For almost 40 years Austin City Limits (ACL) has presented a wide variety of live music to public television audiences across the United States. The show was originally conceived to showcase the music of Texas, though it has broadened its scope since then to feature regional, national and international artists in a wide range of musical styles. Since the 1974 pilot episode, veteran engineer David Hough has mixed sound for virtually all of the show’s taped concerts for Austin PBS station KLRU.
When you mention smoke or fog, most people conjure up images of a misty, creepy cemetery at night, with fog crawling along the ground like the undead, or of black smoke billowing out the windows of a burning house. These are practical special effects, generally. Fog can be your friend, however, as it adds atmosphere to photography and defines light in a unique way.
Disney-ABC’s new daytime talk show Katie, hosted by former CBS Evening News and Today anchor Katie Couric, debuted on Sept. 10 from a completely transformed studio at ABC Television Center in New York. Disney-ABC Domestic Television syndicates the show, which airs daily in local television markets nationwide.
Documentary filmmaker Rick Ray, based in Ventura, Calif., is part of a growing league of videographers who travel the world shooting projects for television networks, corporate clients, self-produced films and other distribution outlets.
“We shoot primarily world destinations—travel, adventure, culture, beautiful landscapes, nature, disasters, emerging events of political importance and that kind of thing,” says Ray. “We have shot for National Geographic, Discovery, Travel Channel and many other clients.”
Attaching a small business card holder to the side of his camera means Peter Anderson of Detroit always has business cards handy and no longer misses spur of the moment business opportunities.
Because my camera is not always with me, I think I have a more functional tip for solving the same problem.
Digital camera development has been running in high gear for several years, outpacing any other portion of our industry. Thanks to a revolution started by RED, Nikon and Canon, videographers are now blessed with a wide range of small, affordable, high-performance imaging systems that have liberated us from the restrictions of the mundane 2/3” video camera.
I can remember the buzz of excitement when news flashed through the NAB Show newsroom that Blackmagic Design had announced a digital cinema camera. Long known for producing excellent signal processing, conversion and measuring equipment, the aggressive video company from Australia had hidden its secret so well that when the 2.5K (2432 x 1366) camera with built-in SSD recorder was unveiled at its press conference in the Las Vegas Convention Center, the international media and NAB Show visitors didn’t know what to think.
I think you’ll be interested in Witness, HBO’s four-part documentary series that follows photojournalists working in conflict zones, covering drug trafficking, poverty, gang violence, corruption and ethnic warfare.
The time lapse footage in the documentary Chasing Ice manages to capture quite dramatically large-scale environmental transformation in some of the most remote regions of the world. Through time lapse recordings, the film compresses years into seconds and shows ancient mountains of glacial ice in motion as they disappear. As the debate about climate change polarizes America and the intensity of natural disasters ramps up globally, Chasing Ice depicts a photojournalist on a mission.
The Dust Bowl is a two-part documentary by legendary filmmaker Ken Burns that chronicles the manmade environmental catastrophe that destroyed farmlands of the Great Plains in the 1930s, turning prairies into deserts. With lasting repercussions across the country, it is also a story of heroic perseverance. The documentary is in part an oral history featuring interviews with 26 survivors of those hard times thanks to public invitations from Burns himself.
Cinematographer Zach Zamboni brings artistry and adventure to his nonfiction and documentary work. A two-time Emmy Award recipient, Zamboni recently wrapped the final season of Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations.
I’ve had a chance to play with a lot of little LED fixtures in the past couple of years. It seems these guys are everywhere, and they’re incredibly useful. Although I am rarely in a situation where I’m doing a standup interview with an LED mounted on the camera as a front light, I do use them on camera for eyelights or tuck them in corners for more general illumination. They’re versatile fixtures that work well in any number of situations.
Vinten is a well known manufacturer of tripods and pan-tilt heads, with a reputation for quality products. The range of camera support systems the company builds is broad, from lightweight systems for field use with small cameras to heavy, remote-controlled studio systems.
Panasonic continues its tradition of producing high-quality and reasonably priced reference monitors with the BT-LH1850, an 18.5” HD/SD LCD production monitor with HD and SD closed caption display, vectorscope, waveform monitor for RGB signals and RS-485 serial remote. With HD and HDMI connectivity, the LH1850 also offers a 3D LUT, which produces faithful color hues and smooth gradation, together with quick-response motion images.
Many editors prefer the video encoding application Sorenson Squeeze. It’s one of the top encoders for both Mac and PC platforms and also comes bundled with Avid Media Composer in the third-party software package. Sorenson recently introduced the optional Pro version, which enables the encoding of Avid DNxHD MXF media, as well as Dolby Pro Audio and Apple ProRes QuickTime codecs (Mac only).
Sony’s NEX-FS100 camera broke new ground last year with its Super 35-sized sensor, AVCHD recording codec with frame rates up to 1080/60p at 28 Mb/s, native E-mount lens system adaptable to Sony Alpha, Canon, Nikon or PL-mount lenses and, of course, its sub-$6,000 street price.
Cinematographer and nine-time Oscar nominee Roger Deakins, ASC, BSC, became a high-profile convert to digital capture methods on 2011’s In Time, a stylish, dystopian sci-fi action flick directed by Andrew Niccol. Deakins is best known for his work with the Coen Brothers on O Brother, Where Art Thou?, Barton Fink, Fargo, No Country for Old Men, The Big Lebowski and True Grit.