Antarctica expedition film interview

We have finished shooting Aaron Linsdau’s Antarctica expedition interviews. This is in preparation to enter

Interviewing Aaron Linsdau
Interviewing Aaron Linsdau

into post-production of the film.  We are excited to have this project under way to get the film submitted to film festivals and make the video available to the public.

Please visit to keep updated with this and our other exciting  film production projects.

Finished production on a DVD project

Working with Aaron Linsdau, a commercial photographer, we have completed a training DVD for him.  The

Introduction to Off-Camera Strobe Flash Photography
Introduction to Off-Camera Strobe Flash Photography

title is Introduction of Off-Camera Strobe Flash Photography.  It was a great deal of work and we had a very good time making the film.  As usual, the days were long during filming, up to 14 hours.  This is pretty normal when actually shooting.  The expense of setting up gear, securing a camera and audio crew, plus the script manager is so high it’s just more efficient to work the very long days.

This is the latest feature-length DVD we have produced in our production history, spanning over a decade.  TVL Video is very experienced with special interest production video.

Please, check out our video production samples.

There will be a trailer for this DVD available soon.  Once it’s produced, we will post it on our Video Portfolio page.

Audio effects missing in FCPX 10.1

We have been editing our first long-form video, Flash Photography Introduction, in Final Cut Pro (FCPX) 10.1 for a week.  We ran into Sound effectshaving all of the audio sound effects missing.  We found that if we quite FCP, opened iPhoto, close iPhoto, then re-opened FCP, the sound effects reappeared.

There have been all sorts of strange little bugs with FCPX 10.1.  The worst was editing yesterday.  The machine was grinding to a halt, so we closed FCPX and reopened it.  Our edits from the entire day were gone.

And the automatic backup files were corrupted – they wouldn’t open.

No we snapshot a project prior to closing.  It seems like 10.1 has quite a few bugs.  Our recommendation is to wait for 10.1.1 if you can.

Attachments in Mac Mail

We were sending an invoice to a client this morning when we ran into a problem with Mac Mail in Mavericks. Mac Mail Attachments The invoice, as a JPG, was showing up inline rather than as an attachment.  This can be a major pain for the recipient of the email, as they will have trouble saving the picture.

We found that there is a simple way to get the attachment as an attachment rather than inline.  Open terminal and type in the following:

defaults write DisableInlineAttachmentViewing 1

This will reconfigure Mac Mail so when you drag attachments into mail, it will attach rather than embed Terminalthem.  If you ever want to reverse the setting, change the 1 to a 0.

Note – to get terminal up and going, go to Spotlight, type in TERMINAL, and it will pop up.

D800 microphone test

We have been testing different microphones for the Nikon D800. One of the major problems with shooting on the DSLR are the audio preamplifiers (preamps) on the camera. They’re not designed very well. The camera has a spectacular imager because of the chip size, 1+ inch wide. But without good audio, you really just have a film camera. In order to get around this problem, we purchased 2 inexpensive wireless lavalier microphones, a Pearstone OLM-10 and an Audio Technica. Then we have a Senheiser wireless lavalier microphone, very high quality, and an Audio Technical 875 shotgun routed through a Zoom H4n.

We found that both the Pearstone and Audio Technica wired lavalier mics had an unacceptable level of hiss, at -45dB or higher. This is quite audible, making the recording sound as though it was made on a tape recorder. The D800 input level had to be raised to 10 or 11 to get an acceptable volume for the speaker but, as a consequence, increased the hiss to an audible level.

Then we tried the Senheiser wireless lavalier and increased the receiver preamp output to 3/4 full volume. This allowed us to reduce the D800 input level to 5. Then the hiss dropped to -50dB or lower. At that setting, this hiss became inaudible.

Our final test was routing an XLR Audio Technica 875 Shotgun mic through a Zoom H4n set on an input level of 60 and an earphone output level of 60. We then routed the earphone output into the D800 microphone input and again set it to a level 5. Again, the hiss was not audible, producing an acceptable recording level.
With this test, we found two acceptable solutions to eliminate having a two system recording for using the Nikon D800 as a HD video camera.

The one disadvantage about using a single shotgun on the Zoom H4n is the single shotgun only records on one channel. That’s easily fixed by using dual mono audio in Final Cut Pro X (FCPX). The big advantage is we can get XLR audio into the D800 while making a 48kHz 16-bit perfect simultaneous recording on the Zoom. We even tried it with the built-in stereo mics and had good success with that, too.

The only time we have found the wired lavaliers to work is when we have recorded outside where there is enough ambient noise to drown the hiss. Even though the hiss is there, the SNR (signal to noise ratio) with the ambient makes the hiss fairly inaudible.