$95/day less 25%
$50/day less 25%
$95/day less 25%
$50/day less 25%
Making cool shit is fun. And I wish I got to do it more often. So, when my friend and director, Joan Cassin, asked me if I’d be interested in working on a passion project / mini doc, I said, “Hell yes.”
There was no money. Getting it scheduled was hard, but finally the night came — we were going to grab what equipment we could afford, beg, borrow, or steal, and try to make something happen. The plan was to get together with a local chef, Daniel Gursha, who has a passion for cooking locally and seasonally, and make a little film poem.
Our package was in some ways incredibly bare bones but also incredibly fortunate — we had an ALEXA Mini, some Leica R’s, some Quasar battery operated tubes, and few pick ups from Rule — The DMG Lumiere Mini Mix, a Laowa Macro Probe Lens, a Cineo Remote Phosphor LED, and an EasyRig. That’s the fortunate part. The bare bones part was that we had almost no support and only one person, the super helpful Sarah Secunda, to help move stuff around.
First up we wanted to knock the Laowa macro stuff out of the way. The Laowa was a delight to use–although not the easiest in terms of execution. Wide open it’s at a healthy T14, which may not scare some people, but as a proud member of the litemat/titan tube/neg fill for 90% of situations generation, I wasn’t sure exactly how I’d get there. Especially when not in a studio.
A lot of probe lenses will open to a 5.6 or 8, but it’s a little bit of a gotcha. Usually there is a tremendous amount of chromatic aberration and general funk to the lens at the aperture. Not to mention that at these focal distances you just need a lot of depth of field to be able to tell what the hell you’re looking at. By starting with a T14, the Laowa basically says, we need this much light to start to look good. Deal with it.
One other complicating factor was we needed to be overcranked. For me, on a macro photography scale, things just look a little better slowed down. They do this when shooting miniature sets for films. You can barely notice but it helps you parse what you’re seeing more easily and feels like a more natural scale of movement.
I went to 48fps, with a 220 degree shutter–which is kind of my go to set up if we aren’t sure if the footage will be retimed. The 220 degree shutter allows for a more normal motion blur if you retime to 24fps, without making the overcranked stuff look like a blurry mess. The Laowa comes with a ring of LED lights around the lens, but I wouldn’t recommend using it if you can avoid it. The solution to not having enough light was to just rip all the diffusion off and walk lights close to the lens. When you are at deeper stops you can really start painting with lights. At wide open and 1600 iso, the slightest change in light can really mess up your scene, but at T14/16, you can have a light at 100% intensity and next to the subject and really feel it in a different way. It’s fun. If I can, even on fast lenses–say a 2.0 at 800 iso, I’ll often try and keep a .6 in front of the lens just so you can be a little more liberal with how you splash around the photons.
The next hurdle we had to cross was camera movement. We didn’t have a dolly, or slider, or a grip, or anything. Also, it bears mentioning that this was one of the most unfriendly locations for this kind of work. The counters were small and up against the wall. On an impulse I had grabbed my daughters super small pink skateboard and brought it to the shoot. In order to get the lens level with the cutting board we brought over a lower table from the kitchen, put the skateboard on that with a small cutting board on top, and then rested the camera on that. Rickety, but it worked–being overcranked helped us tremendously in smoothing things out.
Here you can see it in execution. Macro close ups are great, but moving ones are bananas.
After we finished up the tabletop portion we switched to getting a little footage of the chef in action. Fire is an element to our story and we needed to capture him grilling some vegetables and meat. We took off the Laowa, put on the Leica R’s, and I strapped into the EasyRig.
For the grilling scene I really wanted to splash color everywhere. I wanted a warm, welcoming light coming from the direction of the house, and also a strange cold color coming from the outside world. We only had one RGB light, the DMG Lumiere, so I set that to the Rosco Jade gel preset, and stuck it way out in the yard, as high on a c-stand as it would go. For the warm welcoming light, I took the Cineo with a chimera on it, and taped full CTO inside the softbox. The Cineo is a great light–it renders tungsten or daylight beautifully, but essentially you are relegated to 3200 or 5600 depending on the panels you have, which these days feels like a real limitation.
This scene was fun to shoot–I wish I had spent a little more time getting some eyelight in there, but I’ll definitely remember next time. I think as an operator or a DP I always have a checklist playing over and over in my head. Just going over framing, exposure, contrast, and colors again and again — and I’m always finding small things to add to the list. This time was a reminder not to forget eyelight. I haven’t used the Rs much but liked them very much–wide open they feel very soft with nice fall off, even at a 2.8. Next time I may try a little deeper stop for more resolving power.
All in all it was a long but really rewarding night. Thanks to Director Joan Cassin for bringing me on to shoot, the invaluable help of Sarah Secunda, the awesome BTS photos of Danny Ebersole, and the delicious food of Chef Daniel Gursha.
– Matthew Dorris, DP, @filouza
SHOUT OUT TO ALL OUR AWESOME CUSTOMERS! As a year-end THANK YOU, we’re offering a special 2-week for 2-day rate to our valued customers!
From December 16th to January 3rd, rent anything in Rule Boston Camera’s rental inventory (based on availability), and pay a 2-day rate!
DON’T FORGET TO PLAN AHEAD! Rule Boston Camera will be closed for the holidays on December 25th, 26th, and January 1st.
We are grateful for the opportunity to support your creative process with gear, technical support, and services throughout the year!
Happy Holidays and Best Wishes for an amazing 2020!
CALLING ALL STUDENTS! Join Rule Boston Camera for our Spring Semester Internship starting in January and ending in April for 2 days a week of high-level training and hands-on access to the latest film and video equipment and technology. You’ll learn the basics from our team in the Quality Control Department with exposure to the in’s and out’s of Rentals and Engineering along with demos of the latest and most popular gear from our tech team.
Go bright and save with 25% off either or both of the DMG Lumière LED’s — SL1 + Mini Mix — during the month of May!
The rugged housing for both the SL1 + Mini Mix have multiple mounting points for the lights’ simple-to-use controller. The AC power supply and battery plate can be controlled remotely via wired or wireless DMX or by using the MyMix app for your mobile phone.
Both lights are color-changing and outfitted with a library of Rosco gels for use in multiple applications, whether in the studio or on location.
Contact Rentals by email or phone at 800-rule-com for details + to book either or both LED’s.
Follow us on our social media channels for the latest products, events, and news!
Our Facilis TerraBlock rental system has just come back from a long term rental and our clients were so thrilled with the capabilities and performance that they decided to buy their own permanent system. We just completed that installation for them, and it’s been gratifying to see them leverage this system for added efficiency AND creativity.
Way back in 1992, we were the first rental house in the country to rent mobile computer-based edit systems and it’s something we’ve excelled in ever since. Over the past few years, as workflows have gotten more complicated and collaboration in Post has become more prevalent, we’ve found that small shared storage systems (this one is 48TB) have become more and more necessary.
The TerraBlock shared storage system is perfect for smaller workgroups that are built to grow. Editors, colorists, and producers will be much more efficient, with their media and projects easy to access, share, and find. Safety is heightened also, as it becomes so much easier to back up the media since it is not spread out across multiple workstations.
Rent this shared storage system if you’re temporarily scaling up for a larger project and you’re looking to give your post team a flexible, secure and efficient environment for the media.
Didn’t your mother always tell you to share?
-John Rule, President
We will be closed New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, December 31st and January 1st to ring in the new year with family and friends. Please reach out to us at our main number (617-277-2200) with any emergencies. From the bottom of our hearts, we thank you for your business in 2018 and for allowing us to support every type of production — from passion projects to feature films — we love our job and we love supporting you in yours!
We’ll be back on Wednesday, January 2nd. Happy New Year and cheers to 2019!
From our shop to yours, we wish you the very best of the holiday season, and we look forward to another year of collaboration and fun! Please note we will be closed for the Christmas holiday on Monday, December 24th through Wednesday, December 26th. We’ll be back on the 27th!
-From All of Us at Rule Boston Camera
As a BIG THANK YOU TO OUR CUSTOMERS this Holiday Season, we’re offering a 2 for 2 Special! Rent anything in our inventory, based on availability, from Monday, December 17th to Wednesday, January 2nd and pay a 2-day rate! Thats right! You’ll get a 2-week rental at a 2-day rate during the last 2 weeks of December! It’s the perfect opportunity to try something new in Rentals — like the Sony VENICE, the Heden YMER Follow Focus, one of our many new lenses, like the Zeiss Supreme Primes, Atlas Orion Anamorphic Primes, ARRI Ultra Primes, LOMO Standard Speed Primes, or accessories like the Small HD 503 5″ Monitor, Bright Tangerine Revolvr Atom Lightweight Follow Focus, Atomos Shogun Inferno 4K Solid State Video Recorder, MYT Works Large Camera Slider, or the Quasar Rainbow Tubes, Litegear LiteMat+ Plus 4 LED Kit, and more! Click here for a look at the 2 for 2 Holiday Flyer!
A QUICK REMINDER TO PLEASE PLAN AHEAD! Rule Boston Camera will be closed for the holidays on December 24, 25, 26 plus December 31 and January 1.
The holidays are a great time to express our gratitude! THANK YOU for being such an important part of the Rule Boston Camera family. We appreciate your business. Wishing you all the best this holiday season and into the new year.
This position has been filled. Thanks to all who applied!
Rule Boston Camera is looking for a dynamic, production-savvy person to join our rental team — perfect candidates should be comfortable talking with our clients about the latest cutting-edge cinematography equipment.
Our rental agents form long-term relationships with our clients who are actively producing some of the best content here in New England and around the world.
If production and camera technology are your passions, please send a resume and letter of interest to General Manager, Brian Malcolm – email@example.com.