Tag Archives: sony

Introducing…the camera!

(Blog from Dave Armstrong, Director)

“Ok. So I thought I would get one of these finished daily. of course I didn’t count on quite as much excitement around the Eos.
The damn thing is even better than chocolate  (and if you know Dave Armstrong, you know that’s a very rare thing for him to say! -Ed)

Alright, apart from cooing over our chosen camera, there were a couple of other things to sort for the film (not to mention recording six new tracks in the studio, taking several meetings, and getting gooey over Stu & Andrea’s  baby Lexi- Mr EOS came in very handy getting some really lovely pics of Lexi too).

The camera is a work of art and, bless their little Canon socks, they only threw the video capability in as an aside.

Donna - a still from video

Donna - a still from video

We have worked on a few test shots now (you can see lots more on our flickr feed) and the amazing thing is, you don’t seem to need any light at all to make the thing work!  The low light capability of the Eos is amazing and hopefully will help in our decision making process in the amount of artificial light we need to throw at a scene.

It is also a joy to be working “full frame”again and being able to get our shallow depth of field back is a thrill. After working with broadcast 2/3” cameras for so long, I feel like locking them in a cupboard and throwing away the key (sorry, Sony).

Of course buying the camera wasn’t enough. We have three lenses now, too – 2 zooms and a lovely 50mm 1.4. Forgotten how nice it is to shoot with just a 50mm. And a kind soul from fab local indie label Ballagroove Records has offered to lend us a couple of additional lenses too. Think we’ll take them up on the offer.

But the camera and lenses are actually the cheaper part-the support system and monitor are now on their way.

Zacuto Sniper

The ultra sexy Zacuto Sniper

We have gone for the Zacuto Sniper. I had looked at cheaper options, but we need something that just works and will last the course. Unfortunately, still cameras are not ergonomically designed for hand-held video work. You just cant keep them from the wrong type of shake, so a support it is. And a follow focus. Glad we got John Craine on-board.he is doubling as our focus puller. Without a follow focus we would struggle.. Oh, and the z-finder that attaches to the back of the canon viewfinder. Then there is a Marshal monitor and a mounting kit for the monitor.

ENOUGH about the toys. We also have a story to tell. Thats what its all about really. All of these tools are just there for one thing:to help tell that story. We sat for a read through last night with a few of the crew and it really help clarify a lot in my mind, as well as remind me that this film-making lark is quite a challenge.

Great crew, though. looking forward to working with them.  Lots to do, lots to plan. Just a week til rehearsals and still so much to do.

Read through/Production Meeting

Read through/Production Meeting

Keep making a mental note to make mental notes-the list goes on
matte Box
HMI light
Coat stand
clearance for music & trademarks
can we smash a full wine glass?
photos of our “john”before he was blind

need I go on?

Director’s notes…

(A blog from Dave Armstrong, Writer/Director)

“Ok. So its two weeks today til we start shooting Ghostgirl and I hear my first AD barking “Turn Over” for the first time. Slight Jeff Goldblum in the ointment at the moment-we have no camera as yet.

I admit, this could be the turning point in my story. we have cast, crew and a story, but the camera…..?

Well, at DAM towers we do have few cameras. trouble is I dont want to shoot on them. We have a couple of broadcast beasts and a couple of smaller Sony HD miracles of technology, but they lack one thing:a shallow depth of field. Especially the smaller cameras. You have a quarter inch chip that will run for ever on a microwatt of power, but it has almost an infinite depth of field.

And control over depth of field is the key to eternal happiness, as we all know.


Everybody's favourite.. the Red Camera

We were looking at the RED camera, the new kid on the block in the digital film world. We could rent that (and a load of kit and operator) for about five thousand quid for the duration of the shoot.

OR, we (for ‘we’ read ‘MasterCard’) could buy the new kid on the block’s plucky little cousin three times removed. The talk of the town for those of us who are financially challenged but HATE renting gear. Introducing (for those of you in civvy street) the Canon EOS 5D Mark 2. Even George Lucas is excited:


I wont bore you with my drooling, as there is plenty of stuff online about this movie camera masquerading as a still camera.

Couple of issues. A thing called the rolling shutter effect, which can make the world turn to jelly (problem inherent in CMOS sensors-non-anoraks look away now….http://www.dvxuser.com/jason/CMOS-CCD/) and the rig that we are going to have to get to support the camera properly. Thats going to cost over twice the cost of the camera. Oh, and there is the lens issue…..the list goes on.

Canon 5D

Is it a still camera? Is it a video cam?! Both! It's the Canon 5D

I also have a dilemma. Interest free camera from a local supplier (paying £600 more for the kit)? or a trusty internet store who undercut everyone while tempting those of limited financial means?

Decision has to be made right now-I have to move on to other important issues. Like directing a movie. If only I only had room on my head for one hat.”