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Deniz Coker

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Everything posted by Deniz Coker

  1. It comes down to marketing and understanding your demographic really. It is a business after all, one in which you sell your product to the people. I agree that Michael Bay does a great job at pleasing his audiences. Those people may not like True Grit. They may enjoy pro wrestling instead. It's all taste. I will say, I enjoy movies like Transformers because in all honesty, sometimes I want a movie I could sit down and space out to and enjoy without having to really look too deep. Flashy explosions, witty quips here and there, it does provide me with that fun "hollywood experience" that's fun to watch. But having said that, I identify more with the Coens and their style. I remember waiting in line to see True Grit, and a group of teens were behind me cracking all kinds of cowboy jokes saying to each other, "we're going to see that cowboy movie!" and I remembered being their age and going to movies with groups of people who only wanted to see the "popular" movies. I guess being on the upper age scale of the michael bay demographic, I could enjoy both. My heart may be with movies I deem artistic and beautiful, the Coens work was the first to really speak to me where I watched it then sat there and thought, "wow, that's what a movie should be like!" (excluding the classics of course!). It's all taste. I have snobbier friends who thumb their noses at movies like Transformers because they aren't as "intellectually stimulating" as the movies they go to see but I find irony in them only going to see obscure cinema as a way of inflating their social status amongst their circles rather than out of artistic appreciation because name dropping with obscure movies makes you an intellectual for sure! But who am I to judge? I think there's a certain charm to fun movies. Heck it makes movies like True Grit stand out even more from a storytelling/artistic standpoint alone!
  2. How interesting, I was just sitting here thinking of NYU and came across this. It's really sad indeed and it reminds me of a lot of things I saw. I went to NYU myself. What I saw was a lot of people doing "big budget" movies because mommy and daddy paid for them. They didn't bother to learn anything other than they should rent a RED. I think the biggest thing I've ever learned is the difference between hacks and pros is that the pros do it safely. I got on this subject because I saw a "no budget" shoot include a car chase scene driven by 18 year old actors. Okay, no insurance, you're getting untrained 18 year olds to race cars on open public roads where pedestrians and civilians are exposed. I'm sorry but somethings boil down to common sense. I'm not sure about anyone else there but I've always kinda sorta known that big power cables and big metal objects that get raised into the sky aren't the best combination. If you could bring a crew of 20 and all their "best gear" (which is a pet peeve of mine, since I could never EVER check anything worthy out. Now I know where they were...) yet not know a thing about permits or insurance. Perhaps it's because I'm not in the best mood that I'm ripping away at them, I try not to as I wasn't there and don't know who did what. But things like this really hit me because of all the things I've seen and continue to see and it's always really bothered me. I'd always complain about how the people around me in those classes took stupid risks yet it just made me look like a whiner. Heck, I don't mean to sit here and generalize, but as I said, it's something that bothered me then and it upsets me to see this now. I guess as mentioned earlier above, it's students being students. With the industry as competitive as it is, they're willing to do crazy things to get in.
  3. Just watched it for a second time on Netflix and I plan to pick up the dvd (I thought the streaming version seemed odd quality wise, not the picture but the audio just sounded very compressed, I can assume from streaming on my not so great home network). But very inspiring work! I tried to read what I could on here before watching it again so I could pause and pay closer attention to the little details. I must say it's amazing to be able to hear you views on the film and keep those in mind while watching. It's the best way to learn! Great job Mr. Mullen! P.s. the second time around I watched it with some friends who are non-film people and from a causal audience perspective they all loved it!
  4. A man in brown is on his way with the beer ;)
  5. Why not? Figured I'd see if anyone wanted to stop by a bar or something. I'd love to meet some more people in the area.
  6. Hey Ben, I'm another young DP on here, welcome! I'm based out of Queens myself, I'm always up for a new project. I seem to keep winding up in reality or promotional work but my heart's really with film. I have some stuff up (what I've been allowed!), www.dcokertv.com.
  7. Wonderful site! I have some ordering to do, thank you!
  8. JD I don't think that's unreasonable at all! I just dealt with some of that myself. I had luckily secured transportation and out of pockets but the crew couldn't and they spent tons on tolls and gas until they decided it was worth more to walk. I think that if you're paying or even if you're not paying, you should at least make sure no one has any out of pocket costs. I think too many people don't realize no budget doesn't mean people should waste their own money on your project. I've always been taught that you can sometimes get things off of kindness but in the very least make it worth their time. Feed them and cover the expenses. If someone's already kind enough to bring their gear and drive themselves and work for free you owe it to them. Heck when I was first starting I saved everything I could to rent cameras or borrow one from people I knew. Rental houses won't give me everything for a feature for free. I think some people fall derrière backwards into a crew that is providing them with gear that would cost thousands in itself to rent for a day for free. It is what it is. I do believe in taking a project if you believe in it, I've been lucky to come across people who have been honestly trying to do their best and it's gotten me more experience and footage in the long run. Wow, I just went on a rant! Sorry to make you all read that!
  9. I've personally always gelled to eye. As long as you take into consideration other color temperatures and your medium and how it'll react, I think it's okay to sweeten some lights by eye as long as you look at the larger picture. I shot an interior scene with people at a table with a hanging lamp with an incandescent in it. I had light pouring in during a "sunset" take and gelled with a little cto. Don't remember if it was 1/4 or 1/8 but enough to warm that light a little, so it also comes down to the feel you want. If those windows above the apartment are frosted, you can try painting them and introducing new colors and tones into the shot. If the hall is white, you might find all that light washing it out, it would help to perhaps dim some of the lights if this happens and keep a few flags or duve ready. The set looks wonderful, wishing you the best of luck!
  10. So just to be sure you're going for daylight? Is there a way to move the "window" to her right? Ideally I'd add a lamp next to her and dim it down and hide a little flo in her lap and turn the laptop's screen off. For side shots I'd bounce some light off a reflector to augment the laptop's glow and that flo would be out of the way. The 2.5k might be overkill. You can try positioning a 4x4 bounce to her right and bounce a 1k or two off there and again throw a little light in her lap to get a little glow in her face.
  11. You might look into triple wicked candles. You can get a little more mileage out of them. I'd also look at some incandescents on a flicker generator. Dim them a little to warm them
  12. One solution I could think of is avoiding areas with light pollution and too much ambient light. If you're the only light on the road then it'll help. I hate saying this but you could even look into getting a normal exposure and enhancing the beams in post. It's a lockdown shot so it shouldn't be too hard. I say that because I'd try and avoid rigging anything unless you have the proper support. On the high end, you can do well with two tweenies, if you can rig them to the bumper, it should be out of your shot and you should be able to match the beams better. One last solution, since it's a lockdown you can concoct a custom spot filter if you have too much ambient light.
  13. I agree that it brings it's own set of rules and challenges. I like to use a B&W reference monitor while lighting sometimes. I like to strip an image to light and dark values as I find that helps me with certain scenes.
  14. I had this sentiment for a while. I took me a bit to come to terms with it but I might finally bite the DSLR bullet in a few days as a supplemental cam to my real one. I guess I mostly never took them seriously not because of the cameras but the people I saw using them. It's become very trendy to carry a "cool" looking big DSLR camera. I see too many people who would be better served by a point and shoot, carrying DSLRs around and perhaps it's a hobby, but I have known people who did it for the form factor. Having said that, I've also realized that the technology is getting smaller and I should realize that such a tiny camera can produce beautiful looking video. I'm very used to the weight and form of a traditional camera and it is a huge adjustment. A film school student can now buy one of these and shoot some pretty decent video on it. It is interesting when a 2,000.00 camera has 10,000.00 worth gear on it but to me it comes down to control and if that mattebox and filters help you get the shot you need, then that's all that matters. I personally hope to keep large purchases like a mattebox/follow focus/rod system as interchangeable amongst my cameras as possible so I in the very least get some mileage out of the investment. I had a B cam which was a 7D and the shooter had a completely rigged up system and my crew thought it was amazing but again, it can be. I think as long as you understand the limitations it can produce wonders. I plan on keeping it as a specialty/insert cam. There's a lot to be said about scouting and even some location work where you can have such a compact kit. But still deep down inside I guess I smile a little when I see someone with a tiny little DSLR and massive cages and such attached. As long as it works!
  15. What a beautiful location! What town is it located in? I remember hearing in The Assassination of Jesse James, Roger Deakins had lanterns like yours and rigged some incandescents in them and dimmed them down for warmth. If you could get a glow going outside the window, maybe break up the light with branches and such. I could picture really uneven lighting flowing in. Please be sure to show us anything you come up with!
  16. I see what you mean. I didn't have very high expectations for it to begin with, but that picture gave me even lower expectations. I'll have to inspect the fire system, it's a morgue turned restaurant from the 1800s but the kitchen leads to the basement so I'm hoping their system is designed to work around smoke and such. Luckily I do have a decent fogger, I was just hoping for a more grab and go solution (I've been trying to avoid lugging it in for such a quick scene). But is a pretty small room so it sounds promising, I'll have to run some tests, it is only for a few minutes of footage. The note about the hot lights under a sprinkler gave me flashbacks to that part in the grip book about using styrofoam cups to deflect heat. Sounds like it would make any fire marshall really happy! I really appreciate your advice and do feel horrible for stealing the thread!
  17. Not to hijack the thread, but I was thinking of asking a similar question. I'm shooting a few scenes that require smoke as well, one in a basement where I need flashlight beams visible and one in a smallish dining room where I might add in a shaft of light or two. How reliable is diffuse in a can? Ironically I'm using this exact light and this picture looks pretty weak: diffuse in a can photo I've been thinking of trying this and not sure if it helps you too Artyom, but I was hoping if it has decent hang time, I might be able to get a PA to spray it right before we roll and it might hold up enough for a few quick shots. I feel that it might be better in the basement. I found that using a fogger I had to blast the room and have someone constantly waving around some gatorboard to even it out. I'm really hoping though that with diffuse in a can, you can spray it right in the beam path and get decent results. Otherwise I guess we have no choice but to rent a hazer. Edit: working in bars and restaurants as we are, what's the deal with setting off sprinklers? Any chance we should worry about that?
  18. Very nice photos Anton! There's just this quality that I can't look away from. I completely agree, too many people focus on the form factor and not the subject. I guess it's so easy to roll when digital and get it all in one take on the first shot as opposed to having to carefully plan all the details and do a few run throughs before you roll. I think that psychological aspect of film, the one that commands proper prep work also lends to it's uniqueness.
  19. I read on Deakins' own site that he also felt those shots were off. I'm headed out to see the movie now, I'll be looking out for this but he mentioned they were green screen shots indeed and he mentioned the plates might not have matched up quite right if I recall correctly.
  20. Flashes can be tricky indeed and cause your frame to do weird things. I used some flashes (standard camera flashes) a week ago and thought it was so so for at least for what I had in mind. I had about a frame of white. I personally would've wanted something a little more sustained, I'm sure there's flashes you could slow down but the mirror idea sounds about right. I always carry a few small mirrors just for that purpose, to bounce light or shine it into someone's face, very controlled indeed. For that satin look, I may be wrong but it looks like they used a modeling light perhaps. It's good that you're shooting flat, make sure to consult a good waveform monitor and get some good coverage. Those modeling bulbs might be momentary, if so then you just might have to wind up rubbing people down with lotion, sounds like it'll be fun!
  21. Completely glad to help! I learned this stuff by getting it wrong so many times, I tend to ramble on so others don't make those mistakes as well! Here's a link with some pretty good advice about tracking markers: http://www.fxguide.com/fxtips-273.html I like using the dots but have used Xs made from green or yellow tape as well. It gives you the X,Y movement. Tennis balls on sticks can give you the Z movement, when you're moving forward. Although personally, I usually try to avoid moving the camera forward and instead when the person is keyed out, move them along the Z axis in post. It does depend on the scene but this gives me a little more control and lets me drop an environment let's say at -2000 Z behind them and when you move the CGI camera as you would a dolly, you get the proper parallax of the background and foreground in terms of how they'd react had you really been there. Use a waveform monitor for sure. You should have a thin line across the middle if the screen is evenly lit. To be honest, if the area you're shooting is pretty contained, you can focus on that, you don't have to go crazy lighting the corners of the screen behind stands and such. It can come in handy if one of them winds up in your shot but I typically make it my goal to garbage matte those out anyway. Here's another good link: http://generalspecialist.com/2006/10/greenscreen-and-bluescreen-checklist.asp One last thing, try and bring a laptop and pull a rough key right there. It'll tell you a lot about how your results are before you go home. Do it after the first shot. If you have access to a live keyer, all the better. I had one really dirty setup where I wound up using this iphone app that pulls keys. I think if you search for greenscreen in the app store it shows up. Not perfect but it gives me an idea of where the lighting may be off. You simply snap a photo and touch the green to key out and select a background. I had loaded a still of the background on my phone for reference and angles. Please feel free to ask if you have any questions at all!
  22. You know, I personally think of it this way. There's guys who have been shooting film their whole lives. Masters of the format. Know how it handles, they instinctively work with it. It would be a crime to take that away from them. I know Deakins is very connected to film and isn't a fan of the RED and that's okay, it's Deakins. He as a master of the format has a right to demand film as he deals within the aesthetic realm. I've shot digital due to budget constraints and working in television, we need everything now now now. But I feel film has an unmatchable range, handles highlights and shadows in ways digital can only dream and of course it has the 'film look' that drives people crazy. Film look has been a buzz word in my mind. I've always thought, digital is digital, if I want the film look, I'll shoot on film, but it won't make something more cinematic by default. So to me I see it as a comfort and mastery thing. The younger crop (including myself) appreciate it as well but for a lot, digital is the only option. Most people may never see a budget that allows them to use film but given the chance, they might perhaps take it over digital as well. Now I will say this about the RED, I've read Deakins' argument against it and he has laid out some very valid technical reasons as to why he doesn't like it. Having said that, he is in a position where he can choose not to like it and I might get a RED shoved in my face for a project. Not to say it's a bad camera, but I just wouldn't argue his choice with him knowing his past and how he likes to shoot.
  23. Absolutely! There's something to be learned from interning at a large place like Silvercup to learning from being a PA at a small boutique. I think once you feel out the industry you can take a good hard look at this again.
  24. Phil, Ha! Can't say the thought hasn't crossed my mind! In the very least, I've gotten my money's worth out of them already.
  25. Thank you SO MUCH for this. It's a bit of a miracle really, I've been explaining why we should go with the Alexa over these new "magic" 7ds to a client and it's not only great for me to understand where the 7D fails but I can point these out to a layperson.
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