The Bravest man on the planet…with no exception !

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Check out a lot more videos and photographs

For all your video production needs in Scotland, get in touch with Small Video Productions

Finally nailed the stuttering FCPX timeline problem (Updated)

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For almost a month I have been fighting FCPX trying to discover why I was getting a stuttering timeline and almost handed in the towel when I happened across a thread on Creative Cow talking about this very problem.

I seems to be the CUDA card that causes the problem, I had inserted an Nvidia Quadro FX4800 card about a month ago in order to engage the Mercury engine in Premiere ProCS6.

Unfortunately this very same card has caused FCPX to produce a stuttering timeline which is cured by re installing my ATI 5800 graphics card.

It seems like both Premiere and FCPX are now poles apart with separate drivers needed for the Matrox MX02 and specific graphics cards needed for the NLEs themselves.

I was almost convinced that Premiere was my chosen NLE… till I tried to recall a project yesterday when it stopped three quarters into the data recall and never continued. This put me off Premiere big time so my only choice has to be FCPX.

Fortunately I do have some working experience with FCPX and I am getting to like it especially all the plug-ins that Premiere is now lacking.

Update : I am now using Black Magic’s Intensity Pro card which stops me having to fart around with the Matrox MX02 heap of mince… for £130 I now get full 720 50p monitoring in sync and live ingest from any HDMI camcorder via Media Express…fantastic.

For all your video production needs in Scotland, get in touch with Small Video Productions

JVC HM600 for review “The 1st official review in the UK”

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While filming my review of the Gekko Kelvin TILE and Karess LITE the door rang and the JVC HM600 arrived…the only one in the UK. I have one on loan for the weekend so I decided to start the ball rolling with a third camera, two Canons and the JVC.

If you have any questions you want answered about the HM600 camcorder send me an email to

Remember the JVC HM600 camcorder records at 35Mbps 4:2:0 or 4:2:2 out of the HD SDI and the HDMI sockets. Records onto SDHC cards, has a 23x lens with a 29mm wide (35mm) and a 667mm (35mm) tight.

From what I have seen so far I am very impressed with the HM600, I have the camera for this weekend only so if you have any questions don’t hesitate to send me an email.



For all your video production needs in Scotland, get in touch with Small Video Productions

Lite PANELS reply to “web of anger”

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Litepanels Intellectual Property Statement

Is Litepanels trying to claim that they own the patent on all LED panel based video lights?

Litepanels filed for patent protection of its technology when we first began developing the application of LED for use in the media/creative arts of film, television and photography. We do not own patents on all LED technology. In fact, our patents specifically refer to the application of full spectrum, white LEDs for image capture in those mediums. Litepanels lighting products also include a number of preexisting technologies for which we pay licensing fees to the owners of those patents. We seek similar licensing agreements with companies that wish to use our intellectual property.

We are firm believers in free, fair competition and the patent system that allows our economy to flourish. In order to protect the specific technology we developed, Litepanels was required to prove the validity of our patents, and the facts of this particular case have been heard and decided in an unbiased and open forum. The defendants were allowed ample opportunity to present their best evidence and arguments against the validity of our patents, with the result that our claims to our intellectual property were upheld.

Why are these products patent-worthy?

Litepanels was founded by industry professionals with backgrounds in lighting, professional photography and engineering who understand and appreciate the importance of protecting intellectual property. In the entertainment and creative industries, intellectual property can be a screenplay or an iconic photograph. Our intellectual property consists of the technology which makes full spectrum, white light emitting diodes useful for illumination and proper image capture in the creative arts. The design, development and effective implementation of LED technology evidenced by our patented products took years to research, test, develop and manufacture.

Clearly LEDs alone cannot constitute a product sufficient for professional use in photographic applications. There are a number of technical challenges that had to be overcome before LEDs could be employed effectively for such purposes. These challenges included, but were not limited to: thermal management, precision of color temperature, smooth and flicker free dimming, and the requirements for alternate power input capability. Thereafter all of these technologies had to be combined in a way that would meet the high expectations of film, video and photography professionals.

We continue to develop, design and assemble innovative fixtures based around full spectrum, white LED technology, a pursuit which allows us to employ dozens of people in our Los Angeles office and assembly plant.

Is Litepanels trying to use their patents to block competition and force everyone to pay higher prices for LED lighting?

We are not trying to monopolize or block all LED lighting fixtures from the market. The recent ruling is directed at manufacturers who are unwilling to pay licensing fees and infringe on Litepanels’ intellectual property. In fact, there are a number of companies who have chosen to license our technology in order to build their own LED fixtures, just as we license some technology from others for our products. We welcome more manufacturers to license and implement our technology to ensure its widest possible acceptance throughout the market. We do not expect the results of these intellectual property conflicts to dramatically affect the prices of LED fixtures in the future.

There are also companies in the industry who have taken it upon themselves to establish their own research and development initiatives to create new kinds of LED fixtures and other innovative forms of lighting. They are not infringing on our patents and continue to bring welcomed innovation and healthy competition to the market.

For all your video production needs in Scotland, get in touch with Small Video Productions

Sony’s Digital Archive guaranteed for 50 years €5,000

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I first saw this mentioned on the Look round IBC with Phil Myres, this is a far more comprehensive look thanks to Rick Young of Movie Machine. A good idea but priced at €5,000 will not be an all time best seller for Sony.

For all your video production needs in Scotland, get in touch with Small Video Productions

Filming the Gekko Lite Review

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Started the filming this afternoon of my Gekko Lite review, the Kelvin TILE on my left and the Karess Lite on my right.

I am also filming a patient on Friday evening for my type one video and will use the two Gekko lights, the patient is a good friend so he won’t be bothered if I use some of his footage in my review.

I did the comparison tonight between the Gekko lights and the Chinese lights using a light meter and you will have to wait for the review before I tell you the results.

For all your video production needs in Scotland, get in touch with Small Video Productions

X Effects from Idustrial Revolution for FCPX $49

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XEffects 3D Transitions are 24 effects for Final Cut Pro X all built in 3D space with camera moves, variable focal lengths, shallow depth of field, lighting and reflections.

Gorgeous glossy transitions all animating with 3D depth that make other effects look rather flat. We say 24 effects, but if we broke the presets down individually, there would be over 100 different different transitions in the pack!

By harnessing the power of Motion, we have been able to construct all the effects in a 3D environment and thus bring the camera controls and more to the editor. A page turn now looks like a realistic page turn.

Variable focal length allows the control of the 3D depth of the effect. Adjustable depth of field gives the user a choice of defocusing near and far edges or keeping everything pin sharp.

Directional lighting adds to the photo realism of the transitions as do fully adjustable reflections. $49 buys you the 24 effects in the pack or you can test out the transitions on your projects by downloading the watermarked trial for free.

For all your video production needs in Scotland, get in touch with Small Video Productions

Finally taken the decision to work with Premiere Pro CS6 and FCPX

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After using FCPX for a month I took time out to film a DVD for the Scottish Government about Type One Diabetes. I have a month before the big edit so I have been re-assesing my editing choices…FCPX v Premiere Pro CS6.

FCPX is more of a fix-it for me, adding various filters like “Callouts” and Green screen work. Green Screen is exceptional on FCPX and will be my 1st choice from now on. I don’t yet care for the “events” or bins I prefer a clean canvas to work with which is where Premiere Pro comes in.

Premiere Pro CS6 is very like my much loved FCP-7, you start with a clean canvas and add footage as you go along, having a Cuda enabled Mac makes Premiere very responsive and better still Adobe have given editors like me a head start with FCP keyboard shortcuts so I don’t have to waist time re-leaning Premieres shortcuts.

So armed with two editing systems I am now logging about 6 hours of footage on a 3TB hard drive naming my interviews and various clips ready for the big edit next month. I will edit mainly on Premiere then produce graphics on FCPX and Motion 5.

I still can’t get smooth motion via HDMI out of my Black Magic Intensity Pro card or my Matrox MX02 Max from FCPX running 720 50p yet the same footage plays just fine using Premiere so my conclusion is that FCPX is the culprit which is another reason not to use FCPX for a long hall edit.

Both platforms have their strengths so it makes sense to expand my workflow to incorporate both and why not, I will let you know how I get on next month. The Gekko video review will be edited on Premiere at the end of this week.

Matt Davis…”It has to be said… if you need to knock out a 2-7 minute video for the web from ‘over-shot’ rushes that are from, shall we say… dull subjects, FCPX is still the Absolutely Fabulous choice.

Trouble is, when you need Timecode (especially Time of Day), when you need to combine a LOT of rushes, when you need to deal with a LOT of versions, and when you need to manage archiving and backups of a Big Hairy Audacious Project, FCPX is just a complete and utter Jessie. Not in a cute ‘oopsie’ sense, but in a huge ‘disaster approaches’ sense.

There will be many of us who hate to love FCPX, and love to hate it too. Trouble is, it’s like Uncle Henry – who thinks he’s a chicken – we’d take him to the doctor but we need the eggs. FCPX is simply a brilliant short form editor. If you have piles of rushes for a 4 minute edit, Premiere will drown in its own lubrication. FCPX gets it done.

Don’t get me wrong – I hate it. I resent it. Every time I do a project that will involve short form and loads of rushes, it’s like hiring a really nasty, slick Mercenary: ‘Sure, I’ll solve your problems’ (I am going to spend ages cleaning up the mess) – ‘I don’t need management’ (I am going to manage the arse out of this job) ‘and you will have no stress’ (no, I won’t stress over the glitz, but you bet I’m gonna stress over archiving, version control and all the other professional shit you think you’re too cool to deal with – you get paid, I earn it.)”

Yes, sorry, editors do anthropomorphise their software now and again. It’s cheaper than therapy.

For all your video production needs in Scotland, get in touch with Small Video Productions

Premiere Pro CS6 “Media Pending”

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If you are editing in Premiere Pro CS6 and get a “Media Pending” after importing a file, look at the file structure to see if there is more than one MXF file in the folder. I waited over 10 minutes for the “pending” to disappear on a file that was less than 60s long.

If this is the case you will need to drag and drop the second file onto your desktop or a new folder in order for it to work properly in Premiere Pro. I don’t yet know if it’s a fault with the C300 or a bug in Premiere Pro.

For all your video production needs in Scotland, get in touch with Small Video Productions

Kelvin TILE User Review and Karess lite 6006 Review next week

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For all the times I have spent at IBC and BVE one LED manufacturer stood out from the crowd…GEKKO. Last week I proudly bought a Kelvin TILE from a great promotion CVP were running, I finally owned a UK manufactured LED Bi-coloured light for £480 with “V” lock or £420 without “V” lock.

I am a big fan of cable free lighting so the “V” lock version was a no brainor for me.

The Kelvin TILE is not only a video light that ranges from 2200K to 6500K but you also have a film preset as well. With DMX control the Kelvin TILE also gives you the unique ability to turn your Bi-colour LED light into a light of many colours.

Using a “Gekko Paintbox” it’s easy to dial in any colour you fancy but if the best part of £500 does not sway you to part with your cash you can also use a laptop or in my case a MacBook Air with a £130 Enttec USB PRO DMX box and download a free DMX control app from the Apple APP store and control the Kelvin TILE for £130 plus a 2m 5pin XLR DMX cable for about £25.

The Karess lite 6006 is a very powerful 5600K LED light that out performs all but none of my cheaper Chinese LED lights for sheer light output alone and makes a great bounce light for my Canon C300.

Both the Karess and Kelvin lights are built to last with heat sink frames that are admittedly a lot heavier than the cheaper LED lights but it also has an air of quality not a word you can pin onto the plasticky LED lights from China.

Gekko are built in the UK and I look forward to showing off the best of British in my User Review Video next week.

For all your video production needs in Scotland, get in touch with Small Video Productions

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