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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. 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.
  3. 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..
  4. 3 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.
  5. 3 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 3 points
    Ursa Mini Pro. Nikon Series E.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 3 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.
  12. 2 points
    There are also many cinemas that leave the polarizing filters on the projector (for 3D) even when screening 2D and this results in a quite dim image. I've asked the theater manager about this and they said that there was nothing that they could do about it. AMC Burbank, I'm talking about you!
  13. 2 points
    Few things... We don't need to see her being interviewed, that's a waste of time. The shot wasn't interesting and because english is her 2nd language, it's not helping the ad to have her talk slow. The echo also makes it seem very unprofessional. In this case, I would have her do the VO work in a quiet room. Get her to amp up her presentation so it's exciting and cut together best sentences into a cohesive narrative first. Once you have that, then you can go out and shoot what she's talking about. In terms of the B-Roll, for commercial, I would have shot stuff that was more active. You need around 4 - 6 setup's to achieve what you're going after. Show her outside doing multiple active things, jogging, maybe helping someone with directions, running up some stairs, few shots of the sun going through the trees, you kinda get the idea. Since she's talking about skin care, sun and brightness are critical. In terms of the product shots, the final shot is fine, but the bathroom scene was too dark to work. It needed a lot more light to give it some pop, it needed several beauty shots of not just the container, but also her applying, with excellent bright lighting and motion. I think the one thing lacking in the entire piece is motion, the camera should always be moving. Most people just use a slider for that sorta thing because it gives such nice subtle motion to every shot. A gimbal or steadicam would also help quite a bit. Over-all it felt under-developed, something put together in a hurry, rather then something that was planned out in advance. With commercials, quick cuts, fast pace, clean narration and a bright/crisp image are the most important things. You want to wow your would-be customers and sadly this didn't wow me.
  14. 2 points
    The close-up of her feet down the stairs leads nowhere. Instead try to execute a swing movement or a fast follow pam from tripod with a light wide angle lens. The apple purchase also leads to nothing. It can be understood that apples are something natural but that is not new. Basically in spring when trees begin to blossom all apples are a few months old. If one wants to point out freshness, apples are harvested in fall. A cultural lapse. Maybe a little more effort with her hair that could be pinned up outdoors. Decide on lighting, the interiors need more snap. Lots of light for cosmetics! Personally, I should not show the character straight from above lying on a bed but under two angles, sideways and in height, cuddled up to somebody (out of focus). I watched it twice, without sound.
  15. 2 points
    Yeah the grade could use a little more punch and when the interview audio comes in it immediately destroys the professional vibe you opened with. Also getting more angles of coverage for the main interview would really flesh things out, maybe even have the camera handheld on that portion too. This goes in and out between TV quality and youtube vlogger's student film. I don't believe you're clueless to this, I think the director just settled in the wrong areas. Let me know if you need an audio guy, I'm in the area.
  16. 2 points
    A couple of things, only since you've asked.... The color correction is a bit flat and low contrast. I guess that helps smooth the skin, but... it certainly doesn't catch the eye of the viewer. The sound quality is poor. Bad echo in the room. It would be worth rerecording the narration in a proper audio studio or just a better environment. The audio quality gives the entire spot the impression of "amateur" filmmaking. Lastly, the editing. Each shot seems to be on screen just a beat or two too long. Once we've gotten the idea, it's time to move on to the next shot. The spot is not "bad", but I think these suggestions could make it work a bit better.
  17. 2 points
    I drew roughly what a Standard (Normal) 1.78 : 1 area would be inside Super-35 1.78, whether 3-perf or 4-perf Super. I also drew what a projector showing the movie in 1.85 would crop from 1.78, as you can see, the formats are very close in shape:
  18. 2 points
    Again, in 2018 Kodak had it's best year since they filed for bankruptcy and people are looking to differentiate their products from everyone elses. So MORE people are shooting film, especially super 16, that has an entirely different look than digital. Nobody cares about what television doc's, corporate or industrial films are shot with, could be a camcorder as long as it tells the story. Television has such a fast timeline, unless you're shooting in a media city, it's hard to make film work. However, many TV shows have in recent years Westworld being one of them. Where it's true many long-term shows switched to digital for their 2018 season, a lot of that is just less viewership and budget reductions. Television is dying, so I wouldn't expect them to shoot film anymore, or do I feel something being watched once, has any value on being shot on film. Red is falling off the popularity chart. I know they worked out a deal with Panavision to make a special kit for TV, but nobody cares. The Alexa dominates the digital market, whether it's the Amira on doc's or Alexa Mini on TV, Music video's, commercials or features, the Arri's are more stable, have better overall integrated support and don't require dozens of add-on's to work. Where I do like Red Code as a codec, Pro Res from the Alexa's work much better for post production. Yea there are some Red die hard's, Soderbergh and Fincher to name two. However, those guys are all about experimenting with new stuff, they could care less about tradition. In my eyes, the only reason why Red has been popular at all is due to the over-sampling imager. Being able to shoot 6k raw for a 4k finish, has been great but now that Alexa has higher resolution solutions. Arri will enter into the 8k market soon and when they do, if they "sell" the cameras instead of simply only rent them, I think Red will be done. The color science on the Alexa is far better and they've proven to build a better more stable package over the years. Right now, the only people who use Red's are devotee's and people who own them. Sounds just like the people who shoot film to me! lol
  19. 2 points
  20. 2 points
    Go tell that to Spielberg, Nolan, Scorsese, Tarantino, PT Anderson, Snyder, Chazelle, JJ Abrams, Ponsoldt, Coen Brothers, Scott Cooper, Adam McKay, and so many others. This is ridiculous. It MATTERS, who cares if audiences know the difference (but they'll feel it), it's your intention, you, the filmmaker, and the DP, you want your film to look and feel a certain way. You might not miss it but plenty LOVE it because it looks and feels better, there is emotion with film, something happens, it's a quicker way to empathy than digital is imo, plenty will tell you the same, it can't be rationalized, it just is. It also looks more interesting and stands out. All my favorite films are shot on film, all of them, it's not a coincidence, it's not an internal trick, it just makes me feel in a way digital doesn't, independent of the emotion of the movie itself. Go ahead and call those master directors, or DPs like Linus Sandgren, or Masanobu Takayanagi, or Rodrigo Prieto and so many others that they're "tech hipsters". If you truly can't see the difference, I don't know what to tell you, it's blatant, it's obvious.
  21. 2 points
    Love it. This is “Taxi Driver” all of the way and not the typical comic book movie. The marketing will be critical for the box office success of this picture since it’s not a “Batman”. Beautifully lit, shot and directed. G
  22. 2 points
    Do the same thing everyone else does = death too. Where I do think young filmmakers should be making content and not worrying about what's used to make that content, there is a certain satisfaction and look that film delivers, which digital has yet to achieve. Having the knowledge of what it's like to shoot film, it critical in my book. It's not like today's young filmmakers had ANY experiences with film at all, 99.5% of them probably never touched film before they made the leap TO film. Most will buy a still camera, but a few will buy movie cameras and it's that passion for the past, which will lead them to become great filmmakers in the future. Having the knowledge to shoot good film translates extremely will into the digital world and will make you a more efficient filmmaker.
  23. 2 points
    I think point 3. was a major factor everywhere. It was the experienced DPs and directors who'd known too many sleepless nights on location worrying about the day's footage getting lost or damaged in transit, or whatever, or obsessing over whether that particular shot worked out and will they have to shoot it again. When digital came along it was an easier life for these very experienced people. And yes, some people prefer the look of digital: that clean, clinical, plastic, glassy, metallic perfection. They want a world that is like that. It's their aesthetic preference. Go to their homes and see what art is on their walls.
  24. 2 points
    I've used the CP2's with film cameras, but I'm not much of a fan due to the cost. It really depends on what features you're looking for in a lens? If you want a fast wide angle lens, that's going to cost a lot of money vs a slow longer or standard 24, 35, 50mm lens. I could only afford what I bought, which were the Rokinon Xeen's and let me tell ya, nobody can tell what they are with the final footage on film. People spend so much time focused on glass, they kinda forget that most glass is fine. I had some college kid argue with me about my recently serviced Optar primes "not being good enough" for his student film. It's that kind of attitude which kills me. I'd rather have three lenses that work, for the price of 1 lens that doesn't do anything better, but has a more recognizable brand name on the side.
  25. 2 points
    Bradford Young has done seriously amazing and beautiful work, I think hes this generations Harris Savides.
  26. 2 points
    I don't advocate NOT studying contemporary work, but only concentrating on that would be a mistake. Not sure there are many great comedians who haven't listened to Richard Pryor, who isn't contemporary. And I'm sure Richard Pryor listened to Redd Foxx and Lenny Bruce. If you want to be a very shallow commercial artist, sure, just look at the latest trends and copy that without knowing how or why things got to be like that. If you want your work to have some depth, expand your research. Plus, if cinematography is something you love, if making images is something you love, you aren't going to limit yourself to just contemporary works, you wouldn't be able to stop yourself from exploring further in many directions. Are you saying no one has become a better cinematographer by studying Gordon Willis or Conrad Hall? Gordon Willis has been a big influence on many contemporary cinematographers like Bradford Young.
  27. 2 points
    Without the perspective of time, it's hard to see evolution as it actually happens. You don't know what's a passing fad versus a structural change. When I learned filmmaking, I first studied my heroes and then I studied the people my heroes said they studied. Whether anyone was contemporary or past didn't matter to me as long as I was excited by the work. Saying you want to learn cinematography only by studying the present is like saying you want to learn about writing only by reading contemporary writers.
  28. 2 points
    I just use Photoshop from the last full version I bought, which is getting on for ten years old now but does everything I regularly need. Yes, they're focussed on features not stability or speed, and certainly in some parts of the world it is not a good deal as a rental. Yes, they're getting a lot of trade from young beginners who don't understand the difference between capital and revenue, but the way they seem to have worked it out is that it's exactly as expensive as buying every new version of Creative Suite, which nobody ever did because all those new features were rarely that useful. It is much more expensive outside the US, because of no reason other than greed. It has had very little worthwhile work done on it since the launch of Creative Cloud. This is why After Effects still uses the version of Javascript from 1999 (OK, it theoretically went to final standard in March 2000) as its scripting language, the reason the scripting interpreter is such a horrific memory hog, spawning one interpreter instance per layer, and why there are still such crushing limitations on what can be scripted - and that's just the scripting engine. The whole application is dog slow and still doesn't support large CPU core counts as well as it could and should. It is very expensive software. This is not acceptable. Yes, fixing all that is a lot of work. Yes, it probably involves tearing the whole application down to the bare bones and rebuilding it. It is a vast undertaking, and one that's going to create a lot of compatibility issues with plugins, which are key to many (most?) workflows. After Effects is a very, very large piece of software and it is widely used in a huge variety of circumstances. I like it a lot and have used it a lot. But the complete, ongoing neglect of core problems is not OK. Adobe is a very large, very successful, very powerful company. It is capable of doing that work. It simply doesn't care to, because these are problems that are not obvious to the college kids who have never known anything any different. Why would Adobe spend the money? So AE languishes. So yes, I would like nothing more than to replace everything in Creative Suite with third party apps. Blackmagic have offered us a tantalising option with Resolve plus Fusion (and of course Fairlight, which is often overlooked.) The editing in Resolve is fine, though how can you really get that wrong. I don't know enough about Fairlight to comment. Fusion, however, is not AE, even if only because the conversion training is a 'mare. There is really no worthwhile alternative to AE, at least at the level at which AE operates right now. There is also no sensible alternative to Photoshop. Adobe know this. P
  29. 2 points
    In filmmaking you'll be working with lots of very, very smart and literate people and one of the ways they bond with each other and communicate their ideas is by talking about plays, novels, and non-fiction. So, you need to get a grounding in that world. If you're a student, go see every play, author, candidate, and filmmaker who appears on campus or in your city no matter who they are or what they're talking about. School is a time to expose yourself to ideas—especially ideas you may disagree with. That's part of becoming an artist: the ability to work with differing points of view simultaneously. Your first goal should be to attend or watch films of at least half of Shakespeare's 37 plays plus some Chekhov, Eugene O'Neill, and Edward Albee (even if it's bad community theater, you need to see these works). In your car always have either a classic novel or current best-seller going. Try and get in a political book once in a while, but never express your political leanings on set—it's OK however, to talk about the cinematic and commercial possibilities of a political book, who owns the rights, and who you might cast in the roles. The only other thing I would recommend is to memorize the f/stops in 1/3 intervals between f/.09 and f/64.
  30. 2 points
    The first time you go out to work on a movie as a cinematographer and the director says he wants to do a deep focus effect and shows you a frame from “Citizen Kane”, it would get real practical very quickly. There are few touchstone reading materials for cinematography but Toland’s article on shooting “Citizen Kane” is one of them.
  31. 2 points
    Not credibility related, but... always charge as large % of the invoice as possible before handing off the material. nowadays I tend to charge all the shooting costs before the shoot on small jobs (car and equipment rentals if I hire them for the shoot, any hired employee costs, etc. ) so that I only lose my own salary at most if the client does not pay for the shoot at all and does not even want the material for some reason. they tend to also pay late unless you're lucky so it's best to have them pay any rentals etc beforehand if they are on your responsibility so that you don't have to loan money to pay the rental costs etc. The good monitor with correct LUT is a very good advice. Clients don't necessarily understand the concept of grading and think that what they see is what they get... or even if knowing that they forget it after a while and start complaining :ph34r:
  32. 1 point
    Shooting green screen interviews today in a conference room at a certain software giant's building in Redmond, WA. What are you working on today? Upload a photo with your reply.
  33. 1 point
    Last night, I had the pleasure of seeing "The Long Goodbye" at Film Forum on a 35mm print. It's a movie I've seen a half-dozen times but my first time seeing projected on film. A few notes: I noticed that the effect that flashing had on that film was far, far better-suited on a film print. The texture in the blacks is just so immense. I haven't seen the Blu-Ray, but I found it to be an interesting study into how a very unique process can look great in one format and hardly be noticeable in another. If anyone has this on blu-ray, please chime in with your thoughts. It led me to think - in today's era of extremely versatile scanners, what can flashing deliver or do we even need it? At the time there was no other way to introduce that level of consistency in soft blacks - now you can dial a Log image to your preference. Sure the colors go soft too, but they can do that anyway with the right colorist. Also, even with a great transfer and a superb colorist, I wonder if/when they do a DCP restoration of this how those blacks will look (and the milky indoor scenes at the beach house in the daytime, too). Has anyone seen anything to that end? This was one of a few times that a color 35mm print, 40 years old, has completely blown me away compared to anything I've seen on a small screen. It almost looked like a different film. Sure, there are your usual differences, but there really seemed to be a texture that you could see in the print itself. In an effort/hope to not sound rambling I'll leave this to others to chime in.
  34. 1 point
    Big difference between low-dose hand luggage and checked luggage. Depends on how 'visible' the contents were in the scanner. If you hide the films in a lead bag, the operator will turn up the dose. I always recommend to ship by Fedex or similar. We recently did a test with the help of Fedex and after eight passes, the increase in D-Min was less than 0.02 (densitometer tolerance). It all depends on the settings of the x-ray machine.
  35. 1 point
    Imagine if Jodorowsky was able to make his Dune....
  36. 1 point
    Put Star Wars on the telly, DVD or Blu-ray. You know, the original one. Have a look at the shots of R2D2 and C-3PO as they walk along the corridors, and go into that other section of the spacecraft where they encounter the Princess. Especially note the closer up shots. Digital will never look like that. Never. Film has an earthy, 'etched', slightly gritty yet saturated, 'fat' sort of look. That would cost millions of bucks to generate entirely digitally, trying to cook up an organic photochemical celluloid image look from number crunching CPUs. It won't ever happen. Maybe not enough people out there care enough. But I think they do. Do common garden variety audiences note the beauty of oils and the European masters? My friends...yes, oh yes....they do.
  37. 1 point
    Hahaaa "Consumer Protection" in the USA???? Have you seen who runs this place???
  38. 1 point
    LEDs are great if you need smaller amount of relatively soft but still directional light, especially if on battery power and if you need to be able to adjust it quickly. they are still relatively expensive option if you need lots of power and you need to decide if you need cheaper to rent package and more power (HMI, Tungsten or Kino Flo) or easier to manage fixtures with shorter total setup times (LED, possibly even battery powered compared to a diffused and gelled tungsten for example) . adjustable colour temperature is a plus but it has the disadvantage of losing lots of lumens when using the adjustable LED for cold light where you tend to need the highest output (night scenes and daylight scenes) . I personally prefer daylight-only LED fixtures for the highest output for normal uses (by my opinion the LEDs are most useful when you need cold light with limited power supply available and need to be able to move the light quickly) and HMI if needing more output or punch. Gelling a daylight LED to tungsten temp is not a huge loss but gelling a tungsten LED up to daylight is nonsense considering the LED fixtures tend to be relatively low output to begin with. Large Kino fixture may still be the best option for uses where you need relatively soft light with relatively high output with limited power available. renting a couple of hundred watts daylight LED fixture is much more expensive than renting a beat up Kino with similar output. If one has unlimited budget OR unlimited power OR unlimited time available then one has lots of options 🙂 the thing with the LEDs is, they are generally pretty low powered fixtures to begin with and for uses where you need to fight the other light sources in the scene they are less useful than for scenes where they can be used for easy and fast to manage supplementary lighting or where you can use the LEDs as the only light sources so that the low power output may not be an issue at all and you can take benefit of the sensitive digital cameras now available to be able to get by with lower overall light levels on set. for fighting sunlight any LED lighting is pretty useless. you are lucky if you can even see that the fixture is switched on 😂
  39. 1 point
    People also tend to be more biased the more they have watched videos and read other persons reviews about a camera model and the less they have actually used it by themselves. Another thing is that one cannot accurately compare cameras image quality and look based on the footage other people have shot. You need to know the shooting situations extremely well to be able to compare anything and that is very difficult to arrange without actually testing the camera personally with the kind of scenes you are actually going to shoot with it. That is why I didn't offer any Z6 raw material for you to evaluate...I have some here readily available but there is no point sending it because comparing cameras based on unknown footage is absolutely pointless and would not help you in any way. These are highly subjective things which need to be evaluated personally just like comparing lenses based on the "look and mood they create"
  40. 1 point
  41. 1 point
    Here's a solution I've used a few times. In an ideal world, you should do this with two pipes so that your baseplate is more secure, otherwise depending on your tilt speed and your lens, you might see some wobble. You are partially limited in this setup with the wall distance you have available, but doing speedrail extensions is usually not a problem.
  42. 1 point
    I don't have one handy anymore to test, but it should fit. The main issue is whether the lens optics protrude too far out the back and hit the optics inside the extender, but I believe the 12-240 doesn't protrude as far as the Zeiss 10-100 that the Mutar was designed to accept, so you should be OK.
  43. 1 point
    Wow!!!! This is the type of film I would like to make. I can't say enough to express my appreciation at seeing this touching film. Film (and music, etc) tries to give fleeting glimpses of what life is really all about. You know what? It's got to do with love. But it's sort of mystical. It's almost beyond us.
  44. 1 point
    You may not have it set up right.. very commonly used monitor .. you can use your fingers to quickly expand the frame too.. handy function for focus..
  45. 1 point
    Also, it's just a plain old good movie. So if you like watching good movies, I would recommend it. And now with 2018 availability to many old movies that weren't available in the past and with the technology to watch these old movies on bigger screens again, now's a better time than any to catch up on the classics that came out in theaters before we were born. I watched "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance" for the first time last night on a 10 foot screen in my basement. It was great. But all that aside, I'm sure Mr. Mullen has said this plenty of times in the past, but it's worth finding out who your favorite filmmaker's favorite filmmakers are and watching their movies to learn what your favorite filmmaker's influences were. I really like Martin Scorsese films and he talks about his influences all the time... I have "The Red Shoes" sitting in a netflix sleeve as we speak. I just listened to an interview with Quentin Tarantino where he talked about how a review of one of his favorite Jean-Luc Godard films inspired his entire point of view on writing. Who knows what will inspire you, so why not watch as much as you can?
  46. 1 point
    With the increase in the sensitivity of camera sensors you can light a lot more than a student film with the Honda EU6500/7000 generators. Besides the Chevy Volt commercial I mentioned above, features are being produced with nothing more than Hondas. For example, the feature film “The Last Poker Game” starring Martin Landau (Mission Impossible) and Paul Sorvino (Good Fellas) shot its’ principle photography with nothing more than a Honda EU6500is. Martin Landau and Paul Sorvino in a scene from “The Last Poker Game” It is a milestone because “The Last Poker Game” is no low budget indie. It was produced by Peter Pastorelli, Marshall Johnson, and Eddie Rubin. Peter Pastorelli’s credits include the Netflix film Beasts Of No Nation, which he produced alongside Johnson, and The Disappearance Of Eleanor Rigby, which stared James McAvoy and Jessica Chastain. Johnson’s other credits include Blue Valentine and The Place Beyond The Pines with Ryan Gosling; Rubin’s credits include Love And Honor. Left: Honda EU6500is modified for 60A output. Center: 300ft cable run through the assisted living complex. Right: ARRIMAX M40 head creating sunny look on a rainy day. “Last Poker Game” follows Dr. Abe Mandelbaum (Landau), who has just moved into a luxuriant assisted living facility with his ailing wife. After forming an unlikely friendship with a womanizing gambler (Sorvino), their relationship is tested when they each try to convince a mysterious nurse, played by Maria Dizzia (Orange Is The New Black), that he is her long-lost father. 60A HD Plug-n-Play Transformer/Distro powering ARRIMAX M40 and M18 on the set of the “Last Poker Game” The principle location for the movie was a sprawling new assisted living facility in Newburyport Ma. At only 60% occupancy, the production was able to secure a whole wing of the facility, which was ideal except that the loading dock, where they could operate a generator, was on the other side of the complex. Paul Sorvino in a bar scene from the “Last Poker Game” Given the light sensitivity of the Red that they were shooting on, the production was able to get away with nothing more than one of our modified Honda EU6500is generators. To compensate for the drop in voltage over the long cable run, the production used one of our proprietary HD Plug-n-Play Transformer/Distros that enable you to step up voltage in 5% increments. This feature enabled them to maintain full line level even after running out 300’ of cable between the generator and set. From the Transformer/Distro on set the crew then ran out 60A Bates extensions through out the wing, breaking out to 20A pockets wherever they needed. Martin Landau and Paul Sorvino in a bar scene from the “Last Poker Game” This way they could run up to three 1.8kw Arri M80s, or a 4kw M40 when they needed a bigger source, without having to worry about tripping breakers. With ARRIMAX reflectors, these heads were plenty big enough to light scenes in the day room, dinning area, and lounge of the residence wing, everything else they plugged into the walls. ARRIMAX M40 powered by modified Honda EU6500 and 60A HD Plug-n-Play Transformer/Distro lights bar scene from the “Last Poker Game” Using a small portable generator also enabled the production to save money by building out 24’ rental box trucks to serve as their electric and grip trucks since the trucks didn’t have to tow a diesel tow plant. This proved to be advantageous when the production went out on location in the streets of Newburyport, MA. An old port city on the north shore of Boston, Newburyport is a warren of narrow streets through which it would have been difficult to tow a diesel generator. “The Last Poker Game” is, as far as we know, the first major film to take advantage of the combination of improved camera imaging, more efficient light sources, and Honda generators customized for motion picture production. If you want to see it, it is available from Amazon. Guy Holt, Gaffer ScreenLight & Grip Lighting Rental & Sales in Boston
  47. 1 point
    I'd like to add a note of caution here. All this talk of using whatever technique to add warmth or coolness to the image is of course very straightforward and effective. The problem is as Stuart mentions the issue of people being surprised by it. Even when people have looked at monitors on the day and been very happy, even congratulatory, where these techniques have been used, it's not unusual to hear complaints a week later when we're all looking at it on Vimeo. I've had requests for cold, blue "New York Cop Drama" stuff and done it, or requests for "warm African sunset" stuff and done that, and I've had those same people complain "it's all blue" or "it's all orange", despite having signed off on tests and so forth. There can be an incredible degree of retroactive conservatism at play, and just because people claim to like it one day doesn't mean they'll defend you if their boss takes a contrary view. As such I would strongly encourage new or inexperienced people to treat the information in this thread with extreme caution. At the high end, people can be assumed to have some sort of taste, which is why they're involved in high end stuff to begin with. Anywhere else, extreme caution is required. I don't know if this is particularly a UK thing, but it's certainly visible in the output of, say, the BBC, which obviously looks well below average. The point is that if you bounce a blonde is the ceiling and white balance carefully, nobody can tell you you're wrong. P
  48. 1 point
    Christian, do you have a background in analog still photography? I think the most effective way to learn to use your meter would be to do some tests with an old manual film camera and makes some exposures. Start with color reversal film which will give you minimal latitude for error. Basically, how I use an incident meter is to measure light falling on a foreground subject. Could be front-lit, side-lit, or back-lit. I point the dome toward the light source and I shield the dome with my opposite hand from picking up any additional light sources because I want to know what each light source is doing individually. I repeat this process for each light source. Then I adjust the intensity of each light source for the final effect that I want and re-measure right before we shoot. The knowing of what the final effect will be is the hard part and can only be learned by trial and error, hence all the testing beforehand. Once you have tested your film stock + processing + lens + filter + lighting + exposure methods, and your light meter, you should have a reasonably good idea of what you are going to get back on film. In terms of how to actually use your meter, front-lit and 3/4 front-lit scenarios are the most straight forward as you've alluded to with your studio lighting example. Aim the dome at the light source, shield from other light sources, and take a reading. This reading will render an 18% grey card as 18% grey. So a Caucasian skin tone or African American skin tone will also render correctly with this stop. You may find that despite having a technically 'correct' exposure, the film stock or sensor that you are using cannot handle the contrast range of the subject so you will have to add fill light or scrim the key to get a pleasing result. This is why we test until we know how the entire system will respond. For side-lit subjects, I still aim the dome at the source but I take into account how contrasty I want the image to be. Side-lit subjects can often be exposed a bit brighter than 'normal' depending on how much wrap you are getting on the shadow side. This starts to become more of a taste issue and open for interpretation. Roger Deakins apparently often overexposes his side-lit subjects by one stop. Back-lit subjects are very much exposed to taste. Often you are combining backlight with a 3/4 frontal key, so usually the question is how many stops overexposed do you want it in relation to the key. Sometimes the key is actually a low fill or a low bounce return from the backlight. Again, meter towards the light and adjust it to taste. Hot sunlight will often be in the 4-6 stop overexposed range. If you don't want it to completely blow out, 2-3 stops over would be safe. Once you get into wide exterior shots that are more about the landscape, I tend to switch to a spot meter. Not to say that you can't use an incident meter since sunlight falling on a distant mountain is the same as sunlight falling on a nearby person. However, it's not as convenient since you can only approximate the light falling on a huge subject several miles away by the light around you. For example, what if there's a dark storm in the distance around the mountain, but it is still sunny where you are? It gets tricky. For that reason, I prefer the spot meter. Anyway, these are mostly rules of thumb and by trial and error you will find your own working method. Just test, test, test and then go shoot something. You'll be fine.
  49. 1 point
    It's not unusual to light a night interior scene to around f/2.8, or an f/2.8-4 split if you are using a zoom lens, and night exteriors might be even lower, like an f/2 depending on your lens and lighting package and what you are balancing to, but for day interiors, it depends on whether you want to bring up the interior so that you don't need to use ND gels on the windows, though can then use ND filters on the camera to get back down to f/2.8 or so. But if you look at the history of cinema, there have been all sorts of trends for deeper or more shallow focus and all of those movies could be called "cinematic", whether it is "Gone with the Wind", often shot at f/2.8 probably considering the speed of 3-strip Technicolor, or "Citizen Kane", often shot deeper than an f/8. Same goes for focal lengths, though 27mm-ish is a nice focal length for wider-angle photography that isn't too wide-angle, too distorted for faces -- I've noticed that Spielberg has often dollied in from medium to a close-up on a 27mm lens in his spherical movies. And a lot of "The Game" was shot on a 27mm lens. Much of "Citizen Kane" was shot on a 25mm lens. But you can list many great movies mostly shot on a 35mm lens, or a 50mm lens, or an 18mm lens, etc. One focal length isn't more cinematic than another, just depends on what you are trying to achieve with field of view and depth of field. Some directors favor wide-angle photography (Gilliam, Polanski, Spielberg), some favor medium-focal lengths (Ozu, Hitchcock), and some favor longer lenses (Kurosawa, Ridley Scott). Some directors use the whole range from extreme wide-angle to extreme telephoto (Michael Bay).
  50. 1 point
    If the films are in the sealed foil they cannot be humid. It is airtight. Take them from the storage a few hours ahead of time. Or a day. Nothing wrong with that. This jamming is an eternal topic. Kodak is not doing anything differently and 10.000-s of these films are being used around the world without trouble. Don't mistake these few film forums for the world. They are not. Most likely there is something wrong with cameras who don't pull it :) They are over 30 years old and likely saw no maintenance at all :( Just take the jammed cartridge out and test the free moving. I.e. put your thumb on the film lighty to press in the pressure plate a little and then by friction drive the film downward. It should show if it jams and which direction is stuck. The feed or the pick-up.
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