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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
    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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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..
  5. 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. 🙂
  6. 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.
  7. 3 points
    Recent Kodak Post https://nofilmschool.com/2016/06/be-filmmaker-not-video-maker-interview-kodak-president-motion-picture-and-entertainment?fbclid=IwAR1i2TAiOfoSeOY4yt17e8ZvzZTB6PuA4far0zPSpiUYlrCN2fH5wnNBGEA
  8. 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.
  9. 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."
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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?
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 2 points
    The film and TV industry isn't like going to college, you will find all sorts of negative forces going on, as well as positive ones. Phil points out the downsides, which is only fair, you will find praise, but don't always expect it to be genuine. There can be all sorts of politics going on that you're not aware of. All you can do is be upbeat and positive, regardless of what's going on, even on a cold wet day, with the rain running down your neck.
  18. 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.
  19. 2 points
    A) No B) Steadiness is better with 35, cameras with register pins provided. Unsteadiness is distributed over a longer piece of film holding the image. Additionally, positioning errors are less magnified from 35, equal screen sizes compared. C) Dangerous ground for answering; some would speak of a typical 35 look but could never define it clearly. What we can do is divide the historical development into distinct optical and presentational periods. The pioneers, mostly trained photographers or vaudeville entrepreneurs tried out everything thinkable. With films from between 1888 and 1928 speed is erratic, aspect ratios wild, lighting chaotic, lenses everything from two- to six-elements systems. A certain standard had come along with the Tessar lens, orthochromatic raw stock, the 3-to-4 image aspect ratio, and carbon arc lamps. Then the talkies cemented frame rate, camera movements, indoor lighting level, normal focal length a little shorter. The next period must be labeled color with the inlay of the série noire, both streams in the light of high-intensity carbon arcs. Modern documentary production established itself during the thirties. The last major change to the 35 look came with wide screen presentation, xenon arc light, and coated lenses throughout. 16 to 35 was done since 1923 but Super-16 was not practised until 1970. You cannot play 16 as big as 35. When a 16 original is enlarged to 35 grain is, too. As a matter of fact today’s colour stocks are more finely grained than the films of the fifties, Kodachrome being the exception that proves the rule. The worst time in terms of colours and pictorial quality were the late seventies. Lighting practice got a little sloppy then.
  20. 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
  21. 2 points
    I used to worry about this stuff a lot, but frankly, on the odd occasion I get to work with proper crew, I take the position, without wanting to seem arrogant or unilateral, that it's their job to support me and we'll do it the way I want to do it. I'll absolutely take suggestions, this is not a dictatorship, but if the results aren't right, I'll be the one who'll be unpopular, so I'm not going to be told how to do it by someone who won't be held responsible later. This may slow you down, because other people may not be completely familiar with your working practices, and you just have to live with it. But frankly, there's a lot less uniformity of approach than most people seem to think there is. If you were walking onto a TV show that's been shooting for years and intending to take an unusual approach, that might be a bit of a problem, since you'd be throwing a stick into the works of a possibly well-oiled machine and risking inconsistency with the stuff that had already been produced. Much more likely, though, what you'll be doing will be mostly within the normal spectrum - there are only so many ways to direct a crew to create a shot. Many people think that there's only one way to run a crew. There isn't. There's lots, and anyone who's convinced that a one-true-technique exists is operating from a position of inexperience themselves. As I say, don't come off as arrogant. Aim, perhaps, for politely assertive. Filmmaking is a team sport and it's important to build that team, but at the end of the day if someone else thinks they know how to do it better, they're free to apply for your job. Personally, I made the mistake of being far too nice about this sort of thing early on, and it cost me dearly. Whatever you do, do not go to this with an insecure mindset. Someone asked you to do it because they like your style, whatever that means. They don't want you to subvert that to the whim of other crewmembers.
  22. 2 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.
  23. 2 points
    When I do DIT gigs on big shows, I like to: 1. Have enough media to make it through a full day. Most productions I've been on don't do this, but it's nice to have the cards as a third backup while the transfer to post happens. 2. Shotputpro with a checksum to two drives simultaneously for an instant backup. The nice thing about shotputpro is that it can transfer to two drives in the same amount of time that it takes to transfer to one. If you go from card to drive1 and then from drive1 to drive2, that will take twice as long. Most shows will have a big raid on set for the whole show, and then portable drives with enough space for one day of shooting, which get driven back and forth to the post-facility. Most post houses have some kind of big fancy media server, so once footage gets into their system and verified, I consider it safe. But we still keep that on-set RAID just in case post's building burns down or something. As far as verifying transfers go: shotputpro will verify that what's on the card is now on the hard drive. It does not verify that the footage on the card is right and proper. Every once in a while, a clip will get messed up if the camera shut off in the middle or something. Sooooo, after a transfer is done, I usually dump all the footage into tentacle sync studio and scrub through everything real fast. I find tentacle sync to be the fastest way to do that, with the added bonus of being able to check timecode real fast on multi-cam shoots. For personal projects, I never do DIT in the field. I just make sure to have enough media for a full day. Then I have a 16TB RAID in RAID 5 at home, dump to that and call it a day. If it's an extra important project, I'll buy a cheapo USB 4TB single drive and double it to that. I've also set-up some media servers for small production companies, and in that situation, the I've found the cheapest way to do it is find an old iMac or something that they're not using anymore, use that as the server using apple's built in file sharing system (you'd be surprised how well that works). Then get a pair of identical RAID drives, something big, like an 8-bay 32TB. Share one of the RAIDs on the LAN, then do scheduled nightly backups to the other RAID. I used a program called carbon copy cloner for that. It's nice because it will hang onto old files for a while until the backup drive fills up, kinda like how Apple's time machine works. So if someone accidentally deletes a project file or something it can save your ass. There might be a more turn-key solution for that out now-a-days. I set up those systems a while ago, and at the time, that was the cheapest way I could figure out.
  24. 2 points
    I mean let's face it, how many people here are funding their own feature film for theatrical release? :crickets: If you're out making short films for youtube, vimeo and social media, who really cares what ya shoot them with. If you're out making something that could be seen on a big screen, in a theater, that's a judgement on your skills as a filmmaker in front of your peers, then ya maybe you should think twice. Do you shoot with what everyone else shoots with or do you shoot in a way that looks and feels different.
  25. 2 points
    I've said it before... The people who are often most vocally in support of film are generally those who do not have to be in any way concerned over paying for it, or at the very least whose budgets easily accommodate it. If you are working in circumstances where you don't have to own the gear, you have assistants to deal with all the gear, you are being treated as a valued client by a lab and transfer house who express through all your work and take great care over it, and you are working with them for weeks on end, that is a very easy set of circumstances under which to like film and advocate for film. If it's all on you and your bank account, it's a lot less easy to like. The sad fact is that the second the budget becomes a concern, almost any production is probably better advised to spend that budget on production design, lighting, and time. Too many smaller-scale productions make huge sacrifices to afford film and end up with wonderful, high dynamic range, wide colour gamut images of nothing very special.
  26. 2 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.
  27. 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.
  28. 2 points
    The "30P" is probably really "29.97"fps for US TVs. But the more important question is what is the best frame rate for your distribution? For web distribution, just about any of the "standard" frame rates will play back fine on computers or phones or tablets. Though, I've found issues with 25fps on vimeo playing back correctly on my US Panasonic TV through the Roku/Vimeo app. In general, for world wide distribution, for cinema, streaming, and TV broadcast, it's best to originate at 24fps or maybe 23.98fps if necessary. 24fps can be sped up to 25fps for distribution in 50 hz countries easily. 3:2 pulldown can also be added to obtain 30fps or 60i for US TV broadcast. Cinema distribution is 24fps world wide. Conversely, if you need to convert from 30fps to 24fps it is difficult to get smooth motion due to the dropped frames. Hence the recommendation to originate at 24fps.
  29. 2 points
    I have found a very rare picture in the BBC vaults .. now semi retired, I often spend afternoons at Ealing with a nice cup of tea down in the vaults.. Ronnie is an old mate and has given me a key.. in 1954 the the head of outside broadcast .. Sir Norman Moncrief - Sackville.. decided upon the radical plan, that sound recordists should be able to stand up.. and these early rigs were made in the BBc,s own workshops in Wolverhampton .. the idea was quickly given the Spanish Archer under strong protest from the Imperial Sound Recordists Guild .. intriguing non the less Im sure you will agree..
  30. 2 points
    Still its a bit of a straw man argument, film is cheaper because on expensive shows Panavision and Union DIT's over charge for digital gear. I guess its possible to argue that digital is more expensive on the grounds that big budget productions don't budget carefully ( and of course we know they don't). But on a modest production, with a good PM thats shopped around to source all the staff and equipment - as Tylers own figures show film costs more. If there was minimal price impact of shooting on film vs digital, we'd all be doing it a lot more
  31. 2 points
    https://www.kodak.com/motion/Blog/Blog_Post/?contentId=4295008512 Dan Mindel on the budgeting for "The Cloverfield Paradox" “We priced the production for digital versus analog film, and the Paramount executives were convinced it was going to be cheaper for us to shoot it digitally. We estimated that we would shoot between 10 to 15,000 ft of 35mm per day. The overall figure for shooting on film actually came out $150,000 cheaper than digital. This was in part due to the fact that film cameras and film lenses are a fraction of the cost of the digital equivalents, which are rented at top dollar. Additionally, with film you don’t have the expense of a DIT or data storage on set. It was a really good exercise in economics and demonstrated that film production can be perfectly reasonable financially.”
  32. 2 points
    As a professional editor, the way it normally works is that we create a cut on our own first without the Director. Usually it's just an assembly of the script, generally super long as well. Than the director comes in and gives his feedback on the cut, usually it's swapping performances rather then length cuts at first. Once the director and I have done a few passes together, we show the producers a cut. It's generally here where the producers, the director and the editor sit down and go over the cut. It takes a while, generally a few days of conference calls and/or notes. I make a lot of suggestions on the cut at this point and the director and I will mull about with the producer's notes, doing some, not doing others. We try everything, but not much winds up in the final piece. Once the producers, director and editor are happy with the show, we will send it out for a larger group screening. The best feedback comes from the group screenings, where the writers, cinematographer, executive producers and cast get to see it and give notes. If we have time to bring everyone together, we will do a round table discussion after and hash out some ideas on what people like or don't like. I'm sad that some people don't think this discussion is worth it, but I always try to push for it because getting feedback is so important. I work very closely with my DP's on the cut, I believe their input as being very valuable. I also have a good relationship with the DP's of the projects I edit. I've made a lot of changes to cuts based on DP's notes, especially with framing or takes that they did something special I may have not noticed. It's hard when you have 1800 shots in your final cut, to get every single little fancy move the DP's made. Generally the final cut of a film is a conglomerate of notes, forced upon the editor and director by the producers. We fight to get certain things in the film and the producers generally have the final say in a lot of ways It's our job to convince them XYZ is important and it's all down to how good of a negotiator you are. From my perspective as an editor, I like cutting shit because I think telling a story properly is far more important than ego. So it gets kinda disappointing when producers want stuff in the film that sucks or kill stuff that's great. Yes some directors have done "directors cuts" of their films, but most of the time it's because of rating or the films just being too long for theatrical. Every minute under 72 minutes or over 120 minutes, is a big deal. They'll wanna extend short films and decrease the length of long films. It's truly sad that's what dictates what we see, but hey that's how things work. Many directors do get final cut and force their producers and distributors to play what they have. That's why you don't see a director's cut of a Christopher Nolan film, because he can do anything he wants.
  33. 2 points
    Lighting Cameraman was also used for TV drama.. docs with drama reconstruction, type shoots.. as opposed to DoP which was seen as the title for movie camera people.. It was what the high end TV camera people would call themselves .. but without presuming to be called a Dir of photography ..as this was the more lofty title of those who were working in the film industry .. All changed now.. but I still find it weird that people with very little experience will call them selves DoP..shooting a "feature film" .. on the crappiest of shoots.. could just be Im being an old fart.. but I think people should earn that title .. it doesn't come in the A7 box ..after you shoot your mate on a skate board for YouTube ..
  34. 2 points
    The SUPER shallow DOF is throwing me off more than the lighting . Inadvertently make shots look like green screen.
  35. 2 points
    Todays office .. could be worse..
  36. 2 points
    A 50mm lens is a 50mm lens, regardless of the format it is designed for. You could put that Signature prime on any format from Super 8 to Full Frame. Its focal length does not change. What does change is the Field of View. On Super 8, a 50mm is a long telephoto lens, on s35, it's standard, and on FF it's slightly wide angle. Try drawing a circle. That's the lens image circle.The lens's image circle is everything the lens "sees". Now draw a FF sized box inside the circle. That is everything the FF sensor "sees". If you then draw a s16 sized box inside the circle, you can see that it "sees" less of the circle than the FF box, and therefore has a narrower Field of View. A super 8mm sized box would see even less. The field of view changes with each sensor size, even though the focal length of the lens stays exactly the same.
  37. 2 points
    Active 3D was the way to go, but it cost the theaters too much money. So they've all switched to polarizing OR the way less costly Anaglyph 3D. It's amazing when you go to an IMAX screening and they hand you polarizing glasses. I'm paying $22 dollars to watch the same technology I can get at home? Thanks guys, but no thanks. The problem is that people still spend a premium for those "limax" screenings and it kills me. AMC Burbank does not have an IMAX screen, they have a normal theater that has a big screen, with a very low-end build out. The only IMAX theater left that area is City Walk and they put in a metal screen years ago for digital 3D stuff and it ruins the image. Thanks IMAX. 😞
  38. 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!
  39. 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.
  40. 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.
  41. 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.
  42. 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.
  43. 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:
  44. 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
  45. 2 points
  46. 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.
  47. 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
  48. 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.
  49. 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.
  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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