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Field of View

by Jim Feeley

Jim Feeley is a producer, journalist, and occasional audio mixer at POV Media, a northern California production company. In previous lives, Jim made microphones, played music, raced bikes, and edited Digital Video magazine (not all at the same time). He currently focuses on nonfiction writing and documentary production. Most of his work fits under the large umbrella of technology, science, and policy (with a little sports tossed in). Since books and docs pay just a bit better than poetry and juggling, he also works on projects for corporate c...

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Film vs. RED

Funny, but R-rated language.

By Jim Feeley | July 04, 2008

A bad day at AH Films (humor) Read More


RED ONE audio performance evaluated

Sound Devices finds camera "perfectly acceptable for dialog," but not perfect.

By Jim Feeley | June 02, 2008

Audio-equipment manufacturer Sound Devices has posted a detailed evaluation of the RED ONE camera's audio performance. Working with camera 529, build 15, v2.2.5, the company measures and/or reports on the camera's mic preamps, frequency response, distortion and noise (THD+N), dynamic range, meters, and more. There are some issues, and the report concludes:For most dialog applications, the Red One's near 16-bit audio performance is similar to many of the digital pro-sumer and pro cameras we have tested. This is perfectly acceptable for dialog, especially when hit with a good, clean line-level signal. Sound Devices recommends dual-system sound for critical applications.Let's note that Sound Devices makes (very good) audio mixers and recorders, so some may see the company's conclusion as self serving. But their evaluation appears careful, accurate, and fair. And their conclusion matches what I've heard from mixers who've worked with a RED camera. The report also provides useful information on getting the best-possible sound into the camera, if you don't want to record to an external recorder.The report is worth a good look. You can read it here. Read More


elsewhere- VFX for Flight of the Conchords

By Jim Feeley | May 16, 2008

Michele Yamazaki of software reseller Toolfarm interviews Brandon Parvini and David Torno about their work on a music video for the band Flight of the Conchords, New Zealand's "fourth most popular guitar-based digi-bongo acapella-rap-funk-comedy folk duo."I think the video, for their song Ladies of the World, will part of the second season of their eponymous HBO series. I could be wrong. Like all their videos, it builds off a funny song and riffs on a particular visual style. This time, 1970s rollerskating cool. But creating the video's simple look took a lot of work, including rotoscoping the faces of the two members of the Conchords onto the video's stunt skaters.Brandon and David discuss their production and post work in detail on this page of Toolfarm's website. Read More


elsewhere- Finishing a feature with Colorista and Magic Bullet

elsewhere- Finishing a feature with Colorista and Magic Bullet

John Flowers details his color correction process for the zombie comedy Wasting Away.

By Jim Feeley | May 14, 2008

John Flowers provides a detailed look at the process he used color correct the film Wasting Away, a zombie comedy by Sean and Matthew Kohen, in this post to his blog.We were under an extremely tight deadline as we prepared for the LA Screamfest Horror Film Festival, which was 10 days away.Because of the tight deadline, Apple Color was not a viable solution. The film had been shot on a Viper FilmStream Camera, which gives footage a strange kind of greenish tint, and Color was taking way too long to export footage after color correction had been applied. We needed a solution which allowed us to try different looks, iterate very quickly through them, then export the footage from Final Cut Studio at full resolution once color correction was applied.I'd been using an early version of Red Giant's Magic Bullet Looks and had been a long-time fan of Colorista, and so I decided to try Magic Bullet Looks as part of the production workflow for the film.Needless to say, we managed to color correct the film, enter ScreamFest and win the Audience Award for Best Film. Since then, Wasting Away has gone on to win another 5 Audience awards and 5 First Place awards in over 15 festivals. Read More


Apple posts FCP dropped frames “causes and solutions” document

By Jim Feeley | May 07, 2008

The web page discusses various causes of dropped frames during capture and output. Starting out with very basic information ("the hard disk cannot keep up with the video data rate or because the computer processor cannot perform all of the applied effects in time"), the document eventually covers (and links to other documents covering) how to optimize RAM and PCIe board configurations, and other issues.You can read the document here. Read More


A mod too far

A mod too far

THE DOCKET enclosure for the Canon HV20 is just too much

By Jim Feeley | April 25, 2008

America is a nation of tinkerers. Alas, not everything emerging from our garages achieves the Shelby AC Cobra's sublime balance of beauty and overkill. Read More


Two New Location Audio Recorders

Two New Location Audio Recorders

Sound Devices and Zaxcom show eight-channel recorders

By Jim Feeley | April 18, 2008

I didn't make it to NAB this year, but since it looks like my PVC colleagues didn't make it to the convention's North Hall to see and hear the latest audio equipment, I thought I'd chime in with a two portable recorders designed for video and film production sound. These caught my eye and ear from afar. And check out Zaxcom's cameo on the Late Show with David Letterman...Sound Devices 788T digital audio recorder

The Sound Devices 788T digital audio recorder has eight microphone inputs and records up to eight channels of uncompressed audio. An internal 160GB 2.5-inch SATA drive holds up to 30 hours of uncompressed 24-bit Broadcast WAVE files. The 788T can also record to Compact Flash and to external FireWire devices, and draws power from 7.2V Sony L-type (ie-small camcorder) batteries or from external DC. It includes a timecode generator, weighs under four pounds, and costs $5,995. More info here. Read More