Finally we get to the truth about commissioning in Scotland.

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BBC-front copy

Director General Lord Hall of Birkenhead is due to appear at the Scottish Parliament later this month as part of the inquiry into BBC Charter Renewal.

With the SNP and its allies calling for BBC Scotland to be replaced with an independent broadcaster, Lord Hall will be braced for a hostile reception.

However, the most serious claims he must answer relate to a deliberate attempt to “subvert” the BBC’s Home Nations funding quota.

For the past seven years, the Corporation has voluntarily agreed to commission 17 per cent of its network programmes from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

However, according to Glasgow-based production company Matchlight, BBC bosses have devised a way to get around their own rules – at a cost of up to £50million a year to the Scottish economy.

In an explosive statement to the inquiry, Managing Director David Smith says: “Since 2008 the BBC has deliberately worked with non-Scottish production companies… to undermine and frustrate the purposes of the Scottish quota on an industrial scale.”

He said the practice is known as ‘Lift and Shift’, where London-based companies set up tiny branch offices north of the Border in order to qualify for the Scottish quota.

Since the quota was introduced, TV producers such as 12 Yard, Shed, Lion TV, Mentorn, Victory, IMG and ITV Studios have all opened or expanded Scottish offices.

According to Ofcom, more than 60 per cent of programme hours classed as Scottish by the BBC were made by production companies headquartered outside Scotland.

Mr Smith said: “Without adding 1p to the BBC’s network content budgets the Corporation could add between £30million and £50million to Scotland’s creative economy simply by moving away from Lift and Shift.”

Stewart Maxwell MSP, the SNP convener of the Education and Culture committee, has now written to Lord Hall to ask him to explain the damning allegations when he comes to Edinburgh on January 12.

He writes: “Please respond to points made in a written submission to the Committee from Matchlight regarding how the BBC’s commissioning practice has operated to subvert the spirit of the current Nations quota.

“Specifically, is it appropriate to set 100 per cent of a project’s budget against the Scottish/Nations quota when a lesser share of the overall budget is actually spent in Scotland on that production?”

The inquiry papers also reveal an extraordinary range of demands, warnings and predictions about the future of television north of the Border.

John Archer, chairman of Independent Producers Scotland and a producer with Glasgow’s Hopscotch Films, said: “Up until the mid 1990s the budget for network drama made from Scotland was in Scotland.

“Head of Drama Scotland proposed how it was spent, and commissioning was a discussion. There were many network dramas made in Scotland, telling Scottish stories in Scottish voices. But then the money was centralised (ie went to London). TV drama from Scotland has been in decline ever since.”

Dramas produced by BBC Scotland before the mid 1990s include Tutti Frutti, which launched the careers of Robbie Coltrane and Emma Thompson; The Crow Road, with Joseph McFadden, Peter Capaldi and Dougray Scott; the award-winning Just Another Saturday, with Jon Morrison and Billy Connolly; Takin’ Over The Asylum, which introduced viewers to a young David Tennant; and Hamish McBeth, with Robert Carlyle.

Mr Archer is one of several senior figures backing the SNP’s demand for an independent Scottish BBC, although he admits that viewers would “probably have to switch to BBC England to watch Eastenders”.

He also predicts that the relative success of Outlander, which has been popular in the USA, could lead to a golden age of historical adventures set and made in Scotland.

He writes: “Alongside the contemporary stories, the new genre of Scottish historical ‘westerns’ with Tartan, claymore, dirk and pistol has come of age.”

The inquiry, which will open at Holyrood on Tuesday, will even hear calls for BBC Scotland to cancel its River City soap opera.

The Scottish Media and Communication Association said: “Some [members] thought that BBC drama production is poor, because River City takes up most of the drama budget, yet it is only shown in Scotland.

“With the same resources original plays could have been commissioned and some believe that the decision to invest all drama resources in River City was wrong.”

The BBC submission highlights popular and award-winning Scottish programmes such as Katie Morag, Shetland and Stonemouth, but acknowledges that more can be done.

It states: “However, popular as such programmes may be, the BBC knows there is a growing need to see the full diversity of the UK’s cultures and communities better reflected on screen and on air.”

Taken from http://www.tvlicenceresistance.info/forum/index.php/topic,12408.new.html

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

Happy New Year to all my readers…Have a great 2016

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Happy NY

As I type Adelaide in Australia has already had their New Year, so a great New Year to all my Australian readers and have a xxxx on me.

I will have a look back on 2015 over the weekend and two new user reviews…First a review of the Super Softie from Rycote and secondly a user review of the DJI Osmo with its new updated firmware installed.

Have a great night and a successful 2016 from all at HD Warrior.

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

JVC GY LS-300 Review with FW v2 and Sigma 18-35mm f1.8 ART lens

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JVC FW2 title

The Scottish weather has been truly shocking, a review that should have been done and dusted in two weeks is now in its fifth week, my thanks to JVC for extending the LS300’s stay.

300 from top_HDR v2

The new firmware v2 is a spectacular update for this camera bringing J-LOG and a 2.3x digital zoom function for prime lenses.

I also finally got my Sigma 18-35mm f1.8 ART lens with Canon mount which worked a dream with the supplied Metabones Speedboster. I had to set the VSM to m4/3 to avoid vignetting.

Me and 300

So here is my 15m video review for you all to enjoy…a great 2016 when it comes to all my readers.

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

DJI Release new updated firmware on Christmas day v1.4.1.80

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Osmo-WS-clyde-UD FW

I didn’t have my computer on during Christmas so it came as a very pleasant surprise to learn DJI had posted a cracking Christmas present for all OSMO owners.

Here is the Major firmware additions…

  1. Fixed the issue of the camera restarting unexpectedly when recording in 4096 x 2160.
  2. Improved horizon level accuracy for the roll axis.
  3. Reduced gimbal drifting in timelapse mode, improving stabilized image capture.
  4. Optimized handle movement control.
  5. Optimized control for Selfie Mode.
  6. Fixed a display issue when attempting to connect multiple mobile devices to the Osmo at the same time.
  7. In panorama modes, the gimbal automatically adjusts the roll axis to the horizon level.
  8. Optimized 4K video playback performance.
  9. Added support for firmware updates through the DJI GO app.
  10. Added audible prompts for the firmware update process. The Osmo will sound “D—DD……” when the update is

    complete and sound “D-D-D-D……” if the update has failed.

Osmo plus screen

We were using the Osmo this morning and that firmware would have been useful but hey ho at least they have addressed most of the major issues.

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

JVC GY LS-300 FW v2 plus the new Sigma 18-35mm f1.8 ART lens coming Christmas week

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LS300 with Sigma

Shocking weather up in Glasgow these past weeks, hampering my JVC GY LS-300 FW update review but its not all doom and gloom, while waiting for the weather to get better I bought the Sigma ART 18-35mm f1.8 Canon fit lens.

SIGMA lens on 300

I already own the 60mm Sigma ART prime lens and its a cracking lens…as sharp as a tack, so it was no surprise to find the new 18-35mm lens just as sharp.

The Sigma 18-35mm f1.8 is the first lens you should buy for the JVC LS-300 as it gives you the following…

18-35mm x 1.5 crop = 27-52mm (35mm) plus the 2.3x digital zoom = 62-120 at f1.8

With one lens you can have a 35mm equivalent crop factor of 27mm up to 120mm at f1.8

Please remember you will need a Canon to m4/3 adapter like the Metabones speed booster to use the Sigma lens. The Speed Booster will reduce the crop factor to 0.7 plus gain one stop of light.

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

Sony FS5 Firmware Update v1.1 now with external 4K output via the HDMI socket.

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Me-Sony-FS7-FW11title

Sony has announced the new firmware v1.1 to fix the inability of the camera to record 4K internally at the same time as outputting an image to externally via the HDMI port.

Got to put my hand up and say I have never tested this out on my FS5 but for those using 4K 25p 8bit I suspect its been a frustrating time.

Sonys download site tells us the following…

1.) External output and face detection support when recording in XAVC QFHD (4K mode)

You can get the download here : http://www.sony.co.uk/pro/support/software/SW_122115_PSG/1

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

Audio Denoise from Crumple Pop $49 for a week… then $99

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Crumple

This demonstration was performed inside FCPX and just before you jump on my back I payed full wack…$49. This is an independent test and I think this new plugin performed admirably against the built in denoiser which in my opinion becomes robotic and false beyond 35%. Keeping to their word the Crumple Pop version keeps a close eye on voice purity…

AudioDenoise is:

• Designed specifically for *voice*. The built in FCP X “Background Noise Removal” feature will sacrifice voice quality in order to remove noise. AudioDenoise maintains the quality of voice. We did this because we believe that video people are mostly interested in denoising vocal tracks (interviews, dialogue, podcasts, voiceover).

• Allows you to select a specific noise region for better results (by placing the playhead on a noise region before you drag on the plugin).

• Allows you to perform multiple passes by dropping on multiple instances of the plugin. This will yield better results in instances of heavy noise.

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

Winter Clearance at Production Gear

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Secret Santa

Check out our massive end of year winter clearance sale – be quick and grab yourself a bargain.  We’ll be adding stock on a daily basis so make sure you check back often.

Inspire

We’re updating our showroom stock and have one, non-activated, as new DJI Inspire with warranty – click now for price!

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

18 Cameras in one year… Part 2

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P2 v3

MAY 2015…

LS300-title-MAY

I am also focusing on my video reviews of this year starting with the JVC GY-LS300.

June 2015…

NX100-June 2015

During June Sony brought out a further camcorder the HXR-NX100, I have often wondered what dictates the first 3 letters on a Sony camcorder but I am told by Mr Z Test its the codec.

SV-eshot-June1st15

During June we also ran this advert for ourselves and a week later got a phone call from Rory a director who had been let down by a DoP and asked me if I could film a small feature in Pitlochry for a week.

July 2015…

ME20-July

This was quoted as “seeing in the dark” once again at a price…$20,000

  • Ultra low-light performance at ISO 4 million.
  • High quality Full HD 1080p/1080i/720p output.
  • Flexible control with auto and custom settings.
  • Compatible with a wide range of EF lenses2.
  • Remote control of camera settings and built-in ND and IR cut filters possible.
  • Small and lightweight for ease of integration.

Hero4Session July

GoPro go for a new compact look but this departure also means new batteries and accessories, not worth the switch in my opinion.

September 2015…

FS5-main-title-IBC Sept

The big news came at IBC 2015 with Sony announcing the PXW-FS5, a cut down version of the FS7 in both features and size. This was to prove a significant addition to the Sony range as most FS7 users were realising just how heavy the camera was, hand held. This wee camera certainly fits the bill for 10bit 422 HD work and UHD 25p 4K work.

8K-title2 Sept

Canon decided to let their prototype Cinema Camera out the bag with a preview of their up and coming 8K camera…price on application.

Osmo-title Oct

September was Osmo time a potentially cracking product let down by faulty firmware, so far its been a month since they discarded the November FW opting for a factory reset which for me caused more problems so I am sticking to the November FW for now. The main problem is the tendency for the camera to list to about 20 degrees off the horison. It does not happen all the time but you would seriously think DJI would be a bit more on the case. Dont get me wrong I love my Osmo but feel let down by a company who seemed to have rushed this product to market without thorough testing.

October 2015…

Review-200-title Oct

Finally we got our hands on one of the first production models of the Panasonic DVX-200, a 4K bombshell.

December 2015…

X400 Nov

Sony Broadcast update their 400 series XDCAM camcorder with the new PXW-X400 with 422 XAVC i and XAVC L.

Sept

Finally RED bring out the RAVEN a 4.5K camera priced at a competitive £8,500 if comparing it with a C300 Mk11.

So thats all the new cameras that have mainly arrived during NAB and IBC this year, I reviewed the JVC LS-300 and the Panasonic DVX-200 both exceptional for the price. Its been a great year for me personally and I hope to be back during 2016 with more video reviews.

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

18 New cameras arrive during 2015

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18 New cameras

Once again a bumper year for cameras, 18 to be exact, from shoulder mount to large sensor.

FEBRUARY 2015

Ike-HC-HD300 Feb

Ikegami brought out the HC-HD300 CMOS studio field camera, Ikegami unlike most other manufacturers tend to build for the broadcast market.

APRIL 2015

8K-title2 Sept

This was the surprise from Canon previewing an 8K Cinema Camera, price is anybodys guess.

c300mkii-April NAB

Canon showed the C300 MK11 with 4K internal recording but spoiled it with uncompetitive pricing and reducing the C300 to a ridicules price at the same time.

XC-10-April NAB

The Canon XC-10 was also announced and to be honest has not taken off partly due to the non constant aperture fixed 10x lens.

ursa-mini April NAB

Another camera to make its debut was the URSA mini, great price at £2000 but spoiled by the EVF sold separately for a further £1000 half the price of the camera itself !

Wee-cam April

Black Magic also brought out the BM Micro Cinema Camera that takes micro four third lenses, I don’t know how well this camera has sold but at £679 you can’t go wrong.

AJ-PX380-AVC-ULTRA-SHOULDER-MOUNT Aptril NAB

Another shoulder mount from Panasonic the AJ-PX380 is a top end P2HD camcorder for the broadcast market.

AG-DVX200-4-lens-April NAB

The NAB show stopper was the Panasonic AG DVX-200 with its sexy red back. At £3,358 this 4K 50p camera has set the heather alight.

Kine-1 April

I know very little about this camera only that its 6K and sell in the US for $8000.

So thats up to April 2015 and already we have 9 new cameras, I will go through the rest of the year during the week.

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

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