Cinebasics by xSeedDesign

Welcome to the blog of xSeedDesign and Production! We run a tight ship here at Cinbasics, we only allow stuff that's interesting, stuff that's related to our field and stuff that we had a hand in. Occasionally we might post something that's just plain funny, cause everyone needs a little bit of funny now and then. So enjoy, peruse, check our archives for goodies and if all else fails go to our photography site for something pretty ;) If you like our blog, you can also visit: www.xseeddesignphotography.com www.xseeddesign.com www.facebook.com/xseeddesignproduction www.vimeo.com/xseeddesign

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As an owner of a video production company we get a bit snobby about our tools. I’ve had an iPhone 5 in my pocket for months but honestly never had the inclination to use it. But one sunny spring day I went to the creek with the family and realized I forgot an SD card in my DSLR. So left with the option of shooting nothing or using my phone, I chose the latter.

This was shot entirely on the phone, no external lenses, stabilizers or 3rd party apps.
The footage was then brought into Premiere Pro on a DSLR 720p timeline with the slow motion interpreted as 23.98. I used Film Convert for coloring with the Markii Standard option. I loooooove me some FilmConvert.

Other than that pretty much basic stuff, final output was cropped to 2:33 aspect ratio, higher bitrate and H.264 for the online version.

I’m not going to say I’m an iPhone fan for video now, but I will say it wasn’t too bad and completely usable for a web file. I might just try this again sometime :)

Grrrr, they wouldn’t let me get in. I swear I’m a certified X-Wing Pilot.

Frank T. Martinez / Starz Denver Film Festival Bumpers 2013

Gamma Acosta - Street Artist

One in a series of bumpers created for the 2013 Starz Denver Film Festival. Five artists were commissioned to create a work of art highlighting the festival theme of “Paint the Town Red”. They were given complete creative control and we filmed the process, end product and interviews. Each bumper is 30 seconds, these are both put together with the slides at the end for easier viewing.

This and the other 4 mini documentaries focus on art and what it means to the artist and to the world. Individually they showcase an amazing artist, as a whole they give an idea of what it means to be an “artist”.

Each short will be shown before the movies during the festival run, and the finished artwork will be on display in the Filmmakers Lounge at the Denver Pavilions. If you don’t make it to the festival please visit their websites at:

Angelo Ambrosia - Glass Blower: ambrosiaglassart.com
Saramanda Zurbuch - Emerging Artist: saramandaz.com/
Maggie Burns - Fashion Designer: mariemargot.com/
Frank T. Martinez - Modern Abstract Art: franktmartinez.com/
Gamma Acosta - Street Art: gammagallery.com/

Thanks to all the artists and their hard work in completing these pieces within a very short timeframe. We are blessed to have been allowed into their lives and to show the world what they can create.

To see more from xSeedDesign:

facebook.com/xseeddesignproduction
xseeddesign.com
cinebasics.com
xseeddesignphotography.com

twitter.com/xseeddesign

Gamma Acosta / Starz Denver Film Festival Bumpers 2013

Saramanda Zurbuch - Emerging artist

One in a series of bumpers created for the 2013 Starz Denver Film Festival. Five artists were commissioned to create a work of art highlighting the festival theme of “Paint the Town Red”. They were given complete creative control and we filmed the process, end product and interviews. Each bumper is 30 seconds, these are both put together with the slides at the end for easier viewing.

This and the other 4 mini documentaries focus on art and what it means to the artist and to the world. Individually they showcase an amazing artist, as a whole they give an idea of what it means to be an “artist”.

Each short will be shown before the movies during the festival run, and the finished artwork will be on display in the Filmmakers Lounge at the Denver Pavilions. If you don’t make it to the festival please visit their websites at:

Angelo Ambrosia - Glass Blower: ambrosiaglassart.com
Saramanda Zurbuch - Emerging Artist: saramandaz.com/
Maggie Burns - Fashion Designer: mariemargot.com/
Frank T. Martinez - Modern Abstract Art: franktmartinez.com/
Gamma Acosta - Street Art: gammagallery.com/

Thanks to all the artists and their hard work in completing these pieces within a very short timeframe. We are blessed to have been allowed into their lives and to show the world what they can create.

To see more from xSeedDesign:

facebook.com/xseeddesignproduction
xseeddesign.com
cinebasics.com
xseeddesignphotography.com
twitter.com/xseeddesign

Starz Denver Film Festival Bumpers 2013 / Angelo Ambrosia

This is a short that was used to open an international fashion show benefiting the Denver Children’s Advocacy Center. This blog post goes into detail of how we shot it, what we used to shoot it, and other fun stuff, enjoy!

First off, what did we use??

We used two cameras, the Canon C100 as the A Cam and a little old Canon T4I for some handheld pickups. But mostly this was a one camera shoot. As far as equipment we used a Satchler FSB4 and the Speed Lock legs. For the end running shot we used a Blackbird Stabilizer with a Wieldy double arm vest. I had to shoot this very quickly, total was about 6 hours so I didn’t use any rails or follow focus but I did have a MiniHD 4” monitor that was essential. The focus assist on the Small HD is a life saver, when you’re shooting outdoors with the C100 you really need some extra help in the focus department. I also used the Canon C-log so having a monitor that was adjusted closer to REC709 color space gives me a better idea of lighting and any issues. Without that it’s very very difficult to see what your final picture will look like. I would have also liked to have a Mattbebox with some Promist but there was no budget for rentals. This was for a non profit after all :)

Pre Production:

We didn’t have a lot of time once the go ahead was given but I did manage to get out a storyboard and shot list. I personally like to have both, but at least a shot list before start shooting. I have a tendency to lose myself in the work and I forget things like pickup shots and reverse’s etc. So a storyboard on my ipad mini that I can check back to now and then really helps me and keeps me moving quickly. I draw my storyboards pretty much all in Paper now, it’s quick and easy and exports out as a PDF. If anyone is interested seeing the storyboard you can PM me and I’ll send a copy.

We did about three days of location scouting all along the Continental Divide in Colorado. The main location was a secluded aspen field that was, of course, a hike down a rocky path. So we had two set up two base camps, one up top by the parking area, and one in the bottom of the valley. The Makeup and Hair stayed up top and sent me down models when I was ready. It was interesting. But sometimes you just have to go with the best location, even if it’s not ideal. This was hands down one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen in Colorado, and now it’s my little secret :)

Production:

At 9am me, the AD, a PA, and the boy actor went and grabbed the opening scenes at a property near the main location. We grabbed those shots in about an hour and met everyone else with my Production Manager and Art Director making sure everyone was getting dressed and whatnot. You think actors are hard to wrangle? Try models.

We we’re shooting by noon, not as soon as I wanted, but everything luckily went smoothly and we called the Martini shot at 6pm. I wanted to be there later for the actual magic hour but it started raining. You can’t tell but it was cloudy almost the entire day.

All the shots we’re pretty basic, except for some composite plates for the Fairy entrances and the ending. We originally had a much more dramatic location for the end shot, but it was privately owned and we couldn’t get permission. I would have done it anyway but the rain pretty much ruined my chances. So the ending wasn’t quite a dramatic as was planned, win some lose some.

Post Production:

The editing, coloring, graphics, and titles were all done by my very talented wife Alicia Beeson whom I owe a huge debt of gratitude. She not only did all the work, she also put up with me over her shoulder ‘directing’ half the time, lol.

For editing we use Adobe Premiere and After Effects. For color we use a combination of Magic Bullet, Colorista, and built in After Effects tweaks. For Audio I used Premiere and Audition. Most of the Foley didn’t turn out so I used free clips from various websites. All of the audio you hear was fake, none of it was recorded live at the shoot. Not ideal but again, win some lose some.

The final product was shown on a large projection screen over catwalk, I did a different version for the show that ending more abrupt with an large drum sound to open the show. the video was also shown on all the flat screens through the venue and projected on smaller walls throughout. It all looked great except the venue was only had the capability to play it off of DVD not Bluray, so there went my pretty HD edit. 

We didn’t know it at the time of filming but our story became the main theme for the entire show. The characters we’re reused and the little boy was brought on the catwalk and became the star of the show!

Lastly, I use my iphone and ipad quite a bit through out the whole process. For scouting I use Artemis Director’s Viewfinder, Sunseeker, Golden Light, and the compass. For Preproduction I use Celtx for my scripts, Google Earth, Teleprompt+ when I need it, The Clapboard, and Kesslers App for timelapse. For production I have my shot list and Storyboard loaded and ready for viewing as I shoot. And I use Easy Release to gather all my signatures.

Hope you all liked it, and feel free to add any questions or comments.

Hmmmm, now I’m officially sketched out by this camera. If you cut the price almost in half for no reason, that’s suspicious. No thanks I’ll stay with Canon EOS.

My brand new, shiny clean, smelly good music, ghostly video. It’s my first narrative type adventure and leap into the music genre so go easy on me.

We shot this on the Canon C100, with almost 75% on the Rokinon 24mm lens. A little bit of Canon’s 1.4 50mm and the Tokina 11-16mm.


Compositing was done in After Effects by my talented and groovy wife.

I purposely shot at a higher ISO, around 1600, because I wanted some noise in the picture. I know I’m nuts. But I really like the noise form the C100 at low levels, it’s almost film like. We also added some haze and kept the light pretty diffused. I would have liked to had a few more shots to flesh out the story but I could only get so much in one day. With a VERY small crew of maybe three, a micro budget and ten hours to get it done, I think we made something to be proud of. And of course, something Clare could be proud of :)

strayangelfilms:

Canon C100 Update Supports Continuous Auto-Focus

(Click Photo To Read More)

DSLR revolution Timeline

1. We all had video cameras and hates the look so we used bulky adapters to use our photo lenses. And then we were happy.

2. The 5D Mark ii came out and we all sold our video cameras and bought DSLR’s then finally got the look we wanted but hated the workflow and lack of options. But we were happy again.

3. We bought a ridiculous amount of accessories to make it all work and was briefly satisfied.

4. Video cameras finally came out with all the options and detachable lens mounts. We sold it all again and bought the new fancy cameras and remembered all the things we loved about our old video cameras. And we were very happy.

My first days Being on set.,

Well I’ve been on set the last few days on an Indie but large budget feature with some big names and all that. I’m not allowed to give any descriptions on this. I’m the BTS person, or Behind the Scenes, so I see and hear pretty much everything. I’ll be posting things along the way I find interesting.

So what have I learned so far as this is my very first time on a major motion picture set?
1. DO NOT post pictures of famous actors on Facebook of famous people you might have had a photo shoot with. If you want to become noticed by all the top dogs, by all means go for it, but I don’t recommend it.
2. The AD is either mad at everyone or just people who shoot BTS. And everyone else is usually stressed out.
3. The best people to hang with and get away from the “drama” are the Transpo guys. It’s like a vacation to normalcy.
4. Grips do ALL the work. And they are awesome. And they are usually nice but you’ll never know because they never stop moving.
5. The Director deep down, just wants people to like him or at least think he knows what he’s doing.
6. AC is a much harder and stressful job than I imagined. I know ALOT about cameras and I don’t think I could do that job.
7. I and most of these people make more money doing short videos, commercials, events etc. than I would ever make working for a month of 12 hour days on set. Don’t do it for the money.
8. The very, and I mean very, first thing you should do is make friends with whomever is serving the food.
9. Don’t take it personally when people are mean to you. It’s 50/50 in people who are nice and people who like to be mean. Be prepared and learn to shake it off.
10. No matter how many books you read or things you hear, you will NOT be prepared to work on a real and large production set. You will be lost, you will be afraid, you WILL have to learn more in order to work well. Once you do it’s all gravy but like learning how to skate or snowboard etc., you will fall down alot and it’ll hurt. Getting back up is what separates the people who do this for a living and everyone else who thinks it’d be “fun”.

Here it is! Our video highlighting the momentous occasion celebrating Civil Unions in Colorado. We filmed both the Civil Soiree hosted by One Colorado and the subsequent civil unions held in the Webb building at midnight. It was a great experience and we are honored to have been able to capture it. Congrats to all the lucky newly unioned!

Well I was proud to be sponsoring One Colorado Civil Soire last night in Denver Colorado. Everyone celebrated and had a good ol time, then quite a few got married! Or Civil Unioned anyway.

Very soon we’ll be releasing a video commemorating the historic event, keep an eye out :)


We are also proud to announce we will be working with Mile High Civil Unions to produce, hopefully, some of the very first wedding videos in town! Never thought I’d be a wedding videographer but I guess everyone has to grow up sometime, lol.


Congrats to all the lucky couples!!!!!!

100$ off new GoPro!

I have a coupon for 100$ off the new GoPro 3 that has to be used in two weeks. I can’t use it so I’m giving it away! Just leave a comment that you’re interested and I’ll pick a random person in 48 hours!

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