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October 07, 2008

Table of Contents

Re:Frame 08 New Orleans: Day One
Anton/Bauer Unveils QR-EX3 Gold Mount For Sony PMW-EX3 Camera At IBC 2008
Adobe CS4 Tour Coming to the Illinois Videographers Association
lynda.com Launches CS4 University: The Complete Source for Adobe Training
DV Expo Returns to the Los Angeles Convention Center, November 4 - 6
Lite-On Introduces 6X Blu-ray Disc Reader With DVD Writer Combo

Re:Frame 08 New Orleans: Day One

It's Saturday night on Frenchmen Street in New Orleans, just beyond the confines of the city's legendary French Quarter in the less well-traveled Faubourg-Marigny district. Frenchmen Street isn't exactly a well-kept secret, but the music takes precedence there in a way it doesn't on Bourbon Street, thanks to the remarkable concentration of some of the city's best music clubs, which are practically on top of one another. Clubs like the Spotted Cat, Cafe Negril, d.b.a., Apple Barrel, and Snug Harbor crank out some of the Crescent City's hottest blues, jazz, R & B, soul, and funk, and they seem to do so for the most part without charging covers, which (along with the clubs' proximity) makes it natural to wander back and forth among the clubs, or even catch the bands from the doorways or the sidewalks outside. Best of all, on this Saturday night (and, I suspect, many others), it's not just the audience that moves fluidly among the clubs, but also one of the most electrifying musicians I've ever seen, Washboard Chaz Leary, who takes a few minutes to sit in with every act on the street--be it country blues, blues-rock, R & B, or Django Reinhart-style gypsy swing--and to elevate the band to impossible heights at every stop. I'd like to say I was hip to Washboard Chaz and his sit-in plans, but it was pure serendipity that I got to catch his act, fleeting as it was.

Granted, "electrifying washboard player" isn't a phrase you hear every day, but neither is "electrifying wedding filmmaker," although I've also seen my share of those. Truth be told, I didn't come to New Orleans just to visit Frenchmen Street--or the just-as-rollicking Midtown Rock and Bowl, for that matter--I'm also here to soak up Re:Frame 08, the first boutique wedding video seminar experience presented by a group that has consciously positioned themselves as some of the coolest cats in the wedding video industry, The Re:Frame Collective, and to see if they can deliver on the promise of a deftly branded event that sold out its fifty $1400 spots in a scant 10 days.

Re:Frame 08 is, at its heart, a single track of seminars presented by the seven videographers in the collective--Julie Hill of Elysium Productions, Don Pham of Take 1 Productions, Kristen* of Bliss Productions, Bruce Patterson of Cloud Nine Creative, Terry and Joe Taravella of Studio Vieux Carre, and Chris P. Jones of Mason Jar Films--plus two featured speakers, Jason Magbanua of Jason Magbanua Wedding Videography and Maurice O'Carroll of Velvetine Productions. Two key points of emphasis here are not just tied to the seminars but to the overall experience--the VIP treatment in the heart-of-the-Quarter-Hotel, the Royal Sonesta--and also the notion that you may have been to seminars in this industry but you haven't been to seminars like these, and you've never had this kind of access to the speakers.

Cut to Monday evening. It's the end of Day One of Re:Frame, and have they delivered? Well, the toughest part of the promise to keep is making the seminars stand out for those who attended other national/international event videography conferences like WEVA Expo and Video 06/07/08. One thing Day One had going for it was Kristen*, who had never spoken at an industry event before, and only the second stateside speaking gig by Filipino phenom Jason Magbanua, who made his debut at Video 08 in January of this year. Julie Hill and Don Pham, who presented together, in fact took on a topic similar to their Live Edit sessions at Video 07, but they immediately cranked up the audience interaction a notch with a tear-and-glue exercise in recognizing hip and not-so-hip magazine ads, tearing them out, and glue-sticking them on boards (attendees were rewarded with mimosas and bloody marys).

Then they took a page from popular video software training tools and passed out a CD of wedding footage for seminar attendees to load on their laptops and follow along with the speakers' editing decisions and applying filters and the like in their NLE of choice. The seminar was billed as an opportunity to get inside these editors' minds. Julie Hill did this by treating the audience to a generous portion of the opening sequence of Amadeus and explaining how her work is constructed in much the same way, with alternating contrasting shots and building to crescendos with the music. Both chose some problematic footage to work with (as Pham said, the problem with seminars he'd attended at conventions in the past was that, while "inspiring," he could never relate to the footage they showed--"my brides aren't that beautiful"), and Pham showed a great example of how he's used a rainy wedding day to his advantage.

It's nice to review the overall flow and content of a seminar but there are always specific things that really stick with you, if the seminar is a good one, and one of the coolest things in the Hill-Pham experience is something that took me back to Washboard Chaz on Frenchmen Street: I'd love to say I knew his sitting-in route or somehow anticipated it, but it was pure luck that I got to see what he could do with these vastly disparate types of music. But anticipating it sure would have made it a lot more likely that I'd get to see him, and Pham had this amazing moment in his segment on the rainy-day wedding when he showed the groom looking up to the sky, wondering if the rain was going to start again. "I was hoping to get that shot because I knew what it would add to the emotion of the day," Pham said, so he kept the camera on it until it happened.

Anticipating great shots was a recurring theme of Jason Magbanua's seminar, too. Magbanua always seems to have an inexhaustible supply of one-in-a-million shots in his videos that leave videographers scratching their heads and wondering how in the world he got them. "You have to anticipate the action," Magbanua said, "and move and get the shot. A wedding is a series of predictable events. There is a structure. Be at the optimal spot where the action is happening. Why do we always get the 'crying groom' shot? I know when it's going to happen, so we get in position and roll and roll."

Day One of Re:Frame wasn't just about shooting. Kristen*'s seminar, "Branding+Marketing+Packaging," proved true to its name, dissecting not just Kristen*'s own Edith Piaf couture approach to branding her wedding film business, but also the importance of running a brand-conscious business where everything you produce, from your website to your marketing collateral to your DVD menus, bespeaks the original and distinctive style and image you want to convey. For her part she got the crowd involved by inviting attendees to send her their marketing collateral before the event to get a sense of how they were doing it and how she could help them improve on it. And to be clear, this wasn't just a top-down promise; these speakers held office hours of a sort in the Re:Cap Room after the day's seminars ended to get one-on-one time with the attendees to extend this relationship a little further. (Magbanua also mentioned a few minutes into his seminar that he'd gotten the attendee list and checked out blogs and clips from everyone's sites he could find, and then proceeded to check his notes and mention those he liked best and why, with one-on-one critiques promised later.)

The focus of Kristen*'s session was how to pursue a high-end market , how to build relationships with event planners and other vendors and make those relationships work for you. And this sort of positioning isn't just about calculation, and it's certainly not just about imitating others or copying a brand when you see one you like. "I put a lot of heart and soul into my brand," she said. "It's important to put a lot of heart and soul into yours."

Speaking of heart and soul, I'm still in New Orleans and Washboard Chaz is out there somewhere, possibly tearing the roof off a club where that phrase isn't always mere metaphor--as good a reminder as any that such opportunities are not to be missed.

Click here to read about Days Two and Three.

Stephen Nathans-Kelly (stephen.nathans at infotoday.com) is editor-in-chief of EventDV.

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Anton/Bauer Unveils QR-EX3 Gold Mount For Sony PMW-EX3 Camera At IBC 2008

Anton/Bauer, a brand of The Vitec Group, and the world’s premier provider of professional camera batteries, chargers, lighting and other mobile power systems, introduced its new QR-EX3 Gold Mount® for the Sony PMW-EX3 video camera at this year’s IBC 2008.

The QR-EX3 on-camera Gold Mount allows Sony’s PMW-EX3 model to work with Anton/Bauer’s Dionic® 90 or Hytron® 50 batteries, extending the camera’s run-times and improving balance. In addition, the QR-EX3 comes standard with an Anton/Bauer PowerTap connector, which allows the powering of an on-camera light, wireless receiver, or any other 12v accessory. The Dionic 90 battery provides up to 6.5 hours of run time while the Hytron 50 battery offers up to 3.5 hours.

"Anton/Bauer continues its mission to provide reliable power supplies for the high-end video camera market," says Michael Accardi, president of Anton/Bauer. "The new QR-EX3 Gold Mount provides the critical interface between our battery products and Sony’s EX3 camera that is both ergonomic and flexible in its options."

For optimum results, the ideal package from Anton/Bauer includes the QR-EX3 Gold Mount, the Dionic 90 - 90Wh 14.4v Lithium Ion battery, the Tandem 70 Gold Mount 70 watt charger/power supply, and the UL2-20 Ultralight 2 camera mounted light with integral 20" PowerTap cable (optional). Note: Anton/Bauer recommends its QR-EX1 for use with Sony’s PMW-EX1 camera.


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Adobe CS4 Tour Coming to the Illinois Videographers Association

Adobe's training tour for its forthcoming CS4 Production Premium suite is coming to the next meeting of the Illinois Videographers Association, at 7pm on Tuesday, October 21 at the DoubleTree Suites in Woodale, Illinois.

Learn how to master the production challenges of today and tomorrow with Adobe Creative Suite 4 Production Premium, an all-new, tightly integrated, cross-platform toolset for video and audio editing, still and motion graphics, visual effects, and interactive media, as well as DVD, Blu-ray Disc, and mobile authoring. Achieve amazing results more efficiently than ever befo re with unparalleled creative control, new 3D workflows and enhanced editing and design features, and tighter than ever integration between Adobe applications. See new ways of using XMP metadata to make video assets searchable with the innovative Speech Search feature which turns spoken dialogue into searchable keywords.

IVA members will have a chance to win a complete CS4 Suite compliments of Adobe.


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lynda.com Launches CS4 University: The Complete Source for Adobe Training

Award-winning provider of software training videos lynda.com is celebrating the largest launch in its history of online training for the just-released Adobe® Creative Suite® 4 (CS4) product family. With over 100 hours of instructional videos on Creative Suite 4 training, comprised of 34 different product training tutorials, with dozens of additional courses planned for the coming months; this collection of training is being called "CS4U" and can be accessed here. lynda.com has also produced training videos that are bundled with the software, as the exclusive in-the-box video training provider for Adobe Creative Suite 4.

Lynda Weinman, co-founder of lynda.com, said, "Now that Adobe has released Creative Suite 4, we are delighted to launch our 'CS4 University.' We are passionately dedicated to provide the best possible training, knowledge, and inspiration to our subscribers. As digital tools like Adobe Creative Suite 4 become ever more powerful, we realize that our mission is more important than ever."

CS4U is organized into three series, and is designed to help our Online Training Library® subscribers get the most out of this new software:

  • The "New Features" series focuses on what has changed since Creative Suite 3 was released.
  • The "Getting Started" series is designed to get Creative Suite 4 users up and running quickly.
  • The "Essential Training" series supplies the ground-up fundamentals needed to master each application in Creative Suite 4.
These new Creative Suite 4 courses are the latest additions to over 700 hours of Adobe training already available at lynda.com. As the software landscape continually evolves, a lynda.com Online Training Library subscription remains the most comprehensive and efficient way for designers, instructors, students, and hobbyists to keep their skill sets up to date. "Adobe Creative Suite 4 raises the bar on integration and enables a whole new level of creativity and productivity," said Thomas DeMeo, director of product management for Adobe Creative Suite. "We are excited to offer in-box training from lynda.com and have worked closely on the development of their CS4U video training to help our designers and developers discover new possibilities and unleash their creative potential."


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DV Expo Returns to the Los Angeles Convention Center, November 4 - 6

DV Expo today announced that its 12th annual conference and exhibition will return to the Los Angeles Convention Center, from November 4- 6, 2008, with a full conference schedule and thriving exhibit floor.

Produced by NewBay Media, this year's expo has been designed as a "one-stop" destination for the creative professional, whether he or she is a videographer, cinematographer, independent filmmaker, director, producer, camera operator, editor, post supervisor, sound editor, motion graphics designer, or web video producer. In addition to providing attendees the opportunity to see and try the hottest new products on the show floor, DV Expo is focused on providing information and education on cutting-edge technologies, applications, projects and business opportunities to the professional video community.

Kicking off on November 4th with Apple Pro certification training programs and sessions on Digital Cinematography, Web Video, Non-Fiction Filmmaking and HD Postproduction, DV Expo will present more than 45 conference sessions over three days, covering every aspect of video production, post and delivery. This year's event also features free special events that are open to all attendees, including a Panasonic AVVCAM Classroom, HD Editing Seminars, daily Master Lighting Classes, a Tapeless Production Primer, and an introduction to Adobe's new CS4. Other highlights include an after-hours program that features user group meetings, filmmaker interviews, screenings and receptions.

At the center of DV Expo is its show floor, which opens on Wednesday, November 5th to give attendees a first-hand look at the latest products and services from the industry's most innovative companies, including Panasonic, JVC and Sony.

"Over the past 12 years, DV Expo has emerged as a vital event for the West Coast's creative community," says conference chair David E. Williams. "This year's expo will offer unmatched educational and networking opportunities for our attendees, making DV Expo a 'must-attend' event for anyone in the community interested in getting jobs, building their businesses, and succeeding in difficult times."

DV Expo 2008 association partners include Digital Cinema Society (DCS), Digital Video Professionals Associations (DVPA), DVD Association (DVDA), LA Red Users Group (LARUG), LA Final Cut Pro Users Group (LAFCPUG), Society of Camera Operators (SOC) and Wedding Event Videographers Association (WEVA).

For complete event and registration information, visit www.dvexpo.com.

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Lite-On Introduces 6X Blu-ray Disc Reader With DVD Writer Combo

Lite-On proudly introduces its 6X internal Blu-ray Disc Combo, iHES206. The new Blu-ray Disc Reader plus DVD Writer provides consumers an all-in-one solution to playback high definition content, while maintaining the capability of archiving data onto CD or DVD. The Lite-On iHES206 with Serial ATA interface is a great solution for enthusiasts who wish to enjoy the advanced technologies of Blu-ray in home entertainment. It will not only allow them to play high-definition content such as Blu-ray movies, it will also provide users all the advantages of a DVD Writer.

The iHES206 is capable of recording on today’s most popular DVD and CD media in the market, and playback from media such as Blu-ray Discs, DVD, and CD. The drive can read BD-R/RE/ROM discs at 6X (Double Layer at 4X). It can write DVD±R at 16X, DVD±R DL and DVD+RW at 8X, DVD-RW at 6X and DVD-RAM at 12X.

With a BD writer and an internal and external BD-ROM already in its product portfolio, Lite-On is determined to fulfill the growing demand for more Blu-ray compatible products. "Now that Blu-ray is becoming a widely accepted and popular format for High Definition video playback, we want to offer the consumer another solution to enjoy Blu-ray on their PC," says Jelmer Veldman, Marketing Manager for Lite-On in Europe. "This BD-COMBO is the perfect upgrade for those users who want to playback High Definition movies on their PC."

The iHES206 is equipped with LightScribe disc labeling technology that allows users to burn custom made silkscreen labels with any type of artwork right onto the surface of the LightScribe-supported CD or DVD. Users simply burn data as always onto the data side of any LightScribe-compatible media, then flip the disc over, reinsert it into the drive and burn a beautiful label based on personal artwork, text or photographs. The LightScribe software eliminates the need for printers, permanent markers or adhesive labels and provides a clean, professional appearance that adds to the final touch to your perfect creation. LightScribe CDs and DVDs are widely available on the market in different colors.

Availability of the iHES206 is scheduled from November 2008 and the estimated retail price is 139 euro.


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