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Adventures in Classic Digtial Video Cameras

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    What were some of the cameras you hated through the years? Ones that maybe should have been good, but just fell short in some way?

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Originally posted by Run&Gun View Post
    Wasn't Russian Ark the one that was just a single, massive 'oner' for the entire movie? I remember reading about it back in the day, but I still haven't seen it.
    Actually my memory was foggy, they had three starts, but got it in the fourth one. I had said three total before.

    I was really into the film when it came out. The way it was like a dream, and went through Russian history.

    As you all have already mentioned the F900 was the first digital video camera for cinema that looked as good as it did, but the additional advatantage was that it allowed film makers to make a feature length film in one long continuous take. Film mags for 80+minutes on a steadicam? I forget what the Russian Ark crew could record, but they had a guy running around with a big back pack recorder.(the guy that looks like a ninja turtle behind the steadicam.

    The museum was shut down for repairs, so they had a small oppertunity to shoot and rehearse in the space. The steadicam op, Tillman BŁttner, was one of the ops on a short list that could pull this off. The first take was pretty short, before a reset, but they were maybe 10-15min into the second take when they decided to reset again! But after that, it was kind all or nothing. By the end, BŁttner said the were muscles he never felt before.





    45min documentary bts:

    They only had 36hrs to do any set dressing, lighting, and shooting.
    Last edited by James0b57; 04-01-2019, 08:15 AM.

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  • Guest's Avatar
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    Originally posted by CharlesPapert View Post
    That's still a one-r...don't think they stitched the earlier aborted takes into the final one...?
    I’ll defer to you on terminology.

    And you are correct, there was no stitching.

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Originally posted by CharlesPapert View Post
    ... it was really about maximizing the sensor so when shooting widescreen you aren't throwing away image area by cropping (which of course is what anamorphic was originally designed for , not to look cool, ha).
    Haha, I think about this a lot.

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  • CharlesPapert
    replied
    Originally posted by James0b57 View Post
    It was technically a three-er. Two takes they cut short, and the third take was “the oner”. Pretty cool to not have any editing to deal with.
    That's still a one-r...don't think they stitched the earlier aborted takes into the final one...?

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Originally posted by Run&Gun View Post
    Wasn't Russian Ark the one that was just a single, massive 'oner' for the entire movie? I remember reading about it back in the day, but I still haven't seen it.
    It was technically a three-er. Two takes they cut short, and the third take was “the oner”. Pretty cool to not have any editing to deal with.

    Leave a comment:


  • Run&Gun
    replied
    Originally posted by James0b57 View Post
    That is pretty clever. Kind of McGyver with the A/B’ing projectors. Also, i am trying to imagine tiny little anamorphic B4 lenses with tiny little oblong bokeh balls, but you probably had something else going on.






    Pretty cool to hear this. Makes me really want to try the camera out, and reinforms the movies that were shot during that time on it.

    Sadly, the F900 is still associated with “ruining” Star Wars, and therefore our child hood.Haha. ‘Once Upon a Time in Mexico’ dissapointed me at the time, but watching it now, i like the visual awsthetic.

    Russian Ark is still one of my favorite films.
    Wasn't Russian Ark the one that was just a single, massive 'oner' for the entire movie? I remember reading about it back in the day, but I still haven't seen it.

    Leave a comment:


  • CharlesPapert
    replied
    Originally posted by James0b57 View Post
    i am trying to imagine tiny little anamorphic B4 lenses with tiny little oblong bokeh balls, but you probably had something else going on.
    I think it was a Canon 1.33x adaptor that you used with the spherical B4 primes. I cannot picture it or remember anything else about it. You didn't get a lot of classic anamorphic effect, it was really about maximizing the sensor so when shooting widescreen you aren't throwing away image area by cropping (which of course is what anamorphic was originally designed for , not to look cool, ha).

    Leave a comment:


  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Originally posted by CharlesPapert View Post
    When I was testing the F900 to do the feature I mentioned earlier, the director and I had been discussing a 2:39 aspect ratio for the film but at the time the anamorphic options were quite limited. I shot a test with an anamorpnic adaptor Clairmont had at the time and also shot with 2:39 framelines in camera, then we filmed out the tests (so: 1:78 to 2:39 via anamorphic adaptor, and 1:78 cropped to 2:39). I had each test strung up on their own projector and in the screening room had the projectionist line them up so they were the same size image, then we just alternated between the images by having the projectionist block one projector image and then the other (a bit jerryrigged, but it worked)! We were all surprised to see that the differences between the two were much more subtle than expected, certainly more so than one would have expected between anamorphic 35mm and S35. We chose the 2:39 crop option as it was going to be faster to work with on set.
    That is pretty clever. Kind of McGyver with the A/B’ing projectors. Also, i am trying to imagine tiny little anamorphic B4 lenses with tiny little oblong bokeh balls, but you probably had something else going on.

    Originally posted by CharlesPapert View Post
    I saw the film projected several times in various theatres and it really held up quite well. There were a few scenes of additional photography shot on Genesis which was brand new at the time (early 2006) and they did admittedly look sharper, but in the same way that a lot of people currently favor vintage glass, the slight softness of the F900 transferred to film had its own charm.

    Originally posted by Run&Gun View Post
    Some of it may be nostalgia, because the F900 was the first HD camera that I shot with, but it just had a great picture right out of the camera without any special set-up(which you could do, if you wanted)(and Sony has not always been known for this, especially back then. Anyone that has ever shot with a BVW series Betacam straight out-of-the-box knows just how bad Sony cameras could be if not set-up). Remember, these were the days before Log or RAW. And everything we were shooting(except slo-mo) was 24p. So to look at a live picture on a monitor and see a beautiful, “widescreen” HD, 24 frame film-like image coming straight out of the camera in the early 2000’s when we were still mostly shooting 4:3 SD on Betacam and most “film look” was done in post, it was really something.
    Pretty cool to hear this. Makes me really want to try the camera out, and reinforms the movies that were shot during that time on it.

    Sadly, the F900 is still associated with “ruining” Star Wars, and therefore our child hood.Haha. ‘Once Upon a Time in Mexico’ dissapointed me at the time, but watching it now, i like the visual awsthetic.

    Russian Ark is still one of my favorite films.

    Leave a comment:


  • jcs
    replied
    Originally posted by Eric Coughlin View Post
    Cause writing and shooting self produced short films costs time and money (which = women), while DPing for hire makes money. Only so much time and money can be spent on side projects so I just do a few per year. It's a lot easier to make money as a freelance DP than it is as a writer/producer. Both are fun, but may as well spend more time on the equally fun but more profitable venture.

    I'd have to venture from producing shorts to producing features to be able to turn a profit, and that's more of a leap. Perhaps some day. In the meantime, shorts are a good stepping stone to features.
    While it's true hourly/project-based work pays for existence (+ non-relationship relationships), and paid creative work tends to be nothing or a lot (like real relationships), where creative (IP) scales to on-going licensing/royalties leading to true freedom, something to think about long term when one has all the gear required to produce it and the creative energy to create it with ease: very low risk of time and money for a potentially large payoff. I'm working on following my own advice: iteration is the key to getting quality up and finding the right audience/market(s).

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  • Eric Coughlin
    replied
    Originally posted by jcs View Post
    Your Sci-Fi short was pretty good- why not use your creativity and write+shoot more? And maybe meet David Lynch for coffee haha.
    Cause writing and shooting self produced short films costs time and money (which = women), while DPing for hire makes money. Only so much time and money can be spent on side projects so I just do a few per year. It's a lot easier to make money as a freelance DP than it is as a writer/producer. Both are fun, but may as well spend more time on the equally fun but more profitable venture.

    I'd have to venture from producing shorts to producing features to be able to turn a profit, and that's more of a leap. Perhaps some day. In the meantime, shorts are a good stepping stone to features.

    Leave a comment:


  • jcs
    replied
    Originally posted by Eric Coughlin View Post
    I remember when I got my first Betacam back in 1973. I was negative 15 years old at the time and living in limbo. I refinanced in advance the house I would eventually buy in 50+ years from then in order to purchase the camera. My first job was filming a descent of fetuses from limbo to the womb at the annual stork gathering. While those who had been born and grew up found the Betacam to be a dream of ergonomics, for my bodiless soul I didn't find the ergonomics to work so well as I couldn't even lift the camera. I tried telekinesis but that didn't exist so eventually I had to cross the plain and hire a camera operator with a body from the beyond to man the camera while I DPed. This worked for the first job until the limbo police discovered what I had done and deported Francis back to the other side. I was again stuck with a camera I couldn't operate so I had to come up with a solution. I ended up hiring drones (storks) which was great because they could get footage from both sides given their job type and I went on to have a successful career for another 15 years. Then it all ended.
    Your Sci-Fi short was pretty good- why not use your creativity and write+shoot more? And maybe meet David Lynch for coffee haha.

    Leave a comment:


  • Eric Coughlin
    replied
    I remember when I got my first Betacam back in 1973. I was negative 15 years old at the time and living in limbo. I refinanced in advance the house I would eventually buy in 50+ years from then in order to purchase the camera. My first job was filming a descent of fetuses from limbo to the womb at the annual stork gathering. While those who had been born and grew up found the Betacam to be a dream of ergonomics, for my bodiless soul I didn't find the ergonomics to work so well as I couldn't even lift the camera. I tried telekinesis but that didn't exist so eventually I had to cross the plain and hire a camera operator with a body from the beyond to man the camera while I DPed. This worked for the first job until the limbo police discovered what I had done and deported Francis back to the other side. I was again stuck with a camera I couldn't operate so I had to come up with a solution. I ended up hiring drones (storks) which was great because they could get footage from both sides given their job type and I went on to have a successful career for another 15 years. Then it all ended.
    Last edited by Eric Coughlin; 03-30-2019, 01:03 PM.

    Leave a comment:


  • CharlesPapert
    replied
    When I was testing the F900 to do the feature I mentioned earlier, the director and I had been discussing a 2:39 aspect ratio for the film but at the time the anamorphic options were quite limited. I shot a test with an anamorpnic adaptor Clairmont had at the time and also shot with 2:39 framelines in camera, then we filmed out the tests (so: 1:78 to 2:39 via anamorphic adaptor, and 1:78 cropped to 2:39). I had each test strung up on their own projector and in the screening room had the projectionist line them up so they were the same size image, then we just alternated between the images by having the projectionist block one projector image and then the other (a bit jerryrigged, but it worked)! We were all surprised to see that the differences between the two were much more subtle than expected, certainly more so than one would have expected between anamorphic 35mm and S35. We chose the 2:39 crop option as it was going to be faster to work with on set. I saw the film projected several times in various theatres and it really held up quite well. There were a few scenes of additional photography shot on Genesis which was brand new at the time (early 2006) and they did admittedly look sharper, but in the same way that a lot of people currently favor vintage glass, the slight softness of the F900 transferred to film had its own charm.

    Leave a comment:


  • Run&Gun
    replied
    Some of it may be nostalgia, because the F900 was the first HD camera that I shot with, but it just had a great picture right out of the camera without any special set-up(which you could do, if you wanted)(and Sony has not always been known for this, especially back then. Anyone that has ever shot with a BVW series Betacam straight out-of-the-box knows just how bad Sony cameras could be if not set-up). Remember, these were the days before Log or RAW. And everything we were shooting(except slo-mo) was 24p. So to look at a live picture on a monitor and see a beautiful, “widescreen” HD, 24 frame film-like image coming straight out of the camera in the early 2000’s when we were still mostly shooting 4:3 SD on Betacam and most “film look” was done in post, it was really something.

    And I really like the “Panavision” curves/looks that Mike has in his Panavised F900, that he posted several months ago.

    Leave a comment:

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