Reviews Archives - S-Films

Is Thumbtack Any Good?

By | Reviews, Tips/Techniques, Uncategorized, Video Production | No Comments

The Beginning of Thumbtack SFilms was one of the first companies on Thumbtack.  I remember this new startup listings/lead service app that looked interesting.  I signed us up as a vendor.  But as I looked at it, it seemed more focused on B2C– plumbers, electricians and such.  Even though we had an account, I never really used it. Then one day I was talking to another video professional in a different city and he told me he was getting a lot of leads through thumbtack.  I was puzzled– the only leads I seem to ever see were for people wanting a music video for $250.  He said that while yes, the majority of the bids were micro budget, by getting his foot in the door, he was able to find some good customers.  Okay, I decided, I’ll have to take a closer look. Updating Our Profile So I dived in.  I updated my business profile.  Worked on getting a review from an existing customer.  Set up the different industries and notification levels.  And I started…

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Shared Storage Review

Shared Storage Review Small Tree Titanium Z5

By | Reviews, Tips/Techniques, Video Production | No Comments

Here’s our shared storage review of the Small Tree Titanium Z5 portable system.  We are not quick to review products– too often, product reviews are written right after receiving the product new and before there’s been time to work through bugs and get the product up and running.  So we are writing this review of the Titanium Z5 (TZ5) after we dragged the box through a heavy duty 8 day, on-location conference where we had four computers plugged in.  An important note– looks like Small Tree has renamed this product to ZenStor.  But I’m not sure at time of this review. Our Need We are a video production company located in Dallas and Fort Worth.  We have clients who want us on site to video capture their events– conferences and seminars in many different cities.  Often, we need to edit onsite and deliver videos throughout the conference.  One client has an annual event that we do with a crew of 8– with three dedicated editors and graphic people.  In previous years, we all worked on individual…

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corporate video dallas with DJI Osmo

DJI Osmo Review – Great for Corporate Video

By | Corporate Video Production, Info, Reviews, Tips/Techniques | No Comments

Handheld gimbals are not new anymore, and the release of the DJI Osmo moves the handheld gimbal into the next generation.  Ever since we grabbed our small phantom drone, turned it on, and held on to it, moving around the location to get that “steadicam” effect, it was clear a new market (or call it a new tool for the videographer) was opening up. Several years ago, we here at SFilms in Dallas purchased a relatively cheap powered gimbal (sold by a US distributor, but clearly made in China).  It required a GoPro, but we used the device constantly in our corporate videos.  It was taken on road tours for a corporate retail client of ours, for internal communications, and we used it on construction sites and other places as well.  And it fell apart.  We had to take screws from one side, to fill in ones lost on the other.  But using the GoPro gave us some flexibility. Now DJI, maker of the phantom line of drones, has taken the gimbal and camera used…

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Why I Struggle With DJI

By | Corporate Video Production, Reviews | No Comments

I use DJI products.  About 7 or 8 years ago, they saw the future and jumped.  Now they’re the Coca-cola of the consumer drone world.  Congrats.  So why am I hating on DJI? It all started with an Octo.  This particular octocopter was a custom-build.  Of course 3-4 years and further back, everything big like that was a custom build.  For the custom builders, the best “brain” for running these builds, was the wookong, made by DJI.  This was the technology that told the drone what to do.  You inputted a command in the controller, it was received by the wookong and orders went out from it to the motors. One beautiful twilight evening at a park in North Carolina, I was flying this octo with a $4,000 camera/lens on it.  I had just finished the run and was bringing it back to me in the parking lot.  About 90 feet up and 50 feet away from me, it suddenly flipped over, and flew into the pavement.  I don’t mean fell into the pavement.  The…

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Slow Motion

Reviewing the Video Film Slider

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Video Production Benefits from Smaller Cameras and Cool Toys With the smaller cameras, come cool toys and tools that can have a great impact on your production value.  As of late, there has been a huge boom in sliders.  I know I’ve been using them the last year or two– to the point where it goes out on every shoot.  Sliders are a simple basic replacement for dollies.  Now film and video productions can get great smooth right and left movement for a fraction of the cost and manpower.  You can even truck in and out with them and in some extreme cases, you can crane up and down. At SFilms, we use a basic Glidetrack.  And recently, we bought a Slyderdolly from Digital Juice that has been pretty impressive.  It’s robust, strong, sturdy and comes with features and accessories that didn’t exist 18 months ago. So here’s a practical show and tell about sliders– the problems, the solutions and how they can help. Feel free to leave comments about your own Slider stories!  (Just…

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Dan shooting with DSLR on jib

Review of the SmallHD DP6 Monitor

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When shooting with the DSLR’s, a monitor is probably the first most important accessory you’ll need (other than lenses).  Especially with the Canon 5D and 7D, due to the LCD screen being fixed on the back of the camera body.  I’ve used Ikan, Marshall and Zacuto.  But a friend in the industry recommended SmallHD. What I like is that this monitor is true HD– many of the others are still using a 800x something.  And one telling thing– the client the other day, over my shoulder, looked at the image ais that what my video is going to look like?”  She was amazed at the image. So here’s my video review of the SmallHD monitor.

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