BIRDMAN or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance is a black comedy that tells the story of an actor (Michael Keaton) — famous for portraying an iconic superhero — as he struggles to mount a Broadway play. In the days leading up to opening night, he battles his ego and attempts to recover his family, his career, and himself.
Behind-the-scenes documentary from our photo shoot with FIAT for the 2014 Vanity Fair Hollywood Edition. 4 Days of shooting. 4 Photos by Dave Hill.
Produced by Paige Dorian and Paige Long
Ian Norman delivers an incredibly in-depth review of the new Sony a7S – a camera renowned for low light which should be a great candidate for astrophotography.
The Sony a7S is the third variation of the full-frame mirrorless a7 series of cameras that Sony has recently released. First Sony released the 24.3 megapixel a7 and 36.4 megapixel a7R, the first mirrorless cameras with full-frame 24mm x 36mm sensors. The recently released a7S seems like sort of the oddball of the three a7 variations: It has only a 12.2 megapixel sensor and at the time of this writing, it costs almost $1000 more than the a7 and $200 more than the much higher resolution a7R. But with that 12.2 megapixel sensor comes some distinct advantages, especially for low-light photography and video.
With the a7S, it seems like you’re paying more for less. But even with a sensor resolution that is a third the resolution of the cheaper a7R, the a7S offers two things in return: sensitivity and 4K video (sort of*). The A7s has larger pixels than pretty much any consumer level full-frame digital camera. The larger pixel size means that each pixel can collect physically more light. The more light per pixel, the better the signal to noise ratio for that pixel and so that pixel will more accurately detect the incoming light than a smaller pixel would. This means that, all other things being equal, the A7s should be capable of the best per pixel signal-to-noise ratio of any production camera. This means that it should arguably be the best camera for astrophotography yet.
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SNL editor Adam Epstein opens up on the incredibly fast workflow of editing for a weekly sketch comedy show.
Adam Epstein is a freelance editor. For the last five years, he’s worked with the Saturday Night Live film unit, editing parody pieces of all kinds. He’s just begun a nationwide workshop tour with “The Cutting Edge Post-Production Tour,” a day-long seminar covering techniques, theories and editing insights.
Epstein: In my experience, it’s never a direct path. I started out in school, working on a student-run sketch comedy show, and we were able to get our hands on some of the first gear that you were able to shoot and edit with in a reasonable amount of time without having to hire someone. That’s where I got hooked on manipulating pixels and story, and the fun that comes along with that, both from a filmmaking and a tech geek perspective.
In college I had an internship at NBC in their promo/on-air department, and after that a job as a writer, producer and editor in on-air promos in Los Angeles. A lot of people think of on-air promos as less than serious, but for me it was a great place to learn how to make something out of nothing. You’re working with not the best footage, not the best shows, and you have to use your brain to come up with a story and make the footage better. After that I moved into commercial post-production, which had a more traditional, big-budget, real film workflow. That was a real learning experience as far as how to work with multiple houses for sound mixing and color, a real trial-by-fire high-pressure environment. When I came to New York and the SNL opportunity presented itself, that combination of environments gave me a wide range of experiences and styles to pull from.
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