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class="style10">Composing In Unusual Formats

>Published : 1st August 2006

>I have a shoot coming up in China and Hong Kong where the American client wants the image composed for a 3.51:1 format - serious wide screen. The reason for the format is "Dynamic Imagery" in the projection of the presentation at what is probably an Expo or similar.

I imagine the only way I can do this is to point the CineAlta 24P at a reproduction of the format on a piece of paper, and wax-pencil inscribe the monitor mounted on the camera, to what it is reproducing on the screen?

>Yours Sincerely

>LAURIE K. GILBERT s.o.c.
Director of Photography
High Definition Cinematographer
Helicopter Aerial expert

>Owner of :
L'IMAGE CINEMATOGRAPHY - Based In Asia, Filming The World
www.limage.tv


class="style11">>I imagine the only way I can do this is to point the CineAlta 24P at a >reproduction of the format on a piece of paper, and wax-pencil inscribe >the monitor mounted on the camera, to what it is reproducing on the >screen?

>I'd be interested to see if you could get an anamorphic lens on a CineAlta. The 16:9 native aspect ratio, plus the 2.4:1 squeeze, might just put you in the ballpark. If it worked you'd still have some vertical resolution left. Might be worth a call to Panavision, since they have both the cameras and the lenses. (Ask them to throw in several extra bottles of back focus.)

>I'm not sure how that affects the post side of things as far as stretching everything back out again. I suspect it could be done in After Effects quite easily.

>Art Adams, DP [film|hidef|video]
San Francisco Bay Area - "Silicon Valley"
http://www.artadams.net/local

"Get the facts first. You can distort them later."
Mark Twain


>Because we are accessing equipment in Beijing, I don’t think this is possible. I have no problems composing in this format, just trying to figure what it looks like when it isn’t en-scribed on the glass screen.

>The interviews are going to be interesting to compose because there is a lot of space to fill with complementary information either side of the head........

>I'd be interested to see if you could get an anamorphic lens on a Cine Alta. The 16:9 native aspect ratio, plus the 2.4:1 squeeze, might just put you in the ballpark.

>Yours Sincerely

>LAURIE K. GILBERT s.o.c.
Director of Photography
High Definition Cinematographer
Helicopter Aerial expert


>I will be playing with an f950 tomorrow which has the same eyepiece (I think)

>It occurs to me that it might be possible to cut a piece of acetate (like clear film leader, for instance) to fit inside the eyepiece UNDER the convex lens that is closest to your eye. If that is possible, it might be cleaner to draw thin black top and bottom frame lines with a thin point permanent marker or suchlike which would be less messy than the chinagraph aka grease pencil aka wax pencil solution.

Failing that, I think you are right.

Another way to go might be to take a piece of ND3 Wratten gel or even just lighting gel (as in snip the sample out of the free gel book the rental houses all give away)

If you can trim it to fit in the eyepiece right on top of the monitor, you can mark the four corners of your ultra-hyper-panaramascopoview and then pull the gel back out and carefully cut out the centre at the four corners.

If you can get it back in accurately, possibly using what we call "snot" tape (the clear double sided adhesive tape that the grips use to put gels on 4x4 frames) then you have your frame clean and the above and below area ND'd but without anything being occluded by a scribe line.

Best o' luck!

Mark Weingartner
LA based


Hello everybody!


My name is Vidu Gunaratna, I am 25 and I am a Prague (Czech Republic) based independent cameraman working on a semi-professional level. I'm intentionally writing semi-professional since have no formal film education and although I do commercial work, I wouldn't dare to call myself a professional knowing who contributes to this list. I applied for the Camera Department of the Prague Film School (FAMU) this year and came out 6th. Unfortunately the intake is only 5 students per year...So I will try next year again. Now enough of my introduction rambling.

>Once I needed to shoot 1:2.35 on DV and this is how I solved the problem : I drew a frame of the desired aspect ratio into a standard PAL 720x576 image, took that image into Premiere and recorded about 1 minute of this image on tape. Then it is very easy to draw any guidelines on any monitor you like. Hope this helps.

>Kind regards,

>Vidu Gunaratna
Cameraman
Prague, Czech Republic


class="style11">>. . .If you can trim it to fit in the eyepiece right on top of the monitor

>Another approach that might work, as well...

>Frame up the camera on the chart that has the extreme aspect ratio.

>Use matte finish Scotch Tape to mark off the little screen inside the viewfinder - before the mirror.

>The tricky part will be working in there without taking the whole thing apart.

>Too bad the frame line generator on these cameras isn't a bit more user configurable.

>David Perrault, CSC


>To add to David's excellent suggestion, there is a little known product available at most art supply shops called "repositionable magic tape"

>\It is just like regular "magic tape" (which is what we seem to call the matte finish clear tape called cello tape or scotch tape in various places) except the adhesive is designed to stay with the tape and is much weaker than regular magic tape.

>I have used extensively to hold archival still photographs flat for re-photography and have not damaged one yet

>Great idea, David!

>Mark Weingartner
LA based


>I seem to remember a setting in the operators file on the F900s that allows you to wind the markers into any aspect you like, I may be wrong (please let me know if I am). For the monitor is there a ratio marker box as used commonly on steadicam's for HD?

>Nick Paton
Director of Photography
High Def./Standard Def./Film
Aaton Xtr Prod owner operator
Brisbane, Australia
www.npdop.com


> Mark Weingartner writes :

class="style11">>there is a little known product available at most art supply shops called >"repositionable magic tape"

>In the States, you can also find it at any office-supply store, in the guise of Scotch "Matte-Finish Removable Tape."

>Be that as it may, would it be rocket science to equip $100,000 HD cameras' finders and monitoring outputs with universally movable matte lines... so you could do cantered, common-top or even common right edge or whatnot for multi-screen presentations, etc.?? And why not have several custom ratios pre-programmable? Is there any reason why such an arrangement couldn't include an onscreen readout of the selected aspect ratio?

>Duh...I mean, has there ever been a DP who HASN'T wished for something like this? Helllooooooooo.... It's the 21st century, folks! Are any manufacturers listening?... < sound of wolves baying at the moon...>

>( dead silence, punctuated only by the plaintive wailing and tortured expletives issuing from the mouths of DP´s forced to do primitive microsurgery on their finders with grease pencils, bits of cellophane, tweezers, razors, scissors and stickytape )

>Dan Drasin
Producer/DP
Marin County, CA


class="style11">>Too bad the frame line generator on these cameras isn't a bit more >user configurable.

>I understand from Bill Grey, the other DP on the USA end of this project, that on the CineAlta he has access to, the illuminated frame format is easily adjustable in his viewfinder. Does anyone know if this is a special model of viewfinder eg Panavised etc. and how one would go about defining it and requesting it from a rental house - the format we have to shoot for final projection is 3.51:1

>I seem to remember a setting in the operators file on the F900s that allows you to wind the markers into any aspect you like, I may be wrong (please let me know if I am).

>What you are suggesting Nick is that this is a function of the menu, not a function of a viewfinder feature?

>Yours

>LAURIE K. GILBERT s.o.c.
Director of Photography
High Definition Cinematographer
Helicopter Aerial expert


>Laurie,

>This ability to change the markers is standard in the F900. The menu page where you change/turn "on-off" the markers in the viewfinder and the mask, etc. will let you change the aspect ratio of the markers.

>There are presents already there and then there is the option of customizing the markers to what you need. I think this is on the menu page named "Markers". Use the mask feature to darken the area outside your shooting aperture in the VF.

>Most of the Sony monitors with HD-SDI & component analogue inputs I've worked with also have the capability to change the markers to what you need.

>Randy Miller, DP in LA


>That's what I believe, I vaguely remember playing with it but don't know whether this was the Panavision camera or a normal F900 but it should be there.

I have the Panavision manual in front of me...this should be the same as for the F900. Operation page three allows you to set several aspect ratios (fixed), only to 2.4:1 I'm afraid. The up side is that you can use the safe marking as well and these are individually adjustable to your liking from 0-1920 (horizontal) and 0-1080 (vertical). You should be able to output these markers if you have set them for your video output and tape off the monitor.

>Nick Paton
Director of Photography
High Def./Standard Def./Film
Aaton Xtr Prod owner operator
Brisbane, Australia


>I've been told that there may be a user-defineable set-up that allows you to set the scribe lines by pixel count - anyone come across this in the menus? Now I have to go down to the friendly rental house to find out

>Mark Weingartner
LA based
HD once in a while


>A few years ago I made a work with F 900 in "vertical format" to historical museum of Valencia. You can see and explication and some pictures on www.alfonsoparra.com Section 2 / HD en el museo de historia de Valencia (English version)

>Alfonso Parra (a.e.c.)