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December 09, 2010

Table of Contents

Conquering Short Form Weddings with Adam Forgione
Announcing PSD Experience: A Photo/Video/Filmmaking Educational Event for DSLR Pros
The Nonlinear Editor | Review: Sheila Curran Bernard's Documentary Storytelling (Third Edition)
Behind the Scenes of a Super Slo-Mo Video Shoot
Canon Filmmakers Live Announces 2011 Tour with Philip Bloom
Sorenson Media Launches Enhanced Sorenson Media Exchange Website
Boris FX Announces New Boris Continuum Unit: Morph
Pennylane Productions' Adam Forgione Announces Dates for 2011 U.S. EDU Workshop Tour—UPDATED 12/8/10!
Tamajii Releases Storyboards App
TMPG Inc. Now Offers Accelcoder, Real-time Encoding System from Fixstars

Conquering Short Form Weddings with Adam Forgione

On a rainy November 16 in Fairfield, New Jersey, 30 members of the event filmmaking industry gathered at Unique University to learn about the newest way of shooting weddings. Equipped with external audio recorders, iPhones, and traditional pens and paper, attendees were ready to absorb as much information as we could from Adam Forgione of Pennylane Productions, an EventDV 25 all-star and winner of 9 Creative Excellence Awards at WEVA Expo 2010. Forgione held this 16-hour workshop in order to help filmmakers of all ages and levels of expertise to make their businesses flourish, their products more creative, and their services more marketable. Forgione's enthusiasm for what he does and his love of teaching made the Short Form Wedding Seminar a great opportunity for all who attended to improve what they do.

Although Unique University marked Forgione's first foray into back-to-back all-day marathon workshops, it was also something of a warmup gig for Pennylane Productions, who will be taking Forgione's show on the road in early 2011, with workshops in 12 cities planned (www.pennylaneprod.com/workshops). So this article should give you a good idea of what you can expect to see, hear, and learn if the Pennylane EDU 2011 tour rolls through your town.

Day 1: Shooting
Day 1 of Forgione's 2-day seminar focused on shooting. Shooting weddings can be stressful for all of us, no matter how ambitious our approach. But Forgione takes it to a whole new level. With a three-man crew, loads of equipment-including lights, recording devices, and stabilizers-Forgione brings a huge dose of professionalism to wedding video, and an inspiring model for wedding filmmaking in the DSLR era.

The majority of the day we focused on learning exactly what this new wave of wedding filmmaking is and how to master it. Forgione focused on the ins and outs of cameras and lenses, external audio recorders, mics, stabilizers, and more. He taught us that details were key. What he called "eye candy" was the most important thing-other than the ceremony and first dance-that must be captured during the shoot. Without the beauty shots of the dress, shoes, bouquet, the couple, the venues, and so on, making a short form film would not be possible. He emphasized to control the situation is paramount while shooting a short form film. As a filmmaker, you know what you need to capture; it's your level of confidence that can make or break you. If you get to know your client and learn to trust yourself, Forgione said, then your product will only get better. Control the situation, shoot what you need of each location and segment of the event, and move on to the next big part of the day.

Educating your clients on short form and letting them know what they are getting is imperative to the success of your business, according to Forgione. You have to let them know that "short form is what they want, even if they don't know it yet." Sit the client down and show them what they will be getting so they know what to expect in their final product, he explained.

Toward the end of the first night, Forgione began transitioning into the second day's topics. Natural audio had been a huge issue for most of the day but now we were diving into one of the most important aspects of short form filmmaking: music, which helps determine the pace, tone, and style of Forgione's films. In order to be able to edit to music properly, first we need to understand music and how it's constructed. We listened to various genres and time measures to learn the impact music can have. Forgione's enthusiasm and love for music kept us listening and awake for the last hour.

Day 2: Editing
When cutting a short form film, where do you start? Step one: bins and organization. Forgione's explanation of how to organize your edit was definitely the highlight of the day. Understanding what footage you have and knowing where to find it makes the editing process more efficient. Forgione taught us to begin by cutting the main sections (ceremony, toasts) in their entirety; this gives a foundation to work off of and can keep your client happy by giving them all the main points on a bonus track.

Most of us know editing is not just cutting up footage-it takes a sharp eye for color. Using filters like NewBlueFX's Color Fixer Plus and Final Cut Pro's Three-Way Color Corrector, Forgione showed us not only how to make the right colors pop, but how to fix any mistakes from the shoot.

Day 2 completely destroyed all the anxiety that comes with editing short-form weddings. We watched one of Adam's most recent 25-minute short-form films and dissected it section by section, cut by cut. We tore apart every editing decision made by the Pennylane crew. We began to understand why they do what they do and how editing style can make each studio's short-form weddings unique. Forgione emphasized the importance of timeshifting and creating sequences to keep a film exciting and entertaining. From repeated exposure to Forgione's film it became clear how pacing, color, and timeshifting make such a huge difference to your final product.

Ultimately, Adam Forgione's Short Form seminar was a great success. He achieved his goal of having everyone leave that 16-hour workshop feeling confident and knowledgeable enough to tackle short-form weddings. Forgione's desire to teach and provide thorough explanations helped attendees grasp all aspects of short form filmmaking. His workshop provided wonderful advice and education in a fun, relaxed environment, completely capturing the art of short form.

Kara Stellner (kara at lifestagefilms.com) is film editor for Matt Davis' EventDV 25 studio Life Stage Films. She has been editing professionally for 3 years. Before coming to Life Stage she worked on the Military Channel production Modern Sniper.

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Announcing PSD Experience: A Photo/Video/Filmmaking Educational Event for DSLR Pros

For many years now, as videographer/filmmaker types, we have worked side by side with our photographer brethren, oftentimes looked upon by them as unnecessary and "in the way." We are starting to challenge that mindset with the advent of DSLR technology that affords us image quality and the ability to shoot live events with lighting for the purposes of shaping our composition rather than simply illuminating them. WEVA and IN[FOCUS] are wonderful educational and networking events that are geared toward the art of video and filmmaking. Likewise, the photography world, while pandering to video with a few who have ventured into that discipline, continue to focus on the art of still imagery at the dozens of educational events annually culminating with the two super events of WPPA and WPPI.

A new "crossover" educational event, PSD Experience, is designed to bring DSLR film and photo education under the same roof in the spirit of collaboration and advancing both fields. Scheduled for April 10-12, 2011 in Norfolk, Virginia, PSD Experience (http://psdexperience.com) is a hybrid learning experience combining educational opportunities for both photography and DSLR video/filmmaking. The goal is to offer crossover education and networking opportunities to people in both industries that wish to learn more about the gear they own and the workflows and techniques that will improve their skills and develop their craft, while providing an atmosphere where photographers and videographers/filmmakers can come to appreciate the unique workflows involved and how to better collaborate to provide a superior product to our clients.

PSD stands for "Photograph, Share, and Discover," and those are exactly the opportunities that this event is designed to offer those who attend. There will be many opportunities to get behind the lens of the camera and create amazing images, as well as actual hands-on DSLR video and filmmaking workshops. Sit in with amazing instructors while they share all of the information needed to grow and expand a business. Discover new things about the photo and video/filmmaking industries through an open sharing of information and techniques. PSD Experience is committed to creating a balanced, hands-on educational experience for the professional photographer and DSLR videographer/filmmaker.

In addition to myself and Martin Montgomery from United Wedding, video/filmmaking educators at PSD Experience include John Moon from Northernlight Filmworks, Bill Gaff from Human Story, Andre Costantini (editor of Reverie, the Vince Laforet film that helped launch the 5D Mark II phenomenon), and a Richmond-area DSLR indie filmmaker Victor Nash.

Acclaimed educators on the photo side include David Beckstead, Beth Forester, Scott & Adina Hayne, and others. For more details on the PSD Educational team, visit http://psdexperience.com/educators.

It's exciting to see the photography world reaching out to the video/fillmmaking world for direction and understanding. It's equally exciting to see many of the photogs come to a realization that it isn't as easy as they thought to be able to produce and make money at this thing called "video" while being true to your art. And finally, it's a great opportunity to be able to offer education to the photog world from such a talented group of established filmmaker types so as to provide a solid foundation from which to build properly upon. With so many photographers "dabbling" in video, and so many videographers "dabbling" in photography these days, it seems only natural that an event of this nature and size would arrive on the scene.

Scott Strimple (scotts at unitedwedding.com) runs Richmond, Va.-based WEVA CEA Gold-winning event filmmaking studio with his wife, Stephanie.

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The Nonlinear Editor | Review: Sheila Curran Bernard's Documentary Storytelling (Third Edition)

Sheila Curran Bernard's Documentary Storytelling 3rd EditionEyes on the Prize, the monumental documentary on the American Civil Rights Movement that aired on PBS in 1987, was not the first documentary film that made an impact on me—that honor probably goes to the Beatles’ Let it Be, or to a terrifying film on the risks of nuclear power that my father took me to when I was 9. But Henry Hampton’s Eyes on the Prize was the film that defined, in my mind, what a documentary can accomplish in terms of bringing history to life, making history seem utterly contemporary and unignorably real, and preserving the images and voices of people who shaped our world in one landmark interview after another. And it certainly sparked the first flicker of interest in nonfiction filmmaking that eventually landed me here at EventDV. Eyes on the Prize was also the first documentary that I began to deconstruct the second time I watched it, marveling at the intricate mingling and synchronization of narration and the panning of old photographs (a technique that would later become known as the Ken Burns effect) and the way the story was assembled with layered interviews that almost seemed to be speaking to one another. At some point it occurred to me that as powerful as the raw materials of the documentary were, they might not wield quite so much power, or reconstruct the story so effectively, if not for the practiced, guiding hand of the documentarians who put them all together.

One of those documentarians was Sheila Curran Bernard, co-producer of Parts 7–14 of the series, America at the Crossroads (1990). Along with many other major documentary writing, direction, and production credits, including School: The Story of American Public Education, and the IMAX film Wired to Win: Surviving the Tour de France, Bernard is also the author of Documentary Storytelling, a brilliant book on how to bring nonfiction material to the screen with impact and purpose that instantly reminded me of how fascinating it was to try to deconstruct Eyes on the Prize the second time through. Now in its third edition, Documentary Storytelling (Focal Press) teems with insight and instruction on the documentary craft, from elements of storytelling to divining the story arc of a given topic, as well as more specific script-to-screen information about documentary film production and postproduction, and finding a market for your documentary work.

And why should this book matter to you, as an event videographer/filmmaker? For several reasons. One is that the line between event filmmaking and other filmmaking genres is increasingly blurred as event filmmakers continue to absorb influences from outside the event world, as tools and filmmaking techniques converge, and as event filmmakers aspire to achieve the same sort of impact with their event films that the best documentarians do. Another reason is that for most of us in this industry, shooting events is only one of the things we do; we’re also doing corporate and commercial work, legal videography, biography films, or other types of video production that edge us ever closer to the documentary world. What’s more, when many event filmmakers think about the movie they really want to make, outside of the commissioned work that’s the lifeblood of their businesses, that movie is a documentary on some topic of great personal significance. The information and techniques presented in Bernard’s book may well fill the gaps (probably sizeable, but manageable) between the technical chops they’ve developed in their event work and the storytelling techniques they’ll need to master to produce the feature they aspire to create. And finally, if that’s not reason enough, event filmmakers will most likely be intrigued to find that among the 10 filmmakers/writers/directors/producers interviewed in this edition (including James Marsh, the filmmaker behind the 2008 Academy Award winner Man on Wire, whose presence alone would have justified the book’s sticker price for me) is Brett Culp, celebrity event filmmaker; occasional EventDV writer, subject, or interviewee; and eminently familiar face from the last 10 or so WEVA Expos.

And what is Brett Culp doing in a book about documentary filmmaking? Bernard first encountered Culp prior to WEVA Expo 2008, when he arranged for her to present a seminar on documentary storytelling. “In planning for this third edition,” she writes, “I thought it would be interesting to turn the tables and ask [Culp] to explain how he brings storytelling strategies to the range of nonfiction projects he creates.”

Most of us who have been to WEVA Expo have heard Culp speak on various topics—specifically, topics tailored to an audience of event filmmakers. So it’s fascinating to read an interview with him done outside of that context, on topics more generally relevant to documentary filmmaking and its points of intersection with his own work. Acknowledging that what he tries to identify and capture in each film are “client, mood, and plot,” here’s what Culp has to say on how he approaches his clients and their events from a filmmaking standpoint: “I’m truly going in with no agenda. I am not coming in as a storyteller with my own voice. I am coming in to try to hear their voice[s], and then try to use my skill and experience and know-how to communicate their story in whatever way is most effective for them.”

The structure of Documentary Storytelling is a little more complicated than “client, mood, plot,” but it’s still pretty straightforward. It’s divided into three main parts, followed by an “Additional Material” coda comprising sources and an annotated list of must-see documentary films. (Hello, Netflix!)

First among the main sections is Part I: Understanding Story, which concerns itself with high-level philosophical, structural, and strategic matters. It covers identifying the basic components of a story and how to divine a story in your documentary topic, how to structure a story for effective documentary storytelling, and how to interweave chronological and nonchronological events to build drama and sustain a narrative, without ever revealing key information too soon or too late. Key elements of the “Creative Approach” chapter in Part I include determining the type of film you want to make, such as how polemical or even-handed you want to be. Not necessarily a major concern for an event filmmaker (given that our subjects tend to be fairly noncontentious), but it’s all a question of balance, and to what degree you impose yourself and your biases—personal, stylistic, or otherwise—on your subjects in the film you create.

Part II, Working with Story, focuses in on the practical aspects of documentary production, beginning well before production at the identifying-sources and research stage (including accumulating facts and searching for “the telling detail” that will “enrich and inform your storytelling”); moving on to project planning (pitching your project, breaking your film into sequences, casting experts and nonexperts, choosing opposing voices for a balanced presentation, and casting narrators); preparing a treatment to acquire backing for the project; crewing; and shooting (including shooting “in the wild,” shooting for the story, and shooting for the edit). This section also offers great tips on setting up interviews, shooting them, and drawing out your subjects—all things that have become increasingly important in event and corporate filmmaking. The chapter “Editing” also includes great tips on working with sequences, getting from rough cut to fine cut (an essential element of efficient and story-minded editing we’ve addressed in EventDV more than once), and where to enter and exit scenes.

Throughout these sections, Bernard grounds many of her key points in real-world examples from the finest documentaries produced in recent years. For example, when discussing shooting with the edit in mind and establishing an appropriate point of view in your shots, she refers readers to the wheelchair rugby documentary Murderball and notes that “the film was frequently shot from the point of view of those in wheelchairs.” Bernard also draws on examples from the production processes of her own work; while explaining how to create a chronology that will help a documentarian construct a story and keep its arc in focus, she recounts creating several chronological charts for the 6-hour PBS series I’ll Make a World: A Century of African-American Arts. With multiple columns in the chronology, the filmmakers were able to chart the careers of the artists profiled alongside relevant contemporary developments in American history, and juxtapose individual achievements and historical events that would lend context, depth, and verisimilitude to the series.

Part III is the interviews. There’s all kinds of wise and thought-provoking stuff in these interviews, along with great, revealing stories from documentary film production. Susan Kim, writer of the fascinating documentary feature Imaginary Witness: Hollywood and the Holocaust (2007), recalls how the depth and intensity of that film sprang from a discussion she had with director Danny Anker shortly after 9/11—in a Manhattan apartment “where you could still smell the smoke”—speculating on how 9/11 would be portrayed and reflected in film. “The most important thing that we were trying to do was pose larger questions,” she says. “If you do that, you’re not going in a celebratory direction. Celebration implies catharsis, closure, finality, that something has been won. And I think the themes we were trying to explore are ones that are still active and alive, even when applied to other atrocities and other things that Hollywood attempts, on occasion, to grapple with.”

As Bernard says in the chapter “Story Basics,” “Ending a film in a way that’s satisfying does not necessitate wrapping up all loose ends or resolving things in a way that’s upbeat. The ending of Daughter of Danang is powerful precisely because things remain unsettled; Heidi Bub has achieved the goal of meeting her birth mother, but even two years after her visit, she remains deeply ambivalent about continued contact.”

Having been utterly enthralled with Man on Wire (2008), the interview I was most excited to read was the one Bernard did with director James Marsh. Man on Wire tells the story of Philippe Petit, the death-defying French tightrope walker who spent nearly an hour walking and dancing across a wire strung between the World Trade Center towers one windy morning in 1974. This was an incredibly complex, entirely illegal, and unsanctioned undertaking that required years of planning and a legion of co-conspirators. Petit also worked up to it over several years by practicing in a field and attempting slightly more modest feats between the western towers of Paris’ Notre Dame and in between the twin peaks of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

Man on Wire chronicles Petit’s mixture of single-minded ambition, charm, brilliance, and madness; the baffling, ineffable beauty he created on that wire; and the devotion and mixed motivations of his cohorts. Marsh describes not only the process of making the film but the “very long, intense, and often quite antagonistic collaboration” he experienced with Petit, “which ended up with a piece of work that I think reflected both the story and all the ideas that the story threw up.” Petit brought the same arrogance, passion, and certainty in his own opinions to his collaboration with Marsh that he brought to his own highwire feats decades earlier, which often led to disagreements on the direction of the film. “When we didn’t agree,” Marsh says, “I had—as a filmmaker—a greater responsibility to do things the way I thought were best.”

Granted, managing these sorts of differences is a trickier task in a commissioned project such as a wedding or event film than with a feature documentary, but Marsh’s story reflects the intensely human element that’s intrinsic to documentaries that involve real people telling real stories and experiencing real events in their lives. (Marsh’s recollection of Man on Wire interviewees who told conflicting stories that merited inclusion in the film in spite of their contradictions underscores this point.) When your characters are real people, things just get messier; while some conflicts and contradictions can be absorbed effectively into impactful filmmaking, they can’t always be fully resolved and laid to rest as they would be within a world invented by an artist creating fiction. In the introduction to Documentary Storytelling, Bernard includes a great quote from Erik Barnouw, author of the 1974 book Documentary: “Unlike the fiction artist, [the documentary filmmaker] is dedicated to not inventing. It is in selecting and arranging his findings that he expresses himself.”

This strikes me as a tremendous challenge, and an invigorating one—it’s what makes this book nearly as inspiring as it is informative and insightful. As someone whose storytelling instincts lean toward fiction, I find the challenges of constructing story from real-life materials a fascinating conundrum. As novelist John Irving wrote in his 2009 novel Last Night in Twisted River, “real-life stories were never whole, never complete in the ways that real novels could be.”

And it’s a different challenge in the event world than it is in the world of feature or TV documentary to make films that construct stories from real life. In most cases, a documentarian has to sell the story twice: first, to a network, foundation, studio, or other investor who is going to back the project; and second, to an audience that is being asked to care about the film and its subject from a position of significant remove. For event filmmakers, more of the battle is won the first time we sell a film, at the time we book the job. After that, the audience is built-in, and a certain degree of audience buy-in (if not audience-bowling-over) is all but guaranteed: The audience generally has a personal stake in the subject because they’ve all been a part of the events featured on screen.

But the greater difference comes in the elements of story at a filmmaker’s disposal and how conscientiously they must be applied to make the film work. Sure, some of the basic elements Bernard identifies as the essential components of story in a documentary can be found and applied in event filmmaking: “a compelling beginning, an unexpected middle, and a satisfying end.” And to a lesser extent, the inductive process of gleaning a broader meaning or importance from the drama at hand is well within the reach of the event filmmaker. As Bernard acknowledges early on in the book, “Story comes organically from the material and the ways in which you, the filmmaker structure it.”

Too often, though, I believe event filmmakers mistake (or simply substitute) technical mastery, strategically placed detail, and the inclusion of the occasional intimate, unguarded shot for a genuine narrative arc, when more often these are simply the visual trappings of emotional filmmaking and accumulation of personal visual detail standing in for character development. And usually that’s enough to sell the film and to make the difference between a piece of work that’s quickly shelved and forgotten and one that is watched repeatedly and earns you effusive referrals.

But the problem with substituting spectacle for story, gestural or expressive idiosyncracy for character, detail for development, and rackfocusing for drama, is that it gets old. Eventually, these ready-made hooks become clichés and become easily recognized as such. Substance, storytelling, and drama derived therein are the only filmmaking elements that transcend time and trend.

If you see your own development as a filmmaker and the opportunity to turn the events you shoot into compelling films as anything more than catchphrases to build into your branding, you need to understand the essential elements of visual storytelling and narrative and how the great nonfiction filmmakers conceive, shape, and present their films. The most important part of that process, ultimately, will be watching those films, deconstructing them, and applying those constructs to your own work. But I can’t recommend a better place to start your journey than reading Sheila Curran Bernard’s Documentary Storytelling, which will put you well on your way.

Stephen Nathans-Kelly (stephen.nathans at infotoday.com) is editor-in-chief of EventDV and EventDVLive and programming director of EventDV-TV.

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Behind the Scenes of a Super Slo-Mo Video Shoot

Behind the Scenes of a Super Slo-Mo Video Shoot

Ever wonder how those astounding slo-mo shots that make a broadcast or big-screen production jump off the screen are created? “That’s the million dollar question,” says Joel Holland, founder and CEO of Footage Firm. “The short answer is a lot of time, money, and expertise, matched with a bit of luck and plenty of fun.”

“Well, without geeking out too much, basically, you need to have a special camera, lights, and extensive staging setups,” Luke Miller, independent Director of Photography, elaborates. “For this particular collection we used Vision Research’s Phantom HD Gold camera; this allowed us to shoot 1920x1080 sized-frames at rates up to 1052 per second (fps), which gave us a lot of visual information.”

By a “lot of visual information” Miller is referring to the remarkable detail that makes super-slo-mo footage so visually compelling: shattered microfibers of glass dancing across time and space, visual evidence of the physics behind explosions and blazes, the same forces acting on agitated water and liquids in motion.

But how do you get the ideal lighting, focal point and composition for a shot of a television smashing to pieces, or an awesome fiery explosion?

“As for destroying the TVs, computer monitors, and other hardware,” Miller says, “there’s no ‘trick’ to that, we went through half-a-dozen TV sets to get the perfect shot. Similarly with the plane-glass windows, paint-throws, dropped objects, shattered items; that’s just trial-and-error, painstakingly setting your field of action, recording it, cleaning up the mess—wash, rinse, repeat. Actually, the clean up after each shot was probably the longest part of the production process.”

For the explosions and pyro, Miller adds: “At first we were talking about bringing in an expert. But then, like with so many things we do, we decided to take a stab at it ourselves. So we threw some stuff together using household products—gas, lighter fluid, gun powder—which, I cannot emphasize enough, I do not recommend to anyone in any way, shape, or form. Some of our gear, mainly C-stands and grip, didn’t make it out of this shoot. But it was, literally, a blast.”

Shooting at extremely high frame rates requires a lot more light than standard shooting. In this case, Miller used an array of Arri 5000w (5k) Tungstens in different configurations. And because the files created are so large, a digital data workflow had to be planned out beforehand. “We used Convergent Design’s nanoFlash recorder to capture each shot from the camera's buffer (280mbps 4:2:2), which eliminated the need for a Cinemag or tethering the camera to a laptop,” Miller explains.

The intermediary codec used to wrap the source files was XDCam. These files were then trimmed in Final Cut Pro, and exported for final delivery as Photo JPEG QuickTime files in HD and SD format, creating the most universally compatible format while maintaining the highest possible quality.

Even if you have the best camera body, technology, and setups in the world, any experienced DP will tell you it’s all for naught without good glass. “We used Nikon’s 60mm micro and Nikon 85mm micro PC (tilt shift) lenses,” Miller says.

Normally $2,739.00 for this 11-DVD set—which contains 150 ultra slow motion clips—Footage Firm is giving away copies until January 31st, 2011 for just $8.41 to cover shipping and handling costs. These are full-quality collections and all come with a royalty-free license that grants usage in all types of media, for worldwide distribution, in perpetuity.

“For the past 10 years, we have provided the kind of footage that NBC is proud to air on their prime-time lineup, but at a price point that an indie producer can afford,” Holland says. “To further prove our confidence that new customers will stay with us for years to come, we made the bold decision to give away our 11 brand new slo-mo collections for free.”

The 11 ultra slow motion collections include:

• Liquid Flow; Water Effects – Crystal clear water splashes, pours, drops, ripples, and streams.
• Smoke effects – Mysterious wisps, billowing clouds, and effusive bodies of ephemeral haze.
• Explosions; Fire Effects – Light it up! Awesome explosions, fireballs, toasty flames, and blazing fireworks.
• Paint Splatters – Vibrant throws of color.
• Burning Objects – Piles of money ablaze, a globe on fire, flowers smoldering surreally, a peace flag up in flames.
• Breaking and Smashing; Breaking Glass – Sledgehammers into TV sets, dropped watermelons, piggy banks demolished, mirrors smashed, baseballs thru plate glass, and other mayhem.
• Food and Beverage – Crisp apples, effervescent champagne, frothy beer, luscious strawberries, tart lemons with cool limes, and other delicious shots.
• Wind and Falling Objects – Fluttering flags, silky sheets, chaotic cards, crazy confetti, dappled rose petals, falling leaves, and explosive debris.

Free copies of these 11 collections can be requested by visiting: http://www.footagefirm.com/freeslowmotionfootage.html.

For more information, visit www.footagefirm.com.

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Canon Filmmakers Live Announces 2011 Tour with Philip Bloom

Philip BloomCanon Filmmakers (http://canonfilmmakers.com) has announced plans to take its Canon Filmmakers Live show on the road in 2011 with headliner Philip Bloom, bringing the iconic DP/Director/Filmmaker to 12 U.S. cities in 30 days, beginning with Chicago's Viaduct Theatre on March 8.

The complete tour schedule is as follows:

  • Chicago, Viaduct Theatre, March 8
  • Washington, DC, Goethe Institute, March 10
  • Nashville, Dury's, March 13
  • Atlanta, Studio Movie Grill, March 16
  • Miami, Cinematheque, March 18
  • Dallas, Studio Movie Grill, March 21
  • Austin, Alamo Drafthouse, March 23
  • Albuquerque, Guild Cinema, March 25
  • Denver, Starz Filmcenter, March 27
  • Seattle, King Cat Theatre, March 31
  • San Francisco, Victoria Theatre, April 4
  • Los Angeles, Cinefamily

Each Canon Filmmakers Live event will feature a full-day seminar with Philip Bloom, followed by a meetup gathering for all attendees. Registration is open now with pricing at $150 for each event.

Canon Filmmakers Live Tour 2011

For more information, go to Canon Filmmakers Live.

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Sorenson Media Launches Enhanced Sorenson Media Exchange Website

Sorenson Media today announced its newly expanded and enhanced Sorenson Media Exchange website, providing a one-stop destination for expert online video support, advice and service.

The website already had become the definitive source for a large and constantly growing library of presets for users of the award-winning Sorenson Squeeze online video encoding software. This collection is constantly being expanded by some of the industry’s most well-respected video encoding experts.

One of them is Robert Reinhardt, a Portland-based digital video workflow expert. His preset offerings cover such applications as QuickTime and Flash and the iPod, iPhone and iPad devices.

“The Sorenson Media Exchange is the fastest way to update Sorenson Squeeze with the latest presets, and it's the best way to upgrade your Squeeze installation with tested presets that experts use on a day-to-day basis,” Reinhardt said. “As I build my own custom video solutions, I’m ecstatic that I have a venue like the Exchange where I can share my own presets and tap into the expertise of other Squeeze users.”

To that solid foundation, the redesigned Sorenson Media Exchange has added a Discussions section – interactive forums where video professionals, web developers and business owners collaborate in an online destination to provide online video tips, questions and answers, and problem-solving interactions.

“Our new Discussions forums will be a phenomenal resource community for anyone using our products and services,” said David Dudas, Sorenson Media’s vice president of product management. “Along with our top-quality presets and links to information and services from our partners, the Sorenson Media Exchange underscores our role as the recognized expert source for online video while enlisting the creative engineering savvy of our partners and customers.”

The revamped website also features a new Services section to highlight the expertise of such Sorenson Media partners and clients as Corp Shorts Video Productions. The Los Angeles-based company has crews in more than 100 cities nationwide specializing in producing, marketing and distributing professional Internet video shorts for growth-minded businesses.

“With our services and Sorenson Media’s expertise, we are able to provide a one-of-a-kind service. Partnering with Sorenson Media, Corp Shorts is able to provide a total solution, from concept and creation to editing, encoding and online publishing,” said Catherine Gray, chief operating officer of Corp Shorts. “Corp Shorts handles the concept, creation and editing, while Sorenson Media provides the encoding and online media publishing know-how. Together, we provide business owners one convenient avenue for expert assistance and effective video solutions that work to drive new traffic and visitor conversions to boost your SEO and your ROI.”

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Boris FX Announces New Boris Continuum Unit: Morph

Boris FX, the leading developer of integrated effects technology for video and film, today announced that a new Boris Continuum Unit, Morph, is now available. The Boris Continuum Morph Unit allows Adobe After Effects artists to generate real-time static or animated image warps, animated image morphs between a pair of still images, and animated video morphs from video clips.

Boris Continuum Complete 7 AE Filters Included with the Boris Continuum Morph Unit

  • BCC Warp. This OpenGL hardware-accelerated filter generates real-time static or animated image warps. The filter uses pairs of open or closed Adobe After Effects native spline mask shapes to interactively warp an image between the spline-shape points. A closed spline shape mask can be used to contain the image warp to a specific region in the image. The hardware acceleration built into the filter means real-time rendering, both on-screen for previews and off-screen for client delivery.

  • BCC Morph. This OpenGL hardware-accelerated filter creates animated image morphs between a pair of still images. With the aid of a few Adobe After Effects native spline mask shapes, this sophisticated filter automatically aligns features in the image making every frame in the morph a usable image result.

  • BCC Video Morph. The OpenGL hardware-accelerated filter uses open or closed Adobe After Effects native spline mask shapes to aid in generating believable image morphs between a pair of video clips. Advanced optical flow technology creates a seamless transition between the clip pairs. Built-in global warp and blend features automate the morph process or control the image warp and blend on a per spline basis.

The Boris Continuum Morph Unit is immediately available for an MSRP of $199 USD. Morph supports Adobe After Effects CS5, CS4, and CS3 under 64-bit and 32-bit operating systems. Customers who purchase the Boris Continuum Morph Unit or any other Boris Continuum Unit may credit the price of the Unit towards the full Boris Continuum Complete plug-in suite. For more information, please visit the Boris FX web site at http://www.borisfx.com.

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Pennylane Productions' Adam Forgione Announces Dates for 2011 U.S. EDU Workshop Tour—UPDATED 12/8/10!

Adam Forgione Pennylane ProductionsEventDV 25 all-star, mega-WEVA CEA winner, and reigning shortform wedding champ Adam Forgione of Pennylane Productions has announced dates and locations for the first two cities on his 2011 EDU Workshop tour. The tour will kick off January 12 with the Philadelphia stand, where Adam will conduct 3 days of seminars at the Hyatt Place in King of Prussia, PA January 12-14 (Register for the Philadelphia workshops here). Next stop is Boston, where he'll spend January 16-18 doing 3 days of workshops at the Holiday Inn Dedham, unofficial home of the NPVA of New England (Register for the Boston workshops here). See updates for 1st 6 cities on tour below.

Key workshop topics include the following:

Additional locations and dates announced 12/8/10:

For more information on the workshops visit the Pennylane Productions blog.

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Tamajii Releases Storyboards App

Tamajii today announced the release of Storyboards, an iPad app that allows directors to make their storyboards themselves.

“Storyboards”, Tamajii Inc.’s first iPad-only application, is now available for download at the App Store. This one-of-a-kind application lets directors and screenwriters storyboard their movies using the iPad without the need for any drawing ability.

The application includes thousands of drawings of characters & props and a wide-range of creative scene options, so that shots can be composed quickly. If something is missing, Tamajii offers drawing services to ensure that the users have all the objects or characters that they need.

In the free edition, users can create two storyboards of ten shots each. Through an in-app purchase of $24.99, they can get the Premium edition, with an unlimited number of shots and storyboards. The Premium edition also adds the ability to export to PDF and to copy storyboards across iPads.

Screenshots, a demo video, FAQs and tips are available at http://tamajii.com/storyboards


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TMPG Inc. Now Offers Accelcoder, Real-time Encoding System from Fixstars

TMPG Inc. (http://tmpg-inc.com/), the company that takes video to the next level, is pleased to announce that it has added the Accelcoder, a real time, professional H.264 encoding system from Fixstars Solutions, to its prestigious product offering.

“The state-of-the–art Accelcoder is the fastest, most powerful turnkey encoding system available today. It encodes Hollywood films with the highest quality for Blu-ray and IPTV distribution. Through its supercomputer capabilities, it will provide live encoding speeds allowing for direct encoding from VTR tapes to H.264 files. Accelcoder offers studios a 3-fold value proposition of video quality, speed and low price,” commented Camilo Lopez of Fixstars Solutions.

By optimizing high-end encoding algorithms from the ground up, Accelcoder provides optimum cinematic video quality results. It also provides studios with the flexibility to meet a variety of format demands from customers. Output formats include: Blu-ray standard based H.264 ES, MPEG2-TS and MP4.

“We are pleased to offer such a robust, turnkey encoding system. Compressing video in H.264 format usually requires long processing times. Current CPU processors take up to 15X real time to encode a feature in high quality mode. Accelcoder utilizes the power of the Cell/B.E., a high performance multi-core processor used in the fastest supercomputers on the planet, to provide real time encoding speeds with 30p/60i settings,” commented Kimi Matsuki, TMPG Inc. CEO.

3D Encoding
Accelcoder supports 3D video encoding with side-by-side 3D and H.264 MVC (Multiview Video Coding) standard. This feature allows users to construct multiple views of one scene for stereoscopic 3D video coding. The 3D encoding meets the standards for both the Blu-ray Disc Association and IPTV.

Blu-ray Disc Standard Compliant
A key component of successful Blu-ray disc authoring is maintaining the intricate detail from the master video after encoding. Accelcoder outputs H.264 ES data that meets Blu-ray standards with the highest master definition fidelity. Accelcoder’s proprietary encoding engine provides post-production professionals useful tools for setting several encoding parameters for an agile workflow. Confirmed ES files can be imported onto numerous popular authoring software programs.

IPTV and Video On Demand
Online distribution of video assets is becoming more important for production companies. Accelcoder improves the efficiency of video footage encoding for HD video in limited bandwidth channels such as IPTV or mobile devices. By directly encoding from the VTR deck in real-time, large amounts of video can be quickly and efficiently encoded.

Professional Software Package
An intuitive user interface provides total control of the encoding workload. It offers a full range of professional tools to manage compression parameters such as bit rate and segment encoding. It also has preset functionality for quality or speed settings.

Pricing and Availability
The turnkey Accelcoder system is the most affordable choice among similar turnkey solutions. Compared to other high end encoding systems that do not provide H.264 and MPEG 2 video formats or ES, MPEG2-TS and MP4 functionality, this product is a true professional encoding system value. Visit the Accelcoder webpage to contact TMPG Inc. for pricing information and leasing options.

Accelcoder product webpage:

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