Category Archives: News

RED vs SONY

Yes, I have RED envy.

I would love nothing more than be able to film on what is probably the  best camera platform in the world right now. It’s hard to ignore the impressive specs that the RED Cameras boast:

  • 8K RAW
  • 16.5 Stops of Dynamic Range
  • Amazing Slow Motion Capabilities (120 fps @ 4K | 96 fps @ 5K)
  • Virtually unbeatable image quality
  • Simple to use Menu Structure

But with prices starting at $29,000 USD for the Brain alone (upwards of $65,000 USD for a complete kit) it all but excludes the use of this platform for smaller production houses like my own. An item of note; this isn’t RED’s top of the line camera even!

Image result for youtube logo

Let’s talk about YouTube for a moment.

In it’s short 13 year history, YouTube has revolutionized how businesses market themselves. It has brought so much to the table I could go on and on about how crucial YouTube is to business today. 5150, like so many other production houses, has targeted this platform for their releases. Say it with me now…

12 megabits per second.

For cinematographers like me, this is pretty much the worst thing you can say to us. It’s basically a hand-cuff. You might as well make fun of the size of our lens or make fun of the fact that we’re probably wearing a utility belt full of camera gear at this very moment.

For consumers of YouTube content however, this statement means absolutely nothing other than the fact that YouTube videos will work on even the most dismal of internet connections. Even for 4K video, YouTube only increases their bit-rates to a laughable 25-30 Megabits per second.

But what exactly are Megabits Per Second, or Mbps for short? Mbps is essential the data-rate at which a video camera records footage. Essentially, the bigger this number is, the better the quality that the footage will be.

High-end Cameras like the RED lineup, have data-rates in the 500 Mbps and up (Way Up) for compressed footage. Any footage recorded in RAW can’t even be measured using Mbps; but needs a larger unit of measure…Gigabits! To give you a real-world example, a modern day Blu-Ray player presents your favorite movie around 50 Mbps. So this is the perfect segue for me to explain why I use a $15,000 SONY rig instead of a $65,000 RED setup; more on YouTube data-rates in a moment.

SONY FS7/FS700

Yes the RED is impressive. If someone gave me one to film with, I would do so merrily, but to be honest, there are things that I like about the SONY lineup a bit better. I’ve been using SONY Professional Cameras for 5 years now on both Run-and-Gun as well as Studio jobs. Here is why I have continued to use the FS lineup:

Price: Not to beat a dead horse too much, but for smaller production shops the FS5/FS7/FS700 fit very well into their budgets and tend to keep production costs down.

Low-Light: Their low-light performance is amazing; and because I do a lot of Run-and-gun documentary filming, this is a huge advantage. With my “Come Drive With Us” series, when I conduct a track-side interview I literally have 4 seconds to setup for my shot. In a corporate video or in a studio setting, I can literally have hours to frame, block & set the lighting for my shot. It’s in this frantic, often chaotic & hyper emotional setting where the SONY lineup really shines. It really comes down to simply putting your subject into the quadrant of the screen you want, checking exposure, remembering your interview questions and hitting RECORD!

One of the most difficult shoots I was on last year was a race held inside an Arena. The lighting was awful, and then add to that constant dust floating in the air. The end-result however, looks amazing:

Specs: In any 5150 produced movie or video I use two cameras from the SONY lineup. My “A-Camera” is the SONY FS7 and the “B-Camera” is the trusty FS700. Both have very impressive specs considering their price:

FS7

  • 4K RAW
  • 14 Stops of Dynamic Range
  • Slow Motion Capabilities (180 fps @ 2K RAW)

FS700

  • 4K RAW
  • 12 stops of Dynamic Range
  • Slow Motion Capabilities (240 fps @ 4K RAW (6 second burst) | 240 fps @2K RAW)

Both of these cameras also have high bit-rates on the image. I almost never shoot RAW and I tend to use formats that are in the 150-200 Mbps range.

This is where YouTube comes back into the conversation. The bit-rates that I record at are still well beyond the 12 Mbps that YouTube converts my video to once uploaded. Will the image quality of the RED footage look better than my SONY cameras even at these lower bit-rates? Yes; very likely. Will it be noticeable to your customers? Nope!

My Point in all of this, is don’t exclude production companies that don’t shoot with RED cameras. If they show up with an iPhone you know there just might be a problem, but in the end, high end cameras like the SONY FS Cameras, the Blackmagic Lineup or even a high quality DSLR will produce absolutely amazing looking content. This will help your company production quality and will put you a step ahead of your competitors.

Thanks for Reading! In the mean time, don’t forget to checkout one of my favorite docs shot on SONY equipment!

#5150Time #5150Productions

Come Drive With Us – Surf City

http://www.ProLineRacing.com & 5150 Media Productions are proud to present the latest installment of the “Come Drive With Us” Series: The 2017 Pro-Line Surf City Classic!

Many events, including SiKCross which we covered in the previous episode, are struggling to bring in racers. It’s refreshing to hear about a race over-selling in less than 3 minutes. 340 entries made it into the 2017 edition of the Surf City Classic held at the world famous OCRC.

Initially we tried to keep the “Reedyisms” out of this production. But with the huge banner of Mike Reedy himself, the Reedy Race Podium and the countless Reedy logos scattered about the entire facility; one thing became abundantly clear. You can’t tell a story at OCRC without making the Reedy race a central theme.

This wasn’t only limited to us, the vibe in the pits just screamed “Reedy Race”. Would this be an advantage for Ryan Cavalieri who absolutely OWNS the Reedy Race or would Ryan Maifield, who has dominated many events over the past few years come in and mop the floor with everyone? Could Dustin Evans duplicate some Reedy Magic? What about Ty Tessmann? Would he put on another driving clinic for the best in the US like he did at the ROAR Nats just two weeks prior to Surf City?

Mike Garrison again acts as Narrator to tell the story of this amazing race at the equally amazing OCRC facility. We hope you enjoy it!

Additional Footage:
LiveRC.com
RedRC.net
NeoBuggy.net
Steve Burgess

Music By:

Really Slow Motion
Composer: James Hook, Jack Sound, Teddy Fellows, Richard Buckley
Tracks: List Tracks Here

Visit them at:
Website: http://www.reallyslowmotion.com/
Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/reallyslowmotion

Leap Frog Studios
Composer: Leo Moracchioli
Tracks: California Dreamin’ (Metal Cover)

Visit Leo at:
http://frogleapstudios.com
https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/leo/id923604480

Pros & Cons – The Story of the Calgary Expo

The Calgary Expo serves as the back drop for a handful of people from different walks of life to live what they love.

Comics and Cosplay.

Howie Miller remembers how science fiction changed his life. Trevor Goupil, a Superman Cosplayer, take a trip to a historic film set. Watch Makeup Artist Amanda Tozser take Cosplayers like Niki Middleton to the next level. Listen to Mark Meer talk about why people come and host of other celebrities and fans discuss what’s so special about Canada’s most popular Entertainment Conventions. Raphael Sbarge​ tells us about his first convention experience and Garrett Wang​ reveals the bold move that the Calgary Expo pulled off to get put on the world stage!

If you didn’t make the Expo, get comfortable, make some pop-corn and want our movie…it’s the next best thing to actually being there!

Special Thanks go out to Raphael Sbarge, Garrett Wang, Jim Shooter, Howie Miller, Mark Meer, Trevor Goupil, Niki Middleton, Kenny Hotz, Spencer Rice,  Thaimu Turray, Kerra Drachenberg & Alex Kingcott!

Production Stills from the event

 

  
   

Easter Eggs

As many of you may already know, I am a Star Wars freak; a super freak even! As a result of this, I have always made it a point to put at least one Star Wars related “easter-egg” into each “Come Drive With Us” movie. Here they are!

Come Drive With Us ’14 – The Reedy Race (Blu-Ray):

The Death Star makes it’s first appearance in the series (17:10). This was only in the Director’s Cut of the Reedy Race found on the 2014 Blu-Ray box set.

Come Drive With Us ’14 – The Nitro Challenge (Blu-Ray):

Another easteregg found only on the 2014 Blu-Ray box set is Boba Fett (07:35).

In addition to the famous “Wilhelm Scream” in the opening credits sequence, Boba Fett is seen loitering about the AKA pits.

Come Drive With Us ’14 – The Cactus Classic:

The Millennium Falcon’s first appearance in the sereise (10:40)!

Come Drive With Us ’14 – The Messina Worlds:  

If you look close you will see Steve the Trooper cheering Stormtrooper (29:39).

Come Drive With Us ’15 – Silver State

The piece of junk is back! This time, it’s being pursued by Slave 1. (03:25). We also played homage to the famous trench run (24:26).


Come Drive With Us ’15 – The Neo Race: 

The famed “Death Star” makes it’s second appearance in the series (39:22)!

Come Drive With Us ’15 – The Chico ROAR Nats:

“No no no this one goes there that one goes there right?” (05:26)

The easter-egg was a bit more subtle for the ROAR Nats and was limited to the re-use of a famous line from “The Empire Strikes Back”. Unfortunately for Ty, he has taken on the role of Chewbacca the Wookie. This line has been used in other sources as well. Season 1 of the ABC hit series “Lost” featured it as well (Exodus Part 2).


Come Drive With Us ’15 – The Shootout

Another much more subtle easter-egg is the Imperial Probe Droid (08:13)from the Hot-Rod Hobbies Shootout Movie.

Note: The shootout video had to be taken down because the anthem that was played live caused a copyright strike. We’ll be uploading a new version as soon as we have some time!

Come Drive With Us ’16 – The Texas ROAR Nationals

This one (51:55) was only picked up on by the most astute of Star Wars Fans. THX1138 was the name of George Lucas’ first feature film.

Come Drive With Us ’16 – The Southern Nationals

Boba Fett makes another appearance (24:15). This time; he’s just hangin’ outside the track entrance.

Come Drive With Us ’16 – AXIALFEST

There were two Star Wars easter eggs in this episode. The first was the Wilhelm Scream. For the second one, we felt that no 3D Animation added to the production could possibly have topped this shirt (08:33):

Come Drive With Us ’16 – The Vegas Worlds

For the finale of the 2016 season we figured it was time to bring back Steve the Trooper (37:30). By the look of his walk…he’s been enjoying Vegas just a bit too much!

Come Drive With Us ’17 – PNB

Master Yoda was so intrigued by the idea of a Race with 1080 entries that he just had to come out of exile to take in the spectacle (25:47).

Come Drive With Us ’17 – Surf City

In a flashback sequence it turns out that not only did Yoda check out PNB…but Vader did as well (02:04)!

Come Drive With Us ’17 – SikCross

The Death Star is always looking for another planet to vaporize (08:40).

Come Drive With Us ’17 – The Xiamen Worlds

I can’t remember where it is….but I know there’s one in there somewhere…

Come Drive With Us ’18 – Silver State II

Entertainment capital of the Galaxy now (32:20)!!!

Holy Crap!

THAT’S A LOT OF EPISODES!!!

Come Drive With Us – SiKCross

Pro-Line Racing & 5150 Media Productions are proud to present to you the story of the 2017 SiKCross.

Triple-A Nitro Mains. Gate starts. Heads up racing. A Giant Sandbox….

These are just a few things that Levi Jackson has brought to the Pro-Line Test Track in the form of the race known simply as “SiKCross”.

While the attendance was low, two of the best R/C Drivers in the world showed up to put on a show for us. They were joined by Joe Bornhorst, Adam Drake, Tanner Denny, Cody King and for the first time to the “Come Drive With Us”…the charismatic Ronda Drake!

But what will these top racers think of the unique track features, the starts and the format of the race? You’ll have to checkout out this film to find out!

Once again, Mike Garrison is behind our all new Mic to help tell the story of this unique race. We hope you enjoy it!

 

2017 Calgary Comic Expo Trailer

We have released a trailer for our yet to be named Documentary on the 2017 Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo!

5150 teamed up with Howie Miller, stand-up comic & actor, to tell the story of the Calgary Expo. With the help of Garrett Wang, Raphael Sbarge, Jim Shooter, Mark Meer, Trevor Goupil and many more we have captured a very unique take on the Calgary Expo.

We hope you enjoy this short teaser trailer for the Documentary that will be coming out later on this year.

Event Swap!

Due to the low pro-driver turnout we will not be shooting at “The Dual” this weekend. We will be swapping this event out for “SikCross” which has more of the top-level drivers confirmed as attending.

While we were all looking forward to capturing the uniqueness of “The Dual” all those involved in this project felt in the interest of storytelling that this event, while one of a kind, could not hold up to expectations.

We apologize for this “12th hour” cancellation and we look forward to seeing many of you @ SikCross in September! The rest of our schedule is locked in:

  • Pro-Line Surf City Classic (August 25-27)
  • SikCross (September 1-3)
  • Southern Nationals (September 17th)
  • IFMAR Wolds (November 6-12)

Photo Credit: Rugspin Graphix.

Come Drive With Us – PNB

Pro-Line Racing & 5150 Media Productions are proud to present to you the story of the 2017 Psycho Nitro Blast.

This season started out with so many changes; Maifield switching to Mugen; Tessmann to XRAY; so we decided to theme this season accordingly. Change is everywhere in this industry; even at the event level. In years past, DNC has been considered the largest Nitro Race in the world. That just might not be the case any longer.

This is the story of what could very well be considered the largest R/C race in the world, and unlike other large events…it is run in 3 days!

The talented Mike Garrison Narrates this episode of “Come Drive WIth Us” and we hope you enjoy it!

Special thanks to Mike Garrison, Adam Drake, Tanner Denney, Joe Bornhorst, Mark Santa Maria, Jerome Treignier, Eggroll, Rob Theissen & the Noise Therapy band, the Tessmann family, everyone at Pro-Line Racing and last but far from least, Dave Leikam.

Howie Miller B-Roll

This week we shot some B-Roll with fomer “Come Drive With Us” Narrator, Howie Miller, at his house for an upcoming Documentary we are shooting at the 2017 Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo! Our working title at this point, “Lap Dance” is based off of a famous Carrie Fisher quote on her experiences at Conventions much like the Calgary Expo!

“Celebrity lap dances — which is where celebrities of all shapes and ages sign autographs for cash prizes, It’s sort of like going to a strip club, except they don’t stuff cash in your underwear. But that’s kind of it.” – Carrie Fisher

We had an awesome chat with Howie and were surprised to find out how big the entertainment industry here in Alberta (of all places) is!

With major blockbusters such as Superman I,II & III, Interstellar and may more, along with small screen shows like Fargo shot righ here in our home province we’re looking forward to exploring this exciting theme.

 

We’ve got some very interesting participants lined up so this should be a very interresting movie once completed. We’re keeping our fingers crossed at landing some time with Hollywood Star Nathan Fillion!!

Look for the Documentary to drop in the June-July timeframe.