Upcoming events!

April is the busiest time for team Bolex, as we’re recovering from SXSW and planning for a certain other trade show that we love to attend. A lot of you have asked if we will be going to NAB this year, and the answer is, of course, yes!! And while we won’t have a dedicated booth ourselves, we’ll be displaying cameras at 5 booths:

  • Wooden Camera will be showing their new rig for us
  • Zacuto will be showing a new rig and our EF mount
  • Pomfort will be showing our MFT mount and the newest version of LightPost
  • Switronix will be showing our PL mount camera
  • ??? will be showing a new camera that we’ll announce on Monday the 7th!

We’re very excited to be working with these partners to showcase all five versions of the D16 with different setups to show just how versatile the camera can be.

We’re also planning an event on Wednesday the 9th, so for those of you in town, please put the date on your calendars!

We’re also excited to announce another big event for those of you in New York. We are parterning with IFP on a panel on April 2nd. IFP is the biggest supported of Independent Filmmakers in the US and we’re stoked to be working with them on this important panel discussion, featuring notable indie directors and DPs.
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About the event:

Digital Filmmaking has widened the canvas for filmmakers to tell their stories. With DSLR & RAW HD cameras, the tools have shifted what we are now limited to making. Join us for an intimate conversation with notable Filmmakers who will discuss their craft, share how these new tools have affected their approach with actors and key collaborators, and how the festival and indie markets have shifted.

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014- 7-9pm- Made in NY Media Center by IFP Screening Room

RSVP here

We’re in New York City from April 1st to April 7th as sponsors of First Time Fest for the second year, so if you’re in town and want to catch up, please let us know!

Elle, Joe, and Team Bolex

SXSW 2014!

March for us means one thing: The SXSW Film Festival. SXSW 2014 was an amazing experience for us and we were psyched at how many filmmakers discovered the Digital Bolex for the first time.

IMG_00000435If you haven’t been to SXSW before, it is truly a benevolent madhouse. Here is a taste of what 6th street is like during the music section of the festival:

SXSW 2014 with Digital Bolex from Digital Bolex on Vimeo.

Continue reading “SXSW 2014!” »

The Digital Bolex Grant for Women Cinematographers

The statistics are startling. Fewer than 2% of working cinematographers are women. No female cinematographer has been nominated for an Academy Award. There are 11 active women in the ASC–out of 330+ active members. The first studio film to have a female cinematographer was released in 1980.

Women have been discouraged from getting behind the camera for decades, and these statistics prove that the problem is systemic and culturally enforced. Laura Mulvey’s much-discussed concept of the “male gaze” puts women’s place in front of the camera, as living props to be photographed and judged, not to make decisions about how they are portrayed or participate in the creation of their own image.

Rarely do you see a set with women in the camera department, which I lovingly dub the “dude swarm”. There’s nothing wrong with the dude swarm, inherently, except it creates a set culture where anyone not wearing cargo shorts is an outsider. And too many women in the camera department as treated as outsiders.

I’ve heard plenty of horror stories–women cinematographers with strong reels who, making it to a live interview, are told “oh, we thought you were a man,” and suddenly not the right fit for the job. I’ve had male crew members fight every camera choice I make on set, I’ve seen female cinematographers work retail at clothing stores because directors (90% male) didn’t have confidence in their abilities. The cycle is vicious; men and women start in the industry as equally green amateurs, and as men hire more men, suddenly the women become “unqualified” to work alongside their former peers.

As Rosalind C. Barnett and Caryl Rivers wrote in the LA Times this past December, studies show that “for promising men, potential is enough, whereas women are judged on what they’ve actually done.” In the film industry, men judge each other on what they could do, if they pooled their resources and worked together as a team.

Women don’t count as resources because, with “potential” and brains left out of the equation, women are less likely to own the expensive, tangible resources like film equipment that more and more play a deciding factor in who gets hired for what job. But how can a woman cinematographer who has to fight for the lowest of the low jobs afford the hot new camera on the block? They can’t.

Women are less likely to own equipment not only because of the cost of equipment versus the amount of work they’re being hired for, but because women are taught to look and not to touch when it comes to technology. I can’t count the male and female partners I encounter at trade shows where the male partner grabs a camera excitedly while his female partner watches passively over his shoulder. And try to engage a single woman perusing a tech booth? Forget it–ask if they have any questions and the answer is “no thank you” and they’re gone. Women aren’t taught to be entitled to technology in the way that men are. Men are entitled to put their hands on cool gadgets. Women are entitled to watch, but not to participate.

Just listen to the way men explain technology to women at a trade show and this dichotomy becomes readily clear. Women are expected not to be able to use technology, instead of trying it for themselves and playing, they must be hand held, guided, ‘splained. And that’s a huge turn off to wanting to participate. It’s not a surprise to me that 99 of 100 requests I get to borrow one of our cameras for a project come from men. Women are taught not to ask. And if we as a company choose to work with, say, 5% of people requesting cameras, the numbers aren’t looking too great for the ladyfolk.

But let’s say that’s not the case. Let’s say a woman has surpassed all these odds, and has a fancy camera and knows how to use it. Would the industry be willing to accept the potential of such a woman and hire her to shoot a film?

I think so.

Which is why I’m going to stop soapboxing on the internet (okay, maybe not) and put my money where my mouth is. I’m very pleased to announce the Digital Bolex Grant for Women Cinematographers.

Starting this summer, we will be offering a pair of Digital Bolex D16 kits, featuring $10,000 in gear and accessories from some wonderful soon-to-be-announced sponsors, on a rolling basis to any narrative short or feature film project to be shot by a female cinematographer.

As one of a handful of female cinematographers at the SXSW Film Festival, I am acutely aware that my ability to purchase, train with, and bring equipment to gigs over the past decade is what has gotten me to this wonderful festival with a feature film. I want to give other women that same ability to use their potential.

The relationship between a director and cinematographer is perhaps the most important in filmmaking–we see male duos with collaborative relationships spanning decades creating masterpieces. I’d like to see women involved in that kind of intimate collaborative process, and I hope that I can start to help move our industry in that direction.

Stayed tuned over the next few weeks to hear about our sponsors and application process. And for those extra proactive ladies, feel free to start reaching out to me at elle@digitalbolex.com

Philip Bloom Review’s the D16

Philip Bloom recently posted his review of the D16, and it was full of absolutely beautiful images from our camera!

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We are very grateful to Philip for taking loads of his own personal time to create this wonderful piece, if you haven’t seen it here it is…

The Digital Bolex D16 Review from Philip Bloom Reviews & Tutorials on Vimeo.

To us, the most important things he says are that he really likes the organic feel of the image from the camera, and that he enjoys shooting with it. These are the two stand out features in our minds. Shooting should be fun, and you should get great-looking results that feel like a movie.

He of course has his criticisms, but he also raises the question, “where does the D16 fit in the current market place” (now that there are several affordable raw format options)?

I would very much like to take this opportunity to answer Philip’s important question.

Continue reading “Philip Bloom Review’s the D16” »