Extreme shooting at our FS7 II Masterclass with Jeremy Humphries

Extreme shooting at our FS7 II Masterclass with Jeremy Humphries

Last week, Anthony Corcoran from Jigsaw24 welcomed award-winning director of photography Jeremy Humphries, Chilean rose tarantula Sharon and red milk snake Stripey to our Soho digs for our Sony FS7 II Masterclass. Between them, they taught us a little about extreme shooting and how to get the best out of the new FS7 II…

Jeremy is a BBC-trained director of photography with over 35 years of experience, and has filmed documentaries in extreme and diverse locations, from South Africa and Zanzibar to the Pacific Rim and North Pole. He also trained contestants of The Island with Bear Grylls on how to use camcorders in extreme conditions. As well as getting hands-on with the FS7 II, guests were able ask Jeremy for his expert tips and tricks.

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Jeremy discussed his experiences using the FS7 and FS7 II, and on how to get the best results. These included the optimum way to set up the camera, how to make the most out of the customisable pre-set buttons, configuring the LCD with colour bars, creating HDR content, tips for shooting in S-Log3, and using LUTs. He discussed the future benefits of REC2020 and manipulating depth of field whilst compensating for exposure fluctuation with the electronic variable ND filter on the FS7 II.

He also shared his expertise on shooting in extreme environments, including discussion and clips on how he recently shot Hunted and Escape to the Wild. Jeremy was full of tips that he’s developed from his extensive experience, like acclimatising your camera as soon as possible, and pointed out issues many might not have thought of, such as changing lenses in sub-zero temperatures, and condensation collecting on your LCD monitor.

In these extreme conditions, Jeremy also recommended shooting handheld as opposed to on a tripod wherever possible, to really get involved in the action. To demonstrate the benefits of this, and other tips he shared, Jeremy showed us some clips from his past work Hunted and Escape to the Wild.

To recreate the kind of environments Jeremy is familiar with, and to give our guests a taste of the ‘extreme’, we brought in a couple of friends as part of a mini tropical set for guests to test the FS7 II out on.

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We let Sharon and Stripey loose on guests, so they could get hands-on with the animals while waiting to check out the Sony FS7 II.

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Guests were able to have a play with the new camcorder with our in-house Jigsaw24 experts, and compare it to the previous FS7 model. There was also quite a queue to chat with Jeremy and get some more expert tips and tricks!

When discussing the great new features of the FS7 II, Jeremy talked about how he began his career as a focus puller way back when you needed to judge if your shots were in focus by eye. The digital and technological developments demonstrated in the new Sony camcorder really put into perspective just how far we’ve come during the span of his career.

While we can’t quite get hold of a Sony Video 8 or KODAVISION Series 2000 any more, we can help out with all the latest kit from camcorders to cables. Our expert team can take you through consultancy, to implementation, to support and repairs, and we even provide accredited training courses for technical teams and end users.

Want to find out more about the Sony FS7 II or our upcoming events? Get in touch with us by calling 03332 409 306 or emailing broadcast@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news and gossip, follow us on Twitter @WeAreJigsaw24 and like us on Facebook

A recap of our Evening with Neil Davidge event

A recap of our Evening with Neil Davidge event

We recently welcomed producer and composer Neil Davidge to our Soho service and customer experience centre for an exclusive talk about his long and varied career. Neil, best known for his work with Massive Attack, went into detail about the band’s classic album Mezzanine, his past film, TV and video game projects (including Clash of the Titans, Trouble the Water and Halo 4), his experiences using Pro Tools (since 1994!), and his current film and audio album project, Slo Light. We’ve included a brief recap of some of the topics below… 

Beginning with his musical background, Neil first talked about how he came from a musical family, his influences and his early studio equipment (going from 8 track to 16 track), and learning the gear. He also touched on working with lots of different artists around Bristol, doing remixes, editing and helping people produce.

“Initially I just wanted to be making music as much as I could, then you get to a point where you need to pay the bills,” Neil said. “Then you wake up one morning and your girlfriend says ‘I’m pregnant’, and you realise the responsibility’s on you. So for quite some time I got stuck into doing pop production, and would constantly be trying to find the emotional centre of this pop song, listening to the lyrics and talking to the singer. But they just want the song to be as catchy and loud as possible, so I was constantly disappointed at how deep I could actually go.”

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Producing Massive Attack – Mezzanine

That depth Neil was looking for may have come after meeting Massive Attack’s Robert “3D” Del Naja; Neil explained how he met 3D and started working with Massive Attack. “I got a phone call saying ‘Hey, do you fancy working on an album with us?’. Initially, they just needed someone to help them record and get some ideas down. I was thinking it was going to be three weeks’ work, three months’ work, and it ended up being three years’ work!”

But while working on Mezzanine, Neil wasn’t really thinking about just how special the album would become. “There were moments when I did something and thought, ‘Yeah, that’s great’, but it’s always very much in the moment when you feel that, and then the next day you listen to it and it doesn’t really have the same connection. But then you listen to it another three months later and realise that actually it was really good. That’s the bizarre thing about creativity, it all depends on your state of mind. It was very much the same with 3D – he’d come into the studio one day, we’d listen to the sketches we’d been working on and then think that everything was rubbish and we had to start again. At one point, we recorded ten hours of music over the course of two weeks, spent six months working on it, trying to make it into an album, then ended up throwing it all away and starting from scratch!”

Neil then touched on the technical side of producing Mezzanine, the different systems and platforms used, and the changes in his creative process. “I started on the Atari ST because that had been my setup, but I was plonked in Massive Attack’s new studio and they had this Mac with Cubase Audio sat there. I didn’t really want to touch it, but as it started to appear that it was going to take a lot longer than three months, I thought I’d dive in. I felt really unlocked by the ability to record stuff then cut it around and turn it into something completely different. It was quite a revolution as I’d always felt quite frustrated in the studio working straight to tape – having Cubase Audio was like ‘Oh my God, I can completely change this performance’.”

Working in TV, film and games

Following his work with Massive Attack, Neil then began scoring and composing, working in TV and film: “After Mezzanine was released, I couldn’t watch a film or TV show without hearing a track from the album – or something that sounded eerily like it! I always felt an affinity with film and TV anyway, I’m very visually-led anyway. Emotions and colours and smells are what music is to me, so the idea of doing film and TV scores seemed obvious.”

Neil also composed for Halo 4, one of the biggest selling games series of all time. “I did find [Halo] quite challenging, I don’t know how composers score for games and make it really connect with an audience,” Neil said. “You have to just have a really good team, and everyone on the same page. I’d be writing a piece of music to four lines and a few pictures that would make the audience know the person just from the piece of music. If I sit there and read a script for a TV series and think it’s quite humorous but really dark at the same time, I can start imagining this sound world, with these cavernous drums and crazy jazz and electronic driving stuff. Then I see the rushes and think it’s a different show!

“With games, it’s even more so, as everyone has their own impression and it’s not until the final moment when everything comes together that you really know what it is. For Halo, I was involved for a long time, but some of the guys were working for a big period before I came on, and a big period after I left and handed all the music over, by which point it had turned into something different. If I did it again, I think I would want to be involved right from the beginning and see it right to the very end, because I’m trying to communicate something for an audience so they get an experience and understanding of the characters when they play the game or watch the TV show.”

Neil then went on to talk about working in Avid Pro Tools, before a Q&A session with the attendees. “Just getting in [Pro Tools], editing audio around and tuning things is a massive thing for me. These days, I’m working a lot in TV, and I build what I call these ‘spotting sessions’, where I have the whole episode and I’ll be cutting together various sketches and overlaying them very much like a music editor would, building up a collage of a score. But I’ll also be writing in that same session, putting strings in and some extra beats, mixing and matching with various bounces, time stretching and pitching bounces around. Essentially I can spend maybe four days working on an episode, throwing in fresh ideas, and after that I can have written 40 minutes of music. It’s a really nice way of working, it’s been developing over a long period of time, and I feel like it keeps getting fresher, and I keep blurring the lines between writing and editing and mixing.”

– Missed our Evening with Neil Davidge event? Be sure to keep an eye out for all our upcoming events over at our Events page.

Jigsaw24 Events

Want to know more? Give us a call on 03332 409 306 or email broadcast@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, follow @Jigsaw24Video on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

Jigsaw24 and root6 join forces

Jigsaw24 and root6 join forces

The UK’s two leading Media & Entertainment technology solution providers have today announced that they are joining forces. Jigsaw24 has acquired root6 to create the largest, most experienced and most awesome Audio and Video Technology services and solutions business in Europe. 

As the top two players in providing Media & Entertainment IT solutions over the past 20 years, combining Jigsaw24 and root6 will provide the depth and breadth of technical expertise needed to deliver the full range of Audio and Video Technology solutions and managed services.

This new acquisition is a significant step for both companies and will enable them to bring even more insanely great solutions to their customer base through:

– Providing the fastest, most reliable and innovative Audio and Video Technology solution for any customer through combining the technical expertise of root6 with the datacentre, managed service and logistical capability of Jigsaw24.

– Creating an organisation that is connected throughout the marketplace, to bring the full range of latest products, services and solutions.

– Delivering an enhanced services-centric, technical business providing insanely great customer service.

“We’re incredibly excited about welcoming the root6 team to the Jigsaw24 family. They have an unbeatable history of providing the very best audio and video solutions to the creative industries – we have been truly envious of their technical capabilities and over the moon that we are now one team. We truly believe that we’re at a point of change in creative technology as businesses increasingly start to demand cloud-based solutions. Our combined business – root6’s unparalleled technical knowledge and Jigsaw24’s datacentre, managed service and logistical expertise – is perfectly placed to meet that demand,” said Jigsaw24’s CEO Martin Balaam.

According to root6 Sales and Marketing Director Rupert Watson, who will continue to head up the Media & Entertainment sales team, “Jigsaw24 have long been the major player in the UK Creative Technology market and we have seen them building their technical expertise in the Media and Entertainment sector. root6 are very excited about joining forces with them to offer our mutual customers the best from our combined businesses. The natural fit made it a no-brainer. We are looking forward to working together to take our solutions to the next level; creating a complete one-stop-shop for current and future Jigsaw24 customers.”

 

To find out more about Jigsaw24 visit www.Jigsaw24.com and root6 visit: www.root6.com

If you have any questions, please contact Ade Leader at Ade.Leader@Jigsaw24.com or on 0115 970 7790.

 

About Jigsaw24

Jigsaw24 are the most magical IT company, providing an insanely great experience for more than 30,000 businesses, major organisations, education establishments and prosumers over the last 25 years. Our team includes some of the best Apple systems architects and integration specialists in the UK, and we pride ourselves on being passionate, open, innovative, creative and definitely very different from your usual IT solutions provider.

About root6

root6 is a highly experienced supplier of technology to the UK broadcast, film, post-production and media communities, with 19 years’ experience. Characterised by a high level of technical competence and practical experience, many of the team has worked in post-production and understand the priorities and processes. As the world of IP supplements traditional video engineering, knowledge and experience are paramount. Complementing technology supply, root6 provides a range of services from workflow design and systems integration, training and technical support. root6 Technology, the product development arm of the company, develops innovative workflow productivity solutions including the extremely popular file-based workflow management and automation platform, ContentAgent.

 

Event Roundup: FS5 Fiesta

Event Roundup: FS5 Fiesta

Hosted by pro storm chaser Alister Chapman, our FS5 Fiesta brought some of the hottest Sony camcorder kit to Soho. Guests got the lowdown on the cameras and learnt some handy techniques and tips to boot, all while enjoying tapas and a few beers. 

First off, we’d like to thank everyone who made it there on the day! Alister kicked off the event by imparting his filmic wisdom, dropping his knowledge on lens options, variable ND, clear image zoom, super slow mo, picture profile settings, gamma curves, Cinegammas, S-log and S-log2 and much more. As a storm chaser and someone who’s been apart of the Sony ecosystem for years, Alister knows all about Sony camcorders and the intricacies of using them and we’re confident our guests will be making use of the cool tips he was dishing out.

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Alister wasted no time showing the audience how to get the very best out of the Sony PXW-FS5, and demonstrated some impressive footage of the Geysir in Iceland where he’d made use of the super slow mo and end trigger settings. The Sony PXW-FS7 also made an appearance, as guests had the chance to get their hands on both of Sony’s video cameras and put their questions to the expert. Atomos brought along their Shogun 4K recorder and monitor, while Rotolight brought their NEO lights kit along to the event. In addition, we had some top of the range lenses from Zeiss on display, which work perfectly with Sony camcorders – remember, every top quality camera is only as good as the lens attached to it!

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As I’m sure you’d imagine, the tapas went down a treat and our guests walked (or stumbled) away with some extra camcorder knowhow they can put to the test themselves.

Here’s what some of you had to say about our FS5 Fiesta:

If you’d like to find out more about Sony camcorders, call us on 03332 400 888, email broadcast@Jigsaw24.com, ‘like’ us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter @WeAreJigsaw24. Want to come to one of our upcoming events? Find out what we’ve got coming up here.


Book a Blackmagic Cintel Scanner demo!

Book a Blackmagic Cintel Scanner demo!

We are offering free demos of Blackmagic’s Cintel scanner at our Soho service and customer experience centre! Don’t miss a perfect opportunity to see this outstanding piece of kit in action, demonstrated by our Blackmagic Design experts.

Cintel’s first 4K Scanner with Thunderbolt has revolutionised 35mm film conversion. 35mm film is natively 4K, guaranteeing a beautiful viewing experience. The device scans both negative and positive 35mm film in top quality Ultra HD, allowing you to unlock never before seen resolution potential.

About Cintel scanner:

The scanner is built to remain vibration-free, with its main deck ensuring seamless film handling.

Its light design allows it to be wall mounted.

– Built in conjunction with the latest Blackmagic Design image processing technology, the Cintel Scanner comes equipped with a high-speed Thunderbolt 2 port – perfect for transferring 4K video between your Mac as part of your colour correction system.

– The device works in conjunction with DaVinci Resolve software, delivering an entire spectrum of colour correction features and ensuring a world-class film scanning and grading solution.

– The Cintel Scanner comes with built in Image Mill stabilisation and grain reduction, a 35mm film gate, two film spools, a set of four cleaning rollers, desk mount feet and, of course, DaVinci Resolve 12. What more could you want?      

Our Soho demo space

We’re experts in Blackmagic Design products, and even won their Outstanding Achievement Award – we’re pretty proud of that one. Our expertise makes us your go-to guys for a Cintel scanner demo, so get down to our service and customer experience centre in Soho and check it out for yourself.

What else do we offer?

We’re proud to offer a whole array of demos up and down the industry from AVID’s Pro Tools | S6 and S3 control surfaces, to Blackmagic’s DaVinci Resolve, and leading cameras.

If you’d like to know more, give us a call on 03332 400 888 or email broadcast@Jigsaw24.comFor all the latest news, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

In pictures: Our new Soho centre launch party

In pictures: Our new Soho centre launch party

To celebrate opening our brand new service and customer experience centre in Soho last November, we thought it was only right that we laid on a few drinks and nibbles. The team don’t like to do things by half though, and somehow by the end of planning we’d ordered dozens of cases of champagne and mountains of canapes, hired a chocolatier, casino tables, DJs and a classical guitarist. Oh, and the photo booth, which captured the team and some of our customers in full-on revelry mode…

Don’t forget, we hold all kinds of events at Golden Square, from exclusive tech workshops and demos to social events and more. Make sure to keep an eye on all our upcoming events and book a place on the next one at Jigsaw24.com/events.

Our Soho launch night

Want to know more about our events? Get in touch with the team on 03332 409 306 or email events@Jigsaw24.comFor all the latest news and tips, follow @WeAreJigsaw24 on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook.