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Raafi Rivero

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Everything posted by Raafi Rivero

  1. Thanks! Yeah I agree, there are a few shots where the shake is unwelcome. That was actually my first shoot with that rig, but I'll never go back to just shooting handheld without one. (until I get a camera with IBIS, that is). Camera was 5D mkII, and lens-wise I had three Leica R primes (manual focus) and two Canon zooms: the 24-70 L and the 70-200 L. The interviews and stuff inside the tents was most likely the primes with manual focus, the racing + track stuff was all on the zooms. Part 1 was shot only on the primes. Really like the smoothness of most shots on that one, too.
  2. The cheap stabilizers like the Glidecam, etc can give smooth shots but take a long time to balance the camera. Something like that works better for cinema-type shooting where every shot is planned and the extra time to set things up is built into the day. The other disadvantage of those type of stabilizers is they really wear out your wrists and are annoying to use for more than a few shots. Monopods are good for stability, not so good for freedom of motion. If you imagine yourself following a character around or doing any sort of run-and-gun then these aren't a great solution. The are great if your style is to get lots of different static frames in a day and you'd like to improvise. But if your talent tends to move a bunch, or you don't know exactly what to expect then the monopod will not always be the right tool. Gimbals obviously give great stability and the newer ones are easier to balance. Ergonomically, they do wear out your wrists and lower back because all the weight is in front of you. And unless you also want to invest in remote follow focus, then you'll have to plan your shots to always be at single focal lengths. Not a huge concern depending on what you shoot, but a limitation nonetheless. The "holding the strap around my neck" technique works well for a couple shots, but doesn't feel good for a whole day of work. Your wrists and arms eventually tire out, and the image starts to get shaky. If you plan on getting a shoulder rig, the key thing is to make sure it has enough weight behind the actual shoulder. A lot of the cheaper ones have a shoulder pad but require you to hold the camera up in front of you which, wait for it... wears out your wrists and lower back. If you're shooting the whole day you'll tire out and the images will start to get shaky. A properly balanced shoulder rig, with counterweights behind the shoulder, though heavier, will yield smoother shots and won't tire out your arms as much. Shoulder rigs also have the advantage of leaving your hands relatively free to make focus adjustments, and giving you a wider range of motion. The trade-off is that you don't get magical steadicam-like shots. You get handheld. Good handheld. Here's a piece that was shot with a Canon DSLR, and almost completely on a shoulder rig. There are a few super shaky shots in the nighttime intro that were without the rig, but pretty much everything else except the two tripod shots was with the rig. It's not steadicam, but it's smooth enough to tell the story. And you can tell from the "right there" improvisational feeling of everything that I wouldn't have been able to get most of those shots any other way:
  3. The Terra 6k has shipped to a few users. There's a very active Facebook group where I go to get my daily Kinefinity talk fix. Here's one of the first clips: I took the plunge and ordered the 5k version which won't ship for a few months. Wish i I had known Panasonic was planning to release the G85 - bought a GX85 early in the fall. It performed admirably until it took a ding and that was that. The G85's superior build quality is definitely worth the bump up in price. Technically it came out in 2015, but I'm really loving the Westcott Flex light: lightweight, portable, good output, dimmable. I got the daylight-balanced one during a flash sale at B&H.
  4. On a recent project, where I shot interviews in New York, London, Mumbai, and Barcelona, I filmed interviews in the following configurations: - with an additional shooter and sound person (me on the b-camera so I could concentrate on asking questions, and the shooter on the A) - with additional shooter, no sound person (me on b-cam, set-and-forget sound levels with a lav and boom mic feeding into Zoom recorder) - one-man-band: lav mic on the interviewee, and boom mic on a chair or stand feeding into Zoom H4N recorder. Maybe my Westcott Flex light. A-cam was Canon DSLR (or c300 mk1 for a couple interviews), B-cam was Canon DSLR or GX85, Zoom H4N (boom and lav mics), Leica R lenses, and usually one light. There are tradeoffs in every scenario. With a crew of three there are less worries about gear. Everything is taken care of and you can really focus on the questions you're asking, how you respond, and ensuring a strong connection with the subject. This is by far the best. There's nothing worse than being in the middle of a powerful interview where someone may be bursting into tears, or relating the heart of their professional work, and you're sitting there nodding to keep them talking while wondering if your audio levels are too hot. With just one additional shooter, I find that there's a nice balance between finding the perfect shot and covering your bases on the technical level. That said, something goes wrong on the audio side in these types of setups at least 10% of the time. I've had nice results working as a one-man-band and keeping the camera setup minimal (sometimes with the GX85 on a table as a second camera). But again, the stress of someone leaning out of focus, the audio levels not being right, camera drifting, or the dreaded 12-minute limit on the DSLR can be intense. On the one hand these interviews are very intimate - it's just you talking to the subject with maybe one light, so sometimes they may feel more comfortable. The conversation can be very free-flowing. On the other hand, on the technical side there is invariably some nagging issue with exposure, focus, audio, or framing. Picking crew size is like picking the camera, lens, and setup for any shoot. Not every setup is right for every situation. It is important to consider what you'll be shooting and how you'd like to capture it. That is the simplicity you're looking for. The choices about gear and crew size should flow from there.
  5. Here's my story. I started interning at a post-production house in September 1999 and learned Avid Media Composer first. They eventually they hired me full-time and I learned Avid front-to-back. In film school I bought FCP (2 or 3) for personal projects. I stuck with it over the years and it got better and better. I became a diehard FCP guy. Never went back to Avid. Never left FCP7. I even cut a feature in 7 this year. Last year I spent a month on FCP X. It didn't stick. And this year, after another flirtation with Avid, and a separate flirtation with Resolve, I spent about three months in Premiere. Premiere has all the most important features from FCP7 that I needed to move on with my life. I can use it. It works. About a week ago I download the FCP X 10.3 free trial. And... Wow. It takes some getting used to - the magnetic timeline concept is not something that feels "natural" to someone who's cut professionally for many years (commercials, features, industrials, etc.). My brain is wired to think in tracks and bins and everything like that. But FCP X is fast. Faster than premiere. Faster than anything. The amount of time from "I have an idea" to "I'm looking at that idea on a timeline" is the fastest of any app I've tried. I'm loving it. It's missing a bunch of stuff from FCP7 that would help. Just a few knick-knacks and shortcuts that could make the process faster. But the trimming tools on the timeline, the speed and intuition that they add to the process. And, more importantly, the silly intermediate steps that have been subtracted? There's so much less friction to the edit. As I start to get to the parts of the post process where I have to send out XML and move the project through external applications like mixing I can see some of the normal professional gripes. But as a creative tool? I think I'll be here for awhile.
  6. I posted this to eBay too, but would love to know it landed in the community. It's a full-size swing-away matte box for 15mm rods. It has two 4 x 5.65" trays, and the rotating stage takes a 4x4 filter. Includes french flag and side flags. It's well-used, but it works well. here's the auction http://www.ebay.com/itm/322306496203?ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1555.l2649
  7. I haven't tested the G85 but have tested the GX85. IBIS is the killer feature the two cameras share, but the GH4 still has a couple features that make it a good choice, depending on what you're planning to shoot. Advantages of the GH4: - 10-bit signal via HDMI at 4k, if you plan to use an external recorder this is still a killer feature. The GH4 is the only camera < $7k that offers this. - VLog - if you plan to shoot cine-style or for color correction, this gives you more dynamic range and grading options - slow motion - GH4 offers up to 96fps in 1080 setting Really it comes down to how much or whether you plan on shooting handheld. If you're downconverting everything to 1080, then technically you can get a 10-bit image out of the G85, too. With a shoulder rig or something similar you should be able to get great handheld shots without stabilized lenses, you're just committing to carrying around more gear.
  8. More Terra 6K footage was just posted to the Kinefinity Facebook group. I could do without the watermark, but here are the links - viewable in 4K. And more downloadable clips (no watermark):
  9. I was starting in the "Custom" section - not Standard or Neutral.
  10. Here are a couple raw shots from my trip/shoot. It's tough to tell how much the settings are doing because it's been very overcast both days I've been here, but the settings I decided on are: contrast: -5, Sharpness: -2, NR: -5, Saturation: -5. The second shot shows how much contrast the camera is capable of. IBIS looks nice on both (lens is manual with no stabilization):
  11. Thanks for posting the tests @Fredrik Lyhne. I had actually seen that clip on YouTube when I was researching this camera. I loved the consistent tonal performance on the skin tones all the way up to 3200iso. It's funny, when you're researching a camera sometimes it's easier to find tests than it is to find actual finished pieces shot on it. Especially for a newer camera like this one. On on my way to the airport now so I'll be sure to post some stuff once the trip's over. The IBIS was the killer app that made me want the camera. Sure,more expensive bodies like the A7rii have IBIS, but then you've got to deal with the Sony look, and it's almost 4x more expensive. Shooting-wise my priority is protecting the highlights so maybe I'll try the adjustment @DPC suggests.
  12. Hey folks, I took the plunge and ordered a GX85. On my way to B&H to pick it up now. But I'm throwing it right into the inferno of production and need some advice on settings. It'll be a B-cam on interview setups and using the IBIS to get some handheld b-roll shots. It looks like the color science has changed quite a bit from the GH4 so I'm wondering if I should try the settings from @Andrew Reid's GH4 guide, or if anyone's come up with a special sauce for this camera specifically? I'd like to optimize for smooth highlight roll-off. Louis Du Mont from these videos posted his settings as Standard: Contrast -5 Sharpness -2 Noise reduction -5 Saturation 0. And I've only seen a couple others posted in the other thread. Any suggestions?
  13. Thanks! We're hoping to play in a few more film festivals first, but are also talking to a couple distributors. Hoping we'll have a deal to announce sooner than later, but you never know.
  14. Hi folks, I wanted to let the EOSHD community know that my first feature is screening as part of the Urbanworld Film Festival in New York in two weeks. Some of you may live in the city so I’d love to meet you there, or at least let you know it’s happening. While I had been familiar with the site earlier, I became a regular EOSHD reader in the months immediately after we wrapped production. I also started reading Reduser, BMCuser, and DVXuser at that same time, but a year later this is the only of those that I check every day. I think there’s a great mix here of people looking to improve their grasp of technique, and those looking to improve their ideas about creativity itself. That’s why I’ve read and commented so consistently. On a technical/gearhead note, we shot principally on the RED Camera, but used the Canon C500 (+Odyssey recorder) for night exteriors, and had some b-roll and pickups shot on the GH4. One scene was even shot on an iPhone, but it was supposed to look like it. Here’s an article in No Film School about the film from a couple weeks ago. In any case, the New York premiere of my first feature is a big moment in my life and filmmaking career and I’d love to share it with whatever members of this community are able to attend. Here’s a link to the screening info and the trailer is below. Thanks!
  15. Longer focus throws tend to benefit cine-style shooting where an AC is pulling focus. They also help making micro adjustments on a wide aperture when shooting handheld where the distance between actor and camera is dynamic. Longer focus throws aren't as great for a single operator if you're pulling focus from, say, infinity to something in the foreground. I've had a hard time doing pulls like that without jostling the camera as a solo operator. On the other hand, shorter throws like those on still, and autofocus lenses are difficult in other ways. It's almost impossible to stop pulling right at the actors eye - you almost always pull slightly past where you want to go and have to make a quick adjustment or two. Or in a handheld situation where the distance to subject is dynamic it is very difficult to maintain focus. 180º seems to be a kind of goldilocks solution, designed for the most-likely midsize productions that are coming up a weight class to cine-style lenses, but aren't crewed up like film or tv productions. Also, manufacturing-wise, my guess is that it is easier internally to re-gear mechanically using the same internals from 90-180º, than to go to 270 or 300º. We'll see how it works in practice.
  16. Raafi Rivero

    Photography

    When I bought my 5D mkii six years ago, it was for video. But at some point I realized, "you know, this is a pretty good still camera, too." [doh]. So I started shooting a lot more stills. I had always shot stills as a hobby, or "to train my eye" for film shoots, or on location scouts. Suddenly stills became much more present. I've now been hired many times as a still photographer in addition to continuing work in film. The bulk of my work, effort, and marketing goes into the film side of things, but I really enjoy shooting still now, too. Here are some shots from a recent trip to Morocco. Shooting stills has also made me a more confident cinematographer, too.
  17. Funny because Kinefinity just pulled something right out of the BlackMagic playbook and pushed the Terra back again. I doubt we'll see the 5k version before 2017. That said, I admire what BlackMagic (and Kinefinity) are doing. (and what RED did before them). If the build quality on the Ursa Mini isn't up to military-grade right now, the tradeoff is price: cinema-quality images in a package that won't last. Once you get up to RED-level build quality with carbon-fiber knick-knacks, titanium this-and-that, then you aren't playing in the $5k sandbox anymore. What we really need is an excellent chip with a shallow-flange lens mount on it. Speedboost your way up to FF or not. A great rig from Zacuto. And the Atomos/Odyssey recorder does the rest. How much would that cost?
  18. I also had an excellent experience with Rode's customer support a couple years back. The elastic broke on my Videomic pro and I needed a replacement. I emailed the company to see if they sold the part and instead they just shipped me a baggie with several replacements (that were more robust than the orignals), for free. I'll definitely continue buying their products - and already have.
  19. Hi Geoff, thanks for checking it out and the feedback. I think both of those beats in the trailer you mention were somewhat intentional -- elongating the moment of a romantic attraction only to shatter it moments later with a jarring slap. And the loud ambient crack of the door slamming to raise tension. But I also see your point -- it could be that we're overplaying those beats a tiny bit, particularly the first one. I'll be sure to update if we release a second trailer prior to the fest.
  20. I don't know that any lens appreciates in value, but many will retain their value better over time due to build-quality and brand name, which props up the resale value. I'm really interested in the Veydra lenses, but unfortunately not a micro 4/3 shooter. Ditto the SLR Magic lenses. Lenses, being mechanical objects, generally retain their value better than cameras because the technology is simpler and doesn't go out of date as quickly. I'm a big supporter of the Leica R vintage manual lenses, and own 5 of them. Mine are older, but the more recent (and more expensive) ones will maintain their value well, and kick out some amazing images. Here's a collection of pieces on vimeo where that were shot on Leica R.
  21. Hi EOSHD community, I've been a daily reader and pretty regular commenter here over the past year, and wanted to share some exciting news. My first feature film will premiere at the LA Film Festival in two weeks! It's been a labor of love and a lot of work to get it to this point, so I'd love for any of you in the area to come out to the screening and to meet IRL. Here's a link for tickets, and the trailer's below. Also of note to readers is the many formats we used to shoot the film. Partly out of necessity, and at times for aesthetic reasons we ended up shooting on at least 5 different cameras and formats: Canon C500 4k Raw, RED, C500 HD, full-frame Canon DSLR, Panasonic GH4, and even iPhone Let me know if you can make it!
  22. I actually learned Avid MC first, and cut in it for years so these notes about the keyboard etc don't really apply so much. I used to have edit-off's with a buddy after work to see who was faster: me (keyboard shortcuts) or him (mouse guy). Once I switched over to FCP, however, I found that because there were multiple ways of entering various functions and modes I could edit much more intuitively. Yes, I still use keyboard shortcuts as much as possible, but cropping a shot in the timeline, for instance, is way easier using the mouse than typing in numbers. For me, the "methodical" nature of how Avid MC forces you to think and edit is antithetical to creativity. I prefer to iterate through as many ideas as possible on the timeline, as quickly as possible. That way I'm not just basing edits on what I "think" will work, then jumping through so many hoops if my "plan" doesn't work, but instead each edit is determined to work based on the evidence in the timeline itself, and the many the previous iterations of said idea. That is my working style. Media Composer, for instance is very particular about how you enter segment mode, or trim mode, and back. Assigning tracks is a pain and the interface isn't very flexible. In FCP (and to a lesser extent Premiere) you are able to manipulate things directly in the timeline, use 3-point editing techniques, assign tracks, etc. without regard to the order in which you do them. There are always multiple ways to skin the cat. That is my preference in an NLE.
  23. I'm a nomad at this point. FCP7 is my home, but it's crumbling. I've done a few projects in Premiere and a few light touches in Media Composer, but none of them feels quite right. I spent a couple months in FCPX last summer. Hated it. Premiere is probably closest to what I'm used to (MC requires so many intermediate steps to do things that you can do in one or two keypresses with FCP7 or Premiere, it's frustrating). Running OS X Yosemite, and at the moment I have active projects in both FCP7 and Premiere, final answer.
  24. Here's Reid's new video: It's funny, though, because prior to DSLRs all we wanted was HD video with interchangeable lenses. Now we want 10-bit 4k at 120fps in the same package. I'm not complaining, I want it, too. It's just that the lower end of the market will always have the leftovers from the higher end. Kinefinity TERRA for the win.
  25. Agreed. You can start with one or two people, though. Friends you shoot with, or who do similar stuff. The people you talk about movies with, etc. Over time you'll find more. The screening room in this forum might be the type of place you're talking about but it's definitely a lot less active than the parts of the forum where people are talking about gear.
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