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Jon O'Brien

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  • Occupation
    Cinematographer
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    Brisbane

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    filmreelpictures.com.au

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  1. Being initially rejected is fairly common. I always find it interesting how many famous or influential creative people (not just in cinematography) got their start. A lot of them knew rejection early on (sometimes lots of it) and their stories are inspiring and uplifting. Just because someone gets rejected doesn't mean they will rise to the top, far from it, but it's still encouraging that many talented people suffered the same thing and didn't quit. To take a famous example: around about the early 1900s the young violinist Fritz Kreisler couldn't get a job playing violin in a professional orchestra. The concertmaster wrote on his audition report that basically he wasn't good enough a player. So not long after that Kreisler ended up being the world's most famous classical violinist. A rare case, sure, but fun to read about, and ponder. Must have been funny going back to that orchestra and playing as the soloist with them. I guess the main message is keep on going, if you really want to do something enough.
  2. If what you're saying is true, then most pros would probably prefer to have authentic old Super 8 cameras from the 70s and 80s, shaky picture and all. Buy a stack of them on ebay, throw out the ones that give you problems, and go to gigs with 4 or more cheap cameras stuffed into a bag. If one jams while filming, or just suddenly decides not to start running, grab the cartridge out and put it into the next camera you grab from the bag. The frame line would vary but that can be fixed in post. That strategy might work for the next couple of decades, until the supply of Super 8 cameras dwindles. By then a lot of the nylon gears and motors/wiring will have given out. The other big appeal of Super 8 is the extremely quick change over of the film. I forgot to mention that above, comparing it to 16mm.
  3. Are there really all that many professionals shooting on Super 8? I can't help thinking that in nearly all cases 16mm can do everything Super 8 can do (you can grain it up, crop in closer etc) and also easily do a lot more that Super 8 can't. About the only thing Super 8 has that 16mm doesn't is the jittery Super 8 jump - which the new camera wouldn't have had. With Super 8 I feel that the existing cameras are relatively low-cost, if you can get ones that are reliable, and so if you're fine with the jitter and you want to shoot Super 8 then maybe just have an extra back up camera or cameras with you. But even so, I wish they'd done ahead with the Gentoo. It really did look fantastic.
  4. With some small attention to detail it could be made to appeal to hipsters. There's a minimalist trend and some contemporary cinema cameras look a bit like bricks. Doesn't have to have the classic curvy lines of an older Arri to appeal to new buyers, except maybe the film magazine.
  5. You are quibbling and making assumptions. It's none of your business. You only need to offer support for someone making new film cameras. It's really simple.
  6. Well, I will just repeat some of what I said above: "just as far as I see it there'd be more money to make out of Super 16 and 2 perf 35mm cameras." And to that I will add: That is, if there's any money to be made out of making film cameras. Well, it does seem to be profitable enough to make new film camera designs. Someone is doing it. Sometimes Tyler you come across as someone who in effect is saying: "Give up now, all who strive. The game is lost"
  7. 2 Perf is significantly lower in cost to run and looks just as good on the big screen as any other 35mm format. In some ways it's ideal for the big screen, because it shows a real film look better in the cinema, what with the usual contemporary digital post and projection. You can just see some subtle grain but the definition is still excellent compared to Super 16. 3 perf and 4 perf anamorphic these days, with digital everything except image acquisition, come out looking too pristine and clinical and virtually indistinguishable from something shot on a digital cinema camera. So 2-Perf has a lot going for it.
  8. I do feel that while a fantastic-looking Super 8 camera that would have been a success as a rental camera it was a bit difficult a sell as a self-owned thing unless you do make substantial income from Super 8 'videography'. Not many do. Maybe almost no one does. Most people make a living on digital and/or on 16mm so it seems to me. Or with 35mm. If they film with Super 8 it's often just something on the side. I'm talking about making a buck from it. Hobbyists are another thing, but then again the price was very high for just a hobby. It's not my business to advise anyone on what's marketable or not but just as far as I see it there'd be more money to make out of Super 16 and 2 perf 35mm cameras.
  9. Correct me if I'm wrong but could I be forgiven for thinking that this tends to be a certain type that I've come across? A certain age bracket. Beard. Slightly intense type. Unpleasant. Really into digital ie usually something with a bl----y skull on it or similar. Sooo professional, and real industry people ... you know?
  10. A feature movie is an expensive thing to make. It's going to cost a lot of money no matter what you do, it goes with the territory. I still think film is a great choice. If film isn't a great choice, no one would bother putting up with the cost.
  11. Arri LT/ST not possible to easily convert? I'm reliably informed that Panavision will happily convert their 4-perf cameras to 2-Perf but of course that's for the uber big end of town, on big productions, which is of course fine. I wonder how often Panavision cams are actually fitted out in this way for a production. One occasionally sees a major production these days shot on 2-Perf. 'First Man' made use of it for quite a bit of the film. Also 'I, Tonya'. Looked fabulous.
  12. I emailed Tommy and asked about whether they might have any plans for producing a 2-Perf camera. He replied and said they have no plans to do so, because the market is already flooded with excellent 35mm cameras. I wonder if therefore someone somewhere might specialise in 2-Perf conversions or conversion kits for existing cameras. As always, I remain curious and keen about the potential of this format.
  13. I like the economy of film shooters. They know deep within their souls that each frame costs money. They shoot accordingly - and are so efficient. Pretty easy on the color science side of things, too. And film look? It's already in the can.
  14. I agree. I never manage to get over the line, into the territory of: yeah, that's for me. Maybe one day the perfect camera will appear. Until then I think I will stick with film.
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