SEP 2015 (71-72)

  • SEP 2015 (71-72)

September 2015: Issue 71-72

FDTimes is getting bigger (and heavier). There’s so much new stuff that we’re now weighing in at 120 pages.

Introduction to September 2015 Double Issue 71-72

Dear Theo,

This morning I saw the country from my window a long time before sunrise, with nothing but the morning star, which looked very big. I now have…a new study of a starry sky. I’ve worked…in white lead impasto, which brings a firmness to the land.

Vincent van Gogh wrote letters about “The Starry Night” to his brother Theo in June 1889. The messy business with his ear had occurred late the year before. However, historians Hans Kaufmann and Rita Wildegans argue (“Van Gogh’s Ear: Paul Gauguin and the Pact of Silence”) that Gauguin was the one who had lopped it off with a sword during an argument.

In another fit of revisionist history, we might imagine the following letter, presumably found by the heirs of van Gogh’s Gaffer,   about the “making of” a massive production they worked on together in and around Saint Rémy.

Dear Theo,

The script slugline says EXT. VILLAGE – STARRY NIGHT. The  producer says there’s no room in the budget for the lights I am requesting. I didn’t think I was asking too much: only twelve Airstar 4K Spheres and a hundred 20K Airstar Tubes. Do you think that is excessive?

Look at my location lighting plan in the painting, above. You can see the twelve Airstar Balloons. The art director thought they were stars. Obviously he doesn’t know much about cinema lighting. “How can stars have such big halos?”I asked him.

He blamed it on lead poisoning. “Vincent, those halos around point sources come from all the years you spent mixing lead pigments with your bare hands.”

Maybe he’s right. I do see halos around specular highlights and point sources. It sort of looks like a Tiffen Promist 4.

Anyway, back to our village night scene. As you know, Airstar Lighting Balloons are filled with helium, have lights inside, and are controlled with tethers by technicians on the ground. For the stars, I’ll put 5K Tungsten lights in the balloons, along with some with 1K Sodium Vapor bulbs to get weird colors.

The background sky above the hills is going to be a bit of a challenge. We’ll fly the hundred 20K Airstar Tubes along the ridge. Each Airstar is 29.5 feet long and 12 feet high, and each will carry five 4K HMI lights inside. I figure this kind of “available lighting” will require every available lighting technician in France, assisted by 500 shepherds who know the area, and the entire student population of La Fémis and Louis Lumière film schools.

Oh, and then there’s the question of how to blend these large background balloons into one continuous band of white-ish glow, as you can see in my painting. I’m considering two options. We could release a massive flock of white doves into the air to blend the light. Or we might ask the shepherds to build smoky campfires along the ridge, thus diffusing the glow of my hundred balloons into a single band.

But, hélas, it seems the only thing left in the producer’s budget is profit. He seems unwilling to call the rental house with my lighting list. Instead, he told me of several new high ISO Full Frame cameras that can shoot in moonlight, in starry nights, and even no light. I’m going to test them. Someone joked they can even turn night into a noisy day when cranked up too far. We’ll see.

My assistant and I are going to test a new Canon camera that goes up to 4 Million ISO. The new Sony a7R Mark II goes to 25,600 ISO. Sony’s a7S soars to 409,600. The Leica Q climbs to 50,000.  It will be interesting to capture churning skies and halated stars and things that the eye cannot normally see.

Best regards to all our friends at IBC. Yours, Vincent.


Starry Nights, No Light, Moonlight, Low Light. New no-low/low-light cameras. Canon C-Impossible 4 Million ISO camera. Interview with Jarred Land, President of RED. The Business of the Business with Winfried Scherle, Executive VP of ZEISS. ZEISS Factory Tour. ARRI Lighting Factory Tour. STEADICAM Factory Tour. ZEISS Museum of Optics. Leica Q. Hemingway. Sony a7RII. DaVinci for DPs…


  • Lighting with Paint on a Starry Night — 3
  • Painting with Light on a Moonless Night — 4
  • Canon ME20F-SH (C-Impossible) — 5-9
  • NEW SONY FS5 — 10-15
  • Aaton-Digital Cantar X3 — 16-18
  • New from Transvideo — 18
  • Alexa Mini Touchscreen & Monitor from Transvideo — 19
  • Leica Q (Typ 116) Code Name Hemingway — 20-22
  • Daniel & Kruschewski on Leica Q — 23-24
  • Leica Q 3.68-megapixel EVF, Autofocus, ISO 50,000 — 25
  • Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Cameras on Mythbusters — 26-29
  • ARRI LED Lighting with Michael Wagner — 30-31
  • Tour of the ARRI Lighting Factory in Stephanskirchen — 32-39
  • Business of the Business: Winfried Scherle, ZEISS Exec VP — 40-43
  • ZEISS 2015 Tour, ZEISS Museum of Optics in Oberkochen — 44-49
  • Tour of ZEISS Camera Lens Assembly — 50-58
  • ZEISS Worldwide Service at ARRI China — 59
  • Interview with Jarred Land, President of RED — 60-64
  • IB/E Optics S35xFF: Expand Super 35 to Cover Full Frame — 65
  • Kenta Honjo, Product Manager of Sony Alpha Cameras — 66-67
  • Sony a7RII — 68-69
  • How to Desqueeze Sony a7RII Full Frame Anamorphic — 70
  • DaVinci for DPs: Desqueezing a7RII Anamorphic with Resolve — 12 71
  • On Location in Portland with Sony a7RII — 72-73
  • Cooke 65 mm Macro Anamorphic Macro Anamorphic Pictures — 74
  • Cooke 65 mm Macro, 135 mm Anamorphic, Enhanced /i square — 75
  • FitzMaurice, VariCam 35, Cooke, Angénieux, “Monolith” — 76-81
  • Jason Garcia’s Guide to Surviving Episodic Focus w/ LR2 — 82-83
  • Tiffen Opens Burbank Technical Center — 84
  • Tour of the Tiffen Burbank Steadicam Factory — 85-89
  • Litepanels SmartLite App and Traveler — 90-91
  • Codex V-RAW, Codex VR, Codex Production Suite — 92-93
  • OConnor 2560 — 94
  • Anton/Bauer Cine & L Series — 4
  • Odyssey7Q+ Journey Continues — 95
  • Cartoni Focus 8, 12, 18, 22 Heads — 96-97
  • K5600 Lighting: New Alpha 800 — 97
  • Vocas Accessories for C300 MKII, Alexa Mini — 98
  • New Kino Flo Celebs, Divas, and Superstars — 99
  • Rosco Silk 210 — 100
  • Wooden Camera — 101
  • JVC GY-LS300 4KCAM V2.0 Update — 102
  • Xenon FF Primes now in E-mount — 102
  • Mole-Richardson LEDs — 103
  • SHAPE Cage and Accessories for Canon XC10 — 104
  • Lee Zircon Fade-Resistant Filters for LEDs — 105
  • PhotoCineRent Phantom Flex4K — 106-107
  • Clairmont, “Come and Find Me,” Cookes, Angénieux — 108
  • Ronford Motorised Slider — 109
  • Matthews Freedom Car Mount & RickyRODS — 110
  • AngéDudes — 111
  • LITES and CINE DIVING — 112
  • Dennis McDonald at Keslow Camera — 113
  • CamTec, “Compton,” Kowas, Cookes, Angénieux, ZEISS — 114
  • CineTape from Cinematography Electronics — 115
  • Production in Japan: NAC Open House — 116-117

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SEP 2015 (71-72)

  • Product Code: V70-72FDT
  • Availability: In Stock
  • $2.99