4K — a spec, or perhaps an aesthetic? Plenty of us are shooting in older, lower-resolution cameras, but others are buying new units that offer double — or more — the resolution we shot just a few years ago. Our images are finer, more detailed… but how else are they different? Sharp, along with RED and THX, are for the second year presenting “The Art of Amazing 4K Film Competition,” a short competition exploring the aesthetics of 4K cinematography. From the contest’s site: We are seeking short 4K films (10 minute maximum) that capture the full potential of an amazing […]
With all the attention on brushless gimbals it’s easy to overlook cranes — pieces of equipment that can add cinematic motion to any shot. Cranes can also be large, difficult to move and hard to operate. The ProAm Taurus Jr is a small crane that solves most of those problems; its only limitation is that its range of motion may not meet every need. The Taurus Jr is 50” long and 5 ¾” wide and constructed primarily of two parallel rectangular tubes that are 2” x 1”. It is primarily constructed of powder coated and anodized aluminum. The only item that […]
Writer, director and editor Devin Lawrence says that when he set out to make Sympathy, Said the Shark he’d already gone through two projects which had stalled out due to lack of financing, so he decided he had to come up with something where “money can no longer be the ultimate road block.” The resulting project was shot in 14 days and primarily in one location, but it was by no means a simple project to make as much of it was shot using a POV rig built around the Blackmagic Pocket Camera. Lawrence, who works in LA primarily as […]
When Sony announced the a7S mirrorless camera at NAB everyone was interested in its 4K capabilities, but it’s the low-light power of this camera that may be the true selling point. With the “S” standing for sensitivity, the a7S is the third a7 camera to be released. The a7 and a7R were announced in October of last year and started shipping in December. Those two models record HD video and stills at much higher resolutions than the a7S; the a7 has a 24.3 megapixel sensor capable of 6,000 x 4,000 pixel stills, while the a7R has a 36.4MP sensor capable […]
In the latest in his Every Frame a Painting series, film essayist Tony Zhou breaks down the visual language of the visually dynamic, sometimes-maligned (although not by Filmmaker!) Michael Bay, showing why his shots still pack more punch than your average multiplex-crasher. Using commentary from Werner Herzog, references to West Side Story (one of Bay’s favorite films) and A/B comparisons of imitators interesting and not, Zhou explains Bay’s use of parallax, off-screen space, compression and speed. If you’re planning to see Transformers 4 — or even if you’re not — just check this out.
Australian artist/filmmaker Max Piantoni has a Lomo camera sitting around that’s not much good for anything these days, but he thought he could reappropriate the fisheye lens for a DSLR to cool ends. So he took a hammer, smashed apart the Lomo, and added the lens to the DSLR. In this video, he explains the relatively simple process and shows off some neat test footage that he took. Yes, Piantoni knows that there’s already a Lomo fisheye lens for DSLRs and no, he doesn’t care. Thanks to our friends at No Film School for the heads-up, and definitely head over […]
Roger Deakins is widely regarded as one of the industry’s top cinematographers, bringing his characteristic earthen hues to films as divergent as Skyfall and The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford. He is of course best known for his frequent collaborations with the Coen Brothers (Bruno Delbonnel nicely filled his shoes in Inside Llewyn Davis), and this Plot Point Productions montage, “Roger Deakins: Shadows in the Valley,” makes note of Barton Fink, Fargo, No Country for Old Men, and a little bit of what’s in between. Watch above.
Shifts in technology and global film production over the last several years have greatly impacted action films. Technology like the Canon 5D changed the game. More affordable and smaller HD cameras, as well as cheaper editing systems, have enabled many stunt performers and cinematographers to collaborate on and innovate new images together. This in turn has created a recent hybrid in action movies — the action DP, someone who specializes in shooting action, with a background in cinematography and stunts or action of some sort. I came to shooting action through my own personal background. For me, it was a […]
Last September, ARRI introduced the AMIRA, a relatively inexpensive cousin (at $40,000+) to the manufacturer’s near industry standard, ALEXA. Though the resolution is 2K, the AMIRA shares the same sensor as the ALEXA, so its footage maintains some filmic consistency. Designed for documentary and television work, Cinema 5D notes in their review that the AMIRA may be best suited to small crews with mostly handheld cinematography. And, as suspected, it’s far heavier and larger than its competitors in Canon’s C100/C300/C500 series, or any DSLR. The images nevertheless speak for themselves.
Within David Fincher’s filmography, Zodiac has always struck me as something special, if not anachronistic, for its handling of the police procedural genre. Perhaps it’s because, despite legions of so-called confessors, its true-life case was never closed. Appropriately, the film seems less concerned with tidy plotting than the psychosis — personal, collective and social — such a lingering mystery can create. Still, for all the film’s meta-textual aspirations, Fincher is, at heart, a narrative filmmaker and does relate the necessary details with a compendium of insert shots. They are all spliced together here in this supercut from Josh Forrest.