Charts From DSCLabs keep me focused.

I posted another article on ProVideo this week, this time it was on my use of #DSCLabs charts for everything from checking focus and maintaining color accuracy to assisting Stereo image alignment or determining tonal ranges needed for our HDR future.

They are a mainstay in my kit, and I would not know what to do without them. Via @ProVideo

DSC Charts keep my tests accurate and repeatable

#filmmaker #tests #indie #cinematography #cinema #television #film

I am the guest on the ProVideo Coalition Podcast this week!

I am this weeks guest on the Podcast, where Scott Simmons and I discuss Cinegear Atlanta, MacOS Catalina, FCPX updates, Deluxe’s financial woes and other things.

ProVideo Coalition Podcast Eps 2: CineGear ATL, Deluxe Bankruptcy, Catalina Update & More



#podcast #cinegear #Atlanta #FinalCutPro #Deluxe #MacOS #Catalina #filmmaking #Cinema

The UltraStudio 4K Mini Review on PVC Made me Rethink my Thunderbolt 3 Cable issues.

Corning TB3 Cable

Corning Optical TB3 cables have saved me more than once since I started using them


I have not been posting as much as I should for the last few months, so I thought I would start engaging more often on the secondary aspects of social media.

I spent some time recently with BlackMagicDesign’s UltraStudio 4K Mini, and wrote about it for people to know.

Blackmagic Design’s UltraStudio 4K Mini I/O is Built for the Demands of Production and Post

What I did not add in the article on PVC was how much I was frustrated with the cable issue. If it had not been for the Corning Optical Thunderbolt 3 Cables I had in house, I would have been tearing my hair out with multiple issues. I keep a box of new Thunderbolt cables in my office, I buy them by the dozens, nearly a gross of them (144 cables) in the last 3 years of testing Thunderbolt 3 devices.  My BMD test issues made me go back and physically check all my cables.

Of the 20 cables I tested, 10 of them showed some type of error. 5 of them were incorrectly labeled on the packaging as 40Gbps active TB3 cables when the code on the cables indicated were actually 20Gbps passive cables. 4 more showed issues with the fragile electrical wires that are the main point of failure in my experience.   I am still seeking answers on why the Windows systems did not flag the errors my MacBook Pro did. It could be one of a number of things, none of which I have confirmed as I write this.

More to come.




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+

A Bit of Fun with Truffles

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.