During a PhotoPlus Expo panel on technology and social media, photographer and filmmaker Vincent Laforet noted how he’s grown less interested in the latest camera gear and far more interested in how great directors move their cameras.
Developing a unique style, in other words, is no mean feat. In this eight minute video, The Film Guy breaks down Quentin Tarantino’s visual style–what works and what doesn’t.
As you’ll notice, not everything in Tarantino’s bag of visual tricks is original to him and he returns to a few angles and approaches across multiple films. The moral of the story? Don’t be afraid to borrow camera moves from pay homage to your favorite directors.
Vimeo is taking aim at what it sees as a gender equality gap in filmmaking with a new initiative to fund at least five feature films by female filmmakers this year.
Last year, Vimeo funded just two titles from female filmmakers.
The “Share the Screen” initiative was announced at the Sundance Film Festival.
Each female-led project tapped by Vimeo will receive marketing support and global distribution on the Vimeo On Demand platform. The company plans to work with the Sundance Institute to provide educational seminars throughout the year at various Sundance workshops to promote female filmmaking. Vimeo wouldn’t disclose how much money they’ll put behind the effort, but Deadline quotes Vimeo executives as saying it will be in the millions and that they may underwrite more than five films.
A recent study sponsored by the Center for the Study of Women in Film and Television found that women made up 19 percent of the filmmakers working on the 250 top grossing films in 2015. While that’s higher than 2014’s 17 percent, it matches the level achieved in 2001 and is the highest employment level for filmmakers since the annual study began in 1998.
Of the jobs held by women in the filmmaking industry in 2015, the survey found that 26 percent were producers, 22 percent were editors, 20 percent were executive producers, 11 percent were readers, 9 percent were directors and only 6 percent were cinematographers.
Here’s a good reason why you should never, ever, throw out a lens: it may star in some future video.
Photographer Mathieu Stern dug up a large format camera lens that he claims dates back to the 1880s and slapped it (with some modifications) onto his Sony a7 II.
You can peruse a collection of the resulting stills here and check out the video below for the moving picture.
“The lens is incredibly sharp for a 136 years old simple metallic lens, from my test it’s even sharper than most of my modern canon lenses, the results are amazing,” Stern writes. “But it also gives some strange lens flares and light leaks that are pretty dreamy (some would say it’s horrible).”
If anyone attended the PhotoPlus Show this past October, they would have had a chance to catch photographer and filmmaker Vincent Laforet discuss his well-publicized AIR project, a series of high altitude photographs of cities around the world.
In this TedX talk, Laforet explores the origin, execution and the images of the AIR project. Interestingly, Laforet explains how these aerial images would not have looked the same even 10 years earlier not simply because of the inevitable urban construction, but advances in LED lighting, which have changed the wavelength of our light pollution.
If Wikipedia is to be believed, the oldest known lens dates back to the 7th century B.C.E. and was used to either magnify objects or start fires. Today, the only thing you’re likely to set alight with your lens is someone’s imagination.
Like any technology, lenses have a long and fascinating history–a history that’s informatively mind by Filmmaker IQ in their latest video. For photo and film geeks, it’s 25 minutes well spent.
Photography is a bit unique among technologically-driven disciplines in that new advancements don’t completely replace older approaches (even if they do marginalize them). While no one would relish the thought of creating computer-generated graphics on decades-only technology, photographers and artists routinely create work with processes and technologies far older than that.
The Cooperative of Photography just released a new video that takes us on a brief journey through 11 portraits taken with everything from a pinhole camera to a smartphone to illustrate the progression of picture-taking tools. It’s an interesting look at how far we’ve come, and also how portrait poses have a way of changing over time as well.
The online video service Vimeo will broaden access to 4K videos hosted on its site. Vimeo originally launched 4K streaming and downloading for select users earlier this year, but according to Variety, the service will make 4K videos available to all its users by the first quarter of 2016.
Central to Vimeo’s 4K efforts is the use of a technology called adaptive bit rate streaming, which measures a user’s available bandwidth on a continuous basis and adjusts streaming video quality accordingly. If a user’s bandwidth is limited, Vimeo will automatically adjust and send a lower-quality stream (rather than buffer the video) and will dynamically increase the quality of the stream when bandwidth conditions improve.
Adaptive streaming is used by YouTube, Netflix and other streaming video services but Vimeo is a late adopter.
Vimeo is also evaluating whether to automatically send a viewer the highest quality video based on their bandwidth, whether or not they manually select that option.
It has a starting weight of 3.5 pounds (body only) with a body-only price of $6,000. Designed to ease newcomers into the RED eco-system and to give experienced users a camera they can mount on a drone or gimbal, the Raven records 4.5K at up to 120 fps using the REDCODE RAW format. It has a dynamic range of 16.5 stops and a Canon EF mount.
While the Raven won’t ship until February, RED posted the first footage from the camera this week. The film was shot using Zeiss Milvus lenses. Have a look:
It’s impossible to discuss the history of photographic technology without Kodak looming large. While the company has become something of a case study in technological flat-footedness, it served for decades as a pioneer and popularizer of photography.
Chris Marquardt, of Tips from the Top Floor, was fortunate enough to get a private tour at the Kodak Technology vault with Todd Gustavson, the company’s technical curator.
It’s a fascinating tour, not just through Kodak history, but photographic history as well.
Photographers and filmmakers know the value of using wide angle lenses to soak up an impressive background.
But there’s wide and then there’s Panavision’s Ultra 70mm, the widest cinema format there is (aspect ratio: 2.76:1). It’s been used in only a handful of films, including some famous Hollywood epics like Ben Hur, and it’s been decades since anyone’s taken up the mantle of 70mm ultra-wide filmmaking.
That will change this winter with the release of Quentin Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight, which is the first film since 1966 to be shot in Ultra Panavision 70.
In the video below, Tarantino, along with his director of photography Robert Richardson, describe the thought process behind how, and why, they decided to resurrect decades-old tech for the film (some of the lenses hadn’t seen light since the 1960s).
Tarantino has been a strong advocate for keeping the “film” in filmmaking. In 2014, he was part of a group of high profile directors that successfully lobbied Kodak to continue making 35mm motion picture film.