Getting a “film look” on video

A topic that comes up from time to time is how to get video to look more like film. It’s usually pretty easy to tell whether a movie was shot on film or on video, even when watching a tape or DVD. Film has an almost mythic status. Naturally enough, this tempts videomakers to try and recreate the “look” of film using a video camera.

If you are really interested in getting video to look like it came from film, there are a whole load of factors you need to take into consideration. There’s too much to cover in a single post here, but I have collected a bunch of URLs that might help:

Technology Corner: Randy Hoffner — The Elusive Film Look

Urban Fox TV: Making Video Look Like Film DV Technology and the Camcorder

How To Get that “film-look” a.k.a How to make my cheap DV cam footage look like 35mm

unmediated: HP Labs – Research – StoryCast: Simple, digital storytelling with photos and narration

Here’s a neat idea. Use a camera phone to make videos, even if it’s not a video phone! The trick is software that lets you record a voice-over using the regular phone microphone, while selecting a sequence of photos to form the visual side.

I can think of a whole bunch of interesting ways to play with this.

Read more at: unmediated: HP Labs – Research – StoryCast: Simple, digital storytelling with photos and narration

Cinemasports – High pressure filmmaking

Looks like another interesting attempt to break out of the traditional idea of a film festival.

Cinemasports is the Iron Chef of Filmmaking. Teams have hours to complete a movie with a list of ingredients. Finished movies screen that very night. Concurrent global events often exchange movies in time for the evening screening.

Filmmakers and audience participate in a unique cinematic experience. An electrified screening that is both world premiere and wrap-up party. Art exploded from a creative pressure cooker. Global exchange and local community building.

Thousands of filmmakers worldwide have embraced Cinemasports – from guerrilla filmmakers in Eastern Europe to 3-Time Academy Award Winner Walter Murch.

Murch says about Cinemasports, “Something emerges that’s not contained in any of the films…”

Generally, these guys seem to have a prety good grip on the social and collaborative aspects of internet technology, and even produce a “video podcast”.

Read more at: Cinemasports :: Welcome

Play WMV videos in Quicktime on your Mac – for free

This made me smile a wry smile.

For what seems like ages, there has been a rumbling argument among web videomakers about which format(s) to make and distribute video in. People who work on Windows tend to find it easier to make and distribute WMV. People who work on Macs tend to find it easier to make and distribute Quicktime movies.

However, the real deciding factor ought to be how easy it is for visitors to your site (and subscribers to your feed) to play (and otherwise re-use) the video.

Most people agree, if grudgingly, that more people can use Flash video than anything else. But Flash video can be clumsy to edit and produce. Next in market share is probably Windows Media, due largely to the sheer number of Windows PCs which came with Windows Media Player pre-installed. Trailing in third is Quicktime. Available by default on Macs, and available as a (possible but irritating) free download from Apple for Windows machines.

But raw current market share is not everything. If your video is good enough, it might tempt people to install the required player even if they didn’t have it before. Or, at least, so goes the argument often advaned by Mac users to justify only distributing Quicktime movies.

The argument goes along the lines that since Quicktime can be installed on all systems, then quicktime can have as large a userbase as Flash.

And so on to what made me smile. Microsoft is now offering a Quicktime plug-in for Mac users to allow them to play Windows media files right in their familiar Quicktime player. So now relatively convenient players for all three major formats are available as free downloads. The playing field is level once again, and we are back to installed user base: Flash, then Windows Media, Then Quicktime.

Will we see all these Mac evangelists who have been urging every Windows user to install Quicktime rushing to install the WMV plug-in?

Read more at: play Windows Media files (.wma and .wmv) directly in QuickTime Player

At last, Adobe Premiere Elements 2 trial download

You may remember that a while ago I lamented the fact that I could not get a trial version of the new Adobe Elements 2.0 from Adobe. Well, I’ve just checked again, and it seems that (as of 15 December 2005) there is finally a “tryout” version available.

Now I just need to find the time to properly evaluate it. Sigh.

Read more at: Premiere Elements for Windows Downloads.