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Phil Rhodes

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Everything posted by Phil Rhodes

  1. Seconded. Rent cameras. Buy everything else! If you need to buy something, go get yourself an FS700 or something. 240fps raw 4K, extremely compatible lens mount, and the price it is now? Still hard to beat.
  2. Also, go Ben Spence! It must have been fifteen or twenty years ago when I was shooting a music video in central London he turned up with his Glidecam. Fantastic work and a very nice guy.
  3. I'm being slightly facetious. I'm not really in the business of renting gear, I just have some and sometimes people borrow it. I try to make sure they're reasonably good causes which couldn't otherwise afford things, so I'm not taking work from a real rental house, but that's not so far been much of an issue.
  4. I've got more stuff than is in that little van and I don't charge £350/day for it...
  5. Kind of interested in this as I've an actually pretty similar collection of stuff I've built up over the years, but including some lighting. I occasionally lend it out to buddies, but have rarely charged other than suggesting a charitable donation.
  6. Following along with interest, not that I'm a 16mm user but do let me know when you're accepting orders and I'll see about writing it up.
  7. Depends how it's been done. Mixing coloured lasers might not be great. Using a blue laser to drive phosphor might be better, but the output wouldn't be a laser anymore (though that's probably fine. You probably don't want laser output as it may speckle unless there are lots of emitters.)
  8. Not to self-plug too much, but I think this.
  9. Again, bear in mind that cameras from JVC and Sony have all the filters, including mechanical ND wheels, behind much shallower mounts. It's not that.
  10. I don't think it's an issue of filters; the JVC GY-LS300 has a rotating ND filter wheel behind a micro four-thirds mount that's not even intended to accommodate Super-35 sensor, and while that's a very small, low cost camera, it demonstrates that it can be done. I would imagine whoever made the decision had a good reason, but nobody seems to know what that reason was.
  11. Generally speaking, yes. You are not the first person to ask why LPL is not a shallower mount. It's a very reasonable question. It's not how a lot of people would have done it.
  12. I'm told this is a reasonable ffmpeg front end for Macs.
  13. Reasonably modern movie lights, which includes everything you list, should not flicker at the mains frequency and should behave consistently worldwide. It's increasingly difficult to predict how any lighting will behave, no matter where you are. A lot of modern lighting devices are based on LEDs. Many of them do flicker at the local mains frequency, or perhaps twice the mains frequency (see here at 2:55). Others may use driver electronics which can cause them to flicker at any rate the designer found convenient. Others use pulse width dimming, which may also operate at any frequency. Interiors of modern airliners seem to be almost exclusively lit with LEDs using pulse width dimming (see here at 3:14). It's increasingly common for people to want dimming or even colour mixing for interior spaces and generally that will be done with pulse width. Car tail lights are another issue. Even if you can set the camera up to avoid flicker with one set of lighting, the adjacent light won't be phase locked to it, so you may find there is no solution which makes everything not flicker at once. Some of these problems are also caused by rolling shutters. If you can stand the smeary motion rendering, try the largest possible shutter angle, ideally approaching 360 degrees, but that's not likely to be what you want for a single-camera drama. This is a growing problem and there is no good solution.
  14. I tend to use ffmpeg for jobs like this, as you have fine control over everything. If you're comfortable with command line tools, you can do very well. You probably want something like: ffmpeg -color_range 2 -i INFILE -c:v libx264 -preset medium -crf 25 -pix_fmt yuv420p -c:a aac -vbr 4 -s 1280x720 OUTFILE Adjust the crf parameter for less bitrate, higher is less. Run tests of a couple of minutes of footage to find a setting you like before committing to the lengthy job of compressing the whole thing. There's probably a friendlier front end for it you could find and use that. P
  15. Hello! I have pictures of you in the desert with a camera somewhere...
  16. The problem is parasitic capacitance faced by the signals as they travel around the sensor.
  17. It's not that boring. I mean, I bet it becomes pretty interesting the second you smack the back element of one of your expensive-as-a-nice-car lenses. Unfortunately I don't know the answer to the question. I shall ask around. P
  18. You also want the polariser closest to the scene for the strongest effect. Filters such as diffusion will, at least in part, scramble the polarisation in the light and reduce the amount of effect the polariser has. That might be what you want, but be aware.
  19. Yes, although at some point there has to be a path from the photosites to the amplifiers. OK, more modern stacked semiconductor manufacturing can provide more flexibility in exactly how this is done, and I would imagine Arri has paid for every modern convenience in pursuit of exactly this sort of performance, but the single biggest issue in every cinema-grade sensor is managing capacitance as these tiny signals go flying around and that isn't a problem that can be entirely worked-around. Now what happens when they make the LF version of this...
  20. My understanding of this is that active sensor cooling mainly makes sense on long exposures, which is why it's found in astrophotography. I've read at least one paper which suggested it's not particularly helpful for the sort of exposures we use in motion picture work. The other issue is that its only purpose is to be able to cool things below ambient temperatures, which is impossible with simple forced-air cooling. The problem is, any time you cool something below ambient, it becomes a target for condensation. To speculate wildly, it's possible that the design could use a peltier to cool something more aggressively toward ambient, but it's hard to imagine that being easy to do without risking condensation on at least some part of the device. So it's possible, but I'd say unlikely.
  21. Yeah. The problem is, that's a claimed SNR of over 100dB, which is barely possible. If true this number will involve some degree of digital noise reduction, which is probably fine, but it's worth understanding what's really being discussed here. After all the thermal noise of just a resistor at 300K is about -84dBm. P
  22. Seventeen stops is an... Interesting claim. That's more than 131,000:1. Many companies have made interesting dynamic range claims.
  23. Apparently, the film and TV industry, particularly in the UK, has a serious problem crewing productions. I have to say it's not something I have hit personally as when I occasionally need people it's often just for a day or two. For anyone setting up for a multi-week feature or high-end TV production, though, it's apparently grim out there, with crew able to charge significantly enhanced rates as there's almost nobody available. Producers, particularly on mid-range shows that can't afford the new rates, are suffering mightily. And you know what? Film and TV has long been an absolutely horrible employer, at least since the contractorisation of more or less all crewing. It's right up there with the most notorious boogeymen like fashion, it its enthusiasm to rapaciously exploit near-helpless young newbies. Borderline-illegal employment practices have been allowed to run rampant, from straightforward nepotism to open-secret initiatives to create closed shops by the back door. Entry involves months - probably a year or two at least - of employment at almost-illegal wages, in expensive cities with not even the hint of recognisable qualifications or employment at the end of it. At worst, it can involve taking the casual abuse of more senior people who know they can get away with it. Not seen it? Try being a new, female, grip or electrician. It's practically hazing, and it's hard to tell whether they really mean it or not. Your average five-foot-one, 105-pound school leaver would certainly be forgiven for taking it personally in the locker-room atmosphere of a film crew lunch break. And let's not just make this about the more overtly tool-belt-wearing parts of the profession. Post-production houses are notorious for hiring minimum-wage people on zero-hour contracts to fetch takeaways for the better-paid with, generally, zero prospects of meaningful advancement. When the awkward questions about a step up the ladder begin, there's always another offspring of the wealthy who can crash in the family's Kensington apartment for a few months while they work out how comprehensively they're being screwed by a company with a nine-figure turnover. Whether or not it was ever the producers' problem to clamp down on this sort of thing (and make no mistake: it was), the production office hardly comes off looking blameless. Training has long been perpetually someone else's problem. With a few exceptions, producers and other employing entities, such as rental houses, expect people to just somehow be available, and are rarely asked, and practically never required, to contribute anything to any sort of official training. I know this because I've done it; even on the small stuff I've organised, I have on two occasions been pressured to find some money to pay for a very new person who was acquainted with the focus puller. I did it because someone has to, but financially, that probably just makes me the idiot (I don't do it any more because the stuff I organise is generally not sufficiently like a real shoot for anyone to learn anything useful, but that's beside the point). For a long time, the requirements for crew - again, particularly in the UK - were so low that it barely mattered, and these deeply unpleasant, catastrophically unreliable arrangements were somehow enough to train new people. Since it became clear that wasn't going to keep working, there have been a couple of very small scale initiatives to try to regularise things, though almost any of them could be characterised as an attempt to control the labour market. One organised by a big UK rental company does deserve calling out as a high point, but in general, it hasn't been nearly enough, hence the desperate situation we're in now. And as ungenerous as it is, I'm not going to be able to get the smile off my face for a week.
  24. A while ago I posted gear porn with an Ursa Mini and various accessories, and wished for a Fuji zoom. I was recently able to scratch the itch, this time with an Ursa Broadcast G2, Blackmagic's new 6K baby, with the Teradek Bolt 4K 1500, Anton/Bauer Titon 150, Wooden Camera UMB-1 and power distro, and of course the mighty Fujinon Cabrio XK6x20. This configuration appeals to what's left of my tendency toward ENG cameras.
  25. I'm thinking of things like the Aladdin Fabric Light, which seems to be able to save an enormous amount of time, gear and space in terms of simple convenience. Hugely powerful, compared to a diffused fresnel, too.
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