Master Cinematographer Sven Nykvist on the Importance of Working Reasonable Hours

Legendary director of photography Sven Nykvist, who famously worked with directors like Ingmar Bergman, Woody Allen, and Andrei Tarkovsky, has some interesting things to say in this rare interview from 1986, with BTS footage from the film Fanny and Alexander. The conversation ranges from his duties as the DP to how his work suffers with fatigue (thanks to Cinephilia & Beyond and Eyes On Cinema):

It's interesting that he mentions the working hours in the US. This is something we've talked about quite a bit here, that the United States tends to work insane hours compared to the rest of the world. While lots of productions in Europe try to stick to around 10 hours or less, shows in the States frequently go well beyond that. While Sven wasn't exactly a spring chicken during the BTS footage and the interview, the camera team rarely gets a break, so there is a lot of truth to what he's saying about fatigue.

Read More

Open Mike: Chris Borland (OT)

I have to start out here by saying I am in no way an enemy of football.

I did quit a football team once...in 8th grade! I was good at cornerback—I was one of the fastest  kids in my class, I could change direction on a dime, and, because I grew up with an full-sized trampoline in my back yard, I could jump. I felt like I could stick with anybody and then get up and knock the ball away. Nobody came down with a long ball on my side of the field.

Trouble was, I was just as good at seeing the ball harmlessly fall to the ground when playing offense. We were required to play both sides of the ball in middle school, and I've always been notably bad, for a male, at catching and throwing. In 6th grade, at the Bayside School, in a series of contests called the Presidential Physical Fitness Test, I was first in my class in the footraces—going away, nobody close—but dead last in the softball throw. I was as bad as a wide receiver as I was good as a cornerback.

But no hate for football. I'm a fan, I watch, I've been to games; I have relatives who play or have played; an old family friend played Varsity for an Ivy League team and was drafted by the Cowboys (he felt he'd been drafted to be a summer practice dummy, though, and turned them down). I have friends among TOP readers who are involved in NFL teams, and have nothing but respect for them, and of course I have many friends who are diehard fans, although many root for the wrong teams. And hey, I lived in Washington D.C. during the Gibbs years. And I'm from Wisconsin. 'Nuff said.

Hoffmanborland
Continue reading "Open Mike: Chris Borland (OT)"

How Legendary Director Akira Kurosawa Used Movement to Tell His Stories Visually

Akira Kurosawa was a master, there's no question, but what made is films so great? There wasn't just one factor, but in another terrific video essay from Tony Zhou, Kurosawa's use of character and camera movement is explored:

What's really interesting about this video essay is that it explores more than one kind of movement. Kurosawa wasn't just a master of camera movement and composition, but also moving his characters in the frame in the most interesting way possible to tell the story. Creating new frames with each camera movement makes them feel much more motivated, especially when the final frame of the movement gives you a completely new piece of information that you wouldn't have gotten if the camera didn't move.

That's really the power of movement in the frame, whether it be camera, character, or both. You're giving the audience new information without needing to tell them. At the end of the video, we're given the reason we do this in the first place — because of the visual stimulation, otherwise it's just radio. That's what makes film special.

Read More

How Legendary Director Akira Kurosawa Used Movement to Tell His Stories Visually

Akira Kurosawa was a master, there's no question, but what made is films so great? There wasn't just one factor, but in another terrific video essay from Tony Zhou, Kurosawa's use of character and camera movement is explored:

What's really interesting about this video essay is that it explores more than one kind of movement. Kurosawa wasn't just a master of camera movement and composition, but also moving his characters in the frame in the most interesting way possible to tell the story. Creating new frames with each camera movement makes them feel much more motivated, especially when the final frame of the movement gives you a completely new piece of information that you wouldn't have gotten if the camera didn't move.

That's really the power of movement in the frame, whether it be camera, character, or both. You're giving the audience new information without needing to tell them. At the end of the video, we're given the reason we do this in the first place — because of the visual stimulation, otherwise it's just radio. That's what makes film special.

Read More

Three Quick Tips to Make Your After Effects Compositing Look Way Better

Making your compositing look naturalistic is not as easy as it seems, but these quick tips will help.

Compositing is all about making disparate visual elements work together in order to create a unified final image. It can be as simple as taking green or blue screen footage, keying it, and placing a new environment in the background, or as complex as layering elaborate 3D animations into previously-shot live action footage. However, no matter what kind of compositing you find yourself doing, the basics never change.

In a brief tutorial on his YouTube page, Ruan Lotter at TunnelVizion TV recently shared a few tips that will help beginning compositors seamlessly blend visual elements:

Read More

Custom made 3DLuts ‘Deluts’ by James Miller NOW AVAILABLE!

UPDATE:

3D Luts in .cube and .3dl – For use in most applications that support 3dluts.  FCPX will need a LUT loader or LUT utility. Adobe Premiere will need Lumetri that is built into current CC Premiere then controlled with an adjustment layer etc. In Photoshop CC you can load LUTs through adjustments / Colour Lookup panel. Resolve can also used the LUT’s marked for FCPX.

16 Grid LUT’s are the quickest to work with, of course 32 Grid LUT’s will cover more colour data but the difference is very small to notice. I recommend the 16 Grids though for most jobs.

Remember to control the LUTs with simple RGB curves and opacity. Make sure the RGB curves are behind the LUT in the order of plugins or adjustment layers or a node behind the LUT in Resolve. I will be publishing a more helpful guide very soon.

Please note although these luts are designed from LOG source material, you can successfully overgrazed existing footage using curves behind the LUT. Almost a reverse S-Curve does really help, but mostly exposure and balance.

——

I have been using James’s LUTs for about a year now. We had planned to sell them for ages but like all things we keep getting distracting with other stuff. Finally it’s happened though. James has set up the store and made the first set available. Loads more to come! If you check of my edits on my Vimeo page from around the last year they all use these with modification off course for which I generally use the wonderful FILM CONVERT…over to James!

Guest Post by James Miller.

After many months (years really) I’ve got together a handful of my favourite LUTs that I create on my film projects. It’s been a lot of hard

deluts_homepage
RGB Curves
filmconvert
PB_deluts_ban3
deluts_example_2
PB_deluts_ban3
deluts_example_1
PB_deluts_ban3
Twitt
Continue reading "Custom made 3DLuts ‘Deluts’ by James Miller NOW AVAILABLE!"

New Upgraded CAME-TV 7800 Model Overview

A short while ago CAME-TV sent over an upgraded version of their 7800 Gimbal. Now that the gimbal has officially been released on their website, here’s a closer look at some of the improvements and optional accessories that now come with the Ready-To-Run 7800 Gimbal Kit.

The 7800 has seen many iterations, and even my last video with a 7800 does not even include half of the changes they’ve made available now. The 7800 model now comes with a Travel Case and a Gimbal Stand. These may be small items, but essential pieces that you no longer need to buy (or make). You can get started balancing your gimbal and flying as soon as you receive the item.

My obvious favorite is new Black Rubberized Hand Grips. Not only does this feel better but it really steps up the aesthetic of the product making it appear much more professional. The top handle has the same design that is easy to remove with a single socket cap screw, and each side handle is clamped on, and can simply be twisted to release the clamp.

handles gimbal rubberrubber handles gimbal 1 inch clamp tool less
New Rubberized Handles

The biggest addition that many should be excited about, is a tool-less adjustment knob that allows you to easily balance the YAW and another tool-less knob to easily balance the Roll. Combined with the sliding quick release plate in the camera frame, swapping lenses should now take seconds instead of minutes.

tool less adjustment roll bar gimbal
yaw toolless adjustment gimbal 7800
New Tool-less YAW and ROLL Adjustments

So while the system is not 100% tool-less, the areas that do require tools to balance may not be used often once you have the proper alignment for your camera body. Common adjustments when swapping to a longer or short lens will be easier and faster at the Roll, Yaw, and Pitch thanks to the new too-less

CAME-TV 7800 Gimbal
cametv came-tv 7800 3 axis gimbal stabilizer
find-price-button
Continue reading "New Upgraded CAME-TV 7800 Model Overview"

A light touch: Dean Bradshaw’s commercial and personal portraiture

'Conceptual' and 'commercial' photography are styles that relatively few are able to achieve success in, especially at the same time. But Dean Bradshaw’s intellectual and humorous approach to advertorial work sets his portfolio far above that of the typical commercial photographer. Take a look at a selection of his imagery and find out a few insights behind his success in our Q+A. See gallery

A Smaller Version of FOR-A’s Crazy 900fps 4K Camera Is Coming to NAB

Remember the FT-ONE, the camera that shoots 4K RAW at 900fps? Well, pretty soon it's going to get a baby brother.

FOR-A, a Japanese video and audio technology company, recently announced that they would bring the FT-ONE-S, a significantly smaller remote head version of its signature FT-ONE 4K high-speed camera, to NAB in the coming weeks. The FT-ONE, for those who need a refresher, is a 4K high-speed digital cinema camera with a Super 35mm-sized global shutter sensor. In full 4K resolution, it can record a whopping 900fps — you can see what that looks like here (keep in mind this is not the new camera):

Here is a spec comparison between the two, with the new camera coming in nearly 5 pounds lighter:

Read More

A Smaller Version of FOR-A’s Crazy 900fps 4K Camera Is Coming to NAB

Remember the FT-ONE, the camera that shoots 4K RAW at 900fps? Well, pretty soon it's going to get a baby brother.

FOR-A, a Japanese video and audio technology company, recently announced that they would bring the FT-ONE-S, a significantly smaller remote head version of its signature FT-ONE 4K high-speed camera, to NAB in the coming weeks. The FT-ONE, for those who need a refresher, is a 4K high-speed digital cinema camera with a Super 35mm-sized global shutter sensor. In full 4K resolution, it can record a whopping 900fps — you can see what that looks like here (keep in mind this is not the new camera):

Here is a spec comparison between the two, with the new camera coming in nearly 5 pounds lighter:

Read More

Bob Byington’s ‘7 Chinese Brothers’ Explores Alcoholism In the Funniest Way Possible

Bob Byington's latest film 7 Chinese Brothers gives us another entry in the annals of Jason Schwartzman sardonic sad-sack performances — this time alongside Schwartzman's real-life dog Arrow.

At SXSW, Byington talked with us about handling alcoholism on screen, being part of a film community in Austin, and why you shouldn't get angry on set.

NFS: What is it like being part of the Austin film community and how has it helped your filmmaking?

Bob: There is just a great film culture here. The film society is a real film society now which is wild because in the 90s it was this little thing. Now it's this big animal that has awards and grants. I think that's good. I would say 10-15% of the reason Jason did the movie is because we shot it in Austin and he wanted to come shoot something here. It might even be up to like 20%, but I know that it was a tangible part of his decision-making. There is a good crew base here and actors, for the most part, want to come to Austin. There are not very many actors based here but they tend to want to come here and that's great.

Read More

Bob Byington’s ‘7 Chinese Brothers’ Explores Alcoholism In the Funniest Way Possible

Bob Byington's latest film 7 Chinese Brothers gives us another entry in the annals of Jason Schwartzman sardonic sad-sack performances — this time alongside Schwartzman's real-life dog Arrow.

At SXSW, Byington talked with us about handling alcoholism on screen, being part of a film community in Austin, and why you shouldn't get angry on set.

NFS: What is it like being part of the Austin film community and how has it helped your filmmaking?

Bob: There is just a great film culture here. The film society is a real film society now which is wild because in the 90s it was this little thing. Now it's this big animal that has awards and grants. I think that's good. I would say 10-15% of the reason Jason did the movie is because we shot it in Austin and he wanted to come shoot something here. It might even be up to like 20%, but I know that it was a tangible part of his decision-making. There is a good crew base here and actors, for the most part, want to come to Austin. There are not very many actors based here but they tend to want to come here and that's great.

Read More

Bob Byington’s ‘7 Chinese Brothers’ Explores Alcoholism In the Funniest Way Possible

Bob Byington's latest film 7 Chinese Brothers gives us another entry in the annals of Jason Schwartzman sardonic sad-sack performances — this time alongside Schwartzman's real-life dog Arrow.

At SXSW, Byington talked with us about handling alcoholism on screen, being part of a film community in Austin, and why you shouldn't get angry on set.

NFS: What is it like being part of the Austin film community and how has it helped your filmmaking?

Bob: There is just a great film culture here. The film society is a real film society now which is wild because in the 90s it was this little thing. Now it's this big animal that has awards and grants. I think that's good. I would say 10-15% of the reason Jason did the movie is because we shot it in Austin and he wanted to come shoot something here. It might even be up to like 20%, but I know that it was a tangible part of his decision-making. There is a good crew base here and actors, for the most part, want to come to Austin. There are not very many actors based here but they tend to want to come here and that's great.

Read More

RED’s New WEAPON Camera Will Likely Get ProRes As a Recording Option

While RED has been committed to RAW, it looks like their new WEAPON camera, which is an upgrade from DRAGON, will get the ProRes codec.

Jarred Land recently posted the photo above, with just the word "ProRes." That's essentially two reveals in one, with the other being the fact that there will be 1TB Mini-Mags coming (and likely 256GB and lower Mini-Mags at some point), something that was already announced a while ago, but is now going to be official come NAB.

[Update]: Speaking of the top of the camera, here is a look at the new monitor, which doesn't seem to have any wires (Jarred posted this photo and the words
"Wire Removal" on Facebook). It also looks like a setup that doesn't require any tools to attach (click for larger):

Read More

RED’s New WEAPON Camera Will Likely Get ProRes As a Recording Option

While RED has been committed to RAW, it looks like their new WEAPON camera, which is an upgrade from DRAGON, will get the ProRes codec.

Jarred Land recently posted the photo above, with just the word "ProRes." That's essentially two reveals in one, with the other being the fact that there will be 1TB Mini-Mags coming (and likely 256GB and lower Mini-Mags at some point), something that was already announced a while ago, but is now going to be official come NAB.

[Update]: Speaking of the top of the camera, here is a look at the new monitor, which doesn't seem to have any wires (Jarred posted this photo and the words
"Wire Removal" on Facebook). It also looks like a setup that doesn't require any tools to attach (click for larger):

Read More

RED’s New WEAPON Camera Will Likely Get ProRes As a Recording Option

While RED has been committed to RAW, it looks like their new WEAPON camera, which is an upgrade from DRAGON, will get the ProRes codec.

Jarred Land recently posted the photo above, with just the word "ProRes." That's essentially two reveals in one, with the other being the fact that there will be 1TB Mini-Mags coming (and likely 256GB and lower Mini-Mags at some point), something that was already announced a while ago, but is now going to be official come NAB.

[Update]: Speaking of the top of the camera, here is a look at the new monitor, which doesn't seem to have any wires (Jarred posted this photo and the words
"Wire Removal" on Facebook). It also looks like a setup that doesn't require any tools to attach (click for larger):

Read More

Readers’ Showcase: Rutger Bus

It was curiosity that got DPR reader Rutger Bus into photography. Of his dad's darkroom in his childhood home he says, ' I always wondered what was going on in that little dark room with the red light above the door.' That spark of curiosity comes across in his colorful landscapes, which first caught our eye in our Landscape Readers' Showcase. Check out more of his images and read our Q&A. See gallery