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:
Cinematography
GoPro HERO7 First Look

GoPro HERO7 First Look

The new GoPro HERO7 can do WHAT? Join Steven John Irby, co-owner and director of Street Dreams Magazine, for a look at the most advanced GoPro yet: HyperSmooth Stabilization, TimeWarp Video, live streaming, voice control, waterproof, and much more.


Adorama TV
Cinematography
Five Cinematic Drone Shots For You To Master

Five Cinematic Drone Shots For You To Master

If you tend to put your drone up in the air and then struggle with what to do next, or if you just randomly shoot around filling up your memory card, then this tutorial is for you. Here are 5 cinematic drone shots that, with a little practice, will take your aerial cinematography to the next level.

Tutorial
Adorama TV
Studio Design
Video, Audio, VFX, & Finishing: The Hybrid Suite Revealed!

Video, Audio, VFX, & Finishing: The Hybrid Suite Revealed!

Marco Solorio of OneRiver Media takes us into his newly built suite, which he refers to as the “hybrid suite”, combing editorial, color grading, and audio mixing in one harmonious environment. Installation affordability is this suite's undertone where today's industries are in tight financial climates. With increasing demand for clients wanting “all-in-one” services, building such a suite has proven more important today than ever before. Tips on building your own workspace bookends this in-depth article.

Feature
Marco Solorio
Blackmagic Design Announces Advanced New Blackmagic RAW Codec

Blackmagic Design Announces Advanced New Blackmagic RAW Codec

Blackmagic Design has introduced the public beta of Blackmagic RAW, a new and very modern codec that combines the quality and benefits of RAW with the ease of use, speed and file sizes of traditional video formats. Blackmagic RAW is a more intelligent format that gives customers stunning images, incredible performance, cross platform support and a free developer SDK.


Creative COW
Adobe After Effects
Compositing Secrets Everyone Can Use: Pt. 1 - Blend Modes

Compositing Secrets Everyone Can Use: Pt. 1 - Blend Modes

Join longtime VFX artist, editor, software developer, and business owner Simon Ubsdell for the best look behind the technology of blend modes that you've ever seen. This isn't just for graphics and VFX, but for video editors too -- anyone who puts anything together, and wants to learn more about HOW images combine at the most basic level, in a way that applies to every application you might use, whether Adobe Premiere Pro, Apple FCPX, Avid Media Composer, DaVinci Resolve, VEGAS Pro, and yes, graphics and VFX programs like After Effects, Motion, Fusion, Nuke, Scratch, and many more.

Tutorial
Simon Ubsdell
Business & Career Building
Luck: A True Hollywood Story

Luck: A True Hollywood Story

It’s all about who you know, right? But what if you don't know anyone? Yoni Rusnak didn't come to Hollywood until nearly 30, not knowing anyone, yet is rapidly building an enviable resume in both scripted and unscripted TV. He's found that you CAN create luck, using a formula for breaking into the business that everyone can use, in Hollywood or anywhere else.

Feature
Yoni Rusnak
Maxon Cinema 4D
Jiggling Jelly in Maxon Cinema 4D!

Jiggling Jelly in Maxon Cinema 4D!

3D and motion graphics artist Dave Bergin of CG Shortcuts shows how to create and animate jiggling jelly in Maxon Cinema 4D using C4D's Jiggle Deformer.

Tutorial
Dave Bergin
Art of the Edit
What It Takes to Edit Big TV Shows: This Guy Edits

What It Takes to Edit Big TV Shows: This Guy Edits

Sven Pape of "This Guy Edits" joins TV editor Josh Beal (House of Cards, Bloodline) for a close-up look at editing Season 2 of Counterpart, the Starz series starring JK Simmons in a dual role -- which is only the start of the challenges presented by this high-energy sci-fi thriller. Josh dives deep into storytelling techniques, workflow, teamwork, organization, and even offers some insights for people wondering how to get started as TV editors themselves.

Tutorial
Sven Pape
MORE
© 2018 CreativeCOW.net All Rights Reserved
[TOP]