24th September 2004
I'm planning a 35mm anamorphic shoot, and there seem to be a ton of questions.
Here are just a few, and I would be grateful for any advice :
1/. Using a BL3, can I shoot using a silent gate, or do I specifically need the anamorphic gate. As I understand it, the silent gate has the full anamorphic height, but more width. Would this extra width be eliminated in the production of a print, or would the removal cause complications or extra cost?
2/. My second unit camera is a Russian Konvas. It has an anamorphic gate, but I am not utterly confident that it is positioned correctly vertically. It will clearly need testing. Can anyone tell me what the tolerance is? I imagine that with such a small area between frames, and with very little space between camera area and projected area, the tolerance would be very small, but does anyone have any figures?
3/. Anamorphic viewfinders for the BL3 seem very hard to come by. I was intending to shoot with the image squeezed in the viewfinder. Has anyone had any experience of this? I imagine it will be possible, but just take a little more care in framing.
It's not unusual for a camera to have a Full Aperture gate -- the question is whether the lens is optically centred for Full Aperture (Silent) or for the Sound Apertures (Academy / 1.85 / anamorphic). With anamorphic photography, just like with Academy and 1.85, the lens should be centred for the projected area and not Full Aperture because the print will have one edge of the Full Aperture covered up by the optical soundtrack. Anamorphic photography is contact printed just like 1.85 photography.
>2/. My second unit camera is a Russian Konvas. It has an anamorphic >gate, but I am not utterly confident that it is positioned correctly >vertically.
How could it when the anamorphic gate is almost Full Aperture vertically?
As for the lack of a de-anamorphizer for the viewfinder, I once shot an anamorphic short film this way and got used to it. At least it's a bigger image, easier to judge focus. I can't imagine shooting a whole feature that way unless I had a video assist that correctly unsqueezed the image so I could double-check my compositions now & then.
Cinematographer / L.A.
Paul Spurrier wrote :
>intending to shoot with the image squeezed in the viewfinder. Has >anyone had any experience of this? I imagine it will be possible, but >just take a little more care in framing.
Sure it's possible.
There are some operators who prefer to operate with the squeezed image to prevent "ping pong-ing", ie. having to scan to the frame edges. Easier to keep an eye on all of the action in a compressed frame.
Ping pong-ing can lead to googly eyes which is a very serious condition.
ICG, New York
I've shot a lot of VFX elements in 'scope with standard eyepieces, and one thing that drives me nuts about it (especially with Fries cameras where you have to struggle to see the whole frame at the best of times) is that when I am trimming in green screen masking, flags, etc, the squeezed image fakes me out - if I am trimming something vertical I can call out the distance in feet, but when it is an east-west adjustment it is hard to judge because of the squeeze. Likewise, movement looks funny because it is only compressed in one direction - I have to resort to the videotape to confirm that what I saw will look right when it gets to editorial.
None of this is "deal-breaking", it just adds to the list of things to confirm before moving on. I don't know if I would trust myself to shoot a whole movie without an unsqueezable eyepiece.
If perception is reality, I am a lot thinner when viewed squeezed...as long
as I am standing up
Mark H. Weingartner wrote:
>If perception is reality, I am a lot thinner when viewed squeezed...as >long as I am standing up
One of the early Cinemascope promo pictures was of a squeezed Marilyn Monroe -- the one I saw, in Pop Photo circa 1953, was titled "Narrowin' Marilyn."