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Robert Hughes

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About Robert Hughes

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  • Birthday 04/01/1955

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  • Occupation
    Sound Department
  • Location
    Minneapolis

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  1. Of course a Filmo is a 16mm camera. The shutter mechanisms are different enough, I'd guess that you wouldn't benefit. Besides, the $10 Filmos (like the -A and the -DA models) are too old - they have dual perf sprockets, and the older ones have a completely different speed governing device than the later models.
  2. Great idea - I'd be interested (if ever I could get the scratch to update my CP16R). Next idea, an in-camera color video tap.
  3. Fortunately the mainspring on the Eyemo is nowhere near the shutter assembly. You can pull the front assembly with shutter in about 5 minutes and review the workings - it's quite clever, simple and functional. It's possible you could make a new cam that would cause the pulldown to operate at twice speed (ie 24 pulldowns when camera is marked 12 fps). You would also need to replace the original 170 degree shutter with a bowtie shutter such as found on the old CP16's.
  4. A word of caution - some of the Kodak XL cameras used a plastic main gear that over the years degrades ("turns to cheese", some users say) and gets ruined by use. Before you wreck your camera you may want to open it up and see if the main gear (a big round thing) is plastic, and if so you may want to look around for a replacement made of nylon or metal.
  5. It's possible you need to get your lens collimated. I have a Beaulieu 4008ZM2 with the Schneider lens, and notice the ground glass focuses in a different spot than the aerial image - so mine needs collimation also. In general, lenses that are designed to be detached (like those on the 4008) are more likely to need collimation and focus adjustment than hard mounted lenses like the Nikons.
  6. Video has strong points and weak points relative to film, as you've probably read ad nauseum here. As for Beta this or digi that, I don't care too much - they all work OK (and digi Beta is better than most). The main issue I would concern myself with is gaining control over lighting, i.e. maintaining a low enough contrast ratio to avoid blowing out the highlights. Daytime skies, for instance, blow out very easily with any video format. If you need to shoot outside, try to plan your shots around early morning or late afternoon/evening, and don't shoot into the sun. Use plenty of reflectors and fill light on your talent to avoid black shadows. And for gosh sakes, get a decent boom operator that can hit his marks and not drop the mic into the shot.
  7. Robert Hughes

    Tape Vs.

    Oh, 33 1/3 RPM LP will always sound the best, of course! Oh, wait, you're talking about video. Never mind...
  8. As far as video BNC cables are concerned, "all aspirins are alike". The SD video spec requires 6MHz bandwidth, which is easily met by any 50' video cable in good condition. If you are very concerned with picture quality, plan to run your interconnects as 3, 4- or 5-wire component to avoid the losses inherent in the NTSC composite system.
  9. Take a look also at the Nikon R8 and R10 cameras (same body, different lenses, both good). Also look at the better Bauers such as the S 715 XL. I have these cameras, in addition to a Beaulieu 4008 - they are all nice. The problem with the Beaulieu is its need for a special battery - the others take standard AA cells.
  10. Yes, even non pin-registered cameras like Bolex or Filmo can make beautiful shots with acceptable steadiness (as long as you're not requiring rock-solid, video-like registration). Of greater importance to me is the caliber and condition of the lens. Does it focus sharply? Must you have a zoom, or can you get your shot with a fixed lens? Is the lens clear and are the coatings undamaged? Is a bit of "vintage" look appropriate to your production (lens flare, bokeh, vignetting on short lenses, etc)? I'm watching an old Hitchcock film on Hulu (Blackmail) with lots of vintage look due to the 1920's era Cooke lenses they used - and it looks, well, old.
  11. The easiest sound movie system is - video! If you need to shoot with sound, run a video camera simultaneously. Not only does this give you effective backup (and a second angle if you wish) you get stereo 16-bit digital sound, automatically synced to video. All you need to do in post is match image to video and you're in sync!
  12. I've heard of one or two Filmo S16 conversions, but in general don't think it's a very good choice for conversion. In addition to the hardened steel gate, the frame needs milling. The lenses will be offset and you will likely wind up with non-symmetrical vignetting. And the shutter may need to be expanded to cover the gate. As for the sprockets, if you have a single-sprocket camera (70-DL, DR, or late model DA) you don't need to machine down the sprockets, but you may wind up with marks on the emulsion. Older Filmos (the black ones) were dual sprocket, and aren't worth fooling with - there's too much rework involved. If you have access to a machine shop you may be able to handle this, but if not you'll be paying a lot for S16 conversion to a wind-up, $100 camera. Let us know your progress, though - if it works, I might be interested also.
  13. Hello, Sam. We all are noobs sometime, welcome to the club. I assume you've used a video camcorder somewhere along the line; film shooting is similar in that you are capturing a fleeting moment for playback later, but the technologies used are of course quite different. Film has been around since the 1830's, and moving pictures (MP) since about 1890. Using a film camera in comparison to a video camcorder is similar to driving a manual transmission car versus an automatic - you have to do more work to get it to do what you want. The biggest issue is that most MP cameras do not provide autofocus or autoexposure - you have to set the appropriate f/stop and focus to get a usable image - just like with a manual camera. As a matter of fact, one good way to practice filmmaking is to shoot a lot of still photographs with a 35mm camera set to all manual mode. You need a lightmeter to tell you the exposure level and you need to focus to get a clear image of your subject. Once you are able to reliably expose a roll of still film, you are ready to shoot 16mm movie film. Find an appropriate camera (a Krasnogorsk K3 is a good one, also consider other makes (Bolex, Bell & Howell Filmo model 70, Arriflex, etc). Make sure the camera you get still works - many of them are over 50 years old by now. Track down an operator's manual - often you can find copies on the Internet. Buy a few rolls of Kodak PlusX or TriX reversal film (100 foot daylight spools), load up your camera, and go to town! It's really not all that hard - people have been doing it for over 100 years, and you can too! One thing to note about film shooting - film stock is expensive! You measure your shots in seconds, unlike in video, where people often let the cameras run on and on, waiting for something interesting to occur. With film, you set up your shot, get just what you need, and stop immediately. Most film takes are between 10 and 20 seconds. Another item of note - basic film shooting is "mit out sound" - there is no audio track. You are making a silent film, so plan to tell your story with visuals. Audio would be added later, in post production, from separate audio recordings. When you send in your reversal film to get processed, ask your lab if they can make a video copy to VHS, DVD or some other consumer format. You will have to pay extra for the video transfer, but be careful not to go to a professional post house, where they have those million dollar telecines. Your first several films will be terrible, and you don't want to spend good money on a great transfer of your terrible shots. Matter of fact, you might prefer to try to track down an old 16mm projector, and make your own video transfers, shooting "off the wall" with your camcorder as you project your films. One last note. Shooting video is easy, but filmmakers get all the hot chicks. So start now and beat the rush!
  14. Hello, Paul. I'm not going to pull the front plate tonight to look, but I believe you'd need to have several parts replaced in order to accomplish 2-perf nirvana: At the very least, a new gate (of course), a pull-down advance cam located in the front plate assembly, and a regearing of the advance sprockets, which would be the biggest headache. I'd say no, it's not practical. Shooting it as 4-perf and adjusting in digital post is probably the better bet.
  15. I've heard that somebody in Hollywood is planning a remake of "October: Ten Days That Shook the World", by Sergei Eisenstein. Except they're leaving out all that political stuff ...
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