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The New Merry Pranksters: Preface

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A Creative COW Introduction to The New Merry Pranksters

We here at Creative COW would like to introduce what will be a remarkable series of dispatches from Africa, describing a trip with expert cinematographers using the absolute latest cameras, lenses, IO, storage and more, while shooting in extreme conditions.

More about their trip and their gear in a moment. First, here is a bit of introduction on how these reports have come our way.

In January 2010, to celebrate the beginning of our tenth year as the online peer-to-peer resource for media professionals, Creative COW, LLC formed a non-profit organization, The Creative COW Foundation, to underwrite scholarships to support media education. By having the COW’s business unit to underwrite the Foundation’s operation, 100% of the money raised is going directly to scholarships. Our first $10,000 grant was to the Directing Workshop for Women at AFI (American Film Institute).

Creative COW CEO and Creative COW Magazine Publisher Ron Lindeboom tells the complete story of how this grant came to be in Creative COW: Year 10.

We celebrated the grant with several faculty members and administrators at the 2010 National Association of Broadcasters. Among them was Robert Primes, ASC. In addition to serving AFI’s cinematography faculty, he won cinematography Emmys for "My Antonia" and "Felicity," and the first ASC award given to a digitally shot show, "MDs." Along with several additional Emmy® and ASC Award nominations, Robert won the President's Award from the Society of Operating Cameramen (SOC) in 2008. He serves on the boards of the American Society of Cinematographers, the International Cinematographers Guild and the the theater company, Whitmore Eclectic (theater company).

Over dinner, Bob spoke to us enthusiastically. For example, he was overwhelmed by the potential of video captured with DSLR cameras, which he discussed in an article for Creative COW Magazine’s Blue Ribbon Issue (May-June 2010), called DSLRs: A Time Exposure.

He also spoke to us about his dream trip to Africa, and using it to evaluate the very best cameras in the world, shooting some of the planet’s most remarkable locations.

We’ll be honest: his passion notwithstanding, it sounded exactlylike a dream, rather than like something he’d actually DO. And if he tried, it seemed unlikely that he’d be able to pull it off anytime soon.

A few months later, he’s in Africa, and I’m writing this introduction to the amazing story of how he pulled this off, and what he and his companions are seeing.

I mention his companions, because they’re a big part of the story. As he told us:

“Three cinematographers, aged 24, 54 and 70 go to Tanzania for a cinematographers' dream safari.

They get permits for off road and after hours filming.

They hire the company that guides National Geographic, BBC Wildlife and Discovery Channel

They bring in a Sony F800 w/ 75 hours of media,

Fujinon 25-1 w/ doubler & Fujinon image stabilizer = effective max focal length of 2500mm!

Also, a Weisscam HS capable of 1000fps!

and a Panavision 135-420 T2.8 26lb lens nicknamed 'The Hubble.'

Canon 5d Mk 2, 1D Mk 4, 28-300, 500 T4

AJA Ki-Pro-MacBook Pro- 4TB RAID 1 workflow for the Weisscam

Sponsors include Clairmont Camera, Panavision, P+S Technics, Fujinon, Sony, Canon, Sachtler, etc.

All for fun and beauty!”


As for his fellows:

The 54 year old is Dan Kneece, President of the Society of Operating Cameramen. “I've known Bob Primes, ASC for many, many years and we've worked together on several projects with me as Steadicam/Camera Operator. The Africa part was Bob's idea. He approached me at an AFI screening, mentioned the idea, and invited me to participate. I was eager to do so, as I love adventure and I knew it would be an amazing experience.

Dan at the podium for an SOC Event.

"It was very timely for me as well, since I'd just decided to step away from the Steadicam after 28 years and devote myself to work as a DP.

As things progressed it got really exciting. Many manufacturers joined our endeavor by providing some of the top equipment in the world which made this project even more than we hoped it could be."

The 24 year old is Yousef Linjawi. Yousef is a graduate of The Savannah College of Art and Design with a BFA in Film & Television Productions and a minor in Photography. Yousef also Attended the Cinematography track at The American Film Institute Conservatory, and is currently completing his MFA degree in Cinematography at Chapman University.

His Cinematography credits include the award winning IMAX documentary ROADS TO MECCA filmed in Saudi Arabia, the music video AFTER SUNSET for the Belgium band Styrofoam, and television pilot series SEX CULTURE in Paris. He recently served as Cinematographer on the CAMERA ASSESSMENT SERIES documentary produced by American Society of Cinematographers and Producers Guild of America. He is currently in preproduction for an upcoming film 'Last Trane,' a short film inspired by the legendary life and music of John Coltrane, which chronicles the troubled journey of a celebrated jazz musician as he employs unorthodox means to rid himself of the addictions that plague his life, scheduled to film at 2nd half of October, 2010.

With the background for all three Pranksters in hand, we turn the festivities over to The New Merry Pranksters. Enjoy the ride.

Tim Wilson,
Associate Publisher, Editor-in-Chief
Creative COW Magazine

Posted by: The New Merry Pranksters on Aug 13, 2010 at 11:43:12 am Cinematography, Documentary

Three cinematographers, aged 24, 54 and 70 go to Tanzania for a cinematographers' dream safari.
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