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Steven Fierberg ASC is well known for the pilot of the new ABC hit series Once Upon a Time, for HBO's Entourage, and the movies Love and Other Drugs and Secretary. But this American Society of Cinematographers cinematographer was also the artist behind the lens on many other titles, including the pilot of How to Make it in America, A Nightmare on Elm Street 4, and Rage, the groundbreaking Sally Potter-directed cell phone movie.

He won a 2001 A.S.C. award for Outstanding Achievement in Cinematography in Movies of the Week/Mini-Series/Pilot for Cable or Pay TV for the miniseries Attila. Most recently, Fierberg shot two feature films with the RED MX: Oranges and Ten Year.

Look behind Steven Fierberg's lens in this Creative COW interview by Debra Kaufman.
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He first won acclaim with his groundbreaking visual effects for 2001: A Space Odyssey, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and his own Silent Running, but with the invention of Showscan in the late 1970s, Douglas Trumbull became the godfather of high-frame rate cinema.

Showscan was based on 65mm negative filmed at 60 frames per second, with 70mm prints from those negatives projected at 60 frames per second. Often projected onto screens at over 30 foot lamberts of brightness, the experience was tremendously immersive, for what viewers often described as "a window onto reality."

In 1993, Trumbull, Geoffrey Williamson, Robert Auguste and Edmund DiGiulio were awarded the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences' Scientific and Engineering for the Showscan camera system.

Trumbull developed the feature film project Brainstorm to launch the ShowScan process but the project was stymied by studio politics and the death of its leading actress, Natalie Wood. This precipitated Trumbull's move from Hollywood to the Berkshire Mountains in Massachusetts and the beginning of his career in simulation rides, starting with "Back to the Future: The Ride," for Steven Spielberg.

At the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers Annual Technical Conference & Exhibition in October, Trumbull spoke about what it will take to make the moviegoing experience the best it can be, starting with higher framerates.

Earlier in the week, he spoke with Creative COW's Debra Kaufman about lessons learned from over 40 years of work with filmmaking and exhibition technology, as well as some hard lessons in the movie business. This is Part 1 of that conversation. Look for much more from Douglas Trumbull in the Nov/Dec 2011 issue of Creative COW Magazine.

Join Douglas Trumbull in part one of our two part interview with Douglas Trumbull.

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The Sony F3 with the S-LOG option uses its 35mm chip to shoot 4:4:4 RGB with 13.5 stops, for a picture so good it's scary. Here's a report from the very first feature shot with it, as told by Jonny Revolt: "I had just gotten back from SXSW in 2010, where I saw Elektra Luxx, a film by Sebastian Gutierrez. It looked great, and in the Q&A Sebastian discussed shooting the feature with a Canon 5D DSLR for around $12,000. Sign me up for a 5D! I'm ready, let's shoot.

"But after I got my hands on one, my friend Alin did some tests with it, and was not satisfied that this would be the right camera for shooting out particular feature. He did some additional research and came across the Sony PMW-F3, an affordable video camera with a Super 35mm CMOS sensor. At around $24K, the F3 already sounded like a more affordable solution than RED or ARRI Alexa, especially because the price includes PL adaptor, and three Sony PL Primes: 35, 50 and 85 mm, T2.0. (The F3 without a lens lists for $16,800.)

"I've shot a lot of film, both 16mm and 35mm, so when I saw that out of the box the F3 shoots XDCAM at 4:2:0 at around 35mb/s, my first reaction was, 'Really? Like an EX3?' The EX3 is a great camera, but this was frustrating. It was clear that the F3 had much more brain sensor power than it was using, and we wanted to tap into that brain. The potential was clearly there, though, so Alin decided to go for it."

You can read the article online at
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FCPX round-tripping, ACES/IIF support, AAF support for Media Composer, new conform features and additional hardware support -- including new 15" MacBook Pros -- are all part of a feature-rich free upgrade for DaVinci Resolve users.

A "dot" release isn't usually reason for celebration, but Blackmagic Design has unveiled a surprisingly large number of new features in its DaVinci Resolve 8.1 software update, including FCPX round-tripping, ACES/IIF support, AAF support for Media Composer, new conform features and additional hardware support, including new 15" MacBook Pros.

Debra Kaufman explores this new update and you can read it online at:
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In this video tutorial by Sam McGuire, you will explore how to control Final Cut Pro X from an iPad.

Need to make a quick edit while on the road or export a project from a remote location? Using an iPad, Skype, SoundFlower, and your primary Final Cut station, you can edit from anywhere you have a network connection.

Admittedly this is not the only way to complete this task but Sam's described method provides stability, flexibility, and quality.

This tutorial describes how to set-up the various tools involved and the basic functionality of the system.

You will find it online at
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Yesterday we opened our new front door page at, which is the first part of the site to wear the COW's distinctive new look. Over the next few months we'll be changing out each area of the site, one by one. Next week, we'll recode our "About Us" section. Following that, we will be focusing on the overhaul of our "Forums" section. We have already finished the design of many areas and have others in development.

"Each area of Creative COW will get a long awaited and long planned upgrade that is going to be far more than cosmetic," says Creative COW CEO Ronald Lindeboom. "Over the last three years, Abraham Chaffin and I have developed many new and powerful features that we have held back simply because the old interface would have become even more cluttered. We have needed a new interface for years but if it was going to be what it needed to be, it meant redesigning every system that makes up Creative COW. In the end, we redesigned even the very network itself. It's been a huge undertaking and we can finally begin to share our vision with you all."

What will Creative COW keep and what will we throw away?

To this question, Lindeboom says, "What we did right with the old interface was to make something that was very solid, customizable, and which most people could use simply. We think it's one of the big reasons it has grown to well over a million-and-a-half unique visitors a month. But the world has changed a lot since we went live 10 years ago and the New COW will reflect and support many of those changes. We are building unique highly fluid 'channels' that easily flow in and out of each other to a degree that we have not seen anywhere else on the Net, with primary navigation optimized to each area's enhanced 'channel interface.' We are using a strategy of primary, secondary and tertiary navigation. Put the most important stuff for that area up front, with things that are secondary or tertiary in the hierarchy handled appropriately."

To support the efforts that Lindeboom and Abraham Chaffin have been putting into the re-engineering the site's network infrastructure and every system that supports Creative COW, the company hired three-time Emmy® award winning artist and designer, Sean Mullen, who has come aboard as our new Creative Director.

"Working with Sean is great," says Lindeboom. "When Abraham and I introduced our new systems to Sean, he immediately saw what we were going for. When we explained the concepts to him, he began designing a look that takes our functionality into an elegant feature-rich intuitive simplicity. Sean and I have been working with Abraham to build in many powerful hidden features that appear at the time you need them. We are calling the interface, 'relief at the point of pain.' All of us involved in the project hope that you find it useful, powerful and nice to look at."

If you haven't yet visited the new front door, visit it online now at
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While the debate has raged over whether or not film is dead, ARRI, Panavision and Aaton have quietly ceased production of film cameras within the last year to focus exclusively on design and manufacture of digital cameras. That's right: someone, somewhere in the world is now holding the last film camera ever to roll off the line.

Do camera manufacturers believe film will disappear? "Eventually it will," says ARRI's Bill Russell. "In two or three years, it could be 85 percent digital and 15 percent film. But the date of the complete disappearance of film? No one knows."

Phil Radin, Executive VP, Worldwide Marketing for Panavision believes the question of when film will die, "Can only be answered by Kodak and Fuji. Film will be around as long as Kodak and Fuji believe they can make money at it," he says.

For more, please read the whole story online now in the Creative COW Library.
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At IBC 2011, leading members of the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) and the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) met to discuss what's in-store for the upcoming Forum on Emerging Media Technologies. The unprecedented joint symposium will take place May 14 and 15, 2012 at the Intercontinental Hotel in Geneva, Switzerland.

"Understanding and predicting the future of media technology will be the key to successful decision-making in the years ahead," said SMPTE President Pete Ludé. "This can impact where R&D budgets go." He also pointed out that "standards are the basis of interoperability, which is why SMPTE is working with the EBU."

One of the goals of the Forum, said Ludé is to "bridge the gaps between AV and IT professionals, at a time of monumental shifts across the digital media ecosystem. This will help motion-imaging scientists, researchers, engineers, and business decision-makers understand where they need to focus their energies and investments."

You can read the entire report now in the Creative COW Library.
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Final Cut Pro X has some useful and powerful tools that allow users to organize even larger projects.

In his first tutorial for FCPX, Andy Neil shows you how to set up folders, organize collections, tag and sort shots, search tagged shots, set-up keyword short cuts, tag files on import and many other tricks to helpu you get the most out of your Event Browser and Library.

To join Andy Neil's class now in session, please visit
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When Debra Kaufman joined the Creative COW editorial staff back in March of 2011, she arrived just in time to give us the great coverage of NAB 2011 that so many of our members read, enjoyed and commented on.

For IBC 2011 in Amsterdam, we flew Debra over the Pole to The Netherlands so that she could file her reports for our members regarding the many things she saw, and the announcements made, during IBC 2011.

In our Library you can find Debra's reports that she has written, which are located online at:

Debra Kaufman's IBC 2011 Reports
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