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D4cl00

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  1. The last 18 months have changed me completely as well. No more traveling because the company “is remote first”, no more creative minded colleagues, it’s all about process and numbers. All Zoom meetings are to the point, no more laughing. Dealing with 9 hour time difference (USA HQ) The 2 years before that was helping my wife with her rehabilitation after she suffered a stroke. Which was hard with a 1.5 year old and a 7 year old. We were back in the Netherlands coincidentally (we came back to NL for friends and family) when it happened, and so I decided to immigrate back not knowing whether she was going to recover and be able to speak and walk again. The immigration causes all kinds of financial challenges (taxes, insurance) which cost me close to $100K in the end. These events - rehabilitation, lockdown and now isolation shook me to my core. It changed me. I feel completely burned out. Life has gotten more “bare” and I have to find myself again, find what I truly care about. Connect with people, build something new. Add on the fact I’m 41 and probably having midlife crisis at the same time (proof: I drive a Tesla!), and the party is complete. Sorry for the long story - what I’m trying to say is that your personal struggle resonates with me and I want you to know that many people around me including myself have severely struggled the last 2 years. Social media didn’t help either; it has created a fake lens of the world, especially the last few years. It’s like 99% of the people are acting or presenting a version of themselves, instead of being themselves. Things will get better, but as you said you may have to force change. Whatever you choose to do next, I wish you all the best. Never, ever give up the values you live by. Take care.
  2. I just found my original BMPCC in a box after moving and I realized how much fun it was shooting with this camera, despite all its shortcomings. It are the limitations and the singular focus, stripping it to the core, that makes it such a pleasure to shoot with. I never used the newer cameras but they don’t seem “pocket” at all, and a bit of overkill to carry along.
  3. I think camera companies are disconnected to what consumers really want and are afraid of positioning their products completely different. As an example, I want a large sensor webcam for vlog work and meeting. Just to put on a tripod, that’s it. Remote work and still having shitty webcams, OR having to pay too much money on a full camera I don’t want. I want a vlogging camera, like Sony released, but without the crappy 8-bit video codec and their shitty control system for under $750, including lens. I’m not paying over $1200 for a full kit if my phone is right next to me, but at the same time I want better optics. I do not want it to take pictures, I need a drastically easier menu system like Blackmagic products have, and I want amazing autofocus. The lens can be fixed. Likewise, I am ok spending between $2-3K on a cinema camera with amazing autofocus because I don’t have a crew with focus-puller for my solo work, and this one needs to ProRes or BRAW on an SSD I can stick in the camera. eND filter. No photos, simple menu system focused on filmmaking (there are dozens of options on the market if I want to take pictures). The problem with mirrorless cameras is that they are positioned as dull, Swiss-army knife devices that don’t dare to make any choices. By their choices to want to cater for everyone, they can’t become specialized, clearly positioned machines to solve one task really well.
  4. That’s a weird comment coming from you 🙂 Aren’t you doing the same in your videos, and even addressing individual YouTubers with critique to make your point about the state of the industry? Saying what you don’t like about them is the same thing as telling them what you’d rather would like see them doing. If you are willing to post these videos, you should be willing to receive feedback, regardless of whether you agree to it or not. This just feels dismissive.
  5. This right here. I am not enjoying your rants, Andrew, because (a) it’s a losing game, (b) makes you come across as bitter and (c) doesn’t seem to be your ‘groove’ and doesn’t accentuate your differentiation and strength. Whether you are right or wrong isn’t the point; you can’t change the rules of the game and it doesn’t make for entertaining content. In my opinion, your strength is the intersection point between technology and creativity (I would love to see more of the latter to balance the tech side). You aren’t competing with bloggers, YouTube’s or even cinematographers if you create your own category. And that doesn’t mean you can’t voice a strong opinion as part of your concept. I just would rather see you fight FOR something instead of AGAINST.
  6. Most people don’t know what product they need. They have a problem or goal and the product needs to solve that. Their perception of what the right product is, is often what’s the gold standard (and most of the time a conservative concept that hasn’t essentially changed), until a disruptor changes everything - and revolutionizes the entire industry with something completely new. It’s like everyone wanted a Nokia, until Apple showed up and Nokia was a goner. The problem with Sigma is that they may have created some original, daring concepts here, but it’s not revolutionary at all. It’s just some new ideas within the same old paradigm, the same form factor. Not worth going for. People then just see it as a risk and stay with what they’re used to. The entire traditional camera industry bores the crap out of me. Nothing happens. Just iterations in a shrinking market.
  7. This is a really good point and is certainly the case for me. I don’t really add a lot of “new classics” to my collection but often look back at the ones that I discovered at a younger age, which I’m now showing to my kids, and makes me excited all over again. It is definitely a part of our perception of “things were better in the past”, even if that’s a highly subjective. For me another part is “polish”. Filmmaking and post-(production) technology is so advanced right now that I look back at the craft of filmmaking from times before those advancements. The unpolished editing, camera motion/lens use, practical effects etc, are all specific. constraints that I really love and add to the “rawness”, especially in 70s to 90s films.
  8. One of the other issues not mentioned in the article I think is that writers don’t have the time to properly marinate their screenplays anymore. Quantity above quality. A past example is The Matrix trilogy. The first one had very smart written dialogue and references and fantastic action, the other two movies which had to be created under the weight of the success of the first movie, tried to cover up ‘smart’ with ‘deep’ philosophic nonsense and pointless chase scenes. No single scene in Matrix 1 was unnecessary. I feel a lot of what’s being created today falls into that last bucket, writing wise (which trickles down to direction, time for actors to get in character and editing). Luckily there’s still a lot of true quality out there, but even that starts to feel unimaginative. I compare it with jazz or a complex wine that requires an open mind and acquired taste, versus sterile smooth jazz or a coke. There’s even the problem of what I call “fake creative authenticity” for a lack of better words. Take the show “The Boys” which deliberately delivers a quirky, weird and violent show, but you can just feel it has been choreographed by marketeers. It’s incredibly well produced, slick, but for once I would like to see some raw edged, unpolished parts and a director and writer who truly don’t give a fuck. They’ll have an incredibly hard time realizing to a larger market. The best way forward in this industry is to take something people are comfortable with and mix it up or add something to it - but that’s marketing choreography 😞
  9. I would have agreed with you early 2000s, but not in 2021. You are assuming cinema shooting is still done the same way. It’s not just a marketing trick, and also with AFC, it would sell much better to that “YouTube audience” (which if you like it or not, has become the ‘standard’). “Cinema” is not a static definition. Even Blackmagic positions this as a camera for a wide range of uses including interviews and documentaries, for which continuous AF is terrific, especially when the subject and camera is moving, and the crew is very small.
  10. The problem I have with Blackmagic Pocket specifically is the lack of AFC which I feel is important to have nowadays. Most of us won’t be shooting with a full crew and focus puller. I had hoped this camera would have been equipped with Lidar or another sensor + the software algorithms to keep subjects in focus while shooting. I would gladly have paid $500 more for this.
  11. True, and I have that background myself having founded and run a games studio for over 13 years. However, filmmaking’s strengths (to me) are about human connection, either fiction or documentary. You have to spend a lot of money to copy that when working in real time engines, which are in return obviously great at interaction and non-linearity. To me both can be placed on a Venn diagram where the overlap is cinematography and storytelling, but outside that overlap have clear strengths.
  12. All I have to say as a Dutch guy - kudos for posting Two Unlimited 😂
  13. I think Nolan is hypocritical in respect to this situation. (And somewhat overrated as a director, but let's set that aside) https://io9.gizmodo.com/oh-this-is-rich-christopher-nolan-1845833185 Ps: I had the opportunity to work with him on some games related to his films, and he's a really nice guy. I just didn't care about his later work myself. And honestly, I find your article very sour and negative, Andrew. Plenty of awesome talent out there. The fact they are developing for the "small screen" has nothing to do with their creative abilities. But if you cherry pick only some really bad ones for your article, it sets a very negative toon unnecessarily.
  14. I’m actually not sad about overpriced square footage and thousands of people walking around in noise halls eating crappy food. I can watch a product intro just fine on my computer and wait a month to see product reviews from sources I trust. I rather would like to see more community interest group events - actual users and subject matter experts. Socialize, learn new things with the tools we purchased.
  15. It lacks certain design aesthetics, values. It is the layout, grouping, hierarchy, how and when you expose information, contextual aware design, affordance, terminology, interface design etc that is wrong. Different font sizes, pixelated menus, overload in terminology, too many irrelevant options, no clear understanding of the user, etc... Japanese companies often are “tech/engineering first”. Their engineering mindset echoes in the user interface and user experience. Which is weird - look at Japanese gardens, modern Japanese interior design and architecture; they are minimalist and balanced. Look at their cuisine; minimalist, simple yet rich, delicate and artful. Almost the opposite of tech hardware design. An evolution of ingraining their (beautiful) cultural design values into their cameras still needs to happen. It requires their companies to be structured differently and I fear their traditional org structures and formal approach prevents them to keep up with modern times.
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