This weekend I was invited by Teodor Stoyanov to do two workshops for an elite group of film makers in the capital of Bulgaria, Sofia. I went with my friend Dennis Lennie, who was an immense help not just in working out what needed to be taught but as I prolapsed a disc in my back on Thursday and was unable to move for most of the day!
It was so bad that I was going to cancel, but I felt I was getting some mobility back and this engagement had been booked for some time and these people had travelled from all over Bulgaria to come hear me talk and to learn things from me. So I had to go!
It was very successful, we met a wide range of people from the owner of a very large production company and her staff who shoot almost entirely on 35mm film and a large number of more independent film makers, directors, producers, cameramen, editors etc…
I taught them all about 35mm adaptors, using the Letus Extreme and EX1 as an example and also explained about the new technology of DSLRs that shoot HD Video. In particular the Canon 5dmk2 and the Panasonic GH1.
I took the Canon out on the streets in the evening to test out it’s low light ability and to show this footage to the attendees on each day. I shot entirely handheld using just the Zacuto Z-finder optical viewfinder which gave me much needed stability and the ability to easily focus. I didn’t take the full gunstock rig out as I wanted to be really inconspicuous. I looked like I was just taking photos.
Using just one Zeiss 50mm f1.4 Nikon lens with a Canon Eos to Nikon adaptor for £20 off of ebay I managed to get some lovely shots. As 5dmk2 users out will testify shooting with this camera is hard due to the lack of manual controls, but having the nikon lens helped and I did the usual tricks to lock down the ISO. Generally keeping it no higher than 1250, occasionally 1600 but never higher as the noise levels would be unacceptable.
This was all shot 30p. Everything was converted to XDCAM EX 30p in Mpeg Streamclip to make editing easy. The first three shots use FCP smoothcam to give a slightly surreal look to them the rest is all handheld raw. As I said no grading. So I did the entire edit in 30p, exported as a complete movie, brought it into compressor. Converted to ProRes 422 25p at best settings and it looked great. Not just that but the music stayed the same speed and pitch. So easy!
If you want to download the FULL HD ORIGINAL FILE, which is about 750mb then please go to www.exposureroom.com/sofia and click on download original. But you need to be member to do this. Membership is free!