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June 2007
M.O.S. Sync Tackles
No project in Hollywood can get along without paperwork. EDLs, camera reports, timecards, contracts and schematics are, for better or for worse, a daily part of the job. But what happens to all that documentation once the checks are cut and the film is in the can?
Fuji Eterna Vivid 160
Fujifilm U.S.A., Inc. recently introduced Eterna Vivid 160, a new tungsten-type motion-picture color negative film (35mm Type 8543/16mm Type 8643) formulated to deliver high color saturation and high contrast with enhanced sharpness. Eterna Vivid 160 is the newest member of the Fujifilm Eterna family.
Fujis New Postproduction Stocks
Fuji has also introduced two post products: Eterna-RDI, a film designed exclusively for digital film-recorder output, and Eterna-CI, a color intermediate film used to duplicate motion pictures.
Litepanels Remote Dimmer
Litepanels, Inc. has introduced the Remote Dimmer, designed to work with the company’s full line of compact, portable LED lighting systems.
Schneider DV Filter Package
For a limited time, Schneider Optics is offering a screw-on dual-filter package custom-tailored to enhance the optical performance of popular DV camcorders.
Faster Arri 235
The Arriflex 235, praised for its small size and light weight, has undergone a speed upgrade of up to 75 fps.
Arri 14mm Master Prime
The Arri Master Prime T1.3/14mm completes the Master Prime family of lenses on the wide end. Zeiss engineers have created a lens that not only has a rectilinear image geometry, but also exhibits brilliant optical quality at T1.3.

Canon Economical HD Lenses
Canon U.S.A., Inc. recently introduced nine new models in its HDgc line of cost-effective portable HD lenses, offering a broad product line to meet a wide range of customer needs.
Steadicam Ultra2
The Tiffen Co. has unveiled the world’s most advanced Steadicam, the Ultra2.
Affordable Disc Publishing
The Bravo SE Disc Publisher from Primera Technology is an affordable, automated CD/DVD duplication and printing system for both Mac and PC users.

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M.O.S. Sync Tackles

No project in Hollywood can get along without paperwork. EDLs, camera reports, timecards, contracts and schematics are, for better or for worse, a daily part of the job. But what happens to all that documentation once the checks are cut and the film is in the can? According to Bernie Laramie, president and founder of M.O.S. Sync, Inc., it’s “just a morass of bad documentation sitting in storage all over Los Angeles. No one will ever get inside of them, and no one has the guts to destroy it all.”

Being able to quickly and easily access specific information about the production of a film would be important not only for historians and archivists, but also for producers and studios looking to maximize the profitability of their intellectual properties. For Laramie, whose 25 years of experience encompass motion-picture and television production, the solution to the problem of how to track and exploit that information can be found in his evolving Metadata Origination System, or M.O.S.

Metadata — data about data — appears in a variety of formats, including time code and look-up tables (LUTs), and M.O.S. is designed to look back at any given point in a production and know exactly what happened and when; it does this by browsing through the metadata using a simple cataloging program.

M.O.S. isn’t the first system of its kind. In 2000, ASC member David Stump, Bill Tondreau of Kuper Systems, and Alvah J. Miller and Paul Johnson of Lynx Robotics were given an Academy Sci-Tech Award for the development of a metadata-capture system that records live-action camera and axis data for visual-effects cinematography. M.O.S. takes the catalog concept a step further. At the heart of its system is Monster, which is currently disguised as an inconspicuous Dell network server crammed into a rugged flight case, along with M.O.S.’s Minutes and Transcript components. The software infrastructure was designed and built by software engineer Paul Kamer, a former senior systems engineer at Warner Bros. Motion Picture Imaging. “M.O.S. is still an experimental system,” says Stump, who chairs the ASC Technology Committee’s Metadata Subcommittee, “but these guys understand the metadata issue.”

Monster provides wireless and LAN connectivity on set and serves as the back end for the M.O.S. database. By design, the database is accessible by any computer with a Web browser, an Internet connection, and the proper permissions. This saves users from having to download or purchase additional software, and circumvents the multi-platform dilemma.

Monster’s database groups metadata into three categories: static, dynamic and temporal. Static metadata is information that doesn’t change over the duration of a production (i.e., show titles, director, cinematographer). Dynamic metadata is shot-specific and deals in values measuring camera height and subject distance. Temporal metadata is acquired via an electronic interface to Monster’s Metadata Recorder. Data for the focal distance, shutter angle, T-stop, and more are continually fed for every frame directly into the Monster database through a digital port on the camera or camera accessory.
Monster’s preferred method of acquiring metadata involves “piggy-backing” on the technology already in place on many products for proprietary reasons. For instance, lens manufacturers needed to have a calibration system, so they included serial ports for their own use, of which Monster is able to take advantage.

Data also can be accessed with an Ethernet connection, but Kamer warns against latency issues with information that needs to be recorded in real time. “If you need to know what LUT you used for a shot, then Ethernet is fine, because you’ve got the entire length of the shot to get the metadata into the program,” he explains. “But if it’s a zoom on a lens, you really want to know that several times per frame, so we actually pull the information multiple times per frame. We use the latest values that we got from the lens, and then we populate the database with that.”

As Monster receives and collates the metadata for a scene or shot, M.O.S.’s Transcript hardware creates low-resolution proxy files for offline editing. The high-definition signal is down-converted to the Avid OMF format as it comes in from the camera and is married to the scene/take information. All of this information goes directly to a removable hard drive (available in sizes ranging from 20-80 gigabytes). The drive can then be transferred to an ingest module in the editing room. Drag and drop the files into the NLE, and editing can begin.

A third main component of M.O.S. is Minutes, a real-time streaming solution for digital dailies. “We looked at the entire desktop-dailies conundrum, and what everyone emphasized was that it has to be secure,” recalls Laramie. “The Internet isn’t secure and dailies are extremely valuable. So I started looking around to see what we could do.” Laramie and Kamer turned to Mark Heninger of UVU, a digital “telestreaming” service provider that specializes in video content for hotels, cable networks, mobile phones and Internet operators. “We take content, secure it, encode it, turn it into zeroes and ones, and send it wherever it needs to go,” explains Heninger. “All along the way, what we’ve been addressing the most are security issues.”

Using “a flavor of H.264 compression,” the signal is encrypted twice, when it leaves Monster and is transmitted or transported to UVU for compression, and when it’s delivered back to the Minutes application. Footage can then be viewed at approximately 300-700k/sec at near-DVD quality in a standard Web browser running UVU’s Java-based player. Once the dailies play back, they disappear; they can’t be cracked, transferred or traded. Heninger describes Minutes as a “true streaming solution” and boasts of a remarkably fast turnaround. Depending on the M.O.S. network connection, dailies derived from an electronic imaging source could be available in as little as two minutes after the director calls “cut.” Assuming there is connectivity on the set, Minutes also works with Monster to provide protection so that only takes approved by the director are allowed to be published.

Monster can interface with Sony’s HDCam SR and the Codex, S.two and Rave HD DVRs. It’s also a relatively customizable package — if a metadata recorder is needed but a DVR isn’t, a system can be custom-built for the client’s needs.

Laramie is still field-testing the system under a variety of conditions, including stereoscopic cinematography, visual-effects postproduction and 35mm film production, and key features are still being developed. Because M.O.S. can’t track keycode, Kamer is currently writing a workaround for Monster that allows additional metadata recording to occur during telecine sessions. Development of an interface for the Grass Valley LUTher used Technicolor’s digital color-correction system is in the final stages.

by Iain Stasukevich 

contact info:  
www.mossync.com
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Fuji Eterna Vivid 160

Fujifilm U.S.A., Inc. recently introduced Eterna Vivid 160, a new tungsten-type motion-picture color negative film (35mm Type 8543/16mm Type 8643) formulated to deliver high color saturation and high contrast with enhanced sharpness. Eterna Vivid 160 is the newest member of the Fujifilm Eterna family.

Fujifilm Eterna stocks are characterized by their ability to reproduce natural skin tones and grays from under- to overexposed conditions. In addition to these characteristics, Eterna Vivid 160 is designed with high contrast and high-color saturation, enabling it to reproduce crisp images; vibrant and translucent colors; and deep, rich blacks. Eterna Vivid 160 delivers the highest color saturation and contrast without sacrificing exceptionally enhanced image sharpness, a hallmark of the Eterna line.

Optimization of orange mask density and sharpness balance contribute to enhanced image quality for film scanning or direct telecine transfer of images from negative film to videotape, making Vivid 160 well suited for commercials and other motion-picture productions using advanced digital technologies. Features include: 1) an evolved version of Eterna series’ Super Efficient DIR-Coupler Technology that promotes adhesion and separation of colors, creating a rich color palette; 2) optimized performance parameters of the proprietary technologies developed for the Eterna line, resulting in exceptional sharpness (high contrast and very saturated color boosts image sharpness, creating motion-picture images with exceptional depth and dimension); 3) optimized gradation balance in which Vivid 160 produces balanced, attractive skin tones and grays across a wide range of exposure conditions; 4) compared to the other Fujifilm Eterna-based motion-picture stocks, Vivid 160 is characterized by high contrast, which, when combined with a saturated color palette, produces vivid colors and crisp blacks; 5) enhanced linear response and excellent color balance minimize the need for color adjustment during telecine transfer, where optimization of orange mask density and sharpness balance results in improved scanning characteristics.

contact info:

Fuji Film (800) 800-Fuji


 
www.fujifilmusa.com
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Fujis New Postproduction Stocks

Fuji has also introduced two post products: Eterna-RDI, a film designed exclusively for digital film-recorder output, and Eterna-CI, a color intermediate film used to duplicate motion pictures.

“Fujifilm will continue contributing to film production by investing aggressively in the development of the Eterna series and other high-quality motion-picture film products,” says Mark Murphy, vice president and general manager for the company’s Motion Picture Products Division. “Our continued expansion of the Eterna line demonstrates our commitment to the changing needs of this industry.”

Eterna-RDI is the industry’s first film designed exclusively for digital film-recorder output. The production of motion pictures has been moving toward the digital intermediate (DI), in which all image information is digitalized in a “digital master.” Intermediate film has usually been appropriated to make duplicate prints. With the increase in opportunities to use high-definition digital images at 4K resolution, customers are increasingly demanding improved recording-film quality.

By designing exclusively for this application, Fuji has achieved a major improvement in image sharpness. This film responds to the need for higher-definition digital image output. Also, after carefully examining the photographic properties of laser recording, color separation and graduation linearity, two vital parameters were improved, thereby dramatically improving the reproduction quality of digital recording.

The coupler technology introduced in the Eterna series has greatly increased image sharpness. Suppressing the color seepage that happens during recording contributes to far higher-definition film. In combination with the Eterna-CI intermediate film, which improves image sharpness in duplicate prints, Eterna-RDI greatly improves total film quality.

Eterna-RDI expands the range of effective exposure by preventing spectrographic color mixing. This technology has made it possible to obtain a much wider range of color reproduction. After reviewing the photographic properties of film recordings, Fujifilm recognized the need to improve linearity and expand latitude. Photographic density of 2.2 or more above base (measured Status M) greatly improves linearity in high exposure settings, thus expanding the practical exposure range.

Eterna-CI, a color intermediate film for producing master positives and duplicate negatives, uses the technology employed in Eterna-RDI, has increased image sharpness (essential to intermediate film), and has further improved color reproduction characteristics. Loss of resolution when making duplicate prints is minimized. The graduation and color-balance reproduction properties of original film have been improved. Duplicate prints remain much closer to the original.

Eterna-RDI Type 8511 and Eterna-CI Type 8503 (35mm TAC) are now available. Eterna-RDI Type 4511 and Eterna-CI Type 4503 availability had not been announced at press time.

contact info:

Fuji Film (800) 800-Fuji

 
www.fujifilmusa.com
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Litepanels Remote Dimmer

Litepanels, Inc. has introduced the Remote Dimmer, designed to work with the company’s full line of compact, portable LED lighting systems. This convenient, easy-to-use accessory puts an extra dimension of lighting control directly at the operator’s fingertips. By adding the module to any Litepanels fixture, users can override the onboard dimmer at distances of up to 25'.

Litepanels’ efficient LED technology has luminous, soft, directional output; cool-running operation; and 100-0-percent dimming with minimal shift in color.

The Litepanels Remote Dimmer is available as a kit containing a single hardwired module and two 10' power extension cords. List price is $295.

contact info:

Litepanels, Inc., (818) 752-7009

 
info@litepanels.com
www.litepanels.com
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Schneider DV Filter Package

For a limited time, Schneider Optics is offering a screw-on dual-filter package custom-tailored to enhance the optical performance of popular DV camcorders. Available in three sizes — for 62mm, 72mm and 82mm lens-front cameras — the Schneider Dual-Pak DV Filter Kit contains one round screw-on B+W UV filter and one Schneider Top-Pol polarizing filter.

Threading neatly onto the front of the lens, B+W UV filters effectively block the invisible UV component of light from the sky. Pictures gain brilliance, and the disturbing blue cast that can occur with many color films is avoided. Schneider Top-Pols reduce glare and unwanted reflections, saturate colors, deepen blue skies, improve contrast and penetrate haze.

contact info:

Schneider Optics, (818) 766-3715

 
www.schneideroptics.com
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Faster Arri 235

The Arriflex 235, praised for its small size and light weight, has undergone a speed upgrade of up to 75 fps. After much work with the camera’s motor, movement and magazine, it was determined that by optimizing all operational parameters, forward speed of the 235 could be increased to 75 fps.

The 235 is ideal for handheld, Steadicam, remote heads and car mounts. All new 235s will be shipped with the speed upgrade. It also is possible to upgrade already shipped cameras.

contact info:

Contact your local Arri Service Center.


 
www.arri.com
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Arri 14mm Master Prime

The Arri Master Prime T1.3/14mm completes the Master Prime family of lenses on the wide end. Zeiss engineers have created a lens that not only has a rectilinear image geometry, but also exhibits brilliant optical quality at T1.3. The key was the use of aspherical glass surfaces, a technique requiring high precision and a complex holographic measuring process developed specifically for the Master Primes.

All Master Primes are Super Color Matched to each other, to the Ultra Primes, to the Ultra 16 lenses, and to the Lightweight Zoom.

contact info:

 
www.arri.com
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Canon Economical HD Lenses

Canon has leveraged the advanced image quality and superior operational capabilities of its eHDxs line of portable lenses to engineer its new line of HDgc lenses for 2/3"-, 1/2"- and 1/3"-video camera imagers. The HDgc line now includes 16 lenses in both ENG and remote-control versions.

The higher-end eDrive Series of HDgc lenses includes three models — the KJ16ex7.7B IRSE, KJ21ex7.6B IRSE and KJ10ex4.5B IRSE lenses — which are designed for cameras with 2/3" imagers. All three feature a built-in 2x extender and Canon’s digital eDrive feature, which enables users to easily program such functions as zoom and focus settings into the lens for precise, automated repeatability. The three new additional HDgc lenses that comprise the Economical Series are the KJ13x6B KRS (for 2/3"), KH13x4.5 KRS (for 1/2") and the KT20x5B KRS lenses (for 1/3"). The third category of new HDgc lenses is the Remote-Control Series, which includes the KJ20x8.5B KTS (for 2/3"), KH20x6.4 KTS (for 1/2") and KT20x5B KTS lenses (for 1/3").

All 16 HDgc lenses combine the best characteristics of Canon’s world-leading optical expertise and engineering innovations, including a well-controlled Modulation Transfer Function profile over their entire respective image planes. Furthermore, the HDgc lenses feature excellent contrast performance, reduced chromatic aberration, compact size and weight (in direct response to the equally compact new affordable HD camcorders), and eDrive, which is featured in Canon’s eHDxs series portable lenses. In addition, these lenses incorporate special elements, including “Flourite,” with extraordinary dispersion characteristics, and the newly developed high-index, ultra-low-dispersion glass.

The Canon eDrive technology included in the HDgc model KJ16ex7.7B IRSE, KJ21ex7.6B IRSE and KJ10ex4.5B IRSE lenses is a feature previously found only on Canon’s eHDxs line. Canon eDrive represents an advanced way to control portable lenses. Utilizing three Canon high-precision, microprocessor-driven digital servos with miniature 16-bit optical encoders, eDrive enables users to easily program such functions as zoom and focus settings into a lens for precise, automated repeatability via an easy-to-use display menu, with assignable “soft” function buttons and the rocker switch built into the lens grip. Users can program multiple settings or none at all.

Among the lenses in Canon’s HDgc Economical Series, the KJ13x6B KRS lens (2/3") features a wide angle of 6mm, for a focal length of 6-78mm. The KH13x4.5 KRS lens (1?2") has the same 13x zoom ratio, but with a wide angle of 4.5mm and a focal length of 4.5-59mm. The KT20x5B KRS lens (1/3") has a longer (20x) zoom ratio, with a wide angle of 5mm and a focal length of 5-100mm, joining its counterparts for 2/3" and 1/2" imagers.

The three models in Canon’s Remote Series of HDgc lenses feature servo-controlled zoom, focus and iris to allow for remote-controlled operation. Each of the three lenses has a 20x zoom ratio and offers the same viewing angle for all imager formats.

All HDgc lenses feature new, smaller ergonomic drive units with grip support and a ribbed surface that is tilted at an ideal angle to achieve optimum balance and comfort.

contact info:


 
www.usa.canon.com
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Steadicam Ultra2

The Tiffen Co. has unveiled the world’s most advanced Steadicam, the Ultra2. User-friendly, field-serviceable, tool-free, straightforward and versatile, the Ultra2 has been designed so the operator can quickly and easily configure the system to the best advantage for each shot.

The Ultra2 is the most advanced model to be added to the Steadicam line of camera-stabilizing systems. Steadicam Tool-Free operation guarantees that all the Ultra2’s advanced features can be used without fumbling in real-world conditions. Its modular design can be easily modified, upgraded, maintained and serviced. The G-70 Arm is lightweight (11 pounds), hand-adjustable, and lifts from 12 to 70 pounds. The new “Ride” knob alters iso-elasticity, so users can now precisely set how the arm behaves, regardless of the weight carried. The unique “Geo” feature alters spring geometry as it booms up and down to make the G-70 smooth and well behaved throughout its vertical range of 32". The new tool-free arm post holder is quick and positive, and its independent drag control delivers the precise rotation resistance desired — from completely free to totally locked — even when changing posts. At the other end of the arm, the new “kick-back” link reduces doorway clearance and keeps the arm from banging against the operator on the run.

The position-sensing, rigid, motorized stage increases the precision and repeatability of every shot. Stage positioning is smooth and effortless, with greater fore, aft and side-to-side range, and operators can trim the sled’s balance on the fly. “Go-to” buttons on the gimbal remote rebalance the sled to predetermined positions and return “home” with just one touch. Electronics are all on plug-and-play circuit boards with no wiring harnesses, so upgrades are easy.

The new, wide dovetail lock has a broader, more positive grip on the dovetail plate, while the handle has a safety stop to prevent accidental release. The integral tilt head tilts ±20° to preserve dynamic balance; maintain high or low lens height; help with clearance, reach or viewing problems; or execute precise whip pans with the lens angled up or down.

The Ultra2 Gimbal has heavy-duty precision bearings and an ergonomic yoke. It’s easy to take apart for cleaning and comes with its own tool — “The Blue Whale” — which operators can use to precisely center the gimbal in the field, even after years of hard knocks. The new, positive, low-profile clamp blends into the handle for a better operating grip.

The four-section, carbon fiber Telescoping Post extends the sled from 26"-72". Inside the four posts, the Ultra2’s patented Curly-Cable system comes standard with discrete 14- and 28-volt lines, providing sustained high-amp capacity (14-gauge wires) plus separate dedicated uninterrupted HD-SDI and HD component coaxes, composite video in/out, as well as communication lines.

The new post, monitor and gimbal low-profile clamps are either open and free or positively locked, with the over-centers clamping action. The clamp lever is ergonomically recessed into the clamp bodies, so nothing sticks out to catch on a cable.

The swept-back monitor mount is designed for maximum stiffness, inertial control and viewing options. It now offers a wider range of positions, both vertically and horizontally, and the flip-to-low-mode dovetail mount is quick and positive.

The Ultra2 modular electronics provides a “backplane” system that replaces the traditional wiring harness and supports user-replaceable circuit boards. Microprocessors are software upgradeable. The new, smaller electronics box continues Steadicam’s exclusive narrow sled design and adds a sloped front connector panel, a one-button artificial horizon, multi-select volt/amp display, and electronic frameline generator.
The structural dovetail base solidly mounts gyros, antlers and other accessories and includes positive latches for the battery rods and a pullout mounting plate for accessories.

The UltraBrite2 monitor boasts an 8.4-inch, 1,400-nit-bright advanced AR coating and HD-SDI, HD component and analog composite direct inputs, with quick access to the most commonly used functions (framelines, level, brightness and contrast). Its unique new design lets it run cool even without a fan. On the front is an LED artificial horizon display for all modes and two built-in, pre-wired tally lights.
The new PowerCube is Steadicam’s most advanced battery pack available. Delivering 14.8 volts and 6,000mAh each, a pair provides 220-watt hours with high amperage discharge. In the standard mode, the sled is powered by two batteries in series to create 24 volts and 12 volts via a 100-watt down-converter. Flip the on-off switch in the other direction to power everything on one battery for a lightweight 12-volt mode. A simple wire change inside the battery holder enables paralleling the two batteries for very high amp draw, 12-volt cameras like the Panavision Genesis. The new tilting battery mount can be angled over 180° and creates additional options for balancing and inertial control.

The Ultra2 Vest is Steadicam’s strongest front-mount-style vest. It begins with a stiff adjustable spar, “Double Vee” shoulder clips, improved padding and new over-center ratcheting buckles. Lightweight, unobtrusive and superbly ergonomic, the vest works perfectly with the new generation of G-series arms. The Ultra2 Vest still has the quick-release system for safety.

The 10:1 Inertial Control allows the monitor to be extended 17" and the battery pack 16", creating a total of about 2,564 pound-inch2 in the pan axis. That’s about twice as much pan inertia as the maximum on the original Ultra — superb for windy conditions, shooting architecture and precise lock-offs.

All of the above features are integral to the system’s design. The Ultra2 lets the operator work with minimum effort and maximum precision for every part of every shot. The sled is configured as desired: short, long, whippy or slow. Dynamic balance is maintained as one trims on the fly for each part of the shot and returns to nominal with the push of a button.

contact info:

Tiffen Co. (631) 273-2500. 

 

 
www.tiffen.com
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Affordable Disc Publishing

The Bravo SE Disc Publisher from Primera Technology is an affordable, automated CD/DVD duplication and printing system for both Mac and PC users.

Bravo SE copies and prints up to 20 discs per job, hands-free, and comes equipped with one DVD±R/CD-R combination drive that records DVDs at 16x and CDs at 40x. A 4,800-dpi printer prints full-color, photo-quality images directly onto the surface of the disc.

Filmmakers can use the Bravo SE to archive and distribute audio and video for dailies, music, sound effects and more. Bravo SE is priced at $1,495.

contact info:

Primera Technology, (763) 475-6676 or (800) 797-2772.

 
sales@primera.com
www.primera.com
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