Definition November 2023 - Web


on projects, including one based on the popularity of the company’s dioptres. Thiele describes the upcoming range: “Our dioptres, whether full, split or our new Spot versions, are incredibly in demand. Spot is a dioptre with a flat- ground area in the centre. It blurs and distorts the edges of the image while keeping the centre point in focus. We’re also working on new generations of diffusion filters. Some will be more subtle, but will still have a significant effect.” FILTRATION FUNDAMENTALS Despite all this, the basics of filtration remain, as Formatt Hitech’s David Lutwyche says. “The shift has been more toward diffusion effects and filters that can’t be replicated in post, such as polarisers. ND is still important, and our most requested filter, but more and more people are working with internal ND, despite the drawbacks in quality from most systems. Variable ND still struggles with infrared contamination, and that includes some of the newer

digital systems. UV and protection filters are still very common, as it’s a cheap and effective way to safeguard your investment in lenses.” Beyond those fundamentals, Lutwyche concurs that the drive for new ideas is insatiable. “Cinematographers are asking for unique looks. Black mist is a classic, but more and more cinematographers want special filters. We’re working on multiple ways to do this through a custom diffusion kit, due to launch at the end of the month. We can combine effects as well as change colour tones, dependent on the end user’s needs. Then there are stacked filters, such as ND, polariser and diffusion in a single filter, which avoids ghosting and saves a lot of weight.” Coincident with that push for optical originality, the birth of virtual production has given cinematographers another reason to reach for in-camera optical effects – to enhance what amounts to in-camera visual effects. “Virtual production is a big thing for filtration,” Lutwyche confirms. “We’re working

to develop filters exclusively for use with volumetric and virtual production screens. They often need a way to blend the real world elements and background, and also to create unique looks. Virtual production is great, as you can use any filters you normally would. On green screen, diffusion might negatively effect the process – it’s not impossible, but it’s more difficult than shooting clean.” Schneider-Kreuznach’s Thiele reports much the same. “Virtual production is something we’re already dealing with. An LED wall is a direct light source, as opposed to a real scene, where light is usually reflected off of objects. We work with DOPs who share their experience, because we’re curious about the results ourselves.” On or off the virtual production stage, though, the push for real-world effects in camera seems just as powerful as the audience’s desire for practical effects and photochemical origination from filmmakers like Nolan. And, as Thiele concludes, “post- production costs time and money. So do it in the camera!”



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