Is the DSLR dead?

It’s been 5 years since the Canon 5D mkII changed the world of filmmaking. To celebrate this birthday, myself and many other professionals were contacted by Mitch Aunger of Planet5D to give our thoughts on the future of DSLR. Mitch collected the mass of thoughts that followed and has published a free (yes, free) ebook that you get for simply subscribing to his blog.

Here is the excerpt of my small contribution to this book:

Gear

My 5D

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The move to WordPress finally happened…

I’ve abandoned Apple’s web hosting and moved into the wonderfully confusing universe of WordPress. With any luck this might mean I’ll actually update my blog more than once in a blue super moon but I ain’t making no promises!

The move might have been a bit simpler if it hadn’t coincided with a major hard drive failure and some day-long uploads for overseas clients, but hey, it’s all done now and normality pretends to have been restored!
I have a bunch of stuff I’d love to write about – Continue reading

Shaq, Justin Bieber and Carmen Electra all drop into my reel…

My reel has finally gotten a bit of a refresh! I now have some footage from “Ballerz”, the scripted series I’m directing for Converge, starring Shaquille O’Neal as himself. We had Justin Bieber, Carmen Electra and Adrian Petersen in the pilot, not to mention the rest of the talented and amazing cast. I will share more as soon as I’m allowed, but at least now we have some stills and a couple of clips in my reel!

The rest of the reel tries to cram 20 years of experience into a minute. Great music by Murray Gold helps! This track is “Onwards!” from the Doctor Who Series 5 soundtrack featuring the outstanding BBC National Orchestra of Wales. Buy it on iTunes!

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Pavel Ythjall picks up my 7D and goes to town!

I met Pavel Ythjall through my great friend Daniel Saxlid (also an eminent sound designer, recently nominated for the Swedish Guldbagge Award, congrats Daniel!) Pavel has made a name for himself in stills but as worlds are merging and he has a DP background, he’s doing more and more motion work on his still shoots. He was looking for a 7D for an upcoming shoot and when he realized I had one with PL mount and CP.2‘s to go with it, he jumped at the chance to try it out.

One of many great pics from Pavel

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Henry Cejudo: Quest For Gold

“Henry Cejudo, at the age of 21, achieved his dream and made history by becoming the youngest American gold medalist in the history of U.S. wrestling. Henry’s inspiring journey from childhood adversity to the 2008 Beijing Olympics shows what the human spirit is capable of when passion and perseverance are at the soul’s foundation. His story has rekindled the national ethos of the United States; a place where freedom includes a promise of opportunities for a better and fuller life, a promise of the American Dream.”

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Alien Robot Invasion

Alright, obviously not a robot, probably not even passable as an invading force in an Ed Wood flick, but actually the Pick ‘N’ Pluck foam from my new CamDolly case.

So far everything about my new CamDolly has been great, except for one thing… it didn’t come with a case! It simply arrived in cardboard boxes from Tube Tape and once it was open all I had to move it around was a couple of old suitcases. Not very practical.

I know Met Hrovat over at CamDolly is working on a solution, but I have a show coming up where I’m hoping to use the dolly so I couldn’t wait. I decided to go at it DIY style…

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Dude, where’s my tank?

Making yourself invisible has been a staple of fiction for a long time, but it’s becoming more and more of a reality through the Swedish made system ADAPTIV from BAE Systems. It’s comprised of a set of panels, or pixels, electronically controlled to radiate programmable wavelengths – sort of like a thermal TV screen – making the object they are mounted to undetectable by infrared.

Here is a trailer to explain the system a bit better:

To most surveillance systems the object will simply not be there, or it will look like a regular car, or a farmhouse, or anything you program the system to project. It’s not quite James Bond where Q makes a car invisible to the naked eye, but it’s the same basic idea.

I’ve been fortunate enough to have a front row seat to a few of these things, working with Nils Bjuggstam at Loveframe from my native Sweden, and this one I felt worth sharing since it made such a splash in the news and, well, simply because it’s pretty cool…

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No Smoking please! A PS-CAM X35 byproduct

This is a pretty funny draft for a non smoking commercial, shot as part of the PS-CAM X35 camera test we shot a while back. God only knows why all these people agree to all this abuse!

Here’s a description from Nate Adams on Vimeo:

“This piece was a fantastic byproduct of my high speed shoot with the P+S Technik PS-CAM X35 prototype camera. I shot the slo-mo punch on a green screen with the idea it would be a funny no smoking piece… Continue reading

My first little CamDolly shoot

I had a small little shoot the other day for Stefan Rudnicki and Gabrielle De Cuir, a very interesting interview and roundtable discussion with esteemed author Orson Scott Card for the nice people at Macmillan Audio.  Stefan and Gabrielle produce some great audio books and the discussion, which included three other actors as well, was centered around the upcoming production in Orson’s Ender’s Game series.  It was very interesting to hear the authors thoughts on the audible versions of his work, as well as the actors thoughts on his written word, and I strongly recommend checking the material out when it’s released.

The roundtable was a simple 3-camera shoot and my new CamDolly came in very handy, lending some energy to the wide shot.  A few stacks of books in the foreground, some slight lateral movement and voila, the shot came alive.

Quick sample of the dolly shot from the roundtable with Orson Scott Card. All footage © Macmillan Audio.

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What happened? I bought a Dolly?

Ehr, yeah. I kinda did. I have to admit I never thought myself in the market for a Dolly. They are big and bulky things that I have no interest in storing, let alone lugging around. But then there was the CamDolly v2.

I came across this thing on Nino Leitner’s blog and I’ve been chatting with the inventor Met Hrovat in Slovenia for a few months now. He basically woke up one day, asking himself why he needed three or more tools to move his camera around on every shoot, and why so many of them didn’t fit in the trunk of his car. So he did some thinking and came up with a multi purpose system that is a bunch of camera transportation all rolled into one:

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