This PhotoCineNews Expo Conference DVD Set (8 Discs) from PhotoShop Cafe is a comprehensive document of a one-of-a-kind meeting of the minds on the subject of DSLR filmmaking. If you weren't able to make it to the PhotoCineNews Expo 2010 in Los Angeles, this eight-DVD set is the next best thing.
In fact, considering it's almost 20 hours long, it probably beats live attendance: You can take your time and carefully absorb all 14 sessions, which are presented by some of the biggest names in DSLR filmmaking. These luminaries include Shane Hurlbut (DP, Terminator Salvation, We Are Marshall), Rodney Charters (DP, 186 episodes of 24), and commercial director Vincent Laforet. Also presenting are SNL film unit DP Alex Buono, Nikon shooter Ami Vitale, and documentarian Gail Mooney.
The diverse lineup of filmmaking veterans and breakout stars of the DSLR world focus on DSLR techniques, tools, and budgets, illustrating their presentations with their high-definition DSLR footage on the big screen at the Los Angeles Film School.
- Shane Hurlbut: Putting It All on the Screen: Use the 5D to Stretch Your Budget
For the last 18 months, Shane Hurlbut and his team have been trailblazing with DSLR technology. They developed a system to streamline the Canon workflow both creatively and technically so shooting is faster, efficient, eco-friendly, and financially responsible. Through the use of the 5D they have been able to stretch budgets much further than with any other technology. Hurlbut just directed two national campaigns with Bandito Brothers Production Company for Case IH and the Marines for which the budgets did not match the concepts.
His elite team of producers and production managers were able to take a one-day budget and turn it into five days of shooting on Case. With the Marines, the team traveled to seven states and two countries for five weeks to bring the huge concept to life. The bid for the job was 8 days of shooting with the 5D platform, a 35mm film package, Hurlbut as Director/Cameraman and his versatile elite team who traveled the globe — all for a budget under $500,000. The smallest bid that came in from competing companies was around $1.2 million for the 8-day shoot. This camera is all about thinking in an entirely new way without limits or restrictions. Once your mind starts to go there, there is no limit to your creative vision.
Hurlbut will go through many techniques to put your vision up on the screen without all the gack that it usually takes to get it there. This is a reinvention of traditional thinking and budgeting with the central theme of change. Business as usual will give you the exact budget that you are familiar with and all of the inherent restrictions: not getting a mark up, not paying creative's, asking for huge favors from the crew and shrinking your creative vision to end up shooting in a parking lot in Hollywood, when the original concept was to go all over the world. Hurlbut will reveal the "secret sauce" for budgeting.
Wouldn't it be amazing to have 10 more days of shooting scheduled on a feature to bring your concept to fruition and surround yourself with A-list talent in front of and behind the camera? Imagine, putting it all on the screen while being eco-friendly and financially responsible. It is about using less: fuel, power, lights, water, food, and everything except creative ingenuity.
- Alex Buono: DSLR Cinema 101
In the world of film and television, there is no deadline more unmovable than when you hear those magical words, "Live from New York, it's Saturday Night!" As a 10-year veteran of the Saturday Night Live Film Unit, Alex Buono must deliver high-end commercial parodies and short films in as few as 48 hours, and he will share with you how shooting with the Canon 5D & 7D has revolutionized the way he works.
Alex will use his experience over the past season of SNL to demonstrate everything you need to know when it comes to shooting DSLR cinema. Topics covered will include an extensive setup primer: discussing shutter speeds, frame rates, aspect ratios, camera settings, and vital production gear. Alex will also cover his work flow – both on-set and in post-production, including topics such as, "Advantages of Canon DSLR vs. Other Formats"; "Transcoding Files into Edit-Friendly Codecs"; and "How to Create Time-Lapse Sequences." Whether you are a photographer looking to transition into video production, or a veteran cinematographer looking to embrace new technology, this lecture will provide a comprehensive introduction to DSLR cinema.
- Liam Finn: Big Movie, Little Camera – Hollywood Movie Making
- Come see what a still camera with cinema lens looks like on the big screen. Liam Finn will screen and discuss the making of Rejouer, the first feature-length movie shot entirely on a DSLR camera, which he wrote, directed, and produced. With over twenty years of production experience in all forms of media, such as feature films, short films, commercials, music videos, corporate videos, and new media, Finn innately understands the production process from start to finish.
- Ami Vitale: Multimedia Storytelling
Says Vitale: "The four years I spent in Kashmir were some of the most formative in my life. I had gone there to tell a story that I thought I already knew according to the headlines. After being there for some time, I came to realize the story I had to tell was not the story of the guns, or age old rivals or sectarian violence, although all those things exist.
"The story was the story of ordinary people, doing the things that we all take for granted; going to work, watching a child play, falling in love, celebrating a marriage or birth, remembering someone past, celebrating life. These to me are the true enduring stories of humanity and in some ways the oldest story. It is the story of how life persists and even thrives amidst a field of confusion that most of us here today would find unimaginable.
"I will share some of the stories that I have tried to tell as a photographer and now as I transition into video, talk about what changes I've made to the art of storytelling for a different medium. It will be about getting over fears and getting back to the roots of telling compelling stories using video."
- Gene Martin: HDSLR Audio in the Field
This workshop is for those who need an introductory to audio recording. As it unfortunately always seems to be overlooked, Martin shows how important good audio is and how easily you can improve the sound on your projects. He discusses the types of audio equipment needed when filming documentaries, independent films, and corporate videos. This includes in-camera recording options along with dual-system sound.
Martin reviews different products and highlights the reasons that one particular product may benefit you over another. Finally, he examines basic gear setups as well as more advanced options – along with different techniques to enable you to capture the best sound possible.
- Snehal Patel: Practical Filmmaking Mini-Bootcamp
Learn how you can make high quality, affordable films with your DSLR video camera in this workshop. See how the experts do it straight from the source. Get the answers from filmmaker Snehal Patel, who has trained many professionals in film and television through his highly successful Hollywood-based "Canon DSLR Boot Camp."
Snehal walks you through the whole process, explaining the DSLR workflow in simple terms. You will understand how to set up your camera for optimal quality, how to handle the filming process, how to convert footage for editing, and how to get great results.
You will also get insight into how professionals are using new, affordable tools to get the professional look and quality you see in the finished product. Don't stumble around in the dark. Get all your questions answered and more from the workshop that gives you the tools you need to make your DSLR video project right away. You can see more information about Snehal's Boot Camp and his blog here: www.fearlessproductions.tv.
- Panel: Everything You Wanted to Know about Lenses for HDSLR Cameras
Lenses are one of the most important tools in a shooter's toolkit. And potentially the most expensive. Photo Cine Expo has fielded a fantastic panel of lens experts to explain all the nuances of selecting the right lens and answer your questions.
Topics include the five important criteria for lens selection, zooms vs. prime lenses, understanding the advantages of cinema lenses, lens modifications, and options for adapting lenses to DSLRs. The panel is moderated by Brian Valente of Redrock Micro, and includes Rich Schleuning of Carl Zeiss, Paul and Matthew Duclos from Duclos Lenses, and Illya Friedman of Hot Rod Cameras.
- Frank Rohmer: Chroma Key Techniques Using Final Cut Pro
Chroma keying is a technique that has been around for a long time. It's used successfully at all levels of video and film production. If used properly, the chroma key technique can raise your project to a whole new level of quality and capabilities. On the other hand, poor lighting, incorrect backgrounds, and improper codecs can make keying a nightmare and can force your project to look amateur.
Even with a good camera and good lighting, proper keying techniques in post-production are critical. If used correctly they can help raise the quality of your project. Learn how to properly use Final Cut Pro's chroma key filters in this instructional class. The sooner you understand how the post-production works for this classic effect, the sooner you can start to create believable results.
- Frank Rohmer: Chroma Key Techniques Using Adobe CS5
- Rohmer also addresses chroma keying using Adobe CS5 software.
- Gail Mooney: Self Funding a DSLR Video Documentary Project
Producing your own documentary means you that need to apply your creativity to more than just the content. Choosing the right gear, finagling budgets, arranging travel and logistics, as well as being smart about scheduling will all require a creative mind to make your project a success. Veteran documentarian Gail Mooney takes a break from the post-production schedule of her current film to speak at the PhotoCineNews Expo about how to make and distribute your own documentary project.
She will discuss how to build an audience before your project is finished to start generating buzz and build anticipation. Gail will also reveal that it has never been more possible to get your documentary seen, possibly by the people that can expand the audience of your film with greater distribution channels.
The market has never been hungrier for authentic stories about real life. Your documentary's time may be just around the corner, but first you have to get started. Gail's mantra of "stop making excuses and make it happen" will have you motivated to get your film off your notebook page and onto the screen.
- Panel: VFX for Guerilla Filmmakers
- Jeremy Ian Thomas will host this panel of cutting-edge filmmakers, who share their secrets for visual effects on shoestring budgets. Thomas and his VFX supervisor, Kris Cabrera, will discuss how they achieved the amazing effects in his short film "Chrysalis." Thomas is joined by Clint Jones, who shot a sequel to his viral video "Cardboard Warfare," which has its world premiere at the PhotoCineNews Expo. The panel is rounded out by the group of young filmmakers behind "Modern Warfare: Frozen Crossing": Sam Gorski, Niko Pueringer, Freddie Wong, and Brandon Laatsch.
- Bui Brothers: Making Money from Viral Videos
This talk focuses on making money via video-centric marketing plans. It covers the methods behind the marketing plans as well as the messages and production plans of the videos themselves. In 2008 the Bui brothers launched a niche social network using a video-centric marketing plan over a period of three months.
This platform built an audience and following that resulted in a $147,000 sales week during the launch of the website. "Viral videos" in this case were viral within the small industry toward which they were targeted, and they were critical to the successful launch. In 2009 the Buis used a similar marketing plan to sell a series of SEO workshops, which brought in $140,000 during launch.
These marketing plans are explained in detail, as is how they can be replicated and made to fit any product or business. The Bui Brothers also cover how larger companies have leveraged viral videos to attain huge successes, and what it takes to make a video truly viral.
- Roberta Munroe: The Best Short Film Workshop Ever
- Join Roberta Munroe, author of How Not To Make A Short Film: Secrets From A Sundance Programmer for a workshop that is geared solely towards those wishing to create a short film. You'll learn highly sought-after insider information on how to write, produce, cast, and post your film. You'll also learn how and where to submit to film festivals (and where not to submit), and how the world of short film distribution is changing in your favor.
- Bob Sliga: Final Cut Studio Color Correction – Apple Color Made Easy
Sliga's goal is to help new users understand the benefits of color correction using Apple Color. He created the popular Scone Looks, which give users immediate professional results, along with podcasts that teach how to color-correct using Color. The Scone Looks help to span the creative gap and the technical gap, allowing users to very quickly enhance their work.
The seminar covers how to import footage; how to grade, render, and export footage from Color to FCP; plus explanations of Color's user interface, waveform monitor, vector scope, and color grade management.
- Jared Abrams: DSLR ENG Production Tips and Techniques
- Shooting content fort the web can be an intense race. Shooting for Cinema5D, Abrams and his team have managed to streamline this process so that they can shoot one day and get information to their viewers the following day – if not the same day. Cinema5D covers events like PhotoCineExpo and tries to bring the viewer to the show. The team illustrates their process by showcasing some of the latest products on the market, and with interviews of some of the top players in the industry. Cinema5D shows you how it's done, and reveals the equipment that gets it done.