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Phil Rhodes

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  1. I suspect that even if they had, the results would not become public until after any associated legal action was complete - which could take months or years.
  2. 90Ah batteries? They must be big block batteries that sit on the dolly; not something you can throw on a V-mount. Very few things you can put on a V-mount will run a 600W load for 11 hours.
  3. In general I agree with what's being said here. There is one thing I think is worth a closer look, though. Assuming this really is from the actors' union's own paperwork, SAG/AFTRA is quoting standard gun safety procedures. These procedures are reasonable and essential in the context of normal firearms handling. However, in the very unique circumstances of filmmaking, it is patently obvious that actors will sometimes be required to point weapons at other people, perhaps deliberately as in the case of a scene where one actor appears to shoot at another, or, very commonly, toward camera or other parts of the environment where there will be people. This is the unique risk of a film set; people are often required to break some of the most cardinal, fundamental, inviolable rules of firearms handling. This is why there are special procedures, and this is why so much caution is required. As such, what we have here is a major organisation blindly parroting procedures which are at least sometimes impossible to follow. This does not help the cause of risk management, provokes the normalisation of deviance, and risks putting safety culture in a bad light. P
  4. It depends to an extent how your camera allows you to set the frame rate. If you need to set it in terms of an absolute number of frames per second, then if you set something that's a multiple of the project frame rate (25 in your case) then when you play it back, all of your step printed frames will be the same duration so it will look more consistent. I assume you've realised that and that this is why you're asking the question. If you can only set integer frame rates then that does limit you somewhat on 25fps projects because the only things that divide into 25 are 5 and 10. Naturally if you can set twelve and a half or eight and a third, so be it, but not a lot of cameras give you that. 24-frame projects can have 2, 3, 4, 6 or 12. The other thing is that if you are particularly keen to shoot a specific step-printed rate, if you're not relying on sync sound, then you can probably just shoot something close to what your output rate will be and just live with the fact that it won't play back at exactly the rate it was shot. I'd go higher (9 or 13 rather than 8 or 12) so it's slightly slowed down as opposed to slightly sped up; sped up is often more noticeable. Or, you can live with the fact that it won't be played back at an entirely consistent rate, that is, all your step printed frames won't all be exactly the same number of output frames. P
  5. I'll be the first to accept that I'm a reviewer and I'm likely to be getting cameras that they know work, but I've not seen huge problems with Ursas. I have two here right now (A G1 Pro and an original 4.6K) and both have seen quite a bit of action. I wouldn't be surprised to discover that the ability of the modern internet to concentrate certain types of information is making failures seem more common than they are. Yes, some more IR filtering is probably a good idea; some of the aftermarket OLPFs have included it. I would second the commentary on Red. In my view, the company has behaved questionably ever since its earliest claims of performance and release dates, which were quite clearly impossible and which it failed to achieve, then congratulated itself for achieving. All of that is quite apart from its interaction with the patent system. I view the way patents are being issued and used at the moment as largely broken and anti-useful and I think several companies, particularly including Red, are profoundly abusing the situation to the detriment of film and TV workers worldwide. For a long time I avoided criticising Red on the basis of its pictures but it was always clear that much was being sacrificed in pursuit of easily-marketable resolution figures, and let's not forget that the company managed to redefine a major piece of industry terminology to its advantage. What surprises me is that those resolution figures are not special anymore, and it's not even particularly affordable equipment. I have no idea why the company and its products are taken so seriously. That said, you can exchange my advice on Ursa for something like FS7 or FX9, EVA-1 or any other midrange camera, all of which will very significantly outperform an Alexa EV (that is, the original Alexa) on more or less every technical basis.
  6. Many more modern cameras beat it by a significant margin in more or less every department. An Ursa Mini 4.6K G2 is smaller, lighter, less power hungry, starts faster and has higher resolution, higher frame rates, around a stop more sensitivity, better sound, onboard raw, arguably has a better viewfinder and can control EF lenses. Alexa has the name and to some extent the look, but I'm not convinced how identifiable that look really is. Possibly the rolling shutter is less visible. You might want to get the optional aftermarket OLPF to go in the Ursa, and Wooden Camera have a couple of breakout boxes that add features which will be useful to people on high end single camera sets, but beyond that, I think Alexa is an increasingly difficult choice unless you can get one for next to nothing. Personally I'd wait for wider reactions to the Ursa Broadcast G2, which is basically the Ursa Mini 6K from what I can see of it. That might be a very welcome development. P
  7. That's kind of a broad question. Do you have any information on what it'll be used for, the kind of venues it'll be in, what you want to do with it?
  8. I'm sitting here listening to Zimmer's score to Dune, which is a piece of music I barely recognise because the first time I heard it, it was so loud I had my fingers in my ears. Went to see Tenet. Quite apart from the terrible dialogue mix, my lasting impression is of everything being so loud it was actively unpleasant, and I felt the need to protect my ears. Went to see Dune. Was massively distracted by the unpleasantly over-loud sound; almost painful. Horrible experience. Considered going to see No Time to Die. With enormous regret, decided that I'd rather see it under circumstances where I wasn't likely to suffer hearing damage. I want a volume control. I am not alone, and I'm not kidding; I strongly suspect Dune has the potential to create hearing damage. Now, I am fully aware that anyone from the audio-related disciplines of film and television production will be replete with excuses for this. It's the director's intention. It's the movie theatre. It's fine, you're just being silly. Sorry, no. This is now so bad that it's actively preventing people from going to movie theatres because the sound experience is positively disagreeable. It's not entertainment, it's something you want to be over because it is actually nasty. It's bad. There is no justification for this and people who try to make thoise justifications need to be slapped around until they realise that they're not mixing sound for themselves and their own state of hearing that's long been ruined by constant exposure to ultra-loud mixing stages. This has become completely insane.
  9. I think the idea is that it has such overwhelming resolution that the sharpness compromises of a mosaic sensor are overcome and even 8K material is so oversampled that it approaches the Nyquist limit of the frame dimensions in terms of sharpness and detail. In may circumstances, the factor limiting resolution is not the sensor nor the quality of the lens, but the diffraction limit of the lens, which is geometrically determined and therefore exactly the same for a low-cost stills zoom as it is for a Leitz Cine Prime. The point isn't really 12K. The point is it has much more than you need for any reasonably foreseeable circumstance. Yes, smaller photosites are noisier, which compromises dynamic range, but that's sometimes a rather misunderstood metric. If you take an HD area from the 12K sensor, it will be physically smaller than the HD area of a 4K sensor, and it will be noisier. But if you take the whole 12K sensor and scale it to HD, you gain back much of the loss. Not all of it, of course, because more pixels have more gap around them, so your fill factor becomes lower and you're using less sensitive area overall, but this isn't quite as simple as is often assumed. The big problem with the 12K is that using it to its full potential locks you into a Blackmagic Raw workflow. This, again, is not quite as simple a problem as we might think; generating 12K ProRes would be an impractically-huge processing load even if anything supported it, and scaling that vast sensor down to saner resolutions is hard work too. I do think they could have made slightly more effort in this regard, though; I think this is what puts most people off. Blackmagic Raw or bust, really.
  10. "Yeah, 'cause, like, that retro thing, that's like, really in right now, isn't it. Yeah. Let's do it. We know what we're doing"
  11. I made a pop-up diffuser from a collapsible laundry bin, and coiled some high-quality LED strip inside. Works great.
  12. StudioBinder, FrameForge. I've known people use Sketchup. None of them have the expression of a proper sketch, of course, though they do have one advantage: you can draw anything you like, but a proper 3D environment does enforce only showing things which are actually possible to shoot. P
  13. It may be worth adding that almost anything you can get from the theatre and live events world is likely to need careful testing for flicker, too. As Harrison says, though, I wouldn't be entirely discouraged by that reality as it might be possible to save a really enormous amount of money and make yourself popular. In order to avoid wasting a really enormous amount of money and making yourself unpopular, proper testing for flicker will be required. I note this here because I've been caught out myself, but there are a few easy things to do which can make this easier. Don't just point a camera at an open LED emitter. The actual emitters are extremely intense and likely to clip the camera, perhaps in strange ways depending on their colour, which can make subtle flicker hard to see (also you'll spend the next ten minutes seeing a little row of dots). Put them behind a diffuser of the type you're intending to use, or aim them at a diffusing surface, perhaps just a sheet of white paper. Don't just rely on a monitor. Look at them on a monitor to detect banding on rolling-shutter cameras, if any, but also look at a waveform monitor as this makes flicker much easier to see as a bouncing in the waveform. Check for long-term shutter phase problems. Frame up a shot, note where the exposure is on the waveform, and leave it like that, checking back every few minutes or so. This is mainly an issue on low-frequency lighting like iron-ballasted fluorescents or metal halide lights, often in 50Hz localities shooting frame rates near 24 which are almost half the mains frequency, but it's not impossible to imagine it here. Don't test them at full power. Or rather do, but also test them at 25%, 50%, and 75% as well. At full power the pulse width modulation duty cycle may be 100%, which means they don't actually switch off at all, and thus won't flicker. And naturally, test at whatever frame rates and shutter speeds you anticipate will be used. In a broadcast context this is likely to involve a discussion with a senior vision engineer. With something like WS2812, as Harrison says, you will very likely be able to find a setup which will make it flicker, probably at high shutter speeds. A pain. But again, you could save a massive pile of gold. P
  14. If you want to go really budget, there is, as you'll have realised, very inexpensive programmable LED strip which could potentially be used for something like this. The part number you're looking for is WS2812, which describes the tiny controller chip that's in each individual LED emitter. Various DMX and ArtNet-to-WS212 devices are available. This would be extremely inexpensive compared to almost any other imaginable way of doing it, it would fit easily inside almost any set piece and it would be fully programmable. If you don't need it to be a beautiful keylight to make the talent look wonderful, which you don't, you could probably make it work. They may not end up looking on camera like they do in person, but that's fairly normal. The concerns will be longevity and flicker. These things are based on individual red, green and blue emitters which generally have a longer life than white-emitting LEDs, and I would encourage any design for this sort of scenario to run the LEDs at no more than two thirds maximum power to extend their life, and that would go for an Astera tube or a length of WS2812 strip. In a news studio sort of situation I would expect a good chance of avoiding flicker problems at conventional frame rates and shutter speeds. They look OK here:
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