Monthly Archives: February 2012
LOMO lenses are the answer of Russia to Cooke lenses.
As you surely know USA and URSS fought for years for the ultimate supremacy. Cinema was a field of excellence for the USA and indeed the Russian were trying to catch up.
Cooke lenses were widely in use in US movies, URSS had Konvas and Kinor films cameras and the best lenses available were the LOMOS.
With all this DSLR craze and especially with the introduction of mirror less cameras a hunt for vintage lenses started. Prices have raised a lot in the last years but you can still find some pretty good deals.
On mirror less cameras you can mount pretty much anything and that I think it is a strong point to go vintage for video work (on a budget). Indeed the 5dmkII dynamic range is superior, the full frame aesthetics are evident but looking for vsome legacy glass is one direction of DPing the art of film-making.
Some time ago I strongly felt I needed to learn the steadycam work. You can see it in uncountable movies and it gives a boost to your narrative, there’s no way around it.
DSLR are difficult to handle when shooting, so footage tends to be pretty shaky. Even worst if you’re using non-stabilized lenses.
After some thorough research over the net I found out that the steadycam Merlin would have been the optimum solution in terms of value for the money. Many were recommending it over the Glidecam 1000/2000/4000 and the vest was available as well.
I purchased the whole kit, apparently you can’t walk away with the Merlin alone, after a short while your arm would hurt. That was indeed right.
Soon after doing the video entitled “L’ AQUILA”, the singer was very pleased with the result and he wanted a new video for the new song in the pipeline.
A totally different looking video. More filmic looking. More dramatic. More story telling. I though this was a great chance to go anamorphic, after all it’s the most cinematic thing I know.
What I usually do is to listen to the song many times and get my mind around the feelings I perceive. It will not necessarily link to the song, its words, its theme.. it’s actually more to do with the gut feeling I get out it.
It might have more to do with the rhythm or with a particular instrument or the general vibe.
I decided to shoot knifed for two reasons.
First of all I wanted to see how I could cope in “extreme” conditions, by that meaning I was completely alone and 100% exteriors. Different times of the day. Freezing cold.
Secondly in this part of Italy it does not rain that often and never you mind about snow. It was quite peculiar and I was eager to see how the woods would have looked like. Damn beautiful.
There is a third reason. I wanted to make up a simple story without too much hassle, no lines, no storyboarding, no actors, no audio recording.. no nothing. Straight and simple, just planned on the fly.
I shot it over two days because the first day I was literally freezing just by holding the metal legs of my tripod. Could not think straight so I had to come back one more time, also overnight I figured out I would have to make few more shots to have all the visual imagery I was after.
I purchased this LCD monitor as a replacement to the previous LCD I had, the Lilliput 667 GL.
I did some shooting with the 667 GL, it was cheap and for the money I paid it was pretty much worth. Resolution was OK, not too sharp but not too crap so I though I could focus with enough precision -and this is indeed a function of an external field monitor.
On the GH2 you have the opportunity to use a focus assist function, it allows you to zoom in a certain chosen area of the frame. It actually activates the EX mode function, giving you a 2x magnification of the area you’ve selected. Selection is dead simple, just tap on the swivel LCD and the area comes right up, you can then move around the frame and choose the focus area at your discretion.