Why You Need to Pay Attention to the Video Game Industry (In Case You Weren’t Already)

Liz Shannon Miller explains how the gaming industry is starting to play a bigger and bigger role in entertainment and the film/television industries.

Gaming Industry

Here’s some friendly advice for anyone who’s passionate about film, television and media in general: If you don’t pay attention to the video game industry, now might be the time to start.

Not only is it a $21 billion (with a b) business, but games have become much bigger than “Mario Kart” and shoot-’em-ups: Not only are game-to-movie adaptations like “Assassin’s Creed” and “Metal Gear Solid” poised to define a new generation of action films, but consoles like Xbox and Playstation enable users to watch everything from Netflix to YouTube to original series on their televisions.

Gaming is only going to become more important to the media landscape in the future, and no week makes that more clear than the week of the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3). If video games aren’t your jam, all you need to know about E3 is that it’s the one of the biggest (and loudest) events of the gaming industry — a week of demos and product launches and big talk about what to expect next from the major studios and tiny indies.

Every year, E3 kicks off with a long day of press events put on by the industry’s biggest players; this time, most of them kept their focus on actual gaming, but there was still news that should be on the radar of anyone invested in the business of creating pop culture.

Coming soon to Playstation — a TV show

IndieWire | Read the Full Article

6 Things You Didn’t Know About Using Apertures, But Probably Should

Wider apertures mean shallower depth of field. That’s the most basic truth about aperture, but here are six more things about aperture that can affect your photo or film that you may not have known:


1. Doubling and halving

Apertures are often referred to as stops. Opening up the aperture by one whole stop or 1EV (exposure value) doubles the amount of light passing through the diaphragm, while closing down by one stop halves it.

However, modern cameras are usually set to adjust aperture in one third stops, something that can confuse novice photographers.

If you wish, it’s usually possible to set a camera to adjust in half or full stops via the custom menu.

The full stop aperture settings that you are most like to encounter are: f/1.4, f/2, f/2.8, f/4, f/5.6, f/8, f/11, f/16, f/22 and f/32.

Other settings such as f/3.5 and f/6.3 are fractions between these whole stops. F/3.5 could be thought of as f/2.8 and 2/3, for example, and f/6.3 as f/5.6 and 1/3.

Understanding the doubling and halving effect of aperture is helpful when setting exposure and deciding which shutter speed and/or sensitivity setting to use.

If shutter speed is kept the same, the difference in exposure between opening up the aperture from f/8 to f/5.6 is the same as pushing sensitivity up from ISO 100 to 200; the image will be one stop brighter in both cases.

Similarly, if sensitivity is kept the same, the difference in exposure between a shutter speed of 1/125 sec and 1/60 is the same as adjusting from f/8 to f/5.6; again it’s one stop brighter.

Photo Venture | Read the Full Article

A Look at the New Low Light King – the Sony A7s

Matthew Allard takes a look at the new Sony A7s which is making rounds as the new low light king with it’s maximum ISO of 409,600

Sony A7s

I’ve been in Singapore this week covering the Broadcast Asia show and for the duration of the trip I’ve had a production model a7S with me on loan from Sony. In that time I put together the 37 minute long review you see above. I’ve tried to be as comprehensive as possible shooting in as many real world situations as I could. For me this gives a truer representation of the abilities of the a7S than just filming in a pretty location with ideal lighting.
In this review you will see low light footage, Standard Picture Profile and Slog2 ungraded and graded shots. There is also a clip demonstrating the rolling shutter and a couple of small clips showing 60 and 120P slow motion. You will also get a full look at the menu system and functions. All my test footage was recorded in the camera to SD cards in XAVC HD because I didn’t have access to 4K recording device. The footage at the start shot by Den Lennie was originally shot in 4K but is shown in HD here.

One of the most eye opening things for me was seeing my a7S footage professionally graded. I’ve included a screen cap of it being manipulated in Davinci Resolve 11 by a colourist at Broadcast Asia.
The A7s is quite unique for a hybrid stills/video camera because it bucks the trend of going for ever increasing megapixels. Instead Sony have used a full frame 12MP CMOS sensor – which results in increased low light sensitivity and dynamic range. This camera really is the new low light king – I can say that without a shadow of a doubt.

Hopefully the video covers just about everything you need to know. If anyone would like additional questions answered please don’t hesitate to ask by leaving a comment below.

Examining Kevin Smith’s Red State Self-Distribution Gamble

Jeremiah Karpowicz examines the Kevin Smith’s self distribution strategy for his 2011 film, Red State.

Red State

In January of 2011, Kevin Smith premiered Red State at the Sundance Film Festival. As with practically every film that’s screened at Sundance, filmmakers were there to show off their work in the hopes that one of the assembled distributors would purchase the film for a theatrical release. But in early 2011, Smith had something else in mind as he tried to turn traditional film distribution on its head.

Distributors showed up to Sundance that year as they do every year with the expectation that they’d be bidding for the distribution rights of the films that were being showcased. The dynamics of this system are interesting, because it means you have directors who have released major motion pictures competing with people who have maxed out their credit card to produce their passion project. They might not be directly competing with each other, especially since films like Red State are non-competition features, but distributors nonetheless have a budget and know they can drive a harder bargain with some directors/producers than with others. As it turns out though, Smith was looking to drive the hardest bargain of anyone that year.

Created for 4 million dollars, distributors were likely happy with the margins around how much they’d need to spend marketing the film in order to turn a profit on Red State. Given Smith’s fan-base and the controversial nature of the film, it’s easy to imagine them figuring they could double or triple their investment. They probably had a number in mind that Smith could have lived with which would have allowed him to focus his efforts on his next film.

ProVideo Coaliation | Read the Full Article

Rode Announces New smartLav+ with Improved Performance

Recording great audio straight to a cell phone, a personal recording device, or even a small camera (with SC3 Adapter) has gotten even simpler with the announcement of the RØDE’s new smartLav+ microphone.  This new lav features a newly designed capsule with better sensitivity and lower self-noise (27dBA) and a Kevlar® reinforced cable making this microphone a great addition to any low budget kit!

Røde Smartlav+ 2 Røde Smartlav+


Australian pro-audio manufacturer RØDE Microphones has today announced the smartLav+, a broadcast-grade update to the popular smartLav lavalier microphone that connects to Apple and Android mobile devices.

The smartLav was first announced in early 2013 and quickly became one of RØDE’s most popular products, combining great value with the convenience of being able to connect to any available mobile device, including phones and tablets based on iOS or Android. Its omnidirectional capsule makes for versatile and user-friendly placement, without the need for expensive and complicated wireless systems.

Given the success of the microphone RØDE has decided to increase the audio quality even further with the new smartLav+, achieved by updating the microphone capsule to improve sensitivity and lower self-noise (27dBA). The smartLav+ also adds a Kevlar® reinforced cable to ensure that the user cannot stretch or snap the microphone under normal usage conditions.

A foam windshield and clip with integrated cable management is also supplied, along with a storage pouch that is small enough to slide into any camera bag or audio kit.

For iOS platforms RØDE offers the RØDE Rec field recording app, which allows the user to perform a complete range of professional recording functions including one-touch export to Dropbox and SoundCloud, making it the perfect accompaniment for the smartLav+. An updated release of RØDE Rec has just been added to the iTunes store, which provides a tweaked interface and even greater stability. A free version of the app, RØDE Rec LE, is also available for download.

Finally, RØDE’s recently released SC3 adaptor allows the TRRS jack of the smartLav+ to be adapted to suit standard TRS devices, such as a DSLR camera or personal recorder like the Zoom H1.

The smartlav+ replaces the smartLav, and is shipping now for US$79. Visit now to learn more and see the complete device compatibility list.

How Sony’s Betamax lost to JVC’s VHS Cassette Recorder

In 1976 Sony introduced the Betamax video cassette recorder. It catalyzed the “ondemand” of today by allowing users to record television shows, and the machine ignited the first “new media”; intellectual property battles. In only a decade this revolutionary machine disappeared, beaten by JVC’s version of the cassette recorder. This video tells the story of why Betamax failed.


Comedy Actress Roundtable: Taylor Schilling, Zooey Deschanel, Mindy Kaling on Fake-Peeing, Showering With Co-Stars and Rude Fans

Six hot contenders — also including Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting, Edie Falco and Emmy Rossum — talk candidly to THR about the “torture” of watching their performances, the horror of “pasties” and their industry crushes (Sam Rockwell!).

So, what is comedy these days?

A half-hour, single-cam cable show about a drug-addicted nurse? A one-hour women’s-prison dramedy streaming on the Internet? A ratings smash with an old-school laugh track? A single-cam spin on the travails of a working woman and her messy dating life? An “adorkable” network series centered on a girl and her best guy friends? Or a grim hourlong series about a poor Chicago family whose toddler almost ODs on his sister’s cocaine? For the six Emmy contenders who gathered on May 10 in Los Angeles to chat — The Big Bang Theory’s Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting, 28; New Girl’s Zooey Deschanel, 34; Nurse Jackie’s Edie Falco, 50; The Mindy Project’s Mindy Kaling, 34; Shameless’ Emmy Rossum, 27; and Orange Is the New Black’s Taylor Schilling, 29 — the genre is all those things and then some. Between fake-peeing, showering with co-stars and the “torture” of watching their performances, there’s little these women won’t do for the sake of their craft.

The Hollywood Reporter | Read the Full Article

Actress Roundtable

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