Saturday, December 24, 2011

Surf shots on this awesome sunny Xmas eve day!

Visits to Paramount & FOX this week

Well our good friend Garret Smith was retiring from Paramount and moving even further up the Post food chain on Wednesday as we celebrated his departure at LUCY's! Everyone who is anyone in Post was there to celebrate along with numerous Producers, Composers  Writers, Directors, you name it. They all came out to pay tribute to a wonderful guy in the film industry! Thanks for the invitation GARRET!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

OTW will begin work on new Feature Film

Well just got back from a week of location scouting in the mid-west and looks like OTW will be producing it's 1st FULL LENGTH Feature Film for the big screen beginning in April. The cast will be selected through CAA.  So we're officially in development and excited to take on our own project.

Check out the website here as we have just finished updating it with new material and reels and a photo gallery of our work behind the scenes!

On the Tekkie side we are excited as well to get a new additions to the equipment list. It's the new CUBE from Teradek which gives us wireless Audio and Video to the "Video Village" via Monitors, iPads and iPhones as well as the ability to LIVESTREAM right to the internet LIVE! Very cool technology and great company to work with. Chris from Teradek loaned us gear for 2 projects and a lot of heads were turning our way during production!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Thank you Wind Dancer Films for a good year for OTW

Well looks like "Bernie" and "As Cool As I Am" will be out in theaters early 2012. Here's a Wind Dancer information clip.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


Well we are in the process of gearing up again and in lieu of the recent camera announcements will be doing a great deal of testing as we get our hands on this gear.

OK guess it's time to get out the chart and compare specs on all these new cameras...The latest entries being the CANON C300 and Red's SCARLET-X. So lets take a look and the features list will grow as more data comes in from the manufacturers.

Right off the bat some glaring differences:
CANON's C300 is configurable only in EF or PL mount not interchangeable...hmm. The Canon of course will out perform both the EPIC and Scarlet when it comes to low light so once again you just need to choose the right tool for the job!Good old Vincent was up on stage for the intro and in good company I might add, Scorcese, Ron Howard and Jon Favreau were on hand as well. Checkout Vince Laforet's MOBIUS film here that shows the beautiful look and feel of the C300. Here's the "Behind the Scenes" as well.
RED SCARLET-X you can order in your choice and add the other mount later-SIGNIFICANT FLEXIBILITY for those of us with Canon L glass and PL lenses.One peculiar item would be that at 60FPS and 2K RED is really CROPPING the sensor so if your shooting a scene and then want Slow MO your framing of that scene will now be considerably closer. You will now either be faced with a Lens change or moving your camera further back, a bit annoying wouldn't you say. Seems to me that the Scarlet is really an EPIC in sheeps clothing and that maybe the EPIC abilities can be bought in the form of firmware upgrades to remove these type of annoying work arounds...

*SONY F3: 2K; 4:4:4 UNCOMPRESSED SLOG option 4400.00, OUCH!
*with BIRGER OPTION contender. Still no RAW but close...
RED SCARLET-X: 5K Stills at 12fps, 4K video 25-30fps, RAW video built-in.
CANON C300:4K, UNCOMPRESSED, no RAW capability


Resolution 24/25fps 4k 1080p
Resolution 50/60 Fps. 2k 720p
HDRx™ 2K up to 25fps NO
Dynamic Range 13.5 stops, up to 18 stops with HDRx™ less then 12stops
Acquisition formats 1K HD REDCODE RAW Canon XF codec
4K HD REDCODE RAW 50Mbps 4:2:2 1080p30 MPEG2
5K FF REDCODE RAW (Stills @ 12fps)
Recording Media Red Mag SSD Module (64 GB included) Double CF Card which is not included
Monitoring RED LCD 5" Touchscreen Display (included) “Small” LCD and Viewfinder (build in)
Has a Fan YES YES
Autofocus canon lenses YES NO
Build in NDs NO YES
Titan Mounts available YES (CONFIGURED EITHER PL OR EF) NO
Price: ~ $15,000.00 $20,000.00 +

Your comments are of course welcome

Monday, November 7, 2011

Re-visit to the Gulf of Mexico disaster

Well it's been almost a YEAR since we returned from our final trip to the Gulf of Mexico to document the impact of the Deepwater Horizon disaster. Quite frankly it's a disappointment to me and I'm sure to our crew that nothing much has changed down there. The stock market even perked up when an announcement was made that a new Chevron platform would be drilling over 10,000 ft deep and way beyond as it enters the Earth's crust! What are we thinking here??!

The footage we shot aboard the WHOI/Naval research vessel the Atlantis is still sitting waiting for a timely entry onto the net and broadcast outlets. The stories will unfold and hopefully be a warning, an awakening to our short sighted and short lived memories of the impact the spill had upon the Gulf.

Inside the Alvin DSV on the RV Atlantis

The inevitable truth is that the Gulf is indeed in deep trouble and just like the mackerel that disappeared from the Alaska oil spill we are likely to see the same thing happen within the next 3-4 years to top predators like the Bluefin Tuna all the way down to the lower end of the food chain.

More and more species of fish and marine animals and fauna which are crucial to the food chain are in peril as we speak.

In truth the Deepwater Horizon disaster may very well be just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the fate of the Gulf.  Continued mismanagement of the wetlands from Florida all the way to Louisiana must end. We may indeed return to the Gulf to bring home the bigger more complete picture of the true impact man has had upon this incredible eco-system known as the Gulf of Mexico!

If your interested in what WHOI is doing as well as take a peak at the mission aboard Atlantis that myself and Mike deGruy participated please click here.


CANON DSLRs pretty much started the revolution in Hollywood and you would be amazed of how many feature films and even TV shows have used this technology...

The Canon 5D Mark II was used in the final episode of the last season of Fox's television show "House M.D.," as well as in the car racing scenes of "Iron Man 2" and certain scenes in "Captain America: The First Avenger," movies that Paramount distributed.

It seems all the new offerings from RED and CANON are in full support of using CANON's EF lenses while SONY offers no internal solution. A big game changer to keep the new SONY F3 in the competition will be the new product coming from Erik Widding's company BIRGER Engineering. To quote Erik in regards to the 2 announcements on Nov. 3rd from Canon and Red:

"I am convinced that the winning camera for those wanting to shoot Canon lenses at this price point, is going to be the PMW-F3 with a Birger adapter. Neither of the other manufacturers talk about supporting real-time servo follow-focus - like we have supported on the Red-one for many years now.

Birger Engineerings new product for the SONY F3 willnot only allow you to mount EF lenses on the F3 but to control Focus and Aperture as well from the camera and REMOTE!
This is huge because if you want to control the F3 on a wireless tether say on a crane then you had expensive solutions from Preston and Schneider and other Focus and FIZ related devices. I would have to agree with Erik that from a price point and functional feature POV that this may very well be the winning combination. The real question here is will BIRGER ship the product o time or at all. After the Panasonic AF100 debacle many Filmmakers have lost faith in what BIRGER can deliver...

Friday, November 4, 2011

The day that rocked Filmmaking !!

I have a motto in film making and it parallels Apple's Steve Job's philosophical viewpoint for new products, KEEP IT SIMPLE,  KEEP IT FUN. After decades of working intimately with Apple I guess it rubbed off and after yesterdays announcements its fantastic to see where cameras and technology are heading...

Yesterday for me was history making & on the heels of Createasphere a great show all in our realm should know about, significant announcements were made by Canon, Red & Sony the day before. With all the hoopla of a Hollywood blockbuster premier, including Martin Scorcese, these announcements were blogged onto the internet from Paramount, Burbank and Hollywood in star studded fashion.

It's really fantastic how camera manufacturing GIANTs are really listening to all levels of film makers. SONY with it's new F65 and the F3's new hi tech wide and telephoto zoom (11-16mm & 18-252mm WOW!!) has really hit it right this time around for Indie and Feature market sectors.

Newly announced Canon C300 camera comes in at around $20K, RED's new Scarlet comparably configured at $14K and the Sony F3 also at around $14K. So who the clear winner will be in my mind is going to be who produces the best image, best workflow ie Codec and workable form factor for these new genre of run 'n gun cams.

Having worked with so many cameras including the F3 I look forward to test shoots with the 2 new kids on the block. My gut feeling is that the F3 will yield the most bang for the buck especially if SONY drops the S-Log fee which basically unlocks the 4:4:4 capability already built-in to the camera. It would be a smart move on Sony's part as the F3 will now be competing with 4K and 5K imaging capability from Scarlet and Canon's C300. While S-Log 4:4:4 may not be RAW it is incredible to work with in the color grading process and the image result is superb.

SONY F3 Telephoto & Wide Zooms !Why so Slow Sony?
Specs of Sony SCL-Z18x140 18-252 mm Zoom:

  • FZ mount (F3 proprietary mount) – 35mm format
  • 18 – 252 mm (14:10 zoom
  • T3.9 (wide end) – T6.8 (tight end) Too slow me thinks for $10K+
  • 7 bladed iris
  • filter diameter 82mm (forgot to check if it’s threaded)
  • weight: 2.25 kg
  • dims: 151.5 (w) x 173.5 (d) x 125.6 (h) at wide end
  • 216.1 (d) at tight end — inner barrel extended
  • Auto flange depth back adjustment
The front section telescopes out as you zoom to telephoto. Focus, iris and zoom gears are standard motion picture pitch, and will accommodate standard gears and accessories.  The front focus ring slides forward for Autofocus/Manual Focus and back for Full Manual Focus–just like on Sony’s EX1 1/2″ camcorder. Best part is the zoom is activated by the rocker control in the camera-right handgrip. For manual zooms or an external zoom unit, a switch below the handgrip disconnects the electric drive. Thank you Sony for keeping camera operator tools intact in the new smaller form cam.

Also coming in January 2012 will be the Wide Zoom PL Mount Cine Lens from Sony with a focal length of 11-16mm and T3.0.

Waiting for more data will update ASAP. You can watch a film shot by my favorite associate Vincent Laforet here: MOBIUS
Some shots from Engadget...



It's capable of 5k stills and 4K video at 25fps. Scaling down the resolution to 3K enables 48fps, 2K gets you 60fps, and at 1K it can handle 120fps, nice slow mo! Data rate is 50mb per second using RED's proprietary "Redcode RAW" format to an SSD via the included slot.

The 6 million dollar question...uh, how long till we actually see these shipping! Reliability similar to EPIC then you really need to buy 2 of these! So that's what I'm saving my nickels to do, but most likely it will be 2 EPIC-M's or X...hmmm that's only gonna cost me around $100K...nickles, more nickels please... back to renting for now!

I'll get back to reviewing each of these new products in more detail after the dust settles soon! Right now it's off to the next film project...using 2 F3's and an EPIC!