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Alexandre de Tolan

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Alexandre de Tolan last won the day on February 13 2014

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About Alexandre de Tolan

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    Camera Operator
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    Sevilla, Spain
  1. Hello David and thank you for chiming in. Bellow is a link to a "film thesis" made by a mate I've met at Royal College of Arts in London, the college where he did his PhD: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2234249/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1 I know that there are several more. In Europe at least, almost every renowned college offers a PhD by practice program nowadays. The film I'm mentioning here is for sale on DVD. I'm going to see if I can put my hands at the paper which accompanied that film thesis. Thank you Mark, but I think David is wright on this one. That is a very generic topic. It must be a much more constricted one for this purpose.
  2. Dear all, After many years of camera operating I've been invited to lecture in a cinema course on a local college, and to increase the chances of being hired next year (and thereafter), I've been advised to pursue a PhD. I've written my 300 page Master thesis about 15 years ago, and I remember that it was a painful process for me. I'm a much more practice than a writer kind of guy. For some time now, Bologna implement Masters and PhDs by practice. Yes, they have to be accompanied by a written document that justifies the thesis demonstrated by practice, but nothing comparable to a 500 page thesis. This seems a brilliant opportunity for me to enrol on a PhD and direct my first movie. Yes, a thesis movie but a movie nonetheless. I'm now turning to this community for anyone who feels that can, and want to share with me what can be a thesis idea for a PhD in Cinematography by Practice. I know that this is not a common topic on here and probably is an odd one, but any ideas will be welcome and appreciated. Thank you all in advance, Alex
  3. One more thing. Do panning shots need tracking marks or only tracking shots need them?
  4. I have more than 20 years operating a camera and now and then someone turns to me to DP some project or as a second unit DP. Today was one of those days when some director came to me asking to DP a commercial. I said yes even though it's going to be a first time DPing on a green screen, so I'm a bit nervous. The set has 43 meters (roughly 150 feet) by 18 (59 feet). The lighting grid is 7 meters (23 feet), off ground and they have all lighting requirements I can ask for. The set will be dress by the Art Direction with some walls where a couple of guys will be Parkouring. The action will be shot 60p and 150p, so about 1 1/2 stop difference. My initial thoughts are to put a bunch of space lights in the grid to light the green screen evenly. They will be on dimmers to dim them down for 1/120 and up for 1/300 shutter speeds. Then backlight/Kick the action with HMIs through frame diffusion (I was thinking LEE 250 to give it some edge), and bouncing that light into the actors with Ultrabounce. Questions for the experienced in these situations out there: Hang the space lights only behind the action or also above it to raise exposure levels? How can I avoid green spill on the action? Push it as must as possible from the green screen? I believe that the Art Direction will also be greening the ground where the fake walls will sit. Use Minus green on the HMIs to separate the action? How many stops difference have the green screen to read comparing to the bounced light on the actors or even the edge/back light on them? I'm under the impression that this will be shot on a Sony F55, S-Log3, so ISO 1250 base exposure. Any suggestions are greatly welcome, even on different lighting approaches. Thank you in advance.
  5. Nobody picks them. That's why they suffered a major price drop recently. As the OP I was just interested in hearing what forum users think about them. I'm not planning to buy lenses. I have a full set of Zeiss primes and I'm very happy with them.
  6. I suppose this aren't the same exact glass found on their other lenses. The most obvious difference is flare characteristics for instance. I agree that it's a risky move from Rokinon since the obvious choice seems to buy used Zeiss glass. I'm not so sure about L glass. I've shot some projects on L glass (mainly chosen by the DP), and never grew fond of it. They were announced to sell for about 2500USD each but since then rumours went out saying that they can actually end up being sold for half that price tag. At 1250USD I find them a steal and I can see many small production companies to invest on them. I personally have a set of Zeiss ZFs (18 | 21 | 25 | 35 | 50 | 85) and the added mods (de-click, cine fronts and machined gear rings), makes my lenses more expensive than Xeens. Of course one could say that Zeiss glass is better (and I agree), but the added comfort on set (no need to adjust follow focus and matteboxes, and longer focus throw), makes for a hard decision when picking these new, and then... They will also be even cheaper used.
  7. Great. Only wish deals like these would come up in Europe. That would save a lot on shipping and customs charges. That alone would make for all upgrading needs that was already mentioned in this thread.
  8. Today handed me over 2 LED fixtures from a Chinese manufacturer to give them a try. When I first put them at work I instantly noticed a visible green shift in them. Picked up my Colormaster 3F and it measured the Led fixtures at 9750K!!! The meter asked for a +75 Mired shift to color correct it to 5500K and a CC25 Magenta. That's almost a full Minus Green. I've done a quick photo of my wife and her skin tone was way off. Tomorrow I'm going to try it with a half CTS and full minus green and compare results. Lee declares 70% transmission for half CTS and 60% transmission on Minus Green. That's about 1.3 Stops loss on filters alone for a fixture that measured 800 lux at 3 meters on my Sekonic 758 Cine. The guy who bought them gave 600 USD for 2 units which I find expensive for what they are. But he seems happy with the acquisition.
  9. From Chroma Q website: Key Features 575W 6000°K hot restrike lamp with high colour rendition Based around the rugged and familiar ETC Source 4 Par Supplied with colour frame and a set of lenses Integrated flicker free DMX controlled PSU enables remote on, off and lamp economy mode features 2200 hour lamp option also available As Phil, "wishing I were a few thousand miles closer to Glens Falls, New York", but since I'm not (and live in a 220V country), doesn't the ballasts run on 110V only?
  10. I've seen that Mark is using the Area 48 Remote Phosphor Softlights from BBS. I've worked with them and stand by them as a great soft light. I think remote phosphor has a lot to offer and yet it's still in their newborn days. Area 48 lights are not cheap but they have a great efficiency and color rendition.
  11. I know that's a early call to start to make assumptions. For what it seems there's only a few pre-production units out there but I assume that they will not change much from there. Picking up from the images that I've seen online it seems a good addition to the market. For the price tag I can see many indie filmmakers building their own set. Reliability is unknown and we'll see if they pass the test of time. Comparing it to Zeiss CP.2 lenses (based only on what I've seen on the web), I find that CP.2s have an advantage in term of color rendition. Skin tones are rendered more neutral and beautiful in the Zeiss system than in the Rokinon one. I also find the bokeh more nervous on the Xeen lenses, especially when full wide open. On the other hand, and relying on the tests I've seen, it seems that the Korean brand has less contrast than Zeiss. This can be an advantage in cheaper cameras which have a more restrict dynamic range to work with. They don't flare as well. Personally I'm very fond of the flare characteristics found on Zeiss lenses but for others that don't like their lenses to flare Xeen could be a good choice, and a cheap one. They also seem to breath less than CP.2s. All in all we're talking about half the price for Xeen lenses when compared to Zeiss. One can build a full set of 6 primes with the same cash spent on a 3 set from Zeiss. Curiously Sony has cut the price of their Cinealta lenses since no one has any interest on them. Let's see how Rokinon will turn out.
  12. Shame on you :) Everybody should have a friend ;) The problem with color charts is that they don't drink bear :)
  13. As told previously, the Zone system was primarily developed taking final printing into consideration. Ansel Adams was THE Editor (with capital E), par excellence (albeit not literally since he had his private printer), in the photography world. One of his most famous quotes were: "You don't take a photograph, you make it", and he was talking about the enormous post production process involved on every of his photos after he'd press the button, and that was where the Zone System resided. I advise you to make a simple but effective exercise for you to better understand it's basics: 1. Grab a still DSLR. 2. Put it in monochrome mode (it's easier since you're going to see the luminance results better and put the chrominance details aside). 3. Ask 2 of your friends to bear a minute with you. Ask one to dress a white shirt and the other to wear a black one. Put the 2 under the same light. 4. Put the camera in AUTO mode without flash. Choose your ISO but let it determine the aperture and shutter speed automatically. 5. Fill the picture with the white shirt and shoot. 6. Now fill the picture with the black shirt and shoot. You will find that both will be represented in a medium grey (for what the reflected camera meter is calibrated). That is your Zone V. Now: 7. If you want your friend's white shirt to appear white with some detail, you will have to expose for more 4 stops than the automatic measure told you (Zone 9). 8. If you want your friend's black shirt to appear black with some detail, you will have to expose for less 3 stops than the automatic measure told you (Zone 2). Bear in mind that - as also told by some members previously - Zone 9 and 2 will vary and will depend on your system (digital), or your stock (film). An Alexa with a 15 Stop DR will put it's black retaining detail exposing for far less than 3 stops for instance. Also bear in mind that digital and film will be exposed under the known rule that one is exposed for highlight and the other for shadows. Both will respond differently at those two extremes so if you want to put the Ansel Adams theory to work you will need to know your medium and/or your camera as the back of your hand, so that you can expose properly taking the post production into account. Relating all this to film, make a google search on how printer lights work with a film print. It's perhaps your next step to understand the validity of such thinking when you are exposing your stock. When you talk digital, all the camera and lens tests that any decent DP conducts prior to any shooting will relate not only with the best tools to use within the storytelling but also to know it's limits and to account for the DI and post production process. That is to say, take into account the finished process before it even begins, and that is what the Zone System is all about.
  14. What Phil is saying is that HMI lighting is not "constant" on the RGB spectrum as a tungsten light for instance. Like fluorescents, HMIs have a kind of "spike" (sorry but I'm not a native English speaker and son't know how to explain it in other words), on their RGB spectrum that renders them a unique color caracter on how they debit red, green and blue.
  15. Thank you for the update. Went through the whole thread and aside the personal notes on digital vs film I've found that many are as suspicious as I am. Good to know that I'm not that alone... Or crazy :)
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