Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Sima Quick-Connect version of Caleb Pike's "Top Handle Rig"

For those of us that were perusing the DSLR websites you might have come across Caleb Pike's DSLR Video Shooter  tutorial on making the "Top Handle Rig". However, for those of us who could not afford to set up with the Manfrotto base plates, and had set up our rigs with the Sima Quick-Connect there really wasn't a way to duplicate his rig.
I did, however, come up with an alternative using the Sima Quick-Connect. I have dubbed this ,with an enormous amount of  creativity in the naming of it, the  "Quick-Connect Top Handle Rig".


Materials Needed:
1- 1/4-20 Coupling Nut
1- 1/4-20 nut(standard)
1- Black spray paint
1- 1/4-20 Coarse/Standard Hanger bolt
1/4-20 x 2-1/2 in. Coarse/Standard Steel Plain Hanger Bolts (2-Pack) 
Tools Need:
1- Drill with a 3/16 Drill bit
1- Crescent wrench
1- Oven
1- Hack saw(or other way of cutting the bolt)
1- Bastard File ( for cleaning up the threads)

Here is Caleb's Tutorial


Note: The Sima Top Handle Rig does not sit nicely like the Manfrotto/Cinevate base plates due to its smaller footprint. Should you want a way to stabilize the Sima Top Handle Rig add a small sheet of 1/8" aluminum (4 1/2" x 2 1/2" ) screwed to the 1/4-20 theads of the Sima Quick Connect (center the hole approximately 1/3 of the way towards the back of the sheet) and add 4 rubber bumpers on the bottom.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Behind the Scenes Timelapse using the I Phone

Just a quick behind the scenes of a video shoot for Gourmet Art Studio. Shot using an I-phone and the Time Lapse app. Edited/titled in phone using the Vimeo app. Music from Vimeo. "Wild Life" by Cheap Time.
Note the jib that was used for the overhead shot. More to come about this handy contraption

Monday, March 19, 2012

Is there always room for J-E-L-L-O ?

Despite the intrinsic insidiousness of the television commercial, most of my generation has been conditioned by countless hours of the wholesomeness of Bill Cosby's pitch, " There's always room for  J-E-L-L-O!". Now when I think of that wiggly, jiggly goodness, I begin to drool over the memory of incredible desserts made with this fruity concoction.
However, in the world of HDSLR CMOS sensors the moniker of "JELLO-CAM" makes the videographer mouth feel like it is full of cotton...... parched........!
Rolling Shutter commonly known as Jello-Cam, I first noticed this phenomenon while viewing some handheld foot shot of my family picking blueberries. While watching the footage there would come waves of slightly disorienting nausea by the seemingly unstable footage.

Things that I found to cut down on the "wobble" .
1: Add some sort of stabilizer i.e....tripod, mono pod, shoulder rig, fig rig, etc,etc....
2: Use a Variable Neutral Density filter to slow the shutter speed down to 50 or lower.
faster shutter speeds really accentuate the rolling shutter.
3: Fix it in post.
4: Wait until a camera comes out that doesn't suffer from jello-cam!

A quick tutorial by Mike Huetz on Vimeo.

Rolling Shutter Fix Tutorial

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Friday, March 9, 2012

Buried under ART

Well since the inception of this blog you might have noticed that I haven't posted since July. My wife's art business has taken off and with it all of my time. You can view some of her work at www.GourmetArtStudio.com. Hopefully, I will get some time this year to do more with the blog. I have a couple builds coming up for a production I am working on. If I don't get tutorials done, I will get some behind the scenes footage put together and posted.

Here is the only production I have been able to do since July.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

iPhone Editor Reviews

         First I will start with the iPhone's mainstay, iMovie. It can be purchased for $ 4.99 from the iTunes store. When first opening it loads up quickly. It has the ability to hold multiple projects at the same time, which can be accessed underneath the Movie House Marque. Workspace wise, it appears on the surface to be a crisp workflow. Importing video and stills were easy, though it does require moving through multiple screens for each import. One quirk about it is that each download ise inserted in front of previous imports, most NLE's that I have experience with don't work this way but it only takes a minute to get used to. Editing is slow and cumbersome, there is very limited room for adjusting clip length which my fat fingers found difficult to manage and forced multiple attempts for each cut/trim.  Transitions are limited to two- Crossfade and a stylized wipe. For the majority of transitions anything more than a crossfade becomes kitschee, it is comforting when you have multiple options than just two.       I found that the truncated ability of the title editor, with its annoying insistence that you work within its templet structure disappointing. You can work around this by purchasing another app (extras4iMovie) but why should I go through another app just to display text in my video. The inclusion of themic music is a nice touch, particularly when you need some background music to pull the video together.
      After having spent several hours editing multiple video clips using this app, I have come to the conclusion that while relatively stable, is a pain to work with. You can get the job done,but only within the confines provided. Then again it is on my phone......I am editing 720p video on my phone!

Splice - Video Editor (Free)
      The next big player in this market is Splice.  Available (currently on sale for $.99) from the iTunes store as well. This editor has some significant improvements over iMovie. One of them isn't loading time. It takes forever to load up( I believe that the improvement take longer to load). However, once it is loaded a near-fully functional NLE is at your fingertips. Two quick peeks at the "How to..." videos on Youtube.com had me off and running. The cramped work area that plagued my editing with iMovie was solved by Splice by dropping the chosen clip into a new screen, enlarged and by itself, where you can manipulate it as you see fit. Outside of its annoying tendency to crash at various stages( most often when previewing the edits) it is a significant improvement over iMovie.. There is an ability to purchase some "extras" from the Splice store(i.e. sound effects, music, borders,etc...) but I don't believe any of that should be to necessary. Think iPhone Foley, and check out  http://incompetech.com/ for royalty free music.

Either editor can give you the ability to edit video. That is the most important ability. I personally will continue to use Splice as my iPhone editor (CS5.5 on the laptop) but you cannot go wrong with either.

So now you have an edit, but you want more! More from your iPhone ? "What more can you do?" You ask. Color grading !!!! For my next review I will be checking out Red Giants "Movie Looks" as well as Nexvio's "CinemaFX for Video".

Oscar Mayer Wienermobile

Saw the Wienermobile in the parking lot while getting gas. Decided it would make a good subject for testing out the iPhones video and video editing capabilities. Edited using Splice. Audio comes from an old 1960's ad.

Splice introductory "How to" Video

Monday, June 27, 2011

iPhone Mania

I have been struck down with iPhone mania. Almost all of my video, lately has been done with the tool that is always on me..... My iPhone 4.

Here are a few examples. Both were filmed using Filmic Pro... an excellent video app! The editing was done rather tediously with the app iMovie (what can one expect. ITS A PHONE!). Color grading was by either 8mm or by Movie Looks .

Finding Isabella 

This was edited while in standstill traffic on our local outerbelt, using iMovie. This was my first use of this app and it felt very cumbersome to use. I muddled my way through it to kind of get what I wanted out of it.  I want to thank the LP truck driver who shut down the freeway for making this possible.

Fountain Delight

Another all inclusive iPhone creation. Shot on Location at Easton Towne Center. Edited on location and uploaded to Vimeo while on location. Shot with Filmic Pro.....Edited with iMovie.....Color graded and stylized with 8mm.