As a Director of Photography just starting a new project, most times I read the script and have creative meetings with the Director about the look of the film and how to best capture that look. I try to do as much camera/lens testing as possible, have more meetings, and finally come up with a camera package that fits the look of the film as well as the budget. In the case of Passport, as I was reading the script, the only camera that was going through my mind was the Digital Bolex D16. Continue reading “Guest Post: Jeff Gatesman, DP of PASSPORT” »
Back in March of this year, Philip Bloom released a lengthy review of the Digital Bolex in which he concluded that the camera was great fun, had terrific sound, produced filmic images, but he was not exactly sure where it fit in the market place, which in the span of only a few years, was producing affordable cameras that produced fabulous HD images capable of shooting in near pitch black conditions.
When the review came out I was just beginning to wrap out on HEMLOCK GROVE where we had tested the D16 and had used the footage in the latter episodes. The question of where the camera fit in the market place stuck with me because as far as I could see a 2K raw camera with 12 stops of dynamic range capable of using vintage 16mm lenses all for under 4K seemed a very welcome addition to a market saturated with 1080p cameras at a price point filmmakers, a few years earlier, couldn’t dream of. What’s more, from the tests we conducted, the camera worked and worked very well. So, now that HEMLOCK GROVE is on the air, I think the time is right to discuss how we used the camera, and where I think this camera fits into the market. But first, a quick trip back in time:
This Saturday we were pleased to award a Digital Bolex rental package to the Best Film and Audience Award winners of the 4th annual Etheria Film Night, held at the Egyptian Theater in the heart of Hollywood.
Etheria is a film festival that showcases the best short sci-fi, horror, action, fantasy, and thriller films directed by women each year, and many of these films have already played at dozens of festivals like Sundance and Palm Springs. I was honored to be a judge at the festival, and Joe and I were both floored by the quality of the films selected this year.
Women filmmakers often face smaller budgets and tougher hurdles while launching their film careers, and as a result there are very few women who get the chance to direct genre films, whose stunts, car chases, special makeup, and spooky practical effects can be difficult to execute without access to resources, so Etheria is a much-needed festival whose mission we’re proud to support. As fans of independent cinema and new filmmakers, we were very glad to do what we could to help these women get their fantastic work into the public eye. It was especially exciting that the slate featured a film by Gigi Saul Guerrero, whose short DEAD CROSSING we saw at NFFTY in 2012.
Awards for 2014 went to AFI DWW graduate Sarah Doyle, audience award winner for her film YOU, ME, & HER (trailer below), and German director Julia Walter won Best Film for her calculated thriller JOB INTERVIEW. We were excited to sponsor the event alongside Birns & Sawyer, MovieMaker Magazine, and others interested in helping underrepresented filmmakers share their stories. Proceeds from the event benefited Reel Grrls, a Seattle-based organization that teachers girls and teens how to make films.
Today marks the 25th anniversary of DO THE RIGHT THING, and so we’re extra excited to share Spike Lee’s newest project, a Pepsi-sponsored short film celebrating the World Cup, set to Kelly Rowland’s single THE GAME, which appears on the Pepsi Beats of the Beautiful Game soundtrack.
Spike shot the project last month in Brazil on two D16 cameras, and it was our first shoot to use an affordable, wireless monitoring system while the camera was handheld. Take a look at the short below, and then we’ll show you how it was done!