Latest News

DaVinci Resolve 17 – What’s New Watch & Learn Online Sessions Schedule

For those of you who may have missed our November meeting featuring the recently released DaVinci Resolve 17 or for those who saw it and wanted more, there are plenty of training sessions to get up to speed with the amazing new features. Check out the schedule below:

What’s New in Edit with DaVinci Resolve 17

Date/Time: Nov 17 – 10am- noon PST
Registration link: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_5KPFCfCGS_qKX9zvFSpDKg

Date/Time: Nov 30 – noon – 2pm PST
Registration link: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_ozUHhkMXSiWj0aDlV1IyiQ


What’s New in Color with DaVinci Resolve 17

Date/Time: Nov 18 – 10am – noon PST
Registration link: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_FgxCGGWkTTCD2E-CdpB72A

Dec 1 – noon – 2pm PST
Registration link: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_T9qjP_A-SK-WMZKAx4Ty0g


What’s New in Fusion with DaVinci Resolve 17

Date/Time: Nov 19 – 10am – noon PST
Registration link: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_8POH9u_ITPe0RG8nVnjlCw

Date/Time: Dec 3 – 4pm – 6pm PST
Registration link: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_KwhCEgvJQDualxYce1zADg


What’s New in Fairlight with DaVinci Resolve 17

Date/Time: Nov 20 – 10am – noon PST
Registration link: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_Q0VdvzZnRgaui4t9cu-o8A

Date/Time: Dec 4 – 4pm – 6pm PST
Registration link: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_v1ecYmq-TMGh12E5oAgllw


Sony Electronics Launches FX6 Full-frame Professional Camera to Expand its Cinema Line

FX6 Combines the Best of Sony’s Industry-leading Digital Cinema Technology with Advanced Imaging Features from Alpha™ Mirrorless Cameras

FX6 Product Highlights:

  • 4K 10.2 megapixel full-frame back-illuminated CMOS Exmor R™ sensor
  • Compact and lightweight body design for on-the-go shooting
  • Ultra-high sensitivity with ISO expandable up to 409,600 for very low light conditions
  • 15+ stops of dynamic range 1
  • S-Cinetone TM look profile, also used in FX9 and inspired by VENICE colorimetry
  • BIONZ XR™ image processing engine, first used in Alpha 7S III
  • Fast Hybrid Auto Focus, also used in Alpha cameras and FX9
  • Recording up to 4K 120p / HD 240p, 10-bit 4:2:2 color depth in full-frame 2
  • Support for up to 12G-SDI and 4K at up to 60p 16-bit SDI RAW output
  • Compatible with more than 50 native E-mount lenses
FX6 (ILME-FX6V) Side View

Sony Electronics Inc. officially announced the FX6 (model ILME-FX6V) camera, the latest addition to Sony’s Cinema Line, a series of products that brings the company’s expertise in imaging technology to a broad range of filmmakers and content creators.

Sony’s Cinema Line, which also includes the VENICE and FX9 cameras, delivers a coveted filmic look cultivated from extensive experience in digital cinema production, as well as enhanced operability thanks to an innovative body design, extensive durability and intuitive customizability.

As part of the Cinema Line, the all-new FX6 incorporates Sony’s core technologies of image sensor, processing engine, and AF (autofocus) performance. FX6 is also compatible with the wide range of Sony E-mount lenses for creative flexibility.

“The new FX6 is the latest example of Sony’s drive to continuously push the boundaries of imaging technology based on the needs of our customers,” said Neal Manowitz, deputy president of Imaging Products and Solutions Americas, Sony Electronics. “With the advancement of our Cinema Line, we are dedicated to enabling the extraordinary skills and talent of today’s content creators and cinematographers. The FX6 leverages technology from Sony’s industry-leading VENICE cinema camera and marries it with the best of Sony’s innovative Alpha mirrorless camera technology.”

Full-frame Cinematic Image Quality

The new camera features a 10.2 MP 3 full-frame back-illuminated Exmor R™ CMOS sensor that delivers a 15+ stop wide dynamic range 4 with high sensitivity and low noise. FX6’s base sensitivity is ISO 800 with an enhanced sensitivity setting of ISO 12,800 5 – expandable up to 409,600 6 – for shooting in low and very low light conditions. It is capable of recording in XAVC All Intra 4:2:2 10-bit depth with stunning image quality in DCI 4K (4096 x 2160 – up to 60p), QFHD 4K (3840 x 2160 – up to 120p 7 ) and FHD (1920×1080 – up to 240p) for incredibly detailed slow motion. When more convenient file sizes are needed, FX6 can record in XAVC Long GOP 4:2:0 8-bit QFHD 4K (3840 x 2160 – up to 120p vii ) and 4:2:2 10-bit FHD (1920×1080 – up to 240p). FX6 also includes a BIONZ XR™ image processing engine, first used in the new Sony Alpha 7S III camera, providing up to four times faster processing performance compared to the FS5 II.

Developed with the same expertise as Sony’s world-leading VENICE cinema camera, FX6 offers advanced cinematic color science including S-Cinetone TM for richer tonal reproduction right out of the box as well as S-Log3, S-Gamut3 and S-Gamut3.Cine for post-production flexibility. FX6’s cinematic color science is optimized for premium applications by capturing the maximum dynamic range from the sensor and providing creative freedom. Leveraging the color science of VENICE, FX6 also allows productions to easily match footage with other cameras in the Cinema Line.

Advanced Video Features

Pulling from Sony Alpha’s impressive AF features, FX6 offers Fast Hybrid AF by combining 627-point 8 focal plane phase-detection AF with advanced Face Detection and Real-time Eye AF in high frame rates with continuous AF, allowing camera operators to effortlessly and precisely track fast-moving subjects in slow motion without losing focus. Fast Hybrid AF works with over 50 native E-mount lenses. The camera can also capture up to five times slow-motion with 4K (QFHD) 120fps.

The new FX6 also offers internal electronic variable ND filters for easy and seamless control of the camera’s filter density. Users can set variable ND to auto or adjust the filter density manually in smooth increments from 1/4 to 1/128 for perfectly exposed images without affecting the depth of field or shutter angle, even during changing lighting conditions. Combined with the camera’s ultra-high sensitivity, the electronic variable ND filter provides users with outstanding creative control in almost any shooting environment.

Made for Content Creators on the Go

Outstanding Mobility and Operability

Built with a durable magnesium alloy chassis, measuring just 4.6 inches x 6 inches x 4.5 inches (116 millimeters x 153 millimeters x 114 millimeters) and weighing just 1.96 pounds (0.89 kilograms), FX6 has a compact and lightweight design making it easy for users to grab and shoot at any time. The new camera includes a heat dissipating structure to keep the camera’s components within their normal operating ranges to prevent overheating, even during extended recording times. FX6 also features a modular design allowing users to easily pair accessories, such as grips and viewfinders, or attach the camera to other mechanisms, such as gimbals and drones.

FX6’s 3.5-inch LCD Viewfinder can be attached on multiple locations of the camera body for added freedom and easy menu control with touch operation. Using a quick access control menu for commonly accessed features, camera operators can change key settings with a single touch – including Codec, Imager Scan Mode, Picture Size and Frequency, Base ISO and Sensitivity, Shooting Mode and Audio Levels.

Professional-level Reliability

In line with professional workflows, FX6 includes a 12G-SDI output that also supports 16-bit RAW, HDMI output, timecode in/out, built-in Wi-Fi and four channel audio recording (via XLR Interface, Multi-Interface Shoe and built-in Stereo Mic). The new camera also features two media slots compatible with CFexpress Type A cards 9 for higher overall capacity and faster read and write speeds in addition to SDXC UHS-II/UHS-I cards.

Additionally, Sony’s Catalyst Browse/Prepare 10 software facilitates fast and easy editing. Users can import FX6’s image stabilization metadata into Catalyst Browse/Prepare to transform handheld footage into incredibly smooth and stable visuals. FX6 also has a dedicated Clip Flag button to easily filter and locate preferred takes using Catalyst Browse/Prepare. This software also reflects metadata indicating when FX6 is rotated or in its normal position, eliminating the need to rotate footage beforehand. FX6 is also compatible with Sony’s Content Browser Mobile App to easily monitor and control focus, iris, and zoom remotely 11.

About Cinema Line

Cinema Line is a series of professional cameras that have a filmic look, cultivated from Sony’s long experience in digital cinema production, and enhanced operability and reliability that responds to the wide variety of creator’s high demands.

Cinema Line includes the digital cinema camera VENICE, which is highly acclaimed in the feature and episodic production industry, and the professional camera FX9, which has been popular for documentary and drama production. With the new FX6, Sony brings versatile creative tools to all types of visual storytellers.

FE C 16-35mm T3.1 G E-mount Cinema Lens

The FE C 16-35mm T3.1 G (model SELC1635G) lens, announced at IBC 2019, will be available in December 2020 to pair with FX6, FX9 and other full-frame Sony cameras. This new lens supports intelligent shooting functions unique to E-mount cameras – such as fast and accurate AF within shallow depth of field – while also offering manual focus options in a form factor familiar to professional cinema creators.

The FE C 16-35mm T3.1 G delivers stunning bokeh and corner-to-corner resolution thanks to two XA (Extreme Aspherical) elements with extreme surface precision of 0.01-micron, circular 11-blade apertures in addition to three aspheric lenses that are positioned in a way that effectively reduces field curvature, astigmatism and, in combination with two ED (Extra-low Dispersion) glass elements, reduces color distortion. Additionally, floating focus provides outstanding resolution at every zoom position. The new lens also features Nano AR (Anti Reflection) coating, to reduce flare.

The focus ring offers a 140-degree large angle of rotation for fine control, with distance scale markers for consistent focus reset during multiple takes. Linear Response MF enables smooth manual focus, allowing users to adjust focus accurately and intuitively. Three independent rings for focus, iris and zoom enable users to get the exact creative results they desire. Each ring has the industry standard 0.8mm pitch gear for use of follow focus accessories, and the 114mm barrel diameter is compatible with industry standard matte box accessories. A two-speed servo provides smooth, accurate control of focal length and can be activated from a switch on the lens or a lever on the FX6 Smart Grip.

Pricing and Availability

The new FX6 full-frame Cinema Line camera will be available in December and will be sold for approximately $5,999.99 USD and $8,048.99 CAD, at a variety of Sony’s authorized dealers throughout North America.

A new kit featuring the FX6 full-frame Cinema Line camera and FE 24-105mm F4 G E-mount Lens will also be available in December and will be sold for approximately $7,199.99 USD and $9,658.99 CAD. It will be sold at a variety of Sony’s authorized dealers throughout North America.

The FE C 16-35mm T3.1 G lens will be available in December and will be sold for approximately $5,499.99 USD and $7,199.99 CAD, at a variety of Sony’s authorized dealers throughout North America.

Exclusive stories about Cinema Line, FX6, FE C 16-35mm T3.1 G and Sony’s other imaging products can be found at www.sonycine.com and www.alphauniverse.com, resources designed to educate and inspire all fans of Sony’s technology for content creation and photography.

A product video on the new FX6 can be viewed HERE.

SGO ANNOUNCES MISTIKA 10 UPGRADES

Mistika 10 gets another boost with BRAW support and inspirational new color tools for even greater control and increased productivity

A new upgrade of Mistika 10 is now available for Mistika Boutique and Ultima, providing Blackmagic RAW support, brand new color tools and other improvements that greatly enhance the creative process and improve color workflow productivity.

“SGO’s commitment to the color community can be clearly seen with these very latest developments and I am sure all colorists would especially love using the new Hexagon Tool,” said Adrian Gonzalez, Mistika Boutique Product Manager. “The relentless R&D roadmap for Mistika 10 will bring even more exceptional new features over the coming months so I suggest if you have not tried Mistika Boutique then download the free trial and test-drive for yourself.”

Introducing the New Hexagon Tool: Exceptional control of color


One of the Colorists’ favourite and unique Mistika features, Fixed Vectors, has been significantly enhanced with additional tools, providing even greater control of color-grading processes. Mistika 10.1 adds to the Fixed Vectors tab an inspirational hexagon-shaped vectorscope and sliders together with a Channel Mixer. Developed to specifically bring a whole new interactive grading experience, it enables extremely precise and visually attractive color manipulation – being simple to work with and a joy
to use. These new functionalities have also been mapped to the Tangent and Precision panels for more tactile creativity.

New Pivots Scopes have also been added to the Primaries and Bands ranges scopes, enabling much faster and automatic selection of Shadow, Midtone or Highlights.

Mistika Workflows integrated for background render


To further enhance the natively integrated capabilities of Mistika Technology, a new feature in this latest release is the ability to deploy Mistika Workflows as a main background render for Mistika Boutique and Ultima, liberating the creative systems of every-day media management, encoding and processing tasks. With Mistika Workflows Watch Folder added to the render options list, users are now able to effortlessly just send RND project files to a previously set Watch Folder in Mistika Workflows to then be automatically processed. Job done!

Finally, a new Corner Pin feature in the Comp3D node has also been added to this latest upgrade of Mistika Boutique and Ultima with all 10.1 improvements and stability enhancements found HERE.

Welcome to New Partner – SGO

We couldn’t be more excited to announce our brand new partnership with SGO! With a rapidly-growing Mistika Technology user-base, SGO very much looks forward to introducing Mistika Technology to the LAPPG members. Built on years of research, development and production experience, Mistika Technology empowers users with new levels of creative power, performance, and efficiency in HDR, UHD/4K, 8K, S3D and VR workflows. 

Available for both Windows and macOS, Mistika Boutique natively integrates the most complete spectrum of professional finishing tools, including color, VFX, conforming, Stereo 3D, VR/360º – and so much more. With a  recently overhauled Color GUI, Mistika Boutique offers a truly precise and interactive grading experience. 

Easy-to-use, smart, affordable and highly customizable software-only solution, Mistika Workflows is designed to reduce bottlenecks throughout the whole media content production chain and optimize resources by facilitating and fully automating repetitive media management, encoding, transcoding and delivery tasks. 

If you have not tried Mistika Boutique or Workflows yet, then download the free trials and test-drive for yourself – they’d love to hear your feedback!

For more information please visit: https://www.sgo.es/news-lappg/

Sight, Sound & Story: Live Goes “Inside the Cutting Room of Sam O’Steen” on November 19th

The Sight, Sound & Story: Live monthly event series continues in November with Author & Film Historian Bobbie O’Steen and a panel of seven editors

Manhattan Edit Workshop’s “Sight, Sound & Story: Live” monthly online event series continues in November with an in-depth look at the work of legendary editor Sam O’Steen.


Inside Episode V: This panel will honor legendary editor Sam O’Steen. He first found acclaim for his work in the late 1960s, at a time when the studio system was crumbling, and independent filmmakers were captivating young audiences with personal, provocative narratives and experiments with sound, music, cinematography, and editing. These shifts all elevated the status of the editor. Bobbie O’Steen, who was Sam’s wife and collaborator, is a film historian whose book, “Cut to the Chase,” is filled with Sam’s behind-the-scenes stories on such landmark films as “The Graduate,” “Rosemary’s Baby,” and “Chinatown.” She will moderate the panel of seven editors, who will share and discuss specific scenes that show how Sam’s work inspired them. 

Panelists for this event will include Michael R. Miller, ACE (“Miller’s Crossing, Armageddon”), Darrin Navarro, ACE (“Ballers,” “Mozart in the Jungle”), Suzana Peric (“The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring,” “The Pianist”), Terilyn Shropshire, ACE (“The Old Guard,” “Eves Bayou”), Zach Staenberg, ACE  (“The Matrix” Trilogy, “Pacific Rim: Uprising”) & more!*

All attendees who register for this event will receive a link and password to Vimeo Live an hour prior to the event. The event will be live at 5:00 PM EST/ 2:00 PM PST on November 19th. This will gain free access for all attendees who register.

This event wouldn’t be possible without our Master Storyteller Sponsors: OWC, ZEISS, American Cinema Editors, & EditFest Global; as well as our Technology Sponsor: Shutterstock. Following the panel there will be a chance to ask questions in a live Q&A networking event. To register, please go to https://bit.ly/2Jk36zi.

*All speakers are subject to availability

Horror Film The Cleansing Hour Uses Blackmagic Design in Production and Post

 

Blackmagic Design announced that “The Cleansing Hour,” starring Ryan Guzman, Kyle Gallner and Alix Angelis, utilized Blackmagic cameras, ATEM switchers and converters in production, as well as DaVinci Resolve Studio in post production, to create the unique show within a show horror film.

Millennial entrepreneurs, Drew and Max, run a popular webcast that streams live exorcisms. But the performances are, in fact, elaborately staged hoaxes. The two get their comeuppance when their newest actress becomes mysteriously possessed by a real demon, that holds the crew hostage. The film premiered on streaming channel Shudder on October 8th.
The concept originated from director Damien LeVeck’s background in reality television. “I’ve observed that whenever people see a video on the Internet, especially if it’s of lower quality, they automatically think it looks and feels more realistic. And this was during a time when people were putting more and more outrageous things on Facebook, just for attention. So, I wondered what would happen if somebody was trying to fake an audience with exorcisms and then was forced to deal with a real one?”

With a film that involved a webcast as part of the primary plot, LeVeck relied on Blackmagic Design equipment to create the complex video broadcast setup that drives the story. As the characters struggle to handle the real demonic elements that infect their webcast, on camera screens would show the action real time. LeVeck used Blackmagic Micro Studio Cameras to capture high quality imagery of the drama, knowing that the cameras would cut well with the main unit photography.
“The biggest challenge,” said LeVeck, “was shooting a movie about guys who are making a show in a single room, but still make it look interesting. Coverage was always a challenge, there were cameras pointing in every direction.”

With active cameras on set feeding monitors, the main camera was tasked with staying out of their shot while still covering the action. LeVeck chose the Blackmagic Micro Studio Camera because of their small form factor and interchangeable lenses. “We liked that the Micro Studio Cameras really held up fairly well in low light. We creatively chose to make a dark set and the Micro Studio Camera made a very nice picture even in low lighting.”

 

Cameras were fed into an ATEM Television Studio Pro HD switcher, which fed the onset monitors. “We really liked that you could control the Micro cameras from the ATEM, allowing us to build a functioning studio set within a set, and for a relatively low cost.” Additional gear, including two SmartView 4K monitors for Multiview from the switcher, and two Teranex AV standards converters to convert additional analog cameras for the switcher, created the active production set where the action takes place. Multiple Micro Converters were also used to modify signals in and out of monitors.

With the onset video setup handled by Blackmagic gear, LeVeck was faced with the challenge of creating the movie on a limited budget and short schedule. “There were so many challenges in shooting this movie,” added LeVeck. “The biggest thing was really just schedule. We had to move very quickly, we didn’t really have a lot of time to waste because every day there was a different combination of makeup effects, special effects, stunts, pyrotechnics, that take a lot of time to set up. It was a huge logistical challenge to get everything filmed on time and in a creative way.”

With the story hinging on the reality of the characters working a real broadcast setup, LeVeck was excited that the set was real, not just props. “Because all of the cameras and Blackmagic gear on set were functioning, Kyle Gallner (Drew) was able to interact directly with the ATEM to switch cameras and play out graphics.” A tangible, functioning set was immensely helpful for Gallner to create a more authentic and natural performance.

With principal photography completed, LeVeck and his team finished the film in DaVinci Resolve Studio. “It was an incredible experience. Resolve is phenomenal software for creating the look and feel of your finished movie while working with speed and efficiency.”

Looking for ways to be even more efficient, the team utilized Resolve’s collaboration tools. “First and foremost, just the conform process was seamless. We used a Resolve set up in my office, and with a shared workflow I had one editor conforming one reel while another editor was conforming a different reel. They were able to work on the same project at the same time.”

 

 

With conform finished in house, the DaVinci Resolve Studio project was taken to Banana Post in Burbank where colorist Chad Mumford created the final look over a three week period, also in DaVinci Resolve Studio. Cinematographer Jean-Philippe Bernier brought in a variety of still frames from other projects with looks he wanted to emulate for various parts of the film. Mumford imported the stills and used them as layers over the grade. “(Bernier) was inspired by a particular scene in David Fincher’s SE7EN that had a very fast shadow roll off and slightly green blacks,” said Mumford. “Nothing is better as a colorist than being able to pull those stills into the project and compare them directly to your grade.”

Mumford applied a favorite technique to the dark, ominous photography in “The Cleansing Hour.” “I personally find myself emulating film when I grade. One of the plug ins we were able to incorporate into the grade was FilmConvertPro. We did a luminance selection of the deep blacks, used FilmConvert to add grain and then inverted the selection. This is especially apparent in the scene where Max (the Priest) is being burned by the stage lights. We had a lot of fun experimenting with grain and Resolve’s keying and HSL selection tools made it possible to create a subtle, unique film look.”

With more than 400 visual effects shots in the film, Mumford and LeVeck had to use every tool at hand to tackle multiple challenges throughout the finishing process, all in the spirit of increasing the creepiness of the film. “If I look back, the one creative challenge that stands out above all is grading the monster that reveals itself at the end of the film,” added Mumford. “The ‘veins’ of the creature were all modified on the Color page to appear almost like flowing lava. One of those shots probably had the most nodes I’ve ever used.” LeVeck added, “It really turned out beautifully.”

In the end, the process was complex, but well worth it. “The movie was an incredible technical challenge just because of all the onset playback, and all of the screens that had to have different content on them, specific to that moment in the movie,” said LeVeck. “On top of that, we had tons of visual effects and makeup effects. It was a scheduling challenge, more than anything, to pull all of that off. But despite all those challenges, it was the most fun I’ve ever had in my entire life, and I can’t wait to do it again.”

 

The Telly Awards Announces 42nd Annual Call for Entries With New Categories Celebrating Diversity, Social Impact, and Remote Production

Creativity prevails as world’s largest award for excellence in video content across all screens honors ingenuity in the midst of change with new theme, “Your Stories Defy The Limits”

The Telly Awards, the world’s largest honor for video and television across all screens, opened its annual call for entries with a host of new and expanded categories that seek to spotlight the cultural change, social impact, and creative innovation that has defined this unprecedented year.

Entries are being accepted now at www.TellyAwards.com. The early deadline is December 11, 2020.

Mirroring the industry’s rapid evolution amid a range of challenges (specifically live action filming), these new additions include editorial/animation-driven categories like Use of Stock Footage, Virtual Events & Experiences, Influencer & Celebrity, Remote Production, and Museums & Galleries, who have turned to finding audiences online. Series has also grown to incorporate the already existing Diversity & Inclusion, Social Impact, and Animation sub-categories, along with more standard expansions like Online and Television Series which now includes Food & Beverage, Beauty & Lifestyle, Education, and Discovery as well as genre-based categories like Sci-Fi, Horror, True Crime, and Reality.

The theme of this year’s awards is “Your Stories Defy The Limits”, encompassing the creativity and storytelling efforts that surfaced in response to the unique challenges presented by 2020.

“This year has been like no other. Despite the immense changes and challenges we have all faced, many inspiring feats of creativity have persevered, both because of and in response to this changing world”, explains Telly Managing Director Sabrina Dridje. “We have seen new workflows to accommodate remote production, spikes in the use of animation in the absence of live production, and continued reminders that video and television on all platforms can be used to share, educate, and inform important global and societal issues. Through this unstable time, we have seen, time and time again, that your stories have both defied the limits of deep challenges and also embraced opportunity.”

In recognition of the need for an industry shift, The Telly Awards is also adding two new media partners, Ghetto Film School and UK-based We Are Parable, to reaffirm its commitment to supporting the work of underrepresented artists. Ghetto Film School is an award-winning nonprofit with locations in New York City, Los Angeles, and London that seeks to educate, develop, and celebrate the next generation of great American storytellers, placing the support of diverse talent at the heart of all they do. Also a champion of diverse storytelling, We Are Parable is an award-winning film exhibition company that provides audiences with opportunities to respond to and experience Black cinema in culturally relevant, memorable, and innovative ways. They have worked with Disney, the British Film Institute, StudioCanal, and Altitude, as well as filmmakers such as Ryan Coogler, Idris Elba, Amma Asante, and Academy Award-winner Spike Lee.

Unlike previous years, but in true 2020 fashion, the third installment of the complementary Telly Awards global screening series will be held virtually with a lineup of diverse content across branded, animation, short-form documentary, and more, curated specifically to echo this year’s theme. The Tellys will begin rolling out the work in a reel format for those who RSVP in early November, culminating in a livestream and Q&A with many of the content creators and producers on November 18, 2020. Additional screenings will be held in February and April of 2021. The program will also be featured online at NAB NYC, which runs from October 19-29, 2020, and will feature work by WePresent, The New Yorker, The Juilliard School, Narratively, and We Are Parable.

Entries for the Telly Awards will be evaluated by members of The Award Judging Council drawn from a diverse mix of advertising, media, tech, and video industry leaders. The Tellys have long prioritized empowering and championing underrepresented voices, curating a lineup of judges from diverse backgrounds, countries, and cultures to ensure that work is judged in a fair manner and is representative of creative talent across the globe. Among this year’s first-time judges are Shalini Sharma of NBC News, Ryan Honey of Buck, Andrew Wareham of Taxi Group Australia, Karyn Spencer of Whalar, Amy Tunick of WarnerMedia, Jamie Elden of Shutterstock, Kavita Lokchander of Thrive Global, Meghan Oretsky of Vimeo and Andrew Rowan-Robinson of Framestore NY.

Founded in 1979 to honor commercials made for cable and local TV, The Telly Awards has continually refreshed its categories to honor the evolving, broad range of work being made — including branded content, social video, and animation — working with industry experts to identify categories where new platforms play an increasingly important role in the ways stories are being told.

Last year, The Telly Awards received over 12,000 entries from top video content producers including Viacom, Google, Condé Nast, CBS Interactive, Verizon, BBC, Partizan, RYOT, and AJ+.

To enter work in the 42nd Annual Telly Awards, visit www.TellyAwards.com. The deadline for early entries is December 11, 2020. Winners will be announced in May 2021.

Website
www.TellyAwards.com

ZEISS Cine Technology Honored by HPA

ZEISS awarded HPA Engineering Excellence Award for its eXtended data, which uses metadata to significantly simplify image processing for film production

ZEISS was awarded the HPA Award for Engineering Excellence 2020 by the Hollywood Professional Association (HPA) for the development of ZEISS eXtended Data (XD) technology. The lens metadata technology was launched with the ZEISS CP.3 XD lenses in 2017. It is also included in subsequent lens series ZEISS Supreme Prime and ZEISS Supreme Prime Radiance and will be integrated into Fujinon’s Premista Zooms.

The ZEISS XD technology is built upon existing architecture, called Cooke /i1, which is enhanced with additional information for the postproduction pipeline. All lens metadata is recorded in real-time, such as focus distance, aperture value and depth of field. In addition, accurate information about the lens distortion and shading characteristics is tracked for every single frame as lens settings are changing. The metadata makes it easier to work with visual effects: it takes a few simple clicks to modify the image generated on the computer to fit the lens characteristics, and to then splice it together with the footage to create a realistic image. This streamlines workflows, particularly for VFX and can be adopted to work in real-time for virtual production.

 

Joachim Zell, Chairman of the HPA Awards Engineering Committee, is delighted that the independent jury has chosen ZEISS as award winner and explained: I personally used the ZEISS Supreme Prime lenses and their seamless lens distortion metadata transfer to the camera RAW file on two projects already. One was “Stucco”, a joint ZEISS / RED production, in spring of 2019 and the other, “Lost Lederhosen” at the end of 2019. Both times we were able to save time and labor, and improved efficiency in the production and post production process.” According to Zell, both projects did contain VFX elements for which normally lens grids and checker board charts would have been shot in order to undo and redo the lens distortion before and after the composition work. “Now that the camera captures the lens distortion metadata per frame and per lens setting, we are able to hand over the needed metadata to the Nuke-based compositor and automatically get to the desired result. Especially during this global pandemic and beyond where we have to be able to be more efficient, ZEISS provides procedures which allow us to adapt modern workflows for our film industry,” Zell continued.

To enable as many users as possible to take advantage of all the benefits, ZEISS has developed free plug-ins for industry leading compositing software. With partners in the film industry, ZEISS developed solutions that can be used to even greater effect with ZEISS eXtended Data in the entire image capture ecosystem. RED DSMC2 cameras as well as the Sony Venice can directly store ZEISS eXtended data in the camera through the interface on the PL mount. Cameras of other manufacturers are compatible through a range of universal external third-party tools via the on-barrel 4-pin connector of the lenses.

More details on ZEISS eXtended Data Technology can be found here: www.zeiss.com/cine/xd.

1: /i is a registered trademark of Cooke Optics Limited used with permission.

SINGLE TAKE FEATURE FILM “LAST CALL” COLORS WITH DAVINCI RESOLVE STUDIO

Blackmagic Design announced today that the feature film “Last Call”, which was shot in two simultaneous 80 minute takes, was colored in DaVinci Resolve Studio by colorist and cinematographer Seth Wessel-Estes, who also used the DaVinci Resolve Micro Panel in his workflow.

“Last Call” follows a suicidal alcoholic on the anniversary of his son’s death. When he attempts to call a crisis hotline, a misdial connects him with a single mother working as the night janitor at a local community college. The split screen feature showcases both characters in realtime as they navigate a life changing conversation.

Director Gavin Booth was no stranger to single take projects, having experience directing a number of one act plays and single shot music videos. He was also director on the Blumhouse project “Fifteen,” which was the world’s very first movie broadcast live, also in a single take. “Last Call” would be a unique approach to filmmaking, in the vein of films such as “Timecode” and “Russian Ark”, both early inspirations for Booth.

Both Booth and cinematographer Wessel-Estes, who was also the colorist on the film, knew there would be significant challenges in coloring a movie without edits, and with two constantly moving shots around a cityscape. “Figuring out the approach of how to color the film was a pretty daunting task,” said Wessel-Estes. “We hadn’t ever had to color anything longer than a three or four minute shots in the past.”

In preparation, both Booth and Wessel-Estes shot a single take music video for the band Bleu before starting on “Last Call,” working up not only a workflow for production but also a process for handling a constantly changing image.

“Last Call” would present a myriad of challenges to the team, all of which would be reflected in the final image that would need to be colored. Each of the characters would be filmed simultaneously, connected only by the cell phone call that was the link in the movie. Booth would follow one character, and Wessel-Estes the other.
“We needed to reduce the amount of crew for both camera and sound,” reflected Booth. “There couldn’t be a camera assistant or a boom operator. There was nowhere to hide everyone or avoid boom shadows throughout the full single take on either side of the movie. We had to work with our sound mixers to double lav the actors and rely solely on that.”

Booth and Wessel-Estes were also the camera operators, and would need to pull their own focus, while the gaffer would have to figure out how to use a mixture of practical lighting as well as hide every single cable and film light since the single take on either side would move 360 degrees through the space. Moving from inside to outside or even room to room meant that the camera’s exposure needed to seamlessly adjust at the same time. Every element would either help or hinder the final look, and the team knew they had limited time and budget to get it right.

For the look of the project, Booth wanted to maintain a realistic style, and avoid an exaggerated or otherwise over colored look that might have distracted from the character driven drama. “With the use of the long take to show ‘reality’ we wanted to keep it feeling as truthful as possible. For us, having too much of a look on a piece like this can take away from the rawness. We wanted the audience to feel like they were there with the two characters, hanging on every tense word they exchange.”

Once in post, Wessel-Estes knew that having a single long take, and hundreds of node corrections on the single shot would be unmanageable. Instead, he imported the project into Resolve and used the Edit panel to place cuts throughout the film to give him transition points. “I was able to go in and make cuts along the timeline which acted as scene markers. That way I could individually color each ‘scene’ or area by itself. Luckily with the Resolve editing panel I was able to go in and create edits and use cross dissolves to smoothly and dynamically transition between graded sections.”

Wessel-Estes also used the Davinci Resolve Micro Panel for color grading. “It enabled me to not only grade more efficiently but also to have more fine tuned tactile control of individual parameters. Since our look was so naturalistic, I ended up doing tons of very small, subtle corrections which would have been a hassle without having a control surface.”

With a split screen showing each character’s part of the story, Booth and Wessel-Estes had a host of challenges to manage. As the camera moved from location to location, both interior and exterior, they knew they would be faced with completely different lighting and exposures throughout the film, requiring careful grading to both marry segments while respecting each new look. “Since we were working with some uncontrolled lighting situations we had to go in and do dynamic exposure and color adjustments as the camera and character move from one space to another.”

Matching the two sides of the film so they felt cohesive throughout was also very important. Each half of the screen had its own ‘look’ but also needed to blend effectively so that the audience wasn’t distracted by the visual contrast of the split screen. “Using the built in comparison tools to bring up images side by side as well as the various scopes enabled us to ensure the look would remain cohesive throughout.”

Wessel-Estes also used a fair amount of vingetting that needed to be keyframed in order to track with the moving camera. “The built in smart tracking inside of Resolve was hugely helpful for a lot of this work, and I love how simple yet effective it is.” Other Resolve tools, such as HSL keys, sharpening masks and advanced keyframing controls came in handy when coloring a single take film. “Having all of these tools at my fingertips enabled me to add a degree of finesse to the look of the finished movie which just wouldn’t have been possible on set.”

With “Last Call” taking awards at 25 international film festivals and release slated in theaters on September 18th, Booth is proud of what they have accomplished, achieving a style he has long admired in other projects. “As a filmmaker I have forever been obsessed with long take storytelling; and with audience and critics response, I am thrilled our film’s story rises above the ‘gimmick’ of a long take. For me, ‘Last Call’ felt like the next evolution of a filmmaking challenge.”

 

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