About chris dalton

I am an artist who loves backpacking and technology. I work as a camera technician in the film industry in Vancouver Canada. Any outlet to feed the creative apatite and get outside.

Finding the Serial number of that problem Alexa when everything else fails.

There are lots of ways to determine the serial number of an Alexa from a ProRes clip. This becomes important when trying to track back a problem in a clip. Now besides the notes that most likely go to post that include such useful info, I’m pretending that they got lost or the camera report didn’t mention the serial number. I’m also pretending that the camera letter at the front of the file name won’t help because A and B camera have been swapped around and exchanged. It happens.  I am also pretending that you don’t have an iTunes account and can’t download Clip Meta Viewer. A very useful app that decodes a ton of metadata out of any Alexa ProRes clip, including the serial number of the body. This is your last resort option, but cool.  The last few digits of the file name are a “unique Camera ID” number. If you have an internet connection, you can go to:


The last three digits are a Base-36 encoded version of the 4digit serial number. If you enter them into the first box set to Base-36, and set the second box to Decimal, it will give you the magic number.


Frame Line Cheat on Alexa

Arri recently released version 9 of the Alexa Firmware. Part of this update, for Alexa XT cameras, is a feature called Open Gate. Open Gate uses the full resolution of the sensor, including the space reserved for look around to generate a 3414×2198 resolution ArriRaw image meant to be up scaled to 4k. One of the issues with Open Gate, is that Arri’s Frame line generator web app. is not capable of generating frame lines for the new sensor mode. Included in the White Paper for Open Gate is a work around to generate frame lines. It’s nice of Arri to offer a work around, but the really cool thing about it is the other use of the work around. Continue reading

How to Genlock a Red Epic and why

timecodeGenlock has been a tool used in the broadcast world for years for multi-camera shoots. It does have a place in the feature film world for 3D, but doesn’t hit the radar very often. The Red Epic Camera is a common choice for Feature films, episodic television, and commercials, and happens to be an ideal choice for 3D for it’s form factor. 3D may or may not be a passing phase, and really only viable for the large theatrical feature, so why should we all know how to Genlock the camera? Continue reading

Understanding IR Filtration in a Digital World.

rainbowThe first step in unraveling the great mystery of what IR filters do, why you need one, and which one do you chose, has to start with an explanation of What IR is.  Infrared light is a part of the electromagnetic spectrum just bellow what we call visible light. Visible light is a very narrow part of the electromagnetic spectrum that the human eye is sensitive to and allows us to see. This is measured in wavelength between 390-700 nm (nanometers).  Essentially the longer the wave the warmer the light. Reds being in the bottom of that range and blues and violets at the top and a shorter wavelength. Infrared is actually split into three ranges described by their distance from the visible range. Continue reading