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Raafi Rivero

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About Raafi Rivero

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  1. The electronic ND sounds interesting, too. No (claimed) color shift. PL mount can cover full frame, BTW
  2. The Feelworld 279s is significantly brighter than my onboard monitor, which is rated at 500 nits. It looks a little green out of the box but has user-configurable RGB sliders and a green-magenta slider so I'll have to tweak a little bit to get the colors spot on.
  3. 2000 nits for 200 bucks. This was my one Black Friday purchase. Will update on Monday when it’s here.
  4. Another lighter weight way to add weight and stability to a small camera is to use a gyro from Ken-Lab. I own one of them - the KS-6 - and used it on my 5D pretty often. The downside is it makes noise so it’s more suited for b-roll and MOS footage, but on the plus side it gives you a floaty steadicam-like feel. The best of both worlds is to use it as a counterweight on the back of a handheld rig, then it gives your handheld more gravitas like a larger camera even when it’s powered off, and when it’s turned on... mwah. Everything in this video was shot with that setup: 5D mk2, handheld rig, Ken-Lab KS-6 (sometimes on sometimes off): also part 2 with the actual race:
  5. I guess if you don't count Amsterdam, Poland, Belgium, the Czech Republic, and Spain, then, yeah, there's only one distributor in Europe. I'd bet they add U.S. soon, too: http://www.kinefinity.com/kineteam/contact-us/?lang=en
  6. Most variable NDs are just two polarizers that rotate. When they line up and let the most light through then they’re at minimum. That’s why you get those weird star shaped artifacts in the bokeh when you’re stopped down a ton on a vari-ND and your lens is wide open. To get vari-ND on a matte box you need at least two stages and one stage has to be able to rotate. You should be able to drop in two polarizers and replicate the same effect. This is optically inferior to simply dropping in a single filter with the amount of ND you need, but it works. If you wanted to add a grad filter to a setup like that you’d need a three stage matte box. There is one manufacturer, I can’t remember who (can anyone help?), that made a two stage matte box with a third stage that supports a circular vari-ND so that you can use your existing ND closest to the lens and had two standard 4x4 trays for whatever else you want to add.
  7. I use a counter-weight by Neewer on the back of my rig. It cost me $30 on Amazon. Here’s a link. Redrock Micro also sells a dual counter weight that fits on rails for around $350, LOL. @TheRenaissanceMan said it earlier. Getting your setup heavier is the only way. An extreme way of thinking about it is: you’re standing in the middle of a windy field holding a single piece of paper in your hands. You twist and kneel with it like you were operating a camera. You trade the piece of paper for a 15lb boulder, doing the same things. Which one flutters in the wind more?
  8. There is some confusion in the metaphor you're making about film stock and digital sensors. One the one hand you say that you want companies to produce custom made sensors, then you conclude by saying you purchased a Z-cam because it uses the same sensor as the GH4. There are several layers to the way digital images are made and the sensor is just one of them. The color science of the camera matters as well - the Blackmagic CC4K and AJA Cion were released around the same time and were widely reported to use the same sensor. Both companies were known primarily for making breakout boxes and postproduction hardware. Both decided to move up the image chain to make a camera. The BMCC4K was Blackmagic's second camera. Blackmagic still makes cameras, and in fact the most popular thread on this website is about one of them. AJA produced an ergonomically superior camera. AJA released a video where the skin-tone of the models was not pleasing. AJA failed because of poor color science. So, you see, the sensor itself is not the dominant factor. Otherwise sensor makers would just make cameras. Engineering meets aesthetics in a camera. The manufacturer must have an appreciation for both - in the build and design of the camera body itself, and in its appreciation for the types of images the camera will be used to produce. Kinefinity's engineering prowess is clear. No other large format camera delivers such specs in such a small package. The aesthetic question is, of course, more subjective. I believe the Mavo LF is capable of creating excellent, cinema-quality images.
  9. This is kind of a ridiculous statement. Not sure how you can make such a sweeping judgment not having shot on the camera. re: S35 vs Full-Frame - one of the cool things about shooting on a full-frame camera like the Mavo LF is you can always bump down to S35 mode and shoot on a traditional frame size in 4k at any time. I did it the other day.
  10. I'll have an answer for you soon - I'm shooting the official launch film for it . Here's my unboxing of the Mavo LF - the first one to land in the US - with a tiny bit of actual production footage at the end of the video. (sorry for the audio. I'm deep in pre-pro and was rushing to get the unboxing out while in the midst of other prep). This couldn't be further from the truth. At a base price of ~$12k it's a fraction of the cost of full-frame competitors - Monstro VV =$80,000, ALEXA LF = $98,000, Canon C700= $33,000, Sony Venice = $42,500. it's a dual-native ISO 800/5120, a feature none of the competitors offer (the Varicam has a similar dual native, but isn't full-frame). Also it's a fraction of the size/weight of all those other cameras. But, yeah, nothing special. Been shooting tests all week, production starts on Saturday.
  11. A lot of the reason the bokeh look feels overdone is that it's cheaper to buy a fast lens and open it up on a night scene than light up a huge area and stop down. So with the flood of content from cheaper cameras and less-experienced filmmakers, we tend to see that look a lot. Aesthetically speaking, though, the only thing that matters is how the story works, how a particular shot makes the audience feel in the telling of the story. The dreamy quality of bokeh can't be denied. Even Wes Anderson uses it from time to time: The other is a grab from my film where a tough-talking street dude is also surprisingly witty. The bokeh enhances the dreamy-turns-nightmarish quality of the scene as the lead character is has fallen asleep on the subway and wakes up in an unfamiliar neighborhood. But for other night scenes we pushed the ISO and stopped down to mitigate the effect. The key is to have total control of the image as a storytelling tool. Bokeh is a part of image-making, so use it as it suits the content.
  12. To me, shooting stills with manual focus is a pretty good way to practice, and you're only editing stills afterwards instead of video. You learn different framings and lenses and the muscle memory for focus pulling in unpredictable situations. Shooting doc-style stuff also helps. One way to practice is to reach out to friends or people who interest you and shoot a short profile piece. Something you can shoot in a day and edit in a weekend. Here's one such piece - an interview with a former bank robber that I did when I was researching and working on a feature script. I didn't have a sound person and borrowed a couple camera bodies and just operated all three cameras myself and did the interview. But as they say, "the only way to get ten years experience is... to work for ten years."
  13. Of course, plenty of worthy films don't make it into Sundance (ahem, mine), and plenty of people have success independent of what film festivals they play. And there are a good many people who've blown up after their work took off on Vimeo just as a good number have done the same through the festivals. Causation is almost impossible to prove in any of those cases so I'm not sure the point of bringing it up here. The film Pariah that I mentioned earlier was rejected the first time they applied to Sundance and it was only after premiering at Women in Film and Video and word-of-mouth building over several months that they were invited to the next Sundance, which (to me) is a great story of the perseverance that is necessary to go far in this world. But since we're talking about film festivals, I guess the best part of what they do is create the context for the artistic side of the work. There are infinite numbers of channels broadcasting the latest reality tv competition shows and a lot of good filmmakers hone their craft working on them, etc. But those types of shows don't provide a platform for filmmakers who want to be making feature films and aren't quite there yet. Film festivals (the good ones, at least) do. They help both the audience and the creative workers, albeit through imperfect means. I spend a lot of time on Vimeo, have found a great many projects I love and have learned a ton from that platform, too. But one of Vimeo's limitations is that it's not designed to stoke the shared viewing experience that is one of the foundations of our industry. Film festivals do that, too. (again, the good ones). It's up to each of us to decide how we want our work to be seen and how to make sure we're making work that can reach it's audience. I think of film festivals as a critical piece of infrastructure in that process, just like Vimeo. For me a film is complete when it is seen by its audience, the better if that process can happen in a dark room with hundreds of people watching at the same time. Film festivals do that. The good ones.
  14. The director Dee Rees had a short film, Pariah, that played in Sundance in 2007. Then a kickstarter. The feature version of Pariah played in Sundance 2011. The Director of Photography of both, Bradford Young, won the cinematography award at Sundance that year. A few years later he was nominated for an Oscar for his work on Arrival in 2017. Rees' most recent feature, Mudbound, received four Oscar nominations. You can't do much better than that. Here's the trailer of the feature version of Pariah. I went to a screening of it last weekend in NYC.
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