The present and future of post production business and technology | Philip Hodgetts

CAT | Technology

The production kit for The semiSerious Foodies – Greg’s and my new project – fits on one small bag I can comfortably carry on my shoulder. Each episode of the video part of The semiSerious Foodies starts in a restaurant, and continues to local markets, on into whatever kitchen we have available when we travel.

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I am still slightly horrified whenever I hear or read of someone who “doesn’t use keywords, I just use Favorites and rename them” I am infuriated. What you want is not a Favorite. What you want is a Keyword.

A Keyword that automatically organizes itself into collections. (Unlike Favorites).

Just under a year ago I wrote Why I love Keyword Ranges. If you’re using Favorites that way, read it.

I first wrote about derived metadata back at the end of January 2009. Derived metadata uses computer analysis to derive metadata from the video source. There are now technologies for speech-to-text, meaning extraction, facial detection, facial recognition, emotion detection, image recognition, and more. One company has been accumulating these somewhat diverse technologies: Apple.

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One of my favorite writing tools – Celtx – has revealed itself as a full production management resource.

Celtx has added a ton of new features to help not only screenwriters write scripts, but also help directors and creative teams work together on their projects using new story development and video planning tools.

Basic writing and storyboarding tools are included in the free version: $10 a month gets you it all.

If I wrote and produced narrative, I’d be all over Celtx.

CES finally brings High Dynamic Range TV to the consumer. Brighter (really brighter) white levels, cleaner blacks and wider color gamut are more obvious to most people, than high pixel count. 10 bit sampling will allow for smoother gradients and contribute to the wider color gamut.

Fortunately, the competing technology companies came to an agreement with UltraHD Premium.

Already at CES TCL and LG have announced new models with Dolby Vision incorporated. Dolby Vision is probably the widest adopted of the HDR standards. But it doesn’t really seem to matter as UltraHD Premium is about standards met, rather than how to meet the standard. This is a good approach as it allows the technology to evolve, as long as the same basic standards are met.

 

 

I’d started writing about the inevitability of vertical video, and how we should adapt to it, when what should came up in the Frame.io blog but Say yes to vertical video.

I had come to the realization that fighting against vertical video is not a winnable battle, simply because most people really don’t care. They shoot on a mobile device, and that’s where they view it. Most mobile phones and tablets default to vertical video. Every non-industry person I interact with shoots vertical video: from my singing teach to my niece!

UPDATE: On Twitter Kenneth X or @Knesaren pointed me to an article on How Norwegian Broadcasting made the first vertical video documentary. As always, start with a good story!

UPDATE 2: Clark Dunbar of Mammoth HD tells me that they’ve had large format (HD to 6K) vertical footage for well over a decade for signage, POS and museum installations! Their vertical stock footage gallery is at http://www.mammothhd.com/MHD_QG_VertPort.html.

UPDATE 3: Carl Olson @TheCarlOlson on Twitter, had some thoughts on vertical video today:

Vertical video haters keep this in mind: For centuries artist have used the vertical format to represent human presence intimately.

Perhaps that explains why many people (not cinematographers) are naturally drawn to the vertical. It’s not laziness as some scoff.

Rather, think about a mother who films her child. Subconsciously she goes for the vertical to intimately capture her child filling the frame.

To the mother, that’s the most natural thing in the world. Try to overcome your prejudices as a creative and see things as others do.

UPDATE 4: There’s a vertical film festival in Katoomba, Australia. Makes sense, that’s a very mountainous region!

If there was a theme to 2015 in production technology, it would be that this was the year of more. More pixels – 4K and beyond; more dynamic range with HDR video; more field of view as VR establishes; and more programming sources as Netflix et. al. become fully fledged ‘networks’.

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In the latest Terence and Philip Show, Terence and Philip talk about Lunch with Philip and Greg; what it is and the 4K, small production kit approach that allows the show to be produced over lunch in regular restaurants. The discussion moves to other production and why we got into the business in the first place before discussing the future of motion graphics in the era of templatorization. (Motion VFXStupid RaisinsFiverr).

Terence and Philip answer some listener questions, including “Where do we compromise, and where can we not compromise” and “When is too much media is enough”.

OS X 10.11 “El Capitan” is about to be released to the public. All the Intelligent Assistance apps required updates to support the new OS, so be sure to update your apps in the App Store before you upgrade to El Capitan!

Apps from our own store have also been updated. Each of the non-App Store apps has a Check for Updates… item under the app’s main menu. If there’s a new version available it’ll download and install itself for you.

Lumberjack System’s Lumberyard and backLogger apps have been updated for El Capitan. Download from within the app before upgrading to El Capitan. The iOS Logger app has been tested against iOS 9 and requires no updating.

If it’s September, it’s time for IBC – the kinder, gentler, European version of NAB! In 2013 I made my first exploratory trip to see if we should attend IBC and had few commitments. Second trip last year and Lumberjack shared a table at the Supermeet with FCPWORKS.

This year we’re once again teaming with FCPWORKS and Soho Editors by being part of the FCP X Expo. It’s a short walk from the RAI and Greg, Cirina and I will be there most of Saturday and Sunday, until we head to the Supermeet.

If you’re at IBC, come say hello at the FCP X Expo which will be the center of all things Final Cut Pro X at IBC, or at the Supermeet. We’re happy to talk about Lumberjack System, or any of our Intelligent Assistance tools. I’ll be helping Sam Westman with his Feature Film Workflows session at 12:50 on Saturday the 12th September.

Join FCPWORKS’ Sam Mestman on a crash course in feature film metadata prep and on-set workflows. Sam will also co-present an enhanced documentary feature workflow with Lumberjack System’s Philip Hodgetts. Shoot for the edit and maximize the potential under-the-hood of Final Cut Pro X

I’ll be focusing on how Chuck Braverman Productions used the transcription feature we built into Lumberjack System on their two OJ Simpson documentaries for the A&E Network. We announced Lumberjack’s ability to import transcripts into Final Cut Pro X at NAB. In fact we had worked closely with Braverman Productions to make that feature work for them. I’ll be sharing their story.

Grab a Lumberjack pouch from us there, or stop by our table at the Supermeet and we’ll give you one of these usual little pouches there.

Throw in at least three Lunch with Philip and Greg recordings while we’re there (although I think one will be an evening “lunch”) and it’ll be a busy week.

Particularly since I also want to record a couple of The semiSerious Foodies episodes (coming soon) in Amsterdam (Dutch pancakes and Filet American) as well as in Barcelona where we’re heading first.

All with my “fits over my shoulder” production kit!

 

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