Post Magazine

September 2011

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bits & pieces Wee Beastie EW YORK — Wee Beastie (www.wee- produced four spots for Discov- ery that promote its popular programming line-up overseas. At press time, two of the spots were complete, while the final two were undergoing the post production process. In each, the program's hosts are portrayed as chil- promos show Discovery's youth can Chopper spot, a young Paul senior loses his cool while wrenching a bicycle. Wee Beastie's Chris McKenna directed the promos, which were shot on location in Monclair, NJ, and Glen Cove,NY, over two days. "My instinct was to shoot exactly as it would have been done in those days," explains McKenna of the production. But, the team had to face the realities of distribution, so a widescreen format was selected rather than the 4x3 Super 8 format that might have been more period correct. Super 8, says McKenna,would not have This promo shows what the hosts may have been up to back in the day. dren and detail how their early interests and actions led them to their Discovery careers. In the MythBusters spot, young Jamie and Adam are shown dropping candy into a soda bottle, where a chemical reaction sets off a fizzy explosion. In the Dual Survival promo, young Dave and Cody use their differ- ing survival skills to shelter themselves from a torrential rainstorm. Bear Grylls uses his mom's laundry line as a zip line in the Man vs.Wild promo. And for the Ameri- blown up adequately to the widescreen format they would require, so the team shot old Super 16 stock with a 1980's camera."It had grain structure and looks filmic, but is not completely shot to hell," McKenna explains. "We wanted to come back with a clean negative from shoot," he adds. "Shooting film is best way to get the grain on film. Film captures highlights and blacks in ways that video is only now approach- ing.We can point into sun and get flares that video can't." All four promos were shot in mid-July. Post for all four promos was taking place at Discovery in Silver Springs,MD, using Avid systems.The Myth Busters and Dual Survival spots were the first two to be completed. Wee Beastie, which has HD Final Cut Pro and After Ef- fects workstations, created a number of looks that could be applied to the film footage, including extra scratches that add to the 1950's feel. By Marc Loftus Blue connects XLR to USB ESTLAKE VILLAGE, CA — Blue Microphones has released a simple-to-use converter that allows audio pros to connect their favorite XLR microphone to a computer or laptop via a USB port.The Icicle ( USB-XLR converter and mic preamp combo provides 48V phantom power and analog gain control, all without the need to install drivers. The Icicle's portable, lightweight design makes it well suited for recording music, vocals, instruments or podcasts straight to a laptop.This allows sound professionals to work out- side of their studio and even take their preferred mic home or into the field.The unit works with both dynamic and condenser microphones and provides high-quality (44.1kHz/16-bit) and hassle-free connectivity to Macs or PCs. With a powered USB hub and Apple's camera connection, iPad owners can use Icicle to work with a professional XLR mic. Icicle is priced at $59 and comes with a six-foot USB cable. 4 Post • September 2011 Iridas improves FrameCycler Pro's file support UNICH, GERMANY — Iri- das ( has updated its FrameCycler Pro desktop stereo playback and re- view system with greater file for- mat support. The new release ($299) includes support for Arri Alexa Raw and Red Epic formats, and offers 12-bit Apple ProRes support compatible with Arri's SxS card output. FrameCycler Pro 2011 offers an optimized OpenEXR loader, and CinemaDNG is now fully supported in realtime, offering performance gains for efficient playback and review in any stereo 3D production environment.The release now supports Python scripting, further expanding exist- ing scripting and remote control capabilities used by post facilities. The system's stereo 3D en- gine, which is based on Iridas's Du- alStream NX technology, has been enhanced. FrameCycler Pro now adds realtime parallax adjustment, a visual reel set-up window, differ- ence matte views, single-frame stereoscopy support and a heads- up display for 3D metadata. Interface improvements have also been made, and render sup- port has been extended. M N MythBusters W

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