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Shane Hurlbut explains The Importance of Camera Tests with Film

Shane Hurlbut explains some of the film tests he conducted for Terminator Salvation and The Greatest Game Ever Played.

Push and Pulling, Stretching and Baking

Before the digital age, as cinematographers we tested new and old film stocks; we pushed them, pulled them, baked them, took them to the breaking point. Cross processed them, ENR’ed them,skip bleached them, developed color film with a black and white fixer. You name it, we tried to do it to get a unique look that would assist the story. I once developed my own super 8mm footage in my bathtub for a Smashing Pumpkins video. I bought the chemicals, read about how to do it, put it on some makeshift reels and developed an image. It was crazy. I quickly found out that by slowing down, I overexposed it, and when I went faster on the reel, I underexposed it. Chemical burns ensued, and the smell took some time to leave the apartment. Lydia was not happy! Ha, ha!

OZ Process

For Terminator Salvation, we wanted to infuse a steely look to the image. I tested different film stocks with the OZ process, which two very talented photochemical artists from Technicolor came up with, Mike Zacaria and Bob Olson. They saw the potential of this unique process, which processed the color film normally. Then they sent this baby through a black and white fixer that added 100% of the silver back onto the negative, which de-saturated the hell out of the image. It was like a silver coating over the color, and the contrast increased.

Hurlbut Visuals | Read the Full Article

Fabulous Food Photography Tips and Tricks

Food, glorious food! From professional food photography to snapping a picture of your dinner plate, there is a true art and craft to capturing marvellous edible still life. Here is a great mix of behind the scenes of industry food photo shoots and DIY plate shooters.

View the Playlist on YouTube

Canon confirms 1D C 4K DSLR is identical hardware to a 1D X

The Canon 1D-C is the company’s flagship DSLR camera capable of 4K resolution. But it has confirmed that the electronics are identical to the 1D-X – the only difference between the $13,000 4K capable 1D-C and the $7,000 1D-X is firmware. Could this be an opportunity for a firmware hack to turn on 4K in the 1D-X?

Canon confirmed me today the 1D C 4K DSLR is a 1D X with a firmware update. Identical hardware. I had a hands-on with the Canon 1D C and was allowed to shoot some footage. I also had a impromptu talk to a Canon Europe product manager who was very open and honest about Canon’s approach with this camera.

The 1D C is a 1D X with a 4K firmware update. Canon’s man told me that the only hardware change was to do with the flash sync jack (or one of the other jacks if my exact memory fails me). So essentially the 1D X hardware – sensor, processor, everything – is capable of 4K video, 100%, no heat or bandwidth issues either.

I asked him if they would therefore bring 4K video to 1D X customers, in the form of a paid firmware update.

Although technically possible, not surprisingly Canon replied that this wouldn’t be happening, and that there were issues around tax especially in Europe. The tax issue is that the 1D C is classed as a video camera, at a much higher import tax tarrif to the 1D X. Any firmware update that would turn a 1D X into a 1D C would not go down well with the tax people.

EOS HD | Read the Full Article

 

 

Mountain to Moon: 10 Movie Studio Logos and the Stories Behind Them

What’s the story behind the MGM Lion? Who is the current version of the Columbia Lady? Time took a look at 10 studio logos and their history:

Paramount Pictures

FOUNDED: 1912

TWO-SENTENCE HISTORY: Hollywood’s oldest surviving studio quickly earned a reputation for finding and signing the biggest stars of the day—from Mary Pickford and Douglass Fairbanks (who would go on to co-found United Artists) in the 1920s to Marlene Dietrich and Gary Cooper a decade later. Dogged by various legal and financial problems, Paramount was on the brink of insolvency by the late ’60s, until fortunes were reversed by a string of commercial and critical successes—the company is now part of Viacom.

MEMORABLE FILMS INCLUDE: Double Indemnity (1944), Roman Holiday (1953), Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961), the Godfather movies (1972-1990) and Beverly Hills Cop (1984)

THE LOGO: According to industry lore, Paramount’s enduring symbol—the “Majestic Mountain”—evolved from a sketch on a scrap of paper by “the Man Who Invented Hollywood,” W.W. Hodkinson. (Ben Lomond Mountain in Utah is thought to be the inspiration, though the latest versions are supposedly modeled on a peak in the Peruvian Andes. What’s also changed over the years is the number of stars that form the semi-circular constellation around the peak. The original logo had 24 stars (for each of the two dozen actors under contract in 1916)—the latest version now has 22.

Time Magazine | Read the Full Article

Give Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey” Another Chance

In general conversation with people about films I find that most people (especially my generation and younger) don’t like Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. It maybe because it’s “too slow” or “doesn’t make any sense.” I confess to finding very much the same reaction when I first saw it as a kid. But it grew on me as I watched more of Kubrick’s work and when you realize what a maddening-detail-oriented director Kubrick is, you can start to appreciate the deliberately slow pacing of the film.

Landon Palmer and Cole Abaius of Film School Rejects discuss the film. For Landon it inspired him to be a filmmaker, for Cole, he hated it as a child but grew to appreciate it as an adult.

Cole: I’d love to see you break down the plot for 2001 like you did the other 5 “best films.”

Landon: That’s clearly a bit more difficult here, regardless of the fact that 2001 is the only film on this list so far that I can name a personal pantheon favorite due to the fact that it single-handedly made me a movie lover when I was 14.

But roughly I’d say it’s about a linear trajectory of human innovation and invention through science; the idea that we’re all moving forward.

Cole: Abstract enough to work, but wait. This made you into a movie lover? How did that happen?

Landon: The film showed in letterbox on PBS one night. I was flipping through the channels and saw the Star Gate sequence and watched it until the end. Then I spent the next few minutes trying to get my jaw off the floor.

Later I saw the whole thing, and it didn’t make any more sense at the time, but I didn’t care. I had never seen anything like it. It opened my eyes up to the possibilities of what cinema can do. So yes,2001 forced me into loving movies. I had no choice. That bastard.

Film School Rejects | Read the Full Discussion

Photo Challenge: Is it shot with iPhone 5 or Canon 5d MkIII

Dustin Curtis wanted to compare his new iPhone 5′s camera to the Canon 5D Mark III…

Is this picture below from the iPhone or from the 5D?

Okay… it’s from the iPhone. Shrunk down to web sizes it looks pretty dang good even though it may not have the sexiness of the 5d – it doesn’t hurt that the following shot has some people in the mid-ground.

The metering and focusing on both cameras was spotted directly on the “no stopping” sign.

The results are pretty amazing – the iPhone takes worse photos but it certainly stacks up against a $4,000 professional camera. And, although the photos from the iPhone are significantly noisier, it has fantastic automatic metering.

D. Curtis | See the Full Sized Images

7 Things I Learned From My First Film Festival

Andrew Robinson recounts some tips when going to a major film festival like the Toronto International Film Festival

This was my first time going to TIFF, going to Canada, covering and even attending a film festival. It’s a lot of firsts for me to handle – I hope I did okay.I watched a grand total of 35 films. I posted reviews for 22 films and did 1 interview. I took in 4 movies and 3 cups of coffee a day. I walked out of 2 films, fell asleep in 3 and couldn’t complete 2 due to projection issues. I saw my first film ever projected in 70mm (The Master, of course) and overall had a blast. I’m still trying to figure out how to go back to “normal” everyday life after that, but so it goes.So here are some things I learned from my very first film festival:
1. Wear Proper Shoes
I’m pretty sure for people who frequent real cities, this is already understood, but for a person who stupidly woke up an hour late for his airport taxi and forgot to pack his jogging shoes, I found out the hard way how important they are at a festival. After day one, my feet were blistered and calves burning. By day six I found it hard to run (which was necessary to catch a few screenings). I pushed through and after two days of post-fest rest, I’m totally fine but damn me for thinking I could do that level of walking as easily as flipping a switch.

Film School Rejects | Read the Full Article

Deluge (1933) – the first disaster film to wipe out New York City

1933 saw King Kong scale the Chrysler building and a Film where New York City was completely destroyed by an unexplained earthquake and tsunami. This film was thought to be completely missing until an Italian dub surfaced in 1981. The film is also a departure form the disaster fare we have today in that the catastrophe opens the film and the remainder of the story is the survivors coping with the circumstances.

Deluge is a film with a strange history. Produced independently by a small outfit called Admiral Productions, Incorporated; sold to RKO (who were looking for a suitable cash-in follow-up to King Kong); and released during August of 1933 to a mixed but generally positive critical response, the film went through a successful cinema run and then, apparently, vanished from the face of the planet. The only evidence of the film’s existence lay in the vivid memories of those who had witnessed the cinematic destruction of New York during Deluge’s first and only run, and in the occasional reappearance of that spectacular special effects footage, which somehow ended up in the possession of Republic Pictures, and was integrated by that notoriously penny-pinching studio into a number of films and serials, most famously the climactic episode of 1949’s King Of The Rocket Men. Otherwise, Deluge seemed to have joined the tragic ranks of “the lost film”, until the serendipitous discovery of what is to all evidence the sole surviving print of it by the late Forest Ackerman, during a visit to a cinema archive in Rome during 1981 – which explains why all existing copies of the film are dubbed in Italian. English subtitles were subsequently added to the dialogue, but such internal signifiers as signs and newspaper headlines – and, for that matter, the film’s titles – remain untranslated; an arrangement that adds a distinctly surreal edge to a contemporary viewing of what is indisputably the progenitor of all modern-day disaster movies.

AND YOU CALL YOURSELF A SCIENTIST! | Read the Full Article

 

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