Alex Buono’s Art of Visual Story Telling Returns to the Northwest

The Portland-area native Alex Buono is bringing his Visual Storytelling 2 Tour back. It will expand your filmmaking abilities by immersing you in an all-day learning experience about the principles of Visual Style and Subtext. From his fast-turn around schedule as the DP of the SNL Film Unit to his role as the Co-Director/DP of the new IFC comedy series Documentary Now!, Alex is constantly challenged to recreate different looks. In this workshop, Alex will share his approach to shooting distinct visual styles with hands-on demonstrations that utilize attendees as the crew. By understanding the visual patterns for different film genres and how to manifest each style through both lighting and camerawork, you will harness the power of visual cues for your own projects.

The AVS2 tour is coming through Seattle on August 1st and through Portland on August 4th. For full ticket and registration information visit the website now. We had the pleasure of sponsoring Alex’s tour 2 summers ago in both Seattle and Portland. It was an amazing all day experience that we were lucky to be a part of once. Our excitement is through the roof to be a part of it again. Along with key sponsor Canon, Professional Video is the primary local sponsor for both of the Northwest stops, in Seattle and Portland. Visit the site to learn more details and to see the full list of pricing options and reserve your seat take a look at the registration page now. Use our EXCLUSIVE promo code AVS2LD to save money.

Alex Buono

See the Entire Panasonic VariCam35 Introduction Presentation

I am the only Panasonic VariCam35 dealer in the Northwestern United States. I’m very excited that Panasonic is back attacking high end production needs. And they’re not just playing “me too”. They’ve brought a product that justifies the price tag.

Panasonic’s full presentations from the recent Digital Cinema Society’s “Meet the VariCam 35” event are now available on DCS’s web site.

Speakers at the event, held last month at Panavision World Headquarters in Los Angeles, included cinematographer and Digital Cinema Society president James Mathers, Doug Leighton of Panasonic, Michael Cioni of Light Iron, Sarah Priestnall of Codex Digital, and special guest Theo Van de Sande, ASC, who recently shot a pilot for Amazon with the VariCam 35 and gave his initial impressions of the camera.

The VariCam 35’s image handling in multiple formats ranging from pristine 4K RAW to more practical 4K, UHD, 2K, HD and ProRes capture formats make it a useful tool for high-end filmmaking, commercials and episodic production as well as live 4K events. The camera/recorder is equipped with a Super 35mm MOS image sensor and offers a choice of codecs — Panasonic’s AVC-ULTRA family and Apple ProRes 4:4:4:4 and ProRes HQ. It offers 14 stops of dynamic range and native ISOs of 800 and 5000, and other non-native ISOS that can be set in-camera.

The full presentation has been broken up into sections. View the all the sections here.


Panasonic Starts Going in Depth With VariCam35: Dual Native ISO, Extreme Low Light

Recently Panasonic held an event at the Digital Cinema Society called “Meet the VariCam35”. Panasonic has posted a series of videos from this event. This particular video was brought to my attention by our friends at No Film In the video Michael Cioni explains the concept of “dual native ISO”, a feature of this newly developed sensor technology in the VariCam, and how it benefits the shooter in the form of extreme low light image quality and dynamic range. You can read the full No Film School article here. Check out the video series below.

Alister Chapman Shows us S-Log2 on the A7s

Alister Chapman has written a very useful guide to shooting in S-Log2, specifically on the A7s. The A7s has it’s own unique ways of utilizing S-Log color space and there are some tricks that are specific to that camera. Read a sample below and the full article here.

The post production adjustment of S-Log2 is very important and one of the keys to getting the very best finished images. The S-Log2 recording acts as a digital negative and by “processing” this digital negative in post production (normally referred to as “grading”) we manipulate the large 14 stop dynamic range of the captured image to fit within the limited display range of a Rec-709 TV in a pleasing manner. This may mean pulling up the mid range a bit, pulling down the highlights and bit and generally shifting the brightness and colour levels of different parts of the image around  (see PART 2 for more post production information).

Originally Slog-2 was designed for use on high end digital cinema cameras such as Sony’s F65 camera. These cameras have the ability to record using 10 bit data. A 10 bit recording can have up to around 1000 shades of grey from black to white. The A7s however uses 8 bit recording which only has a maximum of 235 shades from black to white. Normally 8 bit recording is perfectly OK as most transmission and display standards are also 8 bit. Shoot with an 8 bit camera and then display that image directly via an 8 bit system and nothing is lost. However when you start to grade and manipulate the image the difference between 8 bit and 10 bit becomes more significant. Reposted by Eric C. Petrie

S-Log2 Exposure

Pro Video Partners with Portlands Indie Cinema Academy

Local Northwest filmmakers Ryan Walters and Tim Park have started a new website aimed at sharing their 20+ years of filmmaking experience. You may have seen some of Ryan’s own blog work reposted on popular video industry websites such as No Film and Creative Planet. Now the duo is bringing you Indie Cinema .

Indie Cinema Academy delivers in depth camera & lighting training for anyone who desires a cinematic look for their projects. Ryan & Tim share the tricks of the trade that they’ve accumulated in their work on feature films, national commercials, and corporate videos. They have designed the curriculum to ensure that the training is applicable & accessible to all levels of production.

Indie Cinema Academy’s website contains a deep array of lessons and articles that take the form of video features or text instructions. Some of this content is completely free to the general public. To take your education further a minimal fee is requested of ether $119 or $149 (depending on what features you want) for 12 months of access.

Professional Video is a huge believer in the idea that  education is key to bringing creativity to its full potential. We know that by properly educating a customer on a piece of equipment the customer can then make the right gear-buying decision for themselves. And that is applicable on high-end equipment and entry level. Because of this belief in education we have partnered with Indie Cinema Academy to help spread the knowledge base a little further. Take a look at what Indie Cinema Academy had to offer. Sign up today and take your knowledge to the next level.

ICA Logo

Pro Video Brings Shane Hurlbut’s Illumination Educational Workshop to the Northwest

Shane Hurlbut, A.S.C., will bring his Illumination filmmakers workshop tour to Portland on October 30th, 2014. This highly anticipated tour is ideal for any filmmaker looking to gain industry experience while gaining invaluable knowledge from a cinematic pioneer.
If you haven’t heard of Shane, he’s an ASC member and has shot multimillion dollar blockbuster films such as Act of Valor, Drumline, Terminator: Salvation, The Rat Pack, and We Are Marshall.

For the Illumination Workshop, Shane will demonstrate his avant-garde approach to three-point lighting during an interactive live shoot which will teach students how to design, develop, enhance, and supplement the storytelling process with lighting, script analysis, storyboard preparation, lighting schematics, and shot lists. Students will have a chance to collaborate with Shane and receive guidance and feedback.

We’ve been lucky enough to collaborate with Shane on a few previous occasions. He’s a great presenter and has knowledge that any one, at any skill level, can benefit from. Shane bring’s a unique brand of energy to his presentation. We’ll be bringing out top manufacturers like Canon, Sony, Freefly MoVI, Redrock Micro, Zeiss, and more.

Register for the event here. You can read more about the event on the official Illumination tour website.


Directing Motion Attendee Coupon

We were very excited to bring Vincent Laforet’s “Directing Motion” workshop tour through the Northwest, with stops in Portland and Seattle. If you were a registered attendee of the Directing Motion tour we want to offer you a very special promotion. Right now through the end of August we’re offering you up to $500 off of your next order. Simply download this coupon Directing Motion coupon and save 5% off of any purchase with us up to a $500 savings. You must have been a registered attendee of ether the Portland or Seattle Directing Motion show sot use this coupon. This is our way of saying “Thank you” for attending this great workshop. We also want to make sure that we’re able to continue to bring great events like this to the Northwest by encouraging you to support local business.

Post by Eric C. Petrie

Directing Motion coupon


Vincent Laforet Directing Motion Tour Recap

Thanks to everyone who made it out to the Directing Motion tour in both Portland and Seattle. It was a great event. Professional Video was the official equipment sponsor for the Northwest stops. We brought out great manufacturers like Atomos, Freefly MoVI, and Canon. The event was full of critical film analysis. It also featured opportunities for audience members to crew several scenes and to watch a reenactment of how a scene from a modern network drama is shot. Please keep in mind that fantastic events like these are only possible with the support of local companies like Professional Video. We’ll have photos from the event on our Flickr page soon.

Post by Eric C. Petrie

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Directing Motion Workshop Only 2 Weeks Away

If you haven’t purchased your tickets yet its time to sign up. The Directing Motion workshop with presenter Vincent Laforet is only 2 weeks away.

One of the most important skills modern directors and DP’s are required to master is moving the camera in a dynamic and engaging way. This workshop will teach all levels of filmmakers the precise cinematic language of motion, and how to move not only the camera itself, but also content in front of the camera.

You will step away from this experience with a solid foundation in camera movement, blocking, lensing, and sequencing, and be able to direct any crew precisely and effectively to execute your vision. By understanding these principles thoroughly, you will add impact to your projects, from commercials through to webisodes, features, shorts, events, or documentaries.

Professional Video is the primary sponsor for the Northwest. We’re bringing great brands like Canon Cinema EOS, Freefly MoVI, Atomos, and more. Click here to register for the workshop. The tour comes through Seattle on June 1st and Portland on June 3rd. Post by Eric C. Petrie

Vincent Laforet

Quick Sensor Size Recap, Universal Measurement

With all the talk of new cameras i thought it might be beneficial to go over sensor sizes again. This time i’ll make it really down and dirty and try to use as close to a universal measurement standard as i can. This is NOT scientific. When it comes to truly measuring image sensor you have to be far more precise and take into account variables such as aspect ratio and active pixel areas. This is the “quick guide” if you will, purely for the sake of giving some kind of universal language to work off of.

1/3”- Measurement diagonally is 0.22 of an inch. This is the standard found in most under $10k traditional ENG video cameras, hand held or shoulder mount.

2/3”- Measurement diagonally is 0.45 of an inch. This is the standard found in most full size shoulder mount broadcast ENG cameras. Typically these cameras start at least $15,000.

Super16mm- Measurement diagonally is 0.55 of an inch. This is classic film standard that is used less commonly these days. Interestingly enough there has been a bit of a “digital resurgence” of late. The BMD Pocket and the Digital Bolex are both natively this size and the Sony F5 & F55 can underscan and offer Super16 lens compatibility.

Micro Four Thirds- Measurement diagonally is .85 of an inch. This format was first created by Panasonic and Olympus for the still photo world. It has made inroads in cinema cameras both as a sensor size and as a lens mount style.

Super35mm- Measurement diagonally is 1.15 inches. This format has been and continues to be the most commonly used format for motion picture creation for the past 70 years. It is an industry standard with a high degree of lens compatibility. It is very similar to APS-C, a still photo standard that measures about 1.04 inches.

Still Photo Full Frame- Measurement diagonally is 1.7 inches. This format has been a universal format for still photography for over 70 years. It is till held up as the “gold standard” for still photo digital SLRs. It is also the standard by which most people think of when the envision lens focal length to angle of view ratios. It as little application for motion picture, the depth of field is considered to be almost too shallow for common use. But people continue to have success using cameras such as the 5D and the new Sony A7s for Full Frame video acquisition.

Anomaly Format: BMD 2.5K- Measurement diagonally is 0.7 of an inch. Some formats are really only used in 1 or 2 applications. So far the original BMD 2.5K sensor size has not seen any forward momentum and most likely will fade away. Post by Eric C. Petrie