Sweet Tea and Peaches

Last week, FiveSix Productions got all spruced up and headed down to the dirty south. We went up and down the iconic Peachtree Street, and bounced around parks like the Historic 4th Ward, and the always charming Piedmont Park with it's iconic and beautiful views of the Midtown Atlanta skyline. With one of our favorite clients on hand, we brought our A-game and were sweet as a Georgia peach. As with all our out-of-town adventures, we were able to explore some of the city, and sho' as you're born, we even sampled some of the local dining fare- we were very impressed, and now a bit more doughy. (If you can, head down Peachtree Street, right around 7th or 8th, and eat at The Vortex Bar & Grill) Well, I'm off to get a nice glass of sweet tea, maybe a bushel of peaches, and watch highlights of the '96 Summer Olympics or some Dukes of Hazzard. Later y'all.


(banner image of Atlanta from google images, unknown artist)

Awesome New Recording Tool

The Blackmagic Video Assist by BlackmagicDesign is a versatile and compact solution for video monitoring and recording. Perfect for DSLRs, and video cameras that shoot on SxS, XDCAM, and P2 media, the Blackmagic Video Assist records on inexpensive and high quality SD memory cards. Capable of recording 10-bit 4:2:2 quality ProRes and DNxHD files, the footage works seamlessly with Premier Pro, AVID, Final Cut, and DaVinci Resolve editing software. Along with the invaluable recording capabilities, the Blackmagic Video Assist provides a beautiful 5-inch, 1920x1080 HD monitor with an incredible 135° viewing angle so multiple crew can view every shot. There is a 6G-SDI connection so you can view Ultra HD when using with say, a Canon C300 Mark ii, or a RED Epic Dragon. All in all, the Blackmagic Video Assist is an amazing tool that will no doubt enhance your production; we have a couple on hand, and a couple more coming to join the team.

New Light Panels

We here at FiveSix Productions aren't so fancy that we can't appreciate the simple things in life. For example, we have acquired some new 1'x1' light panels that have us pretty stoked about life. Sure, a one-by LED light panel might seem like small potatoes compared to some lights, but for some of our jobs, it's just what the doctor ordered. Our old light panels worked fine for a while, but now they're mostly for weight lifting and staying fit; our new panels are light-weight, versatile, and captivating. The Genaray SpectroLED Essential 360 Bi-Color LED Light (that's a mouthful) fulfills all our light panel needs, in a compact, and easy to use package that has us with cards out, ready to buy more. These lights have a dial-in range of 3200-5600, wide-range dimmer, and you can use a battery or plug it in. No cto, tape, heavy lifting, sinking feeling of regrets, etc. have us all about this new panel, and we invite you to come aboard.

las vegas video production

Think Outside the Box

Even when you think you've brought too much gear, and have items you'll never use for a particular shoot, there's always the chance unexpected challenges will arise. Last week, we were shooting a single talent, stand up, short script via teleprompter, and we were outside. The biggest hurdle seemed to be getting clean audio despite a busy roadway only fifty meters away, however, lighting ended up becoming a bit of a hurdle too. With the call time in the early afternoon, and photography not starting for a few hours later, we had to play with the sun sinking behind the nearby building. In order to incorporate a couple iconic resorts and the recognizable Spring Mountains in the background along with the busy local neighborhood, we were limited on adjustments we could make with camera and talent placement. A 6'x6' diffusion gave the talent a nice, soft wrap around light, but as the sun sank more and more, we weren't getting the fill light we were hoping for. Not having time to run power and do a proper lighting setup, our DP quickly had our 1-ton grip van pulled up to use as a bounce! The van is new, so it is still shiny and vibrant. This unconventional, but quick solution was just what the doctor ordered, and did a great job filling in light. We set up a small "video village" for the director in the back of the van, so it all seemed perfectly normal and convenient. Just goes to show, you never know what can be used as a great tool!

Untether Your Production

High end film production demands consistent results, from both crew and equipment. I recently wrapped up a 5 week feature film shooting at various desert locations around southern Nevada. The production took place mostly out doors, so we experienced high temperatures during the day and low, near freezing temperatures during the night. It was a challenging shoot due to a low budget and a rather short schedule, shooting mostly available daylight during the short winter months.

F11 rentals supplied the production with a brand spanking new Sound Devices 633, with Sennheiser wireless Microphones. This mixer/recorder allowed us to record in a double system setup, thus keeping the sound department from having to be tethered to camera. As a DP, my camera usually ends up having so many accessories and cables hanging off of it, so the less things that have to be plugged in to my camera the better! The whole production was very fast paced, and most of the film is shot hand held. Not having to have a mixer plugged in to the camera really helps to keep the set moving. The equipment and service provided by F11 was second to none, the gear was well maintained and we never experienced any downtime due to the equipment.

Whats the one thing a director always wants more of? Time. During a typical day on set, saving a little time here and there can add up to an extra take, or an extra moment to get the lighting and blocking just right, or even an additional setup you might otherwise have missed. One of the easiest ways of saving time on set is making sure you have good quality equipment. With F11 there’s never a question that you will have the latest and greatest at your fingertips!

-Clayton Moore (www.ClaytonMooreDP.com)

The Osmo Has Landed

The amazing, and totally righteous DJI Osmo handheld stabilization unit has arrived- and boy are we pumped! As I told you before, the Osmo takes handheld video production to a whole new level. With a 3-axis stabilization system for a 4K camera, you can be sure to get brilliant, smooth video, walking, running, driving on a bumpy road, wherever. While the DJI Ronin is useful and game-changing in it's own right, the Osmo gives you smoothness and stability in a much more compact and easy-to-use, easy to operate device that can fit inside your pocket (if you have big pockets).
The camera is the same camera that comes on the DJI Inspire drone, and it's been nothing but wonderful and has impressed us with each use. We can't wait to get it on set and continue to broaden our horizons. Hi ho Silver, away!

Spider Pod = Super Duper

The first of two Spider Pod TR2SP2 sets has arrived, and we couldn't be more giddy (we're skirting school girl status). This awesome bit of amazing consists of independent tripod riser and operator platform. That they're separated means that operator movement, chuckling, or coughing won't result in a shaky image- which is awesome when you're 150mm deep in the back of a frigged ballroom. The riser can hold up to 200 lbs (so you can totz rent F11's RED Epic), and the platform can hold up to 300 lbs (more tacos, less gym), however, together they weigh only 42 lbs (all the tacos, none of the gym!). Our vatos at F11 Rentals have one in stock, and a second one available in just a couple days. So, make your client ultra stoked and save the money you would've spent on those over-priced house-risers, and go with this nifty diddy.

Building a grip truck

Ok. So our production team has been using a pickup truck and a minivan to accommodate all of our different productions. The shoots have gotten larger, we have added a ton of new gear, but the cars have always stayed the same. It's time for a change.

We just picked up a Ford Transit 350 to build out. The question for us is how do we outfit it? After careful consideration, we have added 2 sets of shelves, some wall mounted E-track and a floor mounted E-track. We have a custom flag/bounce box being built and are looking forward to seeing this all come together.

Here are some photos of our work in progress.

Grip Shelving System
Sprinter Grip Shelves

Grip Setup Overview
Sprinter Grip Truck Setup

Keep an eye out for our 2 ton grip package cruising the mean streets of Las Vegas.

When You're the D.P. on Star Wars...

So, apparently, when you're good at motion picturing, and you work with some dude named J.J. Abrams on some Indy film called "Star Wars: The Force (may have been farce) Awakens" you get custom lenses made for you. Some guy named Dan Mindel (probably works at J.C. Penny's photo center part time) was the Director of Photography (think production assistant) for this star war. Anyway, someone at Panavision, probably an intern who's about to get fired, agreed to create custom lenses just for this dude and his friends so it would look like prequels to this movie. I suppose they're trying to be "cool" and "retro"... hippies. I got bored and stopped after a couple paragraphs, but maybe you can trudge through this article about it. If you fall asleep, I won't blame you. Here it is: http://www.panavision.com/panavision-designs-lenses-mindel-star-wars-force-awakensdog-darth-vader-costume-7


Get Legit! FAA Drone Registration Now Available

Well, they've gone and done it, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has opened up registration for your drones. No more rogue, Han Solo existence for all the Top Gun caliber mavericks out there. This rule applies for any drone weighing 0.55lbs and 55lbs- so everyone really. If you already have your drone, you have until February 16th to register, if you buy it today and beyond, you'll have to register before your first take off. This is either awesome because you're one step closer to that career with American Airlines, or horrible because like with our televisions watching us- it's just one more way big brother can track us; it all depends on how much of a conspiracy theorist you are. Registration is five bucks and lasts three years. So there will be plenty of time to practice and get awesome at aerial video production in Las Vegas or wherever you are.
Either way, here's the link to a pretty thorough article from the nice folks at TechCrunch, and the link to the FAA drone registration page to get you going. Enjoy, and happy flying.