Monday, November 22, 2010

This 3D Thing. Is it all hot air?

I can't tell you how many times I get asked this question.
Come on, 3D is not new, it comes to the forefront every 10-15 years. It is a fad and then it vanishes. Why is this time any different?
Ok, here are the reasons why I feel that this is finally the time for wide acceptance of 3D.
1. See it Anywhere

For the first time in history, as 3D storytellers, we do not have to ask our audience to go to a theatre. Home 3D is a reality and getting cheaper by the day and you can even watch 3D on your computer.
2. Hello, Infrastructure
And now, the infrastructure to create really good 3D exists. We have cameras, we can edit, we can distribute and we can display. To quote Bob, "The times they are a changin'"
3. Shooting 3D
Really? How do we shoot 3D? There are side by side, and mirror rigs and the new Panasonic 3DA1, integrated 3D camera system. Basically you need two cameras absolutely seeing the same thing. Just like our eyes. If your rig, or camcorder can do that, shooting 3D just got way easier.
4. Editing.
OK, what NLE do you use? It doesn't matter, there are a number of plug ins for any NLE including: Dashwood, Cineform, and Quantel.
Editing 3D has never been easier.
5. Display
Take your choice: Anaglyph (ugly, but works on all displays, including computer), passive polarized glasses, or active shutter glasses. They all work.
Oh, and watch price of 3D plasmas, they are falling faster than you can image.

6. Distribution

OK, you shot it, you edited it, now how do you deliver it?
How about You Tube?
Or, side by side, easy to create in any NLE. Just burn to Blu-Ray Image, output on Standard Blu-ray player to consumer 3D plasma and presto chango, you have 3D. Stunning
7. The 10 foot blue people in the room
Avatar changed everything for a theatrical 3D experience. Wait until you see the 3D Blu-ray of Avatar in your home. It will once again change everything.

I have been shooting 3D with the Panasonic 3DA1 since March 2010. Would love to talk to you about it. Just reply below.

It changed the way I capture the world. I am training cinematographers every day how to shoot 3D with this camera.
We can now create images that mirror what we see.
Way cool!
More to come,
The Road Warrior
FTC Disclosure
In compliance with the FTC rulings, I state that I am the Panasonic AVCHD and 3D Professional Evangelist. As such, I am a paid consultant to Panasonic, and I get free use of the AVCCAM products. However, the opinions on this blog are purely my own.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

3D Everywhere, All The Time

Wow, the hits just keep on comin'. I am having a blast shooting 3D with the Panasonic 3DA1 camera and training other shooters how to shoot 3D with it.

Let's pick up from my last post which had me in San Diego closing out the When It Counts Post NAB Road Show, (that's me in action) For the record, I presented 3D at each of these events (think there were 27 different cities). And the crowds cheered!

Ok, right after San Diego, I am off to Orlando for WEVA. (Wedding and Event Videographer's Association).
We had worked with a couple of Wedding Videographers and showed, for the first time, weddings shot in 3D with the 3DA1 camera. It was simply amazing. We had this big plasma in the booth, and lines of people standing watching weddings of people that they didn't even know. It sure opened many of the WEVA attendees eyes to the real possibility of shooting and delivering 3D weddings!

September starts with me doing demos at NYU. This is always a great venue. The faculty is very cool and the students are so IN TO IT! I love being there.
From NYC to Atlanta to train the Weather Channel on shooting 3D. Now they want to shoot a tornado in 3D. Not me. That same week I presented at SMPTE meetings in Atlanta and Nashville. Just continuing the different day, different city 3D tour.

The next week I am off to Hawaii.
See why I love this job. In paradise, shooting 3D and training shooters. It doesn't get much better than this. Oh, wait, yes it does, read on...

Straight from Hawaii to LA for DV Expo. This was an amazing show.

For the first time we showed a working sample of the new AF100 camera. We had it right next to the 3DA1 and I have to tell you, Panasonic has two new rock stars. We had people lined up in the booth, 5 or 6 deep. It was like the early days of P2. It was fun! These are both incredible cameras.

But wait, from LA to Albuquerque, NM to shoot 3D at the International Balloon Fiesta.

See, I told you it got better.

WOW what an event! Over 800 hot air balloons ascending. It is said that this is the most photographed event in the world. I can easy believe it.
Everywhere you look is an incredible image, and the 3DA1 captured it all in breathtaking 3D. We even got the camera into a balloon.

Kudos to my son, Mike, I drafted him to be second unit 3D cameraman, and he took the camera up in a balloon. Good stuff. Thanks, Mike.





We shot tons of footage, and it is in a process of being edited now. Hope to have it on a Blu-ray soon and be able to show it at various events.



From balloons to Texas for 3D training at University and then on to Chicago for 3D event with Createasphere.
Then back to NYC for 3D presentation at NYU.....
Off to Seattle for 3D presentation at VMI show and then to Denver for 3D presentations at Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival Tech Symposium.
As you can see, I have been busy. I know I should try to post more while I am on the road, and I will try to do better.

Some Bernie Tips on shooting with the 3DA1.
* It is not really a hand held camera. Yes, you can hand hold it and Mike had to in the balloon, but I don't recommend it. Use a tripod, or monopod, shaky 3D looks really bad.
* Use the 3D guide in the camera. It gives you a distance guide to let you know where your 3D safe space is. It really helps you to avoid parallax issues and bad 3D.
* Remember to stay at least 8 feet away from your subject. Yes, you can zoom in, but stay 8 feet away. This was really hard to do at the Balloon Fiesta as people kept walking in front of the lens causing framing or window violations.
* Try to use the positive space (behind the screen) and avoid much coming into the negative space (in front of the screen). It is cheesy and tiring to watch.
* Dashwood has a great iPhone app which allows you to check your parallax settings. And they have even converted the C number to feet. Thanks, Tim. Great tool, it really helps. I recommend it.

More to Come,
Bernie
The Road Warrior

FTC Disclosure
In compliance with the FTC rulings, I state that I am the Panasonic AVCHD and 3D Professional Evangelist. As such, I am a paid consultant to Panasonic, and I get free use of the AVCCAM products. However, the opinions on this blog are purely my own.

Monday, August 16, 2010

When It Counts Road Show Final Stops

Hello, West Coast.
Quick side trip, landed at SFO. We have spent the last 14 weeks on the road with the Panasonic When It Counts Road Show. It has been great meeting and talking with many of you Road Warrior followers. But, sadly all good things have to come to an end.

Today, I have meetings and presentations in Monterey (what a great place) on the HMC80 camera. Lots of educators are really excited about this new camera. Not only does it shoot AVCHD in all the formats and frame rates, but it also shoots DV on an SDHC card.
So now, schools and churches don't have to upgrade their computers, if they just need to shoot and deliver Standard Definition. And what a camera; shoulder-mount, built in XLR connectors firewire and USB connections, component video out, etc. . Great flexibility and really nice pictures.
Later this week on Thursday we close out the When It Counts Road Show in San Diego at the New Hard Rock Hotel. If you are in the area, stop by and see not only the HMC80, but also the 3DA1 camera and learn all about the new great products from Panasonic.

More to Come,
Bernie
The Road Warrior

FTC Disclosure
In compliance with the FTC rulings, I state that I am the Panasonic AVCHD and 3D Professional Evangelist. As such, I am a paid consultant to Panasonic, and I get free use of the AVCCAM products. However, the opinions on this blog are purely my own.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

New York When It Counts Road Show


The Panasonic When It Counts Road Show hit the Big Apple yesterday, and the joint was jumpin.
As usual my presentation was on the AVCCAM family of products, which now includes the HMC150, HMC40 (Little Buster), HMR10 and POVCAM, the new HMC80 (more on this in another post), and the super hot two new products the AF100, and of course the 3DA1.

Next week the show moves on to Minneapolis and then we wind up the following week in San Diego, hope to see you there.

In the second picture, I am demonstrating how to set convergence on the 3DA1.

Bernie
The Road Warrior

FTC Disclosure
In compliance with the FTC rulings, I state that I am the Panasonic AVCHD and 3D Professional Evangelist. As such, I am a paid consultant to Panasonic, and I get free use of the AVCCAM products. However, the opinions on this blog are purely my own.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

I'm Been Everywhere, Man!

Being the Road Warrior Sometimes Stinks!
Ok, so yesterday I was in Portland (coming off a great Panasonic When It Counts Road Show). Flying home from Portand to Knoxville. No big deal.
And Portland is the home of Leatherman so, I had to stop at factory store and buy a cool new one.
Anyway, I am routed thru Minneapolis, and we are delayed. Arghh.
Then we finally get out on the tarmac, and wait an hour and run out of gas. Arrgh. So, we go back to gate, to refuel. 2 hours later we are on the tarmac again. Finally, we take off. I get home after 1:30am and have to be on a plane the next morning at 7am for flight to NYC to train film schools on AVCCAM. Short nite.
I get to airport, fly to Newark, but wait...We circle for an hour before landing, and then the GPS in the rental car routes me in circles around the Holland Tunnel. Finally get to Secaucus 2 hours later than planned. I am jet lagged, and GPS'd. Hopefully, tomorrow in NYC will be better.
The Road Warrior (earned it this trip)
More to come, as always

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Another Opening of Another Road Show


Wow, what a summer it has been so far. Each week a different city, all part of the Panasonic When It Counts Road Show. We have been showing lots of new products and I have been demoing the hot new 3D Camera. Reaction has been amazing. Everyone can't wait to get their heads and hands around 3D shooting.

We have done shows in Los Angeles, Phoenix, San Francisco, Miami, Washington, DC, Boston, Manchester, NH, Dallas, and now this week in Portland.
We still have more to come, with shows in Denver, Atlanta, New York City, Minneapolis and San Diego.
To get more information check out Panasonic Broadcast on Facebook and find the posting for the Panasonic When It Counts Road Show. There is a link for registration and more information
Hope to see you somewhere on the road.

Lots More to Come,
The Road Warrior

FTC Disclosure
In compliance with the FTC rulings, I state that I am the Panasonic AVCHD and 3D Professional Evangelist. As such, I am a paid consultant to Panasonic, and I get free use of the AVCCAM products. However, the opinions on this blog are purely my own.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Into The Wild


International Wildlife Film Festival
Missoula, MT.

May 10-14, 2010

Each year the best wildlife film makers desend on Missoula, MT for the oldest wildlife film festival. This year marked the 33rd time this event has been held. The setting and the vibe is great. Panasonic is a sponsor of the event, and so each year, we bring a number of cameras to the event for the film makers to play with. It is also a great way to hear first hand what world renowned cinematographers need in the way of cameras in very challenging environments.

A lot of these shooters are currently working with Varicams, so the new P2 varicams got lots of attention. But so did Lil'Buster (the HMC40) AVCCAM shown here with it's big brother the Varicam.

We also showcased the HMR10 portable recorder and the HCK10 POVCAM. This combination was extremely appealing, particularly with the fact that you could separate the camera from the recorder via cable, by up to 65 feet! Additionally, we had a new underwater housing from Gates, that people were very interested in.
Here is a pix of the POVCAM as a helmet camera. I wonder why I look so serious?
The wildlife folks could see lots of application for this little camera and recorder.

Lots More to Come,
The Road Warrior

FTC Disclosure
In compliance with the FTC rulings, I state that I am the Panasonic AVCHD Evangelist. As such, I am a paid consultant to Panasonic, and I get free use of the AVCCAM products. However, the opinions on this blog are purely my own.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

This was Fun!


April 28, 2010
San Diego State Univeristy

I was invited by Steve Montal, professor at San Diego State University to come and speak to his advanced production class. The class was 2.5 hours and we really rocked. I spoke to them about how codecs do matter, and showed some examples of the difference.
In fact after the class, one of the students sent me this email; "Thanks again for coming to our class and presenting. It was one of the most informative classes I've had this semester and finally settled my codec/storage/camera confusion".

I had lots of AVCCAM products there and some P2 as well.
We discussed camera options, what to look for when picking a camera, how you can create a look with your camera.
Then the topic turned to post production. No suprise the great majority of students were Final Cut Users, so I fired up FCP and showed them how easy it is to edit AVCCAM footage.
Finally, I presented them with an update of some of the new products shown at NAB.
First up was the AG-HMC80.

This camera will absolutely rock the education market. It is a light weight shoulder mounted camera that not only shoots HD, but it also shoots standard def on SDHC cards. It will be available in September. More to come.




Second cool new product was the AG-AF100. This large sensor camera is designed as a video camera that you can attach any of your existing still camera lenses to. It has XLR inputs, and time code. It generated a tremendous amount of buzz at NAB. It will be available end of year. And yes, more to come.





Finally, the AG-3DA1. The world's first integrated 3D camera. I have had the pleasure to shoot with this little guy a couple of times, once on a set and once out in the desert and it is amazing. But, let me tell you shooting 3D is a whole new ball game. There is so much more to consider shooting 3D. But the images, whoa. This camera will be out in the fall and you can bet there will be lots more to come regarding shooting with it. I hope to post some tips from things that I learn.

The class was very attentive and asked very good questions. A good time was had by all. And the questions continued after class. The professor sent this very nice email to Panasonic: "Bernie Mitchell's presentation on the developments of HD camera technologies is the most comprehensive lecture/demo we have had on the subject in ten years at San Diego State University. Bernie effectively communicated to the students strategies for making the right decision in selecting cameras and media to work with. The demo of new Panasonic cameras was incredible. We look forward to welcoming Bernie back to SDSU soon. Thank you!"

Lots More to Come,
The Road Warrior

FTC Disclosure
In compliance with the FTC rulings, I state that I am the Panasonic AVCHD Evangelist. As such, I am a paid consultant to Panasonic, and I get free use of the AVCCAM products. However, the opinions on this blog are purely my own.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

3D in The Desert


Yesterday, I got my hands on one of the first Panasonic 3D HD camcorders in the country. What a thrill!
It records 3D on the AVCHD format on two inexpensive SDHC cards and is the newest member of the growing AVCCAM family of professional products.
Off to the desert, just outside of Las Vegas to put this baby to work. Let me tell you shooting 3D is a whole new way of thinking and shooting. Panasonic has done a great job of creating a hand held, light weight camera that makes the process easier. But, if you have never shot 3D, there are a number of new skill sets that you will have to learn. And the best place to start that learning, to get your hands on this new hot camera and to see some of the tremendous footage shot with it, is in the Panasonic booth at NAB. Starting Monday and running thru Thus of next week, the Panasonic booth will be the place to be. Stop by and say hello, and I will welcome you to a new 3D world.

More updates to come.

The Road Warrior

FTC Disclosure
In compliance with the FTC rulings, I state that I am the Panasonic AVCHD Evangelist. As such, I am a paid consultant to Panasonic, and I get free use of the AVCCAM products. However, the opinions on this blog are purely my own.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

AVCCAM at NAB Once Again!


April 7, 2010

It is time for Las Vegas and NAB (the National Association of Broadcasters Show).
Ole Betsy, Lil' Buster, other AVCCAM products and I will all be in the Panasonic Booth next week. Wonder what surprises we will be showing?
NAB is Monday, Tues, Wed and Thurs. I will be there talking the AVCCAM talk. If you are coming to NAB, please stop in and say hi!
Also, I will bring the products to the Final Cut User Group SuperMeeting Tues. nite at the Rio. And, immediately after NAB, I will be at BEA. It is going to be a very busy 10 days. I look forward to speaking to many of you. As always, it will be a blast.

The Road Warrior

FTC Disclosure
In compliance with the FTC rulings, I state that I am the Panasonic AVCHD Evangelist. As such, I am a paid consultant to Panasonic, and I get free use of the AVCCAM products. However, the opinions on this blog are purely my own.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Lil' Buster Goes Viral!


We have just completed 14 "How To Videos" for the Panasonic HMC40 AVCCAM camera (Lil' Buster, to us here on the blog.)
This pix is a behind the scenes look in the studio. BTW, all the footage that you see in these videos was shot with the HMC40 camera. No tricks, just the real thing. As I have said for months, this little camera is amazing.

To see the videos go to Check them out at: www.youtube.com/user/PBTSProVideo.

Each program is short and covers a specific topic, such as "How Do I Set White Balance." We tried to keep them informative and a bit entertaining. You can learn all about frame rates and resolutions, dynamic range stretch and interval recording (time lapse) some examples of this I have posted here on previous blogs. Other programs include Pre-record (really cool feature) as well as Optical Image Stabilization (a must if you are hand holding the camera). We even included some FAQ's. All in all, 14 nifty little videos that should help you to make the most of shooting with Lil' Buster.
If you get a chance to look at them, post your comments here. I would love to hear what you think.

The Road Warrior

FTC Disclosure
In compliance with the FTC rulings, I state that I am the Panasonic AVCHD Evangelist. As such, I am a paid consultant to Panasonic, and I get free use of the AVCCAM products. However, the opinions on this blog are purely my own.

Lil' Buster Headed To Hawaii For AVCO Tech Show


Aloha!

March 31 and April 1 are the dates, Neal Blaisdell Exhibition Hall. Honolulu, Hawaii is the place. Lil' Buster, Ole Betsy and the new HMR10 and POVCam will be at the AVCO Technology Show. Oh yeah, I will be accompanying them.
See www.theavco.com/avcotechnologyshow for registration and details. Come by and see the cameras and take in my presentation both days entitled "Codecs to Cameras: The Panasonic AVCHD Evolution". I will be stressing the importance of video compression and how MPEG-4 is vastly superior to the older MPEG-2 compression and cameras that still use it. It is usually a lively discussion, because I also always ask "Why in World Would You Still Shoot on Tape (or MPEG-2)?"

The Road Warrior

FTC Disclosure
In compliance with the FTC rulings, I state that I am the Panasonic AVCHD Evangelist. As such, I am a paid consultant to Panasonic, and I get free use of the AVCCAM products. However, the opinions on this blog are purely my own.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Lil' Buster in Park City, UT for Slamdance Film Festival

Sunday January 24, 2010
Finally the sun came out! It has been snowing, cold and white-out conditions here since Friday am. The Slamdance Film Festival (see www.slamdance.com) is in full swing and the weather can't dampen the spirits here.

Yesterday, I moderated a Fireside Chat session at Slamdance
where we invited filmmakers who all have films in this year's festival to speak. Each of these filmmakers shot their films on Panasonic cameras. Mainly the HVX200 P2 camera. They talked about their experience with the camera and the workflow. Then they showed clips of the films. Way cool!

I then asked them what they liked about shooting with Panasonic and their comments ranged from: "I like the look I get with Panasonic HD cameras", "The camera is so light weight it allowed me to get shots in positions not otherwise possible", and "The workflow from camera to edit is so fast".

I also asked them if there was anything that they didn't like, and there really wasn't. How bout that?

Thanks to the filmmakers for sharing their stories and talent with us.
You can check them out on the links below:
Nico Sabenorio "Bout That Bout" see: www.boutthatbout.com
John Carluccio "Cease & Desist" see: johncarluccio.blogspot.com
Chuck Gomez "Poinciana Sunrise" see: slamdance.bside.com/2010/films/poincianasunrise_chuckgomezdirector_slamdance2010

After the session we all gathered out in the hallway, where TV Specialists, the Panasonic dealer in Salt Lake City, had set up a table and had a number of the Panasonic cameras on display for the filmmakers to play with. See: www.tvspecialists.com

Most were familiar with the P2 cameras but the AVCCAM cameras (particularly Lil' Buster, the HMC40 camera) that record on standard SDHC cards, blew them away. I am pretty confident we will see films next year shot with Lil' Buster.
It was a great day.

Tomorrow, I am giving another Fireside Chat at Slamdance, this one is "Codecs to Cameras" and I will discuss the benefits of the various codecs, the limitations of MPEG 2, and show the Panasonic P2 and AVCCAM cameras.

I will try to get some more pix tomorrow and post them.

The Road Warrior

FTC Disclosure
In compliance with the FTC rulings, I state that I am the Panasonic AVCHD Evangelist. As such, I am a paid consultant to Panasonic, and I get free use of the AVCCAM products.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Lil' Buster at Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival

-
Sept. 28- Oct. 2, 2009
Every 2 years amid the fall splendor of The Grand Tetons, the world's best wildlife cinematographers gather for the Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival. This is an amazing event. Incredibly talented people and amazing scenery. For more information, check out: www.jhfestival.org/

These cinematographers are the type that think nothing of living in the wild for over a year, shooting with the world's best cameras to create award winning nature films. These film makers use Panasonic high-end Varicams every day. But, I have to tell you Lil' Buster (The HMC40) made quite a debut.

First and foremost, for this crowd, it comes down to image quality. Secondly, it is all about the robustness and weight of the camera. We are talking some pretty tough locations. And third, they are looking for cool features. In all these areas, Lil' Buster answered all questions.

Image Quality.
Recording on SDHC cards, the media costs are almost non-existent and the picture quality blew everyone's mind. I can't tell you how many times I heard, "I can't believe a camera this inexpensive, can make pictures this good." Now, I am not saying they will stop using Varicams, but I did hear this comment almost daily. "Wow, this would be a perfect second unit camera."

Robustness
and Weight. Ok, so we haven't yet had it out in the wild for a year at a time, but everyone was knocked out by how light weight it is. "I could hand carry it. Wouldn't need a bulky case."
And as you can see from this pix, it is small enough that you can even mount it on a fence.




Cool Features.
Pre-record and time lapse really speaks to this crowd. To be able to get the dolphin jumping every time, or clouds sweeping isn't just cool, it's critical. I have posted examples of time-lapse with this camera here before, but I couldn't resist shooting the mountains.



video

As I say, Lil' Buster was a hit. However, the newest members of the AVCCAM family created the most buzz at this event. But, that is for another post.

More to come,
The Road Warrior



FTC Disclosure
In compliance with the FTC rulings, I state that I am the Panasonic AVCHD Evangelist. As such, I am a paid consultant to Panasonic, and I get free use of the AVCCAM products.