Prolost Amazon Store

The easiest way to support Prolost is to begin your Amazon, iTunes, Mac App StoreZacuto or B&H shopping here. You can drag those links to your bookmarks bar so you never forget. It costs you nothing and it really helps. Thanks!

Prolost & Found (search)
Subscribe

 

Want to know what it’s like to almost never get email? Subscribe to the Prolost mailing list!

Tools

Slugline. Simple, elegant screenwriting.

Red Giant Color Suite, with Magic Bullet Looks 2.5 and Colorista II

Needables
  • Sony Alpha a7S Compact Interchangeable Lens Digital Camera
    Sony Alpha a7S Compact Interchangeable Lens Digital Camera
    Sony
  • Panasonic LUMIX DMC-GH4KBODY 16.05MP Digital Single Lens Mirrorless Camera with 4K Cinematic Video (Body Only)
    Panasonic LUMIX DMC-GH4KBODY 16.05MP Digital Single Lens Mirrorless Camera with 4K Cinematic Video (Body Only)
    Panasonic
  • TASCAM DR-100mkII 2-Channel Portable Digital Recorder
    TASCAM DR-100mkII 2-Channel Portable Digital Recorder
    TASCAM
  • The DV Rebel's Guide: An All-Digital Approach to Making Killer Action Movies on the Cheap (Peachpit)
    The DV Rebel's Guide: An All-Digital Approach to Making Killer Action Movies on the Cheap (Peachpit)
    by Stu Maschwitz
Friday
Feb072014

Panasonic DMC-GH4

Panasonic has announced the DMC-GH4, their latest flagship Micro Four Thirds camera. Many video shooters loved its predecessor, the GH3—which explains why the folks are flipping out about the so-called “GH4K.” From dpreview:

The real story here is the GH4’s video recording capabilities, which include 4K and 1080p, with support for the IPB and ALL-Intra codecs. Shooting aids include focus peaking, zebra pattern, luminance level adjustment, and cinema gamma presets. An optional ‘interface unit’ adds five SDI and two XLR terminals, and permits 10-bit 4:2:2 output with time code.

High bit-rate 4K and HD cine-gamma video at a variety of frame rates, with a flip-out LCD and built-in focus assist. For the scrappy action filmmaker, funky frame rates, such as the always-useful 22fps, are an option, as is slow motion up to 96 fps (at 1080p). The MFT sensor size is not inspiring, but presumably this would work with a speedbooster.

Personally, I’d skip the terribly-named YAGH breakout box and record separate audio, syncing with PluralEyes. What excites me about this camera is how few add-ons it requires.

Best to let the pictures do the talking though. Here’s some sample footage, shot entirely with Panasonic glass. Go full-screen and choose the highest resolution that makes sense for your display.

Price and availability have not been announced, but Amazon and B&H already have their product pages up. 43rumors.com says the price will be less than $2,000 USD.

I expect this to be a popular camera.

Wednesday
Jan152014

Big Slugline Update, Including a Free Trial Version

Slugline, the screenwrting app that Clint Torres and I make, has a big update today in the Mac App Store. Lots of new features, and (finally) a free, downloadable demo:

If you’ve been wanting to take Slugline for a test drive, now you can, with a fully-functional 14-day trial. There are no restrictions in the trial version—you can load, save, and work on screenplays of any length. After 14 days, you’ll have the option to buy Slugline from the App Store.

Read more, and download the trial, at the Slugline blog!

Monday
Jan062014

CES 2014: TVs You Don't Need

I bet you have a pretty sweet TV. It’s probably big, and bright, and connected to the internet. It plays movies and TV and streams stuff and is probably paper-thin.

And that’s the problem for TV manufacturers. Your TV is more than good enough. But they only make money when you buy a new one (unless they’re Panasonic. selling ad space on their menu screen). So imagine their desperation to get you to think your awesome TV is worth discarding in favor of a new, several-thousand-dollar model.

Oh, wait, you don’t have to imagine—because the annual Consumer Electronic Show (CES) is happening right now in Las Vegas, the land of let’s-see-if-too-much-of-a-bad-thing-turns-out-to-be-a-good-thing.

It’s not that it’s impossible for a new TV to be announced at CES that would actually improve your movie watching experience at home, but that’s not the actual motivation of the manufacturers.

Last year, it was all about 3D. You must have a 3D TV! What are you, an animal? This year, Vizio, one of the largest TV manufacturers, announced that it is dropping 3D completely.

Dolby announced Dolby Vision, an HDR display method that allows crazy-bright images. While this might be fun for some special venue projects (where the creator dictates the exhibition method), I doubt it will become a standard for movies or TV. But it sure is a wonderful distraction from the simple fact that blacker black levels would be a much better way to improve our home viewing experience—and would require no new standards.

What we should want from our TVs is accuracy, but that’s hard to sell. An accurate TV placed next to one in torch mode would look positively sad.

3D didn’t work last year, so this is the year of 4K. Actually, it’s the year of Moar-K—with Sharp announcing that they can type just about any number followed by a K into a press release.

There’s nothing new to say about 4K in the home—it’s stupid, just like it was last year. Seriously, go back and read this article. Here’s an update: I’ve since set up my home theater. I chose a high-end 1080p projector from JVC, the RS46U. My screen is 132“ diagonally, and my seating distance is about 12.5 feet. The universal reaction I get is ”wow, it’s so sharp!” That’s because the JVC has a great lens, and industry-leading black levels. Eventually you’ll be able to buy an affordable 4K display with no compromises in black levels, but that’s probably a couple of years out. Heck, maybe by then there will actually be some 4K stuff to watch. But beware: there will be a lot of crappy 4K out there as the technology is introduced. Good 1080p (from a low-compression source, like Blu-ray) will beat crappy 4K every time.

Sometimes these new TV gadgets demo well. But that often has little to do with their staying power. Beware the Cream Soda Effect.

CES is also a great time to be reminded that people use TVs for all kinds of stuff, not just watching movies. Many of the announced technologies might make sense for displays used in hotel lobbies and museum exhibits. Keep in mind that manufacturers are trying to create buzz in a more-is-more environment. If they happen make something that’s good for filmmaker or film-lovers, it’s a happy accident.

Oh, and the photo above? It’s a 40-foot-long road-cutting chainsaw that was parked in front of my hotel one year at NAB, also in Las Vegas. It’s really fun to look at, possibly of use to someone, undoubtedly quite expensive, and would be stupid for me to buy. And I didn’t have a photo handy of a 4K TV.

Thursday
Dec262013

’Twas(n’t) the Software Patent Before Christmas

’Twas the day before Christmas, and all through the ’net

Excitement brewed for iA Writer Pro, the distractionlessest text editor yet!

It promised simplicity, but a powerful workflow.

And touted a new feature called Syntax Control.

As folks were beginning their winter vacation,

iA submited a patent application.

They felt Syntax Control should be protected.

(Secretly hoping their use of NSLinguisticTagger wouldn’t be detected.)

So certain they were that this patent they’d get,

They tweeted a few devs with thinly-veiled threats.

This got @the_soulmen all up in arms.

Software patents, we all know, do less good than harm.

This application was for a technique

That’s built into OS X, which @the_soulmen found weak.

While you were hanging stockings by the chimney with care,

@the_soulmen were tweeting “How could @iA dare?”

They wouldn’t let up with the public shaming,

Until iA backed down, “A joke!” they were claiming.

“We’ll never sue devs over our fancy new patent.”

“That’s right,” said @the_soulmen, “Because you don’t even have it.”

iA went as far as to threaten Brett Terpstra.

(At this point I thought @the_soulmen would burst-a.)

We all love simple, powerful writing.

But nobody benefits from developers fighting.

Let’s all build great stuff, and worry a bit less

About what others are doing. That’s just a big mess.

And so, as you begin a new year of prose,

Consider the toolmakers—are they friends, or foes?

Do they play well with others, or bully and pester?

Something to consider when you visit the App Store.

And to the good devs, wherever you are,

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, we love you, five stars.

Page 1 ... 4 5 6 7 8 ... 146 Next 4 Entries »