Video Color Correction For The Subtext-Conscious Editor

As a standard process within most edits, video color correction is far more than a means to fix exposure issues or even up tones between shots, although that is, of course, its most obvious application. It is important to remember that coloration can and does affect mood, theme and other subtextual elements of the storyline. It is also a means of attracting the eye to important props, characters and other visual elements. Most people realize that the artful handling of composition, light and motion can elicit emotive and psychological reactions from the viewer, what most people miss, however, is that the clever manipulation of color can do the same.

Good directors of photography must maintain a careful balance of aesthetic convention, shooting style and technical considerations with the piece's symbolism, theme and narrative. Every element must harmonize with the next in order to support the director's vision, the production design and the script. Good video editors must do the same with the elements of their craft: pace, continuity, movement, audio and color. Content, director-instruction and overall quality are the just a few important factors to consider in the decision-making process.

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Post Production Studios: On Their Way Out

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It's obvious the film industry has changed significantly in the past decade. Recent innovations like the trend to shoot Digital Video instead of film and the progression of CGI has opened new worlds of possibility for the independent filmmaker. Very few individuals could afford to make high quality films 10 ? 15 years ago, but that's all changed. Creative auteurs can now produce quality movies and videos from the convenience of their very own homes using equipment that's affordable. And now, with vehicles to show the world their work like YouTube and other similar sites, everything from pre-production to distribution can be done from the filmmaker's bedroom.

Here's what you need to set up your own multimedia editing bay in a spare room:

First, you'll be buying equipment, so you'll need something to put that equipment on. We found excellent, high quality multimedia tables at Versa Products, Inc. The tables are customizable for the specific equipment you plan to buy, ship for free, and carry a lifetime warranty.

Okay, now for the equipment. You'll first need a camcorder to record the images you plan to edit together. We found mini DV camcorders on ebay starting as low as .00. Pawn shops are also a great place to find affordable electronic equipment, or you can go for one with a guarantee and buy brand new from retailers like Best Buy.

Next, you'll need a computer that's capable of NLE (Non-Linear Editing). Many home PCs are already adequate, but if you're in the market to buy a new one, take some time to check out reviews in magazines like PC World to get a feel for the system you want to purchase. The faster the system, the easier your life will be once you begin to edit footage. In addition to being fast, you need a computer with a considerable amount of memory. We suggest at least 256MB of RAM, and more is most likely better. Along with the computer itself, you'll need a decent monitor (the bigger, the better) for clear editing. Remember, once the video is produced, it may be watched on a television screen that could be 50 inches or more. Imperfections are much easier to see when magnified that big, so it's important that you edit on a clear, large screen monitor so there won't be any surprises once it hits the "big screen" in your living room.

You'll also need to download the software that allows you to edit. Media Studio Pro 6.5 is accepted as industry standard, although there are others that do the same thing. In addition to the software, you'll need a FireWire card which allows you to transfer the shot footage from your camcorder to the PC. The software will then allow you to manipulate the footage and begin editing.

Once you have all of this, you'll be able to create your masterpiece. But then what? While it's possible to upload the completed video online, you should consider in advance if you're going to want to put it on DVD and make multiple copies of those DVDs. If so, you'll need one last piece of equipment: a DVD burner or a CD burner if you plan to make CD-Roms.

Setting up a home video editing bay isn't the simplest thing in the world, and learning from your mistakes can be expected. But it's also not such a daunting task that it shouldn't be taken on by the amateur. At each step of the way, research the best equipment and software for your own specific purposes and upgrade when you have the time and money to do so. And most of all, enjoy what you're doing. Be creative and have fun.

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Baz Luhrmann “up against it” to finish “Australia”


Oscar-nominated director Baz Luhrmann's $130-million epic film "Australia" is due to make its world premiere in Sydney on Tuesday -- but the director says he has not finished it yet.

Luhrmann, who was honored at The Museum of Modern Art's Film Benefit in New York on Monday, is flying back to Sydney with a day to spare to complete the film he has spent four years working on.

"I'm going back to the mixing desk to finish it in 24 hours," the Australian director told Reuters in an interview on Tuesday just before he left for the airport.

RELATED: Blockbuster tourism hopes for new 'Australia' film

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BEHIND THE SCENES TV: Latest trailer for ‘Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull’

Filmmaking technology allows films to finish faster

Five-time Oscar nominee Roger Deakins is grabbing a lot of attention these days, having served as director of photography on three recent high-profile features: Joel and Ethan Coen's "No Country for Old Men," Paul Haggis' "In the Valley of Elah" and Andrew Dominik's "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford."

Like most studio features, all three films went through a digital intermediate, or DI, process -- a method of digitally color timing and finishing a motion picture. But while DI has relatively quickly become the norm for finishing features in Hollywood, Deakins says that it still is very much misunderstood.

"It actually saves time and money on-set -- I don't think they realize that," he says. "I also don't think they realize why it's so important that the cinematographer sees the project through. (The latter) is a really important point, and it hasn't been argued enough by the different guilds and societies, and it's not being discussed. I think it's absolutely crucial. I will not go into a movie unless I know that I'm going to have some sort of input or control over seeing the image in the DI process."

(Source: Hollywood Reporter)

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