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NAB 2012: Blackmagic Cinema Camera

Posted by Charles

Last week I flew out to Las Vegas alongside the Fiction crew for NAB. The show covers everything from post-production and computer hardware to lenses, cameras and lighting. It’s hard to summarize everything that I saw because I was constantly in overload, so I decided to pick the one product that stuck out, the Blackmagic Digital Cinema Camera.

The Digital Cinema Camera is a Raw ( Cinema DNG 12-Bit ), 2.5K ( 2432 x 1366 ) camera for 3,000.00 USD. There’s a laundry list of features that the camera offers but mainly…it’s very, very cheap and it’s output at 2.5K is RAW. They implemented a Canon EF mount, so everyone transitioning from Canon can do so, easily. Also, it’s all touchscreen and uses off the shelf SSDs as media. The sensor is Micro 4/3 so it’s smaller than a Super35mm ( 7D / Red Epic ) and much smaller than the 5D which is close to 65mm ( In film terms, not still ), but they’re claiming 13 stops of dynamic range on it. The camera only shoots up to 30fps, so it’s not a camera that just beats all the others, but it definitely puts an option out there that a lot of people have been interested in.

From my perspective, it’s not about what the camera looks like, it’s what it delivers when it’s in the timeline. I think this fills a gap that’s been around for the past few years where the Canon DSLRs work for a lot of stuff that’s non-commercial or internet only…this offers professional level images at a bargain price. I think what I’m excited to see is the creativity and quality that’s about to change. I feel like a lot of motion designers and directors starting out use Canon DSLRs for low budget and experimental work and while it looks great now, imagine if these guys and girls are shooting 2.5K RAW and able to really work footage in terms of color, overlays, etc. The camera ships in late July, and they’re also including Davinci Resolve with it. I’m having a hard time not clicking “Add to Cart”.

Here’s a video detailing the camera completely from DSLR Newshooter. I wanted to get in and shoot a little interview but the booth and the 3 or 4 cameras they had out were swarmed every day I was there.

As of right now, I’m heavily invested in a RED Epic and I’m hoping to get together a techincal post on the camera and answer any questions on it in the next month. However, if I didn’t have it, I’d be all over the Digital Cinema Camera.

If you’ve got some time, hop over to their specs page and check it out.

Also, I hope to never hear the phrase “game-changer” again.

Weekend Inspiration: Mountain of Storms




In the summer of 1968 three men and good friends, climber and surfer Yvon Chouinard, climber and skier Doug Tompkins, and champion skier Dick Dorworth, set off from California in an old van to surf, ski and climb their way down to the southern end of Argentina, where they were met by a young British climber, Chris Jones. Their goal was to climb a mountain that had been climbed only twice before: Cerro Fitz Roy.

Little did they know, this journey would not only have a tremendous impact on their own personal lives, but would also help launch a movement by inspiring (and continue to inspire to this day, like the film 180º South) many other outdoor lovers, as well as set the tone for many future expedition/adventure films and documentaries.

Mountain Of Storms was shot on a 16mm Bolex (drool Charles Bergquist) by Lito Tejada-Flores, and is narrated by Tom Donahue.






Two of these men would also go on to found and establish a couple the most successful brands out there. Yvon Chouinard founded Patagonia, while Doug Tompkins founded (and later sold) The North Face.


Posted by B3PO

Sabrina Ratte: Plink Flojd

Posted by Jakub


Fascinating new video work by one of my favorite video artists Sabrina Ratté, this is from an ongoing project called Plink Flojd which is a super audio/visual collective started by David Quiles Guillo. When I saw Sabrina do visuals for Le Révélateur it was incredible how the visual identity was perfect for the music, soo many “VJ’s” get it wrong or end up trailing off and making no sense with the music and this was one of best accompaniments i’ve ever seen.

Sabrina Ratté lives and works in Montreal. Her video work mixes digital and analog techniques and often deals with the diverse manifestations of light. She is also interested by the relationship between electronic music and the electronic image, and she often collaborates with musicians in different contexts. She has an ongoing collaboration with composer Roger Tellier-Craig, with whom she also performs live video projections. Her work has been shown in different galeries and festivals internationally, and her recent videos with Le Révélateur have been released on DVD by the San Francisco Label Root Strata.

And here’s a video from last year for Boxcutter’s track TV Troubles.

Rotary Signal Emitter LP by Sculpture









In September 2010, Sculpture, an audiovisual performance duo from London comprised by electronic music producer, Dan Hayhurst, and animator, Reuben Sutherland, presented us with a flattened zoetrope on the surface of a vinyl record by the name of Rotary Signal Emitter (Dekoder Release 046).

The Victorian zoetrope, invented in 1834, was a three-dimensional object that consisted of a spinning cylinder with vertical slits through which still images appeared to move.

Sculpture’s animation requires the use of a video camera to convey its magic, but as can be seen from their videos the effort is well worth it. Just the knowledge of the latent potential contained within the vinyl surface serves to enhance the experience of the music and the spinning disc, even to the naked eye, is a hypnotic spectacle.

Sculpture’s music, is a mixture of psychedelia, hauntology and turntablism, is a perfect match for their striking visuals. Other films by the duo can be viewed on Tapebox (they’re very much worth your time).

Posted by B3PO Via Hardformat

Immersive Cocoon and The Making Of

Posted by Charles

Keir Dullea encounters a mysterious object, in a scenario reminiscent of the penultimate scene from Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey that he appeared in over forty years ago.

For the 2001 : A Space Odessey fans that we probably all are, the faux trailer or commercial, Immersive Cocoon. This piece has been out for a while, but I recently came across the Making Of video. It really gives great perspective on not only how this was made, but the large amount of CG work that was done in the piece. Have a watch of Immersive Cocoon above, then the Making Of below.

Nervous Structure

My good friend Alek Fin introduced me not too long ago to the Nervous Structure installations, while he was conducting some research on alternative ways of doing projections for his live show, and I’ve been hooked ever since (I one day plan on having one of these set up perminantly on one of the walls of my workspace or house).

Nervous Structure is a series of site-specific, interactive installations consisting of string and fabric structures illuminated with interactive computer graphics that react to the presence and motion of viewers and was developed by Annica Cuppetelli and Cristobal Mendoza:

Annica Cuppetelli (USA) and Cristobal Mendoza (Venezuela) are artists and collaborators focusing on the creation of site-specific, multimedia installations that address issues of space, interaction, and materiality. Their installations combine traditional craft and common materials with interactive video projections and computational design processes, and they address the formal qualities of a given site while creating an immersive and participatory environment. Cuppetelli obtained her MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art in 2008, and Mendoza at the Rhode Island School of Design in 2007. They are based in Detroit, MI.

Posted by B3PO

Best of the Best Shuttle Footage

Posted by Scott






I’ve seen some of this footage before but never heard the commentary. The narrators go into some really interesting detail on the tech involved in capturing the film footage of Shuttle launches. Most of the footage is for review purposes but some is purely documentary. All of the footage is beautiful though. It amazed me that they still used film all the way up until the end of the Shuttle program. They’re also shooting at higher frame rates so you get some great slow motion in there.

The lenses used range all the way up to a 4000mm, 250lb., catadioptric for the medium range tracking system. The Shuttle program was undoubtedly one of the greatest technical achievements humankind will ever produce (and I’m guessing the last of it’s scale), so I suppose it’s fitting that it was documented with a 100+ camera array of some of the most sophisticated optics available.

This was part of a DVD put together detailing some of the best footage from the later Shuttle launches.

Full video is here (be sure to switch to the 720p version!)

Solipsist Full Length Film

Posted by Charles

Andrew Huang’s full length version of Solipsist is now available to watch above. I posted a few weeks ago on the trailer, which I was astonished by alone, but now the full version is up. This piece is nothing short of astonishing from photography and post to sound design. I won’t say too much more, but I will say that you might want to close out of Photoshop for about 10 minutes and fullscreen this.

Also, for those that are interested, here’s the making of that’s equally as interesting.