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  1. 9 points
    There are no easy answers here, but if you consider that sometimes movies are an art form, not just a product for mass consumption, then not every choice has to be determined by what the audience cares about or notices -- sometimes it is enough for the artist to care about something and then hope there is a receptive audience for their particular vision. I don't think when David Lynch or Andrei Tarkovsky made a movie, they spent much of their time wondering what clients and consumers were asking for. It goes way beyond choice of shooting format, after all if you build a set and sew costumes, you have to make decisions on color schemes, textures, etc. that go way beyond a typical viewer's ability to care or notice. I think to some extent, audiences don't care because they don't have to, they expect the filmmakers to care. The skills needed to make any complex product are beyond the average consumer, but the consumer hopes that someone cares about the details. So if you hire artists to make something, anything, then one shouldn't be surprised that these artists have certain tastes for how things are done. And some artists are sensitive to the origination medium. I mean, would anyone be surprised if painters had opinions about working in oils versus acrylics, or sculptors working in marble versus wood?
  2. 4 points
    Even greatly manipulated digital footage does NOT look like film, it just doesn't. There are extremely rare films shot on film that are so squeaky clean that they possibly could be misconstrued for digital, but honestly, I can't think of any off the top of my head. Film is obviously not just grain, it's the way faces, colors are rendered, it's the life in the frame. Prashantt talks about Benoit Debie, Debie himself said on The Beach Bum that he CANNOT achieve the colors he wants to achieve with anything else but film. There are so many films that would gain something if shot on film, so many films that need the grit, but are too goddam squeaky clean and it works against the film, I'm sorry but it does. It made me smile when Rodrigo Prieto said in a video that he thought Sicario should have been shot on film because it needed that grit, Sicario is gorgeously shot but I agree. Linus Sandgren has professed his love for film, and continues to do so every single time and is adamant he can do so many things with film that he can't with digital, and many others say the same thing. Deakins not seeing the difference anymore is his problem really, but hey, as much as his work with the Alexa is gorgeous, I still think it doesn't come close to his best work on film (independent of the fact that every movie is different) and something is missing. That's just my two cents. We fundamentally disagree here, there IS a magical quality to film, and if you're not willing to take the word of tons of highly respected directors and DPs on this, I don't know what to tell you. I tell you what I see, story is story sure, shooting on film doesn"t mean you're going to make a good movie, only a clown would think this. But it MATTERS, do you understand? I always see the difference and I've spent years training my eye for it, scrutinizing footage, sometimes up close, and it's also what the format evokes, and I said what film evokes for me. Also, keep in mind that I see most films on a 90 inch plus screen with a great JVC videoprojector, I'm lucky enough to do so. Now, if you're watching something on a TV and you're sitting far away, or same in the movie theater, you're obviously not going to see the grain or the texture of film much, unless it's super 16 or it was push processed, that's common sense. Even then, you still have all the advantages and qualities of film, but I don't see the point of sitting far away, I want to see and FEEL the texture of the film. And here we go into another film vs digital "debate" despite my best intentions. Sorry OP.
  3. 4 points
    "Amelie" is a good example of the use of warming filters, Antique Suedes I think. It's hard to talk about an "effective" use of warming filters since warm can be added in timing as well, in post, and is just as effective or not, so you might as well be asking about movies that have a warm bias to the image and whether that works or not -- the fact that a filter was used instead of post to get the warmth matters less. Most warming filters of the same heaviness just vary by hue, some are more yellow-orange, some are more magenta-orange. When the only way to finish a movie was photochemically using RGB printer light values, some cinematographers swore up and down on certain warming filters, finding it too hard to match that hue if doing it just with printer lights. William Fraker, ASC used to claim that the color of a Coral filter couldn't be created in print timing. I'm not sure I agree but maybe I'm just less sensitive to the finer degrees of hue (color shift along the green-magenta axis). Pale warming filters were all the rage in the 1980's and 1990's, particularly the 1/4 Coral. I started out using them too but dropped after awhile, for various reasons. I was working as 2nd Unit on a low-budget movie where the DP used a 1/2 Coral filter on everything, as well as the 85 correction filter (to correct tungsten stock for daylight shooting), plus a Pola and a Color Enhancer --- I think there was at least a 3-stop light loss from all of these filters, plus that's a lot of glass to stack in front of the lens. But he never shot grey scales at the head of his rolls, unlike me, who always shot a grey scale without the warming filter added yet, so that the filter effect would not get timed out in dailies. So his dailies all were neutral, there was no warming effect of the Coral because the dailies colorist always just neutralized the first shot on the roll. I told him that colorists weren't mind-readers, the grey scale was there to tell them what neutral was so that when a warm filtered shot followed it, it was clearly intentional. Anyway in doing the final answer print, they put the warmth back in. But even on my own movies as DP's, where I shot grey scales and then put in the 1/4 Coral to get warm-toned dailies, I found that when I went to start answer printing, the first thing the timer did was make the first answer print neutral as a starting point, so it was in the second answer print that we added the warmth back in -- and I was sitting there in the theater saying "another point of red" or "a little more yellow" just to get a print with the warm color cast I wanted. At this point, I realized that if warmth could so easily be taken away or added by both the dailies colorist and the print timer, then why was I wasting the time shooting with a warming filter? It was just an extra piece of glass on the lens that could cause a flare or a double reflection, plus it had a light loss. So I changed tactics and started carrying pale cooling filters, light blue filters, and I shot my grey scales with that filter on and then pulled it for the scene. Now with dailies, the timer neutralized the blue filtered grey scale and then the following unfiltered scene had a warm bias to it. I also shot a sign after the grey scale to tell him that the warm bias was intentional. So I got my warm dailies. Inside, instead of a blue filter on the lens, I could use a light blue gel on the light used for the grey scale, like a 1/4 CTB. Then in post, making the answer print, we created a shade of warmth using the printer lights. Now if I wanted a much more extreme color bias to the image, like for a sepia-toned flashback, I'd still use filters because I didn't want to make extreme changes to the printer light values -- in this case, a heavy filter was biasing the negative so heavily away from neutral that it was affecting the density of the color layers enough that simply doing the effect in post wouldn't quite give you the same results. For example, if I used a Coral 5 or a heavy Chocolate filter, I'd be cancelling so much blue information on the negative that it would be hard to restore it in post, so the effect caused a little bit of desaturation, which was useful for doing a western or period piece. Now today, I'd still probably do it in post because digital color-correction tools are so good, but it just depends on the amount of footage I needed to have with that heavy effect. If a brief flashback or dream, I might do it on set with filters on the camera because it is a quick way of getting the effect and I can deal with the inconvenience of the light loss and the extra glass for just a few shots. But if it were an entire movie, I'd probably figure out a way of getting that look in post, particularly for interiors. Even in the case of "Amelie" I think they only used the Antique Suede filters outdoors.
  4. 3 points
    It takes more skill to make an indie film than a big budget studio picture. Where a Hollywood production can throw money at a problem, an indie production must work smart. I have started this thread as a place where we can share indie tricks-of-the-trade for realizing big budget production values on a modest budget. Or, as Phil Rhodes so eloquently put it in a recent thread “by the application of hard-won and exquisitely-realized skill.” Posts to this thread should not herald DIY lights, nor lighting a set with practicals alone. The emphasis should be on FILM CRAFT using a basic tool kit that can be carried in a 18’ rental box (say a 3-5 Ton Grip & Electric Pkg.) and powered off the wall or off of putt-putts (no diesel tow plants.) With the newest camera systems that are capable of a fourteen stop exposure range and ASA sensitivities of 1600 without grain you shouldn’t need anything more to get decent production values if you know what you are doing and willing to work hard. I will start it off by re-posting here my post from the thread “Night Lighting - Balloon VS Dino/Wendy's” (http://www.cinematography.com/index.php?showtopic=70842.) This thread is for those productions for which $1500 for a balloon light or a generator to power a Wendy light is simply not in the budget and they have to figure out how to accomplish the same look for a lot less. For example, I would say the smart indie alternative would be shoot his wide establishing shots dusk-for-night and only his close coverage night-for-night. Dusk-for-night, is an important technique for indie filmmakers to learn because it is a means of obtaining expensive looking production values for very little money. Dusk-for-night uses the fading daylight as an ambient fill to gain a base line exposure in wide establishing shots without using a big source like a balloon light. Typically it is intercut with closer framing shot night-for-night to create a realistic night scene. The advantage to shooting dusk-for-night over day-for-night (the other low budget alternative to expensive night-for-night cinematography on a large scale) is that if you are shooting a house or city street you can incorporate set practicals like window or porch light, car headlights, or even streetlights or raking moonlight in a wide establishing shot. But in order to get the balance right between your lamp light and the fading daylight requires the right location and careful planning. For example, the key to success in shooting the house pictured below dusk-for-night is choosing the right location. To get the subtle separation of the night sky and trees from a dark horizon, you don’t want to shoot into the after glow of the setting sun. Instead you want to find a location where you will be shooting into the darker eastern sky. With dusk-for-night, you have maybe a thirty-minute window of opportunity after the sun has set to shoot the wide master before the natural ambient light fades completely so you have to have everything planned out, rehearsed, and ready to go. In order to get the balance right between the practicals and the ambient dusk light in the limited time you have to shoot the establishing shot, you have to start with larger fixtures and be prepared to reduce their intensity quickly. For instance if you want the glow of an interior practical light raking the lace curtains in a window, start with a PH213 in the practical and 2k Fresnel raking the lace curtain. Wait until the ambient dusk level outside has fallen to the point where the balance between the natural light and your lamp light looks realistic and then roll. To get a second take, open the camera aperture a half stop and drop a single in the 2k head, dim down the PH213, and wait again until the ambient dusk level outside has again fallen to the point where it looks realistic and then roll. If you continue in this fashion with nets after you have exhausted your scrims, and a PH212 when the dimmed PH213 starts to look too warm, you will be able to get multiple takes out of the diminishing dusk light. Likewise with a streetlight or moonlight raking across the front of the house. To create a moon dapple on the front of a house against a night sky, you will need a good sized HMI set on a high oblique angle so that it will rake across the front of the house. Break it up with a branch-a-loris and wait. When the ambient level of the dusk sky has fallen to the point where it looks realistic against the moonlit house and the practical lit interior - roll. You can even add a car pulling up to the house, but you have to be prepared and have enough manpower standing by to dim the practicals, net the lights, and scrim the car’s head lights very quickly. The final touch is to use a graduated ND filter on the lens to darken the sky and balance the camera between daylight and tungsten so that the ambient dusk light filling the shadows is cool and the practicals and tungsten lights motivated by them remain warm but not too warm. Once dusk is past, you shoot the close coverage night-for-night when a package consisting of what you can run on a portable generator will suffice. If you parallel two of the Honda EU7000is generators for 120A output, you will be able to use a 6k HMI for your moonlight at dusk on top of a sizeable tungsten package to light the interior of a house to a high level to match the daylight. For example, the scene below takes place in the middle of a near vacant parking lot of an all night convenience store. The establishing shot of the brightly lit convenience store situated in a wide-open expanse of a empty parking lot at night was shot dusk-for-night because the production didn’t have the resources to light up the parking lot and building to separate it from the night sky. Close coverage was then shot night-for-night with nothing more than a single modified 7500W Honda EU6500is and a small tungsten package of 1ks and 650w Fresnels. Left: Close coverage shot night-for-night. Center: Transformer/Distro provides 60A/120V circuit from Honda EU6500 and compensates for voltage drop over long cable run to set. Right: Operating the Honda EU6500 from behind the grip truck at a distance was all the blimping required to record clean audio tracks. With no building or other sound barrier within a reasonable distance to block the sound of the generator, Gaffer Aaron MacLaughlin put it behind their grip truck as far from set as possible. This was only possible because he used a transformer to step down the 240V output of the generator, and in the process compensate for the voltage drop they experienced over the 500’ cable run to set. Operating the Honda EU6500 from behind the grip truck at a distance was all the blimping required to record clean audio tracks. Guy Holt, Gaffer, Screenlight and Grip, Lighting rental and sales in Boston.
  5. 3 points
    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?
  6. 3 points
    As a professional editor, the way it normally works is that we create a cut on our own first without the Director. Usually it's just an assembly of the script, generally super long as well. Than the director comes in and gives his feedback on the cut, usually it's swapping performances rather then length cuts at first. Once the director and I have done a few passes together, we show the producers a cut. It's generally here where the producers, the director and the editor sit down and go over the cut. It takes a while, generally a few days of conference calls and/or notes. I make a lot of suggestions on the cut at this point and the director and I will mull about with the producer's notes, doing some, not doing others. We try everything, but not much winds up in the final piece. Once the producers, director and editor are happy with the show, we will send it out for a larger group screening. The best feedback comes from the group screenings, where the writers, cinematographer, executive producers and cast get to see it and give notes. If we have time to bring everyone together, we will do a round table discussion after and hash out some ideas on what people like or don't like. I'm sad that some people don't think this discussion is worth it, but I always try to push for it because getting feedback is so important. I work very closely with my DP's on the cut, I believe their input as being very valuable. I also have a good relationship with the DP's of the projects I edit. I've made a lot of changes to cuts based on DP's notes, especially with framing or takes that they did something special I may have not noticed. It's hard when you have 1800 shots in your final cut, to get every single little fancy move the DP's made. Generally the final cut of a film is a conglomerate of notes, forced upon the editor and director by the producers. We fight to get certain things in the film and the producers generally have the final say in a lot of ways It's our job to convince them XYZ is important and it's all down to how good of a negotiator you are. From my perspective as an editor, I like cutting shit because I think telling a story properly is far more important than ego. So it gets kinda disappointing when producers want stuff in the film that sucks or kill stuff that's great. Yes some directors have done "directors cuts" of their films, but most of the time it's because of rating or the films just being too long for theatrical. Every minute under 72 minutes or over 120 minutes, is a big deal. They'll wanna extend short films and decrease the length of long films. It's truly sad that's what dictates what we see, but hey that's how things work. Many directors do get final cut and force their producers and distributors to play what they have. That's why you don't see a director's cut of a Christopher Nolan film, because he can do anything he wants.
  7. 3 points
    Usually the editor works with, collaborates with, the director, just like the cinematographer works with the director. Unless the director is a trained editor, their "director's cut" is the work of the editor working the actual machine and the director supervising that editor to deliver what both of them agree should be the final edited form. A "director's cut" is usually not a situation where the director goes off and independently cuts the project without an editor. Sometimes if the director is busy during production while dailies are coming in, they will let the editor do a rough assembly and then a first pass without too much supervision, but then once post-production begins, the director comes and works closely with the editor to create their preferred cut. If this is for a television show, the director is given a certain amount of time to create their director's cut after the editor's cut, which then gets delivered to the showrunner / producer for their notes. After that, the network or studio will probably want some changes for the final released or broadcast cut.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.”
  13. 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 ..
  14. 2 points
    The SUPER shallow DOF is throwing me off more than the lighting . Inadvertently make shots look like green screen.
  15. 2 points
    Todays office .. could be worse..
  16. 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.
  17. 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. 😞
  18. 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!
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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:
  24. 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
  25. 2 points
  26. 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.
  27. 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
  28. 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.
  29. 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.
  30. 2 points
    Ursa Mini Pro. Nikon Series E.
  31. 2 points
    Bradford Young has done seriously amazing and beautiful work, I think hes this generations Harris Savides.
  32. 2 points
    I don't advocate NOT studying contemporary work, but only concentrating on that would be a mistake. Not sure there are many great comedians who haven't listened to Richard Pryor, who isn't contemporary. And I'm sure Richard Pryor listened to Redd Foxx and Lenny Bruce. If you want to be a very shallow commercial artist, sure, just look at the latest trends and copy that without knowing how or why things got to be like that. If you want your work to have some depth, expand your research. Plus, if cinematography is something you love, if making images is something you love, you aren't going to limit yourself to just contemporary works, you wouldn't be able to stop yourself from exploring further in many directions. Are you saying no one has become a better cinematographer by studying Gordon Willis or Conrad Hall? Gordon Willis has been a big influence on many contemporary cinematographers like Bradford Young.
  33. 2 points
    Without the perspective of time, it's hard to see evolution as it actually happens. You don't know what's a passing fad versus a structural change. When I learned filmmaking, I first studied my heroes and then I studied the people my heroes said they studied. Whether anyone was contemporary or past didn't matter to me as long as I was excited by the work. Saying you want to learn cinematography only by studying the present is like saying you want to learn about writing only by reading contemporary writers.
  34. 2 points
    I just use Photoshop from the last full version I bought, which is getting on for ten years old now but does everything I regularly need. Yes, they're focussed on features not stability or speed, and certainly in some parts of the world it is not a good deal as a rental. Yes, they're getting a lot of trade from young beginners who don't understand the difference between capital and revenue, but the way they seem to have worked it out is that it's exactly as expensive as buying every new version of Creative Suite, which nobody ever did because all those new features were rarely that useful. It is much more expensive outside the US, because of no reason other than greed. It has had very little worthwhile work done on it since the launch of Creative Cloud. This is why After Effects still uses the version of Javascript from 1999 (OK, it theoretically went to final standard in March 2000) as its scripting language, the reason the scripting interpreter is such a horrific memory hog, spawning one interpreter instance per layer, and why there are still such crushing limitations on what can be scripted - and that's just the scripting engine. The whole application is dog slow and still doesn't support large CPU core counts as well as it could and should. It is very expensive software. This is not acceptable. Yes, fixing all that is a lot of work. Yes, it probably involves tearing the whole application down to the bare bones and rebuilding it. It is a vast undertaking, and one that's going to create a lot of compatibility issues with plugins, which are key to many (most?) workflows. After Effects is a very, very large piece of software and it is widely used in a huge variety of circumstances. I like it a lot and have used it a lot. But the complete, ongoing neglect of core problems is not OK. Adobe is a very large, very successful, very powerful company. It is capable of doing that work. It simply doesn't care to, because these are problems that are not obvious to the college kids who have never known anything any different. Why would Adobe spend the money? So AE languishes. So yes, I would like nothing more than to replace everything in Creative Suite with third party apps. Blackmagic have offered us a tantalising option with Resolve plus Fusion (and of course Fairlight, which is often overlooked.) The editing in Resolve is fine, though how can you really get that wrong. I don't know enough about Fairlight to comment. Fusion, however, is not AE, even if only because the conversion training is a 'mare. There is really no worthwhile alternative to AE, at least at the level at which AE operates right now. There is also no sensible alternative to Photoshop. Adobe know this. P
  35. 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.
  36. 2 points
    The first time you go out to work on a movie as a cinematographer and the director says he wants to do a deep focus effect and shows you a frame from “Citizen Kane”, it would get real practical very quickly. There are few touchstone reading materials for cinematography but Toland’s article on shooting “Citizen Kane” is one of them.
  37. 2 points
    Not credibility related, but... always charge as large % of the invoice as possible before handing off the material. nowadays I tend to charge all the shooting costs before the shoot on small jobs (car and equipment rentals if I hire them for the shoot, any hired employee costs, etc. ) so that I only lose my own salary at most if the client does not pay for the shoot at all and does not even want the material for some reason. they tend to also pay late unless you're lucky so it's best to have them pay any rentals etc beforehand if they are on your responsibility so that you don't have to loan money to pay the rental costs etc. The good monitor with correct LUT is a very good advice. Clients don't necessarily understand the concept of grading and think that what they see is what they get... or even if knowing that they forget it after a while and start complaining :ph34r:
  38. 1 point
    Well you gotta consider how many other things they do with your movie for it to go to TV. Censoring certain lines, chopping out scenes for time, changing the aspect ratio and cropping out important shot elements. The credits being cut out is the last of the filmmaker's worries. If I was a smaller guy on the crew then yeah it might upset me but it's just more motivation to be the first name mentioned.
  39. 1 point
    Hi Bob. Thank you greatly for your response and tips. Noted. Looking forward to implementing your pointers on our next project. Sincerely, Thaddeus and Clyde
  40. 1 point
    Looks really interesting. I'm sick to death of all these bloody comic book movies, but this one looks like it could be an interesting take.
  41. 1 point
  42. 1 point
    Well; there's a few ways. 1) you look online-- craigslist, mandy, staffmeup, such like that. There are generally VEEEERRRRRRYYYY slim pickings therein; but I have had and continue to have an auto-search marco which runs and e mails me any job with "cinematographer" or "director of photography" in it. Generally ever 15 min it runs-- and works sometimes. I rarely every get or see anything good on there; but once in awhile you may find a new-comer to LA who is looking for someone to shoot something simple with them, and if you're free and they're not an ass about it,, nothing wrong with meeting new people and maybe getting a few bucks to cover your cell phone bill for the month. 2) social media. Facebook has a huge amount of film groups on it which post jobs, and on which you can put up your availability. The rates often suck; but it's not as bad as craigslist or the like and combined with what you might get from #1 and 2 leads to: 3) Networking-- you're network, people who know you or who know of you and they call you because someone they know or know of needs someone like you. This is by far the VAST majority of gigs which seem to come. It's people you've worked with before, or people who have heard of you before from someone you've worked with. Everyone on set, from the PAs on up to the Producers are part of this, they are all on their own career paths and you never know what they may come across so really treat everyone well, with respect, on set, and try to keep up your contacts. I'm bad with it, I am terrified, honestly, of people, in real life. I hide it very very well but personally I always get skittish when it comes to interacting where there may be strangers. 4) People seeing your stuff-- either from your own website, or a google search or seeing your film somewhere. I actually booked 2 shorts this month (this weekend and end of the month) from a Husband and Wife team who happened to see a short I shot last year at some point and they sought me out. 5) Random interactions. I often go to this coffee shop where I feel "myself." I sit and I read, or I'm looking at scripts. Sometimes seating is at a premium and you wind up interacting with strangers (shudder, but I have coffee so it's typically ok) and a good deal of them, given my neighborhood, are in some way connected to film. They are almost ALL just starting out as well, young, and ballsy. You'll get into conversations with them, and often that'll turn into a job on occasion. I'm sure there are other ways, but that's basically mine. I should note, this year, according to my own spreadsheet, I've gotten: 2 jobs from Craigslist 4 from facebook and everything else was either from networking or referral (but that would take too long to count since I don't keep track of that)
  43. 1 point
    “Don’t try to light your talent with only practicals“ Try telling that to Roger Deakins. He’ll do that whenever he can.
  44. 1 point
    It’s true that cultural expression changes with geography and time. Just go to your local bar at noon or 12 hours later at night, very different forms of expression. But movies are not about culture, they are about “the human condition” (at least 99% of them) which haven’t changed since the birth of cinema. Peoples actions are basically driven by three things 1.Passion(procreation,hobbies,faith, self fulfillment/preservation…) 2.Power(money, status…) 3.Seemingly irrational acts (Zinedine Zidane world cup final head butt. Or writing over 1400 posts on a cinematography forum, when you don’t actually seem to love movies.) Any action in a film can be boiled down to 1 of the 3 reasons above, or any action in life for that matter. (That is of course if one believes that free will exits over determinism, but that’s a whole other discussion.) That’s why simple story structures like A wants B but C gets in the way, always works independent of location(I’m assuming you are not watching “foreign” films either) or time. For example: 1927 Silent film: 7th Heaven. Guy want’s girl but -- the first world war gets in the way. 2003 Animation: Finding Nemo. Father wants to save son but -- the big sea gets in the way. 2010 South Korea: The Yellow Sea. Guy want’s missing wife but – the mob gets in the way. Film is like music something deeply human and universal, and it resonates across borders and time. Sure we all have different tastes and preferences, but you can always learn something no matter where or when the film was made, or if it was good or bad. Like Stephen King says in his book on writing, if you want to be a writer, you only have to do two things, you have to READ and you have to WRITE. And if you want to be a writer/director the same goes for film making. I just can’t comprehend why you want to make movies if you don’t want to watch them.
  45. 1 point
    One of the things about this that I notice is that a lot of less-experienced people who are perhaps just starting out have very little idea of blocking and staging. This is part of the reason why a lot of very basic short films are terribly "cutty" with each shot doing exactly one thing, before, kerpow, we're off to the next one. This is a different problem to the frenetic editing of some action movies, which is done to make it feel pacy; those films are often shot in such a way that they could be presented in longer takes if the editors were a bit more considered, which is a topic for another day. But a lot of short films are essentially presented as a string of individual setups, where a longer take, with at least more willingness to operate the camera, perhaps even move the camera, and show a lot of action in one go, might work better. Older movies are a very good demonstration of this sort of thing, particularly musicals which made a point of showing a dance sequence in full. It might not be what we're doing now, but it demonstrates a lot of technique. The musical number "A Boy Like That" from West Side Story was once used as an example of this in a class taught by (if I remember correctly) Stephen H. Burum, ASC. It's far from a one-setup scene, but the use of blocking and staging, with cleverly set up light to keep people visible, in silhouette and in front light, is absolutely masterful. Shot in 65mm, on 5251, a 50-speed tungsten stock, by Daniel L. Fapp. People constantly claim this is three-strip technicolor. It isn't. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4oxfOncYiag
  46. 1 point
    I recommend the black oct18 lenses from the 70's which are made for the Konvas 1m, and purchasing a older straight viewfinder camera body which has the side latch 60m magazines and rheostat motor. they are both easier to find in good shape and cheaper than a full 1m package... the 1m body is good and has orientable viewfinder but you will have hard time finding a good working motor for it. I managed to get the better crystal motor for my 1m but I had to hunt the motor for a year or so, they are very rare in working condition and pretty expensive compared to the camera body. so the rheostat is the way to go I think... the lenses I would recommend for you from the newer 70's series (black finish on the lens body, usually with white and red markings) : 35/2 (very good lens, can be found in good shape for well under 200 on ebay. ) 50/2 (good lens with nice look. I recommend the newer black 70's model but you can manage with the older silver bodied model if the close focusing issues are not a problem (the lens locating pin disengages if focusing to few meters or closer and you will need to mount the lens again to the camera body to be able to focus to infinity again. has not been a huge problem for me but may be a bit disturbing if you want to do lots of rack focuses every time) 135/4 (pretty ok lens. this is very handy and affordable tele lens, the cheapest ones can be found for around 50 or 60 on ebay. I would get one even if you only need it once a year because it being very handy and costs next to nothing :) 75/2 (newer black model. these are good lenses but extremely overpriced because of portrait photographers. can be in 500-700 euros range or more when the real price should be less than 300. I would not buy any of these unless you can find them under 300 in good shape. you will want the 50/2 black model instead which is couple of times cheaper) 28/2 (much much better lens than the 28/2.5 model which is more common on ebay. these can be relatively high cost, couple of hundred euros even but is worth it if you can find one in good shape. 22/2.8 (the lowest cost OK quality wide angle I have found for the camera. not super good "zeiss" quality and the corners of the image are not that high quality but you can save lots of money if you need wide angles all the time with the camera. for optical reasons the lens produces pretty dim viewfinder image with lots of falloff but the recorded image on film is much better than the difficult-to-see viewfinder image) 18mm lenses, various models (pretty rare and expensive ones if you can ever find them in usable shape :/ . have never tested these but they should be ok ) I would purchase the 35/2 , 50/2, 135/4 . specifically the newer black 70's models. and then either the newer 28/2 which is good but expensive or the old 22/2.8 which is affordable but much lower quality. 18mm ones are so rare in usable shape that you may need to forget them and concentrate to get good mid range instead . and totally avoid the overpriced 75mm ones. It should be noted that there is some incompatible Soviet lenses on eBay which are listed as "oct 18" but are really the AKS4 camera lenses which is completely different mount and incompatible with any Konvas model. For example if you see a Jupiter 85/2 lens advertised for Konvas it is the classic scam, that is really a AKS mount lens which cannot be used on Konvas at all. The mount can usually be spotted from images because it has different slants near the locking groove of the mount and the end of the mount whereas a real oct18 mount has much straighter cut groove and mount end. If you have some old Pentacon Six lenses in inventory you can use them with the Konvas with an adapter as well. I personally like the original Lomo lenses more but it is good to have options and the Pentacon lenses are very easy to find and affordable :) Soviet zooms like Lenar or Lomo Foton can be used as well though they are pretty overpriced and have much lower optical quality than the Lomo primes. If you ever shoot b/w with the camera these zooms are truly great for it creating a nice retro look for closeups, I personally just don't like them for color photography because of the chromatic aberrations and poor speed compared to primes etc. I personally repair my own cameras because I normally don't have time to wait for them to go Ukraine and back for adjustment and the shipping would be expensive. I think these cameras work best for you and are most economical if you can do the repairs locally or by yourself, even if the repair/service quality is not on par of a real overhaul made by a trained camera technician. As said the magazines are the real problem with these cameras and cause about 70 or 80% of problems with them, the rest being loading errors by the operator or just bad luck...
  47. 1 point
    For each location he has to say the entire speech from far to near and then the editor uses the section he wants. But first pre-record the speech and have him sync himself to it by playing it back using an earwig on every take. In post you'd use the single pre-corded take over the entire commercial so the sound is continuous. It takes some practice for an actor to get used to lip-syncing to sound playing back through his ear. And actually if this is the only sound, you could just play it over a speaker but I think an earwig would be better, especially in a noisy location.
  48. 1 point
    My name is David Mirand and I represent Lomo Illumina lenses. Mr Howden's monetary issue was caused by one of our dealers. That issue was rectified by Illumina central in order to satisfy the client. It was the right thing to do. The dealer was reprimanded for his actions, and it will not (and hasn't) happened again. Now, I understand Mr Howden was angry and he managed to fill several forums with his complaint. He was right to do so. It is not an that has ever happened since. The way this thread is labeled, and a lot of prosumer misunderstanding of high speed cinema primes is damaging. Now, regarding the quality of the lenses. I believe Mr. Howden had the MKI Illumina lens. Yes, it had some issues. That model was discontinued a long time ago, back in 2012. The model that is being sold now is the MKII. It's a good lens....so much so that Werner Herzog/Peter Zeitlinger used it on their last film with Nicole Kidman, James Franco and Robert Pattinson: "Queen of the Desert." Here are Peter Zeitlinger's own words: ​PETER ZEITLINGER - DOP of "Queen of the Desert" by Werner Herzog: All the film was shot 90% on Illuminas, we also used the Angenieux Optimo zoom lenses and a Canon long lens. As I am just a user, not an expert in optics and optical physics, I judge just the character of the image. I don't like the technically clean undistortive reproduction of the world, such lenses are good only for VFX work to my opinion. We used the Illuminas also for VFX work even the producers wanted to convince us to use different lenses. We worked with Illuminas to get a more natural not a technical look. Those are great sensitive lenses with a big personality when wide open. They are light weight which is important to me for handheld and gimbal work. Also robust and mechanically good which was important in the desert. I think the lenses are the right workhorses for my needs. The bokeh is very nice when wide open, which I tried to achieve by changing the shutter or using ND filters. With highlights they tend to create a very green flare, which is so clean in colour that you can decide which colour you choose in the grading process by keying in the post. We could key the flare and transform the colour if we needed to a different colour in order to macth the colour composition and harmony of the image. Sometimes I turned it a bit towards blue, sometimes towards magenta. The flares where very important in the film "Queeen of The Desert". Not that much as an esthetic effect but more as the poetic depiction of the sun as a character which is so important and merciless in the desert. I used the High Dynamic Range feature of the RED Dragon camera. Thus the particular flare of the Illumina lenses helped us to create those magnificent flares and glares around the sun. Usually I use Plugins for creating the right shapes of the flares. In this case the beauty of the Illumina lenses where the better and natural choice. I don't do technical tests and hardly ever go on a lens projector. So my choice is rather emotional and the overall impression when seeing the picture in the cinema. Illumina's lenses are not as “round” in the focus as for example Cook lenses, but much lighter and smaller. I added sometimes a bit softness in the post with a second film layer which I blurred a bit and added 15 to 20% to the “sharp” image. I think the Illumina's have the right balance between a personality and character on the one hand and the technical merciless of sharpness on the other hand without killing the actors face because of looking deep into the pores of the skin. -Peter Zeitlinger, DOP If that isn't convincing, please read the SALTIII Lens Shootout: https://thecinelens.com/2013/02/07/salt-iii-high-speed-prime-wfo-results/ I can assure you the price is lower than Master Primes, only because they are made in Russia. They still carry a 1 year warranty that is longer than just about any other cinema prime. The quality is superb! Over 140 sets have been sold worldwide. Approximately $7,200 USD/lens for a T1.3 is a crazy deal. We're just not a very well known brand, and we are just starting proper marketing of the lenses. Originally we relied on forums like these to get the word out. Now it's a whole new world in cinema primes, as you all know. If you want Arri and Cooke to rule the high end cine prime market, by all means, let them create a monopoly. I can assure you that they will raise prices until only rental houses can afford them. We really try to make it possible for many people to get their hands on a T1.3 lens. The competition will still come from the bottom. Companies like Sigma and Tokina are great, but it's not a proper cinema lens. Lomo Illumina lenses can now be purchased at Hot Rod Cameras in Los Angeles and Vocas in Amsterdam. Buy Illumina...we promise to support you, and make you happy. Forgive our past mistake toward Mr. Howden David Mirand Marketing Coordinator Lomo Illumina Lenses
  49. 1 point
    There are many pages on the internet that can tell you about interlaced-scan video -- here is one example: http://www.kenstone.net/fcp_homepage/24p_in_FCP_nattress.html But I think the "video" look is more related to the higher motion sampling rate -- 60X per second -- combined with a lack of shutter, so no temporal gaps in the motion. This gives the moving image a "live" look like it is happening right now in front of the camera, sort of fluid-looking and a little bit smeary. 24 fps with a half-shutter creates more of a steppy, strobing motion. It's not a question of good or bad, obviously it could be argued that it would be better to have a higher sampling rate for motion, it's mainly a matter of conditioning. I have a theory that the more "hyper-real" the process becomes, the more it makes the fakery of fiction look obvious, sets look like sets, costumes look like costumes, and actors look like actors. This is one reason why these more immersive processes work well for IMAX-type nature documentaries where everything IS real in front of the camera. It suggests that one solution to high frame rate / high resolution / high dynamic range / 3D processes will partly just to be more perfectionist about what goes in front of the camera. But it does imply that 24 fps has the effect of enabling that "willing suspension of disbelief" that we talk about by giving everything a certain motion cadence that moves it from the strictly realistic, like a filter over reality.
  50. 1 point
    I wouldn't even attempt to pull measurements off of a lens mount without a set of ten-thousands micrometers, a ten-thou dial indicator and stand, Jo blocks, and a good surface plate. A dial caliper, even a good digital one like my Starrett, can't work at the accuracy required (.01mm = .0004"). And, as Dom points out, even then you're going to finish by shimming to get back focus distance right on. Alas, my frau's Uncle Steve has gone on to his reward with the saints. He was Chief of Tool and Die Operations at Cadillac for twenty years. Steve would have produced a PL mount drawing off my Arriflex manufactured Arri standard/bayonet to PL adapter in about fifteen minutes flat. Anyone know a good medium? Here's a PL mount illustration from Silicon Imaging's SI-2K Mini manual, it appears to be a dimensionally accurate CAD drawing and it may be possible to scale dimensions off it (I have a hunch all the critical dimensions are in even millimeters). It wouldn't hurt to give SI a ring and see if they're willing to supply a copy of the original with all the dimensions on it.
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