Audi took advantage of Monday night's presidential debates with its "Duel" ad spot. Nearly the entire clip plays in reverse, allowing the chronology of the true story and how the action unfolded to the point at which you began to unravel itself in an action-packed scene. The rewound clip -- fit for a 007 film -- features quite the production, complete with excellent, blockbuster-born sound effects to sell every punch and shattering glass shard. But it doesn't take much studying to see this was hardly as easy as rewinding an otherwise-normal action sequence: it took great audio to create this spectacle.
In the wide world of video, one of the most important aspects of production is the sound quality. Sound sells the realism behind your favorite movies and TV shows. In fact, a lot of what you hear when you watch the latest blockbuster or HBO hit series isn't "real." It's created by Foley artists in a studio and mixed in later. This gives the editors maximum control over each individual sound, from footsteps, to gunshots, to engines. Of all the sounds, however, there is one in every feature film that just can't be faked: dialog.
Last week, the team over at RocketJump Film School released this awesome video about sound production in film. Sound production is probably the most overlooked aspect of filmmaking, mainly because you don't notice great sound design; it seamlessly helps you submit to the willing suspension of disbelief. Check out RJFS's experiment to see how much sound actually does affect the audience.
I shot and edited a narrative film in the last month. It was a first for me. I had this scene in my mind of a person burying a suitcase or bag in the woods, like it’s something he or she wanted to hide or get away from. I had a second idea about a guy walking down a long passage way and knocking on a door with no one opening for him. I decided these two contrasting visual ideas will be my story.
Today, video is everywhere. Whether it be an iPhone shooting super-slow-motion footage, or a RED Weapon eating away at hard drive space in 8K resolution, capable cameras are available to almost everyone who wants them. And while we can’t all shoot on RED, it’s possible to get amazing production quality out of consumer-level cameras. Here are a few things to look out for and keep in mind when purchasing gear.
Imagine editing your film and getting to the phase where the production sound needs to be added or perfected. This can be a fun part of editing and getting things together, but it can also be a very time consuming part of the process. If you didn’t have a recording of the live sound, you need to run through the various samples you have available in your library, or get them online, and see which sound works best. If you have the budget, you can add a Foley artist to your team to physically produce the sounds for your video. These sounds must then be edited in for the various sounds you need, be it the footsteps down the alley or the gunshots fired by the assassin that form part of your story. What if this can all be done automatically?
Last weekend, my wife and I enjoyed a wonderful spaghetti dinner at the house of wedding photographer, and fellow survivor of the Australian music industry, Col Hockey. As the night drew on and we sat around the warm glow of his Spotify account, taking turns picking dinner party background music, we set our minds to solving all of the problems inherent in the modern wedding photography world. We discussed gear, marketing, and the mountain that must be climbed: the post-wedding cull and edit. We’re both musicians, so the thought of spending days editing in secluded silence seemed completely alien, but it got me wondering if we were making the right choice.
Not too long ago, I remember going through a phase when the process of building up a camera rig was, for me, the most exciting part of owning gear. My decisions were based less on functionality, and more on the question of “will this item make my rig look more like a cinema camera?” Big and bulky was the order of the day, and if people ever advised cliches like: “the best camera you have is the one that’s on you” or “it’s not about what gear you have, it’s about how you use it,” their advice was taken with a pinch of salt.
Shooting or being involved in a fashion or beauty shoot is a lot of fun. It’s a day where creative personalities, the photographer, stylist, hair and makeup and assistants as well as the client's creative team get together to produce a story, a body of work that they want to show the world. Everyone is focussed on bringing their best ideas to the party.
Almost every video you see online holds an element of sound production made up of music and sound effects. For us to produce a quality body of work, we need to know where to look. I’ve recently started focusing more on producing, shooting, and editing and wanted to share this list I created where you can find awesome music for your projects.
The DJI Osmo gimbal has been getting some pretty favorable reviews. It hits the sweet spot for a portable "run and gun" style gimbal when you consider many of its features and price point. That is not to say it has no downsides, and the audio quality just so happens to be one of them. Here is an easy way to add some good audio to your Osmo while still maintaining its portability.
To continue the string of Holiday deals that have been coming out, B&H is offering savings on a variety of Sony lenses, as well as audio recorders and mics. Most of the lenses that have been put on sale come with rewards up to 10% in addition to instant savings of $50 or $100. You could also get up to $250 off some audio recorders and mic bundles. The deals only last until Saturday, Dec 12th at 11:59 PM EST so make sure not miss out on the opportunity.
As announced at Adobe MAX 2015, Adobe released new updates to its professional Creative Cloud suite of applications. Photoshop CC, Illustrator CC, InDesign CC, Premiere Pro CC, After Effects CC, Audition CC, Dreamweaver CC, Photoshop CC, Fuse CC (Preview), Adobe Stock, and more have been updated. You can download the new versions from the Adobe Creative Cloud app.
While some photographers stay close to home, others travel quite regularly. I’ve been traveling my entire life for one reason or another. And whether it was for a newspaper job I was essentially commuting to (living four days in Southern California and three days in Northern California every week) or a short trip on a personal photographic exploration, I quickly learned that it’s great to have some creature comforts to keep you company along the ride once whatever glamour of traveling that’s left these days fades away.