Ryan E. Walters, Cinematographer

Cinematic Excellence at 24 Frames a Second

Three Tips For Faster Project Delivery


As I continue my experiment and journey with FCP X I have been looking for ways to further speed up my own workflow and shorten the time it takes for me to deliver a project. As a part of that process, I have developed and refined a system that is now allowing me to turn projects out faster than when I began working with FCP X.

And even though in this example I'm sharing examples form FCP X, I believe that I can take these same concepts and apply them to my Premiere Projects. So without further ado, here is a complete look at the system I've developed, and three tips for faster project delivery.
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How To Save Time In Post By Shooting Charts


As I prep for the grade of "The Kid," a short film I shot for Jeff Winograd on the 5D MKIII in RAW, I'm reminded about the importance of shooting charts during production. While I wouldn't say that you have to shoot charts during production, I will say that if you take that extra minute on set to shoot a chart, you will save considerable time in post, and make the grading process easier on yourself.

If you want to spend less time grading, and have more confidence as you grade, here is what I recommend doing...
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Final Cut Pro Is Dead (Or Why I'm Stuck With Premiere)


When iMove Pro, Final Cut X was launched, I saw the writing on the wall- my beloved editing and grading programs (FCP 7 & Color) were on the way out... to be replaced by this fancy, simple, new, wiz-bang, all-in-one program. Granted, I loved the idea and concepts they were touting with their "revolutionary" new product (technology should be simple). It would ideally empower me to create quickly and effortlessly, like paint on paper. However, at the time, it failed in its execution. At its release, FCX was really a 1.0 program, not a 10.0 program. I was too hamstrung by it to work effectively, so I had to jump ship to Premiere. And now, two years later, I find myself re-evaluating the landscape, coming to the same conclusion. For me, Final Cut Pro is dead, and I'm stuck with Premiere.
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How To Prepare Youself For Working With An External Recorder


So how do knock off $10,000 from the price of a a $16,000 camera? By using an external recorder like the Atomos Ninja and buying a C100 instead. When recording externally to the ProRes codec you get a higher quality codec then what you can get out of the the more expensive C300 natively. And while I welcome the ability to save a chunk of cash and still get the same, if not better quality images from a more affordable camera, it's not all a bed of roses, as I experienced recently on a shoot. Continue reading to find out what happened, and how you can prepare yourself for working with an external recorder.
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How To Properly Add Life Back Into Your Digital Footage

(Before: Log/After: Grade w/Film Convert)

If you have been following my blog for any length of time, you probably know that one of my biggest frustrations with digital imagery today is how pristine it is. Digital images are just too good, and too clean. When great digital cameras are coupled with great modern glass, the resulting image is one that is technically "perfect," but lacks the "life," "character," & "personality" that film brought with it in years past. I have developed a three step process to reintroduce life into my footage: 1. Proper lens selection, 2. Proper in camera filtration, & 3. Proper post processing. Recently I have added FilmConvert to the post processing step of my footage. But I've wondered... When is the proper time to apply FilmConvert? Since the online documentation is lacking, I set out to test a couple of workflows for myself. Here is what I've found.
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How To Prepare Yourself For RAW


Now that it appears that Blackmagic has sorted out the sensor issue and will begin shipping the camera in mass this January, a flood of $3,000 RAW cameras is about to hit the market. But is the market ready for affordable RAW? Are you ready? Am I ready? Don't let this DSLR-like camera fool you. It isn't as straightforward as you may think. Here is what you can expect, and what you should prepare yourself for as you make the switch from compressed formats to RAW...
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Setting Up The Home Based Grading Suite


As Moore's Law continues to make technology more accessible to the masses, it is time to start exploring what it takes to build your own grading suite at home or in your office. Before reading the rest of this post, I recommend that you check out How To Get The Most Out Of CS6, DaVinci, & Your Mac Pro, as this article continues to build on what I've outlined. So let's get started shall we?
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Tips For Maximizing Your R3D In Post:


How an image is handled in post will greatly effect the quality of the final deliverable. Nowhere does this ring more true then with any of the Red cameras. Setting yourself up well at the start of the process will enable you to get the best results possible. Unfortunately with Red, this has been, and continues to be, a bit of a cryptic process that is shrouded in mystery and confusion. I'll help you wade through this mystery so that you can have a better understanding of how to get the most out of your raw image.
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Getting The Most From CS6, DaVinci, & Your Mac Pro


Would you be interested in a more powerful setup then the Quadro 4000 and saving $221? How about not having to spend $4,750 on a Red Rocket Card to play back your Epic or Scarlet footage in real time? Well, then this little quick tip is for you - you really can have your cake and eat it too ...
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