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Vision Research Advances Phantom Miro Cameras

Phantom R-SeriesHigh-speed imaging specialist Vision Research has added a ruggedized body to its line of Phantom Miro cameras. The Phantom Miro R-Series, the third member of the Phantom Miro family, is for use in harsh environments where a camera must survive high shock, vibration and a broad range of temperatures. It’s capable of running at up to 730 fps with 1920x1200 resolution and up to 800 fps at 1920x1080. “Our new Miro R-Series gives customers another choice in camera body style, expanding the number of applications for the camera family,” says Vision Research Marketing Director Rick Robinson. “The R-Series is targeted specifically towards those that need a ruggedized camera to withstand severe environmental conditions.”

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L.A.'s Mayor-Elect Aims to Put Hollywood Center Stage

IMG 1420Eric Garcetti met with film industry workers to solicit ideas for fighting runaway production and pledged to name a film czar. In a closed-door meeting on the Sony Pictures Entertainment lot, a few dozen location scouts, agents, producers and studio executives gathered to discuss the state of L.A.'s hometown industry.Taking center stage: Los Angeles Mayor-elect Eric Garcetti.

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AJA Gear Takes the John Lennon Educational Tour Bus

the john lennon educational tour bus takes aja gear on  7140Last May, Yoko Ono Lennon introduced the new European version of the John Lennon Educational Tour Bus in Liverpool. Set to kick off its inaugural tour in London this month, the bus will travel across the U.K. and Europe (with tour details still pending), while the U.S. bus tour is currently traveling through California and Arizona until mid-September.

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Key Grip Sean Crowell On The Hangover III

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Key Grip Sean Crowell (Game Change) is no stranger to The Hangover franchise, after having worked on the first two films with Cinematographer Lawrence “Larry” Sher. “Where it really starts for me is when I sit down with the DP and we go through the schedule and each scene,” says Crowell. “Those are the building blocks for how we do our job. My interpretation of what Larry does is he brings a lot of scope to these films. I think people are surprised with how great the first Hangover was and how it redefined how people look at comedy. I think Larry really put his fingerprint on that genre. He creates really beautiful films, and when I sat down with him I was excited because I knew we would be pushing the envelope and try to bring grandness to the project. Anytime someone pushes you to do your best, that’s always a great way to work. There is no compromise in what Larry does.”

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Advancements in Editing Software

EditingSoftware VP12 ENG Box RF SMToday’s editing software programs support more formats, workflows and creative control than ever before. It’s now far easier for the average editor to turn film and digital content into a work of art as new software enhancements transform lofty visions into reality. P3 Update checks out the hottest editing trends offered by the top companies behind the artistry.

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“Shameless” Lighting

Shameless SMThe hit Showtime series “Shameless” is the story of a highly dysfunctional family that, when put to the test, can come together and hurdle hardships and stars Oscar® nominated actor William H. Macy. 

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Key Grip Sean Crowell On The Hangover III

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Key Grip Sean Crowell (Game Change) is no stranger to The Hangover franchise, after having worked on the first two films with Cinematographer Lawrence “Larry” Sher. “Where it really starts for me is when I sit down with the DP and we go through the schedule and each scene,” says Crowell. “Those are the building blocks for how we do our job. My interpretation of what Larry does is he brings a lot of scope to these films. I think people are surprised with how great the first Hangover was and how it redefined how people look at comedy. I think Larry really put his fingerprint on that genre. He creates really beautiful films, and when I sat down with him I was excited because I knew we would be pushing the envelope and try to bring grandness to the project. Anytime someone pushes you to do your best, that’s always a great way to work. There is no compromise in what Larry does.”

In the openings for the first two films, the camera movements are fluid, and as things start to fall apart for the lead characters, the crew switched to handheld mode, which brought a ton of energy to the story. Crowell believes that the look of the third film is very important to the entire series, and that all three films should stand alone while still being visually stunning. “Larry defined his look in each [Hangover] film, and I believe his fellow DPs [now] look at comedies in a completely different way.” 

For this sequel, Crowell again found himself working with a capable team. “We run with a daily production crew of about ten guys,” Crowell explains. “John Koth has been my best boy [grip] for about 15 years. We have two dolly grips; Chris Glasgow is the A [camera] dolly grip and Tim Christie has been the B [camera] dolly grip for us on the last two films. [We also have] two rigging crews on this with Josh Stancil at the helm as the rigging key grip. We’ve also been fortunate to have the same camera operators as well. Geoffrey Haley, who was the A camera and Steadicam operator this time out, did an awesome job. With this team it’s almost a secondhand language with Larry as far as how they want the camera moved. I wouldn’t be surprised if at some point we had 30 to 40 grips a day, if you counted all the rigging crews and all the production people. It becomes a pretty big machine.”

H3photo-137 SMFor the grip and electric departments to work efficiently, the other departments had to step up so everyone could do their jobs without any conflicts. The location team in particular did a stellar job that included ensuring access to facilities and holding back onlookers so no one would get injured. “The locations department really doesn’t get a lot of credit, but when you have a strict amount of time to get things set up, we really rely on the importance of having them around,” says Crowell. “The production team with the AD staff is another huge aspect. [Co-Producer] Jeffrey Wetzel and his crew did an amazing job of making sure all the parts were laid out in a manner that could be translated by the location team and all the other departments so everything worked seamlessly.”

When obtaining certain shots became a challenge, they were executed flawlessly with the help of great equipment. The film was shot digitally on an ARRI ALEXA and a few scenes were shot on film with a Panavision camera. This was quite a change after the first Hangover, which was shot almost entirely on film. For one scene in The Hangover Part III, where Galifianakis’s character is running frantically in the desert, Crowell and his team used a Doggicam Systems Bodymount rig to achieve a rugged look that worked perfectly for the film. “Larry and Todd Phillips are very particular about camera movements,” explains Crowell. “They’re a collaborative team and everything is thought out. Larry loves dolly track, so we laid out a bunch for this film, and we made good use out of the 30- and 50-foot Technocrane from Cranium. On Stage 16 at Warner Bros., we built a façade of Caesars Palace [that’s] five or six stories, and we had to be able to reach that from the stage floor. [To do that] we used a 73-foot Hydroscope from Chapman [Leonard], which was a great option. Chapman dollies and the Hydroscope are always reliable, and the technicians that come with them are fantastic.”

Crowell recalls a particular situation where his top-notch equipment came in handy. “We had a ridge we had to shoot on in the desert, and [Cranium] built a platform for us that was self-leveling [so] that we could drive wherever we needed to put it,” he explains. “Everything was superfast and very well thought out. It was a rare moment where something came up that hadn’t been thought of, and we like to have the people around who built the product to make it happen.” During this and other production challenges, Crowell was always impressed by the crew’s uncompromised commitment. “The kinds of people that are working on this movie are ones that don’t take the easy way out,” he says. “They know it’s going to be hard and they keep moving ahead. It’s really great to be around those kinds of people. It’s fun. 

 “When you are with a group that supports you, it’s really appreciated,” Crowell continues. “It’s hard and you sleep good at night, but being surrounded by people that are not going to take the easy way out makes it worth it. We don’t want to let the fans of the [Hangover] movies down and we want to make sure we get some new fans for the franchise. I’m just a technician on this movie, but that’s how I felt about it. I wasn’t going to compromise anything that I was doing. It was a commitment to make the best movie possible. [And] it was a great sense of relief when it was done, because I really felt like we did it.”   

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Behind the Locations of The Hangover Part III

hangover_sm_groupThe Warner Bros. sequel The Hangover Part III marks the last film in a trilogy that broke ground with its unique mix of adventure and comedy. Directed by Todd Phillips, the first two Hangover films are now seen as one of the most successful movie franchises of all time. The third film centers on the four leads, Phil (Bradley Cooper), Alan (Zach Galifianakis), Stu (Ed Helms) and Doug (Justin Bartha), who find themselves on yet another outrageous adventure as they try to untangle their way out of some unthinkable circumstances. P3 recently chatted with the film’s Location Manager Gregory Alpert (pictured below), who both took the ride of his life while creating a distinct look for one of the most anticipated comedies of 2013.

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Sony's F5 and F55 CineAlta Cameras

f5-and-f55_smSony recently launched PMW F5 and F55 CineAlta cameras, which both record full-4K resolution and lower-resolution formats. Ubiquitous throughout NAB 2013, both models are in demand by the camera-support industry as the latest and greatest cameras to accessorize for commercials, TV production, indie features and other projects. While the F5 and F55 have been heavily marketed as twins with distinct personalities, when push comes to shove, Sony is keen to accent the superior capabilities of the F55.

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Convergent Design's Solution for Cinematographers

odyssey7__smConvergent Design introduced a solution for those cinematographers struggling to record a viable image while untangling the cables that link recorders, monitors and microphones to the camera. The new Odyssey 7 is a 7.7-inch OLED monitor that can eliminate one set of cables as it doubles as a 4K capable recorder — pretty remarkable for a package that barely weighs more than an 8-inch flatscreen field monitor. While there have certainly been high-end data recorders with built-in monitors, the Odyssey 7 has been designed with 1280 and 800 resolution; a wide RGB color range with true blacks and minimal motion blur; and an impressive contrast ratio of 3400:1. It also includes Waveform, Focus Assist (Peaking), Vectorscope, Zebras, LUT Support, Histogram and False Color.

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