Posts Tagged ‘camera


UK phone number changed

Hello friends. My UK direct line number has changed, so below are my contact details as also published on my website’s Contact page.

Marvels Film
Martin Beek

Director of photography

Netherlands office:
Mobile: +31 6 46 570 853

UK representation:

Marvels Film
Pinewood Studios, Room 235
Pinewood Rd – Iver, Bucks.
SL0 0NH United Kingdom

UK direct local (London) number to Martin Beek: +44 203 129 5093



GH2 HDMI output recorded with Atomos NINJA

Ninja Graffiti by Martin Beek /

Recorded at the annual Graffiti event in downtown Eindhoven (The Netherlands) using the Panasonic GH2 and Atomos Ninja digital recorder. The Ninja is a GREAT sub-1000 euro ProRes422(HQ) HDMI recorder from .

I’ve used the GH2’s Smooth picture profile (all settings on -2 except for color saturation at -1) and Voigtlander Nokton 25mm/f0.95 lens with Fader ND filter. Aperture fixed at f2.8. Mixed 160 and 320 ISO.

Quality of the footage is stunning; it’s a pity that i had to convert it to H.264 to upload to YouTube, plus the extra compression crap that is added during YouTube’s conversion.

You can download the original hires/hi-Q input file (H.264, not the FCP ProRes444) from the Vimeo page at :

Music: “Yeah Yeah” by “Bodyrox featuring Luciana”. Buy the music here:

HDMI Ninja-recorder footage was deinterlaced, decrippled and converted to uncompressed 4:2:2 “fcp-ready” footage by using the free AviSynth and FFMpeg tools as described here:! and here:



Martin’s personal recap 2007-2011

Martin and daughter Ramona, 2011

When i started this blog a few years ago, it was intended for ventilating my thoughts, feelings and adventures in filmmaking. It turned out that talking about what drives, enthuses or infuriates me is not all that easy. Sometimes even not allowed. For example, i’ve visited Iraq five times from 2007 through 2009. Each of them classified missions, with almost all material (footage&stills) part of a rigorous non-disclosure agreement; leaving me with nothing to show or tell. Another example is my work for the Dutch justice department (via a subcontractor) which can also not be discussed here.
Other projects, such as the documentary work for Steven Spielberg’s “Survivors of the Shoah” and – another example – the interviews i held with people in the last days of their lives, are both very private and sometimes copyrighted and owned by families or a foundation. Footage i shot in a coroner’s mortuary in England last october are absolutely indescribable, let alone publishable in any way…

Los Angeles Movie Awards

So, this blog became a tech blog during 2008 discussing anything ranging from prosumer camera equipment, shooting workflows, picture styles to post-production and using DSLR cameras for professional productions. This changed a bit during 2009, when i was asked to do the camerawork for a short movie (“Free Fall”) for the Dutch Aids Fund, that was shot using a Sony EX1 camera plus a DOF adapter. I spent ages experimenting with the camera’s settings and different DOF adapters and lenses. Nevertheless did i spent a lot of time (and money…) on this short movie that year. We did the postproduction mainly in 2010 and the movie was released to film festivals in march 2010. MotherWhen my mother died in may that year, i realised that she’d never seen “my” movie, simply because i didn’t know that she didn’t have a DVD player. She probably spent some time trying to put it in her CD player, or stuffing it in the VHS. Dear old mom.She was 83 and had enough of life. I am fortunate to have shot a three hour interview with her, taken in december 2009.

During 2009 and 2010 my team and i were hit by the worldwide recession in many different ways, resulting in a temporary breakup of the “fellowship” – trying to make a living in the film business or beyond. For me that meant partly doing multimedia productions and programming for websites and press publications. I’ve done some experimental filming with different cameras and i had a few camera jobs. Not all that exciting to blog about… Using the Panasonic GH2 in combination with the Atomos Ninja recorder and creating the shooting conditions and workflow for low-budget indie film production are getting on really well, thanks to the cooperation of Panasonic Netherlands.

We (Marvels Film = Patrick, Karel, Aukje, Denise, Bas, Martin) organised a great after-party for our short movie early this year (2011) and released the short into the public domain through YouTube (watch here).

But, the beast has awoken (again)… 😉
I’ve started to work on a script for a feature film in january and Patrick and i are working hard to turn it into a white-version screenplay (script) as we speak. We’re also casting at the moment and planning test shoots and auditions sometime during may. We are hoping to get the initial funding to shoot 3/4 of the script (omitting expensive scenes – those to be shot abroad and star cameo appearance) and then cut a teaser to assist the further fundraising.

The story has the Italian working title “i miei geni” (my genes) and tells the true story of a young woman in search of her biological father. As a kid, her desire to know who her father is, is constantly hampered and sabotaged by an abusive and violent mother. After a final confrontation and great row, she leaves home at the age of eighteen to go on a quest to find her father – alone. She has only a few leads that lead her to Italy via France, where some “complications” distract her from her route, resulting in arriving to late to meet her real father, who has died and been buried at an Italian small-town graveyard just days before her arrival. No spoiler here, because this is not yet the (surprising) end of the story! And i refuse to reveal more… 😉

Jean RenoThere is one part, just one or two scenes for a specific character, that plays in France. For that role (can’t get into detail now), we are currently speaking with the agent of Jean Reno. Mr. Reno would be perfect for that character. This is not an easy route, promises to be expensive, but would be a great “cameo”. Also a great name to have for the movie, and it will help the further fundraising. Jean Reno is my favorite actor!

For other important characters, we’re having talks with the agents of Dutch actors, AND we have casted our main character.
As with our last little movie, there will be a dedicated website and weblog for this new movie – so more news and details to come…

We are hoping to start shooting this year. We are also hoping for camera sponsorship, from either Sony or Panasonic, in order to achieve filming this picture using one of their top-range ProSumer camera’s (e.g. Panny AF101, or Sony F3) – that’d be an exciting and prestigious operation – not only for us, but also for the camera’s manufacturer. The movie’s target is international film festivals and cinema release. It’d be an affordable alternative for the Red camera rental we had initially in mind and give us some more budget headroom for renting better (the best) actors. We have even looked into using several Panasonic GH2 DSLRs for the job, but i’m still not confident of it’s performance, although this magic little camera delivers beautiful footage when it’s output is recorded with a digital recorder such as the Atomos Ninja or the Convergent Design NanoFlash. It still has one F-stop less dynamic range than the AF101 and even less compared to the F3.

Woops, almost got stuck into technical issues again there! But the tech stuff is an important part of my work. I use to film on traditional film stock for over 20 years, not worrying much about technical camera issues.

Red OneThe camera did the click-click-click thing or not. A light meter, a few filters, a battery, and a strong back was what we needed. Black&white video assist and having to watch the dailies tomorrow to discover that doghair in the gate, in all shots… Great times? I don’t think so. Unpractical, unaffordable and hopelessly outdated. I love the new challenges, i love the digital workflow, and i love making beautiful images.I love tinkering with cameras and stuff, but i always try to find a balance between dealing with the technique and shooting a beautiful image, that might even be less perfect out of a pure technical viewpoint. To cut a long story short: i have seen terrible, horrible stuff shot with Red cameras and the absolute opposite coming from sub-1ok$ cameras. It’s the hand that operates the gear, and i have to admit that i’m sometimes jealous of the images people are able to squeeze out of their little budget cameras. Not giving a sh*t about megapixels, dynamic range, picture detail and lens specs seems to be the main ingredient, go for the looks! I’m trying to find the middle of the road… I have to care about film-out and how footage “performs” on the big screen.

Tough decisions have to be made, having a lot to do with budget for renting equipment and production expenses, but also with the number of people involved on the set – cast and crew. Talking with agents and distributors. With suspect sponsors and sponsorship brokers…

I’ll keep you informed! Follow my tweets: @martinbeek

This leaves me  cursing you with this old Chinese curse: May you live in interesting times!

Martin Beek.


Resuming hardware reviews and new 5D & 7D picture profiles coming up

I’ve been caught off balance by the passing away of both my mother and a good friend this spring. I postponed all hardware reviews and major blog articles.
I am planning to resume all activities – and making this blog infromative and attractive again – before the end of this year.

I have planned the following hardware reviews that are all confirmed – hardware either on the way or arrived:

Further, in october, new 5D/7D picture profiles coming up! New and updated Cine profiles, mathematically optimized. Among onthers, a flat profile that is just a tad flatter than the neutral profile with “dial everything down”; just a very slight inverted S curve, but enough to lift the blacks and roll off the high lights in a more pleasant way.

Just keep visiting regularly!

Cheers! – Martin.


Vrije Val (Free Fall) 2010 – the trailer

This is the trailer for the short movie i’ve been DP for in 2009:

Click the video to watch in full HD!
Movie stills: click here


Here comes Sony 3D: prototype single lens 3D 240 fps camera

Maybe not the most up to date news items, but still interesting now more info becomes available.

From HD Warrior:


This prototype camera from Sony is designed specifically to film 2 images from one lens. Set to debut at CEATEC next week, the HFR Comfort-3D records at 240 fps through just one lens instead of two thanks to a new half-mirror system that takes left and right eye images at the same time, better for capturing fast motion and providing viewers lacking polarized glasses a 2D picture with minimal blurring.


As you can see instead of using two lenses which brings it’s own problems, focusing being one of them, Sony have decided to run with one lens and two recording devices, this in my opinion makes the 3D camera not only aesthetically pleasing but is far more practical and should allow smaller camcorders in the future.

Read the original article on

Some extra pics found by Martin on the web..:

Sony HFR Comfort-3D single-lens 240fps video camera 1

Sony HFR Comfort-3D single-lens 240fps video camera 2


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