Magical Glass: Part 5, ARRI

Thu, 10/09/2014 - 13:06 -- Nick Dager

Even by itself a professional motion picture lens feels magical. Each one represents the painstaking work of many dedicated people who put their hearts and souls into the creation of a precision blend of metal and other materials encasing carefully polished glass. For nearly a century, ARRI has been putting quality tools into the hands of filmmakers, including cameras, lights and lenses. The company proudly claims to bet the largest manufacturer of motion picture equipment in the world. And the case can be made – with its groundbreaking ALEXA and other cameras – that no legacy film company has made the transition to the digital era better than ARRI.


Cinematographer Thomas Rist Gears Up

Thu, 08/28/2014 - 11:23 -- Nick Dager

When cinematographer Thomas Rist, geared up to shoot an in-store promotional video for shoe maker London Kate’s Get High on Heels campaign, he used the opportunity to try out the new Schneider-Kreuznach Xenon FF-Prime lenses. The dynamic music video-style promo featured renowned choreographer Ferly Prado performing dance moves on a downtown L.A. rooftop and in the L.A. River Basin.

Magical Glass: Part 2, Canon

Thu, 08/14/2014 - 11:23 -- Nick Dager

Canon was already no stranger to the international filmmaking community when in November 2011 the company hosted a major event at Paramount Studios in Hollywood. Fujio Mitarai, who is chairman and CEO of all of Canon, flew from Tokyo specifically for the event to demonstrate that, in his words, “Canon hoped to be welcomed by the Hollywood filmmaking community and to work together to greatly expand the boundaries of digital cinema.” The history of Canon’s involvement in professional motion picture production is widely known but worth repeating here. In 2007 the company introduced the Canon EOS 1D Mark lll. The camera was designed for the high-end professional still photography market. Sometime during its development the engineers felt that adding the capability of shooting high definition motion pictures would add to its appeal. One Canon executive told me that at that time they were envisioning the camera being used for applications such as wedding videos. But cinematographers discovered the camera and it was suddenly being used for some often un-credited shots in major Hollywood films. Then, in 2008, it was used extensively to shoot the Mumbai scenes in Slumdog Millionaire. The movie won the Academy Award for Best Picture and Anthony Dod Mantle captured the Oscar for Best Cinematography.

Magical Glass: Part 1, Schneider-Kreuznach

Tue, 07/29/2014 - 11:10 -- Nick Dager

A lens by itself is rarely magical. Yes, it represents the painstaking work of many dedicated people who put their hearts and souls into the creation of a precision blend of metal and other materials encasing carefully polished glass. But by itself it is simply a tool. What makes any lens truly special is how and why a filmmaker chooses it for a particular shoot and how they use it. Put a great lens into the hands of a talented cinematographer with a trained eye and magic can happen.

Drug Trafficking’s Human Toll

Tue, 07/22/2014 - 11:37 -- Nick Dager

Equatorial heat and humidity, sporadic electrical service, and a modest budget were just a few of the challenges that director Josef Wladyka and writer/DP Alan Blanco faced while filming their feature Manos Sucias (Dirty Hands) among the impoverished fishing villages of Colombia’s Pacific coast. Filmed completely on location, Manos Sucias is a drama depicting the perils of two fishermen coerced into towing an underwater narco-torpedo up the Pacific coast of Colombia. They also filmed in the jungle and aboard small boats in rough seas, all while needing to keep a low profile in a dangerous region

Sweatpants Media Captures Classic Look for Viceroy Hotel Group

Tue, 07/22/2014 - 11:16 -- Nick Dager

When Sweatpants Media was contracted by the Viceroy Hotel Group to feature their newest location, the Viceroy New York in Manhattan they knew that the piece would need to communicate a high-end, high fashion feel. “The client’s expectations were, as always, high. Every shot needed to look like it was pulled from a fashion magazine,” explains Jonny Zeller, Sweatpants co-founder.

The Short Game Now Available on Netflix and DVD

Thu, 06/12/2014 - 15:02 -- Nick Dager

Director Josh Greenbaum’s acclaimed feature documentary The Short Game is now available on Netflix and DVD. The movies profiles eight talented and engaging young competitors at The World Championships of Junior Golf, in Pinehurst, North Carolina, and at their homes in various countries around the world (South Africa, the Philippines, France, China, the United Kingdom and the United States). Filming with the help of 18 Cinema EOS C300 cameras and a variety of lenses from Canon. The Short Game included everything from traditional documentary-style visits to the homes of the eight young golfers for character-based footage, to extensive tournament coverage.


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