Jump to content

Why are people / you abhorrent to testing nowadays?


Recommended Posts

The late cinematographer Robby Müller was a big advocate of testing. I remember watching an interview of him talking about doing extensive tests of various filters for an upcoming BW film. From what I recall, he said he ran film tests for a couple of weeks with filters. And in the end, he decided filters were not up to the job for his film. Müller was an advocate of letting the camera stay in the background and not having camera work be the main thing. 

 

07Muller1-superJumbo.jpg?quality=75&auto

 

Internet Photo: Fair Use

Robby Müller, Inventive Cinematographer, Is Dead at 78 - The New York Times (nytimes.com)

Bringing it home to our own forum, I read countless questions here that can't be solved by words, they have to be solved by tests. In the digital age you can't get things any easier to test than digital. And with film, testing is even more important. So, I can't understand why people have such a block to testing things. Can you tell me why?

Recently I joined a forum that deals with various still scanning methods and post work. As specialized forum for scanning, I thought it would be a given that members would have test results comparing a flatbed scanner against a camera scanning setup, as they had sections for both of them. My interest in camera scanning is my archival work. Some archival work, especially some cine' film, is not conducive to flatbed scanning. So, I would like to know how methods compare before throwing some money at it. As well as knowing what direction to throw the money in.

You would have thought I was from outer space asking the forum that question. I got nothing useful from the forum except a lot of replies criticizing me and my request. Not looking for pen pals, nor having time to waste, I left the forum. I will have to throw some money at it and do my own testing. I was just trying to economize on testing to find direction. Sometimes it is nice if you can build and refine on the testing that has gone before you. But to really get at the truth, you need to test things yourself sometimes. Breastfeeding won't yield much if the tit is dry.

<><><><>

 

Newton%20rings%20on%20film%20scan%20D.D.

Example of Newton rings from scanning film directly on glass - DDTJRAC

Edited by Daniel D. Teoli Jr.
  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites


Most of the productions I deal with do test, extensively, but they tend to be professional crews with decent budgets. The more budgets shrink, the more testing is viewed as a luxury. Usually it’s producers not wanting to pay the camera department for the extra days. 

But many of the questions asked here are not being asked by professionals. For students or diy filmmakers, asking the internet for advice might be the first step before spending time on their own tests. And testing itself is a scientific principle that not every person understands or embraces. Without some sort of education or guidance, sloppy testing can actually lead you to completely false assumptions. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Premium Member

The modern digital era hasn't just changed technology's availability and immediate access. It's also impacted the people who've "grown up" in that environment.

I see this in modern kids, who consider smartphones a normal default for immediate entertainment, who get frustrated when they can't "skip" a commercial on Roku TV, or don't understand waiting a week for the next episode.

The trend may seem unrelated, but it encourages less appreciation of time, or planning ahead. If everything is immediate and you don't have to wait, then you'll deal with things as they happen.

That's my take on the subject. I've recognized this new generation of workers in various ways. I once worked with a grip who stared at a joker case and said he didn't know how to set it up. He'd only used LED. So he didn't even know about restrike time, cooling down, lens swapping. All of which take time.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Premium Member

Yeah, I see that the same way. My hope lies on many individuals who take their own personal approach to filmmaking. There are some around who take a camera and a few rolls of film with them. At least they don’t produce vertical videos.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Premium Member

I think it has legitimately become less necessary with immediate monitor feedback of what you're doing. It's a matter of degree, of course, but we're not shooting 5 ASA orthochromatic monochrome anymore.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Premium Member

We provide cameras, lenses and full post services for people who shoot on motion picture film and MUCH of that, is people doing tests. Either one scene from a movie they plan on shooting, or maybe a music video as a prep for a bigger project. 

I think once you know the camera body, lenses, filters and stock you like, testing isn't as important. As many people these days are "owner/operators" it becomes less of an issue. 

The top guys always test because they're always renting and ya never know what you're going to get. Plus getting to know your crew before the shoot is always a great idea. Working out those kinks early on, is a great idea. 

I don't test for my own shoots anymore because I already have a kit I know very well and know what to do on set. Mostly its getting the crew together and getting their hands on my equipment early on.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, Stephen Sanchez said:

The modern digital era hasn't just changed technology's availability and immediate access. It's also impacted the people who've "grown up" in that environment.

I see this in modern kids, who consider smartphones a normal default for immediate entertainment, who get frustrated when they can't "skip" a commercial on Roku TV, or don't understand waiting a week for the next episode.

The trend may seem unrelated, but it encourages less appreciation of time, or planning ahead. If everything is immediate and you don't have to wait, then you'll deal with things as they happen.

That's my take on the subject. I've recognized this new generation of workers in various ways. I once worked with a grip who stared at a joker case and said he didn't know how to set it up. He'd only used LED. So he didn't even know about restrike time, cooling down, lens swapping. All of which take time.

I mean to be fair in this instance- operating a joker is an electric position, not Grip- That’s like asking your gaffer what attachments you need for your Fisher setup.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Premium Member

You test to eliminate unknowns, some tests can be done on the camera prep day, like filters and lenses. You have to sell it to the producers as the test eliminating a costly mistake.

The one thing that gets skipped these days is testing wardrobe for moire problems.The newer cameras have less of that problem, unless you are shooting on a Blackmagic camera with no OLPF, but it still shows up even on an Alexa.  On "Smash" (Alexa), I had to have to art department touch up the wallpaper pattern in one set after we shot a day in there and had moire issues. On the pilot for "The Good Wife" I had to reshoot the first hour of work when I got into the close-ups and found that the main character's jacket had a horrible moire problem (this was on the PV Genesis where that was a constant problem.)

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

One reason I can think of is the appearance of virtue. Story matters more than hardware, so testing hardware must be, apparently, a sign that you are just a camera nerd, not a storyteller. You see some people on photography sites tell you to "just go out and shoot," oblivious to the fact that they needed to log on to write that.

There is also the somewhat less obnoxious reason: rock 'n roll, man! Don't be square, dude!

  • Confused 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Premium Member
On 3/20/2022 at 5:49 PM, Travis Shannon said:

I mean to be fair in this instance- operating a joker is an electric position, not Grip- That’s like asking your gaffer what attachments you need for your Fisher setup.

This may be the case in L.A. But in Florida, where I work, spark/grip is the same and the work is combined. And we call it a grip. Only on the larger budgets do the most experienced folk take up the gaffer and keygrip positions, but the workers are always swings.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...