Sunday, July 10, 2016

RED Introduces 'Helium', a New 8K 35mm Sensor for the Weapon & Epic-W

Have you seen the Dragon RED built for Michael Bay? Though it has a lime-green custom housing, what's most impressive about it is what is on the inside.

RED Digital Cinema's CEO Jarred Land and Chief Design Officer Matthew Tremblay have announced a new sensor line that might get RED fans excited. Dubbed Helium, the first in the line is an 8K Super 35mm sensor, which has 3.65 micron pixels. It differs from RED's current 8K VistaVision sensor in size; according to cinema5D:

To squeeze 8K into a smaller super 35mm chip necessitates new (smaller, denser) pixels. I've been told that smaller does not mean any compromise in imaging performance, quite the opposite, these are “better” pixels.

Cinematographer Phil Holland shared a graphic on the RedUser forum that illustrates how the Helium sensor compares to those in other RED cameras.

Read More

Thursday, June 9, 2016

You Can Now Use Innovative Snapbag and Snapgrid Light Modifiers with Kino Flo

For Kino Flo users who want to save time mounting modifiers to their light fixtures, DoPchoice has made an exciting announcement.

Yesterday, the Munich-based company stated that they have made their innovative light modifiers- the Snapbag softbox and the Cinec award-winning Snapgrid- available for several popular Kino Flo light fixtures.

For the uninitiated, the Snapbag and Snapgrid are lightweight, self-tightening "light-refining tools" that utilize a rigid, "snap-up" frame for easy setup, as well as elastic straps to mount to light fixtures. These features not only make setup easier and more efficient-especially because there's no need for a spread ring-but DoPchoice's patented Snap Technology means no belly sagging, as well.

To see these things in action, here's Stefan Karle of DoPchoice to demonstrate both the Snapbag and Snapgrid:

Read More

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Why Nicolas Winding Refn's Violence Leaves Us Begging for More (NSFW)

Consider yourself warned: this one is hard to watch.

Much has been said about the quality of Nicolas Winding Refn's canon. Drive ascended into cult status faster than any other film ever made, while Only God Forgives was widely panned by critics and audience alike. In short, his films are divisive. Refn has admitted that he isn't that great of a writer, but for what he lacks in that department, he makes up for in the quality of his violence.

"There is a sexuality to violence that I find very intoxicating. I think that that's what turns me on."

Should a filmmaker be praised his ability to depict violence? If it comes down to terms successfully that filmmaker tells their story visually, then Refn surely deserves acclaim.

The conversations surrounding the ills of violence in media have existed since the invention of the medium itself. Is it breeding hate? Causing patrons to go out and hurt the innocent? And think of the children! With that in mind, let's take a look at how violent films influenced Refn's own childhood.

Read More

Friday, May 6, 2016

Field Review: Canon EOS-1D X Mark II Performs Double Duty

The rugged new 1DX Mark II sets a new benchmark for still photography and produces strong 4K 60FPS in challenging conditions.

We were airborne for less than 45 minutes and descended over a rich green tapestry of palms. Director, Gaspar Gonzalez, editor, Jorge Rubiera and I stepped off our charter flight onto the tarmac of Havana, Cuba. In tow, a few backpacks strategically packed with the necessary essentials for our second Cuban documentary, Havana House. Canon Professional Services equipped our production with two C300s, a complete set of Canon tilt shift lenses and an 11-24mm f/4.0 lens.

Read More

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

The Striking Stillness of 'The Revenant': A Video Essay

This breathtaking video essay showcases the best of The Revenant's quiet moments.

Life in the West in the 1800s was very quiet. Punctuated only by occasional warfare between Native Americans and settlers preaching Manifest Destiny, day-to-day living paralleled the rhythms of nature, with its streaming brooks, whooshing winds, rustling trees, and open plains.

As any true The Revenant aficionado can tell you, it's these moments of stillness that lend the film its majesty. DP Emmanuel Lubezski won an Oscar for rendering nature's sweeping stillness onscreen (using only natural light, of course), and now Tom Williams has compiled some of the film's most striking moments into a video essay that captures its essence.

Ryuichi Sakamoto's arresting score accompanies the visuals, which bring the haunting stillness of the 1800s Western frontier to life.

Read More

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

J.J. Abrams, Joss Whedon, Alfonso Cuarón & More Want To Teach You How to Make Movies at Tribeca

Learn from the greats at the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival.

If you were eagerly awaiting an opportunity to be in the same room as some of your favorite directors, the day has come. The 2016 Tribeca Film Festival has curated an eclectic lineup of Q&As with some of the biggest directors in Hollywood, as well as their more independent-minded auteur contemporaries. Panelists include J.J. Abrams, Andrea Arnold, Joss Whedon, Jodie Foster, Baz Luhrmann, Alfonso Cuarón, Tina Fey, Jodie Foster, Francis Ford Coppola, and more.

The best part? Some of the discussions are free. See below for the full lineup, courtesy of the Tribeca Film Festival. And buy tickets to individual events here.

Read More

Friday, March 11, 2016

The Lay of The Land: How Denis Villeneuve and Ridley Scott Create Mood With Landscape

If your landscape is just a setting, then you're using your landscape wrong.

In The Martian and Sicario, the landscapes are foreboding characters all their own. These two video essays by Ashley Perry show how Denis Villeneuve and Ridley Scott did it, and it all comes down to the formative setting.

As opposed to a neutral setting, in which the landscape is indifferent to the action or the characters, a formative setting seeks to express the character's psychology. As such, your setting should be working in service of dramatic action rather than just existing simply as the space for the action to unfold.

In Sicario, some of the most tense moments occur when nothing happens at all:

Read More