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Jimmy Browning

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About Jimmy Browning

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  • Birthday 07/09/1978

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  1. There is a book that I've never seen mentioned on this board that I found to be a tremendous help, it's called "Light: Science and Magic" by Fil Hunter, Steven Biver, and Paul Fuqua. It's definitely aimed at still photographers doing product shots, but the book is about the principles of light and how it behaves. It discusses in detail what a lot of lighting books hardly touch on... the way light reflects and behaves off of various surfaces... wood, metal, glossy stuff, etc. It talks about common problems when dealing with different surface types and even though the techniques they teach for dealing with them might only be practical to still photographers, the principle behind those techniques is definitely applicable to motion picture work. It's a must-read as far as I'm concerned.
  2. DRAAAAAAAIIIIIIIIiiiinage ELI! Sorry, I couldn't help myself. :P I recently shot a short film were we had rain on the stage in front of a window. The shot was from outside the "room" looking in through the window. The rain was sufficiently backlit by some fresnels and a kino we had inside the room to augment a practical, and probably a little bit by the soft overhead ambient rig. Also I'm sure you're aware of the safety issues. Our rain came in through a PVC pipe rig acting as a "rain bar" above the window. The water shot up about an inch or two from the top of the pipe and then fell straight down. Our drainage consisted of a few kiddie pools and a massive amount of towels...
  3. I once read that sometimes the best advice for lighting is: don't. Overlighting can ruin the naturalism of what's already there. I shot a similar scene recently, and my lighting consisted of walking the actor up and down the alley to find the sweet spot with what was already there, and then shooting in that location. The only thing I ran power to was the sound guy ;) If the alley you're shooting at has some streetlights and other sources around, consider using what's there as a start. With 500 speed stock and super speeds, you may not need to do much lighting at all, at least for the wider shots, and maybe just sweeten up the closer stuff. Take a digital SLR down there and get some test shots at the ISO and fstop you plan on working at. Here's a few test shots I got for my shoot on a digital SLR, set to 1/48 shutter speed, f/2.8, and 320 ISO (I underrated the stock slightly): I don't know much about your alley or what kind of look you're going for, or what stop you need to shoot at, but hopefully this helps.
  4. I actually just shot a short on the Ultras in a room that was 16x12. I used primarily the 24, 32 and the 40, and I beleive on one shot, the 16.
  5. Hey Chris, I'm pretty much in the same situation as you (except I haven't worked on over 60 projects!) I thought very seriously about getting a job at Panavision after my internship was over, and I'm still thinking about it. Ultimately I probably won't, for a lot of reasons. I think it all boils down to seriously sitting down and analyzing what your ultimate goal really is, thinking about the pros and cons of different ways of getting there, and figuring out what path you would most enjoy. Think about what your day-to-day life will be like during that path, and decide whether that's something you can live with or enjoy. As for making a living while finding work, yeah that's an annoying problem. For me, I want to be on set as much as possible, because like others said and I'm sure you know, there's no substitute for that kind of experience. It might be a matter of finding a decent day job that allows for a flexible schedule like I have, and trying to keep your expenses low. Working at a rental house like Panavision is a tremendous opportunity, and if anything, I highly recommend at least interning there. As for working there, that might be the right path for you, or it might not. It might be a good idea to call up Tommy (if you can get a hold of him!), he might have some a better perspective from that angle. Good luck man, Jimmy
  6. I'm about to cut together my reel in a couple months and I wanted some advice on what qualities a good reel has (other than good footage, haha). I also had a question about post effects. There is some footage that I plan on using for the reel that the editor is planning on doing some effects on. One example is an overhead shot of a person tripping out on drugs. I did about 8 or 10 takes of this, varying different things like speed and shutter angle for each. The editor is planning on layering two or three of these takes on top of each other semi-transparent so that you see a few of them at once. Do any of you use footage where effects have been added in post for your reels? As of now I'm planning to use the original footage as shot, without the effects, because this is about the photography, not the editing, and I think the effect might take attention away from that. Also, this is something that wasn't originally planned, it was just decided on recently.
  7. I second that! I roomed with other film students and our place always had something lying around... lighting kits, grip equipment, cameras, chinese lanterns, film cans, and whatnot. No one minded :)
  8. Thanks for all the replies. I'm going to be shooting some scenes where an actor is drugged out on coke, including some closeups, but we'll need him to do other shots without the dilated pupils during the same day, so we'll probably opt for the contacts if there isn't a simpler way. Thanks for all the links James, I checked them out.
  9. What would be the simplest and safest way to cause an actors' pupils to dilate and stay dilated for up to 30 seconds?
  10. I was loading some mags in a darkroom recently and noticed something odd. As I took the tape off the end of the raw stock, I could see what appeared to be a bit of electricity at the contact point where the tape was peeling off the film. just a very very thin line at the contact point. I thought at first maybe it was because I was taking the tape off a little too fast, but on the next roll I went very slowly but with the same result. I'm used to changing in bags and tents normally so this is the first time I noticed this phenomenon. Has anyone else ever observed this? Is it normal?
  11. There's also an interesting trick I heard of but haven't tried yet. Undercranking and having the talent move twice as slow, or overcranking and having the talent move twice as fast. The net result is that the talent should be moving at a normal speed in the final footage, but because they're human and can't exactly replicate twice as fast and twice as slow, the movement takes on a surreal quality. It seems to be normal speed but not quite normal looking. I just 1st AC'ed on a project that had done some tests with this but I haven't seen the results yet. Jimmy
  12. He didn't say paint the room black, he just said paint it. A different color. One that doesn't reflect as much light, and works well with the colors you are using in set design. Who knows, whoever owns the place might be happy to let you give their boring white-walled room a free paint job to liven it up a bit.
  13. Motion Picture and Video Lighting by Blain Brown. http://www.amazon.com/Motion-Picture-Video...5607&sr=8-2 That link is to the new edition that hasn't been released yet, but the older edition is great.
  14. For what it's worth, don't take it too hard. I have seen some extremely talented, experienced, bright people get rejected, while some bozos who can barely operate a television remote control sail right in past them. The selection process for some of these schools is atrociously bad and not at all an accurate reflection of who would be best suited for the program.
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