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Shooting on Cell Phones and cameras that looked like cell phones


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#1 James Steven Beverly

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Posted 22 March 2015 - 07:23 PM

I just very recently got back from Palmdale Cal. where I was working on a project as an actor and some second unit camera stuff. Some of the "behind the scenes" stuff was shot on cameras that looked for all intent like a cell phone. The resolution was over 4K and the cameras cost over about 2K. The footage looked surprising good considering  . After seeing what can be accomplished with these new, fangled toys, I have to wonder if this is the newest trend in film making. If so, is it coming down to who can find distribution among a torrential flood of product as it very well seems to be at this time? I have embraced to new technology and yet the horizon looks dark and stormy when one looks out across the vast seas of production. The cream, of course will always rise but it does feel like one could be lost amidst the forces of the market awash in overproduction. Any thoughts on this?    


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#2 Michael LaVoie

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Posted 22 March 2015 - 09:38 PM

There's plenty of affordable alternatives to phones that will in addition, allow you to work with selective focus and a log or raw gamma curve which I don't think you can do with most phones without clunky case adaptors.

 

Mark Duplass's proclamation at SXSW that people have no excuse not to be shooting movies on their Iphones every weekend was truly annoying.   All cause his Iphone film got into Sundance.  Hmmm.  I wonder why?  When people start shooting movies on their smartwatches and on google glass like devices the same thing is going to start all over again.  Not about the content but what you shot it on.  Either super high end or super low end.  Cause no one cares about the middle ground, normal area there.

 

I saw a light at the end of the tunnel when we moved away from the Dogme 95 movement and DV films like Tape, Bubble, etc.  They were good films but they looked awful and I didn't like where indie film was headed when every film looked like a casting audition for the movie they wanted to make.  Why would we want to go back to that?  Just seems ridiculous given how cheap it is now to have a real film like approach that's finally affordable.   


Edited by Michael LaVoie, 22 March 2015 - 09:39 PM.

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#3 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 22 March 2015 - 10:25 PM

The Blackmagic pocket cinema camera is tiny and packs an astonishing punch for its diminutive dimensions. At a glance, with a pancake lens, it looks exactly like a pocket point-n-shoot.

 

Some of the Canon DSLRs will do some fairly special things, especially with the raw firmware update.


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#4 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 23 March 2015 - 03:17 AM

Well, it's nice that cheap and ubiquitous cameras are becoming more capable, but you still need to have an eye and know how to expose, light, frame, compose movement, and edit to create something watchable. I strongly feel that the job of cinematography is at least 60% planning, visualizing the images in your head before you shoot. Everything else is just execution and happy accidents.

My iPhone 6 is pretty awesome, especially for overcranking. I shot this on a lark last week: https://www.facebook...153133122697398.

But I don't plan to junk my Moviecam SL anytime soon! I am also current grading a micro budget feature that I shot on the 5D Mark III with the Magic Lantern Raw hack a few years ago. It's looking great, and the images I'm rendering out would not have been possible if we had shot compressed h264. So I'm all for new technology, as long as I still have the choice to choose my own tools.
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#5 Sabyasachi Patra

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Posted 23 March 2015 - 06:27 AM

 

Mark Duplass's proclamation at SXSW that people have no excuse not to be shooting movies on their Iphones every weekend was truly annoying.   

 

Too often a beginner has to grapple with buying a camera, lenses and other accessories. It is far more important to shoot with whatever he/she has. If a person shoots every weekend a short 2-3 min film for a year, that means 50 odd movies. The amount of learning one can get from that would be phenomenal. As opposed to that if one has to hire equipment, then the cost goes up multifold. Everyone has a cellphone. So all one needs is some kind of adapter to hold it. 

 

Whether to show the early work to the people or not is another question altogether. :)


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#6 John E Clark

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Posted 23 March 2015 - 12:46 PM


Mark Duplass's proclamation at SXSW that people have no excuse not to be shooting movies on their Iphones every weekend was truly annoying.

 

 

When I first started still photography the 'advice' was to have your camera with you at all times, and shoot everything in sight.

 

That of course was back in the olden days were film cost money even if one was never going to develop it beyond negatives...

 

The most significant difference between then and now is... we didn't have youtube to throw are throwaway shots on for the world to see...

 

So, if it does take 10,000 hours to become 'good', then the iPhone or equivalent is a great way to get those flying hours in... and of course ignore 99.9999....% of the youtube crap that people put up after only a few hours of flying...


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#7 James Steven Beverly

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Posted 24 March 2015 - 02:32 AM

I don't know, shooting to shoot is educational and quite frankly, essential to the learning curve of production but on the other hand, film is, at it's essence, storytelling, so to me story is the alpha to omega of the venture, and being so, execution is essential to it's understanding. I have at times put up some throwaway footage where execution was let us say a bit lax myself, but in hindsight regretted doing so because it wasn't my best work. Even free content has the price of someone's time to watch it so I'm always most preoccupied with the audience, how I sculpt the piece to make a statement and create the strongest impact for the audience. Maybe I'm being a little melodramatic but I don't like work that's not my best getting out. There doesn't seem to be much of a percentage in it. 


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