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Fresh DV

by Matthew Jeppsen & Kendal Miller

Matthew Jeppsen is the founder of FreshDV and a digital video shooter and editor. By most reports he is powered entirely by coffee. Kendal Miller has over 10 years experience in the production industry. Currently he is working as Director of Photography in Chicago, IL where he resides with his wife Kendra. He works on a wide variety of projects ranging from commercial to independent film projects, working on one of the first commercial Red projects in the midwest area. When he's not shooting film or video he enjoys still photography as a hobby....

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RED Epic vs ARRI Alexa Dynamic Range Charts

Two pre-production digital cinema cameras du jour face off

By Matthew Jeppsen | July 18, 2010

Jim Jannard has posted some test charts shot by RED, comparing ARRI Alexa with the Red Epic MX. Given that Epic is currently in development as a prototype, it's not a shocker that RED is the first to do any actual chart tests with Epic. The two tests were Dynamic Range and Resolution. On the resolution charts, RED bettered Alexa. That's not that surprising, given RED's historical fixation with resolution and that Epic has a 5K sensor. However, I thought that Alexa fared worst in resolution than it probably should have (less than 2K measured), given that it is a 3.5K sensor (though with larger photosites), so perhaps there are some issues there to iron out. I'm sure there will be subsequent tests from others that can confirm or dispute these results, so we'll see. For today, I'd like to concentrate on the dynamic range charts, which most DP's are probably more interested in. Read on... Read More


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Sony NEX-VG10 interchangeable lens camcorder announced

Sony's first answer to video DSLRs

By Matthew Jeppsen | July 14, 2010

Some time back, we mentioned a Sony teaser about an upcoming HD camcorder model that would feature interchangeable lenses and be compatible with Sony's line of Alpha lenses. Since then, Sony has showed off a soon-to-ship point and shoot DSLR with similar capabilities, the NEX-5 (and it's little brother, the NEX-3). I've had the opportunity to shoot extensively with pre-production and production versions of the NEX-5, and it's a sweet little camera, though clearly intended for the consumer space given the lack of professional manual exposure controls. But we expected that from a small point and shoot.Now, Sony is showing off their new interchangeable lens camcorder, and it's been dubbed the NEX-VG10. This $2000 camera appears to be their response to the DSLR video revolution, and it's a very good first step in my opinion. The VG10 features an APS-C sized sensor and has a mount that natively accepts Sony E-mount lenses. E-mount lenses are a new Sony standard that enables autofocus, something that many videographers need and can't get from the current crop of video DSLRs. And for pro applications, you can add simple Sony mount adapter which allows you to use Sony Alpha lenses on the E-mount. Autofocus will not work via the Alpha mount adapter, however. This adapter greatly broadens your selection of professional glass options, while the stock 18-200mm E-mount lens offers autofocus and optical stabilization. Read on... Read More


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Why the FCP sky is not falling

And you can keep your pretty Mac workstation

By Matthew Jeppsen | May 19, 2010

Today AppleInsider posted an article that claimed knowledge of a restructuring of Apple Pro Apps suite away from the needs of professionals and more in line with consumer-level users. Specifically "Apple's Final Cut Studio suite of video post production apps is getting a significant makeover to better target the software to the mainstream of Apple's customer base rather than high end professionals."As you can imagine, this has ignited all sorts of weeping and gnashing of teeth from the Final Cut Pro faithful, who seem primed for this sort of rumor, given Apple's disappointing incremental Pro Apps updates as of late (don't make me mention DVDSP's lack of new features in the past few revisions). At any rate, it's probably unwarranted and unproductive angst, given AppleInsider's lack of demonstrable evidence for these claims. I strongly suggest heading over to read Philip Hodgett's 1700 word response that paints a much different picture. Philip brings clear logic and strong arguments to dissect AI's nebulous assertions point-by-point, and the conclusion should prove to be far more hopeful and encouraging for the professionals who have embraced Final Cut. A must read. Read More


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1st Video - NLE for your iPhone

Vericorder's hot new non-linear video editor app for the iPhone

By Matthew Jeppsen | May 11, 2010

Hand Held Hollywood has a report from NAB 2010 on the Vericorder 1st Video app for the iPhone 3GS. It's a full-featured non-linear editor for the device with a featureset that you simply must see to believe. Watch the video below. Read More


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Google Chrome vs Things That Go Bang

Inspiring visuals - Google's latest creative viral campaign for the Chrome browser

By Matthew Jeppsen | May 09, 2010

Google has been on a roll recently with their rube goldberg-esque viral ad concepts, and the latest is no exception. With the latest release of the Chrome browser, they wanted to show off it's speed. And they did so by using high-speed cameras to pit Chrome against a potatogun, soundwaves, and a massive tesla coil. It's inspiring, both conceptually and visually. Watch below... Read More


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Filmmaker Conversations - Shane Hurlbut and Bandito Bros

40-minutes of Shane Hurlbut and Bandito Bros on DSLR Filmmaking

By Matthew Jeppsen | May 06, 2010

Cinematographer Shane Hurlbut and his collaborators at Bandito Brothers in LA have been shaking up the industry as they embrace the DSLR filmmaking revolution. We sat down with Shane, Bandito's Jacob Rosenberg, and publicist Hesh Rephun at their amazing LA-area facility to talk about DSLR filmmaking. You can watch this 40-minute interview in two parts here. Read More


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FreshDV’s NAB 2010 Video Coverage

All our NAB 2010 video coverage in one convenient playlist. Enjoy!

By Matthew Jeppsen | May 05, 2010

We're still recovering a bit from NAB was an amazing expo with all sorts of interesting announcements. The FreshDV crew filmed, edited and posted 35 video segments from the show. You can watch them all in one convenient playlist here. Read More


Canon 5DMKII 24p firmware is released with audio bug (UPDATE: Fixed)

2.0.3 firmware bugs patched in new 2.0.4 update

By Matthew Jeppsen | March 18, 2010

UPDATE: The Canon 5D MKII DSLR 2.0.3 firmware update was originally released with an audio bug, then pulled by Canon, and now they've released the 2.0.4 firmware update which is supposed to fix those bugs. I've updated a pair of 5Deuces with 2.0.4 and am testing out the audio now. So far, everything looks peachy.The 2.0.3 and 2.0.4 firmware updates add proper 24p/25p (and make 30p proper at 29.97), manual audio levels, and a video histogram (available pre-record only). Get the new firmware at the link above. Read More


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Video Tools from PMA and WPPI

Video tools at a photography tradeshow? Blasphemy.

By Matthew Jeppsen | March 13, 2010

While visiting the recent PMA and WPPI photography expo's, FreshDV got some video coverage from the tradeshow floor. We've posted everything over at ProPhoto Coalition, and also pared out a few segments that should be of interest to those of us in the video and filmmaking industry. You can watch these select video-related segments here. Product notes and links can be found below. Read More


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Daily Inspiration - Coldplay’s Strawberry Swing

Stunning stop-motion music video reinvents the genre

By Matthew Jeppsen | March 05, 2010

Strawberry Swing is a visually stunning stop-motion video starring Coldplay's Chris Martin in the lead role as a flying superhero fighting giant squirrels, sea monsters, and ultimately, getting the girl. It was created in collaboration with the group Shynola, and utilizes an overhead stop-motion animation style that has come into vogue in recent years. But this video takes it to a whole new level, using perspective and live elements in a way that hasn't been done before. You'll no doubt watch this video a few times over, trying to solve the inevitable "how did they do that?!?" questions. Enough talk, watch below. Read More


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Cineform Neo 3D Tutorial

Muxing 2D CineForm clips for 3D

By Matthew Jeppsen | March 03, 2010

For a few years now, Cineform has been quietly developing some incredible tools for 3D post-production. We caught up with them last year at NAB 2009 and talked for a solid half hour about their tools and 3D production in general, you can watch those videos here. So I was excited to see that David Newman has also recently posted a video tutorial on how to use Neo 3D to sync and mux multiple 3D footage sources. Watch below. Read More


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FreshDV Film School - The Art of Pulling Focus

A crash course in the role of a First Assistant Cameraman

By Matthew Jeppsen | March 02, 2010

Image focus is one if the most critical aspects of film and video production. It can also be one of the hardest to get right. Keeping your images in focus become particularly difficult when shooting with your lens aperture wide open, during fast-moving action, and when shooting video film-style with a 35mm lens adapter or DSLR video camera. On a production set the crew member generally tasked with image focus is the First Assistant Camera position. Read More


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THR Roundtable with 2009’s Top Directors

Discussion with Jackson, Daniels, Reitman, Bigelow, Cameron, and Tarantino

By Matthew Jeppsen | February 14, 2010

The Hollywood Reporter has put together a great video roundtable series with some of the top directors of last year. They brought together Peter Jackson, Lee Daniels, Jason Reitman, Kathryn Bigelow, James Cameron, and Quentin Tarantino to discuss various filmmaking topics over breakfast. It's a fascinating discussion. In one exchange, Tarantino insinuates that he'll stop directing once theaters stop projecting 35mm film and move to all-digital projection. James Cameron's response is priceless. Gotta love Tarantino's childlike obsession with celluloid...the Editing Room nailed him in their re-write of Basterds. Watch the discussion below... Read More


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Daily Inspiration - Nuit Blanche

The making of an amazing VFX-heavy short film

By Matthew Jeppsen | February 07, 2010

What do you get when you mix a unique story concept with unearthly special effects and a stirring soundtrack? You get this stunning dose of filmmaking inspiration... Read More


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Canon is a Battleship, Red is a Destroyer

Canon set to release the camcorder upgrade you need, not the one you want

By Matthew Jeppsen | February 06, 2010

There's been a lot of speculation on the new camcorder that Canon is revealing today at the SF SuperMeet. Some (myself included) have been hoping wistfully for a proper camcorder body and controls wrapped around a DSLR sensor, perhaps APS-C sized, with an interchangeable lens mount for common Canon L-series lenses. In simple terms, the camera of our dreams. Well, details and pictures of this new camera model are out, and to put it in romantic terms, we are fools for dreaming. Read on... Read More


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iPad SchmiPad

A timely roundup of withering criticism and slobbering praise for Apple's latest iCreation

By Matthew Jeppsen | January 29, 2010

It's not even been a week since Apple introduced the iPad, and there have already been literally volumes penned about this new device. These opinions are generally polarized, there seems to be either love or hate, with rarely someone falling in between the two. I'll spare you my long-winded personal opinions, this post is simply a roundup of some of the more thoughtful and insightful articles and opinions I've read about the iPad. Read on... Read More


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Steven Soderbergh featurette on shooting Che with RED

A director's singular vision and quest for filmmaking without limits

By Matthew Jeppsen | January 26, 2010

The upcoming Criterion release of Steven Soderbergh's "Che" has a brilliant little featurette in the disc that talks about the Red One camera, and how digital cinema affected the production of this film. If you aren't familiar with the story, Soderbergh basically took the Red One camera's digital promise on faith, and was the first to use the system in a true production environment, and a very rough one at that. "Che" was shot on-location in the damp jungle and in extremely hot conditions. Essentially a trial by fire situation for a camera that was largely untested for real production. Watch the featurette "Che and the Digital Cinema Revolution" in the video playlist embedded below the fold.Throughout the course of these interviews, a portrait of Steven Soderbergh emerges...he is driven, unrelenting, and wants no compromises in production and post. He seems willing to cede a number of technical concerns that would cause most directors to pause, in exchange for greater control and flexibility in attaining his filmmaking vision. Read More


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FreshDV Reviews the Genus Mattebox

Using the Genus mattebox with HD and DSLR rigs

By Matthew Jeppsen | January 25, 2010

In the fall of 2007, FreshDV released a detailed review series of 4 popular matte box solutions for 35mm adapter and HD camcorder applications. We tested units from Chrosziel, Cinetech and Petroff. Today we're adding another review video for the Genus Mattebox. The Genus unit is a compact, lightweight 4x4 15mm unit that is well-suited for use with HD cameras and HDSLR rigs. Watch FreshDV's review of the Genus mattebox here. You can also view FreshDV's full matte box review series in this video playlist. Images of the Genus unit are embedded below. Read More


Fuze Movie Announced

Fuze Movie Announced

SyncVue Pro Gets a Facelift

By Kendal Miller | January 21, 2010

Before the days of FCP theater there was a software called SyncVue Pro. SyncVue was a remote collaboration software that piggybacked off the Skype infrastructure to allow realtime collaboration and sharing of content. I personally was a real fan of this software and was disappointed when I visited their site a while back and was informed that while the current software was still supported, the technology had been sold to another developer. Fast forward to last week when I discovered that SyncVue Pro had been purchased, and was to be re-released as Fuze Movie. So what does that all mean for end users? Read More


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FreshDV Reviews the Cinevate Durus Follow Focus

Hands on with the highly-anticipated Durus follow focus system

By Matthew Jeppsen | January 19, 2010

In the fall of 2007, FreshDV released an extensive review series of 5 popular follow focus units. We've continued to update this video review series in the following months and years. To date we've tested nine individual units, from ARRI, Chrosziel, Cinetech, Indifocus, Petroff, Redrock Micro, Shoot35/SGPro, and Zacuto. Today we're adding another review video for the new Cinevate Durus follow focus. The Durus is a new arrival as of 2009, a single-arm, all-aluminum follow focus unit that is designed for 35mm adapters, HDSLR's, and Red/Cinema applications (with the 19mm rod option). Watch FreshDV's review of the Cinevate Durus Follow Focus here. You can also view FreshDV's full follow focus review series in this video playlist. Read More