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Chris Durham

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About Chris Durham

  • Birthday 08/25/1974

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  • Occupation
    1st Assistant Camera
  • Location
    New York, NY
  • Specialties
    Cinematography, Film, Science and Technology, Bodybuilding,

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  1. Well, I think about the value that was added to Wall-E, on which Roger Deakins acted as a consultant to tell the story more cinematically (actually he's apparently consulted on several animated flicks). Obviously he shouldn't be credited as a cinematographer on this, in the traditional sense, but the film was enhanced by his bringing to bear traditional disciplines on a "new" medium. I guess my point is that technology is a substantial component of cinematography and technology is progressive. While the discourse over it is healthy, the difficulty is determining where to draw the line. Since so many movies rely so heavily on VFX element -- even movies that aren't effects-driven -- at what point between wire removal and fully digital sets does it stop being cinematography and start becoming effects? Perhaps it's best to narrowly define cinematography as what happens in and in front of the camera. I say narrow in the sense that it's narrower than seems to be accepted by the academy and my devilishly-advocated position above.
  2. Not sure a cinematographer can rightly take credit for any sunset -- they didn't exactly hang the thing themselves. This is such a hard topic because we need to acknowledge that cinematography now involves so much more than the camera department, while at the same time understanding that the more that happens outside the camera department, the less the cinematographer can be credited with. Life of Pi really is an outstanding accomplishment in cinematography -- in the strictest sense if "drawing with motion." What I'm uncertain of is how much involvement Miranda had in the off-set aspects of that "drawing." If he was involved intimately in the lighting, framing, movement of digital elements, then perhaps the award is somewhat warranted. One thing is certain, though, and that's the short shrift given to the armies of VFX people making these movies happen. I think most of us would be much happier if there were real acknowledgement of these folks and something more than empty overtures made at improving matters. I was really pulling for Deakins on this. Skyfall doesn't do a whole lot that feels new, but every shot has such a master's touch.
  3. I don't suppose it's possible to simply remove the glass?
  4. Not so sure. Line skipping and rolling shutter issues on a DSLR could potentially have a negative impact. If it were a CMOS video camera you'd have the same issues (rolling shutter anyway), but 3CCD shouldn't. Assuming he wants to shoot on at least a prosumer camera I wouldn't worry about it. What camera is it? If it has better chroma subsampling it will certainly be better for visual effects. Depending on Codec compression/bitrate it may be better for vfx as well. That leaves you with Shallow DoF as your big DSLR advantage and at the end of the day, that's often just a lazy way to make a pretty picture.
  5. Digital back? Why would you ruin anything capable of running film by placing a digital sensor anywhere near it? Kinda like saying, "yeah, I'd date Kiera Knightly, but only if she wore an old-school diving suit and put a bag over her head." Super 8 > HD Video
  6. Yup. Cheaper price. Cheaper quality.
  7. It is sad. I have a really hard time finding any respect for people whose first inclination it is to do things the the easy way. If your concern is making art easier on yourself then your work will just be milktoast
  8. I would love to see some solid, long-term numbers on this. It's a conversation I have frequently.
  9. No, I really can't...
  10. The shots in "Children of Men," as already suggested are phenomenal. Would be remiss not to mention the Dolly shot in Godard's "Weekend" (shot by Raoul Coutard)
  11. Looks amazing. Damn I love film
  12. I was recently talking to a union rep here in NY trying to gauge how I should approach membership (probably as a AC, but we'll see) and if I recall correctly, he told me that the only way to come in as a DP is to be hired on a union production. You could come in as another category and upgrade later but you can't otherwise come straight in as a DP. I may have misunderstood but I don't think so. Does this fit with anyone else's knowledge?
  13. Hey Chris, I'm just wondering why you use .00075" for 4K as opposed to .001" which I believe a lot of people use for S35. If I understand correctly resolution shouldn't have so much to do with things as format with consideration also given to projection (which is why I could see giving a smaller circle of confusion for IMAX which, but for the larger projection, should have a larger acceptable CoC). Is it to accommodate for pixel pitch? Just wondering. I use smaller than .001" myself but that's basically to make sure my calculations are conservative.
  14. In terms of Android, I've found a very handy tool called CamCalc. Not perfect but pretty nice and focused mostly toward cinema calculations with usefulness for stills. Only a couple of bucks which is much less than the only viable option before very recently which was FilmCalculator (I believe) for around $40. This isn't as complete, but I've been using it and it's pretty damn handy.
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