Thursday, July 31, 2014

Short Film: Super Secret Untitled James Boyd Kodak 8mm Home Movie Project

< Sliding with the Philip Bloom Pocket Dolly and the Canon C100 on a home movie project.

< 8mmmmmm goodness.  These are my family's memories and Kodak moments from 1958-1982.

And then the video camera arrived...but that's a story for another day (UPDATE: See below).

< Getting some special friendly camera work from D.P. Robert Stenger.  We dug out some lights, and shot hours of slider b-roll.  More choices of the editor.

It's great making movies with your friends.

Welcome back, Kodak!  On this day (July 31st, 2014), Kodak decided to just keep making film.  Now we can all be "filmmakers" again.  Thanks, Kodak (and the very powerful filmmakers who made it so).

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The 6161 Luv Nest Studio-cam Is Now Live

If you've ever wanted to see how post-production works in an indie film studio, or you're a Dropcam person who's into a show about nothing, then the "6161 Luv Nest" studio cam is for you.  I'll be Tweeting out LIVE show times of when I'm in the studio, editing away on my documentary "QUAD: The Movie" through 2014. Bring some pah'kern. Special guest stars planned, and wild, weird events LIVE on camera.

You will need a free Dropcam account to view the feed.

Welcome to the machine:

D.P. Robert Stenger flagging up a b-roll shot of the DJI Phantom2 quadcopter.  Please don't try this at home.  Don't worry--we strapped Panny 2.4 to the table before we fired him up.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

#QUADthemovie Buzzes The Aerial Cine Conference at AbelCine Burbank

So #QUADthemovie got the opportunity to head on down to AbelCine in Burbank to witness their aerial cinematography conference.  This was an awesome spectacle of serious camera people and their passion for flying the box.

On display were Hollywood-style drones that can hoist high-end professional cameras.  Safety and education were themes stressed all day long by the conference speakers, like Rich Hanson from the AMA, Lucien Miller from Innov8tive Designs, San Diego-based Aerial Mob and Charles Eide from the FlySafe training program.

Special thanks to Robert Rodriguez, Andy Shipsides and the AbelCine team for hosting us, and putting on such a kick ass conference for aerial cinematography.  I met some very passionate people at this event, and #QUADthemovie is very honored to be working with some great pilots and hobbyists.

< JB and Rob at the aerial cine conference, shooting with Canon C100 with Atomos Ninja 2 external recorder for uncompressed ProRes HQ files.  Our lenses were 14mm, 24-70mm f/2.8L and 70-200m f/2.8L.  Audio was direct to dailies through the C100 via a Rode Lav on channel 1, and a Sennheiser MK-416 shotgun boom mic on channel 2.  We used my Philip Bloom pocket dolly for some cool b-roll on the drone floor.

We shot B-cam on an iPhone 5s for BTS stills, and any quick b-roll video pickups.  We had a rock solid 5DMK3 DSLR on site as a back-up to A cam.

< #QUADthemovie be book leernin'.

Keep on quadding in the free world.


< Aerial Cine leader Robert Rodriguez announced the formation of the Society of Aerial Cinematographers.  Safe flying standards for commercial artists are a must.

< Here's DP Robert Stenger with AC Alex Meza busting out the Croma light for our drone-like interviews.
Photo: Alex Meza

< Conferring with Stengman over the c100 and Atomos gear.

Photo: Alex Meza
Photo: Alex Meza

Photo: Alex Meza

< Drones aplenty at the Aerial Cine event.  The passion of the pilots and industry attendees convinced me that the #QUADthemovie documentary was in good hands.

< Test 1-2.  Sipowitz.  Sipowitz...

< Going handheld in the sponsor area.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

#QUADthemovie Quadcopter Free Gear Giveaway - WINNERS ANNOUNCED!!!

 Zenmuse H3-3D Gimbal


• Zenmuse H3-3D gimbal (open box) (JB O)
• GoPro Hero 3 camera (used, excellent condition) (Jason M)
• Black Pearl 7" monitor (new) (Rick V)
• DJI FPV System (open box) (Tobias B)
• Set of Tiger Motors (x4 engines - open box) (Drew P)
• Sandisk Class 10 Micros-SD card (64 GB) (new) (Chuck P)
• Hubsan X4-C Mini-Drone (new) (Ben)
• Polar Pro ND Filter (new) (Jason)
• Getterback Flotation device (new) (Brady K)
• DJI Phantom Propellers (1 CW, 1CCW) (new) (R.L.)
• #QUADthemovie swag

You can enter with email or social media via Rafflecopter.


You can enter by liking my fan page on Facebook, following me on Twitter, or sweetening the deal by sending out special #QUADthemovie tweets during the 3-week entry period (via Rafflecopter entry only).

Rafflecopter Entry System:
+1 = Tweet #Quadthemovie message (x1/per day for entire 20-day entry period)
+2 = Follow me on Twitter (x1 entry only)
+2 = Like me on my Facebook page (x1 entry only)
+5 = Tweet one of the best #QUADthemovie messages ever (x1 entry only)
+10 = Special "secret squirrel" info

E.g. Tweet-enter every day to increase your chances.

For more detailed information on how and why, please CLICK HERE.

Only tweets, likes and follows through the Rafflecopter entry system below will be accepted.  Please follow the entry procedures. All winner data will be double-checked.

I will announce the winners in a recorded live drawing video on Youtube or Vimeo on Friday July 25th.  The winners are randomly selected by   18+ only.  1 prize per person per household.  Cheaters will be disqualified.  Please follow all local, state, & federal laws for raffles, and Rafflecopter's rules and regs.

 Zenmuse H3-3D Gimbal

All winners have been contacted.  If your name is listed as a winner, and you haven't received notification, then please contact me (Deadline is Monday August 11th, 2014 to contact me for your prize).  Thank you all for trying.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

SPECIAL JURY PRIZE: Mike C. - You had the greatest number of entries, but you were unfortunately blanked on every draw.  Just to show you that fate is not as cruel as you think, and to show you that the filmmakers of #QUADthemovie got your back, you win a Hubsan X4-L micro-drone.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Robert Stenger - Drone Posterboy Gone Viral?

Stengman going viral!  I was cruising my FPV chat rooms last night, looking for some good drone talk, and came across this photo of a DJI pilot, with some Impact text.  Impact font means viral.  Drones mean viral.  The great Stengario?


While I think this is hysterical on levels only dogs can hear, professional camera person, Robert Stenger, is a very experienced and safe DJI Phantom 2 pilot.  I took this photo from our Phantom 1 maiden test flight from July 2013.  The viral text was added by an obviously jealous drone pilot with a tiny dangler.

Reminder: all content on this blog, or any sites owned and maintained by James Boyd, are copyrighted images, and would need full, written permission to be used in any context.  You may link to this site with proper attribution.  Violation of my copyright is something I take very seriously, and it will be protected and pursued to the fullest extent of the law (Law Offices of Michael Kernan, esq).  Copyright damages are up to $25k per image per infraction.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

One Person, One Vote: My Comment To The FAA Regarding Drones In Hollywood

The FAA wants to hear from you regarding model aircraft rules.  Under current law, no American can make money from flying commercial drones of any size.

That needs to change.

If you fly a drone (e.g. DJI Phantom 2 quadcopter), please sound off.  You have until July 25th, 2014 to make your comments known about the drones you love to fly.
Join our Facebook discussion here: QUAD THE PLANET.


Friday, July 11, 2014

Atomos Ninja Star Review (Part 1)

The new Atomos Ninja Star ($295) is the tiny external recorder that logs a pro-level, ProRes LT, 10-bit 422 data stream from your GoPro camera.  Why is this important?  Previous to now, your GoPro camera (35 Mbps) wasn't capable of providing a rich color spectrum, like the pro level cameras (for TV & film-level color grading).

Mount this 4.6 oz (or 100g) recorder to your Phantom 2, quad, or drone (yeah, I said it), connect it to your GoPro through the micro-HDMI port, and bam, you're getting an amazingly rich tapestry of colors to play with in post production.  You're also getting your video on post-ready ProRes 10-bit 422 LT master files (80 Mbps).  These are edit-ready dailies, which makes your workflow much smoother and faster. UPDATE 7.14.14: Please remember that your GoPro Hero 3+ only shoots 8-bit 420 native video, and the Ninja Star will record it with a 10-bit 422 wrapper for color grading.  While this is great for your final video, just understand this recorder does not magically add two bits of data to your stream.  But, this is a great article explaining why you should (Thanks, Andrew Bower).

The dailies flow onto the new CFast 1.0 cards ($159), which are similar in appearance, but faster, than the older CF cards.  I'm currently using the more affordable Atomos 1.0 cards, which can only record ProRes LT (80Mbps).  The higher end CFast 2.0 cards won't work with the Ninja Star, but are ready for the 4k future (Thanks, Michael Nistler)..

With the connected lightweight battery, you're looking at a grand total in weight of 8.1 ozs, or a 1/2 lb, which *should easily be carried on your Phantom 2 quadcopter (*in testing).

If you're not looking for pro level video, and have no idea what 10-bit 422 data is, then save the $300, and continue to shoot on what you've got.  But, if the Atomos Ninja Star works as advertised, and at this price point, this is a MUST BUY for the serious quadder!

Just don't crash your junk in the lake.

I'll be testing with the GoPro all weekend, and will post the results as soon as I have them.  I'm curious about the weight affecting the performance of the Phantom 2, and I want to see how it holds up under the vibration of the quad engines.  The photo that Atomos uses in their promotional brochure doesn't show a gimbal.  Trouble ahead?  Stay tuned.

ETHICS:  Atomos has not sponsored me in any way.  I purchased this external recorder myself.  I have purchased their products in the past, and currently own & use Atomos products.  I have written about Atomos products on this blog.  This blog does not accept equipment to review because it's funny to watch suits gulp air when I say no.  Quad the planet.


Update #1: Look at what these guys did with a 4k scaler box and the new Sony A7s.