Thursday, January 31, 2013

Should I use temp music in my film for the composer?

Temp music, (which is some temporary music that represent your musical idea's used to communicate to composer) can be a wonderful tool in creating a roadmap that will allow you to communicate your musical vision with your composer.  This roadmap can easily convey the emotion and direction of a scene as well as the overall feel of your film. 

Where filmmakers often get into trouble is that they develop a case of loving their temp track.  Sometimes its hard to let go of a piece of music you’ve lived with for a long time.  As you create your temp score, be mindful of the fact that at some point you will need to let go of it.

Some composer's do not like having the temp track as a sample. They would rather get description, adjective's to explain what you hear in each section of the film ( fast moving to slow dark movement etc ....)

Trust your composer and let them do what they do best, you hired them for their creativity. Allow room for something new and fresh to be created. This is how the scores are born that we ultimately enjoy. Allow your score to become as unique and let the composer bring in some new idea’s.

This a group that offer music for independent films.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Lavalier Mic's picking up clothing movement noise.

Using a lavaliere microphone when shooting an interview or group of actors can be a tricky job.

Often you need to hide the microphone under the clothing.  When the actor moves a certain way you get a scratchy sound from the clothing material rubbing against the capsule or mic cable.

On some projects where you are on set for a film shoot you might be lucky enough to have a wardrobe person who can fix the mic into the fabric of the clothing minimizing the noise when the actor is moving around.

If this is not the case and you can use a simple thing to help this issue out, its called “Blue Tape”  or painters tape.  It will not damage or leave sticky stuff on the clothing.

Do this by forming one or two complete loops of the cable just below the mic capsule. The loops should be around one inch in diameter.

Tie the loops in place with a piece of thread or dental floss, or even a thin strip of blue tape sticky side out. The loop should be secured loose enough to open and close freely when the cable is tugged.

This becomes your strain relief. Secure the mic capsule within two small triangles of sticky tape.
I make these triangles from a 1" wide by 2" long piece of blue tape, folded corner to corner several times like a flag, sticky side always out.

The mic is centered within the two triangles. Be careful not to tape over the grill or holes of the mic.
These few thing will make a difference in the quality of your audio.

Good luck !

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The iPhone Film Festival, IFF

With all the hype with camera’s etc... we all know its the story that counts.
I am entertained with the idea of using the low cost tools to bring a story to life.

I saw this short film that won the IFF award ( iPhone Film Festival) last year, “The Fixer”.

It owes alot of its success to the post production work, but still maintains the shot on an iPhone look.

If your inspired get out there with you phone and make a film!

Binary Recording Studio is a Video / Audio Production Company in Bellingham Wa.

Monday, January 28, 2013

DJI Phantom Aerial Quadcopter and the GoPro 3

Looking forward to using one for a up coming shoot. The day of a big budget to get arial footage for your film may be a thing of the past. With some stabilization software to smooth out the footage, I have seen some pretty amazing things done with radio controlled planes and copters.    Check out the web site.

Binary Recording Studio a Video / Audio Production Company in Bellingham Wa.

Friday, January 25, 2013

My new children's interactive iBook on iTunes

"A Boy's Journey" one of our award winning short film is now in book form. I decided to offer it as a iBook because of the interactive aspects of the story. Using iBooks as the platform offers a multi touch format with text, images, and audio which bring this book alive. A Boy's Journey.
I see a real potential in providing educational books in this format.


Thursday, January 24, 2013

Storyboard to the animatics for a animation project

In building a animation we often provide a animatic for the client. A simple explanation of a animatic is a storyboard in motion with simple zooms and pans to simulate camera movement.  Animatics are animated video storyboards. This is the stage that we do the timing of the images with simple motion.  In a .60 sec. animation this helps to determine the length of the section and where the time should be spent on telling the story.

Sometimes the sound effects or soundtrack are included to give the client a feel of the piece. This is a inexpensive way to test the animation before all the elements are added.

Below a example of a motion comic we produced from still image drawings.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Reducing excess sibilance (“ess” and “shh” sounds) from vocals or voiceover

When working with vocal and voice in the studio that have a lot of “shh” or “ess” sound in their recorded voice track (sibilance), we often need to reduce that sound without effecting the quality of the voice. This is where the DeEssor plugin can be used.

With the DeEssor plugin you can find the high frequency where this sound hangs out.  For example the Waves DeEssor plugin you can identify the frequency where it is found with the sidechain button. Sweep the upper frequency to find just the sibilance. When you find the trouble frequency then reduce the threshold to minimize the sibilance sound. DeEssors are found in most video and audio production / editing programs. Give it a try and play around with it, you will see a improvement in the vocal.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Vimeo or Youtube for your content?

When people think of online video they think of Youtube.  YouTube is the number one video-sharing site on the web.  If you're a casual video uploader, blogger etc... and uploading convenience or longer videos might be more of a priority, YouTube may be a better choice. I think Youtube is a great service that has allowed film makers an audience that they could never accessed before.
I have noticed many film makers use Vimeo. If you're a creative filmmaker, you might get better feedback and engagement from the community on Vimeo or better access with their premium business account option. Vimeo videos are much cleaner and require much less bandwidth for viewing.  They are slowly but surely raising the quality ceiling in its encoding of your media with different frame rates.
The guidelines now properly state support for 23.976/24, 25, and 29.97/30 frames per second. Videos of higher frame rates are recommended to be halved in encoding — for instance, 60p would be encoded at 30 frames per second. This is some good stuff for film makers to show their work in the frame rate it was produced in!
Online video is getting better all the time!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Celebrating the birthday of a man who spoke of peace and equal rights, Martin Luther King Jr.

He was a teacher and advocate for the children of the civil rights movement. This is a trailer from the film we are producing, about the children who were involed in the sit-ins of the civil rights.
 “ You must get out there and be a headlight not a tail light”  Congressman John Lewis.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

ShotOnWhat is IMDb' on steroids for film makers

Being a film maker, I often see some film that blows me away on the production side.  How did they get that look etc......  Here is a site that will give you what format, camera model, lens type, finishing format, lens manufacturer, etc. was used to create a certain film? While IMDb has a lot of other coverage like cast and crew lists, you may find yourself wanting a more detailed and dedicated technical breakdown — enterShotOnWhat?

Binary Recording Studio a Video / Audio Production Company in Bellingham Wa.

Friday, January 18, 2013

The storyboard might be more important then the script.

The storyboard pitch.
Over the last year of two I have noticed that many of my clients really don’t read the synopsis or script for their project I propose.  They will tell you that they did, then often they are surprised with the content as the progress moves along.

I have found that one of the reasons that this happens is that they really don’t not know how to read a script with visualization of the scene.

This is no fault of the client, often it is a learning process that even for myself takes experiences.

This is where the storyboard becomes as important as the script in pitching the project to you client.  Using a storyboard as your main tool to pitch your concept to the client creates better communication  and helps the organization in production.  This in the long run saves money for everyone.

I would suggest that the storyboard pitch you present to the client not be to detail.  This is the idea stage, then develop your storyboard for production.

Best of luck!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Getting ITunes to recognize song titles instead of track numbers.

In the studio we master CD’s for many independent music groups who want their song titles to show up in ITunes, instead of just a track number.

Its easy to do once it is submitted to the data base called Gracenote.  This can be done within ITunes.  It can take a week or two before you see the results.

1. Open iTunes
2. Insert CD
3. Locate CD in iTunes (do NOT import yet)
4. Highlight all of the cd tracks
5. Right click and select “Get Info”
6. Click the “Info” tab
7. Change the album title/artist name/year/genre
8. Click “OK”
9. Now use this procedure for individual track names
10. Highlight track 1 and right click to select “Get Info”
11. Click on the “Info” tab
12. Update the “Name” and then click “Next”
13. Once you finish writing in your info for all tracks click “OK”
14. Highlight all of the tracks again
15. Click on the “Options” symbol on the upper right corner of the tracklist window
16. Select “Submit CD Track Names…”
17. Allow the progress bar to complete

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Does Kickstarter work for funding a Independent film?

 Check out the stats put out by Kickstarter.  Statistics (April 28, 2009 — January 1, 2013)

  1. Total pledged: $102.7 million 
  1. Total collected: $85.7 million
  2. Total backers: 891,979 
  3. Funded projects: 8,567
In the past three years, nearly 900,000 people have pledged their support to an independent filmmaker on Kickstarter, pledging more than $100 million to features, documentaries, shorts, webseries, and other film and video projects. Nearly $60 million has been pledged in the past 12 months alone. Not Bad!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Tips for Submitting to Film Festivals

I have submitted, been accepted and rejected to film festivals.   Luckily I have had the honor to be accepted to many great ones with my films over the years.

One thing about film festivals, they give you a change to see how your film stands next to other independent films and the opportunity to screen it to other film makers ( they are the only ones that go to these screenings).

 I have had one of my films picked up by a distribution company out of all the films I have screened at film festivals.  So there can be a rainbow at the end of the trail.

There are a few thing you can do to get your film ready for submitting.  I read this blog the other day and would like to share it with you.  Link below.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Worlds first 24-bit 96k Apple IOS Audio Recorder

The new microphone has a high-quality on-board A/D converter, and attaches to the data connection port on the bottom of the iPhone or IPad.  It works with RØDE’s own recording app to achieve the highest-fidelity recordings possible. Here is the video introduction from RØDE:  I could see some uses for this at the price they are selling it at.  It would be great for interviews etc.....

Binary Recording Studio is a Audio / Video Production Company in Bellingham Wa.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

A portable camera Jib crane, Aviator Travel Jib

 A  friend who enjoys mt. biking and filming the sport bought one of these Jib's and uses it for filming out on the trails. It fits in his backpack which is pretty amazing. Packing up nicely into 5 pounds and 27″ This could be a perfect jib for those working with DSLRs, a 10 pound capacity will hold a rather wide range of cameras. 

Binary Recording Studio a Video / Audio Production Company in Bellingham WA.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

When to use a Boom shotgun microphone for video production.

The need for a shotgun microphone arises when you want to remotely capture a sound that originates from a short distance away. They provide a narrower angle of acceptance that isolates the subject's sound from unwanted "off-axis" ambient sound. Example: The noise from a  computer that is running in the room where the interview is going on, the shotgun mic. will give you better isolation.
The way these microphones capture sound from a distance is similar to holding a paper towel tube up to your ear. The longer the tube, the more focused the sound will be.

A  misconception about shotgun microphones is that they can pick-up sounds across long distances. If you're recording a person who is speaking, you wouldn't want your shotgun to be more than five or six feet away from them. The closer the subject is to the microphone, the better it will sound, which is why boom poles are commonly used. 
When we are on a shoot we will get the shotgun mic as close as possible. Just check with your camera DP person to make sure the mic. is not in the frame. 
On an outdoor shoot, the wind sock or blimp is a must for the shotgun mic. when wind is a  issues. It often works better then a Lavaliere mic. with a wind screen.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Magic Lantern free firmware for your Canon Camera.

One of the camera’s we use at the studio for production is the Canon 5D mark ll.
Being aware of the benefits that Magic Lantern firmware offers I had not spent anytime with the firmware.  A friend who owns a Canon 7D was going to do a shot where he was going to attach a Sennheiser MKE400 Shotgun Mic for DSLR to his camera.  This was a good change to use the Magic Lantern firmware for better audio sound and control. Live audio monitoring, full manual audio controls, choose between internal and external microphones are a few of the thing they can provide in their free firmware.  check them out,  it could improve your filming experience!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Better Video encoding H.264 to HEVC H.265

The function that makes this sort of thing possible is basically smarter compression, which produces media with a smaller storage footprint at a higher quality.  This means comparatively heavier processing intensiveness to decode in real time. Basically you sacrifice bits for harder thinking in order to translate the more complex compression techniques. One of the reasons we switched to using Adobe Premier at the studio, as our main video editing software is how it natively works with files like this. 
We have included a short video that shows the improvement of the image with this HEVC H.265 format.

Binary Recording Studio a Video / Audio Production Company in Bellingham Wa.