NAB 2009, Day 5 – Wednesday

Posted by Brian Paris on Apr 22, 2009 in Blog

Started off the day with a one on one conference with Malcolm Gladwell. Gladwell is the author of The Tipping Point, Blink, and his new book Outliers. He talked about the general concepts behind all of his books. I have heard good things about those before, and I should probably pick them up sometime for some reading. The most interesting thing that I got out of the conversation was that he says he is always trying to get information that isn’t available on google. Seems that a lot of the young reporters are just doing their research on the web and don’t uncover anything new. I like that idea a lot, and maybe I’ll put something together on that a little later.

Went to a panel on reporting from the front lines. On the panel was: Craig White (Chief Photographer, NBC News), Kaj Larsen (Producer/Reporter , Current TV), Phil Alongi (Alongi Media Solutions & 20 Year Producer for NBC News), and Brian Natwick (The Pentagon Channel). They all talked about their experiences in covering wars and conflicts. Pretty scary stuff. I am glad that there are people doing it, but I don’t know if I could do it. I wonder about the students. Will they be going out and doing that type of reporting?

Then I went to see Josh Schwartz, the man behind Chuck and Gossip Girl. He talked a lot about how hard it is to stay afloat if you are doing shows that don’t have a traditional audience. Younger viewers are turning to different delivery platforms to get this entertainment fix. That doesn’t necessarily show up in the ratings, and without the ratings you aren’t going to be on the air for long. He did give some hope in that some people are starting to get into web programming. Not much pay there yet, but there is a lot of freedom.

Saw a lot of equipment vendors. I’ll have a lot more to talk about them when I start ordering for next year.

Finished up the night at the RED User party. There were a lot of speakers talking about the different post production and color correction work flows. There were also a lot of vendors with RED specific accessories and add-ons. Got some good ideas from tonight’s presentations.

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NAB 2009, Day 3 – Monday

Posted by Brian Paris on Apr 20, 2009 in Blog

Another day of the DP workshops. Started off with Blue and Green Screen information. Bob Kertesz talked about what he does to shoot for keying.
Some good info that come out:
shoot green 1 stop under key and blue at or a little over key,
blue makes for better flesh tones in a key but has more noise and needs more light than green,
chroma kinoflos work well, just remember that they don’t show as much luminance on waveform,
Composite Components‘ Digital Green Screen material was recommended

Next I went to the Indie Film Super Session. Brian Valente (redrock), moderated a panel consisting of Rodney Charters, Director of Photography, 24; Stu Maschwitz , Founder, The Orphanage; Charles Papert , Co-founder, Instant Films. They talked a lot about the RED camera and the Canon 5d MkII. Seems like there is a lot of talk about the convergence of Digital SLRs and video cameras. I see this being a big thing in the next few years.

Back to the DP workshop for more RED info, and then a session of Steadicam. There is a new wireless video system from IDX. Now you can fly a camera without being tethered to a recorder or monitor. Wireless makes it a lot easier for everyone on set.

Other announcements came from AJA. They have a new recorder, and a portable iO. I was hoping for an announcement from Apple about Final Cut, but no word yet.

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NAB 2009, Day 1

Posted by Brian Paris on Apr 18, 2009 in Blog

I am in the Director of Photography track at the NAB show in Vegas. Started off the day with a panel discussion led by Gary Adcock. They started by talking about the camera guild and why it was good to have a union. I like the idea of getting everyone trained and working from a standard starting point, but I live a long way away and don’t do any union shooting, so it wasn’t much help for me. They did take some interesting questions. People were asking about the state of digital production, post production, and delivery. There is a lot of change going on in the industry, and there don’t appear to be any solid answers to a lot of the issues out there. Hopefully a few solutions might get announced this week.

Next up was the state of the RED. Ted from RED talked a little about the history of the company and products, and then gave a little outline of their plans. All of this was pretty much on their website, but it was a good summary of everything. Best part was that he showed a lot of footage shot on RED. Some of the scenes were just amazing. I am so impressed with what this camera can do in the right hands. It was used is so many different fields; docs, features, music videos, corporate, commercial. I am looking forward to taking ours out for a spin when I get back to Doha. Seems that it is in Customs limbo right now, but hopefully that get straightened out soon.

Last of the night was an ARRI talk about their D21 camera. I wanted to see this camera, since it is one of the ones that I am considering for use at the college. I have to say that I was not impressed. The camera is large and heavy. Some of the footage was pretty good, but most looked like nice looking video. Not really what I was hoping for. It was nice to see the S.two’s OB1 attached to the camera. This allows for a little less complicated data capture solution. I am sure in the right hands this is a nice camera, but it seems like it is a bit hard to get the best results from this cam.

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