As you know, B&H have been our trusted global retail and video sponsorship partner for many years, and will continue to be in the future. Partnering with a large retailer like B&H who sell every relevant brand in our industry makes us independent and “manufacturer agnostic”, it allows us to stay objective with our reviews. However, for instance readers from Europe have pointed out that they would prefer to order from this continent due to the involved customs and duty fees that go along with ordering from B&H who are located in the US. After months of preparation behind the scenes, we are very proud to announce that UK-based broadcast retailer CVP is our new European retail partner and video sponsor. Whenever we report about one or more new products, links to both B&H and CVP will show up at the bottom of posts. Not only that, product names throughout the site are automatically linked to the appropriate product pages on both retailer’s sites – and the cool thing is, visitors from Europe will see only CVP links, and the rest of the world will have that same links pointing to B&H like before. We hope that our European audience will value the integration of links to CVP, one of the leading European broadcast retailers, listing prices in both Euros and British Pounds on their site. Please consider buying the products you learn about from cinema5D through the side-wide links to our sponsors B&H and CVP, who pay us a small commission for sales through links on our site. That’s what pays the bills for our site and authors, and at the same time enabling us to further develop the site to serve you even better. And last but not least, it keeps us independent from large individual manufacturers – independence in our reviews is our highest value. As cinema5D is rapidly developing in different areas, we are also working on a Gear Guide that will serve as a map guiding through the ever-growing jungle of filmmaking products out there, with personal recommendations from the cinema5D team. This is a work in progress and we will announce when it’s ready in a separate post.Read more
Here at Cinema5D, we take education very seriously. We acknowledge our responsibility to share knowledge and information with our readers. As such, we promise to do our best and try to come up with a future plan that will benefit our followers most. Until that happens, I was fortunate enough to be asked by my cinema5D partner and friend Nino Leitner and our colleague Philip Bloom to join and be a part of their amazing team of tutors who conducted one of their 3-day intensive Filmmaking Masterclass, which took place during October 2015, an hour away from London at Wotton House in Surrey. This is the first time in three years that Philip and Nino have conducted such a 3-day Filmmaking Masterclass – for past reports and results of other Masterclasses in Mallorca, Las Vegas and Key West, Florida, head over to Nino’s or Philip’s blogs. The Masterclass playground. Wotton House Hotel – Photo by Ronn L. Kilby Personally, I would not advise young filmmakers or others who would like to work in the TV industry, to spend their time in film schools. As students are sitting in a classroom whiling their days away, other potential filmmakers are in the real world gaining valuable experience. Furthermore, the harsh truth is that in this industry—when it comes to the basic ability to see the world in a way which can be translated into valuable, visual storytelling—it’s often the case that you either “have it” or you don’t. Others will disagree, of course, but this opinion comes from extensive experience. Anyway, moving on! While film schools are a no go for me, workshops are a big fat yes! There’s no better way to enhance your skills, get new perspectives, meet working colleagues and sharpen your senses than joining a masterclass. Before I continue, I must admit that conducting a workshop and leading a team of talented professionals or aspiring hobbyists is as valuable for me as it might have been for them. The feeling of connecting a group of individuals and bringing them together to come up with a “product” that we all can be proud of, is truly second to none. The Filmmaking Masterclass London 2015: In this specific Filmmaking Masterclass, the main aim was to learn how to create a corporate video. Our class was split into 4 groups and each was given a specific related topic (ours was “Romance”). The film length was dictated to be up to 2 minutes and two versions were required— a different ending, a plot twist, or even a complete second video were options. I was fortunate enough to have Tim, Hamza, Chris, Ronn, Robert and Marcin in my group. Some are professionals with a variety of filming and editing experience, some are from the photographic world, and others are very advanced prosumers who love the idea of being able to express their artistic desires. Regardless of background, they all had one thing in common: passion! You should have seen those guys going through the process of planning, shooting, editing, grading, and delivering their creation just in time. Needless to say that in my eyes, their creation was the best and most relevant to the “job description” project out of the 4! Many of the participants already told us during the first day that teamwork is a strange thing for them. Most were freelancers like us who learned with time to “only trust themselves”. That’s why the challenge of creating a common working basis as a group proved to be challenging—but absolutely doable. As a tutor, I felt that my responsibilities were to make sure no one stays disconnected from the group and to “navigate the boat” from behind. I guess it is a learning process that every mentor must go through as it is in our DNA to jump in and want to change the frame of the shot, edit the sequence, choose the music, and grade the end result according to our personal taste. However, when you teach, you have to remember that the team needs to do all of this alone and that mentoring requires guiding, rather than doing. All in all, the process of creating is a fascinating one. Watching the team creating a problem and then solving it was enlightening! The preparations: Team 4 during a brainstorming session – Photo: Philip Bloom As the time given to produce a proper concept was only a few hours and the day after was dedicated for shooting, proper planning was a must. While others took the time to look at the amazing gizmos which were supplied by one of the Filmmaking Masterclass sponsors (CVP and Røde), I was guiding my team to ignore any given equipment and concentrate on the storytelling first. The pre-production session was a bit of a painful one and had the usual curve of coming up with a good idea first, then smashing it all together—followed by securing a proper storyline which was to the whole team’s liking. For our short “romance corporate video”, we decided to create a story with 2 internal parts. In simple terms, a “happy” one followed by a “sad” one. The differences between the 2 parts would be enhanced by 2 different shooting styles (handheld vs locked tripod), colour scheme (warm vs cool), perspective (closer to the actors vs fixed and somehow distant frame). To make the break between those 2 moods, we decided on an obvious cut. Something to establish that “something went wrong with the relationship”. The shooting day: Creative solution for filming the bed scene The next day started on the wrong foot as our (very talented) actress was a bit late on set due to trafic. The reason I’m mentioning this is because of the limited shooting time we had — considering that after 16:30 in autumn, Britain is pitch black. We managed to catch up with schedule later on as we had utilised our planning time the previous day well and shot with utmost discipline. One of the requirements set by Nino and Philip was to rotate the tasks between team members during shooting and if possible, the editing process. Potentially, this kind of request can lead to a disaster during the creative process of any project, so it was nice to see how the people within the team supported each other so well that in the final footage, you cannot tell that the tasks were split between five different people. The only person I instructed NOT to change was our producer. I needed someone capable and motivated to do the job—and to watch the clock! When the lights went off, we knew we’d managed to get it all. We didn’t even require additional shots on any of our takes! Okay, there was one, but it was in slow motion so it doesn’t count! :) Right after dinner, we gathered again in order to choose the very best take from every sequence we had, choose the music theme, write the voice-over (and even record it if possible) and generally plan the day of editing that would come next. This planning proved invaluable, as we only had until 14:00 the next day to present our masterpiece! The edit: I have to confess that editing this project was not an easy task. It took more than expected to get “into the rhythm” and get it right but suddenly (with a bit of tutoring support), it “clicked” and everything fell into place. Since people from the team had to rotate and leave the editing room to take part in a parallel lesson that was conducted by Philip, we had to rotate the project between 3 different computers (2 Mac’s and one PC). Adobe Premiere coped wonderfully with the task! Rotation between editors and editing computers continued during the grading process too, as not all computers performed the same when it came to installing LUTs, screen quality, and the power required to export the project fast. The presentation: Finally, the time to give the finished video file to Philip arrived. Team after team presented their project and EVERY shot was analyzed, explained, and discussed. The other teams showed BEAUTIFUL footage and presented an amazing level of creativity. Some took the time to use the latest trends in the industry and made use of drones or gimbals. Looking at the faces of my team I could feel the pressure. I guess that the question on all of their minds was whether our more traditional, static style had the ability to compete with today’s technology. Here’s the resulting film: I don’t want to pretend that I was a prime example of relaxation at that moment but I knew we had done our best to stay relevant to the given job description. So while others showed a high level of execution, it was not always exactly what they were asked for, in my opinion. It was only after screening our little film that we all got the colour back in our faces—fortunately, nobody took any photos of us until after that point as they would have required a vast amount of editing! It was great to hear all of the positive responses and it made me extremely proud seeing what a group of 6 total strangers can achieve in such a short time. Well done team 4! A full credit list of the participants in the video can be found at the end of it. So, a massive thank you to Caroline Sumners, Nino Leitner, Philip Bloom, Julian Wakefield, Adam Loretz, all the enthusiastic masterclass participants and team supporters, Adam Plowden and his BTS team for his beautiful behind-the-scenes video that you can see above —and last but not least, a big thank you to our event sponsors CVP and RØDE Microphones! Masterclass 2015 – Photo: Philip Bloom I hope the other group tutors Nino Leitner, Adam Loretz and Julian Wakefield will report about their experiences in separate blog posts. Till then, enjoy the creative work done by their teams and watch the short films below:Read more
Arri’s announcement of the AMIRA back in September at IBC raised a few eyebrows. With every major camera manufacturer pushing 4K acquisition through their flagship lines, Arri announces a brand new camera capable of recording at a maximum 2k. With a price range up in the air, it wasn’t clear just where this would sit in the market (although with a name tag like Arri, most of us had a pretty good idea). This morning, Europe retailer CVP has just revealed a 3 tier pricing system for the AMIRA. The AMIRA is an ALEXA on a strict diet, it shaves off nearly half its weight and girth, loses it’s raw abilities and is designed for single user operation; this is evident by the rotation of the controls on the operating side (the ALEXA utilizes the better known dumb side for it’s primarily configuration for ease of use with an assistant). I attended a local presentation of the AMIRA hosted by Arri, to see what the camera was like first hand and to understand the reasoning behind Arris investment in another sub 4K camera. Their answer to the latter was simple – 4K output is still in a very premature state, it will be years before it’s properly implemented into the public domain. 4Ks current best use is to improve Full HD acquisition, by form of sampling, downscaling and correction. This is why Arri chose Full HD/2K as the resolution choice for the AMIRA, which in parallel with the pricing and ergonomics gives you a good idea of where they want this to sit in the market. Arri are targeting TV broadcast, specifically drama and documentary where a lighter footprint than the ALEXA is required; I’m sure as a result the AMIRA will out price many people’s realistic wish list. With that said, here are CVP’s pricing tiers. As these are initial prices, I predict them to be lower by the time they come to market, specifically the US market (with them being European prices). Arri AMIRA package 1 – €25,980 Arri AMIRA package 2 – €28,980 Arri AMIRA package 3 – €32,980 Click on below thumbnails to enlarge. In a brief summary, the initial tier offers an AMIRA package capable of shooting ProRes 422 up to 100FPS. The second tier extends the FPS to 200, with the addition of the unlimited looks functions, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth and ProRes 422 HQ and Log-C capture. The third tier provides up to 2K resolution capture in ProRes 4444, and import of custom 3D LUTs. For a summary on the specification of the AMIRA, please visit our initial article from IBC. In addition to this, I can confirm Arri are planning an in-field removable lens mount with PL, Canon EF and 2/3″ (via glass adaptor) compatibility.Read more
If you were keen on actually seeing the F5 and F55 cameras operated here’s a nice video in which Richard Lewis, Cinematography & Product Specialist from Sony shows you around their new babies. Recently the Yen prices for the new cameras have popped up (LINK) ahead of official announcement (apparently by mistake). A rough conversion of the prices gives us the following (seems to be before tax): Sony F55: $34k Sony F5: $20k the R5 RAW recorder: $5.8k oled EVF: $6.5k normal EVF: $3.9k 7″ LCD: $5.3k olivine Batteries: $579 RAW card reader: $763 6-lens kit: $30k 3-lens kit: $17k And these are expected to ship in February 2013. You can pre-order this bank account sweeper at B&H: LINK And we also have another discount pre-order code for Europe, but the final pricing is not official there yet, so you can only make a deposit for pre-order: CODE: 311212C5DF55 (gives you 500€ off, for what it’s worth) Insert at checkout when pre-ordering the Sony F5 or Sony F55 at A.F. Marcotec. More info on the cameras in our announcement article: LINKRead more
We’ve got another nice deal for our European readers: Just like the Blackmagic Cinema Camera deal (which is only valid until today by the way!), you can save some cash by using the discount code below. Our #1 trusted European reseller A. F. Marcotec gives us an exclusive 5% discount for Sony’s new NEX-FS700 camera. A. F. Marcotec sells professional filmmaking equipment in Europe and has some of the most competitive prices on the market. They have the Sony FS700 listed for 8065,82€ (incl. VAT) (CVP sells it for 7948€) and the cinema5D discount code will give you -403,29€ off: Excluding tax & shipping it will be 6439€ (=$8010). Discount CODE: 31122012C5DFS700 SHOP link: Sony NEX-FS700E Enter the code at checkout. The camera will start shipping in July. American cinema5D readers can pre-order the camera for $7999 at B&H.Read more
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