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Colorist Joseph Owens has been in the heart of postproduction for over 30 years, and has used one form or another of DaVinci Resolve for a large part of that. In his look at the latest release of what he calls the gold standard for color correction, he both covers new features, and considers the possibilities that those features offer.


Going from Aperture to Lightroom? Put it in the Cloud!

Going from Aperture to Lightroom? Put it in the Cloud!

Why Wait for Apple Photos? Adventurer and editor Jigs Gaton takes us through some easy steps for migrating your photo library from Apple's Aperture and iPhoto into Adobe Lightroom.



The Marvel of Guardians of the Galaxy

The Marvel of Guardians of the Galaxy

Big companies can't be nimble? Don't tell Sony Pictures Imageworks. They turned around 88 shots for Marvel's instant classic, Guardians of the Galaxy -- plus a complete digital character -- in just two months. VFX Supervisor Pete Travers says it's the fastest they've ever worked on a project like this, and a sterling example of both the creative advantages that come with scale, and the richness of the Marvel multiverse.
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Doctor Who has been the primary care metaphysician around these parts for a very long time, and the debut of Peter Capaldi as the twelfth incarnation of the Doctor brought a huge worldwide audience. It also gave the artists at London-based Milk an opportunity to provide over 100 VFX shots for this single episode, including the episode's principal villain, Half-Face Man. Here's the story, with, of course, the pictures.


Imagineer Systems mocha Pro

Doctor Who, The Walking Dead, Dracula and Gray's Anatomy are just some of the shows that Stargate Studios has worked on. They discussed some of their approaches to previs, production, editorial, compositing, and more -- specifically, their use of the latest version of Imagineer Systems mocha Pro. Take a look, at both the story and the pictures.


The Giver

The Giver features the work of The Room, a finishing boutique that's part of Technicolor-Postworks in New York, combining over 700 shots from a variety of vendors, using formats including ARRI Alexa, RED Epic, and 16 and 35mm FILM. (Hey, the other folks got all caps. Film definitely deserves all caps too.) Even some archival HD. (See? More all caps.) A story-driven transition from black and white to color sounds simple enough -- but wasn't. Read on....

Finally, the folks at Zero VFX offer some insights on their approach to invisible VFX, including their work on American Hustle. You'll definitely want to take a look at the VFX breakdowns as well. Read on....


Adobe Streamlines Workflows with Creative Cloud Updates

Adobe Streamlines Workflows with Creative Cloud Updates

Adobe has announced updates to Creative Clouds pro video apps with timesaving enhancements to media and project management, increased support for new codecs and display technologies, and refinement in everyday editorial tasks.


HP's New Workstations: Powerful, Expandable, and Compatible

HP's New Workstations: Powerful, Expandable, and Taking Aim at the Mac Pro Market

Expanding its Z-series line, HP announced major updates to desktop and mobile workstations focusing on expandability, reliability and compatibility - and specifically targeting disappointed Mac users that may not have considered the PC world before. With the key word for creative professionals being "bottleneck" as 4K media (and beyond) and native editing become a mainstay of a typical workflow, HP hopes that giving users more options will be the solution.
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Big companies can't be nimble? Don't tell Sony Pictures Imageworks. They turned around 88 shots for Marvel's instant classic, Guardians of the Galaxy -- plus a complete digital character -- in just two months. VFX Supervisor Pete Travers says it's the fastest they've ever worked on a project like this, and a sterling example of both the creative advantages that come with scale, and the richness of the Marvel multiverse. Read the interview here...



Travel photos falling in an array against a background of clouds

Going from Aperture to Lightroom? ...Put it in the Cloud!

Create Your Own Personal Photo Cloud Using Adobe Lightroom. Why Wait for Apple Photos? Adventurer and editor Jigs Gaton takes us through some easy steps for migrating your photo library from Apple's Aperture and iPhoto into Adobe Lightroom.



Sink or Swim in Hollywood: Editor William Boodell & Sharknado

Sink or Swim in Hollywood: Editor William Boodell & Sharknado

When editor William (Bill) Boodell came to LA, he never expected to ever be associated with a shark tornado -- who does? And now Sharknado (the first one), is a part of mainstream pop culture even a year later and his best known work to date. If you talk to Bill for five minutes, you'll discover that he's a film connoisseur with a near-concerning catalog of directors, editors, and filmmaking theory in his head, and an up-and-coming editor with a unique post-film path to Hollywood that anyone can learn from.
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When editor William (Bill) Boodell came to LA, he never expected to be associated with a shark tornado -- and really, who does? And now Sharknado (the first one), is a part of mainstream pop culture even a year later and his best known work to date. If you talk to Bill for five minutes, you'll discover that he's a film connoisseur with a near-concerning catalog of directors, editors, and filmmaking theory in his head, and an up-and-coming editor with a unique post-film path to Hollywood that anyone can learn from.

From his non-linear path to taking risks in the industry and his tender care on SyFy's surprise hit B-movie, there's a lot that can be learned about graciously making it in Hollywood from a guy like Bill – including how to keep your enthusiasm for your work safely intact in the face of hard work and long hours. Take a look...



Inside HBO's The Wire
Inside HBO's The Wire, by Nick Griffin.

Almost immediately upon its arrival on HBO in 2002, The Wire was acclaimed as one of the greatest shows in TV history. Today, it is widely hailed as the greatest show in TV history.

That's an almost unbearable amount of weight for any TV show to bear, and a title that must necessarily be re-evaluated on a regular basis -- but indeed, a number of polls by both critics and audiences have kept The Wire on top even after the triumphant run of another contender, Breaking Bad. Not that plenty of people wouldn't put that one on top. Or The Sopranos, or Seinfeld, The X-Files, and many others.

The thing is, you've probably watched those. At least a couple of them, you've watched every episode more than once. You're already on top of current favorites whose rising stature will keep them in the heart of this debate for years to come. But you probably haven't watched The Wire. And you probably need to. And thanks to the miracle of modern streaming, you can.

So, as we introduce you to what you may find to be your next binge-watching obsession, allow us to first introduce one of the finest production stories it has been our pleasure to run. Creative COW luminary and Baltimore son Nick Griffin visited the show's location in his fair city in 2007, as they were shooting the show's final season. He got to speak with several members of the creative team to dive into every aspect The Wire, from pre-viz through delivery -- including its controversial choice to shoot 4:3.

The real story behind The Wire's success is of course the many stories that The Wire was able to tell in such unique ways, but we'll let Nick tell you all about it. Ladies and gentlemen, start your binge-watching! Right after you read this of course. Inside HBO's The Wire, by Nick Griffin.


On the set of PBS's America's Test Kitchen

Cooking With Premiere Pro CC on PBS's America's Test Kitchen

As America's Test Kitchen enters its 15th season on PBS, they've made the switch to Premiere Pro Creative Cloud. Post-production Supervisor and director Herb Sevush has been with the show from the beginning, and confessed some trepidation moving away from FCP 7, but has found it to be a great fit for their data-intensive, increasingly 4K multicam production, and his work with remote editors. Here, Herb offers some insights into both the why and the how of their switch, with special attention to Premiere Pro CC's approach to multicam.
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If you're going to build the storm for a movie called Into The Storm, you better be on top of your game -- especially if it's an unprecedented mile-wide monster of a tornado. Method Studios created the storm and its aftermath, building on the kinds of things you expect from a tornado, to create some things you've not seen before.

While you're there, be sure to check out Method's dynamic reel of "Hero Shots" from Into The Storm, as well as a terrific set of shot breakdowns. Even if you haven't had a chance to catch up with the film, you're going to enjoy this look at Method's work on it. Watch the video at http://reels.creativecow.net/film/22043



Inside HBO's The Wire
Inside HBO's The Wire, by Nick Griffin.

Almost immediately upon its arrival on HBO in 2002, The Wire was acclaimed as one of the greatest shows in TV history. Today, it is widely hailed as the greatest show in TV history.

That's an almost unbearable amount of weight for any TV show to bear, and a title that must necessarily be re-evaluated on a regular basis -- but indeed, a number of polls by both critics and audiences have kept The Wire on top even after the triumphant run of another contender, Breaking Bad. Not that plenty of people wouldn't put that one on top. Or The Sopranos, or Seinfeld, The X-Files, and many others.

The thing is, you've probably watched those. At least a couple of them, you've watched every episode more than once. You're already on top of current favorites whose rising stature will keep them in the heart of this debate for years to come. But you probably haven't watched The Wire. And you probably need to. And thanks to the miracle of modern streaming, you can.

So, as we introduce you to what you may find to be your next binge-watching obsession, allow us to first introduce one of the finest production stories it has been our pleasure to run. Creative COW luminary and Baltimore son Nick Griffin visited the show's location in his fair city in 2007, as they were shooting the show's final season. He got to speak with several members of the creative team to dive into every aspect The Wire, from pre-viz through delivery -- including its controversial choice to shoot 4:3.

The real story behind The Wire's success is of course the many stories that The Wire was able to tell in such unique ways, but we'll let Nick tell you all about it. Ladies and gentlemen, start your binge-watching! Right after you read this of course. Inside HBO's The Wire, by Nick Griffin.
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And so we come to the time that $100 million is considered a moderate budget for a large-scale epic. This was the production for Hercules, but compare that to the $250 million for The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian, or even the $170 million budgets for Guardians of the Galaxy and Dawn of The Planet of The Apes. One way that MGM/Paramount's Hercules, directed by Brett Ratner and starring Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, manages to look as large as it does on its relatively modest budget is through careful and clever use of CG that doesn't look like CG.

Needless to say, one of the key special effects in the movie is Mr. Johnson himself. His first major features were the sword and sandals epics The Mummy Returns and The Scorpion King, both of which fared very well in the US, but didn't even begin to reach the international audience that he now commands. Along the way, The Rock has also added a strong comic dimension to his onscreen action persona, and Hercules offers the opportunity for him to combine them, as well as appeal to his now global fanbase.

Make no mistake. There are plenty of CG creatures in Hercules, but some of the most compelling effects in Hercules are in the family of what's increasingly commonly called "invisible effects." At its most simple, these might include sky replacements, although as the VFX team at Method Studios discovered, those are anything but simple when there are hundreds of elements in the scene that need to be roto'd first, and scenes that need relighting as the sky changes.

On a more complex level, the CG in Hercules was used by Milk VFX to create entire environments, including the city of Athens and the collection of elaborate buildings atop the Acropolis, including the Parthenon -- but also the surrounding hills, shore, and sea.

Together, Method Studios and Milk VFX are two of the companies that helped create a full, realistic world for Hercules, from the sky, to the Acropolis, to the sea. Read more...



A still of Peter O'Toole in the film, The Ruling Class

The Five OTHER Peter O'Toole Movies That Thou Must See

Peter O'Toole (August 2, 1932 - December 14, 2013) would have celebrated his 82nd birthday this past weekend had his hard living not caught up with him in 2013, at what still seemed far too young an age. Between the time he spent on stage (primarily in plays by Shakespeare and Samuel Beckett) and breaks for his poor health, we simply didn't see him in enough movies.

His performance in Lawrence of Arabia was so overwhelming, and the movie itself so very nearly perfect, that it's easy to forget that Peter's resume is full of performances at least that strong -- even if the movies themselves were only occasionally even close to Lawrence's league. In fact, he was nominated for eight Oscars, and most people can remember two of them. (The other, My Favorite Year, was a charming trifle, but little more in common opinion. The nomination was more based on the pleasure of him playing a part based on someone not unlike his younger self, played both slyly and exuberantly.)

For that matter, some of Peter's best work was never nominated for Oscars at all. He, of course, never won, making him the actor with the most nominations to still fall short. His performances rarely did, though. Here are five movies to set the record straight: Peter O'Toole brought us more than Lawrence. There was never anyone like him, and here are some examples of why there never will be. They're also a lot of fun, so take a look.


Homeland: Behind the Scenes with Canon Glass/David Klein ASC

Showtime's Emmy-Nominated Hit Homeland: Behind the Scenes with Canon Glass and DP David Klein, ASC

David Klein, ASC, recently nominated for a 2014 Best Cinematography Emmy® Award for his work on Homeland, first AC Dominik Mainl, and B camera operator Bob Newcomb break down what's in their tool kit: an ARRI Alexa mounted with Canon Cinema Zoom Lenses, a RED Epic, a Canon Cinema EOS 1D C, and a Canon EOS 5D Mark III.


On the set of PBS's America's Test Kitchen

Cooking With Premiere Pro CC on PBS's America's Test Kitchen

As America's Test Kitchen enters its 15th season on PBS, they've made the switch to Premiere Pro Creative Cloud. Post-production Supervisor and director Herb Sevush has been with the show from the beginning, and confessed some trepidation moving away from FCP 7, but has found it to be a great fit for their data-intensive, increasingly 4K multicam production, and his work with remote editors. Here, Herb offers some insights into both the why and the how of their switch, with special attention to Premiere Pro CC's approach to multicam.


Shooting Trent & Isabella: Blackmagic Firmware & Indie Film

Shooting Trent & Isabella: Blackmagic Firmware & Indie Film

Paul Del Vecchio is a filmmaker with an independent spirit. When he had the chance to beta test Blackmagic's new firmware on the Cinema Camera while serving as director of photography on the indie film Trent & Isabella, he found that the new debayer process became a huge asset to getting the raw-like images he wanted without the price of storage and processing. Less time and money spent there means more focus on the film's visual style which ranges from spaghetti western to film noir.
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Paul Del Vecchio is a filmmaker with an independent spirit. When he had the chance to beta test Blackmagic's new firmware on the Cinema Camera while serving as director of photography on the indie film Trent & Isabella, he told Creative COW's Kylee Wall that the new debayer process became a huge asset to getting the raw-like images he wanted without the price of storage and processing. Less time and money spent there means more focus on the film's visual style which ranges from spaghetti western to film noir.

In her latest Creative COW blog entry, Kylee also told us something we didn't know: four years before YouTube, Kevin Spacey started his own video hosting community as a showcase for filmmakers to post their work and give each other feedback. It was a transformative experience, as she tells us "How Kevin Spacey Helped Me Get Started In Editing."



AIRDOG: A HOT KICKSTARTER FOR A COOL IDEA

AirDog: a Hot Kickstarter for a Cool Idea

An auto-follow, gyro-stabilized GoPro drone that goes where you go, including skydiving and surfing, that you can operate hands-free -- sounds cool, right? It's called AirDog, and whether or not the product is for you, you can learn a lot from their very hot Kickstarter campaign: they reached their $200,000 goal in 4 days, on their way to over $1.3 million pledged.


Cooking With Premiere Pro CC on PBS's America's Test Kitchen

Cooking With Premiere Pro CC on PBS's America's Test Kitchen

As America's Test Kitchen enters its 15th season on PBS, they've made the switch to Premiere Pro Creative Cloud. Post-production Supervisor and director Herb Sevush has been with the show from the beginning, and confessed some trepidation moving away from FCP 7, but has found it to be a great fit for their data-intensive, increasingly 4K multicam production, and his work with remote editors. Here, Herb offers some insights into both the why and the how of their switch, with special attention to Premiere Pro CC's approach to multicam.


Cows in a pasture with text overlay describing article

Expert Tips for Crowdfunding Success

Film projects are the most unsuccessfully funded of any Kickstarter category -- but producer and crowdfunding consultant Diana Ward Roark has worked on a number of campaigns for independent films that have exceeded their goals. She has the real-world advice you'll need to succeed, including where you can find backers, and how to engage them.
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As America's Test Kitchen enters its 15th season on PBS, they've made the switch to Premiere Pro Creative Cloud. Post-production Supervisor and director Herb Sevush has been with the show from the beginning, and confessed some trepidation moving away from FCP 7, but has found it to be a great fit for their data-intensive, increasingly 4K multicam production, and his work with remote editors.

Here, Herb offers some insights into both the why and the how of their switch, with special attention to Premiere Pro CC's approach to multicam.



Photo of a cow in foreground, with a herd of cattle in the distance

Expert Tips for Crowdfunding Success

Film projects are the most unsuccessfully funded of any Kickstarter category -- but producer and crowdfunding consultant Diana Ward Roark has worked on a number of campaigns for independent films that have exceeded their goals. She has the real-world advice you'll need to succeed, including where you can find backers, and how to engage them.
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Even though Wes Anderson's Moonrise Kingdom was one of the most enthusiastically received films of 2012 here at Creative COW, we didn't hear as much fuss made over his follow-up, The Grand Budapest Hotel. This is despite terrific reviews (92% Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes) and it being by far his highest grossing picture. Not that that's a good measure of a movie's greatness, of course, but especially outside the US, the uptick is startling: from $22 million for Moonrise, to $107 million for The Grand Budapest Hotel!

Still, if it's possible for a movie that grossed $166 million worldwide to be called "overlooked," we think this one qualifies. The good news is that it's now available for home viewing, so now's your chance to catch up with it.

It's got every quality that has made Wes Anderson one of the most distinctive directors working today, especially visually. The Grand Budapest Hotel is absolutely gorgeous, and incredibly detailed, even by his usual standards. One of the people who helped him implement his vision was Gabriel Sanchez at LOOK Effects. This was Gabriel's third feature with Wes, following The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou and The Darjeeling Express. We spoke to Gabriel about his work on The Grand Budapest Hotel -- especially his work with matte paintings and miniatures -- the perfect introduction to a movie we hope you'll see for yourself. Read more....



CSNY 1974: The Long-Awaited Chronicle of One of Rock's Greatest Tours


CSNY 1974: The Long-Awaited Chronicle of One of Rock's Greatest Tours

Meet CSNY 74, wherein Messrs. Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young make a definitive 3-hour, 3-set, 40 song, case, supported by 8 video clips and 188 pages of written and photographic evidence, for being one of the world's very biggest and best rock and roll bands, working at the very top of their game. Creative COW's Tim Wilson explores the beautifully rendered, exceptionally satisfying experience of this historically epic tour.
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Season 2 of the pioneering Netflix series House of Cards brought a number of changes, including new Lead Colorist Laura Jans-Fazio. She spoke to us about her approach to this visually distinctive show, her remote collaboration with Executive Producer David Fincher, and her use of the Baselight grading system for fast turnarounds with the show's 5K footage.

Read more here...



Walter Biscardi Jr. photographed and designed this network branding image for Contemporary Living Network.

Contemporary Living Network: Fresh Ideas, Fresh Content

Longtime Creative COW Contributor, Walter Biscardi, Jr. recently announced the upcoming launch of Contemporary Living Network, a digital network focusing on positive lifestyle edutainment. For him, it's a natural progression from production to creating a new home for all original content. We asked Walter to tell us about CLN and his crowd funding campaign for "Ice Cream Nation," one of the first series to be featured on the new network.

Here's what he had to say...


When Walter told us about his idea for the Contemporary Living Network, we wanted to hear more. We also wanted to hear more about why he decided to go the crowdfunding route, and how he's making his pitch. So what about you? Do you have a story about a new project or venture that you're trying to raise money for? Drop us a line, at . Maybe we can help tell your story, too.
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