My Simplis and rails block with 15mm rods has arrived! It is the most versatile purchase I have ever made and will complete my dslr rig. The base plate system or Simplis has a quick release ability to take any size plate you might currently have. You can adjust it’s width by using an allen wrench to fit your specific plate. My plate is the Giottos since it was cheaper back in the day to purchase their QR plate system instead of Bogen/manfrotto 501. I can now say that Cinevate has made the most amazing device out there for any camera. The Simplis quick release plate can release up instead of trying to slide your camera into a base unit while holding down a button and then trying to tighten it down when the tightening handle on your Giottos or Manfrotto QR base hits the bottom of your camera. This is the most impressive part of Simplis and makes it worth every penny. By just dropping down your camera onto the Simplis base it will snap closed onto your quick release plate and all you have to do is make sure it feels tight by pressing a little on the side release handle.
Now on to my entire setup. I can now use my Cinevate Mattebox with the Simplis and rails block accessory I purchased with the Simplis unit. And I can also use my follow focus with the Cinevate gears I have installed onto all of my lenses. The gears are another story. They are great because you don’t have to worry about zip ties running into your follow focus gear. They are a continuous circle around the entire lens and the spokes used to secure them have a nylon tip so not to scratch your precious lenses. They even worked on my old school Canon FL 55mm 1.2 lens. I attached them to my Asanuma 70-210, Rokinon 14mm, and my Sigma 35mm lens. I have taken some photos of everything I am now using but the setup will and can change at any time because everything Cinevate makes like the Medusa and Simplis gives you so many options that you can’t possibly settle with just one……..until I find the perfect configuration that is.
I have been helping with the promotion and video production for the nomination of Randy Ksar for the “Man of the Year” campaign for Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. I interviewed Randy a month or so ago at night in his front yard because of the ambiance of that location. Some of the gear I used for this shoot was:
2 Canon T2i’s
Igus Diy slider (http://igus.com/) with Friction Arm (Friction Power Arm)
2 can lights with clamps (from home depot)
1 LED work light (home depot) (Home Depot LED Work Light)
Z96 LED (Z96 LED)
55mm 1.2 FD Lens
135mm 3.5 FD Lens
Zoom H1 audio recorder
Sennheiser wirelesss mic set
A lot of my equipment was purchased due to Emm at cheesycam.com and his many helpful reviews on a huge variety of dslr production equipment.
The whole production recording was shot within an hour and Randy did an amazing job telling his story of how he became involved with LLS and Team in Training. I enjoyed creating this video for such a great cause that he has been involved in for many years and raised a lot of money for too. To find out more information on how to get involved or if you would like to help please watch his story and check out www.10kin10weeks.wordpress.com. Together we will find a cure for cancer. Thank you for your donations and sharing this video.
I have been meaning to write about my 35mm adapter that I use on my Canon HF100 but with so many video projects I have put it off. So, here is the low down. I purchased the JAG35st back in May so that I could shoot my sister’s wedding in Hawaii with some old school slr lenses. I had looked into the many different adapters out there on the market but found myself noticing the amazing videos coming from the inexpensive but professional enough adapters by JAG35. Once I purchased the JAG35st ( st means static – no moving parts) I started my search of Canon fd lenses. This was the cheapest way to go if I wanted to get that “film look” in my future video creations. If you are looking to give your videos a “film look” then check out http://jag35.com. They are having holiday sales so some items might be slightly cheaper to purchase this month. I have enjoyed the JAG35 adapter so much that I bring it wherever I go with my video camera. It helps me when I want to focus on a specific subject and have the background blurred out. I always carry my 50mm lens because the depth of field is really short and gives the image a closer more personal look.
Now that I finally found time to blog I wanted to tell you about this awesome program called Magic Bullet Looks by Red Giant Software. I heard about this little gem from an awesome filmmaker named Philip Bloom. His website is http://philipbloom.co.uk/ and the video which I was amazed by is called “Return to Dungeness”. He was kind enough to create a tutorial of how he stylized this video utilizing a laptop running Final Cut Pro and the plug-in/software Magic Bullet Looks. After watching his tutorial, which is really interesting and fun to watch, I was sold on it and made the purchase to use with the latest wedding footage I had shot in Hawaii. All I have to say is WOW! I love how easy it is to use and how fast you can create your own style. I have noticed however that when color grading needs to be done on every single clip it can be a little tedious.
The video clip that I am creating was all shot on a Canon HF100 using a JAG35st adapter and a Canon HF10. I did find the JAG35st to be an awesome addition to my creative shooting. After a lot of use this last few months the adapter seems to be holding up to all my travels. It is scuffed up but working quite well with all of my Canon FD lenses. There is one small issue with the ground glass in the static adapter. When facing a lit subject I can see a small circle or ring on the ground glass. This only seems to be most visible in well lit areas but I am pretty sure I can purchase another ground glass from Mr. Garcia. I am sure all of his products are as awesome or better than the JAG35st that I purchased.
I will have a video posted here shortly once all color grading is done along with my company logo animation using Motion software which I have never used before.
I am currently preparing to shoot my little sister’s wedding in Hawaii on Saturday May 30, 2009. The video camera setup will include: 1 Canon XL1s, 1 Canon HF100 with 35mm adapter, Canon FD lenses for the 35mm adapter (main lens 50mm f/1.4), MacBook Pro for Live streaming of the wedding, 2 tripods, XLR wireless Sennheiser microphones, and many other accessories for this shoot. I plan on using the Canon XL1s and connecting it to the laptop for a U-stream live setup but I am not sure exactly how this is going to play out in the end. My HF100 is an HD camera utilizing a Jag35ST and Canon FD lenses so I will be shooting a run-n-gun style with this setup. While I am shooting this wedding with my video camera setup my brother-in-law will be shooting with his professional DSLR carmera a Nikon d700 with both a 24-70mm and a 50mm lens. With both of us experienced wedding shooters we should have a great turn out in both pictures and video along with a live streamed wedding. The event will be located on the big island of Hawaii on the Kona side of the island.
If interested here is the wedding URL which will be LIVE May 30th @ 3pm or 6pm PST:
There will also be live video streaming on the ustream site showcasing the “Growing Up Years” slide show prior to the Live event if interested.