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RE: Eclair Cameras: That Stupid Connector! :-(
I was using a hammer to get my message across and I'm sorry. But let me
clarify what I meant--and it didn't have anything to do with anyone
being German, since after all "Welle" means "wave" in German and that is
my last name, so I could very well be insulting my own ancestors. I was
trying to describe the fascist notion that many film snobs have when
they think that their way is best and that people who don't have
"mechanical grace" should be shooting video and not film.
I'm talking about this notion that there is only one way to do something
in filmmaking and that is it.
My first point concerns behind the lens filters. If you look at the
Filmmaker's Handbook by Steven Ascher and Edward Pincus, you will find a
section where they try to impose their idea on you--even if you haven't
done it before:
"If you plan to use behind-the-lens filters, have the flange focal
distance adjusted by a technician to compensate for the change. You
must then always use a clear gel (UV 1A or 2A) when not using another
Now I have shot tons of footage with the Eclair ACL without a behind the
lens filter in the holder and the images look beautiful. Furthermore,
the Eclair ACL I manual states on page 18:
"Caution: Always film with a holder in position, with or without a
filter, to avoid the possibility of fogging the film."
The two sources contradict each other. The Eclair ACL manual implies
that it is okay to have no filter in the holder when filming. The
Filmmaker's handbook states that having no filter present is absolutely
But there is more. Look at the Aaton LTR instruction manual and they
will tell you on page 28: "Always, always, always, always, always remove
the lens from the camera body during transport." They then go on to
elaborate by attempting to scare you by showing the amount of force that
the lens would have if dropped from one meter above inside its
The Filmmaker's Handbook confirms this notion when they say: "Remove
lenses from the camera when shipping, and pack them in fitted,
foam-lined cases." (p. 109)
So you think, I had better follow their orders and not think for myself.
But not so fast. Look at the picture of the Carrying Case designed for
the ACL on page 13 of the Eclair 1.5 manual. The lens is connected to
the camera inside of its case. The case is designed so that the lens
and camera stay together. Once again the Eclair manual has managed to
contradict these sources. Eclair is cool!
But it doesn't stop there. A lot of people are suspicious if you use
100' spools. "They'll scrape," they will say. Or, "They don't last
long enough." To the first assertion I say, I have shot dozens of 100'
spools and I rarely get scraping noises. If you used a barney on your
camera with one in it, you would have a very quiet device. Also, you
don't have to load the spools in a black bag, which requires a lot of
mechanical grace because you can't see what your doing, and it puts more
film on the line to mess up (400' instead of 100'), plus the 400' mags
are more expensive. Besides if something goes wrong when you are
shooting 400' core loads, such as dishing or scraping it really gives
you headaches because so much film is on the line. The 100' spools are
stored neatly in little boxes that you can seal up. I love them!
And I love reversal film. And everyone says "Don't shoot negative,
shoot reversal." Well, guess what? The one time I do shoot negative, I
send it off to the lab to get telecined (on a Rank Cintel at Yale Film
and Video) and the films come back with the colors all wrong. When you
shoot Kodak Reversal the telecine people don't need to screw around with
it because it's balanced for video projection. Yes, it doesn't have as
much latitude as negative--but really who cares? I'm not a film snob.
The list goes on with people saying you have to take light readings
manually with your stupid Sekonic L398, and not with that perfectly fine
meter that is built into a 35mm SLR camera, which is nice because you
can actually "see" what you are getting. NO! We have to be all fancy
and look like Vittorio Storaro, and the wine must be at 44 degrees
fahrenheit, and we must have the beautiful actress bathed in soft glow
lighting, and I must have a croissant, and I must have my snotty little
director's hat, and my mustache, and my goatee, otherwise people won't
think of me as a film director--even though all of this is a lie, and a
pretense. Oh, by the way, you may not use that built in light meter on
your camera. It might actually give you proper exposure, and it would
be faster than the way that I do it, but not as sexy, and we have to do
things the old way because George W. Bush is commander in Chief, and
your either with him or your with the terrorists. And if you use your
built in lightmeter you are with the terrorists and we will smoke you
out dead or alive. So listen up folks! Anyone who doesn't take their
lens off in transport, use a clear behind the lens filter, use 400'
cores loaded in a black bag or tent, or fails to use a Sekonic L-398M
will be shipped off to Guantanomo Bay!
Relax. What a nice Sunday morning to wake up and check ones email and
On 3 Aug 2003 at 1:26, Michael Welle wrote:
> know that is sort of like saying if you aren't German with blonde hair
> and blue eyes you probably shouldn't be breathing! Stop film fascism!
> I hope this means something to you.
You are right in not forcing anything whilst handling gear and I only
gave my opinion
from other people's and my experience.
And coming back to your remarks I found them very displaced and hope
this is just due
to the recent incident with your lens.
Have a nice day.
Emmanuel from Munich previously from Beirut, Paris, London, Brussels
(where I was
Kamera-Assistent, Focus Puller, Assistant Camera
35mm - 16mm
Français, Nederlands, English, Deutsch
Tel:00-49-89-30 76 34 69
Mob:00-49-160-80 36 889
European based, Munich
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