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Alan Lasky

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About Alan Lasky

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  1. In my humble opinion tirades like this should NEVER be allowed to happen on a set and the responsibility for seeing that a fire like this is extinguished IMMEDIATELY is that of the 1st AD. The best 1st AD's I have worked with would never have allowed this to blaze on like it did. Why do we put up with the 1st AD's endless BS if not for the fact that we cede control to him/her for MANAGING the set? I respect the authority of the 1st AD because it is exactly at times like these when the crew needs a sergeant to take control and enforce discipline, no matter how big the ego or the check. Not that I do not feel for the AD, who I assume is "Bruce" (Bruce Franklin) in the portion of the tirade: "NO! Shut the **(obscenity removed)** up Bruce! NO! NO! Don't shut me up!" At that moment all control is lost: Mayan civilization collapses, dogs and cats live together in sin, frogs fall from the sky and they run out of gummi bears at craft service. Alan Lasky
  2. As I understand it from talking to some people out here the release of the tape came through the insurance/completion bond company, not any crew member involved in TERMINATOR: SALVATION. The tape was delivered to the bonding company for two reasons, both of them related to the very real possibility that SALVATION would need to file a claim: 1. The actor walks off the set and they can't continue and have to file a stoppage claim. 2. 'Mental health issues' in one of the leads causes them to shut down and either: A. Hold production until the issues are resolved. ($$, but not insurmountable) B. If the issues can not be resolved, reboot with a new principal actor. (A mighty $$$ claim) C. Shut down production. ($$$$$$$ and almost impossible) The audio would be used as part of discovery in any litigation. I have worked on several films where specific actors required special 'riders' in the bond to cover drug and alcohol use, mental health issues, etc. I doubt very strongly any crew member would ever release a tape like this to the public. Alan Lasky
  3. Conspiracy? Stupidity? I honestly don't know, nor do I really much care. I can not tell you the number of times while working at big companies I have heard the following exchange: "I have had a look at your revenue projections. Where did these numbers come from?" "I pulled them out of my ass." No assessment of agenda, intent or motivation alters the fundamental liability. The bottom line is still the bottom line and no matter who requested, served or drank the Kool-aid a massively irresponsible market analysis led to a great deal of frustration, wasted time and lost capital. No problem if you have a privately funded company and an endless pile of cash to burn through; much different if you are publicly traded and must answer to shareholders. As for: "talentless hacks in upper management who swill the digital Happy-Ade as a mechanism for extending their lacklustre tenures," welcome to Hollywood. :rolleyes: The great thing is when the poop starts hitting the fan you can sit back and watch the 'talentless hacks' shank each other in the back, just like the yard at Pelican Bay. Lasky
  4. Having worked at DALSA for a while during their initial push into the Hollywood camera market I have a bit of a different view on the failure of the Digital Cinema Division and the Origin Camera. Yes, the camera did have potential. Yes, it did at times produce stunning images. The Origin, like all other currently available digital camera systems, also had some fairly hideous problems that were never really fixed. That is not to single out DALSA's system; look deep enough at any digital camera system and I guarantee you will find a problem you will have to hide from the producer. Yes, it was too damn big and too damn heavy; my shoulders remind me of that every time I do military presses at the gym. Yes, efficient, cost-effective uncompressed 4K workflow is at present a pipe dream, no matter how hard the sell from the post guy. However I do not believe any of these factors were the true cause of DALSA's failure. In my opinion it was a failure of fundamental business case analysis. Someone, somewhere in the distant past was tasked with providing a market analysis of the high-end digital motion picture camera market for DALSA. That individual or group either did not perform a true analysis or wildly over-estimated the true potential revenue of the digital camera market, especially using a purely rental model. Everything subsequent to that initial failure of business case analysis was pretty much inevitable. Being seduced by the 'consensual hallucination' of Hollywood as a real business is nothing new. Hell, I worked for Silicon Graphics in the late 1990's and saw from the inside what happens when an entire company ignores a market's true revenue in favor of taking out advertisements that say: "Look, we worked on (insert big VFX movie)." Much like the digital camera business the visual effects/digital post industry was a low margin business with extremely 'difficult' customers who often did not want to pay for anything. Ask DALSA for some bottom line analysis on how much they had to kick in for post on the jobs they did do, I think you will see the same pattern at work. DALSA's core business is pretty strong. They have some very good technology in CCD's. MEM's and other areas and some very smart people running the ship. Although their adventure in Hollywood was predictably painful in the long run they will survive and thrive. I am only sorry they had to go through so much typical Hollywood bullshit before they realized it was time to scuttle the ship. Oh well, live and learn. Just about now another company is pulling into town with grand plans and dreams of technical Academy awards. That cycle will continue, although the current economic conditions make it mercifully harder than it was before to justify. Alan Lasky People's Republic of California
  5. The "Arri bought DALSA" misconception is patently false and is a dangerous meme to be propagated, especially on internet forums. Arri did not "buy DALSA" at all. To quote DALSA's own press: _____________________________________________________________________________ A letter of intent between the Canadian company Dalsa and the German company Arnold & Richter Cine Technik GmbH or Arri includes the possibility that Arri will invest in the Digital Cinema side of Dalsa's business. The announcement states that: "Under the terms of the LOI, ARRI would acquire certain existing assets of the DALSA Digital Cinema division. Concurrently, DALSA and ARRI would enter into a technology partnership agreement whereby DALSA will develop for ARRI custom high performance CCD image sensors and related products. Furthermore, DALSA would supply the developed products to ARRI for digital cinematography applications through DALSA?s core businesses." ______________________________________________________________________________ As of yet there is a letter of intent for Arri to get sensor technology from DALSA, nothing more. No deal has been finalized and it remains exactly that: a letter of intent as both sides perform due diligence. DALSA is a large company with very successful divisions outside of the Digital Cinema market and is not a potential subject of a take-over by Arriflex. I apologize if I am sounding a bit condescending, but please let us try and inject some business/economic reality into these discussions. This is how false information gets passed off as fact. Alan Lasky PROC
  6. Yes, A good friend of mine owns the Panasonic system. To be honest I was never that impressed with the images, they were a bit noisy and muddy for my tastes. That is of course purely my subjective opinion. The workflow into FCP with the Panasonic system is really good, and definitely opened the door for the SxS pipeline. You have to understand that most of my experience is with systems that require more 'heavy lifting' on the back-end post side such as DALSA, RED, Viper etc. (Actually some of them require 'heavy lifting' just to get the cameras on the head :D ). Again, for my purposes I have not found the EX-3 to be too fragile. I definitely wouldn't treat it like an Eyemo, but it seems no more or less fragile than the Panasonic system. The viewfinder might be a bit on the fragile side, but it is so good that it makes up for it. The price is definitely the sticking point, certainly with the macroeconomic meltdown in full swing. I totally understand where you are coming from on that one. Nonetheless I thought the EX-3 would be a good investment, especially for the kind of content I am using it for these days. I also ordered a Canon EOS 5D Mark II for shooting HD, but it hasn't shipped yet (God knows when it will). As you can see I am definitely trying to keep the acquisition footprint as SMALL as possible, which is the main motivation for the EX-3/EOS 5D combo. I think the ability to have equipment that supports quick set-up without sacrificing image quality is often under-rated these days. My Mac Pro laptop acts as the "lab" in the field, but the same would be true of the Panasonic system. If you are near LA I would certainly have no problem letting you shoot with the EX-3 so you could get a feel for it. Alan Lasky PROC
  7. Ahoy John, I recently purchased an EX-3 and I am very happy with it. The 1/2" sensor definitely makes a big difference in my humble opinion. I really like the SONY/Apple integration and workflow quite a bit, it is quite an elegant process in comparison to some of the other solutions I have used. I have yet to encounter any heinous artifacts but to be fair I have not really shot anything where potential rolling shutter and compression artifacts would creep in (ie. no whip pans, fast tracking, etc). That being said I am very impressed with the picture quality and if I ran into anything that necessitated less compression there is always the HD-SDI out and potentially an HDCAM, HDCAM-SR, sTwo or Codex solution for recording higher bandwidth signals. The camera is definitely at the heavier end of the 'camcorder' scale but the features that Sony packed into the EX-3 make up for it. I don't do a lot of hand-held material so I have not felt the pain of the weight all that much. The SxS cards are pretty cool, but sort of expensive, especially as you increase capacity. The 32 gig cards are listing for $1450.00 US and I have yet to see them discounted, which definitely knocks the wind out of me when I think about buying two to fill the slots. As you probably know Sony is going to release a 60GB hard drive for the camera, but since it is proprietary I am sure it will be pretty pricey as well. Overall I am quite happy with the EX-3, it definitely is the last stop on the HD highway before you get to MUCH higher priced camera systems. I hope some of this helps. If you have more specific questions I will try to answer those as well. Alan Lasky People's Republic of California
  8. That's "foe," by the way... Actually except for a bunch of bad noise on this and other boards from the little-kids table there had been surprisingly little relevant information regarding DALSA from anyone in charge. That is, until yesterday's announcement from the third quarter financial statement. In case you skipped it, please refer to this sentence: "The results of operations and financial position of DALSA?s Digital Cinema business unit have been segregated and presented separately as discontinued operations in the Company?s unaudited consolidated interim financial statements for the third quarter." If anyone is still having trouble understanding just what is meant by "discontinued operations" some clarification exists on the DALSA financial conference call which can be listened to in its entirety here: http://events.onlinebroadcasting.com/dalsa/103008/index.php where you will hear from those individuals who actually sign the checks. On another note, while I have a great deal of respect for Arriflex (and DALSA's sensor design and manufacturing capabilities) it is important to be realistic regarding the technical and engineering challenges inherent in merging a DALSA sensor into an Arri camera system. One does not just pry a CCD out of an Origin, solder it into a D21 and 'what-hey-presto' out pops a D22. Just creating a technical requirements document for such an endeavor will take a few months. By the way, Keith, respectfully I think I can be the one to say: "I TOLD YOU SO." I certainly have stacks of blustery legal paperwork to back up that claim. Alan Lasky PROC
  9. From today's press release: http://www.dalsa.com/news/news.asp?itemID=359 As previously announced, DALSA is committed to eliminating the ongoing losses in the Digital Cinema division by the end of 2008. The Company has recently entered into a non-binding letter of intent (?LOI?), which includes a 30-day period of exclusive negotiations, with Arnold & Richter Cine Technik GmbH (?ARRI?), one of the world?s leading manufacturers of cinematography cameras. Under the terms of the LOI, ARRI would acquire certain existing assets of the DALSA Digital Cinema division. Concurrently, DALSA and ARRI would enter into a technology partnership agreement whereby DALSA will develop for ARRI custom high performance CCD image sensors and related products. Furthermore, DALSA would supply the developed products to ARRI for digital cinematography applications through DALSA?s core businesses. Related to the transaction contemplated by the LOI, DALSA will endeavour to find a buyer for its Los Angeles based camera rental operations. DALSA will eliminate the ongoing losses from the Digital Cinema business prior to year end; however, there is no assurance that any transactions will be completed. The results of operations and financial position of DALSA?s Digital Cinema business unit have been segregated and presented separately as discontinued operations in the Company?s unaudited consolidated interim financial statements for the third quarter. The Company has taken a $24.9 million after tax charge comprised of a non-cash charge of $21.7 million and a cash charge of $3.2 million. For further information, refer to note 11 of the accompanying notes to the Company?s unaudited consolidated interim financial statements for Q3 2008. ?The actions we undertook in the third quarter to stem further losses in our Digital Cinema initiative will now allow us to focus our attention more fully on our core Digital Imaging and Semiconductor businesses, and to further build on their success moving forward,? commented Brian Doody, Chief Executive Officer of DALSA Corporation. ?The financial results in our core businesses this quarter and this year underscore DALSA?s strong international technology and product leadership position as well as the strong fundamentals of our business. We look forward to meeting with investors and analysts to share more about our Digital Imaging and Semiconductor businesses at our upcoming Analyst Day taking place in Toronto on November 18th, 2008.? For more information on the Investor Day please refer to the information contained at the bottom of this press release. ________________________ Alan Lasky PROC
  10. I was dropping off some film today at Pro 8mm in Burbank and they had a press release on the desk regarding their addition of an HD Telecine/Scanner: http://www.pro8mm.com/pro8_pdfs/Press/Pro8...20For%20web.pdf Pretty cool, looks like they have purchased a Cintel Millennium II, and apparently Cintel has agreed to make a custom gate to support the Pro 8mm "MAX 8" format. They think the first HD material will be coming 'out of the gate' (so to speak) in March. I believe they are going to put up a survey form to see what formats people will want to see supported (HDCAM, HDCAM-SR, DVC-PRO HD, data, etc). Might be a good chance to see how the Super-8/HD thing shakes out. I wonder when we will see the first HD Super 8mm Super Bowl commercial? Alan Lasky The People's Republic of California
  11. No there is both. The time lapse stuff is fine. I have both manuals and that works well; I have been shooting tons of exterior time lapse with no problems at all. The Leicina/ST-1 combo is great for time-lapse, it works despite the crazy symbology on the ST-1 (not exactly ergonomics, but hey it was 1977 they were probably listening to PHYSICAL GRAFFITI and partying hard so we can let it go). :huh: The TIME EXPOSURE stuff is tricky because neither manual really explains what is going on with the shutter in TIME EXPOSURE mode. I will be shooting night exterior in TIME EXPOSURE mode. That is where the Leicina falls short. I am trying to control the exposure time so I can manually set the T-stop but I am not even sure how the shutter is timing the open/close duration. I looked at the Nizo Pro, it may be a better choice for the TIME EXPOSURE so I am trying to hunt one down. Alan Lasky
  12. Hola, I can not talk about exactly what we are shooting, as usual production would freak out. :o I did test out a DSLR but I was not really happy with the results, and the nature of what we are shooting (exterior day for the time lapse) meant that there was a great deal of frame-to-frame exposure compensation required on Flame/After Effects/Digital Fusion/Nuke (whatever had the plug-in) to get it to look good. Believe me, I have no interest in a "digital vs film" flame war. I am neither a film purist nor a digital purist. I worked for DALSA for 2 years on their 4K digital camera, I worked for Panavision, I did DI, HD post, VFX, etc. The argument is a dead issue as far as I am concerned. You use what is right for the project and what makes sense financially. Ultimately most of the people fighting about this point do not have to ever go in and deal with the line producer regarding the actual camera budget of a project. Sure, I'd love to shoot the time-lapse/time-exposure using an Arri 435 Advanced with a capping shutter and a set of Master Primes and then have the negative scanned at 4K, but the logistics and economic reality on the project simply do not support it. We will likely shoot 16mm, Super-8, HD, 35mm and some DSLR before the project wraps; it is just that kind of gig. To be clear, we are not using Super-8 to mimic a "70's look," we are using it because we really, really like the result. I asked the question about transfer to HD because I want to make sure we squeeze the most out of the Super 8 negative that we can. I would like to go to one facility that people recommend, rather than testing a whole bunch and wasting a lot of time. Thanks, Alan Lasky
  13. Indeed we are doing this for professional output. Forgive me if my tone seemed less than appreciative. Fortunately we do have the benefit of time. Which camera is best for time exposure? Which offers the most control? Also, I would like to hear people's experience with transfer of supr-8 to HD. Thanks, Alan Lasky
  14. Danke Schon Bernhard, BTW which Nizo do you prefer for time exposure and why? Alan Lasky
  15. Uhhhhh, OK. Respectfully, I am not sure how this answers my initial question? Yes, several other cameras are capable of time exposure. That's fantastic. I happen to be using the Leicina, which is the one I posted a specific question about. I re-read my post and I never stated that the Leicina was the only camera capable of time-exposure, just that I was using it and that I had a technical question about its operation in time exposrue mode. Alan Lasky
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