Philip Bloom: FilmConvert’s Film Look Plug-In Truly Works

Film Competition Launched To Showcase Color Correction Software

By James DeRuvo (doddleNEWS)

When it comes to color correction and film look plugins, Philip Bloom has become a fan of Film Convert.  And not because they’re a site sponsor either.  According to the prolific cameraman, he’s used the film look plugin to convert many of his favorite pieces to get far better results than he ever had before.  And he wants everyone to know about it.

The “film look”…what defines the film look? I can tell you straight away what it’s not…shallow depth of field! That can contribute at times, but it’s a great deal more than that. One of the biggest is the organic look to it which is far away from the harsh reality of video.  The grain, the colours, the way it flatters, the richness, the beauty. So many aspects of film are just so gorgeous. – PhilipBloom.Net

Bloom says that the digital filmmaker’s obsession with making his projects have a more organic film look foes beyond simple nostalgia.  It’s the solid belief that film looking far more artistic, beautiful.  He even says film looks expensive in comparison to video, even as it’s evolved into high definition.  “Film is what I have been trying to make my video look like for all my career,” writes Bloom. “Yet I have never shot movie film professionally!”

Bloom spent his early career in broadcast TV news, and when he went freelance about seven years ago, the advent of depth of field adapters and HD video cameras made him believe that the organic looking film image was within reach of a video world.  And he’s been chasing it ever since.   “This is not to say I won’t shoot film professionally ever,” Bloom says, “it’s just these days, what with the prohibitive cost, coupled with the pain in the arse nature of it and of course, most importantly, cameras today are outperforming film in dynamic range…more or less…there seems to be little point, professionally.”

Bloom says that while HD and 4K digital cinema cameras have been surpassing the dynamic range of film, they continue to be both harsh and unflattering, which has caused him to turn to a color correct/film conversion utilities that can emulate that organic film look he’s been after.  “I have used many of them over the past 8-9 years. None of them have ever done what I want: make my video truly look like film,” Bloom says.

And that’s where FilmConvert has come in.   Bloom says that after reading about it on Vince LaForet‘s blog last year, he bought the plugin and has been using it nonstop ever since.  For Bloom, the benefit has been the ability to add grain, size and type looks of a particular film stock, both type and brand.   FilmConvert has done the yeoman’s work of shooting video with particular cameras and figuring out scientifically what needs to be done with it to make it look like different Kodak and Fuji film stock.

“They have done all the work for you and analysed it exactly,” Bloom says.”… they have a shot on Fuji Pro 160s and the 5DmkII and worked out exactly what needs to be done to the colors of the mk2 footage to make it look like that stock.”  And he’s mighty impressed with a vast catalog of camera profiles which includes just about every DSLR, as well as larger rigs like the Blackmagic Cinema Camera, RED Epic, Arri Alexa, Canon C300,and even the GoPro.   And Bloom says while it works well with Raw formats, he’s yet to use Raw files because it works brilliantly with compressed codecs.

Bloom is so excited about FilmConvert, that he’s supporting a contest Rubber Monkey (the developers of FilmConvert) are sponsoring for users to try it out.   Users must process a video using the FilmConvert software (full or trial is fine) and upload it to YouTube or Vimeo.  Bloom, and his friends Vince LaForet and Tom Lowe, as well as FilmConvert developers, will then judge the top 10 finalists who have received the most views, likes, tweets and votes on FilmConvert.com.   And the top prize is $1,000 cold, hard cash.  Here are the rules:

Competition Rules

  • Process a video using any FilmConvert software – either the full version or trial version
  • Include the word ‘FilmConvert’ somewhere in the video title
  • Upload your video to Youtube or Vimeo
  • 10 Finalists will be selected by counting a combination of video views, Facebook likes, tweets, and votes on FilmConvert.com
  • The winners will be chosen by FilmConvert developers, and guest celebrity judges Philip Bloom, Vincent Laforet, and Tom Lowe
  • You can enter more than once
  • You need to own the copyright to the footage
  • You retain all rights to your video and footage
  • You grant FilmConvert the right to use the footage for marketing purpose – e.g. we will embed the competition winners on our website, use still frames as examples etc.
  • All decisions are final, no discussions

The competition ends on August 31st, 2013.

About James DeRuvo

James has a multi-faceted career that spans radio, film and publishing. A writer about the technology in the video industry for nearly 20 years, James is also an award winning film director, having garnered a Telly Award for his short film Searching for Inspiration. He's also worked as a producer of many talk radio programs in Los Angeles with topics ranging from entertainment to travel to technology.

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