Light Meters Vs. LUTs – with William Wages, ASC – ON THE GO – Episode 82

January 7th, 2018

In this episode of cinema5D ON THE GO, we talk to cinematographer William Wages ASC about shooting on film vs. digital, light meters, and the Panasonic Lumix line!

 William Wages

William Wages, ASC

For cinematographer William Wages ASC, the main reason for shooting on film has been relegated to getting a certain aesthetic effects, such as achieving a Super 8mm look. In terms of capabilities and image quality, modern cameras far outperform the capabilities of film, which in turn has allowed for the development of a new visual and technical cinematic language. He gives us a few examples of his work in which these advantages have come in handy.

Mr. Wages also tells us about how he uses the Panasonic Lumix line of mirrorless cameras, such as the GH4 or GH5, as viewing devices during location scouts and on set. Rather than using a director’s viewfinder, the portability of these cameras – in addition to their V-Log capabilities and high ISO – allow for a quick visualisation of what the end result could be when planning to shoot with a Panasonic Varicam LT. Of course, the dynamic range may not be the same as the LT, but they certainly have a place in his arsenal for shooting high-end productions.

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Matthew Hartman
Matthew Hartman
MemberJanuary 8th, 2018


Show me a seasoned cinematographer willing to challenge convention and use tools that are relegated as “unprofessional” within that level of the industry, then you have a real story of interest. What happened to rooting for the underdog?

Using a GH4/5 as glorified viewfinder/previx is not an exciting use of the technology. Most external monitors could acheive the same purpose. Is a 7″ screen really that immobile?

Shoot the film on the damn thing and cause a real shake up in the business. Tell your clients you’re shooting with the Alexa and then secretely shoot it on a mirrorless and some $40k cine glass, and see if your clients even notice the differences. I think it would shock a lot of ppl and many ppl (salesmen) would have to eat their own words, and rightfully so.

This whole image game is mostly pshycological, tied to the perception of brand in my view. Blind footage comparisons prove this over and over and over again.

These old guys in the business are holding technology back because they’re intimidated by it. The industry needs to evolve already and make room for rising talent who are more open to rapid technology growth.

The real golden nuggets of these old guys has nothing to do with cameras anyway. It’s all in the experiences of how they frame the world.

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