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  1. 8 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
    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.
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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..
  8. 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:
  9. 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.
  10. 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
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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 ..
  17. 3 points
    Took my meter out... Couldn't help myself. 🙂 "f/3.6 - Not great, not terrible"
  18. 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. 🙂
  19. 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.
  20. 3 points
    Recent Kodak Post https://nofilmschool.com/2016/06/be-filmmaker-not-video-maker-interview-kodak-president-motion-picture-and-entertainment?fbclid=IwAR1i2TAiOfoSeOY4yt17e8ZvzZTB6PuA4far0zPSpiUYlrCN2fH5wnNBGEA
  21. 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.
  22. 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."
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. 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?
  26. 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.
  27. 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.
  28. 3 points
    Ursa Mini Pro. Nikon Series E.
  29. 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.
  30. 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.
  31. 2 points
    but this is evanglism from your side btw. however… i do care on the choice of formats and i do respect the choices of others. But i don´t like when people do "anti" film propaganda… cause this ends in dump discussions with producers… just to remember, thats what i wrote: "not saying that this trailer does look terrible but i got distracted by the look. And i loved wide-angled shots chivo does on the prior mallick movies." just means that i got distracted by the look -. thats what the look does to me however what it was shot on. I do personally like all mediums digital & film and i use mainly the alexa for tvc/advertising work. But i still see many reason for both formats film & digital nowadays 2019. And I can´t understand why people propaganda digital as be as same as film…or saying that there isn´ßt any difference (what you clearly said above) there is still a differnce and i can tell you from many many telecine & grading sessions. Also a reason why many cinemato and photographers still use film. And no i am not a Film Fanboy… But saying there is no difference isn´t the truth. And yes its a CInematographers Forum we still should discuss about that! But enough for now… sorry for getting this out of Topic.
  32. 2 points
    Allow me to lead a round of applause. Not to self-plug, but I find this guy is apposite and intelligent: https://www.redsharknews.com/business/item/1375-opinion-is-film-school-worth-it https://www.redsharknews.com/business/item/4870-how-to-give-the-best-advice-to-newcomers https://www.redsharknews.com/business/item/1372-don-t-work-for-free
  33. 2 points
    XX Neg can be tricky but also some great results can be had from it. Here is a Super-16mm film we developed and scanned to 4K on the Xena 5K machine which has gotten some really good attention.
  34. 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!
  35. 2 points
    When I first started shooting digital capture, I metered and lit for a "film" look. IOW, the meat of the image within the 6 stop range, with the extra highlight and shadow detail for rolling off into black and white. But, over time I've adjusted my approach to using much more of the dynamic range of the camera for presentation and using less for rolloff. So, I'm lighting much more high contrast than I used to, and grading with a much lower contrast. Kind of like lighting for 10 stops of DR rather than 6. For a day exterior, this doesn't much matter as I have little control over the lighting, but if I have a deep shadow area and a sunlit area in the same shot, I might not fill in the shadow area at all or little. Note that when using this technique, one must carefully watch the clip points of the image as there can be little room for recovery in post color correction. And if you are metering with this approach, a spot meter can be useful, but you must run some tests so that your ISO setting on the meter corresponds to the recording of the camera. So, ISO on the camera might not match that on the light meter. Of course you can also use the waveform or other tools from the camera and/or display but they must not be viewed through a REC709 LUT or you won't see all the information.
  36. 2 points
    The inverse square law holds the same for diffused light as it does for a point source. The one difference, is that when you place diffusion in front of light, the diffusion surface becomes the light source. So, you would measure from the diffusion and not the lamp behind the diffusion.
  37. 2 points
    Unique is a moving target, and often a Luxury. Kaminski has a very unique eye and a style that is always apparent, but not mimicked or in demand, apparently. But Spielberg likes it and that’s what matters. I don't know anyone who would shoot something that looks like “Crystal Skull” intentionally. Deakins is uniquely talented. He openly posts his setups because you can copy something he did but you can’t “think” like him. And that’s what you’re paying for to get Deakins and why he’s “irreplaceable”. I’ve been gaffing for a DP who’s so good and so specific, he’s just transitioned to directing because he can more fully impose what he wants to do on a project and make the visuals work with the story more completely than he could as a DP. Honestly, unless you work with a very good, successful director who will fight for you as a DP, It’s impossible to get to an irreplaceable status. I may be misremembering, but IIRC Matt Libatique at a Cinematographer’s round table one year, looked at Deakins, Phister, et al and said “Look, we’re all here because of one director.” In the meantime, be agreeable, work hard, test and experiment, and make solid relationships with directors. Tristan
  38. 2 points
    Our business has been in process of moving since April, but when it's up and running again, yes we do commercial scanning. We have a few Imagica's for 4k 35mm, Spirit 2k/4k, a working blackmagic Cintel 2.0 (4k HDR) and soon will have a scanstation. Where I don't have much experience with the Lasergraphics products outside of having stuff scanned for me, I've seen the results and they're quite outstanding. The Spirit 4k does have the upper hand at being a trilinear array, full 444 and 10 bit DPX raw, which is quite nice. It also has a very nice optical path. The down side is the poor registration and expense to keep the machine running. I do use it for nearly all of my own productions though and it's suited me well for the last two years. This trailer was scanned entirely on the Spirit in 2k, it's 3 perf 35mm mixed with 16mm cropped to 1.75:1.
  39. 2 points
    The trick isn’t so much to overexpose the b&w stock overall but to light the scene so that have a good tonal range with some hotter highlights, otherwise the image can look muddy. When Janusz Kaminiski did “Schindler’s List” he discovered that he sometimes had to expose faces to a lighter tone to create stronger highlights, so he wasn’t so much overexposing the stock as he was overexposing parts of the frame.
  40. 2 points
    A repair shop might be able to take on the task of recelling the power supply for you. Or you could alternatively make up your own external power supply and plug it into the camera. This camera was the top of the line and 4rth version of the FAIRCHILD Double 8mm Single-System Sound film cameras. The earlier ones were the single lens model, the triple lens turret version, and the 10mm to 30mm reflex zoom lens version. They all ran at 24fps for magnetic sound recording on pre-striped Double 8mm movie film, and the non-magazine versions held 50ft spools. The only real advantage to the FAIRCHILD 900 was the ability to use the magazine for extended filming. You'd have to locate Double 8mm film in bulk to spool down your own 200ft lengths of film if you actually want to shoot that much. It would be only in silent of course, since pre-striped mag filmstock has long been discontinued. Although, it is possible, though expensive, to have silent stock pre-striped by someone having the capability, or get the gear together to do it yourself. While an otherwise nice looking camera, if you are truly into filming in Standard 8mm, I would consider any one of the nice BOLEX H-8 to H-8RX cameras out there which allow spools of 25ft, 50ft and 100ft in Double 8mm. Alternatively ELMO made a nice Double 8mm that also has a magazine option for holding 100ft spools, with the main camera only using standard 25ft spools. Lots to think about for sure, if you want to get that 900 model into a user.
  41. 2 points
    Depends how you define success. My definition of success as an artist is to enjoy the process of creating work and produce work that I'm proud of. Anything else: Money, acclaim, awards etc... are all nice but their tangental to the reason I make stuff. So I work on my projects and be happy in the process. Sure "financial" success would be nice but at the moment I have complete creative control which I like. I've taken jobs on large productions and in some cases been paid very well, but the didn't tend to be as creatively fulfilling as the micro budget stuff thats all my own. Obviously I have to learn a living, but I don't connect my worth as an artist and creative with the successes in my paid "career". Sure I would prefer to make a living on my own films. But thats very hard to do and its most likely I won't be able to do that. However I'd only consider myself a "failure" at filmmaking if I wasn't making films (that I'm proud of). Better for mental health reasons to separate the two. I think if you set out to define success by being a HOD on a Hollywood movie the vast majority of people that set out to do that would fail. Its not a meritocracy or a case of working harder, the odds are similar to becoming a professional Footballer. The other definition of success could be entirely financial, this is perhaps easier as there are many ways to make a good living that are connected to the "industry" - but they may only be tangentially creative or artistically full-filling. I, like more and more people have a "portfolio" career - that mixes a range of roles on things. Some creative, some less creative - and I different areas of creativity. Film Education: Is useful for some people and even if its possible to learn most things via the internet and books - some people need structure or it can be focused Not all programmes are good Some are very expensive There are other routes in, I went to the NFTS on a Scholarship that covered fee's and living expenses (these scholarships do still exist, although they are hard to get). The NFTS didn't catapult me into Hollywood(unfortunately) but it was without doubt the most fulfilling, creative, challenging and important 2 years of my life (outside of becoming a parent). Even if it did nothing for my career - I would change it for anything because it was such an incredible experience. Even had paid full price, the programme would have been worth it just on a personal level. I am a filmmaker because I have no other choice. I've tried other career paths, I've got a degree in Electronic Engineering, i've worked for Software companies, engineering firms, insurance, banking. They all made me miserable. I'm obsessed with film - I resisted film for a long time because I was worried about my ability to make a living. But it didn't make me happy. I didn't go to filmschool till I was 28. My only regret is I didn't start younger. But thats me - It took me the time to realise I won't be happy doing anything else. Most people that say they want to work in "film", don't really want it, not enough. They might think they do but after 6 months to a couple of years of badly paid entry level work (running etc..) they drop out. The hardcore stick at it and generally the people who are successful are the ones that stick it out and keep trying. Attitude is everything.
  42. 2 points
    You'd have had to shoot from much further away, which I suspect wasn't possible, otherwise you'd have done it for perspective. And look at the design of those windows - especially the upper curved part. If you put the subjects at the center of the windows they're going to have what look like spikes or rays coming out of their heads - it will be as distracting as hell. Your first priority should always be avoiding this type of foreground/background alignment - the wedding photographer's dreaded "Lamppost growing out of head" syndrome.
  43. 2 points
    Again proof you know nothing about this subject. Many top filmmakers on here with multiple feature credits in theaters around the world, have agreed with my statement that modern filmmaking is a job of producing, more than anything else. film·mak·er /ˈfilmˌmākər/ noun a person who directs or produces movies for the theater or television.
  44. 2 points
    You can't possibly rely on a video image as a reference for film exposure- you have no idea how much gain is being applied to the signal for a start. You must learn how to use a meter properly. A DSLR may help a bit, but again the way it responds to light isn't quite the same as film.
  45. 2 points
    In your diagram.. you have two lights on the sides, right and left.. on the same axis as the cameras there.. for the over shoulder shots.. I would put the lights on the other side of the line, of the two actors.. each actor will then be "looking towards the light"..for the over shoulder cameras..giving a "nice" modeling light.. rather than a very flat on same axis of camera light.. ie classic interview lighting .. which can also probably give a bit of backlight for your central wide shot on each subject .. if you want it
  46. 2 points
    Yep it is mandatory to consult the person actually doing the vfx. But you still need to know how do the tracking for the different style of shots if the vfx person can't be on the set to supervise the vfx shoots to ensure that they are done correctly. Yes it is usually (though not always) possible to get somewhat good or at least usable results even if the vfx plates are badly shot but it will require A LOT more work. Basically if a well shot vfx shot could be finished in 1 hour in post the badly shot one can take anything from 5 to 20 hours to do. Even 100 hours or more if one has really screwed up on set. The challenging thing is you may not know whether you have screwed up or not until the post persons tell you so much better to plan these things beforehand to save everyones work :) in the case of vfx the fix it in post may mean saving 10min on the set but doing 100 hours more work in post to fix the shot... if talking about two dimensional tracking one needs at least one tracking point for being able to track pan and tilt and one additional point to be able to track roll (rotation). Then it is possible to track a flat background plate or other element to the same distance than the marker was on set. Longer distance than the marker can usually be somewhat faked manually. if you have a flat background plate which changes its angle during the camera move (2.5d tracking) (like a text which is projected on a wall the camera passrs horizontally) then you normally need at least three to four markers depending on how you do it in post. This can also be done with planar tracking which tracks the surface texture and shapes of the area pointed to it instead of using normal point tracking. Planar tracking generally needs a large enough distinctive plane it can follow which has surface texture on most of the area so for example a normal wall with wallpaper might do but a featureless piece of greenscreen may not. Planar tracking is often used to fix shots where the point trackers were incorrectly placed and thus unusable. 3d matchmoving is needed if you need to attach cg elements to the camera move so that there is very noticeable perspective/parallax change and the cg elementd need to replicate that change too. You have to basically track the 3 dimensional path of the camera to replicate the camera move afterwards in the cg program to be able to get the same camera move to the cg elements. This is very distinctive of the normal approach of tracking because you are not following a photographed single markers path but are using dozens og tracking points which the algorithm uses to calculate how the camera originally moved in three dimensional space. This is a very challenging type of tracking to do without experience because it can fail completely if there is not enough points or the points are not constant in certain parts of the move (covered temporarily by the actor etc) and it is challenging to get enough tracking markers available if shooting greenscreen. Modern trackers can use both point and planar trackers for matchmoving so you can normally use most of the fixed objects in the shot for tracking. This is the type of tracking where you need to have lots of parallax tracking points on different distances from the camera to be able to track the shot and you need a lot of markers as well. You can use green painted pieces of kapa cardboard to host markers if the are needed on different distances. Easier to control shadows than with cloth. Point tracking generally works best by locking to a 90 degree or sharper angle corner of high contrast difference. That is why the traditional cross marker has evolved, it has lots of 90 degree high contrast corners to use. Another good marker type is a triangle which is more seen on matchmoving markers but can be used for normal tracking as well. It has the advantage of being a bit easier track if its blurred. With greenscreen and basic tracking you can often place the markers outside the actors movement area so that they can be just masked out easily without rotoscoping. If doing matchmoving I advise shooting about 20% wider so that there is unused extra area on the sides which is cropped in post and you can place as many markers than you can fit there to be sure the shot does not fail
  47. 2 points
    The problem shooting daylight exteriors is that the sun moves throughout the day, so lights are needed to maintain continuity between shots filmed at different times of day. If you plan your shots properly, you don't need as big and HMI as you may think to maintain continuity. With proper planning you can get way with nothing more than a 4kw par and 1.2kw Par - which you can run on a modified Honda EU7000 generator with a Transformer/Distro that provides a single 60A/120V circuit. The approach that I find works best is to wait to shoot the establishing master shot until the sun is in a backlight position. Up to that point shoot the close coverage under a large silk (12x or 20x.) Shooting the close coverage under a silk offers a number of advantages. The silk takes the direction out of the sun and knocks down its' level by two and one half stops so now you can use a smaller HMI to create consistent modeling in all the close-ups. Shooting into talents' down side under a silk, I find that a 4K par through a diffusion frame is a sufficient key source for a good size shot. You need the diffusion because a bare par will be too harsh. When shooting close coverage under the silk, nets behind our talent will control the background from blowing out. The advantages to waiting to shoot the wide master until the sun has moved around to a back light position are many. One, the background is also back-lit so the discrepancy in exposure between the background and our talent under the silk is not that great and so you can open up to gain exposure of our talent in the foreground without burning out the background. Two, your background looks better because it is not flatly lit, but has some contrast. And three, with the sun in a backlight position, the shadows of the silk frame and stands are thrown forward, which enables you to frame wide without picking up the shadow of the hardware. Finally, since the silk takes the direction out of the sun and knocks down its' level by two and one half stops a 4k HMI par has enough output to create the look and feel of natural sunlight. For more detailed information on powering 4k HMIs on portable gas generators, I would suggest you read an article I wrote on the use of portable generators in motion picture production. Guy Holt, Gaffer, ScreenLight & Grip, Lighting Rental & Sales in Boston
  48. 2 points
    If you like grain , then use BW stock. Color film does not produce the same grain structure as BW film. You can add digital grain to color converted to BW, but it is not organic and is more like a grain screen that is the same all over the image. For BW panchromatic shooting you can get by with a yellow, orange and red filter. Unless you need a green for foliage or skin tones. I like the orange filter as an all rounder. This was shot with an orange filter on a monochrome sensor.
  49. 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:
  50. 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.
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