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Camera recommendations for this look

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David Sikes
Camera recommendations for this look
on Sep 24, 2015 at 2:13:10 pm

Hey everyone. I'm preparing for an upcoming shoot that demands a particular look, and I'm trying to decide what camera package to rent. I want as analogue of a feel as possible for this (without actually shooting analogue, of course). I know it's an overused phrase, but I want a film-like vibe. I understand that much of that will come from a lot of elements that are not the camera, but I think it's fair to say certain cameras lend themselves to that look more or less than others.

Here's some additional info:

Epic and Arri packages are outside the budget. The main thing I'm looking for is excellent color and dynamic range. Higher than 1080 is a bonus, but not a must. I'll be shooting into the sun for a couple of shots, so black sun issues (in some blackmagic cameras, for example) is something I need to avoid. Low-light capabilities are mostly irrelevant. Audio is irrelevant for the camera. Physically, more weight is good.

(FWIW, I realize that I'm basically asking for an Alexa without paying Alexa rates.)

I'm evaluating kits with the Blackmagic Cinema Camera or Digital Bolex. I'd really like your thoughts on both of these cameras, and any additional cameras you'd recommend me look into.

Thanks for any help you can provide!


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Todd Terry
Re: Camera recommendations for this look
on Sep 24, 2015 at 2:44:13 pm

Probably 97% of the look you describe is going to be attributable to post... plus lighting and lens selection... and will not be all that reliant on the specific choice of camera body.

Is there by chance something existing that has exactly the look you are going for, and can post a clip or a link?

I could be wrong (frequent and entirely possible), but I not aware of an existing rental market for the Digital Bolex yet.

Have you considered just shooting film? People think it's so expensive, but it doesn't have to be if you do it right. I've shot zillions of 35mm commercial spots for even very modest-budget clients.

T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com



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David Sikes
Re: Camera recommendations for this look
on Sep 24, 2015 at 3:03:34 pm

Hey Todd. Thanks for the response. Another Huntsville guy here!

I totally get that much of that look comes from a lot of things outside of the camera. I've noticed that some cameras do tend to help out, however, more than others. So anything I can do to carry the look further, I'd like to pursue!

I'll try to find a clip of what I'm looking for. It's kinda a combination of things, so I'll try to find just one that best expresses it.

Honestly, shooting this on film is really what I want to do. The look of 16mm is really what I want. But I have zero experience using film for moving images. I don't have a clue how to even try it, rent what I need, etc. Any advice there? Recommendations? Willingness to help out a guy eager to learn in Huntsville? ;)


(btw, I'm the in-house video guy at Baron Services and do freelance work outside of that.)


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Todd Terry
Re: Camera recommendations for this look
on Sep 24, 2015 at 3:13:52 pm
Last Edited By Todd Terry on Sep 24, 2015 at 3:15:50 pm

Oh hey David... cool.

Does Bob wander the halls there talking at the top of his lungs? (I worked with Bob for way too many years... it's a wonder Phyllis hasn't killed him by now). Does Juan still work there?

Yeah, see if you can dig up a link, that would help.

No, I wouldn't recommend shooting film if you haven't before. We don't anymore, sadly I haven't shot film in a long time... I sold all the 16mm gear a few years ago and then sold the 35mm gear last year I think. I just didn't need it anymore although still have a bunch of 35mm stock in the fridge. I don't think the only decent camera rental house in this area (ACInc in Nashville) is still in biz... or at least they don't have a website anymore. So... stick with video.

Contact me privately if you like.

T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com



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Rick Wise
Re: Camera recommendations for this look
on Sep 24, 2015 at 5:22:59 pm

To my eyes, the digital Bolex has the most 16mm film look of any digital camera I've seen. It has its problems, including the need for an external viewfinder since the one that comes with the camera is next to useless. By the time you add necessary stuff you may be closer to $4,000 than $3,000, not sure. Worth considering. I haven't shot with it yet but am hungry to do so. You can get it with different mounts.

Rick Wise
Cinematographer
MFA/BFA Lighting and Camera Instructor Academy of Art University
San Francisco Bay Area
http://www.RickWiseDP.com


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Todd Terry
Re: Camera recommendations for this look
on Sep 24, 2015 at 5:26:44 pm

The Digital Bolex does look pretty fun... I've yet to figure out how useful it might be, but definitely fun.

As Rick and I have exchanged before, Philip Bloom did a really good hands-on review of it a while back...

at

His takeaway seemed to be two-fold, "This is a really really neat little camera" quickly followed by "I have no idea what I'd ever use it for, any scenario I can think of there would be a better camera choice." It seems like he really really WANTS to like it, but just can't really justify a reason for its existence. I think he's more impressed with their marketing, design, and packaging than with the actual product. It seems pretty cool, though.

T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com



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Aaron Star
Re: Camera recommendations for this look
on Sep 24, 2015 at 11:44:36 pm
Last Edited By Aaron Star on Sep 24, 2015 at 11:55:22 pm

I would shoot your tests looking for the cleanest low noise image, deepest color, and a 35mm sensor size. Rent good a super super speed prime set, and a good AC that can hit the right marks. Then in post overlay a 35mm film grain on the image, this will allow you "add as much as you like."

I used to AC for a DP shooting Audi commercials, and that guy would just shoot Kodak 50 or 200 ISO clean, and "leave the rest of the look creation to Telecine." Obviously your shooting and lighting has to be there for in the 1st place for this method to work. Just shooting 35mm for that look is still the best way to get a 35mm look.


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