A Look Back: 2009

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With more and more video production under our belt, 2009 saw the addition of a new piece of equipment, a RED ONE Digital Cinema Camera. While others were just starting to experiment with using DSLR cameras for video, we jumped into the high-end and started using the same equipment Hollywood productions were using for blockbuster films.

We also started our relationship with C. Thomas Howell (“Tommy”) who worked with us on a campaign for Assurant Health in 2009. We’ve continued working with Tommy on a number of things, including a photo shoot on the set of Southland, and just this year a music video for the This Time Tomorrow Foundation.

Oh, we also grew to 10 employees, which was a milestone not just due to it being double-digits, but also because we originally envisioned Z2 as a company that wouldn’t be more than 10 employees.

Whew! We’ve gone through 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, and made it all the way to 2009… That leaves just 4 more years until we’ve completed a look back at 10 years of Z2 History!

October 11, 2013 · Posted by in misc, video  

Car Shoot Time Lapse

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We recently did a video shoot (with our newly upgraded RED ONE) for Rogers Corporation, which featured a beautiful BMW 5 Series. I thought it would be fun to mount a GoPro Hero3 in the studio to capture a time lapse of the shoot, so here’s a full day of shooting compressed into about one minute.

(You can also view it on YouTube.)

January 28, 2013 · Posted by in photo, video  


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One of the things people ask about shooting with the RED ONE is, “Why do you need all that resolution, especially if you’re going to finish at HD resolution!?”

Here’s one reason, and it’s the same reason you might shoot with a still camera that creates 24-Megapixel images, every now and then, you may want to crop something.

For documentary style interviews, you usually have a few choices on how you shoot. You can use two (or more) cameras at different angles and/or with different crops. For instance, one camera might be tight on the person’s face, while the other shows their whole upper-body.

With multiple cameras you will need to deal with at least twice as much footage, and deal with syncing as well. Here’s another idea…

First, here’s our visual to compare the size of HD footage to 4k footage from the RED ONE:

Size Comparison

The full size of the graphic represents a frame of 4k footage from the RED, while the smaller rectangle in the upper-left corner represents the size of 1080p HD video.

So let’s suppose we frame our shot like this:

4k Footage

We’ve got the classic sitting person, with the upper half of their body in frame.

You could size this 4k footage down to HD resolution and be done, but with all the extra resolution, we can crop in on it and create what may appear to be additional cameras.

RED to HD Sample 1

Same camera, same footage, tighter crop… And we can even go further:

RED to HD Sample 2

A tighter shot is often used in an interview situation when you want to emphasize what the person is saying. Using this trick is one more way to get some use out of that extra resolution you might have otherwise not used.

February 17, 2011 · Posted by in video  

Someone recently asked the question: “How many more years until what we call “HD” content will just be known as “SD” content?”

In some ways, we’re already there…


Since we shoot at 4K using the RED ONE, we’re shooting at much more resolution than HD already… so really, HD output is small compared to what we are actually capturing.

This is only semi-true though, because even though we typically shoot at 4K, what we gain is the ability to crop the image, as well as run stabilization processing and not lose any of the image (as long as we do final output at less than 4K, which we do today, as we don’t show our work at 4K… yet.) We also occasionally shoot at 2K if we need to shoot anything at a high frame-rate (for slow motion.)

As far as actually being able to watch 4K videos, there will probably need to be a lot more bandwidth and processing power before it becomes the norm…

September 7, 2010 · Posted by in video  

7 Tellys

We’re excited to announce that we won seven awards for our “This Time Tomorrow” music video in the 31st Annual Telly Awards contest, which received nearly 11,000 entries from around the world. The video, to benefit The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS), features a collaboration of Milwaukee-area musicians.

The video won five awards in the following categories: music video, use of music, art direction, videography/cinematography and charitable/not-for-profit; and won two People’s Telly awards for non-broadcast production and video. This is the first year of the People’s Telly awards, in which the public was invited to view and rate video submissions. The winning video can be viewed at ThisTimeTomorrow.org and the song is available for $.99 download at iTunes with all proceeds going to LLS.

Founded in 1978, the Telly Awards is the premier award honoring outstanding local, regional, and cable TV commercials and programs, as well as the finest video and film productions, and web commercials, videos and films.

Thanks to everyone who contributed their time and talent to this great cause!

June 22, 2010 · Posted by in audio, video