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What is that telescope looking thing that the man seen in the clip posted is running around with?


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#1 Harry Weaks

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Posted 23 December 2015 - 01:28 AM

In the following clip a man is using a telescopic looking instrument/tool/device/object while on set. He's looking through it for whatever reason, and i'd like to know for what --and what it's called. Is it necessary to have on set while filming a production? Unnecessary? Depends? If it depends, what does it depend on? If it's always necessary, why? If not, why? Have you ever used it before? If so, why? What is it called? Why was that man using it in your opinion?
 
Here is the footage mentioned above:
 
It's shown during the 1:34 and 1:44 marks of the video.

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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 23 December 2015 - 01:59 AM

That is what is referred to as a "lens finder", sometimes called a "director's finder" (the lens finder is basically a groundglass optical viewfinder with a handle.) The director and the cinematographer can use a lens finder to line up a shot with the actual camera lens that will be used without having to put it on the movie camera.  A few lens finders are very complicated with a video camera inside and a transmitter so that another person can watch the same image on a portable monitor, sometimes a clamshell recorder / monitor so that the image could be played back.

 

See:

http://www.pure4c.de...cfm?dsmid=98631

 

Read this blog:

http://timurcivan.com/blog/


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#3 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 23 December 2015 - 04:54 PM

Is it necessary? Not really, it doesn't change what ends up on the film or on the hard drive. But it can be a useful tool, especially when you are shooting with a large, heavy studio camera. You can determine exactly which focal length, which position on the floor, and at what height the lens needs to be for the next shot (or even line up a whole sequence of shots) with the viewfinder without having to move the camera, lay dolly track, and reconfigure the dolly for high mode or low mode, all of which takes time and manpower which could be better spent elsewhere. So it's basically a time-saving, back-saving, communication device for the director and cinematographer.
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#4 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 23 December 2015 - 04:55 PM

Now, if you're using a small and light camera that you can move easily yourself, then it may not be as useful.
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#5 Freya Black

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Posted 23 December 2015 - 06:35 PM

This is an outstanding film that will still be a classic in years to come (if anyone still cares about old films then).

 

 

I think the directors viewfinder can still be useful even when you are shooting on lighter Super16 cameras like in this video because when you work on larger productions, it can often be the case that the camera operator or the cinematographer are just hogging the camera and it's hard to get near it. It may even be for semi legitimate reasons like changing a lens or a mag, or cleaning the gate or something like that. However the directors viewfinder solves this problem. It allows the director to free themselves from the shackle of the camera at all and to dance around the set like a swan, (as we see in this example) or to glide effortlessly around the set free of restriction while all the time seeing the world through the same shooting lens they will use for actual shooting. They can then ask the camera operator to repeat their actions with the actual camera.

 

Freya


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#6 Freya Black

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Posted 23 December 2015 - 06:45 PM

"can we have more smoke please!?"

 

I must try shouting that on my next film.

 

...also, someone needs to introduce those grips to oil.

 

Freya


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#7 Keith Walters

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Posted 23 December 2015 - 07:00 PM

I used to think Directors' Viewfinders were the ultimate  aide de masturbe but, you know, the customer is always right and so on.

 

Then at Panavision Sydney in the early 1990s I made some VHS combo monitors with a built-in video masking facility so you could just show the part of the video tap image that was eventually going to appear on the screen. I was mainly asked to do this with the hope of discouraging people from plastering our monitors with gaffer tape, which often damaged the cabinets.

 

Anyway, until then I'd never appreciated how much difference framing makes to cinematic storytelling. It's quite eerie to watch how the whole mood and meaning of a scene can be changed by simply removing parts of the background.

 

I also added the ability to vary the masked off area brightness from black to white. The main reason for doing this was so that the boundaries of the frame on dark scenes could be more easily discerned, but it was astounding how different a scene looked depending on whether it appeared on a black or a white background.

 

There's a lot more to shooting a scene than just focusing and pressing the  stop/go button....


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#8 Keith Walters

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Posted 23 December 2015 - 07:10 PM

"Behind the scenes on Black Swan"

 

Once again I would like to remind our Northern Hemisphere readers that in Australia at least, Black Swans are pretty much the only sort you're going to see :rolleyes:

swan%20and%20signets_big.jpg


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#9 Robin R Probyn

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Posted 23 December 2015 - 09:54 PM

That framing is for the birds .. 


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