Filmtools Events: Camera Stabilization – Comodo Orbit & Sweatpants Media – March 8th

Handheld stabilizer introduction featuring the filmmakers from Sweatpants Media.

Filmtools and MAC Group invite you to attend an interactive seminar about camera stabilization on set! The filmmakers from Sweatpants Media will discuss how they use handheld camera stabilization in their work and representatives from MAC Group will be on hand to give demos of the Comodo Orbit, the newest camera stabilizing unit at Filmtools!

About Sweatpants Media

Whether they’re flying their octocopter over snowboarders on the mountain, standing on top of a big-air ramp to catch a skateboarders perfect trick, or following a motorcycle in a camera car, Sweatpants Media does what it takes to get the shots they need.

With clients like BMW, Schneider Optics, Red Bull, Dodge, & Mophie, their work takes them all over the world. Quality and Creativity are their highest priorities and it can be seen in everything they do.

Attendance for this event is only $10.00 and all attendees will receive a complimentary $10 Filmtools Coupon at the door, plus be entered into a raffle to win an ARRI Small Production Bag.

Register Now!

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IDX Systems Presents: Wireless Video on Set with Tom Bango – Feb 18

Filmtools and IDX Systems invites you to attend an interactive seminar about using Wireless Video on set!

See what it takes to implement wireless video transmission on set with Tom Bango, 1st AC, while learning what to look for in a system that will fit your budget and your needs.

Attendees will be entered into a raffle drawing for a FREE IDX CW-1!

 

About the Speaker:

Thomas Bango, 1st AC

After his first “big” job, working on the pilot (and first two seasons) for MADtv, Thomas Bango’s body of work is packed with features, TV series, commercials, and 3D work.

The 4-season veteran of Comedy Central’s popular comedy, WORKAHOLICS has worked on Oscar-nominated features (Little Miss Sunshine, No Country For Old Men), Pop Music Documentaries (Katy Perry: Part of Me, Justin Beiber: Never Say Never), and Box-Office hits (Transformers: Dark of The Moon, Live Free Or Die Hard), to name a few.

While working on the set of HBO’s THE COMEBACK, Thomas was tasked with finding a reliable wireless system that fit their needs. Thomas took his knowledge of IDX and the CAMWAVE system to his next job on WORKAHOLICS and has never looked back.

Thomas is excited to share his knowledge and experience with the CAMWAVE system with you at Filmtools. Don’t miss out!

Admission to this great event is only $10.00, and all attendees will receive a FREE $10.00 Filmtools Coupon at the door.

Register Now!

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Filmtools Hires New Purchasing Manager

Filmtools’ CEO Stan McClain announced today that the company has recruited James A. Ditto to be its new purchasing manager.  For the past 7 years, Ditto has been procurement and facilities manager for Moulton Logistics Management in Van Nuys, CA, a major fulfillment services provider.

“James will play an important role in our strategic growth plan,” said McClain.  “He knows his way around the procurement business and he can manage large scale transitions.  His talent is what we need here to provide the backroom support for the growth we anticipate in domestic and international sales.”

Ditto has had a rapidly rising career in the purchasing field.  Shortly after earning his degree in Business Administration from AIU University in 2010, he was supervising more than $32 million in purchasing operations and a staff of 12 at Moulton.

From 2005-2006 he was office manager for Los Angeles-based Syska Hennessy Group. From 2002-2005 he was the procurement manager at THQ Inc. in Calabasas where he implemented a centralized procurement operation.

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Filmtools Launches New eCommerce Website

New Filmtools Website

Filmtools.com ramps up search, service, cost-saving features

With Internet sales driving unprecedented levels of sales growth, Filmtools has launched a redesigned  e-commerce website that promises a more satisfying product search experience to go along with expedited checkout features, live chat, and free shipping on all orders over $500.

Developed by Silk Software, the same company that developed websites for the NFL, Disney and DreamWorks Studios, the new Filmtools.com has undergone a total revamp from updated navigation and customer engagement features to a new content structure and a reconfigured shipping platform.

“More and more we engage our customers through web interactions, so it is important that our site reflects Filmtools’ brand values,” said Filmtools CEO Stan McClain.  “We pride ourselves on being able to anticipate our customers’ needs … and that idea is the underlying principle we used to guide the redesign.”.”

Filmtools.com’s attractive new look, which adapts to any screen size, allows for a more organized presentation of products and provides for faster browsing via a layered navigation protocol.  Customers can now search for products on several levels: by brand, by equipment category, or by self-selected categories for directors, grips and indie filmmakers.

“Customers want to save time and expense at both ends of the sales process,” McClain said.  “So in addition to shopper improvements, we revamped our shipping programs so that we can get orders out the door faster than we ever have previously.”

Finally, the new Filmtools site provides for live chat, a feature that brings another brand value – personalized service – literally to life.   The site was beta tested for the last four weeks prior to launch.

 

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Special Offer from OConnor: Win 2 Tickets to ASC Awards + More!

OConnor Will Give-away 2 Pairs of Tickets to ASC Awards & Free Airfare, accommodations and more

How is your luck? In a world where this is becoming a serious business, renowned camera support maker, OConnor is adding some whimsy to the equation with their Dreams Can Come True Contest.

The venerable brand is hosting a generous drawing to give away 2 prize packages that each include a pair of air flights to Los Angeles, tickets to the prestigious ASC Outstanding Achievement Awards held on February 1, 2014 and much more. The winners will also receive free air flights to Los Angeles and an eight-night stay (January 24 to February 2) at the prestigious Loews Hotel in Hollywood*, as well as a day passes to the Universal Studios attraction. Winners will also join OConnor for the ASC Clubhouse Open House event a day prior to the Awards where they will have the opportunity to mingle with ASC members and other industry members in the historic Hollywood clubhouse.

What’s more, there will be 2 drawings: One from those who enter from Europe, Middle East, and Africa, and another comprised of entrants from the Americas. Those who have purchased an OConnor 2065, 2575D or 120EX head between September 1, 2013 until Midnight, November 30, 2013 will automatically be entered when they register their new head on the warranty page. Those registering also have the option to extend the included one-year warranty to two years, free of charge. This offer is only valid if the product(s) warranty period has not yet expired. Fluid head and the tripod packages must be registered individually when purchased as a combined package.

Entries for this outstanding give-away opportunity will be accepted until Midnight, November 30, 2013. The impartial drawings of entries will be held five days later. Winners will be notified by early December.

To register for the extended warranty and/or enter the Dreams Can Come True drawing, click here. What have you got to lose?

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Filmtools Once Again on LA Business Journal’s List of Fastest Growing Private Companies

For the sixth year in a row, the Los Angeles Business Journal has recognized Filmtools, Inc. as one of the 100 Fastest Growing Private Companies in Los Angeles County.

The honor is bestowed on companies that demonstrate exceptional revenue growth for the two year period 2010-2012.  During that span, Filmtools, which sells filmmaking equipment and supplies to the motion picture industry, saw its revenue rise more than 70% to $21 million.  The company ranked twelfth on last year’s Fastest-Growing list (for 2009-2011) with revenue growth of 109%.

“What makes this award so satisfying,” said Filmtools’ CEO Stan McClain, “is the fact that a significant amount of our growth has come from repeat business and client referrals.  Those two measures tell us all we need to know about the quality of our product lines and the reaction to the customer service we are providing.”

Filmtools recently took steps to accelerate its growth through a strategic alliance with Paladin Capital Partners, which has been advising the company since 2011.  The growth plan includes expansion of Filmtools’ business development and sales functions as well as an aggressive effort to create a larger presence in markets overseas.

The Los Angeles Business Journal will unveil the final rankings for 2010-2012 at the 100 Fastest Growing Private Company Awards Reception tomorrow night.

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Filmtools Enters Into New Agreement to Expand Its Reach

Filmtools’ moves to advance growth in U.S. and abroad
Enters into Strategic Relationship with Paladin Capital Partners

Filmtools Inc., a prominent Hollywood source of production equipment and motion picture making supplies, announced today that it has entered into a long-term strategic relationship with Paladin Capital Partners, LLC.  Filmtools’ CEO Stan McClain said the move is designed to accelerate the company’s domestic and international growth plans.

“The business of filmmaking is evolving rapidly,” said McClain who, with his wife Kim, founded Filmtools 13 years ago to provide filmmakers with ready access to top quality production products and equipment. 

“Advancements in cinematic technologies, lighting, cameras and lenses, mounting and audio capture/reproduction are driving interest in motion pictures and performance art the world over,” said McClain, “and distribution technologies are making it easier for filmmakers to reach their audiences.

“The combination is creating double digit growth in demand for the kinds of products we offer the film production community,” McClain asserted.  “Kim and I are convinced that there has never been a better time to leverage Filmtools’ pre-eminence in Hollywood.  Paladin Capital gives us bandwidth in business strategy development and deployment so we can substantially broaden and hasten our market presence.”

Paladin Capital Partners is a California-based business consulting firm that specializes in strategic advisory, business development, and operations management services.  The Filmtools contract, which runs through at least December 2015, is a fee for service arrangement that includes warrants that Paladin can exercise to obtain a 40 percent equity share of Filmtools’ business.

“This is an exciting opportunity,” said Paladin partner Chuck Champion.  “Filmtools has grown from a motion picture camera support operation to a critical supply house for all production departments including camera, grip, electric and sound. In addition to serving the key Hollywood studios, we also focus on supplying independent film makers and film students.”

According to Champion, the production equipment market is highly fragmented with the usual gaps in service quality, custom applications and product delivery. 

“Filmtools’ history is one of perfecting customer relationships as a way to maintain quality, Champion asserted. “Now it is a matter of scaling the solutions to more widely dispersed customer segments across North America and overseas.”

Champion and his partner Gary Sproule are working together on the Filmtools’ engagement.  Their initial focus will be on personnel and support systems.

“We are looking to strengthen the sales and business development organizations which are the foundation to growth,” Sproule said.  “At the same time, we hope to upgrade the company’s vendor and procurement programs, as well as bolster customer service and order fulfillment operations which will enhance the Filmtools customer purchasing experience.

About Filmtools

Founded in 2000, Filmtools supplies filmmaking equipment and supplies to the motion picture industry. Many of the company’s customers are production departments including camera, grip, electric and sound. In addition the company serves all the major film studios in Hollywood and throughout the world, and independent filmmakers and film students. The Company’s retail store is located in Burbank, California and its online store is at http://www.filmtools.com. Filmtools has continuously been ranked by the Los Angeles Business Journal as one of the 100 Fastest Growing Private Companies in Los Angeles County. CEO Stan McClain has worked on more than 100 commercials, and more than 75 motion pictures and television shows, primarily as an aerial cinematographer.

About Paladin Capital Partners

Paladin Capital Partners is a business consulting company that provides strategic advisory, investment/financial and operating growth strategies to businesses wishing either to leverage their assets for growth or protect assets threatened by brand altering events.  The Company’s partners and associates are former C-suite executives who help clients when success is the only option. Headquartered in Southern California, Paladin serves clientele primarily in North America.

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GoPro Hero3+ vs. The GoPro Hero 3 Comparison

When you hear GoPro you know something fun is about to happen,

The evolution of the GoPro Hero has continued with the Hero3+. From battery life to angle of view the new GoPro Hero3+ has proven again why they are at the top of their class. From the outside, the camera itself seems only the labeling is different, but don’t be fooled by the minimal external changes, but a closer look of the lens and you’ll see a slight difference hinting that this GoPro is packed with improvements.

To start, the first major updates are the 20% lighter and smaller cage over the previous hero Slimming it’s profile within the standard housing configuration. This new housing however, does not fit the previous housing backs included with the LCD backpack and Floaty Backdoor. Back to that Glass, the improved optics give a 33% increase in sharpness and 2x reduction in imaging artifacts giving you a crisp detail with less chromatic aberration. The new Hero3+ also features a viewing angle called “Superview” allowing an immersive vantage point for the viewer.

Capable of shooting 4K at15p which is perfect for time-lapses applications and 2.7K at 30p allowing the use of 2.7K for maximizing information and creating higher quality images. The improved high frame rates are also an advantage 1440/48p, 1080/60p, 960/100p, 720/120p stop the blur in your fast paced action and give you more flexibility while editing your final product. These high frame rates can be used in combination with their new Auto low-Light function to compensate for changes in light conditions without having to stop the action and adjust the camera manually. The function does this by dropping down frame rates 48p-24p to allow for a slower exposure.

Internal electronics have been given an overhaul as Wi-Fi has been boosted 4x giving an almost real-time previews for the mobile app while remotely controlling as many as 50 cameras up too 600ft. The efficiency of the battery life has been extended by 30% in the new model while still utilizing the same battery. Audio got a boost as well with new advanced wind noise reduction technology. Location of the microphone has also been changed to the top of the camera rather than the side next to it’ USB port. Photo mode also captures 12MP stills at 30 frames per second building action sequences and “stacked” composite action photography.

Ultimately, this new GoPro Hero3+ features extensive improvements within the camera creating significantly higher quality footage straight out of the camera. Functionality, efficiency, and performance have been dramatically improved over the previous model while maintaining its basic familiar 3-button power-packed block form.

Included in this blog are some sample shots with a a quick clip of the improved audio. We had a great experience filming with the new GoPro, and found the improvements minimal externally but gratifyingly different on the inside. Microphone relocation has caused basically no issues and all the previous HERO3 gear seems to fit perfectly.

Get Your GoPro HERO3+ at Filmtools!

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