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Kmotion Unveils Avid HD and Final Cut HD Suite!

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Our swank new edit suite is full of retro goodies. From the 1940’s View-Master complete with a wide array of reels to the groovy 1970’s Space Age Time Capsule portable TV, the room is a bright and fun place to kick back and enjoy your edit.

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For those who like the technical stuff, our Apple Mac Pro is an 8 core 2.93 GHz with 8GB of memory and 4 Terabytes of internal storage. The Hi-Fi vibe comes from an awesome BlueSky sound system. A Marshall 32 inch monitor provides the image in SD and full HD quality. The system is complete with Avid Media Composer and Final Cut Pro Studio both capable of editing in any format from SD to HD. End of techie transmission.

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So come on over, sit back, grab a martini and pick your favorite era to relax in.

 

New HD Camera Prompts Romp in Field

We were so excited about purchasing our new Panasonic HD video camera and the gorgeous film-like results we’re achieving with it, that we’ve taken to bringing it with us everywhere. That includes the farm where we get our raw organic milk. While driving out to the farm, we saw a little gravel road off the highway where we filmed this scene. It was absolutely FREEZING out, so we shot for all of 4 minutes…seriously. Greg dashed out of the car, set up the tripod and established his master shot and THEN I got out of the car for my stunning no-makeup-no-hair-no-stylist-what-was-I-thinking moment. (Anyone who knows me, knows I’d rather be behind the camera! Please see the follow-up to this post, “Campaign to Save Susan from being on Camera”.) As for the footage, we cut it together, played around with some editing techniques, added a few post effects and motion graphic elements (just a sampling from our bag of tricks).

 

Big Creative on a Little Budget

What started as an exploration in creativity quickly became an exercise in overcoming budgetary and environmental obstacles. Some key elements to take note of :

  1. The sky, in all of the scenes, has been completely replaced with more dramatic, time lapse footage.
  2. A flock of perfectly-timed ANIMATED birds fly over the scene. (In reality, there was only one bird that appeared in any of the footage we shot.)
  3. Weeds and other elements appear to grow out of the cracks in the street.
  4. The trees on the horizon have been removed.
  5. The color of the piece is now uniform and reflects the otherworldliness we wanted to achieve.  In reality, the changing light during the shoot dramatically modified the colors and light in each scene.

See below for more details and an animated movie that slowly reveals the many layers involved in crafting the final piece.

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Tools & Techniques HD 1080i cinematography, undercrank blur (an in-camera effect), light reflectors (the only way to economically control the lighting), HD editing, After Effects, Photoshop, 3DS Max and Cinema 4D.

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Obstacles Budget (there wasn’t one), Traffic (but they all waved), a lone walker (who transformed into a speed walker when she realized she was in the shot), crop spraying (he also waved), less-than-perfect clouds (where are those Biblical Clouds when you really need them?), constantly changing light levels, the inability to (economically) light the scene, a line of trees in the distance that really bothered Dan and having to deal with really uncooperative talent. View the animated transformation:

Blurring the Lines Between Film and Video

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Shooting video has always had its downsides. Mostly, in the past, video didn’t look like film. Then, a few years ago, came the ability to shoot video in 24p, the same speed rate as film is shot in, and suddenly you could shoot video that had that “film look”. The only thing missing was that most video cameras had a fixed lens, which meant not much depth of field. So unlike film, with video everything in your frame was in focus. To give video that “film style” you need to be able to shoot using a 35mm lens that will give you more depth of field in your shots. Now you can get adapters that will allow you to do just that.

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There are numerous reasons to shoot with 35mm lens adapters, such as the power to achieve far shallower depth of field. Another less-cited reason is that most adapters soften the image just a touch; they can remove some of the harshness of HD video. But by far, my favorite reason for the use of 35mm adapters is the fact that they tend to make you work more in the “film style,” slowing down your work flow and compelling you to pay closer attention to framing and composition. Because focus is a critical element with a 35mm adapter rig, you tend to work more with your talent and skill—and it makes you a better shooter and director.

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