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Phil Connolly

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Phil Connolly last won the day on June 20

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About Phil Connolly

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  • Birthday 01/12/1979

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  • Occupation
    Director
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    Brighton

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  1. At least we live in the times of card media I was an edit assistant on Top Gear, back in the days of shooting the car interiors on DV tape. Lots of editing round the vibration induced tape drop out
  2. My lighting is gender neutral, women aren't strange aliens that demand a different approach to men. If your shooting narrative with a sense of realism the both men and women are going to be under the same lighting conditions. It starts to look strange if your lighting people in the same scene in different ways based on gender. It was farcical when those 1940's films would wack in a load of diffusion for the leading ladies close up, killing any sense of shot continuity. Sure lighting can flatter a subject, e.g using softer frontal key - but again thats not a gender specific rule. Its boring that we have to stick to this rule that women, on screen must be young with flawless skin and men should be rugged and are allowed to be older. Its the same path that results in a team of roto artists painting out Nicole Kidman's wrinkles in Baz Lurhmans Australia. It didn't help the film even if they made her skin little look a bit better. But I don't work in beauty and have failed to any success in commercials for some reason.
  3. The new black magic 4K pockets might be a shout for long record times. They have a usb-c port and you can mount an external portable disk on it for longer record times then internal card media. Its small and has good exposure latitude which is helpful on driving shots, you want to see into the shadows without the windows blowing out. Its proper 10 bit pro rez or raw internal - negating the need for an external recorder
  4. I've been developing a short film on social anxiety. I wanted to avoid making an "issues" film but focus on the characters and present a unique take. Its based on real experiences and encounters I had and I think it could be an interesting and timely film. I've struck out on the few mainstream short film funds so have resorted to the surprisingly nerve-wracking process of crowd funding. Its really not much fun putting yourself out there, its absolutely not easy money. I feel uncertain about posting this here, but I've decided to spread the work as far as I can. https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/fruit-fix Do please have a look at the link, if your able to help pledge please do, if you can share the link and help get the word out thats also a huge help. I'm making the film regardless of what I can raise, I've got a lot of the elements in place - the funding is to help level up on actors and crew and pay something. I'm looking forward to updating the thread with a production diary in the coming months.
  5. yep laptops can get very hot. I once had a macbook and it warped the battery and bent the case. Probably had a luck escape with it being lithium on the fire risk front - I'd left it rendering and came back to find it wasn't sitting flat on the table. The new Macbooks don't seem to get as hot or crank the fans as loud - so I suspect they are throttling the processor more. I haven't had a desktop since my G5 died, laptops are more practical for the way I work. But they are a pain on renders, luckily I mostly edit short form so the exports are usually less then an hour. I also buy frozen dog food that comes in flat pouches, perfect for being defrosted by my macbook - gives about 45 mins of cool running. I don't think I'll buy another Apple computer anyways, the lack of ports, cooling and price rises - don't make them worth it anymore.
  6. Resizing especially if your working with compressed files can be processor intensive. Heat is a factor - on long renders the heat builds up and it could be more then your processor's fan can dissipate it. In those situations the computer throttles the processor speed back to prevent overheating. This is often an issue with Fruit based laptops, the components are packed so tight with limited air flow. So you may only be getting 50% speed on throttled processor. I've resorted to frozen gel packs to improve the reliability/speed of my laptop on big renders. iMac's also can overheat on big renders in a warm room as well Desktops are usually better at thermal management and more able to dump heat
  7. Personally, I find it hard to operate the camera and watch the actors. The things your concentrating on as an op vs director are different things. When I've op'ed on films actors sometimes asked questions about their performance that I literally couldn't remember from 30 sec ago - I'd only retain that they had hit their marks and the shot was in frame and in focus. I have found it easier to DOP and direct at the same time if I have a camera operator, then you can light first and just watch the actors during the performance and not worry about the camera operating. I do think doing both roles represent a compromise, few people can do both roles at the highest level and its likely to slow you down on set. Needing to make lighting decisions when you could be working with the actors. I do have a low budget shot coming up that I'm on the fence about self-shooting. I may not be able to afford to a DOP and its possible I'm a better DOP then the less experienced people that would be prepared to work for no money. (also I'm not keen on the idea of not paying the crew). One strategy I was considering is doing very careful lighting tests for each shot ahead of the shoot. So when it comes to the shoot - all the lighting positions, exposure etc.. is worked out in advance. Then a junior spark or PA could follow the plans to set up the lights to plan while I talk the scene through with the actors. I would still try and get a camera operator though.
  8. Its on the store page when you order stock you have the option of adding processing and either HD TK or a 2K scan. But yeah you have to hunt for it. Sales Tax might bump it up, but if your ordering from abroad that can be bypassed?
  9. What David said - try to talk to people that have worked with them before. There are plenty of DOP's with stunning reels but are glacially slow on set. Or won't compromise "their" vision - none of these things will show on the reel (if anything the reels will be better). But we aren't shooting DOP showreels. A great DOP is one that know when its appropriate to take the extra time and push for a look. But also understands that when you backs against the wall, they are prepared to compromise to get the shot done. The biggest fight I ever had with a DOP on set was about a lighting setup that was good enough, the DOP wanted to make it better (normally a good instinct) - but not when your running late and I'd not have enough time to get all the shots I needed for the sequence. Its real find line - the DOP's job its to fight for the photographic integrity of the image, but its a balance and understanding compromise is a big thing. Talk to 1st ADs, even if they are the natural enemy of the DOP, they will let you know who's quick and efficient. You can normally tell from the showreel if they are technically competent, the important thing is can you work with them personally and can they work to the schedule. My questions would be more logistical, how would you marshal the resources we have to hand to make the film in the time available? I may ask crewing questions e.g do you have a team you work with etc? Do we need a Gaffer etc.... Things that impact the budget. Do you drive? (its a pain in the arse having to pick up your non car driving DOP from the train station each day) I would have already checked from their CV (resume) that they had shot on the proposed shooting format (or similar) and they wouldn't be in the room unless their reel looked stunning.
  10. The Iknoskop is the same kodak CCD as the D bolex - its a great look. The cameras a bit clunky though, you can only shoot uncompressed raw and backup was over USB, so it would take 2 hours to back up a 15min card. I think the options to use larger SSD's on the DBolex bypasses the problem. Terrible in low light as well, your limited to 200ISO basically Both pretty rare but I was super impressed with the Iknoskop's look. Its not like anything else and pretty much everyone assumed we'd shot on film. There is something really nice about global shutters. I've shot on the HWP-750p which is almost the same just limited to 25p not 24p (which isn't an issue in Europe). Its a nice camera, latitude and colour was decent. If you want that global shutter look with a similar DOF to 16mm a 2/3" CCD camera from 10-12 years ago is good option and of course quite affordable. Ton's of lenses available if you don't mind zooms and the prices the Zeiss Digi-primes go for is a steal compared to their original list prices. Also worth looking out for F23's and Thompson Vipers. Finchers Zodiac was (I think) the pinnacle of what can be achieved on a 2/3" camera. Collateral (f900 mostly) had a good look as well. I'd like a DBolex as well - but its less practical for day to day shooting, especially as its not great in low light. But for the right project its a really unique look. I do think one of the issues with digital cameras is everything looks very similar - Alexa, Red, Venice, F65 etc... are all fairly similar in looks and all look very clean. Its harder to find the Digital equivalent of Super 16 or super 8 when you want a more textured look. Couple more Ikonoskop quick screen shots:
  11. For all inclusive stock and post Frame24.co.uk work out cheaper 400ft of 16mm stock, process, cleaning and 2k scan is 287EUR Work done at Cinelab or Kodak in london
  12. Its a long time since I've shot with the HVX200 - but I remember it got pretty soft and grainy once your at +6db of gain. The main issue with earlier DV/HD cameras approximating the look of 16mm is the limited latitude - they would clip to white quickly and that gives away the digital source. A more modern digital camera would have a more graceful clip and look less digital in the highlights. The digital camera that mostly closely emulates 16mm that I've used is the hard to find Ikonoskop DCam - similar to the digi-bolex. The texture and resolution is very similar. A frame from a short I directed on the format:
  13. Depends how you define success. My definition of success as an artist is to enjoy the process of creating work and produce work that I'm proud of. Anything else: Money, acclaim, awards etc... are all nice but their tangental to the reason I make stuff. So I work on my projects and be happy in the process. Sure "financial" success would be nice but at the moment I have complete creative control which I like. I've taken jobs on large productions and in some cases been paid very well, but the didn't tend to be as creatively fulfilling as the micro budget stuff thats all my own. Obviously I have to learn a living, but I don't connect my worth as an artist and creative with the successes in my paid "career". Sure I would prefer to make a living on my own films. But thats very hard to do and its most likely I won't be able to do that. However I'd only consider myself a "failure" at filmmaking if I wasn't making films (that I'm proud of). Better for mental health reasons to separate the two. I think if you set out to define success by being a HOD on a Hollywood movie the vast majority of people that set out to do that would fail. Its not a meritocracy or a case of working harder, the odds are similar to becoming a professional Footballer. The other definition of success could be entirely financial, this is perhaps easier as there are many ways to make a good living that are connected to the "industry" - but they may only be tangentially creative or artistically full-filling. I, like more and more people have a "portfolio" career - that mixes a range of roles on things. Some creative, some less creative - and I different areas of creativity. Film Education: Is useful for some people and even if its possible to learn most things via the internet and books - some people need structure or it can be focused Not all programmes are good Some are very expensive There are other routes in, I went to the NFTS on a Scholarship that covered fee's and living expenses (these scholarships do still exist, although they are hard to get). The NFTS didn't catapult me into Hollywood(unfortunately) but it was without doubt the most fulfilling, creative, challenging and important 2 years of my life (outside of becoming a parent). Even if it did nothing for my career - I would change it for anything because it was such an incredible experience. Even had paid full price, the programme would have been worth it just on a personal level. I am a filmmaker because I have no other choice. I've tried other career paths, I've got a degree in Electronic Engineering, i've worked for Software companies, engineering firms, insurance, banking. They all made me miserable. I'm obsessed with film - I resisted film for a long time because I was worried about my ability to make a living. But it didn't make me happy. I didn't go to filmschool till I was 28. My only regret is I didn't start younger. But thats me - It took me the time to realise I won't be happy doing anything else. Most people that say they want to work in "film", don't really want it, not enough. They might think they do but after 6 months to a couple of years of badly paid entry level work (running etc..) they drop out. The hardcore stick at it and generally the people who are successful are the ones that stick it out and keep trying. Attitude is everything.
  14. I'd say about 95% of the jobs I've done in the past 10 years have required me to provide the camera/lighting package as well as myself - as an all in deal for the client. Typically this has been for corporate, promo and music video - in the mid range. A most of the time I've hired in and adjusted my rate to accommodate, it helps that I live close to a hire company or have been able to rent from other owner ops at a good rate. The advantages to this approach are your not tied into any camera system, I can pick the best tool the job and be more flexible. Downsides are mainly due to profit margin, I'd potentially make more money if I owned the kit in some cases. Also there is the time lost dropping off and collecting the kit. Personally, I've avoided owning much kit beyond a super basic DLSR (canon 60D) and a small lighting package (3 x 800w open face, 1 x 650 frensel and 2 x Kino Parabeams) - I got that stuff so cheaply it was a no brainer and its good enough for low end stuff e.g talking head interviews. I had avoided upgrading because its a slippery slope resulting in expensive cameras and in the past I haven't done enough shoot days to make it worthwhile. However I have been considering getting a better camera, because I've just signed a contract with a client that requires more regular work and more shoot days. I could keep hiring in but it becomes a pain. When margins are tight is a bind having expensive hire rates. Also the BMP4K is swaying me, because it would good enough in terms of quality to fulfil my upcoming contract and the cash outlay isn't that much, renting is less cost efficient. But this is entirely on changing circumstances and only really down to one specific contract. To be honest its really dependant on your own personal circumstances. The daily hire rate on a BMP4k in my neck of the woods is about £75 per day, so I'd only need to shoot for 15 days and its cheaper to buy. - what work are you getting? - Are you being asked to provide kit? - Where are you based and what rental options are there. Its less of a problem to rent if the hire company is 30 mins away Vs 4 hours.
  15. Whats your budget? The ZF's are really nice glass but as still lenses difficult to focus pull. At the lowest budget range its worth looking at the Samyang VDSLR primes - they won't blow you away optically, but they behave more like cineprimes, and are easier to mesh with a follow focus. Next level up is something like the Xeen primes - for better build quality Next level up again Zeiss Compact Primes or Cannon CN-E primes - but these are more expesive - but they are great workhorse lenses and upto the rigours of profession production On film work the mechanics of a lens are at least (if not more) important then its optical performance or "look"
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