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Roberflowers

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About Roberflowers

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    Cinematographer
  1. Hi everyone, I just saw a special 3 D screening of Beowulf, and I must say I was blown away. I hadn't seen any recent animated 3 D pics, but it got me thinking that when 3 D live action comes out its going to be amazing, like Avatar. I understand there used to be synch problems doing it the analog way, which would give people headaches, and for the first 15 minutes of the film, I felt like my mind had to adjust a bit but after that I was thoroughly engrossed in the story and visual elements. I'm wondering what everyone thinks about the future with 3 D. I keep thinking the visual medium will have even more variety. You'll have 3 D live action for bigger movies, regular films in theatrical release, content on the web, and of course HDTV for broadcast.
  2. The last thing I just heard from a friend was that it was going to be 5219 500T with more contrast than the 18
  3. any idea what the new stocks are going to be?
  4. So is the DSLR solution better and more convincing than shooting the skies with 35mm footage? Should I be concerned with having the grain matching in the sky replacement and the original photography? We are shooting 5274. I have one more emulsion test where we'll see if we like it pushed one stop. Cloud tank sound like there's more involved for what we're trying to do, with the financial constraints we have.
  5. Thanks guys for your input. I believe we may attempt a test this weekend with DSLR camera, and I'll try doing some time lapse stuff. We are definately wanting clouds, we're shooting in Santa Clarita at one of the movie ranches up there, and of course there are never clouds:) So our plan is to go to AZ, where I'm originally from and shoot some nice skies there after we wrap principal photography. The monsoon season there gives a ton of clouds in the skies. I'll let you know how it goes
  6. I have a dolly shot planned with green screen. Basically the interior of scene is done at one location, while the exterior part that we'll see through the windows is done at another location. The shot is this, camera is inside seeing photos on wall and the subject, we see the window that needs to be green screened. The subject leaves, and camera pushes in to the window, and we see subject outside moments later. In the movie its all one shot. I'm wondering what I need to do make the move right. Do I shoot the interior with green screen outside the window, with tracking marks on it, making note of lens, lens height, etc. and then when I go to do the exterior shot that will be composited in that window, can I shoot that static, or do I have to move with it as well. any thoughts. I've briefly worked with green screen, but nothing that involved movement. any input is greatly appreciated.
  7. hello all, I've been discussing the sky replacements with my director, and I've seen the blip on the web with guy doing it in after effects. I'm wondering if anyone has experience with this. After I have shot the scenes that I intend to do the replacement, is their any considerations for what I use as the replacement. Do I have to shoot those sky shots with 35mm motion picture film as well, can it be digital still? if so at what resolution and what format? We've shot test footage that is being scanned at 2K this week, so we'll be able to manipulate it soon and try different things before we begin principal photography any thoughts. Just for FYI our workflow is this originate on 35mm, edit dvcam 2k scan to dpx files input in Assimulate Scratch conform/color output to DS Nitris output to HD D5 Master
  8. Thanks guys, I'll check out the sight, and wholeheartedly agree that SCRATCH is a horrible name. My professor, who is not really a cine guy, told me about it in passing, and I thought it would be very strange to pass my film over to a SCRATCH machine. as for the viewing environment being a concern. It is, along with many others. The room that we are to do this in, is still being finished. I really hope they have thought of details like viewing environment. Our workflow will probably follow this line shoot super 16mm developement at Fotokem with flex file one light dailies viewed during middle of shoot at our screening room offline edit on avid media composer or Nitris scan at 2K resolution the picture lock bring in to SCRATCH for final grading Finish on D-5 for 2K digital projection, followed by HD-DVD, DVD, web, Beta Sp, for festivals AND( and this is only if by some miracle we find more money in April) 35mm FILM OUT I'm oversimplying it, but that is basically what we are doing. I am leaving anything out with regards to the scan and scratch ( wow, that just sounds wierd) ??? I keep running across the term LUT, Look Up Table, and I keep thinking that I need to work with that. I read somewhere that someone said it was like a cheat sheet for exposure, sort of taking the information and creating exposure, and color grading. (again, I'm probably oversimplifying) Robert www.reelflowers.com
  9. hello all, I'm the cinematographer on a graduate film at Chapman University. We have project that is sponsored by the school and out of 150 or so scripts ours was chosen as well as our creative team. We have a GRASS VALLEY 2K scanner ( upgradeable to 4K). Our advisor has contended that we do not need to go to outside facility for our final color grading. That once our film is scanned to files we bring it into this SCRATCH and we can do our own grading there. Now before I get blasted with replies that it is foolish to have a student do their own coloring etc. etc. Let me just say that I KNOW this already. We only have 10000 dollars to make a 15 minute film, and while I have tried to push for using outside facilities for this, I am told that we can't afford it, that money is tied up elsewhere. Those issues aside. I want to know more about this SCRATCH that I've been told about. Does anyone have any info on it? Also I'm going to try real hard to do some tests monday tuesday or wednesday so I can get it back, and maybe run it through our scanner and scratch, just to learn about this process. We as cinematographers are required to keep a log of everything related to the photographic elements of the film that we intend to execute. So I'll send a link of it here soon, any comments and tips and criticisms will be greatly appreciated along the way...Our shoot begins the 19th of jan - 28th. final delivery is May. thanks Robert
  10. sounds like an exciting and challenging shoot...Can I come along?...I recently returned from filming a short film in Greece on the island of Tinos in June for about 8 days...it was a learning experience in that we had local crew, albeit a small one, and a couple of us that flew from the states. The talent was local, and we got all our gear from a place in athens, although we did have a monitor shipped in from belgium. I would definately try and have a local contact in every place that is heavily involved in the planning. That helped us a lot. In most cases we didn't need permits because we were on an island and we appealled to the good will of the people. I'm sure that is probably not true of every place
  11. hello everyone, I recently did a shoot where we had 2 arri SR 3 as A and B camera for the same setup...The AC's on both cameras had a question about the protocol for slating...in the end when both A and B camera could see the slate in the the shot we did "common slate". When we couldn't we did A marker, followed by B marker with 2 slates...are any of these correct thanks
  12. word eric, I'll see you around the new building...I think that was an excellent quote from guillermo...aint that the truth.
  13. I think we are in agreement on a lot things mmost. I don't anticipate learning everything to there is know in film school. I think that kind of thinking is shortsighted, unrealistic, and an unhealthy approach to not only film to but to life in general. The generalized approaches you speak of are what I am talking about. And quite honestly, you learn more in school by making all the films you can, and working on as many sets as you can, than you do in the class room. I know some professors may not like to hear that, but it is true. Alot of the learning is indirect, its from your peers, its from screwing up and making mistakes, its from watching professionals who have been doing it for a lot longer than a student has. All these things contribute to our learning and continue to do so. I don't presume to come out of school knowing everything. It's quite the opposite in fact, I know some things (like these general approaches.) But I think what an exciting time it is to be doing this, because there is so much to learn... I've been very fortunate in my life so far to see a lot of places, meet a lot of different people, and experience a lot things. Because of that, I know there is so much to learn about a great deal of things, and that you can never stop learning. I'm sure things will become much clearer at school once the semester gets rolling and they tell us what their plan is going to be for the workflow.( maybe I'm too optimistic) And I'm sure I will be contacting professional post houses and such, asking for their input. I may even drop you a question or two, mmost.
  14. Point taken mmost. what I meant to say about green screen and digital effects, and I think Mr Mullen mentioned this as well, was that I wish they would discuss it more. And actually I have come to learn that they have a green screen class taught by one of our cinematographers on the faculty, and there is also one taught by our animation professor. I just don't think you can ignore the tools like green screen and digital effects. i have come across many posts looking for cinematographers, where they ask that the cinematographer be familiar with green screen and effects. If I'm not taught at least the basics about these tools, how am I possibly going to be able to work on films that require it. And these posts are not for big studio pictures, they are low budget films. So I'm not talking about MATRIX, or STAR WARS, or SIN CITY, where there are many shots that require it. Are we to ignore the DI technology as well? It's being used by the industry, and our school now considers itself to teach the ways of the studios in the industry.(granted 4K is not the norm at present.) Originally I was told we would be getting 2K. Plus, and I'm sure I'll find out soon enough, I seriously doubt every student production is going to have access to the 4K DI. There are too many students and too many productions that would need to be supported. It's probably only advanced projects that will have the privilege and the option ( NO ONE is going to make us use the DI, if we don't want to) to use the system. Those would probably be the THESIS films of the graduates. The school has told us that these projects are to be the highest level of production at the school. I totally agree, green screen can be a distraction if you let it dominate your process when it comes to telling the story. I really like your idea about having a professional DI facility work with the school. I think that offers many advantages. It's always a pleasure to learn form working professionals. One of the concerns I have, and I'm surprised that no one else has mentioned this yet, is that by keeping everything in house at the school, the students are missing out on a very important part of the filmmaking process. That is, establishing relationships with colorists, equipment houses, facilities etc. Because when we get out of school, we aren't going to have those facilites at our disposal ( although it has been PROMISED to us, that when we are alumni we will have access to them on an availabilitiy basis.) what do you guys think about that? should that be a concern? I mean its not like you won't be able to go up to LA and get work done there, you just won't need to as much as you used to. By the way, my shoot got pushed back to september:( Does anyone feel like making a short in 2 weeks, super 16mm, arri sr 2, no green screen, no DI, just good old fundamental filmmaking, with some rolls of reala 500D.
  15. I must say I had no idea the reaction of the idea of the new studio at chapman university. As a Graduate student who is going to finish this year, I understand the concerns that everyone has stated. The school's curriculum has shifted quite a great deal, since I started. The GRADUATE films are NOW indeed financed by the school. The 2nd year films are super 16 and are given a "decent" amount of money to make them. The thesis films have the option be super 16mm or 35mm. In fact I worked on the very first shoot at school that used our 35 arri BL4 cameras. That was back this past spring. We have two of those. But I think it would be misleading the say the school "finances" the films. The money also comes from students tuition. There are only 20 or so directors allowed in the directing program, so there are only 20 or films to be made. The remaining Editing, Cinematography, Production Design, Producing, Sound Design, students work on those films in there discipline. It is not lost upon me, how fortunate the students, including myself, are when considering the amount of resources we now have at our disposal. I have no misconception that this is what everyone gets in the industry. I have worked on several low budget features, and I see how they try to to do more with less. Afterall that is part of creative problem solving. The absense of limitations is the enemy of art - orson welles. I had a discussion with some of my friends in my class, and we both remarked, that having D-5, 35mm cameras, digital projection, a sound stage where you could literally build a village on, and state of the art sound doesn't mean that our movies will be any better. You still have to have a good script, you still have to communicate your ideas, you still have to have good acting, etc. If anything, it may be more tragic, when the film on that beautiful giant screen with 5.1 THX sound and a 4K finish, isn't up to par....Then the only comment you might recieve is "well it looked good and sounded cool". As far as the "Operator" question. I am not naive enough to think students can handle that. I am currently trying to seek information on that question. As I said, I have a thesis film to shoot in two weeks. The budget has been set. This situation is affecting how we go through our post process...I'm pretty sure we may be the guinea pig. All I know, is that i'm going to photograph the film to the best of my abilities. Get it right in camera the first time, and go from there. Great movies have been made long before the advent of DI. Before, I mentioned that I worked on the first chapman shoot to use our new 35mm cameras. Incidentally, the camera broke on day 2 of shooting. Produciton halted, and our school's staff brought out the 2nd camera, which also broke the following day on day 3. If it weren't for our school's equipment staff that was able to help us. I don't know what would have happened. I hope this isn't an omen for the first few films that go through this new pipline. Personally I wish we had more lighting units, bigger units, and more emphasis on shooting green screen, and incorporating digital effects. There is only so much you can do with one 1200 HMI. And I hope they continue to work on the screenwriting program. Some of my friends in the screenwriting track were constantly battling to get what they felt they needed in terms of the education. Maybe that is a priority issue. As far as getting a chapman student to shoot your film. That may be more difficult than you think. Projects have to no go through a rigourous process to get greenlit, and getting equipment and facilites is no small task. The independant study idea, which was previously mentioned, might be the only way. it just depends on how you work the system But at the end of the day, I think its exciiting to have those tools, and I"m sure the mature students will put every thing in proper perspective. One can only hope. I'll be posting some stuff from my shoot in couple of weeks. Its called Fatherland, I'll let you know what I find out..wish me luck. Robert Flowers
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