January 29, 2011

Konova Slider

Newest addition to the inventory is this super solid 3 bearing camera slider that showed up on ebay last week. See Modern Filmmaker Review Here. Most sliders that you will find in the $280 price range are "A" usually going to be friction rather than ball bearings and "B" will feel cheap. The Konova camera slider not only feels very solid but also comes with some very nice bonus features such as top and bottom threads in addition to the more traditional center thread. This gives you the ability to mount the slider in some unique ways as seen below.
Back up on eBay: CLICK HERE

January 28, 2011

Final Cut Hack - T2i Direct Import

The Canon T2i (aka the 550D) broke new ground when it was released late last year. It gave the functionality, professionalism, and convienience that you get shooting on the 5DMII or 7D without the premium pricetags. Yes, it doesn't use a full sensor and yes, it doesn't come in the magnesium mold shell but it opens up the world of DSLR cinematography to a whole new budget...and I jumped on that bandwagon.

If you are using a T2i you know that there is no simple solution to importing footage. If you try to log and transfer you get something like this:

The easiest route was click and drag which copies the files over as a quicktime file and needs to be rer-endered every time it is moved within the your timeline. Well, you'll be happy to know, there is a solution.

A few months back Canon released an EOS Final Cut Pro 'Log and Transfer' plugin that steamlined the transfer process for the 7D and 5DMII within Final Cut. The problem is that they only included their "professional" line and not the "prosumer" line. The T2i missed the bus on this one. Fortunately for us, there is a quick and easy fix that literally takes no time at all (thanks to thebuibrothers.com). It is as simple as changing a line of code in the plugin from "EOS 7D" to "EOS T2i" and it works flawlessly. Makes you wonder why Canon didn't just add that from the start.

Step 1: Download EOS plugin HERE
Step 2: Find the "camera.plist" file by navigating the following: 
Finder > Macintosh HD > Library > Application Support > Proapps > RAD > MIO > Plugins > CanonE1.Radplug > Contents > Resources > "camera.plist"
Step 3: Open up "camera.plist" in an html editor and replace the "7D" and "EOS 7D" with "T2i" and "EOS T2i" 
Step 4: Save and you are up and running. As simple as that.

Hope this helps.

Art Exhibition

Back in October I had the honor of working with a good friend of mine who owns and designs for "Not Design." Drew described to me what the mission, purpose, and theme of the exhibit was. I really liked the idea and was on board from the get-go. I hopped in the car one Saturday morning and drove out to Grand Rapids. We shot the whole thing in one day using a Canon T2i. Drew (who has never edited anything before, mind you) did a great job editing the footage together, stylizing it to look as though it was shot on 8mm and giving it meaning.  The video was was played on a 1970's woodbox TV with vintage furniture and shag rugs creating the atmosphere. It stood on its own in the corner of an art museum. Video and Drew's excerpt below.

Drew Vanderveen: video installation.
Excerpt from statement: “Common Knowledge seeks to inform this dialogue by questioning definitions of success and intelligence as they are currently presented by the education system and what kinds of progress are incentivized in the collective acceptance of those terms and the educational model that presents them.

January 20, 2011

Demo Reel 2010

As I've stated before, you're demo reel is an important asset to anybody working freelance or establishing a prod comp. It is how you will sell yourslef, your skills, and your abilities. Keep it up to date, keep it relevant, keep it simple.

This is my most recent.

January 15, 2011

Zoom H1

After filming Stephen & Kelly's wedding where there were microphones lining the stage yet nobody decided to use them, I realized that I could not rely solely on my Sony Z1 and 550D onboard mics. I already own a studio condesnor mic for VO but obviously with all of the set-up and equipment that would not be realistic for somebody shooting solo. I needed something that I could operate as a one and done system. Something that I could set up quickly and know that it was capturing good audio. That's when I stumbled upon the Zoom H1 recorder. Zoom has always made audio recording products usually decently priced but none came as highly recommended and budget friendly as the H1. 

I snagged the kit below which incldues a mic "arm" so that it can properly sit in a standard mic stand if needed, a windscreen (although I would recommend getting a red-head instead), a 2gb micro sd card, a tabletop tripod, and a decently padded carrying case. I've learned that it comes in super handy for weddings, interviews, speeches, etc. Not quite a boom, but it gets the job done.

If you are thinking about the H1 look into picking up a hotshoe 1/4" mount for a buck on ebay to give you the option to mount it onto your camera.