Last week I wrote a quick post about the Nosh Promo video I made. Today I wanted to go into the production and describe all that went into its creation. Basically it was insane 25 hours from when we started, until the next morning when I exported the final video and the power went out in my apartment building (literally AS I hit export). Above you’ll see the composite I put together to show how each step of the post-process contributed to the final video. View the final video here or at the bottom of this post. I’ll describe each step in detail after the jump.
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I did it. I am now a very proud owner of the Canon 5DMKII. It took months (years) of deliberation (pretty much since Scott wrote this article) and I finally pulled the trigger. I know the rumors are swirling about Mark IIIs and the etc, but once I heard about the upcoming 24fps firmware update I decided it was time. No more waiting. I’ve been shooting on a Nikon D40 since I started school and it was definitely time for an upgrade. (Though I still love the SB 600 flash — took the photo above)
As soon as I pulled it out of the box I was in awe. People say that Canons feel cheaper due to the construction materials, but I disagree. This thing feels like it could level a small village if thrown at the proper angle. Pair the body with the kit lens (24-105) and you have one serious piece of machinery. I purchased through Adorama because they seemed to have the best package deal. Just about everyone sells the body for $2499 at the moment; Adorama throws in a shoulder bag and a 16GB card. (Update: Or at least they used to…it must have been a temporary special price because now that package is listed higher. Keep an eye out in case it comes around again.)
My shots so far have been decent. Honestly I’ve only had it for a few days and have yet to really take it for a photography spin. I’ve mainly been experimenting with the HD video feature (a large part of why I bought the camera). After numerous videos of my shoes and other random subjects I decided to test it out in a music video scenario. Nothing crazy, just a acoustic performance like I usually do on Youtube (till now I’ve been shooting on an embarrassingly old MiniDV camcorder that is almost twice the size of the Canon). You can view the result here.
An unexpected issue with the completion of that video was the post-production file format mess. Apparently Canon had no interest in making things easy on us (although that looks like it will change this month). I ended up following the steps outlined here on Vincent Laforet’s blog with great success. I imported to the desktop, converted H.264 to Apple Prores (tanked my drive space), imported to Final Cut, sent to Color and back, exported using Quicktime H.64 compression, then uploaded to Youtube. Kind of a long roundabout process, but things went smoothly. As is true for the still shots as well, you immediately notice how much more control you have over the image in editing mode. Edits that used to crunch up image quality or produce unwanted noise no longer do so at all. The picture is so clean that you can tweak away to your heart’s content without ever losing the integrity of the image.
As I said, I’m just getting my feet wet with this thing and I’m sure I’ll have more to say about it once I field test it a lot more. I’ll be going to Japan in May and am looking at that trip as a great opportunity to take thousands and thousands of pictures and crash my hard drive with absurd amounts of footage. As I continue to experiment with this wonderful object I’ll put together a more complete review. In the meantime, for my sake, cross your fingers Canon *doesn’t* come out with any shiny new cameras anytime soon.
A little while ago, I wrote about my current class assignment to reinvigorate a brand that is “dead, dying or defunct”. As we are nearing the semester’s end next month, I thought it would be a good time to begin describing the process of this project. The final deliverable is a book, in which we describe the history of our chosen brand (and why it’s time for a update), outline the new identity guidelines (visual standards manuals, usage considerations etc), and show potential extensions (mock ups of storefronts, products, etc). For this process post I’ll describe my brand choice and eventual logo development.
(project permalink on my site)
When I wrote the first article, I was considering No Fear as my primary option. With such a versatile name, I figured I could take the brand in a number of different directions. However, as much fun as it would have been to revisit the dominant clothing of my middle school years (along with LA Lights), I was concerned that the project would not really extend anywhere beyond a basic brand overhaul (new logo, visuals, products, etc). I saw little opportunity for humor or much conceptual work, and I opted to move in a different direction.
I decided to rebrand Playboy — a brand that many might say is arguably not dead, dying or defunct. Like many magazines, they actually are “dying” (financially), but for my project I focused on the decay of the overall perception of the brand. The graph below displays how I feel the brand has progressed in a more abstract fashion. Basically, these days, I would say most people would be embarrassed to say they read Playboy. A baseless assumption perhaps, but when was the last time you saw someone reading Playboy in public?
To keep up with the increasing trashiness of the American Men’s magazine, Playboy has been forced to reposition itself as “one of the boys” as it were, and is now indistinguishable from the Maxim’s of the world. Rather than hold on to the sophisticated standards of their early years, Playboy has come to embrace its unfortunately crude place in the magazine world. This evolution (rather, devolution) is tragic and the original soul of the brand has been lost. Maybe not “dead, dying or defunct”, but Playboy has certainly lost something along the way. I saw an opportunity to bring some of the original classiness and sophistication back with a drastic repositioning…
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A reader wrote in today asking why I haven’t posted on process or the day-to-day stuff much recently and after reading his email I realized he was right, I haven’t really been on top of that over the past couple months. This is partly due to the fact that most of the stuff I’ve been working on won’t be made public for a while and partly due to things being a bit overwhelming lately. As much as I enjoy it, running this blog has been a challenge for me at times, trying to balance getting work done and also talking about it. But even when I’m in the thick of it, it’s always nice to pop my head up and write an update and perhaps provide a little insight into the daily grind over here at the studio. So from now on I’ll make a better effort to post more often on the stuff that’s going on around here. So here’s the first installment, the studio update for June 2009.
The picture above is of Alex (the one and only ISO50 intern) in the upstairs work area which we use for printing, photography, and any other random tasks that don’t fit into the dungeon below which houses the music studio and main design systems. Alex has been prepping things for the new Epson 9900 which is finally all put together (pictured to the left). It’s scheduled to be commissioned today when the team from Meridian comes out to get it online. Once that’s up and running we’ll be able to do large format stuff so be on the lookout for some very big prints soon. Alex is also working on a very detailed article on color calibration which we’ve been sorting out for a while now and which just seems to keep growing in scope. But it will be worth the wait when it’s done, I promise!
As for new work, I’ve been locked downstairs working on the new Tycho album along with a few new posters which you will start to see coming out over the next couple months. It’s sort of been a rough few months transitioning into getting-shit-done mode. Putting together the Coastal Brake 12″ (due out in August) sort of wiped me out and then a long stretch of poorly timed traveling really put me in a bad spot as far as motivation is concerned. But after some time off I was able to get back into it over the past few weeks and the new work has been flowing pretty well. It’s nice to step away from things for a bit (even if not by choice), when I get back to it I always find myself seeing things from a different perspective and appreciating the process a little more.