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crisp footage


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#1 robert.

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Posted 10 April 2007 - 01:49 AM

hi there,
well, i've got a housing for my bolex, 10mm lense and i cant wait to see how it turns out.(surfing).
if any of you experts have any advice to get the crisp and smooth footage we all see and love i would be appreciative to the fullest.
thanks, bob.
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#2 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 10 April 2007 - 11:06 AM

Well it's an incredibly general question so I'll give you a very general answer.

At 10mm focus is unlikely to be too much of an issue. Shooting film requires great attention to detail and quality control, so have the camera and lens(es) tested and checked for critical distances and clearances. Shoot steady tests and have any problems corrected; have the camera cleaned and lubricated if it needs it. None of these are things you should attempt to do yourself unless you're very experienced and have all the right test equipment.

I notice a lot of surf stuff is shot in slow motion. Obviously, this burns through film quickly, but it makes the flying water look fantastic and smooths out inevitably handheld camerawork. Also, it'll reduce the amount of motion blur in the frame, which will help with your aim of "crispness."

Shoot the slowest possible stock. Probably you'll be outside in sunlight, so you'll be able to use 100ASA or less. Isn't there a 64D stock in 16mm? Better check what that'll do to your focus and depth of field situation, but it should remove any barrier to sharpness that the filmstock presents. Also, do shoot on a sunny day - high contrast shadows increase apparent sharpness. I wouldn't bother shooting surfing in anything other than full sun. Overexpose one half to two thirds of a stop to tighten grain.

Consider using a polarising filter. Makes specular surfaces - such as water - and bright sunshiny skies look great, even though the effect will be fairly well uncontrollable if you're shooting on the water. The increase in contrast and lessening of haze and flare will increase apparent contrast. For the same reasons, consider haze or UV filters (often worth keeping one of these on the lens to protect the glass anyway).

Splurge financially on the transfer, even if you have a one-light done. If it's all been shot in similar circumstances it ought to work out OK anyway, and getting a really decent telecine will make all the difference.

Try to work in uncompressed video, HD, or both.

That's about all I can think of. Anyone else?

Phil
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#3 John Holland

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Posted 10 April 2007 - 11:14 AM

And only shoot it back lit ,you need that sparkle from the waves and back light tends to make things look sharper.
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#4 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 10 April 2007 - 11:17 AM

What you need is contrast, which makes things look sharper. Shooting in hard sun versus overcast light, for example.

It's a laundry list of things that lead to sharp images, from the stock, the lens, the registration, the scene contrast, the exposure of the negative, the f-stop on the lens, the processing, the transfer or printing, the display, degree of image enlargement, on and on and on. It's an accumulative effect.
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#5 robert.

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Posted 15 April 2007 - 05:46 AM

Well it's an incredibly general question so I'll give you a very general answer.

At 10mm focus is unlikely to be too much of an issue. Shooting film requires great attention to detail and quality control, so have the camera and lens(es) tested and checked for critical distances and clearances. Shoot steady tests and have any problems corrected; have the camera cleaned and lubricated if it needs it. None of these are things you should attempt to do yourself unless you're very experienced and have all the right test equipment.

I notice a lot of surf stuff is shot in slow motion. Obviously, this burns through film quickly, but it makes the flying water look fantastic and smooths out inevitably handheld camerawork. Also, it'll reduce the amount of motion blur in the frame, which will help with your aim of "crispness."

Shoot the slowest possible stock. Probably you'll be outside in sunlight, so you'll be able to use 100ASA or less. Isn't there a 64D stock in 16mm? Better check what that'll do to your focus and depth of field situation, but it should remove any barrier to sharpness that the filmstock presents. Also, do shoot on a sunny day - high contrast shadows increase apparent sharpness. I wouldn't bother shooting surfing in anything other than full sun. Overexpose one half to two thirds of a stop to tighten grain.

Consider using a polarising filter. Makes specular surfaces - such as water - and bright sunshiny skies look great, even though the effect will be fairly well uncontrollable if you're shooting on the water. The increase in contrast and lessening of haze and flare will increase apparent contrast. For the same reasons, consider haze or UV filters (often worth keeping one of these on the lens to protect the glass anyway).

Splurge financially on the transfer, even if you have a one-light done. If it's all been shot in similar circumstances it ought to work out OK anyway, and getting a really decent telecine will make all the difference.

Try to work in uncompressed video, HD, or both.

That's about all I can think of. Anyone else?

Phil

thanks so much for your time and knowledge!
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#6 Chris Keth

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Posted 15 April 2007 - 05:00 PM

SInce you won't be able to babysit focus, just set it at the hyperfocal distance. That should give you a sharp image from (guessing here) 6 or 10 feet out to infinity.
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#7 Nick Mulder

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Posted 15 April 2007 - 06:47 PM

With a 10mm on 16mm even fully open you'll be finding you get crispness of the water droplets on the front portal of your housing - hyperfocal ding dong a few inches, not 6 feet ...

Its often a problem if you want the housing coming out of the water and then be dry - I've thought about doing shots in reverse, but thats narrative stuff and not surf photography - its also getting on winter down this way, I'll wait until summer
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#8 Richard Boddington

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Posted 16 April 2007 - 03:37 PM

"I notice a lot of surf stuff is shot in slow motion. Obviously, this burns through film quickly, but it makes the flying water look fantastic and smooths out inevitably handheld camerawork"

I always use a tripod when shooting surfing, I just mount the tripod on the surfboard. It's tricky, but there's usually enough room to get me, the 1st AC, the director, and art director onto the board.

When we shot the final scene for Blue Crush we mounted 10Ks on surfboards and had them surf along side the surfer to give additional light. The cable pullers on the beach had their work cut out for them that day. We where able to get three Teamsters onto each board with the light. Man those guys could surf!

R,
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#9 Patrick Cooper

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Posted 17 April 2007 - 03:57 AM

I must say that the surf footage in Blue Crush was very impressive. That sequence where the main character has a flash back and you see her underwater hitting a rock looks very realistic.
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#10 David Bradley

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Posted 17 April 2007 - 06:09 AM

"I notice a lot of surf stuff is shot in slow motion. Obviously, this burns through film quickly, but it makes the flying water look fantastic and smooths out inevitably handheld camerawork"

I always use a tripod when shooting surfing, I just mount the tripod on the surfboard. It's tricky, but there's usually enough room to get me, the 1st AC, the director, and art director onto the board.

When we shot the final scene for Blue Crush we mounted 10Ks on surfboards and had them surf along side the surfer to give additional light. The cable pullers on the beach had their work cut out for them that day. We where able to get three Teamsters onto each board with the light. Man those guys could surf!

R,


You mounted 10ks on surf boards!!!? How? You must have been using some seriously long boards to have the buyoncy to support four people.
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#11 John Holland

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Posted 17 April 2007 - 06:19 AM

Think you must mean pontoons not surf boards !
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Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

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FJS International, LLC

CineLab

Metropolis Post

Willys Widgets

Wooden Camera

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Aerial Filmworks

Glidecam