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Damnit Jim – I’m a Filmmaker not a RED Camera Propagandist

No camera on the market today sparks as much fan boy bullshit spirited debate as the RED line of digital cinema cameras. Now I present you latest dust-up between RED camera pioneer Jim Jannard and Zacuto’s Steve Weiss.

And, yes I realized the level of this discourse can get a little… well nauseating. So I’ve done my best to illustrate the argument in the popular art form of the day.

Jim Jannard, founder of the Red Camera Company fired off an angry post on REDUSER.net aimed at Steve Weiss of Zacuto and their latest “Great Camera Shootout” (previous versions can be seen here and here). Apparently Jim Jannard is pretty butt hurt upset that tests will be shown in 2K and that he didn’t get to control the post processing.

Steve Weiss did respond with a pretty complete explanation as to why the tests were finished in 2k. Basically because the vast vast majority of theaters today present in 2k and they really didn’t have the resources to present these in 4K. And let’s face, most people are going to watch it on Vimeo.

But that wasn’t enough for Jim.

Ignoring Steve’s earlier message, Jim resurrected the ghost of Shakespeare for his next post:

Zacuto… Zacuto… where art thou?

Jim

And that’s when Steve had enough

Thou are here Jim.

I’m not sure what you are asking of me? I really don’t want to embarrass anyone but I did invite every manufacturer, including you and Ted, I sent the email to you several times, … Where art thou Jim? Further, I sent you the same letter for the 2011 shootout, as well with no response. I “begged” you for the EPIC in 2011 which you started delivering 2 weeks after the shoot, so there were obviously cameras available. I caught a lot of flack about that from your fans/users as well because the EPIC was not included.

Frankly, I make documentaries, not propaganda films. For those that don’t understand the difference, I as the filmmaker have no idea what the outcome of my film is till it’s finished (unlike a Michael Moore film, where the end is determined first and the shoot is just there to prove its case). Wow, your fans/users are very beholden to you, it’s almost like they would join the EPIC military and fight to the death for its honor, that’s cool, no other camera company has that kind of support…. you have created a wonderful camera, congratulations but to me and many of the DP’s in my film and guest DP’s interviewed, it’s just a tool like lights and tripods. It all has to work together. I rely on my crew, much more then my gear. If I had your amazing camera and put it on a lousy tripod and all of my pans and tilts sucked, to me it wouldn’t matter, the overall film would suck.

Okay, now all that gossipy nonsense was just to get this part. This is the reason I even thought this was post-worthy (aside from the title).

Spoiler alert, these are the kinds of comments you will hear in my film: I asked 9 ASC cinematographers, if they had to pick between shitty picture or shitty sound what would they recommend to the director if in the situation you could only have one? Every single cinematographer said shitty picture. There reason: You can tolerate shitty picture but shitty sound is intolerable.

I asked a cinematographer if he would be willing to live with a take where the actor didn’t hit his mark and isn’t in their eye light but the performance was better then when they hit their mark and his answer was an astounding yes.

This is what DP’s in a collaborative effort do and I felt it was important for people to hear this as well as well as see what camera are capable of…. If all you want to see is a raw test, they are out there, although, I’m not sure how fair and accurate they are. My film is the hows and whys of how to make your camera look great, plus a lot more. Actually, to be honest, I’m not totally sure what my film is yet because I haven’t even really started it prior to getting the comments from the screenings.

So… even the best DPs around the world would sacrifice image quality for pretty much everything else that helps tell the story.

Steve sums it up nicely

We are talking about one camera vs. another. I hate to tell you that the differences are so slight at this point that all of this talk is kind of irrelevant. Yes, there are differences but it’s not huge and I think most of your won’t be able to guess which camera is which. That’s going to be the fun part. At a certain point, we are picking hairs, does it really matter at that point? The more interesting part is seeing how they went about shooting and lighting it and what the cheaper cameras need to do to try to catch up (I’m not saying they can) in this extremely challenging scene, even for film. At some points we are walking up to 2 feet from the screen to see the differences.

Jim and other manufactures have given you what you’ve been asking for. You got your tool and it rocks, your EPIC, Alexa, whatever. Sorry to say it’s all in your hands, lets see what you can do with it.

Frankly all this just made me more interested in Zacuto’s new shootout which will hit the interwebs on June 15th:

Addendum…

Apparently Jim has a change of heart.

Married with Children – Around the World

Twenty-five years ago, the new Fox Network began airing their first prime time sitcom, Married… with Children. The show, about a dysfunctional working-class family in Chicago, ran for eleven seasons until 1997. The series went into syndication beginning in 1991 and reruns can still be seen.

But just because the series went out of production in 1997 in the United States doesn’t mean it’s passé. The concept, characters, and even scripts from the original Fox series have been remade in countries all over the world. Here are 12 productions from around the world.

Via Neatorama


Bulgaria

The newest version is called Zheneni s deca v Balgaria, which translates to Married with Children in Bulgaria. You can watch the entire first episode at YouTube (and you’ll find other episodes if you can read the titles). The series debut last month inspired redditor sudurjalimonovsok to post a picture of the TV family. The resulting thread had redditors from all over the world showing us their countries’ versions of the show.

Neatorama | Read the Full Article

Exploding Photographers, Disappearing Clothes and the Development of Film

Roger Cicala journeys into the 19th century and weaves a tale of explosive cotten, synthetic fabrics and how it all culminates in the true purpose of photography – capturing images of scantily clad women.

The very first cameras, of course, were Daguerrotypes and the images they made were positives on silver plates coated with Iodine and developed using fumes from Mercury. You can probably already tell this had a few drawbacks. Positive images can’t be reproduced so one picture was one picture — if you wanted a copy for Aunt Bessie you had to take another picture. Silver is silver, so each picture was rather pricey (up to a month’s pay for a working man). I guess inhaling mercury fumes in the darkroom all day didn’t exactly lead to a lot of healthy old photographers walking around either.

Not long after that, the albumin process was developed. This let photographers make negative images on glass plates coated with albumen. Glass is a lot cheaper than silver, which helped make photographs affordable. Since the images were negatives you could make as many prints as you might like from a single photograph, so things like picture books came into being. Images on glass could be projected in ‘magic lanterns’ so risque images of ladies ankles and such could be projected at the gentleman’s clubs of the day. So the albumen process made it possible for photographers to achieve the same goals they have today: getting published in book form and getting pretty girls to pose partially undressed.

Albumin had it’s drawbacks, though. The process was difficult and time consuming, requiring the plates to be prepared fresh just before each photographic shot. Carrying around a few hundred glass plates got rather heavy, and glass breaks. And the major source of albumen, in case you don’t know, is from egg whites. Photography became so popular that it actually led to egg shortages. As many as 1,000,000 eggs a year were used for photography in England alone.

LensRental Blog | Read the Full Article

Trigger Your Camera with an iPhone

TriggerTrap Mobile is an ingenious app and dongle that connects your iPhone (or any iOS 5 device) and your camera allowing you trigger a photo in several interesting modes.

The Trigger Modes are:
Timelapse
Eased timelapse
Sound sensor
Shock & Vibration sensor
Metal & magnetism sensor
Facial recognition
HDR mode
HDR Timelapse mode
Distance-lapse mode
Motion detection mode
Cable Release mode
Star trail mode

Read more on TriggerTrap Mobile Here

Do Not Work For Free for Exposure (the Wrap)

People have gone to jail for too much exposure – John Hess explains why this is stupidest reason to work for free.

Episode 48

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The credits are often the first thing we see when we watch a great film or TV show, but the complexity and artistry of title design is rarely discussed. Creators of title sequences are tasked to invent concepts that evoke the core story and themes of the production, and to create a powerful visual experience that pulls the viewer into the film’s world.

In this episode of PBS’s Web Series “Off Book” we hear the stories of some of the most inventive people working in the field, including the creators of the iconic Mad Men sequence, the hilarious Zombieland opening and “rules” sequences, and the stirring end credits from Blue Valentine.

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