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GROUP TEST ACTION CAMS GoPro, Sony and Rollei battle it out for a place in your kitbag

LARRY Auditioning in FCP X

SECRETS OF STREAMING Why live broadcasts will boost your bottom line

The u ultimate magazine for next generation filmmakers WINTER 2015 £4.99 @ProMoviemaker @ProMov





DRONES Navigating you through the latest aerial shooters








The feature-packed 4K monitor marvel from Atomos

Taking the legendary format into the digital age

Could it be love at first sight?


Interview technique: Master your audio Selling stock: Shoot video, make money Business bootcamp: Pre-production know-how





SHOWSTOPPERS The biggest news direct from our team on the floor at IBC.


COMPETITION Your second chance to win a Sennheiser AVX wireless lav mic system worth a massive £810!



CASE STUDY: BENJAMIN TODD DOP Benjamin Todd tells us about the importance of adaptability in this fast moving industry.


CASE STUDY: SARAH SILVER Filmmaker and photographer Sarah Silver reveals how her upbringing shaped her creative career.


50 YEARS OF SUPER 8 To celebrate the half centenary of this popular format we sit down with wedding filmmaker Mark Brown and check out the latest kit.


ONE TO WATCH Think you’ve got what it takes to be the next big thing? Check out this unique opportunity for exposure and win prizes worth £5K.

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SECRETS OF STREAMING Everything you need to know about incorporating live streaming into your business model.


DOP WORKSHOP Step your production up a notch by adding movement to your shots.


STEADY AS SHE GOES We catch up with dedicated Steadicam operator Ilana Garrard.


INTERVIEW AUDIO Learn how to record professional sound in an interview environment.



FINAL AUDITION Resident editing expert Larry Jordan explains auditioning in FCP X.



ASK THE EXPERTS From transport to time-lapse, our expert panel answers all your burning questions.


TAKING STOCK The 411 on making money in the stock (footage) market.


BUSINESS BOOTCAMP Den Lennie talks us through the importance of pre-production and planning your shoots.

103 SMALL IS BEAUTIFUL Columnist Dan Chung waxes lyrical about the small camera revolution.

106 CROWD CONTROL We wrap up our crowdfunding series with advice on the nittygritty of actually raising funds.







114 GIRLS WITH ALTITUDE Take to the skies with aerial film experts The Helicopter Girls.

121 MANUAL LABOUR Editor Terry Hope puts together an ops manual for the second stage of his PFAW Certification.

128 BUYERS’ GUIDE: DRONES Keen to get started in aerial videography? Here’s our pick of some of the best drones available.

121 GEAR

134 SONY FS7 For our mammoth test this issue, we put the Sony FS7 through its paces to see if it really is the camera that dreams are made of.

142 ATOMOS SHOGUN Want to harness the true potential of your 4K camera? See how we rated this popular monitor/recorder.

144 GROUP TEST: ACTION CAMS We test three action cams from Sony, Rollei and GoPro to see which is best for a pro workflow.

154 DAVINCI RESOLVE 12 Do you really get what you pay for? We test the latest version of Blackmagic’s free editing platform.



158 MINI TESTS Monopods, keyboards, cages – we test the best of the rest.





Despite his relatively short career as a DOP Benjamin Todd has seen massive changes in the industry and he’s had to be infinitely adaptable to survive and to flourish in a world that never stops moving WORDS TERRY HOPE



BENJAMIN TODD CASE STUDY Oscars campaign, Winter 2009, Print Advertising and Online videos.






THE SECRETS OF STREAMING Thanks to increasing download speeds, streaming is going mainstream – could it be a potential money-spinner for you? James Vellacott explains how he’s incorporated it into his business WORDS & PICTURES JAMES VELLACOTT

W ABOVE The kind of live broadcasting that used to require the might of a TV network can now be offered at massively lower cost, through the power of the Internet.

e all know how important video has become to the fast-growing online market, but it’s not all about content or the quality of production. These days, it’s just as much about the speed with which you can get your message across to your audience, and even about the opportunity for them to talk back to you in real time. I’ve witnessed a huge change in online video methods since launching Cherryduck Productions in 2009, and it’s not just brand videos, events, commercials and how-to videos that people are coming to us for.

As networks have sped up, live video streaming has become increasingly accessible, and it means that you can encourage viewers to tune in and interact in a way that on-demand video can’t match. Put simply, you can broadcast what you want, when you want, armed with nothing more than a camera, a computer and an Internet connection. To put this into context, if you had wanted to do something like this in the past you would have needed outside broadcast trucks, roof-mounted satellite dishes and a big chunk of satellite airtime. Today, with the increased Internet speeds and advancements

in technology, it can be as cost-effective to set up and deliver as a standard edited video, and sometimes it’s even cheaper! How it works Traditionally, clients have asked us to shoot their events and edit the video quickly on-site, with runners supplying the on-site editors with the media cards as the event unfolds. The edited video is then published online shortly after the event has finished. But now that it’s become commercially viable, streaming offers an opportunity to involve an online audience still more. Demand for the service is rising all the time.



ACADEMY VIDEO STREAMING We’re now able to stream a video to a viewer’s device as it happens in real time. The advantages are obvious: live streaming not only engages viewers who can’t make it to an event, but also allows instant and accurate feedback, including real-time viewing figures that provide valuable insights for the client. Currently we’re shooting live video regularly for online chat shows, beauty commentators and blogs, catwalk shows, game shows (using live Twitter feeds), panel debates and webinars for tech and business. Live tutorials are also becoming increasingly popular, with international audiences also able to take part. Social media plays a valuable part in many of our live productions, as it can publicise a forthcoming show, with links to a holding page and to the show itself during airtime. Some of our clients add a competition element to their live-stream show, to tease viewers into watching and encourage them to take part via an on-screen Twitter feed. How to get involved I’ve made the whole idea of streaming sound remarkably simple here, and indeed it is, but there is a bit of expense and technology involved. We went for a vision mixer system called, appropriately enough, the Livestream Studio. The HD510 package set us back around £6500 ($10,300). It allows us to stream directly from Tower Bridge Studios and can also be taken on location to stream HD video straight out to the Internet from wherever we are. The HD510 can take in up to five SDI or HDMI cameras, as well as additional wireless cameras, such as a GoPro or an iPhone, for example. This, coupled with the Livestream control surface, makes for a powerful and flexible set-up. It has graphic engines and media playback built in, which

ABOVE The main investment in terms of equipment for live streaming is in vision and sound mixing devices.

“If the power or the Internet drops out, you’re sat on your hands with an incredibly frustrated client” 56




LISTEN UP: AUDIO FOR INTERVIEWS One of the most common filming scenarios involves an interview, and it’s crucial in these situations that you get the sound right. Audio expert Tom Flint shows how to get professional results WORDS TOM FLINT


hen filming a presenter talking to camera, or setting up an interview involving multiple people, getting a flawless audio track is vital. The nature of this kind of job means that the on-site audio will be exactly what’s used in the final edit and most of the time there won’t be much that can be done at the postproduction stage to fix problems that occur during recording. As for the filmmaker’s trick of overdubbing better vocals and sound effects in the comfort of the editing suite, that’s just not going to be an option! Bearing all this in mind you have to select the best microphones for the situation you’re facing, and these need to be placed so they capture the cleanest and clearest audio. Of course, no two interviews are the same and many factors will play a part in your gear selection. Cost will be a major consideration for most, but other things matter too, such as the location you work in (indoors or outdoors), the amount of movement that’s



taking place during the filming and the number of people speaking. Let’s kick off with the simplest approach, which will suit those of you working solo. Every camera is capable of recording audio from its on-board microphone, but better results can be had by using a higher-quality mic that mounts on the camera’s hotshoe and plugs into its ‘mic in’ mini-jack socket. The RØDE Stereo VideoMic X is a good example of just such a product. It’s cradled in a shock mount to reduce audio-wrecking vibrations, and has several controls for adjusting mic sensitivity and the EQ of its output. It also amplifies the signal using good-quality preamps, thereby allowing the user to turn down the inferior ones in the camera. Finally, it has a heart-shaped pick-up pattern (known as cardioid), which is good for capturing more than one interviewee, speaker or presenter. The problem with using a mic in this way is that the camera it sits on will be






Last issue Emily Best explained how crowdfunding could help you to gauge the level of interest in your planned production. Now it’s on to the nitty-gritty of raising funds while giving something back WORDS EMILY BEST





ne thing to get clear up front: crowdfunding isn’t a shortcut to getting your film funded. When you raise investment, you trade equity in your movie for cash, and crowdfunding works the same way. Instead of selling an ownership share in your film, you’re trading social equity. To put it another way, when you crowdfund a film, your integrity is at stake, and if you fail to deliver you lose your community’s faith. That’s why at Seed&Spark we’ve built our crowdfunding education strategy around giving back as much as you receive. Our crowdfunding template is organised around the principle of equitable exchange: commit this ethos to heart and apply it to an awesome project to succeed! Developing your network You already have the seeds of a crowdfunding audience: your family and friends. These people are your vanguard supporters, and they will eventually represent at least 20% of your campaign raise. However, unless your core network becomes the core of a larger network, you’ll stall. So you need to widen your reach, and if you want to do some serious network building you need to give something back, equal to what you’ve received. Three things power the creative economy: knowledge, labour and money. If you’re an up-andcoming artist, you’re probably cash poor, but I bet you’re rich with knowledge. If you’re a filmmaker, chances are you know a bunch of other filmmakers and they probably need as much help as you do. So help them! If you’re concentrating on building your Facebook and Twitter followings, use those platforms to post articles and videos that add wisdom to the pool of creative capital. If you know how to pull focus, or push a dolly, or have a car and can pick stuff up for a friend’s shoot some Sunday, offer it! Finally, whenever financially feasible, support the campaigns of your friends. That doesn’t mean

give everyone who asks $300. But give $10. Give $25. Every cent or penny counts! Pre-producing your outreach You’ve spent months building your social network, paying into the pool of social capital with your knowledge, labour and a little bit of money. You’ve been on film sets every weekend, helping the DoP on a three-person crew fill a bedroom with morning light at 10pm and trying to find AA batteries for a dead lavalier mic at 5am. You’ve collected the emails of everyone you’ve worked and formed relationships with online and have a list of nearly 500 addresses you feel comfortable writing to directly. In other words, you’ve laid your groundwork, and you’re ready to crowdfund... Almost. A great thing about crowdfunding for film is that the life cycle of a campaign matches the life cycle of a production, so you’re already ahead of the game. If you think about building your audience as the development process, stage two is preproduction – where you put together the team and assets that will ensure your success. And what is success? A clear, exciting articulation of what you’re making, and why people should support you making it. So, let’s start from the beginning. Although crowdfunding can be introduced at any point in the production cycle, for the sake of presenting the most common example, we’ll assume you’re raising funds to shoot your movie. And that, of course, means you haven’t yet got anything to show, which is why you need to create a short pitch video – around 90 seconds or so – to ignite the passions of your future audience. What doesn’t go down well is you facing the camera for five minutes just talking. Edit together some footage from your previous work or get together with your team to shoot test shots that communicate your aesthetic and make your pitch video visual. Communicate what you’re making but hook them with your talent as an artist, and reel them in with your idealism. 15 seconds of why someone should join your project

as a supporter will do you way more good than a two-minute synopsis of what you’re making. Your initial goal will be to hit 30% funded as fast as possible; those that reach this level in the first week of a 30-day campaign have an 80% success rate. Look to do this by contacting your core network in advance by email, asking for them to pre-commit their support. But also make sure that the support that comes in is meted out on a schedule. If you aren’t sure of where the other 70% is coming from you don’t want to lose momentum as the first week winds to a close. The third major task is assembling your outreach schedule. The more thoroughly you plan your social media narrative, and the more rigid your email strategy is (ie. the 20 people you’re emailing Monday, the 20 you’re emailing Tuesday), the less room you leave for self-doubt. Producing your campaign If people smell failure they’ll run for the hills, so make sure you broadcast the inevitability of success. If you’ve done your pre-production homework and cemented the first 30% of your raise, then as those expected funds roll in you need to let the world know things are moving. Make it easy for your supporters to tell people outside your network about the amazing film they just invested in.

“What is success? A clear, exciting articulation of what you’re making, and why people should support you” WINTER 2015 PRO MOVIEMAKER






There’s never been a better time to join the drone revolution, with new and ever more sophisticated models appearing all the time. Here’s a rundown of some of the latest products to hit the market WORDS TERRY HOPE

he really exciting thing about new technology is the way that it makes things possible that just a short time ago would have sounded like complete science fiction. The drone sector is the perfect example of this: go back just a few short years and it was only the hardened aficionados that were involved, painstakingly building bespoke kit and, a bit like the aviation pioneers before them, suffering numerous setbacks and accidents along the way. How times have changed, and more and more people are now




looking at drones in an entirely different way. On a professional level there is now a plethora of well priced, astonishingly sophisticated kit available, with the emphasis increasingly on ease of flying. The latest products come with an automated set of functions including take-off, landing and predetermined manoeuvres, and although it’s still mandatory to pass a stiff series of tests before you’re allowed to earn any money through flying one, they are no longer anything like as challenging or as scary to fly.

IMAGE If you want your business to fly high, maybe you should invest in one of these drones.

Best of all many of them now come ready to virtually fly out of the box. There’s no longer a need to have a degree in Meccano to be able to put one together, and they offer the complete package, including a dedicated gimbal and camera, as part of the deal. It’s no wonder that so many people are now looking at whether these devices have a commercial role to play in their own businesses, and to help you make a decision we’ve rounded up news of some of the latest launches to have been announced in this sector.



Editor’s Choice +++++

3D ROBOTICS SOLO £979.95/$1512 (gimbal £379/$586) Optimised for use with GoPro only

PRODRONE BYRD Between £518/$800 and £1943/$3000 Maximum payload: 3.8kg

FREEFLY ALTA From: £5503/$8,495 Maximum payload: 6.5kg

As North America’s largest manufacturer of consumer drones and founder of one of the world’s leading open drone software platforms you might expect 3D Robotics to come up with something special and they have, in the form of the Solo, said to be the world’s first smart drone. Having had the chance to fly the craft I can vouch that this is indeed an easy piece of kit to master. For a start it’s very easy to communicate with: it’s the first drone to offer live wireless video streaming in HD from a GoPro camera directly to iOS/ Android devices at ranges of up to half a mile. It also offers clever functions that virtually automate the flying experience. You can, for example, set a centre spot of interest and ask the Solo to fly around it, and it will do this while keeping the horizon level throughout. You can also set a start and finish point for the Solo’s flight, and it will achieve this without your needing to do anything further, the on-board gimbal adjusting the viewpoint as it goes along to give you some highly professional looking footage. The Solo mobile app offers live HD view or satellite view, and allows for automatic cloud-based logging of flights, instant access to technical support, ondevice recording of your live HD video stream and support for future web-based control of Solo. Solo’s smart battery monitors the drone’s charge, and the controller will vibrate to notify when power is running low. This product has plenty of potential for commercial applications and it’s an exciting and affordable new launch that could give DJI’s Phantom line-up a run for its money.

The first consumer UAV to be launched by ProDrone was unveiled at IBC and, as evidenced by its 3.8kg maximum payload, it’s been designed with pro aspirations. However, its main selling point is its revolutionary appearance and complete portability. It’s said to be the world’s first drone capable of folding up into a convenient (iPad) sized package, allowing it to easily fit into a backpack. Despite its compact size, the new ProDrone is said to be very robust, having been tested out in some of the world’s harshest climates prior to its launch. It’s also quick to use: the UAV’s modular payload system is said to allow users to quickly swap out gimbal/camera combinations so that they’re always prepared for action. The headline features of this intriguing new UAV launch include an estimated flight time of just under 30 minutes, the ability to accept a wide range of camera types, including 4K, 1080p, infrared and GoPro models, a multi controller option so that it’s possible for a pilot and camera operator to work the drone, screen sharing on up to three separate devices, HD transmission and a comprehensive series of safety features, such as return home and one button take off. The device is aimed not just at professional filmmakers but also outdoor enthusiasts and adventurers, with the company optimistically suggesting that its USPs will enable it to ‘change the industry.’ Definitely one to keep an eye on to see if it can justify the hype. The ProDrone will become available later this year and it will cost between $800-3000 depending upon the package.

Grandly billed as ‘the definitive aerial platform,’ the Freefly ALTA unpacks and is ready to go in under five minutes. It’s said to be easy to fly and is a powerful product, capable of lifting cameras up to 6.5Kg in weight – think RED EPIC, ARRI and the like, so clearly this is a drone with the capability of handling the most high end of shoots. The ALTA comes fully assembled and includes all the necessary tools and accessories required to mount a MōVI gimbal and to get it flying. The standard ALTA ships with a Toad in the Hole quick release, Battery Cage Landing Gear, FPV mount plate, cables to connect your personal receivers and/or FPV system, and mechanical tools to disassemble and inspect your ALTA. However, it’s worth noting that the standard ALTA configuration doesn’t include the MōVI itself, batteries, a transmitter, receivers, the Aero Landing Gear (lower landing gear for flying a MōVI) or an FPV system, so the price will go up once you source these extra items. Key advantage of the ALTA is the fact that, while it’s very strong it’s also extremely lightweight, ensuring increased flight times with the heavier cameras. Using cutting edge sine wave drive motor controls with active braking, the ALTA also features low noise and precise, efficient, closed loop control of the propeller, which is a big advantage if you’re worried about your audio track picking up the sound of the drone.

Pros: Highly automated and easy to fly Cons: At the moment it’s set up to work with GoPros only

Pros: Ultra Portable backpack–friendly package Cons: Will it live up to expectations?

Pros: State-of-the art high spec drone Cons: Starting price will rise with all the extras





SONY PXW-FS7K Sony’s FS7 camcorder has generated lots attention since its launch, along with a lengthy waiting list of would-be purchasers, but is it really the dream machine that so many have been anticipating? WORDS ADAM DUCKWORTH

ombine the usability of a pro-style camcorder with the benefits of a largesensor DSLR – in a package that’s a bargain compared to its rivals – then it sounds like you’ve got a potentially game-changing camera. That’s what Sony has attempted to do with its FS7 camcorder. In many ways, they’ve pulled it off – as proven by months of waiting lists to buy it, which have only just cleared. It’s not quite two cameras in one but it’s pretty close to it while hitting a price – £7296/$9506 street price with a dedicated Sony video lens – that can’t be matched by its rivals. At its heart is the industrystandard cinematic Super 35 sensor, which is not as big as a fullframe 35mm sensor so there will be a small crop factor. It’s still a good size and the FS7’s ability to accept fast primes means you’ll be able to use those shallow depth-of-field effects that are loved by creative cinematographers. The FS7 gives you control over video and audio functions, something you’d expect from a




pro-level camcorder. It’s designed specifically for video use, ensuring decent ergonomics. The advantages of a DSLR are the small physical size and large sensor, but to make them usable for pro video you need to add rigs, monitors, mics, viewfinders, ND filters, and more. Suddenly these cameras aren’t so attractive to filmmakers any more. The FS7 has internal 4K recording, the potential to record Raw files and a huge 14 stops of dynamic range. It uses the same sensor as the more-expensive F5 so you know it’s good. The FS7 can capture super slow-motion in real time, without buffering. For NTSC regions this is 180fps but for PAL it’s 150fps. The camera shoots in 240fps but you’ll need an external recorder. Loaded with technology, the Sony FS7 is a camera that’s easy to like. Handling If you’re used to handling prospec video cameras you’ll be right at home with the FS7. The camera comes with a 15mm rod at the front of the grab handle to




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Pro Moviemaker Winter 2015 sample issue  

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Pro Moviemaker Winter 2015 sample issue  

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