Archive for December, 2013

Pearl-Cohn Entertainment Magnet High School Launches Next Generation of Producers with HARMAN’s JBL Professional M2 and LSR Studio Monitors, AKG Microphones and Lexicon Processors

NASHVILLE, Tennessee – The first of its kind in the US, Pearl-Cohn Entertainment Magnet High School in Nashville, Tennessee provides a unique opportunity to students interested in pursuing careers in the entertainment industry, offering concentrations in audio engineering, radio production, broadcasting and other media industries. Fulfilling a key initiative of the project, Pearl Cohn partnered with the Nashville Chapter of the Recording Academy® Producers and Engineers (P&E) Wing in late 2012, to build a fully functioning, world-class recording studio, creating the opportunity for students to learn music production skills in a professional, hands-on environment. The new studio is equipped with HARMAN Professional’s newest JBL studio monitors, AKG headphones and microphones, Lexicon effects and Crown amplifiers.

The transformation of Pearl Cohn into the Nation’s first Entertainment Magnet High School was the personal project of Nashville Mayor Karl Dean, and Music Makes Us, a music education advocacy group, working to create a world-class learning environment for entertainment arts in Nashville.

Renowned studio designer Steven Durr donated his time and energy to develop the plans and oversee construction of the fully equipped studio. In a remarkable effort, producer/engineers Jeff Balding, Chuck Ainlay, in addition to Ben Fowler, Julian King, Nick Palladino, Terry Palmer, Matt Schlachter, Jon Randall Stewart, Durr and notable members of the Nashville music community rolled up their sleeves as a valuable subcommittee to put the facility together.

“Music education is so important to The Recording Academy, so when we were approached with the idea of Pearl-Cohn’s studio, we were proud to help in the development, contacting key associates in the music world to construct the first-of-its-kind high school facility,” says Susan Stewart, South Regional Director, The Recording Academy. “The studio became a reality with the help of the generous manufacturers and the community, who bonded together to provide students the hands-on environment they deserve to excel in the music industry.”

According to Sam Lorber, Instructional Designer at Pearl-Cohn Entertainment Magnet High School, the institution was developed with the desire of engaging students with project-based lessons centered on the entertainment industry theme.

“It was the intention of the school from the start to provide professional-level education. Whether students are going to pursue an audio degree or a career immediately after graduating, they will have the problem-solving, communication and collaboration skills associated with a strong audio-based foundation,” Lorber stated. “With the P&E Wing and HARMAN, our vision of building the all-encompassing studio has far surpassed what we ever imagined was possible!”

The commissioning of the studio at Pearl-Cohn marks the first installation of the JBL M2 Master Reference Monitors powered by two Crown iTech 5000 HD power amplifiers. The M2, JBL’s flagship main monitor system leverages 7 patented technologies, JBL’s next generation transducers and its new Image Control Waveguide to deliver exceptional imaging, frequency response and high output to very broad space in the control room. .

The control room also includes a 5.1 JBL LSR6300 system, while edit rooms are equipped with JBL LSR4300 studio monitor systems. AKG microphones and headphones include K271MKII and K240MKII headphones, D12 VR drum microphone, C214s, a C414 matched stereo set and three C451B condensers. Lexicon’s PCM96 Parallel Stereo and Surround Sound Reverb/effect processor was installed. Pearl-Cohn also installed three complete Lexicon plug-in packages.

Pearl-Cohn provides nine audio classes, which have become the most popular courses since the program was established. The studio/audio program has become the centerpiece of a curriculum that includes a student-run record label and publishing company, plus classes in studio techniques for musicians and singers. Students select a pathway—
choosing between careers as producers, managers, engineers, marketing agents, and more—and enroll in classes beginning with a survey of the music industry and progressing into the specific areas of each student’s interest.

“With a student-run record label, a state of the art studio and the support of music industry veterans, the stage is set at Pearl-Cohn for emerging talent to make their mark in the music world. The future of the industry lies within these kids. We are proud to partner with The Recording Academy in support of this project,” stated Mark Ureda, Vice President, Strategy and Technology, HARMAN Professional.

“We want our students to realize their dreams and potential. They enter the program with ambitions and we want them to graduate with the skills that will provide a stepping stone for a successful career in the audio industry and success in life,” Lorber continued. “Having a partner like HARMAN enables us to create a student-centered studio that rivals university and professional facilities. The sound emanating from our studio is superb and we can’t thank our partners enough for helping Pearl-Cohn inspire its students in this top-of-the-line learning environment.”

For more information on the Pearl-Cohn Entertainment Magnet High School, please visit http://www.pearlcohnhs.mnps.org.

HARMAN (www.HARMAN.com) designs, manufactures, and markets a wide range of infotainment and audio solutions for the automotive, consumer, and professional markets. It is a recognized world leader across its customer segments with premium brands including AKG®, Harman Kardon®, Infinity®, JBL®, Lexicon®, and Mark Levinson® and leading-edge connectivity, safety and audio technologies. The company is admired by audiophiles across multiple generations and supports leading professional entertainers and the venues where they perform. More than 25 million automobiles on the road today are equipped with HARMAN audio and infotainment systems. HARMAN has a workforce of about 14,000 people across the Americas, Europe, and Asia and reported sales of $4.3 billion for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2013.

HARMAN Professional Provides Transportation Centers with Comprehensive, Scalable Audio/Video Solutions

Bengaluru International Airport in Bangalore, India features a HARMAN IDX Information Delivery System.

NORTHRIDGE, California – Whether it’s an airport, a railway station or a subway platform, transportation hubs rely on effective communication to ensure their passengers are kept up to speed with schedule changes, locations of arrivals and departures, emergencies and more. As such, the effectiveness of any transportation center’s communication relies on the strength of its communication systems. With the understanding that any communication system is only as strong as its technology, HARMAN Professional offers world-class audio and visual components to ensure information is delivered quickly and clearly to millions of travelers around the world every day.

“Through the BSS, Crown and JBL brands, HARMAN Professional has become a common choice for cities and airport designers who require reliable and heavy-duty audio equipment for their transportation facilities,” said Van Williamson, Business Development Manager, Commercial Systems, HARMAN Professional. “Furthermore, HARMAN Professional’s IDX system, developed in partnership with Com-Net Software, further adds to our ability to provide comprehensive and scalable solutions for today’s airports, transit stations and other public spaces.”

HARMAN’s IDX System is a seamless audio and visual information delivery solution that provides a highly flexible and scalable way to communicate important information for way-finding. HARMAN’s experience and expertise in audio, matched with Com-Net Software’s depth of experience and knowledge, brings a new and comprehensive approach to information delivery that has not been seen before. The system is designed and built to exceed professional audio standards, incorporating premium microphones, amplifiers and loudspeakers for the best audio quality available.”

HARMAN’s brands also offer best-in-class products in every audio category, from AKG microphones to BSS processing, Crown amplifiers to JBL loudspeakers, Martin lighting and more. As a result, HARMAN is uniquely suited to offer fully integrated, scalable audio systems where all components are optimized to work seamlessly together. These benefits are realized in ease of installation for systems integrators, affordable and easy-to-use systems for operators, and—most importantly—clear and effective communication for travelers.

In addition, HARMAN Professional hosts a wealth of resources for customers on their websites, including free software, white papers, application guides, and online training on audio topics and system design. These resources are used by professional consultants and integrators and are accessible to anyone interested in becoming more knowledgeable about audio science and technology.

For more information on HARMAN Professional’s offerings for stadiums and large venues, please visit www.harmanpro.com

For more information on IDX, please visit idx.harman.com

HARMAN (www.harman.com) designs, manufactures and markets a wide range of audio and infotainment solutions for the automotive, consumer and professional markets – supported by 15 leading brands, including AKG®, Harman Kardon®, Infinity®, JBL®, Lexicon® and Mark Levinson®. The Company is admired by audiophiles across multiple generations and supports leading professional entertainers and the venues where they perform. More than 25 million automobiles on the road today are equipped with HARMAN audio and infotainment systems. HARMAN has a workforce of 14,600 people across the Americas, Europe, and Asia and reported sales of $4.5 billion for the last twelve months ended September 30, 2013.

Mooney Pairs with Vinten Vision 250 with Sony Cameras for Resort Videos

Shelton, Connecticut, December 30, 2013 – Mark Mooney’s Crescent Moon Pictures, located outside of Hilton Head Island, South Carolina focuses primarily on shooting resort and high-end residential community development. “We’ve found an emotional approach to our programs and projects, which reflect what we call the ‘authentic’ story of a place and why it is the place to live or visit,” he says. “A big part of our ability to capture those stories is our support equipment – specifically my Vinten heads. I’ve used these heads for over 30 years and would not even consider going on location with any other system.”

When Mooney and production partner Cristeen Dennis formed Crescent Moon, they purchased a Sony HD F900/3. “And, to perfectly complement it, there was no choice. I had to have the Vinten Vision 250 Pan and Tilt Head,” he says. “The combination was perfect. The high-end real estate market is booming and our company is producing programs at a production value that very few are bringing to this part of the industry.

“The idea to shoot a real estate program with a $180K camera and a $10K head was unheard of at the time, but it worked,” he says. “People and clients noticed. The Vision 250 has simply been the best head I have ever owned – and we still use it on everything from Chapman PeeWee Dollies to Fisher Dollies and the Titan Super Nova Crane.

“The head has a smoothness to it that is effortless,” he explains. “I told my business partner that I never want to sit in an offline session and have to explain a rough pan. It’s just not an option. The 250 handles all our needs – we use it with very heavy teleprompters on occasion – high hats, ladders, etc. The head experiences all types of environments. Since we shoot resorts, it goes on boats, beaches, mountains, deserts, snow and even rain showers.

“I love all the functions – including the lighted level for low-light situations,” he adds. “Last month we upgraded to the Sony F5 and a system of Zeiss Primes. And, long telephotos. The head is perfect. Constantly changing lenses on the big sensor camera is a breeze with the sliding plate. And the camera is always in perfect balance.”

His Vinten Vision 250 travels everywhere with Mooney. Recently, he took the system to British Columbia for a Salmon fishing shoot. “Moving rapidly on a boat, the Vinten did its work perfectly,” he says. “Then there was a trip to Stowe, Vermont. The Vinten was right at home on the back of a golf cart, strapped into the bag carrier. I would not even want to guess at the miles that system has driven golf courses! We shoot early morning and afternoons doing very fast setups off the cart and back on - chasing the light.

It is the one thing I never have to worry about. “The pan move will always be perfect. The head has a way of pulling you through a pan like no other system,” he adds. “Unlike hard drag on some heads – Vinten does it better than anyone.”

For further information, please go to www.vinten.com or contact: Vinten, 16 Progress Drive, Shelton CT 06484, Phone: 1 203-929-1100, Fax: 203-925-2684, Email: info.videocomamericas@vitecgroup.com

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YouTube Sensation Freddie Wong Turns to Shutterstock to Fuel His Latest Explosive Hit, Secret Santa

New York, December 30, 2013 – Wildly successful digital filmmaker Freddie Wong, best known for his CGI-fueled, over-the-top web series and shorts, has tapped into the visual resources of stock image provider Shutterstock to create his latest viral hit, Secret Santa.

 

The award-winning director creatively wove nearly 100 Shutterstock images and video clips into Secret Santa, which mashes up storylines from popular Christmas-themed and secret agent blockbusters. The 22-minute movie premiered on Wong’s RocketJump YouTube channel on Christmas day, and is the second installment in a new interactive comedy series called Movie Night.

 

“Movie Night is about conveying the humor of over-the-top blockbuster movie premises mashed up with a cartoony image aesthetic – literally everything is built from stock images,” says Wong. “We required lots of images to make everything from backgrounds, environments, and props. Shutterstock was invaluable in providing stock footage and imagery of literally anything we could think of.”

 

“We’re thrilled to see Freddie Wong use Shutterstock to fuel his never-ending imagination,” says Shutterstock Director of Footage, Adam Sosinsky. “Freddie’s unique visual approach is a perfect example of how creative visionaries are able to use our collection of stock imagery to tell their stories.”

 

Movie Night is a new interactive comedy web series where a different ridiculous movie concept is condensed into a rapid-fire blockbuster each month. Fans vote for which genre of film is released at the beginning of the month.

 

Wong capped off 2013 by being named Creator of the Year by VideoInk and taking out Variety’s Top Webseries of 2013 for the runaway hit, Video Game High School.

 

 

About Shutterstock

Shutterstock, Inc. (NYSE: SSTK), is a leading global provider of high-quality licensed photographsvectorsillustrations and videos to businesses, marketing agencies and media organizations around the world. Working with its growing community of over 40,000 contributors, Shutterstock adds tens of thousands of images each week, and currently has more than 30 million images available.

Headquartered in New York City, with offices in Berlin, Chicago, London, and San Francisco, Shutterstock has customers in more than 150 countries. The company also owns Bigstock, a value-oriented stock media agency; Offset, a high-end image collection; and Skillfeed, an online marketplace for learning.

For more information, please visit http://www.shutterstock.com/, and follow Shutterstock on Twitter or on Facebook.

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Anton/Bauer Pumps the Power Behind Kvadrat Techno DJ Documentary

DIONIC HC and DIONIC HCX Help First-Time Film Director Capture Behind-the-Scenes Footage of Russian DJ

PARIS, DECEMBER 30, 2013—Anton/Bauer®, part of Vitec Videocom, a Vitec Group company and a premier global provider of batteries, chargers and other mobile power systems for the professional broadcast, video, film and healthcare technology industries, has recently gone deep into the world of a well-known Russian Techno DJ with French/Russian director Anatoly Ivanov for his first full-length documentary, Kvadrat. Ivanov had always worked as a still photographer until friends proposed he give cinema a try. After several experiments using video that often incorporated Anton/Bauer batteries, Ivanov came across well-known Russian Techno DJ Andrey Pushkarev, of DeepMix.ru fame, who agreed to be the focus of Ivanov’s first documentary. The two began their collaboration in February 2011 and have since spent two and a half years on the pre-production, production and post-production processes.

Kvadrat explores the realities of techno DJing, using the example of the leading Russian DJ Andrey Pushkarev. Filmed as a hybrid between a road-movie and a music video, the film not only illustrates the festive atmosphere of techno night clubs, but also reveals the lesser known side of the DJ profession: weeks of track selection, lengthy travel and a difficult schedule. Kvadrat highlights the discrepancy between the stereotypical image of a musician and the sober reality. Shot in Switzerland, France, Hungary, Romania and Russia, the film omits the typical documentary elements: no interviews, no explanatory voice-over, no facts, no figures. The visuals and the techno music replace those elements, leaving the detailed interpretation to the viewer.

In order to accomplish his mission, it was crucial that Ivanov choose the right gear. After all, the documentary would require him to follow the DJ from city-to-city, country-to-country, venue-to-venue, including boarding and shooting on multiple aircraft. For its portability, light weight and long power life, especially in scenarios where recharging wasn’t always an easy option, Ivanov chose the Anton/Bauer DIONIC® HC and HCX lines of batteries and the TWIN 60-watt two-position portable quick charger to power his gear.

“For Kvadrat, I needed to be able to carry all the cinema gear on me – in a backpack – and still be able to shoot super-35, 24 frames per second, adjustable depth of field, cinema tonal range and detail video, but at ISO 2500 – 3200,” says Ivanov. “Basically, I had to shoot and carry the gear at the same time, often running from one boarding gate to another.” And, all of his chosen gear – the Canon 1D mark IV, Canon EF 24-105 mm 2.8 L or 70-200 mm 2.8 L with IS always on, Zoom H4n and Marshall V-LCD70XP-HDMIPT 7-inch LCD Monitor needed to be powered from a single source.

“I use the HCX to also shift the weight to the back of the rig and further use it as a counter-weight, for simplicity and for compactness [reducing the number and size of chargers and cables],” he explains. “Each HCX provided enough power for my gear during the long DJ sets of four hours, or for a Geneva to Moscow flight. At times we were faced with eight hours of autonomy while riding airplanes, old Russian trains or regular cars. All we had were two HCX batteries to power us when we had no other access to mains.”

“I only use Anton/Bauer to power my gear,” stresses Ivanov. “Anton/Bauer just seems to be more robust and it turned out to remain as good as new throughout our project. It is also very accurate. The ‘time left’ display is exact; I know precisely when I need to swap for the other battery. Also, the Sleep ‘off switch’ is a very nice feature for a lithium battery. Other batteries I have used drain out all the time when unused, but not the HCX.”

Part of the company’s Logic Series® of batteries, the DIONIC HC offers 91Wh and is suitable for powering high-current applications in a lightweight package. In addition, the DIONIC HCX is a 124Wh capacity battery with the ability to sustain a 10-amp draw, and run a 40-watt camera with a 20-watt light for two hours. Transported conveniently as carry-on luggage (a maximum of two batteries as carry-on and one battery installed in equipment), the DIONIC HCX and DIONIC HC are the perfect batteries for shooting on location. An enhanced RealTime® display indicates both fuel gauge and remaining run-time data simultaneously. The display incorporates readouts of hours, minutes and remaining capacity, making battery change decisions quick and easy for ENG production.

In addition to the quality of the Anton/Bauer batteries and chargers, Ivanov says he couldn’t have been more impressed with the company’s customer service. “When I couldn’t source the HCX anywhere in Europe during the summer of 2011, the Anton/Bauer sales team in the Netherlands offered immediate action and shipped it to me directly, in the French Alps, even though I was on a super tight schedule, as we were soon leaving for Russia,” he recalls. “Then, mid-project, the TWIN 60-watt developed a non-critical problem where only one side would charge. The team replaced it as soon as I’d sent them a video of the issue. They couldn’t have been more helpful during our production.”

To watch a free, full-length, 720p version of Kvadrat, visit: http://kvadratmovie.com.

For more information, visit www.antonbauer.com or call (203) 929-1100.

About Anton/Bauer
Anton/Bauer is recognized as the world’s innovator and a premier provider of batteries, chargers, lighting and other key mobile power systems for the professional broadcast, video and film and healthcare technology industries. Based in the United States in Shelton, CT with offices in Europe and Asia, Anton/Bauer was established in 1970 and has expanded its product offerings to include many signature lines such as its leading Gold Spectrum™ Series, Gold Mount® system, InterActive® chargers and Logic Series® batteries such as the HyTRON® 100 and 140, and DIONIC® 90, HD, HC and HCX. Their products are compatible with every camera brand on the market today. Other Anton/Bauer high performance products include the CINE VCLX and the Tandem 150 Modular Charging System. Their superior-quality products have become an industry standard. For more information on Anton/Bauer, visit www.antonbauer.com.

About Vitec Videocom
Vitec Videocom brings together some of the most respected, most innovative and most sought-after brands in the industry: Anton/Bauer, Autoscript, Camera Corps, Litepanels, OConnor, Petrol Bags, Sachtler, Teradek, Vinten and Vinten Radamec. It acts as an endorsing brand for these market-leading broadcast, film and pro video products, encouraging multi-brand system sales and simplifying the way that customers worldwide do business.

Vitec Videocom is an operating division within the Vitec Group, an international business serving customers in the broadcast, photographic and military aerospace and government markets. Vitec is based on strong, well known, premium brands on which its customers rely on worldwide.

Vitec Videocom – advancing the quality and science of media production.

Hitachi Outfits the Entire Vancouver Public Schools District with Projectors

Vancouver, WA, December 30, 2013 – Since outfitting its 22 elementary schools, six middle schools and six high schools and comprehensive schools with Hitachi projectors, Vancouver Public Schools District has seen a higher level of engagement among its students at all grade levels. Hitachi’s projectors (purchased by the school district through Troxell Communications) offer dozens of advanced capabilities, such as highly intuitive operation and an unprecedented level of interactivity, that make teaching more effective and efficient and learning more engaging.

Vancouver Public Schools offer basic and advanced training courses for teachers on using the Hitachi projectors and interactive whiteboards, focusing first on the basics of the technology, and then addressing how to effectively integrate the technology into lesson plans.

“The secret to convincing a teacher to buy into the technology is by tying it into the curriculum,” said Steve Stoll, Instructional Technology Facilitator, Vancouver Public Schools. “A lot of our teachers have been excited to adopt features like conferencing, sharing screens and iPad compatibility. Veteran teachers are also seeing the value once they learn how to operate the projectors.”

“I came across an article tracing advancements in educational tools throughout history,” said Mr. Stoll. “Teachers have always pushed back in the transition from quill pen to pencil, pencil to ballpoint pen and so on. But we’ve seen teachers who are genuinely excited to use their new Hitachi projectors to the fullest extent.”

One of the most popular features of the Hitachi projectors is the ability to digitally store recent lessons. “Research shows that when the brain revisits learned information within 24 hours of inception, it has a much higher chance of being retained,” Mr. Stoll said.

Mr. Stoll explains that interactive technology is important for both the teachers and the students. “Even at the kindergarten level, we’ll see kids become accustomed to interactive lessons,” Mr. Stoll added. “In high school, they will often be utilizing the projectors and interactive whiteboards for their own group presentations.”

In addition to the Hitachi projection solutions, the district has begun several other new programs with an emphasis on technology, which include 1-to-1 initiatives where all students receive either iPads or laptops. These programs will expand to all students in grades 3-12 in the coming years.

For a school district so focused on student advancement through technology, Hitachi’s projectors are ideal. Steve Bratt, Manager of Technology Operations at Vancouver Public Schools, was impressed with the ease and affordability of the installation. “The short-throw interactive projectors are mounted in close proximity to the wall, meaning that it’s much more cost-effective and easier than installing a ceiling mount, which normally requires additional power,” Mr. Bratt said. “It also turns an existing whiteboard into an interactive board, which can still function as a normal dry-erase whiteboard on its own.”

For more information on Troxell Communications, visit www.trox.com.

For more information on Vancouver Public Schools, visit www.vansd.org.

For more information on Hitachi Projectors, visit www.hitachi-america.us/digitalmedia.

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About Hitachi
Hitachi America, Ltd., headquartered in Tarrytown, New York, a subsidiary of Hitachi, Ltd., and its subsidiary companies offer a broad range of electronics, power and industrial equipment and services, automotive products and consumer electronics with operations throughout the Americas. For more information, visit www.hitachi-america.us. For more information on other Hitachi Group companies in the United States, please visit www.hitachi.us.

Hitachi, Ltd. (TSE: 6501), headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, is a leading global electronics company with approximately 326,000 employees worldwide. The company’s consolidated revenues for fiscal 2012 (ended March 31, 2013) totaled 9,041 billion yen ($96.1 billion). Hitachi is focusing more than ever on the Social Innovation Business, which includes infrastructure systems, information & telecommunication systems, power systems, construction machinery, high functional material & components, automotive systems and others. For more information on Hitachi, please visit the company’s website at http://www.hitachi.com.

Walters uses NDs for Stand-out Interior shots in his Shutterstock Collection

New York, New York, December 27, 2013 – Cinematographer Ryan E. Walters travels the world in pursuit of visually compelling stories. His projects range from films to documentaries and commercials — for clients including Nike, Comcast, Oxygen Network and The Travel Channel. Along the way, he has built an incredibly diverse array of stock footage available through Shutterstock.

 

“Shooting stock footage helps me to push myself creatively,” he explains. “And to experiment. I find it to be a very valuable learning experience that lets me fine-tune my look.”

 

Walters feels impressive imagery results from working with talented people, choosing the best time of day to shoot, and finding the right tools for the job. That’s how he discovered that quality Neutral Density Filters (NDs) add real production value to his look.

 

“Yes, everyone loves these filters for exteriors. But, I’ve found them invaluable on interiors”, Walters explains. “For me, creating a strong image in camera is about the proper use of camera filtration. One of my biggest frustrations with digital cameras these days is the limited overexposure range.

 

“Even though cameras can record 12 to 14 stops of dynamic range, most of that range is dedicated to underexposure,” he continues. “Practically speaking, that means when I am shooting an interior scene that includes a window, I have to

bring up the interior light levels to match the window. If I expose only for the window, then the talent is underexposed. And if I expose for the talent, the window will blow out into a white blob. After I light the space so that it is balanced with the window, I most likely will not be at the T-stop that I want. But, by dropping a Schneider Optics ND filter in front of the lens, I can uniformly bring down the exposure of the entire shot so that I get to the stop I want.”

Take his shot of an African-American man working out in a gym. (http://footage.shutterstock.com/clip-1435837-stock-footage-a-muscular-african-male-works-out-footage-provided-in-both-an-extreme-color-grade-and-the-basic.html). “I wanted to control my depth-of-field and place the lens at an ideal f/stop,” Walters adds. “For the workout shot, the window was over exposed and I wanted to retain detail in it. My first option was to stop down the lens until I had an exposure that captured everything I wanted to see. In this case, that would have been an f/8. However, I also knew that the lens I was using performed best between an f/4 and f/5.6. So, in order to reach that f/stop and to get the most out of my lens, I added a Schneider 0.3 ND filter, which meant that I had to open up my exposure to f/5.6. By doing so, my lens was now in its sweet spot, and I still had enough depth-of-field to work with the fast movement of the subject.”

For a simple scene of a couple dining out for cocktails (http://footage.shutterstock.com/clip-1437649-stock-footage-a-young-couple-flirts-with-each-other-as-they-enjoy-cocktails-at-the-local-restaurant.html) the same concept went into the shot. “However, this time, since the subject was not moving as much, I wasn’t worried about having a deeper depth-of-field,” he points out “Instead, I wanted a shallower depth-of-field to draw attention to the subject, but I didn’t want the background to turn into a complete blur. I wanted to be able to feel the environment. So, if I had depended on the lens to get proper exposure, I would have been at f/11 and that would be too much depth-of-field. So, I added Schneider Optics .9 ND to get to f/4 and got just the look I wanted.”

# # #

 

About Ryan E. Walters

When not shooting projects for his own company, Bleeding Thorn Films — which seeks to tell visual stories of people and organizations who follow their hearts and make a difference in the world around them, Ryan E. Walters is shooting footage for Shutterstock. His footage has been seen on the WB, ESPN, MTV and HBO – among others.

 

About Shutterstock

Shutterstock is a leading provider of high-quality, royalty-free digital footage to production, post-production, media, advertising and marketing agencies worldwide. With over one million files currently available, Shutterstock adds thousands of new licensable video clips to its collection each week.

 

Headquartered in New York City, Shutterstock also owns Bigstock, a value-oriented stock agency that offers both credit and subscription purchase options.

 

For more information please visit http://footage.shutterstock.com, and follow Shutterstock on Facebook and @ShutterstockVid on Twitter.

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XL Has the #willpower

XL Video is supplying a high powered projection system, Pandora’s Box mapping and media server control, cameras and PPU to the current #willpower tour by will.i.am, which originated in the US and is currently in Europe.


The tour’s all-white stage and production design was created by will.i.am and is heavily video orientated with minimal lighting. The tech savvy artist is involved with all aspects of his visual presentation – overseen by Production Manager Neil Porter – as well as bringing his innovative musicology and techniques to the stage.
The set features three large inflatable heads – a larger central one which moves on and offstage throughout the show – flanked by two smaller ones. All three have a DJ set up on top and were constructed by All Access, together with three roll-down projection screens upstage of the heads.
The projection system design was created by XL’s Clarke Anderson working very closely with will.i.am and Media Server Programmer Ben Miles who joined the tour in Europe, and features 12 Barco projectors with a minimum brightness of 26k lumens.
With the three heads – often running content of will.i.am’s face lip-synched to his vocals – the dominant aesthetic element of the show, the main challenge is to ensure that the 270 degree projections are perfectly mapped with no shadows, a complex task requiring the precise positioning of every projector at each venue, and each machine having its own discreet video feed.
Four Barco HDQ-2K40 machines are placed at FOH and run in two pairs. One pair covers the front-most projected imaged onto the three heads when all are in position, and the other pair covers all three roll drop screens when they are in the down position and covering the entire back of stage (with the two side heads staying in position).
The roll drops also have a header section which is projected on to and remains in place for the whole performance.
In the middle of the stage deck left and right is a double-stacked pair of Barco HDF-W26 projectors which cover around to the ears of the two smaller heads. Depending on the venue, sometimes these are ground stacked on towers and sometimes flown, and the warps are tweaked daily for full precision as with all the projectors.
Another two pairs of HDF-W26s flown just wide of the stage on the downstage edge fitted with .7 wide angle lenses are used to cover the rear cyc projections when the front projections can’t be used because the centre head is in place.
The Pandora’s Box media server was specified to handle running content on to the heads during the initial production rehearsals in LA, chosen for its clever and very flexible warping and multi-layer mapping capabilities.
Three Pandora’s Box servers are on the tour, two running live and one as a hot backup, each offering four outputs, giving a total of 12 x outputs. They are triggered by MIDI inputs from the backline.
The cyc projections and header areas are run via a separate Catalyst media server system, with two machines fed via Datapath X4 devices giving a total of eight outputs.
There is a substantial mash-up section in the middle of the show which is improvised each night – both musically onstage – and video wise, with content run VJ on-the-fly style by Miles and Pandora’s Box Operator Erica Frost – together with Laser Operator Mike Hartle from Strictly FX. Miles comments, “It’s a really exciting way to work and we are all loving it”.
The video content was originated by a team of video artists in LA with all final editing and onsite content creation completed by Ian McDaniel from Good Theory. “We worked very hard to get a good selection of dynamic material,” says Miles, “and we are all really pleased that Ian was brought onboard”.
The dramatic opening sequence starts with the stage and two side heads being revealed and the central roll drop out, with the gap filled by a large piece of circular scenery. will.i.am emerges from the floor on a stage left and is silhouetted against the scenic piece by the projections … which then continue as the main visual element and lightsource throughout the show.
XL is also supplying two left and right IMAG projection screens in 16:9 format and a five camera package, three operated Sony’s (one at FOH and two in the pit) and two Panasonic robo-cams, all directed by Charlie Woods, The images appearing on the sides are primarily wide shots, and Woods takes in one of the Catalyst outputs to provide graphics and selected playback content which is output to the side screens via his Kayak switcher.
Gerard Corey is the engineer. Clarke Anderson is also the Crew Chief and he, Ben Miles and Erika Frost are joined by Richie Jewell and Marcus Wareham on projection and cameras. The tour’s Lighting Designer is Paul Normandale.
XL Video’s Project Manager for the tour Gareth Jeanne sums up: “This was a very challenging and complex project. It was clear from the first meetings that the show was going to be led by the video elements with other departments needing to make some big compromises to make it work.
“Thankfully this was fully embraced by the other departments. Everyone came together as one team and the end product really demonstrates that. Working with will.i.am, who himself is very technology aware, has been a great experience. It is rewarding to work with someone who pushes the limits of what can be achieved which encourages all of us to approach a project differently.”

XL Gets Arty at the Guggenheim

Cool music and modern art combined at New York’s iconic Guggenheim Museum for a special set by electronic music pioneer Richie Hawtin, who swapped his more usual club backdrop to play as Plastikman alongside his brother Matthew, as part of a high profile fundraiser hosted by the Guggenheim’s Young Collectors Council.


XL Video was asked to build a striking LED monolith on the ground floor of the Guggenheim Museum’s impressive atrium to provide a kinetic sculpture and visual centerpiece for the event which was sponsored by Dior.
The gig was Project Managed for XL Video by Paul “Macca” McCauley from the UK office who was asked to produce a video solution for the visual concept created by Ali Demirel & Hawtin. Mark Ward from London-based Proper Productions oversaw the technical design and production for Hawtin’s set. XL and Ward have a relationship stretching back many years.
Hawtin already knew that he wanted an LED tower, and the requirement was that this had no visible supporting structure and appeared – as if by magic – right in the centre of the main performance area – like a mysterious living, breathing beacon of artwork – running content linked to the soundscape that Hawtin was creating.
The tower superstructure was constructed first, then clad with XL’s Pixled F-11 LED product – 12 tiles high and 4 wide on each face. The tiles had to be modified so they would attach to the structure leaving a minimum of 20mm gaps around all edges of each tile.
To ensure that everything went swiftly and smoothly on site, a pre-build was completed at XL’s Atlanta facility by Macca and LED Tech Pieter Laleman.
At the Guggenheim, the LED tower structure was built the night before, and then the cables removed so the Museum could open to the public as as normal the next day … ahead of the event in the evening.
All the show video content was generated in real-time by Hawtin’s and his visual team’s laptops running state of the art TouchDesigner software from Derivative Inc. The feeds were fed in through XL’s Barco ImagePRO-II which enabled switching (if needed) between their main machine going in on DVI and their backup utilizing the HDMI input.
The control position was set up about 6 metres back from the LED tower facing onto one of its corners and up there with Hawtin were his visual technicians, Jarrett Smith and Itaru Yasuda, his Lighting Designer Matthias Vollrath and Sound Engineer Johannes Kraemer.
The LED tower looked super cool when in action reflecting and bouncing colour and texturing all around the vast atrium which is a stylish, completely white wide open space with overlooking balconies and a glass ceiling.
Some additional lighting fixtures were installed to augment the picture, but the mega-bright LED tower was the main lightsource – pulsing and flowing with the rhythm of the music … and looking highly appropriate in the setting.
Macca comments, “It was an exciting, ambitious and totally different project due to the innovative music and the unorthodox environment for this type of performance … which produced amazing results and great vibes.”

Photos: Pari Dukovic

Freefly M?VI M10 is Key to Australia’s Vivien’s Models Christmas Video

Perth, Australia, December 23,2013 — When tasked with shooting an ambitiously choreographed Christmas video for Australia’s Vivien’s Models,

(http://vimeo.com/81701915) video director and director of photography, Justin Griffiths received a serendipitous email from Perth’s HD Rentals informing him the rental house had just put Freefly Systems’ M?VI M10 gyro-stabilized 3-axis gimbal system into its inventory.

 

The M?VI features Freefly’s proprietary and highly advanced control software/hardware and 3-dimensional navigation avionics providing smooth stabilization and acceleration correction. It is designed for handholding camera packages up to 12 pounds/5.4kg.

 

Griffiths had been following the M?VI stabilizer system in trade magazines and online videos. “Immediately it was like a light bulb went off telling me to use the M?VI. I started to think of different ways to film the video. I felt like my imagination was freed up from what used to be only achievable technically to what you can imagine in a shot creatively.”

 

The finished video includes one highly choreographed, 1-minute 48-second moving shot, traveling room to room through the Vivien’s Models Perth office suite, with the camera being led by a succession of strutting models. “I definitely wouldn’t have attempted doing a long single continuous take had it not been for the M?VI and for the expertise from Michael Elsegood and Denis Forkin from HD Rentals, who acted as M?VI techs on the shoot.”

 

The shoot took advantage of several of M?VI’s unique features. Due to the effectiveness of the gyro-stabilization, several camera operators were able to pass the stabilized Black Magic Cinema Camera (with a Tokina 11-16mm zoom lens) from operator to operator. In one scene, the M?VI is passed from one operator, who lifted it from just off the ground, to a second operator standing on a stepladder, with no apparent bump in the video. “It gave us a crane shot in the middle of the city with no long equipment setup time, ” explains Griffiths.

 

Another option Griffiths used with the M?VI was to utilize the dual operator mode, where the M?VI mounted camera is carried by one or more operators, with pan and tilt controlled by a remotely connected operator. For the Vivien’s Models production, HD Rental’s Elsegood operated pan and tilt controls wirelessly via a Teradek.

 

The whole shoot took six hours, with the most complex shot taking just four takes to get a pair of what Griffiths termed, winners. “I couldn’t be happier, especially considering it was our first run with the M?VI.  The last few shots were done really quickly. We set up each shot, rehearsed only once and shot in one or two takes.”

 

Griffiths gave high marks to the quick setups and unobtrusiveness of the M?VI system. “We shot guerrilla-style once we moved onto the exterior locations around the city. Using the M?VI was invaluable for us to have a small footprint and still achieve a cinematic result. We were also able to move very quickly.”

 

The Vivien’s Models Christmas Video was posted online the week before Christmas at http://vimeo.com/81701915, where it became an immediate worldwide viral hit.

 

The M?VI M10 package includes the M10 Gyro Stabilizer, wireless transmitter system, docking stand, batteries and battery charger. Visit www.freeflysystems.com to see videos and to get ordering information including the expanding M?VI network of top professional dealers worldwide.

 

####

 

Information Prepared by Lewis Communications: susan@lewisommunications.net

 

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