Tech

How Small Budget Film Producers Can Use the DJI Phantom 4 For Production

There have already been a number of blockbuster Hollywood films – including “Skyfall,” “The Wolf of Wall Street,” and “Spectre” – that have used drone cinematography for spectacular effects, and that’s opened up the opportunity for small budget film producers also to use drones. In their search for the drones with the best image stabilization, longest flight time and ultra smooth image capabilities, they are embracing drones such as the DJI Phantom 4 for production.

DJI Phantom 4

The DJI Phantom 4, which launched in March 2016, has already become a favorite of amateur drone filmmakers, who laud the drone for its ease of operation and its fantastic image capabilities. Flying the drone is so easy that even a child can do it, thanks largely to the drone’s obstacle avoidance technology, which literally brings the drone to a halt before it crashes into a fence, wall or other obstacle. That’s crucial, because it enables film producers to capture exactly the shot they want without worrying about crashing their drone.

Drone movies are “in”

One of the best-known drone movies – the three-minute short “Superman With A GoPro” from Corridor Digital – highlights what can be done with a DJI Phantom 4. The film includes plenty of aerial shots, capturing what Superman sees as he is soaring above the city, as well as some tight action sequences, like when Superman flies through a very narrow alleyway. On YouTube, “Superman with a GoPro” has already picked up 20 million views.

If we take a closer look at how drones have already been used in Hollywood films, it’s possible to get a better idea of how small budget film producers can use the DJI Phantom 4 for future movies:

  • Chase scenes – These scenes are where drones excel, because they can follow the action where helicopters cannot. One of the most famous action scenes ever captured by a drone was a motorbike chase scene in “Skyfall” featuring James Bond riding a motorbike on the rooftop of the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul.
  • Action sequences – “The Expendables 3” featured a high-energy action scene involving a train and helicopter, bullets, explosions and a daring rescue. A drone was able to get close enough to film the action, whereas another helicopter following the first helicopter would not have been able to capture the scene.
  • Escape scenes – Another James Bond movie – “Spectre” – also used drones, this time to capture James Bond’s escape from a fire on a rooftop in London from a unique aerial vantage point.
  • Party scenes – “The Wolf of Wall Street,” a 2013 film that depicted the excesses of Wall Street, has one famous pool party scene that was captured via drone. This shot would not have been possible with a conventional camera.

Phantom 4 Specifications

The DJI Phantom 4, though, could raise the stakes even higher for drone cinematography. That’s because the camera on the drone is capable of shooting 4K at 30 frames per second and 1080p at 120 frames per second. The high fps rate for 1080p means that film producers can capture incredibly fast movements – think skiers headed down a mountain or sprinters competing at the Olympics – in slow motion. Some drone filmmakers, in fact, love to include a slow motion shot that perfectly encapsulates fast action sequences.

 

And the DJI Phantom 4 is also helping to popularize the “drone selfie” (aka “dronie”) which is basically a selfie taken with a drone. Instead of a huge selfie stick to capture a wider angle, you can just use a drone. This might become a tool for indie filmmakers to capture the types of scenes where a character explains what they’re really thinking at a certain point of the movie.

And, of course, the type of drone shot that is classic by now is the long, extended tracking shot over beautiful natural terrain. You can imagine drones using sweeping cinematography to capture shots of mountains, oceans, or a giant prairie. DJI, for example, has promoted some amazing aerial shots of an erupting volcano in Iceland as an example of how drones like the Phantom 4 can capture some amazing nature shots in places that humans simply can’t go.

Phantom 4 Overview of Volcano in Poland

For more examples of how budget film producers might use the DJI Phantom 4 for upcoming film projects, it’s worth checking out the results of the annual NYC Drone Film Festival, which featured 35 different films from 152 submissions in its first year. You can also check out some of the highlighted films on the DJI Showcase website. Current drone films shot with the Phantom 4 include a scene of horses in nature (“Brazilian Criollo”), a sailboat race and an epic landscape scene in Norway (“Lofoten Landscapes”).

There are, of course, certain things to keep in mind before you go out and starting filming the next great drone movie. One is that you have to simultaneously fly the drone and capture the image you want. The solution until recently had been to have a two-man crew, one in charge of flying and one in charge of getting the camera angle and shot.

In many ways, the DJI Phantom 4 makes that job easier by removing the need for a drone pilot. As noted above, the drone comes with obstacle avoidance, so you don’t have to worry about crashing. And it also includes tools like “Tap Fly” and “Active Track” to make it possible to fly to where the action is. And with all the enhanced image stabilization feature of the Phantom 4, you don’t have to worry about shaky or blurry imagery.

Another point to keep in mind is the average flight time of the drone. The DJI Phantom 4 comes with a 25-30 minute flight time. It’s also capable of flying at 45 mph. So you can think of this as flying 10-15 minutes in one direction, and then 10-15 minutes back home. Even if you managed to secure clearance to fly the Phantom 4 over the buildings of New York, you might not be able to get around all of Manhattan with that limited flight time – although some have tried. On YouTube, there are plenty of “Aerial NYC” drone movies.

At one time, using drones for filmmaking was a novelty. But now it’s becoming increasingly mainstream, much like tracking shots or Steadicam shots. It’s just one more tool in the toolbox of the modern filmmaker. Going forward, expect to see new creativity and innovation as drones become lighter, faster and even better at capturing just about any shot.

Quantum Dot Technology for TV’s

 

Quantum dots or “nanocrystals” are the new talk of the TV tech nation and many say they will soon be making their way into our homes.  Last year, OLEDs were the talk of television technology and it was said they were the newest innovation in picture quality. OLEDs should have been taking the world by storm had last year’s tech gurus been correct. But, QDs are now the ones taking over.

OLEDs were played with behind the doors of many manufacturers companies. It’s true that they offer a picture quality that is truly dynamic and incredibly life-like, but after some research, TV manufactures announced that they were simply too expensive to work with and very unreliable. After this news, it became clear that OLEDs weren’t going to be making their way into everyday homes anytime soon. Quantum dots have since gained stardom and offer a more promising future.

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What Is It?

A quantum dot absorbs one wavelength of color and uses it to produce another. In an LED TV that utilizes QDs, there would be a blue backlight and a layer of QDs in front. The different sizes of QDs would each produce a different color wavelength. The blue light would act as an energizer, making the tubes filled with quantum dots light up to produce a color spectrum that is rich and vibrant.

A TV that utilizes quantum dot technology would actually be rather comparable to a plasma or OLED TV in picture quality.

 

Who Can Use It?

Unlike OLEDs, QDs are actually rather inexpensive to work with and experts say they actually offer higher energy efficiency and greater durability than other technologies on the market today. This is a great incentive for manufactures to begin their research, and it’s expected that we will soon see full QD displays for sale.

How’s It Better?

Quantum dots were invented by Bell Labs in 1982, but they’ve just recently made their way into the television market. Since there has always been a gap between plasma screens and LED TVs, manufacturers have been looking for a better way to increase picture quality for many years. After it became apparent that OLEDs were too expensive and not durable enough to use just yet (if ever), companies shifted their focus to QDs, which may very well become the standard in the coming years. Plasma screens are slowly being phased out, and so are 1080p displays. While neither of these is going to disappear overnight, the majority of technology buffs and companies are predicting that QDs will soon be taking over the market.

QD screens provide whiter whites, more vibrant colors, and darker blacks. This produces a more life-like quality on screen.

quantum-dot-technology-imageWhy QDs Over Plasma & OLEDs?

Plasma screens offered great picture quality, but manufactures quit making them because they were large, heavy, and consumed a lot of energy. OLEDs didn’t get much of a chance in the consumer marketplace because manufacturers already spotted similar problems with the technology of an OLED TV. In search of a cost-effective and quality way to manufacture a television that provides better quality picture than most LED screens, and in hopes of making one that would compare to plasma screens without the expense and hassle, companies found quantum dot technology.

When Will It Happen?

There’s no real deadline of when the switch will happen, but it’s nearly a guarantee that in the coming years everyone will begin upgrading their sets to QD technology. The rich, vibrant picture quality will be more dynamic and extremely life-like, and it will become the standard in home entertainment technology.

In fact, LG has already announced their up-coming line of QD televisions and some models were unveiled at CES 2015 (consumer electronics show). In 2016, CES attendees can expect to see some high-quality quantum dot screens on display and it’s likely that some models will be up for sale by the end of this year.

quantum-dot-technology-image2A Change in Television?

While manufactures are still in the early stages of experimentation, there’s a very good chance that quantum dots are the answer to affordable, light weight, and energy-efficient televisions that offer picture quality comparable to plasma screens. Of course, many had made the same predictions with OLEDs last year, but so far, research regarding QD sets is looking far more promising.

With any luck, the end of the decade will see a shift in home entertainment sets, and quantum dots may very well be taking over the marketplace as early as this year.

Google Reader Is Dead

Google Reader, the internet-based reader that thousands have come to rely on, is now officially dead. The reader went off line on July 15th. With its death, there are scores of other readers stepping up to take its place. However, it is proving to be difficult to replace the Google Reader in the areas of synchronization between different devices and cross-platform compatibility. Find out more at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/01/google-reader-shut-down_n_3518733.html.google reader 

If you just access your news from one device, a single app could be sufficient but there is a chance that you will run into limitations. It has to do with the way the RSS feeds load. With RSS feeds, the app only loads the last few articles in the queue, not the most recent news so it can result in readers missing out on important stories.

If you are a student, researcher, programmer or journalist and still need a good RSS feed, you can try one of these readers.

Feedly is probably the best Google Reader alternative and its free. It has had years of service for perfection and adjustment. It has also added several features since Google shut its Reader down. It has added a sync server with a one-click migration feature and an open API for third party apps.  Feedly is available for iOS and Android.

The Digg Reader has not been around as long as the Feedly. It is still being developed in some areas but the development team is going at it full steam ahead. So far, The Digg is offering a sleek and user-friendly interface. It provides keyboard shortcuts and “read later” options that allows stories to be posted and shared on social media sites.

These readers are just two of many and there are other good ones out there. For those that have to have the news, these readers are a good place to start. Find out more at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/01/google-reader-shut-down_n_3518733.html.

google-reader

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Time Warner Cable intelligent home in New York City

Time Warner Cable Deals in NYC Are Simply The Best

Have you heard about the current Time Warner Cable Deals in New York City? When you have to settle for less than you want, due to a pricing conflict with your monthly budget, it can get frustrating. There’s no end to the types of entertainment that are out there, and there is a specific entertainment that can meet your specific tastes, but where do you find it, affordably? You need the right service, for the right price.

When considering a home entertainment provider, look at Time Warner Cable in New York City. This service provider is the provider of choice for millions of homes, with services that can cater to individual needs in any household- at an affordable rate.

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Time Warner Cable New York awarded Above and Beyond and Pro Patria awards from the Department of Defense

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Adam Mayer of Time Warner Cable NYC

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