FiveSix Rocks with Legends

Over the past weekend, FiveSix Productions had the opportunity to rock out with some true legends. Slash returned to Guns n' Roses, along with a few other past and current members to rock out and celebrate the opening of the brand new T-Mobile Arena, here in fabulous Las Vegas, Nevada. We were welcomed to the jungle where we manned our trusty Canon C300, durable Sound Devices 633 audio mixer, and favorite Schoeps microphone with wind muff, and helped capture interviews of all the eager fans before and after the show. Don't cry, because despite the occasional "November" style rain, we had patience and got some great footage. Mr. Brownstone and the Rocket Queen had us knockin' on Heaven's door, and when it opened up, we found our way to Paradise City where the grass was truly green, and all the girls were pretty. After we took in a bit of the show, we got back on the nightrain, and got to work talking to all the satisfied fans about the ruckus event. Just before the sun rose, we were on our way home where we could get some rest and let our ears stop ringing. If you find yourself needing the services of the best video production company in Las Vegas, let me tell you, sweet child o' mine, we've got you covered. Keep rockin' friends.

gnr


Today In Film History

On this day in 2013, legendary movie critic Roger Ebert passed away due to complications with cancer. Ebert was one of the best-known and most influential movie critic in the country, and perhaps around the world; along with Chicago Tribune film critic Gene Siskel, and then fellow Sun-Times columnist Richard Roeper, Ebert gave a combination of thumbs up and/or down, and 0-4 stars for hundreds of films a year. Roger Ebert spent 46 years reviewing movies for the Chicago Sun-Times and over 30 years on public access television with the aforementioned, fellow critics. Like him or not, agree with him or not, Ebert, along with Siskel and Roeper, were our first line, and most trusted to deliver our first look into each of the new Hollywood releases. It was reported that Roger Ebert watched over 500 films a year, and reviewed nearly half of them- that's dedication to your craft. These days, with an overflow of critiques and opinions from social media and other online sources, the classic film critic is a refreshing reminder of simpler days when we trusted our few news and information sources, for better or worse. Until next time, happy filming.


Uncle Oscar

We here at FiveSix Productions, in little ol' Las Vegas, Nevada, have lofty dreams. Whether it's corporate interviews, the trade show floor, commercials, feature documentaries or more, we love and embrace our craft; we also love the passion and dreams of those pursuing Hollywood dreams! We support, encourage, embrace, and share the dreams of all those inspiring to always do and accomplish more in this awesome industry of film, television, and all else dreamers dare to dream. Enjoy the night fellow artists and dreamers. See you on set.


Snowmageddon

So the previous week the East Coast got pummeled by a major snow storm. While most people on the west coast were basking in the sun, our team at FiveSix was helping to find solutions for all of the keynote speakers who were stuck on the east coast. We put together video conferencing and streaming packages at the last minute and hosted the speakers remotely. Our multi-camera coverage brought conference attendees right into the living rooms of our presenters. Presentations flowed, QnAs were had, and all of our clients left happy!


On This Day in History

On February 4th, 1938, Walt Disney released Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs to the general public (the Hollywood premier was the previous December). The film was the first feature-length animated film that was released in English and Technicolor. Despite many naysayers (including Disney's own wife), Walt Disney borrowed nearly $1.5M to produce the feature. Critics loved the film, and it went on to do $8M in the box office, despite the ongoing economic depression. Many influential Hollywood figures, including Charlie Chaplin, Federico Fellini, and Orson Welles had high praise and even claimed to have taken much inspiration from the film. This film spurred many more classic, animated Disney films, and started a trend of fantasy/happy ending films Disney would come to be known for. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was listed as the No. 1 animated movie of all time on The American Film Institute's listings of “America’s 10 Greatest Films in 10 Classic Genres.” So, there you go. Fun with history.


Roger Deakins On: Hippy Nonsense

Roger Deakins balls out. He's an actual cinematographer, not just a cameraman. This D.P. from the Isle of Britain, has been bringing pictures into motion, and painting the world with lights for over forty years- much longer than that uneaten pile of biology in your vegetable drawer. He's been the D.P./cinematographer on such classics and masterpieces as The Shawshank Redemption, No Country For Old Men, A Beautiful Mind, and Skyfall, just to name a few. He has been nominated for 13 Academy Awards, and 110 other prestigious awards, and won 74 times. His latest endeavor has him working again with the Coen bros on Hail, Caesar!, (previously, he was the DP on the epic masterpiece (and one of my personal favorites) The Big Lebowski), a project that brought him back to working with celluloid. Check out this interesting article in Variety, where Mr. Deakins gives his impressions on his experience working again with film, on a period piece, and again with the Brothers Coen. (((Digital is the present, and the future- that's the point. (All due respect to film users- but...))))


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

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The Ocean Strikes Back

Not long ago, our crew was up California-way, doing some motion picturing in Monterey. Our location was along the edge of the majestic, but mysterious Pacific Ocean. During some b-roll fancifulness, one of our team members was victimized by a rogue wave. While his eyeball was pressed firmly into the eyepiece, fighting the midday sun, wave after wave of cool, refreshing, salty sea water crashed below along the rock ledge. Trouble was closing in though. Like a prowling tiger shark stalking it's prey, a twenty foot wave was racing inland. By the time the audio technician was able to spot the beast, it was too late. The thunderous noise of the smaller waves was enough to drown out his cries (in retrospect, the audio guy was a little preoccupied snapping photographs of the impending doom to try to warn of the danger). Our cameraman was deep in a rack focus when it happened. In an instant, the entire northeastern Pacific ocean emptied it's contents onto our hero; it was as if Neptune was taking out a millennia of anger on David and our camera. After the initial attempted drowning, our hero dashed inland in hysterical fear, Neptune's trident striking valiantly. Fortunately, David was not swept out to sea, only to be remembered as Tom Hanks was in "Cast Away", unfortunately, our poor camera was lost to a lethal combination of hydrogen, oxygen, sodium, and chloride (H2ONaCL). The lesson we can take away is: don't get your cameras wet- that's bad.running


Quadcopter versus Octocopter

We here at FiveSix Productions happily employ the DJI Inspire 1 drone for out aerial needs. So far we have been very pleased and have captured some awesome footage. Recently we were perusing the DJI website to research the Osmo, and we came across their selection of octocopters, which got us wondering about the difference.

So far as we can tell from our research, the difference between a quadcopter, hexacopter (wasn't aware that existed), and a octocopter is concurrent with each step. With a quadcopter, obviously you get more power than with a helicopter, more stability, and greater payload potential. As you step up to the hexacopter, and then again to the octocopter, the same benefits are there, just in greater amounts. I'm not a mathematician, so I'm not sure if the speed and payload capacity increase exponentially, but that's neither here nor there, since we aren't attending MIT.

The cons of course would be increased size and price as you add more engines and propellers, but if you have an expensive camera on board, you're going to want more power. Here's an article from Dronebly, a website that's all about drones.


DJI: Out To Conquer the World (Part 2)

The DJI Osmo is an ingenious device that works in tandem with either the original Zenmuse X3 camera, or the new Zenmuse X5, and enables smooth, steadicam shots, in a handheld device. While it can't replace the DJI Ronin or Ronin-M for some situations, this could be just the thing to add that certain je ne sais quoi to your b-roll, or cut-away shot. Once the Ronin is up and running, it doesn't take much to start shooting; however, the time it takes to build the Ronin, or simply having a slightly bigger rig to bring around may be too much for your shoot. The Osmo is the perfect solution; it's compact, versatile, and fits in one hand, leaving your other hand free for an ice cream cone, or maybe a delicious sandwich.

To say the Osmo is multifaceted would be an understatement. Not only can it record multiple frame rates (24, 25, 30, 60, 120), it can shoot 4K, and 1080 and 720 progressive. The incredible stabilization is a result of a three-axis gimbal that truly brings steadicam quality to a handheld. There is a built in joystick for pans and tilts; and a trigger that enables various modes of operation, such as upright, under slung, flashlight, locked, and even selfie for those 'good hair days'. The Osmo is capable of performing panoramas up to 360 degrees, as well as time lapses and hyper-lapses (with a hyper-lapse, you can shoot videos that make you look like you can run at great speeds for great distances- impress the ladies!) OH! As if all this wasn't enough, the Osmo has onboard audio, and a standard 3.5mm port to plug in a mic and whip out some of your best Katy Perry.

There are a myriad of accessories that further expand the Osmo's range, as well as complete control of image settings within the DJI application. Your smart-device sits nicely in a holder that attaches to the Osmo, giving you a touch-screen monitor.

This all adds to the bouquet of new gear and technology that is revolutionizing the visual media world and enabling people of all skill levels, incomes, and walks of life to make art. Sure, not everyone is going to find professional success, and there are a lot of people creating art for the sake of art; but that's what makes today such a cool day. Everyone should be able to express themselves and their creativity in some manner.