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#1 Josh Pickering

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Posted 15 February 2010 - 12:30 PM

Hello all,

I've recently been offered an opportunity on a low budget feature to 1st AC. It's 35mm and I've ACed RED and high end video projects, but never 35mm. I told the guy that I would check my schedule and get back with him. I mostly DP and camera for low budget projects. Anyways, how much different is it to AC 35 vs. RED? I am very familiar with a range of prime lenses, changing filters, putting together cameras, focus pulling, etc., but will I need to change magazines as well? Again, never worked in 35mm. I know 100% I can pull focus and turn the camera on. :lol: Thanks.
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#2 Chris Keth

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Posted 15 February 2010 - 12:33 PM

Hello all,

I've recently been offered an opportunity on a low budget feature to 1st AC. It's 35mm and I've ACed RED and high end video projects, but never 35mm. I told the guy that I would check my schedule and get back with him. I mostly DP and camera for low budget projects. Anyways, how much different is it to AC 35 vs. RED? I am very familiar with a range of prime lenses, changing filters, putting together cameras, focus pulling, etc., but will I need to change magazines as well? Again, never worked in 35mm. I know 100% I can pull focus and turn the camera on. :lol: Thanks.


It's very different. Working film has a whole knowledge set of its own that you would never get working with tape or data cameras. I wouldn't recommend jumping right in cold.
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#3 Rob Vogt

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Posted 15 February 2010 - 04:49 PM

Usually the focus is more forgiving with film than it is with digital like Genesis and RED (if you don't have a large HD monitor to double check). Since its your first time make sure you get a good 2nd whom you trust with loading the mags, you'd probably have to thread the actual camera though. Talk with the people at the rental house about threading, and what to take note of about the camera. Things like ramping, pitch adjustments, magazine noise even tape color becomes more important with film. The films temperature and battery temperature are always important. Its good to note what brittle film sounds like if you're going to be working in the cold. Also, sometimes the videotap settings can be tricky but the preptech could help you with those. What camera would you be using?
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#4 Michael Kubaszak

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Posted 15 February 2010 - 05:02 PM

You probably should've found out which camera they will be shooting on, some of the older 35mm cameras are more difficult to thread than others. I would definitely recommend not being the first or at the very least be completely honest with the DP about your lack of knowledge. You need to know everything about the camera, all the stuff Rob said above and knowing how to change everything on the menu(yes film cam's have a menu's). If the camera jams everyone on set looks at YOU to solve the problem 30 seconds ago. If you do just take it and not tell the DP you don't know what you're doing, try to get a few days with the camera at the rental house and ask lots of questions. Also read up on the camera as much as possible, it's not the same as hands-on field experience but it's better than nothing. If it's an ARRI buy the Jon Fauer book for the particular camera(It's well worth the price) and the DVD if it's an ARRICAM.
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#5 Josh Pickering

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Posted 16 February 2010 - 05:59 PM

You probably should've found out which camera they will be shooting on, some of the older 35mm cameras are more difficult to thread than others. I would definitely recommend not being the first or at the very least be completely honest with the DP about your lack of knowledge. You need to know everything about the camera, all the stuff Rob said above and knowing how to change everything on the menu(yes film cam's have a menu's). If the camera jams everyone on set looks at YOU to solve the problem 30 seconds ago. If you do just take it and not tell the DP you don't know what you're doing, try to get a few days with the camera at the rental house and ask lots of questions. Also read up on the camera as much as possible, it's not the same as hands-on field experience but it's better than nothing. If it's an ARRI buy the Jon Fauer book for the particular camera(It's well worth the price) and the DVD if it's an ARRICAM.


the camera is an Arri 535B. I have done some 16mm and arm familiar with the sound of film not being fed right, etc. I was honest with the DP when I talked to him today and he didn't seem to care. But you never know. I'd really like to jump in, but then again, it's a new breed for me. I look at it as a new camera I'm just learning. I don't know if that's the way to look at it, but that's how I feel. Hopefully there will be a few days before. Again, focus pulling, filter changes, marks, etc... I can handle. But you're right when you say "I would have to solve a problem 30 seconds ago", and if I didn't know how to do it, then what do you do. Thanks for the replys guys.
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#6 Michael Kubaszak

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Posted 16 February 2010 - 06:45 PM

But you're right when you say "I would have to solve a problem 30 seconds ago", and if I didn't know how to do it, then what do you do. Thanks for the replys guys.




That's where reading everything you can will help. http://www.arri.de/c...flex_535_b.html
http://www.panavisio...quick-guide.pdf
http://camera.manual...group/535b.html
http://www.cinematog...h...529&hl=535b


Thread the camera as many times as possible and have the rental house tech show you how first. Also if you can, become really good friends with this tech as you can then have he/she on speed dial and can call them on set when something goes wrong. Also if a 1st you have worked with on the past knows this camera well ask them if you can call them if you have a problem. When things do go wrong just keep calm(like when the RED just completely freezes on you) and work quickly to resolve the problem.

Blow out the gate before each reload and check the gate after each important shot. Make sure you know how to manipulate the video assist as well.

A 1st told me a story where another 1st lost it on Gangs of New York, where the movement on a 535 locked up while threading and the 1st couldn't figure out and was yelling and proclaiming that the camera was broken and was getting the rental house on the phone, when the loader hearing over his radio what was going on, comes over to the camera (i wanna say) turn the loop knobs and closes the movement and walks back to the camera truck. :lol:
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#7 Kar Wai Ng

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Posted 16 February 2010 - 09:38 PM

A 1st told me a story where another 1st lost it on Gangs of New York, where the movement on a 535 locked up while threading and the 1st couldn't figure out and was yelling and proclaiming that the camera was broken and was getting the rental house on the phone, when the loader hearing over his radio what was going on, comes over to the camera (i wanna say) turn the loop knobs and closes the movement and walks back to the camera truck. :lol:


Yep. On the 535 the motor driveshaft and the movement become disengaged from each other when the movement is lifted away from the gate. Sometimes this prevents the movement from being swung back into position, so you just have to slowly turn the loop adjustment knobs until it'll swing back. Can be annoying if it's your first time with the camera but once you know why it happens (and now you do) it's quick to reengage them together and just becomes routine.
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#8 Chris Keth

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Posted 17 February 2010 - 02:51 AM

Yep. On the 535 the motor driveshaft and the movement become disengaged from each other when the movement is lifted away from the gate. Sometimes this prevents the movement from being swung back into position, so you just have to slowly turn the loop adjustment knobs until it'll swing back. Can be annoying if it's your first time with the camera but once you know why it happens (and now you do) it's quick to reengage them together and just becomes routine.


It got me the first time. That was at the rental house, though.
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