Posts Tagged ‘feature film

21
Aug
15

Littekens (“Scars”) feature film

Meanwhile, our feature film Littekens (“Scars”, Director: Martin Beek) – shot on Red Scarlet & Canon glass – has been doing well in Asia (Hong Kong), Washington and will feature at the West Virginia Filmmakers Festival next month.

Littekens scars nominated selected official selection film festival international thriller martin beek marvels Littekens scars nominated selected official selection film festival international thriller martin beek marvels Littekens scars nominated selected official selection film festival international thriller martin beek marvels

And with that event, the festival season is over for Littekens and we’ll start focusing on further distribution! Keep an eye out for Littekens!

Meanwhile, if you want to see the full movie now, it’s available on Vimeo on Demand here: https://vimeo.com/ondemand/littekens (with trailer and English subs).

Movie film feature Littekens scars nominated selected official selection film festival international thriller martin beek marvels

Website: http://littekensfilm.nl (Dutch)
IMDb: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2748180/
Vimeo page with trailer: https://vimeo.com/ondemand/littekens
Facebook (English) page: https://www.facebook.com/littekens
Facebook (Dutch) page: https://www.facebook.com/littekensfilm.nl

27
Apr
11

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.
www.martinbeek.net
imdb.me/martinbeek

19
Jan
11

Finally, the new Marvels Cine Picture Style 3.x for Canon DSLR

UPDATE: please follow the link “marvels cine for hdslr” at the top of this blog for more information and updated profile.

Stay up to date by “Liking” http://www.facebook.com/marvelsfilm


UpdatePhil Holland has published an article with pictures about his experiments with this new picture style here.

Canon neutral
Marvels Cine 3.3 style
Canon Neutral style, contrast all down                                 Marvels Cine 3.3 style

As i wrote before in an earlier post, i was not particularly satisfied with the version 2.x picture styles i published as alternatives (NOT replacements) to the renowned and widely used Marvels Cine Picture Style for the Canon D and T/Rebel series vDSLR cameras.

With all due respect to Bart Keimen who provided most of the 2.x styles, i was not confident in using them for production work, and i sticked to the good old Marvels Cine style. I was contacted in december 2010 by colorist and formerly Fraunhofer institute scientist Jorgen Escher, who offered to help me with developing and testing a new Marvels Cine picture style successor.

After having shot a lot of footage with many many styles on both commercial and indy production work since 2009, using the 7D and the 5DMKII, and after receiving much feedback and many test reports and -footage from you all, i’ve come to a number of conclusions.

  • the Canon picture style editor sucks
  • picture styles that are too flat (pronounced S-Curves) do result in chromatic anomalies such as “plastic skin”, and gaps/irregularities in the histogram
  • the standard method of flattening (contrast all the way down, color 2 pegs down) is not flat enough
  • the Neutral picture style is colorimetric not ideal, to use as a basis for developing new flat styles
  • the Canon picture style  still sucks
  • the middle part of any S-curve (approx. 40-75% brightness ) should be kept linear to protect skin colours and exposure. The camera already has it’s own s-Curve that changes with the build-in style! Let’s not forget that! We are applying a curve to a curve! Using reference cards and precise measurement reveals this, and enables people like Jorg, who know what they’re doing, to draw a new curve on top.
  • white balancing and exposure is often judged wrongly when using a too flat style, and therefore results in underexposure and more colour problems – specially when using the camera’s LCD and omitting the camera’s Histogram display or when using an external monitor
  • the above can be solved when exposure and white balance is taken after selecting the unchanged Standard or Neutral style and then switch to the flat style for shooting – and i don’t like that!
  • did i already mention that the Canon picture style editor sucks?

Taken all this in account, Jorg has provided me with an all-new Marvels Cine Picture Style v.3.3.
It’s less flat than “super-flat”, is less flat than the first Marvels Cine, uses 10 curve nodes, does not touches any colour and is based on the Standard style as a base, instead of the Neutral style.
Exposure and white balance – special those of the skin – can be safely set using this new style if you judge these settings by eye.
The new style can made more and less flatter by adjusting the Contrast setting. Even if contrast is set in the middle position (4), it’s still flatter than the usual way of flattening the untouched Neutral style (w. contrast on zero).
The style is slightly more colourful than other flat styles, because it uses the Standard style as a basis.
The Standard style setting is used as a basis for this new style, because the s-curve required this in respect to the skin colours – for colorimetric and exposure reasons.
Jorgen tells me that he has created this style’s S-curve and .pf2 file WITHOUT the Canon Picture Style Editor, but does not want to tell much about this process YET.

And i am happy with it!! I hope you like it too. I invite everyone to try this new style and share with me their findings, comments and links to test footage. I hope to be able to provide you with examples after this weekend too.

I also want to encourage users to experiment with the base style setting of the new style (suggesting switching Standard, Neutral and Faithful).

The new Marvels Cine Picture Style v.3.3 can be downloaded here
(zip archive – please read the README file before use!).Creative Commons Licentie
The Marvels Cine Picture Style v.3.3 file by Marvels Film has been licensed following a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.0 Unported licence. CC BY-NC-ND

Courtesy of Jorgen Escher -> http://colorbyjorg.wordpress.com – @colorbyjorg

Cheers!
Martin

05
Dec
10

New and updated versions of the latest Marvels Cine picture styles for Canon DSLR cameras

UPDATE april 2011: please follow the link “marvels cine for hdslr” at the top of this blog for more information and updated profile.


UPDATE  JAN 8 2011: New version available from this post!
After getting hands-on experience and feedback from users of the new Marvels Picture profiles (2.3 and Panalog) posted below, i am currently pushing forward (in our planning) the development of the new and final Marvels Cine Flat profile “3.1”.  I, as a filmmaker with a specific taste for the elusive “film look”, am not entirely satisfied with the s-curve that has been provided by Bart Keimen for the recent profiles. I am currently test shooting with an all new picture profile that is much more advanced than any other profile and with an s-curve that is not only mathematically correct, but also mimics the s-curve of film stock AND offers control over it’s “flatness”. The profiles will no longer be made with the Canon Picture Profile Editor, but with an in-house developed application; it’s crude and not sexy, but can calculate curves based on mathematical functions instead of user/mouse input. The mathematical functions have been provided by Jorg Escher of Fraunhofer and we’ll work together next week to finalize the application and provide one or more profiles to work with. So, for now, i regard the “2.3” picture profiles as betas for  you all to experiment with.


 

Hello all.

We are happy to announce the release of two additional versions of our latest “Marvels Cine 2.1 Panalog” picture style. And two all new Flat picture style files; all for your Canon D-range (pun not intended) DSLR cameras.

Two additional profile versions have been made from the latest v.2.3 “Panalog” style, addressing style settings only – for your convenience – and two are new profiles based on the latest “Panalog” version, but with the color correction disabled, offering only the slight s-curve to “flatten” the picture without color changess.

As from now, i will configure two versions per existing Marvels style, one for low contrast situations and one for high contrast situations. These are using the same s-Curve, but with different Contrast settings, that you can alter yourself to taste.

Here is the list of all available Marvels Cine Style picture profiles for the Canon cameras. .pf2 and zip files provided, as well as a one-file download of all styles.
Please use this post as the official and final download page for all Marvels Picture Styles.

  • new: Marvels LOWc 2.3
    Slight “best of both worlds” s-Curve for useful flattening of the picture, without introducing flattening artifacts such as “plastic faces” and other 8-bit color gamma defects. Optimized for low contrast shooting situations (e.g. indoors, night).
    Classification: No color correction. Light flattening.
    Version 2.3 of december 5 2010, by Martin Beek and Bart Keimen, Marvels Film.
    Permanent download link: .pf2 file zip file

  • new: Marvels HIc 2.3
    Slight “best of both worlds” s-Curve for useful flattening of the picture, without introducing flattening artifacts such as “plastic faces” and other 8-bit color gamma defects. Optimized for high contrast shooting situations (e.g. outdoors, film lighting).
    Classification: No color correction. Moderate flattening.
    Version 2.3 of december 5 2010, by Martin Beek and Bart Keimen, Marvels Film.
    Permanent download link.pf2 file zip file
  • new: Marvels Panalog LOWc 2.3
    Slight “best of both worlds” s-Curve for useful flattening of the picture, with color correction based on a mapping of the Panavision Genesis Panalog Style, using a Panavision Genesis camera, a macBeth color card and a Canon 7D. Optimized for low contrast shooting situations (e.g. indoors, night).
    Classification: Advanced color correction. Light flattening. Panavision Genesis simulation.
    Version 2.3 of november 28 2010, by Martin Beek and Bart Keimen, Marvels Film.
    Permanent download link.pf2 file zip file

  • new: Marvels Panalog HIc 2.3
    Slight “best of both worlds” s-Curve for useful flattening of the picture, with color correction based on a mapping of the Panavision Genesis Panalog Style, using a Panavision Genesis camera, a macBeth color card and a Canon 7D. Optimized for high contrast shooting situations (e.g. outdoors, film lighting).
    Classification: Advanced color correction. Moderate flattening. Panavision Genesis simulation.
    Version 2.3 of november 28 2010, by Martin Beek and Bart Keimen, Marvels Film.
    Permanent download link.pf2 file zip file
  • Marvels Cine Flat Picture Style v.1.2 (“Classic”)
    The renowned and widely used (+23.000 downloads) Marvels Cine flat picture style.
    Featured in many DSLR indie movies, music videos and even feature films.
    The above profiles are NOT a replacement for this extra-flat cinestyle s-Curve profile – this profile is still actual, being used and updated. Should be manually adjusted for low/high contrast situations using the camera profile’s “Contrast” setting. Dial contrast completely down for high contrast and to “-2” or “-3” for low contrast shooting situations.
    Classification: No color correction. Very flat.
    Version 1.2 of december 5 2010, by Martin Beek
    Permanent download link.pf2 file zip file
  • All-in-one up-to-date archive (zip) of all Marvels Cine Picture Styles
    Permanent download link: zip file

Please use the links above to download Marvels picture styles. Webmasters/bloggers: please update your file links.

Feel free to distribute!

Cheers!

21
Nov
10

New Marvels Cine picture style for Canon!!

UPDATE: please follow the link “marvels cine for hdslr” at the top of this blog for more information and updated profile.


We are delighted to announce our new Picture Style for the Canon D series HDSLR cameras: “Marvels Cine 2.1 Panalog“. This picture style features a mild S-curve and is less flat than other flat profiles. It also includes an advanced color correction scheme based on a Panavision Genesis Panalog cinema S-curve. It is the Picture Style we’ll be using on our Canon 5D MKII b-camera for our new feature film “History of fear”. The profile was originally devised to match the Panavision Genesis with the Canon 5D MKII.

The panalog color correction is performed on a Genesis DPX raw framegrab of a correctly exposed MacBeth colorcard and Kodak grayscale card, with the camera set to a Panalog 4 s-curve, colormatrix off, saturation off and filter pre-set to 3200 K, recording in RGB 4:4:4 SQ, with the nominal sensibility indicated by Panavision Spain of 400ASA. Courtesy of Alfonso Parra.

The original Genesis DPX framegrab file (5.7 MB)  is here.

It can be viewed with the Panavision DPX viewer available from the Panavision website here.

This is not a replacement for the renowned “canon 7d picture style with cine-gamma (s) curve” style, but a new and additional picture style for all you independent shooters out there who want a professional semi-flat profile.

The picture style is developed by Martin Beek in cooperation with Bart Keimen for Marvels Film and can be downloaded here:

http://mediatube.marvelsfilm.com/marvels_cine_v2.1_panalog.pf2

Thanks to Jorgen Escher (Fraunhofer institut), Alfonso Parra AEC and Robert Dury (Panavision rental UK).

I have shot a few seconds using standard 5600k daylight setting and used the standard FCP filters to put the blacks on zero, dialed up the saturation and lifted the overall luminance to read 70% on the face. No other filters or color correction applied. You can watch this test here, showing “before” and “after”:
http://www.youtube.com/user/marvelsfilm#p/c/5D2A185F5F5C92C2/2/beJH1hGYlC0

Don’t be alarmed by the noise; this was shot indoors on a cloudy day with ISO 640 and a slow lens; slightly under exposed, at F4 wideopen. This test is to demonstrate the color rendition, not the exposure as such.

The picture style is released into the public domain and can be copied and distributed freely. The file link above will remain hosted on our server until the end of days, so feel free to link to the file. For those having problems downloading the file, we provide the following ZIP file download: http://mediatube.marvelsfilm.com/marvels_cine_v2.1_panalog.pf2.zip.

UPDATE NOV 26 2010: you should use the whole ISO numbers (“native ISO”) for contrasty shoots (100-200-400-800-…) and the “broken” ISO numbers (125-320-640…) for low contrast scenes.Why? Because the native ISO’s maybe produce a slight bit of extra noise, but do provide much more headroom for highlights.  Also switch off the Highlight Priority setting in the camera when shooting video.

Cheers!

Martin.




twitter.com/martinbeek

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