October 2013 - Blog
VashiMorphic40 4K free update link at bottom of page…
Films shot in the Anamorphic process are instantly recognizable. They have a quality and resonance that other lenses can’t capture. Anamorphic films seem to capture an almost 3D quality onto film’s 2D medium. The process makes creative use of aberrations such as long horizontal lens flares, oval bokeh and highly curved corners that all add a sense of heightened reality. Films are real but not necessarily reality…and the subconscious effect of Anamorphic lenses delivers an exaggerated look that is hard to replicate. This process is much more than just a wide aspect ratio..as demonstrated in The Ultimate Aspect Ratio Guide.
Films shot in the Anamorphic process include: Jaws, The Royal Tenenbaums, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Pulp Fiction, Die Hard, The Parallax View and countless others. Getting your hands on Anamorphic lenses is very difficult for the low budget filmmaker…so I created my own After Effects project that replicates the look and feel of the Anamorphic process. If you drop your footage into the timeline…you will have access to 3 options that help you achieve the magical look without resorting to additional adaptors or lenses. This workflow has been optimized for cameras that capture 16:9 footage and for lenses between 28mm to 35mm (Full frame equivalent).
The Anamorphic lens that I chose as the holy grail to emulate is the Panavision Primo 40mm Anamorphic. It was the ONLY lens used on Roman Polanski’s Chinatown and used 95% of the time on Wes Anderson’s films Rushmore and The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou.
I am proud to share with you my free After Effects Plugin Project…VashiMorphic40. Read more…
Digital Video is the de facto capture medium for almost all productions these days. The cost, ease and immediacy are all significant factors that make it so appealing. The visual aesthetic of film is the ultimate goal for many filmmakers and there are many methods, on every budget, that can be used to achieve it.
I still shoot a lot of narrative work with the Canon 5DMKII and I know the camera inside out. I know its strengths and weaknesses but ultimately love the full frame look it delivers and its ease of use. My main picture style has been VisionColor for its gorgeous skin tones and VisionTech for its lifted blacks that retain color info for later grading. I wanted to try out VisionColor’s new LUT package ‘OSIRIS’. I bought OSIRIS to test out the 9 film stock and color emulations it offers. To my eye, they are very cinematic and organic feeling.Read more…
A Split Focus Diopter is half convex glass that attaches in front of the camera’s main lens to make half the lens nearsighted. The lens can focus on a plane in the background and the diopter on a foreground element. In the 1970’s and 1980’s, Brian De Palma championed the use of this tool to enhance the visual and emotional experience of his films.
The Split Diopter allows for Deep Focus cinematography but requires much less light. It also delivers a distinctive look that blends sharp and out-of-focus imagery all in one frame. Subjects in both foreground and background can be kept in focus. In the video below are all 15 Split Diopter shots from Brian De Palma’s film Blow Out (1981).
ROPE (1948) is Alfred Hitchcock’s murder/suspense film that showcases the killing in its second shot. ROPE is often described as having no editing…a film that plays out in real-time…but it had to hide the cuts due to the 10-minute film reel limits of the day. On further examination…Hitchcock’s gem actually contains 10 edits. Five of them are hidden as the camera lens is filled by foreground objects. The other five edits are regular hard cuts that not many people either realize or acknowledge. I’ve isolated all 10 edits in the video below so you can learn from the Master of Suspense on how to hide your edits without losing momentum in your story.