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Production

LIGHTING Makes a Splash

LightCol_3Director/Cinematographer Ben Dolphin has plenty of experience working in extreme conditions, such as shooting underwater in limestone caves in Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula for Televisa. And although he’s an expert in Unilux lighting, HD cameras and high-speed Photo-Sonics, he ironically faced an extreme challenge while shooting his short film ARISING on a Cine Magic soundstage in his own backyard: New York City. With a premiere on Hulu and iTunes, and screenings at various international festivals, Dolphin’s beautifully lit film features nine near-naked dancers flying, diving and dancing through an 8-foot-wide waterfall.

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Supporting (H)DSLRs

CamSupport_Zacuto_Cross_Fire_Photo_Credit_ZacutoIn keeping with Moore’s law, HD cameras have been getting smaller, better and cheaper at an accelerating rate. Nowhere has this been more apparent than with the blast of interest in DSLR still cameras for HD video acquisition. This sudden change on the camera scene has challenged designers and manufacturers of video support equipment to retool quickly, and it has catapulted some designers and producers of this gear to center stage, giving them a pivotal role in many new acquisition purchases.

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Winter Shooting

CamCol_PortabraceCBA-NX5_kThe winter chill is in the air and snow is on the pumpkin. For me, that means one thing: It’s time to prep my camera to shoot outdoors in snow, sleet, freezing rain and cold, wicked winds. For more than a decade I’ve been a stringer for the Weather Channel, particularly during the wintry months. My peak season is late fall/early winter  because that’s when the notorious “lake effect” snowfalls happen as frigid subarctic weather blows across comparatively warm Lake Erie. This causes condensation which results in snow that can be so wet and heavy, it can make life difficult for you and your camera.

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Desert Sounds

AudioColumnRecording audio while on location when you can’t really control the environment is hard enough –– with all the occasional breezes, traffic, pedestrians and other various noises that come with the territory –– but working in bad weather can wreak havoc for filmmakers and their crew, as an environment that just won’t cooperate can make a difficult shoot more stressful.

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Panavision Enters the 3D Arena

Panavision, designer, manufacture and rental of camera systems, is in the 3D business.  Three major features recently completed production using cameras, lenses and 3D rigs provided by Panavision. Those features include, A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas, shot by Michael Barrett, The Darkest Hour, photographed by Scott Kevan, and Bait, shot by Ross Emery.  Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, lensed by Dariusz Wolski, ASC, was shot using camera and lens packages provided by Panavision, paired with rigs provided by Pace on the 1st unit and Element Technica rigs for the 2nd unit in London. Panavision’s current inventory of 3D camera rigs includes the Quasar, Pulsar and Neutron, manufactured by Element Technica.

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