Welcome to the best set of Production Links on the Intertubes. Whenever I come across a great post, article, review or tutorial, I put a link to it here. Some of the links go to my own reviews, but most link to outside articles and websites. For items that I recommend, I may include a link to purchase the item and this may be an affiliate link, which helps pay the maintenance costs of EricHansen.tv.
Check out the Manuals page here
Used Gear For Sale
Christie HD10k-M Projector
This is the same projector featured elsewhere on the site. It has been used mostly for events over the last few years, but has been well taken care of.
eBay Listing here
- Upgradable to 3D through Christie
- Native 1920×1080 16:9, 3 chip DLP
- 10,000 lumens – the smallest projector available on the market at this brightness
- Dual 350w mercury lamps – for adjustable brightness, failsafe and low power consumption
- Intelligent Lens System with removable zoom lenses depending on the throw distance needed
- Dual Link DVI and Component HD inputs. Can use Blackmagic HDLink or AJA HI5 for HD-SDI sources, even 4:4:4. Can use HDMI to DVI adapter for HDMI sources.
- 110 volt – anyone that’s worked with portable 220 volt projectors knows how much of a pain 220 is.
- Ethernet port allows control through a web browser. This is how I used to control it in my studio and if you add WiFi, you can easily control it with an iPad.
- 2 Flight Cases – one large case for projector and lens, one smaller case for projector only to bring the weight under 100lbs.
Please contact me on the About Me page for pricing.
Unlike cameras, video recorders, computers and software, the technology edge in audio equipment doesn’t change very quickly. Many pieces of audio gear such as microphones and mixers, if taken care of, can easily last a lifetime. Vintage equipment in studios like Abbey Road are still in high demand. Don’t be afraid to spend money on good audio equipment. It’s one of the safest and best investments you can make.
The industry standard “short” shotgun. You’ll see this on more booms than any other microphone. It has a fairly forgiving pickup pattern that makes it easier to catch dialogue from multiple sources since you don’t have to have the mic pointed perfectly. If you need a tighter pattern, look at long shotguns from Neumann. This mic works best outside and other places that don’t have many reflections. If you’re inside or near surfaces, look at Schoeps. Highly recommend a kit including boom pole, zeppelin and fuzzy windscreen like this: Sennheiser Ultimate Shotgun Microphone Kit. If you’re a one man band, I also recommend a C-stand with a boom pole adapter. When doing interviews, a boom always trumps a lav.
When it comes to field audio mixing and recording, there’s Sound Devices and there’s everyone else. Highest quality pre-amps, rugged enclosures, and Made in USA quality.
The current best of the best when it comes to field audio recording. 8 Channels live to 12 tracks; simultaneous recording to internal SSD, Compact Flash and Firewire, and Sound Devices’s classic pre-amps in a rugged enclosure. You’ll never have to buy another field audio recorder again. Firewire and USB connections allow it to act as a breakout box for your Digital Audio Workstation. Brain Farm has been using one for the past 2 years on all their projects all over the world with zero issues. I definitely recommend the SSD version over the hard drive version for durability. CL-8 Mixing Control Surface recommended for field audio mixing.
Acoustic Treatment and Design for Recording Studios and Listening Rooms – EthanWiner.com A great resource on theory and design, with guides on how to build your own absorbers inexpensively.
Audio Sweetening – Videomaker.com
The Element has quickly become the new standard for colorists looking for a mid-priced control surface. Featuring high quality components and feel, and compatibility with all the major correction apps and plug-ins, this is all the board you’ll ever need.
iMac (Late 2012)
Review – Macworld (Jan 2012)
Review – Larry Jordan’s Blog (Jan 2012)
TonyMacx86 – THE resource for building Hackintoshes. Great info, great forums, great links
TonyMacx86 Buyer’s Guide – parts and guides for building Hackintoshes, broken up by computer type and price point. Updated monthly.
Lifehacker How-To Guide – updated regularly
Any nVidia cards higher than the GTX570 will need additional power. Either from a second power supply, or from an external PCIe expansion chassis. To get the power into the computer, this kit includes a PCI slot, but most colorist’s computers won’t have that available. I’m pretty close to putting holes in my Mac Pro for stuff like this – I need a hole to deal with the HDMI outputs of the BMD Decklink Extreme 3D+ card.
Editor Alan Edward Bell, ACE on The Amazing Spider-Man – Creative Cow Magazine, Aug 2012
Edit suite floor plans – Oliver Peters, digitalfilms, Dec 2012
The Offices of Ubiquitous – Lifehacker, Jan 2013
I think this is a really interesting layout for good and bad reasons. Reading through the comments on the Lifehacker article shows that I’m not the only one: “It’s a prime place for a gestapo like manager to continually circle the workers and oversee every second, of every day, every keystroke. Ugh.” I work with a few production and creative facilities that want to create “shared” spaces like this. I worked in the news room at an ABC affiliate that had this same layout. But it has been my experience that it can be really difficult to get creative work done in such tight quarters. It worked great at ABC because all the producers at one desk were working on the 6pm news. So they had a common focus and goal. The same could work well for multiple VFX guys working on the same sequence or at least the same project. Where this doesn’t work, is when everyone is working on different things. Personally, I need to crawl into my hole to get real work done. When I studied at the library in college, I didn’t sit at the huge tables with other people, I went in the private desks deep in the stacks (the cages). I love collaborative environments. It really gets the creative juices flowing, but NOT when I need to sit down and get work done (color grading, calling clients which I don’t want everyone in the office overhearing, thought-experiments where the slightest distraction will pull me out of my own head). I think some offices that combine this layout with formal offices or edit suites is a good compromise. But I would never assign someone to a desk like this, just for the sake of design, and expect them to get work done.
Autodesk Homestyler – a free, web-based, interior design app with fairly stock elements, but great for sketching out ideas for clients.
Monitors Buyer’s Guide – Videomaker Magazine, 6/2012
Review – Oliver Peters, DV/Creative Planet/digitalfilms.com
Take Control eBooks – a great collection of low priced eBooks covering Apple software such as Lion, Mountain Lion, Mail, iTunes; devices such as iPad and iPhone; and more general things such as Airport networking and Backup strategies. They also sell the Macworld Superguides.
Solid State Hard Drives (SSDs)
For boot drives, SSDs are the only way to go. You’ll get a huge boost in productivity that will pay for the extra cost of the SSD in a day or 2. As capacities increase and prices fall, using SSDs as flash media is becoming more common. The big difference between the Electra 6G and the EXTREME Pro 6G is the read/write speeds. The EXTREME can read over twice as fast as the Electra 6G.
120GB Electra 6G B&H
240GB Electra 6G B&H
480GB Electra 6G B&H
120GB EXTREME Pro 6G B&H
240GB EXTREME Pro 6G B&H
480GB EXTREME Pro 6G B&H
Task / Project Management
We used Basecamp for a few months at Brain Farm for the Post on The Art of Flight. As a manager, the workflow worked well, but after a month or so, people stopped using the system. So if there were updates on projects, dates, etc, the staff did not get them. You can’t use a task management system if your staff doesn’t. Of course, this is true of any shared task management system. Towards the end of Flight post, when things really started to get hairy and people were chugging 24/7 and partially delirious no one checked in as they found things like massive white boards and huge printed Excel grids easier. I think one issue the employees had is that Basecamp gets in your way a bit and doesn’t let you work the way you normally do. This was the second production company that I tried to get to adopt Basecamp, and it was the second failure. So I’m looking at other options.
JAOPRO uses Flow and it’s been very easy for the staff to get adjusted to it. As a result, I’ve started testing it to see if others could benefit. It seems simpler than Basecamp.
Workflow / MAM / DAM
Axle Video MAM – $1295 for 5 users
Backup Best Practices (for Photographers) – ASMP, American Society of Media Photographers This is the basis for my personal and professional backup and archive systems. It’s targeted towards photographers, but offers great explanations and is a great starting point for a comprehensive backup and archive plan. This is part of their Digital Photography Best Practices and Workflow, which is funded by the Library of Congress