Great Testimonial

We often get really nice testimonials from our clients but this one stood out to me.  This is in regards to our commercial we made for Hawaii Self Storage.  We didn’t win the Pele or Clio Awards with this one but maybe next year.


Tips on Writing a Thriller

We are working on re-writes for Othello and I came across this interesting article:


Hard Drives and LED Lights

Sometimes we get asked what hard drives and LED Lights we use.  Here they are:

The Hard Drives are re-formatted as a Mirrored RAID.  This helps with a little bit of data backup.  But limited to one drive failing in the enclosure.  We then will buy bare drives to replace in the enclosure.

The LED Lights are bi-color adjustable and dimmable.  We started experimenting with some super low budget lower powered lights list below too.

The batteries listed below are for the LED lights.  Both versions.  I also listed a charger.

Sony FS7 Review and LUT Utility

Here is a great review from The Camera Store on the new Sony FS7

You’ll need something to grade the SLOG footage and a good place to start for FCPX users could be LUT Utility by

It’s only $29 for the basic bundle.  Here is a demo and tutorial by Denver Riddle the creator of LUT Utility.

The Easy Way to Create a Render Farm with Compressor

I have tried this before on older version of compressor but it was super complicated and we only got it to work once.  I had pretty much given up on getting it set up.  But we had a bunch of renders we had to do and someone asked me about it on Sunday, so I gave it another look yesterday.  And lo and behold, the geniuses at Apple have made it super simple to set up!  Thank you, Apple!

This is a way to create a render farm or distributed processing.  Basically, Compressor will break up a video into multiple pieces and send it out to the various computers and cores to render that piece of video.  Then once it is rendered or transcoded it gathers all the pieces and reassembles it back into one video.

If you don’t feel like watching the video, just:  (But just watch the video, it’s way easier to see)

  1. Go into Compressor’s preferences and in My Computer turn on “Allow other computers to process batches on my computer.”
  2. Click on “Shared Computers” in the lower left click the plus button
  3. Do this to all the computers on your network that have Compressor installed that you want to add to the render farm.
  4. Change “Untitled” to “All” or something that you’ll recognize
  5. Click on that group and you should see all the computers that have sharing enabled.
  6. Check all the computers that you want to add to that group
  7. Then when you add a file to be transcoded, in the lower right next to the “Start Batch” button, there is a choice to “Process On.”  Click on the drop down and you should see your group.
  8. Select your group.  The click “Start Batch”
  9. Then it should distribute the processing
  10. Note:  as of FCPX 10.1.3 and Compressor 4.1 this feature is not enabled within FCPX using the Send to Compressor feature.  When I try to send from FCPX to Compressor, the group I set up is greyed out and not selectable.  Maybe I am missing something.  If so, please let me know in the Youtube comments.

It’s totally perfect yet, but it is getting there.  I am very excited about this option.  Especially since it seems like you can install Compressor on pretty much every machine you have.  I am not sure what the limit is but we have not reached it.

I truly wish the send to Compressor feature from FCPX supported this since we do most of our transcode/renders as output from FCPX.  But I will take this for now.  Thanks again, Apple!


Testing the Limits of Our Microphones

This is an insanely quick and dirty test to find the limits of our gear and compare the Rode NTG-2, VideoMic Pro on 5DM3, and the Azden SGM1-X from various distances.

Recorded on Zoom H4N or on the 5DM3 as noted.

My conclusion: get the mic as close as possible.

I’m curious to hear the Sennheiser ME 66, ME67, and Rode NTG8 in a similar test.

What is a codec and a container?


I thought this was a good explanation of video codecs and containers.  For video professionals, it is good to know the difference and when to use one or the other.

Pretty Good Basic Microphone Tutorial

Sennheiser made a pretty good series on audio for video. The video above is a good primer on the different types of microphones and their characteristics. They have a playlist of videos here:

The Hoverboard: Another Reason Movies Are Important

You may have seen coverage of the this real working prototype of an actual hoverboard.  It is pretty amazing technology.  Of course it is reminiscent of movies and television like Back to the Future II and the Jetsons.

I think this is a example of how life and art inspire each other.  I’m sure there are many stories of scientists and researchers inspired by art to create the imagined technologies in stories.  And certainly engineering and science inspire artists.

If you go to the fundraising page for the Hendo Hoverboard, their delivery date for their hoverboard is the same date that Marty McFly arrives in the future in the movie.

All of it is pretty cool.