First Look at the Panasonic Lumix GH4 with Zacuto

Panasonic representative, Matt Frazer, visited Zacuto headquarters in Chicago to give us a first look at the Lumix GH4. This latest offering from the Lumix lineup is making headlines as the first-ever (DSLM) digital single-lens mirrorless camera with built-in 4K video recording.

Matt describes the GH4 as packed with all kinds of features to support both photographers and cinematographers alike. Features include a 16.05-megapixel Digital Live MOS sensor, image processor capable of capturing high-resolution JPEG and RAW stills, cinematic DCI 4K 4096×2160 video at 24p, a micro four thirds image sensor & lens mount & more.

10 Tips for Shooting Video in Europe

Are you getting ready to move a production from the U.S. to Europe? Crews Control offers 10 tips for shooting in the old country.

Big Ben

Crews Control has been managing video productions in Europe for 20 years. Over that time we have gained a lot of video production experience and have collected some funny stories along the way. We worked with our Crews Control represented Directors of Photography from all over Europe to compile our Top 10 List.

TEN: Flicker. The technical tip that was mentioned more than any other was correct frame rates. “Why is the b-roll footage of the factory flickering?” If is important to note that European countries are PAL. You may say “why does that matter for an HD, 2K, or 4K shoot? It’s all about the Hertz baby. European countries main frequency is 50 Hz so the native frame rates that correspond are 50 or 25 fps. America line frequency is 60 Hz so our corresponding frame rates are 23.98, 24, 29.97, 30, 59.94, and 60fps. Most high definition and digital cinema cameras are capable of shooting all the frame rates above. It is important to have a conversation with the local crew to discuss locations and if the frame rate needs to be changed accordingly.

NINE: Siesta. If you are planning to pick up a hard drive or XQD card in the European south at 3PM you probably will not get very far. Shops are closed for siesta from 2:30PM – 5:30PM during the work week. Stores tend to have abbreviated hours on the weekend as well, they close at 3PM on Saturday and don’t open again until Monday morning.

EIGHT: Mileage. The average cost of gas in the EU is $8/ gallon. It is good to be mindful of travel distance to and from a location as well as during the shoot to capture b-roll of landmarks. Bloomberg has a resource that lists countries by currency, volume, and time frame. 

Crews Control | Read the Full Article

The Rise of Videogame Economies | Off Book

While players of multi-player games are aware of their in-game economies, their growth and complexity would surprise many outside the world of gaming. With hundreds of millions of players around the world, MMOGs’ in-game economies generate massive amounts of real dollars (i.e. MILLIONS), and real world economic theories can even be applied to these worlds. Many are now so big that game developers have hired real world economists to help them manage these complex systems. But with secondary economies, gold farming and other issues surfacing, are these systems in need of more attention, or even regulation?

A Primer on Screenwriting Contests

Christopher Schiller writes about the different kinds of screenwriting competitions out there from aspiring scribes.


There are about as many different variations of screenplay contests as the screenplays that are entered in them. Each has its attractions and detriments, risks and rewards. With so much variety it is hard to make generalizations as to what contests a writer should enter and which ones should be avoided. This article will attempt to set out the parameters to allow each writer to make her or his own, informed decisions using their own needs and goals as a guide.

First off, there are variations of every type for screenwriting. And so there are nearly as many variations in what form and/or format screenwriting contests will accept as entries. Some of these variations hold benefits that general screenplay contests lack. Here’s a short list of types to consider.

Short scripts – This is a growing popular contest type. Variations can be for pre-existing works or new works specifically created around a theme. These are complete stories and so represent a finished work. Because of their brevity, they can often be produced relatively cheaply and such a production might be part of the awards in the offer. One thing to consider is whether the contest provider actually has the wherewithal and talent to pull off a successful shoot of your winning script. Winning a screenplay contest that results in a poor quality short film might not be beneficial to your career. Still, a winning short screenplay can lead to a legitimate production which can garner eyeballs within the industry that wouldn’t have read the script.

First X pages – This contest type is sort of a trial run for a full script. They ask for just the opening section of a screenplay, often providing a logline of the film to get you started. With these types of contests the amount of time invested on both sides is shortened. The writer doesn’t have to slave over a full script before getting evaluated. And the contest readers don’t have to read through tons of full scripts to evaluate whether a writer has talent. Seems like a win, win, but, there can be hidden difficulties if not spelled out in the contest details. Questions like, who owns the entry after the contest? Can you take your initial pages and go and write your own script or is the premise and resulting derivative script entries owned by the contest runners? This needs to be stipulated in the contest rules and you need to be aware of whether your potential benefits of participating are limited to wasting time on pages for a project you are prohibited from completing. There is also the potential feeling like the writers are being exploited by the producers getting many variations on the premise tried out without having to pay for them. If this makes you uncomfortable then this type of contest isn’t for you.

ScriptMag | Read the Full Article

A Beginner’s Guide to Loading Film Cameras (& Why It’s Still Really Important)

Robert Hardy collects a series of videos and how to videos on how to load a film camera for a variety of models.

Film Loading

Believe it or not, shooting on film is still a legitimate thing (I know, it’s shocking). Despite the fact that digital imaging is finally matching the technical capabilities of film (and maybe even surpassing it in the case of DRAGON), many narrative productions are still shooting on good old fashioned celluloid. What does this mean for younger folks looking to make a career in the camera department? Well for one, it means that knowing your way around a film camera, and knowing how to load various types of magazines, is still a valuable skill in this industry, one that might land you a gig or two. Luckily for us, literally anything can be learned on YouTube, including the methods for loading film in a variety of popular magazines and cameras.

First, here’s a quick rundown of how to clean and load the magazine for the 16mm Arriflex SR2 magazine from the guys at REELOnlineFilmSchool. In addition to showing you how to load the SR2 magazine, which is actually pretty simple, this video also contains quite a few important general tips and techniques for keeping your magazine (and your loading bag) dirt and dust free. These techniques are applicable to every film-based camera system, and they should become habitual if you intend to work with film on a regular basis because keeping your camera clean is an essential part of making sure that it functions properly.

NoFilmSchool | Read the Full Article

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