Creating Change in 2016

Two years ago, you guys made the trip of a lifetime happen for me a small team. We had the opportunity to document a war torn environment and capture a one of a kind story. Lost Generation of Sudan was the first multi camera documentary filmed in that region in the last decade, that happened because of you. Now, we’re doing it again.

Here’s how this time will be different, and even better than the last.

We aren’t just doing another short film, this one will be bigger than any film Operation Broken Silence has every released. It will be a timeless feature length documentary to last through the ages and shed light on a very dark spot in the world. This film has the opportunity to reach thousands of people just like yourself and give you the knowledge and power to do something about the tragic situation in Sudan.

We have talented team assembled that I truly believe will give us the advantage of not only bringing you a beautiful looking finished product, but a compelling story that will grip hearts all across the world and put the power in your hands to make something happen.

Like I mentioned before, you are the very reason we are able to document these stories that change lives. Since the last documentary released and we unveiled Project Endure, you have put teachers back to work, gave classrooms school supplies and helped grow our movement 100% just last year. You are more powerful than you think.

December 1st is #GivingTuesday, one of the best days to donate, there are no transaction fees so literally every penny you donate goes 100% to the cause. It’s the perfect opportunity to give us the push we need to get the ball rolling on the documentary. Please visit my fundraising page at stayclassy to give a donation, any amount helps no matter how big or small. If you don’t have the funds at the moment to donate but still feel compelled to help us with our cause, you can become a fundraiser on my team and raise funds yourself! GET STARTED HERE! While you're here check out Lost Generation of Sudan below:

Review: Aluras, Primes, and Super Speeds


On the last few shoots I've gotten my hands on a few different types of glass: Zeiss Mark I Super Speeds, Arri Ultra Primes, and a couple of Arri Aluras. I'm not going to waste anybody's time going into technical detail, but as a Camera Assistant, here are some things I noticed and preferred about some over the others.

Zeiss Mark I Super Speeds T/1.4

First off, no doubt that Carl Zeiss is a highly respectable name in the field. Hands down some of the best sets of glass out there. The last feature I AC'd was shot on a set of Zeiss Mk I Super Speeds, great lenses with an aperture that clocks in at T/1.4. Originally released close to 30 years ago, these might as well be one of the founding fathers of super speeds. Them being so old though you run into a few things, some good and some bad.

With age, comes wear. Unless "babied" there is going to be some natural wear and tear from being used for so many years. PL mounts being loose and needing to be reset and having some give in the focus ring were some things we ran into. This may not be for everybody though, I can only speak for the set we had in particular.

Beautiful filmic image. What I loved the most about these bad boys was the film-like appearance it gave our image. Of course we had to be careful with the aperture, opening wider than a T/2 would give sort of a "bloom" effect. This would cause issues with pulling focus, but other than that great image. 

Hold your breath. Those who are familiar with pulling focus or dealing with a variety of lenses, you've heard of a lens "breathing." Well these guys full on inhale, deep sigh, practically snore. What I mean by the lens breathing is this: when you rack focus either direction, if it's a drastic enough pull you can see a change in your frame. Almost looks like a minuscule zoom, but it's noticeable. The actual physical lens breathes with your focus change as well. This can cause some creativity with your matte box, because at the start of your focus it may be right up against the lens, but by the end of your pull you could have gap in between the lens and matte box. This can cause light leaks depending if you have ND filters in or not. Just something to keep in mind.

Arri Ultra Primes T/1.9

Also accompanied with the Carl Zeiss name stamped on the top, great quality lens and a great quality image. Here's how they broke down for me:

Nice and Crispy. No doubt a good look to these primes. Compared to the Mark I Super Speeds it had a little less of a film look for me, but I felt like I could really nail some of my focus points, even as they got closer to infinity. Whereas on the Mk I's I felt like they would almost skip over where I wanted to focus as the talent got further away. Good crisp focus.

Nice and Cozy. In regards to the image, I can't say I noticed any breathing while focusing on these. Physically, there was NO breathing when you focus, which was great. The front of the lens was nice and cozy with the matte box the whole time, right up against the ND's. Kept us from even thinking twice about the possibility of light leaks.

Arri Alura T/2.8

Specifically the two Aluras we had on set were the 15-45mm and the 45-250mm, both with an aperture of T/2.8.

I've worked with these two particular lenses many times and love the image, plus being zooms it's easy to just dial in what lens your DP wants. However when you do have to change lenses, it's a bit of an ordeal. 

Working with primes it's easy to get spoiled to just pop off the matte box, or swing it away depending on the brand you have, change lenses and you're good to go. Going from a 15-45mm to a 45-250mm is a bit more to do. Shown in the images above.

The front of the lenses are differently sized so that'll change the donut/hard matte you have in your matte box. It requires a rod change/extension depending which lens you're switching to. Changing rods causes for pulling the Follow Focus and reattaching it, and if going to the 45-250mm a lens support is needed. Not exactly as quick of a change as the primes.

If that's kept in mind when changing lenses though and you have things organized in a fashion that you can get to what you need quickly it shouldn't take too long.

My Favorite?

Our of these three, I'd choose the Arri Ultra Primes. Quick to change, crisp to focus, and unless you're in super low light the T/1.9 is more than enough speed to get that nice depth of field you want in your shots. #DatBokeh