Archive for September 17th, 2013

XL Video Live With Sigur Rós

XL Video UK have again supplied all Video elements to the Icelandic band Sigur Rós for the latest UK and European festival leg of their World tour, supporting their new Kveikur album. XL has been constantly involved with supplying the band’s visual requirements for the current 18 month worldwide tour.

Sigur Rós’s provocative and interesting live visuals are a collaboration between LX and Stage Designer Bruno Poet, the band’s Artistic Director Sarah Hopper, Damian Hale the editor for Third Company and Video Director/Catalyst Operator Ray Gwilliams, all working towards creating a stunning visual look that both reflects and adds to their musical style for live shows.
Gwilliams has been supported on the road by Robyn Tearle, the two of them forming the tour’s core video crew.
Both of their roles have evolved since starting in May 2012, reflecting the fluidity of the video element as the equipment packages needed to deliver new ideas have also evolved, sometimes incorporating three sided gauze projection in front of different LED screen set ups.
The latest festival format – which also included some own headline shows – has featured a 16 metre wide x 2.25 metre high Pixled FX-11 11mm LED screen, giving a pixel surface of 1400 x 280. This was designed for segueing into ‘house’ festival systems.
The FX-11 screen has as usual proved very flexible – “It’s light and easy to manoeuvre and work with” comments Tearle. For convenience and speed of rigging particularly at festivals, it was built into XL’s touring frames. The modular construction gave them the ability to reduce the screen width, such as a smaller 14 metre wide option for the more compact stages.
The LED screen was fed by a Catalyst media server (also supplied by XL), and programmed with a fabulous array of custom footage produced by Sam Pattinson and Damian Hale at Third Company.
XL also supplied a 4 minicam package for this set-up, used for black-and-white wide shots in one song.
For festivals, Production Manager Derek McVay strongly supported Gwilliams and the team to developed their own ‘anti-IMAG’ style which would feed any side screens encountered on the run of shows to create their own unique look.
This used one Sony D50 camera positioned in the pit on track-and-dolly operated by Tearle, with two Sony Robo-cams stage right and left operated by the second video tech. Gwilliams cut the camera mix on the Camera Production unit (PPU) and used a Blackmagic ATEM Desk to mix the effects downstream of the PPU which included all the media server treatment and content keying.
Gwilliams has built his own camera effects rack which has two Mac Mini’s at the core which are used as servers within a Sonnet Xserve enclosure, one playing out the video content to use over their camera footage, and the other running Max6 Jitter which was used to affect the camera feeds live, making them blurred, grainy, coloured, etc.
XL Project Manager Paul Wood comments “Its an absolute pleasure for XL to be involved with and supporting such a ground breaking band who are renowned and loved worldwide, and having their very own style and artistic ambitions”.
For both Gwilliams and Tearle, Sigur Rós is proving a very interesting tour with a fresh and inventive approach to video and visuals, bringing its own new levels of flow and tempo to the performance.
The tour now heads to North America for dates in October before finishing in Europe in November, where for the UK dates the gauze and ‘anti-IMAG’ elements will be reinstated for the larger venues.

Maria Rud & Ross Ashton Present “Dark Matter” – The World’s First AniMotion Video Mapping Artwork

Projection and digital art specialist Ross Ashton collaborated with Russian artist Maria Rud to present ‘Dark Matter’ a dynamic ‘AniMotion’ live performance painting projected in giant format on to the Institute of Astronomy library in Cambridge UK.
The event embraced painting, music and projection mapping … all in one truly magical live experience.
It was the world-wide launch of this concept, complete with live music from flautist David Heath, vocalist Fay Fife and DJ / producer Dolphin Boy (Andy Levy).

The one off event also coincided with the launch of the 2014 e-Luminate Festival in Cambridge – which in February will celebrate the fusion of lighting and technology to show the city literally ‘in a different light’ – with a fundamental emphasis on eco-sustainability.
Ashton was approached by Rud, who had heard about his work and wanted to take AniMotion to a different level.
Ashton immediately saw the potential of her painting live onto buildings via projection, bringing the specific texturing of real materials and genuinely hand-painted 3D images to cover a surface, plus the raw emotion and edge of images unfolding in front of the audience’s eyes.
“I am hugely excited about the possibilities – this is a completely new style of live art,” says Ashton, adding that the “…analogue quality and rich texturing brings great depth and detail to the work that engages on many levels … and looks absolutely spectacular!”
Rud paints directly onto a light-box. Ashton has devised a way of mapping the building architecture, which he then gives her as her canvass.
“As soon as we started to discuss the process,” says Ashton, “I knew that I could make this work and give Maria the freedom she needed to create her art. It has been a very satisfying intellectual journey and I think that the results speak for themselves. Nothing is hidden, the audience are encouraged to watch the painter as she develops and redevelops the work.”
Before the live show, Rud was able to try out a number of ideas and establish which ones worked the best with the building details and features. They discussed the colour palettes she might use in advance, but on the night, the creation of the final three works rested almost entirely on improvisation.
During the show, the painting surface is evenly top lit and a mini-cam placed directly overhead, the output of which is fed into a laptop running Millumin – a software originally developed for VJs which can also edge blend, map and has a number of other useful and cool functions. This was fed via the DVI out to a single Panasonic DZ 21K WUXGA projector.
The use of live music added synergy to the piece and for ‘Dark Matter’, Maria collaborated with the three Edinburgh based musicians who composed three pieces of music – ‘An Improvisation on Debussy’s Syrinx’ by Heath; ‘The Sound of Sleat’ by Fife and Levy, and ‘Dark Matter’ performed by all three.
Says Rud, “By uniting music and painting through the art of projection, AniMotion immerses its audiences in a world of transcendence. By dissolving boundaries between art forms you reveal a whole new world and in the process … a new art form.”
Panasonic sponsored the event, supplying both the projector and the camera – and are also a major sponsor of the e-Luminate festival.
Locally based technical solutions provider Anagram supplied all the other technical production, which included lighting and the sound system.
The building – the library of the Institute of Astronomy – provided a fantastic setting, and after this success, it is hoped to be able to produce another AniMotion work on a different building for e-Luminate 2014 – of which Ashton is the Creative Director.

Minnetonka Audio Announces SurCode for Dolby Digital Plus Encoder for Adobe Creative Cloud

RAI, Amsterdam

AMSTERDAM AND MINNETONKA, Minn. — Minnetonka Audio Software, Inc. (MASI) today announced it will provide technology demonstrations at IBC 2013 of its Dolby-certified pro coder, SurCode for Dolby Digital Plus Encoder for Adobe® Creative Cloud™. The SurCode Dolby Digital Plus Encoder is designed to be tightly integrated into the Adobe Media Encoder CC, available in Adobe Creative Cloud. A trial version of the Dolby-certified pro coder, SurCode for Dolby Digital Plus Encoder, will be integrated into Media Encoder CC and support both stereo and more surround formats.

The tech presentation at IBC showcases seamless access to the full set of Dolby’s professional encoder options. From within Adobe Premiere® Pro CC and Adobe Audition® CC – both available in Creative Cloud – 5.1 Dolby Digital and 5.1 Dolby Digital Plus streams can be encoded directly within a user’s surround mixing environment, multiplexed and added to a DVD or BD authoring project.

“For today’s audiences, 5.1 is not enough. Dolby Digital Plus adds up to eight main channels to support increasingly popular 7.1 playback,” said Jayson Tomlin, Minnetonka Audio’s VP of Business Operations. “Those extra channels mean more precise placement and localization on playback.”

Thanks to significant gains in coding efficiency, all this extra capacity is carried as fully discreet, individual channels with no matrixing, so imaging is solid and repeatable across a variety of speaker configurations and playback conditions. That extra efficiency also translates into either lower data rates with quality equivalent to Dolby Digital, or superior fidelity at the same rate or file size as your legacy content. The trial version of SurCode for Dolby Digital Plus Encoder for Adobe Creative Cloud will provide full functionality for 14 days before activation is required.

About Creative Cloud
Learn more about new features coming to Adobe Premiere Pro CC, Adobe After Effects® CC and other video tools in Adobe Creative Cloud at Adobe Creative Cloud is a membership-based service that provides users with unlimited access to download and install flagship Adobe Creative desktop applications, game developer tools and integration with the Adobe Touch Apps. With Creative Cloud membership, users also have access to publishing services to deliver apps and websites, cloud storage and the ability to sync to any device, and new products and exclusive updates as soon as they’re released. Individual, education, team, government and enterprise membership plans are available for Adobe Creative Cloud.

About Minnetonka Audio Software
An award–winning solutions provider for motion picture, video, broadcast, game, and optical disc production, Minnetonka Audio Software creates essential technology for the world’s top media professionals. Its revolutionary AudioTools Server is the file–based software alternative to hardware program optimizers, bringing expert audio automation to existing media production infrastructures. The AudioTools™ Server, SurCode, and discWelder product lines support the full array of audio codecs, file types, and standards for CD, DVD, BD, broadcast, and digital television. The company is the leading provider of professional OEM audio solutions as well as file–based QC and loudness control. Spanning more than two decades of operation, the Minnetonka, Minnesota–based company has a subsidiary in Germany and an international network of distributors and channel partners who share its commitment to quality and service. More information is available at

SurCode for Dolby Digital Plus Encoder for Adobe® Creative Cloud and the Minnetonka Audio Software logo are trademarks of Minnetonka Audio Software, Incorporated. All other company and product names are trademarks of their respective owners.

AmberFin Announces AudioTools Server as Strategic ‘Best in Breed’ Addition

RAI, Amsterdam

AmberFin reports the addition of ATS as software QC tool for their Unified Quality Control platform

MINNETONKA, MN — Minnetonka Audio Software, Inc. (MASI), a leader in production software for motion picture, broadcast surround sound and consumer electronics applications, reported today that AmberFin has added MASI’s AudioTools Server (ATS) as a new, automated QC tool to their Unified Quality Control or UQC Server, part of their enterprise iCR platform. UQC plug–ins enable users to specify an optimum combination of software tools for a specific QC task, including Minnetonka Audio’s expert audio processing, from a select group of specialized vendors and products. From within AmberFin UQC, users can now select AudioTools Server from a broad range of ‘best of breed’ QC systems. This provides audio-specific processing tools from Minnetonka Audio integrated on the unified UQC platform, with the result that all QC tools are available in a single user interface and timeline.

MASI’s AudioTools Server is a universal automation platform for audio processing that addresses enterprise requirements for scalability, adaptability, interoperability and redundancy. Its agility, versatility and fidelity–first approach has made ATS the reference audio automation platform for loudness control worldwide. AudioTools Server’s deep knowledge of Dolby E, Dolby Digital Plus and linear PCM also allows it to wrap QC functions within fully automated workflows that adapt to the differing requirements of long and short form content, along with modern, high dynamic range material and limited dynamic range archival works.

A key feature of AudioTools Server is its ability to go beyond QC to simultaneously hit multiple loudness management targets, including Maximum Short Term Loudness and Program Loudness, in addition to True–Peak Limiting and future requirements. ATS also offers exclusive Movie Adaptation, loudness processing that adjusts a wide dynamic range theatrical audio mix for broadcast, along with Audio Conforming which creates the best possible audio experience for diverse modern platforms such as OTT/web, mobile/handheld and VOD.

In 2010, the EBU recognized quality control as a key enabler for the media industry. The following year, it started an EBU Strategic Programme on Quality Control with the aim of collecting requirements and experiences while shaping recommendations for broadcasters implementing file-based QC workflows. Both AmberFin and Minnetonka Audio are participants in the EBU’s QC Group, with MASI’s involvement beginning in 2011.

“Broadcasters moving to file-based workflows really need to consider the use of automated Quality Control systems, as manual quality control is simply not adequate anymore and it just does not scale. Our Unified Quality Control platform with the addition of best of breed tools such Minnetonka Audio’s AudioTools Server can help broadcasters, facilities and content owners integrate EBU–approved QC strategies in their workflows. We’ve been long time partners of Minnetonka’s and we’re really happy to be able to include their technology into UQC,” stated Bruce Devlin, CTO at AmberFin.

Markus Hintz, Minnetonka Audio’s Director of Global Sales and Business Development, emphasized that QC is just one aspect of AudioTools Server’s broad audio expertise. “We are gratified that AmberFin regards AudioTools Server as a best of breed product,” Hintz said. “ATS’ ability for complex, nonlinear workflows, including comprehensive handling of ubiquitous formats from Dolby Labs, adds strategic QC and loudness management capabilities to the UQC environment.”

About Minnetonka Audio Software
An award–winning solutions provider for motion picture, video, broadcast, game, and optical disc production, Minnetonka Audio Software creates essential technology for the world’s top media professionals. Its revolutionary AudioTools Server is the file–based software alternative to hardware program optimizers, bringing expert audio automation to existing media production infrastructures. The AudioTools Server, SurCode, and discWelder product lines support the full array of audio codecs, file types, and standards for CD, DVD, BD, broadcast, and digital television. The company is the leading provider of professional OEM audio solutions as well as file–based QC and loudness control. Spanning more than two decades of operation, the Minnetonka, Minnesota–based company has a subsidiary in Germany and an international network of distributors and channel partners who share its commitment to quality and service. More information is available at

AudioTools, AudioTools Server, and the Minnetonka Audio Software logo are trademarks of Minnetonka Audio Software, Incorporated. All other company and product names are trademarks of their respective owners.

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MASTERSFX Perfects Practical/Digital Effects Mix for Emmy Nominated TV Series “Falling Skies”

Los Angeles and Vancouver BC, September 17, 2013 – Award-winning character effects company MASTERSFX has been signed to continue developing and creating its mix of Practical/Digital FX for season four of the hit DreamWorks/TNT television series “Falling Skies,” set to debut in Summer 2014. MASTERSFX has regularly worked on the series since its 2011 launch. The company also designs and produces a diverse number of makeup and special creature effects for a variety of other hit TV shows and feature film projects. Todd Masters, founder of MASTERSFX, made the announcement.
For “Falling Skies,” a Steven Spielberg/DreamWorks Television produced series airing on TNT, MASTERSFX creates and produces armies of practical alien characters. Having perfected a Practical/Digital FX mix, MASTERSFX creates all of the aliens which physically appear on-set, as well as other special makeup effects and mechanical monsters. For the just concluded season three, MASTERSFX upped the ante, adding its unique digital process into the mix. Working in tandem with the 2013 Emmy Award-nominated digital effects team at Zoic Studios, MASTERSFX provided several practical/digital creatures and enhanced live-action environments depicted in season three.
For decades, MASTERSFX has worked to perfect the practical and digital effects mix in working with live, on set actors. “We have been strong — and vocal — proponents for realism in mixing Practical and Digital FX to depict unique and organic feeling characters,” Masters said. “‘Falling Skies’ is the perfect example by which to illustrate how we can evolve character FX technology. If these techniques don’t grow, traditional CG will become fossilized, just like other technologies that have come before. We need to continue to innovate and strive for better looking results. We are delighted to continue our association with ‘Falling Skies’ into its fourth season, and wish to congratulate the show for its 2013 Emmy Award nomination for outstanding visual effects.”
The most popular new character added to “Falling Skies” during season three was “Cochise,” a warrior of the “Volm” alien race portrayed by actor Doug Jones. (Jones also performed as several other members of the Volm species, even playing his own father.) MASTERSFX adds Performance Driven enhancements to these Volm characters via the company’s in-house digital tools. By analyzing the actor’s original performance – tracking his precise movements and then modifying them with proprietary software – the artists at MASTERSFX are able to create a hybrid performance of both practical and digital FX, one not possible with traditional solutions.
MASTERSFX helps bring Jones’ on-set practical prosthetics to life organically, so that other actors can better respond to his characterizations. His alien portrayal can physically be part of the scene, can be directed, and can interact with performers and props. He appears as a true member of the show, rather than as digitally fabricated character rendered in post.
Andre Bustanoby, Visual Effects Supervisor at MASTERSFX, states, “As artists, working in both make-up and visual effects, we prefer to embrace any tool or technique appropriate to helping our clients tell compelling stories. In ‘Falling Skies’ for example, the character of Cochise is a unique amalgam of techniques, built in tandem with a brilliant live-action performance.”
“What we wanted to create was an extension of Doug’s live, on-set performance, not something that would be replaced later in post,” continues Masters. “This provides the additional benefit of something actually being on-set. Our finished product looks real – because it is real. With our process, we can put a full character on-set, in real-time, which allows the other actors and director to see the ‘being’ and collaborate with it directly. There are no tennis balls to act to or direct; we deliver Cochise in full character prosthetics.”
For Performance Driven Cochise video please see:
For more about The Volm characters, please see:

Bustanoby adds, “When we work with an actor through our practical/digital process, that person can author his/her performance in collaboration with the prosthetic make-up. The audience is emotionally drawn into the overall story without being distracted by the techniques used in the execution. We see practical and digital methodologies as part of a larger tool box – in which the strength of one technique is often the weakness of the other. So by integrating these varying techniques, they dovetail with seamless results.”
Lead MASTERSFX Art Director Werner Pretorius states, “Doug Jones as Cochise can ‘guide’ us in extending his character’s performance and control, for example, if his character is blinking at just the right time or presenting a highly emotional moment. All of this can happen very organically, and we have the ability to tweak the timing and push the live/human performance very easily. This is something that has traditionally not been possible with on set characters in suits or wearing prosthetics. We think of this as an interpretation of emotion, principally driven by the actual range that animatronic characters can achieve. Integrating our techniques, we can discern the actor’s real emotions and character’s subtleties, and ‘project’ them back onto our prosthetic-enhanced character, thus extending and enhancing each overall performance.”
In addition to The Volm aliens, MASTERSFX also creates many other creatures seen on ‘Falling Skies,’ including the multi-legged “Skitters” – a race of intelligent insect/humanoid-type warriors which serve are the foot soldiers of the invading aliens. Initially a digital creation for the series pilot, MASTERSFX was contracted to redesign aspects of the Skitters, and produce a practical suit that actors could perform with on-set — in conjunction with fully CG characters — for more extreme action. The MASTERSFX makeup team continues to bring these highly mobile and menacing beings to life through a blend of suit wearing performers, on-set puppetry, and animatronics. The production chose to blend computer-generated Skitters and practical on-set animatronics, in order to take full advantage of both techniques.
For more about the Skitters, please see:
The upgrade of MASTERSFX’s Digital Makeup division occurred in tandem with the launch of “Falling Skies.” Johnny Banta, MASTERSFX’s Lead Digital Makeup Artist, says, “Makeup FX have evolved dramatically over the past 30 years — today, better materials and modern techniques are standard fare. But these are just tools in the hands of an artist. The computer is also a tool, and it is our intent to marry the physical and digital toolsets into one cohesive, dynamic solution with actors and directors. This is not a ‘fix it in post’ approach, but a deliberate attempt to apply the right tool to best serve the character. Computer-aided design and manufacturing, as well as post-performance enhancement, are part of that toolset. ‘Falling Skies’ is the perfect opportunity by which to evolve this rapidly evolving art form even further.”
About TNT:
TNT is television’s destination for drama. Seen in 99 million households and ranking among cable’s top networks, TNT is home to such original drama
series as “Rizzoli & Isles,” “Major Crimes,” “Falling Skies,” “Perception,” “Dallas,” “Franklin & Bash” and “King & Maxwell,” as well as the upcoming “Mob
City,” “Legends” and “The Last Ship.”
The network also features dramatic unscripted originals like “Boston’s Finest,” “The Hero,” “72 Hours” and the upcoming “Cold Justice,” “Marshal Law: Texas,” “Save Our Business,” “Inside Job,” “Life Flight” and “Nashville Confidential.” In addition, TNT is the cable home to popular dramas like “Hawaii Five-0,” “Castle,” “The Mentalist,” “Bones” and “Supernatural;” primetime specials, such as the Screen Actors Guild Awards®; blockbuster movies; and championship sports coverage, including NASCAR, the NBA and the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship.
TNT is part of Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., a Time Warner company. Turner Broadcasting creates and programs branded news; entertainment;
animation and young adult; and sports media environments on television and other platforms for consumers around the world.
Founded in 1987 by Emmy Award winner Todd Masters, MASTERSFX is a full-service character effects company with studios in both Los Angeles, Toronto and Vancouver, British Columbia. The company has created prosthetic and animatronic characters and effects for hundreds of movies, television shows, and commercials, including “True Blood,” “Falling Skies,” “A Haunting in Georgia” and “Fringe,” to name some.
Historically, the company has contributed makeups, characters, and an assortment of special FX sequences to such high profile past projects as “Stargate SG1,” “The Horse Whisperer,” “Star Trek: First Contact,” “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” “Six Feet Under,” “Tales From the Crypt” and “Battlestar Galactica.” Please see:
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Canon EOS C300 Digital Cinema Camera Provides Artistic Liberty for Shooting Commercials

It was a challenging assignment even for a veteran shooter of car commercials. A major ad agency for a leading automaker asked cinematographer Dana Christiaansen if he could shoot three full commercials in 48 hours on the streets of Atlanta. The spots would include nighttime car-to-car photography of a moving vehicle, close-ups of a celebrity spokesman at the wheel and scripted vignettes. Christiaansen’s solution to this challenge was to rely on the exceptional HD image quality and extraordinary low-light performance of the highly mobile EOS C300 digital cinema camera from Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions.

Testing the Cinematic Image Quality
Christiaansen learned first-hand of the Canon EOS C300 cinema camera’s many advantages when he shot an 11-minute film using six EOS C300 cameras, a wide selection of Canon EF series prime lenses and the Canon CN-E 30-300mm T2.95-3.7 L S cinema zoom lens. The film included nighttime street scenes of San Francisco, action shots on board moving cable cars, POV angles from speeding motorcycles, daytime footage from Yosemite National Park and sophisticated effects shots captured on a green-screen stage.

To confirm that the Canon EOS C300 camera could provide the performance needed for this ambitious project, the production process for the film began with extensive testing.

“We shot a series of lighting tests on a little green-screen stage of a young girl with fairly dark skin, a color chart and a black flag,” Christiaansen said. “We shot the ISO right on up to 20,000 in these steps – 800, 1600, 3200, 6400, 12800.” (The full ISO range of the EOS C300 camera is from ISO 320 to 20,000.) “The latitude test was shot on a backlit-latitude chart. I had 13 shots of detail. We took that EOS C300 camera data back, processed it at the studio and were amazed by how good it looked on their big projection screen.”

Working in a production style Christiaansen called “lean and mean,” he and his director averaged 50 to 60 set-ups per day (and night) shooting with Canon EOS C300 cinema cameras in both hand-held and Steadicam configurations.

“The EOS C300 camera is very light and its ergonomics are good,” he related. “We shot an entire green-screen sequence using the studio pre-visualization system, a fairly radical night scene in very low-light and then a day-exterior sequence. The camera’s latitude is excellent and our ability to pull keys on the green screen was fantastic at all the different ISOs. Every camera has its advantages in different areas; we found the EOS C300 camera is ahead of the curve in terms of low-light capability. We shot the entire night sequence in San Francisco at 3200, which allowed us to usually be around a 2.8 on the lens. The image quality of Canon lenses is crisp and the Canon 30-300mm high-speed zoom was incredible. The combination of Canon optics and the EOS C300 camera’s image quality, low-light sensitivity and lack of noise made the film look wonderful on a 42-foot movie theatre screen.”

Car Chase
Confident of the capabilities of the Canon EOS C300 cinema camera, Christiaansen knew it would be the perfect solution for his next major assignment – a challenging trio of car commercials requiring cinematic image quality, extreme mobility, lots of night shots and a production schedule of just 48 hours. Christiaansen tackled the job with three EOS C300 cinema cameras and a “run and gun” style of shooting consisting of him operating the “A” camera, another DP on the “B” camera for extra coverage of master shots and vignettes of a celebrity spokesman, and a third operator acting as a “hungry wolf with a great eye,” capturing inventive wide-angle atmosphere shots and other B-roll. The team used minimal lighting powered by batteries and a small “putt-putt” generator in the back of a pickup truck when additional lighting was needed.

“The EOS C300 camera has such incredible low-light sensitivity and such great image quality at 3200 ISO, we were able to shoot in almost any environment as long as there were street lights or something that gave us some ambient light,” Christiaansen explained. “The more lights there are – like storefronts and shops and interior lighting – the better it looked. We walked around using battery-operated LED lighting and two small 125-watt HMI par lights. We didn’t need a load of camera cars following us around with big generators, cabling and a bunch of gear to light up the streets. Additionally, battery power on the EOS C300 camera was never an issue. We were able to work fast and clean.”

In combination with its low-light capabilities, the Canon EOS C300 camera’s lightweight, highly mobile camera body (weighing less than four pounds), was also a major benefit to the production team’s ability to capture ample amounts of challenging coverage in a short space of time.

“The EOS C300 camera is so small we were able to be very flexible,” he noted. “It was easy to get handheld angles inside the car for interior-driving dialogue scenes of our spokesperson. We used Canon prime lenses in there. The lightweight design of the EOS C300 cameras made it easy to rig them to the outside of the cars as well. We hung an EOS C300 camera off a remote head on a spring-mount suspension arm bolted to our pickup truck for moving car-to-car shots, both leading and chasing the car we were photographing, as it drove through the streets. You can also ‘bungee-cam’ the EOS C300 camera very easily off of anything. The camera performed exactly as I expected it would and the spots came out great.”

Highly Important Features
Conceived and designed by Canon based on extensive input from the motion-picture production community worldwide, and incorporating advanced technologies derived from the Company’s decades as a leader in digital imaging solutions, the EOS C300 digital cinema camera includes multiple innovations engineered for the capture of exceptional full 1920 x 1080 HD images. These innovations – including Canon’s Super 35mm CMOS sensor combined with Canon’s sophisticated DIGIC DV III image processor and a 50 Mbps 4:2:2 MPEG-2 codec – provide the remarkable low-light performance Christiaansen relied on for the Atlanta location shoot. He adds that this was just one of many features of the EOS C300 camera that made him a fan.

Other highly important EOS C300 camera features Christiaansen cites include: a sophisticated yet intuitive menu system, “very easy to navigate and change menus, whether you’re using Canon EF lenses or manual exposure and PL-mount lenses; the menu system is assignable to whatever you need to have happen”; a 0.52-inch, 1.55 megapixel color electronic viewfinder, “I come from a film background, so I used the viewfinder all the time and it’s very clear and detailed”; a built-in waveform monitor and vector scope display, “they enabled me to shoot like I was using film; I could assess the exposure and focus through the eyepiece and trust what I was looking at, which made the shoot go faster”; and a choice of three built-in neutral-density filters, “these are fantastic, they’re clean and there when you need them.”

Editing and color grading of Canon EOS C300 camera footage files are also greatly facilitated by the camera’s advanced capabilities. The EOS C300 camera records to two reusable, hot-swappable Compact Flash (CF) cards. Two 32GB CF cards provide approximately 160 minutes of 4:2:2 50 Mb/s (CBR) full HD 1920×1080 footage, which can be instantly ingested into most nonlinear HD edit systems. The EOS C300 camera also employs the industry-standard MXF (Material eXchange Format) for smooth workflow compatibility. The EOS C300 camera can be set to record in Canon Log, which is provided with the camera at no extra cost and helps to ensure capture of the full exposure latitude of which the camera is capable. This image-data capacity provides the film-style dynamic range between shadows and highlights that is essential for achieving cinematic subtleties in post-production color grading.

“I always shoot Canon Log,” Christiaansen informed. “Coming from a film background, I am used to shooting a well exposed negative and then finishing with a colorist. Canon Log is a great way to shoot for getting the best image quality out of the camera. On-board CF card recording adds so much to the usability of the camera. With Canon Log you can shoot, pull the CF card out of the EOS C300 camera and ingest it directly into whatever editing system you want to use. It opens up natively and you go to work on it right then and there. Editors and producers really like that. You can also record out of the SDI port in an even better format if you want to.”

With the three new car commercials finished and earning acclaim, Christiaansen sees the Canon EOS C300 as a camera of choice for future assignments.

“Producers increasingly need to get a lot done in a short time span,” he said. “The Canon EOS C300 is an excellent camera and it enables you to get great images at a reasonable rental price. When producers and agencies see what the EOS Canon C300 camera costs, how we are using them and how well they make the job go, we think they’ll be impressed.”


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Waves Virtual Stock Software Distribution (VSSD) System Enhances Eventide Product Availability

— Eventide software products are now always in-stock at authorized U.S. retailers —

— Waves’ VSSD System provides manufacturers and dealers alike with an efficient, cost-effective ordering and stocking system —

TEL AVIV, ISRAEL, September 16, 2013 — Waves Audio announces that Eventide will join Waves’ pioneering Virtual Stock Software Distribution (VSSD) fulfillment program, as an alternative means of product distribution. Now, end users will always have access to the complete range of Eventide software products from their favorite authorized Eventide U.S. dealer, and the dealer will never be out-of-stock. Additionally, using VSSD, authorized U.S. M.I. and Professional Audio dealers can sell software products while eliminating inventory management and unnecessary stocking costs.

After customers purchase an Eventide software product, the dealer will enter the order number and instantly receive unique serial numbers for the product purchased. These numbers unlock the copy-protected software, which is available for download at the customer’s convenience.

“We are delighted to join the Waves VSSD virtual distribution platform,” says Ray Maxwell, Eventide VP Sales & Marketing. “For the first time ever, retailers around the world can deliver Eventide plug-ins to their customers instantly.”

About Waves VSSD
Waves Audio developed its Virtual Stock Software Distribution System (VSSD) to provide dealers with an efficient, cost-effective ordering and stocking system, while offering end-users convenient digital music solutions. Waves launched VSSD in 2004 as a way for MI and Professional Audio dealers to sell software product while eliminating inventory management and unnecessary stocking costs. VSSD allows dealers to go online, enter a customer’s order into the system, and instantly receive unique serial numbers to unlock the customer’s copy-protected software, which is downloaded by the user. This “virtual stock” eliminates dealer inventory costs, while providing customers with the products they need.

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Sessions on Product Design at the 135th Audio Engineering Society Convention Will Balance Technology and Marketing

— Audio product design takes center stage at the Product Design Track at the AES convention, and for the first time product branding will be discussed with a presentation entitled “The Power of the Brand” —

New York, NY, September 16, 2013 — Continuing its mission to present the professional audio community with a comprehensive knowledge platform, the 135th Audio Engineering Society Convention (Thursday, October 17, through Sunday, October 20, 2013, at the Javits Center in New York City) this year will again feature an increasingly popular event focused on pro audio products. The Product Design Track (taking place all four days of the convention), assembled and moderated by Dan Foley, Director of European Sales for Audio Precision, will focus broadly on product design, with an emphasis on system-performance measurement. New for this year is a special presentation on the importance of properly branding and marketing new professional audio products. Presented by noted industrial designer Adrian Weidmann, “The Power of the Brand” will define the meaning of branding and explore its power and importance for the commercial success of product development and service, be it a microphone, audio processing software, or a recording studio. As Weidmann states, “Creating, defining and maintaining your brand and its message may be the most important ‘product’ you ever develop.”

“This is a unique track for the AES convention, and we’ve made it that much more interesting this year with the inclusion of the product branding seminar,” states Dan Foley. “The overarching theme is all about product development, but this year it has a timely focus on performance measurement, coming as it does at the same time that the CALM Act [Federal legislation that tightly regulates the relative level of broadcast commercials] takes effect. But the inclusion of the product branding presentation is completely new, never before done at an AES convention. So we’re balancing our technical presentations with this one that really brings out the importance of properly presenting new products to the market. I believe this shows how the AES convention continues to evolve and adapt to new realities as the industry changes.”

The Product Design Track gives design professionals insight into the latest techniques for audio hardware and software development. The events in this track are very practical in nature and anyone involved in audio product development will benefit from attending. A partial list of sessions includes:

Best Practices in Audio Software Development
High-Order Harmonic Distortion Measurement and Its Impact on Fidelity
An Introduction To the Acoustics of Personal Telecommunications Devices
The Power of the Brand

Confirmed sponsors for the Product Design Track include THAT Corporation Audio Technology and Audio Precision.

For further detailed information on the Product Design Track, visit For further information on the 135th AES International Convention, and to register for your free Exhibits-Plus badge or the premium All-Access badge, please visit

Photo File: DanFoley.JPG

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FUJIFILM Launches Powerful Entry-Level X-A1 Compact Camera for Consumers – Available for Pre-Order at Adorama

New X-A1 features an ultra-modern, easy-to-operate camera design as well as 16.3 MP APS-C CMOS Sensor and Robust EXR Processor II for exceptional picture quality and outstanding ergonomics

New York, NY — September 17, 2013 — FUJIFILM today announced the launch of the X-A1 Compact System Camera (CSC), a new entry-level model within the FUJIFILM premium X-Series camera line. Available for pre-order from leading camera and electronics retailer Adorama ( for a starting price of 599.00 USD, the ultra-light X-A1 CSC gives consumers an affordable entry point into FUJIFILM’s X-Series line of digital cameras. In addition to the outstanding image quality thanks to the large 16.3 megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor, the X-A1 also features well-placed operational buttons and dials, a high definition 3” tilting LCD screen, and wireless image transfer capabilities for easy operation and quick photo sharing.

Customers can order the new X-A1 in either indigo blue or black and will receive their camera with the FUJINON XC16-50mm (35mm equivalent to 24-76mm) F3.5-5.6 OIS zoom lens. A versatile lens that is ideal for a wide range of photographic subjects, the XC16-50mm lens consists of 12 all-glass elements in 10 groups including 3 aspherical elements and 1 ED element. The lens also features seven round-edged aperture blades, which offer 17 stops in 1/3 EV increments for precise aperture control.

Also announced and available starting in November, the all-new FUJINON XC50-230mm (35mm equivalent to 76-350mm) F4.5-6.7 OIS lens adds even more versatility to the X-Series line of compact system cameras by offering an expanded zoom range that delivers consistently outstanding optical performance throughout. The XC50-230mm uses optical image stabilization to ensure superb performance and effectively reduces blur when shooting at longer focal lengths and in low light. The new lens is available at 399.00 USD in either black or silver.

FUJIFILM X-A1 CSC Feature Highlights

Large 16.3 Megapixel APS-C sensor and EXR Processor II
The FUJIFILM X-A1 uses an APS-C sensor and powerful EXR Processor II that captures rich tones, breathtaking dynamic range and stunning low-light images using its extended ISO range of up to 25600. With the X-A1, users can set the sensor sensitivity from ISO 200 to as high as ISO6400 in 1/3 step increments, to obtain remarkably clear images even when shooting indoors and at night.

Together with the EXR Processor II, the X-A1 also gives customers fantastic speed with a start-up time of 0.5 seconds in Quick Start Mode, a shutter time lag of 0.05 seconds and a maximum burst speed of 5.6 frames per second.

Compact performance and advanced features
The X-A1 body weighs just 11.6oz and is about a third of the size of a traditional DSLR body. With a slim profile of 1.3” at its trimmest point, the X-A1 enjoys a highly portable form factor.

The X-A1 also features a 3” tilting high-resolution LCD screen with 920,000 dots for easy image viewing and framing at various angles. The 3” LCD monitor tilts at variable vertical angles, facilitating both low-angle and high-angle shots, on or off a tripod.

The X-A1 uses a built-in high-precision flash and Super Intelligent Flash technology that uses scene recognition and automatically controls flash strength to reduce highlight clipping.

Easy Image Transfer with WiFi® button
The X-A1 includes a WiFi button that lets users transfer high-quality photos and movies to social media sites for easy sharing from the camera to smartphones, tablets and computers.

To connect the X-A1 to a smartphone or tablet, users can download the free FUJIFILM Camera Application to their iPhone™ / iPad™ or Android™ smartphone or tablet device to transfer up to 30 pictures at a time from the X-A1. The app also lets users download movies, expanding the range of options available for enjoying pictures taken with the camera.

Intuitive design and easy operation
The X-A1 has its key operation buttons and dials positioned on the right side of the camera’s rear panel for easy use and quick picture taking. The Mode Dial for selecting the optimum setting for each scene gives access to the Advanced SR Auto function, which automatically recognizes each scene and selects the best settings for sharp and clear images.

The Advanced Filter function and Film Simulation modes give users a range of creative filters and film effects to apply and achieve unique and artistic looks.

One of the first retailers to get a sneak preview of this brand-new camera, Adorama’s team of experts has developed a review article, available now at the Adorama Learning Center (

Pricing and Availability
The FUJIFILM X-A1 CSC kit with XC16-50mm (24-76mm) F3.5-5.6 OIS lens, and separately, the XC50-230mm lens, are both available for pre-order at Adorama ( Orders are filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Credit cards are not charged until the X-A1 is shipped.


ADORAMA: More Than a Camera Store
Adorama is more than a camera store – it’s one of the world’s largest photography, video, imaging and electronics retailers. Serving customers for more than 30 years, Adorama has grown from its flagship NYC store to include the leading online destination for photography, imaging and consumer electronics. Adorama’s vast product offerings encompass home entertainment, mobile computing, and professional video and audio, while its services include an in-house photo lab, AdoramaPix, pro equipment rental at Adorama Rental Company, and the award-winning Adorama Learning Center, which offers free education for photographers in video channels such as the popular Adorama TV.

Adorama is listed as’s “Best of the Web” and in the Internet Retailers Top 100, and is the official Photo and Electronics Retailer of the NY Giants.

Visit ADORAMA at

Press Contacts:
Anya Oskolkova
Zazil Media Group
(p) 617.817.6559
(skype) anya.oskolkova

Lauren Leger
Zazil Media Group
(p) 508.498.8433
(skype) lauren.zazil


X-A1 Black Front Flash 16-50mm

Electrosonic’s Conte and Kent to Moderate Lighting and Projection Technology Session at TEA’s SATE ’13

Chris Conte and Paul Kent of Electrosonic will moderate the session, “The Death of Halogen and the Rise of Coherent Light,” at SATE ’13, the Themed Entertainment Association’s (TEA) annual experiential design conference. The two-day event is slated for October 3 to 4 at the Savannah College of Art & Design in Savannah, Georgia.

SATE ’13 is expected to draw creative thinkers, producers, suppliers and decision makers in the attractions industry. Among the speakers scheduled to address attendees are visionary architect Chuck Hoberman, the Warhol Museum’s Josh Jeffery, Walt Disney Imagineering’s Asa Kalama, and Roger Gould and Liz Gazzano of Pixar Animation Studios. MK Haley of Disney Research is the Technology Chair of the conference.

“The Death of Halogen and the Rise of Coherent Light” will look at the history of technologies traditionally used in themed environments, and then move on to address recent advances in lighting and projection technology. The panel will discuss how these technologies can be applied in new and creative ways in the world of themed entertainment.

“The session will look at the emerging technologies for the sources of illumination in immersive environments,” comments Kent. “For both lighting and projection, the change from halogen to laser will have an impact on both the design and production of these environments. Our session will take a look at the major changes in technology that have advanced the entertainment industry over the years, and we will also look forward to where we see it going.”

Chris Conte is Electrosonic’s Vice President of Entertainment and Paul Kent is a senior consultant in the company’s entertainment team. The panel that Conte and Kent will moderate mixes manufacturers, designers and end users of the technologies. Currently they include Ray Hole of Ray Hole Architects Ltd. (as a virtual attendee), Bryan Boehme of Christie Digital, and David Gray of Oasis Enterprises, Dubai.

Learn more about SATE ’13 visit

About Electrosonic
Electrosonic is an international audio-visual company that creates tailored, state-of-the-art solutions for a wide range of markets including theme parks, museums, control rooms, and corporate meeting rooms. Since its founding in 1964, Electrosonic has built a strong reputation for working on complex projects, both large and small, and has developed lasting partnerships with customers and suppliers. Beyond complete integrated systems, Electrosonic provides a comprehensive scope of services including technical design, projector lamp sales, maintenance and operational support.

Learn more about Electrosonic. Visit

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