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October 05, 2009

Table of Contents

Vantage Point: The New Math of Event Filmmaking
Final Cut Crescent City All-Star Speaker Roster Announced, Registration Open for Oct. 22-25 Event
Consumers Want 3D TV, but Don't Want to Pay for It
Digieffects Launches Aged Film for only $29
AKG Delivers Revolutionary Performance With The New Versatile C 414 Microphone Series
Acutrack Announces EasyBD 1-2-3 for Blu-ray Authoring and Production
Digital Heaven Releases Disksomnia 2.0
Pioneer Launches First 12x Blu-ray Disc Writer

Vantage Point: The New Math of Event Filmmaking

Laughter, an exhale of breath, a sigh. It’s Saturday; a bride is standing in her bustier, phone in hand, purring, “Just get me a cheeseburger.” Another Saturday, another bride admires an enticing spread of food in her dressing room and laments, “I was only able to eat a carrot and a grape.” Four-inch heels topped with a mound of Swarovski crystal. “Don’t you just love my shoes? I saw them and said, ‘These are mine!’ I’ve got a little peach number for the wedding night and I’m going to wear it with these shoes. I’m gonna wear ’em out!”

Sound is what separates filmmaking entirely from photography. It enlightens, providing a depth and understanding unattainable with cinematography alone. It’s what made me fall in love with the new documentary style of wedding filmmaking.

The new doc is an evolving form of filmmaking that avoids slow motion and an overbearing soundtrack in favor of an edit that’s more authentic. (For more on the new documentary see “Meet the New Doc” in EventDV’s March 2008 issue.)

Let me explain: This is not your mama’s wedding video. It’s a highly sophisticated edit that is not for the impatient editor or the singularly profit-minded. Regardless, it’s worthy of discussion because of its hallmark techniques in the realm of event filmmaking.

Sound is a vital component in creating mood. (For more about creating mood check out my September 2008 column, “Creating a Mood That Lingers.”) From the crashing of surf on a sun-baked beach to the lullaby of crickets chirping as we fade to black on a glowing ballroom in the darkened distance, sound adds a dimension that takes the audience deeper into the experience of cinema.

This is just the icing on the cake for new doc filmmakers, though. The true magic of sound—the deal-sealer that takes event filmmaking from a simple document to something with the value of diamonds—is dialogue.

Simply put, dialogue is the only way to establish and reveal the personalities of your clients. Without this window into the soul, the filmmaker is left with the shell of a lovely girl in a beautiful gown and the things on which she chose to spend her money.

This is no easy task. Since the cinematography is vital—during the bridal prep, for instance—I’m constantly moving and reframing to keep the piece visually dynamic. This invariably leads to moments when I’m not on target with a shot when a clever quip or an emotional comment is voiced. In post, to save these audio gems, I often must cover the beginning of the dialogue with another shot until I’m framed while maintaining continuity and comprehensibility and the progression of the story.

As with all art there is broad interpretation of the new doc. However, it’s primarily real-time. But the goal is not necessarily reality by any means. Today the word “reality” conjures up thoughts of shock and sensationalism. The intent of most new documentarians is to find and reveal the truth. In doing so, they succeed in providing insight into the couple’s relationship and the unique dynamics they share with those most dear to them. More importantly, they impart the essence of the couple as individuals.

This is not to say there’s no place for stylized interpretations. By finding a truth, such as a groom’s nervousness, and then amplifying that truth, you will increase the entertainment value of the film. That’s when a sequence becomes a magical, better-than-reality sojourn.

Straight cuts are generally preferred in the new doc. Regardless of the production, straight cuts are my mainstay, and I will use dissolves only for aesthetic purposes or to convey the passage of time—which isn’t often applicable in a wedding film. For example, I’ll use a pan of the dress and dissolve it slowly over a close-up of the bride so that it looks as if the silk is washing over her face. I do this because I think it creates a beautiful effect and because it provides the visual contrast that’s often necessary to keep a wedding film interesting.

Learning to use straight cuts is really simple; the hard part is breaking the habit of using dissolves! It’s often just a matter of avoiding jump cuts. Straight cuts can be smoothed out by overlapping the dialogue. Moreover, a bed of ambient sound and/or music will serve to give the illusion of a seamless narrative.

Try cutting a wedding film with no dissolves or fades until you fade to black at the end. This is something I did a couple of years ago as a challenge to myself. It helped me immensely in understanding and accomplishing the progressive momentum necessary in films. The goal is to avoid compartmentalizing a film and to keep it flowing forward at all times—even if the editor is timeshifting.

The new doc is more filmmaking than event filmmaking. By dramatically reinventing the old-school event documentary, blending it with the innovations of the great event cinematographers, and, most importantly, using the fundamental principles of filmmaking, new doc practitioners have supplied a much-needed shift in direction.

Real sound + real time = real life. It’s the new math of event filmmaking. Though not a practical means of business for all event filmmakers, the new doc holds within its confines lessons to be learned by all. It is by understanding the power of the medium of filmmaking that we become empowered as filmmakers.

Laura Moses (info at vppvideo.com) is half of Vantage Point Productions of San Dimas, Calif. She and her husband, Steve, are winners of multiple international awards and 2009 WEVA Hall of Fame inductees, and were selected to the 2006–8 EventDV 25.

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Final Cut Crescent City All-Star Speaker Roster Announced, Registration Open for Oct. 22-25 Event

Find more videos like this on S. LA. FCP Users Group Network

Bringing a unique experience to the Apple Final Cut Studio user community, from October 22-25 2009, and the first of it's kind, this event offers you the chance to meet and learn from some of the top trainers in the nation, to meet and network with other users from around the country, and be inspired by the New Orleans French Quarter's food, music, art, culture, and charm. All at a very affordable price, during one of the best times of the year to visit this historic and beautiful destination. With the French Quarter at the front door of the Westin, you really will be in the heart of America's most charming and magical cities, as well as it's third largest and most historic port. With the best restaurants, music clubs, art galleries, and more, this will be one event sure to please everyone.

Be aware that seating is limited so get registered now! We look forward to seeing you there.

Westin Canal Place, New Orleans, LA.
Full registration includes Steamboat Natchez reception and Q&A discussion panel.
Special event room & parking rates available.
See web site for details and registration.

Thursday, Oct. 22: 6-9 Steamboat Natchez , Reception

Friday, Oct 23: 8-12 Larry Jordan, FCP Power Editing
2-6 Ben Balser, Utilizing Motion 3

Saturday, Oct 24: 8-12 Alexis Van Hurkman, Color Grading
2-6 Bruce Nazarian, Optical Disc and MORE for the Mac

Sunday, Oct 25: 9-12 Q&A Discussion Panel and Raffle

Larry Jordan is a producer, director, editor, consultant and trainer with over 25 years video production and post-production experience. He is currently using his award-winning skills in training editors to use Final Cut Studio. He is the Executive Producer and Host of Creative Planet's Digital Production BuZZ, as well as the Creator and Editor-in-Chief of Edit Well, the Rich- Media Newsletter for Final Cut Studio.

Bruce Nazarian, "the Digital Guy", is an award-winning DVD Producer and Author, and current President of the IDMA, the International Digital Media Alliance. He specializes in consulting and digital media production for video, audio, DVD, Blu-ray Disc and the Web. He is CEO of Digital Media Consulting Group, Inc. He is also a guide for the 2-pop.com DVD Studio Pro forum.

Alexis Van Hurkman is a writer, director, and colorist based in New York, working on a wide variety of narrative and documentary programming, color correcting programming that's aired on Mojo HD, The History Channel, BBC Four, and WNET, among others. He has written extensively with books including the "Encyclopedia of Color Correction," and the user manuals for Apple Computer's Color, Shake, and Final Cut Pro 4.

Ben Balser is an Apple Certified Trainer and Support Professional, IT engineer, consultant, producer. He writes the "Cut Lines" column for EventDV magazine, and is founder of the South Louisiana Final Cut Pro Users Group. Ben teaches pro apps for AATCs along the east cost and at local southeast Louisiana events such as the Acadiana Film Festival. He also helped create the AATC program at the New Orleans Video Access Center, and is the producer of FC3.

Along with a beautiful cruise up and down the Mississippi river on the steamboat Natchez during our reception on Thursday evening, two hours for lunch each day, and the evening seminars ending at 6pm, the discussion panel ending at noon on Sunday, and the French Quarter at the Westin's doorstep, you will be afforded plenty of time and opportunity to experience the people, architecture, art, atmosphere, music, and cuisine of the historic French Quarter during the Final Cut - Crescent City event. Natives of New Orleans attending and the Westin's staff can help guide you to venues that you'll find very enjoyable. If you have any question, please visit us at www.finalcut-crescentcity.com.
or contact us directly at benb@finalcut-crescentcity.com

For more information on New Orleans, go to www.nola.com.
Look for us on FaceBook and Twitter, too!

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Consumers Want 3D TV, but Don't Want to Pay for It

According to a recent In-Stat (http://www.in-stat.com) survey, consumers are interested in receiving 3D in the home. Those who have seen three or more 3D movies in the theater are more interested than the general respondents as are those who own Blu-ray players. It is not surprising that respondents in those groups would be more interested, as these traits indicate movie buffs.

Unfortunately for consumer electronics manufacturers, about 25% of those who are at least somewhat interested in having the ability to view 3D content at home are unwilling to spend extra on a 3D TV. Another 43% want to spend $200 or less on the new TV. The situation is similar with Blu-ray players in that 31% of respondents who were at least somewhat interested did not want to spend more for a 3D Blu-ray player. Another 33% want to spend less than $50 for a 3D Blu-ray player over a 2D player. In-Stat expects the price differential for 3D products will be higher than the aforementioned amounts at product introduction, so few consumers are likely to buy 3D equipment until prices decline.

Heartening for the movie studios, 67% of respondents at least somewhat interested in 3D at home are willing to pay more for a 3D version of a Blu-ray disc over the 2D version. Most of them want to pay less than $5 but studios are happy that they are at least willing to pay for 3D.

With more equipment and content becoming available and consumer interest in place, 2010 will be a good year for 3D.

Make sure you look for In-Stat's upcoming report, "3D Coming to a Home Near You" coming soon to In-Stat's Multimedia Broadband Services research located online at: http://www.instat.com/catalog/Ccatalogue.asp?id=288.

About In-Stat
In-Stat's market intelligence combines technical, market and end-user research and database models to analyze the Mobile Internet and Digital Entertainment ecosystems. Our insights are derived from a deep understanding of technology impacts, nearly 30 years of history in research and consulting, and direct relationships with leading players in each of our core markets. In-Stat provides its research through reports, annual subscriptions, consulting and advisory services to inform critical decisions. Technology and semiconductor vendors, infrastructure and device manufacturers, service providers and media companies worldwide rely on partnerships with In-Stat's tenured, experienced staff and on our in-depth market intelligence to support critical business, product and technology decisions.

In-Stat is a strategic segment of the $9 billion Reed Elsevier global information network, with access to an expansive worldwide electronic network, extensive technology databases and well-informed personnel. As a member of Reed Business Information, In-Stat is a division of the largest business-to-business publisher in the U.S.

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Digieffects Launches Aged Film for only $29

Digieffects,® a developer of popular visual effects software plugins, today announced that Aged Film is available for purchase. Aged Film creates an aged "old movie look", an effect which helps viewers understand what era the shot is set and believe that the story is set in the past. Priced at only $29, Aged Film is the best value for achieving this effect in today's post production applications.

Aged Film supports Adobe After Effects and Premiere Pro, Apple Final Cut Pro, Grass Valley Edius*, Autodesk Combustion and Boris RED.

According to Robert Sharp, president of Digieffects, "We priced Aged Film at only $29 because we're offering it as an 'a la carte' plugin. In the past, we created product packages with dozens of plugins which cost hundreds of dollars and were not affordable to the everyday budget. Even though Aged Film is only $29 we haven't sacrificed anything - you still get all the quality, speed and functionality that all the big-time Hollywood pros get."

Features & Benefits

* New host support: Grass Valley Edius
* Supports a wide range of other host applications including Final Cut Pro, After Effects, Premiere Pro, Combustion, and Boris RED.
* Includes the ability to customize characteristics such as grain, dust, scratches, frame jitter and color and all those little details that tell the viewer that they're looking at historical footage.
* The ability to deinterlace and control source blend and random seed.
* All effects are rendered in 16bpc.
* All Aged Film effects can be animated over time in After Effects.
* Includes dozens of presets such as 8mm, armageddon, grandpa's attic, old home video, scratched film, shaky projector, speakeasy, the 70s and much more.
* Fast rendering.
* Volume discounts and floating site licenses available for multiple installations (limited or unlimited users).
* At $29 its much cheaper than a time machine.

Bundles with Red Giant Software Magic Bullet Looks, Magic Bullet Quick Looks
Aged Film is also offered in money-saving bundles with Red Giant Software's Magic Bullet Looks and Magic Bullet Quick Looks.

Pricing and Availability
Aged Film is available immediately from Digieffects and its resellers for $29. The Aged Film/Magic Bullet Quick Looks bundle is priced at $109 ($19 savings) while the Aged Film/Magic Bullet Looks bundle is $399 ($29 savings).

About Digieffects
Digieffects is a developer of popular software visual effects plug-ins for Adobe After Effects, Adobe Premiere Pro, Apple Final Cut Pro and Autodesk Combustion. The company has been in the business since the beginning of the "plugin revolution" which dates back to 1996. Over the years, Digieffects has had great success with software products like Cinelook and Delirium and is proud to call thousands of film and video producers all around the world its customers and friends.

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AKG Delivers Revolutionary Performance With The New Versatile C 414 Microphone Series

AKG showcases its industry leading versatility with the release of the C 414 XLS and the C 414 XL II, one of the most famous recording, live sound and broadcasting microphones since 1971. The legendary C 414 needs no introduction - it is a tool found in most recording studios and has been used on thousands of hit records; it's been on stage with artists of every musical genre and is also used by leading broadcast facilities the world over.

The new C 414 XLS and the C 414 XLII offer nine pickup patterns that enable it to choose the perfect setting for every application. For live-sound applications and fixed installations, all controls can be disabled easily for trouble-free use, and the peak hold LED displays even the shortest overload peaks. Both mics have three switchable bass cut filters as well as three pre-attenuation levels that allow lead vocals and solo instruments to be placed in even the densest mixes.

"For over 60 years, leading musicians and engineers have used legendary AKG microphones to capture their sound so their audience hears every nuance," said Thomas Stubics, Product Marketing Manager for Recording and Broadcast. "The C 414 family has been one of the world's most widely-used and respected studio and stage microphones in audio history. With the new useful features and even greater ease of use, we are able to answer the demands from our ever-growing customer base all over the world."

The C 414 XLS maintains the sonic character of the legendary C 414 B-ULS, the longest-lived C 414 model. Engineered for the highest linearity and neutral sound, it is the most universal and versatile large diaphragm microphone released in decades. Widely used for accurate, beautifully detailed pickup of any acoustic instrument, the new C 414 XLS combines proven reference quality, leading-edge technology and state-of-the-art components.

The C 414 XLII is the successor of the famous C 414 B-TL II. It shows the unique sonic signature of the highly sought-after AKG C 12, which enables lead vocals and solo instruments to be placed even in a dense mix. The unrivalled up-front sound is also well known for distant miking applications like classical music recording or drum ambience miking.

The C 414 comes complete with everything you need to create great sound recordings, including: a carrying case, a pop filter, a windscreen, and spider-type shock mounts. In addition, AKG offers both the XLII and XLS in stereo sets. The stereo sets are created by AKG's sophisticated matching method for stunning, three-dimensional recordings.

AKG is a unit of Harman International Industries, Incorporated (www.harman.com). Harman International designs, manufactures and markets a wide range of audio and infotainment products for the automotive, consumer and professional markets, and maintains a strong presence in the Americas, Europe and Asia, employing more than 11,000 people worldwide. The Harman International family of brands includes AKG®, Audioaccess®, Becker®, BSS®, Crown®, dbx®, DigiTech®, Harman Kardon®, Infinity®, JBL®, Lexicon®, Mark Levinson®, Revel®, QNX®, Soundcraft® and Studer®. Harman International's stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "NYSE: HAR."

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Acutrack Announces EasyBD 1-2-3 for Blu-ray Authoring and Production

Acutrack, Inc., the leader in media production, print, inventory, assembly, and fulfillment services, today announced a new program called EasyBD 1-2-3 that reduces the headaches associated with Blu-ray Authoring and Production.

Acutrack will be offering a complete solution with authoring, licensing, and production for an all-inclusive price. The EasyBD 1-2-3 program can save prospective Blu-ray publishers thousands of dollars and countless hours.

"Publishing a Blu-ray title is a major undertaking and can be a very complex process for even the most experienced producer; so today, Acutrack is going to solve this problem," said Asheesh Barman, Executive Vice President at Acutrack.

For the month of October, Acutrack will be commemorating this event with EasyBD 1-2-3 specials. EasyBD 1-2-3 packages, for example, are as low as $2.15 per retail ready unit. Visit www.acutrack.com/easybd123 for more information on our packages.

About Acutrack, Inc.
Acutrack provides an integrated platform called "Acutrack 2.0" that enables clients to transform ideas and content into tangible media and print products, then manages inventory, distribution, and worldwide fulfillment. We pride ourselves on working with our clients to create custom and scalable solutions that meet their current needs and can grow with their future needs. We enjoy a leadership position in the industry by combining state-of-the-art technology with the talents of experienced professionals whose priorities are quality, customer service, and innovation.


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Digital Heaven Releases Disksomnia 2.0

Digital Heaven, one of the leading creators of software for Apple's Pro Apps, today announced the release of Disksomnia 2.0 - a new version of the popular free disk utility for Final Cut Pro and Final Cut Express. This new version adds compatibility with Mac OS X Snow Leopard among other refinements.

Disksomnia solves the common problem of some external disks ignoring the disabled sleep option in the Energy Saver pane of System Preferences. For video editing, where media files may be spread around multiple external disks, waiting for the disk to wake up again can be problematic, especially when playing an edited sequence. Disksomnia runs invisibly in the background and detects when Final Cut Pro or Final Cut Express are running. Every 55 seconds, Disksomnia scans the mounted disks and writes a single hidden file to all external disks. This regular "poking" of the disks keeps them awake and ensures that the editing process is as smooth as possible. The application has a negligible overhead so system performance will not be affected and after installation requires no further intervention from the user.

Pricing and availability
Disksomnia 2.0 for Mac OS X is free and available by registering on the Digital Heaven website: http://www.digital-heaven.co.uk/freeware.

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Pioneer Launches First 12x Blu-ray Disc Writer

Pioneer Electronics (USA) Inc. today announces its new BDR-205 Blu-ray Disc® Computer Writer, the industry's first and fastest model to feature up to 12x write speed for single and dual-layer Blu-ray Disc (BD) media. Ideal for authoring providers and system builders, the Pioneer® BD/DVD/CD Writer provides accurate, rapid performance for demanding professional applications.

"The BDR-205 drive represents our ongoing efforts to combine Pioneer's engineering expertise with advanced technologies, and our next generation Blu-ray Disc writer is a great example of our no-compromise approach to optical disc product development," said Steve Cohn, director of optical disc sales for Pioneer Electronics (USA) Inc. "We are bringing to market the fastest Blu-ray Disc writer to date, and it is just one of the many 'firsts' that have come to define Pioneer's 30-year heritage in optical disc innovation and leadership."

Dynamic Performance for an Array of Professional Users
When utilized with a properly configured PC, the drive's Low Vibration Mechanism Design improves overall writing accuracy, especially for those preserving copious amounts of critical data. Designed for maximum flexibility, Pioneer's writer provides significant solutions for multiple user groups, including:

* System builders can confidently recommend the sophisticated BDR-205 to their clients, noting the drive's unique design, robust build quality and high grade parts
* With 50Gbytes of storage space on a dual-layer Blu-ray Disc, professional users can utilize the BDR-205 to rapidly test high definition feature films during the authoring process, as well as to back up large volumes of data with ease
* Besides up to 12x write speeds for Blu-ray Disc media, Pioneer's new computer drive also provides read and write speed performance up to 16x for DVD and 40x for CD media

The new BDR-205 Blu-ray Disc computer writer begins shipping October 2009. The retail version of this product, the BDR-2205, will be available Q1 2010 for $249 MSRP.

Pioneer has been an innovator of optical disc technology since it shipped its first LaserDisc products, the precursor to DVD, to the consumer market in 1980. Pioneer went on to introduce the first DVD writer for video authoring use in 1997, the first DVD recorder as a VCR replacement in 1999, the first DVD/CD writer for home computer users in 2001 and the first Blu-ray Disc writer in 2006. Pioneer Corporation is one of the original Blu-ray Disc Founders. More details can be located at www.pioneerelectronics.com.

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