Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Neat Video Plugin

You may remember our episode in April when our Canon XHA1 had a tragic accident right before shooting our friends wedding in Trinidad. We dashed around the island and found an HD HF100 to use as a backup to the Canon Vixia. In general we were happy with the performance of both cameras considering the unique situation. But there were some definite areas, where we felt the pinch of missing our Canon XHA1. Particularly during the low-lit reception. It was held outside on private property that was beautiful but for shooting purposes, very dark. There was very little artificial light setup throughout the venue. The XHA1 is very good in picking up decent footage in lowlight, but the Vixia and more so the HF100 were not as adept. We had two lights on our cameras but some footage was still very dark and grainy.

When we first looked at the footage I knew something had to be done. There was a lot of grain and noise during the reception, and I could actually see the offending channels distorting the picture. At first I tried to fix it on my own using the RGB color balance in FCP, but that didn't work very good. There are lots of tutorials on youtube to lower grain and noise, and frankly I tried them all with little success.

Then I came across a website promoting a grain and noise reducer plugin called Neat Video for sale for $99. At first, being the cheapo I am, I was skeptical about spending 100 bucks on a plugin I couldn't be sure of. There were video tests on youtube that showed some improvement when the plugin was applied, but not enough to be thoroughly convincing. But after several days of trying to make the footage presentable on my own, I decided to stop wasting time and just buy the neat video plugin.

Boy was I glad I did! This plug-in is AMAZING! I am not exaggerating. It did miracles with footage I thought was hopeless. I've made a little video above where you can see the difference it made. Keep in mind I am still learning how to use this plugin, but off the bat it makes cleaning up dark or grainy footage a lot easier. I would definitely recommend this product. OK, enough plugging of the plug-in (Gong!), and off to bed!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Latest work...

Here is our commercial we produced for the San Diego Music Awards.

Its been a productive summer, check back for more of videos.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Recent Work

We have been pretty busy over the past couple of months...with a designation wedding project in Trinidad and Tobago, covering Comic Con, and producing commercial spots for The North Park Music Thing and The San Diego Music Awards, writing some screenplays, and finally working to complete God with a Gun. We are looking forward to the rest of the year...

Giselle Leotaud and Matthew Fribourg Wedding from el roberto on Vimeo.

And as promised....we will finally post about our Comic Con experience this week..

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Its Tuesday and we longing for the weekend....

It usually starts happening Sunday night....I get butterflies in my stomach and slightly depressed as soon the reality of the situation hits me....the weekend is over and we have to make it till Friday. Anyway tomorrow is Wednesday so we are almost there. Here is the latest record club Beck collaboration. Enjoy.

Record Club: Yanni "Within Attraction" from Beck Hansen on Vimeo.

Anything with Danny Boyle's name stamped on it is probably going to be solid....checkout the trailer below.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

35mm adaptors and Jag35

New discovery today! There are still some options for non-wealthy filmmakers out there! I've been slobbering lasciviously over the Letus 35mm Pro for a couple of years now, but can't bring myself to fork over the giant piles of money necessary for the most basic of Letus adaptors. Then today, while perusing youtube for videos Canon Xha1 with 35mm lens adaptors, I came across the Jag35 site. This is a company that builds affordable 35mm lens adaptors for consumer to prosumer video cameras. First off, this company is awesome because they make tutorials showing you how to build your own 35mm lens adaptor, and secondly there 35mm adaptors not only tend to cost less than $500, but they are a very decent quality. Check out the video above. The entire setup (camera included) cost $1200. I for one am sold. We'll definitely be looking into purchasing one of these.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Real or Fake

Who knows but according to the media, it makes for interesting theatre. Over the past couple of years the media has followed Joaquin Phoenix as he has spiraled into a bloated drunken mess and we the viewer have watched it all unfold. Is it real? Or was it some sort of method acting hoax pulled on everyone. You be the judge....
And here is an exhaustive mini "documentary" that shows you nearly every video game console ever built. Enjoy!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Sound Editing Tips

Equally as important as good video, good sound can make or break a project. Here are some tips and techniques that should know.

Thursday, August 5, 2010


With all of the film editing tutorials available on YouTube, here are a few that stand out:

The Bleach Bypass Film Look

Slow Motion Tips with Final Cut Pro Studio

Final Cut Pro- Storyboard Editing Tutorial:

Final Cut Pro Workflow Tutorial:

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Merlin Steadicam Stabilizer

So were SERIOUSLY THIS TIME (again) looking into buying a stabilizer system. It's been a struggle to find a stabilizer that doesn't cost a gazillion dollars but is still robust enough to handle our 5.5 lb Canon XHA1 with an extra 1.5 lbs of light, mic and battery. We've been leaning for awhile towards the Merlin. There's a lot of talk that it can't handle the Canon without support, but I think we'll give B&H a call this week and see if it might just need a little practice in order to work correctly. We've been checking some Merlin/Canon XHA1 test videos (like the one below) and it is giving us some encouragement that the Merlin just might work.

2 days with the Steadicam Merlin from Peter Szilveszter // Living Lens on Vimeo.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Coming Soon...

To a theater or sketchy internets site near you..

The Hammer Films produced... Let Me In

Everyone's favorite evil corporation Umbrella is back! And yes so is Mila Jovich

Seth Green kicks A$$ in The Green Hornet

and here is Seth Rogen at Comic Con 2010 talking about the upcoming film.

And as promised, this weekend we will finally post our "Comic Con 2010 Scrapbook" complete with links to footage we shot and other fun stuff. So stay tuned....

Monday, August 2, 2010

Film News and more....

Vincent Gallo strikes again!!! According an article on IFC, actor, director, musician, model, aka jack of all trades, Vincent Gallo seized control of his latest film from an inept director. Reportedly hard to work with, Gallo was irritated by the director onset and had threatened to walk if he wasn't given complete control of the project. But of course, as i am not a huge fan of his work (Buffalo 66 excluded) and regardless of what happened on the set of his latest effort, and whatever reviews it may get, I will probably just wait until its released on video to go see it.

DIY FILM TIP OF THE DAY: Rip a Bloody Heart Out of a Chest!!!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Rolling Roadshow Tour

We Are All Workers The 2010 Rolling Roadshow Tour is about to commence and according to their website

Once again, the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema takes to the road, departing from Austin, Texas on a whirlwind tour and hosting free 35mm screenings of famous movies in famous places. Known as The Rolling Roadshow Tour, it has been to the FIELD OF DREAMS in Iowa with Kevin Costner live in person, Devil's Tower in Wyoming for a screening of CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND and Alcatraz Island for a screening of ESCAPE FROM ALCATRAZ. Now, the Alamo Drafthouse and Levi's partner to champion stories of our most celebrated celluloid workers. Throughout Augusts’ hazy summer nights, the Alamo and Levi’s will be taking the Rolling Roadshow to the people under the unified banner of ‘We Are All Workers." This looks an amazing once in a lifetime way to catch some classic films in a classic setting....now only could they actually have The God Father Part 2 in play in Lake Tahoe where much of the film took place and was filmed. ....(yes I know....Littel Italy NYC would probably be an awesome place see this film )