ECG PRODUCTIONS BLOG

  1. BMPC 4K Firmware Update 1.9 FPN Test Results

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    Blackmagic released the new Camera Utility 1.9 which updates the firmware for the Blackmagic Production Camera 4K in the following ways: Add histogram, time remaining and audio level indicators Includes improved sensor calibration processing The histogram, audio levels, and time remaining calculations are a welcome addition to the firmware for the BMPC 4K. The improved sensor calibration processing is designed to improve the FPN (fixed pattern noise) that has plagued this camera from the onset. This new sensor calibration is what gets me most excited about this update because it could potentially mean being able to record clean shadows and a generally more pleasing image. In my experience, the BMPC 4K looks great as long as everything is exposed above 20 IRE (which can be difficult to accomplish...
  2. ECG PRODUCTIONS HOMELESS PETS CLUB

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    At ECG Productions, we’re in the business of telling stories through video. This time around, we’re trying to get a wonderful dog named Benito adopted. Why you ask? Because we fell in love with this dog while working on our latest documentary Dr. Good: A Pet Rescue Mission. Watch our mini-documentary about Benito to learn about his story and discover what a sweet dog he is. Dr. Good: A Pet Rescue Mission follows Dr. Good on his mission to put an end to the euthanasia of healthy animals. Dr. Good is an experienced veterinarian who envisions a world where animal shelters are empty and every home has a loving pet in it. Dr. Good believes that if people are responsible with spaying, neutering, breeding, and caring for their pets, then there would be no need...
  3. DRAMATIC HOW TO: BUILDING A 16TB RAID ARRAY FOR $45 PER TB

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    Here are links to the components I used to make the HDD Array in the video above: Amazon: Seagate 4TB HDD ST4000DM000 Mediasonic HF2-SU3S2 ProBox 4 Bay Hard Drive Enclosure Newegg: Seagate 4TB HDD ST4000DM000 Mediasonic HF2-SU3S2 ProBox 4 Bay Hard Drive Enclosure Today’s camera technology has advanced to the point where we can shoot 16 bit RAW video at 6K resolution and beyond. While the video quality achieved by these modern digital cinema cameras is impressive, the files they create are massive. In the early days of shooting digital video, 1TB could provide dozens of hours worth of footage. Now days, 1TB can be gobbled up in an hour of shooting or less. In order to manage all of these large files, you need...
  4. VIDEO PRODUCTION MEAL – ASIAN KALE & CHICKEN SALAD RECIPE

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    Last week I was at the grocery store the day before a big reality television shoot I was directing. Those of you out there who’ve spent a sixteen hour day dealing with divas and drama, you know how exhausting it can be. As I trounced through the aisles with my three year old and three week old in tow, I decided that I would create the ultimate pre-production meal. A meal that would feed my body with nutrients, taste great and not weigh me down when I need to be on my game. Lately, I’ve really been into kale, so I decided to make an Asian Kale and Chicken Salad. The last thing you want to do before a shoot is eat heavy, non-nutritious food....
  5. GETTING YOUR FOOT IN THE DOOR: AN OPEN LETTER LOOKBACK

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    Having moved to Atlanta barely over a year ago, and recently celebrating my 26th birthday, I decided to take some time to look back and see how I’ve been doing. They say getting your foot in the door is one of the hardest parts of starting your career, and it’s totally true. I remember it all vividly, and when I look back at where I was then compared to where I am now, it seems insane. I have a great job with people I love hanging out with. I’m no longer scouring craigslist for half (or non) paying gigs. I know a lot of people are still trying to find that sweet spot and I thought about what advice I would give myself in hindsight....
  6. DRAMATIC TUTORIAL – BUILDING A RUN & GUN RIG FOR THE BMPC 4K

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    Let’s face it, the BMPC 4K is not a good run and gun camera. For that matter, neither is any DSLR or RED camera. Cameras with a modular form factor (such as the BMPC 4K) need rig support in order to maximize their potential. Therefore, with the proper rig, the BMPC 4K can function as a pretty nice run and gun camera (as long as you’re not shooting in low light). The key to building a good rig is to make sure that there is no dead weight. Essentially, every component of the rig should function to compensate for a feature that the camera is lacking natively. Otherwise, you will just be lugging around a big, heavy, useless rig and hating yourself for building it. Watch...
  7. 5 THINGS I LEARNED ABOUT WRITING STORIES FROM IMPROV

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    I already know what you’re thinking.  “I don’t want to write comedy. Improv isn’t relevant to me.” Well, you’re wrong. Flat wrong. Improv will help you, in more ways than one. And if you’re a writer, it will not only make your writing better, but it will make it easier too. The improv scene in Atlanta is alive and kicking. After taking many, many classes, and watching many, many shows, here are five big takeaways I’ve gleaned: 1) Say Yes This is the number one rule in improv. If you say no, you’re blocking. Not only is it not fair to your scene partner(s) but you’re holding up action. Saying yes is what allows the story to move forward. Apply this to your screenplay. Saying yes...
  8. FROM RELATIVELY UNKNOWN TO UNBELIEVABLE: THE ikan STORY

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    I first heard about ikan, a video production equipment manufacturer, in 2008 while on a shoot in one of our client’s studios. I briefly played with what appeared to be a really cheap monitor and immediately dismissed it as low-end gear. From that point on I looked at ikan as a budget brand; something not really fit for use by pros. Over the next few years I would have employees tell me about good deals on ikan gear and I would say something like “we’re professionals, we don’t use cheap shit.” Cut to the end of 2012: we had just launched our new website and ECG Productions Director of Photography, Brandon Peterson, contacted ikan about becoming an affiliate without my knowledge or approval. I’m very...
  9. DRAMATIC COMPARISON – BMPC 4K vs CANON 5DmIII

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    Drama makes everything more interesting, so I made this video nice and dramatic. Before you balk at the unflattering video quality, please understand that I shot it this way on purpose – in order to stress test the sensors and codecs of the respective cameras. In the beginning of the video, you can see the ungraded footage followed by the graded footage. This demonstrates just I far I had to push the codec in the color grade in order to get a half way decent looking image. As expected, the ProRes 422 (HQ) of the BMPC 4K faired much better than the h.264 (ALL-I) of the 5Dm3. The BMPC 4K was able to retain more of the color information in the skin tones and throughout...
  10. OUR SECOND BMPC 4K AND A HOT TIP ON HOW TO GET ONE FOR YOURSELF!!

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    Our second Blackmagic Production Camera 4K has arrived! This will make our upcoming extensive video review extra special since we will be able to shoot it with a BMPC 4K while using the other unit for demonstration purposes. Make sure to check out the video above to get a hot tip on how you can get on a short list to get a BMPC 4K camera for yourself! While you’re waiting for our extensive video review to come out, please feel free to ask questions about the camera or let us know if you want to see something in particular tested. Brandon Peterson http                               

 

ECG PRODUCTIONS | 2013 DEMO

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