Blog

Musings by Snehal aka Fearless, a filmmaker with a hankering for technology and science.  

Doggie Cam!

Do know why it's called a Doggie Cam?  Because it chases you like a dog chases a rabbit at the race tracks.  

This is the Alexa M on the Doggie Cam Spirit Head.  

Teaching Peeps about Cameras is Fun

I always have a good time teaching about the Alexa.  I'm a techie nerd and digital technology is fairly easy for me to understand.  So breaking it down for an audience to the point where everyone in the room "get's it" can be a challenge but the results are rewarding.  

In the case of the Alexa, there are a lot of cinematographers, producers and directors that are interested in using this camera on their next shoot.  By getting them the info they need, it makes their decision easier because they can go into their project with confidence.  I like to remind everyone that yes, maybe the Alexa rents for a bit more than other cameras but this is offset by it's ease of use, excellent on-set performance and lightning quick  workflow.  The fact that you can output editable ProRes files in-camera makes a huge difference for a lot of people.  Plus the option of going Arri RAW gives you the ability to record higher quality for the big screen.  Some films that used the Arri Raw format are Avengers, The Dictator, James Bond: Skyfall, Life of Pi, Gambit, Iron Man 3 and others.

Thanks to Stray Angel Films for organizing this afternoon workshop last week.  It was awesome to catch up with old friends and meet new ones.  If you have any rental needs, check out Stray Angel on the Westside.  They can hook you up.

Digital Day at the DGA

The Director's Guild of America hosts an annual event called Digital Day which highlights new technologies for film and television.  This event is specifically geared towards Directors and UPMs that want to be in the know about the cool stuff they can for their own projects.  We got great feedback about the Alexa line of cameras and everyone was eager to see what is next.  We have lots of new tools coming out for your existing Alexa camera like the Arri wireless system which integrates lens data into the metadata stream saved with your video files.

Learning from the Masters of Cinematography

A great part about working with Arri is that I get to participate in some amazing education.  We support a number of workshops including Master Classes like the ones at Mole Richardson.  In one session, we got to hear Masters of Cinematography like ASC members Vilmos Zsigmond, Ueli Steiger and Jacek Laskus talk about how they light different types of sets.  

It's one thing to understand the technical behind how someone is lighting a set, but it's another to hear first-hand the tricks these guys used to make it happen.  We're talking about films like Close Encounters, Bonfire of the Vanities, Deliverance, Austin Powers, The Day After Tomorrow and others.  Did you know that Ueli Steiger had reams of silk material died a certain type of blue for the flood scenes in "The Day After Tomorrow?"  These long pieces of material were sewed together and put on a lighting grid in order to make the light from huge 5K tungsten sources come out that soft blue tone.  This setup was used in a huge studio where the NY street scenes were built so they could be flooded on demand.  

BTW, all three of these guys like the Alexa.  Vilmos said it's the only digital cinema camera he would use.  Awesome!

Screening of Bathroomies

So it finally screened!  On Tuesday, we were at the Downtown Independent at a Web Series Orgy where we had a bunch of folks showing their web series on the big screen. 

Bathroomies, Directed and Shot by yours truly, was well received.  People actually thought it was funny.  I mean, I thought we intended to make a serious drama about having a tough time in the real world, but who knows what happened...

Look for Bathroomies to debut online real soon!

Arri LED Lighting Test filmed on Alexa

Here is a lighting test that I filmed as Director of Photography.  

It was a challenge to expose various LED lights to match with our baseline - an Arri tungsten setup.  We achieved this by mounting all the different light heads in similar 3-point lighting positions and paying attention to the readings on a light meter.  The intensity of the light was controlled by varying the distance from the subject.  I referred to both incident and reflective light readings to make sure we were able to balance everything correctly.  We even checked color temperature readings to make sure they matched.  To they eye, the colors seemed to match between different brands of lights, but looking through the camera, you can clearly see how various light sources render differently.

As for the camera - we used an Alexa plus camera in 16x9 configuration.  The camera was set to record REC 709 onto the SxS cards.  No color correction was done to the images - what you see is exactly how we recorded on-set.  The same lens was used for the whole test.

The L7-C light from Arri is amazing in it's ability to emulate existing studio lighting.  It's definitely closer in color rendition to tungsten lighting than anything else on the market. 

Shooting with Dolby Labs at the Arri stage

Working on a cool techno-crane shoot with Dolby, using a pair of Alexa plus cameras.  The one on the crane utilized the Arri wireless system which can calibrate lenses and display focal distance and depth of field on the monitor.


On the Set of Dexter

That's my buddy Eric, camera op.  They love the Alexa!  Makes nice pictures.  Two camera shoot, utilizing a slider and dolly to keep things moving.  Cameras supplied by Panavision.  

At Cine Gear 2012

Come check out our cameras, accessories and lighting. We have great talent for you to check out through the lens. And the set is pre-lit with new LEDs.

10 Reasons Why Aziz Ansari Rules

  1. He's hilarious!
  2. He's Indian (the Eastern Continent) like me
  3. He says whatever he wants
  4. Parks and Rec
  5. Stand Up
  6. He gets to be himself on TV
  7. Relatable
  8. Best under-used Scrubs character ever
  9. Raw Talent
  10. Hilarious!

Rodney playing with an Alexa M at NAB 2012

Rodney is awesome!  I credit him for getting me into digital cinema camera tech in a big way.  A few years after we did a cool little project on the 5D, I'm working with the top digital cinema cameras in the world, helping to support lots of features, TV shows, commercials and other great productions.  Plus I get to shoot with these things :)

Here's Rodney trying out the new Alexa M with a brand new lightweight Alura zoom and prototype adjustable handgrips.

See this video for more info about new Prototype accessories that will be coming out from Arri this year:

Alexa used to film the Avengers

"The ALEXA had more range and produced a cleaner key in all conditions" says Seamus McGarvey, ASC, BSC. Because of the high number of both interior and exterior visual effects shots, McGarvey undertook extensive testing. "We were going to shoot sometimes on a very large scale in situations where I couldn't control the ambient spill of daylight," he says. "I would have greenscreen lit with hard sun and shade at the same time, within the same shot. One of the first tests I did was to see the tolerance of various camera systems in terms of latitude and ability to extract a key from blue and greenscreen in those ambient lighting conditions. The ALEXA had more range and produced a cleaner key in all conditions." via arri.com

It's one bad-a%$ camera!

Racist and Stupid Comments on my YouTube videos

Here's a smattering of what internet trolls say after watching some of my videos on YouTube.

comments on Indian Gangster Trailer:

Hahahahah Indians get bashed so much here hahahahah fucking faggots
moeyerdem

These Indian people are too white looking. Get that Indian dude that did that Michael Jackson Indian thriller spoof to play the lead. Now that dude is my man.

HaHa what a joke. indians are not a violent race. most people could bring one down with a back hander

 

will please some one Ban canadian Indians from carrying a camera and working on TV , expect for the hot chicks in porn ofcourse !!

lol @ all of the effort that was put into this and only 800 views. stupid towelheads