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Jon O'Brien

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Everything posted by Jon O'Brien

  1. Yes, I was getting rather a different impression to Dom of how 16mm is currently going. Top of the line Super 16 gear at the moment is going higher in price it seems. Sure, S16 lenses are used by the digital people too but S16 film camera bodies themselves are going up. 416's are scarily high in price if one ever becomes available. 2 perf 35mm cameras also seem to be sought-after but are as rare as hen's teeth. 3 perf is much sought after too. It's really the look people want. If you want a super sharp digital image then that's great -- you can get it. If you want the 16mm look it's available too. It's great that film looks like it's doing quite well.
  2. Hi Jake, I don't know if this is helpful but there is a cinematographer on YouTube called Lewis Potts who shows in one of his videos how he uses his phone, taped over the eyepiece of his Bolex. He uses the phone camera as a type of video tap. If you don't mind me chiming in on this topic: If anyone can help with advice, I also have a question related to video tap. If you have the older style of video tap, that was later added to the viewfinder system of, say, an Arri SR, in a conversion, does the video tap make the SR optical viewfinder significantly darker? If the video tap is taken off and the attachment point plugged, does this then render the viewfinder just as bright as it would have been without the video tap being attached?
  3. Thanks Aapo, that's very informative. Is there a particular model or type of light meter you can recommend, that works well for measuring ambient light level? I have a Sekonic L-398A meter which is more the old-fashioned type. Do you use some kind of digital meter?
  4. And let us further assume that both were in Super 16 -- that the SR had been converted and had a SR3 S16 gate in it.
  5. If you could choose between a slightly worn SR3 that has seen much use, or an immaculate German-modified SR which has hardly ever been used, and assuming both have been recently checked and both run fine, and are up-to-date with battery supply etc, which would you prefer? Is the SR3 significantly quieter? I'm guessing, if the SR3 is a bit old, then not necessarily.
  6. How can hand held light metering, when shooting, say, on a 16mm Bolex without TTL metering, be speeded up to the maximum? What techniques and types of light meters work best? The reason for my question is that I'm interested in doing some film shooting for weddings on 16mm. I've shot a wedding on Super 8 with auto TTL metering on the camera and that was straightforward and fairly low stress. But I'm starting to wonder how shooting a wedding is going to go when using 16mm. You can't exactly call out when the groom is about to put the ring on and say, "Hang on... just got to get the f-stop." Thanks for your helpful advice.
  7. Is Les Bosher still doing this sort of work? Who else in the world is currently considered the best for putting a PL mount on, say, an Aaton, or a hardfront with PL mount on a IIC? Thanks for any info. Bruce at Aranda Film in Melbourne told me in an email that he's closed up his workshop permanently. The end of an era.
  8. Kind of an apt title. No time to die ... for celluloid cinematography that is. It lives. Yay!
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. A good work of art reveals truth though. Perhaps that's what Goddard meant.
  19. 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.
  20. The thing about low-energy art is that it can lack energy.
  21. 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.
  22. Does anyone know if you can get an optical director's viewfinder that has 2.20:1 aspect ratio? There was a model by Cavision that has 2.20 but it doesn't seem to be available anywhere at the moment. Alternative is of course an app but I'd also like to play around with an optical viewfinder.
  23. That's sort of what I want to do. Combine artistic imagery with classical and classically-inspired music such as played by the Kronos Quartet.
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