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Raafi Rivero

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Posts posted by Raafi Rivero

  1. 12 minutes ago, zerocool22 said:

    Looks great, well done :).

    I would love to see some side by side footage with other cameras (like scarlet-w, c300 ii, the upcoming F6, ump,...) If you have any or are planning to do some.

    Thanks.

    I haven't done anything like that but today someone showed me this pretty detailed comparison of the full-frame cinema cameras: https://www.agdok.de/de_DE/kameratest2019-en

  2. I haven't really posted in this group much for awhile, but the launch film I created for the Mavo LF just dropped today. (It was playing at the Kinefinity booths at NAB&CineGear but it finally came online today). Article I wrote on NoFilmSchool but the film's more important - took me about a year, ha. I've always wanted to create something vaguely sci-fi. Happy to answer any technical questions, too. Cheers.

     

  3. 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:

     

  4. 3 hours ago, wa666ou said:

    Yeah.

    Are there variable NDs that can be used with matte box?

    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. 

  5. 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?

  6. 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.

     

     

  7.  

    58 minutes ago, maxmizer said:

    the S35 sensor is still the format for cinema ...
    as a whole, it is not up to par, despite the company's effort to be ambitious.

    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.

     

  8. 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). 

     

    On 11/4/2018 at 3:43 AM, maxmizer said:

    because it is nothing exceptional in relation to the competitors.

    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.

     

     

  9. 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:

    sronan_gbh.png.edbba04bd6d12117fb6f0f9a56baa3a0.png

    gd-street.jpg.47706277ddb43223841d5c19a7856a1d.jpg

     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.

  10. 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."

     

  11. 4 hours ago, fuzzynormal said:

    Keep in mind when it comes to the Sundance (or any other big film festival) worthwhileness debate: causation vs correlation.

    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.

     

  12. 13 hours ago, kaylee said:

    legit question: when was the last time a short or a directors career took off bc of a festival?

    NOT cuz a video also has 3 million views on vimeo

    seriously curious abt whats going on in these streets

    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.

     

  13. Excellent work. Longer short films (12+ mins) are harder to get into festivals because it means it's taking the place of two or even three films. That said this thing looks incredible and I think it should play tons of places. The other option, of course, is releasing online and just building views/community around it in forums like this one and on the comments on youtube, etc. Getting things seen is always tough but you kinda did the hardest part which is make something worth talking about.

  14. Most festivals will ask you for a flat 1920x1080 file for projection so you should prep one of those with the black bars at the top and bottom. Some festivals are sophisticated enough to project in anamorphic but I wouldn't count on it, especially for a short where they're programming things in blocks. Most people will be submitting/projecting 1920x1080 so it's best to have a simple file that they can drop right into the timeline.

    As far as which festivals to submit to, it's always a somewhat scattershot process but I'd take a look at what kinds of films they've programmed in the past as a guide. You wouldn't submit a drama to a comedy festival, etc. Each festival has a personality so you should target festivals that look like your film.

    The other thing is travel - it's most valuable for your career to be able to actually be there for the screening so you can meet the programmers and festival people. I once won best short film at a festival that I wasn't even there for, so that was a missed opportunity. And that's why it's better to be there. So if you don't think you'd be able to make it to the screening (on your own dime) then that festival might be a lower priority than one where you can. Obvious exceptions are the top tier fests where you'd go regardless... but what difference does it make that your film played the Hawaii Children's Film Festival if you're not there? Ideally what happens is that you get into one or two top festivals and other festivals invite you to submit with a fee waiver - that way you can play Hawaii or wherever without having to pay to submit.

    Often programmers from one festival will go to others nearby to scout films and filmmakers. And often programmers will move from one festival to another. So getting to know the people who work at the festival will help your reputation over time as those workers spread to other festivals, etc.

    So, to recap, start applying to places you'd like to go, starting with the top dogs. Prioritize places you can get to on your own. As for festival gems, I had a great time at the Milwaukee Film Festival last October. Really well run, strong audience engagement. I wrote a long journal about the experience here. And I've had great fun at the Los Angeles Film Festival (top tier fest, great staff), Blackstar and Urbanworld, (niche festivals that fit my film), and New Orleans (incredible city, met a lot of filmmakers), etc. They're all fun. 

    Keep plugging away and good luck.

  15. 3 hours ago, Damphousse said:

    There have always been two kinds of photographers out there.  You just have to decide which type you want to be.  I dare anyone to show us ANY published Ansel Adams work that has "poor technical quality".

    Ansel did it all.  If you are a more limited artist then make peace with it and put out technically poor work.  As you stated you can be quite successful without being very thorough or thoughtful about the technical process.

    I'm gonna call both/and here. There are no two types; we are snowflakes. We are all limited in different ways: some in our ability to master technical details, others in composition, in content, others still in understanding what makes a good image on an emotional level. There are simply an incredible number of levers to pull to create a stunning image: lens and camera choice, f/stop, filtration, lighting, subject, location, subject distance and on and on. The process is inherently imperfect and complicated by the huge number of decisions there are to make. What I like about Geoff's talk is that he doesn't choose one or the other. Yes, the talk is called "fuck the numbers," but then he goes on about an 8K scan of a classic film negative and the resolution in the chainmail of a costume in a terrible movie. Understanding the process of image-making is messy. It is a journey. Over time our attempts to master as many of these levers as possible will show on the screen but we will all have strengths and weaknesses.

  16. I pretty much use the terms "guerilla filmmaking" and "run and gun" shooting interchangeably. They're both war metaphors. The shooting style is applicable both for when you have permission, and when you don't, when you have actors, and when you're filming real people. There's also "one man band" which fits in a similar mould. To me run-and-gun is a relative term. A Hollywood person might use it to describe a crew of 10 people, LOL. If there is a difference between the terms it's that "guerilla" implies an ethos - get the film shot by any means. When I shot the piece below, for instance, I never had more than two crew members and was usually alone. All of the rooftop shots were a location that we sneaked onto (and setup a slider and handheld LEDs, ha). The terms guerilla, run-and-gun, and one man band apply to nearly every shot: 

     

  17. About half the shots in that are 24p. And nearly every shot in the first 5.5mins (and more than half overall) in my Terra 4k review are regular motion. But you can judge parts of image quality based on a still frame. David Fincher shoots everything in slow-motion, btw, then delivers almost everything in regular speed just so has the option - so there's your utility.

    I agree that the next hurdle is to use the cameras for narrative stuff. Working on something in that arena now. Stay tuned.

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