Juan Carlos Oganes' film-making and work blog.

Friday, June 6, 2008

A Day at the Park

I love Nebraska!
Besides being the home of my beloved gorgeous woman, the wide vast plains and landscapes offer such a cornucopia of views for the filmmaker or any director of photography. I've seen online work of others in Oregon and Washington and really their landscapes help a lot with such a beautiful scenery (not to mention their great eye for beauty of course!).

I took the cam out in one of my free days to a park near Chalco in Omaha. The day couldn't be more perfect than it was. It started with a sunny warm-toned day, turning to a blueish cold cast as sunset approached and then the sky turned bright red (as the Atlanta sky in "Gone with the Wind") and....boom!! thunderstorms, lightning and rain. Being a tornado area it wasn't a good idea to be outside as those little-big fuckers could happen in any moment as it did those weeks I was there.

I just took some shots and played a little role in it to improvise a simple story of me in the park.

I used the HVX200, the Letus Extreme, Canon EF 35mm f/2.0 Prime lens and Canon EF 28-135mm f3.5-5.6 IS USM lens for the tight long shots.
Shot it in 1080 at 24p, used Premiere CS3 to edit it, color graded in After Effects and finished with our Proceso Cinematico Digital.
And below is what came out.

An Evening at the Park

AN EVENING AT THE PARK from Juan Carlos Oganes on Vimeo.

Monday, June 2, 2008

IndiSystem and cam rails

I had the good fortune of using a couple of rail and follow focus systems around and most of them have been on the pro range as the Chrosziel and others for cinema and big Zeiss lenses. When shooting Super 16mm my sweet film cam of choice was the silent Arri 16 BL. I used it with two videos I did with some clients years ago and also with my band when shooting the "Sirenia" and "What's the Fire" videos. You can click here
to watch the behind the scenes.

Usually, in situation that required more control, a follow focus came in handy but the need for a separate focus assistant was necessary, specially for hand-held camera moves. But to do be doing that around is quite a hassle itself so not only the follow focus needs to be good or decent but also the shoulder support for it to be comfortable.

Like I said, there are many rails and FF around but for the rest of us, a good and not-so-expensive one is for the call. I researched a bit and stumbled on the Indisystem company. Not only was I pleased with the price which compared to many around is a bit less but also the tech support si quite friendly. Tim Ovel runs the show there and he is a person you can call a nice "human being" or a friend. He is a very welcoming easy going guy who always goes out of his way to help customers and offer a helping hand. Not to complain about other companies but I had my share of odd moments with tech support, specially with big software companies who decided since some time ago to hire (or maybe outsource) it's client-dealing department with Hindu's. India has not only populated the motel or hotel business in the US but also many companies consider a cheaper option to use Indian people for those affairs. Me, your regular average-english-speaking-or-understanding person has sometimes a bit of trouble understanding some fast words of any american joe around, so, if you add an Indian person talking english with a heavy "bollywood" accent then....Houston, we have a problem! I have nothing against other nationalities (I'm not an american myself), but there's something going on there that needs some attention I think...but thats another topic that doesn't belong here.

Back to Tim Ovel. His IndiRail system is quite appealing and serves a lot of indie filmmakers with a budget and what made me happy with the purchase was not only the options of bettering the configurations but his helpfulness...things you really don't get around here lately. Whats the use of purchasing an expensive piece of equipment that when you find is not getting along with your camera accessories nobody is REALLY there to assist you?

Once it was all set and coupled with the Letus, the IndiMatte and the HVX200 this was the result: now this thing is all dressed up like the big boys and ready to dance.