How much does the Arri Alexa LF really cost? Which cinema camera has a base ISO of 1250? Is the Blackmagic Ursa Mini Pro Netflix-approved?
Whatever your pressing questions regarding camera technology, there’s a good chance the new 2018 Camera Comparison Chart [link to Google Drive document; click the “download” symbol on top right to save a copy] from imaging gurus Thomas Fletcher and Gary Adcock will go some distance toward shedding light on the problem.
The latest edition of the long-running chart series compares specs across a range of 15 digital cinema cameras available for sale and rent — plus 35mm film as a baseline format. The listed data includes imager sizes, base ISOs, available frame rates, dynamic range, resolution, recording options, camera weight and power draw, and more.
Daylight is beautiful, but the natural stuff isn’t very dependable. That’s why all filmmakers should know how to make it themselves.
Relying on the sun, as well as a host of other random factors, to light your interior scenes can leave you with quite a bit of uncertainty, which is why recreating daylight in a studio setting is preferable among many filmmakers. However, capturing this look can be a huge challenge if you don’t know what to look out for and which techniques will give you the best results.
In this video, cinematographer Megan Stacey talks with Aputure’s Ted Sim about how to recreate the natural look of daylight in a studio, including how to nail its unique qualities, including softness, color, and style. Check it out below:
In Mexico City, there are only 45 publicly operated ambulances for a population of nine-million-plus, creating a need filled by private labor.
Luke Lorentzen, whose first feature New York Cutspremiered at IDFA in 2015, embedded himself with one privately operated ambulance run as a family business, tagging along night after night. Operating as his own shooter for Midnight Family, Lorentzen’s sophomore feature is a formally controlled, sympathetically embedded portrait of multiple instances of economic inequity (with car chases!).
Via email, the director/DP spoke to the challenges of operating two cameras as a solo shooter, depending on Mexico City’s existing nighttime light and using only one prime lens.
When DIY production tricks, life hacks and internet memes meet – filmmakers win.
One of the most popular adages in film and art that always seems to come up time and time again is “work smart, not hard.” Never has the advice been any more true than in this recent internet phenomenon featuring a Filipino filmmaker seemingly creating DIY 120 FPS slow-motion on a $500 DSLR camera.
It’s an impressive look into how everyone’s favorite internet meme – the Mannequin Challenge – can be creatively applied to some simple DIY filmmaking shooting and editing tricks to create some pretty spectacular results.
Shot by Youtuber KRIS GIDS on a Nikon D3300 at 60 fps, who writes: “Don’t have camera that capable to capture super slow-motion like 120 fps? Then ask your Friend to slow down their movement or Freeze while you’r shooting and you can get Smooth slow-motion or Time Freeze effect on Post Process.”
Aerial drones have become very common over the last few years and they are being utilised by filmmakers on a daily basis worldwide. When it comes to underwater drones, the market is significantly smaller, but it seems to be growing. Last year we informed you about the Geneinno Titan Underwater Drone. Now there seems to be a (less pricey) competition for the Titan – Navatics MITO is about to start shipping very soon after its Kickstarter campaign last year.
Navatics, the creators of the underwater drone called MITO, made a successful Kickstarter campaign last year already. Their underwater drone got funded and they were able to finish its development. Originally MITO was supposed to ship to backers in September 2018. This schedule got updated however and the shipment has been postponed.
In January 2019 on CES, Navatics officialy announced that their underwater drone MITO is available for pre-order and it is set to ship in March 2019. Let’s take a look at what this device has to offer.
The Monstro is RED’s top of the line sensor, it sees EVERYTHING, it’s physically wider than every other Vistavision format camera on the market and with the highest resolution and widest dynamic range, you cannot hide anything from this sensor.
The RED Monstro tells all.
I needed to know what I was getting myself into with this sensor if I were to use Xeen lenses on it. How much of the sensor would they cover – and how well would they do it? Keep in mind that the XEEN were really originally tailored for Full Frame Stills, which is only 36mm x 24mm, so this this test is pushing the limit. Haha, but that’s what I like to do – push it to the limit! I tend to like to use the XEEN on my gimbal and aerial rigs because, as cinema lenses go, they are feather light. That said, they are very affordable lenses, and honestly that usually means something’s got to give – I just needed to know what and by how much.
Chip charts and meters can only tell you so much about a lens. At the end of the day, you need to get out there and shoot. It’s the best way to truly see how the characteristics of a set of lenses will impact an image, and it’s a hell of a lot of fun.
Almost exactly a year ago we took a brief look at the motivations for Soderbergh’s current “shot on iPhone” trajectory, and some of the first stills from “Unsane” (his first project to be shot with iPhones), a psychological thriller starring Claire Foy, Joshua Leonard, Jay Pharoah, Juno Temple, Aimee Mullins, and Amy Irving.
Now he’s behind the iPhone again with “High Flying Bird”, an NBA drama starring Andre Hollandand written by Oscar-winner Tarell Alvin McCraney, who co-wrote “Moonlight” with Barry Jenkins. The supporting cast includes Zazie Beetz, Zachary Quinto, Kyle MacLachlan, Bill Duke, Sonja Sohn, and Caleb McLaughlin.
These specially made prisms allow you to capture stunning in-camera effects 100% hands-free.
After providing the filmmaking community with tons of excellent guidance on launching music video careers, editing music videos, and writing better treatments for projects, filmmaker Jakob Owens of The Buff Nerds has something new and awesome to offer those who want to give their images a little more style and flair.
Owens has officially unveiled his new company, PrismLensFX, which has come out with two specially made prisms that will not only do what prisms do best (create sweet in-camera color and light effects) but also do so without the need of your hands holding it in front of your lens.
It’s difficult for anyone to find fresh, new ways to make their work stand out, especially those who work in the kinetically kaleidoscopic medium of music videos. Many filmmakers get creative and shoot through prisms to capture interesting flares and color effects, but until now, you always had to hold the thing out in front of your lens, which is certainly not the most ideal shooting situation in the world.
Think about this for a moment, when is the last time you saw a film on a screen that was wider than 16:9?
Typically cinema screens have become a default 16:9 aspect ratio and they are only matted or masked to show a 21:9 film. In fact most of them don’t even bother with matting or masking they just allow the natural darkness of the top and bottom bars to fall onto the screen. Gone are the days when you truly knew that a special film was about to start when the curtains slowly pulled back to reveal a wonderful widescreen aspect ratio from the original smaller 16:9 cinema screen. I remember those times fondly in Screen 1of my local Odeon. Yes, it was a long time ago and yes I’m as guilty as most of eulogising over the past but I think we have really lost something here.
There was a true sense of occasion when this happened, the lights dimmed and combined with the associated hush of the audience and the striking up of the soundtrack led to a really special presentation, something that you really cannot get at home, unless you happen to live in a cinema.
Then when you consider home viewing of movies I would estimate that less than 1% of the population are actually watching a 21:9 film on a scope screen that is any wider than 16:9. these people are the true home cinema devotees with active masking on their projection screens or maybe even owners of the long discontinued 21:9 TVs by Phillips.
In the earlier part of the 21st-century it launched a TV that was brave by being different at the time but lots of people did not buy into that and they disappeared fairly quickly from the market. A big problem here was price and the fact that this was a 2560 x 1080 screen so picture information from the 21:9 movie on Blu-ray was being interpolated in both directions to display fullscreen on this panel. In this day and age, is not a problem but back then upscaling was not what it is today.
21:9 monitors such as this one from LG are available, but resolution and size is limited
Ok, yes there are widescreen PC monitors available but they really don’t work as displays for relaxed viewing, their resolution tops out at 3840 x 1600 and their size, once considered large enough for a TV, is limited to around 38”. Their price is more than even the smallest UHD TV and yet what you are paying for, from the point of view of using it for home cinema viewing, seems to be less height.
Now originally I was going to talk about anamorphic projection and it’s relevancy in the home but this is such a complicated subject that I think it deserves a piece all of it’s own, so keep an eye out for that one. I will add that several years ago I saw a film transmitted on a UK channel where the 21:9 image was transmitted anamorphically to fill a 16:9 raster, odd but there was a certain charm to this although I’m happy to say it was an isolated occurrence.
What has started to happen in the theatre and at home is the expansion of the 21:9 aspect vertically for films that are originated at least partially in the IMAX format. So widescreen films have become tall screen films at least in certain scenes. This can add a great deal to the spectacle, however some of these films are not shot on film but instead originated digitally in the IMAX digital format, which I think still suffers a bit when you compare it to the 65 mm original film format, and this is coming from a digital devotee.
If hardly any of us are watching widescreen films in the way they were meant to be watched then what is the point of shooting in this aspect ratio? Don’t get me wrong I love widescreen films and I don’t have any issue with artistic intent here. There is an artistry and a beauty to a 21:9 presentation but if it ends up not being viewed in the way it was intended then what’s the point? Widescreen films were meant to be viewed wide, hence the name, the bonus of a different aspect ratio and the ability to compose the frame differently came along as part of the package.
I don’t want the format to die off, I want more spectacle in the cinema not less. However if we’re only ever seeing it as a part of a 16:9 screen then how long is it until some studio bean counters decide that they are not paying for films with black bars.
In the latest offering from MasterClass, Jodie Foster will share her unique actor/director perspective with filmmakers.
Director Jodie Foster is the latest filmmaker to join the illustrious MasterClass roster, which also drafted the likes of Martin Scorsese, Spike Lee, and Werner Herzog, to offer her rare insight into the craft as both an actor and director.
The two-time Oscar winner, who has helmed the films Money Monster (2016), The Beaver (2011), as well as episodes of Black Mirror, Orange is the New Black, and House of Cards, will teach you in her first-ever online class how to take your ideas from script to screen, including lessons on screenwriting, directing actors, editing, and selecting the right music for your film.
For years, MasterClass has provided users with a unique chance to learn from some of the greatest minds in their respective discipline, whether it be cooking, chess, or even wine appreciation. Users are given access to hours of video instruction, a class workbook, and interactive assignments.
Learn five editing tricks you can apply in your workflow while you get a chance to win an editing bundle.
A year ago, I published my first video tutorial about using labels in Premiere Pro. Since then, I’ve decided to share my editing techniques with others and it’s been hard to believe that it’s been a year since that first video.
To celebrate this anniversary, I asked a few companies to contribute to the giveaway for my audience. The result is a prize giveaway.
In the following video, I talk about more details about the giveaway and I give five editing tips and tricks that I think will be very valuable to most video editors. If you’ve been using some of them already, let us know in the comments.
I’ll show them on Premiere Pro because that’s the editing tool of my choice, but I think you can apply these tips (to some extent) to all editing platforms out there. Without further ado, let’s do it!
Interested in monitors? Check out this video breakdown comparing the SmallHD Focus Monitor side-by-side with the Feelworld F5 Monitor.
Looks like the professional grade camera-top monitor competition is heating up! In this video review by Chadwin Smith, we get a side-by-side comparison of how the popular SmallHD Focus stacks up against the Feelworld F5 in a 5” monitor showdown.
SmallHD Focus vs. Feelworld F5
It’s important to note that in reviews like these, both products should always be judged based on your video and filmmaking needs and budget. While the Feelworld stands out as the more affordable and perhaps more practical option, the SmallHD certainly offers more software functionality.
If you’re interested, here are the tech and price breakdowns for each monitor. Specs which stand out or are unique to each monitor are bolded for comparison.
Want to turn your super crisp digital footage into grainy, nostalgic 8mm footage?
There’s something about movies shot on an 8mm camera that makes you get all misty and nostalgic, right? This look has always had a following, but lately, it has come back in style among videographers, social media influencers, and even filmmakers. (American Honey, A Ghost Story, and First Reformed were all shot with the same 1.33.1 aspect ratio as typical 8mm film.)
So, whether you want to infuse your next project with a little bit of a vintage feel or if you’re just dinking around for fun because Super 8 films are awesome, filmmaker Peter McKinnon has a few tips and tricks that will help you make it as authentic-looking as possible in Adobe Premiere Pro despite shooting with a high-tech digital camera. And I’m not just talking about throwing on an 8mm film grain overlay and adding a sweet vintage LUT. Check out his tutorial below:
With full sensor downsampling and snappy autofocus, this new camera from Sony is pitched at videomakers with small budgets
Sony is on a roll. It’s sensors are used everywhere from smartphones to its own flagship Venice camera. Behind the scenes, the Japamese company has been developing AI-based object recognition. It’s almost as if it would strugge not to keep releasing really good cameras. Not that this is easy. It’s just that Sony is in a good place right now with still and video imaging.
The newly-announced is an APS-C camera that can shoot 4K downscaled from a full 24.2 megapixel sensor.
Here are the highlights:
World’s Fastest (0.02 seconds) AF acquisition speed plus 425 phase-detection and contrast-detection AF points covering approximately 84% of image area
180-degree fully tiltable LCD touch screen for self-recording
High-speed continuous shooting at up to 11 fps, mechanical shutter / 8 fps silent shooting with continuous AF/AE tracking
High-resolution 4K movie recording with full pixel readout and no pixel binning, plus advanced AF speed and stability
Interval recording for time-lapse videos
Despite the smaller size of the camera, it has inherited quite a few talents from its bigger siblings, including extremely fast autofocus, based on 425 Phase Detection and Contrast Detection points across the sensor.
On a practical note, there’s a 180 degree fully tiltable LCD touchscreen that’s ideal for self-operating videomakers. There’s no secret that this camera is being pitched at the new generation of video bloggers, who care about quality but are extremely conscious in their productions.
There’s a new generation of Bionz X Image Processing Engine that handles the downsampling and all other image-processing functions. Image processing is right at the core of modern cameras. In smartphones, it makes up for inadequate (although still quite remarkable for their size) lenses. In cameras like this, it makes a good camera even better.
It looks like it’s going to be a capable still camera. Lenses are E-Mount, and there’s very rapid autofocus and auto tracking, which makes use of the camera’s built-in AI. You should always be wary about products that claim to have AI, and it’s getting to be repetitive, but in Sony’s case, they have a good story to tell. I remember more than ten years ago seeing prototypes of software at Sony’s Basingstoke (Near London, England) headquarters that could recognise objects like a fish, a bicycle or a table. Today’s software, probably thousands of times more powerful, is probably descended from this.
It’s the ability of the camera to “know” what it’s looking at that allows it to track objects accurately.
Here’s what Sony says about it:
“The introduces an advanced ‘Real-time Eye AF’, the latest version of Sony’s acclaimed Eye AF technology. This exciting new capability employs artificial intelligence-based object recognition to detect and process eye data in real time, resulting in improved accuracy, speed and tracking performance of Eye AF. In all autofocus modes, the camera now automatically detects the eyes of the subject and activates Eye AF with a half press of the shutter button, and when in AF-C or AF-A mode, the preferred eye (left or right) of your subject can be selected as the focus point. Choices include Auto / Right Eye / Left Eye, and a Switch Right / Left Eye function can be assigned to a custom function as well. This exciting new technology completely frees the photographer to focus solely on composition with full trust that focus will be tack sharp on the subject’s eye. Eye AF support for animals[vii] will be added in Summer 2019 via a system software update, ideal for wildlife photographers.”
Video recording is 4K (UHD) and we think it’s max 30FPS (it’s not clear from Sony’s information whether there are any higher rates but HD is up to 120 fps, which would equal the data rate of 4K at 30 fps, so this seems consistent).
The camera includes an HLG mode for “instant HDR”. The idea is that you can play your footage and see credible HDR on a suitable TV without any post processing. If you want to delve deeper into post, S-Log2 and S-log3 are supported.
There is a headphone output. It’s not clear what the audio input options are but we suspect it’s via the smart-shoe, which would support the normal range of Sony microphone options.
This looks like an extremely interesting and capable camera. It’s fascinating to see that Sony is explicitly aiming this at video bloggers. This is an already huge and growing category of users that need a small, inexpensive but high quality camera like this. We have quite a few unanswered questions, which we can answer as soon as we get a review unit.
Price (in UK£) is £950 for the body only. It will be available as a kit for £1,000 with the SELF1650 lens and for £1,300 with the SEL 18135 lens. Shipping is in Febuary.
Check out all of the announced films and features for SXSW 2019!
It’s that time of the year again! Film festival season 2019 is about to be in full swing. With Sundance just around the corner, SXSW is also finishing up its premiere slate with some pretty impressive names and features.
In its 26th iteration, let’s take a look at some of the highlights from the 102 features and episodics so far announced. Including some big names like Jordan Peele, Olivia Wilde and Jessica Brillhart, as well as the 2019 Narrative Feature and Documentary Feature competitions and spotlights.
Director/Screenwriter: Josephine Mackerras
She did everything right until it all went wrong. Cast: Emilie Piponnier, Martin Swabey, Chloe Boreham (World Premiere)
Extra Ordinary (Belgium, Ireland)
Directors/Screenwriters: Mike Ahern, Enda Loughman
Rose, a mostly sweet and mostly lonely small-town driving instructor, must use her supernatural talent to save the daughter of Martin (also mostly sweet and lonely), from a washed-up rockstar who is using her in a satanic pact that will reignite his fame. Cast: Maeve Higgins, Barry Ward, Will Forte, Claudia Doherty (World Premiere)
Go Back to China (China, U.S.)
Director/Screenwriter: Emily Ting
After spoiled rich girl Sasha Li (Anna Akana) blows through half of her trust fund, she is cut off by her father (Richard Ng) and forced to go back to China and work for the family toy business. Cast: Anna Akana, Richard Ng, Lynn Chen, Kelly Hu, Kendy Cheung, Aviva Wang (World Premiere)
Mickey and the Bear
Director/Screenwriter: Annabelle Attanasio
Faced with the responsibility to take care of her addict, veteran father, headstrong teen Mickey Peck keeps her household afloat. When she has the opportunity to leave for good, she must choose between familial obligation and personal fulfillment. Cast: Camila Morrone, James Badge Dale, Calvin Demba, Ben Rosenfield, Rebecca Henderson (World Premiere)
Ms. White Light
Director/Screenwriter: Paul Shoulberg
Lex Cordova’s business is dying. She has a unique ability to connect with her clients that are terminally ill. It’s just everyone else that she has a problem with. Valerie is a no bullshit woman who loves living her life. Her only way out is thru Lex. Cast: Roberta Colindrez, John Ortiz, Judith Light, Carson Meyer, Zachary Spicer (World Premiere)
Directors: Sam Probst, Colby Holt, Screenwriter: Colby Holt
Jodie, a woman in her mid-thirties, struggles with the pressure to find a partner and have children. When she attends a Guns N’ Roses concert, she thinks she may have met a potential match — until he immediately ghosts on her. Cast: Anna T Schlegel, Tony Jaksha, Pete Zias, Michael Henry, Nate Stoner, Maxwell Esposito, Amanda DeSimone, Alex Myerchin, Andrew Kudla(World Premiere)
Director: Keola Racela, Screenwriters: Matt Black, Laurence Vannicelli
When a group of naive teens working at a movie theater in a small Christian town discover a mysterious film hidden in its basement, they unleash an alluring succubus who gives them a sex education…written in blood. Cast: Evan Daves, Larry Saperstein, Jillian Mueller, Glenn Stott, Robert Tann, Bill Phillips, Katelyn Pearce, Peter Reznikoff (World Premiere)
Director: Alex Thompson, Screenwriter: Kelly O’Sullivan
At the start of the summer, Bridget has an abortion just as she lands a much-needed job in affluent Evanston, Illinois — nannying a six-year old. Cast: Ramona Edith-Williams, Kelly O’Sullivan, Lily Mojekwu, Charin Alvarez, Jim True-Frost, Max Lipchitz, Mary Beth Fisher, Francis Guinan, Bradley Grant Smith (World Premiere)
Director/Screenwriter: Hilary Brougher
When her teenagers head off to camp and her husband abruptly leaves her to begin a new family, Lila is left to her own curious and chaotic devices for a summer in her rural home in the Catskill mountains. Cast: Talia Balsam, Scott Cohen, Andrus Nichols, Michael Oberholtzer, Naian Gonzalez, Midori Francis, Macaulee Rusnak Cassaday, Isis Masoud, Violet Rea, Guthrie Mass (World Premiere)
Yes God Yes
Director/Screenwriter: Karen Maine
After an innocent AOL chat turns racy, a Catholic teenager in the early 00s discovers masturbating and struggles to suppress her urges in the face of eternal damnation. Cast: Natalia Dyer, Timothy Simons, Wolfgang Novogratz, Francesca Reale, Susan Blackwell, Parker Wierling, Alisha Boe, Donna Lynne Champlin (World Premiere)
Documentary Feature Competition
Earnie & Joe
Director: Jenifer McShane
Ernie & Joe follows two officers with the San Antonio Police Department mental health unit who are diverting people away from jail and into mental health treatment — one 911 call at a time. (World Premiere)
For Sama (United Kingdom)
Directors: Waad al-Khateab, Edward Watts For Sama tells the epic story of a young woman’s journey through love, war and motherhood across five years of the uprising in Aleppo, Syria. (World Premiere)
Director: Jennifer Trainer, Screenwriters: Noah Bashevkin, Pola Rapaport, Jennifer Trainer
From the ashes of a deserted factory, an ambitious center for contemporary art has emerged. With MASS MoCA, a familiar story of deindustrialization in a rural American town finds an unconventional route to recovery. (World Premiere)
Nothing Fancy: Diana Kennedy (United Kingdom, U.S.)
Director: Elizabeth Carroll
Award-winning cookbook author, diehard environmentalist and feisty British nonagenarian Diana Kennedy reflects on an unconventional life spent mastering the cuisines of Mexico. (World Premiere)
Stuffed (Canada, U.S.)
Director: Erin Derham Stuffed is a documentary feature film about the surprising world of taxidermy and the passionate artists across the world who see life where others only see death. (World Premiere)
Director: Paul Solet
Pushed to his breaking point, a master welder in a small town at the foot of the Rocky Mountains quietly fortifies a bulldozer with 30 tons of concrete and steel and seeks to destroy those he believes have wronged him. (World Premiere)
Director/Screenwriter: Rodney Evans
A feature-length documentary that chronicles the creative paths of blind and visually impaired artists including a photographer (John Dugdale), dancer (Kayla Hamilton), writer (Ryan Knighton) and the film’s director, Rodney Evans. (World Premiere)
We Are The Radical Monarchs
Director: Linda Goldstein Knowlton
Meet the Radical Monarchs, a group of young girls of color at the front lines of social justice. Set in Oakland, the film documents the journey of the group as they form, grow, and earn badges for units like “Black Lives Matter” and “Radical Beauty” (World Premiere)
Director/Screenwriter: Rebecca Stern Well Groomed travels the humorous, visually stunning world of Competitive Creative Dog Grooming alongside the colorful women transforming their beloved poodles into living sculptures. (World Premiere)
Why Can’t I Be Me? Around You
Directors/Screenwriters: Harrod Blank, Sjoerd Dijk
Rusty, a male race enthusiast, decides at 53 to get breasts. His father cuts his pay, his motorcycle friends abandon him and the women he dates all reject him. Rusty pursues her new identity and only hopes to gain acceptance from others. (World Premiere)
The Beach Bum
Director/Screenwriter: Harmony Korine The Beach Bum follows the hilarious misadventures of Moondog (Matthew McConaughey), a rebellious rogue who always lives life by his own rules. Co-starring Snoop Dogg, Zac Efron, and Isla Fisher, The Beach Bum is a refreshingly original and subversive. Cast: Matthew McConaughey, Snoop Dogg, Isla Fisher, Stefania Lavie Owen, Jimmy Buffett, Zac Efron, Martin Lawrence (World Premiere)
Director: Olivia Wilde, Screenwriters: Emily Halpern, Sarah Haskins, Susanna Fogel, Katie Silberman
On the eve of graduating high school, two academic superstars and best friends realize they should have worked less and played more. Determined to not fall short of their peers, the girls set out on a mission to cram four years of fun into one night. Cast: Kaitlyn Dever, Beanie Feldstein, Jessica Williams, Will Forte, Lisa Kudrow, Jason Sudeikis (World Premiere)
Director: Gene Stupnitsky, Screenwriters: Lee Eisenberg, Gene Stupnitsky, Beth Stelling, John Phillips
The writers of Superbad and the producers of Sausage Party take on sixth grade in Universal Pictures’ Good Boys, an R-rated comedy about three friends on an epic one-day odyssey of bad decisions. Cast: Jacob Tremblay, Keith L. Williams, Brady Noon, Molly Gordon, Midori Francis, Josh Caras (World Premiere)
Director: John Lee Hancock, Screenwriter: John Fusco
Texas Ranger Frank Hamer reflects on what made him a great lawman as he comes out of retirement to hunt down Bonnie and Clyde. Cast: Kevin Costner, Woody Harrelson, Kathy Bates, Kim Dickinson (World Premiere)
Untitled Seth Rogen/ Charlize Theron Comedy
Director: Jonathan Levine, Screenwriter: Dan Sterling
An ambitious diplomat with a spotless reputation and a hard-partying journalist hilariously redefine “international relations” as they try to keep their red-hot romance under wraps. Cast: Seth Rogen, Charlize Theron, O’Shea Jackson Jr., Andy Serkis, June Diane Raphael, Ravi Patel and Alexander Skarsgård (World Premiere)
Director/Screenwriter: Jordan Peele
An original nightmare from Oscar-winner Jordan Peele (Get Out), starring Lupita Nyong’o and Winston Duke,Us pits an average American family against a terrifying opponent: doppelgängers of themselves. Cast: Lupita Nyong’o, Winston Duke, Elisabeth Moss, Tim Heidecker, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Anna Diop, Evan Alex, Shahadi Wright-Joseph, Madison Curry, Cali Sheldon (World Premiere)
Adopt a Highway
Director/Screenwriter: Logan Marshall-Green
After being released from prison following a twenty year sentence for a minor offense, an ex-con must learn to navigate the world while coming to terms with his own life which has moved on — all while caring for an abandoned baby he finds in a dumpster. Cast: Ethan Hawke, Elaine Hendrix, Diana Gaeta Marshall-Green, Betty Gabriel, Mo McRae, Chris Sullivan, Nate Mooney, Christopher Heyerdahl, Anne Marie Johnson (World Premiere)
The Art of Self-Defense
Director/Screenwriter: Riley Stearns The Art of Self-Defense stars Jesse Eisenberg and is set in the world of karate. Eisenberg plays a man who is attacked on the street and enlists in a local dojo, led by a charismatic Sensei (Nivola), in an effort to learn how to defend himself. Cast: Jesse Eisenberg, Alessandro Nivola, Imogen Poots (World Premiere)
Come As You Are
Director: Richard Wong, Screenwriter: Erik Linthorst
Three young men with disabilities embark on a road trip to a brothel in Montreal catering to people with special needs to lose their virginity and embrace their independence. Inspired by a true story and remake of the Belgian film Hasta La Vista. Cast: Grant Rosenmeyer, Hayden Szeto, Ravi Patel, Gabourey Sidibe, Janeane Garofalo, C.S. Lee, Jennifer Jelsema, Martha Kuwahara, Delaney Feener, Asta Philpot (World Premiere)
The Day Shall Come (United Kingdom, U.S.)
Director: Chris Morris, Screenwriters: Chris Morris, Jesse Armstrong
An impoverished preacher who brings hope to the Miami projects is offered cash to save his family from eviction. He has no idea his sponsor works for the FBI who plan to turn him into a criminal by fueling his madcap revolutionary dreams. Cast: Marchánt Davis, Anna Kendrick, Danielle Brooks, Denis O’Hare (World Premiere)
Director: Bob Byington, Screenwriter: Scott King
A small town’s reaction to scandal. Cast: Kaley Wheless, Nick Offerman, Keith Poulson, David Krumholtz (World Premiere)
I’m Just F*cking With You
Director: Adam Mason, Screenwriters: Gregg Zehenter, Scott Barkan
A young man and his sister endure a night of increasingly frightening practical jokes while spending the night at a secluded motel. Cast: Keir O’Donnell, Hayes MacArthur, Jessica McNamee (World Premiere)
Mother’s Little Helpers
Director/Screenwriter: Kestrin Pantera
When Joy Pride, a groovy 70’s burn-out on the caboose of the flower power movement learns she has weeks to live, her estranged children come together to do right by a mother who always did them wrong. Cast: Breeda Wool, Melanie Hutsell, David Giuntoli, Sam Littlefield, Kestrin Pantera (World Premiere)
Director: Jeremy Teicher, Screenwriters: Alexi Pappas, Jeremy Teicher, Nick Kroll
In the Athlete Village at the Olympic Winter Games, Penelope (Alexi Pappas), a cross-country skier, befriends Ezra (Nick Kroll), a volunteer dentist, after a disappointing finish in her race. Penelope and Ezra share a special but limited time together. Cast: Nick Kroll, Alexi Pappas, Gus Kenworthy, Morgan Schild, Jamie Anderson (World Premiere)
The Peanut Butter Falcon
Directors/Screenwriters: Tyler Nilson, Michael Schwartz
A young man with Down syndrome runs away from the retirement home where he lives to chase his dream of becoming a professional wrestler. Cast: Shia LaBeouf, Dakota Johnson, Zack Gottsagen, John Hawkes, Bruce Dern, Thomas Haden Church, Jon Bernthal, Jake “The Snake” Roberts, Mick Foley (World Premiere)
Pink Wall (United Kingdom)
Director/Screenwriter: Tom Cullen
Six scenes. Six years. Six moments that shaped the relationship of Jenna and Leon. Pink Wall examines what defines us, the pressures of gender expectations, and our perpetual struggle between life and ambition. Cast: Tatiana Maslany, Jay Duplass (World Premiere)
Run This Town (Canada)
Director/Screenwriter: Ricky Tollman
A political aide tries to corral his brash, outspoken boss when a young researcher at a newspaper gets word of a scandal that could make or break both of their careers. Cast: Ben Platt, Nina Dobrev, Mena Massoud, Damian Lewis, Jennifer Ehle, Scott Speedman (World Premiere)
Sword of Trust
Director: Lynn Shelton, Screenwriters: Lynn Shelton, Mike O’Brien
A curmudgeonly pawnshop owner and his man-child sidekick team up with an out of town couple to cash in on a family heirloom: a sword believed by alt history conspiracy nuts to be proof that the South won the Civil War. Cast: Marc Maron, Jon Bass, Michaela Watkins, Jillian Bell, Toby Huss, Dan Bakkedahl, Tim Paul, Whitmer Thomas (World Premiere)
Directors/Screenwriters: Dan Berk, Robert Olsen
When a pair of amateur criminals break into a suburban home, they stumble upon a dark secret and two sadistic homeowners who will do anything to keep it from getting out. Cast: Bill Skarsgard, Maika Monroe, Kyra Sedgwick, Jeffrey Donovan (World Premiere)
The Wall of Mexico (U.S., Mexico)
Directors: Zachary Cotler, Magdalena Zyzak, Screenwriter: Zachary Cotler
A young white handyman, hired by a wealthy Mexican-American family to upkeep their ranch, finds himself caught between disgruntled locals and the family’s outrageously decadent daughters and discovers that something quite unusual is happening at the ranch. Cast: Jackson Rathbone, Esai Morales, Marisol Sacramento, Carmela Zumbado, Alex Meneses, Moises Arias, with Mariel Hemingway, and Xander Berkeley (World Premiere)
Any One Of Us
Director: Fernando Villena
Through the inspiring journey of a recovering athlete, Any One of Us offers an unprecedented glimpse into the traumatic world of spinal cord injuries. (World Premiere)
Director: Alex Horwitz
A feature documentary about the emerging technology of self-driving vehicles and the big questions they raise: what is control and who do we become as we relinquish it to machines? (World Premiere)
Bellingcat — Truth in a Post-Truth World (Netherlands)
Director/Screenwriter: Hans Pool Bellingcat — Truth in a Post-Truth World explores the exclusive world of Bellingcat, a highly-skilled and controversial collective of “citizen investigative journalists” dedicated to redefining breaking news in the 21st century. (North American Premiere)
Director/Screenwriter: Bill Haney Breakthrough tells the story of a renegade, blues-playing, Nobel prize-winning Texas scientist who created a cure for the world’s deadliest disease. Narrated by Woody Harrelson with a country-blues soundtrack. (World Premiere)
Building the American Dream
Director: Chelsea Hernandez
In Texas, construction workers face the deadliest conditions in the country. Building the American Dreamfollows three immigrant families who are rising up to seek justice and equality in an industry rife with exploitation. (World Premiere)
Community First, A Home for the Homeless
Director: Layton Blaylock Community First, A Home for the Homeless, is a feature documentary about a totally unique concept for mitigating homelessness. Conceived and created in Austin, Texas, Community First! Village is truly transforming the lives of homeless people. (World Premiere)
Director: Adam Bolt, Screenwriters: Adam Bolt, Regina Sobel
A once-in-a-lifetime scientific discovery called CRISPR gives us the power to change what it means to be human. Now it’s up to us to decide how far we should go. (World Premiere)
I Love You, Now Die: The Commonwealth Vs. Michelle Carter
Director: Erin Lee Carr
Teen Michelle Carter’s actions shocked a nation — but what really happened behind closed doors? This HBO special showcases the prosecution’s point of view and alternately the defense’s. Which side do you fall on? (World Premiere)
It Started As a Joke
Directors: Julie Smith Clem, Ken Druckerman It Started As a Joke documents the decade-long run of the Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival. The film celebrates Eugene’s unique brand of humor and reminds us of the healing properties of comedy – even in the most challenging of life’s circumstances. (World Premiere)
Director: Jacob Ryan Hamilton Jump Shot uncovers the inspiring true story of Kenny Sailors, the developer of the modern day jump shot in basketball, and how he defined the game, but why the game never defined him. (World Premiere)
Kathy Griffin: A Hell of a Story
Director: Troy Miller, Screenwriter: Kathy Griffin
In her first ever comedy concert film, Comedian Kathy Griffin details the aftermath of lost work and being the subject of a federal investigation following the release of her now infamous photo depicting President Donald J Trump. (World Premiere)
Director: Jenna Ricker
In the world of motorsports, the Indianapolis 500 has long been considered the only race. In May 1977, Janet Guthrie — the first woman to attempt Indy — earned herself a spot in the prestigious field of 33. (World Premiere)
Directors: Casey Pinkston, Luke Dick
In the early 1980’s, the only family that toddler Luke knew were the strippers, bouncers, and outcasts that made OKC’s rowdiest strip club their home. (World Premiere)
The River and the Wall
Director: Ben Masters
Five friends venture into the unknown wilds of the Texas borderlands to document the environment before a wall is built. As the wilderness gives way to the bustling Rio Grande Valley, they encounter the unexpected and enter uncharted emotional waters. (World Premiere)
Running with Beto
Director: David Modigliani
Follow Beto O’Rourke behind the scenes of his breakaway campaign to unseat Ted Cruz in the US Senate. With intimate access to the candidate, his family and team, the film captures Beto’s rise from a virtual unknown to a national political sensation. (World Premiere)
Sunset over Mulholland Drive (Germany)
Director: Uli Gaulke, Screenwriters: Uli Gaulke, Marc Pitzke
The vital power of creativity — a behind the scenes look into Hollywood’s retirement home. (North American Premiere)
Director: Tracy Frazier, Screenwriters: Sandra Guardado, Tracy Frazier Becoming LESLIE reveals the inner and bizarre world of Leslie Cochran, a cross-dressing homeless misfit who became the most iconic and unlikely civic symbol of Austin, Texas. (World Premiere)
The Garden Left Behind
Director: Flavio Alves, Screenwriters: John Rotondo, Flavio Alves
A Mexican trans woman struggles to build a life for herself as an undocumented immigrant in New York City. Cast: Michael Madsen, Ed Asner, Carlie Guevara, Danny Flaherty, Alex Kruz, Anthony Abdo, Dawn Young, Tamara M. Williams, Miriam Cruz, Brock Yurich (World Premiere)
J.R. “Bob” Dobbs and The Church of the SubGenius
Director: Sandy K Boone, Screenwriters: Sandy K Boone, Jason Wehling
This film explores the underground movement that has galvanized the imaginative, the artistic, the nerdy, even the deranged – to examine the simmering dystopia in their culture, and do absolutely nothing about it… except, maybe, poke fun at it all. (World Premiere)
Director/Screenwriter: Numa Perrier
A true story. In the last days of her mother’s life, 19-year-old Tiffany crashes with five family members in a Las Vegas studio apartment. In order to make ends meet, her sister, a phone sex operator, introduces her to the world of fetish cam girls. Cast: Tiffany Tenille, Numa Perrier, Stephen Barrington, Bobby Field, Brett Gelman, Rockwelle Dortch, Zoe Tyson, Dennis Jaffee, Jessa Zarubica (World Premiere)
One Man Dies a Million Times (Belarus)
Director/Screenwriter: Jessica Oreck
Set in the future, a story about seeds and genetic diversity, about growth and decay, about love and war, and about hunger of all kinds. Cast: Alyssa Lozovskaya, Maksim Blinov (World Premiere)
Director: Robert Rodriguez, Screenwriters: Robert Rodriguez, Racer Rodriguez
Rob, an independent filmmaker, loses his investor’s money only to find out his investors are the Cartel. He checks himself into a medical research facility to pay off his debt, but quickly realizes it won’t be that easy. Cast: Roby Attal, Lauren Hatfield, Carlos Gallardo, Alejandro Rose Garcia, Rebel Rodriguez, Racer Rodriguez, Eman Esfandi, Steven Brudniak, Brently Heilbron, Pierce Foster Bailey (World Premiere)
Romantic Comedy (United Kingdom)
Director: Elizabeth Sankey
Musician and writer Elizabeth Sankey investigates the past, present and future of romantic comedies, assisted by a chorus of critics, actors and filmmakers. (World Premiere)
Sakawa (Belgium, Netherlands)
Director/Screenwriter: Ben Asamoah
What human story lies behind the phenomenon of ‘internet fraud’? In Sakawa we meet three Ghanaian youngsters who, out of desperation, turn to internet scamming with the help of black magic. (North American Premiere)
Director/Screenwriter: Grace Glowicki
A desperate man seeks refuge from the predators hunting him by befriending a cheerful intruder. Cast: Grace Glowicki, Ben Petrie (World Premiere)
David Makes Man
Showrunner: Dee Harris-Lawrence, Screenwriter: Tarell Alvin McCraney
A richly layered, deeply personal work about a 14-year-old prodigy from the projects who is haunted by the death of his closest friend. Set in South Florida, the series is inspired by events in McCraney’s own life, exploring childhood trauma and the power of imagination. Cast: Akili McDowell, Nathaniel McIntyre, Isaiah Johnson, Ade Chike Torbert, Cayden Williams, Jordan Bolger, Travis Coles, Phylicia Rashad, Alana Arenas (World Premiere)
Showrunner/Screenwriter: Jami O’Brien NOS4A2 introduces Vic, a young woman who has a supernatural ability to find lost things. This ability puts her on a collision course with the evil and immortal Charlie Manx, a supernatural villain who feeds off the souls of children. Cast List: Zachary Quinto, Ashleigh Cummings, Jahkara J. Smith, Olafur Olafsson, Virginia Kull, Ebon Moss-Bachrach (World Premiere)
Showrunner: Bridget Bedard, Screenwriter: Ramy Youssef
Ramy, a first generation American Muslim on a spiritual journey, explores the challenges of being caught in between an Egyptian community that thinks life is moral a test, and a millennial generation that thinks life has no consequences. Cast: Ramy Youssef, Mohammed Amer, Hiam Abbass, Amr Waked, May Calamawy, David Merheje, Laith Nakli, Steve Way (World Premiere)
Showrunner: Alexandra Rushfield, Screenwriters: Alexandra Rushfield, Lindy West and Aidy Bryant
From Executive Producers Lorne Michaels and Elizabeth Banks comes Shrill, a comedy series starring Aidy Bryant (Saturday Night Live) as Annie, a fat young woman who wants to change her life — but not her body. Annie is trying to start her career while juggling bad boyfriends, a sick parent, and a perfectionist boss. Cast: Aidy Bryant, Lolly Adefope, Luka Jones, Ian Owens, John Cameron Mitchell (World Premiere)
What We Do in the Shadows
Showrunners: Jemaine Clement, Paul Simms, Screenplay: Jemaine Clement
Based on the feature film of the same name from Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi, FX’s new comedy What We Do in the Shadows follows vampire roommates who have lived together for hundreds and hundreds of years. Cast: Matt Berry, Kayvan Novak, Natasia Demetriou, Harvey Guillén, Mark Proksch (World Premiere)
24 Beats Per Second
Director/Screenwriter: Bruno Murtinho
Leaving Belem and crossing much of the Para State Amazon region, its towns and riverside villages, AmazôniaGroove reveals artists and their traditions, faith and mysticism, music and life that pound in the northern region of Brazil. (North American Premiere)
Director: Brian Loschiavo
Discover the origin stories of megastars like Garth Brooks and Taylor Swift while following emerging singer-songwriters as they chase their dreams inside The Bluebird Cafe, Nashville’s accidental landmark that has altered the course of music history. (World Premiere
The Boy Band Con: The Lou Pearlman Story
Director: Aaron Kunkel The Boy Band Con: The Lou Pearlman Story charts the life and crimes of boy band impresario Lou Pearlman. The film tracks his life from discovering NSYNC and Backstreet Boys, to his perpetration of one of the largest ponzi schemes in US history. (World Premiere)
Boy Howdy! The Story of CREEM Magazine
Director: Scott Crawford, Screenwriters: Scott Crawford, Jaan Uhelszki
Ripping back the curtain on legendary rock rag CREEM Magazine‘s wild and disruptive newsroom; a dysfunctional band of unruly outsiders who weren’t all that different from the artists they covered. (World Premiere)
Brainiac: Transmissions After Zero
Director: Eric Mahoney
The film explores the seminal 90’s band Brainiac from Dayton, OH and its creative force Tim Taylor. Just days before signing a major record contract Taylor was killed in a bizarre auto accident leaving his family and bandmates to pick up the pieces. (World Premiere)
David Crosby: Remember My Name
Director: A.J. Eaton
David Crosby reflects on his life of music stardom, while forging new paths to relevancy at his age of 77 in this deeply personal documentary. (World Premiere)
Directors: Sebastian Jones, Ramez Silyan Everybody’s Everything is the story of artist Lil Peep (Gustav Ahr) from his birth in Long Island and meteoric rise as a genre blending pop star & style icon, to his death due to an accidental opioid overdose in Arizona at just 21 years of age. (World Premiere)
The Gift: The Journey of Johnny Cash
Director: Thom Zimny, Screenwriter: Warren Zanes Johnny Cash stands among the giants of 20th century American life. But his story remains tangled in mystery and myth. This documentary brings Cash the man out from behind the legend. (World Premiere)
Director: Peter Michael Dowd Dowd Akio Sakurai has dedicated his life to honoring Jimmy Page. For 30 years he recreated vintage Zeppelin concerts note-for-note in small Tokyo clubs. Moving to L.A. to pursue his tribute dream, cultures clash and Akio’s idyllic vision meets reality. (World Premiere)
Nothing Stays The Same: The Story of The Saxon Pub
Director: Jeff Sandmann, Screenwriters: Jeff Sandmann, Jeffrey Brown, Lisa Kay Pfannenstiel Nothing Stays the Same celebrates the last 30 years of live music in Austin, while also examining the challenges faced by musicians and music venues in one of the fastest-growing cities in the country, all through the lens of the legendary Saxon Pub. (World Premiere)
Show Me The Picture: The Story of Jim Marshal (United Kingdom)
Director: Alfred George Bailey Jim Marshall was a maverick with a camera. An outsider who captured the heights of Rock’N’Roll music and the seismic changes of an era, from the Beatles and Jimi Hendrix, to the civil rights movements and some of the most iconic moments of the 60’s. (World Premiere)
Director: Brandon Vedder
A documentary exploring the existential, artistic and family life of musician and former evangelical, David Bazan (Pedro The Lion), set against America’s own crisis of faith highlighted during the 2016 presidential election. (World Premiere)
Teen Spirit (United Kingdom)
Director/Screenwriter: Max Minghella
The film follows Violet, a shy teenager who enters an international singing competition with the help of an unlikely mentor. Driven by a pop-fueled soundtrack, Teen Spirit is a visceral and stylish spin on the Cinderella story. Cast: Elle Fanning, Zlatko Buricteent, Rebecca Hall (U.S. Premiere)
Who Let the Dogs Out (Canada)
Director: Brent Hodge, Screenwriters: Brent Hodge, John Diemer, Jasleen Kaur
The origin story of the smash hit “Who Let the Dogs Out” goes back further than anyone could have imagined; steeped in legal battles, female empowerment and artist integrity, which beckons the question: will we ever know who let the dogs out? (World Premiere)
Wild Rose (United Kingdom)
Director: Tom Harper, Screenwriter: Nicole Taylor
A musician from Glasgow dreams of becoming a Nashville star. Cast: Jessie Buckley, Julie Walters, Sophie Okonedo (U.S. Premiere)
Director/Screenwriter: Barbara Vekarić
A character piece about funny and troubled girl in her 20s, forced to move back in with her overbearing family. Cast: Tihana Lazović, Goran Marković, Sebastian Cavazza, Nataša Janjić, Jason Mann, Aljoša Vučović, Neda Arnerić, Leon Lučev (North American Premiere)
Director/Screenwriter: Miia Tervo
Aurora, a commitment-phobic party animal, meets Iranian Amir one night at a hot-dog stand in Lapland. Amir is running from death and Aurora is running from love. They need each other in order to finally stop running. Cast: Mimosa Willamo, Amir Escandari, Oona Airola, Hannu-Pekka Björkman, Miitta Sorvali (North American Premiere)
Being Impossible (Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of)
Director: Patricia Ortega, Screenwriters: Patricia Ortega, Enmanuel Chávez
A young woman discovers she was submitted to several surgeries to correct her intersexual body as a baby. She has to find her own self outside gender binaries. (North American Premiere)
Cachada: The Opportunity (El Salvador)
Director/Screenwriter: Marlén Viñayo Five Salvadoran saleswomen want to take their cruel life stories to the stage. During the rehearsal process of their play, they’ll discover themselves as victims and victimizers in a cycle of violence that has plagued their families for generations. (World Premiere)
Days of the Whale (Colombia)
Director/Screenwriter: Catalina Arroyave Restrepo
Two young graffiti artists of Medellín defy a criminal gang when they decide to paint the mural of a whale over a threat written in a wall. Cast: Laura Tobón, David Escallón, Carlos Fonnegra, Christian Tappan, Julián Giraldo, Natalia Castaño, Margarita Restrepo (World Premiere)
La Mala Noche (Ecuador, Mexico)
Director/Screenwriter: Gabriela Calvache
She is the perfect woman until she decides to be free. Cast: Nöelle Schönwald, Cristian Mercado, Jaime Tamariz, Ariana Freire (World Premiere)
Vai (New Zealand)
Directors: Nicole Whippy, ‘Ofa-Ki-Levuka Guttenbeil-Likiliki, Matasila Freshwater, Amberley Jo Aumua, Mīria George, Marina Alofagia McCartney, Dianna Fuemana, Becs Arahanga Vai is a portmanteau feature film by nine Polynesian directors and filmed on seven different pacific islands. It is about the journey of empowerment through culture, over the lifetime of one woman, Vai. (World Premiere)
X&Y (Denmark, Sweden)
Director: Anna Odell, Screenwriters: Anna Odell, Jakob Beckman
Swedish director and visual artist, Anna Odell (The Reunion), conducts a social experiment in which she aims to challenge the gender roles that men and women have in the society of today. Cast: Anna Odell, Mikael Persbrandt, Trine Dyrholm, Vera Vitali, Shanti Roney, Sofie Gråbøl, Jens Albinus, Thure Lindhardt (North American Premiere)
Love, Death & Robots
Showrunners: David Fincher, Tim Miller, Josh Donen, Jennifer Miller
Love, Death & Robots, an animated anthology series presented by Tim Miller and David Fincher, is a genre orgy of Not-Suitable-For-Mainstream shorts. (World Premiere)Followed by extended Q&A with with Tim Miller and David Fincher.
Ra: Path of the Sun God
Director: Lesley Keen
Austin based electronic and experimental label Holodeck Records is partnering with Austin Film Society for a special live re-score screening of the 1990 animated film Ra: Path of the Sun God, a beautiful re-telling of one of Ancient Egypt’s most famous myths.
Directors: Morgan Neville, Jeff Malmberg
An intimate look at the creative process through the lens of legendary music producer Rick Rubin.
Director: David Byrne, Screenwriters: Stephen Tobolowsky, Beth Henley, David Byrne David Byrne‘s 1986 musical comedy, inspired by theater director Robert Wilson, tabloid newspapers, and filmmakers Robert Altman and Federico Fellini, remains a unique artistic vision that celebrates the singular citizens of a fictional Texas town. David Byrne will appear in-person for Q&A following screening of new 4K restoration.
The Alexa 65 is part of the push for large format shooting, but raw resolution is also still important Arri
Replay: At the recent Camerimage in Poland, top DOPs explained why higher resolutions are absolutely neccesary, and it isn’t always for the reasons that we are traditionally lead to believe.
Film festivals, particularly those with strong industry support, are often the best places to judge emerging trends. Camerimage, the Polish festival celebrating the work of cinematographers, is a particularly good gauge of the way things are going with camera technology. This year, bigger images were a dominant theme.
“Most people can’t tell the difference between 2K and 4K at more than eight feet,” said DP Stephen Goldblatt (Lethal Weapon 2, Batman Forever) in his Canon workshop on the third morning of the festival.
But that afternoon, in a Red seminar, Markus Förderer (Independence Day: Resurgence) expressed excitement about 8K. “If you pair it with soft lenses you get smooth, natural images,” he opined.
Unsurprisingly, the speakers at Panavision’s “The Beauty of 8K Large Format” seminar the next day were also enthusiastic. The session was promoting the new DXL camera, which boasts a 46mm Red Vista Vision sensor. The panellists agreed that, on the face of it, the human eye’s resolution of one arc-minute makes images over 2-4K seem redundant. But they explained that hyper-acuity — the result of the retina’s honeycomb pattern as well as the processing carried out in the brain — gives us a greater precision of sight, validating higher image resolutions.
14K is the perfect resolution
Amongst Panavision’s speakers was the company’s head of optics, Dan Sasaki, a man frequently mentioned in the pages of American Cinematographer, refurbishing vintage glass for The Hateful Eight, engineering specific lens flares for Saving Private Ryan, or even building new lenses entirely for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Sasaki’s message was this: “Acquisition resolution is more important than exhibition resolution.” He gave the example of a Hasselblad digital medium format photo viewed on Instagram. You can still tell it was originated in high-resolution because of the dynamic range, bit depth, perspective and depth of field.
Sasaki practically eulogised the Hasselblad, which has the world’s biggest digital sensor. He sees it as the ideal that all digital imaging should aspire to. Why? Because its 100 megapixels (about 14K in cinema terms) match the 100 million rods and cones in the human eye.
Smoothness, not sharpness
The panellists were also keen to dispel the myth that higher resolutions are sharper. This might have been true of early HD cameras, which employed in-camera sharpening, but not anymore. High resolutions are in fact smoother than lower ones, a fact which Sasaki demonstrated with two images of a circle. The first was super-low-res, like an eighties video game — sharp and blocky. The second was higher-res, and with more pixels to describe the curves, it was clearly smoother.
Smoother images, and smoother curves particularly, apparently enhance the impression of depth. “More resolution evokes the imagination of the brain,” as Light Iron’s senior colourist Ian Vertovec put it. Förderer had expressed a similar sentiment in his panel: “A 4K DCP shows you more of the performance, on a subconscious level than seeing a 2K DCP.”
Vertovec went on to explain how high-resolution acquisition provides more opportunities in post production. He described an 8/7/6 workflow: 8K capture with a 7K extraction area within that, downscaled to 6K for mastering. Footage from David Fincher’s Mindhunter series was shown, revealing the extra image outside the 7K extraction. This was used for the camera stabilisation which Fincher wanted to be applied to almost every shot and digital bowing to simulate the look of anamorphic glass.
The need for better glass
Of course, larger sensors require lenses with larger image circles to cover them (though Christopher Probst noted in the Red seminar that many Super-35 lenses of a 50mm focal length or greater have sufficient coverage). A stroll through the exhibition stalls at Camerimage showed that most of the major lens manufacturers are vying for a piece of this new market, from the Hawk65s to the Cooke S7s.
CW Sonderoptic, the company behind Leica, presented a panel to promote their new Thalia series for 65mm cinematography. The centrepiece was a short film, Jardin d’hiver, shot by Darius Khondji (Seven, Delicatessen) on an Alexa 65. Khondji reportedly tried all of his usual filters and rejected them all as unnecessary. “As soon as you put the lens on, there’s already some magic that’s happening,” explained Khondji’s son Alexandre, who directed the short.
It’s not just new lenses that provide possibilities. Förderer pointed out that we’re at a sweet spot in time where we have high-resolution cinematography, but not so high that there isn’t plenty of existing glass out there to cover it. Full-frame 35mm stills lenses often provide a big enough image circle to cover larger digital sensors, giving DPs a huge array of optics to choose from. Probst told how Greig Fraser (Rogue One) once carried a bag full of his favourite old lenses on set, choosing one with an appropriate look, then setting his Red’s resolution to whatever that lens could cover.
3D is faltering, high frame rates are unpopular and many DPs are sceptical about high dynamic range, but in the ongoing quest to improve the quality of moving images, it seems certain that we’ll be seeing much more of large sensor cinematography.
“I think we’re moving into a dangerous medium with virtual reality,” he said. “The only reason I say it is dangerous is because it gives the viewer a lot of latitude not to take direction from the storytellers but make their own choices of where to look.
Bridges To Cross” The beginning of every year is usually a hopeful time. But 2016 begins on an undeniably bittersweet note, with the very recent loss of four essential and inspiring people – personally, to those who knew them, and to the entire industry at large. The news of the loss of Haskell Wexler, ASC, […]
The Location Managers Guild International (formerly the Location Managers Guild of America) has released the nominations for its third annual awards, which will be held April 23. The young event honors location managers on feature films, television series and commercials.
Nominated features in the category for a period film are Bridge of Spies, Mad Max: Fury Road, The Revenant, Straight Outta Compton and Trumbo. And the noms for a contemporary film are Blackhat, Black Mass, Creed, Our Brand is Crisis and Sicario.
Nominees in the television categories include Fargo, Game of Thrones, Better Call Sauland Mr. Robot.
“This year the Guild opened the submission process. Production companies, film commissions, directors, producers and filmmaking fans from around the world provided potential nominees reflecting our expanded global focus,” said co-chair and guild vp Lori Balton.
How do you send a camera to the moon? Thanks to J.J. Abrams, we’ll soon find out.
J.J. Abrams is no stranger to science fiction. In addition to Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Star Trek Into Darkness, the director also has Super 8 and two episodes of Lost (a series which he executive-produced) under his belt; nearly half of his directing filmography is comprised of sci-fi endeavors. Now, Abrams is turning to real-life science fiction.
His new project, Moon Shot, is a nine-episode documentary web series that follows 16 teams of entrepreneurs as they compete to engineer a spacecraft, land it on the moon, and successfully transmit HD video footage back to Earth.
Imagine changing a DSLR lens in a cloud of fifteen tons of corrosive cosmic material and you’ll begin to understand the uphill battle these remote photographers are facing.
Panasonic Broadcast & ProAV recently announced the new 4K VariCam LT cine camera. German cinematographer Matthias Bolliger shot some exclusive footage during the launch event on a sample model in Barcelona, Spain. For more about the VariCam LT camera: http://business.panasonic.co.uk/profe…
The post Cinematic Panasonic VariCam LT Footage appeared first on Cinescopophilia.
As editor, you are a god. These cuts are your disciples.
“A lot of these cuts are so common and feel so natural that you don’t even think about it,” says the narrator of the latest video essay from Rocket Jump Film School, which outlines some basic tools in the editor’s arsenal.
Indeed, the editor’s job is to be invisible—or, rather, subconscious. She wants to get inside your head and make you feel something without realizing why. Of all the below-the-line talent that goes into the making of a film, the editor is arguably the most important and under-appreciated.
You’ve seen all of the cuts in this video before, but unless you’re an editor, you may not have recognized just how crucial cuts and transitions are to the life of the narrative.