It’s Through the Eyes
Anyone who knows cameras will tell you that one of the most important elements of getting visually stunning film and video productions is the quality glass or lens used to capture the image. Once we knew we were moving forward with production on Tinker the movie, we contemplated for months what camera and lenses we would use. This decision had to keep us in the limits of our budget, allow for a smooth post production workflow, and ultimately give us the feel and look we were trying to achieve. With so many advancements in technology we knew the simplest format would be digital, but this still presented a plethora of options.
Here were some of our contemplations:
Do we film in a smaller format of 1080 or 2K on a DSLR such as the Canon 5D MkIII or on our FS100 and have our PIX 240 transcode it to 2K; or do we use a camera capable of 4 and 5K such as the RED Epic, Sony F55? For budget reasons we also considered the Black Magic cinema camera, which would allow for a lot more flexibility in post coloring, but we didn’t like the storage and battery options.
Do the cameras frame rate options make a different with our choice? We strongly considered the Sony FS700 with the 4K recorder which has one of the fastest frame rate for the money. We were familiar with the work flow which was good but how much would slow motion beyond 60fps would we need.
Since each lens has a different feel and look, we knew we were going to go with a complete lens set for consistency in our look . We did not have the luxury of renting cinema prime lenses such as Cooke, Arri, Fujinon, Zeiss, and Leica, to test the look and depended on the experience of out Director and DP to make the call. This was one of the most confusing choices we had to make at that point and time.
Our DP, Ryan Purvis, called us saying “I found these antique Kowa lenses and we have to use them.” Producer Tom (me) was all for it, but line producer tightwad Tom was “How Much?”. Thanks to Jess at Old School Cameras in Burbank, CA we were able to get the full camera and lens kit and for a bargain since were were filming in off season. Once we got into principle photography we were amazed at the filmic look and flares the 1970’s Kowa Cine Prominars produced. I’d love to have a set of these babies, but at $40,000, we’ll continue to rent.
Stay tuned for more updates.
(thoughts are not as technical as if it came from the Director or DP. but comes from an average Joe)