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Vincent T Sharma

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  1. Increased exposure latitude, more detailed colors and noticeably reduced grain (especially in the brightest highlights and darkest shadows) are just a few of the benefits cinematographers who have tested the first member of a new generation of motion picture films introduced by Kodak are buzzing about. ?This new emulsion has a much wider range of latitude in the overexposed areas,? says American Society of Cinematographers president Daryn Okada of KODAK VISION3 color negative film 5219/7219, available now in 35mm and 16mm formats. ?I found at least two more stops of range in the highlights, which enabled me to record more details? Also, there was an almost magical reduction in grain without affecting colors.? Kodak scientists designed the new film, which retains the imaging characteristics of KODAK VISION2 500T Color Negative Film 5218/7218 when it is exposed normally, based on suggestions from cinematographers around the world. ?This new film is very DI-friendly,? Okada continues. ?I could isolate backgrounds and make them darker without introducing electronic noise. I chose to overexpose large parts of the frame in some shots, and it was transparent. That gave me a lot of freedom to fine tune looks.? Other cinematographers who tested the new emulsion agree that it provides more creative flexibility and efficiencies during both production and post-production. ?When I timed the film in a DI suite, the images on the new stock seemed to have a lot more integrity through the process,? says Steve Poster, ASC (Donnie Darko). ?I believe this new stock will be a blessing for filmmakers shooting the Super 16 format for aesthetic or financial reasons,? adds James Chressanthis, ASC (Venus & Vegas). ?I think VISION3 widens the gap between film and digital imaging,? Okada concludes.
  2. When you need a moving camera, the right gear will make those money shots count by Matthew Power | Published November 18, 2007 Sergey Dreiden as the Marquis Aleksandr Sokurov?s mind-blowing Russian Ark (2002). Sergey Dreiden as the Marquis Aleksandr Sokurov?s mind-blowing Russian Ark (2002). Not every director likes to move the camera. Some simply can?t afford it. Go back and look at Kevin Smith?s Clerks, for example. Almost every shot in that movie was a locked-down tripod shot?no movement at all. At the other extreme is Russian director Aleksandr Sokurov?s mind-blowing Russian Ark, an entire feature film shot in one continous, moving shot, featuring 2,000 actors in 33 different rooms. One reason indie moviemakers don?t use much camera movement is fear. There?s a pervasive myth that it?s impossible to cut a static shot with a moving shot. That?s really only true if the action you?re shooting from a tripod doesn?t match the moving shot. Of course, setting up a mobile shot can take a long time, which eats up a lot of your schedule. Long, moving shots are riskier than simple coverage. But what good director runs from a little risk? If you?re new to the concept of moving the camera, take a couple of hours to familiarize yourself with the lingo of camera movement. Grab a copy of Film Directing Shot by Shot: Visualizing from Concept to Screen, a book by Steven Katz, and read the sections about moving the camera. Once you can describe a pan, tilt, crane shot and tracking shot, you?re ready to look at some equipment. For this article, I?m focusing on the last category of camera motion: Tracking shots. In this type of shot, the camera glides in and out of the action, either on a tram or dolly, attached to a vehicle or, in the old days, with a handheld camera. Today, instead of handhelds, most directors use a camera stabilizer?a counterweighted rig operated by someone with rock-hard thighs. This concept has been around since the 1970s, but the gear has recently come down a lot in price. Let?s look at some of your best gear options, as you seek new ways to bring your camera moves to life. ?Body Hugger? Glidecam V-25 System, $9,995 (includes vest, arm and all necessary add-ons) www.glidecam.com Most indie moviemakers have heard of ?Steadicam? technology. To set the record straight, Steadicam is a trademarked term owned by The Tiffen Company. But moviemakers use it to refer to almost any type of body-mounted camera stabilizer, including the ones made by Glidecam. A few years back, I bought a lower cost Glidecam system. What I learned right away is that the gear will get you halfway to good footage; the other half comes from experience. After buying, I soon purchased the body harness that shifts the weight of the camera to your torso (forget about trying to hold the rig up for long without one). This rig will handle most HD cameras without undue stress on the operator. With it, you gain the ability to follow actors in and out of rooms, get some wild, flowing footage of nightclubs or shoot from the middle of a battle scene. ?Triple Threat? Flowpod, $499 www.varizoom.com If you?re a low-budget shooter who wants to dally with roving shots and shoot with a lightweight (read: under five-pound) camera, this nifty, multi-purposed stabilizer may work for you. While I wouldn?t recommend it for long days of extended tracking shots, the Flowpod has some nice perks, the biggest one being that it converts to a low-angle stabilizer. That means you can create a roving shot like the one from Sam Raimi?s Army of Darkness, where Bruce Campbell is being terrorized by a nightmarish critter that is running along smoothly through the underbrush behind him. Also, the rig converts into a monopod for static shooting. (Note that you?ll need a special weight kit to use this product with a Canon XL1, and it?s not recommended for use with the Canon XL2 or JVC HD100U.) ?Sticking it to the Man? Stickypod, $129 www.stickypod.com An automobile is a ready-made camera dolly. But until recently, mounting a camera on one has been pricey. That?s why this low-cost unit is such a nice piece of technology. It allows you to thumb your nose at the studios, who don?t even know how to enter a figure as low as $129 into a budget sheet. Here?s my advice on making the most of this suction cup-mounted rig: Use it to put the camera on the hood of the car and point it back at two actors who are chatting away. That?s a major savings over renting a tow rig, the way it?s often done. Granted, the actors have to be able to drive and act at the same time, but if you?re lying down in the back seat watching the monitor, you can bark directions at them. If suction cups scare you, add a safety tether to the Stickypod (although the unit does seem to stick securely, as advertised, and it?s supposed to be able to handle wind speeds of up to 175 miles per hour). Use this thing once and it more than pays for itself; use it twice and you can start to gloat. ?Over the Top? NCT-6 Noblét Camera Trolley, $10,199 (base price only) www.nobletproductions.com Remember those sweeping overhead battle shots in the first The Lord of the Rings movie? That ?impossible? shot was accomplished by way of a remote-controlled camera tram. This tram technology has finally trickled down to a much more affordable package, thanks to some innovators in the state of Washington. The NCT-6 is pretty simple?thus the reasonable cost. It runs on a single cable that can extend up to 400-feet, handle a 20-pound camera, climb a seven percent grade and be controlled by a wireless remote with tilt and pan features. Of course, the unit also has limitations: A windy day may not bode well for the single-cable option and it has no wireless LCD monitor (you?ll have to pay extra for all of those essential features). Nonetheless, if you want epic-quality tracking shots at budget prices, here?s a tool that might pull it off. ?Quick and Slick? Universal Dolly, $1,099 (not including track) www.indiedolly.com One of the things I dread about location shooting is dragging the heavy tracking platform and accessories to the site (forget about flying anywhere with it). This handy dolly package puts a lot of emphasis on portability and weight reduction. If you?re shooting with one of the lighter HD cameras or a Canon XL1 or XL2, this setup makes a lot of sense. I like the idea of being able to schlep it around without throwing my back out?and the ability to take it with me on an airplane is a major plus. Many times I?ve been at a protest or other big event where a tracking shot would have raised the bar professionally. The portable three-foot sections of track are pricey, at $500 to create a 12-foot section (and that?s just the straight track?curved costs twice that). But I?d consider buying a setup like this, especially immediately after I get done putting away my 100-pound tracking platform. ?Twists and Turns? PT20 Camera Turret, $1,599 www.cameraturret.com Whether you?re doing moving vehicle shots or hooked up to the tram system I just described, this joystick-controlled contraption allows you to pan and tilt the camera to follow the action. Plus, a set of bolts lets you mount the unit anywhere you want. The motors conveniently run on 12-volt power and the joystick allows you precise control of the speed of tilt or pan. It also has a built-in system for smoothing the transition as you change speed, sort of like the ?ease in? commands connected with keyframing video when editing. The unit is controlled with cables, but the company now offers a wireless conversion kit for $699. If you?re planning to put the camera out of reach on a trolley or tram, this may be the way to go. MM
  3. Hi, i am planning to make a documentary and I am going completely handheld for it. the location we are going to shoot(forest area) doesn't have much light and we are planning to use the fastest film stock available i guess kodak v2 800t...... i just wanna know what are the demerits of using a fast film on a handheld camera.....what is the best advice you can give me to keep the shake in the handheld to a minimum apart from things like goin for widelens etc sun
  4. Nice Shot,huh? Reminds me of Third man
  5. I just read this on wikipedia. Russian Ark (Русский ковчег) is a 2002 movie by Russian director Alexander Sokurov. It is notable for being the world's first unedited feature film: it consists of a single 90-minute Steadicam shot. Do you have any interviews or insights on the making of this movie ? What do you think are the most important elements and precautions we got take into consideration if we attempt to do something like this? thank you sun
  6. Hi, Could you share some tips on doing hand held shots..........in some movies, the hand held work looks all shabby and strains your eyes but in some good ones, it isn't so. What are the most important precautions to take while doing hand held shots?
  7. Hi, I recently read an article on Lighting setups and how to do them fast without keeping the actors wait for a long time. There were all these interviews of noted cinematographers who kept saying they light their sets fast and hate to keep actors wait. But after I read that, I was just wondering what "lighting fast" actually means. Could you please give tips or anecdotes from your experience as to how one can light fast and still get the best image using the basic key, back and fills? Does using a particular lighting equipment take more time than the others or is it just a personal lighting style of a DP? For low budget lighting, what do you recommend? Thank you
  8. Sometimes when we have to choose locations within our budget constraints, we feel there is nothing interesting to a particular location, nothing special. In these situations, of course, in ones where there is no availability of funds, there is not much choice except going for the available ones and making changes in the script accordingly which is a different topic altogether. What I mean to ask is, when we scout a location, how do we bring this extraordinary or visually interesting touch to our compositions? Well, this also includes "How do we compose a visual interesting shot?". For instance, the first thing I look for is a diagonal. It helps me make a shot visually interesting even when I shoot a homevideo or something. What are the others you know, you learned from experience? Please be general as composition of a shot depends on personal taste a lot of times. Thanks
  9. Location scouting I only did location scouting twice and took with me a checklist I got from a book and it helped me okay. My checklist Space Adequate for shooting Space to move the Camera and space for laying tracks Window Views Crowd control Natural Light and places to hide the lights Electric Power Quiet enough for shooting or not Basic facilities like parking,bathrooms etc. I heard that Spielberg shot Munich only in three locations and he used a single location for different locations in the movie just by changing the colors......true???? Please post your tips as to how we can make more creative decisions and what to look for in locations with respect to blocking. As most of you have worked in feature films, you should be having a lot of ideas you got from professional experience. Thank You
  10. I just saw this video and was wondering how they made it. I could make out the desaturation and color timing. But I am not sure about the contrast........was this shot on video or film??? Great music video though. They have got some good music videos on this site, so check it out. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H07vZezFq3w...b%20for%20cutie Looking forward to your analysis of the techniques used.
  11. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H07vZezFq3w...b%20for%20cutie I just saw this video and was wondering how they made it. I could make out the desaturation and color timing. But I am not sure about the contrast........was this shot on video or film??? Great music video though. They have got some good music videos on this site, so check it out. Looking forward to your analysis on this.
  12. I have a suggestion. As this topic has already been quoted in the past, how about making it a little different? How about mentioning your favourite shot(s), nuts and bolts of how it could have been done like going a bit on the technical too and any modifications that would lead to more interesting images etc ? For example, like Spike lee said " If there's a shot I like, the first thing I try to find out is how they did it. Then I see if there's a place in the story where the shot will make sense." And when asked,"One of your more interesting shots is a dolly shot that gives the effect of walking on a moving sidewalk. how did you do that?" he said,"The first time I used it was in Mo' Better Blues with my character Giant. To get that shot you have to lay dolly tracks. Then you put the camera on the dolly. Then you put the actors on the dolly also. Then you move the dolly along." Looking forward to your posts
  13. How about the Tv Series Friends? i dont remember watching any close ups on that show....it just wide and medium shots. So close ups more or less work against comedy......just my opinion.
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