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Landon D. Parks

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About Landon D. Parks

  • Birthday 06/06/1988

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  • Occupation
  • Location
    West Chester Township, Ohio
  • My Gear
    GH4 w/ vlog, Atomos Ninja Flame, Tascam DR-60, Full camera support and grip, basic lighting package.
  • Specialties
    Directing, Producing, Cinematography, Editing, Visual Effects.

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  1. I currently have the JTZ follow focus system, which provides a fine throw on my Rokinon CineDS lenses... However, when I use my smaller handheld setup with my Sigma 17-50 lens, the focus ring on the lens is only about 45 degrees, which results in a terrible throw for the focus wheel. I was looking into some of the JTZ extension arms that provide different throws, for example, there are 1:1, 1:1.5, and 1:2, but the idea of what they do is seeming to fly over my head. If I attach a 1:2 extension arm to my follow focus, does that mean the throw will be 2x what it was prior, essentially making the 17-50 a 90 degree throw instead of 45? Thanks!
  2. Personally, with the advent of what amounts to basically 'free' industry level software, and the huge amount of online video tutorials --- I'd not pay to go to school or take paid training courses. I'd get the equipment you need and the software, and then play with the software while watching some online videos. There are tons of 'intro to resolve' videos on youtube, and a lot more 'general color grading' videos that apply cross platform. A lot of color grading, like filmmaking, is about opinion and art as much as it is about technical ability. Color grading, from a technical standpoint, really isn't very difficult. Once you understand some basic functions a lot of it comes down to your ability to dial in the correct look you want, which only comes with practice. Myself, I almost always start by applying a LUT that gets me close to what I want, and then adjust from there. I also 'color match' like-looking footage to save time, and then do small adjustments if needed. As for what Tyler said about Intel --- I'm game with that. Personally, I'm just more of an AMD guy --- and the Intel tax can be very expensive. It really comes down to what hardware you prefer. In a head-to-head test, a top of the line threadripper will probably compete or exceed an i9, but then you are also talking about an $1,800 threadripper processor, which begins to defeat AMD's price to performance ratio. But a lot will come down to what footage you are wanting to work with. If you work with a lot of H.265/H.264 stuff, you need a beefy CPU as it will strain under those codecs. Meanwhile, RAW and ProRes/DNxHR are more hard drive speed hungry than CPU hungry. While a large CPU is important, I'd personally put more resources into the GPU, hard drive, and RAM... With most modern post codecs like ProRes/DNx and RAW, much of the debayering and processing of the clips are done on the GPU. That is why I'd suggest going with a mid-range threadripper (which are going for about $800), and put more funds into the GPU area. Personally, I'm doing a short film grade right now... I received all the files as H.264... I transcoded everything into DNxHR before touching it. I can't get H.264 to play back smoothly even on my very fast, modern computer all that well.
  3. Last time I made a post like this it got into a heated Mac vs. PC debate... So with that said, I AM biased toward PC's going into this --- so just know that. Basically, performance to price, a PC will be a much better option than a MAC. Yes, there are some used Mac Pro's out there that are still good -- but Apples lack of really powerful hardware and their instance to 'build everything into the motherboard' means that whatever NEW apple you get, that is all you are ever going to get --- there is no upgrade path other than buying a new system. Resolve relies heavily on GPU, so don't skimp on that portion. As nice as a big old powerful CPU is, I find that resolve never uses more than about 50% of my Threadripper CPU. Basically, if you are looking for a good, descent-priced PC capable of editing and grading 4K RAW Cinema DNG type files and such, just see my specs: CPU: AMD Threadripper 2970x GPU: Dual GTX 1080ti (resolve makes use of dual graphics cards, and LOVES video ram -- so the 11GB of vram offered on the 1080ti is a major bonus) Memory: 64 GB DDR4 Hard Drives: 500GB m.2 drive for OS/Files/Programs. 1TB SSD drive for storage of stock assets (my preference). An array of discs for media storage (camera files and such - don't skimp here, as you need SPEED as well as SPACE for 4K files. RAID is the best price to performance option, but if you have cash to blow, look into some large capacity SSDs). I also have a 2TB 7200rpm hard drive for rendering projects out, as I have found a rendering speed increase when the original media is being pulled off a seperate drive than it is rendering out to --- probably a limitation is drive speed) Required Hardware: Decklink Mini Monitor 4K (you need this for Resolve to show you ANY display of the material other than the tiny window in the GUI - and this is vital when grading, since the GUI display is ever only 8-bits in Resolve) Word of warning though: If you want to grade to professional results, you'll need a properly calibrating display separate from your monitors. You connect it through a Blackmagic Mini Monitor 4K or similar card (they have all kinds that work, depending on your needs). Blackmagic then sends a live feed out to the monitor... I use a BenQ PV270 monitor, which was around $900 new. You also need to buy the probe, which was around $300 for calibration. This is really the cheapest monitoring configuration I'd go with for color grading --- your next step up is something like a Flanders monitor. With my BenQ I have tested the calibration to be correct at 100% REC 709. So you then need to grade in REC 709, and then you can apply a LUT for other export formats like DCP color spaces and such. While the BenQ PV270 claims to display 93% of DCI P3 color space, I wouldn't trust that, and 93% isn't 100%.
  4. Why would it look embarrassing? It's 1080p material, so how it looks is going to come down to the cinematography + color grade, which has nothing to do with the camera. Resolution wise, it'll look like every other 1080p/2k originated material - and there is a literal TON of it in theaters. Most theaters still project at 2k... And no, I don't think it will look like Super16 film... I think this is a detail of the pocket that many people can't get around --- just because it's a super16 sized sensor, does not mean its going to share any picture quality characteristics with super16 film. 16mm film is grainy, and even with a good scan, will look noticeable less sharp (and probably a lot more grainy) than 1080p material. In my experience, the Pocket produces some amazing looking images. It's no Alexa, but honestly there is nothing 'wrong' with the image it produces, and Blackmagic is probably one of the closest film emulation sensors your going to get, next to Arri. Issues like that are not the camera. You are watching this on an 8-bit 4:2:0 h264 Youtube compression scheme... You can never judge a cameras look based on whats on Youtube or Vimeo or any of those platforms.
  5. When they said September, I expected September 30th, AKA, October. They have made that mark, and a lot of people already have production models in hand. It's a slow roll out, and if you didn't pre-order it might still be a month or two before they come in stock for immediate purchase. I still haven't received mine yet. Just like I said, they'll make their release date (which they did, more or less), but it will have backorder issues. Although I will say, every bit of footage I have seen from it has impressed me ten-fold. The two I ordered will definitely become my A and B cams, with the two pockets I have being used for C and D cam footage / B Roll. The camera is begging to be rigged out, and I would not use it 'hand-held' or try to be discreet with it. A better name would have been 'Blackmagic URSA Micro' or something rather than trying to be an upgrade on the pocket camera. IMHO, the pocket has little to nothing in common with this camera.
  6. There could be whole books written about what is real vs. not real. What exactly makes digital 'not real' and film 'real'? Is 'real' something you can hold in your hand? Yes, you can hold a painting - but you're not holding the paint itself - you are holding the canvas it was painted onto. Is that really any different than holding a DVD that a 'digital' movie is on? How so? As you can see, philosophy is pretty deep. It could be argued that the CCD/CMOS chip that captured the image is 'real', therefore digital is 'real'.
  7. $400 plus shipping. Includes like-new Atomos Ninja Flame recorder, 5 x hard drive caddies, Sunhood, 2 x Batteries, D-Tap cables, power adapter/chargers, USB-C caddy reader, all in red 'pelican' style case. Recorder has less than 100 recording hours on it, and was used as an occasional B-cam recorder with a GH4. Everything works great. Total value, new, is probably around $1,000. Need to offload it quickly for new equipment purchase. Can accept credit/debit cards via Square. Shipping is from Cincinnati, Ohio and will be charged at actual shipping charges, plus any insurance amount if you request such.
  8. What does 'cinematic' mean, anyway? People use that term like its some kind of 'standard' that everyone needs to live by - yet I have never seen a straight answer that everyone can agree on. Here is a secret: 99% of 'straight from the camera' footage looks like crap. 100% of the 'cinematic' stuff you see has been touched by a really good color grader. In the case of this footage, it doesn't look 'bad' to me - or even un-cinematic. It's a little sharp for my taste, and the lighting seems rather harsh. They were clearly going for a 'look' in this clip. Look, I have seen utter crap looking videos from Alexas, and seen amazing looking, very filmic videos from cell phones. It comes down to your ability as a cinematographer, and your color graders ability.
  9. I don't think the more-than-1-GPU issue is really that much of an issue. My PC has two 1080ti's in it, and I use Resolve 15 exclusively now - moving only to after effects for motion graphics. To test their theory, I rendered out the same project twice - once with both my 1080ti's in, and once by pulling one out. The test included a standard TIFF export of a 4:00 min CinemaDNG raw material at 4k -and- rendering of a 3d composite from within Fusion (which is now built into Resolve). My results: 1 GPU 2 GPU Standard 1 m 3 s 41 s VFX Render GPU 12m 4s 6 m 32 s In both cases, the dual 1080's almost halved the render time, and I never experienced any hiccups from the software when running 2 cards. Now, I'm not saying that there might not be problems - but in my real-world testing, I have no ran across them. It sounds to me as if these 'problems' might be theoretical, or could potentially be a problem with some hardware combination. As such, don't get too bent out of shape right now thinking you'll need more than one system. I use one systems for everything - Resolve, AE, Blender, Daz3D, and other non-film related things. PS) If you're looking for a budget grading monitor, the best option is going with a Flanders Scientific or a BenQ. The BenQ PV270 is currently $800, and has 100% Rec 709, 93% P3 color - is true 10-bits - and is a dream to work with. Yes it requires a probe to be fully workable, which sets you back about $250, but it's a lot better deal than some of the grading monitors. I don't know much about Mac screens, but are they REALLY that color accurate? I just caution you from spending $10,000 on an a computer, when a $3,000 computer will do the same thing. I feel money could be spent better.
  10. Best of luck. That sure sounds like a VERY expensive computer though for editing. I just got through editing 6K Red footage for a client the other day, and had no playback issues, and this is all on a sub-$3,000 PC system. I also do a lot of rendering with Fusion, and to some extent Element 3D - and have found that a single 1080 ti is plenty - though I have two now simply because Blender and iRay render faster with more GPU's. Is there a reason you need a computer that powerful? Would it not be more advisable to spend that money on upgraded film equipment? It just seems like its overkill for anything short of high-end CPU-based rendering servers. My computer technically has 32 threads/16 cores, but I have never seen more them taxed more than about 15% each under full load - so much of the rendering is now done on the GPU that huge-core CPU's are becoming less useful. Whatever you choose, best of luck with the choice.
  11. Selling my B-cam GH4 system. In like-new condition, with less than 300 recording hours on the camera and recorder. No dead pixels, etc. Includes: Lumix GH4 w/ VLOG license installed Atomos Ninja Flame recorder Complete Atomos ‘red case’ kit, includes 5 SSD mags, sunhood, power adapters, batteries, etc. Will ship worldwide, and can accept payment via check/money order -or- via credit/debit card (via Square). Sorry, cannot accept Paypal. Base price is $1,200. Free standard shipping within the continental US - actual shipping charges everywhere else. This is a great price, as both the camera w/ vlog and the recorder are currently going for at around $800 for each, used.
  12. From someone who is currently working on a project that is heavily chroma-key dependent, I'll chime in here: First, shooting this outside could actually be your friend vs a studio. The sun is an amazing light source - but you'll likely need some bounce cards to bounce some of the light to fill in shadows and clean up 'green wash' on your actors and props to make keying easier. Second, your better off with a 10-bit or even RAW recording with full 4:4:4 when shooting chrome key work. This is because unlike with regular film making, its not just about highlight roll-offs, compression artifacts etc --- it's about getting a realistic looking key. Color sampling and bit depth, as well as less compression will be a lifesaver here. Regardless, as long as you're not shooting a difficult to key scene, 8-bit 4:2:2 should be enough. Personally, if you have the budget, I'd rent a camera that can shoot RAW for this shoot. RAW in a chroma key environment is a lifesaver. Third, how are you posting this? Actually SHOOTING things on a green screen is not the hard part --- it's making it look good in post. What software are you using? I'd highly recommend Fusion or Nuke when doing film compositing - avoiding the likes of the motion-graphics centers After Effects. Just keep in mind that proper green screen work requires that you ensure your lighting matches from the live action to the background plate, as this is a dead giveaway. You'll also likely need to understand light wrap, etc. Let me know if there is anything else I can help you with.
  13. You need to get an agent or a producer representative, depending on what stage you are at and what involvement you want. If you have a script that you want to pitch to them for them to produce, you need an agent. If you have a packaged product to submit to them as a producer, you need a producer representative - although if you already have an agent they might be able to negotiate a pitch meeting as well. The reality is, just like in the book publishing industry - you need an 'agent' of some type to get accepted into the big leagues. It's just the way it is; like the book publishing industry, this is starting to change with the advent of self-publishing, and smaller publishers - which have parallels in the world of film distribution. For example, Amazon Direct Video allows you to reach the same channels their original programming reaches without going through them to produce it. However, if you need money to make the project, you'll need to either follow the traditional route - or find funding on your own through private placement, crowd-sourcing, or the a public offering under the JOBS act if you're from the United States. If I can manage to work with Amazon, anyone can... I'm not special and don't even live on the west coast. You just need the follow the proper channels, have a project WORTH producing, and have the gumption to not say no until you find the help you need.
  14. The reality is: even with an open submit policy, the acceptance rate was about 1/10 of 1% of submitted projects. If you want to get the a project produced through them, or anyone, you need to go to them directly.
  15. It depends. In editing, if the source material is anything other than RAW, it's transcoded to DNxHR 4:4:4 10-bit for edit. If it's RAW, I'll usually keep it that way. As for capture, If I'm shooting with the GH4, it's always VLOG-L, recorded to DNxHR 10-bit 4:2:2. If I'm shooting with the Blackmagic Micro, it depends on what the end result is for: 95% of the time I'd choose raw, since I don't bother with ProRes and would have to transcode to DNx anyway. I never touch that highly compressed, consumer codec stuff like H264/H265/etc. If I get that, it's trans-coded to DNx on ingest. Most of those super-compressed formats tax my CPU way to much, and result in dropped frames or stutter on playback.
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