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David Fitch

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  1. Just curious if anyone has ever used Filmworkers in Dallas for processing and transfer, and if so, how was your experience, and would you recommend them? I haven't been able to find much information on them here in the forum, so I thought I'd ask. Thanks!
  2. Thanks for the reply, Dan. You've answered many of my questions and provided some excellent information for a DPX newbie like me :) I do have a couple of follow-up questions. If I receive a DPX sequence, I'm assuming it will be a collection of many individual .dpx files...one for each frame of film. How do I go about importing this into Premiere in preparation for generating a 2K ProRes4444 file? I'm assuming (incorrectly, perhaps) that I'll have to drag the frames onto the timeline, but perhaps there's another method of doing this. I didn't realize that DaVinci Resolve is available as a free download, so I'll definitely check it out. It looks like, at least for Mac, that only the "Lite" version is free, however I'd imagine that it should be more than sufficient for someone like me just getting started with color grading. You did mention color correcting the ProRes4444 file in Resolve. Would there be enough data / tonal range from the original DPX sequence preserved in the albeit high resolution, but more compressed ProRes4444 file that would make the ProRes file suitable for color correction? Also, this is more of a general question about DPX files and something one probably needs to grasp in order to understand the significance of a DPX sequence or a negative scan in general, but what is inherent or integrated into a DPX file that makes it so suitable for color correction? I've seen a few stills of flat DPX scans, and I was surprised at the lack of contrast and color saturation, almost as if they had been over-exposed. That said, what is it about a DPX file that allows you to pull good contrast, saturation, and an overall good image from an image that, on the surface, looks so lousy?
  3. As I prepare for an upcoming S16 transfer, I have the option of getting an HD telecine or a UHD film scan. In the end, I'd want a ProRes file for editing in Premiere Pro, but if I go the scan route, I'd also have the DPX sequence along with a ProRes file rendered from the individual DPX frames. As I'm familiar with the concept of individual DPX frames from film scans, I'm not well versed when it comes to working with them, so hopefully someone can help with some of my questions. I don't have an exceptionally high powered editing system (I'm editing on a MacBook Pro with Premiere Pro CS6), so is there much of an advantage to me in having the individual DPX sequence files, and is there much I can do with the DPX sequence in Premiere Pro? My understanding is that the individual DPX frames are around 10 MB each, so I'd imagine that you would need a fairly powerful system to be able to edit directly or perform color grading with the individual DPX frames. I think using the ProRes file is much more in line with my system's capabilities, so I'm just curious what, if anything I could do in Premiere Pro with the DPX files. Even if I can't really use the DPX sequence for real-time editing, is it still possible to perform color correction on a DPX sequence in Premiere Pro, or is DPX color grading typically performed elsewhere? Also, since DPX files are essentially a "flat" scan of the original camera negative, should I expect a DPX sequence to be pretty flat in terms of color saturation and low in contrast, even if properly exposed, with the expectation that some type of color correction will be performed on the resulting image sequence? And, if that's the case, would a one-light ProRes file rendered from the individual frames essentially have the same flat-ish color and contrast as the original DPX sequence? I have a lot to learn about the DPX workflow, so any help would be appreciated. Thanks!
  4. Haha...I wish this project was that ambitious! To answer your question, David, at the moment I'm just running some camera / lens / film tests. An HD telecine should be more then sufficient for a project like this, but at the same time I'd like to do some experimenting with telecine vs. scanning. Ultimately, anything I shoot and edit down the road would be strictly for Blu-ray. Unfortunately, I don't think my Mac is powerful enough to edit with raw DPX files, so that's why I would want to have the DPX sequence "dumbed down" to a ProRes file. Just to clarify my understanding (or lack thereof), is the concept behind a 1080p24 file (vs. a 60i file) that a 1080p24 clip actually plays each individual frame at a rate of 1/24 second (much like a film projector would project film) and without any pulldown, while a 60i clip plays individual frames at 1/30 second and, with respect to film transfers, employs 3:2 pulldown to match frame rates? In terms of transfers, can a true 1080p24 ProRes clip be generated from an HD telecine, or can it be generated only from a film scan where 24 discrete frame scans can be assembled for each second of playback? Also, are most NLEs capable of properly playing and preserving 1080p24 formatted clips? I'll probably end up using FCP or Premiere Pro down the road when I need to start editing.
  5. I'm planning on shooting some super 16 sometime early next year, and I'm trying to weigh my options in terms of HD transfer. I've been getting some quotes from Fotokem, and right now I think I've narrowed the transfer down to either a 1080p telecine transfer or a 2K scan. Am I correct in assuming that, generally speaking, a 2K scan will look better than a 1080p telecine? While it would seem that the resolution of the two options are fairly similar, are there inherent advantages to the scanning process vs. the telecine process? In the event that I did opt for a 2K scan, I'd likely have the DPX sequence transcoded to a ProRes clip. That said, if ultimately I'd like to end up with a ProRes final product from either the telecine or the scan, would there still be advantages to choosing the 2K scan over the telecine? Finally, is there any difference in the way 3:2 pulldown is applied to a ProRes file (or any format, for that matter) generated from a telecine transfer vs. a file that's rendered from a DPX sequence?
  6. Hi everyone. I've been looking into a few Arri SR3 packages, some of which include camera bodies and/or mags that have been professionally repainted by various camera houses. However, after reading some accounts here and elsewhere about personal experiences with repainted cameras, I've become a little leery of repainted equipment and thought I'd see if anyone could share thoughts or information on the topic. A friend of mine once had an SR3 magazine repainted by a reputable camera house in the US, only to find that the new coat of paint was quite delicate and started flaking off even under normal handling of the repainted mag. Even the slightest nick, like an innocent, light scratch from a fingernail, would peel off a little flake of paint. Needless to say, having mags with flaking paint isn't the best thing for film or to have in a changing tent. That said, are there good, better, and best ways of repainting cameras and mags, and if so, which methods tend to be better than others? The original SR3 camera and mag paint seems to be very durable (maybe even baked on), so I'm curious if this kind of delicate paint job is just to be expected when simply repainting over the original finish. Also, is there any benefit to dealing with Arri directly, and do they offer services or repainting methods that aren't available elsewhere? Thanks in advance for any information or advice!
  7. Hi everyone. I've been in the market for a PL mount zoom lens to go with my new (to me) SR3. I have a number of decent offers and options, so I thought I'd offer the question up to all of the experts here and ask which you would choose, given the following options... Zeiss 11-110 for $2300 (mechanically and optically in good shape, cosmetically in decent-fair condition) Canon 11.5 - 138 for $2500 (mechanically, optically, and cosmetically in good shape) Canon 11 - 165 for $3000 (mechanically, optically, and cosmetically in good shape) Angenieux 11.5 - 138 for $2600 (mechanically and optically in good shape, cosmetically in excellent shape) I know everyone has their own criteria for making a decision like this, so given the options I've presented and assuming that all of the lenses offered are mechanically and optically sound, I'm just curious which option you would choose, and the reasoning behind your decision. Also, any information on the weight of one lens vs. the other would be great, or thoughts on whether some of the lenses might fare better than others for extended handheld filming. Thanks!
  8. I may be working on a project in the future in which I'll be shooting handheld in a run-and-gun, one-man band situation. While not a necessity, I'd like to try recording some sync sound of ambient noise, passersby, and so on using a stereo mic and recorder either nearby or attached to my rig. In a perfect world, I'd have a timecode enabled audio recorder synced to a Denecke TC slate and just catch a flash of the slate at the beginning or end of each shot, but I'm just not going to have those kinds of resources. That said, does anyone have suggestions for a simple, effective sound synchronization system or method for a one person crew? The thought of an old school bloop box / slate certainly comes to mind, although I don't know if these are still available. I'm sure I could homebrew a bloop box with a buzzer and a bright LED or strobe, but that wouldn't necessarily help with identifying the specific audio cue for each individual take. For that, I'd have to use a Sharpie or sticker on the box to indicate the take number for the camera, then verbally call out the take number for the audio recorder. It's pretty low tech, but it would probably work. I did see that there's even a Bloop Box iPhone app, but unfortunately it doesn't have the capability of displaying or announcing take numbers. Anyway, I've thought up a couple of options, but I just thought I'd see if anyone has suggestions. As I'm going to be a one-man band, I'm trying to keep it as simple as possible. Thanks!
  9. Thanks for all of the replies so far. As for whether or not the camera in question is actually a Panavision ex-rental, I'm pretty sure it's legit, and judging from the seller's reputation, I have no reason to believe that they would intentionally lead me astray. In the photos I've seen, the camera body actually has a small Panavision logo and serial number neatly engraved on the camera body. This isn't just a rental sticker or barcode - it's an actual engraving. So, if it isn't legit, someone sure went to a lot of trouble! Can anyone verify that Panavision does, in fact, engrave their name on non-Panavision rental equipment?
  10. I've been in the market for a S16 camera package, and one of the options I'm seriously considering is a pre-owned Arri SR3 package. It's being sold by a reputable motion picture equipment service and resale company, and judging from photos it's cosmetically in excellent shape, however my only reservation is that it's an ex-rental. When I started looking into cameras, I was hoping to purchase from a private owner and was very leery of considering an ex-rental. Maybe it's an unfair perception, but I just envision some ex-rentals, after having passed through so many hands, as being in questionable condition and chock-full of unpleasant surprises that will surface down the road. That said, this particular camera is an ex-rental from Panavision. Given Panavision's overall positive reputation, should this ease my concerns somewhat? Would it be safe to assume that their rental and service department did a decent job of maintaining the camera and accessories while it was under their ownership, even if it wasn't Panavision-manufactured equipment? Also, seeing as how Panavision is usually associated with its own brand of equipment, I'm curious about how often they would have actually rented out an Arri S16 camera package. There's certainly no way to know for sure, but I'm curious if they rented these cameras frequently, or if it's something that was available to their clients but spent most of its time on the shelf. Bottom line, if you were considering a camera purchase and leery of ex-rentals, would you feel a little more comfortable buying an ex-rental knowing that it was owned and maintained by Panavision, or would you have more of a "once a rental, always a rental" mindset regardless of who owned and rented the camera? If nothing else, the reseller would also perform a tune-up and detailed check of the camera prior to sale, so that's a positive point as well. Thanks to anyone who can weigh in on my questions!
  11. I've been checking out various PL mount zoom lenses to pair up with a S16 camera. A while back in another thread, someone posted this useful link which lists various zoom lenses as S16 safe, S16 convertable, and so on. Generally speaking, are lenses that were originally designed for S16 superior to those that have been converted to S16? Specifically, I've looked at both the Zeiss 11-110 (designed for S16) and Zeiss 12-120 (formerly a 10-100 R16 converted to S16). While I'm not sure how equivalent these two lenses are in terms of overall quality, would the 11-110 generally be considered a better lens for S16, or could I expect equal quality from the 12-120? Also, on the lower end of the price range, I noticed that there are a few older Angenieux lenses (like the 15-150) that happen to offer full S16 coverage. While the prices are lucrative, I've read that these older Angenieux lenses tend to be a little soft, especially for S16, and that their optics aren't optimized for S16. Just curious if anyone has any opinions on these lenses as well. Compared to newer lenses, are their optics, coatings, etc. just not up to par with newer lenses? Thanks!
  12. When comparing the SR3, XTR, and LTR, which of these 16mm cameras is the quietest when running at 24 FPS? I think all of these cameras are generally regarded as running quietly, but I'm just curious if one model tends to run quieter than the others. Thanks!
  13. Just curious if anyone could recommend any reputable companies that deal in lens mount modifications and conversions (such as switching a lens to PL mount). I'd like to look into the possibility of switching some Canon broadcast lenses to PL mount, however I know there are many factors to take into consideration, so I was wanting to get in touch with someone who, simply put, knows their stuff on the matter. Thanks!
  14. Thanks for the reply, Dan. So, just to make sure I'm understanding this properly, while the FFD for a particular mount (52mm for PL mount, for example) remains fixed, the back focal length can and will vary from one lens to another. If this is correct, then am I correct to assume that the variation in back focal length is a function of the internal optics within the lens? In other words, I'm guessing that variations in internal optics are what allow back focal length to vary from one lens to another yet still manage to produce a properly focused image on the film plane.
  15. I'm trying to improve my knowledge on the finer points of lens mounts, and I have a couple of questions regarding FFD and how it applies specifically to PL mount lenses. First, I'll mention that I do understand the concept of FFD as the distance between the lens mounting flange on the camera and the film plane. I also understand that the FFD varies from one lens mount to another, and that the FFD for PL mount is 52mm. Here's where I'm curious. I've looked at a number of different PL mount lenses, both prime and zoom lenses, and it appears as though there's some variation on the distance between the mount on the lens and the rear element on the lens. My initial question is this...what's the technical term for the distance between the mount on the lens and the rear element on the lens? And, if my observations are correct and this distance can vary from one lens to another, then this means that the distance between the rear element of the lens and the film plane can also vary depending on which lens is used. That said, I'm curious how this doesn't result in a myriad of focusing issues. I'd think that for proper operation, not only would the FFD need to be consistent, but also the distance from the mount on the lens to the rear element of the lens and, consequently, the distance from the rear element of the lens to the film plane. Along the same lines, if these variations do exist, then do manufacturers specify a maximum/minimum value for their cameras? For example, I could see a situation where the rear element of a PL mount lens might have plenty of clearance on a digital cine camera, yet it might be too deep for a 16mm Arri or Aaton and could potentially interfere with or crush the rotating shutter. Thanks in advance to anyone who can help with my questions!
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