News

ALEXA Mini LF Update 9/20 & SUP 6.0.22

ALEXA Mini LF — September 2020 ARRI ALEXA Mini LF manufacturing continues apace. ARRI sent the following notice in the ARRI newsletter, summarized here: A limited number of ALEXA Mini LF cameras have experienced errors. ARRI now offers fixes: a camera Software Update Package and a Compact Drive firmware update. If you still experience issues after having done both of… read more…

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Panalight Rome and Milan Reopen

As part of J. L. Fisher’s ongoing RHC (Refined Hydraulic Control) upgrade program, Wick Hempleman was scheduled to travel to Rome on March 17th and stay for a few weeks, tending to clients in Rome and Milan. On March 10th, his flights were cancelled. In June, the lockdown eased across Europe. It looked like work would be cautiously restarting in Italy in July. David Jarratt and Carlo Loreti, Panalight Managing Directors, wanted to get their fleet of dollies upgraded and ready to return to work. So, Wick got in his car and drove from his base in Cologne to Rome — a two day trip.

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Getting Back to Work

You probably tried to read various guidelines on going back to work on set or location. Your skepticism increased with each “it is highly recommended.” And you plowed through additional palaverous proposals of precautions for picking up production. Now, I’m no more qualified to give advice on getting back to work or working safely than some of the “experts” and magical thinkers expounding on TV, despite my few years in pre-med studies and a healthy skepticism of sheltering in place in a stunt coordinator’s “designated safe zone.” That’s too often the place where debris unexpectedly lands from an exploding car in a movie stunt, despite assurances to the contrary.

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Roger Cicala, Founder of Lensrentals

In an interview with Jon Fauer, Lensrentals founder Roger Cicala discusses how he started out as a medical doctor. “I was born in New York. We moved to Memphis. I started in trauma critical care. After six years of that, I retrained in pain management, anesthesia and worked in a neurosurgery group. I wrote five textbooks on medicine and about 60 scientific articles. All that time, my hobby was photography and that’s how I ended up shifting over to what I’m doing now: writing, testing  and working with camera equipment.” read more…

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Interview with Michel Suissa, The Studio – B&H

This episode of “The Business of the Business” is an interview with Michel Suissa, General Manager of The Studio – B&H. Michel discusses what has changed at The Studio and what he thinks will change in the future. Topics include Super35 and Full Frame, Primes and Zooms, high-end and affordable, lighting, fiber networks, 5G, remote camera operating, social distancing and more. read more…

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9/11. 19 years.

19 years later, I still have nightmares about this. Not long before the towers crumbled, we were on top—shooting a commercial for the World Trade Center. The spot featured Bobby Short playing the piano and singing “You’re the Top” by Cole Porter. As an over-the-top agency concept, the initial plan was to airlift a grand piano to the top of… read more…

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Nicol Verheem on Creativity, Content and Coping

Nicol Verheem, Founder & CEO of Teradek and CEO of Creative Solutions discusses getting back to work and how entertainment methods will change and creativity. “I’d like to make the case that getting back to work in the media industry, and maybe in Hollywood specifically, is very important for all of us to prevent a landslide change that could permanently damage the industry that we know and love and are part of. Certainly, you have to walk a fine line and balance human lives. It’s not just economic interests. I do see a few outcomes in which we can make a difference as a group. We may even become stronger as a result and play a larger role in society.” read more…

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Huzzah. John Brawley and “The Great”

“The Great” is a bawdy farce streaming on Hulu, with Elle Fanning as the Empress of Russia and Nicholas Hoult as the Emperor. The creator, writer and producer Tony McNamara described this “occasionally true story” as being about a woman who wakes up and realizes that she’s in a really bad marriage. John Brawley was the cinematographer on 5 of the 10 episodes and he discusses how they captured this “punk history”drama in a contemporary way using ARRI ALEXA SXT and Blackmagic URSA Mini Pro 4.6K G2 cameras, with Cooke S5/i and ZEISS Super Speed lenses. read more…

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Sony FX6 joins Cinema Line

September for Sony seems like clockwork. And a new camera: FX6. Despite COVID and crisis, IBC and Cinec cancelled, the cycles of product planning began long ago. So it is no surprise that Sony reveals a new cinema camera today. The details are sparse. The following is based on discussions with Sony representatives mixed in with a generous dose of speculation. FX6 is Sony’s newest member of its newly-named Cinema Line. FX6 is the smallest member of the family, joining  VENICE and FX9. The FX6 is planned for release later this year. It is almost surely Full Frame. read more…

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Inside Angénieux Optimo Primes

The Silver Set of six Angénieux Optimo Primes will begin to ship in September. They are right on schedule, as announced at Cannes a year ago. Three partners in the Optimo Prime project are interviewed here: Severine Serrano, Managing Director, Angénieux International Sales and Marketing, located in Saint-Héand, France. Amnon Band, CEO of Band Pro, headquartered in Burbank, California. Jack Yu, Head of Cinematic & Broadcasting Solutions, Jebsen Industrial, based in Hong Kong.

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Otto Nemenz Moves

Otto Nemenz International (ONI) has moved to a huge new facility at 5700 Buckingham Parkway, Culver City, CA 90230. We usually list specifications for cameras and lenses. Here are a few specs about the new place. These details tell a lot of the story: 38,000 square feet 41 employees 21 prep bays 2 large feature prep rooms 128 parking spaces 345… read more…

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INOVATIV AXIS Health Products for Safer Sets

You arrive on set. They check you in at a flimsy folding table. Where are the masks? Gloves? Protocols? Getting back to work and working safely in Coronavirus times  can be helped by some common-sense practices and products. Now, INOVATIV introduces a new line of AXIS Health workstations to stay safe on set and on location as production reopens. Inovativ… read more…

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On-Set Social Distancing Using AJA Products

Sushi is not socially distant. Here is a photo of this article’s author, Andy Bellamy, in pre-pandemic days, providing bounce fill with his napkin at Yamazato in Amsterdam. We managed to avoid eviction from this and other fine sushi establishments whose chefs suffered our antics in tabletop lighting and camera tests between uni and ebi. But, this is not an article about sushi. It’s Andy’s article about AJA products that can help crews keep safely apart, watching the action on monitors far away from the cameras and connected by fiber optic cables and AJA devices. read more…

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ZEISS Virtual Cine Expo

This could be where trade shows are going for the near future and then continue for years to come. Thursday, July 16 is the third and final day of the ZEISS Virtual Cine Expo online. You enter a realistic, 3D rendered view of the ZEISS booth familiar from many real trade shows. Stroll around onscreen and watch detailed presentations. read more…

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Shooting on Location without Flying There

During this pandemic, how do we shoot on location without flying there? While some of us think green screen backgrounds are about as much fun as having root canal work, what if you could use affordable, consumer electronics, large screen LED TVs and projectors to let the actors interact in real time with their backgrounds on set? You can, and Sam Nicholson ASC explains how. He and his company Stargate worked on the HBO’s new series “Run.” The story travels across the United States on a train, but production never left the studio in Toronto—except to shoot the background plates in advance. Equipment includes RED cameras, Panavision lenses, DaVinci Resolve, lots of Blackmagic Design equipment, ARRI SkyPanels, 82″ monitors and lots more. read more…

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Gods of Focus: Olga Abramson

The lack of marks or rehearsals on Uncut Gems was a given from the start; it’s a part of the Safdie brothers’ directing style. Whether lining up a frenetic running shot or an over-the-shoulder close up, Cinematographer Darius Khondji ASC, AFC would suggest a 150mm lens and the brothers would revel in raising the stakes. Why not a 250mm? Or better yet, a 360mm? read more…

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SIGMA fp 2.00 Update

The critics at Cahiers du Cinema espoused a new vocabulary for film students to memorize in the following years: auteur, the director as author and le caméra stylo, writing with the camera as if it were a pen. Actually, a lot of this theory was just that: theory. There was, of course, an entire crew around the camera, behind the author and the pen and the talented cinematographers who liberated the camera from its fixed tripod.

It has been said, at times ironically, that the new wave owed much to the fact that you could avoid pesky Parisian film permits by shooting without a tripod. Nevertheless, Truffaut, Godard, Decaë, Coutard and company would have wept with joy had the SIGMA fp, no larger than a pack of Gauloises, arrived 60 years earlier.

The SIGMA fp camera is the embodiment of an entirely new and  liberated camera, an auteur’s stylo. SIGMA CEO Kazuto Yamaki called it “a deconstructed camera that allows for free and flexible styles that adapt to any genre. It is a camera for the next new wave.”

And now, SIGMA fp gets firmware update 2.00 —sort of like a cinematic spa rejuvenation. It is significant. Read all about it here. read more…

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Cooke Tour 2020 Chinese Translation

Who knew that Les Zellan and Robert Howard spoke fluent Mandarin Chinese? They don’t—but if you do, here is the FDTimes Cooke Factory Tour 2020 translated in Chinese, all 36 pages and online as a free download. Please go to the top right of our FDTimes Chinese homepageread more…

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Focus Puller at Work: Din

The focuspulleratwork.com community is an engaging forum for Focus Pullers around the world. Interesting topics include “10 Best Things in your Toolbag” and “10 Things for Desert Shoots” and “10 Questions about You.” To share your story with the community, you can do so on the forum. There is also a group interview with 10 questions and every member is… read more…

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Angenieux Optimo Primes on Location

Scene Two. What do the Angénieux Optimo Primes look like? To find out, let’s take a nature walk as the evening fog swirls  onto Shinnecock Bay, Southampton, Long Island, New York. It’s one hour before sunset. Optimo Prime 28mm and 135mm lenses on a Sony a7R IIII with a Vocas PL to E-mount adapter, shooting 4K video and stills. read more…

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