DP Benjamin Gaskell Shoots the Latest Installment of the Witness Project Documentary Series with a Blackmagic URSA Mini 4.6K

In late 2015, Smock Media, a Venice Beach-based film and VR production company, and the Victims of Communism (VOC), a Washington, D.C.-based human rights organization, came together and started The Witness Project. DP Benjamin Gaskell was brought on to tackle the first episode of the second installment, which would set the tone for the rest of the documentary series. The episode focused on Anastasia Lin, Miss World Canada 2015 and 2016, and her story.

How did you get involved with "Witness Project: The Story of Anastasia Lin"?
The director / editor of the project, Adam Hawk-Jensen, asked me to come on board as his director of photography. As I understand it, the nonprofit organization “Victims of Communism,” approached him to helm a new series of documentaries that would tell the stories of these survivors. I knew going into the project that Adam needed me to bring a strong vision with a lot of creative autonomy on my end as his DP - he’s a great collaborator in that regard. I’ve worked a lot as a cinematographer on projects that explore themes of liberty and what it takes to sustain a free and prosperous society, as well as the inverse. While I have only shot three videos for the Witness Project, it’s been an absolute honor to capture the story of these heroic and inspiring individuals.
Taking a Look at Upcoming 4K Video Trends

StarTech takes a look at upcoming 4K video trends including how it's being adopted, what barriers exist, true 4K ecosystem and more. Learn more about StarTech at: https://www.startech.com/.

4K: A Revolution in Resolution
Display technology has considerably advanced over the last decade. The 2K-to-4K UHD transition represents a giant leap forward in video realism and has created a lot of buzz with content creators. The industry’s demand for higher image fidelity and an immersive cinematic experience has catalyzed the technological advances required for a true 4K experience. When viewed from 3.5 to 5 feet away, 4K images on a 50 inch 4K TV are life-like, with more depth and color. Desktop displays at only 18 to 36 inches away display sharper and significantly more detailed images.
Rental House Perspective: How 4K, 6K, & 8K Affect the TV Industry

Technology is always evolving. In the television industry we’ve moved from standard definition to high definition and now onto, the Ks. Is this a technology trend that is here to stay or is it ahead of it’s time causing the excitement to die out before the rest of the television technology world catches up? In the following Q&A, Gene Duggan - Director of Sales and New Business Development at Imagecraft Productions, shares his insight on how the Ks have affected his clients and the television production industry, from the rental house perspective.

What is your understanding of what the K's are and do?
The K’s in 4k, 6k, 8k, and beyond, represent the horizontal resolution of an image. For example if you have a 4K camera shooting an image you will be creating 4,000 pixels of horizontal resolution and 2,000 pixels of vertical resolution. So in essence, the more K’s you have, the more information is being captured.
Panasonic Talks 4K Lineup with a Number of 4K Cameras on Show for the First Time in Europe at IBC

Nela Pertl, Marketing Manager EMEA at Panasonic, talks Video over IP, 4K and more at IBC 2016.

What new products/services is your company showcasing this year?
A major trend in broadcasting recently is Video over IP, and we’ll be showing a demonstration of how the technology works, in order to showcase the huge potential it has to change broadcast workflows and speed up time to air. The demonstration will involve a newly developed VOIP gateway for 4K and HD video, which uses IP networks to transmit video in near real-time, sufficient for seamless video switching. We’ll also have our latest remote camera range at the show, which remains hugely popular for reality shows and outside broadcasts. The range includes our 4K AW-UE70 remote cameras, as well as a focus-assist camera, the AW-HEA10, which can be used remotely with an iPad. IBC will also be the first opportunity to see working models of two additions to our professional 4K range, the AG-UX180 and AG-UX90, after they were announced at NAB earlier in the year. In addition, we will be displaying prototypes of a 360 degree real-time camera, which is currently in development and a working model of our new AK-UB300, 4K box camera, as part of a robotics system ideal for studio and live production applications.
McLaren Engineering Brings Cirque Magic to Life at Creative City Project in Orlando, FL

McLaren works with world-famous entertainment company to ensure safety of high-flying Bamboo Aerial Act performers and street crowds during Creative City Project in Orlando, FL. Andrew Habel, McLaren’s Florida Regional Director, answered a few questions about Cirque du Soleil La Nouba’s Bamboo Aerial Act and how they worked their magic to bring it to the streets of Downtown Orlando at Creative City Project.

How many tests are done to ensure the safety of the performers?
There is no set standard for this. As many test setups as required would be conducted to ensure that everything would be safe.
Richard Henkels Shoots 4K on the Canon Cinema EOS C500 & EOS 1D C to Bring Author: The JT Leroy Story to Life

Documentary cinematographer, Richard Henkels, answers a few questions about work on his newest film, AUTHOR: THE JT LEROY STORY. The documentary that explores the greatest literary hoax of all time – when “it boy” wunderkid and Hollywood favorite JT LeRoy was unmasked as the creative expression of 40-year-old phone-sex operator turned housewife, Laura Albert. Richard shot the film in 4K on the Canon Cinema EOS C500 and the EOS 1D C.

How were you chosen as the cinematographer for this film?
Jeff Feuerzeig and I met on a commercial shoot in which we connected creatively. He mentioned he was looking to collaborate with a DP on an up and coming film project about JT Leroy! Ironically I shot Savanna as JT Leroy back in 2006 for a Robert Wilson "Director of The Black Rider" art project. So our collaboration on Author was meant to be.
VFX Artist of the Month - Dave Morley

Image Engine's Dave Morley began his career in VFX more than 20 years ago when he started out as a flame compositor in Sydney, Australia. He has worked on projects such as Point Break, Unbroken and the upcoming Power Rangers film.

Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
I’ve been working in VFX for more than 23 years now – I still feel as passionate about it today as the day I started. Unlike when I started, however, I’m very grateful night shift isn’t required anymore! (Except for a few odd occasions!). I’m a lover of photography and try to shoot as much as I can.
Ken Feinberg Gives Talented Young Kids Experience & Knowledge at the Creative Studios of Atlanta Film Academy

Atlanta-born, Jewish-raised Feinberg once made a nice living in Los Angeles, playing big, bad-looking meanies (bikers, demons, etc.) on shows like “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and “Charmed,” and now, he’s helming a family holiday picture called SANTA’S BOOT CAMP starring a bunch of kids with a cameo by Academy Award nominee Eric Roberts. Feinberg is eager to spread the message of SANTA’S BOOT CAMP – that when young people put their best effort forward, they can do anything – which is delivered both on screen by the kids who come together to save Christmas, and off-screen by the talented young artists who bring their characters and the story to such vivid life.

You played big, bad characters on shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Charmed, but how did you finally break away from being typcasted?
I just came to a point in my career where I said this wasn't fun anymore playing the mean killers and hateful raging characters. I made some money playing those characters, however as a classically trained actor, after a while I wanted to seek something else to creatively nurture my artistic side.
Exclusive Interview: Production Designer Hannah Beachler on "Miles Ahead"

If you've seen Beyonce's lemonade, which let's be honest, who hasn't, then you are aware of Hannah Beachler's work as a production designer. She is currently working with director Ryan Coogler for Marvel’s much-anticipated Black Panther and she previously collaborated with Coogler on Creed, the spinoff from the Rocky film series, starring Sylvester Stallone and Michael B. Jordan, as well as Fruitvale Station, 2013's Sundance Film Festival breakout, which won both the Grand Jury and Audience Prize. Hannah talked to ProductionHUB about her film MILES AHEAD, the differences between biological film and fiction film, and breakign into the industry.

How did you first break into the business as a production designer?
I was a Set Decorator for sometime and on the film Cleaner, the director Renny Harlin said to me, "You should Design, you have a real vision." Up until that point I hadn't really thought about it.  A couple years later, I remembered that and decided to make the leap into production design.  A friend I went to film school with, Karri O'Reilly, was producing a bunch of low-budget horror films in Iowa when it had a tax credit and had heard I was wanting to design. Sheave me a ring and said, "Do you want to do these four films in Iowa?" I said, “When do I start?” and that was really the beginning.
Cinema 4D Helps Apiary Studio Chart Conceptual Virtual Reality Soundscape Experiences for Samsung Gear

With virtual reality (VR) viewing devices entering the consumer mainstream, VR content is on the rise. MAXON is pleased to offer digital creatives plug-in tools for rendering VR content as well a several comprehensive tutorial series to help CG artists learn the technical aspects of creating pre-rendered or interactive VR video content. We talked to Joshua Michie, principal at Toronto­ based Apiary Studio, and long time MAXON Cinema 4D (C4D) user, about ANTUM, the studio’s debut virtual reality (VR) experience coming soon to the Oculus Samsung Gear VR store to discuss the 3D experiences the team faced creating content in this emerging medium.

Tell us about your background as a 3D motion graphics artist and why you decided to step into the world of VR content creation.
I worked in London and came to Toronto five years ago as I was attracted to the strong creative community here. In the last seven years I’ve collaborated with brands such as TED, Apple, Starbucks, Sky, McDonalds; agencies including DDB, Blast Radius, Brothers and Sisters; and studios like NEON, IAMSTATIC, Jam3, and Tendril. While I’ve enjoyed working with clients, I created Apiary to focus on building our own intellectual property and tell stories on our own terms. There's a lot of movement and opportunity for 3D artists and motion designers in the VR landscape right now and we are excited to play in this market.
The Vitality of Creating & Supporting 4K Content with Joel Holland

Seven years ago VideoBlocks started producing 4K content and now others are starting to make the transformation. Joel Holland, Founder and Executive Chairman of VideoBlocks explains the vitality of creating and supporting 4K content. He believes that 4K is the future for technology and will become the new norm for the tech hub since UHD is already fading and advises companies to shoot in 4K rather than UHD since 4K resolution can be “bumped” down rather than trying to “bump up” HD content to 4K quality.

Will the quality of viewing in 4K substantially be better to persuade companies to change? How different is the quality?
Production side: 4K is four times better resolution than HD. It is similar to the jump made from standard to High Definition. Once everyone has fully made the move to 4K, no one will go back to UHD. I think everything should be shot in 4K, you should source in 4K, not HD.
DP Rachel Morrison Lenses HBO's CONFIRMATION

Rachel Morrison is the woman behind the camera of HBO’s Confirmation, starring Kerry Washington as Anita Hill. The film the film explores Hill’s accusations of sexual harassment against then-nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court, Clarence Thomas. In our latest interview, Morrison describes how she developed the "look" for the film, creative freedom, visual references and more.

Describe how you got involved with Confirmation.
I lensed Dope for Rick Famuyiwa. When he signed on to direct Confirmation, he called me right away.