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The Dangerous Dance - Feature Documentary July 2016

I’m really excited to tell everyone about a documentary film I’m going to be working on from Sydney production house FilmStretch, whom I work for FilmStretch as a cinematographer. This feature documentary, titled The Dangerous Dance, is a solutions focused investigation into domestic violence, with a view to prevention or at least a reduction in prevalence in the Australian community. It’s currently in pre-production and the fundraising part of the process and going strong.  It’s great to have the opportunity to work on something meaningful and to effect social justice through filmmaking.  

“This is about more than just scraping women off the floor after the abuse as occurs” Brendon said to me as I looked over his shoulder in the edit suite recently, reviewing related material. To give you a better idea what it’s about, here is an excerpt from the latest press release:

'The Dangerous Dance that harms 1 in 4 women. For most women their wedding dance is a very public and symbolic culmination of a long held desire. The desire for a committed relationship, love, family and fulfilment. But love can be blind. Particularly in the early, romance stage when human brains are flooded with a cocktail of dopamine, adrenaline and serotonin. When the honeymoon is over, however, the stark reality is that 1 in 4 Australian women’s dreams will crumble in the face of the harsh reality of domestic abuse and family violence. The Dangerous Dance is a new documentary feature film that takes an in depth look at how this can happen. 

“The Dangerous Dance aims to engage both women and men in the difficult conversation about the causes of domestic violence, our confusion around sex, love and romance, as well as the outdated ideas many men cling to around what a real man is and the place of violence in settling conflict. It’s not going to be comfortable viewing but there’s no underestimating the importance and inherent fascination with this subject matter.'

Brendon has researched this subject exhaustively and will use a historical lens to examine the prevalence of domestic violence in general, as well as the particulars to family violence in Australia.  Another occasion while wrapping the set, Brendon and I were chatting about the notion of love and marriage.  “The notion of marrying for love is quite modern. In times gone by, marriage was more about the transmission of property through reproduction of the male line.  Heady frivolities like romantic love rarely came into it.  It was only later with the progression toward individualism, that the notion of personal, entirely consensual and equal marriage came to exist.” We talked about a lot of things a lot of times, and from what I understand this doco is ultimately about culture change; about making domestic violence history. The documentary alone may not change behaviours in Australian homes, but it will play it’s role, as we filmmakers bring the problem out of the shadows and into the light of the camera’s dispassionate gaze. Before continuing to read perhaps watch the proview, of come back to it at the end:

The Key Creatives are husband and wife team Brendon and Claire Stretch, who I know well having worked for them on hundreds of occasions as a camera operator.

Veteran filmmaker Brendan Stretch is known for his innovative approach to capturing the moving image.  His engineering background has allowed him to build numerous custom camera supports that I know of, which always keeps things interesting. As well as his custom gear FilmStretch insists on having all the latest cutting edge technology such as the DJI Ronin + Sony A7s combo, which I regularly operate when shooting for the Film Stretch production house.  Brendon was also pioneering in his use of non-standard and hand engineered beam splitter glass techniques.  Brendon also has his finger not he pulse with the drone technology revolution, based on his history as a pilot and RF engineer.  

The producing team is headed up by Claire Stretch (executive producer) with an extensive background in executive training and communications, and present experience as a producer and interviewer.  Producer Lucy Rhodes backs Claire up, with her mind for research, and her media journalism background with the BBC and Rolling Stone Magazine.  Along with myself as cinematographer and our extended network of talented cast and crew; this combination of unique and diverse talents all focused on a issues based documentary film, is a really exciting prospect.  

FilmStretch’s approach to funding this documentary is refreshingly agile. They are seeding the fundraising activities with an event on the 10th of August, featuring a presentation from David Morrison (Australian of the Year 2016) with other speakers and entertainments to be announced.  Located at swanky Dolton House at Jones Bay Wharf, right on the harbour, the evening also includes a Gala Dinner and networking drinks.    

Fantastic that it’s available to all of us, allowing us to participate and contribute to a solution.  Whether you’re connected through the media industry, or through the issue of domestic violence, this is our opportunity to help each other, so please come and give your support.

Details About The Dangerous Dance Gala Dinner

Date: 10th August 2016, 7pm to 10.00pm

Venue: Doltone House, Jones Bay Wharf, Level 3, 26-32 Pirrama Rd, Pyrmont NSW 2009

Ticket purchase here at eventbrite. Early Bird $180, Full Price $200.

Please book by 8th August. Nearby parking is available at $17.

Dress code: semi formal.

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March 2016 - Camera Review

Sony PXW-FS7

I love all cameras, I have a not working Super8 camera (no better than a paper weight), that I still keep and love. I fantasise about owning an Alexa or Phantom, but my daily workhorse kit consists of a customised Sony PMW-EX3 and PMW-F3. I also regularly operate the Sony PMW-F5. Recently I have been operating the PXW–FS7, and I'm comparing it mainly to the other Sony models I have mentioned.

Lemac lists the product as follows: "Sony PXW-FS7, 4K Super 35mm Exmor CMOS sensor XDCAM camera with α Mount lens system, 4K/2K RAW and XAVC recording options," for $12,500 including GST. The camera has many of the same specs as the other cameras in the Sony range.

First of all, the FS7 is light weight. That’s true of the F3 and F5 when stripped down, the difference is that the F7S comes with an “ergonomic grip design” and a mini shoulder pad built into the body, making the FS7 operable when stripped down. My F3 is accessory city, with quick release plate, rails, KiPro Mini, V-lock battery etc. Without all the after-market accessories my F3 is difficult to operate, so the FS7 has that huge advantage when shooting hand held.

Secondly, it's 4K. For the short two hander scenes I've been shooting using the FS7, the editor will often get the close-up by cropping the medium shots. This saves a shot each way per set-up. The perspective and depth of field are not as aesthetic as physically swinging from a 35mm to a 50mm lens and doing the extra shots, however with the demanding schedule and 2K delivery, cropping the 4K medium shot is often a welcome compromise.

Operating the A7S off the shoulder:

There is a built in, small and pretty ordinary shoulder pad, plus there is no counter-weight back behind your shoulder, but those aren't such problems because the camera is light weight. Last week I shot a handheld scene that took a little over two hours to complete and my handheld was rocksteady, from the first shot to the last.

I've been using the FS7 with the Metabones adapter, and the new Canon EF 24–70mm f2.8 stills lens, which is much sharper than the previous version. As there are no rails for a follow focus I was rotating the focus ring on the lens barrel, which I usually try to avoid because of the difficulty making and using marks, but the feedback from the directors / editor was that my sharps were better than usual.

I felt in control with the lighter weight and three point stability of the shoulder, lens barrel and right hand grip (on an extendable arm attached to the camera body with a rosette). I am 190cm tall and have long arms, so for me the grip arm was a little too short, and the monitor/diopter not far enough forward, but these physical annoyances didn't affect my camera operation.

The viewfinder is great, with good onscreen exposure monitoring options (love the IRE waveform monitor). Also, the expanded focus magnification is greater and the position can be moved around the frame easily.

For me the biggest flop in the feature set, is the playback transport; both the design and operation (it shares the buttons of the menu operation), and the fact that you must wait for all the clip thumbnails to load before playback will commence.


Kyle Clasky Cameraman

JUNE 2015 | Kyle Clasky -

Director of Photography

I was DoP on a 5 part web series written and directed by Australian indy film maverick Dan Krige. This project is yet unreleased so I can’t say much; it was three days across two inner Sydney locations, it’s a comedy and there are some killer performances from some much loved Aussie TV personalities. More details to come later.

2015_Kyle Clasky Cameraman

SEP 2014 | Feature Film | 1st AC / Focus Puller

I am working as 1st Assistant Camera / Focus Puller for Directer of Photography Chris McHardy on the latest feature from Stephen Wallace. The leading man is Luke Ford, the film is being produced by Russell Lyster of Janar Productions and the 1st A.D. is my friend and colleague Jon Daniel Cohen. We are shooting with Cinegear's Sony PMW-F5 and the Sony Cinealta PL lenses (20, 25, 35, 50 85 & 135mm), it’s some nice glass. I’m pulling focus with the Redrock Micro, remote focus system. Below are some behind the scenes snaps from my phone.

Kyle Clasky
Kyle Clasky
Kyle Clasky
Kyle Clasky
Kyle Clasky
Kyle Clasky
sydney freelance videography

I love collaborating with different artists, production houses and crews.

I’ve been building my network on LinkedIn. Below are some practitioners that I've been happy and excited to connect with on LinkedIn over the past couple of weeks:

anycamerawilldo.com
blackjellyfilms.com
crewwho.com
gemmakaye.com
glennhanns.com
keofilms.com
northernstudios.com.au
ravikambhoj.com
reelists.com.au
risingpictures.com
scenario-productions.com
themilkbar.com.au
wpafilms.com

I’m focus puller on a feature 28/08 - 26/09. It’s micro budget and the pay is negligible but I absolutely love the work. Anyway, I’m keen to spark up some new collaborations in October, I hope I can work with you.

AUG 2014 | Screenwise Showreels with Cinegear

I was camera operator for the Screenwise showreels using Cinegear’s new Sony-PMWF5. It’s a great camera, in fact the physical housing of the camera is what the F3 should have been. For instance the useless zoom rocker on the F3 is gone, and there are a lot more options for attaching accessories. Also there are physical buttons that make accessing the menus items much easier. I had my 24, 35, 50 and 85mm Canon EF primes and the Optitech adapter (pictured below), which is more compact than it’s predecessor. The reels look great, I will have samples up in the near future.

sydney freelance videosgraphy Kyle CLasky Camera man

NOV | Working with Cinegear operating the Sony PMW F3, I fell in love with the camera and simply had to have one of my own. 35mm chip with S-LOG 444 upgrade, 7" Marshall monitor, Manfrotto Sympla rails/mattebox, Lanparte follow focus and 24-70mm Canon 2.8 lens (the start of a growing collection).

Cinegear recently upgraded to an F5. 4k!

Kyle Clasky

NOV | Team Stretch

We've been shooting a lot of fun instructional videos for Amaysim, which has just had it's third birthday. Brendon and Claire Stretch are very experienced: filmstretch.com.au

Amaysim Videos:

youtube.com/watch?v=mWnzjPMHkb0

youtube.com/watch?v=YrR5qvyiiEM

Kyle Clasky

SEPT | Working with Chris McHardy as camera assistant/focus puller on recent short films . He's been operating the F3 handheld, on tracks and on a Steadycam Zephyr. Cinegear has great equipment for hire at competitive rates: cinegear.com.aucameraman
cameramancameramancameraman

I was hired as Director of Photography by JD Cohen of Cinegear (cinegear.com.au) to shoot a short film on 21/09/13. The shoot required handheld, tracking and jib (shown right) shots. JD lit the film beautifully, and the director's were experienced and organised. If the director/producer agree I will share more about this project in due time. It's a cute story with great performances!

We filmed on the fantastic Sony F3 with it's 35mm block and we had some great lenses. I hire and purchase from Cinegear regularly, and highly recommend them. The F3, jib, dolly and much more is available for hire, for a complete list please visit their website: cinegear.com.au

cameraman

filming camerasI work regularly with FilmStretch (film stretch.com.au) operating the Panasonic GH3. This is a great little camera, and although it's micro 4/3, with the Metabones speed booster it delivers very similar images to the 5D but at the much lower price point so you can spend the extra money on accessories. Above is a set up for an interview, and to the right is the camera operated off the shoulder. Brendon and Claire Stretch are consummate professionals with a wealth of knowledge and experience between them, and I learn a lot each time I work with them.

cameramancameraman

I recently purchased the latest 27" iMac: 32GB RAM, 3.6GHz quad-core Intel i7 processor, 1TB Fusion HD, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 675MX graphics card (2560x1440 resolution, 1GB memory). I purchased this iMac for FCPX; with the new soft & hardware, I am rocking into the world of 64-bit architecture.

There's a wax likeness of Mr. Hitchcock at the Sydney Film Festival hub in Town Hall. I recently finished reading his biography "The Dark Side of Genius" (Donald Spoto) and feel I understand him better, so when I saw him standing there I couldn't resist snapping a photo.

I recently collaborated with performance artist Kali Rose. This piece is two-fold, on one hand it's a documentation of the performance work, on the other it's a video work in it's own right. We shot at Metroscreen; I love the studio there, it's reasonably priced and we had complete control / access to the lighting rig. Great service too. (metroscreen.org.au/hire/) Filmstretch sponsored this video and loaned some additional cameras - thanks so much Brendon and Claire! Please watch:

sydneyfreelancevideography.com.au//glitter.html

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(c) Kyle Lee Clasky 2011 | Sydney Freelance Videography