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Royworld music video.


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#1 Adam Frisch FSF

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Posted 13 August 2008 - 03:06 PM

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A couple of months ago I did a music video on the Phantom with my own personal set of Lomo anamorphic lenses and I thought perhaps my experiences could be helpful.

As you know that Phantom was more developed for scientific purposes and therefore the usual 16:9 chip wasn't a design priority. Hence, the Phantom is equipped with a completely square 1:1 chip of 2048x2048 pixels. This is ideal for anamorphic purposes, since it uses almost exactly the same area as on a 35mm camera (1:17 for anamorphic, which is slightly wider than a square).

Also the chip isn't only roughly the right shape, but it's also right by being full 35mm size. As you know most digital cameras have smaller chips which results in more depth of field and less of a film look as well as screwing up the field of view of your 35mm lenses.

I had only used the camera once prior to this, but the director had used it many times. And interestingly, we chose the Phantom not for its high speed capabilities, but for its look, size of chip and suitability to anamorphic. In fact, there are just one or two shots in the whole video that were done at 50fps - the rest was normal speed. The technicians and rental houses kept warning us that the camera wasn't made for normal speed and that results would be bad. We ignored this and I'm glad we did - there were (as suspected) no image drawbacks by running the camera at 25fps. Where all these myths come from sometimes, is beyond me. You do however have to black balance the Phantom regularly, or a grid pattern gets visible.

The working process with the Phantom in our config is a bit start and stop and awkward, though. For instance, there's no way to see the image full size on the chip unless you look at the capture screen on the laptop. For some completely mad reason you can only pipe a slightly cropped view to the viewfinder or monitor. Obviously, on top of this, we had to unsqueeze the image for the clients to view. This is no easy task as all these rubbish aspect ratio converters can do is unsqueeze to 16:9. Which, when you're using anamorphic lenses isn't quite there - people are still tall and skinny. What's even weirder is that for some reason the ARC also shifts the image and crops slightly making it even worse. In the end we used the 16:9 button on the monitor to do it and threw the ARC in the bin and p***ed on it.

You also have to download and dump the footage to tape whenever the memory is full, which at 25fps is about 6-7 minutes of shooting time. This is a bit annoying, but you can get around this by using CineMags that are hot swappable.

For me, the problem was that the monitor on the camera didn't show nearly as much headroom as was captured (due to that idiotic can't-pipe-full-screen-to-any-monitor Phantom uses), so I had to guess. On my monitor I cut headroom just above the eyes, and then I knew it would be in the ballpark on the computer monitor. Also, at 2048x2048 there was some room to reframe and move around in the image if needed. It all worked out in the end.

Obviously, once again, I forgot to shoot something round and post were sooooo confused because their little 16:9 unsqueeze button didn't do the trick as they're used to. No matter how many times you explain to these people that it's 2x squeeze, it doesn't ever really compute.

I used my 50mm, 75mm, 100mm and 150mm lenses only. The 50mm is the one that vignettes slightly. This is not because it's a bad lens, but because the Phantom chip actually is a bit bigger than the 35mm lens, so my widest isn't really designed to cover that area. Not a problem, I even like it with those slight eyebrows.

Lighting was very simple. The moving light in the background is a 5K with the lens taken away. Stuck some tubes to the wall and in the "frozen moment" shots I used a 5K just beside the lens on the dolly. All other lighting is a Par can and a Rifa light. That's it.

For all its slight awkward working processes on set, the Phantom delivers a great image and it really works with anamorphic lenses. But even spherically, that big 35mm size chip does wonder and I think this is hands down the digital camera that comes closest to the look of 35mm. I would prefer it to any other HD camera, in fact. After this I completed an Adidas job with the Phantom on spherical lenses which was all handheld at 1000fps. I'll post that when it's done.

Here's the link to the video:

Royworld
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#2 Mitch Gross

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Posted 14 August 2008 - 03:46 PM

Nice work. FYI, we're currently working on a solution for proper unsqueezed monitoring for anamorphic work on the Phantom. I agree that it is a camera full of possibilities.
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#3 Ram Shani

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Posted 15 August 2008 - 09:33 AM

great work like the lens flare and the overall light
shooting over 100 music videos i know how hard id to create interesting preforming.
i just wounder how the "frozen moment" is done?
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#4 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 15 August 2008 - 11:01 AM

I remember meeting Mitch at NAB a couple of years ago, seeing the Phantom, and thinking, christ, this is about the best thing currently available, high speed work or no. Interesting to see that thought put into practice.

And hey, a Nixie clock!

P
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#5 Mike Williamson

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Posted 15 August 2008 - 12:52 PM

Nice video, Adam. It's interesting to hear about the Phantom as well, the look is very nice but somebody has to take a look at the monitoring issues.
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#6 Andy_Alderslade

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Posted 17 August 2008 - 04:41 PM

Great stuff!

What type of bulbs were you using on those stands, photofloods?

Best,
Andy
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#7 Adam Frisch FSF

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Posted 20 August 2008 - 04:52 AM

Thanks. I hadn't done a performance video in a while, so for me it was a fun thing to do again. The frozen stuff was done in the simplest way possible: just have the talent stand still and don't blink! Can't recall those bulbs, but I think the where just simply bigger white 60W globes on poles.
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#8 jason berman

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Posted 30 August 2008 - 03:48 PM

Hi
I was the Phantom tech on this video and I always knew that this camera is more than capable of shooting at 25fps or at any speed and creating outstanding results.

The bad results you refer from tech advice, are probably the fact that the producer did not want to use this camera at all and i was covering my arse, as the "results" meant she had to pay for me to download 2 full cinemags the day after the 18 hour shoot, and she did not want to do that. I think that video looks outstanding and i would invite anyone to choose this camera as a hugely versatile camera that can shoot equally sync speed and high speeds. Yes viewing anamorphic on this camera is difficult, but u adapted very quickly.
I loved the moving light in the background.

I was on a shoot recently with 2 x phantom HD sand 2 x genesis side by side and i have to say that the Phantoms HDSDI "video assist" blew the Genesis "Video Assist" out of the water (my biased opinion, and other non biased).

Unfortuantly there are a couple of things that leave the Phantom HDa little behind as far as working with it as a fully fledged sync sound camera, that u must understand.
1 Fan on the back unable to turn off at sync speeds currently which will back shooting sound a little tricky.
2. The fact, u do not have to download between shots enocurages users to shoot more and more and but the data needs to be downloaded, and u cant just pop a tape out or send the film to the lab, u have to download it., even though this process is getting faster month by month, this only encourages more people to shoot more and more. So there is always alot to download.
We shoot on average 300-500gb of raw data in high speed shoot in a day.
But these are really the only draw backs the 14bit raw uncompressed rushes that it produces are like shooting neg with lots of lattitude in it.

On Royworld music shoot that had very little high speed element to shoot and 99% at 25fps we shoot 1.5 terrabytes of raw data in one day. Part of the reason it is so much is that fact that we used the whole chip and it about twice as much as the 1920 x 1080 that i would normally shoot. Sync speed shoots do generally shoot more data than high speed as the high speed stuff is usually very specific and the amount of performance is generally not required.
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#9 Piotr Ciacka

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Posted 25 September 2008 - 03:50 AM

The frozen stuff was done in the simplest way possible: just have the talent stand still and don't blink!

Is that true? I was wondering how you got anamorphic flares on "frozen moment" footage. When doing it the Matrix way, you would need halluva lot anamorphic lenses to attach to still cameras. So were the people shot just not moving, and other things, such as chairs, microphones etc., were just specially positioned props?

Nice work by the way.
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#10 Bruce Taylor

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Posted 25 September 2008 - 08:28 PM

I like it! The anamorphic flares generate a LOT of visual interest, and is something we don't see everyday. Long live those Lomos.

Bruce Taylor
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#11 pascal Boyer

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Posted 08 October 2008 - 01:48 PM

Hi,
I like this video a lot ! The image as a lot of emotions. I bet you had a good time making the frozen moments : ) I have some questions Did you only used the rifa to produce the soft light on the singer or also a 5k bounced ? The 5k in the background is pointed to the wall or hitting directly the actors and camera ? Did you use smoque on set ?
Thank you very much
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#12 Anna Martin

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Posted 23 October 2008 - 02:43 AM

I was on a shoot recently with 2 x phantom HD sand 2 x genesis side by side and i have to say that the Phantoms HDSDI "video assist" blew the Genesis "Video Assist" out of the water (my biased opinion, and other non biased).



Do you think that was anything to do with the log curve?
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#13 Adam Frisch FSF

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Posted 23 October 2008 - 11:47 AM

Hi,
I like this video a lot ! The image as a lot of emotions. I bet you had a good time making the frozen moments : ) I have some questions Did you only used the rifa to produce the soft light on the singer or also a 5k bounced ? The 5k in the background is pointed to the wall or hitting directly the actors and camera ? Did you use smoque on set ?
Thank you very much


As I recall it I had two Rifas and nothing else. The 5K in the background is the effect light that moves around (we removed the lens to get it really pointy). Lots of smoke, yes.
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#14 Stephen Murphy

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Posted 23 October 2008 - 01:35 PM

As I recall it I had two Rifas and nothing else. The 5K in the background is the effect light that moves around (we removed the lens to get it really pointy). Lots of smoke, yes.


Looks great Adam, ive always felt your work was very elegant and deceptively simple - I love the "Clean" style you've developed - Those Lomos flare beautifully btw.
S
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#15 Adam Frisch FSF

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Posted 23 October 2008 - 04:05 PM

Thank you. I am a minimalist at heart. Doesn't stop me from overlighting stuff. Or underlighting it. Either or happens frequently... :rolleyes:
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