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Phil Rhodes

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Everything posted by Phil Rhodes

  1. Lee Filter has their Zircon range which is intended to work better with LEDs. I have a pack of it here which includes a few orange grades and it seems to avoid daylight LEDs going that sickly yellow-green colour that Bruce describes, but I would also suggest careful testing.
  2. Print stocks were (well, still are) made to have very low sensitivity, so they have extremely fine grain, and there may be some tweaks to the colour response and contrast to ensure things come out looking nice. Other people may be able to say more about that. At its core, though, it's all colour film producing a negative image using broadly the same basic chemistry. P
  3. Three-chip blocks have always been glued together; that's where the final precision alignment is done. First I've ever heard of one coming unstuck, though, on any camera, not just JVC.
  4. One significant problem is that a lot of modern lights, particularly ceiling installations and desk lamps, are not rated for a power level at which halogen is particularly useful. Bear in mind that Kino make compact fluorescents which use their high colour quality technology, though they're considerably bulkier than either halogen or LED which may affect fit it a lot of situations.
  5. With only a bit of mechanical ingenuity, you could fabricate something like that with parts from eBay.
  6. In 2019, y'see, we'll be shooting sunlit day exteriors at ISO 1600.
  7. I'd like to second Mr Mullen's comments here - shooting stuff on a studio set (not that I've done much of it) is orders of magnitude easier than achieving that same look on location. You're never at the mercy of the weather. The gear is all right there. You can remove walls and ceilings. You can rig anywhere, quickly. There's loads of power. Every angle of every room looks good. Much of it is probably prelit in a way that took lots of time to set up. It's not in the same universe as walking onto a location.
  8. I find some of that article profoundly dubious. What's said about the streaming situation and the inevitable consolidation in a year or two is probably a reasonable prediction. But Paterson's quote says it all: " if during that time, we lose the independent film business in this country – which is going to happen unless we make big choices – then in three or four years’ time there will just be a few American-dominated platforms that control all creative content." Unless you know someone at the BFI, that is already the case. Paterson is described as saying this would have the effect of "depriving cinema audiences of original and diverse films in which the UK has always excelled." As far as I'm aware cinema audiences are already pretty much deprived of those things. How many of Paterson's films have seen wide distribution? Loach's producer Rebecca O'Brien is quoted as being concerned for "our ability to keep the sector going." I don't know specifically how profitable Loach is - I would suspect quite the opposite - but in general there is no real ability to "keep the sector going." Loach's I, Daniel Blake took nearly £16m but it's not clear what was spent creating it, and it is a highly unusual breakout success. Has anyone even heard of Loach's most recent film, Sorry We Missed You? It's not a sector. It's not supposed to be self-sustaining. Well, it'd be nice, but nobody appears to be trying very hard toward that end, or they wouldn't keep making Ken Loach movies. We've already had commentary in this thread that many independent films are made without any expectation of making money and this sort of commentary, which treats the UK independent film scene as some sort of industry, is inappropriate. Filmmaking in the UK is a very expensive fringe artform. It's not a business and it's not trying very hard to be one. The fact that Paterson and O'Brien are making very nice middle-class incomes out of being film producers on films practically nobody has heard of and practically nobody will see is irrelevant. I'll say it again: the solution to a more robust, self-sustaining film industry in the UK is protection from imports. It's the only thing that can possibly work at this point, and it will never, ever happen. So, forget about it, and concentrate on that US work permit application. P
  9. I think the important thing to consider in the context of Red's rather shrill complaints about this is what the purpose of intellectual property rules actually is. The reason we allow people (limited) exclusivity on their inventions is to encourage inventions. Does Red's storage system represent a particularly useful innovation, embodying any new discoveries or novel techniques? Not really. It's a flash card. Lots of manufacturers make flash cards that could do much the same job. There's something to be said here about the more general problem of patent law and the behaviour of companies that use it. I wouldn't go so far as to call this patent trolling, particularly, as they're not trying to stop people making flash cards in general, but it might be a case of patenting a design which only exists for the purpose of making the design patentable. That doesn't encourage anyone to do original or useful work. It encourages people to spend more money on patent lawyers than they do on R&D. It's profoundly counterrevolutionary in terms of what intellectual property law is supposed to do. In the end, it retards progress. Legal professionals might make other arguments, and big expensive productions will always be cautious, which is completely understandable. In my view, though, something as simple as a flash card is something that should quite reasonably be open to competition.
  10. I don't think we ever thought the situation was anything different to that, did we? P2 cards are four SD cards, for instance. Many companies have effectively repackaged commercial flash. I understand why they do it to a degree; they want to avoid being blamed for problems created by poor-quality storage, but as the general standard of NAND flash devices gets better and better there is less and less justification really. P
  11. That's some pretty obscure software. Conversions from DVD in general are a bit of a bear for sound sync problems; I'd ask around on the movie piracy forums where they deal with this constantly (yes, seriously.) P
  12. Isn't it V5 that's coming up for Venice? 4 was at the beginning of the year.
  13. Companies like that are obsessively concerned with reliability. For instance, when Sega was making home games machines, one of the prerequisites for a new games release was that several of them would sit there running your game for weeks on end, just to make sure it didn't crash. They've probably got a fix for it already, and I would imagine that fix is sitting in a lab at Sony on long-term burn test.
  14. Nobody needs credentials to be right, but they do need some degree of geniality for anyone to care about what they say. And I say this as... well... me. P
  15. I said this to someone today. You can buy three Ursa Mini bodies and still have enough left over for a van to put them in, for the price of a modern Alexa. There is a limit to the difference all the obsessive Arri quality control makes; in the end, three Ursas are probably more reliable than one Alexa, and they do considerably more. Obviously it's not solely about spec. But I am often dismayed by the fact that good engineering is being done for a very competitive price and overlooked because... fashion. Engineering talent and ability is not encouraged by this, which makes me very sad.
  16. I sit on the fence in all this. Some stuff can be, should be shot by individuals. I just wrote a piece on a spectacularly beautiful natural history piece mainly shot by one woman with a Red Epic and a tripod. Equally I've been on stuff where we were desperately shorthanded and the day was horrifically held up by it. I suspect what Robin may be reacting to is the very real danger that producers will see the increasing portability and easy operation of camera gear as a reason not to hire an adequate crew. The fact that a lot of film crew spend quite legitimately spend a lot of time waiting for other film crew to do things doesn't help here. A lot of people will enthusiastically seize any opportunity to downscale things. It's complicated.
  17. Mainly, offload bandwidth. On a modern imaging sensor like that, the analogue-to-digital conversion happens on the chip and it will have several high-speed data buses coming out of it. The amount of data that comes out of those buses may be a limiting factor, and the processing electronics to handle that data may also place limits on what can be done. Boosting the performance of all those things increases power consumption, thus heat, and thus noise, both thermal and acoustic, size and weight of the camera, and so on. It's an engineering compromise; you can keep saying "why doesn't it have feature X" forever, and it's all doable, it's just a matter of how much you want to pay for it and how much of a pain you want it to be operationally.
  18. I wouldn't own a high end camera. A lot of people, me included, have access to gear that they regularly give away, but naturally you won't get the high end stuff like that. You'll get C200, Ursa Mini, FS7. Which, as Mr Mawson says, are all very capable. I am aware of both realities. These cameras are very capable, but they do not attract a meaningful rental income. Their performance is more or less irrelevant; it's about reputation. It does irk me, in the end, that you could shoot a major motion picture on an Ursa Mini and nobody would know the difference. You could carry three bodies, be completely confident you weren't likely to somehow have all of them fail, and still be making a massive saving over something like Alexa.
  19. I've never heard of anyone writing code to do optical character recognition on a slate, but it's certainly been talked about. The visible numbers are a backup; in modern practice, the camera will have marked the file because the camera is itself jammed to the audio recorder. Assuming this system works, as it almost always does, it is generally not necessary to slate at all. I have worked on productions which didn't slate, though, and perceived a certain breakdown in discipline and procedure. That's clearly an issue of training and habituation, but that doesn't make it not a real problem, and if you don't slate, you have no backup if things do break. What tends to break things is operator error and poor recordkeeping. Many workflows use the first three sets of user bits to indicate the date, with the last indicating roll number; that's often all that separates 10am on Tuesday from 10am on Wednesday in the mind of the computer. Often the scene and take numbers are only set for human readability, but some software may make note of those, too. If any of this is not done correctly, material may have out-of-sync or even completely wrong audio, from some other day or take. Anyway, all of these things we've discussed are plausible ways to implement a timecoded workflow without really needing any special equipment. You can type in the timecode numbers by hand, you can feed timecode to a scratch track on almost any camera, right down to a DSLR, and have software work that out later; you can feed timecode to a spare track on an audio recorder. Many approaches are (at least theoretically) possible. P
  20. All of the approaches you mention have been used. I've personally written software that will read timecode out of an audio track and create a new wave file with the BWF headers so that it can be used with any BWF-compatible software. My impression is that isn't very common, though. It would usually only be used with audio recorders that don't have timecode facilities, and to do that you'd need a timecode source permanently connected to the audio recorder. The cost of a timecode source like that is reasonably high and the cost of a timecode-compatible audio recorder is lower than it ever has been. An Ambient Lockit box costs UK£750 or so, and you can buy a Zoom F4 recorder, with inbuilt timecode facilities, for almost half that. I suspect you can probably get cheaper timecode sources than from Ambient, I haven't looked, but as you see this is not necessarily a very sensible approach. As such it doesn't make much sense to deliberately set up for that sort of workflow. It may possibly make sense if you are extremely desperate to leverage existing equipment. P
  21. I find that full blue looks a bit over the top, especially if it's rather underexposed. I've heard a lot of people correct halfway back (that is, half CTO on a daylight light) for a more subtle coolness. Night is now also sometimes green.
  22. Haven't heard from you since March. Some sort of misconfiguration? P
  23. My objection to any of this is that regardless of the quality of the film, most of the potential purchasing entities are so used to being deluged with unwatchable bilge that they're very resistant to new contacts. Making those contacts is very difficult and even someone who'd made something ticking all the boxes would find it very difficult to get the right person on the phone. Plus there are a lot of boxes to tick, in order to convince a plausible purchaser that one had sufficient rights to distribute something. P
  24. OK, but the C300 still won't actually give you progressive output. It's an interesting one.
  25. As to focus, use the ENG trick; rock through and find it then note where it is if you have time. That's faster than getting the tape out and probably as accurate done carefully. I'm not an expert on the C300 Mk. I. However, perusing the manual online, I notice that on page 127, in section 6 "External Connections" under the heading "Video Output Configuration by Terminal" there's a table which shows what type of signal the camera will output when set for various recording frame rates. When recording any of the NTSC-centric frame rates, including the mentioned 23.98fps at 1080-line resolution, the camera will always output 1080i59.94. Presumably it is using something equivalent to 3:2 pulldown (a pattern of field duplication) to achieve this and that is the artifact you are seeing. The behaviour of the C300 Mk. I is a little odd. The manual suggests it always outputs 60, 50 or 59.94i video, regardless of the recording frame rate. The C300 Mk. 2 has more options in this regard but you can at least be reasonably sure that the problems you are seeing are monitoring artifacts, not some sort of problem in the recorded image (but test, anyway!) And no, the problem posted originally is nothing to do with cables. Cable problems will cause HDMI not to work at all, or to work intermittently, or even, in extremely rare cases, scatter sparkling patterns across the screen. The chances of it magically causing one display mode to be detected as another are microscopic. Anyone prescribing a replacement cable for the described symptoms is probably following some sort of customer service script and has no idea what the actual problem is. Short version: It's a quirk of the original C300, live with it unless there's a firmware upgrade which gives you more output options. I had a quick look and I don't think there is, but it might be worth checking. P
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