Posts Tagged ‘movie

09
Aug
13

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

 

 

UPDATE april/2014: The CYPHR file encryption software is now freeware!  Get your free copy and license @ provost-intel.org/CYPHR  pirate bay piracy decryption footage dcp

Edit: quick link for those only interested in the CYPHR software: http://www.provost-intel.org/cyphr

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.

THIS IS ABOUT MONEY AND NOTHING ELSE. Of course…

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 www.provost-intel.org/cyphr
    • 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.

Cheers!

Martin.

14
Apr
13

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.

http://moviesincolor.tumblr.com/

20130414-102655.jpg

02
Mar
11

Short Free Fall (“Vrije Val”) 2010, full movie on YouTube HD

Honorable Mention & Audience Award – Los Angeles Movie Awards 2010

Shot with Sony EX-1, EX-3, Canon 7D, RedRock M2E DOF adapters

YouTube HD version

IMDb page

14
Feb
11

Marvels Cine Picture Style 3.4 test movie

UPDATE: please follow the link “marvels cine for hdslr” at the top of this blog for more information and updated profile.

Jorgen Escher has published some new information about the Marvels 3.3 and 3.4 picture styles we will be using on an indie feature length production this year. He explains the differences between 3.3 and 3.4 and my (our) motivations to make changes to the default 3.3 style.

Jorg (for short) has also published a short test movie on his blog and on Youtube.

You can find Jorg here:  http://colorbyjorg.wordpress.com.  Jorg is an optical reserach engineer with the Fraunhofer institut, Darmstadt Germany and knows a lot about colorimetrics.

Follow that guy! @colorbyjorg

02
Feb
11

Our latest short “Free Fall” now full length and HD on YouTube

Youtube has updated our account to “no limits”, so we at Marvels Film were finally able to upload our 43 gig, 25 minute, 1080p short movie “Free Fall” (Dutch: Vrije Val). Winner of the Audience Honorable Mention at the Los Angeles Movie Awards 2010.

Free Fall is a short silent movie – music only – about HIV, Aids and prejudice. For this indie production we used a mix of Sony PMW-EX1 with RedrockMicro DOF adapter,  PMW-EX3 and Canon 7D footage.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TZ6i-_bQcgI&hd=1

Website: www.vrijevalfilm.nl (English and Dutch)

IMDb:  http://www.imdb.com/name/nm3727391/

19
Jan
11

Finally, the new Marvels Cine Picture Style 3.x for Canon DSLR

UPDATE: please follow the link “marvels cine for hdslr” at the top of this blog for more information and updated profile.

Stay up to date by “Liking” http://www.facebook.com/marvelsfilm


UpdatePhil Holland has published an article with pictures about his experiments with this new picture style here.

Canon neutral
Marvels Cine 3.3 style
Canon Neutral style, contrast all down                                 Marvels Cine 3.3 style

As i wrote before in an earlier post, i was not particularly satisfied with the version 2.x picture styles i published as alternatives (NOT replacements) to the renowned and widely used Marvels Cine Picture Style for the Canon D and T/Rebel series vDSLR cameras.

With all due respect to Bart Keimen who provided most of the 2.x styles, i was not confident in using them for production work, and i sticked to the good old Marvels Cine style. I was contacted in december 2010 by colorist and formerly Fraunhofer institute scientist Jorgen Escher, who offered to help me with developing and testing a new Marvels Cine picture style successor.

After having shot a lot of footage with many many styles on both commercial and indy production work since 2009, using the 7D and the 5DMKII, and after receiving much feedback and many test reports and -footage from you all, i’ve come to a number of conclusions.

  • the Canon picture style editor sucks
  • picture styles that are too flat (pronounced S-Curves) do result in chromatic anomalies such as “plastic skin”, and gaps/irregularities in the histogram
  • the standard method of flattening (contrast all the way down, color 2 pegs down) is not flat enough
  • the Neutral picture style is colorimetric not ideal, to use as a basis for developing new flat styles
  • the Canon picture style  still sucks
  • the middle part of any S-curve (approx. 40-75% brightness ) should be kept linear to protect skin colours and exposure. The camera already has it’s own s-Curve that changes with the build-in style! Let’s not forget that! We are applying a curve to a curve! Using reference cards and precise measurement reveals this, and enables people like Jorg, who know what they’re doing, to draw a new curve on top.
  • white balancing and exposure is often judged wrongly when using a too flat style, and therefore results in underexposure and more colour problems – specially when using the camera’s LCD and omitting the camera’s Histogram display or when using an external monitor
  • the above can be solved when exposure and white balance is taken after selecting the unchanged Standard or Neutral style and then switch to the flat style for shooting – and i don’t like that!
  • did i already mention that the Canon picture style editor sucks?

Taken all this in account, Jorg has provided me with an all-new Marvels Cine Picture Style v.3.3.
It’s less flat than “super-flat”, is less flat than the first Marvels Cine, uses 10 curve nodes, does not touches any colour and is based on the Standard style as a base, instead of the Neutral style.
Exposure and white balance – special those of the skin – can be safely set using this new style if you judge these settings by eye.
The new style can made more and less flatter by adjusting the Contrast setting. Even if contrast is set in the middle position (4), it’s still flatter than the usual way of flattening the untouched Neutral style (w. contrast on zero).
The style is slightly more colourful than other flat styles, because it uses the Standard style as a basis.
The Standard style setting is used as a basis for this new style, because the s-curve required this in respect to the skin colours – for colorimetric and exposure reasons.
Jorgen tells me that he has created this style’s S-curve and .pf2 file WITHOUT the Canon Picture Style Editor, but does not want to tell much about this process YET.

And i am happy with it!! I hope you like it too. I invite everyone to try this new style and share with me their findings, comments and links to test footage. I hope to be able to provide you with examples after this weekend too.

I also want to encourage users to experiment with the base style setting of the new style (suggesting switching Standard, Neutral and Faithful).

The new Marvels Cine Picture Style v.3.3 can be downloaded here
(zip archive – please read the README file before use!).Creative Commons Licentie
The Marvels Cine Picture Style v.3.3 file by Marvels Film has been licensed following a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.0 Unported licence. CC BY-NC-ND

Courtesy of Jorgen Escher -> http://colorbyjorg.wordpress.com – @colorbyjorg

Cheers!
Martin

05
Dec
10

New and updated versions of the latest Marvels Cine picture styles for Canon DSLR cameras

UPDATE april 2011: please follow the link “marvels cine for hdslr” at the top of this blog for more information and updated profile.


UPDATE  JAN 8 2011: New version available from this post!
After getting hands-on experience and feedback from users of the new Marvels Picture profiles (2.3 and Panalog) posted below, i am currently pushing forward (in our planning) the development of the new and final Marvels Cine Flat profile “3.1”.  I, as a filmmaker with a specific taste for the elusive “film look”, am not entirely satisfied with the s-curve that has been provided by Bart Keimen for the recent profiles. I am currently test shooting with an all new picture profile that is much more advanced than any other profile and with an s-curve that is not only mathematically correct, but also mimics the s-curve of film stock AND offers control over it’s “flatness”. The profiles will no longer be made with the Canon Picture Profile Editor, but with an in-house developed application; it’s crude and not sexy, but can calculate curves based on mathematical functions instead of user/mouse input. The mathematical functions have been provided by Jorg Escher of Fraunhofer and we’ll work together next week to finalize the application and provide one or more profiles to work with. So, for now, i regard the “2.3” picture profiles as betas for  you all to experiment with.


 

Hello all.

We are happy to announce the release of two additional versions of our latest “Marvels Cine 2.1 Panalog” picture style. And two all new Flat picture style files; all for your Canon D-range (pun not intended) DSLR cameras.

Two additional profile versions have been made from the latest v.2.3 “Panalog” style, addressing style settings only – for your convenience – and two are new profiles based on the latest “Panalog” version, but with the color correction disabled, offering only the slight s-curve to “flatten” the picture without color changess.

As from now, i will configure two versions per existing Marvels style, one for low contrast situations and one for high contrast situations. These are using the same s-Curve, but with different Contrast settings, that you can alter yourself to taste.

Here is the list of all available Marvels Cine Style picture profiles for the Canon cameras. .pf2 and zip files provided, as well as a one-file download of all styles.
Please use this post as the official and final download page for all Marvels Picture Styles.

  • new: Marvels LOWc 2.3
    Slight “best of both worlds” s-Curve for useful flattening of the picture, without introducing flattening artifacts such as “plastic faces” and other 8-bit color gamma defects. Optimized for low contrast shooting situations (e.g. indoors, night).
    Classification: No color correction. Light flattening.
    Version 2.3 of december 5 2010, by Martin Beek and Bart Keimen, Marvels Film.
    Permanent download link: .pf2 file zip file

  • new: Marvels HIc 2.3
    Slight “best of both worlds” s-Curve for useful flattening of the picture, without introducing flattening artifacts such as “plastic faces” and other 8-bit color gamma defects. Optimized for high contrast shooting situations (e.g. outdoors, film lighting).
    Classification: No color correction. Moderate flattening.
    Version 2.3 of december 5 2010, by Martin Beek and Bart Keimen, Marvels Film.
    Permanent download link.pf2 file zip file
  • new: Marvels Panalog LOWc 2.3
    Slight “best of both worlds” s-Curve for useful flattening of the picture, with color correction based on a mapping of the Panavision Genesis Panalog Style, using a Panavision Genesis camera, a macBeth color card and a Canon 7D. Optimized for low contrast shooting situations (e.g. indoors, night).
    Classification: Advanced color correction. Light flattening. Panavision Genesis simulation.
    Version 2.3 of november 28 2010, by Martin Beek and Bart Keimen, Marvels Film.
    Permanent download link.pf2 file zip file

  • new: Marvels Panalog HIc 2.3
    Slight “best of both worlds” s-Curve for useful flattening of the picture, with color correction based on a mapping of the Panavision Genesis Panalog Style, using a Panavision Genesis camera, a macBeth color card and a Canon 7D. Optimized for high contrast shooting situations (e.g. outdoors, film lighting).
    Classification: Advanced color correction. Moderate flattening. Panavision Genesis simulation.
    Version 2.3 of november 28 2010, by Martin Beek and Bart Keimen, Marvels Film.
    Permanent download link.pf2 file zip file
  • Marvels Cine Flat Picture Style v.1.2 (“Classic”)
    The renowned and widely used (+23.000 downloads) Marvels Cine flat picture style.
    Featured in many DSLR indie movies, music videos and even feature films.
    The above profiles are NOT a replacement for this extra-flat cinestyle s-Curve profile – this profile is still actual, being used and updated. Should be manually adjusted for low/high contrast situations using the camera profile’s “Contrast” setting. Dial contrast completely down for high contrast and to “-2” or “-3” for low contrast shooting situations.
    Classification: No color correction. Very flat.
    Version 1.2 of december 5 2010, by Martin Beek
    Permanent download link.pf2 file zip file
  • All-in-one up-to-date archive (zip) of all Marvels Cine Picture Styles
    Permanent download link: zip file

Please use the links above to download Marvels picture styles. Webmasters/bloggers: please update your file links.

Feel free to distribute!

Cheers!

21
Nov
10

New Marvels Cine picture style for Canon!!

UPDATE: please follow the link “marvels cine for hdslr” at the top of this blog for more information and updated profile.


We are delighted to announce our new Picture Style for the Canon D series HDSLR cameras: “Marvels Cine 2.1 Panalog“. This picture style features a mild S-curve and is less flat than other flat profiles. It also includes an advanced color correction scheme based on a Panavision Genesis Panalog cinema S-curve. It is the Picture Style we’ll be using on our Canon 5D MKII b-camera for our new feature film “History of fear”. The profile was originally devised to match the Panavision Genesis with the Canon 5D MKII.

The panalog color correction is performed on a Genesis DPX raw framegrab of a correctly exposed MacBeth colorcard and Kodak grayscale card, with the camera set to a Panalog 4 s-curve, colormatrix off, saturation off and filter pre-set to 3200 K, recording in RGB 4:4:4 SQ, with the nominal sensibility indicated by Panavision Spain of 400ASA. Courtesy of Alfonso Parra.

The original Genesis DPX framegrab file (5.7 MB)  is here.

It can be viewed with the Panavision DPX viewer available from the Panavision website here.

This is not a replacement for the renowned “canon 7d picture style with cine-gamma (s) curve” style, but a new and additional picture style for all you independent shooters out there who want a professional semi-flat profile.

The picture style is developed by Martin Beek in cooperation with Bart Keimen for Marvels Film and can be downloaded here:

http://mediatube.marvelsfilm.com/marvels_cine_v2.1_panalog.pf2

Thanks to Jorgen Escher (Fraunhofer institut), Alfonso Parra AEC and Robert Dury (Panavision rental UK).

I have shot a few seconds using standard 5600k daylight setting and used the standard FCP filters to put the blacks on zero, dialed up the saturation and lifted the overall luminance to read 70% on the face. No other filters or color correction applied. You can watch this test here, showing “before” and “after”:
http://www.youtube.com/user/marvelsfilm#p/c/5D2A185F5F5C92C2/2/beJH1hGYlC0

Don’t be alarmed by the noise; this was shot indoors on a cloudy day with ISO 640 and a slow lens; slightly under exposed, at F4 wideopen. This test is to demonstrate the color rendition, not the exposure as such.

The picture style is released into the public domain and can be copied and distributed freely. The file link above will remain hosted on our server until the end of days, so feel free to link to the file. For those having problems downloading the file, we provide the following ZIP file download: http://mediatube.marvelsfilm.com/marvels_cine_v2.1_panalog.pf2.zip.

UPDATE NOV 26 2010: you should use the whole ISO numbers (“native ISO”) for contrasty shoots (100-200-400-800-…) and the “broken” ISO numbers (125-320-640…) for low contrast scenes.Why? Because the native ISO’s maybe produce a slight bit of extra noise, but do provide much more headroom for highlights.  Also switch off the Highlight Priority setting in the camera when shooting video.

Cheers!

Martin.

14
May
10

I’ll be directing new feature thriller “A History of Fear” next year!

A history of fear - a thriller movie by Martin Beek and Karel HammThis feature film is in pre-production stage now and it’s release has been planned for September 2012. I’ll keep you posted on the proceedings..!
http://www.historyoffear.com

Synopsis line:
Singer Daisy D. is found dead on a garbage dump. Autopsy shows no signs of violence on her body and the cause of dead remains a mystery, until retired investigator Anthony Hawk is hired by Daisy’s parents. Hawk proofs that a tiny piece of metal found under one of her nails could not have come from the garbage dump where she was found. Eventually Hawk finds the very dark origins of the material and descends into a secretive world of fear and violence to bring the truth out in the open…

Copyright 2010 – Marvels Film – All rights reserved

27
Apr
10

Vrije Val (Free Fall) 2010 – the trailer

This is the trailer for the short movie i’ve been DP for in 2009:

Click the video to watch in full HD!
Movie stills: click here




twitter.com/martinbeek

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