Cine Gear Expo 2015: Cinematographers Discuss Their Craft on the Paramount Lot

Cinegear Expo LA 2015

By Rodney Charles

The annual Los Angeles Cine Gear Expo took place at Paramount Studios in Hollywood June 4-7, 2015. This event gives the entertainment and digital community the ability to check out new equipment first hand. The event seems to be growing in popularity and since Cinegear is free to the public (before the registration cut off deadline) I don’t see any sign of this changing, especially for those of us unwilling to make the yearly pilgrimage to the NAB Show in Las Vegas.

Cine Gear Expo 2015 took place once again on the beautiful Paramount studio lot. Hundreds of equipment exhibitors set up their booths providing an impressive (and just short of overwhelming) display of equipment throughout the pristine grounds.

Beyond the latest that digital and entertainment technology have to offer, there are also a series of incredibly informative industry panels. My personal highlights from the list were:

Friday June 5The Digital Cinema Society’s presentation: Focus on Anamorphic Lenses, where an expert panel illustrated why anamorphic cinematography is in resurgence. Very enlightening- even for those of us who have previously used any of the range of anamorphic lens options available- and an absolute must for anyone new to this lens choice.

Friday June 5The Society of Camera Operators presentation: ‘Exploring the Key Relationship between the Director and Operator’. I walked away understanding why this partnership is key to creatively successful productions.

Friday June 5Sony’s presentation: Special 4K screening of Tomorrowland and Exclusive Q&A Panel Discussion. This highly anticipated discussion and screening did not disappoint, in fact Tomorrowland director: Brad Bird, cinematographer: Claudio Miranda ASC; co-producer/VFX producer: Tom Peitzman; and senior colorist: Stephen Nakamura gave the technically curious beyond their money’s worth – even for a free event! Their detailed breakdown of the entire process of making the effects heavy film made my head hurt. The screening of the finished film Tomorrowland seemed disappointing by comparison.

Saturday June 6The ASC’s presentation: Dialogue with ASC Cinematographers. This was a dream team of some of the worlds best Cinematographers messily debating the pros and cons of their craft. The entire session was dedicated to fielding questions from the audience, a mix of industry professionals and students eager to learn. Panelists included cinematographers: Roberto Schaefer, Eric Steelberg, Daniel Pearl, Matthew Libatique, Nancy Schreiber, Haskell Wexler, Guillermo Navarro, and Peter Moss.

Rodney Charles is an award winning writer, filmmaker, actor and Vice President of the African Artists’ Association. Follow him on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.