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AC and Follow Focus Video Instructional Series


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#1 Matt Jeppsen

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Posted 03 October 2007 - 06:06 AM

Hey all, just a quick note to let you know we've posted a three-part educational video series entitled "The Art of Pulling Focus" at FreshDV.

In summary, Chicago-based AC Bob Sanchez shares his deep experience and knowledge on the role of an AC, as well as some tools and techniques of the job. In the Part 3 video demonstration we block out a few simple scenes and Bob demonstrates his technique on a handheld camera rig.

If this proves helpful to you, please let us know what you think. Many thanks.
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#2 Andrew Brinkhaus

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Posted 03 October 2007 - 09:24 AM

This is great material for an aspiring AC like myself, thanks! Hope to see more soon.
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#3 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 03 October 2007 - 07:02 PM

Pretty nice interview & demo. I definitely picked up a few tips from it that'll help me out this weekend!

thanks!
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#4 Andrew Jackson

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Posted 03 October 2007 - 11:17 PM

sweet stuff, thanks!


Hmm...you may be against this, and that might be the point, but how do you actually download it to your computer? I hate watching stuff on my computer and I always try to save videos that I might go back and watch on a DVD so I can just watch it on my TV
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#5 Matt Jeppsen

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Posted 04 October 2007 - 02:50 AM

Thanks for the feedback, guys. We appreciate it.

Hmm...you may be against this, and that might be the point, but how do you actually download it to your computer? I hate watching stuff on my computer and I always try to save videos that I might go back and watch on a DVD so I can just watch it on my TV

I completely understand where you are coming from, I'm the same way. :-)
Stay tuned at that link, we're working on getting a .torrent of the entire series up at hi-res/bitrate. Figured that those who want to download it would also want it at a higher resolution.
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#6 Andrew Jackson

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Posted 04 October 2007 - 07:40 PM

Thanks for the feedback, guys. We appreciate it.

I completely understand where you are coming from, I'm the same way. :-)
Stay tuned at that link, we're working on getting a .torrent of the entire series up at hi-res/bitrate. Figured that those who want to download it would also want it at a higher resolution.




will do! Thanks dude
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#7 Daniel Madsen

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Posted 04 October 2007 - 10:59 PM

It is a very informative video, nonetheless, an advertising cesspool.

Bob give some good advice about setting the stop of a film camera; it should be the last thing you do so the camera operator can see the rehearsal as brightly as possible.

Thanks for posting!
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#8 Matt Jeppsen

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Posted 04 October 2007 - 11:48 PM

It is a very informative video, nonetheless, an advertising cesspool.

Thanks...I think. :-) Care to clarify your use of the term "cesspool"?
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#9 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 05 October 2007 - 12:42 AM

... nonetheless, an advertising cesspool.


Hey, give him a break, these things cost money to produce.
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#10 Chaz Buhrmann

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Posted 07 October 2007 - 06:02 AM

While on the topic, does anyone know where I can buy a decent speed crank from? I can't seem to find much except for a chrosziel one from bhphoto. It's for the redrock micro folllow focus. Thanks.
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#11 Matt Jeppsen

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Posted 08 October 2007 - 03:18 PM

While on the topic, does anyone know where I can buy a decent speed crank from? I can't seem to find much except for a chrosziel one from bhphoto. It's for the redrock micro folllow focus. Thanks.

As noted in this thread, the Chrosziel is actually one of the more cost-effective speed crank options that I am aware of. It has a standard port, so it should interface fine with the Redrock FF.
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#12 Chaz Buhrmann

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Posted 09 October 2007 - 03:57 AM

As noted in this thread, the Chrosziel is actually one of the more cost-effective speed crank options that I am aware of. It has a standard port, so it should interface fine with the Redrock FF.


Thanks for the link and the info. I was just surprised at the dearth of speed cranks available. I would have thought more companies would have manufactured them (including redrock). Looks like I'll buy the chrosziel :)
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#13 Matt Jeppsen

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Posted 18 October 2007 - 03:40 AM

Hi all, thanks for the great feedback on this instructional series. I also wanted to mention that we've just added a 720p HD version of the Art of Pulling Focus Part 3 segment, so you can download it and watch offline. And of course it's a bit easier to see the focus pulls and analyze what Bob is doing.

It comes zipped up in a 450MB archive which contains the full 15-min H.264 Quicktime video at 1280×1440 (wonky size = two 720p clips stacked vertically). Download, unzip and enjoy! You can download the video here.
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#14 Chris Keth

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Posted 18 October 2007 - 04:23 AM

Thanks for the link and the info. I was just surprised at the dearth of speed cranks available. I would have thought more companies would have manufactured them (including redrock). Looks like I'll buy the chrosziel :)


Why buy when you can keep one from a rental house and get it billed to production.... ;)
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#15 Camillo Foramitti

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Posted 18 October 2007 - 04:56 AM

Thanks for the link and the info. I was just surprised at the dearth of speed cranks available. I would have thought more companies would have manufactured them (including redrock). Looks like I'll buy the chrosziel :)



Personally, I think that the Chrosziel is a crappy piece of equipment. Actually I believe that most of their stuff is crap.
Why not just rent a good follow focus together with the other camera equipment?
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#16 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 18 October 2007 - 02:02 PM

If the production can't get a camera that comes with a follow focus, then something wrong with their brains.

I would only invest in a remote follow focus, if anything. A lot of indie low budg films rarely look at it as a necessity. A couple weeks ago I REALLY could have used it for a jib shot.
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#17 Matt Jeppsen

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Posted 20 October 2007 - 12:46 AM

If the production can't get a camera that comes with a follow focus, then something wrong with their brains. I would only invest in a remote follow focus, if anything. A lot of indie low budg films rarely look at it as a necessity. A couple weeks ago I REALLY could have used it for a jib shot.

Valid points, Jonathan. Don't forget however that some folks are not located right down the street from a rental house, and in many cases it makes sense to have your own kit on hand that you KNOW works (and you know how to work it). But sure, when you get a big camera package rented you generally just use the FF it comes with (probably an ARRI).

It's funny you mentioned the remote focus device. We actually tested a Bartech BFD along with these follow focus units, and I was very impressed with it's performance. Very precise, and extremely powerful motor (the Palomar M-One). I could see it driving even the stickiest of lenses without breaking a sweat. We'll have a review of that unit out shortly.
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#18 Trevor Swaim

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Posted 20 October 2007 - 12:58 AM

Yeah I live in Iowa, the only decent sized rental house in the state is 2 hours away and they are closing shop in january... 8 hours to Minneapolis, 6 to Chicago, 5 to St. Louis
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#19 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 20 October 2007 - 03:05 AM

Yeah I live in Iowa, the only decent sized rental house in the state is 2 hours away and they are closing shop in january... 8 hours to Minneapolis, 6 to Chicago, 5 to St. Louis


OUCH! That's like me driving down from SF to LA just for a camera rental! My heart goes out to ya Trevor :(

And Matt, I've used a Bartech before, they're quite nice. But the last time I used it was with a HEDEN Servo, which was a bit of a headache. The last time I used it there was a Cooke 16mm that was really rough and it couldn't rack it for the life of me! So I had to abandon it for the production.

Also, I think the design of its support is quite poor. Having it attach to only one solitary rod support, and pitch down to engage with the focus, I've found the servo can really slip a lot unless you quadruple grip tighten it! They should have made it so it slides onto both rod supports and shimmies side to side to lock into place.

Ahhh well, maybe I should write a letter ;)
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#20 Chris Keth

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Posted 23 October 2007 - 07:06 PM

OUCH! That's like me driving down from SF to LA just for a camera rental! My heart goes out to ya Trevor :(

And Matt, I've used a Bartech before, they're quite nice. But the last time I used it was with a HEDEN Servo, which was a bit of a headache. The last time I used it there was a Cooke 16mm that was really rough and it couldn't rack it for the life of me! So I had to abandon it for the production.

Also, I think the design of its support is quite poor. Having it attach to only one solitary rod support, and pitch down to engage with the focus, I've found the servo can really slip a lot unless you quadruple grip tighten it! They should have made it so it slides onto both rod supports and shimmies side to side to lock into place.

Ahhh well, maybe I should write a letter ;)


You absolutely should. That's how equipment gets modified to be better and more assistant friendly. You can see that kind of evolution if you've ever used old arri equipment and compared it to the newer stuff. Little changes here and there.
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Visual Products

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Broadcast Solutions Inc

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