On Tuesday the 26th of July I will be hosting a series of free live webinars giving you the chance to ask me questions about many of the things I write about here. This is a trial run, I’ve done webinars for many people in the past and they have always gone down well, but these webinars are going to come live from xdcam-user HQ.
If they are a success I will make this a regular event with a webinar day once a month with new subjects covered each time as well as an open Q&A session. This will give you the chance to ask questions on any aspect of video production, so start thinking about what you want to ask.
If you haven’t attended a webinar before here is how it works: You log in online to the webinar using the link provided. You will hear me and any guest presenters and see any pre-prepared information slides that I have on your computer/tablet/phone screen. You ask questions by typing them into a question box, nobody will see or hear you. I will try to respond to as many questions as I can within the one hour time limit. The session will also be recorded and can be downloaded later if you wish. There are dedicated online versions of the webinar page for computers, tablets and smart phones, so you should be able to log in almost anywhere where you have an internet connection.
There will be 2 webinars where I will take questions on any of the Sony large sensor cameras, including the FS5, FS7, F5 and F55. If you want to know about settings, exposure, LUT’s, slow mo, lenses or anything else you can ask me on the 26th. These are timed so that there is an opportunity for people in most countries around the world to join one or the other at a sensible time of day.
Click on the appropriate link below to register. Please only register for sessions you will actually attend as numbers are restricted.
I will be running a one week, limited numbers, intensive workshop in Arizona between August 21st and August 28th.
This workshop is timed to coincide with the Arizona monsoon season which will should give us some really exciting opportunities to put into practice many of the things that will be taught during the week.
Each day will begin with a 2 to 3 hour workshop on different aspects of modern video production including such things as log, raw and high dynamic range. We will also cover timelapse photography, lightning photography and include some basic motion control methods. So the workshop will be suitable for both still photographers as well as video camera operators. Below is an idea of the topics that will be covered:
Sunday 21st: Arrival day. Social evening, time to meet everyone.
Day 1: An introduction to lightning photography and video, including basic time lapse and slow motion techniques.
Day 2: An introduction to scene files, picture profiles, log and raw.
Day 3: CineEI, exposure index, gain and ISO and offsetting your exposure for the best results.
Day 4: Post production grading with DaVinci Resolve including the use and creation of LUT’s. How to use ACES to streamline your workflow.
Day 5: HDR, high dynamic range and Rec 2020.
Saturday 27th: Putting it all together, editing, grading and viewing your footage before social evening and diner.
Sunday 28th: departure day.
This schedule is subject to change as we will want to maximise opportunities to get out and shoot any interesting weather and storms. Most afternoons and evenings we will be out and about putting the things taught in the workshops into practice. For one half of the week we will likely be based in Tucson, Arizona and the other half Flagstaff. This will give us opportunities to shoot the incredible lighting storms that are common at this time of year as well as spectacular scenery such as the Grand Canyon or old western towns such as Tombstone (the location of the OK Coral). We will shoot conventional video clips as well as time lapse, so expect some early starts or late finishes as we shoot sunsets and possibly sunrises.
The minimum number of participants for this workshop is 4 and the maximum is 8. Ideally you should bring your own camera equipment and a laptop to edit with, but this is not a requirement.
The course fee is $1,500 USD per person. This does not include accommodation, food or your transport to Tucson, Arizona. It does include transportation each day of the course. We will be staying in a mid-priced motel (Holiday Inn Express, Hilton, Hampton Inn or similar), and you should budget around $110-$150 per night for accommodation.
Please use the contact form if you are interested in joining this exciting workshop.
I was asked to prepare two tutorial videos on the PXW-FS5 for Sony. The first video covers the advanced features of the camera including super slow mo and the variable ND filter. The second video gives an overview of the picture profile settings with some suggestions for which to use and when, including the correct exposure for S-Lo2 and S-Log3.
There should be some downloadable PDF guides to go with these videos coming shortly.
Well I’m finally home from a near month long tour around Asia taking in India, Vietnam, Hong Kong and Taiwan. I had a lot of fun meeting many wonderful people and learning a lot about the different approaches to broadcasting and film making in the region.
I started in Mumbai, India with a shoot at Film City. Film is still king when it comes to even low budget movies in India. There are over 2000 films a year released in the Indian market. Cinematography is a craft passed from father to son in many cases, with the younger generation working as assistants learning from the older, more experienced operators. This is a great way to learn core craft skills, but with technology advancing so rapidly right now and digital production starting to have a larger and larger impact on the industry it does tend to leave a bit of a gap in the knowledge base.
Trying to explain things like S-Log and picture profiles to a die hard film cameraman is hard! Still at Broadcast India there was a constant stream of people coming to the Sony booth actively seeking out the PMW-F3, wanting to know more about it.
From India, I went to Vietnam via Thailand. Flying over the floods was an eyeopener. It was like flying over the sea, only trees and buildings were sticking out of the ocean of water. From what I’ve heard many industries are being seriously impacted by the floods. It looks like hard drives may be in short supply for the next year due to damage to the factories. Other businesses have supply problems as major warehouses have been cut off by the floods. Vietnam itself is an amazing country. Very friendly people and beautiful countryside. Great food too.
I did get to spend a day at Ha Long Bay where I shot some footage that I will edit into a little short in the next few days. After that I went to VTV, the state broadcaster in Hanoi to talk about file based workflows and the Sony F3. Hanoi is a city with a real buzz and I’ve never seen so many mopeds and scooters in my life.
After Hanoi it was on to Hong Kong for a series of workshops on low cost 3D video production (using Sony cameras and the Genus Hurricane Rig) and a workshop on the Sony F3 with a lot of work on S-Log and Picture Profiles.
In Hong Kong I got to play with EI S-log which is a very welcome upgrade to the current version of S-Log.
From Hong Kong it was a short flight to Taipei in Taiwan. Taipei is a modern cosmopolitan city that had a look similar to a Japanese city. In Taipei I held a couple of workshops at the studios of national broadcaster PTS on XDCAM HD 422 using Sony PDW-F800’s and 700’s as well as PMW-500’s. Then a workshop on Digital Cinematography with the PMW-F3 and FS100. Again lots of time spent on S-Log and Picture Profiles, including some shooting and grading with a Convergent Design Gemini. We also took a look at lenses and I showed how to do some basic lens tests to help when looking for a decent lens to use on either camera. Over the two days the workshops were attended by around 90 people, a great turn out. PTS was very generous in their support of the workshops providing around 15 HD monitors so the attendees could see exactly what was being shot, graded and played back. Sony also provided lots of cameras and lenses to play with. I finished off the trip with a quick 3D workshop for KP Photo before flying home via Hong Kong.
Later in the Month I’ll be in Dubai for a Sony event, demoing a pair of F3’s on a hurricane rig for low budget, high quality 3D acquisition.
Just a reminder that I am running a documentary production workshop between the 7th and 15th of June. Based out of Denver, USA this will be an amazing adventure, road-trip and intensive workshop all rolled into one week. Only 3 places remain at just $1,500 USD per person, plus accommodation. Please see this page for full details. This year is a La Nina year, so we can expect more storms and tornadoes than on average years. May and June are the peak months for severe storms in the USA. We have seen in the past week the power of these storms. One important note is that the storms that killed so many people last week were travelling at 50 to 60 mph across the ground. One of the reasons for chasing in June is that the storms tend to move much more slowly, often only 20 mph so there are far more opportunities to stop and shoot. In addition the weather systems move onto the wide open plains of Colorado, Nebraska and the Dakotas giving incredible vistas.
I’m planning on running a Documentary production workshop and 3D workshop based on a Storm Chasing trip to the USA from the 4th to the 12th of June. The trip would be an excellent chance to really put your documentary skills in to practice and learn more about your cameras and workflow shooting a short film about the violent weather that hits Tornado Alley every spring. We can even shoot in 3D if that’s what people are interested in. I can provide a PMW-F3, lens kit and EX1R, but hopefully you would bring your own cameras and I can teach you how to get the most out of them. depending on the weather each day there would be a classroom session or practical on location session covering everything from sound and interview techniques, to camera setup and shooting tips. Will will do a lot of timelapse, make use of cache record (if you have it) and work in some very challenging lighting situations. Each member of the group will be given different roles to play as part of the “crew” each day so that they may gain a better understanding of the difficulties of each role. At the same time the idea is that each person will also create their own personal short film about our storm chasing adventure. With luck we should see incredible thunderstorms, giant hail and maybe even a tornado or two (I’ve been storm chasing for 12 years, it’s my speciality). The cost for this comprehensive and very exciting workshop will be $1800 USD per person for a place on the course. In addition to that each student will be responsible for their overnight accommodation. Typically we will stay in hotels/motels that cost approx $100 USD per night, so you should budget for approx $800 for accommodation bringing the total to $2600. We will depart from Denver, Colorado so you will have make your own travel arrangements to/from Denver. This will be a real educational adventure. The previous trips I have run to Norway for the Northern lights, Arizona for lightning and Tornado Chasing have been great successes with many people returning for more. We will spend a lot of time on the road, visiting many parts of the Mid-West. It will be fun and you should come away with improved video skills, a great short film, and amazing stories of adventure and excitement. Please use the contact form if your interested. Places are limited.
Camera setup, reviews, tutorials and information for pro camcorder users from Alister Chapman.