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Content Insider #521 - Visible Flight By Miles Weston I always believe that less government is better but the recent ruling that you don't have to register certain "classes" of drones just doesn't feel right. The idea of anyone, everyone throwing a drone in the air without some ground rules on what they can do, can't do and what type of training they need is a little cause for concern. Somehow it just feels like the new freedom will come back and hurt people who use them to take exciting shots and make a living doing creative work. I could be wrong but still believe that kids who get theirs (ok dad got it for him) should get training in the rules of the road and regulations/requirements. Just hope his playing doesn't impact the M&E industry or business across the board. ...Read More »
Content Insider #519 - Content Value By Miles Weston I like free stuff as much as anyone and that's certainly true of video content. I even like the idea that someone is willing to underwrite my watching the content. Part of the reason is that I know most of the people who prepare that content for consumption are independent creatives not the "big company" - Netflix, Amazon, Sony, ABC, BBC, you name it. I'm glad TDO was told to go pound sand when he asked for a "little" ransom to give back Orange is the New Black. Hopefully others will say no to the hackers/cybercriminals so they know stealing may be fun but it's no way to make a living. It's time to protect your content...it's too valuable to pay for a second time! ...Read More »
Burr & Burton Academy Teaches Students Advanced Cinematography Skills with Blackmagic Design Situated overlooking picturesque Manchester Village, Burr & Burton Academy (BBA) in Manchester, Vermont is a 180 year old independent, coeducational New England secondary school. With about 700 students from the surrounding communities, as well as 60 international students, BBA is dedicated to educating students of diverse backgrounds and talents in a warm and caring environment that encourages excellence and community. One of its most popular courses is the cinematography program, taught by Bill Muench. And for this program, the school uses two Blackmagic Cinema Cameras to teach its advanced students. ...Read More »
Content Insider #516 - Content View By Miles Weston The content industry is all aflutter as they head for Vegas and NAB because things are changing and content delivery, ad production, ad buying people aren't really sure if change is a good thing. Indie filmmakers are seeing new distribution opportunities (ways to get their stuff seen) and content consumers are finding new ways to make their voices heard. As someone recently said, FANG (Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, Google) has mucked up a perfectly good business model and allowed the viewer determine what he/she wants to watch when and where folks want to watch it...and what they don't want to watch! The challenge will be to see how the infrastructure industry handles 7 billion folks picking their own stuff. Maybe the abnormal heart rhythm will become the new normal. ...Read More »
Workflow on the Edge By Miles Weston The most common question we get when we point people to Doug Liman's VR series Invisible is how did they shoot and produce it. VR is finally becoming real and real attractive to indie filmmakers and viewers and people want to know. Well, we didn't know so we talked to the person who did all the work - Lewis Smithingham, 30 ninjas. Production and post of any film is the unglamorous part of the content industry but it is also what makes good video good video. Despite his hectic schedule Lewis took the time to discuss and explain the ins and outs of great VR shooting and production to give the viewer an experience that he/she won't soon forget. Like most filmmakers he's was willing to share to what he has learned to help VR films become standard fare for an eager audience. ...Read More »
Workflow on the Edge By Miles Weston The most common question we get when we point people to Doug Liman's VR series Invisible is how did they shoot and produce it. VR is finally becoming real and real attractive to indie filmmakers and viewers and people want to know. Well, we didn't know so we talked to the person who did all the work - Lewis Smithingham, 30 ninjas. Production and post of any film is the unglamorous part of the content industry but it is also what makes good video good video. Despite his hectic schedule Lewis took the time to discuss and explain the ins and outs of great VR shooting and production to give the viewer an experience that he/she won't soon forget. Like most filmmakers he's was willing to share to what he has learned to help VR films become standard fare for an eager audience. ...Read More »
Content Insider #515 - Streams By Miles Weston Yes Google is getting back to the point where they can make a ton of money selling ad space on YouTube (along with your online activity data) but they have ambitions like everyone else. It's their own streaming video/movie/content channel. Ok it's not Netflix, Amazon Prime, Sky or Rogers but it's only $35 a month (whooppee!). My issue is that there is too much really insanely great indie filmmaker work out there to bother with the YouTube stuff. At NAB everyone will be hustling their solutions and hoping to gawd everyone doesn't get on the iNet or airwaves at the same time. Fortunately industry executives will get right on that little problem next month and by the time we're all needing a video fix it will be there...they hope. ...Read More »
SCRATCH VR Stitching and Ambisonic Audio Tutorial Creating VR/360 experiences requires focused attention to complex details and most usually fast time-to-market. SCRATCH VR Suite 8.6 simplifies the VR post-production process with one-stop shopping - a single, streamlined VR/360 workflow that includes all the needed functions for creating impactful VR/360 experiences - saving enormous amounts of time, hassles, and money. ...Read More »
ASSIMILATE Announces New SCRATCH VR Suite 8.6 ASSIMILATE achieves another virtual reality (VR) breakthrough with its SCRATCH VR Suite 8.6, the new version of its real-time post-production tools and workflow for VR/360 content. With added GPU stitching of 360-video and ambisonic-audio support, as well as live streaming, and more. The SCRATCH VR Suite 8.6 now enables VR content creators - DPs, DITS, post-production artists - with the only professional, streamlined, end-to-end workflow for VR/360 content on the market. ...Read More »
ASSIMILATE Announces SCRATCH 8.6 with Major Updates to Entire Product Line The SCRATCH product line, known for its high-performance 2D/3D tools in a single, streamlined workflow - dailies, conform, color grading, compositing, finishing & mastering -continues to evolve in SCRATCH 8.6 as the most efficient post-production tool suite on the market. New product highlights include expanded support for HDR functions, numerous new formats, a more user-friendly UI, and more efficient DIT tools. And notably, it's affordable for everyone. See the new features and functions for SCRATCH 8.6 at https://vimeo.com/202186457. ...Read More »
Content Insider #513 - The Shooter's Job(s) By Miles Weston Indie filmmakers learn a lot from their mentors, their peers, film schools, almost everyone they meet - new ideas, new techniques, new solutions. The produce super entertainment for people around the globe to enjoy. What I haven't heard too often is getting their creative work seen by real people. And today with so many viewing options and a dizzying array of content...how do you market it to keep your film work in front of eyeballs to enjoy (and pay for). Nicole and Chris Sobchack's recent release of a hilarious episodic series ,Please Tell Me I'm Adopted! gives you an inside view of what it takes to produce the film of your choice and get it seen. See what Nicole and Chris learned along the way as well as their sequel and future filmmaking plans. ...Read More »
Blackmagic Design Unveils the Darker Side of Filmmaking with "She Has a Name" "She Has a Name," the latest independent film out of the Canada-based Unveil Studios, is a dark documentary-style thriller based on the taboo subject of human sex trafficking. More than a movie for filmmakers and brothers Andrew (writer), Matthew (director/editor/color) and Daniel (director/editor) Kooman, "She Has a Name" is human rights statement designed to remove the public's numbness to what has become a global epidemic. ...Read More »
6 Tips For Using Social Media To Drive Television Ratings By Gavin McGarry Did you know that Facebook is the top-performing social media platform for television programs? Data has shown that a 3% increase in Facebook likes leads to a 1% increase in ratings. Here are some of our best practices for using social media to help drive television ratings. ...Read More »
Hoover High School's "Mobile Storyteller" Hits the Road With Blackmagic Design By Lou Wallace The video journalism program at Hoover High School in North Canton, OH, recently expanded to include a mobile production truck, called the Mobile Storyteller, as a way to further student engagement with the community. The Mobile Storyteller provides high impact, career based education for students as they work on various client projects, preserve the arts in the community, build cultural awareness through journalistic storytelling, and provide onsite training for students and teachers in other video journalism programs. ...Read More »
DP Benjamin Gaskell Shoots the Latest Installment of the Witness Project Documentary Series with a Blackmagic URSA Mini 4.6K In late 2015, Smock Media, a Venice Beach-based film and VR production company, and the Victims of Communism (VOC), a Washington, D.C.-based human rights organization, came together and started The Witness Project. Beginning with a two-episode pilot that told the tales of life in communist regimes, the Witness Project debuted at a screening at the Library of Congress and began the greater journey into the victims' stories and inherent strength. Building on that success, Smock Media and VOC decided to expand the series into an eight-episode arch for 2016, with even more slated for later years. DP Benjamin Gaskell was brought on to tackle the first episode of the second installment, which would set the tone for the rest of the documentary series. The episode focused on Anastasia Lin, Miss World Canada 2015 and 2016, and her story. ...Read More »
Music Choice Declares March Women's History Month By Tegan Alexander Women clearly cannot be stopped, and this month they receive well-deserved respect and recognition. March is typically known as Women's History Month, but Music Choice is declaring it Women's Music Month to celebrate the talented, confident females breaking ground and making history for today's generation. In short: Women rock. Music Choice is highlighting some of the baddest babes in music with special content on Music Choice On Demand from March 6th through March 27th. Check out the biggest music videos, exclusive interviews with pop's leading ladies, and playlists from fan-favorite female artists as they salute their fellow hit-makers. ...Read More »
Lander University Upgrades Digital Media Studio with Blackmagic Design Lander University may be a small university in Greenwood, SC, but what it lacks in size it makes up for in passion. Like every other university in the country, Lander's faculty and staff want to equip students to be outstanding in their fields. Thanks in part to Assistant Professor of digital media Cory Carpenter, students in the Mass Communications and Media Studies program are doing just that. In his two year tenure working at Lander, Cory pushed for an upgrade for the digital media studio's outdated equipment, and the program's 125 students now learn about television production using three Blackmagic Studio Cameras HD, an ATEM 1 M/E Production Studio 4K switcher, a Smart Videohub 16x16 router, one HyperDeck Studio Pro and a SmartScope Duo 4K. ...Read More »
Content Insider #508 - Keeping Viewers By Miles Weston OTT (over the top) viewing is great...any time, any place, any device. Our kids love it. Heck you probably love it. True the new content delivery folks like it for the most part but their challenge is keeping you "tuning in" to their service. The problem is called churn - kids (and adults) moving from one source to another to another. Every time you leave it costs a lot of money to get a new viewer. The key to keeping you using them is simple...keep delivering the content they want. For some services it's super easy. For others not so much. The answer is understanding what each individual wants to view, when and where. Better use of your information and making intelligent recommendations spells profits for the service provider, advertisers and marketers and...a satisfied viewer. ...Read More »
Manhattan College Upgrades to 4K Television Studio with Blackmagic Design Manhattan College is a private liberal arts college located in Riverdale, NY, a neighborhood in the northwest portion of the Bronx. In 2008, the college formed a new communication department, and as part of that initiative they began building a new, professional television studio for students in the broadcasting/telecommunications program. It took several years, but after putting in several proposals the department received the funds necessary to upgrade the studio to HD. While researching new equipment, Michael realized that Blackmagic Design's line of studio products would allow them to leapfrog over HD and upgrade the studio to 4K for roughly the same price. ...Read More »
Special VR Report By Miles Weston Shortly after his return from the Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF), we caught up with Lewis Smithingham, president of 30ninjas at CES in Las Vegas where he was busy shooting and producing VR (virtual reality) content for a number of the leading firms that were unveiling new VR products. Smithingham had been invited to DIFF to discuss the potential for immersive storytelling in the region. ...Read More »

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