I’m running an introduction to 3D workshop at ProKit, Chiswick, London on the 17th of January 2012. Topics that will be covered include: Understanding Stereoscopic Vision (Stereopsis). The basic principles of 3D production. Understanding Disparity and Convergence. Choosing a camera or rig. Different rig types. Practical shooting using Parallel and Converged methods. Practical shooting using the very simple Derobe method. Overview of 3D editing.
It’s a lot to cram into a day. It won’t turn you into a stereographer, but it will give you the basic tools that you need to get started in 3D. The day is suitable for camera operators, producers, directors and editors, in fact almost anyone considering embarking on their first 3D project. We will have a couple of camera rigs to play with. The cost is £100 per person and spaces are limited. We will be using the Hurricane rig, but this is not just a sales pitch for the rig, it is a genuinely educational workshop and the skills you will learn apply to all 3D productions. However should you purchase a 3D rig the course fees will be refunded. Contact ProKit 020 8995 4664, or drop a line to email@example.com to reserve a place, places are limited to give all attendees good hands-on time.
Well I’m finally home from a near month long tour around Asia taking in India, Vietnam, Hong Kong and Taiwan. I had a lot of fun meeting many wonderful people and learning a lot about the different approaches to broadcasting and film making in the region.
I started in Mumbai, India with a shoot at Film City. Film is still king when it comes to even low budget movies in India. There are over 2000 films a year released in the Indian market. Cinematography is a craft passed from father to son in many cases, with the younger generation working as assistants learning from the older, more experienced operators. This is a great way to learn core craft skills, but with technology advancing so rapidly right now and digital production starting to have a larger and larger impact on the industry it does tend to leave a bit of a gap in the knowledge base.
Trying to explain things like S-Log and picture profiles to a die hard film cameraman is hard! Still at Broadcast India there was a constant stream of people coming to the Sony booth actively seeking out the PMW-F3, wanting to know more about it.
From India, I went to Vietnam via Thailand. Flying over the floods was an eyeopener. It was like flying over the sea, only trees and buildings were sticking out of the ocean of water. From what I’ve heard many industries are being seriously impacted by the floods. It looks like hard drives may be in short supply for the next year due to damage to the factories. Other businesses have supply problems as major warehouses have been cut off by the floods. Vietnam itself is an amazing country. Very friendly people and beautiful countryside. Great food too.
I did get to spend a day at Ha Long Bay where I shot some footage that I will edit into a little short in the next few days. After that I went to VTV, the state broadcaster in Hanoi to talk about file based workflows and the Sony F3. Hanoi is a city with a real buzz and I’ve never seen so many mopeds and scooters in my life.
After Hanoi it was on to Hong Kong for a series of workshops on low cost 3D video production (using Sony cameras and the Genus Hurricane Rig) and a workshop on the Sony F3 with a lot of work on S-Log and Picture Profiles.
In Hong Kong I got to play with EI S-log which is a very welcome upgrade to the current version of S-Log.
From Hong Kong it was a short flight to Taipei in Taiwan. Taipei is a modern cosmopolitan city that had a look similar to a Japanese city. In Taipei I held a couple of workshops at the studios of national broadcaster PTS on XDCAM HD 422 using Sony PDW-F800’s and 700’s as well as PMW-500’s. Then a workshop on Digital Cinematography with the PMW-F3 and FS100. Again lots of time spent on S-Log and Picture Profiles, including some shooting and grading with a Convergent Design Gemini. We also took a look at lenses and I showed how to do some basic lens tests to help when looking for a decent lens to use on either camera. Over the two days the workshops were attended by around 90 people, a great turn out. PTS was very generous in their support of the workshops providing around 15 HD monitors so the attendees could see exactly what was being shot, graded and played back. Sony also provided lots of cameras and lenses to play with. I finished off the trip with a quick 3D workshop for KP Photo before flying home via Hong Kong.
Later in the Month I’ll be in Dubai for a Sony event, demoing a pair of F3’s on a hurricane rig for low budget, high quality 3D acquisition.
Hello from Culver City, LA. I spent most of this week up in Hollywood showing of the Genus Hurricane 3D rig on the Manfrotto booth at Cinegear. It’s the first time I have ever gotten sun burnt at a trade show! Most of the show is outside on a back lot at Paramount Studios and the weather was just beautiful. The booth was swamped most of the time, sadly not because I was selling lots of 3D rigs but because we were giving away free ice cream! As usual there was good interest in the rig and it was good to meet some of the people already out there shooting stuff with it. I took a little bit of time out to go and mooch around the show… I’ve never seen so many sliders in one place, almost every booth appeared to have one! I also got a sneak peak at the new Cineroid EVF with HDSDi inputs. Looks promising and it’s made of metal rather than plastic so has a very robust feel.
Genus were also showing their new Elite matte box which can take 5.65 x 5.65 filters as well as 4 x 4 and 5 x 5. It comes with a nice folding top flag as well as side flags. If you need a matte box for bigger lenses and bigger filters you should definitely take a look. The build quality is very good. Another nifty Genus product is the new lens support bracket for 15mm rods. This can support long or heavy lenses and has a 1/4″ screw to bolt to the lens or a pair of rollers that will support a big lens allowing the focus ring to rotate even if the lens does not have a proper attachment point. Clever stuff! Hopefully I will be able to get one to review properly (and the matte box).
Today I was at Samy’s Camera in Culver City running the first day of a 2 day 3D workshop. It was really busy with some well know DoP’s in attendance including Geoff Boyle, I think we had about 50 students in total. It was a fun day (apart from an LG 3D TV that refused to play ball), with some very intelligent questions being asked by the group. Tomorrow we have the second more advanced part of the course with a slightly smaller group. As soon as the class finishes I’m dashing off to the airport to fly to London to meet a courier with my F3 camera kit and then on to Berlin to shoot the Duran Duran gig at the Tempodrom on Wednesday.
What do you think of the new look to the website? I was getting bored with the old look. This is a little more interesting. Any issues or problems do let me know. Coming soon I will have a review of the Vinten 100 tripod head (big thumbs up) and a SxS to SD adapter card from Sonnet, plus hopefully the full Duran Duran story.
Just a reminder that I am running a documentary production workshop between the 7th and 15th of June. Based out of Denver, USA this will be an amazing adventure, road-trip and intensive workshop all rolled into one week. Only 3 places remain at just $1,500 USD per person, plus accommodation. Please see this page for full details. This year is a La Nina year, so we can expect more storms and tornadoes than on average years. May and June are the peak months for severe storms in the USA. We have seen in the past week the power of these storms. One important note is that the storms that killed so many people last week were travelling at 50 to 60 mph across the ground. One of the reasons for chasing in June is that the storms tend to move much more slowly, often only 20 mph so there are far more opportunities to stop and shoot. In addition the weather systems move onto the wide open plains of Colorado, Nebraska and the Dakotas giving incredible vistas.
I shall be in LA with the Genus Hurricane Rig for Cinegear at the beginning of June. Then on June the 5th and 6th I am running a two day 3D workshop where you can gain full certified Hurricane Rig accreditation. The normal fee for the full two days is $500 USD however if you purchase a hurricane rig between now and then the course is free and you get the option to do the second day hurricane rig accreditation workshop again for free. If you just want to attend the first day and the intro to 3D workshop then you can attend for just $50. Make any purchases at Samy’s totalling $500 or more and the day is free. Lunch will be provided and it should be a lot of fun as well as an interesting insight into the world of S3D. See http://www.samys.com for more details.
I’m presenting a couple of 35mm world sessions at the BPV Northern Expo at Haydock Park on May 12th. These are free sessions, around 90mins each. They will focus on the Sony F3 and FS100, but will also touch on the f65 and f35. The aim is to take a look at the pro’s and con’s of shooting with a camera with a Super35mm sensor as well as to give an understanding of which cameras are appropriate for which jobs. Hopefully we will have an interesting discussion session at the end of each workshop and the chance to get hands on the FS100 and F3. More details here: http://www.bpv.org.uk/
I’m planning on running a Documentary production workshop and 3D workshop based on a Storm Chasing trip to the USA from the 4th to the 12th of June. The trip would be an excellent chance to really put your documentary skills in to practice and learn more about your cameras and workflow shooting a short film about the violent weather that hits Tornado Alley every spring. We can even shoot in 3D if that’s what people are interested in. I can provide a PMW-F3, lens kit and EX1R, but hopefully you would bring your own cameras and I can teach you how to get the most out of them. depending on the weather each day there would be a classroom session or practical on location session covering everything from sound and interview techniques, to camera setup and shooting tips. Will will do a lot of timelapse, make use of cache record (if you have it) and work in some very challenging lighting situations. Each member of the group will be given different roles to play as part of the “crew” each day so that they may gain a better understanding of the difficulties of each role. At the same time the idea is that each person will also create their own personal short film about our storm chasing adventure. With luck we should see incredible thunderstorms, giant hail and maybe even a tornado or two (I’ve been storm chasing for 12 years, it’s my speciality). The cost for this comprehensive and very exciting workshop will be $1800 USD per person for a place on the course. In addition to that each student will be responsible for their overnight accommodation. Typically we will stay in hotels/motels that cost approx $100 USD per night, so you should budget for approx $800 for accommodation bringing the total to $2600. We will depart from Denver, Colorado so you will have make your own travel arrangements to/from Denver. This will be a real educational adventure. The previous trips I have run to Norway for the Northern lights, Arizona for lightning and Tornado Chasing have been great successes with many people returning for more. We will spend a lot of time on the road, visiting many parts of the Mid-West. It will be fun and you should come away with improved video skills, a great short film, and amazing stories of adventure and excitement. Please use the contact form if your interested. Places are limited.
Camera setup, reviews, tutorials and information for pro camcorder users from Alister Chapman.