Tuesday, December 23, 2008

5 minutes with the new Canon 5D Mark II

5D for Dinner. Another boring 5D video test. from Tony Cece on Vimeo.

I just got my Canon 5D Mark II in the mail yesterday and quickly unboxed it to grab some footage as my wife and I prepared dinner. I briefly scanned through the manual and figured out how to record video and quickly started filming. With my limited knowledge about the features or best settings, I was surprised at how good the footage looked when I got it on my computer. I left the White Balance on Auto which didn't do a super job. The video is untouched except to compress for the web.

With little to no effort, people will be shooting amazing video on these things. I've already seen should mounts that have matte boxes and follow focus knobs/mechanisms. There are a lot of benefits for low budget film makers: great low light capabilities, low cost, availability of fast yet fairly inexpensive lenses, low rental prices. One drawback is the ability to follow focus. While you can use an external monitor through the HDMI port, the 1080i feed goes to 480p when actually recording. I found that it still helps, but when focus is critical you may have to do multiple takes. Audio isn't great, but that can be overcome by using a portable audio recorder to capture sound.

I still haven't spent a lot of time with it, but can tell that it will suit my current video needs. If you get a chance, find someone that has one and try it out.

After spending more time with the video mode on the 5D, I take back most of my comments above. You basically have no control over the ISO, Aperture, or Shutter Speed when shooting video. There are a few tricks to try to get what you want, but it is far from precise...and you lose the settings once you stop recording and have to try to get the same settings again. While you can get some amazing video on the camera, it will not meet most needs without other adapters and lenses that have aperture control built in. This still doesn't guarantee that you will get the shutter speed you desire. Until Canon releases a firmware update or a new model, this camera may or may not give you the shot that you hope to capture.

However, it is still great for people that need to grab a quick video and happen to have this camera. Photojournalists would fall into this category. When you need precision, stick to dedicated video cameras.

Here's more good reading about the video mode on the camera.  READ

While the video mode isn't perfect, the camera takes superb still photos.  The quality at high ISO 3200 & 6400 is astoundingly good.  For the first time, I am comfortable putting the ISO on Auto and setting the Aperture and Shutter I desire.  


Just letting everyone know that our website is finally taking shape. Check it out and send some feed back. Thanks.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Adventures At Full Sail University Month 1

Life at Full Sail University seems to move at an entirely different pace. Schedules seem to rush by, and days seem like minutes next to the second hand on my watch. I love Full Sail so far, and God is really blessing me here. I was just offered a paid internship with the school's film department! Normally only reserved for students who have attended at least 6 months of classes. The Lord opened the door and I was asked to be an intern for one of the instructors. James Hall has worked with IMAX for 35 years and he is good friends with the co founder of IMAX. The man is a wealth of knowledge. I am so blessed to have been given the opportunity to learn from one of the best cinematographers in the world! I'm really excited for what God is doing and I cannot wait to see Hollywood recognize his glory.

Soli Deo Gloria,

Luke McKay

New Design Technique (For me at least)

Hey, just finished a design incorporating 3D letters into Photoshop and texturing there. The result is definitely a cool look I think. Let me know what you think.

- Scott

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Old Short Film

Just found this hidden away in the confines of folders long since forgotten. Anyway... Did this in '05. Not too bad. Let me know what you think.

- Scott

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

72 Hour Film Competition

I wasn't sure if I should post about this here in fear that it may be received as shameless self-promotion, but here goes...

Our film "Paper Edit" ("Our" being me and about 20 of my classmates) that was submitted to the National 72-hour film competition has made it into the top 17. Approximately 180 films were entered, but only 17 were selected for the next phase of judging (oh how I love being judged). So now, they will choose an overall winner, and an audience award winner. The audience award is determined entirely by online vote. 

SO- go to www.filmchallenge.org/vote , and vote for "Paper Edit". Well before I get ahead of myself, you need to know that in order to vote, you must register. You can register by following this link. Then you will be able to vote. Personally I would encourage you to vote for our film "Paper Edit", but no pressure, follow the pitter patter patterns of your heart and vote for your favorite. 

Speaking of voting... yes this post is still going, when click on a video to watch, you should see a vertical "scale" on the right side of the screen with numbers from 1-10. That is how you vote, so technically you can vote for all the videos. If you don't see the little voting scale, try refreshing the page.

Anyways, at the very least I'd love to hear what you have to say about the our film "Paper Edit", whether it be good, bad, or just straight up mean, I want to hear it, so post here or post at the filmchallenge web page. Just keep in mind, everything in our film (and the others I would suspect) was completed in 72 hours.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

New Website is Live... mostly

Our new website is up, pretty much. Added some wedding stuff, etc. Check it out. Give us some feedback...


Some Great Resources

So, I figure most of the known world, excluding maybe Fiji, knows about Andrew Kramer. But in case you haven't heard of him, you should check out Video Copilot. Pretty much the most amazing teacher of After Effects, ever...

Also some typography: justwatchthesky.com.

And some clean web design: Grand & Weller.

- Scott

Thursday, November 20, 2008

"Paper Edit" Animation

This animation is an excerpt from a short called "Paper Edit". This excerpt was created by Hunter Siegal and myself. Zach Bolander scored the music, narration is provided by Omar Williams, and the actress is Erika Pektas. The animation (along with the rest of the short) was created in a single weekend as part of the national 72-hour film competition (72 hours to write, shoot and edit). 
Paper Edit-Animation from Chad Taylor on Vimeo.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

New Logo Vote

Comment and let us know which one you like...

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Versolink Website

Here's some of our most recent design and web work...

Coming soon... versolink.com

Thursday, October 16, 2008