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Phil Connolly

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Everything posted by Phil Connolly

  1. Jesus, Bro! looks great I like the FS7 - I directed a short on it last year and I'm grading it now. Generally very happy, but I have to odd shot that gets a bit digital and fizzy due to the codec and perfectionist that I am... But at the price range (it was free) I can't complain The FX9 looks great but it's strange that the codec is a bit light when cheaper cameras by Panasonic and Black Magic give you more. I've been grading some Blackmagic pocket 4K stuff and in Prores HQ, there's less visible compression when you pixel peep. I have a low budget feature idea I'm developing and if I have to borrow gear again, it would nice to upgrade from the FS7 - so just trying to decide what camera to try and convince my employer to buy this year. But your right the FS7 is totally fine ...
  2. It does look like the perfect camera in its sector - nice quality, cood for doc and broadcast work. I know it's not really going to be used for professional "Drama" productions that much, but I'm working in an University and our students make short films. We don't quite have arri/red budgets, we have FS7's at the moment and the FX9 seems like a nice upgrade....but the only really issue I've encountered with the FS7(beyond the menus) is breaking the codec on grading. Although I guess if your starting with a better/cleaner image - the codec holds up better. Basically I'm looking for a camera we can afford, that I can borrow over the summer and shoot a movie on.
  3. Hope they improve the codec - if its currently the same as the FS7, it's probably a bit thin for drama. I'm grading an FS7 job at the moment - you can get a bit of artifacting if your not very careful
  4. The simple "loophole" would be to limit places. The affordable opportunities are harder to get in to. When I went to the NFTS (2007) the annual fees were £5k and the London Film School £26K. So no brainer to go to the NFTS, both in terms of cost and it's a better school. The difference was, at the time the NFTS only took 6 students on per course - the battle was getting the place rather than affording it.
  5. The M18s might be a better choice. But in terms of light levels, it really depends on what looks your going for and what shooting format your using. There is a big difference between a 2000 ISO FS7 vs 200T neg Also the position of the sun could be a help For instance the below image was lit with 1 x 1.2kw HMI augmenting day-light through the window, with a couple of rotolights providing soft fill. Shot on an FS7 rated at 1600 ISO
  6. If you have 2 x 13amp circuits running at 230v - then you have access to 2990 watts per circuit. So that would be fine if you put each HMI on each circuit and maybe you could perhaps squeeze 1 or 2 small LED fixtures on each circuit as well. The smallest skypanel is about 200W and the larger ones, more - so that starts to get close to the rated wattage. You need to check the ratings. You might have a bit more flexibility if you had 1 x 2.5kw HMI and 1 x 1.2kw HMI - giving more headroom to drive your LED fixtures. Running 2 x 2.5kw HMI's might be overkill for smaller locations.
  7. Montage type showreels don't tell you that much about a prospective DOP. Just selective pretty shots, tells you nothing about how a DOP copes in more challenging situations. Whole scenes or short films are more useful - then you get a better sense of how they deal with lighting continuity and storytelling - but even then you can't tell which visual choices were specifically from the DOP or the Director. A great director can make a DOP's work look better. Its very easy to tell the difference in experience on set you can tell the difference between a DOP with a few years vs 20 years - even if the photography "looks" similar. Speed and workflow are important components. Once you get past a certain level of technical ability - the way a DOP conducts themselves on set is everything and needs to suit the production. You will encounter DOP's that will produce beautiful images - at the detriment of the production as whole. Recruiting a new DOP to a production (I find) is quite a nerve wracking process - because I'm looking for good "fit" across a range of skills. Approach and attitude matter - film production can be stressful and emotionally challenging. A bit of creative friction and the ability for director and dop to challenge each other is needed.
  8. You cant add lines, but if your shooting a widescreen aspect ratio with normal spherical lenses you have to crop the image top and bottom to say get 2.35:1. Losing resolution. A 1.33x anamorphic allows you to get a 2.35:1 ratio without losing any resolution. The issue is finding an anamorphic lens that would work with the camera. Youd probably have to rig something that might not be very easy to work with or ergonomic and the quality gains would be minimal. The best image possible out of the camera would still be 16:9 with conventional spherical lenses. A good anamorphic lens would cost more then the camera is worth. I cut my teeth on the XL1 and the XL2 was great in its day. But for the price of most anamorphics lenses you could now buy a HD or 4k dlsr and get better results
  9. There used to be 1.33x anamorphic adapters made for mini DV cameras, that you could put on front of the "kit" lens. They were not mega sharp. The result would probably look better then cropping the 16:9 down to 2.35:1. But the difference wouldn't be huge in terms of quality, you'd have more lines of resolution to work with, but softer optics. I did a short way back when with the century optics 1.33X anamorphic adaptor on a DV cam - as I remember focus pulling was more tricky and longer zoom lengths got soft. Also 1.33X doesn't give you a strong "anamorphic look" You can get adaptors to put traditional film lenses on the XL2 - so you could probably make it work for it proper anamorphic - this would be sharper than the adaptors available - but the sensor is 1/3" so any lens would be super telephoto. Personally I think making any form of anamorphic on the XL2 would be more cost/hassle than it's worth it. Its really limited by its SD miniDV - even with the best lens the output is going to look a lot worse than a typical smart phone or budget DSLR. If you want to experiment with anamorphics, either a lager chip camera DLSR/mirrorless camera will give you better images and flexibility. Good anamorphics are expensive so it doesn't make much sense spending £1000's on anamorphics and then using a £100(ish) camera
  10. It's usually a good idea to pick a topic that's connected to a film you like. Then you're researching something thats relevant to you. Once you have a film, it could have specific genre or stylistic conventions that you could learn about explore, compare with other films and allow the topic to grow organically. My MA thesis was in the area of British political TV drama. I chose the topic because at the time I was watching Paul Abbots "State of Play" which I loved and my research happened organically because once I'd watched that, I started hunting down similar programmes to watch. I No one can tell you what topic to do and your professors shouldn't either. You also need to pick a topic that gives you enough to write about - sometimes my students want to look at very recent/obscure film and its difficult to find books/journal articles discussing it. So you need to pick a topic that's possible to research. If you go down the technology route, it has to link to specific films and you need to be able to demonstrate how technique X moved the artform forward with case studies.
  11. Indeed, I remember how angry peeps on Reduser got when someone posted a test that showed how much better the F23 looked then the RED One. Simply impossible! It's only HD, 4K must be better because its erm 4K
  12. As you learn more about filmmaking, it's easier to spot the flaws and understand the processes behind it. If you've read "hero's journey" its hard not to see it at work in many films. As you learn more and become more sophisticated it's harder to be impressed, but I also find when you are impressed it's even more joyful because you appreciate how clever/surprising it is. I had a similar experience working at a drama school. When I first started I didn't really understand that much about theatre acting etc.. and was usually impressed by the more "dramatic" shouty performances while the tutors rolled their eyes. 2 years of sitting in on classes, watching 1000's of performances, my tastes improved and now I find it very difficult to watch poor acting - but younger me would have been fine. It's a slippery slope and not without its problems, I now only like drinking the more expensive single malts that I can't afford.
  13. Less graduations you say? I give you 1 bit black and white - the least amount of graduations possible (outside of a Spinal Tap Album Cover)
  14. Automated screenwriting software has been out for years - check out this review:
  15. If you want to make it really challenging insist on the actor being nude - to prevent the sound team from "cheating" with radio lapel mic's.
  16. With sampling it's not just the nyquist theory that defines perfect reproduction. All sampling systems require a low pass filter to prevent aliasing. With audio you want a low pass filter that preserves audio upto 20khz , and on 44.1Khz you'd need 100% cut at 22Khz - that filter is very hard to build and probably would distort the sound in some way. 48Khz means you need 100% cut at 24kHz - thats a much more gentle filter. So the difference in sound quality is not just due to the sample rate - but the type of low pass filter needed. In audio the main point of oversampling is dealing with issues of aliasing that would be audible, even when most people can't hear frequencies above 18khz
  17. Multi camera can help with improvised acting - since you can edit stuff that maybe is difficult to repeat. If you look at the scene at 12mins10 The 2 cameras allow an improved conversation, but cutting between 2 different areas of the set at the same time.
  18. Yep I found that happening a bit. A cam is the one you use and B cam is bonus rather then "needed". But it sometimes can help. I did once have a 12 page day where I had to split the coverage between 2 cameras and cross shoot, wasn't pretty but cut together ok. Having the second camera saved the day on that shoot (the schedule was nuts). Cross shooting has visual compromises, but can speed things if your backs against the wall. But I've not repeated it, I just try toschedulel better and use single camera I think having a second camera working as a mini second unit getting b'roll and inserts is nearly always more useful in the edit.
  19. Depends how you use the two cameras. If you have lots of complicated blocking it can be a hindrance. But for conventional coverage - if you shoot both cameras in the same direction e.g One wide and one tight , it can speed up your day and give some useful extra coverage - but won't make it twice as fast.
  20. Wild card entry: "Bait" (2019) - not technically "good" due to the hand processing, but some very striking and beautiful images
  21. I think it counts - same with black and white movies shot on RGB Bayer sensors and desaturated.. Like Roma, Nebraska Surely the interesting thing is how the end result looks and the creative use of the B & W colour pallet, rather then the specific tools used to get there. I would agree the black and white "editions" of colour movies like Fury Road and Parasite - perhaps shouldn't be considered "black and white" movies. But Deakins workflow was about improving the on screen image quality in a time when the choice of black and white stocks was very limited.
  22. Sorry brain fart - meant "Nebraska", it seems I confuse my american states that begin with "N" Both great films
  23. Also it's unlikely cell phones would actually resolve 8K. The file might have 8k pixels - but they probably won't have 8k worth of visible detail. The lens and the compression being the limiting factor. Also at the moment there isn't a D-cinema projector that's above 4K. So a 8 to 12k scan couldn't be screened - unless you lasered it out to IMAX stock and screened it in one of the 10 or so 15/70 screens. Personally I have to be very close to the screen to see a difference between 2k and 4k. Above that your into diminishing returns.
  24. Cool work but very much a secret sauce I wish he'd release a product that contains his code... I think he'd sell many
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