Creative Storytelling in web, iOS, and Film

Posts by David Barrett

Run and Gun Test of the Panasonic DVX-200 Camera

By on Aug 10, 2015 in Blog, Film Studio |

Unlike some production firms, we shoot so often that having our own gear in-house is essential. The evolution from HD to 4K is nearly complete in our studio, except for a run and gun 4K camera. To that end, we’re excited to be testing the DVX 200 camera from Panasonic. It will be released in the summer of 2015, and we’re looking forward to comparing this camera to our already remarkable D-SLR, the Panasonic G4. OVERALL IMPRESSION I won’t mince words. This is going to be a killer camera. There’s no doubt that once an operator learns all of the ins and outs, the amount of control, image capability, and flexibility relative to the integration of software, glass, and form factor will lend itself to gorgeous productions. My only regret is not having two more days to learn how to use some of its capabilities and to fine tune it. TESTING PROCESS Our perspective was to test this as a tool for documentary work. We did not conduct portrait interviews, cinema style shots, or television production capture. Both Cameron and I used the camera as a run and gun documentary media capture device. The objective was to see what types of content we could grab using a minimal amount of gear. That meant limiting ourselves to the following: DVX-200 Camera Sachtler tripod Shotgun mic Compared to using a DSLR, this is like being used to running in cowboy boots and suddenly switching to Nike runner’s shoes. Frankly, throughout the entire testing process, we were reminded of how much we’d forgotten about using this type of camera. ISSUES TO CONSIDER: Let’s start with the things that were not so great. 1. A very important function for documentary and cinema camera operators is the ability to run with the camera, with the camera facing to the back, and the camera viewfinder facing forward. To get the image properly, when the viewfinder is flipped over, the image should flip over. Currently, it doesn’t. This is a drawback for multiple types of uses and it would be terrific if in the future, this function could be implemented into the camera. 2. This may have been operator error (due to lack of time), but...

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JVC GY-LS300 Camera — Is it a Solid 4K Solution for Run and Gun?

By on Aug 3, 2015 in Blog, Film Studio |

We’re making the migration to 4K. HD video is terrific, and we’ve had great success with it for many years now. Today, 4K is not a fad. It’s not up and coming. It’s the future and it’s present. Today. So, we’ve been testing, shooting, reading, and doing the things most people do when they’re looking for a new bit of kit. Thanks to the terrific people at EVS in Burbank (and the very eager to please folks at JVC), I was given the opportunity to spend a week with the new JVC GY-LS300 camera. As I was traveling up the coast for meetings related to our iOS Studio, I figured I’d take it with me, shoot some stuff, and let EVS and JVC know what I thought. If we spin the throw-back-lifetime wheel, I used to do a lot of product reviews. NAB, NAMM, CES, and multiple auto shows were the core of my collaborations, and it was great fun to check out a product before it reached the marketplace. For the last decade, testing gear had fallen off my radar – too busy with productions, deliverables, and clients. But now that we’re seeking real world answers to help us create better looking video for our clients, testing is once again hugely important. The first thing I should share is that we don’t test like many reviewers do. There are plenty of reviews that go over the specs, the accuracy of those specs, etc. What most of those reviews don’t do is create real projects. Our testing is based on using the product (whatever it is) in the manner in which we’re seeking to solve a problem. In this case, it’s a run and gun 4K video camera. After reading other people’s reviews, it seemed as if JVC’s latest jump into the indie pro-camera market would be a huge hit. The specifications as noted are amazing. Really way beyond what one might have anticipated just a few months ago for a camera with a list price under $4,000.00. Some of those key specs include: Full size video camera body – quite different from a DSLR Micro 4/3 lens design, with interchangeable lenses Full s35mm sensor – and software that...

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Introducing R/com Studios

By on Jun 12, 2015 in Consulting, Film Studio, iOS Studio, Web Studio |

We’re making some changes that will help us better collaborate with you. R/com Creative is now officially R/com Studios. The change allows us to focus more clearly on our mission – creative content development. There are three studios to choose from: Film Studio – Our creative film projects originate here. Many of our projects are shown in festivals and much of that work is awarded metal to show off to friends and clients. Personally, I think they should give us piñatas. At least we could fill those with candy and have our friends and clients smash ’em to bits. Cheaper, too. iOS Studio – Our team is busy at work creating interesting business related apps for the iPad and iPhone. We’re focusing on the specific market that is iOS, but who knows what we might add in the future. Web Studio – We’re working on several new projects that could be very useful for you. That includes a heavily revised Content Management System (CMS), updated survey app, and cloud based emergency services solutions. We’re going to talk about gear, production process, our work, and how all of that ties together to develop better stories for our clients and the market into which they reach. We’re also going to “let our hair down,” so to speak – and engage a bit more of our opinion in some of our blog postings. As an example, one of the key projects underway at R/com Studios is completing the migration from HD to 4K video. The emergence of 4K is more than a fad – it’s the future, and the future is present. As we look for tools to complete that migration, we’ll share our experiences and opinions with you – as our clients and co-collaborators, hopefully our experiences will help define our skill set, what we believe in, and how we can create solutions that mean something – both for you and your market. So check back often. See what we’re up to and share your thoughts and opinions. When you need anything within the creative sphere, give us a call. We’re ready to...

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iOS 9 Shows Some Maturity, Not So The Watch… Yet

By on Jun 9, 2015 in Consulting, iOS Studio |

At this year’s WorldWide Developer Conference (WWDC), Apple debuted a number of new things, and as it happens, iOS 9 Shows Some Maturity, Not So The Watch… Yet. Core Improvements The core improvement Apple wanted to make on iOS 9 this go-round was adding intelligence to the operating system. Craig Federighi started the segment off with Siri’s upcoming improvements. New “context sensitive” features include the ability to tell Siri to “remind me about this” and it will know you are referring to the webpage currently on Safari. If you receive a phone number but are not sure who’s calling, you can also ask Siri to search through your emails to find any matches. Siri can also suggest people to invite for meetings, or apps that you might like your usage behavior during particular times of day. Apple also unveiled an API for search to help developers deep link their apps from mobile Spotlight searches. All of your searches and suggestions are not linked to your Apple ID or shared with third parties. New improvements are also coming to apps like Notes and Maps, indexing links on the former and transit information on the latter. When you look up businesses on Maps, it will also give you info on whether or not they accept Apple Pay, because of course. News Additionally, Apple announced a new app for iOS 9 called News to personalize news content, updating anytime the user opens the app. The Flipboard-like app include graphics that adapt based on the news source’s site aesthetics, and allow users to browse publishers for top stories. News will roll out first to the US, UK and Australia. Some updates coming to the iPad: New gestures are being added such as using two fingers to tap on the keyboard to turn it into a touchpad. This is helpful for when you want to drag text during an email, for example. Multi-window support is also coming to the iPad, much like OS X El Capitan. You can also simultaneously scroll on both screens… if that’s your thing. There’s a new slide-over view as well, so you can drag in another app from the side for a quick glance while you’re using another app...

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Responsive Web Design is Very Important

By on Apr 4, 2015 in Blog, Consulting, Web Studio |

There is NO doubt that Responsive Web Design is very important for today’s webdesign point of view. Smartphone and tablet adoption rapidly increases, so does the importance of mobile-friendly websites. Smartphones and tablets have changed the approach toward design and user experience. Before the spread of mobile devices with advanced web-browsing capability, web designers had only one primary challenge to deal with keeping the same look and feel of their websites. However, interacting with websites on smartphones and tablets is not the same as doing that on a desktop computer monitors. Factors such as Click versus Touch, Screen-size, Pixel-resolution, support for Adobe’s Flash technology, optimized markup and many more have become crucial while creating websites with Responsive Design. If SEO is a core component of your digital marketing strategy, having a mobile–friendly website is becoming essential. Mobile sales have already overtaken desktop sales, and mobile Internet usage is predicted to overtake desktop internet usage by 2014. It is only logical that mobile search will overtake desktop search at some point in the near future as well. What is Responsive Web Design? Responsive Web Design (RWD) is an approach of laying-out and coding a website such that the website provides an optimal viewing experience — ease of reading and navigation with a minimum of resizing, panning, and scrolling — across a wide range of devices (from desktop computer monitors to mobile phones). The designer creating a Responsive Design should ensure that the website’s navigation elements, screen-layouts, text, images, audio/video players and other UI elements re-adjust themselves on a variety of devices. Thus, one need not spend extra time and money in creating and maintaining one “mobile-site version” and another “desktop-site version” of her website. Now, having understood what is Responsive Web Design, let us Check the advantages and why Responsive Design is important while creating websites. Advantages of Responsive Design 1. Super Flexible Responsive web design sites are fluid, meaning the content moves freely across all screen resolutions and all devices. Both the grids and the images are fluid. Just as a liquid spreads out or draws in to allow its content to fill an allotted space and retain its appearance, responsive web design’s fluidity achieves the same result with...

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