Monday, April 06, 2009

The Only Difference Between Men and Boys Is the Price of Their Toys

Since I only seem to talk about politics on this blog, it is not very obvious that in college I majored in film-making.

However, after four years of film school, frustratingly I didn't get many chances to shoot film. Instead, I found myself spending more time as an Assistant Director and Producer/Production Manager. Since I am approaching 40, I thought it was time to remedy this by buying myself a serious camera system. Call it my mid-life crisis.

The camera I decided to go with is the Sony EX3. It is the first small HD camera endorsed by the Discovery Channel to be 100% broadcast-worthy. Much to the dismay of my check book, I added to it the Letus Ultimate depth of field adapter. The adapter, which looks a little like an elephant trunk, allows me to use the fast Nikon prime lenses that I already own, instead of the stock video lens that the EX3 comes with. To add insult to injury, I added the Arriflex MMB-1 Matte Box / Follow Focus system and Zacuto plates and rods. When all is said and done, I basically could have bought myself a new BMW and a vacation to French Polynesia.

Here are a couple pictures of the fully built package.*

*(For those people in the know ... I have mounted the should pad under the lens assembly simply as a place to keep it out of the way and the hand grips would normally be removed while on the legs.)

On our first weekend together, we spent our honeymoon in one of my favorite places, Shelter Island, NY. I grew up on the island and it holds a special place in my heart. I picked it because our house there is spacious, clean and quiet. This is essential when learning a new camera system. The island also has a number or good locations for camera tests.

The beach and the nesting ospreys.

Time lapse sunsets from Serpentine Road.

With any camera system ... and this one especially ... you are forced to become your own technician. Some of this equipment is very specialized, and I knew that it was only a matter of time before I was taking stuff apart and putting it back together again.

With each day this is getting easier, and I hope that by the end of this month I no longer need to carry a bottle of aspirin around with me.

Hopefully I will post some test footage in the near future.

*Special thanks to my novice assistant camera person, and unpaid personal photographer.

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