Monday, October 25, 2010

Simple Glidetrack HDSLR setup for flyover shots

Filmmaker Dan McComb has developed a Glidetrack system to create simple flyover shots.

For more info, check out Dan's Blog.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Review: Philip Bloom Signature Series Pocket Dolly

So I was lucky enough to get a hold of the new Philip Bloom Signature Series Pocket Dolly, and have to say I'm very impressed.  I bought the 3' model, mounted it to my 504HD fluid head, and went on a slider mission.  While being ridiculously lightweight, it is still an extremely well-made piece of alloy metal (7 lbs).  I found the sliding action to be very smooth back and forth, and it even works really well as a vertical dolly.  I used a Manfrotto 496RC2 ball head mounted to the included flat mount adapter.  This gave me a quick way to mount the horizontal slider moves, as well as the vertical stuff.

< In vertical dolly mode

 < Vertical dolly shot

It will also work with the Kessler Elektra drive and Oracle systems, so you can motorize your real time moves and time lapses.  The drag control can give you the variable friction you need, while also locking down the head to keep it from moving.  The crank is handy, but I found it to be too jerky (it's better used with a motor).  I'd rather just push the head with my fingertip for smoother control.  Since everything is stainless steel ball bearings these days, the Kessler design delivers crazy smooth & silent moves.  I don't mind the belt drive, but I'm worried that the rubber material could break over time (time will tell).

< Mounting the Pocket Dolly to the 504HD fluid head mounting plate with a 3/8" bolt.

I will admit that the slider was a bit too heavy for my Manfrotto 504HD head.  So once I mounted the slider directly to the tripod, I had better horizontal results.  If you're planning vertical dolly shots, or even more advanced jib-type shots, you will need a fluid head that can handle the 7 pound slider.

The slider comes with a pair of outrigger feet for ground shots, and a nice carrying bag.  But, I really wished the shoulder bag had a hand strap (Meh...knitpicking).

Overall, Philip Bloom put his name on this slider for a reason: it screams quality and functionality.  It could be my favorite new toy, and I can't wait to shoot more video with it.

If you want to add higher production values to your simple shots, you should purchase the Philip Bloom Signature Series Pocket Dolly.  You'll never second guess this well-made dolly slider ($1095).

Friday, October 8, 2010

Ted Hope talks Nirvana, grass roots, and DIY distribution of indie films

Uber-Indie Producer, TED HOPE, discusses how grass roots distribution and audience seeding is the wave of the future, while hoping to have your film picked up at festivals such as Sundance is a thing of the past.

Producer/Editor: Chris Stetson
Videographer: Horst Dieter Baum
From: Double Hope Films

View Part 1 HERE
View Part 2 HERE
View Part 3 HERE
View Part 4 HERE

Double Hope Films Facebook page

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

IRONMAN 2 Uses 5DMKII For Action Sequences

< 5DMKII providing crash cam footage on IRON MAN 2.

Read the complete article here.

I met DP Matty Libatique (REQUIEM FOR A DREAM, IRON MAN, BLACK SWAN) back in the Nodance Film Festival years.  He sat on my storytelling panel with Forest Whitaker and Mike Figgis.  He's a really low-key, and extremely talented dude.  Great on a snowboard.

< Matty Libatique @ Nodance

My AC friend, Kevin Potter, was operating on IRON MAN 2, and recommended the 5DMKII to me as a solution to what I was looking for in a still/video camera.  Little did I know at the time, this was the opening salvo in the HDSLR revolution.