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"As technology gets better, communications skills seem to get worse." So says Creative COW leader and Contributing Editor Walter Biscardi, one of the industry's most respected business owners. "The same talented people who can create amazing things on screen have absolutely no idea how to represent themselves via a resume or online demo.

"This is the world of Twitter, Blogs, Facebook, Instagram, etc..... where everything is said in 140 characters or less, with a heavily treated photo and no attenshun givun 2 correct grammar yo! Seems people have forgotten how to represent themselves professionally for that all important "first impression." Or maybe they were just never shown at all. You never, ever get a second chance at a first impression. For most of you, an email with a resume attached is that first impression.

"There are two VERY important things to remember in the creative field. 1: You have to be talented at what you do or show a very strong drive to better the talent you currently have. 2: You MUST fit in with the creative culture of the company you're joining. In my opinion, #2 is more important. We get a sense of how you're going to fit from that initial contact. Most of what I'm about to say seems to be common sense, but apparently it isn't."

You definitely don't want to miss this potentially career-changing advice from an industry luminary!

Read Walter's article here:

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John Davidson was one of the many broadcast professionals deeply disappointed by the initial release of Apple Final Cut Pro X. He was quoted in USA Today about it, and when he had the opportunity to meet Apple Board of Directors member former Vice President Al Gore, John didn't hesitate to make his disappointment with FCPX known.

(Was John responsible for Apple announcing an FCPX roadmap soon thereafter? Perhaps....)

After a rapid series of FCPX updates and a network client expressing interest in FCPX, John and his team at Magic Feather, Inc., jumped into action. "We had to unlearn much of the last 10 years of concepts regarding post," John tells us, "but we learned how to share projects across machines - and how to do it in a way that doesn't destroy the fabric of the universe.

"And here we are: six networks happily supplied with production materials. We've done shoots, promoted movies and shows, and worked with footage that in 7 would have made my head explode. We've done more spots than I thought was possible for us - and we don't have to pull all-nighters to do it anymore. "

He also adds, "You don't believe me."

And so, John provides the visual evidence: he and Magic Feather are using FCPX for broadcast work, they are working on shared storage, they are working with a variety of Mac configurations. Better yet, he walks you step-by-step through everything from project set-up to delivery.

Even if you've already passed on FCPX for your own purposes, you're going to get a kick out of John's story, and we think you'll be surprised at how well he pulls it all off.

Read FCPX: On Air!

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In his earlier life as a TV producer, Creative COW's Tim Wilson had a memorable encounter with the 41st President of the United States not long after he left office, while shooting a PR piece for the local news. It's a humorous tale of meeting deadlines, meeting expectations, and meeting a man only months after being the leader of the free world.

Read Tim's recollections on George H.W. Bush Yelled At Me For Making Him Look Bad On TV

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Debra Kaufman's Review of The Hobbit in 48 fps 3D

Debra Kaufman's Review of The Hobbit in 48 fps 3D

Debra Kaufman started her high school's Tolkien Club when she was a big fan of The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings. Though she hasn't celebrated Frodo's birthday in many years, she did get out to see The Hobbit in 48 fps. Here are her thoughts on The Hobbit in 48 fps and HFR Cinema in general.

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The technology wizards of the film/TV industry have been talking about High Frame Rate cinema for a long time; indeed, Douglas Trumbull's Showscan at 60 fps presaged the current interest over thirty years ago. But it took director Peter Jackson to take the plunge, declaring he would shoot The Hobbit in 48 fps to get momentum going. In about a year's time, manufacturers made the gear, theater exhibitors updated their movie theaters, and the studios prepared for one of the most audacious technology debuts that cinema has seen.

So what have been the necessary steps to actually show the movie in 48 fps? Creative COW's Debra Kaufman spoke with Wendy Aylsworth, Senior Vice President of Technology for Warner Bros. Technical Operations, who spearheaded the effort, as well as IMAX Chairman/President of Filmed Entertainment Greg Foster, and Barco's Director, Product Management, Entertainment Division Andrew Gaweda and Patrick Lee, Barco's Vice President, Digital Cinema Entertainment Division. They describe the specific technological issues and extensive required to set the stage for presenting the most advanced possible version of The Hobbit to audiences.

After all the talk about making The Hobbit in 48 fps 3D and what it looks like, here's the best article you'll read on the steps taken to actually *show* it in 48, why they bothered, and why it matters to you.

Read The Hobbit & The Dawn of High Frame Rate Cinema
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Following his nominations for Best Cinematography from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the American Society of Cinematographers for The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and The Social Network, Jeff Cronenweth, ASC was behind the lens for Hitchcock, starring Anthony Hopkins as the iconic filmmaker. Set during the filming of the suspense classic Psycho, it's anything but a documentary. As Jeff tells us, "It was an historic love story, and one that very few people know. I went to USC Film School and I never even knew about Hitchcock's wife Alma [played by Helen Mirren] or her contributions, and the integral part she played in his movies. So it wasn't like we were trying to copy Psycho and we didn't have those responsibilities, but it opened the door to sneaking in some of Hitchcock's techniques and processes."

Jeff spoke to us about shooting 5K with the RED Epic, and the challenges that came from staying in the world of the 1960s, and wanting to embrace Hitchcock's sensibilities wherever they could. There were some additional time constraints associated with the time needed for the prosthetics that Anthony Hopkins wore to resemble Hitchcock. "In the final analysis," Jeff tells us, "the greatest challenge in shooting Hitchcock was also the greatest inspiration. That's always true: obstacles become inspiration as soon as you stop fighting the challenges and embrace them."

Don't miss this intimate look at the creative process, from one of the finest cinematographers working today.

Hitchcock: Behind the Lens with Jeff Cronenweth, ASC
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Well before David Boyd A.S.C. shot a single frame of The Walking Dead, Deadwood, or Friday Night Lights, he was the cinematographer for every episode of the short-lived, much-loved series Firefly, from writer-director Joss Whedon.

Whedon was hot off successes with Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Angel, and a decade before helming and co-writing one of the most popular movies of all time, Marvel's The Avengers. Firefly met a far different fate, however: canceled after only 11 of its 14 episodes had aired. To say that the show's popularity has grown since then is an understatement. Fan demand led to a Firefly feature film (Serenity), and a Comic-Con 2012 Firefly reunion panel saw fans camping out overnight for entry into the standing-room only 5000-seat hall.

David talks to Creative COW about shooting Firefly, the show's remarkable life since its premature cancellation, and its passionate fans. "I've done things I may be more happy or proud about with regard to creativity," says David. "I did a short titled Two Soldiers, which won an Academy Award. But when people get wind of the fact that I shot Firefly, they're in awe."

Read David's article at
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Cloud Atlas is a complex and lyrical film directed by Lana Wachowski, Andy Wachowski and Tom Tykwer. Tykwer brings a strong background in action features with complex stories (see, Run Lola Run, The International), and with The Matrix trilogy, the Wachowskis stretched the action, storytelling, and visual vocabulary of film as few others ever have. Everything that the three of them had ever created contributed to the power of Cloud Atlas, which spans 500 years and a dozen main characters that re-appear in each new story.

Audiences have admittedly been divided on their response to the movie as a whole, but they have universally acclaimed the film's breathtaking visuals. More than a dozen visual effects facilities collaborated closely to bring alive the past and future worlds depicted in its six intertwined stories. Method is one of the houses who helped create these amazing worlds, taking advantage of three of their facilities, in London, Vancouver and Los Angeles. To learn more, Creative COW's Debra Kaufman spoke to the teams at Method, as well as Senior Visual Effects Supervisor Dan Glass, who has worked with the Wachowskis since 2003.

Read more about Cloud Atlas: The VFX.
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As part of Creative COW's ongoing look at high frame rate (HFR) cinema production and exhibition, we spoke with Michael Karagosian, co-chair of SMPTE's HFR Study Group, about his thoughts on the ways that higher frame rates factor into digital cinema, in both 2D and 3D, from camera capture to the silver screen.

Michael has had a front row seat for the unfolding of a wide range of cinema and digital cinema technologies for the past 30 years. He developed 70mm split surround for the release of Apocalypse Now, the pre-cursor to 5.1 sound, and one of the companies he founded was the first to produce a full line of THX approved cinema sound products, utilizing Michael's CinemaMatrix™ digital surround decoder, also used by Skywalker Sound and Pixar.

At SMPTE, Michael initiated and chaired the development of digital cinema packaging (DCP), following his work on behalf of longtime clients, the National Association of Theater Owners, as part of the Digital Cinema Initiative (DCI). He was awarded the ShoWest Award of Appreciation for Contribution to the Advancement of Digital Cinema in 2006.

Looking for real-world insights into the state of current and future HFR cinema, in both 2D and 3D? Don't miss Michael's provocative conversation with Creative COW.
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The year's first film to widely be considered a lock for Oscar nominations for Best Picture and Best Director, Argo has also earned a rare A+ Cinemascore rating from ticketbuyers who've seen it.

Argo tells the recently declassified true story of six Americans who escaped the 1979 takeover of the US Embassy in Tehran -- by pretending to be filmmakers! Shooting this remarkable tale posed a number of challenges for director Ben Affleck, since not a single frame could be shot in the Iranian capital.

Instead, audiences travel there through the "invisible effects" created with visual effects supervisor Matt Dessero and CG supervisor Michael Sean Foley at Method Los Angeles, whose teams provided compelling illusions that serve as the perfect backdrop for this tale of life and death sleight of hand.

Read more in Argo's Invisible Effects Create 1970s Tehran
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