Every once in a while you see a film and it strikes you as being something exceptional. Maybe the story, the cast, etc. Recently I viewed “Ida” on Netflix having read about it in American Cinematographer some time ago and obviously didn’t see it in the cinema. What I really responded to in the film was the pure visual storytelling. The Cinematography is excellent. They came up with a way of composing many of the frames with extra room above the characters which is a bold move. They framed the movie in 1.33:1 which gives it a classic pre-50s feel along with being in black + white. Overall I think it is the simplicity of the film that was interesting to me. See the film and check out the details and analysis of the cinematography on the ASC website.
I get a lot of questions about filters from students and other professionals. In the early days of shooting digital with a Sony PD150 I used a 1/4 BPM (black pro mist) to take the digital edge off of the video. Here is a comprehensive video testing out the current offerings of Tiffen in a formal test. Check it out.
So we just finished up a mini doc about my perspective on film. The catalyst for the project was to create a 2 minute doc about something you are passionate about to win a Sony FS7. It turned out really well. Please check it out.
I’m sure I’ll post more about the Helix soon. The Helix is a stabilizer designed and built by Letus. They came to be during the 35mm adaptor fad. They made a quality product and have continued to make accessories for the changing market. I first saw a clip about the Helix at NAB and thought the design idea was cool. They center the lens for 360 degree rotation. It has a flat base so you can set it down. It is designed to be a camera stabilizer not a helicopter gyro. Anyway, I got to try one out today at Cinequipt. Just a couple of minutes and my first impression is sold. The Ronin is great, but much heavier, difficult to hold for long periods and just not as refined. I’ll be putting in an order soon.
What a cool format that was gone before it had a chance to really be fully embraced. Just today ARRI announced a digital Alexa 65 with a huge sensor requiring lenses with a large image circle. Borrowing from still photography they’re calling it medium format. Rental only at a substantial rate I imagine. It’s just cool to know that that camera exists. Fascinating article published in Film & Digital Times.
After waiting for a very long time the 50mm has arrived. Rokinon has a nice set of affordable primes. The 35mm is and 85 are great. The 24mm is acceptable on the 5D full sensor. But that 50 was really what was missing. This looks like a really good one. Looking forward to trying it out on a shoot tomorrow.
It is only a couple of weeks until classes begin. I was thinking about how I teach the basics of filmmaking and how it would be really useful to have some visuals besides films to talk about composition. And then I come across this video which is sort of quirky but it works.
So if you are taking a class with me in the future maybe I’ll show this video.