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Shane Bartlett

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Everything posted by Shane Bartlett

  1. Alan Gordon MARK V Director's Viewfinder. Comes with black leather case and attached neck cord. Also comes with wide angle lens adapter in nylon case. All of this is nuzzled into a carefully plucked yellow Pelican 1200. I bought this from the original owner many years ago. I used it about 10 times, and it's spent the last 7 years in a closet. I take excellent care of my things, so it's in excellent condition: clean glass, no faults, no chips, no breakage. Only problems are: missing lens cap (I never received it), previous owner's name has been scratched out and my name written on the inside flap of the viewfinder case (you know, because people love to walk off with your stuff; true story), and there's a slight catch when changing to 2.40 Anamorphic. It's not broken, it just catches a little and then moves the rest of the way home (how I received it). This is about $1000 worth of gear. Selling for $525. --Shane
  2. Minolta Color Meter II + original case. Good to great cosmetic condition. Works fine, although probably needs to be calibrated. $275 OBO
  3. To massage both the reverse shot of the forward actor, and the shot of the building, I'd consider whether there are any lights on in or outside the building--an entry light or two, as well as rooms that may be lit inside. They could appear brighter than your moonlight, the color contrast is always nice, and you'll have some motivated light behind your forward actor when he turns, if you can compose the shot so that it is visible in the background. (Picture a lit window behind the actor on his far- or off-camera side.) This light does not need to "hit" the actor to adequately provide separation. Then it's a simple matter of scrimming your moonlight (backlight) source while keeping the same relative position, so that it becomes a fill. If the story calls for the building to be dark, I'd go for beauty, as was previously suggested. Depending on how wide your building shot is, the size of the building, your composition, and the size of your lamps, you will probably need more than one moonlight source. It can look pretty bad when ground level items are nicely moonlit while rooftops and trees go to total darkness. Also depending on the situation, if there is any dark dead space visible around the sides of the building, I'd consider having some lights back there to suggest sources (streetlights, porch lights, etc) in the distance. 1k fresnels pointed toward camera work pretty well, if you can get them far enough away. If you can't get that far away, snoot the lights to make them appear smaller (blackwrap works just as well, and is cheap). Lastly--and not to sound presumptuous, but only because shooting at night is such a different animal at the low/no budget level--spend as much time as you can outside at night before you shoot, preferably in a location similar to that which you will be shooting. I once spent an hour a night each night for a month just observing moonlight in its different phases. Take someone with you when you can, but also go alone a few times. Best education ever. And still difficult to replicate, especially when shooting on a very low budget , as you mentioned. I've certainly learned that--especially at that level--it takes a good many lamps to make something look dark. Make the best with what you have available. One location I shot could have turned out beautifully with only 3 lamps, but the shot that we finally deemed necessary to the story required 7 when I only had 5 (I wasn't able to scout the location prior to shooting, unfortunately). In the end I sacrificed the rooftop and treetops to darkness because there were other story elements more important to the shot than my aesthetic taste. Shot selection and composition will make or break you. Be prepared to make such sacrifices, but also be prepared to fight for better choices in serving the story. Have fun. Let us know how it goes.
  4. There was a brief mention in a recent AC article about using a hazer outside, but I can't remember which model or for which picture. Sorry. The image displayed was of a grove or meadow with a row of trees...something like that. I imagine it would necessitate the rigging of some very large rags overhead and just out of frame to prevent the haze from dissipating too quickly, although I seem to recall (or perhaps I'm making it up) that wetting the ground/grass will also help--but perhaps that only helps to sell the effect. It's early and I haven't had my coffee yet, forgive me. I'd check with your local supply house(s), if you haven't already. All too often people just go in to pick up/drop off orders. From my experience, rental houses are staffed with knowledgeable people who really like to be involved in helping you solve production problems like this, and it's a great way to get to know the hardworking people on the staff. Show them a picture of the location and explain the effect you want. While they may not have what you need in house, they can probably help you locate it elsewhere.
  5. Unfortunately, not yet. I'm just now getting around to building my website. I hope to have it all complete by the end of the summer.
  6. Ram, I didn't use any 35 adapters on this one, just an HVX200 right out of the box. It's been 2 years, so I don't recall all of the details, sadly--I always want a dedicated note-taker, but it never seems to work out. :blink: All I can say now is that I'm pretty sure I went with the Cinelike gamma setting--whichever is flattest. I cranked the detail level down quite a bit, set Master Ped at -3, and pulled the color a little (except that last frame grab, for which I dialed in a little more saturation). No bump in gain. UltraCon 4, and underexposure. Sorry I can't be any more specific.
  7. Please do! Have fun. I think you'll like 7205.
  8. With the Low Contrast filters, you'll also get halation in the highlight areas. The Ultra Contrast filters, on the other hand, will evenly lower contrast over the entire frame without halation. I've used them before, but only for video (ultracon 4), and they do help. Of course, as others have already indicated, choosing your color palette (location, design, wardrobe) is extremely important. Here are some frames from my last short film, shot 2 years ago with an HVX200 and the Ultra Con 4, with deliberate underexposure. I was going for a specific look, but I think it's close to what you are seeking. Should give you an idea at the very least. In that last shot, I added slight diffusion to enhance the effect created by the sheers hanging over the bed, and in post I restored the blacks a bit. I've found that 7205 with slight underexposure (1/3 to 1/2 stop) is wonderfully low in contrast and saturation. Sadly, I do not have any frames to show you--still waiting for my copies of the footage from the director. I imagine though that with the combination of an Ultra Con you could get pretty close to the look you want. Most people avoid grain/noise, but I think a little grain helps (and maybe that's simply my opinion) in achieving a muted look. Just look at Savides' work, especially in Birth.
  9. I agree that they are Paparazzis, and I agree with Adam's comment as well, having been there myself. You will be sorely disappointed with a readily-available, low-wattage strobe light. Especially if you are shooting daylight exteriors.
  10. I've got a few Altman par cans, very similar to the Chauvet, and I've got a few Mole Pars. I prefer the Moles for two reasons: they are very small (almost 1/3 the size), and you can rotate the fixture to position the beam without removing the globe. Very handy. I don't know if that is enough incentive for you to merit the significant price difference. However, if you're willing to wait, you can sometimes find the Moles on eBay. I bought 4 Mole Pars for about $35 each. --S
  11. Thanks for answering that one again, Tim. Toby: It's a student project. When I signed on to DoP, it was supposed to be shot entirely on film for the director's production class. Director decided he didn't want to sink that much money into the script, and pushed to shoot on HDV, which in his situation is ridiculously affordable. The production instructor said that he could shoot HDV, but that since it was a film class, he should shoot at least one scene on film and experience the workflow. And so it is. We both felt that the scene in question would be the best bet, as it is a standalone scene at a different time of day, and with a completely different look. Robert: Given that it is a new scene, I thought about shooting it 4:3, but could find nothing in the story that would support a change in the frame size. So it has to be 16x9 all the way. However, after taking some readings and making some calculations, I was happy to discover that I can get by with 100T (any slower is pushing it; this is a very dark club scene). So, on Thursday I'll be shooting a test with 7212. I will try overexposing to further tighten the grain of an already fine-grained stock. I also plan to make it appear sharper through contrasty lighting. I can only hope to get it to match reasonably well with the HVX/Redrock footage. We'll see next week at telecine. --S
  12. I don't have any pictures available, but during the day our living room is lit entirely by a large, floor-to-ceiling north-facing window with red sheer panels to warm the daylight just a little. It is very soft. I love sitting in that room. At night, lamps with standard bulbs: warm and intimate, goes well with the hardwood and dark leather and wood furniture. This past summer, I replaced the hideous fluorescent tubes in my wife's kitchen with daylight balanced bulbs. She was amazed by how much better she could see! And by how much better the difference in color temperature made the kitchen look--right down to the color of the walls. Our bedroom is similar to the living room. Wood walls, hardwood floor, all wood furniture. One north-facing window, and one east-facing window. Looks amazing in the morning, and nice all day. At night, again, a single lamp that I found at a junkstore. It has the most amazing off-white shade of just such a thickness that the warm light is extremely soft. If I could shoot in these conditions all the time, I'd be happy.
  13. I agree that the natural look shown in the picture is quite nice. But perhaps that look does not suit your story. I think, in a normal situation, you should need about 300-350 footcandles to get a good exposure at f8.0 (please someone correct me if I'm wrong). Of course, in this situation you would need to adjust that figure up or down depending on what you're getting from the windows and according to the ratio suitable for your story. I can't tell from the picture, but most airport windows are tinted. That should help, as it sounds like you want to preserve exterior detail. I would get in there under several daylight conditions (clear sunny sky, strong direct sunlight through the window, overcast, etc) and take some readings to see what that window does compared to the light you're getting in the subject position. Airport personnel post 9/11 generally want you out of there quickly, unless you're big budget and have the apparent legitimacy of studio backing. A crew and lots of heavy equipment tends to make them nervous, and they can't relax even a little until they see your taillights. Because of this, despite having permission to bring in some equipment, when I shot in an airport I used only the natural light and small bounce cards. An Ultra Contrast 3 really helped.
  14. Yeah, I was afraid of how well the two would cut together, for sure. I have already scheduled a test for next weekend, so we'll see how it goes. Thanks for the telecine info--exactly what I needed. The SRII is a freebie. Director doesn't have the budget for a rental, unfortunately. Sigh. Thanks! --S
  15. I've posted this here, rather than privately, for archival purposes: surely, one day someone will be in my situation and need an answer. Tim, you gave me very helpful info some time ago about taping off the ground glass in order to shoot 16x9. I would like to ask a few more questions. I am DoP for a student film next month. It is a long, long, frustrating story, but suffice to say that I have to shoot the bulk of the project with an HVX and redrock kit with nikon lenses at 16x9. However, we also have to shoot one standalone scene on 16mm, with an Arri SRII, at 4:3 (I know, I know--it wasn't my decision; we were supposed to shoot entirely on film). I am very clear regarding your instructions for taping the glass. However, not so clear on the scanning to a final 16x9. Is this something that can be done at telecine? I also read on your site that, because of grain, one should shoot the slowest stock possible. Makes sense. The scene I am shooting is a very dark club scene, with mirrorballs and a good many little lights with various colored gels (director wants to preserve the natural look of the location). I had planned to shoot Expression 500T (7229), which I've heard is a little softer and might cut a little better with the redrocked HVX footage. But if going to 16x9 will effectively make that look like an ASA 1000 stock, would I be better off with the Vision2 500T 7218? Or will a 500 just look too terrible for our mixed situation? How bad is the grain after going to 16x9? Do you have any motion clips? It seems that I am much better off going with 200T, but I don't know if that is fast enough . I'll be going back to the location tonight to take footcandle readings, etc, to determine if I can get by with 200T, but for now it looks like 500T (unless we can find a few rolls of 320). Thanks for any advice you can give. Suffering headaches. . . .(and I STILL don't know how we'll fare with pulling focus on the redrock: director wants a constantly moving camera) --Shane
  16. There's a section on this, with illustrations, in The Set Lighting Technician's Handbook. However, it is pretty much as Michael described.
  17. "The 18th century french and spanish only had 50mm lens and always had the camera on a heavy tripod and hadn't yet developed a practical crane." The 18th century! That's amazing. Shots have been locked down for so long, of course it's about time for a little shaky-cam. Come on. All kidding aside, I do agree. It has gone overboard. But you can't despise effective techniques; you can only despise the people who use them without fully understanding their implications and psychology. I sigh every time a director says "and for this scene, we'll go handheld, I want gut-wrenching realism". I sigh because it seems like canned direction (and usually is). A vulgar display of non-thought. Like when directors, when asked about the look they have in mind, go directly to Traffic. Hot and cold. Think, damnit. Designing shots and a style that will create the film's overall look requires so much more than a canned response about color balance. Sometimes a fight scene is just a fight scene. Sometimes, it is another character's perception of that fight scene that is more important. Sometimes context and subtext are more important. Once you understand the intent of the scene, the way to shoot it becomes obvious. I've been told time and again that zooms are baaaaaad. Yet no one complains when Kubrick throws one in (Eyes Wide Shut, just to name one example). How can any technique be worse than limiting oneself to an "approved" few? Just because so many use a hammer to cut 2x4's doesn't mean you can't use a hammer to drive nails.
  18. Indeed. I too just watched the extras, and he was very active and friendly. Those few glimpses left me wanting more footage of him.
  19. Thank you, David. That makes a lot of sense.
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