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Jérôme Keller

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Everything posted by Jérôme Keller

  1. I thought the title gave it away already, desperate girls usually end up in front and not behind the camera. At least she succeeded in pointing out the one infallible truth about our profession, there are not to many gifted she-cinematographers around, are there any in this forum? The art of watching or shall we say peeping through a tiny black ocular to this day remains an exclusively male domain.
  2. I don't mean no disrespect but I get very skeptical when I hear people saying things like "I wish to start working as a freelance cinematographer/DP, but need to get a camera first." It's like Neil Armstrong saying he wants to be an astronaut but first he has to build himself a spaceship. The spaceship part is simply not your problem. If there's nobody gonna give you a spaceship than probably they don't trust you flying with it. And even if you build one yourself with a bunch of spare parts, people will most likely put you in a nuthouse before they let you hurt yourself with it. The cost of a DOP and the cost of the camera equipment necessary to do the job are simply not part of the same equation. It's hard enough to know about all the fancy new tools out there, let alone own any of 'em. Always remember the golden rule: THE PROJECT COMES FIRST! It doesn't make any sense to think about the work tools before you've found any work to do. If you just wanna learn the trade, then invest in a filmschool, there are good hands-on camera courses out there, half a year for little more than 10K. Good luck no matter what direction you're gonna take.
  3. Tom, yes, I have. Only the shot went into the other direction. medium shot of a sleeping couple, the camera zooms towards the left eye of the right person, the eye opens, the person wakes up. It was difficult to find the right end position (the camera has to pan a little), so we filmed it the other way around and simply reversed the shot in post. We were using a standard video zoom lens, camera was about 1.5m away from the actors, still the close-up pretty much filled the whole screen. If you wanna go for a slightly weird effect you could further zoom into the retina with a digital zoom applied in post, might give it a sureal touch. And while you are filmming make sure you know the difference between a turtle and a tortoise or Leon will blast you away ;-) Travis is right of course, the whole thing only works with a parfocal lens.
  4. if your backfocus is set correctly than the shot you are proposing is no challenge at all. since the distance between camera and actor does not change during the zoom you simply zoom out and voila...everything is still in focus. it's only getting complicated once you start moving the camera around relative to your actor's movements.
  5. weight shouldn't be a problem. good luck with the other two though. the RED is aptly named as it runs RED hot very quickly, so the fan would have to be on at a 100% at all times. also, since the camera clearly suffers from inferior heat managment, it draws a lot of voltage, you'd need a weight lifting champion carrying around a large enough battery pack to get safely through the two hours. or you simply get urself a hot swap adaptor and enough RED bricks and pray that all the battery changes go smoothly. also if you record in 4K you'll need one hell of a large harddrive to record onto, don't bump it around too much though as this might corrupt your file and send your crew back to point zero. just remember, making film is not a marathon. why not use ur head and pull a few seamless transition shots here and there? I'm sure the film's quality (not to speak of your actors' quality) would highly improve. the one shot concept has already been mastered to perfection in Sokurov's "Russian Ark", why people get off on this kind of thing honestly is beyond me. is it vanity, or the desire to compete with and consequently trying to surpass other artists? the one shot gimmick rarely adds anything to the story, and if it does it can just as easily be accomplished with good effects work. ah well, sorry for the rambling...
  6. it's nothing short of a miracle to see how people have been eating up Jim Janard's "I'm in it for the love of making movies" attitude with a silver spoon. come on, he's a businessman through and through, RED's not a charity organisation. how do you think he earned his fortune in the first place, people like that don't grow a soft spot when they are getting older. the genius of RED's marketing strategy is exactly to make people believe that they are the only corporation that is not solely interested in making a profit, they are just in it for the "fun". what a nice way to spend your euros or dollars when such a warm, "we love all filmmakers" feeling is attached to the price tag. come on, wake up already!!!
  7. One thing's for certain, Scarlet, the Red's unwanted (?) stepchild, is one ugly mother. Mrs. Leigh will be rotating in her grave by now, not very flattering. It better make some pretty pictures to make up for that ugly mug. It's scheduled for early 2009, late summer is probably more like it (knowing RED's track record in THAT department). The EX1 ships now. A lot can happen until then, the competition is not asleep, I wonder how much sense it makes to announce products that far ahead. They could have eassily announced it at NAB 2009 if it wasn't for the hype factor. The specs don't look too glorious either. A still mode was to be expected since it comes with a still camera sensor. A fixed lense isn't too helpful either. The price I take it will not include ANY accessories, and we know what that means (but hey, at least it's compatible with many other shitty RED accessories, how practical). 120 FPS sounds sweet and the 100 MB/SEC RAW recording might be a big improvement on the MPEG bottle neck (are we talking bits or bytes?). But the big question is, who needs 3 K or rather 2.4 K (after debayering), and what's with all the 5K's and 4K's and 3K's anyway? Seems RED plans its whole marketing strategy around a bunch of silly meaningless numbers. Time will tell, but at this point the competition really hasn't much to be worried about, so far we have two big promises wrapped around an eternal beta camera, is this where the revolution already comes to a stop?
  8. Jim, this is pathetic.
  9. It seems to me that you are no longer talking about art, it's all about brainwashing and propaganda. There's no point in having absolute reality in art unless you plan on altering it. It's sad, instead of asking for total war we are now asking for total entertainment for totally dumbed down people. By the way, I don't think the cinema is the right place for such a spectacle. The cinema by it's very nature is designed for the purpose of projecting flat images. Colosseum like buildings would be way more suitable for 3D action, the audience is placed around the spectacle as opposed to sit in front of it. People become agressive when they sit in a circle, they become docile when everybody is looking in the same direction. The gladiator fights as far as their social dimension is concerned would never have worked on a theatrical stage.
  10. "Or what about "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly"? Most of the movie is the POV of a man with only one eyeball working, so 3D would make no sense!" I somehow find that hilarious! Or what about "The Cyclops" from 1957 or pirate movies or "2001"? ;) "In order for 3D movies to really be the future, they'll need to be a representation of real-life and not have their money shots calling attention to themselves." Well, that sort of thing has been around for quite some time now, it's called THEATRE! :P Other than that, 3D remains a great attraction for amusement parks. I remember seeing "Captain Eo" with Michael Jackson over a decade ago in Euro Disneyland in Paris, the onscreen action was mixed with a live stage show, what a sight! Seriously, this is nothing more than a marketing gimmick, a fashion thing, it comes and goes, or does anyone still believe that real actors will soon be obsolete because of their CGI counterparts?
  11. And the seeds of discontent are growing. Seriously folks, it's time to wake up and repeat to yourselves: "It's only a camera, it's only a camera, it's only a camera!" over and over again.
  12. this is totally off topic, but I just saw Lynch's "Inland Empire" and for me it made a convincing argument that to make a great movie you will need everything EXCEPT a great camera. drooling over the RED is like masturbating over a Marilyn Monroe poster and then expecting to have to pay child alimony.
  13. Found this quote on another forum: "When you are doing an independent piece and are trying to make potential investors and potential crew members take you seriously, do you really want to be seen with a camera that "looks" like it is a consumer toy? Granted the camera they are using falls in the prosumer/pro category, but still appearences are everything. A good way to beef up the look of a wimpy camera is to add on a bunch of attachments. A huge matte box can be one of them. This way the camera looks bigger and more "professional" (to the untrained) - thus earning more "respect" and potentially that investor who is looking to part with some of his/her riches." So much for what the "real" purpose of a mattebox is :blink:
  14. Hi, I was wondering if anybody on here has purchased this particular Mattebox and what kind of experiences they've made with it: http://cgi.ebay.de/U-Matte-box-rod-support...oQQcmdZViewItem It seems a pretty good deal compared to the much more expensive brand models out there. Judging from the pictures it looks like there could be a problem with exchanging the filter holders, since the on-board microphone might get in the way. Also there don't seem to be side flags available for this particular model.
  15. Hi, I'm fairly new to film lighting and was wondering what the more experienced of you consider to be their top ten as far as gels are concerned. In other words, what kind of gels would you take to lighting heaven (and there is such a place, I BELIEVE!) if you could not take more than 10? Feel free to elaborate why you are using them as often as you do and for what kind of set-ups. Any help through gel jungle is highly appreciated.
  16. If time is of no concern to you, why don't you wait until the end of the year and buy a RED One? For 35.000$ you will get a neat package with prime lenses. The camera will be similar in performance (if not better) of what Mel Gibson used for "Apocalypto" (Genesis). Also the RED One is a digital cine camera capable of shooting in a 35mm as well as S16mm mode, so, you will be future proof. Check it out on www.red.com and on this forum as well. Anyway, I guess it's good advice to wait until that camera is out, since, prices for an SR2 or SR3 are bound to drop quite a bit after its release.
  17. Not quite sure why my initial topic was closed, probably my own fault. Anyway, here you can post comments referring to my other topic which obviously has to be taken with a grain of salt. Still, my main argument stands, the RED is not going to be a camera for the indie crowd and after some period of trial and error will end up being one of many useful tools for professional film productions. Reliable support will obviously be crucial to the RED's success and seeing how "helpful" Jim and his team have been so far with forwarding detailed tech specs and hard test evidence I am more than sceptical as to whether they will deliver in that departement. I guess that's the downside of starting a company that now has just about one year of experience with the production of motion picture cameras, it's bound to be a bit geeky and quite a bit immature (see RED forum for any further proof). I am sure that the finished product fresh from the assembly line will work just fine, but business is business after all, at least let's be realistic about that, and whatever you'll save on one end of the bill you will find yourself investing in another. It's not like they invented and alchemical procedure to turn silicone into Oscar material. My question then is how will the RED change a filmmaker's and DOP's understanding of what film is and what it could be, i.e. what kind of stories will the RED help to explore and will there be entirely new world's to discover? Personally, I think it might be used to push the envelope as far as formal irony is concerned. You could now shoot an extremly insignificant subject and make it look like the biggest story ever told. Which, by the way, is a pretty good definition of Hollywood movies in general :) Just kidding, always kidding...
  18. Why not invite him to this forum? It's free for everybody! I know some people on here would die to read a first hand report, ask some questions and get the flow of information going.
  19. It's a funny thing, my neighbor looks almost like Julia Roberts, especially at nighttime through her bedroom window. They are not Siamese twins, mind you, but with a little plastic surgery in the amount of let's say 17'500 $ she will look pretty much like the real deal. Now, even if the operation is successful and she turns out to be a perfect Roberts clone, I doubt that she will feel like a Roberts on the casting couch let alone in front of a RED movie camera, and I am not implying here that Julia Roberts had to rely on prostituting herself in order to get a Hollywood career, or am I? Seriously, I'm sure that Andrew Blake was one of the first in line for pre-ordering a RED, other than that, we can look forward to a whole wave of glossy commercials for instant noodles and diapers. What surprises me most in the whole RED debate is that the new technology is praised as some sort of saving grace for the indie filmmaker. Come on! We all know that state-of-the-art technology was never an issue for skilled storytellers and auteur directors, it's the top of the crop like Stanley Kubrick or Steven Spielberg, Stephen Soderbergh oder Peter Jackson that can AFFORD to profit from these innovations, established professionals who are happy to have another tool in their bag. Beside that, the RED seems to have an irresistible appeal to wannabe filmmakers with a George Lucas inferiority complex who assume that now they can make movies like the big boys. Great, Daddy can buy me a Ferrari and Mommy still has enough pocket money for a decent digital cinema camera. In the end, it will take RED twice as long to keep half its promises until it fits nicely in a market niche. Nevertheless, it's amazing to see how everybody gets so worked up about a camera that right now is still a far cry from mass production. It's almost like the Second Coming of the Camera Obscura is at hand, and it shows what a great job the marketing department at RED did over the past year. They created emotion, real excitment for something that normally depends on sober facts, lots of abstruse numbers and endless nitpicky test reviews. We live in a technocratic society and people more than ever need to believe that true feelings can spring from an iPod even if the people wearing them are coldly ignoring each other. In that respect, the cine camera is historically speaking the ultimate instrument to capture and to create emotion, it's a symbol, the most powerful expression of our desire that all machines should be like humans. Thus, it is no coincidence that the RED executives chose the iconographic HAL-like red eye as their logo. It's full of passion, ready to take over, a Christ-like figure that is ready to suffer for us. Why? Because true emotion always springs from suffering, that's why it's so hard to be an artist, to suffer and to create at the same time, because suffering usually leads to apathy and self-pity. Of course, this is all highly ambiguous, if such a fusion of ghost and machine was to become reality the resulting apparatus would be a diabolical monstrosity, a satanus ex machina. With RED as with all fetishes (and in advertising there are but fetishes) the thing itself is elevated far beyond it's mere function, to a point where it is abstracted from the artist, full of passion, the cameraman, full of ideas, but also the guy who f***s up from time to time because he didn't sleep well enough or one of his children is sick, ah, the human factor! Right now, you get the impression that there is a revolution in the air, that the filmmaking industry will be forever changed because of RED. It's only natural that people want to believe in RED, I for one don't blame them for it, people need changes in their lives, the more dramatic the better, that's why we dream. The reality is that the RED camera is still far from becoming a mass-reproducible reality and when it does it will have a professional target clientele, can't see no indie filmmakers standing in queue. The spirit of any true indipendent production is to find own ways to tell a story, not to imitate the Hollywood bag. And what would be the point? The Hollywood way is too expensive for the low-budget filmmaker anyway, that's why, they are independent, you can't buy creative freedom. Example: I recently saw a terrific movie by Jon Moritsugu called "Scumrock" (2003). It was shot on a shoestring budget on a Sony Hi-8 camera. Wonderful movie, funny, raw, fresh, in your face, editing together different interconnected storylines, "Magnolia" with home movie esthetics. Up until now, the director has worked in every possible format, from 8mm to 35mm Panasonic cameras, and still he has the guts and the artistic integrity to choose the proper, in this case ultra cheap format for a movie in which the central character is a clueless indie filmmaker. The irony here is delicious and it took me about 1 minute to get used to and to absorb the scruffy look, after that I was completely foccused on the action for the whole running time. A more mainstream example would be Vinterberg's "Festen" or Lynch's "Inland Empire". Who cares if it looks crappy, it's the stories you tell that make the difference and that will capture the imagination of your audience. A good director always relies on his pen first before he relies on a fancy piece of camera equipment. The key to it lies - as I have mentioned before - in emotion. All those people behind the camera who fell so much in love with the concept of the RED (right now, they scream for RED t-shirts and RED baseball caps, for God's sake!) are those who are insecure about their own ability to project real emotion onto the screen. Here the RED acts as an ingenious catalyst between the fear of failure and huge box office receipts, it accelerates the road to success, it sells instant dreams to filmmakers who are dreaming of telling larger than life stories and instantly winning larger than life time achievement awards. Just add some hot water to it and you will find out what hot air tastes like. It seems that in a time where everything is about self-promotion there's money to be made as much with the people who want to dream as with those wo want to tell dreams. The business accommodates, it always does, and the Fellinesque illusion persists that the process of filmmaking is lighter than air. A cruel illusion that is motivated by profits rather than truth and beauty, nevertheless, it protects us and lets us forget pain. The art of entertainment (and advertising) consists in making suffering appear easy and of no consequence (think of your average stepmaster commercial), that's where a lot of practice and a lot of hard work comes in. In the end, it's all a clever marketing gimmick, playing with people's dreams on and off the screen, the source of a good story is still the heart of the storyteller and not a 17'500 $ camera body, revolutions in cinema and in the real world are started by people not by a piece of equipment. If anything, a revolution will lose its impetus if it is facilitated by outside forces too much. The incentive to make better films has to be found within, it's always been that way, everything else is - let me repeat this - clever marketing in an oversaturated consumer society. The RED is, similar to Julia Roberts, all about sexy looks, no wonder its inventor is all about cool sunglasses.
  20. Hi there, This post is quite old but I'll try it anyway. I'm very interested in how the shoot went as I'm also about to film a project with this camera. Hopefully, you made some good experiences with this piece of equipment. Any suggestions for improving the JVCs performance or some danger signs maybe? Any hint is highly appreciated.
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