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Tom Bihn Brain Bag

Eric’s Travel Bag for Presentations

Last week, I traveled to Norway to discuss the MediaStorm workflow and methodology. Here’s what I brought:


Tom Bihn Brain Bag

Tom Bihn Brain Bag – A really large and comfortable backpack with two main compartments and lots of outside room. I love this bag and can’t say enough good things about it.

Vertical Freudian Slip – This is an insert for the Tom Bihn bag that has 12 pockets and compartments. Great for cables.

Cargo Works 11″ MacBook Air + iPad Sleeve – A small pouch that snugly holds my Air and iPad inside the Tom Bihn and keeps them from rattling around.


11’’ MacBook Air – My Air is the second generation so it lacks USB 3 and thunderbolt connectivity. Still, the size is perfect for traveling.

iPad Air – I don’t really need to bring an iPad, but what the hell, the screen is great for watching movies on the plane or in the hotel.

G-Technology Portable Drive – I feel safer traveling with a backup of my Keynote presentations and G-Tech makes durable, reliable drives.

mophine Juice Pack Powerstation Duo External Battery – External battery power to recharge an iPhone or iPad up to four times. (more…)

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Software Inventory 2014

I thought the start of the new year would be a good time to review the software I use most frequently at MediaStorm.

The Essentials

Adobe Premiere Pro CC (starting at $19.99 a month) – Back in October of 2012 MediaStorm announced our decision to use Premiere Pro, not FCP X. With the advent of CC, the updates are faster and the software keeps getting better.

Aperture (Mac App Store, $79.99) – Aperture is Apple’s workhouse picture-editing software. While it’s due for an update, we’ve been relying on Aperture for the better part of a decade. For an extensive guide to Aperture see the MediaStorm Post-production Workflow ($14.95).

Keyboard Maestro ($36.00) – Keyboard Maestro is a macro utility. When a user inputs a single keyboard shortcut, Keyboard Maestro will respond with a series of predefined actions. This small application really increased my logging speed last year. See MediaStorm Guide to Super Fast Logging with Premiere Pro and Keyboard Maestro.

PluralEyes ($199) – Essential software for syncing multiple audio or video sources. See MediaStorm Guide to Creating Multi-Camera Sequences in Premiere Pro, Part 1.

Final Cut Pro 7 – Apple’s venerable editing software is no longer available for purchase nor is it in heavy use around the office. But with nearly 40 TB of legacy projects, it’s still critical to have a copy on our production stations.


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OS X Mavericks Brings the MediaStorm Field Guide to Your Desktop

One of the most common questions we get at MediaStorm is, "how can I read your Field Guide if I don't have an iPad!?!" Thanks to the good folks at Apple, we finally have an alternative for tablet-less storytellers. The MediaStorm Field Guide joins 1.8 million book titles that are now available on your desktop with the new version of OS X, Mavericks. The free app will allow you to read purchased books and textbooks right from your desktop. About Our Field Guide The MediaStorm Field Guide outlines fundamental concepts for gathering multimedia content in the field for documentary films. The guide is based on MediaStorm’s years of experience shooting and producing award-winning projects. Serving as a quick reference for multimedia teams in the field, the guide covers important concepts from picking appropriate gear, to setting up audio correctly, to shooting b-roll and backing up media. Additionally, each chapter’s most important points…

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Standard Three-Camera Interview Setup

MediaStorm’s standard interview setup is meant to provide a clean, focused environment for the viewer. It can be used both in a studio or in the field. We typically use at least two cameras, usually three, both for visual variety and for editing on-camera sequences. This is by no means the only way to conduct an interview and you should consider the role and look of the interview before beginning a project. The example below is for an interview with the subject sitting screen-right. If you want the subject to be sitting screen-left, camera and lighting placement should be reversed. Visual Look Background - We often use a black background behind our subjects to focus attention on what the subject says and how he or she says it. A large felt cloth works nicely. Cameras - We currently use the Canon 5D Mark III for our interviews. Camera Settings - It’s important…

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The Canon C300: Field Tested by MediaStorm DP Rick Gershon

MediaStorm’s Director of Photography, Rick Gershon, brought the C300 to Angola to shoot their documentary “Surviving the Peace,” which follows the progress of the Mines Advisory Group as they clear unexploded ordnance. Watch as he shares his thoughts on how the C300 helped realize their vision for the production in this interview with Gershon, featuring footage from the documentary. Introduction This is a practical review taken from my experience using the Canon C300 in the field on an actual project. This is not a technical review. I will not be discussing the in-depth minutia of the technical aspects of this camera. Rather I will be giving real world examples of both the positive and negative aspects of the camera that I experienced while using it in a documentary setting, in very difficult conditions on a very important film. In my opinion, it takes a very special kind of camera to work well…

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