Tips to Clip: December 2013

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Did I Make That Shot?

You have just completed shooting a 32-page script. As you look over the crumpled pages, a feeling of doubt comes over you. Did you really complete it? You were shooting out of sequence and now you’re not sure that you got everything.

James Potter of Canton, Ga., keeps track by placing a vertical line in the right margin next to the covered dialogue as he finishes each shot. When he completes the project, he should have a line from the top to the bottom of every page. If there are any gaps, he missed a shot.

Travel Tip

To avoid getting lost when traveling in a country whose language you do not speak:

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1. Always carry a matchbook or business card from the hotel at which you are staying. You can then show it to a cab driver or police officer to let them know where you want to go.

2. Get a map of the area and mark the location of your hotel and any other important spots you will be visiting. Then have someone write on the edge of the map, in the language of the country, “Please point to where I am on this map.” You don’t want to ask “Where am I?” because you won’t understand the answer in the language you don’t speak. Have them show you instead.

And don’t forget, knowing how to say “thank you” in the language will always make you less of an ugly American.

It Doesn’t Have to Be ...

One of the best time- and labor-saving tips I ever received came early in my career. It is simply this: “It doesn’t have to be, it just has to look like it is.”

Once I got that through my head, I no longer found it necessary to clean and light a whole office when I was only shooting a talking head against one wall. It was no longer necessary to hide a cable that was visible in the room but not through the camera. It was no longer necessary to wait until the machine I was photographing was actually working, as long as it looked like it was working.

In other words, if it doesn’t show through the camera, it doesn’t matter, so don’t spend time and energy worrying about it.

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Beat the Bright

Sometimes a patch of cement or a stucco wall can be the brightest part of your image. Herman Dorf of Chicago, Ill., says those and other porous surfaces can be darkened by dampening them with a light spray of water. The secret is to create an even coating of water without any of the surfaces looking wet. A hand-pressurized garden sprayer will usually accomplish the task.

I was using Herman’s tip to darken some cement when I accidentally wet an unpainted fence post. It brought out the texture of the wood so well that the director said to spray the rest of the fence. He then began experimenting, wetting almost everything in sight.

Microphone Socks

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One of the prime rules when we are on the road is “pack as much as you can into as little space as possible.” Among the first “space-takers” to go were the fancy padded boxes for our hand microphones. Over time, the microphones began looking as though they had been mistaken for bones and munched by a very large dog.

Our solution was to send them back to the factory for resurfacing and then store them in old athletic socks. We still carry them loose in the audio case, but now they are protected from scratches, nicks and large dogs.


More than 55 of the 2018 Fall Television and Streaming Series Rely on Blackmagic Design

More than 55 of the 2018 Fall Television and Streaming Series Rely on Blackmagic Design

Blackmagic Design today announced that the company’s production and post products were used to complete many of the fall 2018 season’s new and returning television shows and streaming series. More than 55 shows rely on Blackmagic Design’s digital film cameras; Fusion visual effects (VFX), compositing, 3D and motion graphics software; and DaVinci Resolve editing, color correction, VFX and digital audio software; as well as its switchers, routers, monitors and capture and playback devices.


Jingle All the Way: Luxul's XMS-1208P Managed Gigabit Switch is Available for All CI Integrators this Holiday Season

Luxul, the leading innovator of IP networking solutions for AV integrators, today announced that it's giving CI integrators the gift of enterprise-level performance at affordable price points this holiday season. It doesn't matter if they've been naughty or nice, the company's XMS-1208P 12-port/18 PoE+ managed Gigabit switch — that delivers high-speed performance while enabling simple network expansion — is now available for all. And to ring in the new year, Luxul will begin shipping its AMS-1816P 18-port/16 PoE+ L2/L3 managed Gigabit switch in early January.


HoverCam Transforms Classrooms Fit for Future-Ready Students at Val Verde USD

HoverCam, an innovative technology leader in the digital education market, announced that Val Verde Unified School District (USD) in Parris, California, successfully installed HoverCam's Pilot digital teaching stations and CenterStage interactive flat panels (IFPs) in new STEM labs in the elementary schools, with plans for an eventual rollout to the district's middle and high schools. As part of the district's goal to create future-ready students, Val Verde USD chose HoverCam digital education solutions to address the rising challenge of updating classrooms and introducing curriculum with advanced systems that will prepare students for a rapidly changing career landscape.


The Sigma Holiday Sale Is Back!

Nothing makes gift giving as enjoyable as special prices on award-winning Sigma lenses and accessories; get the lens you’ve always craved or surprise a fellow shooter with the perfect present.


Global News Agency Ruptly Relies on Riedel's MediorNet and Artist on Board New OB and DSNG Vehicles

Riedel's MediorNet real-time media network and Artist digital matrix intercom are providing the decentralized and redundant signal routing and communications backbone on board two all-new, state-of-the-art OB vehicles for Ruptly, a Berlin-based international news agency. Qvest Media, a world-leading system architect and integrator for the broadcast and media industries, designed and built the new broadcast van and DSNG vehicle.