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In the world’s first overview of the new ARRI Alexa digital cinema camera in the real world, Creative COW Contributing Editor Gary Adcock has been taking one of the first-shipped units for a ride this week, and what a ride it has been! You can follow the day-to-day developments on Gary’s COW Blog, but to get started, read the details of what Gary has learned about Alexa’s operation so far, where it’s going, and why Gary believes that Alexa is a true game changer.
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In this article, Emmy® Award-winning cinematographer, Robert Primes ASC, puts the current generation of DSLRs under the microscope and gives his report for Creative COW members. Some people argue that DSLRs are not ready for real world productions, but Bob Primes and his crew have pulled out the test gear and the calculators and have some remarkable stats to share with readers.

The conclusion? While DSLRs are not going to replace many of the high-end cameras on the market today, things are far from the negativity that many try to report.

For a truly balanced view of the current crop of DSLRs from a man with the credentials to back up his findings -- as Bob is a Board Member of the American Society of Cinematographers and is an Emmy® Award winner and instructor at the American Film Institute -- check out Bob's article in the latest issue of Creative COW Magazine and available online in the Creative COW Library...
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In this article Gary Adcock examines many of the best new cameras, lenses, camera support gear, and other related innovations shown during NAB 2010. Considering that today marks Day One of ARRI's shipments of its new ALEXA camera -- which Gary and a number of leading COW experts (such as Bob Primes ASC and others) picked as the best new camera introduced at NAB 2010 -- we felt it a good day to feature Gary Adcock's picks for the first-ever Creative COW Magazine's Blue Ribbon award winners.

So join us in this exploration of the latest and greatest cameras and camera-related gear that is now making its way into the market.

You will find it online at:

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Following NAB 2010, we watched the forums and talked to many of our leaders, weighing their feedback as to what they thought were the best new products and tools that came out at the show. We saw what you, our members, were saying on the forums and calculated the responses and the feedback, and we added it together with our leader comments, and from this we extrapolated the first-ever Creative COW Magazine Blue Ribbon Awards for Excellence.

All the votes are drawn from our members and unlike most magazine awards, our publishers, production and sales teams had nothing to do with the winners because they didn't take part in the voting.

Curious as to who our leaders and members chose as the winners and what products they felt stood out from among their peers?

Check out the latest issue of Creative COW Magazine for details.

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If you use an iPad or an iPhone, we have great news for you: we have converted all of our reels, shorts, trailers, music videos, commercials, and video tutorials so that they are playable on both the iPad and the iPhone. In the end, about 95% or so are playable. And we've been keeping an eye on the development of video support for the Android and will have it available when it is ready.

With thousands of video reels, shorts, trailers, music videos, commercials and video tutorials now available to our mobile visitors, you are sure to find many great new things to do and visit here at Creative COW.

NOTE TO iPAD USERS: You are not limited to the iPhone interface that you are presented with when you visit the Creative COW site. When you first visit the COW site, you will be presented with our "MOBI interface" which we designed for use in iPhones and other 3G capable cell-phones. At the bottom of the interface you will notice a link for "CLASSIC" that leads to our larger classic interface. If you click the "CLASSIC" link, you can visit the complete site online.

For our REELS section, please visit:

For our VIDEO TUTORIALS section, please visit:

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Being a Final Cut User group administrator in a small video community like Montreal's, always brings surprising opportunities. Sometimes these surprises mean producing a two-hour long master, including commercial breaks, subtitles and packaging in two languages -- from thirty-six hours of footage filmed from ten cameras. All within 24 hours!

Mathieu Marano and team met the challenge in spite of the difficulties at hand, used some creative ingenuity to cool some very hot machines, and relied on the extreme compatibility between Final Cut and the KiPro to complete the task and produce The Canadian Olympics Hall of Fame Induction Gala.

Read on to share Mathieu's experience working with a show recorded completely on KiPro, the new hard drive video recorder manufactured by AJA, at the CreativeCOW Library.

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To succeed in this business, you only need to learn one thing: how to keep learning. That means that each of us is going to find ourselves as a newbie, at some times and at some things. In a market that is ever changing and in which these changes seem to be happening ever faster, we are all going to wear the newbie hat -- often.

Somebody once asked how we can claim that the community forums at Creative COW are a high-level professional resource, when there are obviously newbie questions there. Simple: because high-level professionals who are paying attention never stop learning. Even if they are able to answer other people's difficult questions about some things, they have basic questions of their own about others.

One of our fastest-growing groups at the COW is broadcast engineers. These are people with years of experience with satellites, switchers, and servers -- but who are now learning tools that were once the domain of IT departments. Transitioning to digital infrastructures, they are exploring new cameras and learning new ways to incorporate metadata in their workflows. One such COW member is chief of engineering for one of the Big Four US networks, as well as all of their cable properties in business, news, sports and entertainment. He is obviously one of the elite experts in his field, and has been for a very long time.

He is also a newbie.

This is a roundabout way of answering another question we've heard. How can the COW possibly be a professional peer-to-peer support network when it has grown from 200,000 monthly visitors to over 2 million monthly visitors in the last four years? Because newbies are being hatched every day -- from among the industry's most experienced, most highly qualified, most creative leaders. No matter how much they know about some things, they also need to know about something new. Something more. Now.

And Creative COW Magazine explored this idea and some of the examples of real leaders who are themselves newbies, in Tim Wilson's editorial from the latest issue of our magazine.

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A Magic Journey to Africa

Barcelona's Apuntolapospo draws on 18 years of experience to create live-action 3D. And though there have been stereoscopic films for many years -- since the 50s, and even earlier -- in this new age of digital filmmaking, "A Magic Journey to Africa" is the first live-action stereoscopic 3D feature to be produced in Europe, for both digital cinema and IMAX.

"Magic Journey to Africa" is Apuntolapspo's second co-production done in association with the Barcelona-based Orbita Max -- with whom they previously worked together on the first Spanish IMAX production, a film called "The Mystery of the Nile."

Join the team and go inside the making of "A Magic Journey to Africa" -- it's a journey worth taking.
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Highly complex multi-media installations -- at least the successful ones -- are only possible through careful planning, intense cooperation, and a willingness to turn the picture on its side.

In this article, author Mike Sullivan takes Creative COW members inside the project created for the Tampa Bay History Center in Tampa Bay, Florida.

The show is about the Seminole Indian Wars in the 1800's. About 20 minutes, shown on four screens, with the two outside screens will rotated 90 degrees and displayed vertically. Now we're getting really interesting. With three large turntables, about 10 feet wide or so, and life-size dioramas on each one that spin into place at different parts of the show.

The entire stage is behind a scrim with a painting of Tampa Bay circa 1840. They use the scrim to hide the movement of the turntables, but only sometimes. Other times they let the audience to see the turntables move.

You can read all about it in The Creative COW Library.
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The Library of Congress Unlocks the Ultimate Archive System.

The Library of Congress is working to preserve film for hundreds, even thousands of years. Seriously. In this article from Creative COW Magazine, Ken Weissman, Supervisor of the Library's Film Preservation Laboratory, tells the steps they're taking toward the ultimate archive system, starting with the restoration of films first printed on paper instead of film!

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