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Film Lab North to close

Like Minds (Dir. Gregory J Read). One of the films that passed through Film Lab NorthSad news as I’ve recently heard that Film Lab North, based in Leeds, is going to be shut down in the next few weeks. Given that it was one of the last bastions of Super16mm and 35mm in the area, giving filmmakers in the area the opportunity to shoot on film whilst getting invaluable advice from the friendly staff.

Recent credits included shows such as 'Vincent' and 'Casanova' and the (underrated) feature Like Minds. But the place has a 25-year history with former clients including the likes of Disney and NASA. Yes, the stories of secret agents delivering cans of 16mm – which only a few hours earlier had been orbiting the planet – and then sitting in a darkened lab as they were being processed may seem apocryphal. But when you see a signed picture of the Space Shuttle crew in their offices, and the willingness of the staff to tell the story to anyone who asks, you can tell how important Film Lab North has been to the cinematic history of the region – and indeed – the world.


Rotoscoping - A new niche in outsourcing?

Who would have ever thought before that clipping path can be such a profitable niche in the outsourcing industry. There were brave ones who saw the opportunity, the need was there and they filled it. Now, a lot of graphic outsourcing companies are offering clipping path services and it is evident in Google once you query “clipping path”. Big offshore companies this time are eying a new niche. Found across the video post production industry, the possible next outsourcing hit is rotoscoping.


Apple Slices Shake by 80% and begins phase out

Apple ShakeApple has updated its Shake video compositing application, adding support for Intel Macs and slashing the price from more than £1,600 has been cut from the price to £329. The industry leading 3D compositing software, behind the effects of films such as Mission Imposisble 3 and The Lord of the Rings trilogy is now within the price range of many more desktop editors. However, Apple later told subscribers to the Shake email user group that:

Apple will no longer be selling maintenance for Shake and no further software updates are planned as we begin work on the next generation of Shake compositing software. While we're excited about the innovations we can bring in the future, we understand you have a business to run today that requires Shake.

A new product, codenamed 'Phenomonon' is rumoured to be in the works and will be built from the ground up to use a Shake-like interface  with a core architecture closer to Apple's 2D compositing package, Motion. More info from


Brit Vampire Movie Plays For HIGH STAKES


High StakesBritish vampire feature High Stakes - now in post production aiming for an autumn release - was shot in Penarth and Cardiff in South Wales in the spring of this year, shooting on two cameras in six days. Schedule was tight and could not run over as  the principle location was a chapel. The congregation needed it back on the seventh day for Sunday services.


Web based editing opens up new avenues for collaboration

film editing image For those who thought the move from linear tape or film editing to computer based non-linear editing was a big step, a host of US companies are touting what they claim is the next big thing - web based editing. Allowing, for example, a group of people who filmed a public event to upload their footage and work together on a final cut, systems such as JumpCut and VideoEgg are aiming to bring the process of editing to anyone with a browser (and a fast connection).