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Is Cinematography.com user "Mike Crane" really Spectra Film and Video's Sock Puppet?


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#1 Selene Preston

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Posted 24 October 2010 - 09:33 PM

I recently read apost by "DP" named Mike Crane that was oddly enthusiastic about Spectra's new Super 8mm gate... and seemed oddly antagonistic towards all other post house's approach to scanning Super 8mm.

Something about the tone struck me as off and a bit defensive so I did a quick search in the box above for "Mike Crane" (with quotes) and found out that for the past few years 95% of the posts from Mike Crane fall into one of 3 categories:

1- Promoting one of Spectra's new products or services with a link like this:

Anyone had any experience with Kodak's new 200T VISION 3 super 8? Spectra has it up on their site and I was curious about any results.

http://spectrafilman....com/index.html

I am already pleased with the 200T VISION 2. The VISION 3 version should be really good!


or this:

Interesting news from Spectra's site. They are setting up a HD Spirit with dedicated Super/Regular 8 gate for max resolution.

spectrafilmandvideo.com

Apparently, this is not a modified 16 gate as other places currently offer. The typical mod gates are only capable of obtaining a fraction of the true HD resolution from the Spirit due to insufficient optics.

Looking forward to trying this out for some HD work I have coming up in the next few months. It will be interesing to see if they can make a clear difference from the nice stuff I already get from them. In any case it will greatly help with my HD workflow.


2- Defending Spectra's products, services or reputation.... for instance... In response to a Cinematography.com User's post complaint about some Velvia they bought from Spectra being "jittery".

Those bastards! I think we should blow Spectra up for not delivering Velvia perfection!

Seriously, I get jitter and scratches from Kodak loaded carts too. Super 8 has never been perfect. It's part of the deal in this format. I had a 518SV camera that ran Kodak negative and Velvia perfectly, but, Kodak black and white film nearly always had a bad jitter. That didn't stop me from shooting TriX. I like it too much! So, after some experimentation, I found that it worked better in some of my other cameras.

Marty, I think it is good of you to let them know whats up. I am sure Spectra is working on improvements to get Velvia to work every time in every camera. They always seem to be working hard (and late) to make their customers happy. Meanwhile, I still plan to shoot their sweet looking Velvia without protest. I have never found a better looking color film and appreciate their extreme efforts to make it available.

As an alternative, there are other companies in Europe that sell Velvia. Perhaps you might want to give them a try.



3- Bashing or criticizing Spectra's competitors like Pro 8mm (the owners of Spectra used to work there) or Cinelicious:

From Topic "pro8mm postage"

It has been known for a while now that Pro8 packs their super 8 cartridges with short ends. You can ask Media Distributors who sells them most of their short ends for conversion. Some Pro8 employees (both former and current) have also stepped forward with this info.

Ultimately, anyone who wants to know should just ask Pro8mm point blank. So many now know about the short-ends that they may have given up trying to keep it a secret.


From Topic "Pro8mm "Festival Challenge" - whatchathink?"

After all the years of taking so much from the film community, why can't they give something back with no strings attached. Instead they charge an exorbitant entry fee for their own "festival" where all footage becomes their property for their own demo. What a rip!

They are actually getting the filmmakers to put up the money for their company demo!!!


Of course I don't have proof that Mike Crane is actually the the management / owner of Spectra posing as one of us... but I'm skeptical that a real person would be posting in this manner.

As far as full disclosure goes, I should say that I have worked with Paul Korver of Cinelicious for years, as a shooter for another of his companies. My bias definitely skews toward the awesomeness of Cinelicious, their work, their facilities, their equipment, their professional knowledge, and their people. That's part of the reason why I feel a bit defensive of the negativity toward Cinelicious specifically and other post houses in general.

If it is indeed Spectra I'd be curious what you all think about that. It seems fine if post companies want to come on cinematography.com to educate or even promote their services... as long as they're upfront about their identity so we can hear their comments understanding that there is potential bias in their opinions.

And if I'm totally off base here- maybe Mike Crane can set me straight?
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