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Archive for the ‘Professional Film’ Category

The Video Production Studio Process of Audio Post Production for a Great Viewer Experience

Wednesday, May 3rd, 2017

Introduction

One of the first audio post production applications we can think of are the Three Stooges. They would film each scene then after the editing process, would incorporate Foley Arts, more commonly known as sound effects.  This would improve on the viewer experience by adding additional sounds to enhance the audio portion of the video. Today, audio post production has become one of the most important aspects to the video production process.

Sight and sound considerations

When we make a movie, the audio post production process is as important to a great viewer experience as the story itself. The same rule holds true when you are creating your business or marketing video. Whether you are making a big budget professional film, TV Commercial or a small independent film, the sound track is as important as the actors. Sound design is to a film like professional interior design is to a room. Your goal is to create a great viewer experience with sight as well as sound.

Professional audio post production is is the process of adding sound effects and music in addition to studio recorded dialogue to poorly recorded live dialogue.  Some film makers believe post production is video editing and computer graphics alone.  Primeau Productions believe shaping the audio to match what is happening on the screen is critical to making the full viewer experience work.

Automatic Dialogue Replacement

Audio post production processes includes Automatic Dialogue Replacement. ADR or “dubbing” as it is often referred to includes replacing location sound. Once the ADR is complete, sound effects, mixing and mastering, and music is added. You must make the film’s sound track genuine and carefully crafted to support the film and to enhance the overall experience.

Automatic dialogue replacement (ADR) is the process of replacing dialogue that was recorded while filming each scene. During the filming, it is often difficult to get clean, evenly balanced dialogue recorded. This is due to actors movement and unwanted background noises. When you record new dialogue in a post production studio, you add higher quality audio and allow yourself more control on how the dialogue will sound in the final film.

Automatic Dialogue Replacement Studio Set Up

Most studios will have a special vocal recording rooms set up with both a screen to play back scenes from the movie. Actors use headphones to hear what dialogue was recorded. They repeat the dialogue into a high-quality microphone to record the better quality dialogue.

The actor or actress will typically watch and listen to the scene a few times. This helps them to get a sense of pacing and tone for the dialogue. They will then recite the new dialogue with the scene as it visually plays back to match their original performance. It is key to record multiple takes so you have more to pick from in the final stages.

 

Studios also often have plugins that can warp the audio to more closely match the original. This is so that the new dialogue matches what we see on screen. In many movies, almost all the dialogue is replaced during the post production phase. This is done to make sure that every line is clean and clear. Though it takes time, it ensures that the final audio is free of any extraneous noise and other sound issues.

Sound Effects

Sound effects, also referred to as ‘Foley’, are added during audio post production match events and actions on screen. They enhance the overall viewer experience. Explosions, lasers, gun shots, and cars are often the first things we think about when it comes to sound effects. They are loud and present in the movie. But it is important to also pay attention to the subtle sounds too. Because ADR is often implemented, the original audio from the filming set with all the background sound is scrapped. Sounds like doors shutting, keys jingling, and even footsteps must be added during the post production phase. This makes a scene more genuine and authentic. While these seem like small details that go unnoticed, they can be glaringly apparent when missing from a movie.

The process of adding these sounds can be one of the most creative parts of audio post-production. Some sounds are re-recorded out in the field and then shaped in the studio to match the scene. Others are done in the studio in a process similar to recording ADR. The in-studio recording is done in a room where the engineers watch the scenes of the movie that need Foley (sound effects) added. The engineers will have various objects in the room to make the sounds and ‘play’ the objects along with the scene. Some sounds are made by recreating the same action.

Custom Foley

One famous sound when discussing Foley is the Star Wars blaster, which was created by striking a high-tension wire with a hammer. You can create sounds in audio post production then go through effects processing so they more closely match the action on screen.

Once the necessary dialogue and Foley has been recorded, the sound engineers mix everything together so it sounds balanced and crisp. Compress and equalize the dialogue so it sounds natural and consistent. Add reverb so that the voice matches the location in the movie. Though these may seem like subtle changes, they drastically affect the viewing experience. If the picture and sound do not match, viewers immediately tell that something is off.

Audio Post Production Formats

Your audio must also match current standards set in the film industry. 5.1 surround sound mixes are done differently than stereo, with the dialogue typically being the only sound on the center channel. Both mixes are often prepared for large releases. Standards for the level of film sound have also been set by various organizations. The International Telecommunications Union has one of the more global standards. Employ loudness meters during the final mixing phase to make sure the movie meets these standards.

Primeau Productions has experience with audio post production in the film and television commercial arena. We understand and accomodate the process.

Budgets for audio post production are set in advance and strictly followed. Time can be wasted on the post production process. Give our studios a call to discuss how we can help you design an award winning audio track or help enhance, repair and clarify your existing audio track .

The Future of the Video Experience: Part IV – Holograms

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015

11201436955_fa3cfbdcbb_bWe all remember that incredible night at Coachella 2012, when a holographic version of the late Tupac Shakur came on stage with Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg like Princess Leia out of R2-D2. This technology is a staple in science fiction and future technological projections. However, we’re closer than we might think to holographic technology. Though this seems novel from the perspective of a movie buff, the holograms could change the way we interact and communicate forever.

What is it?

Most of us know the mechanics of hologram technology from the movies and TV shows we see. The purpose of this technology is to 3D-project the figure of a person with accurate shape, size, and form in real-time. Think of R2-D2’s message from Leia in A New Hope. A transmission is sent from one location to another containing a message, or in some cases, broadcast in real time. Though this sounds like a load of science fiction, researchers are coming close to making this a reality.

What does it do?

The name of the game when it comes to hologram technology is “tele-immersion.” To put it simply, tele-immersion is a combination of the use of video and telephonic technology to create a full, real-time 3D transmission of a person’s figure and speech.

If you’ve ever used a service like Skype or FaceTime to communicate via video, you already know that there are delay issues, glitch outs, and restricted visibility overall. The goal of tele-immersion is to combine that technology with the real time factor of a telephone, along with real-time motion sensing, so that someone on a video call is never out of view, and the angle you stand at effects what you see on the other side.

As opposed to having a confined view from one angle dependent on the web-cam position, video calling would be more like looking through a physical window. When you look at someone through a window, as you move left and right and change your angle of perspective, you’re able to see other things in the room more clearly that would be out of sight if you were standing directly in front of it.

What could it do?

The biggest focus when it comes to holographic technology is it’s potential in video conferencing and video based communication. However, this isn’t just in the corporate world.

Here’s an example: let’s say you have a family member who lives far away or out of state, and though they want to come home for Thanksgiving to see their family, work restrictions around that date make it impossible for them to fly home. Instead of giving them a FaceTime call or phone call to greet them for the holiday, holographic technology would allow that family member (or, a 3D real-time representation of that family member) to sit at the table with you, communicate in real time, and interact with everyone with full immersion.

In the corporate world, this would excuse travelling expenses for employees. Once holographic technology is in the hands of the average consumer, an employee here in Rochester Hills, Michigan could interact with employees of that same corporation in a completely different continent. This could absolutely change the way we handle international business.

Where is it at in development?

As of now, there is a group of researchers known as the National Tele-Immersion Initiative, which works to bring this technology to its full potential. However, universities such as the University of Pennsylvania and the University of North Carolina are actively finding results in the world of tele-immersion. Though not enough progress has been made to make this a consumer-based product, research is being done on the topic of tele-immersion every day, so we might see our own holodecks sooner than we think.

Here’s one example of interactive hologram technology, courtesy of LM3Labs’ “AirStrike”.

photo credit: Eric Prydz @ Aragon, Chicago 11/29/2013 via photopin (license)

The Future of The Video Experience – Part III: 4k

Wednesday, April 15th, 2015

screenMany people strive for the best quality in their media. We see this in how people consume media today with 4k video. Think back: When was the last time you paused or refreshed a video on YouTube because it wouldn’t stream at full 1080p? What about the last time you chose to buy a ticket to the IMAX showing of a movie instead of a regular theater because you “just had to see it in IMAX?” We like our video to be high quality, and as long as that’s the case,
we’ll always strive to increase the quality of our media.

With that said, there are people pushing the boundaries of how high they can truly go in regards to quality. This is where 4k technology comes into play. Though we’ve reached this next step in video quality, how long will this technology be relevant? What could it do to change the industry?

First, let’s get down to the basics about 4k.

What is 4K?

To put it simply, 4k is a higher video quality than that of 1080p. The entire purpose of 4k is to utilize more pixels to create a higher quality image. Higher pixel count means more detail, which, in turn, creates a more vivid and clear image for the viewer. Netflix has a line of movies and other films now available and index-able by 4k.

What does it do?

In a nutshell, 4k is just defined as more pixels. To understand this, you need a relative understanding of how modern televisions work.

A pixel, as we’ve covered in recent blog posts, is a square image of light and color that works with others to create a full picture. In the past, we have described a pixel as one of the small photos that make up a collage. All of the smaller pictures work together to forge a bigger image. Television works the same way, at a much higher and faster rate.

A 1080p display means that there it is 1080 rows of pixels tall, and 1920 columns of pixels wide. With 4k, you’re talking 4,000 pixels wide, and 2160 tall. Let’s go back to the collage analogy. The more pictures you use to create the bigger image, the higher quality the bigger image will turn out. The same applies to broadcast and cable television. As opposed to 3,000 miniature pictures, you now have 6,160 images making up the bigger picture. That’s over double the pixels! You do not have to be a genius to notice the difference. If you do not notice the difference, just wait for 6k.

What could it do?

To say the least, 4k is around to stay, to be followed shortly by 6k.

This technology will be around for a long time. We can expect a major change in the way cinematography is approached in the future. Filmmakers are already shooting films in 4k. Many models of GoPros even have 4k capabilities. Even some cell phones, such as the Samsung Galaxy Note 3, are able to achieve 4k quality!

4k and higher technologies could change the way we approach cinematography. As more pixels result in a more lush and detailed image, and with our obsession with high quality media, it’s safe to say that 4k could easily become the new standard.

Where is it at in development?

4k is already commercially available. You can purchase a 4k TV at almost any electronics store or even online these days. You can even purchase cinema cameras now that go up to 5k and 6k, such as the Sony RED, but they come with a hefty price tag. Video quality technology will always be changing and developing, so who knows how high developers will go before we reach a new standard.

Example:

Below, you’ll find a comparison between footage taken in 4k compared to footage taken in full HD (or 1080p). Can you tell the difference?

Stay tuned for more from “The Future of the Video Experience,” right here at PrimeauProductions.com

Primeau Productions begins restoring Napoleon Hill Film Episodes

Wednesday, August 7th, 2013

Why would the Napoleon Hill Foundation use Primeau Productions to enhance and restore 16 mm film recordings of Napoleon Hill?  Don Green, executive director, chose Primeau Productions to digitize several 16 mm films of Napoleon Hill mostly because of their owners forensic expertise. The same expertise that has driven the growth of sister company Primeau Forensics. Primeau Productions has the ability to forensically and scientifically enhance film and video recordings using forensic technology. They may be the only video production company owned by video forensic experts.

What does it take to restore historical film?

It take several components to restore 50 year old film. The most important is the talent and experience handling film. Next, the hardware and software used to digitize these films is the same that is used in video forensic cases. This process allows Primeau Productions to have the ability and technology to restore these rare films to high definition quality. Primeau Productions began the transfer and restoration of several Napoleon Hill 16MM film episodes back in 2011 from the Master Key to Success video series.

We have built our reputation on creativity and strengthened it with perfection. Over the last 34 years Primeau Productions continues to develop their reputation with integrity and expertise. Our integrity shows by our client list and our expertise comes across in our finished product.

 

 

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Below is an image of the metal container that has helped preserve the film for over 50 years!

Metal containers were used to store film as well as fiber containers. Both were designed to keep the film cool and dry. Acme Film Laboratories used metal containers to store the Master Key to Success films that we transferred and restored. These films were produced by Dick Brown Productions out of Hollywood California. The films were in excellent shape when we received them and had been stored well.

 

 

Film Reel Napoleon Hill 1

Restoration Step One

The first step in restoration is to inspect the film. This is a process that helps determine the type of residue, dirt or lint dust that has accumulated on the surface of the film over the years. Once the nature of the dirt was determined, we used the appropriate cleaning methods to remove this coating that caused the film to look a little out of focus. Once the films were clean, they were clear and like new.

Any type of restoration, film or video, must be cleaned before it can be digitized.

Restoration Step Two

The second step is to look at the sprocket wear. Once the transfer process begins, the sprocket wear causes the film to play back with a shaky picture. We use Adobe After Effects to stabilize the image as part of the restoration process.

This particular series of films were recorded with an optic sound track. In other words, the audio portion of this film is not on a magnetic strip, it is a visually displayed sound configuration that is reproduced or played by using an optic sound reading projector.

16MM film projectors that have optic audio track capability have a single sprocket on the right side of the film and the optic audio track on the left side of the film as seen in the photograph below.

The audio portion is stored on the left side of the film as seen in the photograph below.

Napoleon hill film roll

The optic audio reader uses light to project the audio track to the optic reader built into the 16MM film projector.

Optical Sound Reader

 

We used a High Definition digital video camera to record the film and convert into digital form. The recording is then loaded into our computer for color correction, image restoration and HD formatting so it looks its best when played back. We use the Adobe CS6 suite of software for film restoration because of the quality of the tools in After Effects, Premiere Pro and Photoshop.

Extensive care is extremely important throughout this process because the film is fragile and easily scratched.

Once the film has been restored, a full quality Quicktime file is created, as well as subsequent digital video files for DVD authoring and other ‘to-be-determined’ Internet use.

Primeau Productions believes that the Napoleon Hill video collection will serve a huge purpose for future generations because the lessons taught by Dr. Hill are timeless. Plus, it is wonderful to see Napoleon Hill speaking in person about his studies and lessons learned.

Click here for more information on video enhancement and VHS restoration.

photo credit: I shoot film! via photopin (license)

Death of a Video Format

Wednesday, June 5th, 2013

By Ed Primeau and Brandon Keilman

5455622177_71917bf3a7I was standing in line at the Secretary of State last week to renew a license plate and saw a video playing on a flat screen in the lobby. The quality was brilliant; very high quality, rich and robust in every area of sight and sound. The source was produced using high definition video tape and digitally edited and formatted onto Blu-Ray DVD.

For a few years now, I have been preaching about the importance of Internet marketing with digital video distribution (which is still very important) while discounting DVD as a worth while marketing tool. The Internet aspect to video still holds true, except we now have to re-look at DVD from a fresh perspective.

There is an ongoing debate over DVD format that is worth understanding so you can apply this medium to your business.

In a knock-out, fall-out battle, Blu-Ray DVD is the official champion and High Definition DVD has gone by the wayside, in a similar fashion to consumer grade laser disk and beta. In this article, we hope to clear some of the confusion and explain the impact to you personally as well as on your business.

Let us clarify an important point before we move on. High Definition digital video is a format video cameras record and High Definition DVD is a format of delivery or medium to deliver the video on. High Definition video recording is still the best way to video record. It is High Definition DVD that no longer exists and what this article is about.

Here is how the war was lost:

The Toshiba Company was the main developer and backer (with the support of Microsoft) of what could have been the next ”big thing” in video delivery, High Definition DVD. While Microsoft favored the ”High Definition DVD” format, Sony favored the Blu-Ray DVD format.

Blu-Ray was and is supported by many different companies including Sony as the next ”big thing” in video formatting. High Definition was the choice of Microsoft and Toshiba until recently.

So, now that the war is over, I guess the demise of the HD DVD video format should not come as a surprise when the two formats are compared and closely examined. First, the quality of both in terms of picture and sound are a huge step up from a regular DVD in resolution. However, when further investigating Blu-Ray, the storage capacity is four times greater than that of High Definition DVD. In our opinion, this is perhaps the largest deal breaker for High Definition DVD.

The Blu-ray storage advantage means less need for multiple DVD disk box sets. Companies such as Fox who are always looking for a way to minimize cost and increase profit love the storage advantage Blu-Ray offers.

To the consumer it means we can go out and buy a Season of our favorite show in a much smaller package, instead of a big clunky box full of DVDs. As for the sound and picture quality, there is a noticeable difference between Blu-Ray and High Definition DVD. Even on the best of televisions the HD DVD still remains a bit grainy where as the Blu-ray has very crisp rich looking images.

Another influence in the decision to kill HD DVD was the backing of the Sony Corporation. Sony is the leading edge developer and implementer of Blu-Ray players into devices their consumers use on a daily basis. Their PlayStation 3 models are considered one of the best Blu-Ray players on the market. Price-wise, not only do you get a Blu-Ray player; you get a video game console and audiovisual storage unit all rolled into one.

Microsoft put their money behind the HD DVD format by offering an external player for their Xbox line of products. However, upon hearing the news that Toshiba was canceling its HD DVD line, Microsoft discontinued their HD DVD external player; they’ve yet to release an external Blu-Ray player. Maybe this will be a perk of the highly anticipated Xbox One.

Unfortunately, the adult film industry also had a great influence over these decisions. Whether we chose to ignore it or pretend it doesn’t exist, the adult film industry still has a large influence over the Blu-Ray decision. Even with its apparent loss of revenue to online video, the industry still has some sway in regards to the format its line of adult videos will be on.

Since 2007, and early 2008, the adult film industry put its backing behind the Blu-Ray DVD format. This, combined with the other reasons mentioned above, seems to be the straw that broke the camels back for HD DVD.

What does this mean for you and your business of DVD products? We are entering a time that future video products should be recorded on High Definition video tape and released on Blu-Ray DVD.

So, now that you know Blu-ray DVD is the future of DVD video delivery, what type of product can you develop on Blu-ray DVD? Consider that Blu-Ray will deliver graphics and still images that look more brilliant and video images of much higher quality because they are recorded on High Definition video. In addition, the length of programming time is greater on Blu-Ray than standard DVD.

We highly recommend Duplicating your Blu-Ray inventory in low quantities as just-in-time delivery:because it will not be long before the next ”greatest advancement” in digital video comes out to further confuse us and, once again, change everybody’s thinking, including ours.

photo credit: Day 48: Recursive Technology via photopin (license)

How to Dress and Act for High Definition Video

Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013

9944082524_4456f8628cNot only have I experienced being recorded on high def video, I have consoled many clients who were shocked after the experience. They were shocked because they did not realize how BIG and magnified high definition video is until they saw a playback of their performance.

Everything is Magnified

Not only will your beautiful blue (or brown or green… or bloodshot!!) eyes be large and magnified on the high definition video, so will your imperfections. Rather than list them all, I’ll be polite and let you use your imagination. Think of wrinkles in your clothes, as well as on your face.

Consider having a wardrobe rehearsal and hiring a professional makeup artist and wardrobe consultant (often the same person) who specializes in preparing clients to be recorded in high definition. Yes, there is a process to high def makeup, and yes, it has become a specialty.

Men, if your shirt collar is a bit tight and you run the risk of the top button taking out an audience member’s eye, better get a larger shirt. That stretched collar will look ten times worse in high definition video than it does in person. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but if not me, who will tell you? Nobody. You will see for yourself after it’s too late.

Ladies, carefully check your hair before going on stage. A few ‘flyaway’ strands that are barely noticeable in the mirror will look like tree branches on high def video.

I always encourage our clients to have a rehearsal before going on stage. Record some video of your rehearsal and watch it before your formal performance. As painful as this sounds, it’s less painful than missing a perfectly good opportunity to get new demo video footage.

During your rehearsal get used to the stage and how you move about during your presentation. Spy where the cameras are located and remember to periodically make eye contact with the cameras. Remember, these cameras represent the viewers at home.

The bottom line is high definition video is here to stay. This process is like any other process. You either adapt and embrace it or you will miss out and regret your mistakes. Evolve your performance into the new era of high definition video and business growth will follow.

photo credit: Dança via photopin (license)

Detropia : A Film About Detroit, Michigan

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012

By Lauren Primeau

file3171282780335For what has seemed like forever, the city of Detroit has acquired the unfortunate reputation of a city fallen from grace. Yet a recently released film titled “Detropia” has taken a stance against challenging this notion. Directors Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady of Loki Films take an in-depth look at the history of Detroit starting from its golden days of being known as the city responsible for putting the world on wheels to its slow but steady decline well into today. As depressing as this may sound, the film does take a look at just what needs to be done not only in Detroit, but in other cities as well in order to revive our great nation. Far from giving up hope, a number of citizens within this film express their determination and dedication to reviving this city via its strong artistic community–specifically with the Detroit Opera House.

The film starts off with a shot of a farm house being demolished in order to comply with plans to downsize the city. Perhaps its because I am a native to this city, but to see homes such as these, that have been abandoned as part of an urban plight, disapear from the landscape is truly heartbreaking. It’s shots such as these that truly act as a wakeup call not just for the citizens of Detroit but for our nation as well. While this film does focus on the slow desolation of Detroit, it is simultaneously speaking to the citizens of these here United States. As one domino falls, it is unquestionably dire to prevent all others from following suit. Though the city has faltered, and downsizing seems to be the only option according to city officials, the spirit of the city is far too determined to give way to downsizing Detroit until it disapears all together.
More information about the film can be viewed via the following website:
http://detropiathefilm.com/video_trailer.html

View the movie trailer below.

 

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