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  1. 9 points
    There are no easy answers here, but if you consider that sometimes movies are an art form, not just a product for mass consumption, then not every choice has to be determined by what the audience cares about or notices -- sometimes it is enough for the artist to care about something and then hope there is a receptive audience for their particular vision. I don't think when David Lynch or Andrei Tarkovsky made a movie, they spent much of their time wondering what clients and consumers were asking for. It goes way beyond choice of shooting format, after all if you build a set and sew costumes, you have to make decisions on color schemes, textures, etc. that go way beyond a typical viewer's ability to care or notice. I think to some extent, audiences don't care because they don't have to, they expect the filmmakers to care. The skills needed to make any complex product are beyond the average consumer, but the consumer hopes that someone cares about the details. So if you hire artists to make something, anything, then one shouldn't be surprised that these artists have certain tastes for how things are done. And some artists are sensitive to the origination medium. I mean, would anyone be surprised if painters had opinions about working in oils versus acrylics, or sculptors working in marble versus wood?
  2. 6 points
    It's funny you noticed that the table tennis matches the clothes in color -- we joke about that because sometimes the production designer and the costume designer don't know what colors each will be using for the scene, and you get these combinations that seem coordinated. We had a scene in an empty white apartment on location and the production designer decided to throw a pink carpet over the wooden floors because they were too beat-up, and then our actress walks in in a pink coat. And because I couldn't control the light coming through the windows on the fifth floor of this building, I had real sunlight hitting the pink carpet and adding pink light into the scene, filling the back white walls with pink. It all seemed intentional!
  3. 4 points
    It takes more skill to make an indie film than a big budget studio picture. Where a Hollywood production can throw money at a problem, an indie production must work smart. I have started this thread as a place where we can share indie tricks-of-the-trade for realizing big budget production values on a modest budget. Or, as Phil Rhodes so eloquently put it in a recent thread “by the application of hard-won and exquisitely-realized skill.” Posts to this thread should not herald DIY lights, nor lighting a set with practicals alone. The emphasis should be on FILM CRAFT using a basic tool kit that can be carried in a 18’ rental box (say a 3-5 Ton Grip & Electric Pkg.) and powered off the wall or off of putt-putts (no diesel tow plants.) With the newest camera systems that are capable of a fourteen stop exposure range and ASA sensitivities of 1600 without grain you shouldn’t need anything more to get decent production values if you know what you are doing and willing to work hard. I will start it off by re-posting here my post from the thread “Night Lighting - Balloon VS Dino/Wendy's” (http://www.cinematography.com/index.php?showtopic=70842.) This thread is for those productions for which $1500 for a balloon light or a generator to power a Wendy light is simply not in the budget and they have to figure out how to accomplish the same look for a lot less. For example, I would say the smart indie alternative would be shoot his wide establishing shots dusk-for-night and only his close coverage night-for-night. Dusk-for-night, is an important technique for indie filmmakers to learn because it is a means of obtaining expensive looking production values for very little money. Dusk-for-night uses the fading daylight as an ambient fill to gain a base line exposure in wide establishing shots without using a big source like a balloon light. Typically it is intercut with closer framing shot night-for-night to create a realistic night scene. The advantage to shooting dusk-for-night over day-for-night (the other low budget alternative to expensive night-for-night cinematography on a large scale) is that if you are shooting a house or city street you can incorporate set practicals like window or porch light, car headlights, or even streetlights or raking moonlight in a wide establishing shot. But in order to get the balance right between your lamp light and the fading daylight requires the right location and careful planning. For example, the key to success in shooting the house pictured below dusk-for-night is choosing the right location. To get the subtle separation of the night sky and trees from a dark horizon, you don’t want to shoot into the after glow of the setting sun. Instead you want to find a location where you will be shooting into the darker eastern sky. With dusk-for-night, you have maybe a thirty-minute window of opportunity after the sun has set to shoot the wide master before the natural ambient light fades completely so you have to have everything planned out, rehearsed, and ready to go. In order to get the balance right between the practicals and the ambient dusk light in the limited time you have to shoot the establishing shot, you have to start with larger fixtures and be prepared to reduce their intensity quickly. For instance if you want the glow of an interior practical light raking the lace curtains in a window, start with a PH213 in the practical and 2k Fresnel raking the lace curtain. Wait until the ambient dusk level outside has fallen to the point where the balance between the natural light and your lamp light looks realistic and then roll. To get a second take, open the camera aperture a half stop and drop a single in the 2k head, dim down the PH213, and wait again until the ambient dusk level outside has again fallen to the point where it looks realistic and then roll. If you continue in this fashion with nets after you have exhausted your scrims, and a PH212 when the dimmed PH213 starts to look too warm, you will be able to get multiple takes out of the diminishing dusk light. Likewise with a streetlight or moonlight raking across the front of the house. To create a moon dapple on the front of a house against a night sky, you will need a good sized HMI set on a high oblique angle so that it will rake across the front of the house. Break it up with a branch-a-loris and wait. When the ambient level of the dusk sky has fallen to the point where it looks realistic against the moonlit house and the practical lit interior - roll. You can even add a car pulling up to the house, but you have to be prepared and have enough manpower standing by to dim the practicals, net the lights, and scrim the car’s head lights very quickly. The final touch is to use a graduated ND filter on the lens to darken the sky and balance the camera between daylight and tungsten so that the ambient dusk light filling the shadows is cool and the practicals and tungsten lights motivated by them remain warm but not too warm. Once dusk is past, you shoot the close coverage night-for-night when a package consisting of what you can run on a portable generator will suffice. If you parallel two of the Honda EU7000is generators for 120A output, you will be able to use a 6k HMI for your moonlight at dusk on top of a sizeable tungsten package to light the interior of a house to a high level to match the daylight. For example, the scene below takes place in the middle of a near vacant parking lot of an all night convenience store. The establishing shot of the brightly lit convenience store situated in a wide-open expanse of a empty parking lot at night was shot dusk-for-night because the production didn’t have the resources to light up the parking lot and building to separate it from the night sky. Close coverage was then shot night-for-night with nothing more than a single modified 7500W Honda EU6500is and a small tungsten package of 1ks and 650w Fresnels. Left: Close coverage shot night-for-night. Center: Transformer/Distro provides 60A/120V circuit from Honda EU6500 and compensates for voltage drop over long cable run to set. Right: Operating the Honda EU6500 from behind the grip truck at a distance was all the blimping required to record clean audio tracks. With no building or other sound barrier within a reasonable distance to block the sound of the generator, Gaffer Aaron MacLaughlin put it behind their grip truck as far from set as possible. This was only possible because he used a transformer to step down the 240V output of the generator, and in the process compensate for the voltage drop they experienced over the 500’ cable run to set. Operating the Honda EU6500 from behind the grip truck at a distance was all the blimping required to record clean audio tracks. Guy Holt, Gaffer, Screenlight and Grip, Lighting rental and sales in Boston.
  4. 4 points
    In the last few years I've had the opportunity to hang around a few reasonably high-end sets where I've noticed a growing trend to balance to 4200 or 4500K. Often these productions are being shot raw, so it's a suggestion only, but it is fairly common to see it on monitors. I've always asked about this and often the explanation is that there's a desire to have mixed colour temperature with things going both warm and cool, and without having to extensively gel lots of lighting. Naturally an intermediate CT selection faciltates that. I've also had the answer that people want (say) a big HMI backlight on a night exterior to go cool, but not as cool as it would with the camera set to a more conventional 3200K. It's often said (and I personally agree) that HMI on a 3200K camera can look rather overpoweringly cyan, in a way that mixed colour temperature light doesn't on film, and the result can look electronic, inorganic, and un-cinematic. Again, an intermediate setting mutes that extreme of colour. So yes, often, it's a desire to control the apparent colour of lighting without gels. P
  5. 4 points
    They might be in an overcast day interior situation where they want the mix of warm tungsten practicals and cold daylight. They might be under Cool White fluorescents and want to get closer to neutral. They might be using big tungsten units for sunlight effects on stage and want them to render warm without gels, perhaps filling with cooler LED's. They might be going for a pale blue moonlight effect by lighting with daylight fixtures. They might be going for a pale blue daytime effect by lighting with daylight fixtures. They might want a very warm effect from tungsten practicals or flame sources.
  6. 4 points
    Creative problem solving is only one aspect of being an artist and dealing with small budgets that can be inadequate to achieve a particular vision or make it near impossible to tell certain types of stories is frustrating for a filmmaker. Yes, that describes the majority of filmmaking but many people in love of cinema dream of making their own "8 1/2" or "Doctor Strangelove" or "Seven Samurai" or "Lawrence of Arabia" or "Citizen Kane", or any number of stories that need a certain budget to achieve a certain scale and scope. I'm not sure why this is even being debated -- is it so hard to imagine dreaming of doing ambitious works of art? Not wanting to settle for just making little films about little subjects that can be shot cheaply?
  7. 4 points
    Congratulations David on winning an Emmy this year for The Marvelous Mrs Maisel! What a fantastic achievement!
  8. 4 points
    Apparently, JOKER had an eight minute standing ovation at the conclusion of the picture!! I was told that is unprecedented at the Venice Film Festival. A great start! G
  9. 4 points
    Thanks guys. I need to convince A24 to make prints! What's interesting about exposing and grading black and white is that you make day scenes brighter than you normally would, since it's your only tool to strengthen transitions between night and day. This is not fully portrayed by this first trailer, which has a very high number of shots from our "dusk" and "dawn" scenes. This film was much different than the Witch. This time, the night scenes around the "lantern" that look so dark in the movie were nearly blinding on set. It also has a proper black and often good highlights, unlike the low-con look of "The Witch." We may continue to stay rich in contrast for our next color film as well. Shall see. Harris Savides had such a profound influence on so many of us cinematographers. For me, the soft look and unending highlight scale stuck for a long time. Jarin
  10. 4 points
    At the beginning of last year, just before the prices shot up, I bought an Arricam LT and an Arriflex 235, both 3perf. I decided to shoot a short film to test the cameras. The idea had to be simple, a couple of actors and one location. We shot on Vision 3 200T using Master Primes. Every single shot was storyboarded, we didn't shoot one foot of coverage. Happy to report that the cameras are working...I'd like to share the result.
  11. 4 points
    There are many degrees of backlight, both in softness and in intensity. I tend to reserve a very strong hard backlight for situations where it is motivated, like from sunlight. Here are three examples from work I did last year, from dailies. First is a hard backlight from a 1K tungsten parcan, motivated by the high window on the set (though the backlight was rigged inside the room), the second is a soft backlight motivated by a chandelier, using a Litemat LED, the third is from a 20K outside the set window.
  12. 4 points
    I’m working with Ron Howard currently and I must say that he is a refreshing breath of fresh air. He’s polite and prepared. We don’t go a second over 10 hours per day and sometimes we finish 5 pages of scripted dialogue in less time. I’ve worked with many top directors in this business over the years but I’m particularly enjoying this one. G
  13. 4 points
    I wanted to expand on the post that mentioned Haskell’s “Who Needs Sleep”. Sadly, towards the end of the documentary, there is a funeral for camera operator, Michael Stone. I was at that funeral and Michael was the second member of my team and a close friend to die due to hours worked. He worked too many hours that night and paid the ultimate price driving home. This issue of excessive work hours is close to my heart. I am very vocal about it at work. I always insist on a courtesy hotel room provided by production for people who are too tired to drive home. There was even a time on an out of control (hours-wise) HBO show I did, I informed the First AD that at 14 hours, I was going home. I didn’t care if the camera was rolling - I was getting into my car and leaving. I told him that I wouldn’t be a participant in putting exhausted crew members onto the freeway after a most likely 20 hour day. The result? I wasn’t fired and we wrapped at 14 hours! That trend continued on that show for the remainder of it. As for rotating crews in order to keep filming, that doesn’t work for several reasons. The most obvious is that the director can’t go on for that long and neither can the actors. As for crew members, certain departments theoretically could rotate out but none of the frontline crew could ever do that. This would include the camera department, the assistant directors, continuity and I’m sure others I’m not mentioning here. G
  14. 4 points
    I think what people are forgetting about is the budget and working on union shows. Rental houses charge out the ass for modern equipment on those big shows. Where for older stuff, someone like Panavision will give a "free" camera body or two, if they rent lenses that aren't rented for digital, which at Panvision they have lots of lenses that digital people don't like. So they probably got two quotes from Panavision and the digital was more than the film by an astronomical number. By the way, this is something that's happened to me with Panavision as well, so I get it. In terms of the crew, DIT"s on non-union shows are $500/day. Some of the Union guys I know charge $1000 labor and $500 for their kit PER DAY. Then you also need a video village wrangling team, which is not as necessary on a film show. So cost savings in labor on a union show, could be around $2-3k a day easily. Then you deal with storage and this is a big deal. Everyone inflates the pricing of hard drives, it's just what they do. So a DIT will come in and charge 2x what an actual hard drive costs. They'll also need A LOT of drives on location. Since film is processed and then stored at the lab or post house directly, there really is no need for shuttle drives, which again for you and me is a very little cost difference, but for a huge show where everyone is charging exorbitant amounts of money for everything, I can see there being a pretty heavy cost difference. Finally, you actually work faster with film. I don't care how disciplined you are, with digital nothing stops you from rolling the camera all the time. With film, you need to be far more disciplined because you will waste time on every reload. So you're constantly working to make sure you've rehearsed and are getting what you need right away, rather than shooting until you run out of cards or time. On smaller films, this discipline already exists. On big union shows, it does not. This alone, saves the production a lot of money and can reduce schedule time. Yes the cost of film is expensive, but Kodak does offer pretty incredible deals to a studio shooting a feature. When Mindel calls up his kodak rep, they aren't charging him full boat. Where Fotokem may charge full boat for their services, reality is that most films do a telecine anyway, which is cheap. They'll then only scan the scenes from the final cut to scan, which saves a great deal of money. Post winds up being a lot cheaper as well because the images coming off the scanner are pretty damn perfect already, with wide dynamic range and generally higher resolution than normal digital capture. Yes, we all know on low budget shows, we can get deals on all of this equipment and the cost to shoot film would be much greater. However, even my math shows the difference between shooting on an Arri Alexa in 4k vs shooting on 3 perf 35mm, with a 4k finish is around $68,000 USD with a 10:1 ratio and 90 minute movie. $68,000 is not a lot of money, in fact it's nearly a no-brainer to shoot on film when the costs are that inconsequential. Sure on a big show they may shoot 30:1, which would bring the cost up to a little bit north of $200k. However, that's nothing for a $30M production.
  15. 4 points
    Even greatly manipulated digital footage does NOT look like film, it just doesn't. There are extremely rare films shot on film that are so squeaky clean that they possibly could be misconstrued for digital, but honestly, I can't think of any off the top of my head. Film is obviously not just grain, it's the way faces, colors are rendered, it's the life in the frame. Prashantt talks about Benoit Debie, Debie himself said on The Beach Bum that he CANNOT achieve the colors he wants to achieve with anything else but film. There are so many films that would gain something if shot on film, so many films that need the grit, but are too goddam squeaky clean and it works against the film, I'm sorry but it does. It made me smile when Rodrigo Prieto said in a video that he thought Sicario should have been shot on film because it needed that grit, Sicario is gorgeously shot but I agree. Linus Sandgren has professed his love for film, and continues to do so every single time and is adamant he can do so many things with film that he can't with digital, and many others say the same thing. Deakins not seeing the difference anymore is his problem really, but hey, as much as his work with the Alexa is gorgeous, I still think it doesn't come close to his best work on film (independent of the fact that every movie is different) and something is missing. That's just my two cents. We fundamentally disagree here, there IS a magical quality to film, and if you're not willing to take the word of tons of highly respected directors and DPs on this, I don't know what to tell you. I tell you what I see, story is story sure, shooting on film doesn"t mean you're going to make a good movie, only a clown would think this. But it MATTERS, do you understand? I always see the difference and I've spent years training my eye for it, scrutinizing footage, sometimes up close, and it's also what the format evokes, and I said what film evokes for me. Also, keep in mind that I see most films on a 90 inch plus screen with a great JVC videoprojector, I'm lucky enough to do so. Now, if you're watching something on a TV and you're sitting far away, or same in the movie theater, you're obviously not going to see the grain or the texture of film much, unless it's super 16 or it was push processed, that's common sense. Even then, you still have all the advantages and qualities of film, but I don't see the point of sitting far away, I want to see and FEEL the texture of the film. And here we go into another film vs digital "debate" despite my best intentions. Sorry OP.
  16. 4 points
    you can offer them small shiny objects .. like Rolex watches.. alternatively large wads of cash.. don't get too close and never put all your trust in them..
  17. 4 points
    "Amelie" is a good example of the use of warming filters, Antique Suedes I think. It's hard to talk about an "effective" use of warming filters since warm can be added in timing as well, in post, and is just as effective or not, so you might as well be asking about movies that have a warm bias to the image and whether that works or not -- the fact that a filter was used instead of post to get the warmth matters less. Most warming filters of the same heaviness just vary by hue, some are more yellow-orange, some are more magenta-orange. When the only way to finish a movie was photochemically using RGB printer light values, some cinematographers swore up and down on certain warming filters, finding it too hard to match that hue if doing it just with printer lights. William Fraker, ASC used to claim that the color of a Coral filter couldn't be created in print timing. I'm not sure I agree but maybe I'm just less sensitive to the finer degrees of hue (color shift along the green-magenta axis). Pale warming filters were all the rage in the 1980's and 1990's, particularly the 1/4 Coral. I started out using them too but dropped after awhile, for various reasons. I was working as 2nd Unit on a low-budget movie where the DP used a 1/2 Coral filter on everything, as well as the 85 correction filter (to correct tungsten stock for daylight shooting), plus a Pola and a Color Enhancer --- I think there was at least a 3-stop light loss from all of these filters, plus that's a lot of glass to stack in front of the lens. But he never shot grey scales at the head of his rolls, unlike me, who always shot a grey scale without the warming filter added yet, so that the filter effect would not get timed out in dailies. So his dailies all were neutral, there was no warming effect of the Coral because the dailies colorist always just neutralized the first shot on the roll. I told him that colorists weren't mind-readers, the grey scale was there to tell them what neutral was so that when a warm filtered shot followed it, it was clearly intentional. Anyway in doing the final answer print, they put the warmth back in. But even on my own movies as DP's, where I shot grey scales and then put in the 1/4 Coral to get warm-toned dailies, I found that when I went to start answer printing, the first thing the timer did was make the first answer print neutral as a starting point, so it was in the second answer print that we added the warmth back in -- and I was sitting there in the theater saying "another point of red" or "a little more yellow" just to get a print with the warm color cast I wanted. At this point, I realized that if warmth could so easily be taken away or added by both the dailies colorist and the print timer, then why was I wasting the time shooting with a warming filter? It was just an extra piece of glass on the lens that could cause a flare or a double reflection, plus it had a light loss. So I changed tactics and started carrying pale cooling filters, light blue filters, and I shot my grey scales with that filter on and then pulled it for the scene. Now with dailies, the timer neutralized the blue filtered grey scale and then the following unfiltered scene had a warm bias to it. I also shot a sign after the grey scale to tell him that the warm bias was intentional. So I got my warm dailies. Inside, instead of a blue filter on the lens, I could use a light blue gel on the light used for the grey scale, like a 1/4 CTB. Then in post, making the answer print, we created a shade of warmth using the printer lights. Now if I wanted a much more extreme color bias to the image, like for a sepia-toned flashback, I'd still use filters because I didn't want to make extreme changes to the printer light values -- in this case, a heavy filter was biasing the negative so heavily away from neutral that it was affecting the density of the color layers enough that simply doing the effect in post wouldn't quite give you the same results. For example, if I used a Coral 5 or a heavy Chocolate filter, I'd be cancelling so much blue information on the negative that it would be hard to restore it in post, so the effect caused a little bit of desaturation, which was useful for doing a western or period piece. Now today, I'd still probably do it in post because digital color-correction tools are so good, but it just depends on the amount of footage I needed to have with that heavy effect. If a brief flashback or dream, I might do it on set with filters on the camera because it is a quick way of getting the effect and I can deal with the inconvenience of the light loss and the extra glass for just a few shots. But if it were an entire movie, I'd probably figure out a way of getting that look in post, particularly for interiors. Even in the case of "Amelie" I think they only used the Antique Suede filters outdoors.
  18. 3 points
    Yikes! Best wishes for a speedy recovery Greg. Sending good thoughts your way 🙂
  19. 3 points
    An example of the Helios 58mm on a full-frame camera:
  20. 3 points
    You will need some backlight to see the rain. And, it will be a lot of water, more than a usual rainy day. Be prepared to get everything wet. You might also desire a rain deflector device for the lens, depending upon whether you can keep the rain off the lens... Usually you can avoid getting the lens / filter wet with just the eye brow on the matte box. At least get an optical flat filter to keep the water off the lens itself.
  21. 3 points
    You can try. In the end, this sort of thing is very dependent on how the original digital footage is exposed and exactly how the capabilities of the digital and photochemical systems compare. It'll always end up being a bit approximate, and I don't think, for instance, that you'll find there's much value in pursuing an emulation of one particular film stock. If you're trying to emulate that film stock because it was used on a production whose pictures you like, the other things associated with that production - the production design, lighting, and especially grading - are likely to have an overwhelmingly greater influence on what the pictures end up looking like than the minutiae of how one stock looks against another. But given all that, sure. You could shoot some test charts with the camera to establish roughly how its luminance and saturation behaviour work, and mathematically combine that information with the data you have on the film, and end up with something that was, on paper, a film stock emulation. It's not particularly unusual to use generic LUTs to do things broadly like that but, as I say, it's fraught with difficulty and I'm not sure how much value it would have other than as an academic exercise, as opposed to just, you know, grading your stuff to taste. P
  22. 3 points
    Nice commercial, thanks for sharing. It looks like a combination of things. Rather low-contrast lenses, maybe vintage, at wide apertures. Hazy lens diffusion like Tiffen Low-Con or Smoque. Possibly a hazer for a few of the shots. Also, the blacks look to be raised just a bit, so likely the color grade as well. And mostly, combining this with a lighting approach of layering a half-lit subject against a dark mid-ground, with hot windows in the deep background. The hot windows allow the lens + diffusion + atmosphere to glow or fog the dark areas, creating a sense of depth. And then the foreground subject is given just enough light to pop against the dark background and have some shape. I think this attention to layering contrast is something that is missing in a lot of stuff shot today - they use the same equipment, but they don’t always shape the light to create depth, so the entire frame ends up being just dark underexposed mush or bright flat mush.
  23. 3 points
    Hmm an attempt to get more coverage? Cropping reduces quality. Or they could have been running at different framerates, shutter speed, stills, VFX look around etc... who could forget the 35mm/HD hybrid from:
  24. 3 points
    Because the mirror/shutter edge lines up with the expanded edge of the S16 gate aperture, if you don't decrease the shutter angle from 180 to 172.8 degrees you will get smearing along the whole edge of the frame. If you crop it out you may as well not have converted to S16 in the first place. Many people glued a lightweight wedge to the mirror edge to do this, but it needs to be securely fixed and very accurately positioned so as not to scrape while spinning. Typically a job for a trained technician. The magazine conversion is less essential, though there is definitely a possibility that the expanded S16 area will get scratches, scuffs or simply bruising. Again, it affects the whole side of the frame where rollers, sprockets and guides will contact the newly expanded image area, so cropping just gets you back to N16. If you don't re-centre the lens mount you probably won't notice anything drastic with 35mm format lenses except zooms will track off to one side. How are you modifying the gate? If it's not done very competently you will get scratches from burred edges. Don't just use a file for example. If you expand into the area of the left vertical support rail you need to machine that rail down thinner all along its length so that the expanded picture area does not run along it. Google pictures of the narrow left rail on SR3 gates. When I was working on Arriflexes, I would use a jig with a gauge to re-fit the gate so that the aperture lined up with the ground glass, and then use a depth gauge to check and adjust the flange depth to within 0.01mm. Everything on Arriflexes is adjustable, if you take them apart you can easily lose fine settings. Personally I think if you can't afford an already converted S16 SR2 , it's a waste of time trying to convert one on the cheap. A half-arsed conversion will turn what was a professional camera into little better than a quieter K3.
  25. 3 points
    Modern digital cameras often do not see saturated colour very clearly, and there isn't a very good solution to it. The problem is that, instinctively, one would assume that the RGB filters on a Bayer-patterned sensor would be bright, saturated, primary colours. They're not. Often they're pretty desaturated, which helps with sensitivity (by not filtering out too much light). It also helps with sharpness, because the RGB images from the Bayer sensor are not as different as we'd expect; it's easier to infer where sharp edges are in the image since all of the pixels can see most of them. The result is a picture with rather reduced saturation. This can be corrected with what a specialist might generally call "matrixing," but which basically means "winding the saturation up." This works to a degree, but subtle distinctions between colours can be reduced; for instance, a lot of Bayer cameras can have trouble telling purple from blue, and it can introduce chroma noise if people try too hard to tease out the colorimetry. There are a lot of caveats to all of this. Higher end cameras are more likely to use more saturated filters, accept the sensitivity and sharpness hit, and achieve better colorimetry as a result. An Alexa is not a great example because it's far from the latest technology, but it was never a design which targeted massive sharpness or huge sensitivity. It does, though, have a nice colour response. Also, the human eye works very much in the same way; it does have red, green and blue-sensitive cells, perhaps better described as long-wavelength, medium-wavelength and short-wavelength because they have a very broad sensitivity that overlaps a lot, much like a camera sensor. I don't know if what you're describing is caused by all this, but it's likely it has at least some impact. P
  26. 3 points
    Maybe some of you will enjoy this glimpse into the Apollo 11 launch, 50 years ago next week: https://vimeo.com/322987365 The film was shot mostly with a Bolex D8L. Launch footage alternated between the D8L and a B8. You can see that the aperture plates were slightly different. I've been shooting 16mm lately, in the home movie genre. Whenever I watch my dad's stuff, I realize he was a much more skilled filmmaker than I. I just wish he'd switched from 8mm to 16mm long before he did, in April 1976.
  27. 3 points
    Obviously the democratization of technology and the cheap technology/low barriers to entry to film these days will result in more content. But probably not better content. I think we'll find that there will be roughly the same amount of awarded films today (when everyone can do it), as it were back in the days when the barrier was huge. Excellence finds a way through all the obstacles. It's just like music - Beatles had 4 audio channels to record on and extremely archaic mixers and equipment. Today you can have unlimited channels, layer all sorts of sounds, instruments, process it, mix it on a laptop, make people who can't sing sing in tune, etc. Is the music measurably better? There's more of it, that's for sure, but truly better? I'm not so sure. Technology is both very important and not at all important. Human thinking and creativity is important. And sometimes technology can enable that initially, or make new creative avenues possible, but in the end, it comes back to what humans do with it, not the other way around.
  28. 3 points
    David, while you are correct that it is not necessary to be either an expert or likeable in order to be right, being likeable has other benefits. On a forum like this, where most members will carry on conversations over a period of months or even years, and yet never meet each other, it is only natural that people will be curious about each others backgrounds and experience. Knowing what experience informs the attitudes of our fellows makes it easier to understand their views, and helps to avoid unnecessary arguments, particularly in a medium where nuance and tone are hard to convey. You evidently have strongly held opinions on a variety of subjects, and you appear to be well informed, but it's also true to say that you are extremely aggressive in your tone when responding to others with whom you disagree, and you seem very willing to attack the poster, rather than the post. That's not good for anyone involved. May I suggest that we turn the heat down under this conversation, and keep it friendly.
  29. 3 points
    Yes now I dont have to wonder ,I wondered if you were a journalist actually .. you have never been on a shoot .. I doubt you are even in this industry .... .. I hope you find some peace and let go of the anger inside.. its really not worth it.. peace and love ..
  30. 3 points
    Took my meter out... Couldn't help myself. 🙂 "f/3.6 - Not great, not terrible"
  31. 3 points
    I read your very negative view of what I said. I still stand by it. Encouragement and insights are the way to help Students. Telling someone they can do it and it will require hard work is going to have a much better chance of success. And, as far as attacking I think you are attacking me. I was simply making a statement that I felt is important to state. It's like when I go to church and the preacher is yelling fire and brimstone and you will burn in hell at the depth of Dante' Inferno. (You have to read this book to get the full impact of what I am saying) At any rate all the damnation the preacher goes on about and there is nothing about the greatest universal love and forgiveness! So, with all the hell fire flying around I say unto you most solemnly, Praise and encouragement goes a long way in developing new talent. 🙂
  32. 3 points
    when shooting in a forest I often find it challenging to control the shadow colours reliably. there tends to be lots and lots of green cast from all the greens around you and that contaminates the shadows very easily because the key and sky ambience are limited by trees and are thus often very directional and everything around is dim and green which just reflects the green everywhere. You can use it as a part of the look of course but if you want to cancel it you may want to use large bounces (if there is enough direct sunlight available) or artificial lights (larger surface softer lights just enough to cancel the green and add a little of pure cold light to the shadows) if direct sun is not available. On a recent shoot I had two 4' 4-bank Kino Flos on outdoor set in the middle of the day which looked ridiculous because they are not normally used that way but they had just enough output to create a nice shaping light on a cloudy day to a couple of meters wide set without consuming too much power or being overly heavy to carry about 1km off the road to the forest along with the small genny and sandbags and stands and everything. then could bounce that kino light and the sky ambience around as needed.
  33. 3 points
    I mean, I can't afford a 4k Alexa... even the Alexa XT's which are only 3.8k, are still way out of my price range. I mean even a Red Dragon package is around $14 - $18k and you're dealing with something that WILL FAIL at one point during your ownership. Red's are notorious for software glitches and they charge a fortune to service them. So then you talk about Sony, but again the price range is astronomical for a true cinema look like an F65 or Venice with all the bells and whistles. Reality is, owning a true digital cinema camera that you can garnish gigs from, is unfortunately cost prohibitive, unless you're using the equipment every day and have enough connections to have consistent work. So then you've got the other aspect which is, everyone shoots digital, so what separates your production from the guy's film that shows before or after yours at the film festival? Sure, you can treat digital to look more filmic, but it never will look like film. How much attention does your production get when you say "shot on Alexa" vs "shot on film". Most people will stop and read an article on why you're using archaic technology to make your movie, but an article about shooting like everyone else, what interest is that? When digital was first coming around, this was the opposite, everyone wanted to read about the digital shoots. However, now that the roles are reversed, film has become the stand-out choice for indy filmmakers to define their production. The mandatory discipline that's built into shooting on film, is in essence the saving grace of the format. Thus, the results are generally better for less production time. You COULD be disciplined like that with digital, but when the shooting time is endless, EVERYONE becomes lazy. Plus, in today's world, when actors know you're shooting film, they step up to the challenge because they know it's special. Back to the results part of shooting on film, it does make a difference. Where it may be less apparent on bigger productions, on smaller one's, I've physically seen the difference first hand and it's pretty amazing if you actually did an A/B comparison. Finally, digital is not just one's and zero's. It's an encoded media format which will fall out of date very fast. As technology moves forward, we find ourselves at a precipice where in 10 - 20 years, the files we have today will not be playable on modern hardware. So now you're having to keep old hardware around to playback your files, which again are stuck at whatever resolution you shot them on initially. Plus, can you afford to store 20tb for 20 years? No spinning disk or SSD will last that long, so there goes all those raw file drives. Now you're going to back them up onto LTO tape, which is great, but in 20 years the current LTO format will be long gone as biometric tech takes over. So again, how will you ever watch your final production without A LOT of money being put into properly archiving every few years to a new medium and transcoding to newer codec's? The studio's have rated the cost of doing this archiving at several thousand dollars per month, per show. Where camera negative is completely agnostic to these issues. It can sit on a shelf in your closet for 50 years without fading. It can sit in a cool vault for 100 years without any damage. If you want to re-edit, simply re-scan the scenes you need and re-conform your cut. Recording back to film today is cheaper than it's ever been, with costs as low as $100/minute for 2k. So now you can store a print along with your negative in a vault for what, few hundred bux a year. I understand digital, I think it's great technology for television, streaming/web and making videos for fun. I don't understand digital for anything that has any long-term integral value.
  34. 3 points
    Recent Kodak Post https://nofilmschool.com/2016/06/be-filmmaker-not-video-maker-interview-kodak-president-motion-picture-and-entertainment?fbclid=IwAR1i2TAiOfoSeOY4yt17e8ZvzZTB6PuA4far0zPSpiUYlrCN2fH5wnNBGEA
  35. 3 points
    Roger has special reasons why he does not like film. He is a perfectionist and shooting film gives him a lot of stress because he's worried if the dalies will look good. So the moment Arri (his camera company of choice) had a camera that worked, he switched and will not look back. If you hear him talk about film, his issues are MOSTLY his own issues, rather than a systemic issue. Considering nobody else has the issues he has with film stock and processing, it's clear he's just upset with his own issues.
  36. 3 points
    Leonardo Da Vinci observed this and wrote: "The shadows of bodies generated by the redness of the sun near the horizon are always blue: and this is because of the11th [proposition of the book on light and shadow], where it is said: the surface of any opaque object partakes the color of its object. Therefore, since the white-ness of the wall is deprived of any color at all, it is tinged with the color of its objects, which are, in this instance, the sun and the sky, because the sun reddens toward evening and the sky appears blue; and where on this wall the shadow does not see the sun, it will be seen by the sky, because of the 8th [proposition of the book] on shadows, which says: no luminous body ever sees the shadows that it generates; therefore, the derivative shadow will project on the white wall with a blue color, because of the above-mentioned 11th [proposition], and the shadow seen by the redness of the sun will partake its red color."
  37. 3 points
    You have to imagine sitting in a real room as the sun is setting and then going into twilight to understand the colors of the sun and the sky and how that transforms the room. The sun gets more orange but weaker as it sets so the ambience from the blue sky gets stronger in relation.
  38. 3 points
    I think there’s a difference between being a DP on a specific project, and being a DP as something you do for a living. It’s both a description and an honorific. When I was an assistant, the DP position was something to be achieved through hard work and experience, not by buying a camera. There are many ‘dps’ on this site who are evidently very inexperienced. We all had to start somewhere, but when you use the term DP to describe anyone with a camera, it renders it meaningless.
  39. 3 points
    I think thats just magical thinking - what deal are they getting with Kodak where 10,000ft of film costs less then a days hire of an Alexa and a stack of hard disks? The cost of 10,000 ft of 35mm stock is more then a weeks hire of high end digital camera and thats before you even process the footage. In the UK the book rate of 10,000 ft of Kodak 35mm is £3875. I can hire an Alexa Mini body for around £500 per day. A DIT maybe costs £350 per day, £500 would be more then enough for data storage for a single days Alexa rushes. So even if they got the 35mm kit for free, all the lab work and transfers for free(good luck getting that) - they would still need a greater then 50% discount on the Kodak stock just to break even with an Alexa shoot cost wise. Film lenses cost the same to hire as digital lenses do they not? All the other bits and bobs grip, matt boxes etc cost either the same or less on a digital shoot. The only really saving is perhaps a 35mm camera body can be hired for less then an Alexa body. But I don't see why you'd get extra discounts for lenses and support gear on a 35mm shoot, its mostly the same stuff I love film, but stories like this don't seem credible. I would find it hard to believe any feature budget would find digital costing $150k more then film, unless its comparing Alexa 65 vs Super 16 or some other very unique uneven situation. Or do US DIT's cost several thousand dollars a day to hire?
  40. 3 points
    As a professional editor, the way it normally works is that we create a cut on our own first without the Director. Usually it's just an assembly of the script, generally super long as well. Than the director comes in and gives his feedback on the cut, usually it's swapping performances rather then length cuts at first. Once the director and I have done a few passes together, we show the producers a cut. It's generally here where the producers, the director and the editor sit down and go over the cut. It takes a while, generally a few days of conference calls and/or notes. I make a lot of suggestions on the cut at this point and the director and I will mull about with the producer's notes, doing some, not doing others. We try everything, but not much winds up in the final piece. Once the producers, director and editor are happy with the show, we will send it out for a larger group screening. The best feedback comes from the group screenings, where the writers, cinematographer, executive producers and cast get to see it and give notes. If we have time to bring everyone together, we will do a round table discussion after and hash out some ideas on what people like or don't like. I'm sad that some people don't think this discussion is worth it, but I always try to push for it because getting feedback is so important. I work very closely with my DP's on the cut, I believe their input as being very valuable. I also have a good relationship with the DP's of the projects I edit. I've made a lot of changes to cuts based on DP's notes, especially with framing or takes that they did something special I may have not noticed. It's hard when you have 1800 shots in your final cut, to get every single little fancy move the DP's made. Generally the final cut of a film is a conglomerate of notes, forced upon the editor and director by the producers. We fight to get certain things in the film and the producers generally have the final say in a lot of ways It's our job to convince them XYZ is important and it's all down to how good of a negotiator you are. From my perspective as an editor, I like cutting shit because I think telling a story properly is far more important than ego. So it gets kinda disappointing when producers want stuff in the film that sucks or kill stuff that's great. Yes some directors have done "directors cuts" of their films, but most of the time it's because of rating or the films just being too long for theatrical. Every minute under 72 minutes or over 120 minutes, is a big deal. They'll wanna extend short films and decrease the length of long films. It's truly sad that's what dictates what we see, but hey that's how things work. Many directors do get final cut and force their producers and distributors to play what they have. That's why you don't see a director's cut of a Christopher Nolan film, because he can do anything he wants.
  41. 3 points
    Usually the editor works with, collaborates with, the director, just like the cinematographer works with the director. Unless the director is a trained editor, their "director's cut" is the work of the editor working the actual machine and the director supervising that editor to deliver what both of them agree should be the final edited form. A "director's cut" is usually not a situation where the director goes off and independently cuts the project without an editor. Sometimes if the director is busy during production while dailies are coming in, they will let the editor do a rough assembly and then a first pass without too much supervision, but then once post-production begins, the director comes and works closely with the editor to create their preferred cut. If this is for a television show, the director is given a certain amount of time to create their director's cut after the editor's cut, which then gets delivered to the showrunner / producer for their notes. After that, the network or studio will probably want some changes for the final released or broadcast cut.
  42. 3 points
    https://www.indiewire.com/2019/04/the-beach-bum-cinematographer-benoit-debie-master-color-1202055726/ I don't know what the budget of this film - The Beach Bum but Benoit Debie has shot it on 35 with lots of in camera effects (varicolor polariser) and spent only 4 days in a grading suite.
  43. 3 points
    I don't think many DPs like the digital look overall, so many articles in AC or British Cinematographer or whatever you can find where anamorphic lenses are super in demand for digital shows to break the image apart a little, or grain is added in post or the ASA setting is pushed in order to get some kind of texture. And digital just isn't special, that's the thing, so many things shot on the Alexa or Red and it just becomes this shapeless, homogenized blob, nothing or very few things stand out. And those who shoot on film stand out and it is special. But the labs coming back is just a great thing, and more and more things (still a tiny number) films, indie films and TV shows are being shot on film these days.
  44. 3 points
    Ursa Mini Pro. Nikon Series E.
  45. 3 points
    Very few people have the talent, ability and dedication to 24x7 learning and practice that it takes to become a moviemaker, or work in any art form. Probably the first thing to find out is if this craft is for you. Doing something as a hobbyist is not the same as getting paid to produce something that others value enough to pay for it (doing it as a profession). You can choose to be a Van Gogh and die peniless without ever having achieved any appreciation for your work, but that is not a viable option for most. Enjoying movies and knowing all about them and talking about them is not the same as making movies. Making movies is not the same as making good movies. Being in school is not the same as being in the working world. In school you pay them. In the working world they pay you. There's a science and an art to most challenging professions. To succeed (that is to make a living at it) you need to be well versed in both. You need to get way ahead of the learning curve so you stand out to those who pay you for your work. You also need the ability to handle people, bosses and peers.
  46. 3 points
    Watch movies, look at the works of great painters and develop artistic vision. Don't worry so much about what camera or what lens or the other technical stuff, it will come if the passion is there and vision is clear. Conrad Hall once asked an assistant to get him a certain lens and the assistant came back proudly with another lens that he thought was better. He explained to Conrad that it was a better lens and would produce a better image. Conrad didn't use it of course and didn't want the "better" image. He wanted the lens he wanted for a reason. It's what the artists wants to accomplish. If you have the vision and the passion to follow through the tools will be found to make what you imagine. Learn to use your imagination. That is the most important tool any great Cinematographer or artist of any salt has. Without it all the tools and technical know how is not worth a great deal.
  47. 2 points
    We shot "The Lighthouse" on 5222 and its an old, soft, finicky stock. Whether it's worth a 4k scan depends on how you treat the film and the lenses you use. I mostly processed it at "-1/2" with 2/3 stops extra exposure. This sharpens it up and increases dynamic range. Even then, a gray tone would already be black at -4 1/2 stops incident. Highlights fare much better, but still, latitude is still not great. Neither is resolution - I'm not so sure 5222 achieves 4k when I see the our untouched 4k scanned footage next to the 2k VFX footage. However, HDR might be worth it. Personally, I like more contrast in black and white and more subtlety in color. 5222 did have one superior trait. From my tests 5222 has much more "local" or "micro" contrast and separation than either 35mm color film or Alexa footage. Even while being softer and grainier. In that way, it is irreplaceable. Jarin ps: 7222 is much too soft. I wouldn't shoot it. In 16mm I'd shoot TriX instead and process as a negative. A very pretty stock. If only they made it in 35mm! Just pull a stop to get the right contrast!
  48. 2 points
    When I can't rig a light to the ceiling, my next option is to rig some white to the ceiling, perhaps with a white card also hanging down slightly, and then bounce a Source-4 Leko into it (daylight HMI Jo-Leko if daylight-balanced interior). The other option is to use menace arms with lightweight lights (Litemats these days).
  49. 2 points
    Starting exposure can be determined with a light meter, since you'll know the filmspeed, minus any filtration, and the shutterspeed (use either 8fps or 12fps, if you need to cut the exposure down more vary the light source or use ND filtration Wratter type filter material over the front of the camera. Using a Dichroic Light Head from a color photo enlarger will allow more accurate color filtration control. Due to the work involved here, I recommend setting up your own Control Strips, using a short length of exposed/processed film that was carefully shot and exposed in correct color temp lighting of color chart with gray strips, and splice in a short length of similar type film to dupe. This entire 'test' run doesn't need to be any longer than 5ft to 10ft. If you use an old video camera which has infrared viewing, you can use that on a tripod to observe loading in the dark, so there won't be any fogging from loading; unloading can be done in the dark easier or in a film changing bag. Once processed, you can either plot out your readouts from a densitometer, and/or color correct using viewing filters and work it out that way. With careful note taking, and splicing leader onto the film to be duplicated, you can 'inch' the film in the camera right up to the very first frame of the rawstock/film to dupe, bipack, and then using your notes, and observing the footage frame counters, you can stop the camera and make exposure and/or filter changes at those points. Going even more complex, you could do fades etc. Running the camera at the slower frame rate allows the bipack film to move more easily thru. I also recommend wiping the film gate and pressure plate with a soft cotton flannel cloth that has been moistened with Silicone. This will alleviate any drag on the bipacked film running thru the camera, should you have any issues at all.
  50. 2 points
    I've known gaffers who became successful cinematographers. That said, being a cinematographer is not only about lighting and camera technologies. It's about visual story telling, and less about the tech stuff. And I think the only way to learn it, is to do it. And, looking back... I think it's about as difficult to become a gaffer as it is to become a cinematographer. If I were to get a "do over" in my career, it would be to start as a cinematographer and not "work my way up". I was a camera/steadicam operator before I began my DP career, and it was almost like starting over from the beginning. Not quite, but 90%. So, if one wants to work as a cinematographer, work as a cinematographer. 🙂 🙂 🙂
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