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Matching issues: Viper and 35mm Anamorphic


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#1 Philip Hurn

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Posted 07 January 2007 - 05:32 PM

The producer/director team of an upcoming short have suggested that we combine footage from a Viper in Filmstream mode with 35mm Anamorphic. They intend to do a 2K film out. The short will be shot on location with night interiors and exteriors. They wish to shoot the majority of the footage with the Viper in wide screen mode and to shoot film to achieve slow motion ramping effects and horizontal flare effects. In addition a couple of CGI shots will replace the night sky. I intend to shoot with 5218. We also will be shooting some hand held as well as steadycam. My preference would be to shoot film on the entire project if the budget would allow. (They have a free Viper) They also desire to see the lighting on an HD monitor on set.

I'm considering recommending 3 perf Super 35mm instead. I have not worked in Anamorphic 35mm.
My concerns are:

1) The difficulty of having to light for the slow motion shots with a base of T4 for anamorphic lenses. What lenses should I consider? Do Primo lenses look good at 2.8?
Would the E series be a better choice for horizontal lens flare and Steadycam?

2) Depth of field matching issues. I fear that the increased depth of field from the viper even at 1.9 will not match the 35mm film. The two formats will intercut within a scene.

3) Is Anamorphic overkill given a 2k film out or would the finer grain (larger image size) present a better match to the digital Viper. I will not use any gain and try to keep video noise to a minimum.

Any issues of haven't thought about? I know I need to test.
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#2 Chris Keth

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Posted 07 January 2007 - 06:22 PM

The producer/director team of an upcoming short have suggested that we combine footage from a Viper in Filmstream mode with 35mm Anamorphic. They intend to do a 2K film out. The short will be shot on location with night interiors and exteriors. They wish to shoot the majority of the footage with the Viper in wide screen mode and to shoot film to achieve slow motion ramping effects and horizontal flare effects. In addition a couple of CGI shots will replace the night sky. I intend to shoot with 5218. We also will be shooting some hand held as well as steadycam. My preference would be to shoot film on the entire project if the budget would allow. (They have a free Viper) They also desire to see the lighting on an HD monitor on set.

I'm considering recommending 3 perf Super 35mm instead. I have not worked in Anamorphic 35mm.
My concerns are:

1) The difficulty of having to light for the slow motion shots with a base of T4 for anamorphic lenses. What lenses should I consider? Do Primo lenses look good at 2.8?
Would the E series be a better choice for horizontal lens flare and Steadycam?

2) Depth of field matching issues. I fear that the increased depth of field from the viper even at 1.9 will not match the 35mm film. The two formats will intercut within a scene.

3) Is Anamorphic overkill given a 2k film out or would the finer grain (larger image size) present a better match to the digital Viper. I will not use any gain and try to keep video noise to a minimum.

Any issues of haven't thought about? I know I need to test.


The depth of field issue will be the biggest catch. What exactly do you mean they will intercut within a scene? If you mean that one will get one medium while the other grabs a close-up, I think this is a huge mistake. Maybe it would work if the viper got a master while the film camera got a side of medium shots, but still may be an issue.

I think spherical would be a better choice if something like that has to happen, but why not take 2 film or 2 vipers if you want multiple cameras?
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#3 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 07 January 2007 - 06:37 PM

Since the Viper will be the bulk of the movie and have spherical lens artifacts, the few film shots should be done in 35mm spherical (probably 3-perf Super-35) just to match. Depth of field will be hard enough to match so why add the mismatch of anamorphic versus spherical to the mix if you want to shots to intercut smoothly?

Plus if one of the main uses of 35mm will be slow-motion, you'll have an even harder time getting the anamorphic footage to match the deeper focus look of the Viper because you'll be shooting at wider apertures.
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#4 Philip Hurn

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Posted 07 January 2007 - 06:44 PM

The depth of field issue will be the biggest catch. What exactly do you mean they will intercut within a scene? If you mean that one will get one medium while the other grabs a close-up, I think this is a huge mistake. Maybe it would work if the viper got a master while the film camera got a side of medium shots, but still may be an issue.

I think spherical would be a better choice if something like that has to happen, but why not take 2 film or 2 vipers if you want multiple cameras?


The short film is one location, one scene. The footage will intercut. For example: Master shot (Viper), cut to CU, (35mm, ramp speed from 24 FPS to 60 FPS) person turns and starts to run.
The reasoning producer gives to not shoot film completely is budget. (They have a free Viper).

I'm not aware of any HD digital camera that can ramp slow motion.
I agree, Spherical Super 35mm seems better for many reasons. The horizontal flare effects could probably be added in post.
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#5 Philip Hurn

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Posted 07 January 2007 - 07:02 PM

Since the Viper will be the bulk of the movie and have spherical lens artifacts, the few film shots should be done in 35mm spherical (probably 3-perf Super-35) just to match. Depth of field will be hard enough to match so why add the mismatch of anamorphic versus spherical to the mix if you want to shots to intercut smoothly?

Plus if one of the main uses of 35mm will be slow-motion, you'll have an even harder time getting the anamorphic footage to match the deeper focus look of the Viper because you'll be shooting at wider apertures.

I've been leaning in that direction and wanted to be sure I wasn't missing any compelling reason to shoot anamorphic besides the incredible image quality.
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