Tag: Canada

Finding the Perfect Light Stand for You

Here at Big City we have a lot of stands, all with different sizes and weights. From tall ones to short rolling ones. We have anything to fit you film or photo needs. Links to all the stands shown in this video are below.

All the stands we carry.

 

A Better & Thinner Soft-box Light

Calling all you photographers and filmmakers! Are you tried of constantly having to setup your big, thick and bulky soft-box lights? Do you want dimming and colour temperature controls too? We here at Big City we have the lights for you! These soft-box lights are 3 inches thick (at the knob, 2 inches rest of fixture) and completely LED, hows that for convenience?  All the pricing and availability is linked below.

Links:

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Samsung Galaxy S10 | Everything you need?

The new Samsung Galaxy S10 was announced on February 20th, 2019. This phone comes packed with everything ‘new’ you could ask for here in 2019. Samsung hasn’t been a fan of the ‘notch’ design trend and can now say they never were part of it. The s10 comes with a 93:1 screen to body ratio, with a camera cut out on the top. Its finger print sensor, *cough cough Apple*, is indebted into the screen. Did I mention it has a total of 4 cameras?

Samsung’s camera game is through the roof, with 3 rear cameras and 1 for the selfie. Many people wonder why smartphones are getting more cameras side by side. The answer is that it allows for more depth when taking a photo. Having those cameras will not only give better perspective and picture quality, it will also give you that background blur that shows up like you’re shooting with a professional DSLR.

 

 

 

Smartphone manufactures have been pulling they’re hair trying to figure out where to put the fingerprint sensor. Some have removed it completely and opted for face unlocking techniques. Others have thrown it on the power button, making it more chunky, or even stuck it on the back making annoyingly hard to reach. Finally, we’ve found a solution. A display built in finger print reader, that takes up the whole display! Although other phones have similar tech, using light from the display to read the fingerprint. Samsung is the first company to use an ultrasonic sensor. This sensor uses small vibrations to determine the small groves on your fingers. Quite impressive right.  This also means the display doesn’t have to be on to unlock it and it could still read your finger if they’re wet.

Manufactures are clearly running out of ideas. Some are just releasing the same phone but with a newer name and a slightly faster processor. Everything is a boring slab of metal with nothing exciting. Samsung changed that and is definitely gonna be waking up to more profit.

Battery Operated Lighting Options

Calling all filmmakers, photographers, hairstylists and party starters! Have you ever needed a wireless light to brighten a subject? To light a party? Well we have the products for you. This video showcases various options for battery operated lights to suit any of your needs. These lights are perfect for when you don’t have an outlet near by, or for on the go shootings. All the links for the battery operated lights we carry are available below.

Links:

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Grow Lights

Are you a flower person? Do you love your greens? Well we have just the lights for you. These lights are grow lights, which means they help your plants grow faster and stronger than usual. In this video we showcase different sized and different watt LED grow lights. Hope you enjoy!

Links to all lights are down below

Links:

24w LED Grow Light Bulb

45w LED Grow Light Panel

100w Waterproof LED Grow Light

150w Waterproof LED Grow Light

 

Cool String Lights

Are you looking for something to spice up your room? Maybe for a holiday event with lots of guest you’d like impress? Well we might have something for you. In this video, we showcase three mood enhancing lights for whatever project or event you have. Many different colours and various different options available.

Links to all the lights are shown below.


5m Waterproof RGB Rope Light with Remote Control

10m (33ft) LED Silver Wire String Fairy Light

Warm White 50 Mini LED Light String Set

Listening to and Maintaining your Community and Following

Having a community and following is something that most companies and people desire. It can be hard to maintain and expand that community but there are steps that can be taken to ensure the community is happy and lasts for a long time. The three simple steps listed will be targeting the right audience, maintaining and focusing on the needs of the community and growth & expansion. The examples listed will include big name companies to small groups. No matter how big your community is, there is always room for expansion and things that will bring everyone together.

Having a community and following means you need to treat the people who are in the community with some respect and carefulness. Many people join these communities and followings because they all share a common interest or belief. Keeping your focus on these core beliefs and values can ensure the community stays together and focused on goals and tasks. It is also important to listen to feedback and general comments. They can provide a lot of ways to improve and grow communities and followings.

Thousands attend Blizzcon each year. It is a convention created by Blizzard Entertainment. The majority are fans who share the passion and interest of Blizzard’s games

A good example comes from an online video game. Overwatch is an online video game where changes happen a lot in their game. Characters and new things being added to the game influences a lot inside. The game has a player base of over 35 million players monthly and many of these players have their own opinions to changes in the game and the overall state of the game. The developers at Blizzard Entertainment do a great job of listening to the community and fitting their needs. The development team and support team are always active on forums and social media to inform and assist others. They also release monthly update videos to give the player base an update on what they are doing with the game and what they want to know from the community about these changes etc. Blizzard shows a great example on how to create and maintain a large community and keep them active and happy in where they are.

Having a community and following shouldn’t be focused on profit and general gain for yourself or your company. A lot of people can rely on these communities and believe it progresses people’s lives and other aspects. A community’s voice can even have a large impact on companies and other products. For example if you are making a change to your website that many members of the community dislike, you may want to change the plan or ask the community how they would like it. It seems like a simple concept except many large companies can sometimes fail to suit their community’s needs.

Battlefront 2 by EA had the record lowest user rating of any triple A studio

This is an example of a game publisher focusing on economical gain and not listening to their community. Electronic Arts (EA) published the video game Star Wars Battlefront 2 which was hit hard with negative reviews and feedback from the community. A lot of the issues were profit orientated and didn’t work well with the large player base. Issues included loot boxes which you have to pay for, paying for in game bonuses which is unfair and other features that made the game almost unplayable. EA’s response is the current most down voted (disliked) comment on Reddit with over 600,000 down votes. Their response to the situation and lack of care for their community resulted in negative sales for the game and a stock decline in an already declining company. EA’s response was listed as one of the worst company decisions of 2017. EA has also been nominated as the worst company in the U.S of 2017 and almost won that award as a result of this backlash. All they had to do was listen to the community and make the appropriate changes and maybe they wouldn’t have lost millions of dollars and decreases in stock prices.

EA’s disappointing release of Battlefront 2 resulted in 3.1 billion dollars of stock value gone. The community is a large reason why it happened

Growing and expanding your community is a future goal that most people look forward to. It allows the community to grow even more and allows for a wider range of ideas from going outside the target interest to even creating live events to becoming a company. There are many success stories of companies and communities doing these things.

Esports is a growing trend amongst youth and university students,

For example, many universities across North America have been creating varsity level Esports teams and clubs across campuses. Scholarships and other programs are now being offered for playing video games at a high level. This started as a simple idea. For example, the University of Toronto had a Facebook page for all of their students who enjoyed playing video games. It slowly kept on growing and other universities did the same. As popularity of these groups became more popular, they expanded and reached out to other universities about hosting friendly tournaments etc. Eventually over 30 universities signed up for the first tournament and this started what is now known as the University Esports League. Now there are over hundreds of universities, colleges and even high schools doing the same thing in North America. This all started as a small Facebook group talking about video games to a multi-million dollar investment.

UC Irvine’s Esports arena was built to cater the growing trend

All the examples listed showcase the large impact that a community can have and ways a company or leader can turn things around. Some of the most important steps are to keep a maintained focus on what the community enjoys and what they want out of being in a community. Making changes or doing things that will upset the community will lead to problems occurring and can go downhill. The most important step is making sure everyone in your community is doing well and truly caring for them.

– Benson Lam

 

 

Toronto’s Rising Film Industry

Toronto has always been considered as a potential film location for many years in the industry. Recently big hits such as The Handmaid’s Tale, The Shape of Water and many other productions are taking place in Toronto. No wonder why Ontario has drawn over 2.9 billion dollars from the film industry.

Related image
(Pre-Edit Scene from The Shape of Water)

The film industry’s rapid growth started in the late 90s and slowly started building up into the 21st century. It has been continuously growing and has recently started speeding up. Award winning productions such as The Shape of Water are all to thank for. This rapid growth has been noticed as many new productions are starting in Toronto. Shows such as Star Trek, Suits, The Expanse and many more are continuing production in the city.

 

So why is Toronto growing in popularity in the industry?

Toronto has a wide range of areas both inside and outside of the city. From dense urban environments to quiet and forested areas up north. This allows filmmakers to have a variety of environments around them without travelling around too much. For example, the popular horror movie IT was filmed in Northern Ontario which featured small town vibes.

Another reason why filmmakers are taking an interest in Toronto is because of it’s cheaper prices and similarities to other cities. For example, a scene in Suicide Squad was set to take place in New York City at night. Instead filmmakers took the streets of Toronto as it had similarities and would cost less than closing down a street in New York City. Many productions use Toronto as an alternative to other cities such as New York City, Chicago, Atlanta etc.  If you want a large city landscape mixed in with a water front, a dense isolated forest or even a mountainous wilderness – Toronto and Ontario has it all.

Image result for toronto wilderness Related image

 

How much has Toronto prospered from the industry?

Ontario has generated almost 3 billion dollars from the film industry as of March 2017. That number has grown since then to approximately almost 4 billion dollars. British Columbia is also experiencing the same surge as major films such as Deadpool 2 and War for the Planet of the Apes is also increasing the B.C popularity. The Canadian growth in the film industry is a large benefit to the country and the cities involved. Toronto has been constantly been progressing in the industry, new additions to the film sector allowed new areas to be built and renovated.

Cinespace Film Studios’ new Marine Terminal Studio project will add 165,000 square feet of studio and support space to Toronto’s film industry infrastructure right on Toronto’s waterfront – on the edge of the City’s Port Lands in the heart of the City’s studio district. (CNW Group/Cinespace Film Studios Inc.)
Cinespace’s New Facility

The renovations and new additions to the industry in Toronto have already been seen in the past years. Cinespace is a good example as they are a large force in the film industry involving Canada. Cinespace opened a production studio this year at the Marine Terminal 51 which is a 165,000 square feet studio space. The large space is used for various productions and has been used by many producers in the past. The studio expanded the film sector and allows better transportation and co-ordination in the productions. The new space is a sign of growing industry, Toronto will continuously prosper from the industry and hopefully it keeps rising.

Whats next for Toronto?

CBS is now opening a large 260,000 square feet facility outside of Toronto. It will act as a centre for film and tv production. This move is costing millions of dollars and will help CBS and Toronto prosper as CBS already has many things in production. Some hope that other major networks will make the move in a growing location.

 

Producers Frank Siracusa, left, and John Weber will manage CBS’s new studio in Mississauga.
CBS Producers, Frank Siracusa and John Weber 

A good effect from the large amounts of productions is what the city benefits from. Many shoots do take place in locations such as the port lands and other largely used locations. The city and the film board bring ideas for reconstruction or renovation for those areas. In time, that means we can see the locations being cleaned up and “big screen” ready. As the film industry grows in Toronto, we should see a large influx of remodelling and construction of new areas.

Conclusion

Toronto has been growing a multi billion dollar film industry and that number will keep rising. The number of current and future productions will increase with companies such as CBS and Cinespace growing facilities in the GTA. Hopefully Toronto maintains their ground and advancements on the film industry as it is a strong economic power for Toronto. Maybe the next time you are in the cinema, you might see a Toronto landmark – with the amount of productions happening right now, there is a high chance you will.

– Benson Lam

 

Ray Tracing Reinvented for New Generation of Video

August featured the reveal of Nvidia’s new line up of graphic cards. They revealed their 2000 series with large upgrades to their 1000 series previously released in 2016. In addition to faster clock speeds, GDDR6 VRAM and a larger amount of CUDA cores – Nvidia has branded their new flagship from GTX to RTX featuring the latest real time ray tracing technology.

What is ray tracing?

Ray tracing is a method of rendering which produces a realistic and completely computer generated light effect. Ray tracing is used by film makers and producers through the industry. Ray tracing combined with the vast improvements of CGI and other graphical technology will make films and other productions look fully realistic.

This video released to demo their real time ray tracing shows the impressive abilities and features that can be used in the industry.

Ray tracing technology has been around for sometime in the film industry and has been in large usage due to the large amount of CGI used in recent films. So why is ray tracing such a surprise to the industry?

How will Ray Tracing cards affect the industry?

Ray tracing in the industry has been mainly done through expensive CPUs and other large server systems. Many companies can spend hours rendering each frame using ray tracing. The addition of the market being diversified by the new tech, we can expect companies to increase productivity and have larger access to these cards. Smaller production companies can now produce CG based films and other projects much more easier than before. Many game developers and small time studios can have better results with the real time ray tracing and can push the limit of what they can do.

How will ray tracing impact the average consumer?

The addition of these new graphics cards affects mainly the industry as it allows developers and producers to utilize a strong graphics cards with real time ray tracing. If you are not into a developing or producing, the card’s strong performance will increase speeds, improve texture quality and even use ray tracing in programs or games you might use. Many game developers have already begun integrating real time ray tracing into many upcoming and trending games.

Below are examples of Battlefield V an upcoming game using real time ray tracing technology.

Should people still get the newly released cards?

The Nvidia RTX cards are the top of the class as of right now for both having real time ray tracing accessible and strong gaming potential.  Real time ray tracing is still a new technology being reinvented but gameplay and recent renders from the new RTX cards shows a lot of potential. AMD has been rumoured of making their new GPUs with ray tracing technology and NVIDIA has the trend of releasing improved cards a year later of release. If you are planning to get a ray tracing card, it would be best to wait out for AMD’s release and other potential upgrades. If you want to wait till the prices are lower, you may have to wait over 5 years for it to become the norm in graphics cards.

So when will real time ray tracing be accessible?

The RTX cards have released on September 20th of 2018 with AMD coming out with their own rumoured around 2019. The market for RTX has opened up dramatically with these releases. Don’t get your hopes up too quick. Ray tracing is still a high end technology. The RTX cards will cost between 800 CAD to 1500 CAD depending on the model. NVIDIA explained that the Star Wars render shown was run on 4 high end GPUs that costed 60,000 dollars USD. The price difference will obviously result in a downgrade in quality but given the upcoming years the prices will go down – all thanks to the start of the competitive market between AMD and Intel for both GPUs and CPUs.

 

US Prices for the RTX cards

 

What is the final verdict on the new the new ray tracing cards?

The new ray tracing cards are a sign of rising technology being more advanced and more accessible to the consumers. Many can be put away due to high prices but due to a competitive market, prices are actually decreasing. A high price results in realistic graphics and high performance in games, fast video related tasks such as rendering and the ability to use real time ray tracing technology. The new cards give us a glimpse of what to see in the future as ray tracing and even faster tech will be available for consumers and for those in the industry. The large rise in growing technologies is giving tech companies competition to see how will grow more successful.

– Benson Lam

100w LED Studio Flood Light with 18x Fresnel Spot Lens

The 100w LED studio flood light with 18x fresnel spot lens is an effective tool in providing both film and photographic solutions. This light gives you full control over its brightness level, flood and spot focus through its digital control panel and adjustable (rotating) lens. This light also comes with a diffusion dome to produce a broader flood light effect. It is power efficient, with a power consumption rate of a 100 watt, and it emits a colour temperature of 56ook daylight. This Light can be mount on any Bowens’ mount and works with Bowen’s accessories. You also get free shipping on this item anywhere in Canada.

 

Bluetooth Speaker with Touch Lamp

The bluetooth speaker with touch lamp is one of our smart home products in Big City Lights. It’s a multi-colour led lamp with built-in speaker. You can play music from the lamp either through bluetooth, auxiliary or a micro SD card. It’s a lovely bedside and study companion. It’s also a pretty light, and can fit right in your bag, so you can take it along with you when you go travelling or camping.

Watch the video below to see it in action.

You can buy it HERE