Musicbed (formerly known as The Music Bed for anyone completely confused) has received a make over today. The filmmaker-favourite licensed music site has announced a few updates that will make it more practical for use in the film production field. I’m a big fan of The Musicbed: out of the select few license music sites I use, they definitely provide the best collection of music, both from a quality point of view as well as hitting-the-nail-on-the-head for presenting lots of content that just works in the edit. I spend the least amount of time on Musicbed looking for that right song and that says a lot. Today they’ve announced some changes that will make the production process easier—and cheaper. With a new algorithm in place, Musicbed can understand your site movements and tailor your next visit: Personalized Recommendations: Get track recommendations inline with your tastes based on prior licenses, listens and favorites. Follow an Artist: Receive alerts on new music from your favorite artists and enhanced recommendations when you follow an artist. Smarter “Living” Playlists: Discover new content through Musicbed’s curated playlists that now include unobtrusive notifications when updated by our curation staff – one of the most popular ways people discover new artists on Musicbed. They’ve also made changes to make it easier when purchasing, offering package deals for lyrical and instrumental versions (a feature I’ve felt it’s been crying out for) as well as an account balance system: Lyrical & Instrumental Bundles: Beginning today, pair an instrumental track with the matching lyrical version at a highly discounted price during checkout. Incredible New Music: More than 100 new artists will be added to Musicbed in early 2016, including some of the best undiscovered musicians and the Vintage Collection—featuring legendary musicians of the 1950’s & 60’s, soon to be available for first-time licensing. Account Balances: Coming in the first quarter of 2016, maintain a balance for a creative budget on Musicbed.com. Musicbed Sessions: Cinematic, in-studio music performances launching every month to help the film community discover Musicbed artists in a new way at Musicbed.com/sessions. If you haven’t already, I’d suggest checking out Musicbed. You’ll find their collection different to the norm, their collections sound—and often are—actual music tracks, not someone drumming at a midi keyboard, whilst retaining that editable progression that good licensed music needs to have.Read more
This is a guest post by Matti Haapoja on his work submitted to the Videolog. In this article Matti shares behind the scenes insights and tips on how to make a cinematic wedding video and his experience working with the Panasonic GH4. In 2009 Matti Haapoja and his brother made their hobby a profession when they started shooting cinematic wedding video and founded Heart Visuals. The internet was and is their film school, with guidance from a few people along the way. Matti is a freelance videographer based in Toronto, Canada and is mostly shooting commercials, church videos and weddings. Introduction My friend Samuel contacted me to shoot his wedding video in France which was going to be a week of hanging out at a chateau in Normandy with people from all over the world. I couldn’t pass it up so my wife and I headed to France. For this cinematic wedding video I wanted to showcase a bit of the chateau and how cool it was but I often think wedding videographers (and sometimes even couples getting married) forget that the film isn’t about the venue, dress, decor etc., but about the people. Samuel and Hildegunn are a super fun and laid back couple so I wanted to highlight how fun they are and how they are surrounded by all these amazing people they love. Gear Used I had just switched over from my Canon 5D mark III to the Panasonic GH4 so this was my first real project on the GH4. Here’s what my gear bag consisted of: the GH4 Metabones Speedbooster (Nikon mount cause Canon wasn’t out yet) Sigma 18-35mm 1.8 Nikon 85mm 1.8 Tiffen 77mm Variable ND Manfrotto Fluid Monopod with 500 Series Head and a Glidecam XR-4000. I had my Canon 5D III plus Zeiss 50mm 1.4 as a backup just in case something went wrong with the GH4. 10 Tips to Shoot a Cinematic Wedding Video 1. Don’t shoot too much footage I shot this wedding film just by myself which is challenging but also cuts down a lot of the work time for me in post. When I first started shooting weddings I shot way too much footage. Because we specialise in these 3-5 minute wedding “trailer” videos at Heart Visuals I really didn’t need a ton of footage. 2. Will you use this shot in the video? But what you do need are the right shots. After some practice now I shoot with much more intention, I’m constantly trying to edit in my head and ask myself the question “would I use this shot or angle in the video?” and if it’s a no then I don’t waste my time shooting it and save time looking through bad clips in post. 3. Be light and fast My strategy for weddings is usually to be light with gear and make it as easy as possible to switch lenses and stabilisation gear. I never shoot with a tripod at weddings but the monopod is perfect for getting a static shot and being able to quickly move from shot to shot, angle to angle. I keep the same base plate on the glidecam so I can easily switch back and forth when I need to. The majority of the film is shot on the Sigma 18-35mm with a handful of shots on the 85mm. 4. Keep it natural For weddings I try to shoot a cinematic documentary style film avoiding shots that look overly forced or staged. I try to keep it natural and get those candid shots. A cinematic camera like the Panasonic GH4 with a cinematic picture profile and lenses that give me a shallow depth of field will help to get lots of natural, great looking shots. More on that later. 5. Take care of the “must have” shots There are certain shots that are must have’s for example the kiss. With these shots I try to do a safe angle that I know I’ll get because its just me shooting and there’s no redo’s on moments like those. Other cinematic wedding video articles talk about attending rehearsals and practicing the shots. I never do rehearsals. I get to the spaces and check out what it’s like, where the light is coming from and then I just go with the flow. Usually while getting shots of the bride or groom getting ready I will ask what the flow of the ceremony is, cause yea that’s really the only hard parts. Really I just need to know when the kiss comes because I don’t want to be caught off guard. 6. Get creative & beautiful shots Other than those “must have’s” I’m always trying to experiment with new angles and camera moves to make the film as beautiful as I can. I do this in the “free time” between the must have shots. 7. Getting emotions I think the biggest secret though is to get the emotions of the people into the film. Weddings are such an emotional time that if you don’t capture the smiles, tears and laughs of both the couple and the guests then I think you’re missing the essence of the day. People often get camera shy and won’t show their emotions so it’s really important they don’t see you filming them. A little trick I use sometimes is to have the settings and focus set, but point the camera in another direction and then, when I know they are about to react to the speech or situation I quickly get the shot. That way I get real reactions and not the toned down “there’s a camera in my face” reaction. 8. Practice Of course all of this takes practice and the more you shoot weddings the more you know exactly where you should be and which shots will be your best shots that you don’t want to miss out on. 9. Pretend you’re a Ninja For me the most challenging part of the day is the ceremony. Usually you can’t really influence or change the lighting (full sun light in this case) and the challenge is to get all the shots you need without being a huge distraction to the actual ceremony. Sometimes I see wedding videographers with a huge rig, big matte box and all standing right beside the couple while the ceremony is going on and I think that’s just a bit disrespectful and not smart. Pretend you’re a Ninja or something if that helps. 10. Gear that works in any light condition Weddings can be very challenging shooting environments, not only in terms of the event itself, but also in terms of lighting. So it’s a good idea to be prepared and have a camera and lenses that work well in low light conditions. I thought the GH4 was going to be really tough in the evening with low light but actually I think it was just fine. Using the Speedbooster certainly helped to get better lowlight performance and less depth of field. Other cameras like the 5D or Sony A7s also work in your favour in that regard. Good gear helps, but in the end it’s about your approach: When you’re shooting documentary style there’s always light, you just have to find it! Do you need a long version? Our videos are pretty short, sometimes wedding videos go into lots of detail and are much longer. We have done a few of those in the past, but honestly I dont think the couple really needs it unless they are super keen on showing the wedding to some close family in another country who cant make it or something. I think you should be able to tell the story of the day in a 3-5 minute video pretty easily. I don’t like doing the typical wedding video with the speeches in the background and all that. So usually we advise the couple to just go with the highlight film. Most couples don’t request it and if they do I try to challenge if they really want it. Working with the Panasonic GH4 I was actually amazed at how easy it was to get used to the GH4. I loved the flip out LCD screen, battery life and just how light and small it is. It was perfect for my candid style of shooting. I think the only thing I really miss about the 5D is getting shallow depth of field a bit easier but more so the colour science. I think that’s where Canon really shines and it becomes really apparent in skin tones. But I would definitely recommend the GH4 as a whole and especially for weddings. Camera Settings As a picture profile I tried to use James Miller’s settings which I found here. I’ve been trying just “cinelike D” variations. I shot the whole film in 4k. Audio Other wedding videographers deal with audio a lot. For my cinematic approach I like to work with visuals and music. So I don’t do audio other than a Rode Videomic Pro just in case there’s something that would really work with the audio. But I rarely use the audio. Backup For backup I just had a computer along and put the data on the computer and a hard drive. Post Production I edited the film in Premiere Pro. For the colour grade I brought it into After Effects starting out with a Vision Color Impulz LUT and then I dialled it down to my liking. Final Words My brother and I always find it a bit funny that at the end of the day the wedding videographers and photographers pretty much spend the most time with the couple out of anyone on their wedding day. So it’s absolutely important that the couple feels comfortable and relaxed with you. If you’re causing the couple any unnecessary stress then you’re failing and that will show in the video and photos. So be cool and talk to your couple especially in the morning to get them relaxed in front of a bunch of cameras but don’t be too big of a distraction especially later on in the day. This way the couple won’t focus on the cameras and that means you’ll get the best documentary style film. Good luck and enjoy shooting! You can see some more of Matti Hapooja’s work at: www.heartvisuals.com vimeo.com/mattih.Read more
FilmConvert is a color grading software / plugin that transforms your digital footage into an accurate organic film equivalent by using subtle shifts in color and contrast, balanced according to the specific camera used. Today FilmConvert have announced their Cinematography Competition that lets you submit your existing films and win up to $2000 in cash. At cinema5D we really enjoy working with FilmConvert. That’s why we are happy to support and work together with the friendly team of the New Zealand based company behind the app. They’re constantly working on improving the software and adding more supported cameras. All you have to do to participate in this competition is to submit the Vimeo or YouTube URL of your existing film HERE and you’re ready to win either a complete filmconvert bundle if you end up among the top 10, or cash prizes of $2000, $1000 and $500 for the first three winners. A few things you should know before entering: For your videos you can use either the full version or trial version. You have to include the word “FilmConvert” in the video description. You can also submit films you made a while ago. You can enter more than one video. Submissions close October 14th 2014. Video length should be between 30 seconds and 5 minutes. You need to own all rights to your footage. Submitted material must not contain obscene, unlawful or objectionable material. Complete Competition guidelines HERE. Check out last years winners of the FilmConvert Cinematography Competition 2013. To submit your video go to: www.filmconvert.com/competition_2014/Read more
Have you seen PART 1 of Zacuto’s Camera Shootout 2012? If you haven’t go here. If you have, you’re probably eager to find out which camera was which in their scientific and philosophic comparison between the most important up to date small and big digital film cameras. If you’re serious about being a cinematographer you shouldn’t miss this series. It’s free to watch on Zacuto’s page. They just released the second part, continuing an in-depth look at today’s most important tools for cinematography ranging from the Sony F65 down to the iPhone 4S. Just like last year a professional team of cinematographers compared the cameras in a controlled studio environment, later presented the results to filmmakers in the form of a digital cinema projection and eventually made a documentary about the whole thing which gives you a great scope of opinions and thoughts on the matter. This year they added some life to the test by allowing the shooting teams to alter the light setup to perfectly fit each camera’s needs which I think is a very cool approach to show what each camera is really capable of. Because as we know each camera’s strength also depends on what people make out of it. Here’s part 2: LINK Cameras used: Arri Alexa, Canon C300, Canon 7D, Panasonic GH2, Sony F3, Sony F65, iPhone 4S, RED EpicRead more
Zacuto presents its much anticipated Camera Shootout 2012. A both scientific and philosophic comparison between the most important up to date small and big digital film cameras. If you’re serious about being a cinematographer you shouldn’t miss this series. It’s free to watch on Zacuto’s page. Here’s part 1: LINK Excerpt from the site: We’ve got a lot to prove in Revenge of the Great Camera Shootout 2012. Some of it will surprise you, some of it will shock you, and some of it will change the way you work forever. Let’s make this clear: This is not the shootout you’re expecting. Watch last year’s shootout series here. Cameras used: Arri Alexa, Canon C300, Canon 7D, Panasonic GH2, Sony F3, Sony F65, iPhone 4S, RED Epic So what letter was your favorite camera? Have you written down your rankings?Read more
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