Archive for January, 2012

G-LOG Flat Cine Profiles for the FS100

Shooter Frank Glencairn has released his Sony FS100 picture profiles that he’s calling G-LOG. These free scene files are a flat, almost LOG-like image setting that lends itself to grading and creative color correction in post.

When using these instead of the standard image settings, you’ll see a lot more detail in the shadows, slightly lower-contrast highlights, and muted color saturation. You can see a few more of Frank’s PP image examples here. He also notes that these flat image settings don’t seem to stress the FS100′s AVCHD codec, and that recording offboard essentially offers only a marginal increase in sharpness over the FS100′s AVCHD codec.

This look is somewhat reminiscent of the S-LOG feature on the FS100′s big brother, the PMW-F3 (though not as flat). But to be clear, and despite the name, this isn’t LOG. This is simply a very flat bundle of settings…there is no evidence that this will further extend the 11.5 stop dynamic range of the FS100 sensor as S-LOG does for the F3, this G-LOG setting simply flattens the image curve for more grading options in post.

For a few more FS100 picture profiles, including a few created to match specific cameras like the 5DMKII and Varicam, have a look at what Abel Cine has on their blog.

Robert Elswit, ASC on lensing Ghost Protocol

Nice feature over at Kodak.com on the Director of Photography for Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, Robert Elswit. One interesting note on shipping film caught my eye:

Wherever the production happened to be filming, Elswit utilized the regional lab for processing. “It’s really hard to ship film now,” he notes. “I lost some film once on a commercial—it wasn’t directly x-rayed itself, but it was kept someplace long enough that the x-ray machines that were working nearby fogged it. It’s better to process the negative where you are, and Kodak maintains the standards.”

From the filmmaker on the forefront of stereoscopic production, here are James Cameron’s Top 10 Rules for 3D Filmmaking. I’m quoting the topics below, but Cameron explains each in delicious detail over here.

1) THERE IS NO SCREEN.
2) Stereo is very subjective.
3) Analyzing stereospace on freeze frames can be misleading.
4) Convergence CANNOT fix stereo-space problems.
5) Convergence is almost always set on the subject of greatest interest (the eyes of the actor talking).
6) Interocular distance varies in direct proportion to subject distance from the lens.
7) Interocular and convergence should both vary dynamically throughout moving shots.
8) In a composite, the foreground and background may want to have different interoculars.
9) When stereo looks bad to the eye (visual cortex) it is important to eliminate the possible problems sequentially: Synch, Reverse-Stereo, Zoom Mismatch, Vertical Alignment, Color or Density Mismatch, Render Errors, Specular Highlights, Lens Flare, Image Warping, Movement or vibration.
10) Some shots just can’t be fixed

For some more insight on 3D post-production, take a look at our past NAB interviews with Cineform’s David Newman on their tech and stereoscopic post in general.

(Via Negative Spaces & Chad Mumm)

Got a heads up from Cinevate that they are moving into a new facility, and instead of moving their stock of sliders, they’d rather sell them to you at a bargain. So until February 8th (or while supplies last), you can pick up any Cinevate slider for 30% off normal pricing.

For an 26″ Atlas FLT, that’s almost $175 off, and nearly $600 off their big-boy 60″ Atlas 60″! That’s a hefty discount, a nice deal if you’ve been in the market for a Cinevate slider.

Reverse Key Lighting Explained

Nice tutorial and examples of Reverse Key Lighting over at Evan Richards blog. A very useful cinematography technique indeed.

Editor Oliver Peters has written a tutorial for DV Magazine on how to round-trip a project from Final Cut Pro to Blackmagic Design DaVinci Resolve for color grading, and then back again into FCP. He outlines all the necessary steps here.

Here’s a short interview with Rodney Taylor, ASC, from Createasphere’s last Entertainment Technology Expo in Burbank, on what it takes to work up the ranks into the world of cinematography. Watch below…

Register for free for Createasphere’s Spring Entertainment Technology Expo in Los Angeles on March 1, 2012.

The concept of Digital Sensors as Film Stocks

Chris Marino shares his thoughts on why it’s important to remain agnostic.

NY Resolutions For Filmmakers

Okay guys it’s 2012 and time to set those new business goals, and establish new game plans that will allow you to rock it out harder than ever this year. All the past projects that failed or never got off the ground are behind you, and there is no going back. That’s right 2011 is dead and gone for forever. Now is the time for moving onward. Here are my ten top resolutions for filmmakers in 2012 that will help you increase your potential and hopefully your bottom line.
Continue reading ’10 Resolutions For Filmmakers in 2012′

Here’s a great behind-the-scenes look at an Alexa production for Norwegian Eurovision. In this writeup, they talk about the planning and execution of an Alexa shoot on a Technocrane, including 120fps pyrotechnic sequences. Here’s the writeup, and you can watch the finished short below.

If I had a dollar for every update and slipped ship date I’ve seen for the electronic mount adapter system that starts with a “B” and rhymes with “IRGER,” I’d be able to buy you, dear reader, a round of drinks.

In the gaping absence of MTF and Birger in the FS100 world, it looks like Conurus just busted out a barrel of whoop-ass and shipped a Metabones electronic Canon EF mount for Sony NEX cameras. This $399 adapter allows control of electronic Canon lenses, so you can use them on the NEX e-mount…and no external power or controllers. It looks like everything except autofocus works right out of the box. Brilliant. Simply brilliant. Their website says that they sold out of stock very quickly (no shocker there), so you’ll have to stay tuned for a few weeks for the next batch to be finished.

This is very good news indeed, since a lot of Canon DSLR shooters are transitioning to large sensor cameras like the AF100 and the FS100. Now they have the option of using their existing stockpile of Canon lenses on the Emount-equipped FS100 and NEX7 (and future NEX models).

Hat tip to DSLR News Shooter for the heads up.

As has been rumored and reported, it looks like the NEX-FS100 will be getting a free firmware update by March 2012. Sony UK has some details:

New Firmware Details for NEX-FS100E
1. 60(59.94)Hz /50Hz (NTSC/PAL) switchable feature
FS100E can have the 60p (59.94p), 60i (59.94i), 30p (29.97p) and 24p (23.98p) recording modes

2. Camera Profile (camera setting saved in a memory card)
It allows users to recall the previous camera settings easily. It also helps multi-camera shooting preparation.

3. Expanded Focus (x4/x8, selectable focus area)
It allows user to select the magnification size and area to be expanded.

4. ISO sensitivity display
For users who are familiar with traditional filming term, it will be possible to switch between ISO and Gain (dB) display.

5. Focus feet, Shutter angle display
For users who are familiar with traditional filming term, it will be possible to switch between feet and meter for focus position display when an E-mount lens is used. Also, switchable between second and degree for shutter speed display.

6. Variation added for “Aspect markers”

7. Compatibility with new A-mount to E-mount adaptor [LA-EA2] with Translucent Mirror Technology
Auto Focus operation is available with Sony A-mount alpha lens

One of the new features that looks most useful to me, is the possibility of switching between ISO and Gain dB display. That feature is something that I suggested a year and a half ago, as I was being shown one of the first working-beta NEX-VG20 cameras and asked for feedback. I immediately said that I’d prefer an ISO display over Gain, and the user should be able to select that as an option. The Sony exec looked at me like I’d landed from another planet. They didn’t listen to me then, but I’m happy to see they’ve wised up to what users want with this update. The second feature that I’ve been desperately wanting is the ability to load and save picture profiles to SD card. That is long overdue. Finally, expanded focus options will be helpful as well.

Glad to see this amazing little camera getting some more love from Sony. I think it’s a fabulous camera that delivers far beyond it’s price point.

LensRentals Repair Data for 2011

LensRentals has released tables of data on their rented lens repairs for 2011, and it’s a doozie to digest. Some very interesting trends they point out (and explain carefully). This info should be informative to lens buyers and those who like to geek out on such things. You know who you are, sharpness and bokeh snobs…

RED Epic Naked

What does a RED Epic look like on the inside? Thanks to the FCC, here’s a gallery of fifty-seven images that show a complete Red Epic teardown. Every circuit board and screw.

A RED Scarlet should look pretty similar on the interior, except it will feature some components that didn’t perform to Epic spec. Peep the gallery link above for a unique look at Epic undressed.

Several months ago, Christ in Youth brought me on as Director of Photography for a promo film project. CIY projects are always a pleasure to work on, because they understand the value of well-produced content that tells a clear message with compelling visuals. We shot this promo on the Sony FS100 using my Zeiss Contax lens set, and I’m very pleased with how it turned out overall.

Some of the challenges that we faced on this shoot were quite a bit of greenscreen and tracking work (the FS100 performed beautifully), potential brick wall moire concerns, shutter sync issues with the 16mm film projector prop, and a shoot day that nearly went overtime due to location audio noise.

You can watch the finished promo below, and I’ve written a very long, detailed article on the technical and creative challenges of the shoot over at my ClearCreek Productions filmmaking website.