A Bit of Fun with Truffles

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Every now and then I get to really have fun on a shoot.

Take a look at the finished video on Vimeo

Take a look at the finished video on Vimeo

In late March, with NAB looming and the James Beard Awards coming to Chicago for the first time, my crew and I descended into a cramped warehouse space on the near north side that is home to  Rodrick Markus‘ bastion of unquestionably rare and yet edible ingredients known as RareTeaCellar.

Sourcing those teas, herbs and exotic ingredients from around the world RareTeaCellar has become the go to source for Chef’s in the midwest and around the world when looking for exotic items to go on their plates.

Tough work, but someone has to set up the shot and that requires every truffle be inspected prior to going on set.

Tough work, but someone has to set up the shot and that requires every truffle be inspected prior to going on set       Photo: Adam Seger

Yet Rodrick does not stop there, he regularly collaborates with Chef’s and Mixologists and for our shoot, we would working with Adam Seger to capture some of the essence of their  Truffe Amere, the worlds first botanical truffle bitters.  We went to work, first selecting the best looking of the fungi, picking through a couple of kilo’s of Black Winter Perigord Truffles just to find the 800-900 grams of truffles (about a pound) we used for the for pouring down a luge into the waiting lens of a Phantom Flex4K so we could capture the truffles in slo-motion at the highest resolution possible.

Paul DeMarte and I discussing how our test looks onscreen

Paul DeMarte and I discussing how our test looks onscreen  Photo: Adam Seger.

An Intel camera crew captured the behind the scenes action that day then interviewed me after the shoot on how my use of Intel’s Thunderbolt technology defines my process and my workflow.

My thanks for the support on this project go out to
Bob Monaghan at GlueTools, Toni Lucatorto at Vision Research, Rob Vose at Zacuto, Paul DeMarte on Camera and Thomas and Joshua from Intel for their assistance and support.

Yet I am left wondering when the next time I will be able to muster up craft service that was comprised of hand sliced Iberico “pata negra”  ham and truffled wonton soup to feed my crew on a shoot.

IBC Day one 

BlackmagicDesign acquires Ultimatte and Fairlight and annouces a new series of Teranex AV  products. 

And lots of glass, Leica released M series lenses with .8 gear pitch for ease of use with follow focus systems found in cinema. 

Close ups on Sigma and Zeiss lenses later. 

Lenses Cameras and More from IBC 

So the show has not started yet and Canon has released 2 new cameras, Pansonic annouces new Varicam Package with Codex for raw -only recording module and some new “old ” style lenses announced by Cooke, with more mounts available, while  Angenieux announces a new series of ultra- lightweight zooms. 

IBC is going to be rocking this year. I wounded what will be next? 

A look at Promise’s R2+

Adding the R2+ (plus) model to their Thunderbolt2 toolset, Promise Technologies offers users an effective hardware solution to consolidate media offloading activities from a variety of camera sources, optimizing ingest from multiple types of camera media when paired with software tools like Imagine Product’s ShotPutPro or Pomfort’s Silverstack for a seamless offloading and backup experience.

Both the Reader Pods and the hard disk drives are interchangeable.

Both the Reader Pods and the hard disk drives are interchangeable.

Most people think of Promise as the first High-speed Thunderbolt Storage company, their 2nd Generation Pegasus R2 models are able to utilize the full 20Gb/s of bandwidth using Intel’sThunderbolt2 architecture across a wide range of storage devices and tools for fibre and 10gE connectivity.  The addition of the Pegasus R2+, with a MSRP under $800.00, offers users a studio quality media handling and archiving tool utilizes both Thunderbolt2 and USB3 for connectivity, yet is durable enough for location use without breaking your bank.

Each R2+ unit ships with 2 spinning discs and a removable CF/ SD Card Reader Pod for media ingest. Other options currently include Reader Pod modules for 2.5” SSD’s or Spinning disks and an additional 1TB Hard drive. Promise wisely has included both a 6Gb/s Sata interface and a Micro USB3 connector on each Reader Pod, allowing the inexpensive but well built Readers to be used in conjunction with or independently from your R2+ unit. The company is looking into creating additional versions of the Reader Pods for other types of media sources such as C-Fast, RED’s Mini Mag’s or the widely used Sony SxS Card Media.

Sustained read write in excess of 350MB/s guarantees performance in both RAID1 and RAID0.

Sustained read write in excess of 350MB/s guarantees performance in both RAID1 and RAID0

At 6” x 7” x 10” and weighing in at a hefty 13.4 lb (6.1kg), the R2+ units have a relatively small form factor but have been designed to handle the long, rugged days most of us work onset. Keeping the number of individual drives down in the unit has  allowed Promise to solidify the backplane support internally, making a for more reliable device for location and field use.

My demo unit was equipped with 2- 3TB Toshiba 7200RPM drives for 6TB of usable disk space in Raid0. The Promise Raid Utility allows the 2-drive array to be configured as RAID1 for redundancy or in RAID0 to allow for speedier transfers.
With average transfer speeds in excess of 350MB/s,  the R2+ handled SD & CF card media without effort. During my testing I found the Raid0 and Raid1 configurations to maintain fairly equivalent data transfer speeds in each config, but was unable to configure the unit as JBOD, something that I will assume should be easily achieved via a software update.

The Promise R2+ is a welcome addition to the Pegasus line, built with a production style sensibility, at a price point affordable to a wide range of users on both the Mac and Windows platforms.

Promise Technologies R2+

Link

NAB 2015 first look.

So we are about 4 weeks out from NAB 2014 and already the web is buzzing about new products that have surfaced prior to the big show. Once again CES has set the bar pretty high, I expect to see even more 4K | QHD content as the creators are finally starting to catch up to the hype from the Consumer TV groups.

Arri's Alexa Mini

Arri’s Alexa Mini

Arri announces the Alexa Mini, at BVE, this is a smaller, light weight (at 5lb) fully capable camera to fill in those Steadicam, Drone, and other times when a smaller lighter camera is necessary. Acquisition specs match those of the current Alexa models.  0.75-120fps ProRes2k, up to 30p in 2160, Arri Raw, DnxHD, with both 16×9 and 4×3 rasters available on the Alev4 Sensor

BlackMagicDesign Released the latest Intensity Pro4K, a PCIe based capture and playback card geared at emerging filmmakers and prosumers  that includes not only 1080 60p functionality but also has the ability to handle 2160px QHD at up to 30p for just $199.00 USD.

Add to that the latest update to BMD’s big dog, DaVinci Resolve 11,  and recent release of a Free version of professional compositor FUSION (a Windows only release).  I am waiting to see what the team at BlackMagicDesign has in store for us on the Show Floor once the doors open on Monday.

FCPX

FCPX was used as the main NLE for the Feature Film “Focus”

 

Apple has been touting FCPX with the release of “Focus” with Will Smith and Margot Robbie. Back to showing that their software is fully capable of being able to handle the needs of feature production, I look to see some things happening in the background at NAB to talk more about this.

Other companies are also showing some of their newest NAB2015 gear and software already.

Rampantdesigntools.com and their newly released 4K Effects and 5K Lighting Effects that allow users drag and drop simplicity for use within your productions.

The newest JVC 4K camera supports MFT lenses and is under $4,000 USD

The newest JVC 4K camera supports MFT lenses

JVC is already shipping their sub $4000.00  GYLS300U camera with full 4K recording utilizing a Micro 4/3 mount.

 

I will also state that there will be way too many “cloud” discussions and even more companies trying to push their hyper- specific version of the sharing platform on us.  Only a couple of the really big players understand the cloud and how it needs to be handled when working with really big data.

 

More to come. The announcements are only now starting to roll in.