Inspired: James Victore

It’s a bit of a different inspired this time, and not one directly to do with video. Instead it’s a designer who speaks directly to the ideas of working your creativity and finding your own voice; James Victore.

I’m not a designer. I don’t know if James Victore is a great designer but I do like his work. I discovered him because I stumbled into his session at AdobeMAX this year entitled How to Tap into Your Creative Voice and Make Work That Matters. What creative wouldn’t want to go to a presentation with that title?

The lecture was well worth attending and is worth your time too but it lead my to James’s video series, Burning Questions. In each five minute video he address a viewers question and, although these are designer-centric questions, the issues are those all creatives face: inspiration, doubt, motivation, etc. These short, informal videos are like having a personal mentor on tap. He’s talking directly to you about questions you probably have. I’ve been working my way through them and I’m finding them incredibly inspiring. I hope you will too. Click for more

A Personal Review of Adobe MAX 2014

AdobeMAX 2014: Candy Mascot
I get sent to a few conferences each year. Most of them I working so Adobe MAX is the conference I actually look forward to attending and I get the most out of. For me, in my second year of attending, it’s the perfect mix of the geeky and the artistic.

It’s flattering to be labeled a creative after years of being a hard-core geek, although, I do feel a little bit of a fraud when some speaker looks out into the crowd of six thousand and calls us all “kick-ass creatives”. It does make me want to go away and make sure that my portfolio is up to date, and is the best it can be, so that I feel more like I truly belong in this tribe. This is one of the many reasons that I love Adobe MAX: I go away inspired to create and fight for another year. I may have spent the last two months tweaking a hundred boring screencasts but I leave MAX determined to push harder and find those projects that will make feel like I earned the moniker, “kick-ass creative”.

It is easy to forget that you are Adobe’s paying guest when you’re all fired up to change the world, which probably means that they’re doing a lot right. Creative Cloud has become the defacto standard for a huge majority of creatives. Unless something changes, I can’t imagine not having to pay Adobe every month for the rest of my life – I can’t do anything professionally, or on any of my passion projects, without my CC subscription. Adobe have me, and many others, just where they want us. And yet, I don’t feel any resentment for paying my CC membership as Adobe pushes to develop new tools and expand existing ones, especially when you get to meet Adobe’s agents and they are all so approachable and enthusiastic.

Click for more

Linktresting: Content Worth Your Time

chainMore good stuff:

6 Things Wrong With Your In-House Video Department

6ThingsWrongIf you work for a medium-to-large sized company it’s likely that your marketing department owns some sort of video production group. These groups can range from one person (usually called Gary), who deals with agencies for the actual production, to a large department, with a fully stocked studio and gear inventory, capable of producing all kinds of video in-house, and out in the field. It makes sense for many companies to have these resources in-house and on-hand, however, being outside these departments, but dealing with them regularly, I’ve found there are few things most of these in-house groups get wrong.

It’s not their fault. Most of these groups are manned by well intentioned, talented staff (we love you Gary), but the way they have been set up, and who they answer to within a company, cripples their effectiveness and their creativity. Here’s the top six things  wrong with your in-house video production department: Click for more

Linktresting: Content worth Your Time

chain2014 continues to race by. Here’s some of the content I have spent time reading/watching when I should have been trying to tick things off my todo list. If you’re in need of a little procrastination, click this way:

Top 3 Most Interesting Products at NAB 2014 for Guerrilla Filmmakers

Another year; another NAB; another I’m-so-glad-I-don’t-have-to-be-in-Vegas-to-see-the-NAB-filmmaking-related-news.

The year of 4K

Despite my aversion to trade-shows, and Vegas, there were a lot of products that were announced that will be of interest to guerrilla filmmakers again this year. 2014 is shaping up to be the year of 4K+ cameras with lots of manufacturers launching new cameras  and everyone debating if it’s time to jump into 4K production yet. In my opinion, corporate video doesn’t need to be delivered in 4K yet but you may as well capture it in 4K if your camera is capable of it. I’d think twice about investing in any new equipment that wasn’t 4K ready


Blackmagic URSA

Once again, Blackmagic unveiled the star of the show. The camera that has mouths hanging open all over the internet filmmaking forums, is their new, flagship, modular camera: the URSA. What can I say that hasn’t already been said? It’s modular and upgradeable. It has a built-in 10″ monitor. It’s chunky (16.5lbs without glass) but portable. It’s expensive but not affordable ($6K for the camera with EF mount). I can’t wait to read reviews and see footage from the URSA in use but I already want one. If I were shooting any narrative work in, or after, the third quarter of this year, the URSA would be high on my list for consideration.

Pundits are constantly forecasting the death of DSLR video, and while it has seemed a little premature this far, if Blackmagic and others keep innovating at this pace, the DSLR as a tool for video is not long for this world. And let’s pause a moment to mention another new product from Blackmagic, the Blackmagic Studio Camera. This one is aimed at studio production, live TV shows and is intended to be used in conjunction with a live switcher desk. I does show how Blackmagic continues to try to innovate and reach into unexpected niches of the the market.  Blackmagic have become such an interesting player in the market and their second year as the most talked about camera manufacturer at NAB proves that point.

0_0[1]DJI Phantom 2 Vision+

Camera drones have been all over the news, both general and filmmaking specific, in the last 12 months.  In the past this was just a cottage industry and you had to assemble a kit with all the potential pitfalls that entails. No manufacture has done more than DJI to simplify getting aerial shots for less than renting a helicopter  for an hour. But even DJI’s packages expected you to add your own GoPro and POV camera if you wanted it. The Vision+ seems like the ultimate out-of-the-box flying solution. They’ve made it simple to fly, GPS enabled (so the quadcopter always knows where it is) – you can even take your hands of the controls and it hovers in place and press one button and the drone returns to you. It’s now got a built-in camera with a 3-axis stabilization system to make shooting video with the Vision as simple as flying it. Plugin your iPhone and you have a POV heads up display so you don’t have to guess what you’re capturing. The DJI really is the iPhone of drones. Expect to see more Phantoms is enthusiast and professional video maker’s hands this year.


Atokmos Ninja Star

In my number three slot I’m putting, not a camera, but a 4K recorder. How unsexy! But the Ninja Star records 4K for $300 and is small enough to strap to your Phantom mentioned above. It records to Cfast gen 1 cards, 180 grams with a battery, and a simple LED based UI. It seems to be for everyone who wants ProRez recording but doesn’t need a monitor. I only wish it contained it’s own storage  and yet I foresee multiple situations where having a Ninja in your kit bag would be really useful.

Bonus: Adobe LR Mobile for iPad

Finally, a sneaky extra item. Adobe announced a ton of features that they’re adding to the Creative Cloud software creatives all love but the die-hard still-photog in me was most excited by the release of Lightroom Mobile for the iPad. I tolerate Photoshop but I love Lightroom. I need to play with it more but I am excited to be able to access Lightroom on my iPad now.


Inspired: Epic Basketball + Car Beat

Oh to have the energy and creativity of youth again! Buick are not know for their innovative cars but here they show that they at least know how to take advantage of younger filmmakers to make a successful video that prominently features their car. I don’t know if it will help them to get millennials out of their  Scion tC’s and Golf GTi’s and into a Buick, as the ad is clearly intended to do, but it shows that someone in marketing there actually gets it.