FiveSix Video Production

Ping Pong Master vs Kuka Robot - Video Production Steals the Show

Just cause you can do it, doesn't mean you should.

The premise of matching a man vs machine is a compelling storyline, in just about any competition.  In the case of table tennis, this advertisement made the rounds seemingly to tease a future video of the game. We never got that, unfortunately.  Technically the video was sound.  The lighting was dramatic and interesting, the camera movement was smooth, the angles and framing were dynamic.  But even though they pulled everything off, it felt like a video production case of we got it so let's use it.

We have high speed frame rates, let's use it to show a dive from a low angle with sweat flying through the air.   (seen it before)

We have 4K, let's pan and scan a couple hits across the table.  (jarring, kind of annoying, rather see a wide shot)

We have a jib/crane, let's do a high angle really wide while he's running around.

It just felt like they were throwing video production elements in because they could, not because it helped the spot.  I think it could have turned out better without all the jazz.  The use of the rapid cutting and having every shot trying to speak to the dramatics of the situation, pulled us to focus more on the video production rather than the robot.  This is an ad after all and it felt like it.  After seeing the close up of Kuka on the ball twice for no particular reason and never seeing a 'real' point played, I think the ad made me feel like I was watching an ad, a quarter way through.  If I wasn't into the production side of things, I would have closed out.  If the ad did it's job, I should be talking how cool robotics is going to be for videographers as prices come down and we can get robots like that to create precision moves on our shoots that call for it.  Instead I'm saying, how cool for the production team that got to play with all their gear on a shoot that didn't call for it.  But I wrote about it so maybe it did it's job after all.

Basic point is, we're all guilty of this from time to time and it's always good to check yourself and make sure you're not using a piece of gear just because it's available or it's cool and you want to use it.  Gear is used to enhance the shot/piece, not create it.

Here's the Kuka robot video if you haven't seen it.







When it comes to Video Production. Here is a list of all the non-union hotels in Las Vegas


The Venetian  & Palazzo Resort Hotel - ARIA Resort at City Center - Stratosphere Tower Resort - MGM Grand Hotel – Hard Rock Casino –

Fremont Hotel & Casino -The Orleans Hotel – Wynn Las Vegas - Encore at Wynn Las Vegas – Bellagio Resort- Monte Carlo Resort - Treasure Island Hotel

Cannery Hotel – Ravella at Lake Las Vegas -Vdara Hotel & Spa at City Center - Mirage Resort  - Imperial Palace Hotel - Golden Nugget Hotel  -

The Signature at MGM Grand - New York New York Hotel – Red Rock Resort - South Point Hotel  - Trump International Hotel – Palms Hotel

Green Valley Ranch Resort – Westin at Lake Las Vegas - Planet Hollywood Hotel – Rampart Casino – Mandalay Bay - Four Seasons Hotel –

Hooters Hotel – Hotel at Lake Las Vegas Resort – Mandarin Oriental Hotel – The hotel – The Harmon Hotel - Cancun Resort - Alliante Station Hotel –

The M Resort – The Cosmopolitan Hotel of Las Vegas – Montelago Village Resort

                                                           Fremont Street Experience - Sands Convention Center – Las Vegas Convention Center


The good news is it doesn't matter where your Las Vegas video production needs are. Our video crews can film at any property. We have camera operators on staff who can be called out on a union shoot so we can accommodate any and all of your video production needs.

Also, reach out to F11 Rentals for all of your Las Vegas camera rentals. They deliver to all of the mentioned hotels.


Las Vegas Video Production

Our new camera bags - The High Roller

We decided on purchasing the Cinebags High Roller for all of our C300 and PMW-300 Camera Packages. The Lens Smuggler has been a great accessory to transport our lenses and additional gear as a carry on. The quality is what you would expect from a high end manufacturer. The Zippers and stitching are built to withstand heavy use. I personally love that there is a little more depth to the main compartment over the previous version the Camera Daddy. Because of the added space we can now store the C300 camera with the top handle as well as the 24-70 lens on the camera. This allows for quicker setups and I think the less we can take the lens on and off the body the better. Oh almost forgot... These new bags have a telescoping handle and wheels. No more lugging a 30lb. Camera bag on my shoulder running from plane to plane. Also, while we are on the topic of traveling. I have to mention the lens smuggler allows us to bring a variety of lenses and stash them under the seat very comfortably. It is slightly thicker than the laptop case but not one airline worker has given it a second look. A highroller and the lens smuggler are a great combination. One carry on and one personal item. We are very glad to have these new bags and I expect them to be a valuable tool for us for the life of our cameras.

Our new lineup of Camera Bags
Las Vegas Video Production

We go with American

American Grip is our grip gear brand of choice.  Their products provide a level of durability, versatility, and reputation that other manufacturers can't match.  Our American equipment has served us well during recent shoots out on location.

Grip head to a C-Stand
Las Vegas Video Production

FloLight LED Panels

We bought a pair of Flolight panel lights about 6 months ago and I thought I'd wait a bit and see how they held up over half a year span.  The lights we purchased are daylight balanced with an anton bauer battery adaptor on the back. We've taken these lights all the way from red carpets to the middle of the desert and the ease of use and versatility have made us believers in this type of lighting.  For ENG, run and gun type productions, to be able to set up quick, toss on a battery and have 1000w of light without the hassel of cords was a life saver in many situations.  Top lights sometimes don't cut it.  We do plenty of quick shoots and I find myself packing a flolight more often then not.


There are a few problems I've found that should be shared.  First off, all are lights come in balanced between 6000k and 6300k, not 5600k as advertised.  The lights aren't built tough, meaning in the 6 month time period we've had them in for flicking, dimmer malfunction and one went toast and stop firing all together.  The build quality isn't up to what I would consider production standard.  The light can also be a little harsh so a couple pieces of diffusion are necessary if doing any sort of interview which drastically cuts the throw of the light.  And, even though we have the gel adaptors, adding gels or diffusion isn't an easy endeavor.   However, when we 'separately' purchase the barndoors that problem should be solved.


The most common question I'm asked is how do the Flolights compare to the LitePanels.  We rented a couple of LitePanels for a shoot and while we had them we decided to do a few tests for comparison.  The Flolights, despite being 6300k, had a more realistic daylight apperance then the LitePanels which didn't even make it to 5600k but closer to 5000k.  They were almost twice as bright as the LitePanels and lit our subjects at much further distances. The LitePanels did appear to be studier and have a better build and a few more features like the dual color temps. Oh and the one Flolight costs about 1/3 the price of a LitePanel.


I'm not going to use them for everything but these lights do have a place in my packages and I will continue to use Flolights until I see another panel light that can give me the same value.  And though they tend to have a few more malfunctions than I'd like, returning the poor units and customer service has been very good to this point.


The f-stops here.

Las Vegas Video Production

Terrablock 24EX Storage

We got our new 24TB Terrablock racked and ready to go. The entire process took less than a day to get everything up and running. The editors are loving the Fiber connectivity and have already started sharing project between the bays.

We had high hopes for this acquisition and so far it's living up to all of them.


Las Vegas Video Production

C300 in Low Light

DP David Dalasta of FiveSix Productions, decided to use the Canon C300 for our latest commercial production. Our shoot included filming outdoors at night as well as some driving down the Las Vegas strip shots. We were amazed that we only needed to bump the camera to 6400 ISO to get a properly exposed image. The versatility of the C300 was outstanding and exceeded our expectations.

Our subject a female atop the eiffel tower was lith three LED panels and our Male talent was lit with one LED while driving the car.

Director Bill Aylward, also had us shoot some macro elements using the Canon100mm L Series Lens. We overcranked at [email protected] shooting 720P. Our clients saw the footage and requested an additional spot based just on this footage.

Las Vegas Video Production

New Cameras Coming to NAB 2012

We are very excited to see what new cameras are going to show up here in Vegas at NAB 2012.

ARRI will showcase its Alexa range of 2K cameras, the Alexa, Alexa Plus, Alexa M, and Alexa Studio, which boasts 14 stops of dynamic range, a base sensitivity of EI 800 and cinematic image quality. Their ergonomics, menu systems and functionality are based on film cameras to provide ease of use for experienced film professionals.

Canon USA will introduce its Cinema EOS Cameras, the Canon EOS C300 and C300PL, designed for digital cinematographers. Available in either EF- or PL-mount configurations, features include a Super 35mm Canon CMOS sensor, Canon DIGIC DV III image processor and 50 Mbps 4:2:2 codec.

Panasonic will showcase the HDC-Z10000, a twin-lenses handheld 2D and 3D camcorder, which is AVCHD 3D/Progressive standard compatible. Also on hand is the AG-3DP1, a 3D integrated twin-lens P2 HD shoulder-mount camcorder providing full 1920x1080 resolution AVC-Intra recording. Another camera debuting is the AG-HPX250, Panasonic's first P2 HD handheld camcorder with 10-bit, 4:2:2 independent-frame, full 1920x1080 resolution AVC-Intra recording.

P+S Technik will show the PS-Cam X35 camera, a combination sync sound workhorse and motion effects camera providing frame rates up to 450, using a 35mm-sized CMOS imager and a global shutter. The film-style digital cinematography camera can be utilized for normal video imaging, as well as slow motion, fast motion, ramped motion and time lapse motion.

Sony Electronics will roll out its F65 CineAlta digital motion picture camera, featuring Sony's 8K image sensor with approximately 20 total megapixels. It provides 16-bit linear RAW file output capability, creating a gateway to an end-to-end 4K file-based mastering workflow. Sony will also showcase its full line of Super 35 mm professional camcorders, including the PMW-F3 and the NEX-FS100U, as well as the HXR-NX70U rain- and dust-proof professional HD camcorder. Two 3D professional camcorders—the PMW-TD300 shoulder-mount model and HXR-NX3D1U NXCAM compact camcorder will also be shown.

It's really up in the air now on which one we will add to the shop here.