9 Steps to Systematize Your Business: Systematizing Your Video Business

9 Steps to Systematize Your Business: Systematizing Your Video Business

Today, we going to be looking to how to systematize your business. Systemizing aspects of your business is one of the first things you should do when starting your business. We’ll cover the reasons and practicalities of how to systematize your business and focus on video businesses specifically.

So why would you want to systematize your video business? Let us count the reasons…

Well, have you ever found yourself in the unenviable situation where you feel overwhelmed as you just have too many tasks on your to-do list? Or, don’t you hate it when your scriptwriter still hasn’t finished his writing, especially 2 days before the start of the shoot.

How about when, suddenly, one of your camera guys decides to take a last minute vacation, leaving you up the creek without a paddle?

These are just some of the typical things that can happen that we often call time wasters, and they have the potential to delay the overall schedule of any project you’re working on.

You can prevent the domino effect of delays by ensuring that you have a good system in place. Like any solid business, having a fluid and sound system will help you get things done faster, more efficiently and definitely less costly.

Having a good system in place can already solve many potential problems before they even come up, thus streamlining your projects and workflow. And starting out with a system in your video production business will help avoid a lot of mistakes many new production houses tend to fall into.

A system can also help you when you come to expand your offerings: for example, if you are interested in getting into wedding photography, or packaging your video services and giving clients options beyond just video work.

systematize your business

1. Plan, plan, and plan some more

Set your plan and make sure you give it a timeline. With the timeline set, you can start chewing into the tasks and knock them off your to-do list.

With a system, you also have to plan:

  • when you want to start looking to create a system,
  • when to evaluate your system,
  • when you are going to make the changes for improvement.

That may sound a bit like inception, but that’s a starting point. With the conscious idea of implementing a system in mind, you get to think about what you want to have in your system, and what you want this system to achieve.

We’ll talk in more detail about this later on in the article, but a system allows us to setup Standard Operating Procedures (or SOPs). These SOPs are written (or even video) instructions for any task that you do more than once in your business.

SOPs make everything so much easier. When you don’t know what to do (or where to start) on a task, you just consult your SOPs.

So, as an example, here are a few things that you can use Standard Operating Procedures for:

  • Inventorying gear after (and before) shoots.
  • Replying to enquiries.
  • Writing blog posts.

2. Write out what needs to be done after time

What do you usually do in preparation for a shoot, during the shoot, and after the shoot? Effectively writing all of these tasks lets you know what needs to be done.

Speaking of what to be doing, this is actually creating the objective of having a system. Usually, the objective of having a system is to have something that works for you, the team and the client.

This often includes having listed tasks, identifying which of your crew will be assigned to these tasks, when each task needs to be done, and also knowing what tasks are dependent on other tasks.

You can’t start shooting without a camera or a script (or at least a written idea of what you’re going to shoot), right? Neither can you start editing without your video footage.

Some of these tasks and dependencies are quite logical. But, in a stressful situation, it would definitely be good to have it all listed down, and worked out, so that you can see a clear roadmap for each project.

systematize your business

3. Identify who takes on the work

Ideally, you want to give exact roles to people, connected to the tasks that need to be accomplished. When you start this way, you can also create a list of who is assigned to do what. This way, you know exactly who is doing what and when in pre-production, production and post-production.

Aside from that, you create some accountability. When you assign someone to take care of a certain task, you entrust that they will have those things ready for when they’re necessary.

Let’s touch on pre-production here. You can’t shoot in a venue that hasn’t been cleared with the area or property owner, right? Someone has to be assigned to do that job, and get the schedule and clearance, before you even get to start shooting.

systematize your business

4. Create a process

From knowing what you actually do, you now have to think about when things are going to be done, and by whom. You may want to create some sort of flow of how things get done. A flowchart is of great use here.

It makes work so much clearer for everyone. People will know their tasks, where they should be, and when they should be doing them.

Also, it is essential to figure out when is the best time to say the process has started, and when it has ended. Does this process start with the initial discovery meeting with the client? Does it end with the final render of the video or overall collection of the fees?

Processes, and overall systems don’t have to be complicated. It just has to work. Simple processes are clear and easy to follow, and you definitely want that.

Avoid stressing yourself out in preparation for a shoot, just because you have a rigid process. That would just be counterintuitive.

5. Implement the process

This is where you see your plan in action. While it isn’t a movie itself, it is something to keep a close eye on, especially when it is a big contributing factor to the success and continuity your video production business.

Once you have steps 1-4 done, you can see how those steps workout in action, and then take notes based on your observation about what is successful and what didn’t really work out.

With this process, you can see at any time what your colleagues are supposed to be doing, and where they should be.

It should also be able to show you immediately some potential red flags, like how potentially delayed the project may get if you are a few steps behind from where you had targeted yourself to be at any stage.

In this way, you should get a highly elevated bird’s eye view of not just each project, but your whole business.

6. See what you can outsource

Sometimes you and your team can’t take on all the work. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with outsourcing work. A prime example is the legal and accounting stuff that needs to be taken care of.

That usually is the case anyway, with many other video production companies doing the same. There are a lot of freelancer accountants and lawyers who specialize in video production companies.

It’s always better to outsource something if you know either:

  • You’ll take more time doing the task than someone else would.
  • You’ve worked out your EHR (your Effective Hourly Rate) and know that you’re paying yourself less by doing a task than you could make by just outsourcing it to somebody else.

systematize your business

7. Agree on some policies and rules

You’re not a parent to your video production team. It would be good to treat each other with equal respect as it should be, and setting the right policies and rules in place would help everyone treat and be treated with equal respect.

8. Be open to gathering feedback

The only way to really get better at something is to keep learning. And to keep learning, you have to know what you still need to know, right? In fact, a great mindset to take on is that you’re always the student and never stop learning.

It helps when you are able to get feedback about whether project has achieved what it set out to do, or has fallen short of the mark.

Sometimes, negative feedback can also be turned around, and seen as a strong point for improvement.

Remember, don’t take negative feedback to heart. It’s a chance for improvement, so don’t get all defensive.

Instead, listen carefully to what your clients, peers and colleagues tell you, and listen to what they are saying. Is it an opinion or a fact? A task that you may have missed out is a fact, they way someone felt about how you talked to them is an opinion.

9. Always improve on the process

Even if you have already created something in place, don’t just sit there and expect that it is perfect. It may be a good system now, but it may still be improved on.

Try to keep an objective eye when evaluating your system and seeing it play out. Also, with the feedback you get, from your team, and constructive criticism you may get from your clients, you may evaluate how to make things better.

A system will always have something to improve on. Even when you think it is possibly the best it can be, there is still an opportunity to improve on it some more.

For example, perhaps it is possible to streamline the timeline even more. Your editor may start working on some editing, while the shoot is still ongoing. He may work onsite, so that the editing and overview process is much faster.

Perhaps even investing in more hard drives may be good in the long run, because it allows you to have a more thorough backup system. Setting up a cloud account may also be beneficial in the future, to store all archived projects, so that you don’t lose them.

These are just some examples to look at, and it doesn’t just involve the system per project, but the entire business as a whole. Give it some thought.

Systematize Your Business – A Conclusion

Overall, you have to start with the end in mind, ‘I want to finish this project on time, have it very much high quality, something that I can definitely be proud of, and within the budget I had allocated for it.’

With having a system that works for you and your production team, all of these success points end up being a win for everyone.

We hope you’ve found this article on how to systematize your business helpful. What steps have you taken to systematize your business? Let us know in the comments just below here.

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Published at Mon, 16 Jul 2018 08:50:04 +0000

Best XLR Cable: 4 of the Top XLR Cables on the Market

Best XLR Cable: 4 of the Top XLR Cables on the Market

An XLR Cable can usually be just as important as the equipment it’s plugged into. Quality and performance are ignominious with great results. So when you’re looking for the best XLR cable, some investigation of the top makes is required.

In this article, I’ll look at a variety of XLR cables, explore how they work well and offer a range of cables and recommendations. I’ll also dispel the falsity that “all XLR cables are created equal.” They’re not – it’s not simply just ‘a cable.’ As we’ll discover, there are differences and pros/cons between the different makes.

An Introduction to XLR Cables

So what does XLR stand for and what are they used for?

An XLR cable is a balanced audio cable which is grounded and generally used for high quality audio, like at the cinema or in high end entertainment (DJ booths and bands) and top home stereos.

Because the cable is both grounded and balanced, it rejects interference more efficiently and produces a more reliable, better quality sound. This sound can then be amplified further without distortion and risk of feedback. Quality is of prime consideration here and the top brands produce their offerings in accordance with this.

XLR cables have a variety of uses: microphones, active speakers, mixers and other types of control circuits. They are usually professional grade and are sometimes called ‘Cannon cables,’ after the original company who invented them (not to be confused with the Canon camera company).

Best XLR Cable Brands

In my experience (and a lot of research and conversations with people), Rapco, Mogami and GLS Audio make the best XLR cable offerings. Rapco and GLS Audio are the more affordable. Mogami are top end pro grade, where the price point is a tier higher.

It’s also worth considering the Neewer brand XLR cables, that are well rated and very cheap. The 6 meter length version is very price friendly for a  XLR 3 pin cable and connector.

These are a good range of cables which will cover all levels and requirements. So long as you stay within your budget and keep the end listener of your work in mind, even if that is just yourself, you shouldn’t go wrong.

Neewer is an XLR branded cable. For a reasonable price, you get x2 6 meter universal Male / Female XLR cables.

Compared to other brands, the Neewer is priced really reasonably! But is this a quality piece of equipment?

If you’re starting out in video production, or making a short film where budget is a primary consideration, the simple answer is: go for it and save!

The savings you make here can be put towards other expenses and needs that keep your projects alive and well. What a bargain!

These professional grade XLR cables have a Polyethylene insulation, 3 pin Male/ Female connectors for easy hook up and are available in two sizes: 6 meters or 21 meters.

The longer version is obviously better for audio situations where you’ll be required to be far from your devices. The 21 meter version is still excellent value and gives you more room to cater to, meaning more flexibility with what you can do. Which, at the end of the day, is what it’s all about.

Neewer cables are copper braided for additional shielding and maximum noise reduction.

They are great for electronic instruments and DJ rigs, too, and the sound quality results are great.

The connectors look high quality and are easy press and connect adaptors. So lay out, plug and play – literally, what more could you ask for starting out.

You can guess I’m seriously impressed by these if you need some budget, high quality XLR cables. Considering the budget price point, this offering ranks highly in the best XLR cable listings.

GLS Audio MC25 balanced XLR cable is advertised as a mic cable, but you can use it for all kinds of needs and situations.

At 15 meters, these cables are long enough for most recording situations and are high quality cable insulated and multi core grounded 21 gauge cables.

These have been manufactured for the entertainment industry, so are professional grade, with very high quality insulations and connectors. In fact, this cable is the premier choice for a lot of music venues, due to high quality, low feedback and well insulated dual copper conductors. This is noticeable in the high end sound quality.

These are ideal for venues and amateur to professional videographers/filmmakers, people who prepared to pay that bit extra for cables which last a little longer. These cables are also notable for their long term, hassle free use, as well.

This is where the extra money goes and as most professionals will tell, a lot of the time it is less of a headache to shell out for the professional brands and avoid potential costly breaks and errors further down the road.

The noise reduction and quiet operation is top rated with these XLR cables, with professionals and venues alike repeatedly rating GLS Audio MC25s as some of the best around.

Be aware that sometimes companies report inconsistencies with manufacturing, but this is not unusual for XLR cables in high demand. International companies manage to avoid this with extreme Test & Assurance processes, but smaller companies are not always able to manage the staff or overheads, so errors do happen.

Road HOGM XLR cables by Rapco aren’t the most expensive XLR cables out there. Still, the 15 meter version of the cable comes in at a medium price point, but they are high grade.

Pure copper and Annealed shielding, these 24 gauge professional cables have a very low distortion factor and Neutrik long lasting plugs. These are really premium cables.

These cables are known amongst the pros as a no nonsense XLR cable design to do what is does well and get the job done – end of!

A few people have reported minor issues. However, this might be because of the place Rapco cables hold on the market. These XLR cables attract the high end market and people in this section of the market will always be more discerning and, dare I say, ‘picky.’

Varying in length from 15 to 50+ meters, these will cover pretty much any venue and the high copper content ensures maximum quality, with excellent robust connectors. It’s what you want, all quality and no fuss, lets get on and play, high grade equipment and this is the justification spending the extra money per meter.

As mid luxury level cables, they are the quality you would expect and sound great, once you hear the sound quality, like with most equipment, you will not want to downgrade.

Whereas a lot cables crack and wear out over time, the word is Rapco lasts an age and years later these durable XLR cables are still in operation. A silent but essential piece of your recording setup. In this sense, you get what you pay for!

A chunky, high grade cable that is build to last, but costs a little more than some of the others featured in this article. If you are in the industry for the long time, though, this investment will cause less headache and pay for itself with its durability.


RapcoHorizon NM1-10 Microphone Cable with Neutrik XLRs, 10 feet

  • Black cable Neutrik nickel -1 Series XLRF-XLRM
  • Matte jacket PVC material is very flexible yet durable with very low memory
  • Pure copper conductor and shield
  • Utilizing a serve shield process for quiet operation yielding maximum flexibility
  • Connector brand options available to meet various preferences and price points: RapcoHorizon,…

Mogami Gold Studio Balanced XLR Cables are made in Japan. That says all you need to know if you’re searching for high quality XLR cables. These are the ideal top end cables which are extreme quality for the high end videographer, filmmaker or music industry professional.

Mogami was founded in 1977 and due its high end reputation spread across the world to be the premium cable choice for filmmakers and audiophiles looking for the highest quality.

The Gold Studio is one of the top cables Mogami produce and will cost you a pretty penny. However, construction here has a high professional grade, 4-conductor cable design, 100% spiral copper shielding and gold pin connectors.

These are the McLaren of the cable world and the reliable operation and continuous low feedback distortion and issues testify to this fact. You’re fitting out a trendy Soho bar and club, that you want to sing sweet vibes, you choose Mogami!

Enough said!

My first experience with these was a small club chill out room, where the DJ (Mondo) was situated under the stairs in a wall to wall sofa of soft funk and groove, surrounded by friends, just taking in the melody and lots of smooth vinyl tunes. Good times!

The only downside is these cable are heavy duty, difficult to transport and a little awkward to install. But who said perfection was easy! And the qualities of these cables are paradoxical: heavy shielding great sound, big cost and sluggish install. If you want high end XLR cables, these are what you need to look at!

These are a long term investment and offer supreme quality. They’ll return their cost over multiple times due to their superior design and audio quality, just make sure you know your market.

Sale


Mogami GOLD STUDIO-06 XLR Microphone Cable, XLR-Female to XLR-Male, 3-Pin, Gold Contacts, Straight Connectors, 6 Foot

  • From large recording facilities to small project studios, engineers and artists trust Mogami GOLD…
  • Mogami GOLD STUDIO XLR Mic Cables are wired with Mogami Neglex Quad High Definition Microphone…
  • Use Mogami GOLD STUDIO XLR Cables for pro audio sound with nearly any device equipped with an…
  • This Mogami GOLD STUDIO-06 XLR Microphone Cable is a 6 foot length. The Mogami GOLD STUDIO XLR…
  • Mogami Lifetime “No Excuses” Warranty: all brand new Mogami cables include Mogami’s Limited Lifetime…

Best XLR Cable – Summary

GLS Audio is the sweet spot of quality and cost where you will have cables which will last you for a considerable length of time, but not break the bank either!

These cables are great for all levels and after you shell out for these, tick the job off the list and rest assure you can get maximum sound quality for minimum bang for your bucks!

The high end solution is the Mogami brand of cables. These might be more costly, but if premium is what you’re looking for, this is the obvious choice where budget is a little higher.

No one really wants to think cables, but when you have it covered and feel the sound quality shift slightly, you are considering your audience and the overall feel of your work. Which at the end of the day is what your viewers (or clients) will appreciate and come back for time and time again.

Now turn it up!

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Published at Thu, 12 Jul 2018 11:40:35 +0000

The making of a horror classic – behind the scenes of Hereditary

The making of a horror classic – behind the scenes of Hereditary

We hear a lot about how those with millions of dollars at their disposal do it, but what about those who have to be more creative? First-time feature director Ari Aster’s Hereditary is the latest in a string of critically and financially successful horror movies, making over $30 million in the first two weeks of release. The story of a family (Toni Collette, Gabriel Byrne, Alex Wolff, Milly Shapiro) who are haunted following the death of their reclusive grandmother, it’s wildly expansive (but also mercurial) for its reported $10 million budget. So, how did they do it? We break down some behind the scenes footage and insights.

Despite the low budget, Aster chose not to film on location but to construct a sprawling, creaky, early 20th century-style house entirely on a soundstage in Utah. The set includes the first floor, that attic, and two versions of the treehouse. Weirdly appropriate for a film where miniatures are such an important part of the plot.

According to the LA Times, “Each frame of the film was meticulously planned out by Aster, who spent six months shot-listing every single shot of the film’s 156 scenes before spending another three weeks refining it all again with his director of photography, Pawel Pogorzelski, and production designer Grace Yun (“Beach Rats,” “First Reformed”).”

Speaking to Vulture, Aster says, “It became clear that we were going to need to build the house in order to accommodate that shot list, and also to attend to that dollhouse aesthetic. So having built it, we were able to remove walls and shoot these rooms in wides that really dwarfed the characters in their environments. We were actually having this house replicated before we had built any of it — so we needed to design the house and not just the dimensions of the spaces of each room, but also the dressings. We needed to know what plants were in each room, what drapes were over the windows, what drapes were over the beds. What was the furniture? We needed to figure out all of that stuff far in advance of shooting, because we needed to give the miniaturist, Steve Newburn, who was working in Toronto — he was also our prosthetics guy — we needed to give him ample time to replicate all of these things. Ultimately, we had the miniatures coming in the day that they were being shot because everything was so very tight. Logistically it was a nightmare, but I’m very proud of how everything came out.”

Speaking to Vox, Aster says,

“I love a motivated long take that goes just as long as it should before becoming distracting or indulgent.

I am somebody who composes a shot list before I talk to anybody on the crew. Then when I’m done composing a shot list, which also requires that I map out the blocking, I sit down with my cinematographer, Pawel Pogorzelski, and production designer, Grace Yun. I take them through the movie that’s in my head, shot by shot. That way we all have the same movie in our head and we’re able to have a dialogue from there. The shot list does change because we’re all talking about it, and they have something clear in their head that they can then adjust and bring ideas to me.

I know that I’m typically bored by traditional [camera] coverage. I also find that not very fun to shoot and actually kind of nerve-racking because it’s harder to know what you have at the end of the day when you have 20 or 25 pieces for a scene and you have to know if it’s going to match. The more you shoot, the better idea you have whether this thing will match or not, because your instincts sharpen and start to grow in your gut.

When you’re shooting in sequence, when one shot goes to the point, and that’s your cutting point, and then you’re going to go to this shot, which is going to cover this portion of the scene, and then you have a cutting point here, which will then transition to this shot — you see exactly what you’re getting on that monitor. Sometimes, you need to get more takes than usual, but it’s just because you need everything to align, because you’re not covering yourself. But I personally find that it’s a more comforting way to work because I do walk away knowing what I have.

Then at the same time, I’ve also found that the more ambitious the shots, the more excited the crew is when you nail it, and the more excited I am. You set a very high goal that requires that everybody be on their toes, and then when you achieve it, it’s galvanizing. People are excited now to move on to the next shot.

On the other side of that coin, if you don’t quite get it and you have to move on because the clock is hanging over you, that can be very depressing. And you’re working on the next shot thinking about the last shot that you didn’t nail.”

The Verge says,” The Strange Thing About the Johnsons is a melodrama about a family dealing with the specter of sexual abuse — only in this case, it’s a grown-up son who’s abusing his father. Munchausen stars Die Hard’s Bonnie Bedelia as a mother with an unhealthy attachment to her teenage child, who is willing to go to extraordinary lengths to prevent him from getting married and leaving home forever.”

NOTE: Content warning on both films

Working with a low budget, Aster had to make relatively few comprimises. Speaking to Jezebel, he says, “The compromises were ones I had to make on my own. The original cut of this film was three hours long. Originally, it had 156 scenes and about 30 of those scenes left. All of that is just kind of sad family drama stuff, like heavy, dark drama stuff. All of the horror stuff was retained.”

For more insights on Hereditary, check out the behind the scenes footage.

Published at Mon, 18 Jun 2018 06:13:42 +0000

Best Lens For GH4: 6 of the Best Lenses for the GH4

Best Lens For GH4: 6 of the Best Lenses for the GH4

Panasonic’s GH4 might seem like just a camera on the outside, but it represents more than that. When it was released, it became the first consumer viable camera that could shoot videos in high-resolution 4K format. We’ll be covering the best lens for GH4 in this article, along with discussing the pros and cons of each along the way.

The end of the sixth season of the TV series House was shot partly with the Canon 5D Mark II. Since then, the Canon 5D Mark II and its successors have been considered by many to be the standard for small, affordable, high-quality film devices.

Indie film productions, video reporters, event filmmakers – many use the EOS series as a professional camera for photography and filming. And these cameras have really revolutionized what we can do with affordable lightweight cameras.

And then along came the Panasonic Lumix GH4.

As mentioned, it was the first commercially accessible camera that can shoot videos in high-resolution 4K format. Panasonic’s camera is all about filming first and foremost. There are countless modes and settings and we’ll cover some of those later in the article.

For now, let’s take a look at what we consider the best lenses for GH4.

The Best Lens for GH4

If you want to get the best out of your Lumix GH4, you’ll need more than one lens. This will enable you to cover multiple focal lengths and shooting situations.

Here are our picks for the best lenses for the GH4.

This telephoto lens is really worth a look. The Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 40-150mm f / 2.8 Pro lens is a convenient and very compact, by the standards of its class, lens.

This is the tool that should be in the arsenal of every owner of the mirrorless Olympus GH4, especially those videographers who work on a range of different types of projects.

It is no coincidence that this zoom lens was released next to M.Zuiko PRO series after the “regular” zoom of M.Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f / 2.8 PRO.

As in other systems, these two lenses make up a classic pair that allows you to cover a large range of focal lengths and get professional-quality work. Whether you’re working promotional video projects, narrative film or event work, this represents an awesome 1-2 combo.

Highly recommended by us.

Universal zoom lens Panasonic LUMIX G VARIO 14-140mm f / 3.5-5.6 ASPH. POWER.OIS provides a wide range of 14-140 mm (the equivalent of 35mm: 28-280 mm).

The optical scheme of the lens consists of 14 elements with a multilayer coating in 12 groups, including three aspherical elements and two ED elements made of glass with ultra-low dispersion.

It should be noted that Power OIS Image Stabilizer is twice as effective as Mega OIS Metal Bayonet.

This covers the wider focal lengths, and so represents more variation than the 40-150mm lens already discussed. However, you’re compromising on aperture in order to have that greater distance.

Let’s talk Tamron. The Tamron 14-150mm F / 3.5-5.8 Di III VC is a really useful lens that represents a more budget friendly alternative to the above-mentioned 14-140mm. You’re also getting an extra 10mm in focal distance at the top end, too.

The lens with a range of equivalent focal lengths of 28-300 mm is equipped with an autofocus stepper motor and an optical stabilizer. At the same time, its weight is only 280 grams.

The optical circuit unites 17 elements in 14 groups, one lens from a low-dispersion glass is applied. The diaphragm is seven-petalled.

The Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 75-300mm f / 4.8-6.7 II  is your choice if you like to shoot from afar. It does not matter: animals, birds, sports, travel work or landscapes. With all these tasks, the lens will perform excellently.

The range of focal lengths is simply huge 75-300 mm, that is 150-600 mm in equivalent to the full frame.

At the same time, the size and weight of the lens are more than modest. However, there are no compromises with image quality.

Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 75-300mm f / 4.8-6.7 II is sharp with a soft blur, good for telephoto lens, very fast autofocus and almost complete absence of chromatic aberrations.

This is one of those lenses that make the Micro 4/3 system really unique.

However, the compromise here is the aperture range. Won’t slow you down too much for photos, but will make video work especially difficult in low light environments.

Sale


Olympus MSC ED-M 75 to 300mm II f4.8-6.7 Zoom Lens

  • Notes on Shooting: Edges of pictures may be cut off if more than one filter is used or if a thick…
  • Excellent Imaging Performance. Super-telephoto shooting in a compact, lightweight, affordable lens.
  • MSC mechanism for fast, q1uiet auto focusing

The Optical Diagram of the Leica DG Vario-Elmar 100-400mm f / 4.0-6.3 ASPH lens consists of 20 elements in 13 groups.

The lens is equipped with the system of optical stabilization Power OIS, has a 9-bladed diaphragm, built-in sliding blend, zoom ring lock, fast focusing motor (updating information 240 times per second).

Made without gaps in the housing which provides dust and moisture protection. The tripod adapter also does not block access to the lens controls.

Again, there’s a big compromise on the aperture, which doesn’t exactly lend itself to low light performance. Still, if you’re not buying it to shoot in low light environments, then it’s still a really useful and effective telephoto lens.

The Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 14-150mm lens has a supeior dust and waterproof design. It uses a relatively new optical coating ZERO (Zuiko Extra-low Reflection Optical), protecting the glass from scratches, minimizing glare and light scattering.

The lens uses the proprietary MSC (Movie and Still Compatible) focusing technology, which provides silent and fast autofocus.

Again, as with a lot of the Olympus M.Zuiko lenses, you’re going to take a hit in the aperture department, rendering it of little use in low light situations.

The Panasonic Lumix GH4 camera itself

At first glance, the GH4 looks like a small SLR camera. The device looks solid in the hand. The surface feels sturdy.

Nevertheless, it weighs much less than a Canon EOS 5D Mark III, which is a direct competitor, at least in the video field.

The GH4, body only, weighs just 560 grams on the scales. The Canon, on the other hand, weighs in at 950 grams.

Lenses are much heavier and larger for the EOS 5D Mark III, too. You’ll notice that the Canon has a twice as large full-frame sensor. This makes housing and lenses much larger.

The GH4 Display

Quite apart from the fact that you can count on great visuals when it comes to the display, the GH4 display pops out from within the camera, enabling easy use in all kinds of shooting situations.

Display for all situations

Comparing the GH4 again with Canon’s 5D range, yet another difference is noticeable at first glance at the two cameras. The GH4 has an electronic and touch-sensitive display that can be kept unfolded in every situation. This offrs great flexibility for the user and that is not completely insignificant, especially for amateur filmmakers.

The focus area on the display is positioned effectively to easily be changed with one’s fingers.

The Canon, however, has a permanently installed display. It is not sensitive to touch either. So if you want more than just placing the camera all the time on a tripod or a portable frame right in front of your own nose, you have to mount a display.

In addition, the GH4 has five freely programmable function buttons, which can be assigned depending on the photo or video mode. Once you have filled them with features according to your own taste, the camera is even more of a pleasure to use.

As a photography camera

As a camera for still images, the GH4 is not a complicated to us, but still offers a fair amount of bells and whistles.

Firstly, it offers a sensor with 16 megapixels. With good light and unprocessed RAW format, it makes sharp and neutral images. With its natural output sensitivity of 200 ISO, it can compete well with the competition that often have larger sensors.

Bright and dark areas of the picture are well displayed in this area. However, 16 million pixels are no longer the top of the resolution. And monotonous areas such as gray walls or areas of skin even show a slight noise even at this low sensitivity.

However, this is not a problem at all up to 400 ISO.

The autofocus makes an excellent impression at first glance. The camera is pretty fast in this regard.

The GH4 with its 49 autofocus sensors has six autofocus modes. Face recognition, tracking and so on and so forth.

Best Lens for GH4 – In Conclusion

Now, when you’re making a purchasing decision on what lenses to buy for the GH4, there’s obviously a lot to consider.

This is a powerful camera with great image quality. It might be a little dated now, but this means you can pick the camera up for a really reasonable price, especially second hand.

Always of relevance when you’re buying lenses is to look at compatibility with other cameras you might have. Is there an adapter you can use if you want to use a lens on multiple cameras from different manufacturers? Or maybe you just want to use one of these lenses on the GH4 and nothing else? These are questions you need to consider.

We invite you to do your own research and really look into the different lenses discussed here. As mentioned, there is one best lens for the GH4, different lenses have different purposes – whether it be focal distances or use cases for different shooting scenarios.

We hope this article on the best lens for GH4 has been instructive. Did we miss out your favourite lens for the GH4? Let us know in the comments below here.

You Should Try:

Published at Thu, 28 Jun 2018 12:59:54 +0000

RØDE LAUNCHES THE VIDEOMIC ME-L FOR APPLE iOS DEVICES AT VIDCON 2018

RØDE LAUNCHES THE VIDEOMIC ME-L FOR APPLE iOS DEVICES AT VIDCON 2018

RØDE Microphones, Australian pro audio giant, announces the release of the new VideoMic Me-L at the world’s largest online creators Expo, VidCon 2018.

The VideoMic Me-L is a Lightning connector equipped high-quality directional microphone with a compact and lightweight body designed for Apple iOS devices. Its Lightning connector plugs directly into the device, utilising the device’s internal power for instant plug-and-play – no batteries necessary. A standard 3.5mm headphone jack on the rear allows audio play-through in real-time and effortless audio playback.

The VideoMic Me-L is made from durable aluminium and coated in a military-grade ceramic finish, providing a hardwearing chassis that’s resistant to scratching. It’s a build quality far and away from the competition, reflected in superior sound. The microphone also comes packaged with a deluxe furry windshield for shooting outdoors and in adverse weather.

The VideoMic Me-L is suitable for vloggers, musicians and any iPhone users seeking to drastically improve their iOS device’s quality of sound.

“The original VideoMic Me is one of our most accessible mics and the world’s most popular microphone for mobile audio,” says Damien Wilson, RØDE CEO. “The new VideoMic Me-L’s Lightning connector and plug-and-play functionality is a great addition to the VideoMic family, introducing the latest iOS devices to RØDE’s made-for-purpose mic.

“Vidcon is the perfect venue for launching the VideoMic Me-L at: 50,000 emerging online creators converge at Anaheim over the weekend and all are looking to create the best content they can. George Lucas once said, ‘the sound and music are 50% of the entertainment in a movie’. With sound quality 50% of any decent video experience, the VideoMic Me-L is the perfect choice for today’s creative generation.”

Check out the VideoMic Me-L at the fun, entertaining and informative RØDE stand at VidCon, Booth 1200 and online at www.rode.com/vmml.

Published at Fri, 22 Jun 2018 00:28:28 +0000

VIDEO COPILOT | After Effects Tutorials, Plug-ins and Stock Footage for Post Production Professionals

VIDEO COPILOT | After Effects Tutorials, Plug-ins and Stock Footage for Post Production Professionals

Good news everybody! Our sweet workflow plug-in, FX Console, has been updated with a BUNCH of bug fixes and a few new enhancements! If you are not using FX Console, check it out! It’s free!

Fixes and Enhancements for V1.0.3:

  • Added option to save images as JPG from menu & Gallery
  • Preferences files are now saved in a user path instead of a common path, meaning different preferences for different users.
  • Fixed user presets path for AE 2017 and 2018.
  • Fixed issues of preset and effects not being applied if a floating panel had the focus.
  • Fixed screenshot image resolution not being correct in OSX.
  • Fixed crash when rending via command line.
  • Fixed color profile issue when taking a screenshot (mismatch colors).


After Effects Requirements:
Adobe After Effects CC and above (Including CC2014 Sorry no CS6)

DOWNLOAD FX Console V1.0.3 PLUG-IN: For After Effects!

FX Console V1 Features:

  • Access FX & Presets quickly
  • Create FX Shortcuts
  • Create FX Overrides
  • Export Snapshot with PNG
  • Automatic Snapshot Tool & Gallery
  • + MORE!

In V1.0.1 we added these features:

  • Custom Shortcut Key
  • Import + Export Settings file
  • Tab to Presets in search results
  • Over a dozen bug fixes!

Published at

8 Ways to Monetize Your Videos in 2018

8 Ways to Monetize Your Videos in 2018

Lots of people make videos. But far fewer are able to effectively monetize them and bring in any notable amount of money.

But you can.

It’s a crowded market out there. Billions of videos are available and more being released all the time. 300 hours of new videos are uploaded to YouTube every minute. To make money, you need to stand out. And that starts with choosing the right monetization strategy.

There are many ways you can monetize your videos. We’ve chosen seven of the most effective methods for you here. You can probably guess what a few of them are—but some of them are bound to surprise you.

1. Create Your Own Netflix

Netflix is one of the most well-known video on demand (VOD) services. But there are tons of other VOD services out there—some are as big as Netflix and Hulu, others are niche as KweliTV and RIVNow.

The rise of new easy-to-use online VOD platforms out there has made it easier than ever for small independent video content creators to create their own Netflix-style businesses.

Imagine having your own streaming service just for your videos.

Makes you feel pretty powerful, doesn’t it?

Having your own streaming video service adds some serious cool factor to your videos, but it also gives you needed flexibility for making the most of your monetization.

monetize your videos

You could create multiple videos for entertainment or educational purpose. You can cover different topics so your service appeals to a wider audience, or you can cover niche topics to create an online community. You could sell single videos that cover individual topics. You could post videos once a month. Or every day. Or in big batches.

That flexibility extends to payment, as well. Have people pay for single videos. Or sets. Or as a subscription so they can watch as much video as possible.

You can implement the distribution and monetization options that work best for your audience. And that goes a long way toward generating a loyal group of followers that want to pay for your content.

2. Launch an OTT Video App

A streaming video on demand service is a great way to monetize your videos. But because it’s almost exclusively accessed through a browser, it can be a bit limiting. Many people prefer to watch videos on their TV.

That’s where an over-the-top (OTT) video app comes in. Any app or service that doesn’t come from a traditional telecommunications provider can be considered OTT. In this discussion, though, what’s important is that they come as apps, not as browser-based sites.

That means your videos can be served to anything that can download apps—like smart TVs, iPads, and phones. Getting video from a browser is always easy, but tapping an app icon is even easier, and viewers can watching in a few seconds.

Again, the pricing is very flexible; your viewers can pay by the video, by the course, by the month, or any other way you can think of.

And while it might sound like a significant technical endeavor to build an OTT app, you don’t have to worry—there are plenty of services that will do the heavy lifting. All you need to do is use their tools to create your own custom video app.

With how easy it is to get started, it’s tough to pass up OTT apps; they look very professional and let your viewers access your videos however they want. That flexibility, as I mentioned earlier, is key to building loyalty.

monetize your videos

3. Sell stock videos online

You probably know about stock photos, but did you know that stock videos are also bought and sold online? They’re used for things like advertisements, web design, video production, and in news footage.

And if you’re into artistic filmmaking, it could be the best way to monetize your videos.

Selling stock footage isn’t like selling video via SVoD or OTT—much of the content delivered via those methods is educational or entertaining. Stock video covers common topics, like cityscapes or sports, and is specifically made to not be too specific.

(Check out Pexels to see what I mean.)

Of course, that makes it difficult to stand out. Especially if you want your videos to outshine the thousands of others that have already been made on the same topic. You can always branch out to a new area, but if there’s little demand there, you won’t make much money.

Your best bet is to create very high-quality videos in a niche that you know is going to be popular. Start by searching stock video sites like Shutterstock Video and Adobe Stock to see which types of videos show up often.

monetize your videos

You can try to compete directly with those videos or identify a niche that’s related but hasn’t yet been covered. For example, if you see that videos of gardens are in high demand, but that most focus on summer gardens you could start making videos of gardens in the fall. Or a specific type of garden, like herb gardens or tea gardens.

While you can start filming as many different stock videos ideas as possible, it’s a good idea to start with a small niche so you can build up your content and your reputation, then expand from there.

It’s important to reiterate that your videos need to be of very high quality if you’re going to sell them for stock footage. You’ll be competing with very high-level videographers in this market.

4. Blogging

Your video monetization strategy doesn’t have to involve directly selling videos. You can use your videos to support another money-making tactic, like blogging. Some bloggers earn money through ad networks, paid ad placements, sponsorships, or product sales . . . but they still need to get people to their website.

And what better way to get people to your website than with great videos? People love videos—in fact, studies have shown that just about every subgroup that you might be targeting, from executives to consumers, prefers video to text.

By releasing great video content that gets people to your site, you’ll be capturing an audience for your actual monetization pitch. You don’t need to be selling something extremely popular or have millions of viewers. Even very niche websites can use video to generate traffic.

5. YouTube

When people think about monetizing videos, they’re likely to think of YouTube first. And with good cause—YouTube has made internet sensations out of content creators, and 30 million people watch videos there every day.

Who doesn’t want to see their name next to the likes of Daniel Middleton, Lily Singh, and Evan Fong?

monetize your videos

YouTube’s monetization system is simple: ads are displayed in or near your video, and if they generate revenue, you get part of it. How much? It’s hard to tell. You might get a couple cents for an ad click, or you could get a dollar or two per thousand views. There are a lot of factors involved: the type of ads, the type of monetization you’re using, your product/service niche, and others.

But one thing remains true no matter what your videos are about: you’re going to need a huge number of views. YouTube won’t enable monetization until you have 4,000 hours of video watched in the past 12 months and 1,000 subscribers. That’s not easy.

And even if you do cross that threshold, you’ll still need thousands, if not millions, of views to score you any appreciable payout (if you want to make a million dollars, you might need somewhere around a billion views).

Can it work? Yes.

Is it easy? No.

6. SmugMug

While SmugMug is generally thought of as a place to host and sell photos, you can also use it for videos. Most of what you’ll find there is stock footage, though you could likely host many types of video.

What makes SmugMug stand out from other options is the bevy of useful tools integrated into the platform. You can use it to build your own site where people can buy your videos, and there are built-in commerce tools to help you sell your content. You can even sell physical products with their tools.

And when you sell via SmugMug, you get to keep 85% of the profits. That’s a solid margin.

There are lots of great promotion options, like coupons, package deals, SEO-friendly tools. You can use your own custom domain. In short, you can create a full-featured site that helps you market and sell your videos.

This is likely a good option for professionals—you’ll want a very large catalog to take advantage of these tools. And if you also sell photography, you’re even better suited for this platform.

7. Twitch

You might be surprised to find Twitch on a list of the best ways to monetize your videos. Most people think that Twitch is all about streaming video games. That’s certainly a big part of it, but there are plenty of other things it’s used for, too.

You can find shows about cooking, board gaming, positivity, cats, anime, drawing, painting, glass blowing, and anything else you can think of. Whatever it is that you’re thinking about making videos about, there’s probably a community on Twitch that would love to have you.

monetize your videos

Of course, there’s one major difference here: Twitch is all about live streaming (with one exception, which we’ll talk about in a moment). That means you won’t be recording and then posting. You’ll be doing it all live.

Live streaming, while related to recorded video distribution, is notably different. You won’t have to edit and go through post-production. You won’t have to worry about pricing out each individual video or a course. There’s no e-commerce to deal with. All of the monetization is done through Twitch, where people can subscribe to your channel.

Of course, that means you’ll need to get subscribers. Getting Twitch subscribers isn’t like getting more people to your stock video site. Your content will need to be useful and entertaining, and you’ll need to create a lot of it to get people interested.

There are unique considerations on Twitch, like hosting, emotes, and extensions. Don’t know what those are? You’ll have to find out if you’re going to make money on Twitch.

It’s also worth noting that Twitch does support some video-on-demand. You’ll be able to save full episodes of your stream for up to 60 days (depending on how well your channel is doing), and highlights can be saved indefinitely. That doesn’t compare to your own SVoD channel, but it’s something.

Monetize Your Videos – Choose the Monetization Strategy That’s Right for You

These seven ways to monetize your videos cover a wide spectrum of strategies, from creating your own Netflix to streaming on Twitch (and everything in between). But there are plenty of other monetization strategies out there.

Think about the type of content that you’re creating and what you want to do with it. Who is your audience? Where do they look for content online? What will make your videos stand out to them?

Let your goals and interests guide your monetization.

No matter what you decide to do, stick with it. All of these strategies take time to really start earning money—you might actually be losing money when you start. But with perseverance, they’ll pay off.

You Should Try:

Published at Mon, 18 Jun 2018 12:54:09 +0000

AACTA Announces National Pitching Competition for Scripted Television and Web Series

AACTA Announces National Pitching Competition for Scripted Television and Web Series

The cast and crew of TOP OF THE LAKE: CHINA GIRL accepting the AACTA Award for Best Television Drama Series at the 7th AACTA Awards.

The Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA) today launched AACTA PITCH, a national pitching competition that aims to discover Australia’s next world-class scripted series for television or web.

With the audience demand and consumption for new, original drama and comedy at an all-time high, this is one of the most exciting times for emerging Australian content creators. Identifying and nurturing the best and most exciting new series ideas, AACTA PITCH will provide meaningful support for creatives as they start their journey to the world stage. AACTA encourages people from all backgrounds and levels of experience to enter.

A shortlist of up to eight finalists will be selected to participate in the final AACTA PITCH event in August, staged at Event Cinemas Bondi Junction in Sydney.

Finalists will have the opportunity to screen their trailer or proof of concept and pitch their series in front of a live audience, including a judging panel of esteemed figures from the worlds of television, online, production, development and commissioning. Finalists from interstate will be provided with flights and accommodation to attend and participate in the AACTA PITCH event.

The 2018 AACTA PITCH judging panel includes:

  • Mike Cowap, Senior Producer Scripted and Unscripted at Princess Pictures;
  • Carly Heaton, Drama Development Executive at Foxtel;
  • Lee Naimo, Online Investment Manager at Screen Australia; and
  • Shay Spencer, Drama Development Manager at Jungle

Finalists will be pitching for the chance to win a $5,000 cash prize as well as invaluable feedback and mentorship opportunities from AACTA, participating production companies, development executives and screen craft practitioners. The AACTA PITCH winner will also receive post-production support from Spectrum Films to the value of $5,000 and tickets to the 8th AACTA Awards presented by Foxtel Industry Luncheon and Awards Ceremony. All shortlisted finalists will receive a year’s AFI | AACTA membership. 

“With more and more original and innovative content becoming widely available through streaming, online and traditional television broadcasting, this is an exciting time for our emerging Australian creatives, many of whom have ideas for great series waiting to be discovered,” said AFI | AACTA CEO Damian Trewhella. “We are excited to provide these new Australian voices with a platform to shine through AACTA PITCH. This is an incredible opportunity for these creatives to present their ideas to some of our industry’s key content commissioners and producers, network build and hone their vitally important pitching skills.”

AACTA PITCH entries are now open. Entrants are required to pitch a scripted series by providing a pilot or proof of concept. An entry fee of $50 applies. AACTA welcomes everyone with an idea for a series to enter, and encourages series concepts from creators and teams from diverse and under-represented backgrounds.

Entries close on Friday 20 July 2018 at 5pm AEST.

Published at Mon, 18 Jun 2018 22:28:26 +0000

FUJINON/FUJIFILM Optics highlights from CineGear 2018

FUJINON/FUJIFILM Optics highlights from CineGear 2018

Visitors at this year’s Cine Gear Expo got a “master class” on evaluating lenses at the FUJINON/FUJIFILM Optics Learning Centre (Stage 18, Booth S206). Leading lens repair and rental house optic experts put the FUJINON Premier, Cabrio and MK lenses through their paces, teaching attendees how they use Lens Projection to test and evaluate lenses. Representatives from ARRI RENTAL, Keslow Camera and Duclos Lenses were some of the featured technicians in Fujifilm’s lens projection room. 

The MK Series of lenses are designed for E-Mount cameras and boast advanced optical performance, ultra-compact and lightweight design, as well as superb cost performance. With a combined focal length range of 18mm-135mm in the Super 35mm format, the MK18-55mmT2.9 and MK50-135mmT2.9 cover the most frequently used range utilised by emerging cinematographers. The series offers fast lenses with T2.9 speed across the entire zoom range, enabling a shallow depth-of-field. 

Thanks to the extreme popularity of the FUJINON MK zooms, third party providers have introduced a range of solutions to benefit MK lens owners and broaden their compatibility. One of the most popular accessories are additional camera mounts – MK Series lenses come standard with an E-Mount. Showcased in the Cine Gear booth will be the Duclos Lenses’ FZ mount, which allows the lens to work with the popular Sony F5 and F55 cameras. Also shown were MTF’s Micro Four Thirds (M4/3) mount for the MK series. This mount allows for use on Panasonic, JVC, and other manufacturers’ cameras. Heden, SLR Magic, Chrosziel, Bright Tangerine and Zacuto also showed their latest accessories for the MK lenses. 

The new Duclos 1.7x expander enables FUJINON Cabrio and Premier Series Super 35mm zooms to be used on the latest larger sensor cameras, such as Sony’s Venice, RED’s Vista Vision 8K, and ARRI Alexa LF. 

The Electronic Imaging Division highlighted the new video-capable FUJIFILM X-H1 camera and the new MKX cinema lenses for X Mount, the FUJINON MKX18-55mmT2.9 and FUJINON MKX50-135mmT2.9, at Cine Gear 2018. These product offerings provide the ideal compact combination for both video reproduction and still photography. 

 The full family of mirrorless FUJIFILM X Series and GFX camera systems, featuring the video-capableX-H1 camera, new MKX cinema lenses, and GFX 50S medium format mirrorless camera, were also showcased within the booth. Additionally, FUJIFILM technicians were on hand to conduct a complimentary “Check and Clean” program for of attendees with X Series or GFX system products. 

Published at Thu, 14 Jun 2018 23:12:18 +0000

TUTORIAL: Capture perfect lens flares

TUTORIAL: Capture perfect lens flares

Lens flares – love them, hate them, risk looking too much like J.J. Abrams with them.

Despite the Abrams-induced overuse, however, lens flares are a cool effect that can give everything from eye-catching naturalism to a lusted-after retro sheen to a shot. But how to capture them perfectly in the editing room? This video tutorial takes you through the RocketStock Lucent Warm pack, which captures incredible flares without sacrificing locations or killing time on set. Check it out.

Published at Wed, 06 Jun 2018 22:58:46 +0000