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Jon O'Brien

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  • My Gear
    2 perf 35-3 and IIC. Nikon lenses. Also got a Bolex Rx5 Super 16. Ronford Baker tripod and fluid head.
  • Specialties
    I love real film.

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  1. This is, I think, a worthwhile subject for an episode of 'Australian Story' on ABCTV, or some similar program. An Australian designed and manufactured film camera, the whereabouts of the prototype being unknown. I think it would be a cool show to watch. Might put together a proposal and seek funding. Australia also had a major input in the invention of the IMAX camera - which I hope to research soon.
  2. I'm pretty sure Laurie lived in Victoria, Australia. In fact I think I lived about 5 minutes away from him, as a kid, during the time he was designing and making this camera. It looks great.
  3. I always assumed it was just an arbitrary choice, made by some unknown person long ago. The standard was 4 perf 35mm, with the given aspect ratio after allowing for the optical soundtrack. It was then decided a wider screen was desirable in theatres. Too much image cropped on top and bottom resulted in too much image degradation. The aspect ratio was probably decided just by eye. 2:1 was too cropped, and 16:9 wasn't wide enough. So someone just said, "okay, 1.85:1 looks about right .... we'll make it that." In other words it wasn't a mathematically neat proportion, it was just a good creative compromise that worked well. Not too cropped, and just wide enough.
  4. So frustrating. But, apart from the big productions, great to see 35mm motion picture film surviving by the efforts of a tiny, dedicated band of people willing to put up with all the problems, patiently looking for solutions. For that level of camera you need a technician to help you out. To go it totally alone would really be tough. Maybe get your money back and get a 2C or III or something like that, that generally has more spare parts available out there.
  5. I was going to say the same thing. Gold just looks pretty and it doesn't tarnish. It's practical because it's easily identified by appearance, malleability and weight. It can be easily scratched or cut to check that its solid gold. You can't eat it though and it isn't much good as a spear thrower or spear tip or digger. With farming came banking. Or something like that.
  6. Presumably black and white film is technically easier to make and process. Perhaps if Kodak completely gave up on film that some enterprising company somewhere could nevertheless take up the production of black and white film to keep movie cameras whirring away.
  7. I go into appliance stores and walk around truly in amazement, looking at the television screens. I look at screen after screen of what to me looks the most amazingly unappealing imagery I could ever imagine, all shot on digital. I stare at it in wonder. It is fascinatingly awful. Film is beautiful, expensive, and it's worth the extra cost. Digital's position at the top is unassailable of course but that doesn't mean film won't survive.
  8. That's interesting. It's a pretty long lens he's got on the 2C, on the turret without lens support. I always wonder at what point lens support is needed.
  9. With 2 perf for films made to be seen on a big screen with digital projection, the audience can just see a suggestion of grain without it becoming too noisy as can be the case sometimes with Super 16. 2 perf looks very sharp in the theatre. It's the format just made for the current cinema experience where you want a real film look. It could be coming into its own now ... if only there were enough cameras around. I now prefer the look of 2 perf and Super 16 in the cinema, for features, to 4 perf anamorphic, which these days with digital post and projection looks almost indistinguishable from something shot with a digital camera. With film prints projected in cinemas, shooting with 4 perf anamorphic or 65mm was ideal. I also don't understand the concern about gate hairs. As David Mullen points out above, 4 perf anamorphic also has very little space between the frames. I think it would be great to also shoot 2 perf in 2.20:1 ratio, cropping the sides a bit.
  10. A good work of art reveals truth though. Perhaps that's what Goddard meant.
  11. I'm with Brian DePalma there. To me the camera lies. A creative writer 'lies' too, but creative written compositions have been called "the most beautiful lies." Not really lies at all, that's being sort of tongue in cheek. But creative people are in the business of deception to some degree. Just think of live theatre. We want to sit back and be told a story and not care about how it was cobbled together. The camera routinely conceals authenticity and truth a lot of the time, a simple example being framing a shot 'way out in the remote countryside' that avoids showing the busy metropolitan motorway just out of frame (and with dubbed sound of course). We live in a time that likes to believe in hard scientific fact that everyone agrees on. Of course such a thing as objective fact and truth actually exists but which expert do we listen to? So often what is presented as fact is heavily influenced by how we interpret what we see, and what we believe to be true. Images are easily misinterpreted too. Two people can see the same scene and see different things. Well, a lot of words maybe to get a bit philosophical about an aspect of creativity.
  12. The thing about low-energy art is that it can lack energy.
  13. This lighting trend seems to be a type of minimalism that is prevalent across the arts at the moment. It's a low-energy approach and I think is supposed to be cool, and Bohemian, ... or something. Fair enough, if that's the look you're going for.
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