I attended the photoCineNews Expo back in September and quite frankly, there was so much going on, I missed out on a lot of the presentations because I was meeting folks and gathering news – so it was with great pleasure that Michael Britt sent me a copy of the PhotoCineNews EXPO Conference DVDs to review.
- Shane Hurlbut: Putting It All On The Screen: Use the 5D To Stretch Your Budget and Give Endless Possibilities To Your Vision
- Alex Buono: DSLR Cinema 101
- Liam Finn: Big Movie Little Camera – Hollywood Movie Making
- Ami Vitale: Multimedia Storytelling
- Gene Martin: HDSLR Audio in the Field
- Snehal Patel: Practical Filmmaking Mini-Bootcamp
- Panel: Everything you Wanted to Know about Lenses for HDSLR Cameras
- Frank Rohmer: Chromakey Techniques Using Final Cut Pro
- Frank Rohmer: Chromakey techniques Adobe CS5
- Gail Mooney: Self Funding an HDSLR Documentary project
- Panel: VFX for Guerilla Filmmakers
- Bui Brothers: Making Money from Viral Videos
- Roberta Munroe: The Best Short Film Workshop Ever*
- Bob Sliga: Final Cut Studio Color Correction – Apple Color Made Easy
- Jared Abrams: HDSLR ENG Production Tips and Techniques
The conference itself was incredible… but what about these DVDs?
First, a confession… I haven't yet watched every minute of these presentations so I don't have a 100% view of the materials – but I have watched snippets of all of them and plan to sit down and watch them all over the next few weeks. There's just so much great material here I wanted to get the review out so maybe you'll buy this for yourself as a Christmas gift or for someone you love.
That said, there is an amazing amount of material here! And it is widely varied. It isn't just equipment, HDSLR, and stars bragging about what they've done. The sessions do cover those things but there's also so much more. Hearing about making documentaries, how to make your videos ‘viral', ENG (electronic news gathering) shooting and more just brings much of the whole picture of the HDSLR revolution together. I know there are people around the world who couldn't attend the PhotoCineNews Expo and wanted to – well, this DVD set is just what you need!
The set isn't perfect, there are a few production issues – not all of the sessions have great audio and one or two have some unusual colors… but the content is great. It appears that the sessions that were in the main auditorium have mic'd sound while the other sessions used in room audio recording – it doesn't make this unbearable, but you should just know that issue is there. There's also one session (the Ami Vitale session) where the color of the main screen where they're showing the photos/video from the speaker is just way off. Tho, if you search the ‘net you'll find the examples online so you can see them properly.
And just so you know, the Snehal Patel: Practical Filmmaking Mini-Bootcamp session isn't complete. The session was like 1/2 day long if I recall and the entire session is not included here – just excerpts.
It is also very interesting to listen to different speakers because like art, there's no one perfect way to do things with the HDSLRs. For example, in one of the sessions, the speaker (and I'm being vague because it doesn't matter who said it) said he loves to shoot everything in the ‘faithful' picture style because it gives good depth in the blacks and every camera already has it (meaning you don't have to set custom styles) – and in another session, a different speaker says that the faithful picture style is ‘a joke – it is not a good picture style for cinema'. So there you go – complete opposite ends of the spectrum and you've got to find what works best for you.
Pros and cons
- 8 DVDs packed with close to 16 hours of HDSLR info
- Shane Hurlbut (need I say more? HA)
- Excellent sessions all the way around
- Some audio and video imperfections
- Some videos shown on screen (mainly in Shane's presentation) are blacked out due to restrictions
- Vincent Laforet's presentation isn't included
Buy this if you couldn't make it to the Expo! If you're serious about HDSLR work and are looking for technical information on HDSLRs or inspirational motivation to get out and get it done, then you need to buy and watch all of these sessions. Tho there are imperfections in the recordings, the materials are well worth the $200
Win a DVD set!
To enter into this giveaway, all you need to do is to write a short post in this thread on the planet5D forum (yes, you will have to register to enter – we are trying to expand the forums user base after all).
On December 31st, we'll randomly pick 1 entries from the thread and then we'll mail out the DVDs. Shipping may take some time if you're overseas (because we'll pick the least expensive method) but you are eligible. Only one entry per person please.
However, by posting in this thread, you'll also be entered in other planet5D contests running in the month of December!
Blogger's Disclaimer: other than we really want to see another PhotoCineNews Expo happen, we're not getting anything in return for this review – tho we do get a few clicks in the forums for giving away the DVD set.
(Photo credit: snap from the DVD cover)