Monday, December 11, 2006

'Wind' in Singapore

On of the highlight of this year has to have been traveling to Singapore to edit 'Wind' a short film funded by 'Objectifs' a visual arts collective based in Singapore. The film was shot in both Australia and in Singapore on the Panasonic HVX200. It's a great camera and now that Final Cut 5.1.2 is out it's easy to work with. Previous versions of FCP make it a pain, but that's behind me now and I'm not bitter... really.
I cannot say how much I like working in the DVCPROHD codec, forget HDV this is 'the' format for the HD generation. It's low data rate, 4:2:2 color sampling so you can chroma key with ease. We shot and cut 1080p@25fps and were able to cut at online with no lag on my laptop with a G-RAID drive. We did a HD grade at infinite frameworks then did a film grain and highlight pass to give it a bit more 'filmic' texture. We were able to turn it around very quickly and projected it looked fabulous.
I should also mention Singapore is one of my favourite eating cities. I have to thank Royston for introducing me to my new love for 'congee' a savoury rice pudding with port and pickled egg. Now I'm hungry again... Damn.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Digital Media World Festival

You know how you do things that are big, but then you kind of forget to promote them? Well I was moving house, renovating, had the flu and I presented at Digital Media World in Melbourne back in June. I was supposed co-present with 37 South's Colin Bell, but he was shooting on the feature 'Storm Warning' so I was flying solo. I basically covered the HD workflow and camera's I've had the experience of using. I figured if I'm following the very cool Jason Ballantine (editor of Wolf Creek) and being followed by guys from Pixar, I should cover the nuts and bolts. It seemed to go down well. The (quite inaccurate) blurb for my talk is below.

"In today’s digital video production environment, the traditional post-production facility faces a challenge in accommodating many different approaches to shooting and editing. High definition acquisition comes in many forms, whether it’s the new generation of low cost HDV camcorders, DVCPRO HD, HDCAM, Varicam or traditional Super 16mm film. Learn how 37south is dealing with the demands of a divergent clientele working in HD across a range of media from TV and film commercials to sales presentations"

Well Well Well

I just found out that my plug-ins have got a write up in 'Edit Well' Magazine. Pretty chuffed!

In other good news 'Ten Feet Tall' has been accepted to Montreal Film Festival. Extra chuffed

Colourful Real Stories

I was called in to Roving to help grade and online a new comedy show called Real Stories, The show was great fun to work on and full of gags that were still funny 3 weeks into the edit. Most of my work was colour grading as I was quite late to the editing party. This was my first exposure working with the HDV footage. I have to say I was disappointed with what the Sony Z1 produces. Part of the issue was with workflow of shooting HDV the down-converting to DV over firewire. Having subsequently cut the HDV short 'John' I think it's better to stay HDV native until the last minute and then down convert. I found 'Real stories' hard to get enough chroma information to do secondary colour corrections (such as making everything in a shot but a red phone darker). The chroma sampling is so low there was very little latitude to move before things got 'crunchy'. I am currently cutting s short 'Grace' shot on the Panasonic HVX200 - now there's a cheap camera with a lot of chroma...

Make Some 'Noise'

Sorry for the lack of updates on the site. I like to think of it as a positive sign, a sign that I've been busy editing. A large chunk of the first half of this year has been spent as assistant editor on Matt Saville's debut feature 'Noise'. I was working with editor Geoff Hitchins picture editing a film about sound. We worked out of the Joinery editing on Lightworks, which I still think are the most organic way to cut drama. Interestingly enough, I was also charged with putting together the video playback material (newscasts and the like) which was done in FCP on my laptop. That kind of work is very painful on 6 year old Lightworks technology. Just goes to show, there's no perfect edit system, just the right one for the job. The playback material gave me a new appreciation of how fast you can create broadcast quality cliche effects with motion. Noise should be hitting Australian cinema's next year sometime.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Making a 'Faux Pas'

When Aaron Wilson, says he's making a TVC, I say 'great'. When he says he needs it to rain, I think of practical rain rigs and say 'ok'. The he tells me it has to be indoors AND we can't get the floor wet. I pause for a minute and start to think digital. So 'Faux Pas' is born. With digital effects including digital rain, rain impacts, volumetric lighting, 2.5D compositing, film look, grading, lens flare, keying, roto & grading..... it was a bit of work, but I thing it looks ok.

Faux Pas was also a good example of on set editing. A great way to test effects work before it's too late and to ensure coverage.

UPDATE: Faux Pas has won Gold at the ACS awards for retail commercial. Massive congratulations to DOP Colin Bell.

Going into 'Denial'

Launching December 8, keep your eyes in the cinema and open for the launch of The Kamen Brothers' (Matt and Chris) TAC funded short "Denial" which I had the pleasure of editing. The TAC fund two shorts a year to promote responsible teenage driving, 'Denial' is one of them.

It was shot on DVCpro-HD (Variacam) and cut at full 720p on FCP at 37 South. It was nice to do some hard and fast cutting to push an edit a little.