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Here's a toughy, what cameras were used on The Cranes are Flying?


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#1 James Steven Beverly

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Posted 20 June 2007 - 03:17 AM

Does anyone have any idea what cameras were used on this production? B)
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#2 Adam Frisch FSF

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Posted 20 June 2007 - 06:38 AM

It's amazingly shot and a true groundbreaker in visual storytelling. But being Russian I think it
was probably shot with many of the Arri 2C knockoffs they produced. Don't think the Konvas was constructed yet.
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#3 James Steven Beverly

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Posted 21 June 2007 - 08:15 PM

Yeah, it was a very cool movie, I've been getting more and more into foriegn films lately and I loved this one. I was thinking it could have been their Mitchell BNC ripoff, Actually here is a little history:

"In 1957 MKBK designs (well, it's a Mitchell BNC clone) the SK-1 (which I think should be read as Sinchronnaya Kamera-1, that is Synchronised Camera #1, although I could be wrong), which is produced between 1958 and 1965."

(from www.commiecam.com/historycine.html for anyone whose interested in a history of Soviet 35mm motion picture cameras)

I've seen there Arri 2c ripoff and for some reason I think they may be too new for a 1960 film plus it's not designed for sound sync. The Konvas was onboard the first manned spaceflight with Yuri Gagarin. The first Konvas was built in 1939 which looks nothing like the camera we know today. The first Knovas that LOOKED like a Konvas was made in 1952 and was produced with minor modifications right up until 1993, BUT the Konvas was designed as a documentary/news camera and even TODAY it's one of the loudest cameras going so it wouldn't have been used for a feature film at the time....I don't THINK.

The earlier Eyemo and Arri ripoffs were military cameras so those are probably out. The Mitchell BNCR rippoffs were developed and manufactured right at the time the film was released so it's probably unlikely they would have been availible for the production. As far as I know they never made an Arri BL ripoff so the KS-1 LOOKS like the most likely suspect but I would like to know for sure. B)

Edited by James Steven Beverly, 21 June 2007 - 08:20 PM.

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#4 Leo Anthony Vale

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Posted 23 June 2007 - 01:55 PM

The first Knovas that LOOKED like a Konvas was made in 1952 and was produced with minor modifications right up until 1993, BUT the Konvas was designed as a documentary/news camera and even TODAY it's one of the loudest cameras going so it wouldn't have been used for a feature film at the time....I don't THINK.

The earlier Eyemo and Arri ripoffs were military cameras so those are probably out. The Mitchell BNCR rippoffs were developed and manufactured right at the time the film was released so it's probably unlikely they would have been availible for the production. As far as I know they never made an Arri BL ripoff so the KS-1 LOOKS like the most likely suspect but I would like to know for sure. B)


But one can't handhold a Mitchell or even a Rodina.

A Rodina is still an unblimped camera. While a Moskva or a Mitchell or a copy of one is probable for relativly static dialogue scenes, not for the scenes like Veronika getting off the bus and running between the tanks
( I think the title of the movie refers to the climax of that shot) or going up and down that stair case.

If it's not a Konvas Avtomat, I'd guess a Cameflex. The cameflex used for <<Yo Kuba>> was Urusevskii's own. Maybe be already had it in 1956.

Going through issues of Soviet Film from the 60s, one sees lots of stills of a Konvas with the Foton Anamorphic zoom. On big movies like 'King Lear' it's on a huge geared head.
By the 60s the Soviets were using the Italian system of post syncing all the dialogue.

Eyemos and theSoviet copy are also newsreel cameras, so they're accessable to civilians.
Since the Arri copy has two of the lenses permanantly attached to the turret it's not that practicle for commercial filmmaking.

Try to find 'Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors' for somemore bravura handheld.
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#5 James Steven Beverly

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Posted 23 June 2007 - 06:34 PM

It might have been a Konvas, I thought the film was released in 1960 but it was in fact realeased in 1957 so it was probably made in 1956. The Russians were fond of ADR and it's possible that the sound was all done in post. I hadn't realized that they were using Cameflex' in Soviet Russia but if so, that could be the camera, at least for the handheld work. I'd almost bet they used more than one camera on the film because it was so smooth, the hand held work was REALLY good not like the verite' style you see today. I tend to think they had a studio camera and a light-weight camera for the hand held shots. I tried to find out what cameras Sergei Urusevsky liked using but couldn't come up with anything or any photos of him actually shooting so It's hard to say. :unsure:
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#6 Travis Cline

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Posted 27 June 2007 - 12:37 PM

I found out a little bit. Apparently a Konvas was used for at least part of the film. This article talks about how they used the Konvas to achieve handheld shots and the other previously difficult shots to get. Here is a link to the article, but it is in Russian. You can see pictures of Urusevski using the Konvas while filming The Cranes are Flying. I will try and find out if they used the Konvas as their A camera as well or not.


http://rus.625-net.r.../06/kinoapp.htm


Travis
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#7 Travis Cline

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Posted 27 June 2007 - 12:38 PM

I found out a little bit. Apparently a Konvas was used for at least part of the film. This article talks about how they used the Konvas to achieve handheld shots and the other previously difficult shots to get. Here is a link to the article, but it is in Russian. You can see pictures of Urusevski using the Konvas while filming The Cranes are Flying. I will try and find out if they used the Konvas as their A camera as well or not.


http://rus.625-net.r.../06/kinoapp.htm


Travis
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#8 James Steven Beverly

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Posted 28 June 2007 - 05:11 AM

That was cool :lol: I used a translator and read the text. It is a history of Konvas and Konvas KSR-1s with 200 ft mags, straight tubed viewfinders and 6 volt reostat motors, EXACTLY like mine were INDEED used on The Cranes are Flying or as the computer translated it "They Fly Cranes" . But from what I could make out because the translator created sentences that were fairly bizzar, the Konvas' were only used for the handheld work specifically mentioned was the scene when she's trying to get through the crowd to find him as he's leaving to go to war. It's fasinating, apparently they made over 10,000 of these little cameras and the design was more influenced by the Arriflex than the Eclair, The similarities between the Eclair and the Konvas were the result of parrallel engineering towards the same goal. The 2 cameras look the same because they were being designed for the same function, not because the Russians stole the design, and I know this because the article freely admits the Russians stole the design for the Eyemo and a few other cameras. I loved looking at it from the Russian POV. VERY interesting. B)
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#9 Travis Cline

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Posted 28 June 2007 - 07:24 PM

In Russian it is sort of unclear as to how much of the film was shot on the Konvas. SInce it is a Konvas article I would imagine they want to make themselves look as good as possible and talk about the inovative, creative shots accomplished with their camera, but maybe they did more with it. I have tried looking for the Sinchronaya Kamera #1, but couldn't find anything. I'll let you know if I do. Glad you enjoyed that article.



Travis
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