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Studio Daily has pointed out an awesome resource: Canadian director Bruce McDonald is making all the footage from his latest feature, The Tracey Fragments, available for free online for re-editing as part of a cool contest. The contest is for Canadians only, but anyone can download the footage and play with the footage under the terms of the Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 2.5 license.
Adding to the cool factor is that the film features rising star Ellen Page, who is starring in the critically lauded upcoming film Juno. Now, my footage admittedly has not finished downloading yet. However from what I hear (and you can check out the trailer for an example) the film uses some complex Mondrian frame layouts throughout the entire thing. I’m curious to see how this is handled in the included Final Cut Pro files.
All the files are Torrents, except the script which is just a simple downloadable PDF.
It’s probably one of the most overlooked parts of filmmaking when you’re just trying to make a small short film.
Storyboards can seem like extra work that will slow down your pre-production time. But I can’t stress enough just how much they can speed up both production and post-production.
Even if you’re only making a film that’s a few minutes in length, storyboarding out your shots will be an immense help. It means never having to pause production to figure out where you’re going to put the camera. It means not wasting the time of your crew (even if it’s just you) with reshoots when you don’t like the angle of a shot. Or, worse, figuring out during editing that you don’t have a shot you need.
Taking advantage of both his own technical abilities and those of his enthusiastic and large fanbase, writer/director John August is currently holding a trailer competition for his new film The Nines. The competition began on September 29th and will end on the 25th.
John has made select footage from the film available for participants to edit, in both DV and MPEG-4 formats.
Tantamount to user-generated fan content, the final products will be an interesting mashup of users’ own style and a commercial product. While not entirely user-created content, the competition is all about the ability and desire for regular users and viewers to participate in the media conversation. “It doesnâ€™t matter who you are, or whether youâ€™ve seen The Nines yet. If you have a good idea (and/or mad editing skillz), you should compete.”
John’s showing impressive knowledge and foresight, aware that making your audience feel that they’re actually part of the process of a film will make them far more eager to part with their dollars when the movie’s released in cinemas and onto store shelves.
And the competition’s not just for a regular movie trailer, either. While the first category that trailers can be made for is Best Pure Trailer, the second is Best Mashup Trailer. For this category, creators will be splicing in content from other films and videos. “If you want to grab the nuclear explosion from The Sum of All Fears, go for it.”
We’ll have to wait and see how YouTube responds to the content grabbed from copyrighted sources, but John doesn’t imagine there will be any serious issues. “This isnâ€™t an invitation for flagrant copyright violation, but rather an urge to explore the boundaries of creative fair use. Thereâ€™s no commercial aspect to any part of this competition, and if YouTube (or whoever) lets you post it, thatâ€™s good enough for our purposes.”
Overall the paper isn’t too technical, though I’m sure developers will get more information on deeply technical aspects soon. Some of thte highlights of the paper include:
The link to the ProRes 422 whitepaper again.
This is massive news that will impact the video community in a very good way, even if (as Curtis quipped) “instead insanely, ludicrously expensive, they’re just really expensive!”
P2 cards represent the beginning of the end for tape. The cards are entirely flash memory, in the form factor of a PCMCIA card. Many videographers love them and shout their praises — they enable the all-digital workflow, are quick and easy, and more importantly enable seamless moves from studio to editorial. Other videographers hate them and criticize them at every available opportunity — too expensive, not enough memory, etc.
Panasonic is making a concentrated effort to win over these detractors, and this recent announcement is only the first step. With 8gb cards in place for a significantly lower price (think of this as a “two for one” deal, only it lasts forever), Panasonic is apparently looking to double their high-end card, and will begin offering 32gb cards in the very near future.
This is going to present a great opportunity for P2’s expansion into professional (broadcast) applications. Currently, P2 is largely dominating with freelance videographers and small video outfits, however there appears to be no large broadcast use. The expansion of cards into larger sizes for more affordable prices may give networks large and small the catalyst they need to move into an all-digital workflow. With the purported switch to digital coming up shortly (yeah, I’ll believe it when I see it) it can only benefit broadcast companies to have their workflow digitized from start to finish. It may be expensive in the beginning, but it will ultimately lead to reduced costs over time, less necessary manpower, and higher quality video.
The proliferation of P2 in larger sizes also means more freedom for narrative filmmakers. P2’s traditionally small size limits the length of takes and means more frequent video transfers (due to more frequent takes in narrative video). With larger form cards, there is a great opportunity in place to get longer takes and less frequent breaks.
Naturally, with these P2 troubles (stemming from small card sizes), independent companies have found a fantastic product base. Firestore offers a hard-disc recorder, the FS-100, designed for working with Panasonic’s HVX-200. Panasonic reseller Specialized-Communications is also wrapping up development on the new Cineporter, letting you hook up hard drives directly to the HVX unit. You can then record in native frame rates and sizes, for easy importing into your edit suite of choice.
The expansion of P2 is the start of a fantastic digital revolution. It’s already impacting Hollywood, check out recent films such as David Fincher’s Zodiac. Camera companies are developing around digital workflows (such as RED Digital Cinema). The transition into digital is an exciting one that is enabling a fantastic creative renaissance that I think we’re all excited to be apart of!
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