Author Archive for Martin Beek


To all the people trying to find me on Facebook: i’m on Friendweb!

Apropos of nothing… ;-)

Not of much concern to non-Dutch readers, but i have seized using Facebook recently.
Rebelling against Facebook’s latest policies, i have started a new Dutch social network a year ago called

If you have searched me on Facebook recently, and/or sent me a friendship request, don’t feel ignored ;-)

My Dutch friends, and everyone else that is cool with putting up with Dutch or crooked english, is invited to visit my page and befriend me:





Behind the scenes of Oblivion: minimal green screen fx, maximum in-camera on-stage fx

Enjoy this Behind the Scenes of Oblivion; less green screen, more on-stage and in-camera effects – like the good old days of science fiction cinematography.
Respect! Shame it’s filmed w. Alexa ;-)


oblivion-dead-city oblivion oblivion-concept-art-cruise-4 Oblivion-movie-3.resize-jpg Oblivion behind the scenes, martin beek, friendweb, tom cruise


PREVENT PIRACY: secure ways of archiving and distributing dailies, footage and DCP files + shocking facts

pirate bay piracy decryption footage dcp

Edit: quick link for those only interested in the CYPHR software:

Piracy and the theft of copyrighted (film-) materials is ever increasing and the perpetrators are getting more advanced and even more brutal by the day.

The times of people smuggling their video camera into a cinema to share their shaky images with friends has long gone by.
Pirated movies, bootleg DVDs/BluRays and even illegal movie theater-viewings(!) have become almost a commodity.

Let’s not forget that only a small fraction of all “pirates” do their work for the “common good” in order to raise their streetcred in the PirateBay-like communities.


Bootleg DVDs and Blurays are sold, but also produced in large quantities by – sometimes – advanced production facilities. New cinema releases are shown on subscription sites.

This is for us, as film makers and copyright owners, a tough thing to deal with, but what i find most disturbing are the inventive ways of illegally acquiring the footage that seems to become more harsh and – indeed – brutal!
If you Google on the subject, you’ll find some cases of footage theft, but i know from trusted sources in my network that most cases are hold silent.

Digital cinema (DCP = Digital Cinema Package) should have made things difficult for criminals to copy movies. That’s indeed true, but it has made them more inventive and look for other ways BEFORE the footage get’s to the cinema in it’s  DCP form. And that hasn’t made things better….

Here is a short and definitely incomplete list of practices i found, with some comments – prepare for some shocks…:

  • using a mobile phone or video camera to film a movie at the local cinema
    • This method is the least favorite among serious criminals – we want HD copies, not shaky images.
  • using a Telecine device
    • a small device,  with sprockets and a CCD sensor, that is clamped on the physical film strip, on the projector. Only applicable if the movie is projected from celluloid. The perpetrator needs to have access to the projection room – AND HERE COMES THE LEAK NUMBER ONE: the projectionist
  • illegal copying of footage and masters at the premises of post production houses, by post production personnel
    • this happens more and more often and is easy to do by the people that are trusted and have access. The people who involve in this are the ones you’d probably suspect the least and are well paid to do so..!
  • illegal copying of footage and masters at the premises of post production houses BY FORCE
    • believe it or not: breaking and entering, armed robbery and even extortion seem to belong to the possibilities in order to acquire footage and masters
    • there are known cases of footage transmitted digitally between producers and post production facilities AND HAVE BEEN INTERCEPTED
    • there are known cases of required ransom for footage illegally acquired
  • footage stolen on-set, at production houses and private premises
    • either physical or digital: backup devices and digital media are easy to copy or steal, specially by trusted people…
  • movie previews are stolen from film festival offices
    • AND HERE IS LEAK NUMBER TWO: film festival offices and personnel! Who runs these operations? Who has access to our materials? We seldom know…
    • Preview DVDs and Blurays are easily copied, or even intercepted before they even reach the festival’d office. THIS IS THE WEAKEST LINK!

OK, let’s be honest, i don’t expect hooded villains to raid my house soon, BUT i want to take all the precautions available to me and my budget.
At Marvels Film we have to a certain protocol for the handling, back-up and protection of footage – of course – but alarmed by the issues pictured above, we have taken some extra measures, which include:

  • Packing and encrypting all footage, dailies & masters that are to be backed up or sent to other facilities or people
    • we have made a modest investment in this great software tool: Provost CYPHR  available from
    • CYPHR let’s you add artwork, images, footage of all kinds, documents and even applications to a “.cy” file that can only be opened and browsed by the recipient if they have the correct password.
    • these Cyphr “.cy” files can be safely transmitted through unsafe media such as the internet (email / ftp) or on a harddisk or stick
    • anyone, who i fully trust, that needs our CYPHR file can call for the password
    • a great product for a great price and IT WORKS! Absolutely un-crackable and absolutely useless in the wrong hands. The user interface is very simple, but don’t let that first impression deceive you.
  • Handling of all backups on set or at our premises is always done accompanied by either Patrick, Roland or me myself and i – if we have a break, it’s done in visibility range of the backup laptop
  • DCPs and other finished products of our work are only sent to theaters and broadcasters (specially including film festivals) in an encrypted fashion, also using the Provost CYPHR software
  • Always DEMAND that all media is to be returned or destroyed. We have a contract with clear statements of liability that needs to be signed by the recipient. Do it! Have it signed! I know, for indie producers it can be embarrassing to request this – specially at impressive facilities – but never forget that you PAY these people and that they are in principle not to be trusted. That is the cruel truth…

I realize that even major production houses are having trouble with these issues and are ever looking for solutions to end piracy.
IMHO, trying to stop people at home to download movies from the Pirate Bay is not the way. Trying to prevent it from showing up at the Pirate Bay is also our responsibility.




Brief update by Martin Beek

Hello followers and fans! ;-)

I hope you’re all doing well!  I know, i’ve been silent for some time now. It’s not you, it’s me..!


Martin Beek en Roland Jacobs op de set van nieuwe Nederlandse speelfilm LittekensSince april 2012 i’m involved in directing and filming a new Dutch feature film called “Littekens” (English: Scars), using Red cameras and a lot of other new gear we had to get used to.

I turned 50 last year and despite that, and having over 25 years of film making experience, the new digital cinema cameras and techniques freaked me out, got me down, picked me up and eventually gave us the most beautiful images i’ve ever pulled from a camera!

Another few shooting days and principal photography is over, so editing can commence…  More info in Dutch on and and



FriendWeb Nederland, nieuw sociaal netwerk voor en door nederlanders

I have also worked in parallel on a new script for a short movie to shoot next year AND – for my Dutch friends – got involved in creating a new Dutch social networking website “FriendWeb” ( ) that is targeted towards Facebook dropouts ;-) -> FriendWeb has (at least) two great pros for creative people: very loose rules towards content (->Dutch law) and – in sharp contrast to Facebook – your content stays yours and is provided following the most restrictive Creative Commons license.




Just give me some time to complete my current feature film project and i promise to get back to you with some very interesting stuff on digital film making..!






Color palettes of top movies

This great website features color palette analyses of famous movie pictures.

These (graphic) analyses show us a bit of the colorist’s mind and the intended atmosphere.



Editing Dutch feature film on FCPX

It seems that I’m the only cinematographer besides the Coen brothers, who uses FCPX for feature film editing. Or aren’t I?

With the release of FCPX 10.0.8 last night, Apple hopes to inspire professional editors to start using or previous lost souls to return to using Final Cut Pro.

After four days of editing with the previous version 10.0.7, I was really fed up with some interface stuff and bugs, so this update is no day too soon!

I have high hopes and expectations and I’ll share my FCPX 10.0.8 experiences soon!

Martin Beek
(Ps: Dutch feature Littekens: imdb)


50% off Magic Bullet Looks (2 days only)

Now that Apple has updated FCPX last night, Magic Bullet Looks is now fully functional and compatible.

To celebrate this fact, Red Giant offers 50% off for two days only!

This great grading suite is now $199!
Enter FCPXLOOKS13 as discount code.




My direct message to Mark Zuckerberg


I suspect that the majority of the Dutch FB users will turn their back on FB if you continue to impose typical American censorship and regulations on their all day FB use.

We are a free country without censorship and we, the Dutch, are allergic to rules and regulations that limit our right on free speech.

We can not talk about pornography, but are allowed to receive awful images of mutulation, rape and murder.
This we, the Dutch, all identify as typical American.
The term “big brother” comes to mind.

I follow Dutch social media sentiments on a daily basis and a strong anti Facebook sentiment is growing. If things don’t change, I expect FB to loose terrain massively next year.

Just my concern, because I love(d) the pre-2012 Facebook.

Martin Beek.


People write me from time to time where to find Marvels Film on Twitter. I have to disappoint you, Marvels does not have a twitter account.
There are two Twitter accounts by Marvels Film and those are and our current feature film project at

MartinBeek – which is my own indy filmmaking related twitter account – is the most interresting for readers of this blog. I will have to find out if there is a way to merge twitter accounts, or else I’ll ask one of the other guys at Marvels to create a Marvels Film twitter account.

In the right hand column you’ll find a button saying “follow @martinbeek”.





ProCutX iPad controller for Final Cut Pro X (FCPX)

Marvels Film Martin Beek Ipad Controller FCPX color grading


found on and

Pixel Film Studios has launched its first iOS app, ProCutX (developed by Lightwork Solutions), which allows video editors to control Final Cut Pro X on their Mac through an iPad. As you can see for yourself, the user interface replicates pro video editing consoles that people who are serious about film making use in conjunction with the Final Cut Pro X software… Absolutely GREAT stuff and i love it!

From release notes:

Built from the ground up to meet the needs of today’s creative editors, ProCutX breaks free from the menus and tabs to streamline editor tasks.

This application gives users control over all the FCPX editing tools in one clean interface, eliminating the need for clicking and searching through the Final Cut Pro X menus.

From import to export, ProCutX can control every step of the FCPX editing process.

The program offers a range of features, such as precision timeline scrubbing, quick retiming, color grading and auto-correct, compound clip editing and timeline zooming.

It also provides fast access to Final Cut Pro X tools on your Mac, has the ability to record voiceovers and features shortcuts to import, export and rendering features. Multichannel audio editing along with streamlined sharing is also supported.

ProCutX clearly isn’t for everyone.

But if your video editing needs go beyond iMovie and you know your way around Final Cut Pro X, definitely consider giving ProCutX a try.


procutx ipad controller for fcpx mac marvels

Pixel Film Studios told AppleInsider that an update with new features is in the works, including “Siri-like voice command capabilities and support for multiple iPad integration, allowing users to separate tasks such as color grading, audio controls and effect controls”.

California-based Pixel Film Studios develops effects tools for post-production, plus plugins, transitions and effects for Apple’s Final Cut Pro X video editing software.

Note to owners: an app like this deserves a splashy promo video.

ProCutX is compatible with iPads, requires iOS 5.1 or later.

Of course, you’ll also need a compatible Mac running a copy of Final Cut Pro X version 10.0.7 or later.

Just US$25 in the Apple AppStore, click here.  More info on the website: .

Blog Stats

  • 1,363,162 hits


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,656 other followers