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THE MODERN VOICE OF CLASSICAL DECORATIVE PAINTING
Every horse needs a stable. Extraordinary horses deserve extraordinary stables. Coming home from your ride every day is completed by pulling into a private space that you, your family and your prized collections call home. Turning off the key and shifting from one world to the next requires an effort only understood by few. Each Stable by André is manifested to be one of a kind: Hand crafted from materials surrounding your home that may never be duplicated by others. A truly hand tailored wall treatment within which your collection can find refuge after a hard day of riding. Your home is a sanctuary for all of the creatures that dwell therein.
We had the opportunity to put this tv spot together for Fort Lewis College for their NCAA homecoming game that played nationally on October 16 on Fox Sports. The college came to us and asked us to produce something that captured the general feel of the campus and showed the adventurous life that students can have at the school, located in the outdoor playground of Durango Colorado.
Here’s the spot:
Our team went down for 4 visits to complete this spot. During the first stay, we met with a team from the school and talked through creative strategies and the feasibility of using students and volunteers for many of the roles to be played in the commercial. For instance, there’s a river that runs through Durango and very early on it was suggested that we captured something around that iconic river. We ended up integrating that location twice, once with a kayak exploding through some rapids, and once with students taking samples for their biology class.
Sprinter grip truck in durango
photo credit: Hannah Drake
On the way to Durango, the drive is beautiful
The staged nighttime football game
The next three visits were production days, in which the schedule was flexible enough to encompass many campus activities including a soccer game, slack-lining, kayaking, skateboarding, riding mountain bikes at sunset over a ridge, a business class, a biology class, and art class.
Thanks to everyone involved!
and many more volunteers!
Carlton Landing is a magnificent place. This is a web piece to show off their stunning location, great family living, and many amenities.
From their website:
Imagine a place… where you can enjoy time together – free of distractions. Where kids can safely play and explore the natural world around them. Where the hustle and bustle of life is held at bay. Where a life of simplicity is not only possible, but encouraged.
The idea of Carlton Landing was birthed from a realization that our society needs a good escape option. Our world is moving faster than ever these days and time is our most precious resource. In the process of ‘trying to keep up’, it’s easy to lose track of the most important things in life – things like rest, recreation and special time with kids or grandkids. The small joys of enjoying a good book on a covered porch on a rainy morning, going for a walk in the late afternoon, growing your own food, or having long dinners with good friends are sometimes lost in the shuffle. When you stop to think about it, these are the things that mean the most and make for a memorable life.
Sometimes, we need a place to go away and find the life we dream of. A place to reconnect with our family. To reconnect with our friends. A place to reconnect with nature and with the infinite power of creation. A place to be restored and renewed. A place to build lasting memories and have the option of enjoying a life of simplicity. This place is Carlton Landing. Welcome!
Shot, produced, directed and edited on location in Oklahoma by the James Drake Films team.
This is a 30 second Brahma Brims tv commercial for an upcoming hard hat accessory:
Brahma Brims – The Beginning from James Drake on Vimeo.
An excerpt from their website:
The brim is comprised of three parts specifically designed to maintain its shape while providing a flexible outer brim that lowers the risk of the hard hat being knocked from the head of the worker when the brim comes into contact with another surface. This design also maintains a line that follows closely the original profile of the existing hard hat brim, allowing it to maintain the consistant deflection properties of the hard hat itself. We have also considered that if the brim should become snagged or caught between something, since it is not connected to the hard hat with the use of *external fasteners or devices the brim should simply peel away from the hard hat under most circumstances. So you can wear your brim with confidence.
Directed, shot, edited on location in Wyoming by the James Drake Films team.
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This blog is a look at the Sony A7s low light capabilities. The low light capabilities have already been bragged on all over the web, but I wanted to see a side by side comparison with the Red Epic and Panasonic GH4.
As an Epic owner, almost every production situation the Red goes into it performs quite well … with the exception of ultra low light. The capabilities that are coming out now are starting to really turn heads! It’s fairly common knowledge that the Mysterium-x sensor in the Epic hasn’t dominated the low light space. It has many many awesome features, but super low light hasn’t been it’s strong point.
As all of these new tweets, blogs, and videos started emerging with the A7s, my interest was grabbed and I had to know how the Red compared against the new breed! It’s not totally an apples to apples comparison because each camera has strong suites, and no camera (that I know of) is the best at everything. The Mysterium-x sensor is also many years old now. There have been some touting that Red’s Dragon sensor performs better in low light. I don’t own a Dragon camera or have immediate access to one, so for now I can’t say!
A very special thank you to Dave Dugdale for inviting me over to check out the Sony A7s and the GH4!
Check out the screencapture below to see the explanation of our process and my thoughts on how the cameras compare:
Below are some screenshots that will give you an idea of how these cameras compare in a low light environment!
Our setup was using a Tamron 24-70 F2.8 on the Red Epic and A7s (via metabones adapter) and the 12-35 F2.8 on the GH4. All cameras were set to 2800k. We used Dave’s iphone at full brightness to key his face and the rest of the room was dark.
Click on any images below to see a 1080p resolution version.
First up, let’s see how the cameras do at 1600 ISO
Red Epic, Red Gamma 3 at 1600 ISO
GH4 at 1600 ISO, natural picture profile, contrast at -3, sharpness -3
A7s, 1600 with Cine4
Red Epic, Redgamma 3, 3200 ISO
GH4, 3200 ISO
A7s, slog 3200
A7s Cine4, 3200 ISO
Epic, Redlogfilm 3200
So there we have our 1600 and 3200 ISO tests. Beyond this, I thought it would be worthwhile to check out how the A7s performs at very high ISOs. I feel like the sweet spot is right between 12800-25600. I feel comfortable shooting these ISOs and noise reducing if necessary, but truly they are phenomenal for how much low light they capture!
Epic Redlogfilm 12800
A7s Slog 12800
A7s Cine4 12800
You can see at this point the true gains the A7s has made in low light. Additionally worth noting, the highlight preservation on the A7s in SLOG mode is incredible! Especially in the next examples. It’s too bad that the only internal option for recording is 8 bit. 8 Bit and s-log can spell disaster in grading… with banding, compression artifacts and such. It’s best to have some kind of external recorder to take advantage of the slog recording option in most scenarios.
At this point, I just left the comparison between two different gamma options in the A7s. The Red only allows you to select 12800 ISO, and at this point it was just fun to see how far the A7S could be pushed.
A7s Cine4 25600 ISO
A7s, slog 25600 ISO
A7s, slog 51200 ISO
A7s, Cine4 51200 ISO
A7s slog 204800 ISO
A7s CIne 4 204800 ISO
A7s slog 409600 ISO
A7s cine4 409600 ISO
Truly the dynamic range of Slog gets shown off in these low light tests. The Cine4 option just didn’t hold the detail in the same manner!!
Stay tuned, also ahead:
- Dynamic Range Test
- Rolling Shutter Test
- Run and Gun test
Such interesting times in which we live. Get your phones out, it’s time to start lighting!!
Super special thanks to Dave Dugdale at learningdslrvideo.com and Caleb Kohl at chlorofil.biz
We had a cool opportunity come up to shoot with fortune.com in the ever-growing New Belgium Brewery in Fort Collins Colorado. New Belgium’s operation started in a basement with just a few machines, and now has scaled to over a business generating $190 million (in 2013). Their current setup is amazing, some days they’ll produce 250,000 bottles or more. Needless to say, automation, factories, and the Red Epic camera were a formula for some killer footage.
The primary goal of the shoot was to tell the origin of the Brewery from the perspective of CEO Kim Jordan. The tricky part was that all of this incredible backdrop of a massive working brewery was very noisy. I would love to have had the ability to shut operations down for 1 hour to do a quiet interview in one of the big open brewing areas… but that would be prohibitively expensive and not realistic. We chose to do the interview in Kim’s office where sound was easily controllable and just nail it with all of the b-roll footage.
We only had a half day of access to the facility, so we had to run light and small. I’m grateful to have had the talented Ian Chisolm along to help move gear for dolly setups and lights, when time was crunched!
Video will be posted soon as it is released.
It’s been a while since Dave Dugdale and I made this Red Epic Tutorial (we shot in January of 2012), but I was reminded by a friend that almost all of the information is still relevant and useful. If you’re looking into how to use the Red Epic or Scarlet on an upcoming shoot, check out the video below as we walk through menus, functions, and features!
At the time of this writing, the video is approaching 90,000 views! Thanks for checking it out and let me know if you have new Red questions!
In recent months, Dave and I also did a comparison of the Red Epic MX camera against the new Panasonic GH4, and have found the results to be pretty impressive. Check out that camera comparison and we hope it will help you make good decisions on your gear!
The Red Epic and the Panasonic GH4. How do they compare?
A (now) $20,000ish Red body against a $1700 newly released Panasonic mirrorless camera that fits in your hand…
Dave Dugdale over at learningdslrvideo.com posted a comparison he was doing with the GH4 and my thought was, “is this a good B-camera for the Red.” So, with my simple “real world run and gun” methodology, we tested. (In case you’re wondering, Dave and I have done a few other Red camera tests together)
Before we jump into some tests I think it’s worth mentioning that the Mysterium-X sensor is 3 or 4 years old now, which is ANCIENT in technology and computer terms (which sadly cameras basically are wrapped into now).
We’ve been marketed resolution details from every camera company East to West. It was a big factor in helping the newly formed Red Digital Cinema company get established in the industry, so we’ll start here.
The Panasonic is very impressive. At 24 fps, it appears to be the same amount of resolution as the Red 5k downrezed to 4k with a touch of sharpening. It’s almost impossible to see aliasing on the GH4, which is a big plus! It is very sharp with no modifications. In fact, we had the sharpness dialed down to -5 on the camera to appear being “too crispy”. The image below was shot in color but posted in black in white to draw the eye to the actual image detail. Trees are often a nightmare to shoot at small apertures, so naturally this was a good test for us to challenge the cameras.
Gh4 and Red Epic Resolution and Sharpness Test. Desaturated in post, no sharpening added.
You can click on the image above for a full 4096×2160 look. The Epic was down sampled from 4800×2700 to match the 4096 frame. This was intentional, in that I believe this to be Red’s intent in giving “more” resolution with their system in the first place. Providing a “5k” resolution system with the ability to sample down to 4k was the standard method to increase overall resolution, that’s my reasoning behind downsampling the Epic footage to match.
To my eye, the image above, the GH4 looks sharper. For the next look, with the same image, I applied sharpening in Adobe Premiere CC to the Red footage (as we tend to do a lot on Red footage anyway).
GH4 and Red Epic, Sharpness added to Epic
Now, it appears the Epic is sharper. When dealing with such high resolution, the computer has enough information to make some very intelligent decisions on how and what to sharpen.
Out of pixel peeping mode and into the real world for a moment… Resolution-wise, the GH4 definitely meets the spec of running as a B-cam for the Red.
Now, onto a pseudo run and gun interview setup to see how they’d match color and look wise. For these tests, the Red was matched to the GH4 look out of camera. We tried 2 looks out of the GH4, the CineD look and the Natural look.
GH4 cineD interview look straight out of camera
GH4 Natural Look straight out of camera
Between the two, the best looking option is definitely the natural setting. The cineD setting makes skin look plastic, and the color shifts seems unnatural. With limited knowledge on setting up the profiles of this camera, there could be a setting we missed but it seems like Dave really covered his bases when looking into the profiles. His intent all along was to shoot natural, but I wanted to test the cineD profile in tandem to double check.
Below is the two cameras stacked next to each other in “A” and B” setups. The tonality differences of the camera come out mildly, but straight out of camera it isn’t a huge leap between the two. Notice the depth of field difference on the “b-setup” with same aperture and focal length.
Red and Gh4 interview setup
Gh4 and Epic B camera angle. notice the depth of field
Anything 24fps the Panasonic GH4 handles quite well. However when switching to 96fps at 1080p, we found there to be a sudden quality drop. There seems to be too much motion blur in the GH4 96 fps, as you can see below in the video and still.
GH4 96fps 1080p and Red Epic 5k 96fps. Notice the motion blur difference
From our basic tests, I think it’s pretty conclusive… as a general B-camera, the GH4 can really step in as a nice sub-$2000 addition to a Red users kit, under a few conditions. It seemed from our tests very easy to match the Red to the GH4, but there are looks that you can pull in the Redcode that are difficult to match exactly on the GH4. Don’t go out shooting without testing… as always. But it seems the natural profile on the GH4 is a good “HD” look match to the Red Epic. The GH4 wins in that it is a tiny tiny camera. For covert or ultra-light shoots, it wins. For big travel, it wins for sure. On top of that, with the myriad of cheap handheld gimbal systems coming to market, the lightweight GH4 will take great advantage of these. I’d say, if you’re in need of a B-Cam, this is a great system.
However…. it’s probably worth waiting to see the Sony A7S in action. That comparison will be coming very soon. Stay tuned!
Dave Dugdale will be posting his extensive review of the GH4 soon, keep your eyes out for it!
A huge special thank you to Caleb Kohl of chlorofil.biz and Ian Chisolm for helping us with these tests!
Update: Dave and I tested the GH4 with a metabones speedbooster, which essentially transforms the micro 4/3 sensor into the size of a s35 sensor. There’s an EF version of this speedbooster coming out soon, so it looks like we will be able to easily swap EF glass on shoots with Red’s and GH4, yet another factor to consider for those mini 2nd unit pieces!
Behind the Scenes
Written by Doc Jones, One Eleven Band
Directed- Seth Schaeffer of Hoptocopter.com
DP/Produced- James Drake Films
Lead Actor- Michael Nicely
Music Arrangement/Mix- Danny Odom
Camera Operator- Wade Yamaguchi
Grip/Gaffer Team- Cory Reynolds, Mark Walczak
Shot on location in Las Vegas.
Powerful lyrics for a powerful message:
Used to stay stoned, no rock in the face
you talking about church, no habla ingles
they say sex sells, guess that means sin pays
then why you got eviction coming in 10 days?
Dead broke fast spending like renting a fake smile
2 days and 3 hours away from a break down
A few pills chase the pain til sunrise
returning with a vengeance leaving your tongue tied
staring in the mirror who’s that can’t recognize
still faded seeing double, no better with second eyes
fighting something don’t exist like tekken 5
place blame on them when it’s really myself and I
Diggin my own grave like a slave to my own mind
examine my chest for a heart you won’t find
Rock bottom got a problem somebody throw me a line
Lord send me a sign!
Feels like my soul is dead broke
Man you wouldn’t know cause i don’t let it show
But my soul is dead broke,
I got no where to go, where’s the Lord when I call?
On your knees praying our father, hands clasping
head down like why bother? still waiting
prayers go unanswered, speaking to the air, no ears
why chance it? Control like a puppet
No Jim Hanson so you sold to the devil for a hefty ransom
feeling lost in a mansion
But really it’s a prison, product of wicked living
tracing back steps Sundays and catechism
Now it’s sundays and strip clubs,
bought a one way ticket
where sin has faced conviction
no hope for a wretch like me
need a neo-soul
Sounds like confessions from a broken down phone booth
Does God check voicemail?
I’m about to make my own news
Swinging straight held down
by your demons
Dead broke and pain free
Feels like my soul is dead broke
Man you wouldn’t know cause i don’t let it show
But my soul is dead broke,
I got no where to go, where’s the Lord when I call?
Don’t listen to those lies, shady schemes from the serpent
Appetite for destruction, Like a lion he is lurking
He would take your soul to you to eternal fires
Separated from your Father, it’s time to face the giant
Fight back and get on your knees say if you’re real right now
I really need to know, won’t you please take these pills away from me
Because I can’t do it on my own
Lord I surrender hands raised to the throne
Son I always was with and always will be
so put that rope down I came to give peace
It hurts that it took this long to realize
I would have spoke sooner, you had a veil over your eyes
Unable to see the glorious light that is I
The Christ illuminated in darkness must hide
it’s time to you’re all mine I’m depositing my spirit
I’m never dead broke again
Never will my soul,
Be dead broke
I’m sure will know cause I’m gonna let it show
Never will my soul
be dead broke
I’ve got somewhere to go I hear the Lord when I call
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death
I fear no evil. For you are with me, your rod, your staff they comfort me
Save Our Youth is a faith-based organization. It is their mission to transform the lives of at-risk youth through mentor relationships, providing the skills for success in educational, emotional, and spiritual development.
I’ve been blessed to have worked with them over the past few years and have made various commercials, documentaries, and testimonies based on the incredible mentoring work they do. Visit their website at saveouryouth.org
This project was shot on the Red Epic in a rapid fire “run and gun” style intentionally to keep the piece always moving, never grounded. The script and story behind the project were developed over 3 months, including pre-interviews, concept writing, and many meetings. One of the challenges of this piece was visualizing Devante’s past of fighting in school while being restricted to a short block of time at the school after the students had left. I also didn’t want to recreate a “fight scene”, so much as capture the reason why Devante was fighting, which was tied to loneliness and his struggle. When introduced to his mentor, things began to change in Devante’s life. One really cool angle on this story that didn’t make it into the edit was Devante’s success as a basketball player in the past few years. Since his time with Gary, his mentor, Devante has been consistently attending basketball practice and his 8th grade middle school team won the championship game this year in March. Not only did they win the game, but they won the game in typical old-fashioned movie style… with 3 seconds on the clock, down 2 points, and at the buzzer, a boy on his team hit the 3 pointer. Check out the picture below that shows the scoreboard and the young man on Devante’s team about to hit the winning 3! We were there to capture the whole thing. Originally we thought it would put the capstone on Devante’s success story. As it turns out, Gary was unable to make it and in the 3 minute window we had for this piece, we decided that honing in on Gary and Devante’s story was critical, so that was the route that we shaped the edit with. However, we’ll always remember how Devante’s team won in the last seconds of his 8th grade year…. Very symbolic of his success, and the great work Save Our Youth does all the time.
Game winning 3 pointer, the knights win by 1 at the buzzer.
Many of the best new product offerings from this year’s 2014 NAB! It seems that the big buzz on the floor was about 4k shooting/delivery/exhibition. There was also a sea of new LED light products.
Sony A7S – $TBD – Full Frame DSLR with 4k output, 1080/60/30/24 and 720/120 internal. Super High ISO (up to 409,600) and SLOG2 Gamma. Announced on Sunday at NAB, this is a big step forward in an offering from Sony. Blackmagic Design URSA – $5995 – They’ve released a new camera again at NAB and a lot of buzz is surrounding this camera. With a unique 10″ built in screen, QuadHD up to 60fps, Prores and CinemaDNG recording options, an almost-ENG friendly ergonomic body, this camera will make some waves coming in at $6,000. My big question on this system is whether or not the sensor will be improved over the Blackmagic Production Camera, which despite it’s 4K recording and $3000 price tag, has many buyers disappointed in image quality. A friend of mine got his recently and wasn’t able to shoot beyond ISO 400 without noise issues. We’ll see how Blackmagic handles the new sensor in this camera!
AJA CION Camera – $7995 – Another shoulder mount offering has arrived, and it’s the AJA CION camera system. It offers 4k global shutter, 12 stops of dynamic range, frame rates of up to 60 fps even at 4k, and an option of a meaty 12 bit 4444 Prores codec. My only concern with this camera is that it potentially uses a similar or same sensor as the Blackmagic Production camera, which was a bust due to noise issues (rated at only 400 ISO and noisy at 800). That’s just my personal conspiracy though and I hope that AJA has found a better sensor, or at least better implementation of that sensor to make a solid 4k offering.
Lumos Hawk 61 LED Fresnel light- Price TBD – This LED light comes from a company that focuses on one of the greatest challenges for LED lights… CRI. Many lights on the show floor were advertising a 90+/- CRI rating while the Lumos lights tout 98. That’s the highest I’ve seen, and their new light puts out the equivalent of a 1k Tungsten light but draws only 150w. You could safely put 8 on any standard clean US circuit.
Alzo 300W Par LED – ~$700 – Coming this summer, Alzo will put out a 300W LED light that puts out a massive amount of light, something like 18000 LUX at 1m (about 5 times as much as similar lights). They call the light the “HMI Terminator”, and I happen to agree. I’m excited for this product and looking forward to seeing it on set.
Arri L5 LED Fresnel – $TBD – Ranging from 2800k to 10000k, this versatile little brother of the already available L7 by Arri has hit the show floor at NAB. They state it is roughly 45% brighter than a 300W tunsten light, while using only 115 watts of power. This will be the preferred choice of light for many studios and crews, though the price range (historically with Arri lights) sets it above the price range of the new companies producing LED systems.
Panasonic GH4 – $1700 – Not fresh news, but the Panasonic GH4 advertises internal 4k and a wide set of features for a small but well built camera body. Available for preorder.
Atomos Shogun – “4k under $2k” Atomost released a new 4k recorder with many features similar to the likeminded Odyssey 7Q but at a cheaper price point. They also revealed a tiny $295 titled the “Ninja Star” that will record Apple Prores “in your pocket”. Angenieux Optimo 28-340 $ by quote ($80k range) – The 28-340 is a great zoom lens offering from Angenieux in their “Optimo” series that touts S35 frame coverage and a “perfect homogeneity of colorimetry, contrast and resolution”
PAGlink Stackable Batteries Starting at $490/battery – These new stackable batteries allow for a series of inline power that will allow your camera to run continuously for longer durations. The batteries can also charge while stacked, great for those long shoot days when you don’t have enough chargers for all of the depleted batteries!
Teradek Cube Pro and Timecode Buddy $TBD – With higher bit rate transmission and timecode embedded, the new Cube Pro from Teradek is another leap forward in wireless video for the industry. More details to come soon.
Andra Motion Focus System -$17k and up – This was a new offering at NAB that really had some amazing buzz behind it. Essentially it’s a focus pulling system that uses two “nodes” around camera, providing a 16×24 foot working area that will focus your lens precisely at the distance the subject is relative to camera. Very cool. Check out their website to see some examples.
DJI Phantom 2 – $1300 – The little GoPro quadracopter that has changed aerial video forever. DJI released a new version with new safety features, refined little pieces here and there, and a new Lightbridge 2.4Ghz downlink system is available to watch footage as it’s happening from the sky.
Sports and comedy, a match made in heaven. It turns out, many popular athletes are quite funny. This is certainly the case with Ty Lawson of the Denver Nuggets. The man has got some surprise laughs up his sleeve. This turned out to be a hilarious production.
Check out this sketch shot for Sports Illustrated “Extra Mustard”
red epic 9 news studio, 9 news Sony studio cameras in background
We had a Red Epic and Red Scarlet camera system to shoot this sketch. The post workflow and ability to mold and match the image to previous shoots made the Red a prime choice. Red, along with Adobe, have done a phenomenal job making REDCODE an amazingly easy to work with. It’s easier than the early 5DMark2 workflows, it’s pretty much “drag and drop” editing. Before the shoot started, we shot a brief clip of the kitchen setup in each camera and brought the clips into the DIT computer. We created a quick “look” in Redcine-X Pro and sent it to each camera so that the look would be locked between the two. Another fantastic and easy feature that Red has developed to work flawlessly.
Loading gear in during a live newscast
There was an interesting quirk to this shoot: Our comedy kitchen area was located inside the 9news Studio newsroom. We had to shoot between the midday and afternoon newscasts. In other words, we only had 4 hours to bring all the gear in, get the actors prepped, run through the sketch a few times, and pack out. In fact, the window was so tight that we brought equipment in (quietly) during the mid-day broadcast, only able to “make noise” during the commercial segments.
With the concern of staying on schedule, and attempting to closely recreate a daily news broadcast segment, the kind people at Sports Illustrated asked for a teleprompter system. It used to be easy to find a teleprompter system to rent… but those days are getting scarce. Most shoots we work on don’t have a teleprompter, so it’s not the primary investment in our gear department. Luckily, a relatively new device, the Pad Prompter, was there to save us. It uses two iPads (or an iphone/Ipad) and is super easy to use. Perfect. We stuck the prompter on the Scarlet.
Another look at the pad prompter above shows the high contrast lettering, easy to read even at a good distance for talent. Our cameras were positioned around 15-20 feet away from the set, but they were still able to read the prompt easily.
Above you can see the general setup of the crew. The prompter sat just in front of our wide angle teleprompter system, and A and B camera were positioned closely intentionally to create the aesthetic of a mid-day television segment. The style of this piece was spot on for the comedy the script called for.
Ty Lawson was a charm to work with on set. Hilarious, amiable, and a good guy. Leave your comments below and let us know if you think the comedy sketch worked!