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Why so many cameras


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#1 Joseph Arch

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Posted 04 March 2011 - 01:49 AM

I can understand that they wanted different angles but to have five different cameras, five different formats and combine it into one, why?

Arricam LT, Zeiss Master Prime Lenses
Arriflex 16 SR3, Zeiss Master Prime Lenses
Arriflex 235, Zeiss Master Prime Lenses
Arriflex 435, Zeiss Master Prime Lenses
Arriflex 765, Zeiss Lenses

http://www.imdb.com/...01152/technical
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 04 March 2011 - 02:10 AM

I can understand that they wanted different angles but to have five different cameras, five different formats and combine it into one, why?

Arricam LT, Zeiss Master Prime Lenses
Arriflex 16 SR3, Zeiss Master Prime Lenses
Arriflex 235, Zeiss Master Prime Lenses
Arriflex 435, Zeiss Master Prime Lenses
Arriflex 765, Zeiss Lenses

http://www.imdb.com/...01152/technical


ARRICAM LT was probably their main sync-sound camera, the 235 is small and lightweight so would be used for action scenes, running around stuff, etc. The 435 is an MOS camera capable of high frame rates for slow-motion shots (anything faster than 60 fps).

The 16mm SR3 was probably used for those flashback shots that look a bit like home movies. The 765 is a 65mm camera probably used for efx plates for a couple of big wide shots with efx to be added, like the explosion at the Adlon Hotel.

So only three formats, and probably 90% of the movie was shot in 3-perf Super-35 with the LT, 235, and 435. Probably only a few shots done in 65mm, and the flashback stuff was its own thing.
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#3 Joseph Arch

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Posted 04 March 2011 - 02:32 AM

I have a lot to learn. If the film does not deliver then it will have been a waste to use so many cameras.

Thanks David.


**EDIT**

When you say sync-sound camera do you mean they recorded the audio from an external mic into the camera? I thought the audio should always be recorded separately.

Edited by Joseph Arch, 04 March 2011 - 02:35 AM.

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#4 John Sprung

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Posted 04 March 2011 - 02:43 AM

When you say sync-sound camera do you mean they recorded the audio from an external mic into the camera? I thought the audio should always be recorded separately.


Sound is recorded separately. Sync sound cameras run quietly, so there's no camera noise on the track. MOS cameras make noise about like a sewing machine, but are smaller, lighter, and cheaper.




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#5 Daniel Porto

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Posted 04 March 2011 - 03:02 AM

I have a lot to learn. If the film does not deliver then it will have been a waste to use so many cameras.


A waste? The DP just wanted to use the right camera to get the shot he wanted... as David already explained there are plenty of reasons why they shot with so many cameras. I've seen plenty of shows where on Main unit they will have two Panaflex's, Second Unit will have one 435 and one 235. Then for daily's they will get an SR3 for some "flashback shots."

Just because they used so many cameras doesn't mean they had all of the cameras on standby for the whole shoot collecting dust. Not a waste at all...
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#6 Joseph Arch

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Posted 04 March 2011 - 03:11 AM

@John

Thanks for the explanation.


@Daniel
It would have been a waste of money because the film did not deliver. Using all those cameras to get the right shot and the right scene then the film fails is a waste.
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#7 David Desio

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Posted 04 March 2011 - 10:31 AM

To say it was a waste is pretty short-sighted. By that logic if a film fails, then they wasted alot of money on actors, crew, film stock...and should have made sure that it would not fail before they "wasted" the money on all of those frills.
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#8 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 04 March 2011 - 11:30 AM

I have a lot to learn. If the film does not deliver then it will have been a waste to use so many cameras.

Thanks David.


**EDIT**

When you say sync-sound camera do you mean they recorded the audio from an external mic into the camera? I thought the audio should always be recorded separately.



The three types of 35mm cameras are not unusual for a mid-to-large movie shoot -- trouble is that most sync-sound cameras (i.e. quiet enough to record dialogue while they run) don't go faster than 60 fps, some don't even get above 48 fps, when you want slow-motion shots, so an ARRI-III is often needed (but that camera is not pin-registered) or better-yet, an ARRI-435, which is the mainstay of commercial shoots, having a lot of features... but it's not quiet-enough to shoot dialogue. ARRI-435 goes to 150 fps. Nowadays some people might use a Phantom digital camera for extreme slow-motion work.

The ARRI-235 has become popular because it is so small and lightweight for a 35mm camera, and well-balanced for handheld. Trouble is that it is on the loud side, putting it just over the edge of being a sound camera. It's sort of a cross between what an ARRI-2C used to be used for, and an ARRI-435.

The 16mm camera for flashbacks, that's just a creative idea like using Super-8... the 65mm camera for efx plates, that's not uncommon for bigger movies, just as using VistaVision for those sorts of shots, the larger image gives compositors more room to reframe that image, there is more resolution, less grain, etc.

Odds are high that they had two basic sync-sound cameras for dialogue shooting, either two ARRICAM-LT's or an LT and an ST.

But the 16mm and 65mm camera could have only been used for a few days, not carried for the run of the shoot. Even the 435 might have been day-played since the shoot was in Berlin and had easy access to a rental house. If you go out on a more distant location, you start to have to carry more cameras for longer periods due to the time to ship things, and you often need to carry a back-up body with you.
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#9 Joseph Arch

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Posted 04 March 2011 - 03:43 PM

I saw the ARRIFLEX 435 Xtreme and it is extremely loud when it goes to 150 fps. No dialogue can be recorded if it is operating at that speed.

I have read that vfx crews like to work with certain cameras because it makes their job easier and quicker.

You know so much David. I hope you are able to finish the FAQ section. I am hungry for film cinematography but cannot afford school.
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#10 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 04 March 2011 - 04:31 PM

I saw the ARRIFLEX 435 Xtreme and it is extremely loud when it goes to 150 fps. No dialogue can be recorded if it is operating at that speed.


You wouldn't be recording dialogue when the camera is running at 150fps. The 435 is a non sync camera because even at 25fps it is too loud for sync sound
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