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Sean Cunningham

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Everything posted by Sean Cunningham

  1. DOF isn't fixed though. It depends on distance to subject. Give an MFT shooter a Noktor/Nokton lens and a stack of ND and he can make you think you're looking at 5D footage :D Of course, following focus on these tiny lenses, that's an interesting problem.
  2. Predator will always be a favorite. It's been many years since I saw it but I'm pretty sure it was anamorphic, like a lot of the bigger budget '80s action films were. When I was 17 my family went to Puerto Vallarta for Christmas (1988) and, at the time, you could make the trek up one of the mountain passes to a place called El Eden which was the location used during the raid on the rebels camp in the first act. They turned it into a tourist destination and restaurant, complete with a burned out Huey chopper left by production near the entrance for picture taking. I have no idea if it's still there but this was one of the highlights of that trip for me. What was crazy was you're going along this incredibly rough and tumble road, with sheer cliffs and no barriers, through the jungle. All along there are these LOL-inducing paintings of Schwarzenegger to let you know you're on the right road which felt seriously 4x4 only territory. Then you get up to the top of the mountain and you see a full-size Coca-Cola or Corona truck making a delivery and you can't help but think, "no way!" and thank your lucky stars you didn't meet it coming back down while on your way up.
  3. There's a modified Fujinon lens of this type on ebay right now. I had to look up what it was after playing with a D16 at the Bolex booth at SXSW. It looked spectacular wide open at f/0.85 and decided then and there that I'd have to get one if/when I get a BMPCC. It's not my lens, not my sale, but I figure I'd pass it along since I saw it just yesterday though it's quite a bit more expensive than Andy's: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Fujinon-25mm-f0-85-C-MOUNT-RARE-MODIFIED-TESTED-17mm-f0-95-25mm-f0-95-Nokton-/301119983831?pt=Camera_Lenses&hash=item461c2650d7
  4. Converting to ProresHQ via 5DtoRGB (there may be others that do an equal or better job) does mild improvement via chroma filtering. It's not the kind of thing that jumps out and bites you but if you know what kind of footage shows off the limitations of 4:2:0 or 4:1:1 footage it's easy enough to see. Adobe for one does not filter chroma when you import low fidelity file types like h.264 though YMMV with FCP, I dunno there. The effort and additional storage is only worth how much you care. I figure anyone who even has the presence of mind to ask is a valid candidate for someone who might care enough to go through the effort. You should do it after locking your edit, however, so that you can build just a list of the clips to "bump up" and substitute. Unless you can't edit with H.264 native and need to just do it all anyway.
  5. 5DtoRGB does a better job of up-sampling MP4 than Adobe products. It's often subtle but it's definitely not a FCP-only issue.
  6. Buying a new camera, now, I'd get a Blackmagic camera. Take your pick. I'm not getting rid of my GH2 but I'll never buy another camera that only shot compressed. There's just no excuse for it and no reason to settle anymore, buying a new camera, unless your budget is something like $350-500. For that, a used GH2 or GH13 will be a fantastic value. Closer to $700-800 or so, a toss up between a used GH2 and something like a used 7D to get into raw shooting (and the new All-Intra options for Canon). If you've got a grand or so to spend, Blackmagic all the way. That's what I'd do at least.
  7. Could you elaborate on this?
  8. 65mm isn't native 2.35:1 4K is proxy resolution for 65mm. What is this thread even about?
  9. Are you talking tabletop, like with miniatures? You're going to be better off, if you are doing tabletop or miniature stop motion, to just do manual, single exposure rather than try to work with a time lapse function which will introduce increased possibility of error and unneeded tension while working, unless that's some part of your process, trying to only do what you can fit into the interval between exposures while getting out of the way. Or, since I don't currently have a BMPCC, does it not do single exposure?
  10. I just watched the trailer. It actually looks like good fun. There's an interesting aesthetic in a lot of martial arts films in this period. Back in '83 to about '86 or so I was obsessed with ninja. I loved the Golan/Globus/Canon productions with Sho Kosugi and that silly TV show with Lee Van Cleef (The Master). A beautiful anamorphic film from the '80s that has been an influence, I suppose, is The Ninja Wars, aka Death of a Ninja. It's finally available in a halfway decent form as part of the Sonny Chiba collection as well as streaming on Amazon Prime. You'll see a lot of motifs that John Carpenter would borrow for Big Trouble in Little China, particularly the "devil monks" featured. (TRAILER HERE) It has a dreamy, storybook atmosphere that I think about and have thought about since I was a kid. I normally like realism in setting and production value but this film and Ronny Yu's The Bride With White Hair have got to be my favorite use of theatrical lighting, sets and production value in a fantasy film. (TRAILER HERE) They're both very stylish while having fantastic stories and characters as well.
  11. Very cool Andrew! The only time I've ever really seen "content" become a hot button issue here at EOSHD would be when someone would inappropriately try to derail a technical discussion already underway. It's a common pretense that attempts to establish the troll as somehow above it all while downplaying the importance of technical craft, education and experimentation. It's completely disingenuous and bothersome behavior showing both a lack of respect and context. Having an appropriate framework and context for the discussion should help keep things clear and constructive.
  12. It's an achromat, +0.4 strength and it's quite valuable.
  13. @Nahua at 180mm you had to be using a diopter and in a fairly extreme ECU situation, no? Or are you using one that's been modified so that front and rear element can be manually adjusted? Is any of that in one of the videos you might have online? The longest prime that I have is the Nikkor 105mm f/2.5 and I need to do some more shots but it seems like it'll be useful with the Anamorphot at a decent stop. I had to be so stopped down when pairing it with my Century Optics that I only tried it the one time and never messed with it again. After that I've only got a couple big zooms which are more useful for personal defense than anamorphic shooting.
  14. Does it perhaps change across the focal range and perhaps this is the source of discrepancy?
  15. Well, they can't control what folks put out there really. There are plenty of unfortunately bad demonstrations of the GH2 and months of consistently bad examples for pretty much any model of Blackmagic camera that has come out. Let's not forget the well-meaning but face-palm inducing fellows uploading un-graded LOG footage. That's just Bad Idea Jeans. 1.33x adapters can have great character relative to spherical but getting there maybe isn't as "gimme" as with higher compression lenses. At the end of the day there is still great value in being able to avoid cropping for a "scope" aspect ratio. It maintains maximum use of your sensor, has some resolving benefits and, in the case of AVCHD or 422, reduces artifacts of both compression and color sub-sampling. If it did nothing more that would still be an advantage but there are aesthetic benefits if you shoot to play these up. In the case of this video the shooter just didn't, for whatever reason. The Letus does seem to make some of them a lot harder to do. I'm not getting rid of my Century Optics when I make a permanent acquisition of the Anamorphot, because the CE works well on my 14-42mm Lumix @18mm and can even auto-focus just fine. But the CO smears at the edges, like the LA7200 and like the Letus seems to in several examples. There might be times where this is useful as part of the aesthetic. That might shock a lot of VIMEO all-stars but it happens in the selection of cine anamorphics all the time.
  16. First, I would strongly urge any self professed "noob" to stay away from shooting raw video, which it appears you're alluding to with your use of "hack" for the 50D. The high bitrate you're describing isn't from slightly increased AVCHD performance. So, shooting AVCHD, you could pretty much, if you wanted Canon, get by with a T3i or second hand 7D, or second hand 5D, etc. Then, later, when you're more comfortable, you could consider a hacked camera. In the example above your shadow observation isn't so much an indicator of having a screen backing not too far behind the actors as much as their harsh, unflattering, front light (which also likely accounts for their feeling so artificially distinct from the background). See the very large bright blob on the fridge? It's not from a light anywhere near the fridge, meaning it's from a light on the opposite side of the room, like maybe just to the left of camera. That may be a reflection off their key light which could very well throw a shadow from the actors all the way back there were it to be mounted just a bit higher than the lens and to camera left. That's what I'm seeing. If you want to learn more about doing this sort of stuff I recommend checking out the Film Riot channel: ...that's one of their GS tips videos from a few years ago but they cover the gamut of similar effects techniques, usually with a fairly DIY attitude, great humor and tailor their show to their mostly "noob" audience. It's often hosted in front of a GS and makes heavy use of GS and as the years have passed and they have gained more experience their tutorials have stepped it up a little but they still keep everything very basic. Once you're comfortable working at that level you could move on to more sophisticated techniques like the Video Copilot tutorials. Anyway, all of the Film Riot stuff tends to utilize un-hacked (or at least not raw) Canon footage. As I said, the camera is less of a factor at the level you're working. Your results are going to be more influenced by the software you use to key. And your ability to color correct and light your foreground subject.
  17. I don't think they're using a green screen. If you go on amazon you'll find fairly inexpensive portable green screens. You can get draped material but I would suggest one of the flexible kind instead because you'll still have something portable and easily stored but the flexi versions won't give you problems with wrinkles. Virtually any decent DSLR will let you do green screen keys good enough for web content. What will make a bigger difference will be the keying software. Primatte from Red Giant is a good option here.
  18. They offer their lens with a few different coatings. The most liberal coating, offering the most flare is still pretty subdued I think. This fellow might have got one with the really suppressed coating.
  19. Hmmmm...the Letus is basically invisible here. You don't get any anamorphic aesthetic just "scope" aspect ratio without cropping, which is to be expected more or less in the daylight exteriors but curious for the night stuff and interiors at the train station. I don't like the highlights at all compared to your better GH1/GH2 or maybe even GH3 videos. It's videos like these that would prevent me from ever considering a GH4. That sounds awful. Maybe it's just bad encoding.
  20. That's correct. It was produced by Alexandre Aja (Haute Tension) and the best film he's been involved with since coming to America, IMO. Yeah, Alan Ormsby (My Bodyguard, The Substitute, Popcorn) wrote the screenplay. His son Ethan died of cancer a few years ago, tragically. He and I hit it off pretty quick when he got his first job at DD and was assigned to my team on Strange Days. We both loved a lot of the same '70s and '80s horror and working late at night he'd entertain us with stories of his childhood as a Hollywood kid, his dad putting him in Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things and the like. He hadn't had the same life as a Corey Feldman or anything but his experience growing up and the jobs he had were definitely a different world from most kids, stuff like being Alan Funt's personal assistant for a while, working for Charles Band at Full Moon, etc. Every year we'd gather at Ethan's come Oscar season because his dad would just give him the stack of screeners the Academy would send every year. I miss the guy.
  21. A dear friend of mine's father wrote this film. Nice photography, great '80s score by Giorgio Moroder. And Natassja was definitely easy on the eyes. Skiphunt, if you want to see this sort of thing taken to a fantastic extreme, check out the recent remake of Maniac. Outside a few shots it's purely first person POV but done with beautiful photography, mostly nights. This segues nicely with the above because it has a brilliant '80s throwback score by Rob that riffs off of one of the main themes from Giorgio Moroder's score for Cat People. If this were a "Top 11" list Maniac would be on there, and might slide one of the others out in retrospect for a Top 10. It and Drive are what I think of as my ideal non-anamorphic "urban night" look.
  22. I saw Fast Runner here in Austin. It was very good. Like with Danny Boyle's 28 Days Later you become less conscious of seeing a film shot on low resolution, digital video because the story and performance and pacing and all other aspects of the craft of storytelling are so strong. In the end, even with the humble specs of the camera, you still have an interesting looking film. The visuals are definitely not throw-away, like so many Dogme-esque, DV revolution, mumblecore, should-have-been-community-theater productions. There were, however, technical considerations in the choice of shooting video for Fast Runner having to do with the setting. It was the feeling of the DP that the snow and ice would have looked too uniform with film, that somehow the way he was able to tune a large chip (for the day) video camera gave detail and gradation to the setting that would have been harder to achieve with film. I don't necessarily agree with that but this was a factor. If anyone has back issues of RES Magazine from 2001/2002, that's where you'd find the story about this film and how it was shot.
  23. I would think there's a lot of crossover between favorite films and influential films but I can say in my case there would be specific shots or sequences from each that I would say are my touchstones for specific types of photography or shots, color and composition. These would represent personal taste so folks should refrain from projecting their's onto others or questioning why their own personal taste isn't represented by other's choices. It's not a contest. You don't win anything coming up with the most predictable AFI selection. Deviations from the norm are a lot more interesting and revealing than some list that could be created with a statistical algorithm.
  24. Is there an actual formula for bits created from resampling or is this a lot of guessing? A 4K .GIF re-scaled to 480P would make it somehow much closer to native 24bit imagery at 480P? I'm a wee bit skeptical on that but curious.
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