Blog

Film: No expensive lenses needed

Posted by on May 29, 2015 in Blog, Feature | 0 comments

Film: No expensive lenses needed

Turns out (and i knew it a long time) a filmmaker does not need expensive lenses. With the expensive Prime Lenses a decent filmmaker is able to get consistency between different shots. Let’s face it: We’re not looking at the Hollywood scene, but merely at the whole of filmmaking (there’s more than Hollywood) including festivals, program cinemas, arthouse cinema and lots of variations, even B-movie. Speaking of myself as a filmmaker (as being a part of the short movie selection group at FILMZ Festival) i mostly observe the increasing quality (tech-wise) of the short movies but honestly, most of them lack good storytelling. If you compare movies such as Kung Fury or (a german short: ‘Kopfkino’ from Malin Koch) with other “Highclass” Movies such as recent blockbusters, you’ll get my point. While speaking of blockbusters – can we please find a new term for successful movies ? A good film is not “busting the block” anymore. As also written in ‘Avengers vs. Akira: A Video Exploration of What Makes Kurosawa a Master of Movement‘ it is the movement which lacks in most modern movies. You see lots of motion in Akira Kurosawa’s directing movies. They described it very well. Take a look for yourself: That’s only one part of the whole story. You don’t need expensive lenses, we can see in the recent test from RocketFilmSchool: That is one of the reasons why i like cheap, vintage lenses such as Pentax-110 or the Russian Combo. They give you freedom in expression as they are unique in their expression and capturing the moment. And as some other filmmakers mentioned, the Pentax-110 even works with Super35 Cameras such as Sony F55. So why not choosing them for your next short movie ?...

Read More

The “Russian Three” – lenses for blackmagic pocket cinema camera

Posted by on Jun 21, 2014 in Blog | 1 comment

The “Russian Three” – lenses for blackmagic pocket cinema camera

I am not talking about some mob or some other dubious schemes today. I talk about the “Russian 16mm Lens Kit” for the BMPCC which is a not-so-expensive option for rather good lenses.         The “Russian Three” – lenses for blackmagic pocket cinema camera   Overview Those are three wonderful lenses for blackmagic pocket cinema camera. All are Kiev-16U Mount. You can get adapters and more from RAFKAMERA (which is definitely a high quality source of parts for russian lenses). Starting with the MIR-11 (12,5mm, f=2) on the left, the VEGA-7-1 (20mm, f=2) in the middle and the TAIR-41M (50mm, f=2) on the right, this seems the perfect combo for some shoots in medium light. As the lenses were made for the KIEV 16mm Camera, they fit perfectly for the BMPCC. A detailed and extensive test and description of the lenses is found at dslrvideoshooter.com – he discovered the lenses around the same time i acquired mine. I really like his description.   Footage And i really like the footage those lenses are producing on the BMPCC, but take a look for yourself: 680 Miles - BMPCC w/ Mir-11m [2:05] BMPCC with vintage russian lens Mir-11M 12mm f/2 [0:52] I am currently working on some short films which will show the potential of those lenses. If you want to try yourself, head over to our rental company (jc|media) to check availability....

Read More

Are smartphones the new cameras ?

Posted by on May 28, 2014 in Blog | 1 comment

Are smartphones the new cameras ?

Watching the post about the newest ad from Bentley shot (and edited) in a Bentley using iPhones made me wonder. While reading the post from nofilmschool.com learning that Bentley has not only shot but edited the  Film on iphone/ipad in the Bentley i wonder if the smartphones are now the new cameras or are the cameras the new smartphones. Around everything you see a “mashup” of different technologies. What those ad’s and posts are not transporting, is the message that it is not the tool that defines you, but it is the creativity and out-of-box thinking and at least “vision” of a movie or commercial is much more important. There are Billions of Smartphones with a decent camera and video function on the market. So why don’t we see billions of good blockbuster movies ? Clear answer: most of the people lack creativity or they are just consumers, who watch videos (mostly of cats probably) like others eat hamburgers. I’m not a sceptic, but i’d like to see more people actually thinking and develop creativity. In the 50/60/70ies it was Sci-Fi-Movie who defined how the future would look like, and now in the next century, people got inspired by it and made the vision (partially) true. There are lots of stories out there, but the people wear sunglasses at night so that they don’t see them. Some people (like Philip Bloom) are different, see the “Barbie Cam Challenge”. I’ve ordered a Beastgrip for the iphone, not only for myself to utilize more of my c-mount lenses, but also to give the people at the KinoKabaret the possibility to make great movies with just a smartphone. Speaking of the videos, take a look for yourself:...

Read More

Vimeo: Copyrighted music and alternatives.

Posted by on May 25, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

Vimeo: Copyrighted music and alternatives.

As probably everybody heard now, that Vimeo implemented a “Copyright Match”-System (see their blog for details) it might become more difficult to choose a good soundtrack you might say. Actually i would say the opposite is true. Why using “music from the Big Record Companies” if there are other options out there ?     Let us investigate some of the alternatives together: mobygratis.com One of my favourite resource for “independent and non-profit filmmakers, film students and anyone in need of free music for their independent, non-profit, film , video or short” (quote from his page). You can license over 150 tracks from moby. It might take 24 hours to get the approval, but you get high-quality audio files and it’s definitely worth a look. (8 out of 10 – as only moby related songs)  jamendo.com This “platform” has all kind of different music styles and under various licenses. Actually all sounds are Creative Commons, with various adaptions. Unlimited Download. If you plan to use the sounds in a commercial background (commercials, company usage, commercial videos or production) you can license various songs. it’s called “jamendo PRO”. (7 out of 10 – due to large quality differences, but still great offers) FMA The Free Music Archive is an interactive library of high-quality, legal audio downloads directed by WFMU, the most renowned freeform radio station in America. Radio has always offered the public free access to new music. The Free Music Archive is a continuation of that purpose, designed for the age of the internet. Inspired by Creative Commons and the open source software movement, the FMA provides a legal and technological framework for curators, artists, and listeners to harness the potential of music sharing. Users can also ‘tip’ an artist if they like a song. (9 out of 10 – good sounds, tip jar is nice) incompetech.com It is Kevin MacLeod’s project. He offers various kinds of royalty free music, all very high quality. He offers two licensings: One is credit based and the other is that you pay by song (check out his FAQ page here for more details) He has lots of film scores, music themes and different genres. If you are looking for a film score for medieval, you’re right here. If you are looking for a bride video, there you go. Action short ? Yes. Over 2000 Songs from him. (10 out of 10 – my personal favourite) freesound.org Freesound aims to create a huge collaborative database of audio snippets, samples, recordings, bleeps, … released under Creative Commons licenses that allow their reuse. Freesound provides new and interesting ways of accessing these samples. The problem of using those samples is probably not as clear defined as the other mentioned services. Everybody can upload samples, however some of them might not be cleared off and just “sampled” from another source. (5 out of 10 – lots of content, but licenses are difficult) Other Resources There is of course a lot of other stuff (sample libraries, samples, music libraries) on the network, but i found them of very little use. If you know some more – let us know! I am more than happy to include valueable resources here for you.  ...

Read More

Lenses for Blackmagic Pocket

Posted by on May 18, 2014 in Blog, Feature | 0 comments

Lenses for Blackmagic Pocket

After spending a lot of time searching, testing, buying, selling, cleaning and testing again, i’ve settled my basis collection of lenses for the Blackmagic Pocket Camera. Those include the “standard” sizes and i try to get everything below 2.0 (except the digital Lumix one) to have enough headroom in RAW on the BMPCC. 4mm / 1:1,6 – Rainbow Lens 10mm / 1:1,8 – P. Angenieux 12.5mm / 1:1,8 – Cosmicar 14mm / 1:2.5 – Panasonic Lumix 16mm / 1:1,4 – Cosmicar 25mm / 1:1,4 – CMD 25mm / 1:1,9 – Kodak Anastigmat 35mm / 1:1,7 – Fujian 50mm / 1:1,8 – Canon TV-16 On the right side of my lens case you find: 12.5mm / f2,0 – Russian MIR-11 20mm/ f2,0 – Russian BERA-7-1 50mm / f2.0 – Russian TAMP-41 I will provide a detailed footage of each of the lenses once i get my Blackmagic Pocket Camera back from repair.                          ...

Read More

CagePro Upgrade 2.0

Posted by on Dec 31, 2013 in Blog, Feature | 0 comments

CagePro Upgrade 2.0

To make make CagePro Cage for the GoPro3 more usable, i am in the process of adding Video Out and Audio In. As you can see, the modification is straightforward and easy to do with the right tools. I am only faced with some issues (which you might have an idea of): Sound is filled with hum noise when the Monitor is connected. If i remove the coax cable from Video-In, everything is fine. Lifting GND does not help, neither caps, capacitors or resistors (tried everything). It is definitely not related with the power input of the CagePro. I already ruled that out. It’s definitely coming in over the coax. Either it’s floating ground or some weird issue. Good thing is: Video Out works perfectly with BNC. Why i use BNC ? Gives the possibility to use T-Connectors and distribute the signal to a video transmitter plus the Monitor out. Pending: Find a good and doable solution for Audio In. Either i use 3.5mm plugs or XLR, but the space is limited inside the current cage. If you’re looking for technical information about the USB connector on the GoPro3, check cam-do.com. And the best: It’s available for rent starting 15.January 2014 This slideshow requires JavaScript.  ...

Read More