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Transcript: Digital Production Buzz – Feb. 27, 2014

Digital Production Buzz

February 27, 2014

[Transcripts provided by Take 1 Transcription]


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Larry Jordan


Stuart Ashton, Director EMEA, Blackmagic Design

Anna Boyd-Smith, Tourism Officer, Hampshire County Council

Jim Keating, Sales Manager, Portaprompt

Bram Desmet, General Manager, Flanders Scientific

Ryan Kempley, Founder and Director, Coptercraft

William Fox, Director, Bluebox (UK distributor of Soloshot)

Julian Chiverton, Sales Director, Doughty Engineering Limited

Duncan Say, Founder, Camdec

Joe Bull, Managing Director, JoeCo Limited

Mark Chapman, Managing Director, Bristol VFX


Voiceover: This Digital Production Buzz is brought to you by Blackmagic Design, creators of the world’s highest quality solutions for the feature film, post production and television broadcast industries.

Voiceover: From Europe to Australia to across North America, Creative Planet’s Digital Production Buzz is on the road, spanning the globe, discovering the latest in production, post production and distribution. From our remote studios on the edges of civilization, Digital Production Buzz is live now.

Larry Jordan: Well, I’m not sure London qualifies as the edges of civilization, but welcome to the Digital Production Buzz, the world’s longest running podcast covering creative content producers and tech news for media production, post production, marketing and distribution around the world. My name is Larry Jordan. Our co-host, Mike Horton, has the night off, because tonight we are originating directly from the Broadcast Video 2014 trade show in London.

Larry Jordan: We have an even wider variety of guests than usual tonight, because there are a lot of very interesting companies, some of which you haven’t heard of, that we talked with at the show.

Larry Jordan: We’re going to start tonight with Stuart Ashton, the Director for Europe, the Middle East and Asia for Blackmagic Design as he takes a look at why Blackmagic is expanding into so many different product areas.

Larry Jordan: Anna Boyd-Smith, a Tourism Officer for the Hampshire County Council on picking film locations and why Hampshire County, you may ask? Well, that’s where Downton Abbey is located.

Larry Jordan: Jim Keating, the Sales Manager for Portaprompt, talks about new iPad and iPad Mini prompting systems.

Larry Jordan: Bram Desmet, the General Manager of Flanders Scientific explains how to pick the best video monitor for your project.

Larry Jordan: Ryan Kempley, the Founder and Director of Coptacraft joins us to share his thoughts on the current state of remote controlled aircraft for filming and why these really aren’t considered drones.

Larry Jordan: William Fox is the Director of Bluebox, the UK distributor for Soloshot. Soloshot is a wireless device that pans, tilts and zooms the camera as you move. Imagine how this can be useful in shooting extreme sports, when you need close-ups and there’s no-one to run the camera except you.

Larry Jordan: Julian Chiveton is the Sales Director for Doughty Engineering, which makes all kinds of rigging which is the gear that attaches lights to just about everything.

Larry Jordan: Duncan Say is the Founder of Camdec, a brand new company that’s created a better way to attach and balance cameras to tripods and shoulder mounts.

Larry Jordan: Joe Bull is the Managing Director for JoeCo, which makes multi-channel digital audio recorders, not just four or eight channels, but starting at 22 channels up to 64 channels. Imagine what you can do with these devices for reality shows, live musical events or a production with a gazillion actors.

Larry Jordan:  And Mark Chapman, the Managing Director for Bristol VFX, which manufactures portable and permanent green screen equipment and supplies. He talks to us about what we need to know about creating a green screen environment.

Larry Jordan: BVE was an amazing opportunity to discover smaller companies that don’t often make the spotlight and we have some great interviews to share with you tonight.

Larry Jordan: Just a reminder that we are continuing to offer text transcripts for each show, courtesy of Take 1 Transcription. Now you can quickly scan or print the content of each show as well as listen to it. Transcripts are located on each show page and you can learn more at and thanks, Take 1, for making these transcripts possible.

Larry Jordan: Remember to visit us on Facebook, at We’re also on Twitter, @dpbuzz, and you can subscribe to our weekly show newsletter at for all the latest news on both the show and the industry. I’ll be back with Stuart Ashton from Blackmagic Design right after this.

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Larry Jordan: Blackmagic Design is one of the sponsors of my trip here to BVE 2014 in London and I wanted to give you a chance to understand a little bit more of the strategy that Blackmagic Design is going through as they’ve expanded their product line.

Larry Jordan: I’m talking with Stuart Ashton, who is the Director for EMEA, which is Europe, Middle East and Asia, and Stuart is, well, let’s just say he knows a lot about what Blackmagic is doing. Stuart, welcome. Glad to have you with us.

Stuart Ashton: Hi, thank you for having me again.

Larry Jordan: Is there anything new at the show?

Stuart Ashton: Nothing new, but this is an opportunity for everybody who in the UK has not seen some of these products from IBC and NAB really to get that touch and feel experience, being able to get close to the products, being able to see how they work and ask all these Blackmagic guys really what these products actually do.

Larry Jordan: You have to understand that this is just about two minutes before the show closes. The booth is packed. Earlier today, there were so many people standing in the booth, we couldn’t even record the interview without being about five booths away, so to say people are getting their hands on is relative. They’re crowded around the booth, just to be able to see some of the products that are here. What has been some of the most popular stuff?

Stuart Ashton: Well, I think for us, we look at the color correction, we look at ATAM, we look at the cameras. Those are three areas that are showing a lot of interest to our customer base and for all of these users out here. The UK is a very creative space with a lot of very interesting projects going on at the moment and I think that when people are starting to look at our Ultra HD workflows, it’s really starting to capture their imagination about where 4K can fit within their day to day.

Larry Jordan: You’ve finally started shipping the cameras. The most recent is the 4K camera. Why the 4K camera? What does it do? What makes it special?

Stuart Ashton: Well, I think that the first thing with this camera is that anybody who’s experienced working with the 2½K Blackmagic cinema camera will experience these fantastic, wonderful looking images and also a camera that is so diverse but yet easily utilized with many different third parties accessories and interchangeable lenses. It really gives you the complete package.

Stuart Ashton: The 4K camera is the same form factor, it’s the same weight, but the main differences are it’s got a Super 35mm sensor, it’s also got a global shutter and it’s got 12 stops of dynamic range with six gig SDI output, so what you’re getting here for less than £2,000 or less than $3,000 is a hell of a camera with a lot of features and a great opportunity to work with all those beautiful lenses that you already own.

Larry Jordan: What codec does it use for recording?

Stuart Ashton: So you can actually record in ProRes, in a ProRes HD or a ProRes 4K, but also there’s going to be a release for a visually loss-less cinema DNG RAW as well, so anybody who wants to work in a RAW file type can actually utilize that codec as well.

Larry Jordan: I was just reflecting over the last five or ten years that Blackmagic has been around. It started with doing capture cards and then all of a sudden it seems to have exploded in a lot of different areas. What’s the strategy driving behind the products that you’re coming out with? Why so many and why so wildly different?

Stuart Ashton: I think this has been a fantastic rollercoaster of a ride. I look at the experience that we’ve had within Blackmagic over the last few years and some of the successes that we’ve had and it’s been a great opportunity for us to really help out in areas of the industry where there was a demand.

Stuart Ashton: I think that when you start with capture cards, you really focus in on the area that you’re most proficient at, which was the post production area, and then with acquisitions like DaVinci Resolve and acquisitions with the ATAM production switches, and then obviously more recently with Cintel, what it does is it starts to open up your imagination into all of these new areas that you can take that existing technology and just emphasize it or make it slightly better, but also drop on this attitude that we’ve got of the entry barrier, really, which is making sure that it’s most affordable for everybody.

Stuart Ashton: I think that one of the greatest challenges that you have in any business where you’re manufacturing products is that you set the price too high and that means that nobody ever really gets the opportunity to work with it. For us, we very much hold and value the quality, the accessibility and, obviously, that cost and I think that that’s what’s worked very well for us, really.

Larry Jordan: Well, one of the problems that you’ve got when you start to diversify wildly is you’re outside your comfort zone and there’s a chance of stuff falling through the cracks, and I look at the shipping delays with the cameras as a classic example. It was something new for the company and some of the cameras took a whole lot longer to design and release than was expected. Do you run the risk of doing too much in too many different areas and too many plates balancing at the same time?

Stuart Ashton: Do you know, I don’t think it’s so much about trying to balance too many plates. I think it’s about making sure that the quality level of what you produce is always at the highest possible level. For us as a manufacturer, what we don’t want to do is deliver a product out into the market with substandard quality. You can be shouted at a thousand times because something’s a month or two delayed and people can be knocking on your door saying, “When are you going to deliver it?” but we owe our customers and ourselves the right to ensure that we deliver what we said we were going to deliver and we commit to delivering that quality.

Stuart Ashton: For us, sometimes you have to take the rough with the smooth. Sometimes there have been delays, but most importantly for us is that we don’t deliver a product that is not what we said we were going to deliver.

Larry Jordan: Are you doing anything new for NAB this year?

Stuart Ashton: I’m sure there may be some things that might be of interest.

Larry Jordan: Oh, nobody will know. I won’t tell a soul. You can just whisper in my ear what you’re going to do.

Stuart Ashton: I think that what’s going to be great with NAB this year is that people who have followed Blackmagic the last few years have known that Blackmagic at NAB has got bigger and bigger and bigger and some of our announcements have been crazy. I think for us, every time that we go up to April and we look at NAB, we get a bit of a fear factor. It sends a tingle down your spine, it makes you think to yourself, “Is everyone going to love everything that we do?” I’d love to tell you what’s going to happen, I’d love to tell you what’s going to be new. I’m not going to. I’m going to let you wait until April.

Larry Jordan: For people who want more information about the wide range of products that Blackmagic has available, where can they go on the web?

Stuart Ashton: Well, all of the information about our products can be found at At that website, you’ll see all of the information about each of the products individually, but also we’ve got a forum on there where you can share and communicate with other people and if anybody ever wants to speak with any of our team, we’re always at trade shows, we always can be contactable by phone or email, we’re always willing to listen to the comments and the thoughts that people have so that we can improve and make our products better.

Larry Jordan: Stuart Ashton is the Director for EMEA – Europe, Middle East and Asia – for Blackmagic Design. Stuart, thanks for joining us today.

Stuart Ashton: Thank you, Larry.

Larry Jordan: Blackmagic Design is now shipping its production camera 4K, a super high resolution 4K digital production camera for Ultra HD television production. Featuring a large Super 35 sensor with a professional global shutter, it also offers EF and ZE compatible lens mounts and records to a super fast SSD drive. Capturing high quality ProRes files, the Blackmagic production camera 4K gives customers a complete solution to shoot amazing high resolution music videos, episodic television productions, television commercials, sports, documentaries and much more.

Larry Jordan: The Blackmagic production camera 4K also features an incredibly tempting price of $2,995. Learn more about the Blackmagic production camera 4K that is definitely priced to move. Visit today. That’s

Larry Jordan: If you’ve ever seen Downton Abbey or Les Mis or World War Z, you’ve seen the work of our next guest. Her name is Anna Boyd-Smith, she’s the Tourism Officer at Hampshire County Council and she represents Film Hampshire. Now, I grant you, the first time I walked past the booth I thought New Hampshire, but no, no, no, this is Hampshire in the UK and it’s the location for Downton Abbey. Anna, welcome.

Anna Boyd-Smith: Hello.

Larry Jordan: What does a tourism officer do?

Anna Boyd-Smith: My role has several different elements to it. I obviously manage Film Hampshire. We act as a free location finding service for location managers, people within the film industry wanting to film in our county. We have around 400 locations on our database, everything ranging from Highclere Castle, which was the set for Downton Abbey, down to Portsmouth Historic Dockyard and HMS Victory, which was Lord Nelson’s flagship. We have beaches, countryside, national parks, anything. You name it, basically.

Anna Boyd-Smith: There are lots of different elements to my job. I also look after group travel as well, so I work with tour operators wanting to bring groups into the area. I also liaise with members of the cruise industry, because Southampton is obviously one of the biggest ports in Europe and, yes, I work within the tourism sector, so I help our colleagues with the Visit Hampshire website, social media and that sort of thing.

Larry Jordan: That’s enough to keep anybody busy. But let’s focus on locations. How do you handle locations? What does that mean? What do you do?

Anna Boyd-Smith: Generally, we will have queries coming in via our inbox, our Film Hampshire inbox, seeking to film, I don’t know, for example, a derelict building in the Hampshire area and on our database we will have our locations split into different categories, so I can then consult our database for buildings that are derelict, for instance, and put that person in touch with the correct person in charge of that location.

Larry Jordan: You’re not actually licensing the location, but you’re just the go-between for the person who owns that location and the film producer that wants to do the film.

Anna Boyd-Smith: Exactly, yes.

Larry Jordan: So what kind of information would a producer send you that’s most helpful to you in getting your work done?

Anna Boyd-Smith: Generally, we would ask for the type of project they’re working on, how long they would like to film in the area, what sort of location they are looking for, how big their crew is, whether they need easy access for their vehicles, how many trucks they’re going to be bringing etcetera, and also what their budget is because obviously a lot of our locations will charge to be used, so yes, that would generally be what we would ask for and then we can put them in touch with the correct people.

Larry Jordan: Now, your services are free, but the location could have a fee associated with it.

Anna Boyd-Smith: Exactly, yes.

Larry Jordan: Are permits necessary?

Anna Boyd-Smith: Permits are necessary in some areas, but again that will be up to the individual location or the specific council of that area so, for instance, if somebody wanted to film on a beach in the New Forest, we would pass that query on to the  New Forest District Council and they would then be able to advise that person whether they would need a permit.

Larry Jordan: What are some of the reasons someone would want to film in Hampshire?

Anna Boyd-Smith: It’s a very diverse county. We’ve got an excellent product. We’ve got a really good mix of urban areas – we have three cities, including the medieval city of Winchester, which is home of King Arthur’s Round Table. We’ve got a beautiful cathedral there. We have the naval city of Portsmouth, which is home of the Royal Navy. We also have two national parks – we have the South Downs, which is Jane Austen country, as we call it, because that was where she lived. You can go and visit her house, which is now an intimate museum.

Anna Boyd-Smith: We have the New Forest, which is famous all over the country and, I’m sure, in America as well; and we have a lot of, for instance, Ministry of Defence sites, really unusual locations that a lot of other areas won’t have.

Larry Jordan: For people who want to film in Hampshire, how do they get in touch with you?

Anna Boyd-Smith: Best thing to do is to send us an email to our Film Hampshire inbox, which is, or to go and have a look on our website at our locations database, which is

Larry Jordan: That’s and Anna Boyd-Smith is the Tourism Officer for the Hampshire County Council. Anna, thank you for joining us today.

Anna Boyd-Smith: Thank you very much.

Larry Jordan: Having great actors is one thing. Having great actors remember the lines is something entirely different, and that’s where prompters come in and a company called Portaprompt caught my attention. Jim Keating is the  Technology Director for Portaprompt and, Jim, thanks for joining us today.

Jim Keating: You’re welcome.

Larry Jordan: I can see we’re surrounded by prompters. What does Portaprompt do?

Jim Keating: Portaprompt is a small engineering company which specializes in manufacturing teleprompters. We do ranges from £90 to £100 up to about £5,500. These two units in front of us are the smaller end iPad based products. The unit here is using a full size iPad; this one’s an iPad Mini. This one gives you through the lens prompting; this one is over the lens prompting. There’s an eye line error that you have to accommodate, so you have to stay further away from this one, so this one is better if you’re going to be shooting close in to the camera. I’m perhaps too close to it, but you can get the general idea. I’m looking straight at the words.

Larry Jordan: What got the company interested in prompting in the first place?

Jim Keating: We’ve been in the television broadcast industry since before the ‘70s. We supplied camera cable when it was the large triax equipment. We then got into slide scanners and caption scanners, which were paper based products which had lots of mechanics and gears and things going up and down, well before computerized devices. The paper scanners led to paper prompters. The paper prompter led to computerized prompters and we got ourselves an Emmy for developing the first digital prompter back in the ‘80s.

Larry Jordan: An Emmy for a digital prompter?

Jim Keating: Yes, so that’s our claim to fame, I suppose.

Larry Jordan: That’s very cool.

Jim Keating: Since then, we have just enhanced the product as we’ve gone over the years and we now have a rental side, so we manufacture the product primarily for ourselves. We obviously road test it severely in our hire environment so that when we offer it to customers, we know it’s a tried, tested, reliable bit of kit, so they’re not going to get any surprises.

Larry Jordan: What makes prompters cost as much as they do? What causes the expense?

Jim Keating: Primarily, it’s a very low volume product. For every 100 cameras, there are probably only ten prompters, really, so it’s low volume. The display systems on the larger ones have to be very bright, primarily because you throw away so much light on the glass. We only reflect forward 40 percent, 30 percent of what the display emits, so you’re talking optically correct glasses, so that’s relatively expensive, titanium coated, evaporated chambers etcetera, so that’s a high cost product. Low volume mechanics. Primarily because there are so many camera options you can get, so you never know quite what you’re going to need, so we make lots of different options.

Larry Jordan: When a producer or a director is deciding what prompter to get, what criteria should they use to decide what prompter is best for their project?

Jim Keating: It pretty much depends on what they want to do. I mean, if it’s small, short pieces, the iPad system is ideal, especially if you want to take it outside on a portable location. These guys have been out to Oklahoma, to the tornado disaster area. If you’re doing a production that’s going to have lots of script changes and suchlike, you don’t want to use a tablet, really, you want a laptop based product where you’ve got the full ability to hit a keyboard and get all the word processing function out of a machine. The tablet, you can make changes on it, but it’s slow compared to a laptop. You’re talking minutes as opposed to seconds on a laptop. So that’s the thing – what are you going to use it for?

Larry Jordan: For people who are interested in learning more about your products, where can they go on the web?

Jim Keating:

Larry Jordan: That’s and Jim Keating is the Technology Director. Jim, thanks for joining us today.

Jim Keating: You’re welcome. Thanks for coming.

Larry Jordan: I’m always interested in good monitors and a company that makes great monitors is Flanders Scientific. We’re here at BVE 2014, talking with Bram Desmet, who’s the General Manager. Bram, what are you showing?

Bram Desmet: So we’re showcasing our CM250 and our CM250 is our brand new 24½ inch OLED monitor. What’s great about this unit is we do some very advanced things – 12 bit processing, 10 bit panel, wide color gain – we can do a number of color spaces including P3, Rec 709, all the things you would typically use – and we also support just about any single format you can throw at it. We do 2K all the way down to SD, 444, advanced things like XYZ for digital cinema. I mean, you name it, we can support it.

Larry Jordan: But why OLED? I mean, there’s plasma, there’s LED, there’s OLED. Why do we care about how the picture’s generated?

Bram Desmet: OLED is unique in that it offers better contrast ratio than anything. It even beats CRTs. So while we offer some other products – we offer LCD based products with florescent backlight, LED backlight for different needs and purposes – for that ultimate kind of wow factor and a display that’s going to look better than anything else, OLED will do that for you because of its amazing contrast ratio. What that means for you is that when you show black on screen, it is pure black, there’s no light emitted.

Larry Jordan: So is the CM250 new?

Bram Desmet: The CM250 was introduced at IBC in September, but what’s interesting is that we just recently announced a significant price drop, so while this unit was originally $13,500 US, it’s now $6,500 US and it’s really taking the market by storm.

Larry Jordan: When someone’s trying to invest in buying a monitor, what criteria should they look at to decide which monitor is best for them?

Bram Desmet: A couple of things that I always ask people to tell me is what their deliverables are. If you’re doing nothing but broadcast television and everything’s going out eight bit, this is maybe overkill if you’re just doing editing. Now, if you’re doing color grading, there’s value in having that 10 bit monitor. If you’re doing film out, there’s a value in having this; if you’re doing digital cinema, there’s a value in having something like this, so it kind of depends on your application and on your budget, of course.

Bram Desmet: The things you want to look for, again, professional inputs, does it support the formats you need it to support?

Larry Jordan: Wait, wait, wait. You ask when it supports formats. What does that mean?

Bram Desmet: You know, a lot of people are working in 2K and our monitor supports 2K but there are some monitors on the market that only support HD and may not support a 2K signal, so things like that. Also, all of our monitors, while they’re not 4K resolution, we now in beta have 4K support on our units, so you can actually send it a 4K signal and it’ll scale it to fit, so even in those applications where maybe once in a while you have a 4K project, our monitors will work with that.

Larry Jordan: Now, you were talking about eight bit and 10 bit and 12 bit. Why does the bit depth make a difference?

Bram Desmet: Again, when you have 10 bit, basically you’re going to have much smoother gradients and where that comes into play, especially for digital cinema, is that your deliverables are actually 10 or 12 bit and, when you get into that, you want to see that smoothly on the screen, you don’t want to see banding caused by the display and mistake that for a problem in your footage. Now, for broadcast television, again, all the deliverables are eight bit, so maybe there’s not quite that much value, but still for camera shading purposes, for certainly animation, anything like that, where you have these ultra smooth gradients, it can be helpful to be able to determine whether the issue is with the source or whether the issue is with the monitor producing banding.

Bram Desmet: And, again, not everybody needs this, which is why we also carry monitors that are less than half the cost that are just eight bit and very good for general editing, on set monitoring in less color critical applications.

Larry Jordan: Well, I want to follow up on that. Let’s say that your principal deliverable is the… Should you even bother to have a monitor or can you just trust your computer display?

Bram Desmet: That’s a tough question. I think that if you are really color grading, then I think it makes sense to have a professional monitor. The other thing that I try to encourage people to think about is that if you’re doing it just for fun, then maybe not. If you’re doing it as a business, if you’re charging for it, you should have a professionally calibrated monitor that you can prove is calibrated well and that you know with confidence you can go to your client and say, “It is correct on this display. You are seeing it correctly.”

Bram Desmet: If you just  use any old computer monitor, the problem is it’s the Wild Wild West out there in color and you have no clue what they’re going to be calibrated to. It could be way too wide gamma, things could look over saturated and there’s a lack of standardization there.

Larry Jordan: I really, really, really, really want a $6,000 monitor, but I can’t afford it. What would be a good entry level to consider and how much should I budget for something like this?

Bram Desmet: We have general editing monitors that some people even use for what I would consider light duty color correction, where they’re just balancing a shot, not doing anything super complicated, and those start at about $2500 and for that you can get a professional monitor with professional inputs, all the built-in scopes. While it’s an eight bit panel, you still get full Rec 709 coverage for HD and you are also going to get 12 bit signal processing, 12 bit signal support, so again you can still throw anything at it. It’s just going to be using maybe more of a mid-tier type panel, not one of these super high end OLED panels.

Larry Jordan: Should we get a monitor that’s really big, like a 40 inch monitor? Or do we get better quality if we get a 20 inch monitor?

Bram Desmet: It kind of depends on your viewing environment. If you have a very large suite, then yes, maybe you can get like a 40 or 50 inch monitor, and we carry a 50 inch professional reference monitor. It’s too big for a lot of rooms. 24 inch seems to be a really good size for color grading and it’s something that’s pretty widely used. Once you get smaller than that, you can still do that. For example, we have a 17 inch 10 bit monitor that’s very popular for field use that some people use in color correction applications.

Bram Desmet: The only thing I would caution there is that, once you get below about 20 inches, it can be very hard to see noise correctly – noise can be masked by the very fine pixel pitch and you don’t see that as well – and if you’re dealing with certain cameras that may have a lot more low level noise, that’s something you want to see and try to correct for and a little bit larger display would make that a lot easier on your eyes.

Larry Jordan: For people who want to learn more, where can they go on the web?

Bram Desmet: Just go to We have over two hours of user manual videos that walk you through every feature that we have. You have all the specs, drawings, pictures, you name it, it’s there.

Larry Jordan: Bram, thank you.

Bram Desmet: Thank you, Larry. Appreciate it.

Larry Jordan: One of the more interesting booths that I see here at BVE is Coptercraft and Ryan Kempley is the Founder and Director of Coptercraft and, Ryan, thanks for joining us today.

Ryan Kempley: You’re welcome. Nice to be here.

Larry Jordan: Tell me about the company.

Ryan Kempley: Ok, so the company’s been going now for just under a year. We build bespoke aerial solutions, so that’s robotic aircraft, for taking cameras…

Larry Jordan: You build airplanes!

Ryan Kempley: Yes, yes. Well, some people call them drones, but they’re not drones. We steer clear of the word drone.

Larry Jordan: How come?

Ryan Kempley: Well, drone is very much a military term and technically a drone is an aircraft that you want to shoot out of the sky or an aircraft that can think for itself. The aircraft that I build are controlled by a pilot on the ground at all times, so it’s the pilot in charge of the aircraft. If you tell the aircraft to fly into a building, it would fly into a building; whereas a drone is self aware and it will make its own decision, so there’s a difference between the type of aircraft.

Ryan Kempley: But these are very much for media, broadcast, high end TV, feature film productions and they can carry cameras ranging from one kilogram to ten kilograms for up to ten or 20 minutes, so they’re essentially taking over the role of helicopters on TV shoots, much to the dismay of helicopter pilots – they’re not liking us very much – and then even on the ground as well, these helicopters can get in so close on the ground and so steady with gyro-stabilized cameras, they’re even a danger to traditional geobot ground crews and Steadicams as well.

Larry Jordan: So you build remote controlled aircraft.

Ryan Kempley: Yes.

Larry Jordan: So you’ve got an operator on the ground?

Ryan Kempley: Two operators on the ground.

Larry Jordan: And what do they each do?

Ryan Kempley: One operator is for piloting the aircraft and then the other operator is specifically there for piloting and controlling the gimbal, which is the camera stabilization platform, and controlling its direction, controlling the camera and the goings on inside the camera.

Larry Jordan: So there are actually two different controls. The camera can be operated separately from the flying craft.

Ryan Kempley: Exactly, exactly, so there will always be two operators and independent control of the top half and the bottom half of the aircraft.

Larry Jordan: You say it can fly for ten to 20 minutes. What is it using for power?

Ryan Kempley: Currently using lithium polymer batteries, so they’re high density, high voltage, high amperage battery packs. This entire industry is built upon the fact that this battery technology exists. Maybe a year, year and a half ago, it wouldn’t be possible. You might, if you were very, very lucky, get an aircraft half the size of what I build now in the air for maybe two or three minutes and certainly you would never dream of lifting a ten kilogram camera this time last year. But battery technology is progressing and certainly within the next year or two there will be batteries available that can let these aircraft go for maybe an hour or two in the air at a time.

Larry Jordan: What got you interested in this in the first place? I mean, I can understand building model planes, but this is like a huge step forward.

Ryan Kempley: It completely came from that. I mean, I did a degree in physics and a PhD in nuclear physics and, towards the end of my PhD, I was building, well, for the past six years I’ve been building model helicopters, then that progressed to very large, very expensive scale helicopters for very rich retired folks, and then from that, when the multi-copter remote aircraft for filming came in, I started building those and I soon realized that it was very much a fun job to have and my view of going into a dedicated science career behind a desk soon disappeared and I started my company and here I am now. So very much a tangent from where I was going.

Larry Jordan: Now, you used the word bespoke, which in the States we would say is custom made. Is each of these individual aircraft different?

Ryan Kempley: Exactly, yes. I’ve built something like 130 of these now over the past couple of year and there have probably only been a couple of times when an aircraft has matched a pervious aircraft, so I find out what camera the client has, what their budget is, what they want to achieve, whether it’s TV, film, surveillance, thermal imaging or 3D modeling, and then I’ll build the aircraft specifically to them, so that then turns out that the aircraft is unique and bespoke per customer.

Ryan Kempley: There are standard frames, sort of base plates that I’ll use, but then the configuration on the aircraft to allow it to do different jobs is always different.

Larry Jordan: Give me some options. When you’re trying to decide what goes in the aircraft, what are your choices?

Ryan Kempley: Ok, so on the most fundamental level, it’s deciding what you want to achieve in terms of filming, whether it’s stills or video; so if it’s video, you’re looking for a nice stabilized aircraft with a stabilized gimbal, allowing nice smooth video footage. If it’s stills, it’s not so important but it’s still quite crucial.

Ryan Kempley: The biggest decision on all these kind of things is, obviously I’m demonstrating here today my aircraft in the sense of broadcast for video and film, but the other half of my business is also surveillance and remote sensing so people can put on thermal imaging systems and monitor their crops, see if their crops need watering; they can put on LIDAR scanners, which is quite a new 3D modeling technique, which also doe shave applications for broadcast and film. We’re looking now at the ability of a laser scanner to build virtual sets and to produce maps of local areas very quickly.

Ryan Kempley: On a more technical basis, it is just looking at the different propellers for the aircraft, different motors, different battery configurations, different weight configurations, just so that we know that we can get the aircraft in the air for the best amount of time and in the safest way, basically.

Larry Jordan: And how much does one of these things cost and how long does it take to build?

Ryan Kempley: Yes, so it takes about 50 to 60 hours to build and cost can vary. For a relatively simple aircraft to take such as a Canon 5D, a small DSLR, in the region of maybe £10,000 to £14,000 including British VAT. For something larger, to take an Epic or an F55, they can range between £16,000 and £45,000; or the surveillance aircraft with LIDAR scanning systems or thermal systems can be anywhere from £30,000 to £120,000, so there’s a scale that even a small independent cameraman can get into it or groups of cameramen for the larger aircraft.

Larry Jordan: Where can people go on the web to learn more about your products?

Ryan Kempley: They can go to That is my main website which details the aircraft that I build, what they do, what they can achieve and how you can go about looking into them for more details.

Larry Jordan: The website is and Ryan Kempley is the Founder and the Director of Coptercraft. Ryan, thanks for joining us today.

Ryan Kempley: You’re welcome. It was a pleasure. Thank you.

Larry Jordan: I’m standing in front of a monitor which is taking pictures of moving objects and the camera is moving itself – there’s no camera operator involved. The product is called Soloshot, it’s distributed in the UK by a company called Bluebox Distribution and William Fox is the Director for Bluebox. William, thanks for joining us today.

William Fox: A pleasure.

Larry Jordan: Tell me about Soloshot. What is it?

William Fox: Well, Soloshot started as an idea for surfers and extreme sports people to capture themselves doing their action, so no-one had to sit on the beach and not be with everyone else. The concept was, instead of having someone who wasn’t a professional person, trying to record you from a distance on a beach, you now had something that did it properly, always recorded you and not someone else, it wasn’t shaky. This is what we started with – generation one.

Larry Jordan: So there’s a string that goes between the camera and the person and the ocean?

William Fox: In terms of the way that it operates, there’s a base unit. You put your camera on top of the base unit and the base unit links with an armband. The armband transmits where you are back to the base unit and it’s to a couple of inches, so as soon as you start moving a little bit, it will then start to follow you.

Larry Jordan: So it’s a radio controlled pan control for a camera so that the camera will pan as you’re moving?

William Fox: Exactly, yes.

Larry Jordan: When did this get developed?

William Fox: The idea started in 2008 by Chris Boyle and Scott Taylor. They both came together as kite surfers and engineers in their field – one’s an engineer in biometrics and the other is an engineer in oil refining machines in Canada in terms of the shingle oil fields – so their background in engineering was quite good. They came together and came up with this concept to try and record yourself, but the whole movement rather than just this wide angle shot. You can get now a tight panned-in shot that can keep with you the whole time, and that started in 2008.

William Fox: They started sales at the end of 2011, 2012 in the States and we started sales in the UK in 2013.

Larry Jordan: How does it work specifically? What does a surfer wear and what’s on the camera?

William Fox: The surfer wears this transmitter. The transmitter’s about the size of a matchbox. It’s nice and light. There’s also a Velcro strap that goes around it. You just wear them on your arm. It’s fully waterproof, fully shockproof. We beat the thing with a baseball bat about nine times. It gave up the ghost at the end, but it’s very sturdy. The range on it is up to 600 meters, which is a fair whack.

Larry Jordan: Which is about 2,000 feet.

William Fox: 2,000 feet, yes. There’s a minimum range on Soloshot I of ten meters. Now, what we’re representing at the moment is Soloshot II, and that’s what we’re so excited about for 2014. Soloshot II is the be all and end all of what we were looking for. With Soloshot I, we got asked a lot of questions in terms of, “Can it pan? Can it do this? Can it do that?” so we took the main questions that we got plus the things we wanted to put inside of it and we came up with Soloshot II.

Larry Jordan: So what does Soloshot II do?

William Fox: Soloshot II is a panning/tilting device. It also tracks multiple objects at the same time, either by how close they are, how fast they go or you can manually select yourself. You can also control the camera zoom. It does it automatically, obviously, with the coordinates that it sends back to the camera and then you have a land wire that plugs into your camera as such.

William Fox: It also has firmware so we can update the software constantly. We also put in a lot of cool little ideas that you can then plug into it, like a 360 degree time lapse, and other software that we’re putting into maybe a tablet or a phone that you would then be able to control it a little more manually.

Larry Jordan: And how much is it?

William Fox: The retail price for the Soloshot II when it comes out in April is going to be £335 and that will get you a straight base unit and one armband; and then you can get additional armbands and other accessories that will plug into the front. It only works outdoors at this present point in time, but we do have this indoor application. It’s kind of like a directional aerial and that goes into the front of the unit.

Larry Jordan: You say it’s available in April. Where can people go on the web to learn more about the product?

William Fox: If you go to, that’s got all the information about the latest stuff. We also ourselves at Bluebox have a website – – and you can see all the information on there as well.

Larry Jordan: The website is William Fox is the Director of their UK distributor, Bluebox Software. William, thanks for joining us today.

William Fox: Thank you very much.

Larry Jordan: If you want a clip it, clamp it or hang it somewhere, you need to stand in this next booth. It’s Doughty Engineering and the Sales Director is Julian Chiverton. I tell you, the stuff here is amazing. Julian, welcome.

Julian Chiverton: Thank you.

Larry Jordan: What do you guys make?

Julian Chiverton: We make all rigging equipment for lighting, for large studios or even small studios, from film to photographic. We also make stuff for theater installations for rigging, for rock and roll as well, so basically anything that you need for hanging lighting, could be speakers. We’re your answer, really, for anybody that has problems with their lighting.

Larry Jordan: Now, rigging means lights. It’s how you clamp a light to something, so it’s the connector of how a light gets attached?

Julian Chiverton: Exactly, yes, yes.

Larry Jordan: I see more than one connector here. Why are there so many?

Julian Chiverton: Well, there are so many different types of lights out in the market, different sizes, different weights. So we have clamps to fit on different sizes of tube, that could be an inch up to a two inch size tube, you could be having a light that weighs two pounds or a light that’s going to weigh 100 pounds. So because of that, you have lots of different configurations of different products.

Larry Jordan: I was just thinking, I’ve never reflected on the fact that I need to size the connector for the weight of the light. How do I decide what type of connector for what type of light?

Julian Chiverton: Well, you have a safe working load. You have the self weight of the light, so then you would then pick the one that you need, and all the clamps also have a safe working load because they’re tested. Typically, all of our clamps have a ten to one safety factor, so if we say it’s a ten pound fixture, you know, it’s in fact tested to 100 pounds to work it back to the ten pounds.

Larry Jordan: Now, are you using different materials here, or is everything aluminum or steel or what?

Julian Chiverton: We generally use a high tensile grade of aluminum extrusion, which is to a grade of 6082, so that’s generally what we use because it’s got the strength but it’s also very light as well.

Larry Jordan: I love how you pronounce aluminum. I just wish you pronounced it correctly.

Julian Chiverton: Yes. Well, it’s spelled slightly differently as well, yes. Good old English.

Larry Jordan: I also see some rollers here for rolling drapes or curtains.

Julian Chiverton: Yes, so that is for lighting and for drapes as well for studios. They’re for grids that are put in place and the idea is, with a grid system, that you can adjust that light to go anywhere that you want. Also, we do drop-downs with pantographs as well, which enables, for example, if you’ve got a five meter ceiling height, you can then drop your fixture all the way down from the top of the ceiling five meters down and balance that fixture as well.

Larry Jordan: Which is nice for hanging, but you’d still need to go up to five meters to focus it.

Julian Chiverton: Exactly, yes, and this can all be done by pole operation so it doesn’t have to be motorized.

Larry Jordan: I suspect – I don’t know this for a fact – but I suspect there’s probably more than one rigging company out there.

Julian Chiverton: There are, yes, there are a number.

Larry Jordan: Why should we buy yours?

Julian Chiverton: Well, the Doughty stuff has been out there for over 20 years and the main thing that we’ve focused on is the quality and we innovate products as well.

Larry Jordan: How do you innovate a clamp?

Julian Chiverton: Normally, it’s where a customer comes to us, because we’ve run a special department at our place from the very first days, and a customer will come along, he’ll have a problem and he’ll say, “Look, I want to try and get this fixture mounted off of a wall or in a difficult position,” and we will come up with an answer. The more of those we’ve had over the years, then those products become standard. Even today, we’ll find that we make three or four special products for people every day.

Julian Chiverton: We were talking with a colleague this morning, we made a thousand special products last year for clamps, and all the standard ones we have as well.

Larry Jordan: I’m standing in London, but if I want this stuff in the US, can I get it in the US?

Julian Chiverton: You can, yes. We have a US office which is based in Nashville and if you go back through to the UK website, there’s a link which takes you to the US.

Larry Jordan: For folks who want more information about what Doughty does, what website can they go to, to learn more?

Julian Chiverton: They can go to

Larry Jordan: Ok, there’s a hyphen in the middle. That’s and Julian Chiverton is the Sales Director for Doughty Engineering and, Julian, thanks for joining us.

Julian Chiverton: Thank you. Very good, thank you.

Larry Jordan: One of the cool things I like about BVE is the smaller companies in the smaller booths, and that is Camdec. Camdec is a brand new company and a brand new product and Duncan Say is the President of Camdec. Duncan, thanks for joining us today.

Duncan Say: Yes, it’s nice to see you, Larry.

Larry Jordan: What have you manufactured? What have you got?

Duncan Say: Well, what we’ve got here is something that we’ve been working on for quite a while. We’ve got a camera support system which is using balance instead of using weights to keep the camera in support. Now, what we’ve done, different to just about any other camera support system that’s out there, is we’ve made a tripod cradle and that goes onto the tripod, you put your tripod plate there and you put your tripod cradle there. The second thing we’ve done is we’ve made a unique dual level rail. Now, what that means is that you get a level on top with two platforms to put your camera, any camera, it doesn’t really matter which one it is, or any accessory that will take a Whitworth screw, and you can put them on top.

Duncan Say: On the second level, on the level below, you’ve got a shoulder pad and you also have a mount to go into the tripod system. Now, by just undoing this ratchet handle, you get a whole 350mm of adjustment on the bottom rail and, as you can see, it’s totally unimpeded.

Larry Jordan: Now, why do we care about that? What makes that so special?

Duncan Say: Well, what makes it special is it means that you can find the pivot point between your camera and your accessory, which means that you can keep it completely in balance both on the tripod and, when you undo it, on your shoulder. It’s perfect balance on the tripod and the shoulder and that is something that you just cannot get from any other system that’s out there.

Larry Jordan: But some cameras have got matte boxes on the front. How do you handle a matte box?

Duncan Say: Well, with a matte box, what we have done is we’ve made a rail adapter that will take a 50mm rail and what you can do is you put it on the front of the rail, like so, just slots in, and then you can fit your rail in. As you can see behind me, there’s a big matte box there on this Sony system. Now, what you get with this rail adapter is, you can see, there are two screws in there, two socket wrenches so you can go up and down.

Larry Jordan: You can configure it?

Duncan Say: You can configure it to meet the lens. You can also turn it up the other way, if you’ve got a high camera like a Canon C300, so you can cope with almost any camera matte box system with this rail adaptor.

Larry Jordan: But the matte box is going to throw the weight way off. How do you manage to get some weight in the back again?

Duncan Say: Right, ok. Well, that is true and the thing is that the map box, like this one here, can be really heavy. We’re talking about 1.5 kilos on the front of the camera, really pulling you forward. To try and get some stability back into the system, we’ve made a counterweight which is like this. It’s only 500 grams, it’s nothing like as heavy as the matte box itself, but because you have the ability to change the pivot area on the rail, you can make very heavy items come into balance very, very easily and that is the major benefit of Camdec.

Larry Jordan: How much does this cost?

Duncan Say: Well, the basic system, which doesn’t have the map box counterweight and rail adapter, just the basic system is £750 plus VAT.

Larry Jordan: Which is about $1100.

Duncan Say: It’s about $1100, yes, and if you have the rail adapter and the counterweight, that is £950.

Larry Jordan: So roughly $1500.

Duncan Say: Ok, yes.

Larry Jordan: Now, do you sell just in the UK or can you sell anywhere?

Duncan Say: If you contact me, I’ll send it to you, basically.

Larry Jordan: And how do people contact you? What website do they go to?

Duncan Say: If they go to, they will find me and they will find an order form and they can get one.

Larry Jordan: and Duncan Say is the Producer for Camdec. Duncan, thanks for joining us today.

Duncan Say: Thank you very much, Larry.

Larry Jordan: One of the least appreciated areas of video is audio and a company that’s designed to help solve your audio problems is called JoeCo and Joe Bull is the Managing Director of JoeCo. Joe, thanks for joining us today.

Joe Bull: Thank you very much. Good to see you.

Larry Jordan: What does JoeCo Do?

Joe Bull: What we do is we manufacture multi-channel audio recording devices. We have a variety of interfaces and what you see here is a number of our products.

Larry Jordan: What makes your stuff special?

Joe Bull: Well, what we try and do is we aim at large scale multi-track recording, so our smallest unit is 24 channels wide.

Larry Jordan: 24 channels?

Joe Bull: Yes, that’s the smallest unit; and we also have a number of 64 channel units with either MADI or Dante interfaces.

Larry Jordan: What would you need that many channels for?

Joe Bull: Typically, what people are using the large channel units for is either reality TV or for recording bands live, so recording each individual instrument in a live concert so that you can then take it back and remix it, so you’ve got a live sounding recording but it’s been remixed to studio standards.

Larry Jordan: Now, do I plug the mic directly into the back of this or does this go into a mixer first for pre-processing and you feed the mixer out?

Joe Bull: We have a number of different interfaces. For a long time now, we’ve been producing units with analogue inputs or digital inputs from ASEBU, ADAT, MADI and Dante and what we’re introducing at the moment is a new system which has got 24 channels of mic pre-amp built into the one new box.

Larry Jordan: One rack unit high with 24 channels of audio recording and pre-amps?

Joe Bull: Yes, in one U.

Larry Jordan: And it works?

Joe Bull: Yes. If it didn’t, I wouldn’t be selling it. But also on that unit, we’ll have an optional MADI or Dante output as well, so that at the same time as using it as a capture device, you can also then feed off a MADI signal to downstream equipment as well.

Larry Jordan: Now, I notice you’ve got some iPads here which don’t look like audio recorders to me. What are you using them for?

Joe Bull: What we’re using these for is as remote control devices. Obviously, with a one U footprint, however clever we make the front panel controls, there’s a certain amount of real estate that you just haven’t got, so what we’ve got here is effectively remote control units. They connect via a little either wired or wifi interface to the black box itself and then it just gives you control surface.

Joe Bull: For example, what you’ve got here is a unit that’s controlling the mic pre-amp. We can see, we’ve got individual microphone gain controls, phantom powering, high pass filtering, the individual limiter on each track, phase reverse etcetera, plus the fact that we’ve still got the recorder so you can name each track, you can add ixml data to any of the recordings you make and all this is doing is just providing you with that user interface.

Larry Jordan: What kind of prices are we looking at for the 24 channel unit?

Joe Bull: The 24 channel units start at about, well, in dollars or in pounds?

Larry Jordan: Either one.

Joe Bull: Ok, in pounds they start at about £1695.

Larry Jordan: So roughly $2200.

Joe Bull: Just over $2200; and then the 24 channel units currently go up to just about £3,000. The 64 channel units, they’re different prices, but the MADI unit, for example, is about £3,400. With the mic pre-amps, we haven’t finalized the price but we think it will be probably in the region of £5,000 to £6,000.

Larry Jordan: How much can I record on one of these? What length of time can I record?

Joe Bull: How big is your drive? We use external USB2 or USB3 drives and basically the larger the driver, the longer you can record.

Larry Jordan: So all the storage is actually external to the unit?

Joe Bull: It’s all external, just in the same way that Studer never made 24 track tape machines with a built-in tape. It always struck me that having the media easily separable from the machine is actually quite vital, so the whole idea is you record on either a fast USB stick or on a USB2 drive, then at the end of the session you can unplug that drive, the drive goes to post production, they can plug it in, ingest everything, drag it straight into the timeline, everything’s timestamped so everything lines up perfectly, and then you do the remixing and repurposing.

Larry Jordan: For people who want more information, where can they go on the web?

Joe Bull: Our website is

Larry Jordan: Joe, thank you very much.

Joe Bull: Thank you. It was great talking to you.

Larry Jordan: This is really cool. Now, I know it looks like there’s a green screen behind me, but what makes this really exciting is you can pick the green screen up and move it wherever you want. The company is called Bristol VFX and Mark Chapman is the Managing Director. Mark, welcome.

Mark Chapman: Thank you very much.

Larry Jordan: Tell us about what Bristol VFX makes.

Mark Chapman: Bristol VFX, we specialize in making blue and green screen solutions, so we produce basically fabric and paint and developed on from that we also produce Lycra, which we make body suits from, and we do frameworks that support the screens and so, as time’s gone on, people have said, “Do you do this?” and we will produce a solution. We do adhesive tape, we do vinyl, we do vinyl flooring like we’ve got on the floor here.

Larry Jordan: But Mark, it’s green. I mean, why do we need to care about the particular color of green?

Mark Chapman: Well, it’s more towards the end user, who wants to have a green environment, for instance, that looks compatible all the way through it. In reality, the shade of green can vary a little bit, it doesn’t really, depending on the technology, matter quite so much. But if you walked into a green space, if it looks compatible and the same green all over, it fills you with a bit more confidence versus one that looks like a patchwork of colors. Then one’s confidence feels a bit stuck if it doesn’t look good, so we like to provide as perfect a green screen solution as you can get, or blue.

Larry Jordan: Now, why should we work with Bristol VFX? Why not some other green screen developer?

Mark Chapman: Well, we’re nice people to deal with. We don’t do anything else. We’re just producing materials and we have them ready for use, large quantities of the paint and the fabric so that they can be drawn off, especially for the film industry, at a moment’s notice.

Larry Jordan: Now, the ideal environment is where everything is permanent and it’s painted onto the wall, but most of us can’t work in a permanent space. Do you make portable green screen environments?

Mark Chapman: Yes, we do do a small pop-up system, which is called a VFX75, but this system we’re standing in here is a VFX100. Now, this has been developed as a semi-permanent solution, so that basically you have a framework with a screen that’s mounted in it and then we do PVC floor that goes on the floor and, to give you a transition from screen to floor, we’ve developed a coving system that fits into it and we have a little video running which shows it. But you can see behind me, there’s a screen in a framework and the coving below it and we’ve found this a very successful product and media studios, productions studios, universities and colleges, we’ve found a very useful market there of people who want what we are offering.

Larry Jordan: How much is it?

Mark Chapman: Well, how long is a piece of string, I guess you could say, but this one we’re standing in at the moment, which is approximately three meters by two and a half meters in an L format, it’s 2.8 meters high, if you took the frame, the screen, the cove, the flooring, you’re talking about £2,500.

Larry Jordan: And for people who want to learn more, where can they go on the web?

Mark Chapman: We have a website, which is

Larry Jordan:

Mark Chapman: That’s it.

Larry Jordan: Mark, thank you.

Mark Chapman: Thank you very much. Thank you.

Larry Jordan: This has been an incredible jam-packed show. I want to start by thanking our guests: Stuart Ashton, the Director for EMEA for Blackmagic Design; Anna Boyd-Smith, the Tourism Officer for the Hampshire County Council; Jim Keating, Sales Manager for Portaprompt; Bram Desmet, General Manager of Flanders Scientific; Ryan Kempley, the Founder and Director of Coptercraft; William Fox, the Director of Bluebox, the UK distributor for Soloshot; Julian Chiverton, the Sales Director for Doughty Engineering; Duncan Say, the Founder of Camdec; Joe Bull, the Managing Director for JoeCo; and Mark Chapman, the Managing Director for Bristol VFX.

Larry Jordan: I also want to thank BVE 2014, Blackmagic Design and Pond5 for making our trip to BVE possible. As well, thanks to Debbie Price for producing the segments. There is a lot happening at The Buzz between shows. Visit and click ‘Latest News’. We update this several times a day with the latest in news from our industry. You can talk with us on Twitter, @dpbuzz, and Facebook, at

Larry Jordan: Music on The Buzz is provided by SmartSound. The Buzz is streamed by Text transcripts are provided by Take 1 Transcription and you can email us at Our producer for this week’s special show is Debbie Price. Our engineer is Adrian Price. On behalf of Mike Horton, my name is Larry Jordan and thanks for listening to The Digital Production Buzz.

Voiceover: This Digital Production Buzz was brought to you by Blackmagic Design, creators of the world’s highest quality solutions for the feature film, post production and television broadcast industries.

Zacuto Announces Canon C300/500 Z-Finder for Pre-order

After months of design and testing, Zacuto is proud to announce the release of a hi-res Z-Finder viewfinder and accompanying accessories specific to the Canon C300 and C500. They offer quick setup, lightweight Recoil design, sturdy handles, a new-to-market ‘helmet’ cage and an innovative cold shoe clamping mount. The Zacuto C300/500 Z-Finder is not only a unique focusing tool but also aids with stabilization and enables balanced, comfortable handheld shooting.

The new C300/500 Z-Finder slides over the Canon LCD and is secured with a user-friendly bar clamp and hinge lock to keep the LCD in place. Use the Z-Finder alone or with Zacuto’s new mounting system that places the Canon LCD to the left of the camera for shoulder mounted operation. This is perfect for a Recoil style rig where the camera is positioned directly over the operators shoulder for comfort, balance, and convenience.

To accompany the Z-Finder, Zacuto has released a number of additional accessories including a new concept ‘helmet’ that attaches to the camera body and provides multiple accessory attachment options. Also available for preorder are two new top handles, one of which includes a new cold shoe clamp system that replaces the plastic, twisting cold shoe handle of the Canon C300.

The Zacuto C300/500 Z-Finder and all new accessories are available for pre-order. Visit the Zacuto website to preorder, watch videos and discover more about these unique products from the design team at Zacuto. Also available through any Zacuto dealer. View more images here.

New Adobe Audition Logickeyboard

Now, LogicKeyboard proudly announces the release of its Adobe Audition keyboard, a product specifically designed for users who rely on Adobe Audition to facilitate the creative process.

As with all of LogicKeyboard’s products, the Adobe Audition keyboard emphasizes cutting-edge design and unparalleled user-friendliness. Highlights include a thin, workspace-optimized design, beautiful chrome finish, comfortable typing experience, high-quality materials and first-rate Danish craftsmanship. The Adobe Audition keyboard is full-size (108/109 keys) and includes a USB connection and built-in dual USB ports for desktop add-ons, as well as navigation and a numeric pad. US and European versions are available, proving that wherever you are in the world, Logickeyboard is there with you!

The New SliderPLUS PRO is ready for duty

The Magic is still there, but better!
SliderPLUS is the world’s only camera slider that can travel twice it’s own length.

SliderPLUS PRO benefits from the award winning (Videomaker’s Editor’s Choice and Spotlight Awards) SliderPLUS V2 design.

The unique design offsets the rail system, doubling the sliding distance. The new camera mount/carrier adds more durability and further adjustments to the system, making it ideal for professional setups.

Heavy Duty & Adjustable
New, stronger structure carries more weight and is able to carry heavier cameras with pro-equipment.

With SliderPLUS PRO both trays are adjustable so you have maximum control over the minimal play on the rails.

SliderPLUS PRO is 100% CNC machined and most of its parts are made out of mono-blocks to ensure durability.

New stylish look
The elegantly designed new chrome style rail system on the SliderPLUS PRO will complete your professional look.

Includes dolly feature
The crushing advantage of edelkrone’s slider system is still there.

SliderPLUS PRO’s rail system retreats back during slider operation. This way, during dolly in/out shots, SliderPLUS PRO remains out of your picture. You get to keep the advantage of having the perfect slider with an amazing dolly feature.

Pack your slider well!
The new pop-up camera mount screw appears and disappears with a simple tap. Great when you decide to pack your SliderPLUS PRO.

Compatible with the Target Module
You will compose your curved and parallax shots anywhere you can place your tripod on. Target module introduces responsive motion control technology (RMC). Target will let your camera lock onto the subject and keep it in the same position inside the frame.

Compatible with the Wizard Module
Just push record button and slide your camera, and the Wizard Module records your action and repeats the same shot as much as you want.

Leaving your slider behind? No more!
Sliders are vital for quality productions, yet they are cumbersome. edelkrone has changed this with SliderPLUS design.

SliderPLUS PRO lives up to the tradition, and delivers great slider movement distance in a smaller form. Even the largest version is only 63 centimeters in actual size, which is the average size of most professional tripods when folded down.

edelkrone’s new, top quality soft covers are included in SliderPLUS PRO package. You can fit your slider in your equipment bag easily and safely.

Tripod ready with instant safe transport lock
SliderPLUS PRO performs best when mounted on a tripod, and it’s tripod ready right out of the box.

The play-free slider/camera mount not only improves SliderPLUS PRO’s performance, but also improves its stability when locked.

When the SliderPLUS PRO is locked, it becomes a static part of your tripod. You can safely move your setup around without having to remove your components.

Works on the ground too
SliderPLUS PRO can be operated on the ground as well. The adjustable feet are slip free, and allows you to level your slider on any surface. When using your slider on the ground, remember that you will benefit from SliderPLUS PRO’s actual length during the slider operation.

New Specs
With the new durable design, comes 3 different rail sizes.

SliderPLUS PRO has Medium, Large and XLarge versions with respective camera travel of 50cm (1.6ft), 70cm (2.3ft) and 90cm (2.9ft).

Precise manufacturing with highest grade material!
All parts of SliderPLUS PRO are machined with CNC technology with highest grade materials. It is wear resistant and durable. It is going to withstand the harsh production environments that you will put it through. The mono-block approach during manufacturing ensures durability.

Digital Production Buzz — February 27, 2014

  • Reports from BVE

GUESTS: Stuart Ashton, Anna Boyd-Smith, Jim Keating, Bram Desmet, Ryan Kempley, William Fox, Julian Chiverton, Duncan Say, Joe Bull, and Mark Chapman

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Join Larry Jordan and co-host Michael Horton as they talk with:

Stuart Ashton, Director EMEA, Blackmagic Design

Stuart Ashton, Director for EMEA for Blackmagic Design, with a look at why Blackmagic is expanding into so many different product areas.

Anna Boyd-Smith, Tourism Officer, Hampshire County Council

Anna Boyd-Smith, Tourism Officer for the Hampshire County Council, on picking film locations. And why Hampshire County? Well, that’s where “Downton Abbey” is located.

Jim Keating, Sales Manager, Portaprompt

Jim Keating, Sales Manager for Portaprompt, talks about new iPad and iPad Mini prompting systems.

Bram Desmet, General Manager, Flanders Scientific

Bram Desmet, General Manager of Flanders Scientific, explains how to pick the best video monitor for your projects.

Ryan Kempley, Founder and Director, Coptercraft

Ryan Kempley, the Founder and Director of Coptercraft, joins us to share his thoughts on the current state of remote controlled aircraft for filming – and why they really aren’t considered drones.

William Fox, Director, Bluebox (UK distributor of Soloshot)

William Fox is the Director of Bluebox, the UK distributor for SoloShot. This is a wireless device that pans, tilts and zooms the camera as you move. Imagine how this can be useful in shooting extreme sports when you need closeups and there’s no one to run the camera.

Julian Chiverton, Sales Director, Doughty Engineering Limited

Julian Chiverton is the Sales Director for Doughty Engineering, which makes all kinds of rigging, which is the gear that attaches lights to just about anything.

Duncan Say, Founder, Camdec

Duncan Say is the founder of Camdec, a brand-new company that’s created a better way to attach and balance cameras to tripods and shoulder mounts

Joe Bull, Managing Director, JoeCo Limited

Joe Bull is the managing director for JoeCo, which makes multi-channel digital audio recorders. Not just four or eight channels, but from 22 up to 64 channels. Imagine what you can do with these for reality shows, live musical events, or a production with a gazillion actors!

Mark Chapman, Managing Director, Bristol VFX

Mark Chapman, the managing director for Bristol VFX, which manufactures portable and permanent green screen equipment and supplies.

BVE was an amazing opportunity to discover smaller companies that don’t often make the spotlight. And we have some great interviews to share with you tonight.

The Buzz is all the information you need now to know what’s coming next!

The Digital Production BuZZ airs LIVE Thursday from 6-7 PM Pacific Daylight Time. Ask questions during the show on our Live Chat, listen live, download an episode from the archives, or subscribe to the podcast either through iTunes or our website. Whatever you do, DON’T miss this week’s show!

Zacuto Releases Canon C300/C500 Z-Finder and Accessories

The Canon Cinema series cameras have been taking the world by storm! Steve and Jens saw the potential of these lower budget, high performance cameras early on and quickly began making baseplates and rigs for their unique size and shape. When the C100 was released the need for a Z-Finder was obvious, and so our popular C100 Z-Finder was born. And then the requests for a C300 Z-Finder started coming in! The removable, larger LCD of the Canon C300 and C500 was a new challenge for Zacuto. Always ready for a challenge, Steve and Jens set to work to create a lightweight, accessible, reasonably priced unit that could stand up to Zacuto’s high standards.

A whole new mounting system needed to be created, not only to mount the Z-Finder to the LCD but also to get the LCD in the right position for shoulder mounted shooting. Along the way, we replaced the “plasticky” Canon handle with a solid Zacuto handle and a new concept ‘helmet’ that attaches to the camera body and provides multiple accessory attachment options. Want to see what else we came up with? Check out this first look video from Steve and Jens featuring the new C300/C500 Z-Finder and accessories!

NAB 2014: EditShare Showcases Major Shared Storage Release and Demonstrates New Media Asset Management and Multicam Ingest Capabilities

Headlining the EditShare NAB 2014 show lineup is EditShare Storage version 7, the biggest release to date for the company’s high-performance shared storage product line. Built on the world’s highest-performance Linux OS, EditShare Storage v7 sports a totally new and intuitive EditShare Connect interface and features a Quality of Service (QoS) system that reserves bandwidth for high-priority activities such as real-time capture or playout and limits the bandwidth of low-priority activities.

Other notable NAB show highlights include EditShare’s end-to-end Geevs Studio Multicam workflow; the newly released EditShare Flow version 3 media asset management solution; and the portable EditShare Field 2 shared storage system featuring high-performance Solid State Drives. Attendees to the exhibition can book a private demonstration of these and other EditShare solutions on stand SL5709.

Members of the registered press are invited to attend EditShare’s private press briefing held at its booth on Monday, April 7 at 4:30pm. Participants should register their attendance with Anya Oskolkova,

EditShare Storage v7 – The Industry’s Most Advanced Shared Storage Platform
Known for its advanced project and media sharing capabilities as well as industry-leading stream counts for Avid, Adobe Premiere Pro, Apple Final Cut Pro, Lightworks and all other major NLEs, the EditShare Storage v7 platform is built on the world’s highest-performance Linux OS and sports a totally new and intuitive EditShare Connect interface. New features include a Quality of Service (QoS) system that reserves bandwidth for high-priority activities such as real-time capture or playout and limits the bandwidth of low-priority activities; EditShare Connect “Project Profiles,” the ability to remember which spaces need to be displayed and/or mounted for different projects; support for Active Directory Single Sign On (SSO); a system status indicator; and localization support for virtually any language. EditShare Storage v7 will also allow Final Cut Pro X workgroups to use AFP-mounted spaces as SAN Volumes, giving editors the ability to store FCP X “Libraries,” “Events” and “Projects” on central storage.

The Newly Released Flow v3 with AirFlow and Flow Automation
Flow v3 offers substantial new features such as AirFlow for remote, web-based access to content stored on EditShare media spaces and archives, and Flow Automation for designing smart, time-saving templates that automate repetitive tasks such as transcoding to or from specific video formats, moving media or updating metadata. The new Flow v3 release also features support for scan and preview of non-video assets such as audio-only files and still images, vastly improved cuts-only editing, advanced metadata import and export tools, and support for third-party near-line storage, allowing facilities to better manage content across production systems from ingest to archive.

EditShare Field 2 — Portable Shared Storage Featuring SSDs
Field 2, EditShare’s quiet, portable shared storage solution, now supports Solid State Drives (SSD), offering users up to six-times the performance as compared to the enterprise-class 7200 RPM drives. The turnkey Field 2 platform features Flow media asset management and file ingest, advanced project sharing/bin locking, and archiving capabilities in an all-in-one, high-performance, rugged chassis. Ideal for on-location shoots, ENG trucks and remote offices, the new Field 2 is durable, light and compact, meeting the most stringent airline carry-on regulations. An optional two-channel Flow HD/SD-SDI ingest card allows for direct recording to Field 2 storage, with edit-while-capture support for fast-turnaround events.

Geevs Studio MC: Unlock Huge Efficiencies with EditShare’s Multi-Camera Workflow
The traditional multicam studio or live event production entail recording mixed program output from a video switcher to a VTR plus as many ISO feeds as budget allows. EditShare’s Geevs production video servers give producers an exciting new option. With its GPI trigger capabilities, Geevs captures the cutting decisions made by a video switcher and transforms them into an NLE-compatible sequence based on each camera’s ISO recordings.

As soon as recording is finished, operators can instantly play back all ISO camera angles ganged together, the sequence or both. Editors can also drag the sequence into the NLE where it shows up as a multicam timeline with editable cuts between each camera angle change. From sitcoms to music concert events, Geevs Studio MC drastically shortens the time between event and post-production by cutting out traditional reassembly time.

Free Infographic Effects for FCP X

Create infographic titles and charts with Data Pop Free. Choose from 4 professional quality Final Cut Pro X titles for different types of charts and graphs: bar, pie, ring, and number.

Download Data Pop Free Infographic Titles for FCP X.

Be sure to also check out the full version of Data Pop which adds another 16 charts for just $99.

Find other free FCPX plugins here.

Watch a demo or a tutorial of the infographic effects!

Telestream Integrates With Cloud-Based Production Studio

Telestream, the developers of Wirecast live streaming production software, announced that, a cloud-based live video production studio is now an integrated drop-down destination within Wirecast. This integration lets users easily send streams to, which features interactive capabilities and a cloud-based production hub that allows teams to collaborate remotely in the production.

Wirecast’s live video feeds are transmitted directly to the Studio where the stream can be mixed with other incoming live streams, enhanced with on-screen graphics, effects, interactive capabilities and uploaded media. Studio’s cloud-based design enables teams from different locations to collaborate on the same production to optimize efficiency and control. The final live stream can be broadcast live to any RTMP-capable streaming server or destination such as YouTube Live or Ustream, or CDNs including Akamai or Limelight.

About Wirecast
Wirecast is the only cross-platform, all-in-one live streaming production software that enables capture, live production, and encoding of live streams for broadcast to multiple servers and platforms simultaneously. Wirecast is ideal for streaming or recording live internet shows, broadcasting breaking news and sports, streaming live concerts and games, transmitting church services, corporate meetings, lectures and more. Pro production features include live scoreboards, 3D virtual sets, chroma key support, advanced audio controls and more.

About is the leading cloud-based live video production platform. The versatile solution allows production of multi-camera live streams, mixing with pre-recorded media and mobile/audience cameras, and distributing it live to Facebook, live destinations such as YouTube Live and Ustream, many CDNs, or simply to corporate websites. Inputs can come from anywhere in the world and easily mixed into output streams as the production studio resides in the cloud. Interactive components include viewer polling and voting as well as inviting the audience to become part of a show with their own live video. Clients include MTV/Viacom, ZDF, Mercedes Benz and is run and owned by SMT Streaming Media Technologies GmbH, based in Cologne, Germany.

How to stream an input to via the Wirecast client: In the “Output Settings” of Wirecast, select from the drop-down menu. Users insert their user name, destination, encoding settings and channel and the stream will become one of the inputs in the Studio.

Flashpoint’s New Blast Pack Portable Battery with Interchangeable Modules Now Available Exclusively at Adorama

Adorama, one of the world’s largest photography, video, imaging and electronics retailers, recently released the new Flashpoint Blast Pack Battery. A very lightweight and portable battery pack with interchangeable lithium 4500 mAh battery modules, the Blast Pack provides up to 1800 shots at full power per battery charge. With an incredible recycle time of just two seconds at full power and nearly continuous at lower power outputs, the Blast Pack also offers dual flash output, allowing for two different units to operate simultaneously with no energy loss to either flash.

The Blast Pack has the unique feature of interchangeable batteries. Batteries slide on and off the bottom of the pack easily, providing an inexpensive alternative to other portable power packs that are wholly integrated units. Batteries charge completely in only three hours and are compact and lightweight, making the Blast Pack a preferred solution for additional power on location.

The durable and lightweight Blast Pack battery is compatible with a wide range of popular on- and off-camera flash units including Canon, Nikon, Sony, Metz and Quantum. Additional features include an LED indicator to show storage capacity and cycle status, as well as a gauge-style display that warns when power discharge is too low. A necessary tool for photographers – especially wedding and event shooters – the Flashpoint Blast Pack is the best on-the-go solution for lightweight, portable battery power anywhere you need it.

Key Features

  • Extra-large capacity swappable lithium battery
  • Dual ports drive two flash units without sacrificing power
  • LED battery Power Level Indicator on top
  • Powers most pro shoe mount flashes from Canon, Nikon, Sony, Metz, and Quantum and Treo Flashes
  • Only one second full power recycle with Canon 580EXII, Nikon SB900 and Sony F58AM
  • Almost instant recycle on auto settings
  • Interchangeable Lithium battery modules for nonstop shooting
  • Lightweight portability and super value

The Flashpoint Blast Pack Battery is now available in the Adorama store, located at 42 West 18th Street in New York City, and online.