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July 24, 2006

Table of Contents

The Moving Picture: Deep Thoughts on Multiple-Camera Projects
JVC Introduces the GY-HD110U ProHD Camcorder
Sony Unveils First Blu-ray Disc Drive Burner
Miraizon Introduces Cinematize 2 Pro for Macintosh
Grass Valley Offers 30-day Trial of EDIUS Pro version 4 Nonlinear Editing Software
Media 100 Qualifies RAID, Inc. Storage Solutions for New Version 11 Systems
Kata Launches Ergo-Tech Collection Equipment Bags
UK-Based CD-Writer.com Launches 21-Drive Duplication Tower
Sorenson Media Announces Immediate Availability of Sorenson SqueezeHD XCEL

The Moving Picture: Deep Thoughts on Multiple-Camera Projects

I recently shot my 20h multi-camera shoot, a concert by jazz singer René Marie. After you do anything 20 times, you have a good idea what you're doing and why. As it turned out, this experience helped crystallized my thoughts to a level that I hope will benefit others who shoot and edit with multiple cameras.

Before the event, I met with my crew to discuss the rules of the shoot, the most important of which (with any event shot with multiple cameras) is never to stop the camera until the end of a set or other natural break. This limits the number of times you have to synch the streams during editing.

Rule number two is that even though I had one "safe" camera covering the entire stage, the individual videographers should shoot so that their video is always usable. No jump zooms or pans to different locations; all movements should be measured and smooth. This helps if/when my safe camera breaks, and also helps ensure that no bad video sneaks into the final cut.

We covered sight lines and camera angles; Scott shooting from the left couldn't see the bass player or drummer, so Gary on the right should prioritize those. I was the boring "safe" guy in the back, next to Chuck freelancing handheld with the XL H1 with its wonderful 20X lens. We also discussed my preference to minimize close-ups early in most songs and prioritize them towards the end.

Finally, I advised them to keep the camera moving; stay on a shot for 5-10 seconds or so, then slowly move in or out, left or right. Even with the flexibility and versatility that a multiple-camera shoot gives you in the final cut, a static camera can quickly get boring.

I wasn't familiar with René before the concert, but she blew me away with her soulful original music and evocative covers, like Bob Seger's "Turn the Page," all performed with the charisma of a Broadway actress. Though lighting in Galax' Rex Theater was poor that day, which hurt us on the visual side of things, Cliff, the local sound guy, absolutely nailed the audio, which was crisp and clear, almost studio-quality.

When I heard the audio, I was psyched. I can fix, or at least minimize the effects of bad lighting, but it's really hard to improve bad audio in post. Besides, in my experience, performers care much more about audio quality than video.

When I started editing René's show, however, I felt a new responsibility and reverence, a sense that I had the raw materials to produce an absolutely stunning audio/visual experience, like someone had dropped footage from a '50s Sinatra concert in my hands and said, "Here, see what you can do with this."

When I first started editing multiple-camera shoots, I switched camera angles to eliminate bad camera work and otherwise when it "felt" right. While this approach had evolved over time, the quality of Renés performance made my early edits seem crude, and I quickly noticed that indiscriminate switching got in the way of the performance, rather than enhancing my presentation of it.

Over the weeks it took to complete the edit, I formulated the following rules, some old, some new, which I share as 0.9 work-in-progress release, comments definitely appreciated. Still first, of course, was to switch cameras to eliminate bad camera work, though my polished crew delivered very little of that.

Second was never to interrupt the performance. This meant waiting to switch cameras until René had finished a phrase or a gesture, rather than in mid-speech or motion. In retrospect, this was probably the rule I had violated most in the past.

Third was to avoid switching between similar views, say from a close-up of René to another close-up, which felt gratuitous. Rather, I tried to switch only when I had a different view, say of the bass player or drummer, or a view of René from a completely different angle. In other words, don't switch just because you can; switch because you have a new angle to show the viewer.

Fourth was to develop a custom style for camera views during each song and stick to it; for example, beginning and ending each song with a full view of the stage. As described earlier, I avoided close-ups early in most songs, and tended to favor them towards the end, or during mid-stream emotional highlights.

Fifth was to match editing tempo to music tempo, switching more quickly with fast songs, and less frequently with slower songs. At times I tried to use switching to enhance the viewing experience, for example switching very quickly on-tempo during fast songs, or maintaining the same camera angle for 30-40 seconds during slow, mournful songs.

Sixth was matching transitions to tempo. On very fast songs, I used straight cuts between changes in camera angles. On all other songs, I used dissolves ranging from 7 frames to 45 frames, customized by song and location within the song. If you're switching camera angles in Adobe Premiere, a killer keystroke combination is Page Down, to jump to the next camera angle, and then Ctrl+D, to insert the default transition. Check your NLE for similar time-saving keystrokes.

Most importantly, I realized that changing camera angles was one of the most important artistic decisions an editor can make during a live performance, whether concert, interview, or wedding. Accordingly, I built in a review cycle specifically for camera angle switches, testing each switch multiple times, and making many minor adjustments.

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JVC Introduces the GY-HD110U ProHD Camcorder

JVC has announced the release of the GY-HD110U, the latest version of their HD100 series of ProHD camcorders.

New GY-HD110U features include the following:

  • Black and white viewfinder display mode
  • Simultaneous use of both eyepiece viewfinder and tri-mode LCD display when powered by Anton Bauer or IDX battery system
  • Selectable mirror mode on vertically flipped LCD display
  • Adjustable setting of FOCUS ASSIST function
  • Choice of three image formats on composite out (letterbox, squeeze, side cut)
  • User selectable DNR ON/OFF menu setting
  • 13 segment audio level indicator
  • Manual audio control within FAS (Full Auto Shooting) mode
  • Audio limiter available in manual mode
  • Parallel power off management of DR-HD100 hard disk recorder

The GY-HD110U is able to use all accessories including lenses and battery system adapters designed for the HD100 series of camcorders with no modifications necessary. The introductory suggested list pricing for the GY-HD110U will be $6,295, which is identical to the preceding model. Shipment of the GY-HD110U is scheduled to begin in mid July 2006.

For more information, visit the JVC Web site at http://pro.jvc.com.

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Sony Unveils First Blu-ray Disc Drive Burner

Sony Electronics has unveiled its first internal Blu-ray Disc (BD) rewritable drive for the computer aftermarket. The new drive (model BWU-100A) supports up to 50GB of data on BD-R (write once) or BD-RE (rewritable) discs or up to four hours of high-definition video using HDV 1080i on a BD-RE 50GB disc.

The new drive is capable of burning a full 25GB disc in about 50 minutes. For personal content captured on a HDV camcorder, the BD drive is optimized for keeping the video in the native HDV 1080i for playback on home players compatible with BD-AV format and PCs with BD drives installed. Sony's BD drive also supports recording of standard single layer 4.7GB DVD+/-R/+/-RW/RAM discs, 8.5GB DVD+R Double/Dual Layer Discs, and CDs, making it a multi-format burner.

The BWU-100A drive comes bundled with the CyberLink BD Solution from CyberLink Corporation, which provides a complete software application for capturing, authoring, editing, and burning high-definition personal content captured by a HDV 1080i format camcorder onto BD discs. Video can also be "down-converted" to standard-definition resolution for burning onto DVDs. The internal drive features an IDE (ATA/ATAPI) interface and standard 5.25-inch form factor for easy installation inside a PC.

The recordable/rewritable drive will be available in August for about $750. Pre-orders are now being accepted at sonystyle.com. Sony BD/DVD/CD rewritable drives are sold direct through sonystyle.com, at Sony Style retail stores nationwide (www.sonystyle.com/retail), at authorized resellers and retailers across the country, through mail order catalogs, and by select online shopping sites.

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Miraizon Introduces Cinematize 2 Pro for Macintosh

Miraizon, a San Jose-based digital media software company, announced today the availability of its new product Cinematize 2 Pro for Macintosh, the Ultimate DVD Re-Editing tool. This is a new addition to the Cinematize 2 product family, which includes Cinematize 2 for Macintosh and Windows, the highly acclaimed DVD Movie Clip Extraction tool.

Cinematize 2 Pro offers everything Cinematize 2 does and more. With Cinematize 2 Pro, virtually any piece of an existing DVD becomes available as a source material for a new DVD project, according to Miraizon, and can be used with popular applications including QuickTime, iMovie, Final Cut, PowerPoint, Keynote, iTunes, and even an iPod.

Removing some of the limitations in Cinematize 2, Cinematize 2 Pro lets users extract video from DVD-VR discs produced by recorders, all channels from multi-channel audio tracks, and subtitles decoded to movies or images as well. In addition, Cinematize 2 Pro allows extraction from DVD menus including buttons, background images, motion menus, and audio tracks.

Cinematize 2 Pro users can also increase their productivity with timesaving features such as batch processing of multiple segments, presets for frequently-used preferences, comprehensive display of timecodes, and improved extraction performance. Moreover, Cinematize 2 Pro for Macintosh is provided as a Universal Binary application for native operation on both Intel and PowerPC-based machines. Full details of the complete Cinematize 2 Pro features along with a free demo version are available at Miraizon's web site http://www.miraizon.com.

Cinematize 2 Pro was built on top of Cinematize 2. Cinematize 2 has been used by tens of thousands of users all over the world, from audio/video pros in Hollywood to home users, teachers, lawyers, doctors, DJs, and ad agencies, according to Miraizon. Customers use Cinematize 2 to incorporate DVD clips into their presentations, to create movie highlights collections, to edit recorded TV programs, to create still pictures, to create audio clips for CDs and iTunes, or to create video clips for an iPod or the web. When describing Cinematize 2, Todd Gillespie of EventDV magazine says in his June 2006 review, "Cinematize gives you the power of creativity and lets you utilize your DVDs in a way you've not yet considered--or at least not considered possible... The possibilities are endless; from an iPod movie to a Web-streaming file, Cinematize will make quick work of your DVD project."

With the new features in Cinematize 2 Pro, users can even create movie clips with subtitles for language study, reuse portions of motion menus, or use just one specific audio channel from a multi-channel audio soundtrack. New features in Cinematize 2 Pro include the following:

DVD Clip Selection

  • Menu extraction from both Video Manager and Video Title Set menus
  • Support for extraction from Video Recording files on DVD-VR discs
  • Display of start/stop times as chapter-relative or title-relative times
  • Real-time display of total time length of selected segments
  • Batch extraction of any number of segments from both menus and movies
  • Batch extraction list for reviewing, adding, or deleting segments before extraction
  • Options to save multiple menus as one or multiple clips

Extraction and Decoding Options

  • Subtitle decoding to QuickTime movie tracks with full synchronization
  • Subtitle tracks in QuickTime movies stored as overlays not burned in
  • Subtitle decoding to images with timing information in a text file
  • Extraction and synchronization of all AC-3 audio channels
  • Creation of QuickTime movies with multi-channel audio
  • Support for saving and loading customized sets of preferences
  • Custom configuration of QuickTime video compression codecs

Output Options

  • Automatic QuickTime chapter markers for multi-chapter extraction to QuickTime
  • Custom configuration of QuickTime movie export component parameters
  • Support for any installed customizable QuickTime movie export components
  • Options to extract audio, video, and subtitles separately or together

General

  • Universal Binary support for native operation on Intel-based Macs
  • Advanced time synchronization between decoded and undecoded streams
  • Full control over audio/video/subtitle synchronization
  • Fully resizable window while preserving preview aspect ratio
  • Additional acceleration for extraction
  • Complete 150+ page user guide with bonus chapters on DVD structures and full index

Priced at $129.95, Cinematize 2 Pro for Macintosh (Downloadable Version) is available for purchase immediately at http:// www.miraizon.com/store/store.html. Existing Cinematize 2 users can upgrade to Cinematize 2 Pro for Macintosh (Downloadable Version) for a special promotional price of $74.95 (Regular $89.95) for a limited time. A free demo version of Cinematize 2 Pro for Macintosh is available for download at: http://www.miraizon.com/support/ download.html.

Priced at $149.95, Cinematize 2 Pro for Macintosh (Box Version) will become available shortly. In addition, Cinematize 2 Pro for Windows (Downloadable, Box Versions) is to be released in summer 2006. Special upgrade pricing will also be available for existing Cinematize 2 for Windows users. Updates to the standard versions of Cinematize 2 are planned for this summers as well. The Macintosh will be supplied as a Universal Binary with support for both Intel and PowerPC-based machines.

www.miraizon.com

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Grass Valley Offers 30-day Trial of EDIUS Pro version 4 Nonlinear Editing Software

To kick off the availability of EDIUS Pro version 4, the Grass Valley business within Thomson today announced a free 30-day trial of this latest version of the realtime, multiformat video editing software. The EDIUS Pro version 4 30-day trial will give editors a chance to try new features such as multicam support, nested sequence editing, improved trimming tools, alpha-channel support in the HQ codec, and keyframe support for color correction.

These new capabilities boost EDIUS Pro's reputation as a highly flexible craft editing solution that delivers maximum productivity to video professionals. Editors can download the free trial at http://www.canopus.com/canopus/press/whatshot.php. The features found in EDIUS Pro version 4 are also included in the company's EDIUS Broadcast software solution. "

The new multicam feature in EDIUS Pro version 4 supports up to eight cameras and provides realtime monitor preview, as well as a master channel preview that displays all eight camera angles. The multicam feature provides users with the feel of a live switcher, but with the flexibility of a nonlinear editing environment. For additional productivity gains, support for nested timeline editing lets users work on sections of a production as separate timelines and nest them into a master project for simplified editing, task separation and organization.

EDIUS Pro version 4 also provides support for Windows Media and includes EDIUS Speed Encoder for HDV for fast HDV video output. The new parameter-based keyframe support for frame-by-frame color correction gives users the tools to quickly enhance the quality of their video productions. Editors worldwide were consulted with to continue to improve EDIUS's workflow and usability. A key feature of EDIUS Pro version 4 is the enhanced trimming functionality.

EDIUS Pro provides a seamless realtime workflow supporting all video acquisition formats with realtime, multi-track, mixed format HD/SD editing, compositing, chroma keying, titling and timeline output capabilities. EDIUS Pro provides editors with realtime, mixed format HD/SD editing of HD, HDV, DV, MPEG-2, lossless and uncompressed SD video.

For the fast-paced environments of broadcast and post production facilities, Grass Valley offers EDIUS Broadcast. Incorporating all of the realtime editing capabilities in a streamlined interface designed to help production professionals get content to air quickly, EDIUS Broadcast features EDIUS Pro realtime video editing software, as well as support for industry-standard equipment and formats including the following:

  • Panasonic DVCPRO P2
  • Panasonic DVCPRO 50 and DVCPRO HD
  • Panasonic VariCam
  • Sony XDCAM Professional Disc System

EDIUS Pro version 4 software is available now from Canopus and its authorized dealers and system integrators for a suggested retail price of $699. EDIUS Pro 3 users can upgrade to EDIUS Pro version 4 for a special upgrade price of $199. EDIUS Broadcast version 4 software is also available now for a suggested retail price of $999. EDIUS Broadcast users can upgrade for $199. Customers who purchased EDIUS Pro 3 or EDIUS Broadcast beginning April 1, 2006 are entitled to a free upgrade to version 4.

www.thomsongrassvalley.com

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Media 100 Qualifies RAID, Inc. Storage Solutions for New Version 11 Systems

Media 100, a provider of advanced editing systems for the corporate, broadcast, postproduction, and multimedia industries, has announced the qualification of RAID Incorporated's Falcon Series storage solutions for their new version 11 product line; Media 100 HD Suite, Media 100 HDe and Media 100 SDe.

The Media 100 company began shipping the new version 11 systems--Media 100 HD Suite, Media 100 HDe, and Media 100 SDe--in June 2006. In addition to the qualification of the RAID, Inc. Falcon series products, the new version 11 systems offer 10-bit uncompressed HD and SD editing capabilities, support for broadcast-quality format conversions, and increased system performance leveraging Mac OS X® and AJA Video OEM solutions. The new Media 100 solutions also represent the first step towards native integration with the Boris FX product line, bringing the world-class compositing and effects technology seamlessly within the Media 100 interface.

With the Falcon II and III storage products, Media 100 users can now maximize up to 3.4TB capacity per system and 7,200 RPM to ensure fast access to data including multi-gigabyte graphic and digital image files. The Falcon II performance is based on new architecture which incorporates a 266 MHz ASIC, integrated dual PCI-X bus design and support for double data rate (DDR) memory which provides internal bandwidth up to 2GB/sec, making it suitable for high-throughput applications. The Falcon III series of 4Gb Fibre to SATA-2 storage systems were designed for environments that demand the ultimate in performance such as cluster, database server, short window disk-to-disk backup, and video editing/compositing applications such as Media 100 and Boris FX.

Media 100 version 11 is available from Media 100's worldwide Authorized Reseller channel or direct from Media 100 (www.media100.com). The new Media 100 NLE systems start at $2495 US SRP. Media 100 sw, a software-based companion to existing Media 100 systems, is available for $395 US SRP. RAID Pricing; both RAID Falcon II and III products are available through RAID authorized partners or direct from RAID, Inc. (www.raidinc.com). Pricing and configurations vary based on capacity points and redundancy options.

www.media100.com

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Kata Launches Ergo-Tech Collection Equipment Bags

Announcing the launch of its new Ergo-Tech Collection, Kata is giving consumers worldwide a new reason to get excited about what they put on their backs, shoulders or belts. Boasting state-of-the-art designs that look as though they were taken from the pages of a sci-fi novel, Kata's new bags, packs, and cases will be distributed exclusively in North America by Bogen Imaging.

Developed with the mobile consumer in mind, Ergo-Tech ideally complements lifestyles which are dominated by electronics. In the design process, Kata took into account the various gadgets and gizmos that consumers interact with on a day-to-day basis and created the ultimate on-the-go collection of carrying solutions to meet their needs. The Ergo-Tech Collection includes more than 17 models, each uniquely designed to accommodate a range of electronics, including digital cameras, cell phones, MP3 players, PDAs, laptops, and more.

The Ergo-Tech Collection is made from Kata's Elasto-Guard material. Consisting of two layers, Elasto-Guard is a flexible material that will adjust to the ever changing shapes and movements of the carrier's body, while also able to shift shape in order to fit the variable equipment within. The external layer is made from a high-resistance stretchable knit/weave and the middle layer consists of a one to three millimeter, closed-cell, waterproof elastic foam padding.

Like Kata's Global Digital Collection (GDC), the Ergo-Tech Collection features the same, tried and trusted "yelloop" internal fabric. Vibrant, scratch and static resistant, ‘yelloop' enables the attachment of dividers and provides unmatched cushioning. While the Ergo-Tech Collection offers consumers a futuristic design, it also offers a new level of protection. Each bag features designated safeguard zones, where extra internal, modular padding is added to protect the gear within. In addition, safe guard zones also feature Flexi-Shield, a technology specifically designed for the Ergo-Tech collection. Flexi-Shield, Kata's new, high-frequency, molded flexible reinforcement, appears in the form of ridges on the exterior of safe guard zones for ultimate protection.

www.bogenimaging.us

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UK-Based CD-Writer.com Launches 21-Drive Duplication Tower

UK-based CD and DVD duplication equipment provider CD-Writer.com has launched a new duplication tower with the ability to copy up to 21 discs at a time. Marketed by CD-Writer's StorDigital brand, the new tower will fill a gap in the market for companies whose duplication needs have outstripped their capacity. Called the StorDigital SD21, the new machine can be bought as a plug and play device or built up module-by-module by buying the base unit and adding disc burning towers to it.

The new machine is able to duplicate up to 21 CDs or DVDs at a time and is able to copy CDs at 48x (48x the amount of time required to play the CD) and DVDs at 16x (16x the amount of time required to play the CD). It also features a built in auto disc counter, allowing the user to keep track of the number of discs burned as part of any given project. While no PC connection is required, an optional USB PC or Mac connector can be supplied for communication with a computer or other device. The SD21 can also feature an 80, 160 or 200 GB hard drive if required, allowing the user to create a library of information before mass CD duplication.

www.cd-writer.com

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Sorenson Media Announces Immediate Availability of Sorenson SqueezeHD XCEL

Sorenson Media has announced the immediate availability of Sorenson SqueezeHD XCEL, a new PCI-X accelerator platform/plug-in board based on fully software-definable technology. The Sorenson SqueezeHD XCEL encoding solution is a PC plug-in board that dramatically accelerates key processor-intensive encoding tasks such as motion estimation and image transforms.

Using four highly parallel processors that total more than 16,000 parallel computing elements, Sorenson SqueezeHD XCEL can encode MPEG-2 1920x1080 content at 30 frames per second on a properly configured system. Lower resolutions can achieve faster than real-time performance.

Sorenson SqueezeHD XCEL hardware accelerates all the MPEG-2 encoding options found in Sorenson Squeeze, including resolutions (SD & HD) up to 1920 x 1080, and works effectively alongside video capture cards from multiple vendors to provide effective capture and encoding in a single system. Sorenson SqueezeHD XCEL is fully software-programmable, and contains a built-in roadmap to other HD formats as they become available. For example, planned future Sorenson SqueezeHD XCEL codecs include H.264/AVC, JPEG-2000 and Windows Media/VC1. Sorenson SqueezeHD XCEL also includes all of the features of Sorenson Squeeze PowerPack. Retailing at $599, this solution includes features such as batch mode encoding, multiple format support, Web video output, watch folders, command-line control, and more.

Sorenson SqueezeHD XCEL has a base starting price is $11,995.

www.sorensonmedia.com

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