ActionBacks Releases 40 new Network Style Animations

Royalty free animations for use in video production
Suite Imagery, LLC has announced the release of 2 new volumes in the Network Motion series of royalty free animations.  Network Motion 7 & 8 each contain 20 seamlessly looping motion backgrounds for multimedia producers and editors.  The animated graphics offer a high technology themed collection that can be quickly used in non linear video editing softwares, without any altering or converting.  The backgrounds are useful for enhancing video titles, logos, photos and video montages.

These 40 new video backgrounds are available in High Definition, NTSC and PAL formats.  Both volumes are now available for download from the ActionBacks.com website for $79 per volume, or even less as part of a bundle.

Both volumes have also been added to the ActionBacks Unlimited Hard Drive offer that contains all 52 volumes of ActionBacks for only $599.  Owners of other ActionBacks volumes also qualify for further discounts on this complete collection bundle, which is shipped on a portable 320GB hard drive.  More information on these products can be seen at www.ActionBacks.com.

Artbeats Unveils New Ultra, Aerial, Energy and Environmental Titles in SD and HD at NAB 2008

Industry’s Leading Stock Footage Company Showcases Exclusive Ultra Slow Motion Collections, City Edges and Executive Jet
Press Release

Artbeats, the industry’s leading creative footage resource, today announced the immediate availability of a wide range of exclusive royalty-free collections at the 2008 National Association of Broadcasters Convention (NAB). Shown for the first time at NAB, these collections are the latest additions to Artbeats’ very popular Ultra footage line, which features 1000fps (frames per second) slow-motion footage shot with the Phantom HD camera. Artbeats is one of the few stock footage houses to use the Phantom HD, and the camera’s outstanding resolution can be seen in the following new Ultra collections:

  • Ultra Water 2, Ultra Natural Water, and Ultra Water Drops feature footage of water in all its forms, from dripping and splashing single drops to crashing waves, churning white water and spectacular shots from behind a waterfall.
  • Ultra Motion 2 is the sequel to the popular Ultra Motion collection. It contains a wide variety of subject matter, including fireworks, smoke, leaves, water splashes, golf, swimmers, divers and much more.
  • Ultra Nature previews the wonders of nature in ultra slow motion. Watch a hummingbird seemingly hang in mid-air, witness bees gathering nectar from flowers, see frogs jumping from rocks.
  • Liquid Ambience 2 makes water look like nectar so that even the smallest of ripples take on a magical quality. These liquid backgrounds are mesmerizing and will add real production value to any project.

 
In addition, Artbeats is unveiling Executive Jet, which offers landings and takeoffs of business jets, plus exclusive air-to-air footage of a Gulfstream IV. City Edges has unique and dramatic close-up shots of city skyscrapers and architecture. Artbeats also “goes green” with Environmental Impact, an impressive collection featuring clips that support nearly every environmental cause, making it a good companion title to Aerial Energy, which includes a wide variety of power plants as seen from the air. As big city aerials are constantly requested, Artbeats is also introducing Atlanta, Dallas, Miami and Texas City Aerials. More detail on these collections:
 

  • Executive Jet boasts incredible production value with 30 air-to-air shots of a high-end Gulfstream IV, along with 14 gyrostabilized tracking aerials of jets landing and taking off, making these clips essential for storytelling, commercials, documentaries and eye candy.
  • City Edges explores the abstract shapes and shifting layers of building edges as seen from a helicopter and tracked with a Gyron gyrostabilized camera system. Identifiable enough for great establishing shots, and abstract enough to be used as effects and backgrounds, these clips are so visually stimulating that users will want to find an excuse to use them no matter what the project is.
  • Environmental Impact includes footage of landfills, recycling, litter, air pollution, forest management, water pollution, energy use and more.
  • Aerial Energy offers Gyron-stabilized aerial footage of five major energy sources, including wind, solar, petroleum, hydro and nuclear energy plants across the country.
  • Atlanta, Dallas, Miami and Texas City Aerials answer the continuous request for more aerial footage of big cities. These new Gyron-stabilized collections feature spectacular skylines, towering skyscrapers and familiar landmarks as seen from the air.

 Artbeats will showcase these and many other royalty-free titles on the company’s massive HD plasma display wall at NAB 2008, booth SL5413. To learn more about Artbeats’ NAB 2008 product releases, as well as special discounts and offers available exclusively for NAB attendees, please visit www.artbeats.com/nab2008
 
Featuring a wide range of practical and compelling subject matter, Artbeats’ extensive library includes thousands of high-quality clips that can be used for broadcast, feature film, commercial, concerts, live events, game development, independent production, multimedia and more. A favorite among creative professionals, Artbeats’ footage is used by the industry’s leading film and broadcast companies, including Disney, Dreamworks, Pixar, Universal Studios, Comedy Central, BBC, Cartoon Network, MTV, American Idol and CNN.
 
Pricing and Availability
Artbeats footage is available in HD-1920×1080, D1 NTSC-720 x 486 or D1 PAL-720 x 576 resolutions. Pricing for Artbeats’ HD collections range from USD $799-$1,599; standard definition collections range from USD $399-$899. Individual clips are also available, ranging from $199-$300. To learn more about Artbeats and view every clip and collection in the library, please visit www.artbeats.com/footage.
 
Artbeats also offers a wide range of free online Tips & Tricks and other creative resources that help customers make the most of their royalty-free stock footage. See them all at www.artbeats.com/tips.
 
About Artbeats
Artbeats, founded in 1989, is an award-winning provider of royalty-free stock footage for broadcast, feature films, commercial, multimedia, game development and independent producers. The Artbeats library includes nature, special effects, scenics, aerials, lifestyles, backgrounds and much more. Quality, resolution and pricing make Artbeats one of the leading choices by industry professionals. Free research from the company’s knowledgeable service representatives and access to online tutorials help customers locate and make the most of their stock footage resources. The library is always expanding and currently includes over 454 titles, over 154 of which are HD, as well as a growing selection of royalty-free solo clips. Customers can view the entire library online, and Artbeats’ comprehensive, user-friendly website makes it easy for customers to find, purchase and download royalty-free footage 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
 
Artbeats is headquartered in Myrtle Creek, Ore. with a staff of artists, producers, technicians and marketers. For more information or to purchase clips, visit www.artbeats.com.
 
Artbeats is a registered trademark of Artbeats Software Inc.
Other product and company names herein are trademarks of their respective owners.

Manfrotto Launches New MPRO Carbon Fiber Tripod Family

New MPRO Tripods Tower Over the Competition With 100% Carbon Fiber Tubes and Impressive Max Load Capacity
Press Release

Manfrotto, a world-leading manufacturer of photographic and video support products, is proud to introduce MPRO – a new family of carbon fiber tripods that joins its ever-expanding array of solutions for professional videographers. The new MPRO family comprises two models, the 535 and 536, which were specifically designed to meet the needs of professional shooters, especially those involved with ENG applications.

Manfrotto Tripod

Incredibly lightweight and stable, the 535 and 536 combine some of the world’s most advanced and highest-performing materials, including 100% carbon fiber for the manufacture of the tubes, and magnesium for the manufacture of the die castings. Additionally, the 535 and 536 are highlighted by a user-friendly form factor that is both ergonomic and compact. When coupled with the MPRO’s single tube design, new leg angle selectors, improved quick-action leg locks, and retractable spiked feet for indoor and outdoor use, the 535 and  536 are easily two of the most versatile and easy-to-use professional video tripods on the market today. The tripods are also quite the workhorses as well, with max load capacities of 55.1 pounds for the 536 and 44.1 pounds for the 535. Furthermore, with a max height of 79.1 inches for the 536 and 65 inches for the 535, videographers can rest assured that they’ll never miss a shot or have their view obstructed when in the field.  

Specifications

MPRO 536
Max Load    55.1 lbs
Max Height    79.1″
Min Height    10.2″
Folded Length    27.2″
Head Attachment    75mm / 100mm bowl
Leg Angles    3 Steps = 23°-50°-70°
Weight      7.7 lbs
                     

MPRO 535
Max Load    44.1 lbs

Max Height    65″

Min Height    10.6″

Folded Length    28.3″

Head Attachment    75mm bowl

Leg Angles    3 Steps = 23°-50°-70°

Weight      6 lbs

The MPRO 535 and 536 will be available in April 2008 with estimated street prices of $550.00 and $725.00 respectively.

About Manfrotto:
Gruppo Manfrotto are world leaders in the manufacture of professional camera and lighting supports for photography, video, broadcast and entertainment.  For 35 years, Manfrotto has been building the world’s widest range of tripods, heads and dedicated accessories to support professional and semi-professional still cameras, from the traditional small, medium and large format to the latest digital camera.  Every product in the Manfrotto range is designed to provide a perfect combination of important features such as: load capacity, size, stability, transportability, interchangeability and construction quality – guaranteeing unique inimitable reliability and longevity.

About Bogen Imaging:
Bogen Imaging Inc is a leading distributor of key accessories brands for the video, cine, lighting and photographic markets. Bogen is an international company within the Imaging Division of the Vitec Group, which owns the following leading, international brands: Manfrotto, Gitzo, Kata, National Geographic bags and tripods, Avenger, and I.F.F. As the exclusive US distributor of Metz, Gossen, Elinchrom, Lastolite, Reflecmedia and Formatt Filters, Bogen offers the most complete range of exceptional camera and lighting accessories in the business. The Bogen Imaging international network covers the USA, Germany, France, Italy, UK and Japan.

Lensbabies Goes to the Movies

Lensbabies Introduces the PL Mount Lensbaby 3G 3rd Generation Selective Focus SLR Lens Now Available for Movie Cameras and Video Cameras
Press Release

Lensbabies, LLC showcases today the Lensbaby 3GPL, a PL mount version of its acclaimed selective focus (SLR) lens, Lensbaby 3G(TM).  The Lensbaby 3GPL is a unique prime lens specially designed for use with motion image capture.  The retail price is US$490. Lensbaby 3GPL lenses and sample clips are available now at www.lensbabies.com/movies.  

With fixed or flexible “tilt and swing” positioning, the Lensbaby 3GPL allows for highly creative focusing effects on any 16mm or 35mm PL mount movie camera, as well as several PL to video camera adapters such as the P+S Technik (http://www.pstechnik.de/en/index.php), Redrockmicro M2 (http://www.redrockmicro.com/),  Brevis35 (http://www.cinevate.com/) and SGpro (http://www.sgpro.co.uk/).

“The PL Mount Lensbaby 3G brings to cinematographers the unique ability to produce selective focus footage in-camera that is different from what is possible with existing tilt-shift lenses,” says Craig Strong, the inventor of the Lensbaby and Co-Founder of Lensbabies, LLC. “With the Lensbaby 3GPL the photographer is able to choose between a spontaneous focus-and-tilt-on-the-fly technique or a fixed tilt with a manual far-to-near focus technique similar to traditional PL mount lenses. We created the Lensbaby 3GPL to provide cinematographers with a new tool that extends their creative range by allowing them to create unique imagery.”

Like its still camera predecessors, Lensbaby 3GPL allows filmmakers to bring one part of their frame into sharp focus; a ‘sweet spot’ surrounded by gradually increasing blur. Photographers can move the sweet spot of sharp focus anywhere in the photo by bending the flexible body of the Lensbaby.  When not bent, the sweet spot remains in the center of the image with the blur equally distributed around the edge of the image.

“Lensbabies is thrilled to be introducing a new selective focus lens for movie making.  Our lenses have become quite popular in the still photography market, but we think that some of the most exciting applications will happen in the movies, where the dreamy, ethereal look of selective focus is going to knock people’s socks off,” said Strong.

“When I first learned about the Lensbaby concept, I was intrigued with the possibilities for moving images,” said Christopher Hart, Cinematographer with Eastman Kodak Co. “I tested the Lensbaby 3G with the PL mount on my Arri 35-3 with great success. Its inherent distortion created evocative images that were both moody and playful. Outside of the ‘sweet spot’, the de-focused images had a wonderful organic feel to them. I’ve always been frustrated with using swing and shift lenses, but the 3G was actually enjoyable to use. Having a small specialty lens in my kit that can help create beautiful, atmospheric images will be perfect for certain applications.”

Focusing the 3GPL is simple:  by compressing and bending the lens manually the area of focus can be determined and simply locked into a fixed position by pressing a button. Then, using a traditional manual focus mechanism, camera operators are able to follow focus or fine tune the focus at a fixed position. Likewise, similar to the Lensbaby 2.0 and Original Lensbaby for still SLR cameras, the photographer has the option of focusing freely without locking their Lensbaby 3GPL for a spontaneous selective focus effect.

The Lensbaby 3GPL features a multi-coated, low dispersion, glass optic, a flexible lens body, and three threaded metal rods that emerge from the camera mount and pass through the focusing collar.  A trigger button on the focusing collar releases three pins that engage the threaded metal rods and lock the Lensbaby 3GPL in a bent position to permit precise focus and complete control.

Photographers can also mount onto the front of their Lensbaby 3GPL a variety of 37mm or 52 mm threaded accessories, such as wide angle and telephoto conversion lenses, filters, and hoods. Please note that the Lensbaby Macro Kit will not work on the Lensbaby 3GPL.

Lensbabies can be bought from B&H Photo.

Lensbaby 3GPL Specifications:

Optic:    Coated optical glass doublet (same optic as Lensbaby 2.0)
Focal Length:    54 mm
Focus Type:    Hybrid Manual Compression / Manual barrel
Aperture Type:    Interchangeable levitating aperture disks
Apertures:    f/2, f/2.8, f/4, f/5.6, f/8, f/11, f/16, f/22
Minimum Focus:    Approximately 12″ (30.48cm)
Maximum Focus:    Infinity
Size:    3″ (7.62cm) high x  3.25″ (8.89cm) wide
Weight:    5.7oz  (161.59g)
Available Mounts:    PL Mount
Available Accessories:    *    The Lensbaby 06.X/1.6X Wide Angle Telephoto Kit that includes one 0.6X wide angle and one 1.6X telephoto conversion lens that can be mounted directly to the Lensbaby 3GPL
*    The Lensbaby Creative Aperture Kit which contains different shaped apertures and blanks which can be cut to a custom shape.  Out of focus specular highlights (bright points of light) in the footage take on the shape of the hole in the aperture disk.

About Lensbabies

Lensbabies, LLC is a Portland, Oregon based manufacturer and marketer of award-winning selective focus SLR camera lenses.  Lensbabies was launched in February 2004 by Craig Strong, a professional photographer and the inventor of the patent pending Lensbaby selective focus SLR lens.  Lensbabies sells to photographers all over the world through its website, www.lensbabies.com, by calling 877-536-7222 / 971-223-5662, and at tradeshows.

Epson’s new EMP-400W projector: wide screen short throw, big impact

Epson’s ultra short throw wide screen projector – the EMP-400W – makes a big impact for presenters, lecturers and corporate boardrooms delivering a 60 inch wide screen image from as close as 65 cm.
Following these key points is a detailed media release about Epson’s new short throw wide screen projector, the EMP-400W:

  • Epson’s EMP-400W ultra short throw wide screen projector makes a big impact for presenters, lecturers and corporate boardrooms delivering a 60 inch wide screen image from only 65 cm away.
  • The EMP-400W can be mounted on a boom attached to the wall and the presenter can stand close to the image and interact with the whiteboard without shadows interfering with the audience’s view, and without lamp glare in the presenter’s eyes.
  • With Epson’s newly developed high precision lens, the EMP-400W is the only short throw, wide-screen (16:10) projector available, and it can fill the screen of any interactive whiteboard or screen regardless of its aspect ratio(4:3, 16:9, and 16:10.).

Release follows:

With its ultra short throw wide screen lens, positioning of the projector is no longer a problem as the EMP-400W can be mounted on a boom attached to the wall and the presenter can stand close to the image and interact with the whiteboard without shadows interfering with the audience’s view, and without lamp glare in the presenter’s eyes.
Connecting cables can be run through the boom, reducing installation costs and also leaving the front of screen clear to allow more seats in the audience or audience members to sit closer to the screen.  Even in a small room the EMP-400W can project a large image without interfering with audience space.

With Epson’s newly developed high precision lens, the EMP-400W is the only short throw, wide-screen (16:10) projector available.  It projects in Wide XGA (1280 x 768 pixels), an increasingly common format for laptops and PCs, and it can also be adjusted for interactive white boards (and regular screens) to give aspect ratios of 4:3, 16:9, and 16:10.

Epson makes its own low cost highly efficient E-TOR lamps, and the 4000 hour 1800 Ansi lumen long life lamp in the EMP-400W can be replaced easily by loosening a single screw on the hatch on top of the projector
The air-filter can be easily replaced by simply accessing it from the slot at the front of the projector.  No tools are needed.

With multiple EMP-400Ws connected to a LAN, each one may be individually operated and monitored from a remote PC.  If a lamp or temperature anomaly is detected, a notification will be sent via e-mail from the projector to the PC.  When used in a corporate or school environment for example, each projector may be turned on or off via the network and any abnormalities monitored from a central facilities management office.

The EMP-400W has dual VGA inputs, audio out, a 10W speaker and a LAN port for remote monitoring.  It comes with Epson’s 3 year warranty and all the reliability and quality benefits of Epson’s renowned 3LCD and patented E-TOR lamp technology.
Epson continues to be the market leader in projector sales globally and in Australia, with a 20% share of the Australian market in 2007 for its broad range of 3LCD education, corporate and high definition home theatre projectors.

The EMP-400W is distributed in Australia by Ingram Micro, Alloys and Westan and is available now through Epson dealers at an RRP of $2399 in Australia.

About Epson Australia
Epson offers an extensive array of award winning image capture and image output products for the consumer, business, photography and graphic arts markets, and is also a leading supplier of value-added point-of-sale (POS) solutions for the retail market.  Epson is the market leader worldwide in sales of data projectors [DTC Consulting Limited figures].  Epson’s products meet consumer and business customer needs for superior quality colour image reproduction (printers), projection (projectors) and capture (scanners) devices with high-level functionality, compactness, systems integration and energy efficiency.  Epson Australia, founded in 1983 is headquartered in North Ryde NSW and is a subsidiary of the Epson Group headquartered in Japan.

About the Epson Group
Epson is a global leader in imaging products including printers, 3LCD projectors and small- and medium-sized LCDs. With an innovative and creative culture, Epson is dedicated to exceeding the vision and expectations of customers worldwide with products known for their superior quality, functionality, compactness and energy efficiency.
Epson is a network of 87,626 employees in 117 companies around the world, and is proud of its ongoing contributions to the global environment and to the communities in which it is located. Led by the Japan-based Seiko Epson Corp., the Group had consolidated sales of 1416 billion yen in fiscal 2006.

Autodesk Launches Combustion 2008 Desktop Compositing Software

Autodesk, Inc. today announced Autodesk Combustion 2008 software, the latest version of its desktop compositing and visual effects solution.
Press Release

Combustion offers digital media artists an easy-to-use interface, non-destructive workflow and extensive toolset at the affordable price of A$1,564*. It has been used on the Juicy Fruit Ant commercial by Asylum Visual Effects, the Target Anthem ad by Brand New School, and by Zoic Studio on the Journeyman television show. The popular Colour Warper tool, found in the Autodesk Flame visual effects system, has been added to Combustion 2008. The new release also includes improvements to the schematic view.

The Colour Warper in Combustion 2008 performs primary and selective colour correction. It also allows for precise fine-tuning with multiple levels of adjustment in a single pass.  Colour Warper features include:
*    Interactive adjustment of gamma, gain, offset, hue, saturation, and contrast
*    Intuitive hue shift and a tint colour wheel for fast, accurate colour balancing and a visual colour sampling palette for precise colour matching
*    Interactive Histogram and curves editing modes for subtle, precision tweaking of colour components
*    Independent controls for colour correcting the image’s shadow, midtone, and highlight regions
*    “Match” feature for fast scene-to-scene colour correction
*    “Selective” feature for sampling up to three different colour regions for isolated correction
*    User interface features: high-quality RGB vector scope, and a 3D histogram for precise colour monitoring

Pricing and Availability in Australia
Autodesk anticipates that Combustion 2008 will be available in December 2007. The 2008 release will be supported on Macintosh and Windows operating systems. Autodesk suggested retail pricing is A$1,564*. The suggested upgrade price from Combustion 4 to Combustion 2008 is A$391*.

*Prices include GST.

For more information on Combustion 2008, please visit www.autodesk.com/combustion.

Autodesk, Combustion, Colour Warper and Flame are registered trademarks or trademarks of Autodesk, Inc./Autodesk Canada Co. in the USA and/or other countries. All other brand names, product names or trademarks belong to their respective holders.  Autodesk reserves the right to alter product offerings and specifications at any time without notice, and is not responsible for typographical or graphical errors that may appear in this document.
 © 2007 Autodesk, Inc. All rights reserved.

YouTube on AppleTV

You can now view YouTube content on AppleTV
Apple today announced that YouTube is now live on Apple TV. Users can download the free software update using Apple TV’s built-in software update feature, and then easily navigate through YouTube’s familiar video browsing categories or search for specific videos. YouTube members can also log-in to their YouTube accounts on Apple TV to view and save their favourite videos.

“Now users can enjoy YouTube wherever they are-on their iPhone, on their Mac or on a widescreen TV in their living room with Apple TV,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO.

To achieve higher video quality and longer battery life on mobile devices, YouTube has begun encoding their videos in the advanced H.264 format, and iPhone will be the first mobile device to use the H.264-encoded videos. Over 10,000 videos will be available on June 29, and YouTube will be adding more each week until their full catalog of videos is available in the H.264 format this fall.

Apple TV users can download the free software update using Apple TV’s built-in software update feature.

Pricing & Availability in Australia
Apple TV, which includes the Apple Remote, is available through the Apple Store (www.apple.com.au) and Apple Authorised Resellers for a recommended retail price of A$449 inc GST. Apple TV with a 160GB hard drive can be ordered today with a RRP of A$579 inc GST.

Apple ignited the personal computer revolution in the 1970s with the Apple II and reinvented the personal computer in the 1980s with the Macintosh. Today, Apple continues to lead the industry in innovation with its award-winning computers, OS X operating system and iLife and professional applications. Apple is also spearheading the digital media revolution with its iPod portable music and video players and iTunes online store, and will enter the mobile phone market this year with its revolutionary iPhone.

The Essential Digital Video Handbook

A Comprehensive Guide to Making Videos That Make Money
The Essential Digital Video Handbook
A Comprehensive Guide to Making Videos That Make Money
By Pete May
Rockport Publishers, RotoVision, 2004
ISBN: 1 59253 024 9

There is a lot to learn about digital video and many people are coming straight to digital video cold with no prior analog video experience. This book aims to fill the void.

The Essential Digital Video Handbook

This 190+ page book is divided into the following chapters:
*    Introduction
*    Choosing Your Equipment
*    Finding Work
*    The 7 P’s
*    On Location
*    Basic Principles of Editing
*    The Finished Product
*    Glossary

This book avoids getting specific about the hardware and software, which allows it to be a great choice for anyone, irrespective of the hardware or software you are using. The author has 25 years experience in television and it shows in this book. He cuts to the chase straight away. The book begins with how to choose your equipment. It then gets into what work you can get and then into planning and preparing for a shoot. A great chapter on location work ends the shooting part of the book. What follows is then a great introduction to editing and putting together a finished video. It is not application specific, rather it focuses on what is common to all the editing applications.

A Comprehensive Guide to Making Videos That Make Money

This is a great book. All the information has been hard won by the author through years of experience. It is solid, practical advice. Couple this book with one specifically suited to the editing software you are going to use and you have a very solid self-guided course in digital video. Very highly recommended.

Australiaâ

Beat the dull family footage curse with tips from Sony Australia
Press Release
 
Putting your home-movie audience to sleep? Shaky shots? Zooming in too close? Does this sound familiar? These are the top three mistakes Australians make when filming their home-movies, according to Sony Australia.  
 
Australians have long been fans of the home-movie, however very few know how to make one that friends and family really want to watch. Based on consumer research, Sony Australia lists the following most common pitfalls for Australian home-movie makers: 
* Boring shots – stock standard positions, lack of composition, don’t tell a story 
* One handed filming – causing shakiness, blurry images, and a motion-sick viewer! 
* Overusing the zoom – shots no longer in context, distracting motion moving in and out
 
“Capturing moments with family and friends on video is a popular past time,” said Di Shepherd, Sony Australia’s Product Manager for Handycam. “Shooting videos that impress your audience can be simple to make by keeping a few essentials in mind. Locating the record, stop, zoom and power buttons do not equate to a home movie masterpiece.”
 
Amid the plethora of camcorder buttons and options, people are hard pressed to know exactly what features do, and what the benefits are. Sony Australia comes to their aid today with the release of its user-friendly guide and tips to overcome the top three mistakes people make.
 
The “Home movie-making made easy with Handycam” user guide – available at www.sony.com.au/handycam/guide – outlines a broad cross-section of advice for movie making. It has been collated utilising research Sony gathered from Handycam users as well as insights obtained from Sony’s technical centre.
 
Boring shots
Constantly shooting from the one direction and from unvarying angles means viewers will often become bored. Consider trying creative ways to capture a scene, such as shooting from above or fading in and out. This will add more depth and texture to home-movies, and create a more professional look and feel overall.
 
One-handed filming
It is tempting to hold the camcorder with only one hand, using the hand strap. This however is not the best method of filming, as the weight of the camera coupled with the natural movement of shaking hands causes the picture to waver. The best option is to hold the camcorder with two hands to ensure a steadier shot. Another option is to lean against a wall or support elbows on a table for more stabilisation.
 
Over-using the zoom
The top mistake generally made when creating a video is zooming. Overuse of the zoom is a habit picked up from using digital cameras where you frequently zoom to obtain the best picture. When making movies, zooming can cause viewers to feel motion sickness and hence should be avoided. Instead, move slowly towards the subject being captured for a more natural close-up.
 
The Handycam user guide provides tips for all camcorder users and is readily available for home- movie making buffs for download from the Handycam website www.sony.com.au/handycam/guide.