2013 Cinegear and Radiant Images

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The Paramount Studios played host the 17th Cine Gear Expo over the weekend, and filmmakers of every aspect of production gathered to tour the latest innovations in cinema technology, as well as notable pieces of equipment from recent films, such as the Flying Cam 3.0 (“SARAH”) used in the recent Bond film, Skyfall. Guests were met with unique gadgets at every turn: from a motion-tracking, high-speed, robotic-armed camera, to Porsche mounted cranes. (video on the right)

CWB’s Standout Exhibitor for Cinegear 2013 was Radiant Images. A company that started out of a garage with some lofty goals, Radiant Images has become the leader in providing high-quality imaging solutions to filmmakers looking to capture some very unique and challenging shots. The company produces one-off equipment that includes a bevy of feats of technology: a helmet-mounted, cinema-quality camera that allows for the operator to pull his/her own focus (used in End of Watch), a custom mini Technocrane, and the new Novo 2k camera, already tapped for David Ayer’s Ten (starring Arnold Schwarzenegger) and the upcoming street-racing flick, Need for Speed.

I spoke to the men behind Radiant Images to get a grasp of how they evolved into the go-to guys for filmmakers pushing the envelope.

It comes down to communication; Babak and Michael Mansouri attribute their success to truly understanding filmmakers’ visions and ideas by providing a one-of-a-kind experience for everyone that works with them. Most importantly, they provide a can-do attitude and will fulfill the filmmaker’s vision completely. We all know that’s easier said than done!

The brothers also highlighted the work of Sinclair Fleming, the talented man who helps bring their ideas to life through some real ingenuity and technical skill.  Sinclair brings over 20 years of experience to the team, with a background in production, business, and engineering. “This is one of the few jobs I’ve had where I can truly say that I’m having fun each and every day!” Sinclair said.

Radiant’s Novo camera is the industry’s newest small-form action camera, and this year they produced the latest iteration in the aforementioned Novo 2k. The new Novo brings uncompressed, 2k footage into a package about the size of a deck of cards. The Novo removes the cinematic limitations of the GoPro Hero 3 by providing a C-mount lens system and great exposure control capabilities.

The company also released a new iOS app which contains detailed, objective information about all available production cameras, including a range of camera specs – sensor size, resolution, frame rate, base ISO, latitude, bit rate, recording format, recording time, weight and dimension – plus numerous photos of each product. The app is an organizational tool that allows users to set-up “projects” and switch between them, adding necessary products as they go and even getting a price quote; it’s a great tool for anybody working with digital cinema equipment.  The Radiant Images App is out now!

Co-Founder Michael Mansouri described Radiant Images as “a solution-based company.” That simple idea combined with their abilities and desire to exceed expectations has taken Radiant Images to the top of their field.

Other eye-catchers:
-On-set workflow gurus Quiet On-Set had the ultimate D.I.T. station on display.  The portable system came complete with 3 Mac-minis, 2 displays, QOS servers with 90TB of space for camera data masters, and the FlavourSys Strawberry tool, which allows for project sharing/managing so you can start your dailies before your card is even done dumping! http://www.qosserver.com

-ARRI introduced some new Zeizz Anamorphic concept lenses. We looked at a 50mm lens that was uniquely flat; this translates to very little distortion and amazing optical performance. Look for production models in the near future!  http://www.arri.com

For information about the many other exhibitors at the 2013 Cinegear Expo L.A., check out http://www.cinegearexpo.com

Photos & Video by: Francesca Castro

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Luz Aguado

Luz Aguado was born in Guanajuato, Mexico and grew up in East Los Angeles. She is the oldest of four siblings. Prior to attending The Art Institute, Luz was a student at the University of California Riverside where she studied biology and aspired to become a medical doctor. Now she studies Media Arts and Animation at The Art Institute of Los Angeles and hopes of one day having the opportunity to work for Disney Animation Studios. Three dimensional animation and the innovative techniques that have given animation a more realistic appearance is something that she wishes to focus on while at The Art Institute.

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