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Some questions concerning 35mm gear used on set.


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#1 Adam Paul

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Posted 17 January 2006 - 03:46 PM

These are more like general questions about 35mm production which I have long wondered about.

I often see Velcro attached to camera matte box. What is it for?

I have always heard that zoom are for cheap productions, yet, I often see zooms when watching making of videos of big budget Hollywood 35mm productions. When is it desirable to use a zoom instead of a prime?

Ok, this one is more of a sound question, but I will ask anyways.
Mostly, dialog is recorded with shotgun microphones. But I often see a shorter, more round looking microphone hanging from booms recording dialog in making of videos. They seem like normal omni directional microphones. Are they? Why?s that?

Some times I see matte boxes with eye brow and siders, sometimes I see them with mattes for the different lenses, in the same production. When is it advisable to use eyebrow with siders and when is advisable to use matte for the right focal lengths?
Another question is, how to calculate the hole size for the different focal lengths if I want to cut my own mattes?

Thanks in advance.
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 17 January 2006 - 03:59 PM

The velcro is to attach small tags (like for filters) and pens & pencils for marking the lens, etc., maybe even for holding a tape measure.

Zooms are mainly for zooming with. They may also be one's longest focal length. And you may be shooting action that requires quick reframing just before you roll, or even during the shot. Or you may just feel you are saving time by not having to change prime lenses. Some DP's & directors like to use the zoom to "find" new shots quickly.

The rounder mics may be less directional, that's all, or just the windscreen is round.

You use mattes, siders, eyebrows, etc. to reduce flare coming into the lens. Sometimes it's less necessary.
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#3 Adam Paul

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Posted 18 January 2006 - 08:56 AM

Thanks David.
About the mattes and eye brows, I understand what they are for, but I have seen them both being used for different shots in the same production. Is there a right time or situation to use each? Which is better, mattes or eye brow + siders?
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#4 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 18 January 2006 - 09:32 AM

Hi,

There is a danger with mattes that they may reduce the effective aperture of the lens, since not all the light that's emanating from a given object takes a direct path to the film.

I have noticed this on video too.

Phil
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#5 Adam Paul

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Posted 18 January 2006 - 11:33 AM

So an eye brow and siders is the best way to go? Even when shooting with strong light sources?
I wonder why productions shoot with both. There must be situations where one is preferable over the other.
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#6 Chien Huey

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Posted 18 January 2006 - 01:01 PM

I often see Velcro attached to camera matte box. What is it for?


I ACed a 35mm show recently and the 1st AC put a piece of velcro on top of the camera to "hold" the PL body cap so he wouldn't lose it during lens changes.
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#7 Mitch Gross

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Posted 18 January 2006 - 01:32 PM

Eyebrows and sidebrows are great for keeping out lens flares and other stray light. When using longer lenses, it is often easier and more efficient to use a hard matte that can be inserted in the front of the mattebox. But these mattes stop all light (even ambient) from reaching the filters in the trays, some of which (low contrast) use this light to help perform their intended function. When using these filters the brows are preferred. Also, a brow essentially extends the shape of the mattebox, which means that it can sometimes stop flaring light that a hard matte cannot. A hard matte takes up less room, is faster and less ungainly to use. If using a long lens with bright out of focus lights in the background, the shape of the matte can sometimes be seen cutting into the soft ball of light (the "bokah").

So depending on the situation either can be better.
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#8 Daniel Stigler

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Posted 18 January 2006 - 03:20 PM

I usually use the eyebrow and siders to get rid of lens flares. If that's not enough i take the matte.
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#9 Freya Black

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Posted 18 January 2006 - 06:24 PM

If it is a making of video, then they may be in situations where they have no idea where the dialogue will be coming from, because there will just be random people on the set talking or general set sounds. To capture this sort of sound they may well use an omni as you suggest because it is less directional and will pick up the sound of everything thats going on.

If you are making a recording where you mostly know who is going to speak and where and where people tend to speak one at a time then a shotgun will be better specifically because you can use the pattern of the mike to try and eliminate the sounds of the camera or even the sounds the crew are making because it's only a take for sound and the camera isn't running! ;)

love

Freya
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#10 Adam Paul

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Posted 19 January 2006 - 09:01 PM

Thanks everybody. So for general use and if you could only have one of them, the eyebrows with side brows are the way to go? Even for handheld?

Freya, I wasn't talking for making of videos, but feature film production. I often see a round mic hanging from a boom recording dialog in a scene. I think it's an omni because it's round and fat and too short to be a shotgun. But I thought features only used shotguns when booming. I just saw it again on the Lord of the rings making of.
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#11 Jamie Metzger

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Posted 19 January 2006 - 09:29 PM

Thanks everybody. So for general use and if you could only have one of them, the eyebrows with side brows are the way to go? Even for handheld?

Freya, I wasn't talking for making of videos, but feature film production. I often see a round mic hanging from a boom recording dialog in a scene. I think it's an omni because it's round and fat and too short to be a shotgun. But I thought features only used shotguns when booming. I just saw it again on the Lord of the rings making of.


Adam Paul; there is no "one" way to go. What people are telling you is that it is situational. If you are shooting outside with 500T (I feel bad for you), then you need your mattebox, because that's what's going to hold you 7 ND.9's ;)

the mattbox also reduces a little bit of lens flare, but not enough, which is where the eyebrows come in handy.

You can also have a grip set up a lenser for you which works just fine.
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#12 Mitch Gross

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Posted 20 January 2006 - 11:20 AM

As for microphones, if you are shooting interiors a long shotgun is often less desireable. It needs to be directly dead on the subject and it can be difficult to swing accurately back and forth between two people having a dialog. I'm betting you were looking at a Schoepps mike, which is an excellent piece of gear. A good sound person has a variety of mikes in the kit for different situations.
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#13 Adam Paul

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Posted 20 January 2006 - 04:01 PM

I see what you are saying Mitch. So they do use omni mikes at times.
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