught by working professionals in the television and film industry. These aren’t professional trainers, but peers who are in the thick of it just as much as you are, which allow them to instruct to your needs.

We take a craft-based approach to learning — learning techniques and concepts that apply to all tools, rather than how to push buttons in one program. And we cover a wide variety of Continue reading

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Quick Chat: Ataboy’s Vikkal Parikh on Peach Kings’ Mojo Thunder video

By Randi Altman

The Peach Kings, an LA-based blues-rock duo comprised of Paige Wood and Steven Dies, needed a music video for the title track of their album Mojo Thunder, which was released in June. They had an idea of what they wanted it to be but needed a creative partner to make their vision a reality.

That partner ended up being New York-based design and animation studio Ataboy. The almost four-minute animated offering tells the story of how pain and abuse can lead to self-destructive behavior. The band told Ataboy to think, “swamp, dark and psychedelic” for the Mojo Thunder video. Ataboy owner/creative director Vikkal Parikh brought in directors Kris Merc and Benjy Brooke, who took that direction and crafted what Parikh calls “a sexy, Continue reading

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Adam Epstein talks about his Cutting Edge Post Production Tour

By Randi Altman

If your job involved editing a short film for Saturday Night Live each week, sometimes needing to turn the job around in less than 24 hours, how would you spend your summer vacation? On a beach? Sleeping?

Well, not if you are Adam Epstein. Last weekend, the SNL film unit editor started his 32-city Cutting Edge Post Production Tour. This Emmy-nominee will be zig-zagging the country, with a couple of stops in Canada, sharing tips, stories and examples of his work, until the third week of September when the new season of Saturday Night Live begins.

Why in the world? Well, he got the idea from co-worker Alex Buono, the DP on SNL’s film unit, who did a Cinematic Lighting tour last summer. “It went really well and he had a great time,” Continue reading

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Quick Chat: ProMAX’s Jess Hartmann on purchase of Cache-A

By Randi Altman

ProMAX Systems, makers of high-performance video storage servers and editing workstations, this week announced its purchase of Cache-A, providers of network-attached video archive libraries and appliances. The deal has been in the works for the past few months.

According to ProMAX CEO Jess Hartmann, “This acquisition builds on our strategy of improving the content creation process by developing a unified and integrated toolset for our clients. More efficient, connected workflows enable our clients to improve project timelines and deliver better content for their customers.”

While ProMAX will continue to sell the Cache-A appliances — including Prime-Cache, Pro-Cache, Power Cache as well as the associated libraries and expansion chassis — independently, Continue reading

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The sound of fire, tires and more for Disney’s ‘Planes: Fire and Rescue’

By Jennifer Walden

Disney’s follow-up to Planes, Planes: Fire and Rescue, like many Disney offerings, has a message — this one involves overcoming a handicap and finding another path in life. But if you think it’s a film for very young children, you’d be mistaken. It’s a family action-adventure film, complete with intense visuals, situations and sound to match.

There was no holding back on the native Dolby Atmos mix. With full-range surround speakers in a 62.2 configuration, the mix team of David E. Fluhr (dialogue and music) and Dean Zupancic (sound effects) had all the sonic real estate they needed to immerse the audience in the action. According to Formosa Group supervising sound editor/sound designer Todd Toon, “Director Roberts Gannaway not only gave us permission, but demanded that we deliver a big Continue reading

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Meet the Artist: Silver Mountain Productions’ Walter Silverberg Jr.

NAME: Walter Silverberg, Jr.

COMPANY: Plano, Texas-based Silver Mountain Productions (@SMPCompany)

CAN YOU DESCRIBE YOUR COMPANY?
We are a full-service video production company. We are highly experienced in live production with single and multi-camera production and producing broadcast-style packages. We post most of what we shoot in-house. We work in Final Cut 7 for editing and After Effects for finishing.  In AE we do color correction, graphics, keying, effects, compositing, animation and text. Occasionally we use Cinema 4D for 3D work.

WHAT’S YOUR JOB TITLE?
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Quick Chat: Editor Chris Peterson takes on ‘The Sixties’ for CNN

By Randi Altman

What do you think of when someone mentions the 1960s? Hippies protesting the Vietnam War? Woodstock? Putting a man on the moon? There is so much to reflect on when thinking of this pivotal time in history, and CNN agrees.

At the end of May, the news network launched a 10-part original series called The Sixties. It airs on Thursday nights. The series takes a closer look at the moments in a decade that brought the civil rights movement, the assassinations of JFK, Martin Luther King Jr., Robert Kennedy and Malcolm X, the Vietnam War, the British Invasion and so much more.

The Sixties has some big-named Emmy Award-winning producers behind it: Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman (HBO’s John Adams and The Pacific) of Playtone, and Mark Continue reading