Homestar Runner Returns With Ridiculous Rap Video Parody Paying Homage To Fisheye Lenses

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Fans of the cult classic internet cartoon, Homestar Runner were delighted to discover the creators have posted a new episode after having been on a long hiatus. The cartoon, known for its pure randomness and quirky flash animation, held true to its roots, this time with a hilarious rap video parody that pokes fun at over used fisheye shots.

The video is part “tutorial” with verses like “Put the camera on the ground and aim it up // make my kicks look huge and my crew look tough” and partially “behind the scenes” footage that will have you nodding and rapping along with the Strongbad posse…”Once you use the fisheye you just can’t stop // it used to be expensive, but then the price dropped.” [Read more...]

How To Build A Butter-Smooth Video Slider

You know those shots where a camera is pointing at an out of focus object and then it slowly goes into focus. Sometimes this is done by focus racking (or focus pulling) but sometimes it’s done by actually moving the camera until the object gets inside the depth of field.

The secret to doing it right with camera movement is to get the movement really (REALLY!) smooth. You can probably do it with a table dolly, but to get a really smooth movement you need to use something with bearings. Luckily, there is another industry that uses sliders with bearings – the furniture industry.

Photographer Romero Dominguez shares a pretty nice hack on how to build a slider with a couple of drawers sliding guide rails and a few scraps of metal. Depending on your needed length, those starts as little as $15.

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An Introduction to the Basics of Cinematography

There’s resources available online that can teach you almost anything you want to know. It’s funny how at this point in time, we can learn almost everything college has to offer; unfortunately, the only thing we can’t get is an actual degree. But either way, for those of us who are always hungry to acquire a new skill, there’s always a way to do so. For those of you that are filmmakers and videographers, here’s a video that introduces you to the basics of cinematography within the span of about forty minutes.

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See The Streets of New York, Captured Through an Arc of Fifty Lumia 1020 Smartphones

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For a while now, Nokia’s had a bit of a rough time breaking through again into the US Pokédex market; with such a solid and well-built UI, it’s a shame that the developer support for Windows Phone isn’t what it could be at this point. But if we know one thing for sure, it’s that the market is definitely growing. With Microsoft’s new CEO and the success of the Lumia line only growing, it seems Nokia’s starting to find its way in marketing. With how advanced the Lumia line has been in terms of photography, you can say the company’s definitely found its niche when it comes to advertising. Take this newly released video, for example. With 50 cameras phones put together side-by-side in the form of an arc, the crew behind the advertisement capture the streets of New York in a way you probably haven’t envisioned before.

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Run And Gun Video Rig For $180

I am doing a lot of self hosted videos, and while I love doing those videos, up until now there were two things about them I absolutely hated: Setting up and controlling the camera.

My setup check list was longer that I wanted it to be for a run and gun interview or a self hosted video, it included setting the camera on a tripod and starting to run back and forward between the camera and my mark to frame and focus the shot. I’d usually bring a nano light stand just for that – to assist me with framing myself in the shot and focusing the camera. The other thing I hated was starting and stopping the camera. As a Nikon shooter (D7000) I simply had no way around repeating this for every shot and take: walk to camera; start recording; walk to my mark; do my thing; walk back to the camera; stop recording. It was a nightmare.

I recently changed the way I work in two ways: video setup and audio.

firstly I bought a TPlink MR3040 router which I can use to frame, focus, start and stop the recording. The second thing that changed is that I started using a Rode Video mic pro for my audio. It records directly into the camera (which some will say is a wrongest thing to do to audio, but for what I do, it is more than enough).

Here is the breakdown of my setup: [Read more...]

Bentley shoots High End ad with iPhone 5S – Edits with iPad

When you think about a camera to match the Bentley brand you probably go as high as you can, Red Dragon, Arri Alexa something along those lines. This is why I was kind of shocked to discover that Bentley’s new ad Intelligent Details was shot entirely on the iPhone 5S.

The video shows Luc Donckerwolke, director of design, and SangYup Lee, head of exterior design, talking about their motivations and decisions inside a $298,000 Bentley Mulsanne.

While the story and cinematography are really catching I hate to say that the camera does not hold its own. Easy shots are…. OK. But the camera really falls when it comes to more complex shots and dynamic range.
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Hack: Get a Phantom Powered Microphone On Any Camera

One of the drawbacks of using the camera in-microphone port is that it only supports 3.5mm and while there are some decent solution for that (see the Rode video mic pro), if you really want nice audio, the higher end shotgun microphones require something called Phantom Power – this is a way to provide the microphone with electricity via the same XLR cable that connects it to the recorder (in our case – the camera).

Mike Kobal shares a clever hack for getting Phantom powered XLR shot gun mics on a DSLR. (seems like everyone is hacking their DSLRs nowadays – this really compliments the power hack we featured last week)

The solution is to use the  IK Multimedia iRig Pre Microphone Interface which is originally a Mic to iOS Device, but works wonders on the GH4 video monster and other DSLR.

The irig Pre goes via an iPhone to standard plug converter and plugs into the microphone jack and the head phone jack. And both the shotgun mic and the earphones goes into the iRig Pre.

Mike suggests to get a few connectors as they are very flimsy.

[The $29 XLR hack for the Panasonic Lumix GH4 via ISO 1200]

Getting a Complete Day Of Battery power For a camera and Monitor for $150

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If you were not satisfied with the 9 hours battery solution we shared last week, Caleb Pike shares an even better solution that not only lasts more than a day of shooting HD on a DSLR, but it can also power a monitor for that day.

The solution is build around a (bit shaky) NP-F970 Battery Adapter which is compatible with Canon in via a similar adapter to the one we showed last week.

Now Caleb is pretty upfront about the build quality of the unit which apparently is not that awesome, but on the flip side of it, it is very budget friendly. [Read more...]

How to Prepare Gear for Massive Video Shoots Abroad

One of the biggest challenges with any creative production is gear management. At the start of my time as a creative, I don’t know how many times I have arrived at a location and realized a crucial part of my kit was missing. However, like most things, you only learn from your mistakes and what I have learned is that it is extremely important to create checklists and prep gear BEFORE heading out to shoot. Although it does take more time to do this, it will save you time and heartache from going out to get a shot and realizing you don’t have everything you need.

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Now I must admit, my least favorite part about filmmaking is the gear prepping. It’s a fine balance between taking too much and taking not enough and this battle is unique for every job. This is especially critical when traveling. With this post, what I hope to do is talk about how to prep your kit when traveling abroad. I will use a recent project to Cuba as the case study.
*Note: I am by no means an expert but here is what I have learned up until this point. [Read more...]

How To Convert Photography Lenses into Cine Lenses

If you’ve been making the conversion from shooting stills to shooting DSLR video you probably have an array of lenses from the stills days.

If you are solely doing video, there may be a lot of sense to convert your stills lenses to cine lenses. Caleb Pike has a great tutorial on converting your DSLR lenses to easily accommodate a video workflow.

Caleb starts with a set of 3 Olympus OM lenses: 35-70 F4, 75-150 F4 and 50mm F1.8 at total of about $200 and  lists a few major differences between the way DSLR lenses are built and the way cine lenses are built, he also explains how to adjust the lens for cine use. [Read more...]