Page 1

+PLUS

Love is in the air

DRONES + WEDDINGS = PROFIT

Audio editing made easy

Six of the best gimbals on the market How to scout the perfect location

The ultimate magazine for next generation filmmakers SPRING 2016 www.promoviemaker.net @ProMoviemaker

WIN A CANON XC10! See page 16

FROM AJA TO ZACUTO WE TEST THE MOST DESIRABLE KIT PRO TEST

CANON XC10

Could this be the pint-sized 4K hybrid we’ve been waiting for?

GROUP TEST

VIEWFINDERS

Four of the best EVFs battle it out PRINTED IN THE UK

PMM-SPR16-001 COVER (207mm).indd 1

21/01/2016 12:31


SPRING 2016

CONTENTS NEWS

6 INDUSTRY INSIDER

Find out about all the latest news and releases, plus we preview two of the most anticipated trade shows.

16 COMPETITION

Answer one simple question and the compact hybrid 4K Canon XC10 camera could be yours. FEATURES

18 CASE STUDY: CHRIS CRAYMER

Filmmaker and photographer Chris Craymer talks about straddling two formats and the importance of having an optimistic vision.

25 CASE STUDY: ANDY HOLLIS

DoP Andy Hollis provides insight into life on-set and advice for filmmakers wanting to transition from corporates to TV and film.

30 CASE STUDY: JOHN DOWNER Celebrated wildlife filmmaker John Downer talks about how he’s had to develop new equipment to acquire his unique shots.

18 30

37 ONE TO WATCH

The shortlisted candidates have been chosen but the competition is far from over. Meet the finalists and decide who you think should be crowned our overall One to Watch. ACADEMY

48 IMPROVE YOUR AUDIO

Our resident post expert Larry Jordan reveals his top tips and tricks for improving your audio in Premiere Pro CC.

53 FAKING IT WITH FOLEY

Learn how to create, record or simply download sound effects for use in your next production.

48

25

56 LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION

Discover what makes the perfect shooting location from both a DOP and a global location scout.

63 RAIDING THE ARCHIVES

Find out how to locate, license and work with archive footage.

67 TALKING NEGATIVE

Want to add some atmosphere to your shots? Join the dark side and make best friends with negative fill. MOVIE MATTERS

76 ASK THE EXPERTS

Our panel of experts answers your burning questions on lighting, drones and more.

81 GOT GAS?

Our columnist Dan Chung admits he’s got a bad case of Gear Acquisition Syndrome.

84 ARTY CONCEPT

Get in with a big brand and add some creativity to your showreel.

4

84

PRO MOVIEMAKER SPRING 2016

PMM-SPR16-004-005 CONTENTS_V2.indd 4

21/01/2016 12:27


92

99 92 NEWS FROM ABOVE

Get up to speed on the latest news in the aerial filmmaking arena.

94 LICENCE TO EARN

Editor Terry Hope reaches the final test stage of his PFAW certificate. Find out if he passes with flying colours or crashes and burns.

99 LOVE FROM ABOVE

Discover why incorporating aerial into your wedding shoots is a business move of head not heart.

105 THE DRONE AGE

We map out the key moments in the history of aerial and predict what might be in store for 2016.

105 GEAR

112 AJA CION

With a significant price drop we thought it high time we gave AJA’s CION the full Pro Moviemaker test treatment.

121 CANON XC10

112

Want to shoot stills and 4K video on the go? See what we thought of this compact contender from Canon.

125 GROUP TEST: EVFS

Four of the best electronic viewfinders from Alphatron, F&V, SmallHD and Zacuto battle it out.

134 MINI TESTS

From lenses to lights, we test the good, the bad and the ugly and rate what deserves a space in your kitbag.

143 BUYERS’ GUIDE: GIMBALS

125

Covering pro options and smartphone specifics, our buyers’ guide to gimbals will help guide you through this crowded market.

143

SUBSCRIBE FROM ANYWHERE SEE PAGE 73 SPRING 2016 PRO MOVIEMAKER

PMM-SPR16-004-005 CONTENTS_V2.indd 5

5 21/01/2016 12:27


CASE STUDY CHRIS CRAYMER

MEETING THE CHALLENGE ACROSS CONTINENTS

New York-based filmmaker and photographer Chris Craymer thrives on life’s challenges, having successfully expanded his business across the Atlantic and broken into the world of moving imagery WORDS BETH TAUBNER STILLS CHRIS CRAYMER

C

hris Craymer’s exceptional work on both the still and filmmaking fronts has opened doors for him in New York, and he views the move he made across from London as something of a ‘rebirth’ for his creative career. Beth Taubner met up with him to find out more about how he reached this point, and to discover what triggered his expansion into moving images. BETH TAUBNER: Please tell me a little bit about yourself. CHRIS CRAYMER: I’m from London. My dad was a charismatic East End cockney, sort of a bad boy, while my mother’s side was posh, establishment and concerned about doing things properly and in the right way. These two strands have pulled at me all my life. I didn’t meet my father until I was 17 years old. He turned out to be a photographer, and the evening I met him literally changed my life. I suddenly realised there were people out there who could earn their living by taking pictures. BT: Tell us about your background as a still photographer. CC: I worked for my father and then became a junior photographer and printer for a very small press agency in the UK. Slowly I graduated into doing more celebrities, and I was one of the first to

start using uber fashion stylists with sitcom actors to push the boundaries a bit. My big break came when I started working with WHAM! I literally phoned the record label and said ‘I want to photograph the boys,’ and that began an exclusive relationship that lasted 18 months. Then I got fired, because their management had shoots lined up for the likes of Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar and The Times, and they wanted to use fashion photographers. I was devastated, but then went to live in Milan for a year and moved from celebrity tabloid work to become a fashion photographer myself. BT: Why did you make the shift from the UK to the US? CC: I always wanted to come to New York. I had it in my head that NY has the best photographers in the world. The types of pictures I do are optimistic and in America there’s room for that vision. BT: What made you go though a discovery process to excavate your brand attributes? CC: I think this need to come back to the centre and to find out who you are as an artist, photographer and a filmmaker can be something one needs to revisit several times over a career because it’s so easy to get lost in the commercial world.

IMAGES Following an exclusive 18-month relationship in which he photographed the band, WHAM!, Chris expanded his portfolio into the world of fashion when he moved to Milan for a year.

“The types of pictures I do are optimistic and in America there’s room for that vision” 18

PRO MOVIEMAKER SPRING 2016

PMM-SPR16-018-023 CHRIS CRAYMER cbljcV2.indd 18

20/01/2016 17:49


CHRIS CRAYMER CASE STUDY

SPRING 2016 PRO MOVIEMAKER

PMM-SPR16-018-023 CHRIS CRAYMER cbljcV2.indd 19

19 20/01/2016 17:49


CASE STUDY JOHN DOWNER

Celebrated natural history filmmaker John Downer produces remarkably intimate footage of wild creatures, and he’s had to devise some cunning spy camera techniques to obtain this privileged view WORDS TERRY HOPE

30

PRO MOVIEMAKER SPRING 2016

PMM-SPR16-030-034 CS JOHN DOWNER cbljc.indd 30

20/01/2016 17:54


JOHN DOWNER CASE STUDY

SPRING 2016 PRO MOVIEMAKER

PMM-SPR16-030-034 CS JOHN DOWNER cbljc.indd 31

31 20/01/2016 17:54


ACADEMY

LIGHTING

NEGATIVE FILL

We’re used to the concept of filling in shadows with a touch of extra light, but what about the reverse idea? Ryan E Walters explains how negative fill can be the answer if you’re looking for atmosphere WORDS RYAN E WALTERS

B

y now you should be familiar with the role of a fill light and how it shapes the mood or tone of a scene. But what about this thing called negative fill? And how can you use it to dial in the look of your images? I’m going to explain why negative fill can be important and what professional tools you can use to create it, while also presenting a few do-it-yourself solutions that you can turn to in case you don’t have the budget for pro gear. First off, let’s take a look at the whole concept of negative fill; it’s actually remarkably easy to understand. Quite

simply, if a conventional fill light adds light to a shot in order to decrease the contrast levels of the key light, negative fill does the opposite. It removes light from the shot to increase contrast levels and will enable you to make the blacks or the shadows of your image darker. I’m guessing right about now you’re thinking, if negative fill is about removing light, can’t I just turn my lights off? Well yes, that’s where you start, but often simply turning off a light won’t be enough. To stop light from bouncing around and filling in the shadows of its own

accord additional measures will have to be taken. Enter negative fill. Typically this will involve the use of a flag of some kind, which will be positioned to cut the light bouncing back into the shadows or fill side of the shot. Another way to look at it is that the fill side of the shot is reflecting everything that it sees into the camera. If you’re looking from the talent’s position, the fill side of the shot reflects the light from that angle. If it’s a wall, it reflects that wall. If you put a black flag there, now it sees black, and it’s ‘reflecting’ black.

SPRING 2016 PRO MOVIEMAKER

PMM-SPR16-067-069 LIGHTING RYAN cbljc.indd 67

67 20/01/2016 18:38


ACADEMY LIGHTING

ABOVE Without paper bounce

ABOVE With paper bounce

FINE CONTROL Here’s a neat little trick: let’s say you want to increase contrast levels overall for an interview and you use your 4x4ft floppy. Now you have the contrast set where you want it overall, but you still want to bring up just the fill levels on the face. What do you do? Well, it’s simple. Just add in some copy paper or foam core. You can easily tape it to the flag and put it in exactly the position you want it. This way the overall contrast isn’t affected, just the part you wanted to bring up.

68

EDGE LIGHT

NEGATIVE FILL 4X4 FLOPPY

Negative fill on set When I first began, I would often think that, because I was inside, I could control the light at the location, so I didn’t need to worry about negative fill. Actually, that could hardly be further from the truth. Even if you can turn every light off at a location, light will, like it or not, continue to bounce around the room, off the walls and off the ceiling. Everywhere in fact. So to make sure your blacks are deep and rich, add a flag or floppy to cut the light levels to the fill side of your shot and increase the contrast. The size of the negative fill you use will be dependent on the size of the shot and your subject. The smaller the shot and subject, the smaller the negative fill can be. You might, for example, be able to use a 2x3ft solid or smaller if the shot is only a close-up. The larger the shot and subject, the bigger the negative fill has to be, so if you’re on a medium or wide shot you might need to use a 4x4ft floppy or bigger. Think about using negative fill any time you shoot an exterior scene. Outside light bounces everywhere, and you’ll encounter plenty of overcast days that flatten exterior scenes, making them boring. In a situation such as this I bring in negative fill, which will instantly add contrast and shape to my image.

CONTROLLING FILL LEVELS

KEY LIGHT

6X6 FOIL GRID

4X4 FLOPPY

With this in mind let’s see how to put that principle into action.

PRO MOVIEMAKER SPRING 2016

PMM-SPR16-067-069 LIGHTING RYAN cbljc.indd 68

20/01/2016 18:38


MOVIE MATTERS BRANDING VIDEOS

THE BIGGER PICTURE

MODERN ART

Blue-chip companies are beginning to use the moving image as a stylish and contemporary way to boost brand image, and Sean Conboy’s latest project for Jaguar was fully in line with this philosophy WORDS TERRY HOPE PICTURES SEAN CONBOY

84

PRO MOVIEMAKER SPRING 2016

PMM-SPR16-084-086 SEAN CONBOY SHOWREEL cbljc.indd 84

21/01/2016 09:13


BRANDING VIDEOS “There was no chance of a second take on set: it was all in the preparation, and it had to be right the first time”

W

hat do you do if you’ve just built a swanky new £450/$660 million factory in the middle of a busy thoroughfare and you want to shout out that you’re there, while offering a tantalising glimpse to passers-by of what lies behind that perimeter fence? In the case of Jaguar, which has just opened a state-of-the-art plant in the UK to produce its nextgeneration XF model, you consult with a creative director and ask them to come up with a living artwork. It’s a new way of thinking that’s starting to permeate some of the more forward-thinking companies, and it represents a fresh business opportunity for filmmakers and photographers alike. Thinking big Andy Walmsley of Wash Design Studio was the man tasked with developing the concept, and his vision was for a Digital Media Wall across the plant’s 200m facade, with four massive TV screens at the centre. “Because of the size of the space, I had to come up with something that was large-scale in itself,” he says, “and once Jaguar bought into the concept, there was then a need to produce films and other material that would be appropriate for the space.

“They already have a library of commercial films, but this was never intended to be a billboard; it’s an art installation and we needed to come up with something thought-provoking and subtle.” Bearing in mind the Jaguar brand ethos, ‘the art of performance’, Andy came up with an off-the-wall idea that borrowed from Jackson Pollock’s style, and involved throwing buckets of paint over a white preproduction Jaguar F-Type car. If that sounds like a relatively simple premise, think again: once the process of paint throwing began, there was no going back, so the team had to make sure everything was tested out as far as possible in advance, to avoid expensive and irreversible mishaps on the day. Picking up speed Andy also had to find someone to shoot the film, and turned to a man he had worked with extensively over the years: architectural specialist Sean Conboy. Primarily a stills photographer, Sean has become increasingly involved in film projects in the past year, something he sees as inevitable for anyone wanting to remain competitive in the imaging business. He was hired because of his consummate technical and lighting expertise and his ability to achieve what’s required largely in-camera, reducing the

SPRING 2016 PRO MOVIEMAKER

PMM-SPR16-084-086 SEAN CONBOY SHOWREEL cbljc.indd 85

85 21/01/2016 09:13


AERIAL FILMMAKER INTERVIEW

T

he world of wedding films is saturated and becoming busier by the moment, and with all that competition it can be a challenge to come up with a USP that will set you apart from the rest and make you the person that a bride and groom just have to hire. With the increased availability of affordable UAVs the trend in recent times has been to add aerial footage to a production, giving a fresh angle to the film and opening the door to exciting new possibilities. To be able to offer legal footage you have to jump through a number of hoops, which differ from country to country, but those with the necessary qualifications and insurance can deliver an extra service that other videographers will struggle to match. Andrew Moore, who is based near London, has been a filmmaker since his days in the armed forces, and he saw early opportunities for offering aerial footage to his clients. “There was nothing available off-theshelf until comparatively recently,” he says. “I started out with a GoPro taped to the bottom of a bespoke drone, but there were no brushless gimbals around at the time so the footage was terribly shaky and largely unusable. It’s only really since I purchased my Inspire 1 that I’ve been able to move things up a notch, and now aerial footage is a really important part of the service that I offer to my wedding clients.” This kind of service is so new that clients have to see what’s possible to

convince them that it might be right for their own wedding, so Andrew has a number of films on his website, Perception Images, to demonstrate what’s possible. Those who have booked the service are inevitably ecstatic with what they receive. “Obviously weddings can be busy affairs,” says Andrew, “and the priority at all times is to fly the UAV safely. I advise couples to mention that a drone will be flying on their invitations so that people are aware it will be happening, and I’ll do a map recce of the site prior to the day to

“Aerial footage is a really important part of the service that I offer” make sure that it’s feasible to fly there. Nearer the time I’ll also check the latest weather forecast and will need to see if there are any alerts (NOTAMS – Notice to Airmen) for that area that I might need to be aware of. “The flying sequences are just a part of the overall scene, and they can allow me to do things such as have the wedding group wave at me and then pull out and upwards to show a general view. It’s also great for scene setting, if the venue is in a beautiful location. I rarely need to go above 100ft because at a wedding it’s important to show people, and they can’t be too small in the frame, but I might go higher if I want some footage to give to the venue.” Soaring costs Adding aerial footage is not something that can be done on a whim. There can be considerable costs involved as well as time for training. For a start, in the

100

PRO MOVIEMAKER SPRING 2016

PMM-SPR16-099-102 AERIAL WEDDINGS cbljc.indd 100

21/01/2016 09:32


INTERVIEW

IN ASSOCIATION WITH

UK you’ll need your PFAW certification, which can cost £1,500/$2,189 or so, and it can take six months or more to acquire. Add to this the cost of the UAV itself plus insurance, and it can be a hefty investment of £4,000/$5,383 or more. “I normally charge a premium for aerial footage,” says Andrew, “and it won’t normally be provided if I’m working on a budget of £1,000/$1,459 or below unless I’m prepared to include it because I really want to work with a particular client. Usually I’ll be looking to add around £500/$729 to the bill, which will enable me to hire in extra help so that I can fully concentrate on all aspects of what I’m doing on the day.” San Francisco-based Jeff Foster is editorial director and co-founder of the Drone Coalition, and also runs the Pixel Painter website. Alongside aerial work that covers everything from landscape through to construction he’s also filmed

weddings, the first one he covered being his own daughter’s nuptials. “Usually I’ll be working at a ranch or vineyard where there’s plenty of open area to safely fly,” he says. “You want to capture moments – when it’s allowed and not distracting to the other productions – and get a different, creative angle that you know that nobody else can get. If the reception is outdoors, fly-away ‘dronie’ shots are always a win, especially if you can get the dancing guests to all wave and cheer at the UAV before you fly out and away. “I typically work in concert with the wedding photographer and videographers, and just hand over my content on-site and they can then edit it however they wish into their productions/albums. I personally don’t claim any ownership or copyright on the content since I’m getting paid for a day rate, as long as they then allow me to use some of the content for my own reel.”

Safety first Jeff acknowledges that UAVs can be dangerous, particularly at a busy event, and he advocates plenty of training and preparation before undertaking a wedding job. “I’ve known so many people say they were just going to buy a Phantom and start offering drone video to their existing videography services, and that’s a major recipe for disaster. “There’s just so much to it: you have to consider special UAV liability insurance, which your regular policy won’t cover. You also need to get written permission and clearance from the wedding venue and/or wedding event organiser in control of all the professional services.” In most cases Jeff is working with at least one assistant to help monitor people around the launch and landing sites, and to communicate visual line of sight and obstacles to avoid during the flight. “Of course we try to avoid

SPRING 2016 PRO MOVIEMAKER

PMM-SPR16-099-102 AERIAL WEDDINGS cbljc.indd 101

101 21/01/2016 09:32


GEAR AJA CION

AJA CION A BUDGET RIVAL FOR BLACKMAGIC?

With a big price drop and a tempting ‘try before you buy’ scheme, AJA’s CION is suddenly attracting attention, but can it stand toe-to-toe with its more established rivals? Matt Rozier takes a closer look WORDS MATT ROZIER

112

PRO MOVIEMAKER SPRING 2016

PMM-SPR16-112-117 GEAR AJA CION cbkg.indd 112

21/01/2016 10:16


AJA CION

A

t NAB last year AJA launched the prototype of its first-ever camera, the CION, which turned out to be a surprise to many – not least its employees – as it was a product that had been developed in total secrecy for four years. Fresh off the back of the company’s successful KiPro Quad Solid State Recorder, AJA’s head honchos decided that the next logical step would be the addition of a sensor and lens mount; thus the idea for the CION was born. And what an innovative, forwardthinking toddler it turned out to be. In 2014, offering up the promise of 4K, ProRes, Raw, a range of slowmotion options, great ergonomics and amazing connectivity, the CION certainly seemed to tick a lot of boxes. To many it seemed like it might even make the grade as a poor man’s AMIRA (which is actually a bigger compliment than it sounds) but at £7123/$10,074 it catered to a certain level of market that, perhaps, wasn’t so poor. However, just two months after the camera’s release in May 2015, news came that the price of the CION was to significantly drop. With the launch of various other cameras, the competition in the mid-range camcorder field was heating up and so AJA smashed down their own barrier to entry. Add to this their introduction of a ‘try before you buy’ scheme, allowing filmmakers to test drive the camera for free, and the buzz around the CION began to grow. Intrigued by the noise, I decided to take it for a spin myself. Image quality If you’re investing your hardearned cash in a professional camera one of your priorities is going to be image quality, and with the AJA CION you won’t be disappointed. Follow the right steps and the quality of footage you can get from this camera will knock your socks off (and possibly your North Face T-shirt too). As many have found with the various Sony offerings, rendering accurate colour – and, in particular, red/orange and skin tone – is difficult for a camera manufacturer

SPECIFICATIONS Street price: £4728/$6685 Sensor: 4K APS-C sized, 22.5x11.9mm, CMOS, Electronical global shutter, 12 stops of dynamic range Filtration: Optical lowpass filter and IR cut filter combined Video format: ProRes 4444, ProRes 422 (all versions), SDI output for Raw Resolution and frame rates: 4K/UHD/2K/1080p/1080i - 23. 98/24/25/29.97/30/50/59.94/6 0 (and 119.88/120 over SDI) Recording media: AJA Pak media Lens mount: Removable PL (positive lock) – third-party EF, B4 and G-Mount mounts are available Audio in: Two balanced audio inputs (3-pin XLR connectors with dedicated line/mic/48v switches) Audio out: Headphone jack (3.5mm stereo mini TRS) Video out: 4x3G SDI Main outputs, 2x3G SDI Monitor outputs, 2xHDMI Outputs (type A) Data output: AJA Raw via 3G-SDI up to 120 fps or Thunderbolt up to 30 fps. Reference input: Reference input (BNC connector) Timecode: LTC (BNC connector) Other interface: LANC, LAN Shutter range: 1/241/1440sec Exposure index: 320, 500, 800, 1000 Shot assist: Histogram Battery: 12-18Vdc, 5A max (4-pin XLR connector or 2-pin input connector) – Gold or V-mount Power consumption: 3842W typical, 45-47W max Power output: 2xd-tap, 10W recommended max Dimensions (WxHxD): 11.7x14x33cm Weight: 2.9kg, 3.4kg with top handle

“A range of slow-motion options, great ergonomics and amazing connectivity”

SPRING 2016 PRO MOVIEMAKER

PMM-SPR16-112-117 GEAR AJA CION cbkg.indd 113

113 21/01/2016 10:17


SUBSCRIBE FROM ANYWHERE ✓ Save with an annual subscription – worldwide!

✓ Stay up to date with the latest gear and industry news ✓ Never miss an issue

TO SUBSCRIBE SIMPLY GO TO

WWW.PROMOVIEMAKER.NET NO.1 on iTunes

*

ALSO AVAILABLE ON THE APP STORE AND GOOGLE PLAY *31st Dec 2014-1st Jan 2015 Arts & Photography iPhone UK Newsstand.

PMM-SPR16-073 SUBS ljc.indd 73

21/01/2016 12:38

Pro Moviemaker Spring 2016 sample issue  

From AJA to Zacuto, top tech on test, plus audio editing made easy & faking it with foley

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you