This 400ft roll of footage represents my first attempt at 35mm motion picture cinematography, as well as my first encounter with a handheld light meter (which proved invaluable). My initial super telephoto shots were problematic in that I stacked a 2x and 1.5x multiplier with an enormous 400mm lens using no rod support. Furthermore, whilst filming in a number of locations under a myriad of lighting situations, I was forced to second guess my meter readings on numerous occasions... successfully about two-thirds of the time. Deservedly, the new Kodak Vision3 film stocks have been highly lauded by many, but even my already high expectations were exceeded tenfold when I viewed my timed workprint in a local cinema. Despite my obvious inexperience, the subtle shades and details revealed in traditional projection of the 250D were nothing short of astounding.
As for my cine camera, it is a 35mm Eclair Cameflex standard that was most probably manufactured in the early to mid-1950s. The lenses utilized were a combination of equally vintage Angenieux and Kinoptik lenses, along with a handful of marginally newer Takumar (Asahi), Super Komura, Vivitar (Komine), and Soligor lenses from the 1960s & 70s. While nuetral density filters were employed to achieve proper exposure, NO colored filters or gradients of any kind were used, in order to ascertain exactly what the stock itself was capable of achieving.
As my present PC lacks the horsepower to juggle the huge 2k, 4k & ProRes files generated by HD scanning, this down-rezzed footage is entirely raw and unedited with no digital image corrections applied whatsoever. I'm not a fan of digital manipulation in the first place, and feel that rampant DI grading in Hollywood has all but drained the life out of modern cinematography.
I've been studying the extensive notes I made from this first shoot, along with reading every article and book I can find on the subject of past and present cinematographers, in hopes of weeding out any future mis-takes. What with a micro-budgeted sci-fi feature of my own in the works, every single frame of footage counts. On a purely amateur level, I've shot on everything from MiniDV, SVHS, HD, SLR, DSLR to 8mm, Super 8 & 16mm, and I can truthfully say, nothing on Earth compares to the absolute exhilaration of hearing that rancorous old camera grind to life and peering through the precise same viewfinder that Godard, Wexler, Coppola, Lucas, Truffaut, Jacques Tati and Orson Welles once peered through...
By God, Roll film!
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