Arri Alexa part 2

Arri Alexa side profile

Arri Alexa Blog Post Part 2
In my previous blog post I covered some of the basics of setting up the camera and configuring it ready to start filming.

Arri Alexa, settings before filming

Arri Alexa on location

There are some simple things that should be done before actually starting filming. Firstly I’d start setting up the camera on a tripod raised just to the first extension.

The camera is quite tall so unless you want to lift this heavy camera above shoulder height start with the tripod set low. With the tripod I used in this workshop there is the ability to balance the camera. With this you can balance the camera so that it nether drops forward or tilts back without pressure being applied through the pan/tilt handle. To do this roughly balance the camera using the base plates, which are marked with a scale against a white marker.OCONNOR Tripod Head

There is a small fold away handle on the right side of the tripod, which adjust a counterbalance, rotate this until balance is achieved. For this workshop I found the mid 40’s (There is a small display in the handle assembly) was good for the prime lenses in the kit and upper 50’s for the long/heavy Zoom.

Arri Alexa on location

I’m going to state the obvious again , this camera is heavy and definitely not for the sole shooter (unless you are some kind of hero 😉 ), you need a crew of two and best if it’s three. We needed to move the camera between shots for this interview and this was certainly easier with two of us to manage the heavy lifting. BTW the Tripod is carbon fibre it’s the head that is all the weight.Arri Alexa on location

On location we decided to set the monitor to show Log C rather than REC 709 because of the high contrast natural lighting and to make sure we could make sure we were not losing too much detail in the shadows. In retrospect this did not really offer any advantage as it was much more more important to correctly expose for the actors faces rather than for the background detail. On an actual shoot I’d probably put up some silk to balance the natural sunlight with the shadow of the background or at least reduce the high contrast between the two. As you can see in the above picture the crew cast long shadows even though this was around noon. The only solution was to avoid anything other than mid shots, another solution would have been to use a longer lens and move the crew and camera further back.

Exposure and No ND Filter

IMG_1778As I mentioned before the Arri does not have a built in ND Filter that’s why when you see Arri Alexa’s they always seem to have a Matte Box setup to carry the filters as well as shield the lens from unwanted light. For this shoot we didn’t have an ND Filter to hand so we maxed out, closing down the aperture to F22, when ideally a 6x ND would have been perfect for this shoot to get that shallow depth of field. It is possible to modify/accessorise the Lens mount to provide ND filtering, check with Arri for more information on this.

Exposure and no Histogram

I’ve covered this before but it’s helpful to remind you that there are no Histogram or Zebras waveform monitors built into the Arri Alexa, which is not a major problem if the camera is feeding to an external monitor with these options.

The monitor we were using does not have these so there was a bit of guessing but if you slightly underexpose with Log C you should be OK but best to avoid over exposing the image in particular the actors faces. Arri Alexa EVF DisplayThe other solution is to usual an actual light meter and take a reading in front of the actors faces. So make a note book out a light meter and make sure you know how to use it correctly. The EVF (Electronic Viewfinder) has a false colour button which others some exposure guidance and I’m guessing with practice this maybe all you need to correctly judge exposure.

Next time I’ll be looking at ways of moving the camera using a jib and dolly. I might even try some shoulder rig if I’m feeling strong.

back to Part 1

Arri Alexa

Arri Alexa

Arri Alexa selfie
Ian F. Hunt

Getting Hands on with the Arri Alexa

I’ve used the Arri Alexa a few times now when the project justifies its use. It’s a big and heavy camera so not the camera of choice when setup time is short or certainly not when the project calls for hand held operation (I mean it when I say this camera is heavy – 7.7 Kg or nearly 17 lbs, and that’s without the lens and accessories i.e. Battery, Matte Box, External Monitor and any audio).

Batteries, well it is power hungry the standard battery gives about 20 minutes of filming/standby so turn it off when not actually filming.

Arri Alexa EVF DisplaySo that’s some of the negatives and things to consider when given a camera choice, but of course there is a good reason why this camera is the choice of professionals and that’s the quality of the image. Where other cameras you are always thinking about how you can achieve that look/quality of image, that cinematic look, this camera just does it so the DOP can concentrate on the composition, camera movement and focus.

Arri Alexa EVFSo it’s a simple camera to use, everything is manual, there’s no feedback from the lens (no aperture reading indicators no histogram/vector scopes, there is peaking but no Zebras) to the camera so what you see in the EVF is what you get. The lens mount is PL (Positive Lock) and I’m using Arri Cinema prime lenses in the main and a 15.5 to 45mm FUJINON Alura Zoom. Now when I say this camera is simple you would struggle to do everything yourself so I’d say the camera crew would need to be at least 2 person for operation maybe 3 to cover everything excluding sound.

Arri Alexa 35mm lens fittedDid I say it is a heavy camera? it really is so don’t expect to get away with a standard heavy duty video tripod, you need something more substantial than that to support this camera.

OCONNOR Tripod HeadSurprisingly the camera comes with a shoulder pad and a couple of hand grips for hand held operation but again I say you must be a professional weightlifter to spend anything but the shortest period of time working with the camera in this mode.

Arri Alexa MenuSetting the camera up for basic recording is simplicity itself just a menu button, buttons above each section and a rotary selection knob with push operation for selecting options.  My typical default settings would be Prores 4444 (yeah I know that extra 4 😉 ) and HD at 25FPS. Then just set the Shutter angle to 180 and White Balance to auto to start and then adjust the actual white balance between shots using a grey card. Native ISO is 800 so leave that as is unless you need to work in anything but optimum lighting conditions (Note there is no ND filters built into the camera). Keeping it simple use the Log C setting but if you have your own personal LUT you can import those. There’s an SD card slot for adding and storing personal settings.

I’ll go into more detail on actually using the camera in my next post and hopefully there will be a short video to go with it.

The Man and His Museum

The man and his museum
Trailer for THE MAN AND HIS MUSEUM

Completed filming earlier this year the documentary short ‘THE MAN AND HIS MUSEUM’ a film by Nor Hazlin Nor Salam. This is currently circulating the Film Festivals and is also about to go to DVD for Sale in The Sammy Miller Motorcycle Museum later this year, hopefully in time for Christmas 2015.

Sammy Miller Moto Guzzi V8We have interviews with Sammy Miller MBE and of course lots of footage of mouth watering road motorcycles from the earliest examples to some of the iconic motorcyles from the 60’s, 70’s, and the 80’s. And of course racing motorcycles including the Moto Guzzi V8.

Brough SuperiorPeople are the core to this short film, people from all walks of life sharing  a common love for all things motorcycling.

THE MAN AND HIS MUSEUM

The Man and His Museum

The Man and His Museum

Sammy Miller MBE Brough Superior

Sammy Miller MBE. This is a true story of the Man and his Museum. Sammy Miller is an 11 times British Trials Champion and who has won the European Trials Championship twice. He set up his own motorcycle parts business in 1964 in New Milton, Hampshire, and put a few of his old racing motorcycles in the corner, later to become the Sammy Miller Motorcycle museum. In 2007 he was inducted into the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame.

More about the Man and His Museum

Sammy Miller MBE winner of over 1400 events and still winning competitions more than 50 years after his first victory. The Museum houses one of the finest collections of fully restored motorcycles in the world, including factory racers and exotic prototypes, with the collection constantly evolving as new bikes are acquired. This is a living museum with almost every motorcycle in the museum in full running order.

Sammy Miller MBE – The Man and His Museum on DVD

The full film is available on DVD  direct from the Sammy Miller Museum.

Check out their website

Sammy Miller Museum

 

Smudgerhunt Film on Vimeo

Vimeo Short Film Album

Smudgerhunt Film on Vimeo – Short Film Album

Vimeo Short Film Album
Smudgerhunt Short Film Projects

Smudgerhunt Film on Vimeo, now has its own Vimeo Pro account and I’m starting to upload videos produced from 2013 to date. Unfortunately some are private and not available to the public as they are in competition in selected Film Festivals in the United Kingdom and around the World or have been made for clients and are still in final production stages.

Feel free to view and comment on any of our videos and please subscribe to be the first to see our new work as soon as it is uploaded.

We currently have over 3 films in production, 2 are in the final stages of editing and sound design and 1 is currently in production with filming expected to be completed by the end of August 2015. 2 films are in planning stages but are due to start filming by the end of the year.

Expect to see new films; a short drama, one very experimental film, a Horror, a comedy and more films about motorcycling and motorcycle culture. Here’s a taster from ‘Triumph Bonneville’

This short film about the Triumph Bonneville is being filmed in 4K and while this YouTube version was shot in HD at 1080p the 4K version will have a significant jump in quality. I’m hoping to record higher quality of sound from the Triumph itself  capturing the sound of the barking exhaust which is strangely muffled in this example and with too much wind noise. (Maybe this is a good reason to fit louder exhausts?)

Watch for more news and don’t forget subscribe to Smudgerhunt Film on Vimeo.

Smudgerhunt Film presents White Lining

Award winning short film White Lining

white lining

White Lining Trailer

White Lining a Documentary by Nor Hazlin Nor Salam

This short documentary was created for a student project and filmed in 2014/ The camera follows a road gang painting white lines on England’s roads.

This was the very first student film project that we all worked on together, while filming  we developed a close bond that influenced much of our future student film work.

White Lining Film PosterThis short film is a real life story about people going about their daily jobs, however this story has a unexpected twist as we start to look in more depth at the people outside of their jobs.

Visually we can admire the skill of the road gang as they hand paint the lines, the circles and road markings that we see everywhere and take for granted everyday on our roads, the car parking spaces and even the lines and markings on Airport runways.

The future

There is interest in this short film that in the future it  could be developed into a TV Series or full length documentary by Smudgerhunt Film.

White Lining The Crew

  • Director –  Nor Hazlin Nor Salam
  • Cinematography – Ian F. Hunt
  • Editor –  Ewan Michael Riley
  • Production Manager Jennifer Kergourlay
  • Sound Post Production – Edward Hatwell

News

Film Festivals

Film_Festival_Laurel_Leaves_XPONORTHSelected for screening at XPO North 2015 http://xponorth.co.uk/

 

 

 

DF_DarkSelected for screening at Deep Fried Film Festival 2015
Deep Fried Film Festival 2015

 

 

Shnit International ShortfilmfestivalSelected for screening at the Shnit International Short Film Festival 2015.
Shnit International Short Film Festival 2015

 

White Lining

Full film link, note password required to view

 

Motorcycle Journals – Documentary

Motorcycle Journals Triumph Bonneville

Motorcycle Journals

Oniros Film Awards Official SelectionMotorcycle Journals Official Selection for Documentary category, Oniros Film Awards 2017

Motorcycle Journals Documentary – to watch, enter the password supplied or alternatively email us your request to view online using the contact form at the bottom of this page.

Motorcycle Journals The Documentary VimeoMotorcycle Journals

Female Director provides a unique perspective on British Motorcycle Culture ‘True Stories of Bikers and their Machines’ In this short documentary we immerse the audience in the culture of the British Motorcyclist through interviews with enthusiastic motorcycle owners talking about British motorcycle culture and their machines. From the ordinary to the extraordinary we look at rare Italian racing bikes, the Ducati’s, the world of the customised Harley Davidson and the rarest in motorcycle history and the privately owned museum that collects them. But most importantly it is the culture that we investigate and the relationships between people and their machines.

Director’s Statement

I began the filming of Motorcycle journal with an aim to unravel the mysterious relationship between man and his machines from a thematic standpoint. The theme I wanted to draw out from the motorcycle world was the ironic relationship between man and his machine that supersedes the narcissistic value often attached to material attachments. To simply put, my ultimate goal from this film was to unravel the spiritual connection man have with their machines. Thus due to this, my goal was set on idealistic grounds that I believe would best suit a poetic reflexive mode of representation which perhaps can effectively contextualise and encapsulate my vision.

I made the decision to organise Motorcycle journals as an investigative endeavour, which would allow me to reflect and discover the stories behind the respondents and their motorcycles. I was also interested in the culture and the lifestyle they lead. Thus due to this notion, I decided to make Motorcycle Journals into an interview based reflexive mode of representation, driven by a thematic spine.

‘Motorcycle Journal’ was filmed in a span of four weeks and the stories developed in its own accord as I continued meeting inspiring personalities who clearly had a great passion for their machines. ‘Motorcycle Journal’ takes audiences into the journey of a custom bike engineer Nathan Haskel, Sam Woodfield an aspiring motorbike racer, Lu travers Sam’s mother and a motorcycle workshop manager and Gordon De la mere a luxury bike dealer. The story of these four characters is also supported by re-enacted events, as well as observational shots of them in their world. Focusing mostly on Nathan’s inspiring persona, the film provides an insightful take on Nathan’s passionate lifestyle and the story of an old bike he recently purchased from a deceased custom bike designer who never completed his machine.

The process of filmmaking clearly had an impact on me as a storyteller. I inevitably developed an emotional attachment towards the stories presented by my subjects. It was definitely a challenge to deconstruct and reconstruct my material without any prejudices. I was very moved by the very fact that there was more to the Motorcycle community than meets the eye. As one motorcycle aficionado once said to me “every motorcycle owner is just a mere caretaker, as the spirit of the machine will continue to live on from one man to another, because it is more than just a machine”

RASA Sayang, Motorcycle Journals – Charles Coleman, Editor

Charles Coleman

Charles Coleman

Charles_Coleman2Charles Coleman – Editor

Charles Coleman is a young and enthusiastic film editor based in Brighton but has links with London having previously studied at Greenwich University. Charles studied Digital Television and Interactive media; where he learnt sound design and special effects. He worked as a security officer for 3 years whilst supporting his studies working at events such as Wimbledon, The Olympics, Paralympics, The O2 Arena and the Oval Cricket Ground. Working at these venues meant he got to observe how live events were run or recorded for editing later. Earlier in 2009 Charles had the opportunity to work at the first ever Doha Tribeca Film Festival as a volunteer, not only observing films and helping out but also experiencing a different culture.

Charles moved to Bournemouth in 2013 to study his Masters in Post Production Editing. This is where he edited a film called ‘Muscle Memory’ which was directed by Nor Hazlin. This film has been nominated for the creative response category in the Imperial War Museum film festival, London. Amongst some of Charles’ Previous Project with Smudgerhunt Film, a cooking show web-series, called ‘A Taste of Rasa Sayang’. ‘Motorcycle Journals: Sammy Miller’ edition is Charles second collaboration with Smudgerhunt Films.

Charles specialises in various editing suite, which includes Avid Media Composer, Adobe Suite, After effects as well as Speed grade.

Motorcycle Journals – Official Trailer

Triumph

motorcycle journals

Moto Guzzi DondelinoMotorcycle Journals the Official Trailer

The premier of Motorcycle Journals and first screening will take place in just a few short weeks time. In the meantime please enjoy the official trailer for Motorcycle Journals the Documentary the first in a series of documentaries “True Stories of Bikers and their Machines’

We talk to motorcycle owners about their motorcycles their lifestyle and passion for everything motorcycling. From the owners of early motorcycles, motorcycle collections, the motorcycle museums and motorcycling memorabilia. There are contributions from the public and celebrated motorcycle sports personalities.

Everything takes place in England’s New Forest and the wonderful scenery of Dorset’s World Heritage coastline.