1A Tools have already made a name for themselves with their MøVi tripod adapter which we reported on here. Now they are back at it by reinventing the wheel, so to speak: Their new 1A Tools Alpha Wheels bring back the wheel controlled panning and tilting shots to modern devices like MøVi gimbals and remote heads. Contrary to actual mechanical wheels, the Alpha Wheels have electronics inside them which allow them to be reprogrammed for all kinds of devices. You can think of it like an input controller such a computer mouse, adjustable for all kinds of uses that allow for two axis movement or adjustment. 1A Tools say that the Alpha Wheels allow much more precise control of pan and tilt compared to the normal remote because you can’t accidentally pan or tilt when you using them, and they are surely right that the controls are not as fiddly. This seems to make sense particularly for narrative filmmaking where the same shot is repeated many times. I am personally not so sure of the argument about accidental pan or tilt because those controls are dedicated separate joysticks on the remote anyway. Although I can certainly see a market for this, the device comes at a price – it’s available for pre-order for $1,800 from their website now. Personally I will stick with my (MUCH cheaper) Freefly Mimic controller (our article / video here) when I need an operator, but I’ll definitely take the Alpha Wheels for a spin when I get a chance …. Check the Alpha Wheels out on the 1A Tools website.Read more
We are very gear-centric here at cinema5D, but everyone’s aware that filmmaking is so much more than the latest and greatest camera or lens. Anyone who has been working on a film shoot has most likely made the experience that we work longer hours than most other professions, sometimes at crazy times of the day or on weekends, often at the expense of personal relationships with friends or family. I have just discovered this documentary gem on Vimeo by the renowned cinematographer and 2-time Oscar winner Haskell Wexler, ASC, who started this project together with another cinematography master and 3-time Oscar winner, the late Conrad Hall, ASC (“American Beauty”), who died during the making of this film in 2003. Don’t expect a cinematographic masterpiece here, but rather a gritty little no-budget documentary shot by Haskell Wexler with virtually no crew on a Mini-DV camera, motivated by the sheer frustration with the insane work hours that workers both in Hollywood productions and internationally are expected to put in every day. It’s already more than ten years old but hasn’t lost any of its relevance – within those ten years, technology has fundamentally changed the accessibility of high-standard production quality, however the amount of work hours on average film sets haven’t decreased at all. It’s as relevant as it was on the day of its release. Documentary 2006 directed by Haskell Wexler ASC Synopsis: A documentary that highlights the deadly combination of sleep deprivation and long days of work. Focusing in particular in the film industry. Unsettled by the preventable death of a coworker, filmmaker Haskell Wexler learns that sleep deprivation and long work hours are a deadly combination. Interweaving medical findings with personal accounts, his camera reveals how a 24/7 work culture affects all Americans. Runtime: 78 min OFFICIAL WEBSITE: http://whoneedssleep.weebly.comRead more
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