Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Camera Test: Canon EOS C300 = Awesome

< CLICK HERE to watch the funniest camera test of the new Canon C300 from director Jonathan Yi on Vimeo.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Short Film: "Address Is Approximate"

< U.K. based director Tom Jenkins has released a beautifully shot stop animation film titled "Address Is Approximate."  It tells the story of a lonely desk toy that uses Google Maps Street View to take a cross-country trip.  Shot with the Canon 5DMKII, Tom produced, directed, lit, edited, and color graded the movie himself.  A little creativity and experience goes a long way.


< BTS - 5DMKII & Dragonframe keypad.

< BTS - 5DMKII + slider + Dragonframe.

< BTS - upside down 5DMKII on slider.

You can "like" Theory Films on Facebook HERE.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Concert review: COLD WAR KIDS at the Troubadour

< The COLD WAR KIDS are a band--a good one, and "band" is the key word.  It's very obvious that these guys love playing music with each other.

They were constrained on the tiny, yet iconic, stage of the Troubadour, but seemed to use every inch of the space.  When the band members constantly rub their sweaty heads on each other, it's very clear that they're communicating on a deeper, more meaningful, level.  That infectious love bleeds into the audience, and we all bond together as one.

  < Not to take anything away from the other musicians, but there's a mountain on the left side of the stage in the form of guitarist Jonnie Russell.  He rocked some wicked guitar, piano, vocals, and even smashed a cymbal to its death.  I have to give props to drummer Matt Aveiro for creating a massive sound, with one arm playing drums, and his other arm playing the rumba shaker.  Bassist Matt Maust might be the coolest dude in rock for sitting at the front of the stage, and asking the ravenous fans how "they" were doing.

< Lead singer/pianist, Nathan Willett, crushes the vocals with his beautiful falsetto, and deep, dark lyrics.  This was a sold out "fan club only" show at the Troub, and I realized very early on that it was a singalong by the loyal fan base.  They played for a good hour and a half before taking their first break, played all their heard-on-the-radio-stuff, while not ignoring the more obscure first album stuff.  I loved every minute of it, and I hope you get to see the COLD WAR KIDS up close, so you can understand their level of musicianship and artistry.  Thanks.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Time Lapse: Sunsets in the Sofax

< CLICK HERE to watch the time lapse video.

This is a collection of sunsets shots from my front porch in the Sofax (or Southern Fairfax) area of Los Angeles.  Shot with Canon 5DMKII and 60D.  Finished in Adobe Lightroom & Final Cut Pro.

HDR time lapse at 1:25 (Photomatix Software)
HDR time lapse at 2:39

Music: "Forty-Two" by Sonic Adventure Project (with permission).

© James Boyd - 2011

< Porchlapse: It was raining hard, and I was barely protected on my porch.  One shift of the wind, and I would've had to grab my gear, and head inside.  My luck held, and I got a su-wheeet opening shot.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

New cameras abound: Canon C300 & Red Scarlet

The new Canon C300 was released today with heavy promotion (including Martin Scorcese giving a pep talk).  Canon also released a new set of lenses to accompany their new $20,000 baby.

Check out Engadget's live blog of the Canon event, complete with the specs.

Not to be outdone, Red released their new Scarlet camera:
The Scarlet camera specs are very similar to the Canon C300, but at a much lower price point ($13k).  Check out the specs on the Nofilmschool site.

Oh yeah, and Redrock Micro released their new cage specifically for the Canon C300, and a universal cage for regular HDSLRs (The ultraCAGE):

Cinematography wizard, Philip Bloom, gives his updated take on the two cameras HERE.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Review: CineSkates Table Dolly system

< JB's review: The CineSkates dolly ($200-350) is a modular system designed by Justin Jensen and his highly successful Kickstarter campaign.  The three skate wheels clamp onto the Joby GorillaPod Focus tripod, and presto -- instant table dolly.  The wheels are nice and smooth, but there seems to be a flaw in trying to use the GorillaPod as the base.  In my experience, the GorillaPod Focus tripod is great for clamping a camera into odd spots.  However, it's less spectacular as a support for a rolling tripod, without a good deal of labor to align the wheels perfectly straight.  You can twist and contort the legs into many different positions, but "straight" seems hard to achieve.  Again, this is less about the functionality of the CineSkates, and more about the difficulty in aligning the legs of the GorillaPod.  At $50/wheel (x3), it becomes an expensive wrestling match, and you could be burning precious time for a "trick shot" with the CineSkates table dolly.  Check out a CineSkates video HERE.  Overall: B-

< CineSkates table dolly with GoPro Hero2.  Use it only on a smooth surface to eliminate camera shake.  The wheels clamp on perfectly, but the entire system is expensive and frustrating to align.

< JB's BONUS REVIEW: The Pico Flex Dolly ($70) with the IPhone 4S.  For the price point, and set up speed, I highly recommend the sturdy Pico Flex Dolly.  It's a heavy piece of alloy metal with a 2-axle, 4-wheel system.  Very smooth wheels, and it can be aligned straight or curved within seconds.  This is better for iPhone filmmaking, and might be too small for HDSLRs.  For a small table dolly, and an affordable price point, I really liked the Pico Flex Dolly.  Check out a Pico Flex Dolly VIDEO HERE. Overall: A -

Also: A sample video of the Pico Flex Dolly taking on Batman.

< The CineSkates dolly with the GoPro Hero2 & the Pico Flex Dolly with iPhone 4S.