Plot Device from Red Giant TV

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A young filmmaker obtains a mysterious device that unleashes the full force of cinema on his front lawn.

Created using Magic Bullet Suite 11. Learn more at

Watch the “Behind the Scenes” documentary at:

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New Vari ND filter from Japan…unconfirmed price 77mm €500 (Euros)

Categories: Miscellaneous 4 Comments


Kenko-Tokina has announced a variable neutral density (ND) filter that can be adjusted fro ND2.5 to ND1000. The Kenko NDX filter can darken the scene by anywhere from 1.3 to 10 EV. The filter allows the use of wide apertures while keeping the correct exposure within the shutter speed range of your camera, or of very long shutter times to emphasise motion. The company suggests its use for shooting video with shallow depth-of-field, for instance. Its variable nature allows the amount of filtration to be reduced for focusing, then increased to the desired amount, without having to remove the filter. The filters can vignette when used with lenses wider than 28mm equivalent and are available in 77mm and 82mm filter thread sizes.

One other important bit of information is the fact that the NDX filter does not change colour when you dial in the ND this will make this ND filter a very useful tool in your DSLR/large sensor video camera kit.

One of my contributors has told me that we are looking at €500 Euros for the 77mm version which works out at around £435, I really find it so insulting that manufacturers of filters charge the same price as a Nikon 70-200 VR lens, in my opinion they are cashing in on the DSLR craze, they will also find a reluctance of retail outlets willing to stock what is effectively two bits of polarised glass stuck together. In photographic terms we have had polarised filters for years and the technology is not a million miles away…SO WHY THE PRICE HIKE !

Not to worry Tiffen are also bringing out a variable ND filter at the more reasonable price of £199, and Tiffen have a far better reputation in the movie industry for their excellent glass.

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

Final Cut Pro 10 “Worse than I first feared”

Categories: Miscellaneous 8 Comments


Final Cut Pro 10 is a disgrace to editing in fact it’s now positively dangerous, I decided after leaving it for a week or so to watch some more of my Ripple Training video and have a positive look at FCP-10.

It did not take long to shake me to the core, this software is a joke, I have used non linear edit suites for about 15 years starting with an Apple Turbo Cube, Digisuite with Speed Razor then Premiere 6.5 onto Premiere Pro. I joined FCP at version 5 and still use version 7.03.

The first major flaw is this mini cine reel, I accidentally clicked on it and it brought up a new project, wiping away my 2 hours of editing I had been working on…this is unreal I searched for an hour to retrieve my edit to no avail…to all intent purposes it was gone, then came the second more serious part of this joke software.

The second clanger came when I was playing about with a duff take and I erased it from the timeline to discover that you also erase it from the bin as well…this defeats the concept of non destructive editing.

Now I know this software is not FCP-7 with bells added but my experiment proved one thing that Apple have lost the plot when it comes to non destructive editing.

I decided to use this software as I would FCP7 or Premiere Pro 5.5 and it not only failed badly but is NOT FIT FOR PURPOSE and is POSITIVELY DANGEROUS in its present state. I also had to buy a program called CLIP WRAP which is excellent I may add in order to get my 1080 50p NX70 footage into FCP-10 (PS. It also gets the 1080 50p footage into Final Cut Express).

It’s a shame that Apple have got this so wrong in fact what we now have is a direct response to the DSLR mass marketplace, solid state editing at the cost of professionalism. (PS. This is not a cheap knock at the DSLR rather Apple trying to worm their way into an ever-increasing marketplace).

I do realise that I have “NOT” understood the concept of this software and it works lightyears away from what I have been used to but even after reading your comments I do feel Apple have re-invented the wheel for the sake of it and added a lot of unnecessary confusion and bad feeling that could so easily have been avoided.

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

Zacuto update the EVF firmware to 1.01.00.

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The new firmware has been posted by Zacuto to update their EVFs and we now have metering…fantastic !  Using it with the Sony FS100 now gives you -24dB, -12dB and 0dB, something badly missing from the Sony LCD.

Sadly you still can’t monitor 1080 50p but I am sure this will come in a further update.

Firmware 1.01.00 includes the following updates:

-Audio meters enabled that are able to be positioned in any of the four corners.
-Battery meter can now be positioned in any of the four corners
-Audio loop through enabled
-Underscan now implemented
-Can now save and recall Chroma, Contrast and brightness settings as presets.
-Changes to color, brightness and contrast are now saved on power down and return on power up.
-Red One, Sony FS100 scaling presets added
-Various glitch and bug fixes


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

Motion 5 Revisited…”Bad News”

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While editing an update for one of my major clients I have discovered that Motion 5 is at present useless. I started to notice the program becoming sluggish and the beach ball of death coming on with the simplest of tasks, then it happened I was converting a PDF file into a JPEG and using the 3D mode to track the words on the page Motion 5 quit, I tried it twice more then gave up.

I am now back with Motion 4 and it works flawlessly…how can Apple bring out a new version of a program and get it so wrong ? I use Motion all the time and was getting the hang of 5 but this serious bug has taken the wind out of my sails. FCPX and Motion 5 are not fit for purpose, Apple should be ashamed of themselves bringing out such buggy unfinished software.

Both Adobe and Avid are hunting out disgruntled FCP users by giving us up to 50% off their software, Adobe Premiere Pro CS5.5 is got to be worth thinking about, I used Premiere Pro back in its infancy versions 1 and 1.5 and I loved it, Encore is a great solution for authoring DVDs and sending the DVD screen straight to Photoshop.

Avid is not my cup of tea, its been too pricy for to long, has problems with simple codecs like Sony’s SxSªand has had a succession of editors jumping from Avid to FCP 7 over the last two years so all in all I think Avid have missed the boat.

SxSª : This is based on a friend who shoots onto a Nanoflash and gives an Avid editor SxS, MP4 file and the computer does not recognise MP4, I do appreciate this is probably an earlier version of the software or the drivers are not up to date.

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

Rangers Ally McCoist fall’s out over BBC edit !

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I only came in on this at 2am this morning so forgive me if my spelling is a bit out of sync. Mr Ally McCoist has jumped in with two feet over a BBC Scotland report last Friday.

Anyone who edits like myself would appreciate the problem the BBC editor had with this press conference at Ibrox, Ally McCoist who has spent more than enough time on television does not seem to appreciate the problems with “JUMP CUTS”. In my opinion the editor simply saw the closer cutaway shot as a good match as his mouth position was very similar coming out of the shot. The editor was unaware of the slight smirk on McCoists face pertaining to the question being asked.

Only last year I was in that same press room filming and editing Rangers v Manchester United and the pressure you are under is enormous, you are asked to film all the questions so its very difficult to get cutaways for the editor unless you are me, filming and editing makes my job a whole lot easier.

I am no fan of the BBC but for once I can see a genuine edit to save a jump cut (two similar shots) that has been taken out of context. I really think Mr McCoist should have asked one of his media friends about this before attacking the BBC and a simple explanation would have averted him looking a tad stupid.

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

Video shows worth noting…

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It’s almost that time of year again when I pack my bags and drive down to Newcastle and jump on a DFDS ferry to attend IBC 2011 in Amsterdam (9th September 2011), if Sony, Panasonic or JVC have any new toys up their sleeves this is the show to be at. This time I hope to report on various manufacturers selling all the accessories like the new Gemini 4:4:4, I will also be filming with the FS100 and one of my NX70s.

I hope to get a hands on preview of the new Panasonic camcorders the AG-AC160 AVCAM and the AG-HPX250 P2 both hand held.

I will certainly produce a video review of the 160 and the 250 when I get my hands on them, the AG-HPX250 is aimed at the Canon XF305 market place it will be down to noise and low light capabilities wether it kicks the Canon off it’s perch.

The next show I will be attending will be Coventry for Pro Video 2011 the main two day show produced by the IOV, 19-20th October 2011. We hope to not only see the 3 new camcorders from Panasonic at this show but hopeful be selling them as well via H Preston Media.

The last and newest show of 2011 will be BVE North, this will be held in Manchester and is a brave move by BVE to hold a second video show 2 months before their biggie held in London, February 2012. I am not sure if I am attending this show yet but I will keep you informed nearer the time.


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

Apples OSX-Lion is let loose

Categories: Miscellaneous 3 Comments

Ok so I was slack today and did not look out for Lion as I have done for the last week but as they say a watched kettle never boils.

 As you can see I am downloading this onto my iMac as I type so I can give you the low  down tomorrow evening.

I am not prepared or stupid enough to install this beast onto my MacPro as I have a  working FCP-7.0.3 and do not under any circumstances want to break it.

That is my main tip even if you are running FCP-10 do not download Lion as there has  never been an operating system to date that has not broken FCP in the past with various  bugs.

It seems to take an age to download the screen capture you see here was started at 8pm  this evening and it’s now 11.30pm !

Not sure how it will effect FC Express but thats a gamble I am willing to take if all else fails I still have the option to download FCP-10 onto the iMac but that would be a pig not to mention the £200.

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

Chasing Legends

Categories: Miscellaneous 1 Comment

Sunday being a slack day saw me watching the 2011 Tour de France stage 15 which finished at Montpellier, France. I was able to keep abreast of the race on my iPad.

Todays Tour de France is full of technology keeping arm chair fans like myself updated at every turn of the 194Km. During the race I noticed one of the commentators mention Chasing Legends a fantastic DVD directed by Jason Berry.

Photo © Joe Foley

Jason “There is no greater sporting event in all of cycling than the Tour de France. Chasing Legends touches on the rich history, passion and true grit of The Tour as seen through the eyes of Team HTC Columbia along with commentary from Phil Liggett, Paul Sherwen, Eddy Merckx, Lance Armstrong and some of the sports most prolific heros. With a stunning array of HD cameras, poignant and touching interviews, “Chasing Legends” will take viewers deeper into the pro peloton than ever on a roller coaster ride of action, story and emotion.”

Photo © Joe Foley

This is Jason using his Sony EX-1, just one of the cameras used in the making of this legendary documentary about the heros of cycling.

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

Shocking NEWS…Apple increase their floundering FCPX by £20

Categories: Miscellaneous 10 Comments



Shocking NEWS from the Final Cut community is Apples underhand price hike from £179 to £199 in the space of two weeks ! Not only has this Janet and John editing system been reviled by professional editors around the planet, but the first time in Apples history that they have had such negative press around one product.

I am speechless as to Apples marketing ploy on this one when Adobe are now offering a massive 50% discount on their excellent 5.5 Production suite. You have no option but to buy Premiere if you want to produce Blu-ray DVDs as Encore to my knowledge is the only Mac platform DVD authoring software available today.

FCPX should be 50% less in my opinion as it has left out at least 50% of it’s previous incarnation including the ability to produce multi-cam editing. Some twat is dicking around with Apple and it’s reputation, I only hope Steve Jobb’s gets out his sick bed and kicks someones ass…sooner rather than later.


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

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