Cinematography Mailing List - CML

Need A Framing Chart

Well here's an annoying situation: I have a spot to shoot tomorrow that will be letterboxed, and my Mako's super chart is buried somewhere in my storage garage, not reachable without risking an avalanche of unused house wear that might prove fatal.

Does anyone have a pdf that I could print? Searches of the web have proved unsuccessful, except for other framing charts that I don't have time to buy and get shipped here. I really want to have something of a framing chart shot so I don't look dumb in the transfer Monday.


Christopher B. Seivard

Hi Christopher,

I always draw a custom framing chart for each job. I have the assistant put the camera 2-3 feet from the wall and put a 50mm lens on, and shine a bright flashlight through the eyepiece.

This projects your ground glass on the wall, and I draw it with a pencil or pen onto a white piece of copier paper that I tape there. A ruler helps with this. I then light it and photograph it. It's a perfect representation of your ground glass, and it takes about 5 minutes.

I also label the film can with the chart in it "Roll #0", and instruct the lab to assemble it first on the telecine rolls.

Graham Futerfas
Los Angeles DP

> Mako's super chart is buried somewhere in my storage garage..

Do what I did before the ready-made framing charts; Put on a 50mm lens and clamp a chunk of foam-core or show card in a c-stand about 8 ft. from the camera. Make sure the camera is level and the film plane and card are parallel. Use the video tap image and make marks on the card where the ground glass corners are. Then just connect the dots to make a framing chart you can photograph and Robert is your father's brother. Usually takes about 5 minutes.

Make sure to write on the chart what it is. ("1.78:1 Super-35 TV-Transmission" etc, etc.)

Rod Williams
Motion Picture and HD First Camera Assistant
Petaluma, California

Thanks for all the charts! I am set now.

Just to clarify; this is an add on to another shoot and the camera has a TV safe ground glass. I planned to shoot a chart, and mask the Monitors so we know what is in and what is out. Then, just rely on my superior operating skills - and check playback - to be certain we stay in the 'box.

Knowing my Mako chart is buried makes me crazy. Just one of the little joys of moving to a new house.

Thanks again,

Christopher B. Seivard

> ..and the camera has a TV safe ground glass.

Ah, of course. You might try to download the PDF file of Arriflex ground glass illustrations from the Arri website. They'll print out rather small at 8 1/2 X 11 but you could use one of them in a pinch. I think I had to do that once in a similar situation. Go to ~ /Products / Downloads / Cameras & Accessories / Technical Information.

Rod Williams
Motion Picture and HD First Camera Assistant
Petaluma, California

CSC/ARRI has some framing charts to download.

You’ll find them here :

Philipp Chudalla
2nd AC / Materialassistent

Munich, Germany.

And so you're ready next time, EVERYONE should visit our own Anders Uhl's The DoP Shop, where they can buy Anders interpretation of my Super Framing Chart! :-)

Mako Koiwai, Makofoto Aligning in Glendale, CA

WOW!!! Talk about inspiration! One addition - use a SureFire flashlight - they're incredibly bright

Hal Smith
Edmond, OK

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