Taking on a new project is exciting and that’s certainly how we feel about being one of the first digital cinematography companies in the UK, if not the world, to adopt an open source policy for our camera and workflow division.

Digital cinematography company Rogue Element will be one of the first to rent out Apertus° Axiom open digital cinema cameras and to adopt a full open source philosophy for digital cinema cameras and workflows.

The camera, which has a 4K Super35 sensor, has only just been released and is currently available at cost to the community that backed the initial crowd funding campaign.

Rogue Element is not initially considering charging for the rental of its Axiom beta cameras when they arrive.

Initially we simply want people to try them out.

Instead, we will make income through consultancy and through supplying additional new sensors, lenses, tripods and add on services such as storage and workflow.

Why was it developed?

We see open source as a fantastic concept.  The Axiom beta camera is the first product to be developed by Apertus°, an open source cinema organisation founded by film makers and financed through crowd funding.

The people behind Apertus° were galvanised into action when they became concerned with the expensive and limited tools they were forced to work with every day.

Instead, they wanted access to affordable devices and technology that delivered the highest possible image quality and could be customised to exactly suit their needs. 

Who is it for?

This move is designed to encourage creativity by ensuring that 4K cinema (and beyond) is fully open to everyone.

We are doing this by making the Axiom open digital cinema camera and open source digital filming equipment available to all via a transparent open policy.

We want to encourage those who can’t normally afford to work with 4K cameras to get involved, as well as paid professional feature projects.

By taking on the open source philosophy, we hope to free up the creative spirit to engage in practices that inspire freedom of expression and not limit this to those who can contribute.

We also want to allow unfettered access to the technology, the first free software and open hardware digital cinema camera.

Open philosophy

We believe an open source cost price camera will democratise film making by giving those who want a low price entry point (with free resources) the same opportunities as those paying at the professional higher end.

Initially we anticipate working with UK/EU filmmakers but there is no reason why this can’t flourish in other markets.

As none of the technology that created Axiom is subject to patents, practitioners have full access to both the hardware and software and can make contributions and suggestions to improve and/or modify the format. 

It allows us to market more widely and tap into the new environment created via social media and the web.

Those who wish to fulfill their potential can now do so as open source allows individuals to flourish by encouraging film making at both ends of the cost spectrum.

Social Approach

Socially we are looking to create an open environment where newcomers can learn and contribute and where no boundaries are placed on the technology available to those who wish to take part.

We want to encourage those with knowledge to pass it on by contributing to the development of the technology.

Many people can be positively impacted through open source, from entry levels participants, students and educational facilities through to full studio pictures that still want and require value for money.

Business-wise, those already taking part will still hire equipment but our philosophy will be to allow filmmakers the opportunity to enter the market at an attractive entry point without compromising on the equipment quality.

The impact of this could be huge because it will allow contributions from bedrooms to boardrooms, in fact anyone with a bright idea, to flourish. 

Dan Mulligan runs Rogue Element, which provides digital cinematography filming services plus data and dailies, to the film and broadcast industries.


Staff Reporter

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