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Phil Connolly

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Phil Connolly last won the day on August 30

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About Phil Connolly

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  • Birthday 01/12/1979

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  1. Loads of resources, many technical books focusing on the technical side. And lots of books discussing the craft, this being the obvious starting point: https://www.amazon.com/Blink-Eye-Perspective-Film-Editing/dp/1879505622 Books can help you get to grips with the software, the basic principles of editing can be picked up pretty quickly. I can usually get students from, "never tried editing" to cutting together a coherent sequence in an afternoon. There are lots of established "rules" of editing. Personally its better to hone your instincts, you should be able to "feel" when a cut is wrong and with practice you will get better at fixing it. Couple of tips: Watch your edits with the sound off, do they still flow? When your watching an edited sequence back, either make the video full screen or at least hide the timeline. Watching the edit while you see the playback head fly across the timeline, gives you a false sense of the edit. Be experimental, on non linear editing there's no reason not too try different things, explore the scene, try stuff. Be critical, if you shot the footage its sometimes difficult to be objective. E.g that long tracking shot may have been a nightmare to shoot so you gosh darned want to keep it in. A good editor would only include the shots the best serve the film regardless of the difficulty of getting the shot. Thats why its good for the editor to be a second person. If you are self editing, you have to be extra careful. There are strategies that can help. I'm about to edit a short film I directed. I've purposely not looked at the rushes for 3 weeks, hopefully I can come to the edit with fresh eyes.
  2. Would your 7 year old son actually enjoy and embrace the limitations of super 8 or find it frustrating? I'm a parent of a 7 year old, who's used to the instant feedback of electronic imaging. I suspect at this age it would be hard to get her to buy into film without getting frustrated by the lack of sound, short loads, wait for processing etc.. Maybe I'll look at doing some 35mm stills (build a pin hole camera etc) when she's a bit older. Right now her camerawork is a bit hit and miss - probably not worth the expense of super 8 (I also not a fan super 8 so take my comments with a pinch of salt)
  3. If you plan your schedule to shoot the wides when the suns in the right place. Use one of those sun tracking phone apps. A couple of Kino 4x4' bank or LED panels would be enough to give some shape to the close ups. I'd probably lean towards kino as its would be a slightly larger softer source, then a light panel. Octodome would look nice, but maybe a bit more fiddly to move about and would take up more space. I'd only bring in an HMI if you could light through the window. Same with a pole cat , depending on you coverage if you can away with natural light on the wide, you can probably work from floor stands on the closeups - bringing in diff and neg fill as needed.
  4. I guess it at least gives you some more flexibility. 4K @ s35, hopefully the option of full hight anamorphic and full frame for the DOF nutters. Quite a lot of cheap cine primes are FF (Xeens, CNE, CP etc). If the auto focus is a good as it looks, maybe cheap electronic zooms are going to be a workable budget option Even if your mostly using it in 4K S35mm mode, its still at a good price point and the colour science looks nice. It looks like a good flexible camera offer, at a good price, with built in ND's.
  5. You can only try your best, you have no control how it looks out in the wild. Even if you nail the settings, and create the perfect looking file. People are going to watch it on screens with out of wack colour settings. My TV had noise reduction and frame interpolation turned on as standard when I brought it. Most TV's have the brightness and contrast cranked so they look good in the TV showroom - most users aren't going to sit down and carefully collaborate their screens to resolve that
  6. Unfortunately its always going to be a compromise and streaming platforms have to strike a balance. The BBC's approach for years was to ban 16mm acquisition because the compression rates on HD transmission were to high to cope. In comparison Vimeo looks pretty good. Platforms are built to use data efficiently, most content is shot digitally and platform's are sensibly optimised for that. We are moving in a positive direction - Netflix 4K for instance looks pretty decent. Another thing you could try is upressing to 4K, then you automatically benefit from a higher bit rate that most platforms allow cate for 4K streams. I've done it a few times with HD content for youtube as a way to squeeze extra quality For instance the Netflix 4k stream of "Breaking Bad" looks quite a lot better then the HD version even though its sourced from a HD master and up-converted, more film grain survives.
  7. If its for client approval, surly the current vimeo version is good enough though. Its more about content. Or just put a higher quality version on dropbox or wetransfer. Personally I don't send "best quality" versions for client approval, particularly if they might want further changes, it just needs to be good enough to aid discussion. I also put burn't in timecode on the video - that helps the client reference a specific shot. If you are waiting on a final payment on delivery, you don't want the client having access to clean hi-res version before then.
  8. Isn't this pretty standard across the board. The high end dramas are going away, so you have comic book movies and Disney remakes at the top. Interesting dramas have moved to Netflix or are being made on indie budgets. We are back to the cinema of attractions, audiences are mostly seeking spectacle from their cinema visits. Mr Deakins has options though, he at least could get work on big franchise movies that would give him freedom to take on the lower budget passion projects.
  9. I just directed a short and we leaned quiet heavily on the 14mm. In the past I usually shoot on longer lenses. Shooting on wider lenses was a conscious effort to push myself out of my comfort zone and embrace a stronger look. Hopefully I won't be cursing myself when I start the edit
  10. Personally, I think good art happens when your truthful to yourself and drugs take you further away from yourself. So if anything they get in the way of creativity. A lot of drugs take away the urge to create, e.g alcohol, opioids, weed - they blunt the pain. Me personally my good writing comes from the pain, so masking it with drugs blunts the pain and blunts the work. Ultimately, I don't think theres a chemical crutch that replaces doing the work on the creative front. Sure there are stimulants (coffee included), they may help you physically "do" the work - but again, its not going to change your creative ability. Yes more energy, but can it be applied to the creative process. We've all encountered people on Coke - they may have more energy, but everything coming out their mouth is bullsh1t. Drugs may help you be productive, but whats the point of creating a lot of crap. I have had friend's that tried Modafinil, with the idea that it increases focus and devotion to a task. The problem is it doesn't inspire actually creativity, just obsession about completing tasks. So instead of completing the script your just as likely to get stuck alphabetising your DVD collection. Apparently you can get stuck in some obsessive brain loops, which sound more scary then productive. This is second hand info, I've not tried it and based on the experiences I've heard about, it sounds terrible and I wouldn't attempt it. I know microdosing LSD etc.. is popular in some creative circles. But I'm not sure its worth the risk as LSD is properly illegal and you could get into actual trouble with it. Also micro dosing is so close to not dosing, there is a bit amount of placebo involved in the process and no evidence it actually makes you more creative. I'm not puritanical about drugs and have tried chemical routes to improve my creativity. I don't think the results ever helped and in many cases the outcome was more damaging. Personally my best work has happened when I'm stone cold sober and properly honest with myself. Drugs have only been a barrier to that. Procrastination has been a problem for me in the past. What helped me get past it was Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (I know this isn't for everyone, but it worked for me). In my case a lot of my procrastination was around fear of failure. I'd start a project and abandon it because I was convinced it was terrible. Being self critical is important in creative work, but if your too self critical it can be paralysing. For me the CBT helped me recognise some of those problems and helped me find a way to push through. Its not perfect, but I'm doing much better and I'm making things again. In my case the drugs didn't work, but the therapy did
  11. Hmm colourists and sunlight... better pack the spf 50
  12. Talk to the Hotel owners and ask them. You need owner permissions not staff. Its tricky to get locations for free but it is doable, here are some things you could try: - Play the numbers game, lots of places will say no. But a small percentage may say yes, there are lots of hotels - keep calling till you get one. I needed a record store, I was prepared to call every single one in a 30 mile radius till I got a yes. (fortunately the first one said yes) - Don't worry about following up emails/calls. Sometimes you need to be a little persistent. People can be slow to respond or forget, so a little gentle pressure is ok. Nagging or being annoying is not good. I normally ask once and if I haven't heard, follow up about 5 days later. If they don't respond to the second enquiry, move on. - Use social media, people may respond quicker to twitter/facebook requests. - Get peoples names and use them. Find out the name of the owner and then you can write "Dear Ms Smith", rather then Dear Sir... the personal touch works better. - Be flattering, "I want to use your location because its stunning". Say something nice about their business, explain why it would be great for the film. Its harder for people to say no to the nice positive person saying nice things about their gaff. - Plead poverty, if this is uncommercial or student work say so, maybe that will help. Play the student card hard, get your uni's public liability insurance doc's etc.. - Use your network, do you have family or friends that work in/own/contacts at a hotel? The chances are you know someone that works at a location you could use. Maybe they could put in a good word for you so its not a cold call. If you are student, you probably have friends that work in Hospitality. Network, Network. - Pitch the project - get them excited about it. I got a location last week because they liked the script and wanted to get involved. At that point they had "brought in" to the project and didn't mind when we overran (a little) - Visit the location, meet the manager/owner in person, then you can explain why the project is important to you and explain how unobtrusive you'd be. - Be flexible on dates and times, avoid trying to shoot when they are busy, if you can work round their schedule maybe they can help. -Be creative with your location choice, do you need a whole hotel or just a bedroom, or just a hallway etc... Maybe the "hotel" in your film could be a composite of several buildings. If your at a Uni, some Halls of Residence have a Hotel vibe. E.g any bedroom could be used, then you just need a hotel exterior or generic reception. Little bits of art direction could help sell the idea. Air BnB can be a good way to find cheap locations. What locations can you get easily and can they be adapted to your script? - Offer something, even if small - either some money, walk-on-extra role, or publicity, credit or free labour (e.g I'll shoot a promo video for you etc) - Pick your location carefully, a busy central London Hotel will probably say no, but a quieter branch out in the sticks maybe... I've just finished shooting a shot with some amazing locations that I got for free. My approach was to be friendly and honest about my resources and upfront about the size of the crew etc.. Some of the locations that said yes were a real surprise. Aim high, you never know you might get it. Also follow up with these rules on shooting in a free location: - Explain clearly to the location what you are shooting in advance, I had students that secured a location for a scene but didn't tell them the scene was a bank heist (armoured police we called) - Turn up to the location on time and try to finish your shoot on time, be realistic about your schedule - Don't damage the location or make a mess, if its a domestic location have the crew take their shoes off. - If the schedule changes or gets cancelled - don't forget to tell the location. Keep them in the loop, remind then a couple days ahead etc.. - If the location is a business, be sensitive to that, don't make their life more difficult (having a film crew around is annoying enough) - Send a thank you note/present/wine after the shoot, credit the location, send a copy of the film/screening invite. Its important to look after the location and be grateful, if you have to reshoot any elements you don't want to have burned any bridges with the location. Also by giving the location owner a good experience, your paying that forward to future filmmakers. E.g if they had a bad experience letting a film happen, that means no more film crews will be allowed to shoot their. If they enjoyed it, future filmmakers may get similar offers of help. Good luck - play the numbers and don't be disheartened when people say no, just jump on the next one.
  13. If you don't know what your doing, either hire someone that does know what they are doing. Or keep it simple and shape available light. Nothing wrong with grabbing a reflector and diving in and see what you get. You'll probably learn a lot and if you lucky with the weather it may turn out nice This forum isn't the time and the place to debate lighting a whole film from scratch, when your effectively starting from zero. Tell me how to improve XXXX, is fine Tell me how to do my job... not so much Not trying to be mean but this website is more useful for specific questions after you have done your homework. Otherwise there are ton of books etc... that you can read to cover the basics
  14. Looks great, there is a need for a book that fills that gap. I'll see if Bloomsbury will send me a desk copy (I am a cheap academic) and I'll get it on the reading list/library for my cinematography modules.
  15. Woods/Jungle lighting is difficult, both for controlling contrast and dealing with lighting continuity. Not trying to be negative, but... I'm not sure you can really learn what to do on this forum, the questions are a bit "tell me how to do my job". The questions you ask should be something a "cinematographer" should know. Since we don't know the location, shot size, action etc... its next to impossible to suggest what lighting instruments you need. Same with power requirements, generator, budgets, crew level etc... In this situation I would recommend you hire a DOP with experience of shooting in these conditions. If you plan to go ahead yourself, I would recommend you shoot some tests and practise. Another thing you could try is see if you could shadow a local DOP and watch how they work. Or just shoot with available light and use a little bounced light and work with what you have. That would be simpler/safer then plowing into the Jungle with a load of HMI's and no clear plan.
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