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Flypacking for the Dalai Lama

Need a single, portable production package for image magnification, broadcast and webcast - all at the same time? Don't panic... In this feature from Creative COW Magazine, Todd Gillespie's experience with an event featuring the Dalai Lama will help you find inner peace.

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Formal Invitation

If you are a member of any of the top social networks, such as the business social networks at LinkedIn.com and Plaxo.com, or the less serious networks at Facebook or Twitter, we'd like to invite you to join the Creative COW groups found in these social networking sites.

Our LinkedIn group has been given the most attention and will soon be crossing the 4,000 member marker, whereas our Plaxo.com group just went live and is brand new -- we added it due to many requests from our Plaxo friends.

Our Twitter group is beginning to take off, and our new Facebook group is sure to be strong in the days ahead. (Our apologies to our Facebook friends for ignoring them for so long, we have been really busy and finally got around to showing up on Facebook from time to time.)

So, if you have a moment and would like to join any of these groups, please click on the logos or the text links that will direct you to the appropriate group of interest to you.

LinkedIn Cow group link   •   Facebook   •   Twitter   •   Plaxo/Pulse
Twitter Plaxo Facebook LinkedIn
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Final Cut Studio 3

The COW's man in Nepal, Jiggy Gaton, likes to live for danger. He installed a major software upgrade mid-project, with virtually no preparation, just to see what would break. Lo and behold, it all worked! And the more Jiggy works with it, the better he's liking it. What you'll read here isn't just a review: it's the experience of a paying customer, working on a client's job.

Jiggy is far from alone, of course. Dozens of new threads are being added to The COW's Apple Final Cut Pro forum every day, such as, "Okay, so what do you REALLY think?" With additional forums for Apple Color, Motion, DVD Studio Pro, as well as supporting products from companies like AJA and Blackmagic Design, cameras of every description, and -- best of all -- the real-world experiences of over 1.6 million visitors from around the world every month, Creative COW is the world's most complete resource on everything related to Final Cut Studio 3!

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Bessie's Real-Time Business Advice

Need help making money? Even more important, do you need help collecting money from clients for the work you've already done? Pay close attention. One of our members posted her problem in the Cow's Business & Marketing forum this morning: "I am a freelancer who provides services relating to video,photography & design. This is a fairly new venture for me as a fulltime business and I am learning the ins and outs.

"Unfortunately, I am in a bit of a pickle with a 'deadbeat' client."


Within hours, she got some wonderful advice, both for this problem and for moving forward: how to protect yourself with good contracts, how to manage your clients, and ultimately, learning to be honest with yourself about what kind of businessperson you want to be.

The thread is still evolving as we speak of course, and we hope that you'll add your perspective. We certainly can't promise the answers to your specific problems within hours. (The SEARCH button will often help you find answers even more quickly, but that's another story.) We absolutely can promise that you'll hear from many of the industry's most successful business owners, and, with tens of thousands of visitors passing through every day, many people who've been in jams just like yours.

Shared experience. Money-making solutions. Real time. That's just some of what you'll find in Creative COW's Business & Marketing Forum.

PS. We've also got loads of business articles in our library, including one of our perennially most popular, "Clients or Grinders." And if you need to make hay while the sun shines -- or while you're driving -- we also recommend the "Client Management" episode of our Business Strategies podcast.
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Coraline, Reality & 3D Storytelling

Coraline By working in the area between what you see, and what you CAN see, Brian Gardner is helping re-write the rules of 3D filmmaking - right before your very eyes. As the Stereographic Adviser of "Coraline," Brian showed how to incorporate traditional cinematic storytelling devices that had previously been considered forbidden in 3D moviemaking, and at the same time, bringing in methods that will shape its future.

We were certainly impressed with the beauty and imagination we saw in "Coraline" on the big screen, and amazed by its fully integrated 3D. Just released on DVD and Blu-ray, "Coraline" comes with four sets of 3D glasses -- we were just as amazed with the 3D at home.

Brian's diverse experience includes everything from directing stage plays to being a technical director, 3D artist, or technology supervisor on visual effects blockbuster movies, like "X-Men," "The Matrix Reloaded," "The Matrix Revolutions," "Babe," "The Chronicles of Riddick," "Batman Forever," and many others. In the expanded edition of his article for Creative COW Magazine's "Stereographic 3D" issue, Brian delves into the world of human perception to reveal how our mind processes visual information, including 3D. He also explores how this can shape our 3D storytelling as filmmakers. You're going to love this article, and we're proud to share it with you.

Brian Gardner
Brian on the set of "Coraline"

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Coraline DVDs

Coraline in the 3D home version is simply enchanting. The Blu-ray version is stunning but for SD viewers it also works very well -- especially for those who use up-converting progressive scan 1080 DVD players. That was what we used when we showed some friends and both of them went home and later bought Coraline for their own home theater systems. The anaglyph (red/blue glasses) 3D used on Coraline's home version works wonderfully and the garden scene towards the beginning of the movie just jumps out of the screen at you, our friends were laughing intensely in many areas of the film where the 3D works wonderfully. As far as we can tell, this is the best 3D yet that we have seen released for the home. Will it work on standard TVs? Yes. But if you have Blu-ray or an upconverting progressive scan standard DVD player with an HDMI cable, be prepared for a wonderfully immersive experience. Five cows? Yes, and then some more.
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Pushing the Limit on Pushing Daisies

Visual Effects Supervisor William Powloski helped create one of the most eye-popping worlds ever seen on TV, as part of a feature film aesthetic on a TV budget and schedule. Although it was canceled after only two seasons, "Pusing Daisies" remains one of the most beautiful and innovative programs to ever air on US television.

We're not the only ones who think so. In 2008, it received 22 Emmy nominations, the most for any comedy, and won three (Directing, Music Composition, and Picture Editing). Among the handful of other other nominations and awards for "Pushing Daisies:" Directors Guild (won, Barry Sonnenfeld), Writers Guild, Art Directors Guild, Visual Effects Society, Casting Society of America (won twice), and many, many others.

We still can't believe that it's gone! The good news is that the "Pushing Daisies" Season 2 DVD and Blu-ray sets, as well as sets for the complete series, were released today. To celebrate, here's an expanded version of Williams's original article in The Visual Effects Issue of Creative COW Magazine, an exclusive look at how he and his team helped pull off the look of this truly amazing series.

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COW Appreciation Day

Yes, Cow Appreciation Day is a real holiday and for us, it is one of the top days of the year -- not that we're prejudiced or anything. And to celebrate, our friends at Digital Juice have offered to give one lucky COW member their pick of any product from the Digital Juice line of great tools. You might pick their Motion Designer's Toolkit or perhaps you'll choose their Compositor's Toolkit. Maybe it will be their new and über-slick Digital Juice Fonts -- the choice is yours, if you are the winner from among those that qualify on July 15th.

What do you have to do to win? To enter the drawing, you must answer a question anywhere on our forums on July 15th. We will pick one lucky winner from among those that qualify and we will introduce you to our friends at Digital Juice who will give you your choice from their wide selection of tools for your studio.

So, visit us on Wednesday July 15th and answer someone's question. You may find yourself being appreciated as the kind of cow that makes Creative COW such a great resource for those working in the fields of film and video.

So help us celebrate Cow Appreciation Day, July 15th, a day that is always a lot of fun here in the Creative COW forums. We'll announce the lucky winner in next week's newsletter.

Moo!
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Business Contract Issues

Today, in our popular Business & Marketing forum, noted COW contributing author and member, Mark Suszko, penned one of the funniest articles on contract considerations that we have ever read. Whether you are new in business or have been in business for years, you will enjoy this hilarious offering that explores points that you should address in your contracts.

While it is an incredibly funny look at contracts, the points he covers are quite serious and if you have been in business any time at all, you will quickly recognize most all of them.

So, join the discussion in the Business & Marketing forum and add your own "contract points" for consideration to the "Ultimate Sample Typical Contract for Newbies.
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Demo Reels

If you have been looking for a place to host your reel or a short film, music video, or other work that you have done, CreativeCOW.net has added free video hosting for your reels and videos. We host up to 900 pixels wide, including 720p HD, with up to 100MB per file, in either H.264 or Flash encoding. We support AAC for audio.

If you can't afford your own unlimited bandwidth pipe, you will likely need to use someone else's service to host your reel. YouTube and Vimeo are nice, but often the sizes are too restrictive for professional use, and the small clips do not really show well when displaying your work to clients. Brightcove is an excellent choice but the costs can be very prohibitive to most anyone other than the biggest businesses with deeper pockets than most small and mid-sized companies.

We launched it a few weeks back and today, we are already passing the 40,000 unique monthly user marker and some of our videos have already passed the 6,000 views marker. And it's growing fast! How fast? Like most things at the COW, we will likely double in July, even with all of the holidays and Summer vacations that many northern hemisphere COW members will be taking this month.

Check out the links for "Most Viewed" and "Most Votes." Or try the link to "Sort by Nation." That's one of our favorites because we are getting some great work from around the world.

reels.creativecow.net
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Redrock Micro DSLR Cinema Bundle for the Canon 5D MKII

If you are using the Canon 5D MKII or Nikon D90 for their gorgeous HD video, or even thinking about it, you need to read this. Creative COW Contributing Editor Jim Harvey shows how the Redrock Micro DSLR Bundle makes these cameras even more useful for video shooters, then shows how he and other pros are using it, in the field and in the studio. Jim is enthusiastic about the possiblities it opens up, and thinks you will be too.

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