The New Panasonic EVA-1 Is Here

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Back in the summer, I posted a tweet when Panasonic introduced the new S35 EVA-1 at Cine Gear Expo, a sub $10K 5.7K camera designed to rival cameras like the FS7 and C200:

There were high hopes for this camera at the time of the announcement, with No Film School claiming that it could be the "ultimate indie cinema camera." Philip Bloom also anticipated good things to come with this camera when he wrote about it on his blog.

Now that the EVA1 is finally here, reviews, first impressions, and videos featuring EVA1 test footage are coming in. Here are some of the initial reactions.

The initial feedback seems to be positive, but shooters will need more real-world experience with the camera before a final conclusion can be drawn about its performance. After all, the AF-100 seemed promising, but never really lived up to its potential (partly due to the timing of its release, the shifting tastes among shooters, and the lack of a full frame sensor).

September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

Our video production team at St. Jude always makes a big push in September to coincide with Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, churning out video content to support multiple advertising efforts. What follows is a spot edited by one of my co-workers, using footage I shot earlier this year.

10 Things to Remember Before You Start Color Correcting

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I had an opportunity to attend a two-day color correction and grading workshop recently and I wanted to share a few basic tips that are important to keep in mind before you start color correcting your own project. In another post, I discussed the difference between color correction and color grading. But for this post, I will use the term color correction to apply to both processes.

  1. There are two main components of color correction: a) fix a problem; b) create a look
  2. If you can, use a client monitor with its own waveform.
  3. Black on the IRE scale is 7.5% not 0%
  4. 235 RGB is considered video white; 16 RGB is video black
  5. Always correct the worst shot first.
  6. The one thing that has to look right is skin tone.
  7. Assume that everything you color correct will be broadcast, so keep your levels broadcast safe.
  8. Don't auto white balance by picking the brightest spot in the frame. That spot may not be white. It may just be overexposed. 
  9. Set the baseline grade, then go back to match shots, and then finally apply your look across the entire scene.
  10. The look you apply should be motivated. What is the reason behind your grade?

What other color correction tips do you have? Leave your thoughts in the Comments section.

What I Like About the New Taylor Swift NOW Ad

Taylor Swift is currently promoting her new video experience called Taylor Swift NOW, which is on the AT&T network. I watched the promo today and I like what the AT&T creative team produced. Here are a few reasons why I think this spot works. First, watch the video, then scroll down for my impressions. Think about utilizing these techniques in your next marketing video.

  1. It's Taylor Swift - Duh. Let's just get the obvious one out of the way first. The ad works because it features a famous celebrity. So, if you can get Taylor Swift, get Taylor Swift. Okay, I know this isn't a real option for you, so consider this: Taylor Swift has a built-in fanbase that will watch or read anything she's a part of. Think about your own business niche. Is there an influencer within your own industry that already has a built-in following? Can you leverage that following for your own marketing video? Is there a way to cross-promote?
  2. Be Relatable - Part of what makes this ad so fun is that is really humanizes Taylor Swift. The spot makes her seem fun, relatable; like a good friend you like hanging out with. She doesn't seem like an untouchable celebrity. She seems real. In your own marketing video, think about ways you can make your company and your reps relatable to your audience. Ditch the formalities. Loosen the neckties. Try irreverence on for size, if it fits your brand. Try self-deprecation. Allow yourself to be vulnerable. But whatever you do, please be consistent with your brand's voice.
  3. Be Structured - This spot functions very well as an ad, but it's also a very nice short film. There's an overarching story that runs from start to finish. It's very tight and very self-contained, with events unfolding linearly, the preceding one directly affecting what comes after. That makes the spot more interesting, because the viewer is curious about what will happen next. If you stop and think about it, probably some of the videos you've shared recently follow this same pattern, like HP's recent Father/Daughter ad.
  4. Be Random - I know, this seems to contradict everything I just said in point #4. Perhaps a better word than "random" would be "surprising." Yes, the Taylor Swift NOW ad is structured, but it also has its moments of random fun. It surprises us. Unexpected things pop up, and the spot is more entertaining because of it.

What do you think? Does the Taylor Swift NOW ad work for you, or not? What other advice do you have about video marketing? Leave them in the Comments section below.