SALE: Hand Truck

If you’re a gear head like me, you’re always looking for a better way to make your equipment moves easier.  I saw these on sale and its such a great deal I picked up two.

unnamed unnamed (1)
On sale at Canadian Tire for $32.99 CAD.  I don’t know how long the sale is going on for, but I intend to build some cases ontop of these out of plywood to transport my stands and some other misc items.

 

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Rambles: Corner Gas Post Mortem

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This post is more for myself than anything else. Normally I’m not a sentimentalist, but I want to share some of my memories with the people who might be reading this, or who are corner gas fans?

I will NOT miss the mosquitoes, the ticks or living in a hotel for 5 weeks. I will not miss most of Regina closing at 6pm when we don’t get back from set until 9pm… But I will try to remember this.

My 10 favorite moments during the 5 weeks of shooting of Corner Gas: The Movie.

10. Flying Digital Producer, Davin’s drone – which made me purchase one lol.

9. Going back to the gym. There was only one laundry machine in the hotel we were staying at and we had to be close to the machine while it was running – so I went running while I washed my clothes.

8. The 1.5hr commute from Regina to Rouleau (Dog River) with the digital team. Those were mini road trips with a fun group of people.

7. Being able to be the director of photography for the Digital commercials for the cineplex ad and the CTV ad, as well as all the other content.

6. Having such access to all the exec producers and actors. Fred Ewanuick (Hank) and Brent Butt spent more time on set than they did in their trailers. I shared a trailer with the head honcho, Virginia Thompson and became good friends with Rob de Lint.

5. Upon the first time meeting Tara Spencer-Narin (Karen), she got me a waterbottle from a low sitting cooler and opened it for me because I was carrying a camera on my shoulders. She was 7 months pregnant and didn’t know who I was.

4. Ken Krawczyk CSC, the DoP for the film and the series said crossing to my camera when he walked across my camera lens. It’s a sign of acknowledgement and respect I guess haha. He would come up to me and say ‘Hi’ to me everyday. I loved watching him work and learned a lot. He even asked me for some advice about some gear.

3. The cast and crew were amazing. They trusted us to capture good stuff and gave us almost free reign to do whatever we wanted as long as it didn’t interfere with production. One of the grips, Sonny Bowman, lent us his GoPro for the duration of the shoot and I was able place it almost anywhere I wanted.
Watching the cast go out to meet fans and seeing Fred and Lorne photobombing unsuspecting fans taking photos of the Ruby was hilarious. It was wonderful to work with such genuine and humble people.

2. Going out for drinks and meals with the digital team. Lee Ann Cotton, my boss (for lack of better words), had the most explosive laugh, and it was always great to hear it.

1. During one our 45minute rides out to Rouleau, I got to hear Fred Ewanuick sing and play a song with his ukulele. It was just 5 of us in the car and it was just a really nice moment.

Other things I want to mention are my thanks to the AD team for helping us out so much. They really made our job much easier. Thanks to Bill, the craft guy for keeping me alive, and a very big thanks to Davin for bringing me out on the job. I wouldn’t have been there without him. He’s a great producer.

Thanks for reading.

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On Set: Corner Gas The Movie

Sorry for the lack of updates!  I’m currently working on the Corner Gas Movie.  I’ve been honored to DoP some of the digital content that’s going to be on a bunch of different outlets; though I won’t say where or what it is in case I’m not allowed to yet haha.

Here are a few photos that I can most certainly share.

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RAMBLES/WORK: Photography

Sorry for the lack of updates, I’ve been working on a few shows and they’ve been keeping me busy!

One of my good friends of almost twenty years asked me to take photos of him and his fiancée.  I was honored to do them, but I’m not a photographer so I wasn’t exactly the best at directing them haha.  I researched a few photos here and there, as well as watching a few videos.  If there are any photographer’s reading this blog, I’d love to get some feedback.

In any case, here are a few of the photos I took, all edited with Lightroom, photographed with my Canon 5D Mark3.

Canon 16-35mm | 5D3 | 100 ISO | 1/800s | f/2.8

Canon 16-35 | 5D3 | 100 ISO | 1/800s | f/2.8

Canon 16-35 | 5D3 | 100 ISO | 1/800s | f/2.8

Canon 16-35 | 5D3 | 100 ISO | 1/1600 | f/4

Sigma 70-200 | 5D3 | 100 ISO | 1/125 | f/2.8

Sigma 70-200 | 5D3 | 100 ISO | 1/320| f/2.8

Sigma 70-200 | 5D3 | 100 ISO | 1/160| f/2.8

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RAMBLES: New Cameras 2014

With NAB2014 happening, all these new cameras are being announced and I really want to buy one of these nifty new cameras.  Of course, there are a ton of things to consider before purchasing and I’ll be going over a few of the cameras that I’m considering, as well as some of the more expensive cameras that I can’t afford yet.

AJA CION

This is the camera I really want.  Without going into further details – it shoots 4k at a bunch of different ProRes codecs like 4444, 422, and proxy.  It has an APS-C 4k CMOS sensor, and every single port on it is universal, as in nothing is proprietary.  The only thing that makes me hesitant about instantly purchasing this camera is that it’s probably close to $12k USD for a fully functional kit (for me) – The price for the AJA SSD cards are approximately $695/$1295 for 256gb/512gb, I’m not sure about the price for the card reader.  On the plus side, I have most of the stuff I would need, like the monitors and camera support, minus the PL lenses…   Another thing to consider is that you CAN shoot RAW with the 3G-SDI out, but you’ll need a raw recorder like the new ATMOS SHOGUN – so that’s another expense, but you’ll be able to shoot up to 120fps if you shoot 4K raw.  You can check more info on the Cion Brochure.

BLACK MAGIC URSA

The BM-URSA comes with EF mount, which is awesome.  I’m not a big fan of the on-board monitor it supplies, but it does kind of make it almost ready to shoot when you get it.  The ability to use a battery back on this is also a big bonus compared to the previous BM cameras.  It also actually looks like a camera.  This is probably the best option for your wallet in terms of up front costs, but it will desolate your wallet for post – shooting at 4K DNG raw or even ProRes at 800+mbps will eat through your expensive CFast2.0 cards (which I’ve been informed is more expensive than the AJA SSD cards.  I’d need to buy at least 4x256gb cards to maintain a safe shoot day.  Nevertheless, it’s still something worth considering.  It has controls on both sides of the camera so the operator or your assist can use it freely.  This also has no HDMI ports, but instead 1xHD-SDI port and 1xSDI port (don’t know if that’s only standard def or not).  The EF mount is going for just under $6000 USD.  A good price for what this camera does.  CFast2.0 card cost to be determined.  More information at the BMD URSA site.

Kinefinity: KineMAX 6K & KineMINI 4K

This is a new Chinese camera to be released soon.  The respective cameras shoot 6K and 4K cineform or DNG raw.  It shoots up to 100fps in CinemaDNG raw at 1080p and shoot up to 6K cineform raw at 23.97 all the way up to 30fps.  It takes regular SSD cards that you can buy from anywhere which is a huge bonus and records approximately 16 minutes of footage at 6K cineform raw on a 128gb card – which is some massive files – but it does boast 14 stops of dynamic range!  It appears to have 2x SDI and 1x HDMI, but I could be wrong.  It supports either a PL, EF, Nikon or B4 mount, and that opens up many options for affordable great quality lenses with the B4 mount.  There’s no price point for it now, but I’d imagine it’s the cheapest camera to shoot 6K coming out.  It’s design looks similar to the Arri Alexa, but the functionality remains unknown.

As for the 4K KineMINI; it shoots 720p @ 100fps cineform raw and can shoot up to 34 minutes on a 128gb card at 24fps at 4K cineform raw.  It has 2x HDMI ports with no SDI ports.  Boasts 13 stops of dynamic range and it looks similar to a RED Epic or Scarlet.

There are videos of these cameras in use on vimeo and around the web, and it’s quite impressive.  Definitely something to consider.  The only reason why I would not want to get one is due to the lack of support they might have here in Canada, whereas the AJA Cion or Ursa will probably have much more support.  More info at the Kinefinity website.

Panasonic GH4

I’m sure everyone’s been drooling over the specs of this camera, and to be honest I was really considering this too.    For the price point of only $1700USD, it’s such a great deal for what it does.  The reason why I’m hesitant to get this is because it’s micro4/3 sensor and I’d have to buy a m43->EF speedboost to utilize my lenses and it doesn’t shoot RAW… yet.  I’m sure one day a hack will come out for it to shoot Raw and I’ll shoot myself for not getting it sooner.  It shoots up to 4K h.264 at 100mbps.  The attachement at the bottom is another $2000USD, and this is what really makes it a cinema camera.  It allows for 2x HD-SDI ports, HDMI out, timecode and XLR ports for mics, as well as a 4pin XLR for power.  The full kit together is selling for $3300USD at B&H.  I’d imagine the speedboost would cost about $600, so close to $4000USD for pretty great kit.  Granted the KineMini 4K might be around the same price… if only it shot ProRes.

Arri Amira 

I’m not going to consider buying this, mostly because I don’t have the capital to purchase this amazing camera yet.  But it’s worth noting while I talk about all these new cameras.  This camera has been released already.  It only shoots 2k Arri raw and ProRes, but don’t let that deceive you, it’s an amazing camera – it shoots up to 200fps and it provides great codecs; Rec709 to name one.  The only problem is that it costs $40,000 USD for the base model.  It records to CFast2.0 cards, just like the Ursa.
I’ll say no more about this awesome camera, but I’ll share this video that Arri released.

Final Thoughts

I can’t speak much for any of these cameras before actually using them.  Personaly, I would consider the Kinefinity cameras last, because there would be the least support for them – even though they have great images and great prices.  For a good price point, the Ursa seems to be the best option if you’re looking for a new camera.  It shoots 4K raw as well as ProRes.  However, I recently hacked my 5D3 to shoot 3.5K DNG raw and spent $500 on new CF media to support the high resolution (3x128GB Komputerbay 1050x CF cards).  This might sway me to not purchase any camera in the near future, but knowing me, I‘ll want to get a new camera within a few years.

This digital age of cameras are becoming more and more affordable.  Yes, $6000 is a lot of money, but if you’re to compare it to how much cameras used to cost – it’s about a 80% discount.  My wallet knows that buying a camera is not the way to go – because it will become obsolete within 2-5 years and getting people to hire you or rent your gear isn’t as easy as you think.  Buying lenses on the other hand, will last you a lifetime.

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DEAL & RAMBLE: Benro S10 Tripod & Rhino Slider Pro 4ft

First off; I saw this: Benro s10 Carbon Tripod – On sale from $1450 down to $1090 USD.

I’ve never used this, but it seems pretty good and Benro has been stepping up with some really good camera support lately.  I’ve used the Benro S6 tripod head and it’s pretty comparable to the older Manfrotto video heads out there like the 501 or 502.   I should mention that the S8 and lower models accept the standard Manfrotto video 501PL plates as well and that’s pretty awesome.

This S10 takes the standard EU plate, and supports up to 22lbs, with counter balance – so thats not a huge amount – but for the price of the head and the carbon fiber legs, it’s a sweet deal.  If I didn’t already have a bunch of tripods, I’d very much consider getting this.


On another note, I got my Rhino Slider 4ft Pro today in the mail, and it’s awesome so far – I’ll do a review on it soon, but I thought I’d share a link and some info about it.

At a super affordable price (for what it is), it does a great job.

Rhino Slider Pro 4ft

I also got the 2ft carbon fiber rods for this, and yes, it is modular so if I have to bring a slider on a travel shoot, I can pack a lightweight 2ft slider easily in my backpack.

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WORK: Diaz – Ride MV

A music video I DoP’d a while ago.

Shot on BMCC
Director/Producer/Editor/Colourist: Mark Tytler
Gaffer: Blake Connell
Key Grip: Chris Leung

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