A great short video by Terence Curren with a simple explanation for why we need colour correction.
A great short video by Terence Curren with a simple explanation for why we need colour correction.
After I got back from doing a short in Ireland, last September, the Kinefinity KineRAW S35, I ordered back in May of 2013, arrived on my doorstep.
I was interested in this camera because:
I was looking for an S35 format camera;
That captures CinemaDNG;
The Kinefinity cameras also record compressed CineForm raw as a bonus (I love CineForm raw);
That has all the ins and outs like a cinema camera and that feels like a camera;
Dan Hudgins worked on the colour profiles of this camera.
I appreciate of course the reasonable price tag of the kit and it sooths my appetite for lesser known, almost underground, cinematic cameras - you know what I mean.
Without much testing the camera we almost immediately put it to work by using it on a remake of a Reservoir Dogs scene for the celebration of the 40th anniversary of the film festival here in Ghent.
Click the CC button to have subtitles in English.
The camera performed without any mentionable issue and was really straight forward to use. We captured this in CineForm raw.
If you’re interested in this camera, I urge you to follow @SasquatchMovie - twitterfeed of UK production company THESEFOURWALLS (@T4WPs) - about the feature comedy they are currently filming on the S35 in the Lake District.
And you can of course rent it from RawCinemaShop.
His new short ‘A Singing Blade’, commissioned by the Rubin Museum of Art in NYC, will be screened on Wednesday February 26, 2014.
What is your background? What brought you to filmmaking?
My education in film began very early on. I worked for a major studio for several years where I prepared footage for in-house editors. At the same time, I started studying visual effects and media art. I learned the software and code that made image manipulation over time possible.
Looking at the image making process at this level gave me a new appreciation for the natural. Ironically, when you work this closely with software, which is essentially allowing you to simulate or alter reality, you begin to look at things differently.
This cyclic realization was very important for me. A moment of clarity, like a Brunelleschi painting.
What’s the story behind A Singing Blade? When did you decide to make it and why?
I directed, filmed and edited ‘A Singing Blade’ commissioned by the Rubin Museum of Art in New York with the support of the Lucius & Eva Eastman Fund. The museum approached me to make an original piece and I kindly accepted the invitation. Shooting happened last fall, but the idea and the concept came years before. Without giving too much away, my inspiration came from an esoteric ritual that I had personally experienced a few years ago which left a very strong impression on me. The basic description we have in the press and website also gives a good general synopsis.
"A SINGING BLADE, a fictional short written and directed by Tenzin Phuntsog, takes its inspiration from Black Yamari, a thangka in the Rubin Museum’s collection. Recalling her childhood memories, a young Tibetan woman living in New York, displaced, questions if all is lost. Realizing that beauty is fleeting, she attempts to find solace in poetry, ancient texts, and art." — Rubin Museum of Art
Why did you use the Ikonoskop A-Cam dII?
The interests which I mentioned before: time and perspective - the Ikonoskop allows me to capture my own sense of time with honesty and beauty. The sensitivity to light, microtonal frequencies, colors, skin, and resolution are impeccable. It gives me the sensitivity and breadth I was looking for. I have intercut restored archival film scanned at 4K with the Ikonoskop image and they are complimentary, the cuts between are not jarring.
This is my main camera. It is suited for the films I want to make, and can be adapted to any shooting scenario.
The Ikonoskop feels like a film camera. You have to be fully present. Direction and intent has to be clear. Each shot has meaning.
What will be your next project?
My next film is entitled, “Ritual of Resistance” which is going to be feature-length portrait film spanning three generations of Tibetan exiles, each with unique stories. My intent is to expand the upon the concept of “resistance” looking beyond the conventional definition, looking more closely at the philosophical, psychological and internal aspects.
A Singing Blade
Director, Cinematographer, Editor: Tenzin Phuntsog. Producer: Joy Dietrich. Starring actress & singer: Yeshe Gyaltag. Original Score by Brian Chase.
A Singing Blade is the Rubin Museum’s first film commission, which was made possible by the support of the Lucius and Eva Eastman Fund.
I recently color graded a short called Chansons de Charlotte, directed by Brian Windelinckx.
He describes it as:
A musical comedy about a girl stuck in a rut - A love letter to the geniuses of the French New Wave (Godard, Truffaut, Varda & Demy) and Christophe Honoré’s revival of the genre.
Charlotte spends the night with her ex-boyfriend, philanderer Kristof, while having an affair with her French lit professor Frederik. The resulting chaos might interfere with a life-altering event for Charlotte.
And I absolutely love the film and loved working on it. It’s a musical and I love it. I love it. And … it’s a musical …
Errrr … not really my cup of tea normally (I don’t like tea by the way).
But this little film is right up my alley and it makes me long for it to continue into a feature.
Brian has just graduated from the KASK film school here in Ghent and this was his graduation project. Five out of ten graduation projects from this year’s bachelor students were filmed on the Ikonoskop A-Cam dII.
I’ve started keeping a list of films and documentaries that have been filmed on the dII and it’s getting quite long.
Why haven’t we seen more of these films online? Mainly because the filmmakers making them did not intend them for Vimeo or YouTube.
Most of them have entered or are entering the festival circuit and do not want much to be shown on the internet. It’s a bit frustrating if you want to show how good a camera is, but I can understand their point of view.
I was assuming that people had found their way by now around color correction and grading difficulties of the CinemaDNG post workflow for the dII.
But recent e-mails, conversations and topics on the Ikonoskop forum suggest the contrary.
And I can understand this, as Ikonoskop on their part have in my opinion not invested enough time and effort in getting the post workflow as smooth as possible.
So here’s how I color grade dII footage 80% of the time:
You might get the impression that Adobe Camera Raw (Photoshop, After Effects) does a better job at debayering the Ikonoskop CinemaDNG.
I just would like you to know that Adobe applies by default sharpening and noise reduction in Camera Raw (look at the 3rd tab of Camera Raw). So if you’re comparing decoders for quality, make sure you’re sending them into battle with the equal weaponry.
Stills taken from Chansons de Charlotte.
Last Monday, Ross A. Wilson’s The Last Line, premiered online. Ross is a British independent filmmaker and one of the first A-Cam dII owners.
You can watch it here: http://www.thelastline.reactfilms.co.uk/watch.html
Nice story with a twist and really love the grading.
You can support Ross by ordering a DVD of this short.
Please check out this Kickstarter Project by Jesse Borkowski. It’s for funding a documentary about small businesses creating sustainable value and social change by giving equal weight to people, planet and profit. With two weeks to go, it’s 25% funded and needs our help.
It’s filmed on the Ikonoskop A-Cam dII. Jesse Borkowski is a valued member of the Ikonoskop community and especially known for his great tutorials on post workflows.
Find his YouTube channel here: http://www.youtube.com/user/jesseborkowski
And see an example of his work on the dII:
I’ve been trying out different shoulder rig configurations the last couple of months.
We’ve filmed 3 episodes of an item in a daily human interest show on national television with the Ikonoskop.
Why did we use the Ikonoskop for something that needs a very fast workflow? Well, the cameraman wanted to have some extra practice on the Ikonoskop because we’ll be working as a camera team on a short in Ireland in September and frankly because we love a challenge. I’ll write more about this challenge in a later post.
The network’s prerequisites were: only hand-held, no zooming. As this was filmed during a very busy rental season, I had to really puzzle to get all the gear together, so I tried different combinations.
The first rig I bought for the Ikonoskop was from Lanparte. I don’t own it anymore because I’ve sold it to a customer who bought a Panchromatic, used the rig and loved and wanted it straight away.
Lanparte stuff has great build quality for a budget friendly price. I used it in combination with the ARRI MBP-1 Adapter Plate and the MBP-1 Baseplate, but you could use as well with the Vocas Adapter Plate on the original Lanparte baseplate.
This was my configuration:
In September at IBC I held the Vocas rig configuration for the dII, for the first time, and immediately loved it for its great balance. And I love the aesthetics of it as wel (I’m a sucker for anything that comes with brown leather handles).
It’s basically the “Vocas Handheld Kit Pro for midsize cameras” (Item code: 0255-3600) you want for the Ikonoskop with their custom Ikonoskop dII Adapter Plate. In my opinion a shoulder rig always needs a top handle (Topside Handgrip for 15mm rails - item code: 0350-0400).
You don’t need the offset bracket for shoulder support that’s included in the kit, as the viewfinder sticks out on the left of the camera and not centrally on the back of the camera.
One thing I’ve learned though is that if you use a Vocas MB-430 Matte Box with this rig in a rail mounted set-up (i.s.o. clip-on) you’re better of with the Rail Support DSLR (Item code: 0350-300). You’ll need it to rise the plate high enough to get the lens perfectly centered in the Matte Box.
Vocas only has one type of follow focus. And I like it a lot, although some might find the knob too small and it is adviced not to use them on very big lenses.
So my ideal configuration is this:
I also tried an Edelkrone rig, but not my cup of tea and impossible to get a good balance with the Ikonoskop, because of that top handle that starts at the back. In the picture below you see me rigging the cam and looking quite unhappy with it ;-)
And last but definitely not least a new additon to our collection of rigs: Wooden Camera.
I’ve only had it for a couple of weeks, but am absolutely loving it. It’s the ideal rig solution for the lone shooter that travels light. Superb build quality, lightweight (so not for everyone) and very compact. So for the travelling cameraman this set-up is the best price/quality solution you’ll find.
My ideal combination:
The Top Plate gets a bit in the way of the top scroll wheel on the camera. For me personally this is not an issue, because I don’t use the top scroll wheel. But if it bothers you, just know that you don’t need the top plate to connect the NATO handle to the camera as you can do this directly.
It’s ideal to use in combination with a CineBags Backpack and I’m sure you can transform the Cruiser into a crossbow so you won’t get hungry on your next nature documentary.
Time to catch up on my writing, only like 6 months behind :-)
In November 2012 we were commissioned by Autisme Centraal to do an informational film for their annual symposium (+1K attendants) on autism.
I’ve written about it before in this post: http://blog.rawcinemashop.be/post/37579425948/talking-heads-with-canon-8-64-zoom-vocas-rig
Now, filming talking heads is not really my style. But we only had 1 day to do 6 interviews. It seemed appropriate.
The film is about people who have been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, giving tips to people in the medical, psychological, educational and professional field on 6 topics: Diagnostics, Education, Social Care & Psychiatrics, Profession, Housing, Scientific Research.
The interviews were filmed with the Canon 8-64. For the thematical imagery Zeiss Distagons and Linos MeVis-C lenses were used.
At the time I was into watching 70’s documentaries. Yeah, I get these weird fascinations from time to time.
In my opinion, it shows in this film.
Although it wasn’t to be released on internet, the subjects in the film gave their approval to Autisme Centraal right after the 1st test screening. They were very happy with the film and their portrayal.
So here it is, in Flemish (Dutch), without subtitles. So if you don’t understand Dutch, don’t worry, it’s only 38 minutes long.