Red Giant continues to impress with Shooter Suite 12.6’s Offload and Instant 4K

Red Giant’s products just keep getting better and better. This year we saw the introduction of Red Giant Universe, a community with access to an ever-expanding library of new free tools for filmmakers, editors, visual FX artists and motion designers. Couple that with products like Shooter Suite 12.6 and you have a recipe for success.

As an independent filmmaker with limited crew and resources, I’m THE GUY who is responsible for exporting all of the footage shot in the field. And since it’s often a one man show with post production and I’m dealing with so many other things I don’t always have the time to immediately check my footage after exporting it. There’s nothing worse than sitting down at the edit bay and discovering days or maybe even weeks later that some of your footage files are corrupted. Enter Magic Bullet’s Offload available for purchase separately (only $49) or as part of Shooter Suite 12.6.

Offload is a simple method for transfers and backing up data. It’s so simple in fact that all you do is plug in your media card, select a transfer location and optional backup location and start the process.

Offload transfers all the data, checks it to make sure that the transfer wasn’t damaged, then runs the backup and checks that too. When it’s done, you can erase the data on the card and use it for shooting. That’s it – instant peace of mind.

In the short time that I have had the program I have grown accustomed to using it every time I return from a shoot. I’ll start the transfer/backup process and then walk away to do something else. Offload is a must have tool that everyone should have on their computer whether you’re a filmmaker or an enthusiast.

Shooter Suite, as an entire package, really won’t break the bank either. In addition to Offload, for $399 you get PluralEyes (audio/video sync software), BulletProof (a stand-alone app for on-set offload, backup and review of footage), Denoiser II (easy video noise reduction), Frames (deinterlace your older footage and convert it to 24P), LUT Buddy (import, create and export Lookup Tables) and the impressive Instant 4K.

Instant 4K lets you upconvert video to 4K resolution and other high-resolution formats. It’s a significant upgrade compared to their previous product Instant HD. It’s easier to use and produces excellent results. I recently put it to the test and upgraded FULL MOON RISING from its original 4:3 mini-DV presentation to 16:9 1080p. I simply selected the option for 1080p widescreen cropped. I could have left it in its native ratio but widescreen is pretty much the norm now. The results were pretty impressive and breathed new life into a 10+ year old film. You can make adjustments to the cropping but it was so minimal I didn’t need to. The longest part of the process was the render time.

Red Giant continues to impress and this filmmaker can’t wait to see what they release next.

Domke introduces the “Next Generation” of camera bags

The Tiffen Company, best known for its photography and video camera filters, has been expanding its line of products. Their latest introduction is a new line of camera bags from the Domke brand. Domke has been synonymous with low-profile, high-quality bags geared towards photojournalists, travel photographers, and anyone else looking to protect their equipment without drawing undue attention.

Domke’s “Next Generation” consists of eight new bags, each available in different choices of materials and equipped with Domke’s new GearProtex™ and PocketFlex™ systems of customizable dividers, inserts and storage pockets. I recently put the The Domke Chronicle (J-CHRON-RB) to test in the field while shooting in some rough wooded terrain on a considerably rainy day.

J-CHRON-RB

First Impressions

I have been a fan of Lowepro camera bags for a while. They are lightweight, fairly rugged and relatively inexpensive by comparison. As a fan of tech I’m always looking for something new but as an indie filmmaker with extremely limited resources admittedly, Domke would have been a bit out of my price range. Having used the Domke bag for a weekend I can now understand that you definitely get what you pay for.

My first reaction after unpacking the bag was that the fabric is very high quality. The bag in this review is the RuggedWear Black option. Also available are Cordura Black, Canvas, and RuggedWear Military. Too my surprise, Domke even includes a fabric polish to keep you bag looking fresh and new. The zipper and the clasps all felt really high quality too giving the bag that extra classy albeit retro look. It’s not glaringly apparent that it’s a camera bag, something that is always a concern for me when I’m shooting in less than desirable areas where there’s a higher risk of theft.

The thing that won me over was the GearProtex™ and PocketFlex™ systems. I looked at a number of bags before settling on the Lowepro and all of them suffered from the same issue – limited connection points for the dividers. Sure the Lowepro comes with an abundance of dividers but there’s really only so many ways to configure the bag do to its connection limitations. The Velcro connections are not that great too.

The Domke bag on the other hand, doesn’t suffer from this issue by a long shot. The dividers connect so well that I found it a bit of a chore at first to get them into the bag because they wanted to grip every point along the way. Slightly bending them allowed me to insert them and then straightening them resulted in a firm grip.

The only negative thing I can say here is that Domke doesn’t provide a lot of dividers (only three) which may be an issue for some people. For me, this wasn’t a problem because my Sony video camera is a good size.

Dimensions and Specs

  • Exterior:  15.75″ (L) x 7″ (W) x 10″ (H)  (40 cm x 17.8 cm x 25.4 cm)
  • Interior:  12.25″ (L) x 6.5″ (W) x 9.25″ (H)  (31.1 cm x 16.5 cm x 23.5 cm)
  • Weight: 4.2 lbs.  (1.9 kg)
  • YKK brand zippers
  • Top access double zipper
  • Expandable zippered side pockets
  • Expandable front pockets
  • Rear zippered pocket
  • Padded zippered tablet pocket (fits up to 11″ x 8″)
  • Antique steel hardware exterior flap fasteners
  • Detachable shoulder strap
  • Detachable hand strap
  • Velcro silencers
  • Numbered identity plate

Conclusion

I really liked this bag. It kept the equipment safe and dry out in the field. It’s one of the smaller bags in the Journalist series yet it’s still roomy enough to include a number of accessories. I can easily see me favoring this over my Lowepro bag now. It feels more comfortable on the shoulder and has a better low-profile look than most other bags I’ve used in the past.

Tales of Light & Dark Season 2: Full Moon Rising Part 3

Mike Lane (THE BLOOD SHED, FAIRVIEW FALLS) stars as Jimmy Wayne Garrick, a man who becomes obsessed with the idea that he is changing into a werewolf after being bitten by a wild animal. In Part 3, Jimmy confronts his worse fears as the beast within is finally unleashed.

“We don’t want to blow the ending to this story but we can tell you that it was masterfully put together.” – MicroCinema Magazine

“This movie also contains two of the greatest horror movies scenes ever made…The other scene is a spectacular moment in horror movie history; toward the end of the movie, a stripper (Syn DeVil) dancing in a club squeezes a crème-filled style doughnut covered with powdered sugar between her bare breasts and drops it in on the stage in front of a patron…” – Askew Reviews

Co-starring Frank Catalanotto and featuring special makeup FX by award winning makeup FX team, Gerner and Spears FX (I SELL THE DEAD, STAKE LAND). Additional makeup FX by makeup FX artist and acclaimed Friday the 13th replica mask creator, Gene Mazza.

This is a new 10th anniversary director’s cut enhanced in high definition wide screen. The story was first presented in the award winning movie THE TENEMENT. This new version features a new ending that ties to the events and Jimmy’s return in the season 1 episodes “OPEN CALL” and “GEOKILLING”.

Tales of Light & Dark Season 2: Full Moon Rising Part 2

Mike Lane (THE BLOOD SHED, FAIRVIEW FALLS) stars as Jimmy Wayne Garrick, a man who becomes obsessed with the idea that he is changing into a werewolf after being bitten by a wild animal. In Part 2, Jimmy begins to feel the impact of his “change” as the full moon rises and Frank becomes suspicious of his behavior.

Co-starring Frank Catalanotto and featuring special makeup FX by award winning makeup FX team, Gerner and Spears FX Co.(I SELL THE DEAD, STAKE LAND)

This is a new 10th anniversary director’s cut enhanced in high definition wide screen. The story was first presented in the award winning movie THE TENEMENT. This new version features a new ending that ties to the events and Jimmy’s return in the season 1 episodes “OPEN CALL” and “GEOKILLING”.

Tales of Light & Dark Season 2: Full Moon Rising Part 1 is now online

Mike Lane (THE BLOOD SHED, FAIRVIEW FALLS) stars as Jimmy Wayne Garrick, a man who becomes obsessed with the idea that he is changing into a werewolf after being bitten by a wild animal.

Co-starring Frank Catalanotto and featuring special makeup FX by award winning makeup FX team, Gerner and Spears FX Co.(I SELL THE DEAD, STAKE LAND)

This is a new 10th anniversary director’s cut enhanced in high definition wide screen. The story was first presented in the award winning movie THE TENEMENT. This new version features a new ending that ties to the events and Jimmy’s return in the season 1 episodes “OPEN CALL” and “GEOKILLING”.

Tales of Light & Dark Season 2: Full Moon Rising Teaser

FULL MOON RISING tells the origin story of Jimmy Wayne Garrick who believes he is turning into a werewolf after being bitten by a wild animal.

Starring Mike Lane (THE BLOOD SHED, FAIRVIEW FALLS) and featuring special makeup FX by award winning makeup artist, Brian Spears (STAKE LAND, WE ARE WHAT WE ARE) .

FULL MOON RISING, originally featured in the award winning movie THE TENEMENT, is available for free for the first time as a three-part web series that will be launching Halloween 2014. This new presentation has been re-edited and remastered in high definition. It also features a new ending tying it to the season one TALES OF LIGHT & DARK episodes OPEN CALL and GEOKILLING.

Shinobi Ninja takes Light & Dark by Storm

I just finished listening to Shinobi Ninja’s new album, ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK and it rocks!! I’m also proud to announce that their new single GLOOM DOOM will be featured in the upcoming season 2 of TALES OF LIGHT & DARK. Stay tune for more info!

Ninja

In the meantime, go to iTunes and buy their new album. You will not be disappointed. https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/escape-from-new-york/id878752763

If you don’t believe me check out the video for GLOOM DOOM.  These guys kick ass!

Red Giant Universe Review

There are hundreds of plug-ins on the market today to accomplish pretty much anything that you need to do.  Faster processors and GPUs have given consumers near unbridled flexibility and power rivaling capabilities of big production houses.

I’m not a saavy After effects user at all so to have this kind of power at my fingertips not only saves me time but money because I don’t have to hire someone to create sophisticated effects for me.

The problem is that many of these plugins can be just as hard to use as the software they plug into.  Sure it’s a time saver but if you struggle to use them or to find the right one to use then what’s the point of having them at all? Red Giant Universe tackles this issue head-on by placing the power of some of the industry’s most effective and useful plug-ins within easy operational and economical reach.

The Universe concept is consistent with a growing community-oriented model these days, whereby users are encouraged to offer suggestions and provide meaningful feedback. Once you register for free you have access to a wide range of no-cost and paid FX tools. The free tools include many popular blurs, glows, and transitions, so this is a good introduction to Universe for most users.

The paid premium content allows you access to a much larger range of tools with notable offerings like Knoll Light Factory.  Not every tool is offered at this point however.  I’m a huge fan of Magic Bullet which is currently not offered inside Universe.  That shouldn’t stop you though because this is still a terrific collection and as of version 1.1 which was released today, Red Giant Universe has already added more premium content.

A paid subscription is only $10 per month or at a discounted price of $99 for an annual subscription. It’s definitely well worth the price. For a full list of what’s included visit www.redgiant.com/store/universe/pricing.