LIBRARY: Tutorials Reviews Interviews Editorials Features Business Authors RSS Feed

Cinéma Vérité with the Sony PMW-F3

CreativeCOW presents Cinéma Vérité with the Sony PMW-F3 -- Sony F Series & PDW Series Cameras Editorial


CreativeCOW.net. All rights reserved.



Zach Zamboni and Anthony Bourdain on The Layover
Wielding a Sony PMW-F3, Zach Zamboni shot Anthony Bourdain: The Layover, which began airing on the Travel Channel on November 21. He previously won two Creative Arts Emmy Awards™ for outstanding cinematography for nonfiction programming for his work on Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations, in 2011 for the Haiti episode and in 2009 for the Laos episode.

He began using the Sony F3 with two episodes of No Reservations, in Kurdistan and New Orleans.


I'm on the road 200 days a year. I have shot 10,000 hours in every corner of the world and, for me as a cinematographer, to see so many beautiful things has been an amazing experience. I am constantly striving to bring a certain level of cinematic treatment to all of these places, and to all of my documentary work.

The Sony PMW-F3 is a great camera for handheld verite. For documentary, working on a 35mm PL platform is very exciting, and more accessible now than ever. So much of the market is heading towards digital super 35mm, I think it's making the overall quality of our work better and better.

When I first started shooting over ten years ago, the early digital cameras were popular because they offered the ability to work in a way you couldn't with a larger camcorder. But there was a trade-off in the format. When I was trying to make a show more cinematic and was using a small chip camera, I'd hit a level of frustration at being so limited with that medium.



With Anthony Bourdain in Singapore


With the F3, Sony has brought the large sensor, Super 35mm platform to video and hit a price point that makes it affordable for so many shows -- including small shows like the ones I work on. Cinematographers like me have been wanting this for years. It's a revolution for me to be able to shoot Super 35mm in a cinéma vérité setting, go handheld all day and save hours of footage to tiny cards. It really is amazing.

The Layover was a new type of show for me. The idea behind the show is to give travelers an idea of what they could do to make the most of a few hour layover. Anthony explores each destination in just 24 to 48 hours. We follow him into unexpected places, and it's all completely off the beaten track, off the cuff and very fast. I don't have time to prepare for anything and I can't prelight a space -- and I'm not a big fan of on-camera lighting anyway.





I could never have shot this show with a 2/3-inch chip camera. The F3 enables me to do a show that, up until now, I couldn't have made the way I wanted to. I'm in all of these strikingly beautiful places with beautiful scenarios and, as a cinematographer, I wanted to share those the best way I could. The reality is that we can't all take the F35 with us -- but we can take the F3.



"More sensitivity in the Sony F3 means I can shoot longer after sunset, more available light night cities, and more ambient fire. More sensitivity means more possibilities."
SUPERIOR SENSITIVITY
Being able to shoot without using additional lights is an asset in many documentary situations. If you think like an anthropologist, and how people naturally behave in their environment, the moment I put a light up, it's training a microscope on the Petri dish. Things change.

If I don't have to turn that light on, something else happens. Yes, of course there is a camera in the room, but I'm always surprised at how a good operator can fade into the background.

I won't be the cinematographer saying this is the camera you don't have to light for. But I will say the F3 is an incredibly sensitive camera that allows me to capture low light in a way I couldn't before. More sensitivity in a camera means I can shoot longer after sunset, more available light night cities, and more ambient firelight. I can make better use of the light that is already around me. More sensitivity means more possibilities. It keeps me shooting.

So it's not just working in Super 35mm that's so exciting, but what the F3 adds to that: superior sensitivity. You put a fast lens on that camera and you'll see things you could never have seen before.

I would be riding on the back of a motorcycle at night in Singapore, or in a hut cooking by firelight, or a really dark bar in New York City and I would think, this is way too dark, I'm not going to be able to shoot anything. Then I'd turn the camera on, put on a fast lens, and it's there. I saw things and captured scenes that I never thought I'd be able to capture. That sensitivity would let me run down the steps with Tony into a bar I'd never seen before, and have faith I was going to get it.



Zach Zamboni: "I was on the back of a motocycle in Singapore, thinking 'This is way too dark.' Then I turned on the camera, put on a fast lens, and I saw even more than my eye could see."


In all these experiences, we found out that people don't like to inhabit spaces too dark for the human eye to see -- and the F3 is on the edge with that sensitivity. I saw as much, and even more than, what my eye could see.



A COMPACT, ROBUST CAMERA. BETTER PICTURES.
I like that the F3 is a fairly compact form factor and that it records SxS onboard, which is how we shot The Layover. Panavision supplied our cameras and lenses, and we used their lightweight zooms and primes, which I enjoyed. I like the off-board recording capability, which is going to get better and better. You can already record 10 bit uncompressed 4:4:4 off-board, which is incredible.


And the F3 is really robust. I've had it in 120-degree heat, in wet saltwater environments and in extremely humid environments, and it's never died on me.


Some people are going to think of the F3 as a B or C camera that they can pair up with an F35 or F65 as a second unit. Others see it as an A camera on an independent movie or a lower budget television show.



Zach Zamboni and the Sony PMW-F3.


The top tier shows tend to always look good because they've got great resources of people and equipment. Now, I think that the aesthetics of all types of shows are getting better, thanks to all of this terrific new technology, including the Sony PMW-F3.







Comments

Re: Cinéma Vérité with the Sony PMW-F3
by Al Yeung
Does anyone know what brand those wooden grips are? Thank you.


Related Articles / Tutorials:
Sony F900 & PDW Series
Cinedeck EXTREME Enhances Sony F3 Workflow

Cinedeck EXTREME Enhances Sony F3 Workflow

The Cinedeck Extreme is an upgradeable, rugged, portable, direct-to-disk video recorder "designed and built by cinematographers for cinematographers." In recent tests, the Cinedeck EXTREME proves itself a lower-cost alternative to SR tape.

Feature
Debra Kaufman
Sony F900 & PDW Series
Sony XDCAM HD PDW-F350: First Impressions

Sony XDCAM HD PDW-F350: First Impressions

In this prosumer hd dv camcorder review from The Creative COW Magazine, Timothy Duncan discusses his first impressions with the CineAlta-branded XDCAM HD PDW-F350, along with the PDW-F70 recording deck. Sony's XDCAM HD F350 is an optical disc-based variableframe-rate camera that shoots in both HD and Standard Definition DVCam.

Review
Timothy Duncan
Recent Articles / Tutorials:
Art of the Edit
TV Workflow Supervisor Kylee Peña: The Benefits of Pressure

TV Workflow Supervisor Kylee Peña: The Benefits of Pressure

TV workflow supervisor Kylee Peña (Jane the Virgin, Colony) visits Adobe's "Make It" talk show to chat with host Jason Levine about the evolution of motion picture workflows, from the days of film and tape to our modern digital world of crazy-high shooting ratios and constantly evolving technology. She also expounds on the upside to creative constraints and tight deadlines. And don’t miss the lightning round!!!

Feature, People / Interview
Cow News
Color Grading
Grading The LEGO Batman Movie: Animal Logic and FilmLight

Grading The LEGO Batman Movie: Animal Logic and FilmLight

Following successful collaborations on The Matrix, Legends of the Guardians, and Happy Feet, Sydney's Animal Logic worked with Warner Bros on The LEGO Movie from pitch to proof of concept to post. Animal Logic has gone even further on the latest LEGO animated feature, The LEGO Batman Movie, where they were embedded with the production for over a year. The range of their work pushed every aspect of the Baselight system for editorial, VFX, and HDR not just for post, but for the entire production process.

Feature
COW News
An Editor's Epic Journey, by Katie Toomey

An Editor's Epic Journey, by Katie Toomey

What do you do when your company folds and there's no local work? Whatever you have to. For Katie Toomey, that meant emptying her savings and heading 2000 miles west to Los Angeles, with no job in hand. The only options were make it or break it. The journey itself was difficult, but the hardest part may have been the only thing that made it all possible: asking for help. This is a truly inspiring story with tons of real-world examples of how to accomplish what feels impossible at the time.


Katie Toomey
DaVinci Resolve
Fairlight + Resolve, Part 1: The DAWn of a Resolved Era

Fairlight + Resolve, Part 1: The DAWn of a Resolved Era

Marco Solorio of OneRiver Media gives an introductory overview to the rebirth of the Fairlight digital audio workstation (DAW) that is now part of Blackmagic Design’s powerful DaVinci Resolve post-production system. Is this finally the solution to break away from the Pro Tools stronghold?

Review, Editorial, Feature
Marco Solorio
NAB Show
Bob Zelin's NAB Show, Take 2017

Bob Zelin's NAB Show, Take 2017

Longtime broadcast engineer, facilities designer, and workflow consultant Bob Zelin has been attending the NAB Show for years, and his legendary write-ups have gone to unparalleled lengths to bring you hidden gems from every corner of the floor. Bob is taking a slightly different approach this time, as he views the specifics through the lens of trends that have been emerging for quite some time, now bearing fruit in 2017. Sit back and enjoy another real-world, hype-free, anything-but-objective ride through the industry's biggest week of the year.

Feature
Bob Zelin
RED Camera
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2: Behind the Scenes with RED

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2: Behind the Scenes with RED

Anticipation for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 was already heated up when director James Gunn announced that it was to be the first feature film captured with the RED WEAPON camera using an 8K RED DRAGON VV sensor. In this marvelous behind the scenes featurette courtesy RED Digital Cinema, James discusses the decision to use the RED WEAPON, and how it played out with director of photography Henry Braham, BSC. Both of them found the combination of the massive sensor and small form factor incredibly compelling, providing them the technology to capture the epic scale of the action, in a package small enough to allow them to get exceptionally close to the scenes of genuine intimacy that are this series' secret weapon. (See what we did there?)

Editorial, Feature
Tim Wilson
Art of the Edit
The Science of Editing: Look Closer -- The Mind of a Film

The Science of Editing: Look Closer -- The Mind of a Film

When you ask an editor what they DO in the edit suite, the answer is often something like, "Well, it's intuitive." To become better editors, though, we need to be more specific. Editor, author, and professor Dr. Karen Pearlman breaks down the process into five specific steps that editors must take in order to turn a mass of material into something coherent. You can learn to hone the specific skills of observation and self-awareness that distinguish editors from other observers, and make unexpected connections that move stories in compelling new directions. Sven Pape of "This Guy Edits" presents his conversation with Karen in the form of a powerful video essay that you will find illuminating and inspiring, and will be able to start using right away.

Tutorial, Feature, People / Interview
Sven Pape
Adobe After Effects
Adobe After Effects April 2017 New Features

Adobe After Effects April 2017 New Features

The April 2017 release of Adobe After Effects (version 14.2) is packed with new features, and Tobias Gleissenberger of Surfaced Studio is here to show you the latest and greatest. Highlights include the Essential Graphics panel and Motion Graphics templates (with Adobe Premiere Pro integration), the addition of Lumetri Scopes and Color Correction effects, new effects organization, the Camera Shake Deblur filter and more.

Tutorial
Tobias Gleissenberger
MORE
© 2017 CreativeCOW.net All Rights Reserved
[TOP]