Pocket Cinema to Blog via Macbook Air

The above shot on the Pocket Cinema’s bigger brother, the 2K Cinema Camera.

Video adds engagement to websites and by providing an immediate look into your content, even before reading the page. You know this because you’re reading this after watching the loop above. Producing quality video quickly can be difficult but with a Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera and a MacBook Air, both of which are relatively inexpensive, portable, and surprisingly powerful for their respective categories, quality video can be shot and edited on the go. Below is how to shoot RAW or ProRes on the BMPCC then edit, grade, and get it on a website with a MacBook Air.

First, shoot some video. Keep things simple, just shoot what is already around you. There are a surprising number of good subjects all around but it might take some creativity in framing the subjects. Just like drawing this takes daily practice to keep up the habit and skill.

Legos close up with a wide angle lens!

Next load the video. MacBook Air does have an integrated SD card reader but usually has limited space, 128GB base configuration, so an external drive is very helpful. Fortunately not only are the Air’s USB ports 3.0 but they also support USAP making them ultra fast; the ports are even fast enough you can easily edit right on an external drive. The real bottleneck is the integrated GPU. To maximize space and performance combine your source and reference monitors since the Air can’t handle full playback of 2 monitors. The Air can handle RAW 1080 playback but not for 2 separate monitors. This one note can save many hours of stuttery playback and attempting to work.

Editing with Premiere
Editing with Premiere

Editing these clips should be fairly easy since they are basically just moving pictures. If you have too many clips, or too much motion, the video won’t complement the content but will overpower it. Either way, make sure you have a focused message for your viewers and readers. After editing, grading in SpeedGrade is fairly quick and still runs well on the Air. The only downside here is SpeedGrade has a more rigid UI so reclaiming editing space is difficult.

Grading with SpeedGrade
Grading with SpeedGrade

Last, export to MP4 for most browsers and WebM for Firefox. WebM isn’t native to Adobe Media Encoder but there is an awesome plugin here for it. http://www.fnordware.com/WebM/

Exporting with Media Encoder
Exporting with Media Encoder

Even editing and grading a couple clips, or one shot, can be time consuming but developing the habit will make the editing process second nature while developing your eye. You can film and post with a phone, and the iPhone has a powerful camera, but there is a noticeable difference in quality and style which we will explore later. For now, try out the BMPCC or another Interchangeable Lens Camera with video, especially RAW, like the Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH4 and explore the subjects around you. Most of all, add some video to your site and see it come alive!