THE BLOG

31
Jan
2012

Camera car and road closures: Filming in Spain

As Bavaria Film Interactive, we do not just produce in Munich, we also regularly find ourselves abroad. For me, as a “newcomer” producer, communication with the Bavarian production partners on location is not always easy. But a production that is completely managed outside of German-speaking countries can lead to some quite amusing misunderstandings.

Spanien_1

For example, it is almost impossible to close a rural country road to film cars in Spain if you don’t speak Spanish. This added to the fact that not one of us had suspected that the bureaucracy for filming in Spain would be even worse than it is in Germany. Thousands of safety regulations are enough to drive you mad.
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25
Jan
2012

High-speed and low in cost: the Olympus i-SPEED PL

i-Speed-PL-Shot-1_03In January, the camera specialist pure4c from Munich invited us to attend a product presentation by a manufacturer with whom film and video professionals had had little to do before: Olympus. The well-known brand, which is predominantly associated with photography cameras, presented a new high-speed camera called i-SPEED PL.

In reality, manufacturing consumer cameras is only a small part of what Olympus does. Its focus is on medical technology (endoscopes, microscopes) and industrial test apparatus.

The high-speed cameras for industry arose from the latter of these sectors, and these then led to the variant for the world of film and video.

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10
Jan
2012

The video quality of the new Nikon D4: Welcome to filming?

D4_VideoWe can hardly wait to test the video capability of the Nikon D4, which was advertised on 5th January. One of the most exciting features will be the apparently “uncompressed video signal” at the HDMI output: can we expect 10bit colour depth with a chroma subsampling of at least 4:2:2? What about the Moiré susceptibility when filming grids and patterns? (The Canon EOS 5D Mark II is infamous for this).

Is the internal image processor so powerful and configurable that you can use the H.264 *.mov file immediately? That would be a real blessing for a fast workflow! How well does the aperture adjustment work with a moving camera?

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29
Nov
2011

Corporate films rethought

This presentation was made on 29.11.2011 at the Querdenker Congress in Munich.

On the occasion of today’s presentation at the Querdenker Congress, I would like to show you some – in my view – successful films by companies, and to tell you a little about their respective backgrounds. The films are not all by us, but have been produced by various companies and agencies. I have chosen these films because they are all in “landscape and horizontal format”. By showing you these films, I would like to demonstrate the power and importance of films as a means of conveying emotional messages. For: films are not just landscape/horizontal in terms of their dimensions (previously 4:3; now even 16:9). Above all, they need to have a landscape/horizontal format in terms of their content so that they can achieve their full effect.

This was also the case when advertisement films from the weekly cinema show first appeared on televisions in living rooms and continued their triumph as conveyors of companies’ messages. The première took place on the Bayerische Rundfunk on 3rd November 1956: the TV advertisement was born. With Beppo Brem and Lisl Karlstadt in the leading roles, Germany’s first TV commercial flickered across the airways. The film can be viewed on the Henkel website.

Persil

Besides its unusually long length (57 seconds), the advert has a real horizontal format in terms of its content: yet it doesn’t feature the product being advertised at any time. This was a real innovation in advertising films at the time.
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18
Oct
2011

The power of demand and the downfall of morality

Advertising and PR agencies have been complaining about something for a while now. Namely, the gruelling task that is tendering bids and making pitches. And the enormous amount of time, money and ideas required by the applicant.

As an agency for film productions, we unfortunately can only agree in many cases. The list of required standard information is getting longer and longer and bears no relation to the service being required. In order to even be given a pitch, we have to pull out all the stops – it doesn’t matter whether it is for a video production that is “fast, short, on a low budget and cobbled together” or for the creation of a company’s own online TV channel.

Even in cases where a query only serves as the infamous, missing “third offer” – there is always a request for a written idea, in line with the motto: “It doesn’t hurt to ask”! Being involved is everything, that is clear, and who can allow themselves to not put in a bid?
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06
Oct
2011

How does that sound?

Sound is the poor relation at the shooting location. Annoyance during editing is often caused by sound. Interviews are levelled down primitively and sound muffled, microphones are set up wrong and record more ambient sounds than required, electric noises can be found on the soundtrack and once, the assistant immediately asserted: “stupid sound.”

XLR-connectorsIt is not surprising as the person recording the sound in their role as camera assistant is so poorly paid that they want to become a cameraman as quickly as possible. In conventional ENG teams, you tend to meet young assistants with little experience who almost never put a great deal of commitment into recording the sound. If I come across an old hand with headphones at the shoot, I immediately relax, for I know that I’m in good hands. The creeping erosion of pay for camera teams has de-professionalised the recording of sound.
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31
Aug
2011

Have you read a blog today?

BLOGs_weltweitAsia is arguably the best market for blogs and, as such, for bloggers too, or so ComScore claims.

In what is his only comment at the moment, Arnab Sen quite rightly asks how we are even supposed to read such a collection of data. For: statistics are always only as good as the person who compiles them. These statistics were certainly not collected over a long period of time: The data was collated in June 2011. Incidentally: see also ibusiness. But, despite this, the trend is there: Japanese people apparently spend more than 62 minutes per month reading or writing blogs. It is no wonder that – on the other side of the world – 22% of all new US domains include a wordpress installation – our Corporate Video Journal does too.

So, when you have an hour or so to spare and don’t know which blog to read? I would be thrilled if you spent part of this hour reading our blog.

10
Aug
2011

YouTube and corporate videos: not a match made in heaven

It happens quickly; often during the very first discussion: As soon as a company wants to create a video for marketing or information purposes, one question always emerges. Even before the first line of the briefing or storyboard has been written: how do we get the film online – on YouTube? The brow is furrowed, the eyes wide open: the desire for a quick, clear answer is written in the face.

corporatevideohostingI’m sorry, this will be a big disappointment, but there is no simple answer to this question. But, a short summary.
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04
Aug
2011

Apple: The silent departure from the professional sector

klapprechnerIt was a wonderful time when Apple still cared about media professionals. Developers from the distant Cupertino sought to get close to us media makers and were in a position to develop groundbreaking software following a successful dialogue with us. Solutions such as the compositing software Shake or the video editing software Final Cut Pro (FCP), which were enthusiastically received by the industry. Top dogs like the Avid Media Composer were knocked off the number one spots amongst the NLE solutions. The laborious and difficult exchange with the media professionals proved to be more than worthwhile for Apple: the alliance with us media makers was decisive for the successful development of Apple’s brand image.

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21
Jul
2011

Film production schedules and guinea foul eggs

The film location: exotic; the costing: tight; the anticipation: huge! As part of an extensive corporate video project, I was sent, together with my production coordinator Kathrin, to Ghana, West Africa.

Conduct interviews, shoot footage, spend nine days on the road with the camera team living in each others’ pockets – all of this was clear before the journey began. The German filming schedule worked out, the budget approved, the flights booked, the team briefed; we flew south full of enthusiasm.

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