Watch previous episodes of ON THE COUCH & ON THE GO by clicking here! Visit our Vimeo and YouTube playlists, and subscribe to the podcast on iTunes! In episode 20 of ON THE COUCH, I talked to professional photographers Kamil Tamiola, Tom Barnes and Lucas Gilman. We had a very engaging discussion about their work and the present and future of photography, filmmaking and imaging in general. Thanks to one of our main sponsors G-Technology, we were able to assemble a full couch of “G-Team” brand ambassadors (including yours truly) for this taping in our beautiful suite during Photokina 2014 in Cologne. Asked about their current projects, Kamil talked about his campaign for Phase One which he is shooting on their medium format digital cameras in extreme altitudes on top of the highest peaks of this planet. He mentioned how much he is actually relying on advances in technology when it comes to resolution and especially dynamic range – having extremely overblown highlights as well as dark shadows in just one image. Watch Kamil’s full behind the scenes promo video for his Mont Blanc Phase One Campaign at the bottom. Tom Barnes is best known for his portraits of bands and musicians, and has a large body of work in that field and many years of experience. He talked about about a production for Channel 4 called “Don’t Stop the Music”, produced by Jamie Oliver’s production company, which tries to get children into learning musical instruments again after public funding in the UK for that was cut. Lucas Gilman is also known for his extreme outdoor and nature photography recently shot the campaign for the new Nikon D810 DSLR in some beautiful locations. See the Behind-the-scenes video at the bottom of this post. Lucas mentions the built-in timelapse function in the Nikon D810 which sounds actually quite amazing for filmmakers, because it takes a lot of work away from post production, being able to assemble those timelapses right in camera. The first part of our discussion focused on the photography revolution that took part over the past 10 years with digital technology really becoming the massively dominant way of taking photos, with film fading away much quicker than anyone anticipated. We talked about how jobs changed because of the technology and how photography has gotten anywhere … also turning a professional photographer’s world upside down. We touched on how this revolution is still taking place in filmmaking and cinematography, and how we are currently experiencing that megapixel hype that the photography industry is already done with – there, now it’s about dynamic range and color rendition and not only the higher megapixel counts at all costs. In part 2 of this episode to be published next week, we will talk about photographers who are moving into video and cinematography, and what they need to be aware of. Also, we talk more about advances in camera technology and what that actually means creatively. Watch all other episodes of ON THE COUCH so far by clicking here!Read more
Watch previous episodes of ON THE COUCH & ON THE GO by clicking here! Visit our Vimeo and YouTube playlists, and subscribe to the podcast on iTunes! Here’s episode 11 of ON THE COUCH, and it’s one of my all-time favorite episodes, in which I was happy to talk to Lan and Vu Bui, the “cinematography brothers” who recently finished shooting a feature film called “20 Feet Below – The Darkness Descending”, as well as director Jan Woletz and producer / VFX man Christof Dertschei, the people behind the upcoming web series “Wienerland”, which we already reported about in detail in this recent post. That’s one lively 50 minute discussion and it shouldn’t be missed by any of our viewers. Vu and Lan Bui talking about the pitfalls of crowd funding & 4K shooting Here’s the gist of the content: • Is 4K a waste of time and money or not? Some very diverging opinions and experiences about shooting on 4K are discussed – Jan and Christof highlight how shooting in 4K on the 1DC with director of photography (and cinema5D partner) Johnnie Behiri saved their butts because they ran out of time but were able to crop into the wide shots to still get those “close ups” that were needed. Lan and Vu argue how much effort needs to be added to post production when dealing with 4K, despite the fact that virtually no clients demands 4K finishing in this day and age. • Crowd funding for indie productions The greatest part of the discussion is about how to fund films via crowd funding. Vu and Lan Bui have a lot of experience with crowd funding because of the feature film “20 Feet Below” and other projects, while Jan Woletz and Christof Dertschei are on the brink of starting their Kickstarter campaign for Wienerland. They talk about how important it is to build an audience before you actually start the campaign, about budgeting for production as well as the perks that are given out – which eat up a big part of the crowd funding revenue if done right. Also, we talked about how important it is to be fair to your audience and team members when asking the public for money, because very often filmmakers only think about the cost of the gear that needs to be used, while they “forget” to actually pay their cast & crew. Lan and Vu talk about the importance of having a “bigger name” no their cast list – like in their case Danny Trejo. Jan Woletz said to that casting choice, “Danny Trejo’s face is the best reason to shoot in 4K,” and I have to say he might be right :) This is an incredibly engaging discussion and I recommend it to anyone who is interesting in finance any kinds of projects via crowd funding, there is so much to learn from all these guys! Jan Woletz & Christof Dertschei, the director & producer behind “Wienerland” Huge thanks especially to Katharina Dietl for her work on that show, we had serious audio problems and she worked tirelessly on fixing these to get this show finally out (and she also did the live edit and camera, assisted by Chloe Mae). For all ON THE COUCH episodes so far, click here:Read more
Zacuto is being talked about for several of their newly introduced products, but the Gratical HD EVF is certainly the most impressive one. Jens gave me some details on the new, extremely compact OLED viewfinder that was presented as a prototype at NAB. It sports a resolution of 1280×1024 which is not too far away from full HD. The aspect ratio is 4:3 which they used to conveniently display all data and histogram information below the camera picture. The OLED panel gives you very good contrast ratio and colours and the glass they implemented allows for an ideal viewing of the entire screen and had a great field of view. There are inputs for hdmi as well as 3G-SDI allowing the input of 4K signals and it has cross conversion between the two making it convenient to be used on setups with different input types. The Gratical HD will be available in October and is targeted at professionals with a price point of $3000. They will also have a lower resolution version which will be called Gratical LT (1024×768) which will come in at $1500. Another new product Jens was showing to us was the VCT Universal Baseplate that is an extremely flat dovetail plate with an included gel shoulder pad. I was especially fond of this product as it allows for a very quick adjustment and perfectly balanced position of the camera which I’ve been recommending for years. Great design and looking forward to this essential rig piece.Read more
Some people said I’m reporting too much about expensive gear. And they might be right. We’re indie filmmakers and we want to get our no budget movies done before we win that lottery fortune. So here’s something affordable: In fact this (“recertified”) monitor by not so well known company Haier costs less than a parking ticket, less than the articulating arm that could support it, and certainly much less than all we’ve spent on fighting malware this year. It might be one of those products that has a lifespan of “out of the box and right into the trashcan”, but if we look at the user reviews (“Not the best, but not horrible.”) on the seller’s page, it could be more useful than we think. Who has ideas for applications for this device? It offers a “high resolution display” which I guess is something between 320×240 and 640×480 and has a built in battery. 90 days warranty. Oh yes, it’s $25 [UPDATE]: Sold out on Newegg, get it on Amazon for 50 bucks via NextWaveDVRead more
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