Posts tagged: Vocas
Last December somehow turned out to be Filmschool Month for me.
Patrick Geeraerts, head of the editing department of RITS in Brussels, asked me to deliver a lecture on the Ikonoskop for some sixty 2nd year students (directors, screenwriters, multi-cam directors, …). I asked what the scope for this class would be and he replied: “Try to broaden their horizon!”
I don’t know if I succeeded in broadening there horizon but the lecture went somewhat like this: 1923 - Kodak - 16mm film -WWII - S16 - Eclair - Aaton - Ikonoskop SP-16 - Ikonoskop A-Cam dII. And of course on the matter of 16mm not only as an economic but also an esthetic choice. About workflow and more importantly about how filming is all about preparation and less about improvisation (some will find this debatable).
I also let Lennert De Taeye, film student at KASK in Ghent and by now experienced A-Cam dII operator, use a camera at his school for the purpose of shooting some acting exercices.
But I’ll let him speak for himself:
“In December the ikonoskop was used to shoot several acting exercises of third year film students at KASK . The school provided a RED 0ne (first generation sensor), but I’m not very fond of the image this camera produces. Luckily Joachim was so kind to provide the Ikonoskop A-Cam dII! After using it last year on a project I started to like the organic feel of the images from the Ikonoskop.
The first day I worked as a cinematographer. We shot everything, except for one scene, on a dolly, with the Vocas shoulder rig. This rig and the Ikonoskop work really well together, the counter weight on the Vocas rig is very effective to stabilize the camera movement.
The second day the Ikonoskop was equipped with a TVLogic monitor. The compact size of the Ikonoskop was excellent for the type of shooting: very close on the ground scenes.
The third day the Ikonoskop stayed on the camera tripod and rails. As director’s monitor we used a JVC monitor, the SDI-output gives a really nice image on the JVC we used.
Last day was another shoulder cam day, this time with a very compact rig (the Vocas was unfortunately not availble).
The data was transferred, and backups were made, on set with the express card reader to standard USB 3 drives (=fast!).
The little camera did catch quite some attention. But everyone seem to like the image on the monitor. (Some even surprised that this little camera could produce such a great image).
We shot with a set of Zeiss Superspeeds. Timecode generated from the Aaton Cantar. Resolve 9 and audio autosync is great! Little disadvantage you need to resync timecode every time you change the battery.
Too handle the magenta issue I set the raw settings in Resolve 9 to BMD Film. Add contrast and saturation to bring back the image as shot. XML for round tripping between resolve 9 and FCP 7.
Looking forward to see the film’s projected in the school cinema!”
- Lennert De Taeye
A couple of weeks ago we used the dII on a shoot that looked up front a bit a-typical for an 80MB/s kind of camera. Six interviews, somewhere between 15-30 minutes an interview, to be intercut.
Ideal opportunity to test out some new stuff:
The Canon 8-64mm S16 Zoom is a marvelous lens, that has been used extensively for documentaries and independent feature films. It’s a very robust lens, very sharp, widest aperture 2.4, but it’s quite big (as big and heavy as the camera). From widest to closest zoom, it loses a bit of its focus.
To use a zoom like that, hand-held, you need a decent rig. At the Ikonoskop booth at IBC, I was able to test several rigs and set-ups for the dII. My favourite, by far, is the one from Vocas. Very light, compact, sturdy and high-quality (the leather handles are sublime). And I especially like the MFC-1 Follow Focus. It’s so compact and the gear wheel being underneath the lens is actually very clever and makes it work with all kinds of lenses no matter what mount (before the MFC-1, I used a Lanparte Follow Focus, big and heavy, but impossible to use in combination with, for instance, Zeiss Distagons mkI with 80mm fronts and the IMS-PL mount - it was just too clunky).
In the picture the shoulder pad and weight were only used for balance. Normally the shoulder pad has to be mounted a lot closer to the camera.
The DP in the picture is rather tall. To go easy on his back and because peeping down the built-in viewfinder all day can get quite hard on your right eye (using your left eye on the dII viewfinder is impossible, or you’d have to chop off your right cheek bone or something), we decided on using the all new Alphatron HD-SDI viewfinder (EVF-035W-3G).
This is such a nice combination with the Ikonoskop. Nice resolution, with false colour and focus assist. Worked all day on a single Sony battery (you can use the same type as on the Ikonoskop).
For the first time now, we recorded the audio on the Ikonoskop instead of a recorder like the Sound Devices 702T. Not a single issue there. The audio was stripped from the DNG’s using Ikonoskop’s Audio Tool and automatically synced with the footage in Resolve.
And yes. This job was conformed and graded with Blackmagic’s DaVinci Resolve 9. What happened to CineForm and SpeedGrade you might ask. I’ll come back to this.