Yesterday I braved the Los Angeles county traffic to make it all the way up to San Fernando, specifically to Revolution Cinema Rentals' open house.
These gear porn-fests are somewhat amusing from my standpoint. Living in San Diego, most of this gear is non-existent within an 80 mile radius. If you just stop and truly listen to the conversation you'll hear religion about bit depths, codecs, sensors...etc., but does it really matter? I used to think so, and least more than I do now. Yes, OK, it does matter to a certain extent. Sometimes you have to impress your clients with claimed knowledge of baffling technology that they will never understand just because that's what will get you the job.
Every DP finds their technology-driven religion. Some espouse film at infinite length (Oh god, make it stop! Uncle! Uncle!). Some demand Sony F65 stereo rigs because (sarcastically) who shoots 2D anymore(?) and it just looks impressive to the director if the camera is the size of a Fiat 500. Some love the "look" of the Red or Arri cameras, even though the raw files can be made to pretty much look like one another.
More and more people come up to me to ask what type of camera they should buy. I have no clue, but I can offer two pieces of consistently good advice. First, buy the camera you can immediately figure out how to use without reading the user manual. That's how I ended up with a Canon 40D instead of a Nikon D300. I still can't figure out the Nikon controls. Second, think about what you're expecting the camera to do for YOU specifically and buy the one that best fits YOUR needs. This also relates to economic needs. For instance, I don't NEED a Sony F65 to shoot a local car commercial, but it sure would give my ego a much needed boost right about now.
I also wouldn't want a director to come to me with their iPhone and expect Citizen Kane just because they saw a really cool video on Vimeo or Youtube. - steam spewing out of my ears and my head doing continuous Poltergeist style 360-degree rotations. Although, I'll admit to using a GoPro from time to time just because of the form factor. It was the right tool to use for that job.
Gaining familiarity with the hardware shown during the RCR event is just good to have as knowledge in your back pocket to impress clients. However the real reason to go to these events is to network and get a feel for what's really happening in the industry. That's far more important than in-depth knowledge of the latest log-curve. You work with whom you want to work with. The trick is finding those good/reliable people you want to go into battle with.
That said, here's a listing of random pictures from the event.
Oh, and the SmallHD DP7 OLED monitor completely blew me away. I want one. Please excuse the drool droplet marks over that last picture.
HOW WE DID IT: Doc Style
2 years ago