Archive for the 'Something Different' Category

11
May
17

Cineo Quantum C80

Cineo Quantum C80

So as we all know if you can find the end of a rainbow then you should find a pot of gold but have any of you ever wondered what’s at the start of the rainbow? I think I may have the answer (well for modern rainbows anyway).

 

It’s got to be the all-new Cineo Quantum C80 Led light panel. Cineo describe it as “the ultimate creative lighting tool” and who am I to argue. From the outside it looks like a large version of the HS units by Cineo with the normal black and red styling. It’s manufactured using lashings of extruded aluminum that make it robust enough for our industry (just like its predecessors have proven to be) yet keeps its weight down to under 23 Kg. This is impressive when you consider its size (60 x 120 cm / 24 x 48”).

c80.jpg

 

Delivering an impressive 50,000 Lumens of “beautiful, easily controllable, full-gamut light” the C80 packs a powerful punch of 800 watts at maximum power but it’s the controllability that makes it really shine.

 

Four independent knobs on the rear of the unit give you complete control over all the C80’s features, let me take you through them one knob at a time.

 

Master. This one controls the dimming, 0-100 % as you would expect but set to correlate exactly to camera stops so 50% would be one less stop and so on, that’s a very nice feature in my mind.

 

White. This knob allows for accurate CCT adjustment as on many of Cineo’s other panels and allows for fast, precise setting of any desired colour temperature.

 

Colour. (And here is where the rainbow reference came from) This allows you to add saturated colour to the output with control over the hue being displayed on the control panel.

 

c80 control.jpg

Blend. (Nope nothing to do with coffee sorry) Controls how much saturated colour is added to the white light, adjustable anywhere from full colour to full white.

 

If knobs aren’t your thing then all the above can be controlled using DMX cables or even wireless DMX with the built-in Lumen Radio feature.

 

With the C80 the same colour shading can be achieved regardless of CCT. Hence plus 2 Green added to 3200k CCT will look the same as plus 2 Green added to 5600K CCT, provided that the camera is correctly white balanced. (We could call this Cineo’s law and physics students will have to learn it for years to come, bless them)

 

Now for the technical bit, Cineo have developed Phosphor-converted saturated colour LED’s that work with the same phosphor recipes as their white LED’s. This means that they combine well to produce a natural looking spectrum featuring cineos deep-red colour rendering (that’s as red as a pom on Bondi beach). Furthermore as all the LED’s use the exact same colour dye so they all carry the exact same thermal stability.  I think this means that everything gets old at the same time hence the light remains accurate throughout its life.

 

Oh completely flicker free, and silent operation also feature as we have come to expect from Cineo.

 

A solid 10 / 10 for my Brucie coolness rating I think this time!! I’m a fan of Cineo products and they have delivered another great addition to the range hence Pixipixel are getting them in.

 

The one slight downside is we don’t actually have them yet, but they are on order so watch this space.

However if you would like to take a look, why not join us for our free lighting workshop on the 16th of this month at Rida East Studios. The QC80 will be making an appearance along with cinematographer extraordinaire Adam Suschitzky BSC give us a call to reserve a space.

led worsk shop.jpg

13
Apr
17

ProLights Lumipix Batten

Looking at lights like this makes me wonder if we will soon see the demise of the gel industry altogether. I must admit that I hope we don’t, having spent years learning about CTO, CTB and the ever-amusing oddball amber (162) and seedy pink (748) amongst the plethora of other coloured gels available. I guess we will all get used to dialing in a colour on the back of the lights rather than correcting them at the front with giant sweetie wrappers and no doubt it will be easier, cheaper, and more accurate this way. I can’t help feeling we are likely to lose something of the craft of lighting along the way.

 

Still, far be it for us to stand in the way of progress, so we are fully embracing the new LED technology and it’s minimal need for gel. A good example of this is the new Lumipix batten from ProLights. This is a 12 bank LED light batten with the ability to produce more than 16 million colours without having to use a single sheet of gel. And I thought there were only 7 colours, well that’s how the rainbow works isn’t it?

ProLights LUMIPIX16H LED Batten

Not only will the Lumipix display lots of pretty colours but it will allow you to do all sorts of combinations and effects with them. I feel that this has been designed with the stage in mind rather than the big (or small) screen. They would be perfect for concerts and that type of show with in-built microphones and adjustable sensitivity to allow for music mode where the lights will respond to music themselves. Also full Dmx control is available right down to the individual LED’s so you can change colours and make pretty patterns to your hearts content.

But before you tune out its not only rock bands that can use this, you image-makers may find them useful too. In our world we would think of them less as a disco light and more of an all-purpose flood or fill light.

ProLights LUMIPIX 12 x 3w RGB:FC LED Batten - A

Rather nicely they have a flicker-free operating frequency of 400HZ to allow for relatively high speed filming, and a LCD display user interface so you can play with the settings without having to put it through a complicated control desk.

IP33 protection and a maximum power consumption of 40W will keep the gaffers happy. You folks will also appreciate the minimal 3.2 kg weight and the robust aluminum body designed to disperse heat and also protect the lights.

Interestingly these battens are also capable of being “pixel mapped” This term describes how a bitmap or image can be displayed pixel by pixel on a series of lights thus creating a video screen of sorts. I presume this would be used for displaying simple moving patterns or images.

However, I can’t help thinking that this feature could be employed to make the ultimate big HD screen experience. As each unit has 12 x LED lights, I calculate that 158 ½ units side by side would do one line of a HD display and about 170 thousand units stacked up would complete it. What an impressive screen that would make, being 150metres wide, however, you may have to watch it from outer space. Anyway we don’t quite have enough of them for that and even with the minimal 40 w max power draw per unit it would still draw 6912000.00 watts in total that’s over 30 thousand amps.

As far as specifications go each unit has 12 tri colour High-efficiency CREE LEDs giving a LUX of 1360 @ 1m, the optics give a beam spread of 19 degrees. Several DMX selectable configurations are available (2,4,6,7,9,18 or36) for advanced or basic controlling. A tough aluminum body to aid with heat dispersal and a controllable fan for forced ventilation will prevent over-heating.

Each unit has twin brackets for hanging that can also be used for floor positioning.

A power output has also been built in to allow for up to 10 units to be joined together using the one 230-v supply (less distro required)

So all in all this is a very nicely thought through product with some great features and I will give it a 7 / 10 for my Brucie Coolness Rating, only slipping slightly because its too difficult to ride home with on my bike for parties.

 

Cheers all BB

 

01
Apr
17

Go Pro Zombie Apocalypse Mount

Go Pro Zombie Apocalypse mount “aka Lucille”

lucille1.png

 

So although I don’t believe any firm dates have been set yet, those in the know, seem to think that the inevitable zombie apocalypse is just round the corner. Now we here at Pixipixel know that you don’t just want to survive the undead onslaught but being creative types you will want some epic footage to use for bragging rights afterwards. With this in mind Pixipixel are pleased to announce that we now stock the all-new Go Pro Zombie mount.

 

Ok so bearing in mind that once a date has been set for the apocalypse this is going to get booked up pretty fast. It may be worth having a few practice runs beforehand, this will really help to improve your technique in both zombie slaying and image capturing, practice makes perfect as they say.

lucille2.jpg

So a little about this rugged mount from Slooflirpa mounts, makers of specialist camera mounting hardware. The mount itself is made of rugged, strong and easily wipe-cleanable aluminum. It has a pleasingly strong feel about it and gives plenty of opportunity to vary the angle of the go pro to capture “actual impact” video as they describe it or “combat action selphies”, I’ve found that when set to a mid position both can be achieved in the one frame, useful as zombies don’t seem to want to get up for a second take!

lucille3.jpg

The mount we have opted for is for a baseball bat (splatter bat) and is cleverly attached at the foot of the handle to protect the camera from over spray but not interfere with the bats operation in any way, the full range of offensive blows and defensive parries is possible without any compromise to your technique. The only difference is that all your efforts can now be recorded in mind-blowing 4K on the go pro.

 

Slooflirpa make a range of zombie mounts to fit all your favorite weapons of choice, from chain saws to firearms they have everything a serious zombie slayer / film-maker could hope for. We decided to go for the Baseball bat mount or “splatter bat” as they describe it for various reasons.

 

For the initiated in zombie warfare our choice is pretty obvious but for the rest of you who are less used to dispatching the undead or “deadening” them as I like to describe it let me explain our decision.

 

Firstly although a firearm may be a good option for picking off zombies at a distance they have the annoying habit of running out of ammunition and this leaves you with no option than to use it as a bat anyway and a baseball bat is much more natural thing to swing. Likewise a chainsaw although pleasingly effective can run out of fuel, chain bar oil or ever throw a chain leaving you in trouble. The baseball bat has for those reasons been the go to tool for many a famous zombie slayer for years. It won’t run out of ammunition, fuel or malfunction in the middle of a melee and does add a level of street cred or certain panache to your actions.

Lastly both guns and chain saws make a lot of noise and this has the effect of alerting any local zombies to come and join the party, not always what you want.

 

Negan and Lucille from the Walking Dead are a perfect example of how to get the most from this hickory, barbed wire combination whilst maintaining your composure, but he is not the first to delight in the baseball bat as a first choice as I’m sure you know. The Warriors back in 1979 liberated a few from the Baseball Furies to help them battle back to Coney island (ok so it’s not a zombie flick, I know!!)and even Dr Zeus penned a poem celebrating the merits of a big bat. Field of dreams had baseball bats, but I fell asleep so don’t know if it ever featured zombies, somehow I doubt it.

drzuess.jpg

harleyq.jpg

Other famous baseball bat wielders include Jack Nicholson’s wife in The Shining who looks well at home with her Louisville Slugger and more recently we see some outstanding bat work in Suicide Squad in the hands of Harley Quinn. But to my mind Woody Harrelson really captures the humour that only a good old batting of a zombie can produce and he doesn’t even lose his hat in Zombieland.

 

woody.jpg

Now for the first hire of our latest must have camera mount I think we could throw in a pair of Pixipixel Zombie proof gloves so lets see who’s the quickest off the mark out of you lot.

 

The all-important Brucie coolness rating for our Splatter Bat is a solid 10 out of 10, it packs a hell of a punch yet feels good in the hand and has more street cred than a Shoreditch hipster on a fixie.

 

So if this is your kind of thing give us a call and ask for “Lucille”. PS any arrests due to carrying our Splatter Bat will not be accepted as an excuse for late returns and we reserve the right to charge a cleaning fee if returned with body parts still attached.

 

Cheers all BB

sh9inning.jpg

06
Feb
17

Arri Master Grips

“It’s all in the wrist,” well that’s what I’ve been told anyway.

Many years ago when I decided to learn to play the drums at school I was told it was all in the wrist, I never could get the hang of it but think that was more to do with having no rhythm so I gave up, then my mum told me it was all in the wrist when it comes to whisking so I brought myself a KitchenAid, in fact I’ve only found one pastime that my wrists seem to help with but we won’t go there in this blog.

Still, moving swiftly on from that I would like to tell you all about one new and exciting use for those wrists of yours, the all new Arri Master Grips.

For years the traditional style cine handgrips have helped firmly support and stabilise a camera on the operator’s shoulder and that’s about it. I’m sure that I’m not the only one who has wished that I could turn the wheel on the grip to alter focus rather than having to let go with one hand to do so. Well it would seem the good folks at Arri have been thinking the same thing.

The latest addition to Arri’s ECS (Electronic Control System) are the rather trick Master Grips. They are available in four versions: Right side or Left side and with either a Thumb rocker for super smooth zooming or control wheel for iris and focus adjustment. Our setup allows for the left hand to switch between focus and iris control leaving the right hand to take care of zoom.

image003

We can see this simply as a merging of documentary and cine style equipment allowing for a best of both worlds setup. Particularly when using small cameras like the Alexa mini with its reduced level of user interface, solid cine style grips with documentary style controls are going to be a great improvement in ergonomics.

arri-master-grips-4

When I first looked at these grips it occurred to me that the camera operator would have to become a multi-tasking genius. Not only holding and aiming the camera but zooming, focusing, and adjusting the iris all by themselves, that although possible would be challenging I imagine. I’m happy to say that Arri are one step ahead of me with this. By using the Arri WCU4 controller any or all of the functions can be taken over by the 1st AC so nobody is out of a job just yet.

Built to Arri’s super high standards and based around the proven ergonomics of the much loved Arriflex handgrips the master grips are solid, rugged, and reliable even in harsh shooting environments. Controls are easy to reach yet protected from accidental triggering.

At the moment the Master Grips allow for full control of cine lenses including adjustable motor speed, zoom response and motor limits, they also allow for control of integrated servomotors on ENG and EF lenses.

Featuring easy set up using the integrated touch screens or physical buttons all controls are fully configurable with reassuring status readout on the controls themselves.

arri-master-grips-zoom

I must say the Master Grips are rather impressive.  Arri have done their homework well on these, incorporating everything you would expect and more into a great package, putting you firmly in control whether you are shooting as a single operator or part of a crew. The Master Grips are sure to become a must have addition to your kit list. I’m giving them a full 10 out of 10 for my Brucie Coolness Rating.

So if you want to get you hands on some give us a call at Pixipixel Hoxton and we can arrange for them to be on your next shoot.

Oh and just in case you are wondering what that other use for my wrists is, well fishing, obviously!

Many thanks

BB

arri-master-grips-iris

20
Jul
16

Volte Face by Oliver Curtis

Volte Face by Oliver Curtis.

 

Oliver Curtis has turned his back on convention and just about everything else with his upcoming exhibition and book titled Volte face, roughly translated as about-face.

 

The expression volte face originally stems from the Italian word “voltafaccia” with volta meaning turn and faccia meaning face. Imagine for a moment what the Mona Lisa must look out at every day from her vantage point on the wall in the Louvre or Lincolin from his giant stone seat in Washington and you will have some idea of what Oliver has been shooting since changing his outlook on a visit to the pyramids of Giza in 2012.

 

Oliver recounts how after walking around the base of the pyramids he found himself stood with his back to the tomb looking out over the city of Giza under a vale of smog on the horizon and a selection of “human detritus” adorning the desert sand immediately in front of him. Now for most of us that would be a cue to turn round and take some pictures of what we flew to Egypt to see in the first place but not for Oliver, instead he saw something else, a new perspective.

 

This is the mark of a great photographer, having the ability to see and to see things the rest of us miss or just overlook it’s a skill that cant be taught in my opinion you either have it or you don’t and that explains why I am sat here writing a blog I guess.

 

The exhibition is taking place at the Royal Geographical Society from the 19th of September until the 14th of October and Pixipixel are proud to be amongst the sponsors and look forward (or even backward) to seeing many of you attend. At this point it can’t hurt to point out that admission is free.

 

Oliver is also producing a rather nice book of this project that I have yet to see, but presumably is best read from the back to the front in the spirit of the whole idea.

 

In reflection on this project Oliver explains that “Volte face is an invitation to turn around and see a new aspect of the over-photographed sites of the world – to send our gaze elsewhere and to favour the incidental over the monumental.

He continues to explain that “despite the landmark not being present in the photograph, the images are still suffused with the aura of the construction, the camera lens effectively acts as a nodal point and by giving the photograph the title of the unseen partner this duality becomes a virtue.”

 

By visiting the exhibition you will see that Oliver has produced some stunning images of familiar places in a way that we have never seen before and that itself is no easy thing, so we would like to congratulate him on his creativity in putting this outstanding body of work together.

Brucie BloggerScreen Shot 2016-07-08 at 18.08.14

 




Follow Pixipixel on WordPress.com

Pixipixel

0207 739 3626
0888-1900 Monday to Friday

%d bloggers like this: