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Which clippings match 'ARRI Alexas' keyword pg.1 of 1
16 SEPTEMBER 2013

How to deal with the demands of the rapidly evolving new technology and yet further the aesthetics of our filmic art?

"With digital capture and even digital intermediates, it becomes very easy to think of the image in the simplest of terms: contrast, saturation and color bias. But I think too often we forget about texture and sharpness. Film has organic grain texture that simply doesn't exist in digital cinematography. I'm not a film 'purist' but I think it's safe to say that with the advent of radical advances in digital cinema technology there has been a certain homogenization of the cinematographic image in regard to look and texture. It is common to shoot for an evenly distributed rich digital negative (protect the highlights, see into the shadows) with plenty of sharpness to endure the color correction suite and create the look in post. Everybody shoots the sensor the same way.

Painting is a great influence on me. Whenever I can I go to museums and look at the classics, the Dutch masters, Rembrandt and Georges de la Tour. Looking at these old paintings can be inspiring. These are the basics for cameramen because we can learn lighting from them. We can study the classic paintings and try to use that technique of lighting in our photography. I have lots of picture books at home–photography books and art books. When we did McCabe and Mrs. Miller, I showed a book of Andrew Wyeth's paintings to Bob Altman and said, 'What do you think of these faded, soft, pastel images?' And he liked it. Then I took the same book to the lab and explained to them that this was what we were aiming for. They understood right away why we were flashing the film. So it helps; a picture is worth ten thousand words. A picture can immediately tell you your feelings about something.

With digital capture, we have been given a completely different set of tools, trading physical lab processes for computer–driven non–destructive techniques, creating possibilities for the image to be pushed any way we wish in post. In a time when film is disappearing fast and digital is making progress in image quality improvement, it has become important for cinematographers to master these new tools."

(Vilmos Zsigmond ASC HSC, IMAGO European Federation of Cinematographers)

TAGS

aesthetics • American Society of Cinematgraphers (ASC) • Andrew Wyeth • ARRI Alexas • art of colour • available lightcamera technologycinematographycolour • colour bias • colour correctioncolour saturation • colourist • computer-driven techniques • digital capturedigital cinema technologydigital cinematography • digital intermediates • digital negativedigital picturesdigital progressdigital technology • European Federation of Cinematographers • faded images • film grain • film grain texture • film lighting • filmic art • filmmaking • Georges de La Tour • GoProimage contrast • image highlights • image manipulation • image quality • image shadows • image sharpness • image tone • IMAGO European Federation of Cinematographers • iPhone cinematographyKodak Eastman • lab process • light exposure • look and texture • low lightmaking process • McCabe and Mrs Miller (1971) • mobile video productionnew technology • non-destructive techniques • organic grain texture • painting with light • pastel colours • post-productionpre-productionrapid technological changeRED ONERembrandt van Rijn • retraining • Robert Altman • soft image quality • Sony camerataste (sociology) • taste cultivation • taste formations • Vilmos Zsigmond • visual compositionvisual representation • visual richness • visual sensibilityvisual storytelling • visual texture

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
08 JANUARY 2012

Film Fading to Black: ARRI, Panavision and Aaton have quietly ceased production of film cameras

"While the debate has raged over whether or not film is dead, ARRI, Panavision and Aaton have quietly ceased production of film cameras within the last year to focus exclusively on design and manufacture of digital cameras. ...

'The demand for film cameras on a global basis has all but disappeared,' says ARRI VP of Cameras, Bill Russell, who notes that the company has only built film cameras on demand since 2009. 'There are still some markets––not in the U.S.––where film cameras are still sold, but those numbers are far fewer than they used to be. If you talk to the people in camera rentals, the amount of film camera utilization in the overall schedule is probably between 30 to 40 percent.'

At New York City rental house AbelCine, Director of Business Development/Strategic Relationships Moe Shore says the company rents mostly digital cameras at this point. 'Film isn't dead, but it's becoming less of a choice,' he says. 'It's a number of factors all moving in one direction, an inexorable march of digital progress that may be driven more by cell phones and consumer cameras than the motion picture industry.'

Aaton founder Jean–Pierre Beauviala notes why. 'Almost nobody is buying new film cameras. Why buy a new one when there are so many used cameras around the world?' he says. 'We wouldn't survive in the film industry if we were not designing a digital camera.'

Beauviala believes that that stereoscopic 3D has 'accelerated the demise of film.' He says, 'It's a nightmare to synchronize two film cameras.' Three years ago, Aaton introduced a new 35mm film camera, Penelope, but sold only 50 to 60 of them. As a result, Beauviala turned to creating a digital Penelope, which will be on the market by NAB 2012. 'It's a 4K camera and very, very quiet,' he tells us. 'We tried to give a digital camera the same ease of handling as the film camera.'

Panavision is also hard at work on a new digital camera, says Phil Radin, Executive VP, Worldwide Marketing, who notes that Panavision built its last 35mm Millennium XL camera in the winter of 2009, although the company continues an 'active program of upgrading and retrofitting of our 35mm camera fleet on a ongoing basis.'

'I would have to say that the pulse [of film] was weakened and it's an appropriate time,' Radin remarks. 'We are not making film cameras.' He notes that the creative industry is reveling in the choices available. 'I believe people in the industry love the idea of having all these various formats available to them,' he says. 'We have shows shooting with RED Epics, ARRI Alexas, Panavision Genesis and even the older Sony F–900 cameras. We also have shows shooting 35mm and a combination of 35mm and 65mm. It's a potpourri of imaging tools now available that have never existed before, and an exciting time for cinematographers who like the idea of having a lot of tools at their disposal to create different tools and looks.'"

(Debra Kaufman, 2011, Creative COW)

Fig.1 The Xterà by Aaton (Super16 camera with film magazine).

Fig.2 The Penelope–Delta by Aaton (digital camera with internal full resolution recorder).

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TAGS

16mm200935mm • 35mm camera • 4K • 4K camera • 65mm • Aaton • AbelCine • ARRIARRI Alexascameracamera-making businesscelluloidcinemacinematographer • consumer cameras • creative industries • demise of film • devicedigitaldigital cameradigital cinematographydigital filmmakingdigital progressDSLR • ease of handling • feature filmfilmfilm camerafilm industryfilm makingfilmmaking • Jean-Pierre Beauviala • motion picture industry • obsolescencePanavision • Panavision Genesis • radical innovationRED Epic • Sony F-900 • stereoscopic • Super16 • technology innovation

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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