Menu 

Orwa Nyrabia, An Independent Syrian Filmmaker Arrested and Missing

If you are lucky enough to live in a country that has free speech, remember there are places where such human liberties don’t exist.


In Syria, the government completely controls the culture. The repression isn’t just secret policemen and soldiers in the street. It is near total domination of all forms of art and communication. Filmmaking receives special oversight. Ironically, Syria has produced a small but significant body of important films, often shown in international festivals and all financed by the government, but they are rarely seen in Syria itself, because of the regime’s fear of public gatherings. Twenty years ago, there were a hundred and twenty cinemas in Syria; when I was there for The New Yorker in 2006, only six were functioning.

I had the good fortune at the time to meet Orwa Nyrabia (also transcribed Nairabiya). He is a big, ironic, bold spirit, whose jolly nature seemed perversely at odds with the grimly repressive atmosphere inside that country. With another producer, Diana el-Jeiroudi, Orwa started Proaction Film, the only independent documentary-film company in Syria. The two of them also created Dox Box, the largest documentary-film festival in the Arab world.

Orwa was one man who quietly stood against the Syrian police state. He was not a revolutionary but he was an independent filmmaker, which inevitably placed him in jeopardy. In this brutalized society, he was also a person who still held onto joy and hope, qualities that are hunted down in Syria by forces dedicated to suffocating the best in human nature.

Last Thursday, Orwa was abducted before boarding a flight from Damascus to Cairo. His disappearance follows the death of another young Syrian filmmaker, Bassel Chehade, who was shot down in the city of Homs in May. Chehade had been studying film at Syracuse University before deciding to return to his country to document the conflict.

The New Yorker | Read the Full Article

Report from “The World”

Mitch Hurlwitz on Reviving “Arrested Development”

The revived TV show is a new breed of animal. Thanks to DVDs and Netflix streaming, TV shows can now find a core audience even years after they originally aired. Vulture spoke with writer and creator Mitch Hurlwitz on the experience of bringing back the dysfunctional Bluths after six years and laying down the foundation for a future film.

The long-prayed-for resurrection of Arrested Development is now under way: Filming began last month at various locations around Southern California for a new season that will premiere next spring. In his first interview since production on the series resumed, Mitch Hurwitz, responding to our e-mailed questions, was loath to reveal many specific plot details, save for a tidbit about exec producer/narrator Ron Howard appearing on-camera again (“He’s reprising his role as Ron Howard,” Hurwitz said. “We own the rights to Ron Howard completely. I’ve got $20,000 coming in from a Ron Howard pinball machine.”) But while he was sparse with the spoilers, Hurwitz was candid about the emotions behind the reunion, the possibility of an even longer life for the Arrested franchise, and why this experiment may lead to even more TV revivals.

Tell me about the moment when the director of the first scene shouted, “Action.” Did you get choked up?

Actually the first scene was incredibly uninteresting. Jason walks through automatic sliding doors. Dammit, I should have said “spoiler alert.” Okay, [Michael Bluth] walks through some sliding doors — and since the cat’s out of the bag I might as well tell you he walks away from camera in the shot. But no, I didn’t get choked up. Maybe if he was coming toward the camera?

Vulture.com | Read the Full Article

Edit in the Cloud – Introducing Adobe Anywhere

Modern computing is moving towards lower powered and cheaper user interfaces connected via the internet to powerful servers. It was really only a matter of time before this type of cloud computing made its way to the memory and process intensive activity of video editing.

Adobe Anywhere for video allows video teams to collaborate and access shared media across standard networks virtually anywhere they have internet connectivity. Product Manager Michael Coleman and Worldwide Evangelist Jason Levine demonstrate how Adobe Anywhere helps video teams work together and create more efficiently than ever before possible.

Audio Basics: Microphone Types

Audio is an oft forgotten piece of puzzle when it comes to video production – Videomaker breaks down the world of microphones and which tool is right for the job.

If you want to record audio you’ll obviously need a mic. But which type and why? What suits the video producer next door might not be best for your needs.

Microphones are an interesting category of video tools, in a geeky sort of way. The primary goal of any mic for video production is the same: convert acoustic energy into an electrical signal for use in recording. But that’s where the similarities end. From that point on, the variations seem endless. At the high-end, there are large diaphragm studio condenser mics that excel at capturing voice and music. At the low-end are the mics in our cell phones, which work well for communication, but not much else. At every point in between, there are specialty microphones for practically any situation when recording audio for video.

Whether you’re working in an audio production studio or shooting in the field, there’s a mic type for you in your sound studio equipment.

Built-In Microphones

Unless you’re shooting with some high-end cinematography camera, odds are that the camera you use has one or more mics built in. It’s also likely that you’re not too impressed with the quality. That’s OK, you’re not alone. There’s a perfectly reasonable explanation for this. Because the mic is attached to the camera, it will naturally be some distance from your subject. When the mic is far away from the source, it picks up everything between the two. So instead of clean, clear voices, you may hear the voices buried in ambient noises or echoes from the room when you’re recording.

This problem has created a completely new category of audio product: the portable audio recorder. When used with external mics or moved close to the source, portable recorders are great solutions. However, many shooters simply plant the audio recorder on top of their camera or mount it to their rig somehow. This is great for gathering crowd noise, but it doesn’t do anything to solve the built-in distance problem.

It’s not really the mic’s fault. In fact, most built-in mics would sound fine in a recording studio or vocal booth. For that reason, it’s possible to repurpose your camera as a voice-over recording rig. Just control the distance between the mic and the voice and eliminate as much background noise and echoes as possible. Unfortunately, as long as the mic is mounted on the camera, it’s best used for recording ambient sound and as a sync reference for separate recorders.

Videomaker | Read the Full Article

Rick Young Reviews the Black Magic Cinema Camera

Hands-on test with Blackmagic Cinema camera. Rick Young tests the camera in many different situations; getting a feel for the camera in terms of operation, usability, working with different lenses, with a good look at the images the camera produces.

Filmed on location in Perth Australia, this is a real-world report to see just what this camera is capable of. Blackmagic Design have described this as a “cinema camera” – check out the images to see how the camera shapes up in terms of image quality, depth of field, colour rendition and the overall “cinematic” look.

Cleaning Footage to the MAX – a practical guide for Denoising

Lucas Pfaff demonstrates some noise cleaning techniques for DSLR and other video footage.

Table of Contents and skip to the Parts which may interest you:
Introduction at Start
“Part 1: Shooting” starting at 1:25
“Part 2: Basic Denoising” starting at 6:15
“Part 3: Heavy Noise!” starting at 13:46 (sorry, I went a bit too far away from the Mic…)
“Part 4: Super Clean” starting at 19:21
“Part 5: Grain on it’s own” starting at 22:25
Final Words at 23:42

Submitted by Simon Hosick

Newer Posts
Older Posts