Technology is a Sacrifice
\\ Coresect : History : Film Making (Reverse order)
Here follows all items in this section, in chronological order.

Film progress

By admin (when...  07/05/2009 @ 11:25:46, Where Film Making, linked 901 times)
Well, I had some problems getting film from the camera onto a nice and easy DVD (not everyone likes watching films on a computer you see). Windows Movie Maker wouldn't let me import the mpeg2 format that my camera produces, leaving me the only option of converting the film into AVI and then importing it. Unfortunately the rendered film out the other end was of dreadful quality. Back to the drawing board. I looked at the video editing programmes available and at the computing power I have available. It made sense (or so I thought) to take a look at Sony's Vegas, the reasoning being that it would guarantee better compatibility with the camera. Unfortunately that wasn't to be, but I'll get to that later. First of all I also had to download some windoze components for the programme to work, but once I got those (a relatively painless process too) the programme (Platinum edition) worked, as such... Sadly it didn't work to well, as there was no audio on the films I put in it. Strange, films from a Sony camera don't work in a Sony video editing programme. I searched through all the options, settings and having no success I turned to some forums where I discovered that Vegas had a bug (affecting the very format Sony uses for its cams, talk about not finding your own arse in the dark...) so I downloaded an update and now it all works nicely. Now I need to figure how to get reasonable quality on the web, and then I'll put some things up I've been working on.


By admin (when...  18/07/2009 @ 20:06:44, Where Film Making, linked 1172 times)

Steadycam - Mark I

By admin (when...  05/08/2009 @ 21:45:32, Where Film Making, linked 26707 times)

This is the first attempt at a DIY steadycam, or camera stabiliser. It's rudimentary, but does the job pretty good for a first try. Two mini tripods were used in the making of, but I have a ball bearing and a few universal joints arriving so it should get a little better.

Tomorrow I'll put some footage shot with the steadycam. Click on the picture for a bigger version.

Depth of Field Adapters

By admin (when...  06/08/2009 @ 10:45:46, Where Film Making, linked 1153 times)
One of modern-day camcorders' little let downs is the problem of relatively large depth of field. Put basically, it means that more often than not, everything in shot is in focus, or as near as dammit as to be negligible. If you want to focus on just one thing in shot, with everything else blurred to hell, well you will have to work hard to make the aperture wide as possible, with varying results. Now, if you can put on 35 mm lenses (for example those for still cameras) then suddenly you have minute depth of field, with very nice results that at times can loom reminiscent of good old film. As someone who shot 8mm film many years ago this is something very interesting indeed.

What these adapters actually do is use a 35mm lens to focus an image on a miniature screen, and then your camcorder films that, Problems you'll have are 1: the image is upside down unless you get a prism in there somehow, 2: the image is darker than normal, and 3: minute imperfections on the screen are as clear as day on your footage. This last problem can be avoided by either keeping the screen spotless, or making it either revolve or vibrate, meaning the camera no longer sees the hairs and dust. The latter does make the whole adapter really complicated and unwieldy though.

So, your options are to buy a ready made unit, or make your own, and as always the internet has many ideas on how to go DIY.

This one is pretty simple, and does the job, albeit with the inherent limitations of its design.

For an idea of what you can hope to get at the end, here's a few starters, but a quick search for DOF adapter on Youtube or Vimeo will open up new worlds.


Steadycam Test 01

By admin (when...  06/08/2009 @ 12:17:07, Where Film Making, linked 833 times)

DOF adapter

By admin (when...  31/08/2009 @ 00:28:42, Where Film Making, linked 18362 times)

35mm adapter test 01 from Paul Toohill on Vimeo.

So I finally made my spinning 35mm DOF adapter. Tomorrow I'll put photos of the beast itself, but for now, here's a few quick shots. Well, I made it myself so I'm quite impressed.

DOF adapter 01

By admin (when...  31/08/2009 @ 16:00:54, Where Film Making, linked 5373 times)

And there she is, my very first 35mm Depth of Field Adapter, and it's a spinner.
Basically the ugly grey metal box houses an old CD motor, holding a blank, opaque-transparent CD. The 35mm still camera lens on the front projects the image onto the spinning CD, and the video camera (with macro lens) focuses on the image, but not the blemishes on the CD as it's spinning too fast.

Why? To reduce depth of field (how much of the image is in focus).

Take a look at this film I made, which shows some footage without and with the adapter:

Once you've seen that I think you get the idea as to why the adapter is a nice accessory to add to ones arsenal.

Here are some more pictures of the "beast".

Now I have to block off all the holes to stop light getting in the sides.

So how much did it cost? Uhm, Nothing... The box is an old PC power supply case, the plastic rails were leftovers from Ikea, The lens mount is off an old camera which I no longer use. The CD motor was lying around after I broke my portable CD player about 10 years ago (I throw nothing away). The macro lens is half of a combo macro wide angle I already had, and isn't fastened to the beast. The lens I had already, it's a M42 mount. I had the option of using my Minolta lenses, but they don't have aperture dials.

Next I want to make a frame so I can mount the video camera on my medium format still camera body (guess who has a medium format fisheye...), and I'm going to try and make a really small adapter for my M39 Leica thread lenses.

Watch this space.

Moscow Slow Motion

By admin (when...  23/09/2009 @ 10:39:29, Where Film Making, linked 3518 times)

Slow Moscow from Andrey Stvolinsky on Vimeo.

Lovely slow motion footage of Moscow streets shot by by Andrey Stvolinsky, with music by the Kilimanjaro Darkjazz Ensemble . Simple idea, but highly effective, don't you think?

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