Making Blu-ray Quality DVDs
with the Canon 5D Mark III,
(This is the the part of my home page that gets the
In late 2005, I was in Maluku, Indonesia where I filmed interviews with these
children. Afterwards, they asked if they could pose for a picture.
of 1999, unbeknownst to most of the world, a major technological breakthrough
occurred: Sony quietly released a portable computer that YOU COULD EDIT
MOVIES ON. A few months before that, Hewlett-Packard had released a
portable CD burner and Sony began making video cameras with a built-in
"Firewire" port that could be linked directly to a computer
without having to pass through an office full of translation devices.
Mankind thus reached the new millennium with the potential for putting
a functioning movie-production studio into a backpack and I started my movie-making career.
A Decade of Cameras
For years the Sony PD150 and 170 were industry work horses. I carried this camera all over Asia.
The VX 2000 was another camera that I lugged all over the place. It was about like the PD150, but with consumer quality sound.
The PDX-10 never achieved the legendary status of the 150 and 170. Nevertheless it was smaller and still took great movies with professional sound.
I loved the Sony HVR-A1E because it was smaller than the PD150 and took better movies. It is still sold.
The Canon 5D Mark II has turned out to be a game changer.
The Canon 5D Mark III took things to a new level with better sound tools and a better movie picture.
My Favorite Mic
In 2001 I bought the Sony DSR-PD150P and then the Sony VX2000. Those was replaced by the Sony DSR-PX10, and then, in 2005 the Sony HVR-A1E. So far so good. Then, in late 2008 the world turned upside down when Canon released the 5D Mark II. This was a full-frame 35 mm DSLR still camera that had a movie function. But not just any movie function — this guy could take full high-definition movies in lower light than virtually any camera ever. People started using it to make remarkable movies in low light and in dramatic quality. I had purchased the 5D Mark II to replace its predecessor, the 5D which had been my stills camera for years, but soon I, like the rest of the camera world, concluded that this was an amazing movie camera as well. Shortly after that I sold my Sony HVR-A1E. For me, the days of shooting on tapes were over.
In late 2009 the high definition standard of Blu-ray was accepted as the industry standard. The quality, if the viewer has a very large screen TV, is amazing. With the Canon 5D Mark II, Adobe Premiere Pro, and my Blu-ray burner I have produced Blue-ray movies and disks on-site that have, well, amazing quality. Most clients, however, are interested in something for the web. Still, it's great to upload high-definition.
of this, my equipment, including the Blu-ray burner, can still fit into my backpack for production anywhere.
Here are two of the movies I have shot with the Mark II and uploaded at high-definition.
In 2012 Canon released the 5D Mark III. Basically this camera is the 5D Mark II on steroids -- now I can take better pictures, movies, and record better sound. The differences are subtle, but if you are curious have a look at this video:
To capture audio, I use as my boom the legendary Sennheiser ME 66. For years I used as my lavaliere the Sony ECM44B. The only problem with it was the cable. To remedy that I bought the Sennheiser 500 G2 wireless mic. The transmitter is the size of a pack of cigarettes. You fasten it on the belt of whoever you're interviewing. The receiver mounts on the camera. Once I interviewed a blacksmith as he was working--you can hear him very clearly while his hammering is way in the background.
I edit my movies on the PC using Adobe Premiere Pro CS5. I once taught Final Cut on the MAC. I was amazed at how similar it was to Premiere Pro. I don't claim that Adobe makes the best movie editing software, but I would say that the race is neck-to-neck with Final Cut. Some people who know both programs prefer Premiere Pro; others Final Cut. Most professionals who can afford it, would prefer
to use an Avid, a computer designed solely for digital movie editing.
If you want to learn movie making, it's a little bit like learning to write. You need to stop thinking about it and actually do it. Classes don't hurt either. For a few weeks every year for five years, I attended classes at San Francisco's Bay
Area Video Coalition. The school is dedicated to teaching hands-on digital
movie making and apparently they have had some successthe walls
of the hallways of BVAC are lined with movie posters advertising the
movies of former students. Two of my fellow students had graduate degrees
in cinematography, but felt they had missed something in their more
academic classes. Studying there was a very good experience.
or your organization is interested in learning more about this technology,
e-mail me at Thomasriddle@gmail.com
and sound quality. Professional cameras, like the 5D Mark III have color depth that consumer
cameras generally do not. Additionally, the Mark III cameras does amazingly well in low light. The picture below is a still from a movie
that I made in a place where no movie camera should have to go. The picture has not
No problem. Asia uses the PAL standard,while the US uses the NTSC standard. I shoot in the Asia PAL format. Using Adobe After Effects, I can seamlessly convert my movies so that they look like they were shot in the American standard, NTSC. I can take movies and convert movies in the 16 by 9 format as well.
taken a lot of movies with our video camera; can you put them on CD
or DVD or Blu-ray?
they can be output as a digital or analog PAL or NTSC signal, then they can
be captured with my equipment and moved, with or without editing, to
CD, DVD, or Blu-ray.
you do animation?
Adobe After Effects I can do all kinds of tricks. In the above movie, you can see Lorna, the only woman ever to dance live on a Bangkok Sky Train platform. She comes "live" from Adobe After Effects.
we be sure of what we're getting?
With all production done on site, all stages of production can proceed
with the clients go-ahead. Unlike printing where the sky-blue
background that you design on your desktop computer comes back from
the printer deep-sea-blue, this is truly a "what you see is what
you get / what you hear is what you get" technology.
Twice my clients have hired "production teams" to produce movies for them off-site which my clients were unhappy with, so they hired me. I always work step-by-step with my clients to make sure that everyone gets what they want. And so far, so good.
Can you produce CDs, DVDs and Blue-ray on site?
we hire you, is there anything else you can do?
I was a
computer support specialist for the United Nations in Cambodia during
the UNTAC operation Im the person who produced the ballot
paper that was reproduced 8 million times for the 1993 election. After
that I went to computer graphics school in Oregon. Skills learned there
helped me teach computer classes in two universities in Hawaii
from 1996 through 1999. As a consultant I've taught PageMaker, MS Word,
PowerPoint, PhotoShop, movie making, installed back-up systems, developed databases,
formatted books, cleaned up computers, installed software, taught digital
photography, developed digital photo libraries, made music DVDs for bands, and produced