Constructing with Arin……

Recently I got together with a great musician and friend of mine Arin (The Construct) and decided to play around with ML raw and my recently acquired KomputerBay 128gb 1050x card. Here’s what came of it:

Gear Used:
Canon 5D mkIII
Zeiss T*Planar 50mm f1.4
Zeiss Jena Flektagon 35mm f2.4 MC
Schneider filters
Jag35 rails
Manfrotto tripod
SmallHD DP4 EVF

– Col B.

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Enter the Chasm – A Night with The Amenta

Australian extreme metallers The Amenta recently took the stage at one of Brisbane’s best music institutions, Crowbar. I decided to gear up, take along the 5Dmk3 as well as a newly purchased SmallHD DP4 EVF. I also had a freshly installed build of MagicLantern and took the chance to make this clip in RAW. Also worth noting is that I didn’t ask permission to film the band so if they aren’t stoked with me having this up, then let me know. The clip is just below with a bit of me talking about the SmallHD and firmware updates just following.

The Amenta – Live @ Crowbar, Brisbane (shot in ML RAW) from Col B Cadell on Vimeo.

All Music and Performance by The Amenta

Using the the SmallHD DP4 EVF for the first time live was a true pleasure. The DP4 is a small but fully functional field monitor with pro features such as Peaking, Focus Assist+, False Colour and a whole heap more. With a relatively simple setup and short programming time (if needed) it really gets into the work quickly. If you get the chance to test one I recommend it, even more so with the EVF attachment. Adding the EVF loupe to the monitor is amazing and really adds to your visibility, particularly in low light, for viewing the image. On top of this it’s essentially making your viewing space far larger by making use of the monitors 4.3inch size.

I will say though if your using Canon Firmware 1.2.1 on your camera (I can’t due to MagicLantern needs) it would be smart to set the colour for your shots off the monitor on camera. The DP4 is great but it still can’t match the camera colour perfectly. With 1.2.1 installed you can now run the camera screen and HDMI out monitor at the same time. If your like me and using ML you will need to set colour on camera then plug in your monitor. While these steps aren’t necessity I would recommend them to help set your shots.

Gear Used:
– Canon 5Dmk3
– Zeiss 50mm T*Planar 1.4
– Scheinder Optics Filters
– SmallHD DP4 EVF

Settings:
– ISO1600
– F2.2 – 4.0
– 1/50
– WB Tungsten

Checkout:
http://www.smallhd.com
http://www.theamenta.com
http://www.magiclantern.fm

– Col B

5Dmk3 – RAW Video Test – ISO100 – Magic Lantern

After visiting some mates I decided I would stop off road side and take a few quick clips in full daylight using the RAW video hack from Magic Lantern. Amazing results is all I can say. All shots were taken at f8, 23.976fps. I used and abused the following gear:
– Canon 5Dmk3
– Magic Lantern
– Zeiss 50mm T*Planar 1.4
– Genus Fader ND 58mm
– Manfrotto tripod

5Dmk3 – RAW Video Test – ISO100 – Magic Lantern from Col B Cadell on Vimeo.

– Col B.

RAW test – DSLR – ISO 1600 – Noise Removal test

Another day, another test with RAW. Firstly this is the last one where I don’t support the shot etc. properly. These were purely for making sure ML is running correctly. Another use of this test was to see what footage taken at ISO1600 would look like in RAW.

The advantage of RAW being that you can shoot at high ISO and clean the image to remove most, if not all unwanted noise. Then add a little bit of film grain back in and voila!

More serious tests coming this weekend.

RAW Video – DSLR – ISO1600 noise removal test from Col B Cadell on Vimeo.

– Col B.

RAW, huh, Good God YES!

So I finally bit the bullet and bought a 5D Mk3 and a couple of fast (probably not fast enough) CF cards (1000x is pretty much a yes). The aim is to start playing with the raw video features implemented by Magic Lantern (www.magiclantern.fm). If your not sure on the process go check out the forums and you will find a plethora of help and instructions on installing a recent build for your camera.

With this hack installed I filmed a couple of shots and put them together to have a day one, out of the box test. It took me about 20minutes to update/retrograde Firmware to 1.1.3 and then write the ML boot to the disk with MacBoot.

Once up and running….. my god is it glorious. I will be posting vids with the h.264 recording mode and some post work as it’s still the most usable and feasible on the job option.  None the less time to experiment. The below features two shots that are video, but just static to show detail (more for me than you guys :P), following that are two graded motion scenes. The first graded in my standard manner of noise reduction, add film grain, work with Magic bullet looks. The second graded shot is using LUT replacement then Colorista II to get a little more complicated.

I will be posting more as I test more. Can’t wait to film a short with this. The below test was handheld (sorry for the shakes, I should have used a tripod or something), shot with a Zeiss 50mm T*Planar at 1.4, ISO100… yes thats right because it’s RAW you can use the photo intervals rather than the digital ones as stills don’t develop noise the same way as compressed motion graphic.

5D Mark3 RAW Video Test – Magic Lantern Hack – First Day Test from Col B Cadell on Vimeo.

Keep checking back for further tests and shoots using the RAW hack.

– Col B.

When it Rains, it Pours

It’s a boring rainy day in Brisbane, so I figured why not get the camera out and play around with capturing water hitting leaves. I don’t know what it is about this but I find the whole task relaxing. Lazy days.

Gear used:
– Canon 7D
– Zeiss 50mm T*Planar
– Zeiss 35mm Jena Flektagon
– Amaran Halo
– 1000watt work light

wetstuff-1-6 wetstuff-1-4 wetstuff-1-2 eaglefarm-1-6 eaglefarm-1-4 eaglefarm-1-2

– Col B.

You Spin Me Right Round Baby – The Lords of Salem review

Witches scream and cackle as they strip themselves bare to the flesh and conspire in acts of ungodly debauchery. Yes The Lords of Salem is a film with witches, not broomstick flying ones, but none the less. Think more along the lines of The Wicker Man or even in some cases The Town that Dreaded Sundown. So if the whole cauldrons and Satanism isn’t your thing, then you may wish to avoid this one. Thankfully old school horror had something that the modern medium is often missing, atmosphere; thankfully this is not one of those films. Nostalgia literally oozes from every interior and into each frame of film. We’re taken for a ride that is also decidedly old school as we get to experience not jumps scares or shock tactics but a legitimate building of tension; as to whether that pays off is up to you and your opinion.

Sherri Moon Zombie – The Lords of Salem

We follow Heidi (Sherri Moon Zombie), a now reformed drug addict working on a late night Howard Stern style radio station. Rob’s other half Sherri is not the best actress in the world and struggles at times to make her character work. That said it’s a horror film of the late night type so I don’t expect little golden midget winning performances here. A vinyl (yes vinyl, not MP3 thank f**k) is sent to her workplace with no information other than it’s for her to check out. After some taunts and jokes from her workmates she takes the record home to give it a spin. After some drinks and late night listening we begin a dark and twisted journey. It’s a crazy ride with abstract visions, uncomfortable locations and even weirder people. That’s about as far as I’m willing to go with story though, as part of the fun is seeing how out of the norm this film really can be, particularly compared to say Rob’s Halloween remakes.

It’s amazing how simple the skewed angle of a shot or the uncomfortable droning of the soundtrack can affect you when you’re not being force fed queues like ‘Jump scare here’ or ‘must kill this person’. It’s refreshing to see a Director move from the completely violent to the abstractly barren. Honestly a lot of the discomfort comes from how long, Rob and cinematographer Brandon Trost (the dude shot Crank, The FP, MacGruber need I say more), choose to hold a shot and when to finally make that decisive cut call. John 5 also provides a score that is more than a little unsettling and gives that extra discomfort that a tale such as Lords requires. That said the sound design in this film is impeccable and really helps add that weight of dread to many scenes.

Rob Zombie has suffered from a mixed bag over the last decade while trying to break from his musical trappings into the world of cinema. Many find his films too odd, or confronting to be seen as a commercial let alone watchable film style. His new one will be no different, as he yet again makes some changes to his formula and just lets the ball roll. Now before you go into the film remember this… it’s not a ten million dollar horror film, this doesn’t have earth shattering scares or effects, but it does have atmosphere in spades and a rather old school appearance. This is a creature of nostalgia as much as it is a tribute. Every frame glows with a sense that Rob’s appreciation for all things John Carpenter (In the Mouth of Madness comes to mind) and Stephen King (specifically The Shining) is the centre piece of this film.

– Col B