NABShow 2015 Wrap-up with Eran Stern

Eran Stern:
Commercial artist, TV Post-Production designer and trainer
(sternfx.com)

 

 

 

 

 

Q. What was the biggest surprise or unveiling of the show?
A. I guess it’s hard to ignore what ‘Blackmagic Design’ is doing to the industry. Each year coming up with dozens of new gear and improvements, some of it for free, is something quite unique even in this industry. I’m not sure what their higher purpose goal is, but the development speed of those guys is very impressive, and it looks like their tools are working as advertised. Not everything they offer is usable for my needs, but they pace and motivation is something we all can inspire from.

Q. What was the newest innovation at the show?
A. I think it’s the new version of After Effects (13.5), which is going to be a milestone release, especially due the new way you can preview inside the software. Adobe has separated the render engine from the interface and then tied it back in, this means that now you can preview and work at the same time. Creating changes while the preview is still running, (and saying goodbye to the spinning beach ball) means that you can be much more artistic and get a lot out of the software – this is going to make more free time for me to spend with my loved ones (not the After Effects is not part of my loved ones, but you get the point).

Q. What was the highlight of NAB for you?
A. For me it was one moment before the show began, I was entering my first session (on Saturday morning) and the room was fully packed with people (in an 80 people room, we had almost 140 attendees) – My voice was shivering the first few minutes until I found my zone and went onto a smooth sailing. Later I found out that I made a new record for this Post|Production world conference, so I’m super proud for this achievement, I only hope my session was useful for all these attendees, but from the feedback I got at the end – it sure did.

Q. What did you see at the show that gave you insight into future trends?
A. I think that the main thing is Ready Made Stuff. From stock footage, templates, plug-in and automated scripts to sound effects – these days you only need to choose. With this huge growing of pre-designed presets and great footage it’s easier than before to jump on the Mograph ship. Both NLE and Effects software became an operating systems and not just software, and the open architecture of software these days, allow many third-parties to write tools that are more that just an index search. For many users this is going to change the way they work, and I’m amazed by the selections and extra tools that I now have easy access to.

NABShow 2015 Wrap-up with Alex Dow

Alex Dow_1Alex Dow:
Marketing Director
(zaxwerks.com)

 

 

 

 

Q. What was the newest innovation at the show?
A. I found that as far as software goes the newest innovation is an AE plug-in called Paint and Stick. It’s created by the AE Scripts guys and will be  released soon. It’s really crazy that you can paint on your 3D scene in real-time directly inside of After Effects.

As far as equipment goes, I was amazed by the new drone section. There was every type of drone you could think of. There were small ones that held go pros and big ones that held giant equipment. They even had a giant net flying zone to demo the drones in action.

 

Q. What was the highlight of NAB for you?

Alex Dow showing how Zaxwerks ProAnimator with Rampant Effects

Alex Dow showing how Zaxwerks ProAnimator with Rampant Effects

A. My highlight was being able to demo at the Rampant Design booth.
I was able to show how Zaxwerks ProAnimator and  rampant effects work extremely well together.
We recorded the demo so it’ll be up online early next week.

 

 

 

 

 

Q. What did you see at the show that gave you insight into future trends?
A. Of course, I saw a lot of drones so I expect that’s not going away anytime soon. I also saw a huge increase in the number  of hand-held cameras. This is going to make it a lot easier for individual artists to shoot their own footage, and make their  videos look as professional as the big studios.

 

NABShow 2015 Wrap-up with Ben Balser

Ben Balser:
Apple Certified Trainer
(finalcutprox.guru/)

 

 

 

 

 

Q. What was the newest innovation at the show?
A. Blackmagic tiny cameras and their new 5″ monitor. 4K seems to be getting everyone’s attention, although questions about its reality abound.

DRONES AND ROBOTICS! Tops here, and not just because I’m a drone specialist. This is the new tool for shooting creatively, and I know we’ll see it more and more as time goes on. What makes this different from “aerial shots” that came before, from helicopters and planes? “Intimacy!!!!!” My drones can get up close and personal with things from the air better than any manned aircraft is ever capable of. That makes the shots valuable creatively.

Q. What was the highlight of NAB for you?
A. FCPWORKS and the Robotics And Drones Pavilion. 4K didn’t leave me feeling so excited, since it is so available to even low budget, and there’s no realistic delivery yet, and won’t be for a few years. Nothing else was as much of a game changer as the new 4K affordable drones. I challenge anyone to dispute this. All else was the same-old-same-old and YAWN fest…

 Q. What was the biggest surprise or unveiling of the show?
A. New FCPX/Motion/Compressor updates. Shows Apple really is going to take over again. The presentations showing how it was used not just for editing, but titles, effects, coloring, etc in “Focus”. Lots of folks want to dismiss this, but you can’t stop an idea whose time has come. Everything else NLE wise was same-old-same-old.

 Q. What did you see at the show that gave you insight into future trends?
A. Read above 3 answers.

 

NABShow 2015 Wrap-up with Gary Adcock

Gary Adcock

Gary Adcock

Gary Adcock
CEO/CTO

 

 

 

 

 


Q. What was the newest innovation at the show?
A. Arri and Dolby Showing High Dynamic Range content, more color, longer tonal ranges allow for better filmmaking and consistent delivery.

Q. What was the highlight of NAB for you?
A. Anamorphic lens announcements from Everyone, Zooms from Cooke and Angenieux to primes from Zeiss and Vedrya

Veydra camera lense

Veydra camera lense

Veydra camera lense

Veydra camera lense

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fusion 8 on the Mac- Much Like Resolve, Fusion maybe the future.
Teranex Mini Converters – Wrapping up the Teranex engine inside an entire converter line creates a toolset that no one else has.
URSA Mini, Weighs and costs less, but just as powerful, A true low-cost camera option for many wanting to start shooting 4k/

LaCie's Rugged RAID

LaCie’s Rugged RAID

 

LaCie’s Rugged Raid and G-Technology’s
Ruggedized Thunderbolt Drive enclosures.

 

 

 

 

QNAP Thunderbolt Networking NAS
LaCie’s NAS Pro with one button Setup.
Barco 3D Laser Projection
HP’s Z32 Dreamcolor 4K Monitor
Sony’s New 4K OLED
Flanders Scientific showing a complete LUT pass thru on new 24” 1080p OLEDs
Video Devices PIX-E series 4K recorders set new standard for on-board recording capability and should give Convergent Design some competition.

Shure Retro Microphones

Shure Retro Microphones

 

SHURE’s New line of Retro Microphones for iOS,
high-quality design, really weight and the Shure Brand
makes these a must have addition for Podcasting.

 

 

 

 

Q. What was the biggest surprise or unveiling of the show?
A. Nothing was that surprising- Most of the best releases came in the 10days prior to NAB. BlackMagicDesign only company to really show an almost indecently large (33) number of product announcements.

Blackmagic camera

Blackmagic camera

Blackmagic camera on mini sports car

Blackmagic camera on mini sports car

Side view of Blackmagic camera

Side view of Blackmagic camera

 

Q. What did you see at the show that gave you insight into future trends?
A. 4K is here to stay, 3D is still here kicking around and is not about to go away anytime soon. I think the biggest trend is one towards better pixels and not more of them, it is why the HDR demo’s are so compelling to look at.

NABShow 2015 Wrap-up with Larry Jordan

Larry Jordan:
Producer, Director, Editor, Consultant and Trainer
(larryjordan.com)

 

 

 

 

Q. What did you see at the show that gave you insight into future trends?
A. *The rush to higher resolutions is continuing, even for situations that don’t need it.
*Storage needs are increasing exponentially
*Film makers are shooting first, planning later; if ever
*SSD drives a darn fast but stubbornly expensive
*We still don’t have good, solid, inexpensive options for archiving media
On the other hand, wait six months and the world will change again at IBC.

Q. What was the highlight of NAB for you?
A. Sigh…the end of the show.

Q. What was the newest innovation at the show?
A. NAB is filled with surprises, but the most interesting thing to me was the speed of evolution, rather than revolution. Money is starting to flow in the market, finally, and vendors are expanding product lines to try to capture more business. New age camera companies, such as Red, Blackmagic Design and AJA are now considered a normal part of the camera business.

Hardware gets smaller, drones get bigger, and The Cloud is everywhere – especially where it doesn’t belong. Macintosh is the platform of choice and traditional vendors are scrambling to preserve their market.

Several new ideas caught my eye, including:
* The focus on infrastructure and managing media from companies like Axel Video, File Catalyst and Xendata.
*Drones are everywhere, especially underfoot
*Cameras are getting smaller, cheaper, and with better and better image quality

 

NABShow 2015 Wrap-up with Peter McAuley

Peter McAuley:
Senior Product Manager
(borisfx.com)

 

 

 

 

 

Q. What was the newest innovation at the show?
A. For us, the newest innovation at the show was the first public presentation of BCC 10, which is currently in beta. Included in the beta is integration of Mocha planar tracking and roto masking … this is being made available in every filter in the BCC 10 package. Very exciting news for our customers. That along with the first public showing of Mocha AVX … for the first time, the roto and tracking toolset of Mocha will be available as a plug-in for Avid Media Composer.

Q. What was the highlight of NAB for you?
A. The highlight of NAB for me was how popular Mocha is with end users. We had guest presenters showing Mocha and BCC in our booth on a stage every hour on the hour and I’d estimate that at least 75 percent of the demos were attended to the level of standing room only.

Q. What was the biggest surprise or unveiling of the show?
A. Given that I spent about 95 percent of my time at the show on our booth, I can only speak from that perspective and the biggest surprise for our customers is that of the deep integration of Mocha into Boris Continuum Complete for version 10 of the product. It’s a huge undertaking on our part and a huge win for our customers.

Q. What did you see at the show that gave you insight into future trends?
A. The push into 6K could be seen everywhere … and I’m sure it’ll be 8k next year. 🙂

NABShow 2015 – and that’s a wrap

eNews Header

NAB: an event where content creation, management, commerce, consumption, distribution and delivery rule; large social arena to meet friends (new and vintage); a site to buy and sell content; a venue where one can acquire valuable tools and techniques from industry experts.

While touted as a must-attend event, it’s not always possible to drop by one of the largest trade shows in our industry. From launching a new site, keeping busy with jobs (that’s a good excuse to have!), clients, and a myriad of other obligations, you sometimes have to forego where you want to be for where you need to be. With that in mind, we wanted to give you a little insight into what this year’s NAB was all about so we spoke with a few attendees, exhibitors, and speakers.

Larry Jordan

Larry Jordan

 

Larry Jordan: Producer, Director, Editor, Consultant and Trainer (larryjordan.com)
Q. What did you see at the show that gave you insight into future trends?
A. The rush to higher resolutions is continuing, even for situations that don’t need it. Storage needs are increasing exponentially. Read all Larry’s comments:

 

 

 

Alex Dow

Alex Dow

 

Alex Dow: Marketing Director (zaxwerks.com/products/proanimator)
Q. What was the newest innovation at the show?
A. I found that as far as software goes the newest innovation is an AE plug-in called Paint and Stick. It’s created by the AE Scripts guys and will be released soon. It’s really crazy that you can paint on your 3D scene in real-time directly inside of After Effects. Read all Alex’s comments:

 

 

 

Jeff Foster

Jeff Foster

 

Jeff Foster: Author, Producer, VFX Artist/Compositor and Trainer (Pixelpainter.com)
Q. When asked various questions about the show, here’s what Jeff had to say.
A. LOL – I might be biased, but my answer to all those questions would be: Drones, drones, new drones, drones.

 

 

 

image1 image2
image3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eran Stern

Eran Stern

 

Eran Stern: Commercial artist, TV Post-Production designer and trainer (sternfx.com)
Q. What was the biggest surprise of the show?
A. I guess it’s hard to ignore what ‘Blackmagic Design’ is doing to the industry. Each year coming up with dozens of new gear and improvements, some of it for free, is something quite unique even in this industry. I’m not sure what their higher purpose goal is, but the development speed of those guys is very impressive, and it looks like their tools are working as advertised. Read all Eran’s comments:

 

 

 

Ben Balser

Ben Balser

 

Ben Balser: Apple Certified Trainer (finalcutprox.guru/)
Q. What was the newest innovation at the show?
A. Blackmagic tiny cameras and their new 5″ monitor. 4K seems to be getting everyone’s attention, although questions about its reality abound.

DRONES AND ROBOTICS! Tops here, and not just because I’m a drone specialist. This is the new tool for shooting creatively, and I know we’ll see it more and more as time goes on. What makes this different from “aerial shots” that came before, from helicopters and planes? “Intimacy!!!!!” My drones can get up close and personal with things from the air better than any manned aircraft is ever capable of. That makes the shots valuable creatively. Read all Ben’s comments:

 

Peter McAuley

Peter McAuley

 

Peter McAuley: Senior Product Manager (borisfx.com)
Q. What was the newest innovation at the show?
A. For us, the newest innovation at the show was the first public presentation of BCC 10, which is currently in beta. Included in the beta is integration of Mocha planar tracking and roto masking … this is being made available in every filter in the BCC 10 package. Very exciting news for our customers. That along with the first public showing of Mocha AVX … for the first time, the roto and tracking toolset of Mocha will be available as a plug-in for Avid Media Composer. Read all Peter’s comments:

 

 

Paul Babb: President/CEO (maxon.net)
Q. What was the highlight of NAB for you?
A. As you can probably imagine, I never got away from my booth or meetings to see anything around the show.
For us, the news was our outstanding group of motion graphics, vfx and viz artists sharing their creative approaches and production techniques streaming live from the show. You can see the list of guest artist presenters we hosted on C4DLive.com. Among our group were two Emmy Award and one Oscar winners, recent SXSW Award Winners, etc. We’ll be posting their recorded presentations there and on Cineversity.com in the next few weeks.

I’m a little jaded as far as what was hot and future trends. For me, what artists are producing with the tools is far more interesting than the “potential” new industry-changing tool or new number of pixels (4K, 8K, 16K, etc.). That’s why we feature artists in our booth rather than C4D itself.

 

Gary Adcock

Gary Adcock

 

Gary Adcock CEO/CTO
Q. What was the newest innovation at the show?
A. Arri and Dolby Showing High Dynamic Range content, more color, longer tonal ranges allow for better filmmaking and consistent delivery. Read all Gary’s comments:

 

 

 


MarkSpencer

Mark Spencer: Author, Trainer (rippletraining.com)
The show was great. On Tuesday, Steve Martin and I presented in front of a packed house of over 1,000 people, interviewing the editor of Focus and demonstrating new features of , and showing off some of our products. I don’t think I can be of much help on your questions because the only time I spent on the show floor was to walk to and from one of my presentations that I made on the floor on Wednesday. Most of my time was spent teaching or giving presentations or preparing and I had very little time to explore the show.

 

Amos Rafaeli Talks about Shooting Stock Footage

Q:     How long have you been shooting stock footage?

I’ve been a Cameraman/Cinematographer since 2001, but started shooting Stock Footage in 2009. I love shooting stock, because you are your own boss and it is also a combination between my hobby and profession.

Amos Rafaeli

Amos Rafaeli

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Q:     What is your favorite subject to shoot?

The thing I like to shoot the most is nature and wildlife. Unfortunately, there is not much wildlife to shoot in Israel where I’m based. But I also love shooting time-lapse photography. Two years ago I added a time-lapse slider and motorized head to my gear.

Hobbled camel on a hilltop in Israel

AR-FH101-29 – Tethered camel on a hilltop

I like two major things in time-lapse photography: 1) that it forces you to have quiet time with yourself and 2) today in the digital age it remain almost the last ability that like in film you don’t really know the result until you process the shot.

I’m also a scuba diver, and recently got a new housing to my camera, and hopefully will shoot new great underwater footage.

Parrotfish

AR-FH103-20 – Parrotfish swimming through coral

 

Q:     Which camera(s) do you prefer for shooting stock footage?

Since DSLR has video I prefer them as my camera. I know that in a technical matter they don’t have the best video, but they are lightweight, and have great optics. I use Panasonic and have had GH2 and GH3 but now GH4, which also provides me with 4K capabilities.

When I shoot time-lapse, I also use the Panasonic GH but shoot raw stills and then render them out as high quality 4K 4:2:2 10 bit video.

 

Q:         What’s your favorite clip that you currently have represented in the Artbeats FootageHub?

Sea of Galilee sunrise

AR-FH101-90 – Sunrise: Sea of Galilee, Capernaum, Israel

This is one of my first time-lapse. It is a sunrise, and I had a great combination of sun and clouds, which combined into a great sunrise shot.

 

Q:         What advice can you give to shooters who are just getting started in the stock footage industry?

The best advice is to create new footage, not more of the same. You, as a stock shooter, can try but never really predict what will be a success. Try to create new stuff; show new faces.

Time-lapse clouds passing over snowy Golan Heights

AR-FH107-09 – Clouds over snow, Golan Heights, Israel

 

Q:         What’s the best or worst thing that happened to you on a shoot?

The worst thing was not such a big deal. I once went and set up a time-lapse shot with the slider and then when the time to start came, I discovered I’d forgotten all my SD cards at home.

I’ve had a lot of great things happen to me while shooting. I had the chance to watch wild animals in nature.

 

Q:     What is the one thing you wished you’d been able to capture?

A whale during an underwater shoot.

 

About Amos Rafaeli:

Amos Rafaeli on location

Amos Rafaeli on location

Amos Rafaeli is 40 years old and lives in Kibbutz Hulda in Israel. He works as a Freelance Cameraman, mostly in Israel. He has worked on a few TV series, the most famous is “Arab Labor”
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arab_Labor
https://www.linktv.org/series/arab-labor
And he has shot a lot of TV and corporate work.

 

Last Flight of Miss Prissy

Following is the historical record of the LAST FLIGHT OF MISS PRISSY written by Ralph F. Bates, which appeared in the Nov/Dec 1994 issue of the PATRIOT, the March, 1995 issue of ARMY magazine, and in the Feb 1999 issue of AEROPLANE magazine in Poland. Pictures of Miss Prissy also appeared in The B-17 in COLOR, 1986, Squadron/Signal Publishers.

Ralph2

Lt. Ralph Bates

March 22 1945, 3:45 am
Four young flying officers lay cocoon-like in their sleeping bags. A clerk arrived in the tent, clipboard in hand, shaking my shoulder and asking me to sign. I, Lt Ralph Bates, was now responsible to see that my officers, Lt Don Kallock, copilot, Lt Don Fischer, navigator, and Lt Irving Jacobs, bombardier–got up out of the sack. The enlisted were doing likewise in their tent. On the way to briefing a familiar anxiety came over me: How was the weather? What will our target be? Would the flak be heavy? What about enemy fighters? Will our fighter escort protect us? Will we make it back?

“Our target is the oil depot in Ruhland, a city 75 miles south of Berlin, one of the last operational refineries left in Germany,” said the operations officer, his wand pointing to the top of the map, “it is our longest mission to date, so watch fuel consumption. Fighters are expected, ME 262 jets, but they can only send up a few because of lack of fuel and spare parts. P-51 fighters will be your escort, but heavy flak is expected over the target. Set your watches.”

Now it was time to hop into the four-bys, take the bumpy ride over to the supply shed and pick up our gear. After a visual check outside the plane, we tossed our flight bags into the belly hatch, then swung ourselves up into Miss Prissy [named after her former commander Capt. Godby’s recently born baby daughter, Priscilla.]

Checklists completed, we were now at the end of the steel-matting runway waiting for the go-ahead. At 71,000 pounds and carrying a light bomb load, we were still way over the 65,000 maximum specified weight, which gave us pause since we would be taking off uphill. Our runway was higher at one end than the other and had a drop-off; thus it was not unusual to have the B-17 that had just taken off ahead of us sink down and disappear off the steppe and disappear. We were near panic until at last it rose into view. During the previous year, a couple of them didn’t make it. Now it was our turn. Knowing the dangers that lay ahead of us this day, I noticed it took longer for the butterflies in my stomach to let up. But as soon as I began the takeoff run, the only thought I had was to keep a tight reign on that rather ponderous B-17 machine. Flight Engineer, Sgt. Howard K, Brewer, stood over my right shoulder calling off the speed: “50…60…70…75…80… come on, Baby!” It was pins and needles until at last Miss Prissy lifted proudly off the runway and we felt the lift under her wings.

MissPrissy

Miss Prissy

Thus Twenty-eight B-17 Flying Fortress bombers of the 483rd Bombardment Group took off from Sterparone Italy to drop 280 five hundred pound bombs on a fuel depot at Ruhland, Germany, a city south of Berlin. Three other groups of seven bombers were part of the same formation. Each of our four squadrons were in tight formation, and Miss Prissy, which I piloted, was flying to the rear of our squadron. What an awesome sight when we rendezvoused, a giant attack force of up to 1,000 B-17 and B-24 bombers. On the long ride to Ruhland, we took time to check out our equipment and grab frozen peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (liquids were out because of the sub-zero air wafting around us, even though our plane ostensibly had heaters). We now approached the target area. Late in the war, the Germans concentrated more flak units around the few remaining targets and were using improved techniques. Those black puffs of smoke drifting by our windows proved that the flak guns below had our altitude figured out perfectly. The attack stiffened as we passed the initial point. This was when the bombardiers began calibrating their bombsights–all B-17 now must fly straight and level, which on this mission took seven gut-wrenching minutes. It was brutal. Many in our Group saw Lt Deveroux Bush’s plane get a direct flak hit. It was engulfed in explosions and all ten aboard died. At the same time was terrifying to hear flak ricocheting against us–the force of the explosions lifting and buffeting our plane. One shell blasted a large hole next to radioman McCauley. Smoke was filling the interior. Miss Prissy was trembling from nose to tail. God help us. Nevertheless, all bombardiers glued their eyes on the lead B-17, for when the bombs dropped from her, it was time for our man to toggle. It was always a relief to drop the bombs because then our group could make some turns and change altitude in an attempt to evade flak. But the flak continued, and enemy fighters were spotted. After we dropped our ten 500 pound bombs, several of the new Me-262 jet fighters swooped up behind us in tandem right through their own flak. [The closing speed of a frontal attack would have been much too great so they had to attack from the rear, which made us in the lower echelon more vulnerable.] They fired 30mm canon, which were armed to explode on contact, which caused extensive damage and fires in both wings, especially to the right one.

At first it was hard for the gunners to identify the jets because they as they flew by through our contrails a strange refraction of light occurred, hindering them. They even thought they were friendly aircraft at first. Then, switching to intercom, I heard the boys shouting, “Fighters six o’clock!” Our ball, tail and top-turret 50 caliber guns started rattling just before a frightening explosion rocked the ship. Then another explosion occurred. After the Me 262 jets had paused behind us for the attack, we could see them swinging swiftly up and away. But the jets hit their targets as wave after wave flew by. The battle turned into one mighty convulsive frenzy as additional explosions rocked Miss Prissy. In all, there were oil fires, hydraulic fluid fires and fires fed by high-octane gasoline from our wing tanks.

“Feather number four engine!” Feathered. “Full turbo on number one and two!” The port engines were running, but on the starboard, number three was almost useless with most of its sparkplugs damaged, and number four was out. Engineer Sgt. Brewer started pumping gas from the right wing into the left wing because the starboard engines were practically nil. The shredded, dangling parts of our wings were literally burning away.

The engineer, navigator and bombardier were wounded, though not seriously. Amid the chaos, however, our gunners helped bag one ME 262 and possibly another. Despite all our efforts we couldn’t keep the right wing from tipping uncontrollably down; thus we gradually left the protection of the formation. I gave the crew the option of staying or bailing out. That’s when Charlie, our radioman, severely wounded in the chest, and four aerial gunners in the rear of our bomber bailed out and became prisoners of the Germans. The rest of us were left to keep a badly damaged B-17 heavy bomber airborne until we could pass over hostile German territory.

Only seconds had passed and we were going down. Stu Oberg, right wing gunner of Thomas Cobb’s crew, later told me that he saw our airplane just as we were hit by the jets. He thought we were finished. Bam! At that very second his plane was also badly hit! We were in a flat, clockwise spin, large fires spewing out from both wings. Miss Prissy shook so severely that it took the copilot, engineer and myself to handle her.

To bail out was our immediate reaction. In fact, the copilot rose from his seat a couple times, ready to bail out, though changed his mind. But we remembered that Hitler had recently told his troops not to take any more POWs. And if we did bail out, we would be at the mercy of enemy fighters as we parachuted down, who took delight in firing at the men under those parachutes, and of even more violence from the enemy on the ground. Torn between the two deadly options, we decided to stay with the plane.

At least two of those who bailed out were attacked by fighters on the way down. Those who bailed out didn’t see the five of us–the engineer, navigator, bombardier, co-pilot and myself–again. They only saw the plane going down in flames, even looked for us in vain in the POW camps. Conclusion: we must have died in a fiery crash. We had now descended from 22,000 and were holding steady at 5,000 feet and the fires were abating. When we saw enemy aircraft in the vicinity and we bolted upright thinking we were dead meat, but they ignored us instead of finishing us off. They must have taken one good look at us and decided that we were finished anyway.

Our problems were far from over. Unfortunately, our bomb run took us on a northeast direction further into Germany, but the nearest friendly territory, Poland, lay in the opposite direction. Simple–just turn right and head toward friendly territory. But the stubborn wreck of a plane refused to turn! If we tried to turn right the right wing would start dipping down out of control. If we turned left, that would have taken us even deeper into enemy territory, so we manipulated the trim tabs which enabled us to turn very gradually right, which took us in a big circle north of Berlin. Another major problem reared its ugly head, if we went above 112 miles an hour, Miss Prissy would shake and shudder dangerously, but If we went under 102 miles an hour, the right wing would start to dip again, and we would start to lose control.

We figured that by now we must have crossed over the German and Russian front lines, but must have been protected by the angels from the ground fire that low-flying aircraft always attracted when flying over the front lines. Just then we spied a double-track railroad, which we followed, thinking it would lead us to an airfield. To get there we had to descend through some puffy clouds, which caused the plane shake and shudder, and the weakened wings to flex dangerously. We soon spotted an airfield where a number of small planes were parked and fired a green flare, the designated color of the day. When we saw a green flare appear on the ground immediately, we knew we were with friends. But a major problem loomed ahead. We still had to land! Yet another bad situation had to be dealt with: Though we were fortunate to be heading in the right direction, we had to approach a strange airfield with a short runway while flying at 102 mph, which was much too fast. Now we had no choice. Miss Prissy was threatening to stall at any second, but we managed to barely clear the airport fence. The right wheel, damaged by flak, wasn’t yet in locked position. (We had no idea if indeed the tire was still inflated). Coming into the airstrip. The airplane was now actually a missile waiting to explode: Hydraulic fluid leaked everywhere, oxygen was leaking out of dangling masks just waiting to cause more fires, and it was doubtful that we still had enough hydraulic fluid to stop.

MissPrissyBW

Miss Prissy

I waited until just before we landed to let down the wing flaps, I let them down–that was a no-no–because just then what was left of the right wing flap broke off! Not good, because the right wheel would not go down and engineer Sgt Brewer was all the while trying to lower it by the slow process of manually cranking it. However, we were almost on the ground; in fact, the right wing was almost scraping the runway. But with Co-pilot Kallock and Brewer’s help, I managed to land hard on the right wheel that Sgt. Brewer had just cranked down. We discovered later that the right landing gear was made inoperable by a large piece of flak, which had also embedded itself deep into the right tire, but the tire held up, thank God. After losing so much hydraulic fluid, would we have enough pressure left to stop? Yes, and what a relief when we finally stopped at the end of the runway!

We were completely limp. Suddenly we realized that we no longer needed the loving protection of Miss Prissy, so we were ecstatic to hop out and put our feet once again on solid ground. At that time we still had no idea how much we owed the airmen who had so lovingly maintained Miss Prissy, nor how much we had depended on each other, nor how much the Lord had cared for us. Russian soldiers were approaching. One of them appeared to be a general. Looking at the damage, we couldn’t believe our craft could have flown. Amazingly, all five of us could stand in the place that was once a part of the left wing. And that hole wasn’t half as big as the one in the right wing! But what stunned me most was when I stuck several fingers past the protective lining and fully into one of the large fuel tanks in the right wing where fire had burned through! Further inspection revealed evidence of 13 fires in the right wing and two in the left. All main spars in the right wing were riddled with shrapnel. Only the incredibly strong wing construction saved us. We were surprised to find several unexploded 30-mm shells there. Both magnetos were shot out on number four engine. On number three, one magneto was shot out, and all but four of 12 spark plugs were hit. (Later measurements showed that about 266 square feet, or nearly 20 percent, of our total wing surface had been destroyed, not counting some significant shredded area tears and many smaller holes).

It took awhile for it all to sink in, but we shuddered to think how close we came to giving it all for our country. Miss Prissy, B-17 #46538did give her all–well almost–as we shall see below.

Lt. Ralph Bates receiving his flying wings.

Lt. Ralph Bates receiving his flying wings.

November 3rd, 1942, Binghamton NY
I signed up for duty in the Air Force Reserve as a pilot. In February, 1943 I was in a train on my way to basic training in Atlantic City, then to preflight training at Montgomery Army Air Base, Alabama, next, three months of college remedial training at the University of Vermont, three stages of pilot training in Arkansas, after which I received my wings in March of 1944. I was soon at aircraft commander training  [B-17] at Lockbourne Army Air Base, Ohio, and finally sent to overseas combat training at Sioux City Army Air Base, Iowa. I had already been shaken up by a wheels-up landing in an advanced trainer in Arkansas, frightened during a giant roller-coaster ride in a severe thunderstorm near Dayton Ohio, and horrified when we flew through the wreckage of two B-17s that had collided directly in front of us during a mock enemy attack near Sioux City. But nothing was going to stop the buildup of America’s giant air armada in training. Shortly, I joined my fledgling crew at Lincoln Army Air Base, Nebraska . There, B-17 bombers often took off over the city of Lincoln at about 5 am. But the citizens were unhappy with the racket, so the Base Commander then ordered all bombers to take off over Lincoln!

 

But we were ecstatic when we took possession of a brand new B-17G. We were on our way to the Mediterranean Theater of Operations. What should we name her, we thought? After stops in New Hampshire, Newfoundland, the Azores, Morocco and Algeria, we landed at Sterparone Air Base in Southern Italy. There we became part of the 817th Squadron of the 483rd Bombardment Group of the Fifteenth Air Force. Immediately our prized B-17 was assigned to a more seasoned crew and we were given a tired B-17 patched together from three wrecked planes!

Ralph F. Bates, wife Ruth, son Phil (circa 1954).

Ralph F. Bates, wife Ruth, son Phil.

Ralph Bates, son Phil and daughter-in-law Debi (circa 2014).

Ralph Bates, son Phil and daughter-in-law Debi (circa 2014).

Meet Ole Sturm, creator of Orbital 3 and Marble Earth

Q. When did you begin animating? (Or how long have you been animating stock footage?).

I started in computer graphics and animation back in 1990 when I completed a computer graphics course in Munich. Initially it was just desktop publishing but I soon got drawn into the animation side of things and in 1995 started animating for playback graphics on Mission: Impossible. More films soon followed and in 2000 I took part in a recce on the USS Stennis aircraft carrier in San Diego, where we were researching screen interfaces for Behind Enemy Lines. This research led to my first contact with Artbeats with the idea to produce the Control Panels 2 product, back in 2004.

 

Q. What is your favorite subject to animate?

I love the Orbital 2 and Starfields 2 series. I’ve always been a sci-fi fan so anything that gets me into space, even if it’s just on a screen, is sure to get my attention.

RBL212 - Space satellite above thick clouds of Earth's atmosphere

RBL212 (from Orbital 2)- Space satellite above thick clouds.

STA203

STA203 (from Starfields 2)- A red planet shadows three glowing hexagons.

 

Q. Which computer and software do you prefer for animating stock footage?

Currently I work on a late 2013 MacPro (the trashcan model) with the highest specs available, including 64GB of RAM. The software I primarily rely on consists of After Effects for the compositing and 2d animation side of things and Cinema 4D for the 3d side of things. On the periphery I use Photoshop and Illustrator and a host of plugins such as Trapcode’s Particular.

 

Q. What’s your favorite clip that you currently have represented in the Artbeats FootageHub?

I think that would have to be RBL114 or STA216  I just love the serenity of those two shots. I listened to a lot of Vangelis (yes, including Blade Runner) whilst working on these two compilations.

RBL114 (from Orbital 1) - Sunrise over Earth's horizon as if viewed from space

RBL114 (from Orbital 1) – Sunrise over Earth’s horizon as if viewed from space

STA216 (from Starfields 2) - Drifting through a star field toward a glowing band of golden clouds

STA216 (from Starfields 2) – Drifting through a star field toward a glowing band of golden clouds

 

Q. What advice can you give to animators who are just getting started in the stock footage industry?

Find a subject that inspires you and the rest is easy. Working on Orbital I found that 8 hours would pass and it felt like 2 or 3 hours. It was just Zen-like.

 

Q. What is the one thing you wished you’d been able to animate?

I wish I’d had my new computer when I was animating the Starfields product – playing around with that many particles was really tough on my old MacPro (late 2008 model) and there were times when I just wanted to give up – it… was… that… slow……. I’m thinking of getting Phil interested in a second batch of starfields and have got my eye on X Particles for Cinema 4D.

 

Bonus Questions:

1. What’s the last movie you saw in a theater?

I don’t make it to the cinema very often unless it’s with my 8 year-old son – I think the last one was Turbo. My wife and I are booked to go see Gone Girl though

2.  What’s your guilty pleasure TV?

The Walking Dead and documentaries – the other night it was Stonehenge Empire.

 3. What’s your favorite gadget/app?

Hmmm, after being a complete app addict when the first iPhone came out I’ve now settled down to mostly using my phone and iPad for reading news to which end I rely on Zite, Flipboard and Feedly. Oh, and Plex, I love watching movies on my iPad.

 

About Ole Sturm:

Ole and his son Per at the British Museum during their June/July holiday

Ole and his son Per at the British Museum during their June/July holiday

 

With a background in fine arts (majoring in sculpture) Ole has been working in film and various computer graphics related industries since 1987. His career path began in London working in visual effects and then moved to film production, props and set-dressing in South Africa. Moving to computer graphics and animation was a natural progression once the tools reached the mainstream.

In 1996 he co-founded Bionic Productions – based at Pinewood Studios, Bionic provided interfaces and playback graphics for feature films including Mission: Impossible, The Saint, Daylight, The Jackal, Lost in Space, M:i-2 and Behind Enemy Lines.

In 2001, he and his wife moved to Melbourne where he create video content for a large variety of clients and applications as well as working as a freelance designer, animator, editor and compositor.

 

Review Ole Sturm’s footage here