Cooke Annual NAB 2015 Gathering: Anamorphics, Zooms, Rentals, RED 8K

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Cooke Look: Geoffrey Chappell, Les Zellan

Cooke NAB 2015 Annual Gathering

Getting a coveted seat at the annual Cooke NAB dinner requires connections worthy of entry to a restaurant like Rao’s in New York. It also helps to be the owner of a substantial number of Cooke lenses, spherical or anamorphic. In an undisclosed location at a distinguished Las Vegas restaurant, more than 80 prominent rental houses and cinematographers convened to discuss the latest topics and trends and to meet new colleagues. Later in the evening, fueled by a dinner of Jurassic-sized steaks and fine wines, speeches are made on the state of the industry. This year’s discussion was one of the most interesting ever. Here is the edited transcript of Cooke Dinner NAB 2015.

 

LES ZELLAN

I want you all to know that this dinner has achieved what we hoped for: the exchange of information and opinions that are highly valued in the industry. We’re going to change the discussion format a little bit. As usual, Jon will record it and if it’s interesting he’ll publish it, so be careful what you say. Jon will join Geoffrey as a moderator tonight.

There are certain things we want to know about and I think you want to know about too, such as camera formats. It seems like there’s a new one every week and it certainly affects rental houses and it affects us because we have to make the lenses to go on those cameras. It’s hard to know where this market is going with an infinite number of formats coming out, so that’ll be something we want to discuss.

Obviously, we’d love to hear how well or how poorly our anamorphic lenses are doing, but I’ll assume they’re doing pretty well. If you stay to the bitter end we may discuss some of those surprises. I’ll tell you one of them right now. At Cine Gear, we plan to announce another anamorphic prime lens. As opposed to the zoom lens that we announced here at the show which should be ready toward the end of the year, or early next year, this is a lens that we’ll start delivering shortly after Cine Gear, if everything goes smoothly.

This is a lens I’m really excited about and the reason we’re not saying more is that I don’t want our competitors to even have an inkling of it until it’s ready to be delivered. It’s going to be a great addition to the anamorphic primes.

 

DANYS BRUYERE

It’s a 37 millimeter lens!

 

LES ZELLAN

No, it’s a 26 mm. It’s the lens everybody wanted. I say that in jest. But I have to say, years ago when we started the S4 line, Denny and Otto and a few other people in Hollywood came to us and said, “You know, you’ve got a 25, you’ve got a 32, please make a 27.” I didn’t say it, but I was thinking, “Instead of a 27mm, use our existing 25mm, and move the camera slightly closer.” But as I’ve always said, we’re a company that listens and if you guys come to us with a request and you’re willing to put in your orders to back those requests up and it’s feasible, we’ll do it.

 

And certainly for us to do a 27mm was not difficult. And I thought, “Okay, so we’ll sell this lens only in Hollywood where they wanted it only because Panavision has a 27mm. And I have to say I was so wrong. The 27mm has become one of the most popular focal lengths we make worldwide.

 

[Gasps of incredulity]

 

I learned my lesson, never to second-guess you. If you have a request and we can do it, we’re going to do our best to try. So, thank you.

 

GEOFFREY CHAPPELL

Ladies and Gentleman, on this stage from around the world, we are pleased to announce this evening we’ve got guests from over 47 countries, and leading the pack here this evening is Mr. Les Zellan, President of Cooke Optics who would like to introduce Jon Fauer, but before he does, he wants to say a few words.

 

LES ZELLAN

We are going to reveal a few details about the anamorphic zoom lens a little later before you go home, so this is a teaser to get you to stay a little longer. But also I’ll need an NDA from everybody in the room. Jon, I’ll turn it over to you and enjoy the discussion.

 

JON FAUER

This is like the James Bond scene where the doors and windows close shut, no one leaves the room, and people who haven’t put in their orders disappear through the floor. This room is like a summit meeting among the capo di tutti capi of rental houses worldwide.

 

Geoffrey will go around and introduce various people who will talk to us from different regions. This will be recorded and transcribed for an article in FDTimes. It’s widely read. Sometimes when I travel to various camera manufacturers, they usually have a copy of our discussion with yellow highlights. A few years ago, someone made a joke about Cooke putting a sensor in back of each lens. Many heads were scratched at many companies: “Are they really doing this?”

 

GEOFFREY CHAPPELL

I’ve got a Magnificent Seven this evening from around the world. I thought we’d start on home territory and I’d like to call upon Dennis McDonald from Keslow Camera to stand up and be questioned gently by Jon Fauer.

 

JON FAUER

We’re going to pose pretty much the same questions to everybody. Dennis, tell us a little about your market. Is it mostly features, commercials, and how does it break down?

 

DENNIS McDONALD

We have a healthy balance of feature films, episodic television, and commercials, so I think we do well in all three markets.

 

JON FAUER

What’s the percentage of anamorphic to spherical?

 

DENNIS McDONALD

A few years ago I would have a different answer. Spherical was by far the leader, but as of late, anamorphic is exploding. Just last week we did a dishwashing liquid commercial on anamorphic lenses and it’s absolutely huge. Every set of anamorphic lenses we own are currently working as of today.

 

JON FAUER

What do you think is the reason for that?

 

DENNIS McDONALD

Great lenses. Thanks Les.

 

JON FAUER

Complimentary comments may advance you up the waitlist. Last year one poor fellow had a negative comment and he may have been demoted down the list. That’s actually worse than disappearing through the floor in the James Bond style.

 

RED’s introduction of a VistaVision size sensor drew a lot of attention at NAB. It wasn’t totally VistaVision; it was roughly 20 mm high by 40 mm wide. That’s close to our familiar Full Frame Still 24 x 36 format. So two questions: do we think other camera manufacturers are going to follow? And what does that mean for the lens business?

 

DENNIS McDONALD

Great question. I think other camera manufacturers will follow. I think PL mounted lenses are here to stay for a while, at least until our Cooke anamorphics are paid for. I think that what we have in our inventory is here to stay for at least a while. It’s going to take a little time for larger format to take over.

 

JON FAUER

Any closing any comments about your impression of NAB?

 

DENNIS McDONALD

I’d like to thank you to Les and his team for a phenomenal dinner. I think I can speak for everyone here that this event is without a doubt the highlight of NAB. The highlight of the show for me was hearing about your zoom and I’m excited to get it next month. [laughter].

 

GEOFFREY CHAPPELL

One of our most celebrated and distinguished guests, Denny Clairmont, couldn’t make it tonight. But we’re pleased, in Denny’s absence, to welcome Alan Albert, of Clairmont Camera.

 

JON FAUER

Alan, please come close to the microphone.

 

ALAN ALBERT

I’m just looking for my mark.

 

JON FAUER

The focus puller will be glad.

 

ALAN ALBERT

Oh perfect. I too would like to thank Les and the whole team. This is a phenomenal evening. I want everybody to know Denny is doing fine. He just had some back surgery, which worked out wonderfully. He just felt that being at NAB was way too much standing, way too much walking around, so that’s why I get to stand here.

 

JON FAUER

What was your impression of NAB?

 

ALAN ALBERT

I think that drones have become the GoPro of this year. Drones are really intriguing. It will be interesting to see really what type of mark they make on our industry, especially as they get larger and are able to carry heavier payloads.

 

JON FAUER

What about the concept of a larger format at RED?

 

ALAN ALBERT

I think it’s interesting. I certainly have some questions about how big the sensors are going to be getting and that, of course, goes to the image circle of the lenses that we’re all dealing with. It’s wonderful, I think, to be able to have the higher resolution. But at some point in time it’s going to get to a point where we’re going to actually have lenses that we can’t use. And that, from a rental standpoint, is very concerning and also from an aesthetic standpoint of what the directors of photography and directors are used to working with. So higher resolution is a wonderful thing, but I don’t know that it’s a be-all and end-all to our industry.

 

JON FAUER

May I just jump in with an observation about that? I think RED introduced this larger sensor not so much for higher resolution, but to accommodate more formats. Their Dragon sensor is 15mm high by 30 mm wide, so it crops 18×22 anamorphic on top. Everybody in this room probably has at least one set of Cooke anamorphic lenses, and many have, dare I say, ARRI/ZEISS Master Anamorphics, Vantage Hawks, Kowas, and others. These are all optimized for 18 millimeter high. So if you’re RED and want to introduce the next camera, do you design it with an 18 x 24 mm sensor? No, you jump to the next larger size, the next multiple of 15×30, which is 20×40. You put a PL mount on it and everyone in this anamorphic room is happy. The 18×22 mm windowed area is more than 4K, inside of this 20×40 mm 8K sensor. Equally happy are all the fashion photographer/cinematographers who shoot both stills and video on RED cameras. So the big deal is compatibility with the 35mm cine 4:3 18×24 Silent Aperture, which up to now, only ARRI Alexa provided.

 

ALAN ALBERT

Yes, I agree with you 100%. And when we’re talking about anamorphics it makes all the sense in the world. For VistaVision spherical, that’s where I have my doubts.

 

JON FAUER

Alan, tell us a little bit about your market ratio of commercials to features and what jobs have been interesting for you?

 

Like Keslow Camera, our market is pretty much the same as far as episodic television, theatrical, commercials, and high-end music videos. Clearly, our major market is the episodic television work, with commercials being second, and I think with features being a close third.

 

JON FAUER

And are you doing any anamorphic episodic shows?

 

ALAN ALBERT

We are, but we’re actually doing more anamorphic work for commercials at the moment. In our Canadian offices anamorphics have been very popular, Cookes in particular, but we’re probably doing more anamorphic work with commercials than we are with features at the moment.

 

JON FAUER

Which is what Denny predicted last year because he said it was an optimum place to put the subtitles, like “Professional drivers on a closed course, do not attempt.”

 

ALAN ALBERT

And also with the unique depth of field of the anamorphic lenses compared to spherical lenses. Directors and directors of photography are looking for a signature in their work and I think anamorphic helps them to create that unique signature.

 

GEOFFREY CHAPPELL

Now we go to Argentina and Jonas Pagazurtundua from Camaras y Luces.

 

JONAS PAGAZURTUNDUA

It’s a pleasure for me to be here. Two great things happened to my life in the past few months. My first child was born.

 

JON FAUER

He’s here tonight and I think he’s the first baby to attend a Cooke dinner.

 

JONAS PAGAZURTUNDUA

Yes. And the second good thing is that I received my first set of Cooke anamorphic lenses.

Thank you very much, Les, for the lenses. About the market in Argentina, well, it’s South America. Right now, as you may have read in the newspapers, it’s a bumpy road, but we’re doing quite well. It’s mainly anamorphics for long feature films and not that much in commercials, but we had a very first good experience with Cooke lenses last year and we’re very happy with that.

 

JON FAUER

In many of these past discussions we’ve talked about the Cooke look. Is that a reason why they’re in demand in Argentina?

 

JONAS PAGAZURTUNDUA

It’s very popular. Cooke S4 lenses have always been very popular. So anamorphics were a very sure investment for us, and we’re doing very well with them.

 

JON FAUER

What cameras are you mostly using in your inventory?

 

JONAS PAGAZURTUNDUA

Alexa XT are the most popular right now.

 

The RED 8K was a very interesting camera, I think it will give us many options in the future. We have to see how it works in the field.

 

JON FAUER

You’re an Alexa rental house mainly. What was your reaction to the Alexa Mini?

 

JONAS PAGAZURTUNDUA

It’s a great camera. It’s something that we needed. I think the Alexa Mini will really fit our market. The ARRI brand is very strong in Argentina.

 

 

JON FAUER

Is 4K a factor in your market?

 

JONAS PAGAZURTUNDUA

Not yet.

 

JON FAUER

Any interesting productions lately?

 

JONAS PAGAZURTUNDUA

Last year we supported the Argentina locations on “Focus,” with Will Smith. It was released in the US a couple of weeks ago, and was a very nice project.

 

 

JON FAUER

Anything else about NAB?

 

JONAS PAGAZURTUNDUA

I saw the picture of the Cooke anamorphic zoom lens so I hope to have it in my hands to try. About the new project, the new surprise at Cine Gear, I’m not going to be in Cine Gear, so maybe Les can tell me something?

 

GEOFFREY CHAPPELL

But Jonas, you waited 9 months for your beautiful son.  It’s similar with Cooke lenses. Good things in life take time. Please be patient.

 

Let’s get on a flight and fly across the Atlantic to the wonderful, colorful, historic city of Amsterdam, in the Netherlands. Can I call upon Philippe Vie of Camalot?

 

JON FAUER

This is the gentleman who wants the first of everything, so I’m sure you’ve already put in your order for this unnamed zoom lens?

 

PHILIPPE VIE

We tried.

 

JON FAUER

To stay high on the list, I suggest you say something nice. Tell us about production in the Netherlands and what your market is.

 

PHILIPPE VIE

It’s picking up again. It is nice to sit here, once a year, and again at IBC in Amsterdam, to notice that whether it’s Australia or South Africa or Japan or China, we all have the same problems. We all have the same issues with DPs, operators and assistants buying their own gear. Actually Berndt, my business partner who is present, and I decided two years ago our pension is in glass: lenses. I’m still waiting for the new Cooke lenses that supposedly, I’m not sure if I’m supposed to say this, are coming out for the GoPro.

 

JON FAUER

Oh there was an NDA on that. And you can hear all the yellow highlight markers underlining that sentence and getting ready to ask if you were joking.

 

PHILIPPE VIE

 

PHILIPPE VIE

This is all NDA. You can sign on with Les. No, but seriously, there are more and more cameras that come on the market. I was sitting next to Geoff Boyle talking about it. Are there any bad sensors at this moment coming out? No, not really. So it’s more and more about, luckily, the guys behind the camera and the glass in front of the camera. To me, the camera is becoming less and less important.

 

JON FAUER

It has been called a “mere” box on which you put good glass. Is there more of an interest in anamorphic now in the Netherlands?

 

PHILIPPE VIE

Definitely, yes. We actually own this funny set of Russian lenses called “Elite.” And the funny thing with all the new anamorphics coming out, now suddenly people want to go back to that look or the vintage looks, but as long as you can offer the different ones that are in the market I think it’s getting better and better. I think Denny Clairmont said four years ago here, “Anamorphics, anamorphics, anamorphics.” It’s a niche, but unfortunately in our market, you probably all have the same, we don’t decide what it’s going to be. It’s the directors of photography that decide it and it’s a niche. 3-D is going less and less, luckily, and now it’s anamorphics and hopefully for a very long time.

 

JON FAUER

And what’s your reaction to this introduction of a larger VistaVision format today?

 

PHILIPPE VIE

I think it’s RED’s answer to the Alexa 65. VistaVision is interesting, but I’m not sure. I don’t know what it is. It’s more like the bigger the sensor, it’s the promise they put out. It’s the factories that decide what we are going to buy. And actually, I’m still very much an advocate for what Sue from Lemac said a while ago. If we put our heads together it should be possible that we tell the factories what we want instead of them deciding what we need to buy. The lens factories actually listen to us, but the electronics factories, they don’t. It’s like 4K, 6K today, tomorrow it’s 8K, then it’s 12K.

 

JON FAUER

So what would you like to see next from this company?

 

PHILIPPE VIE

I think they’re doing pretty good. Anamorphic is a good way to go now.

 

GEOFFREY CHAPPELL

I forgot to introduce early on this evening, we’re very pleased to have with us this evening for the first time Geoff Boyle. Geoff Boyle provides a very great service to many camera crews with his CML site. So Geoff, would you take a little bow. Thank you.

Next, we go on to Japan and the city of Tokyo, and we call upon Masa Yasumoto of Sanwa.

 

MASA YASUMOTO

Thank you Les and your team for the wonderful evening. I come to NAB only for the Cooke dinner, so I can go home tomorrow. Yes, we’re a rental company in Japan. What may come as a surprise to some of you is that we still rent film cameras. I see a couple of film cameras everyday going out on jobs. Some customers know that they can shoot cheaper on film than with digital cameras.

 

JON FAUER

Really?

 

MASA YASUMOTO

Yes, because they don’t waste anything. They know exactly what they can get from film, so we’re very pleased with that. And the anamorphic lenses–yes, we use them mostly on commercials, let’s say 70%, and then 20% feature films, and the rest 10% T.V. Dramas, music videos, whatever.

 

JON FAUER

How many film labs are left in Tokyo right now?

 

MASA YASUMOTO

I think there are still four.

 

JON FAUER

That’s more than any other city in the world, I think. That’s amazing.

 

JON FAUER

I think there are none in New York and one in L.A. Good for you.

 

MASA YASUMOTO

Okay, so if you’re stuck processing film, come to Japan.

 

JON FAUER

Tell us a little bit about the nature of your productions.

 

MASA YASUMOTO

We’ve been supplying anamorphic lenses, but we don’t have enough. You know that we are also the Panavision agent in Japan. But nowadays, maybe because of trends or because of availability of more anamorphic lenses, we get more and more requests for anamorphic lenses. And they are used on commercials, of course, as well as feature films. So we need more lenses, Les. Thank you very much. We have Cooke anamorphic lenses and before I left Japan a week ago, they’re fully booked a month ahead. People start booking and some people don’t bother to book because they know these lenses are not available so they just shoot with sphericals. But it’s the DPs who decide what equipment to use.

 

JON FAUER

In reaction to what you just said about the DPs driving the equipment choice, and since you’re probably in touch with Panasonic, Canon, and Sony, I was kind of expected them to come out with a large format sensor cine camera as well. My impression is that RED did it at the request of many of their customers. Many are still photographers who shoot stills by extracting frames from the high resolution video. They have their Canon or Nikon lenses. Looking into our crystal ball I wonder what Sony, Canon, Nikon and Panasonic are going to do now that RED has fired the starting gun of the Full Format race. Are they saying, “We have these sensors already in our 5D, A7, D810. We can do a cine-camera as well in this larger format. We don’t have 18 x 24 anamorphic-friendly cameras, so let’s just jump to the next size, and it’s one we are very familiar with.” By the end of the year, are we’re going to see more cameras in 24×36 FF size? What’s your feeling?

 

MASA YASUMOTO

Yes, I agree with you, Jon. I always wonder which direction the camera could go. So there’s only one direction, to a larger format. I don’t think they will go beyond VistaVision size; that’s too much. But I think they will do full frame still camera 24 x 36 mm size. That is already on the market and some companies have cameras, lenses, so all they need is a decision to do it. What I want to see, and I know Cooke is busy with anamorphics and the S5 and so on, but I want to see a new series of lenses that can cover at least 24 x 36 mm. I think is the future and something to be considered.

 

JON FAUER

Wow, interesting. And it wouldn’t have to be PL mount, it could be a shorter flange focal depth, because there’s no more spinning mirror, which could make the lenses smaller?

 

MASA YASUMOTO

Yeah, that’s true. We’ve been renting PL mount lenses, but nowadays we see more and more demand for lenses in the EF mount. They’re smaller, lighter, probably cheaper for them to ship, but mechanically, optically, not as good as, of course, Cooke, but the Producers can save some money.

 

JON FAUER

My last question, with the Tokyo Olympics coming in 2020 and the announcement of 8K, is where are we heading?

 

MASA YASUMOTO

8K is maybe only NHK, the TV stations and the companies supported by governments. But on the production side, I don’t think we can go in that direction too fast. We need to solve the lens issues, post-production, workflow, there are many things we have to solve before we can work with 8K.

 

GEOFFREY CHAPPELL

Keeping in the Asia territory, I’d like to jump back on my plane and head towards a wonderful country called incredible India. I’d like to call on Tarun Kumar from Anand Cine Services; it’s the largest  rental company in India.

 

JON FAUER

India was originally all anamorphic but now I hear not so much.

 

TARUN KUMAR

The digital sensor cameras were responsible for that. But interest has be rekindled and we see some sort of revival of anamorphic though much slower than expected. Probably our cinematographers are waiting for the full range of lenses to be available, as they’ve been pampered with the spherical lenses.

 

JON FAUER

India, I understand, is the land mainly of RAW. Why so much?

 

TARUN KUMAR

Yes, yes. Totally RAW. In fact, we shoot no ProRes at all. That is because in India all our equipment is sent out with our people, so the camera guys carry the gear, they set it up, they upload the camera, and the cinematographers just has to do the creative part of it. The lighting crew has his own team to do the creative part, but all the operational part is handled by our crew, which, again, is picked by the cameraman. We do the operation, we do the data handling, the data wrangling, the data management, we create the proxies and give it to the editors, and we also have a big post facility so it comes back to us for post. And so we make it easy for them all the way through, from end to end. So there’s no difficulty, the learning curve is not so steep, and in post they find it easy to do the grading and they’re delighted to work in RAW.

 

JON FAUER

Do you think we’re going to a larger format or not?

 

TARUN KUMAR

Yes, that’s the way the world is heading, so it’s inevitable.

 

JON FAUER

How many features are done in India each year?

 

TARUN KUMAR

Oh, more than a thousand. At least I think 1,200 movies a year. There are a lot of productions, independent owners making movies just because they have access to a camera, but I don’t think they’ll ever see the light of day, but still the 1,000 figure doesn’t come down. At our company, we handle about 200 to 250 features every year. Full length features, each about 2-1/2 hours long.

 

JON FAUER

Wow. How many cameras do you have?

 

TARUN KUMAR

We have about 50 cameras and a balance between Alexa and RED. ARRI Alexa is very strong in India, but RED is not keeping quiet.

 

GEOFFREY CHAPPELL

Now, we’re going to call upon our last speaker of the magnificent seven and no Cooke dinner would be complete without Danys Bruyere, of TSF Paris. I’d just like to say before Danys speaks, we do have to be out of here before morning.

 

JON FAUER

Like the Academy Awards, the music will come up after a certain amount of time.

Danys, tell us what lens you’d like next?

 

DANYS BRUYERE

Oh, trick question.

 

JON FAUER

Then tell us a little about production in your neighborhood.

 

DANYS BRUYERE

At TSF, 95% of the work that we do is long form. It’s 50% feature films and 45% long form TV drama. An interesting twist this year has been the reduction in quantity of features that are being shot in France while we’ve seen an incredible increase in the quality of the TV dramas. TV dramas went from regional interest melodrama—stories of the local preacher saving someone, getting the cat out of the tree, to really trying to compete in an international market.

 

This escalation in quality has resulted in our biggest camera job ever: a TV drama just finishing, that used four cameras constantly throughout the entire film, over 120 days of shooting. They’ve got two sets of Cooke anamorphics, and we sub-rented a set. They also did some scenes with 1.3x squeeze Super 16 anamorphic. They’ve done everything you can dream of. The market is changing, it’s evolving. People are looking for new looks, for new ways to tell the stories, and the stories are more compelling, trying to be more exotic. It’s evolving in a really interesting way.

 

JON FAUER

They’re shooting T.V. drama with anamorphics? And they’re cropping/pillaring to 16:9?

 

DANYS BRUYERE

In France it will be presented through Canal+ in 2.35:1 aspect ratio. One of the co-producers, Sky, will be showing it in 2:1. They managed to get out of 1.78, so they’re shooting double format. We’ll see what happens with international sales and whether they do a 16:9 version.

 

JON FAUER

What are the average budgets these days in France for overall production?

 

DANYS BRUYERE

Feature budgets are going down and TV drama budgets are going up. France does about 200 features a year. The average budget is just a little under 3,000,000 Euros. About 20% of the films are above 10 Million Euros and 80% of the films are under 3 Million.

 

JON FAUER

Is there still financing in France from the CNC?

 

DANYS BRUYERE

Yes, there is assistance to productions in tax credits. The tax shelters aren’t very competitive on an international level, so we get very few international productions. Unless you need to shoot the Eifel Tower or the famous monuments. Unlike England, Bulgaria or the Czech Republic, we don’t get foreign productions that just come to shoot in France for the tax shelter. Labor laws are too complex and labor costs are too expensive, even with the tax credit. Our cost of labor is high.

 

JON FAUER

And your reaction to the large format introduction today?

 

DANYS BRUYERE

I think it’s great, but I don’t think it will replace our sacrosanct to 18×24 mm format. If you set up a bunch of photographs on the wall, the ones shot with large format still cameras, for example 6×7, will stand out. You’ll notice them from 10 feet away and they will appear special. I think that going towards large format in the high end is attractive.

 

It won’t replace the standards that we have today because we have so many excellent PL mount Super35 format lenses. But some people will want to distinguish their look. Some of them will be anxious to work in 65mm. There’s a reason for that. It shows on the screen. There is a difference. The image is just not the same.

 

With digital large format cameras, we now have the technical and financial possibilities that didn’t exist before. It doesn’t really cost a lot more, as it did in the days of celluloid. But it doesn’t mean that large format will be used for TV content, news, and sports. You can’t do that on large format. There will be a continued need for smaller sensor 4K cameras where you mount a 100x zoom.

 

But higher end productions, for example like “Lawrence of Arabia” 50 years ago, will move to a bigger format because it just differentiates the look from everything else.

 

There exists a large selection of Full Frame still photo lenses that have been converted for cinema. So I think that this evolution is in the right direction. Also, it’s important that the new RED sensor, with its 20 mm height, can accept all our 1.2:1 2x squeeze anamorphic lenses with their 18mm height. And spherical wide screen on the new RED sensor will be 36 to 40 mm wide, VistaVision format, with its shallow depth of field. We have so much image content today, we need to evolve what we’re looking at to have more diversity and to give it personality.

 

JON FAUER

Very well said. Danys, you remind me of the film “Birdman,” made to appear as if it were a single long take. You said all of that in like a single breath. It’s like a single take. You are the Proust of Production.

 

GEOFFREY CHAPPELL

I’d just like to pick up on one thing. Danys was saying that he shot a feature film and he wanted a second set of lenses and he subrented them from another rental company. Just because you’ve only got one set at the moment should not limit their use on a big production. Look around this room and you’ll see a combined ownership of many sets of lenses. Just phone the people you know who stock Cooke anamorphic lenses and perhaps you can do some cross or sub rentals to help you grow your business in the feature film market until we catch up and start supplying the second, third, and fourth sets of lenses to each of you. We hopefully will be able to start supplying our second sets this year.

 

So there’s no need to turn down or lose a production because you haven’t got two or three sets. On a recent production, one set came from Chile, and the other sets came from Australia. That’s what business is. It’s across borders now. It’s a global business and the idea of these meetings here is to meet other people from around the world who work together.

 

Production is global and sometimes you have a crew stranded in Australia, Chile, Uruguay or wherever in the world, and you’ve got a partner there, somebody who’d be able to help you. I think, with your support and the amazing first few days at NAB, we certainly stirred up a lot of attention with the announcement of our anamorphic zooms. So I’d like to thank Jon very much indeed, and the magnificent seven.

 

 

LES ZELLAN

Now is the moment you’ve been waiting for. Those of you anticipating the 25

mm anamorphic, we can start shipping that hopefully within days. We have

several prototypes here and that lens should be coming off the production

line very shortly. I hope that we’ll be delivering the 135mm by Cine Gear

so that when we get to Cine Gear we can have the new lens to add to the Anamorphic prime lens family that I referred to earlier. I’m quite excited about it.

 

The 180 mm anamorphic we’ll see by the end of this year, and the 300 mm anamorphic probably either the end of this year or early next. The zoom that we announced, we hope to be showing it around the end of the year and hopefully delivering it sometime early next year. As I said at the beginning, we’re doing it in the tradition of the 5:1 and the 10:1 Cooke products, the famous Cooke 20-100 and the 25-250. Jon, turn off your recorder…

 

[Watergate style gap in audio]

 

…It’s a front anamorphic so it will be matching the characteristics that you like about the Cooke anamorphics. They’re true anamorphics with the funky anamorphic artifacts that give it personality. It is roughly the size of the 20-100 or 18-100.

 

I’d like to thank everybody for coming and thanks for the comments. We listen to everything that’s said here. We take it back and we try to come up with the products that you will need tomorrow. Thank you.

 

 

 

Leave a Comment

3 Responses:

  1. Max:

    I’m surprised Cooke didn’t learn the lesson from the 27mm Cooke S4 lens. The anamorphic equivalent is a 60mm. That essential lens is still missing from their set. Instead they make a 25mm and a 300mm. Personally I can do without those two in 99% of situations, but the lack of a 60mm is a dealbreaker.

  2. Jon, what a fascinating recap! Thank you! Its so interesting to hear about what the other countries are doing.

    I’m really fascinated about your points when it comes to a (possible) new mount. Yes, the PL mount is based on a film world and now that we’re in a digital world a mount that results in a much shorter flange depth could lead to smaller and lighter lenses…Which we all want of course.

    I’m curious if you think this is realistic and if any companies are working on this? Thank you very much.

    • Jon Fauer:

      Alexander– I think the whole world is watching, and waiting, to hear comments like yours. The camera and lens manufacturing world, that is. It would be nice to have a universal standard. Sony has the FZ mount on the F55/5. Panavision has a new mount for their 70mm Primos. What would you like?

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