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David Regan

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About David Regan

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    1st Assistant Camera
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    New York
  1. David Regan

    Pixel Burnout

    So the other day noticed this strange issue while shooting straight into the sun with the Alexa. Looks like the sensor overloaded and introduced some strange electronic noise/color, right in the hot spot of the sun. Shooting with Super Baltars, we were at a 4/5.6, with some ND in front, but this doesn't look optical at all. The aberration would move as the camera did, depending on the angle into the sun, this small digital noise would move around, but always right within the hot spot. Haven't noticed it since or been able to reproduce it. Any thoughts about what could cause this? Thanks!
  2. Should be the first set of numbers (3 digit typically) following the stock type. I.e. 8547-420-016, then the batch number is 420, and 016 is the parent roll. Following numbers denote cut and slit numbers, which are the real ID of that roll, since you will often shoot just one batch and only 1 or 2 parent rolls if a lot of film has been ordered at once, hence the first sets of numbers don't change much in the course of say a feature.
  3. Dominic Case, a regular contributor on here, has a a book: "Film Technology in post production" which I found quite helpful back when I was first trying to figure out workflows.
  4. Well for starters, Nikon still lenses won't be your best of friends, as they typically have very few focus markings, and the barrel is so small you pulls are miniscule. But in general pulling from a dolly can be tough even with cine-style lenses. There are a few tricks depending on the type of shot that can help. 1. Laser Pointers. Clip or Velcro a small laser pointer to the side of the dolly, aimed down slightly so it hits a desired spot on the floor (out of frame of course). This can be great for certain types of shots, especially walk and talks, when the camera is dollying back as people walk towards the camera. If you know your distance to the laser, it becomes much easer to guess if people are a few inches off, than if you are trying to guess if they are at 10' or 10' 4" from the actual lens. 2. A very good dolly grip. A dolly grip that hits their marks at the appropriate time is invaluable to you as an assistant. The more off their marks they are the more your have to compensate on the fly. 3. Know your space. When I am waiting around for lighting and such, once the camera has been set, I just measure lots of distances that seem relevant. Use landmarks in the room, table to couch, fridge to sink, door to door, etc...general distances that you can use during the take. I often write these distances on a piece of tape and put it on the mattebox. So if things change I can quickly see, oh we are near the door, and they are by the couch, I know that is 'x' feet. And in the end just practice. You will develop a feel, and the ability to come closer and closer to judging distances. And remember, always guess a distance before you measure it! Good luck.
  5. Ha, go figure. Marketing scheme 101.
  6. I think the phrase 'the old days' is interesting in a thread of this nature. In the old days, they didn't have 500ASA stock to work with. Nor did they have 7lb lightweight cameras that could go anywhere with ease. There wasn't the incredible control of a DI to work with. And yet nobody would think for a minute that somehow the art of Cinematography wasn't any good before all of these, and other, breakthroughs. And yet all these discussions, while valid, and I indeed love partaking them as well, and have my own opinions, seem to me only to suggest that we as a body of society, are never satisfied with what we have. I'm not condemning this, it is admirable to always push for higher standards, higher quality, there is nothing wrong in demanding perfection from one's craft. But consider how much more we have than cinematographer's had 50, 30, 10, even 3 years ago. We get given so much, yet only find reasons to argue and complain that it still isn't good enough. Again, not judging, I do my own enormous share of complaining and whining about substandard technologies, but in the end, science isn't going to stop. No matter what we do, new cameras will get made, new lenses will be developed, new methods of production and post-production workflow will be introduced. For once, I'd like us to enjoy what we have, when we have it, and make compelling, interesting visual stories, which whatever 'horrible and unsatisfactory' equipment we may be given.
  7. http://www.cookeoptics.com/cooke.nsf/products/redset.html Possibly thinking of these, not the new RED lenses. If memory serves, these Cookes came out a while ago.
  8. Same thought applies. But you could consider the natural separation of the darker skinned individual against the white snow, which would make me think I could get away with that subject going a little darker, without worrying about losing them as you might in a dark INT.
  9. Hey Ashley, Been there, had to deal with that. It can by tricky, I suppose a lot of it has to do with the general mood/feel you are going for in the first place. I.e. it can be tougher if you want a more even, high key sort of look, with less contrast, in which case you'll have to balance out your exposure between the two. In my case, when having shot like this, I suppose I was somewhat fortunate in that the material was quite dark/moody/contrasty in nature, so the black/white skin tones actually played into that fairly well. However, I did often find myself on the verge of losing detail in the african american actor, especially as the caucasian actor was quite fair skinned. In the end, I found I would usually start by exposing for the darker subject, and then stopping down about two stops. That would put him at an acceptable level of detail. Then it was all about netting/diffusing the lighter skinned actor to where they didn't get too overexposed where they moved. On which note, being discretionary with your blocking can help to keep them from always moving through same areas of light etc... In the end, I think the most important thing is; darker skin should look darker just as the lighter skin should look lighter. In other words it isn't so much about balancing them, it's just about getting them within an acceptable range of difference to what the film (or video) can handle. And in that sense testing is your best option.
  10. As per forum rules, your please change your display name to your full first and last name. As for your question, every assistant in the world has different ways of marking, especially outside, it comes down to preference. For good hard marks, sandbag Ts or colored metal Ts work best for me. But I have used golf ts before often just as a quick 'soft' mark or if the DP is looking at shots for later in the day and wants a reminder of camera positions. Often too, if I find out the marks have to be pulled as they are visible in shot, golf ts are small enough to be hidden in the grass so the camera won't see them. On the flip side they are so small that often people can't see them too, so they have limitations.
  11. Whenever I feel that urge I watch 'There will be Blood." I agree, it was contrasty, but for the most part it didn't bother me at all. Seemed to fit the often direct lighting style quite well.
  12. This film was probably the most fun I've had in a theatre in a while. Great tension as mentioned above, and a very 'smart' fillm, not the pointless bloodbath the trailer had me expecting. I also enjoyed Richardson's work, although the heavy-top down didn't always cut it for me. There were some great, dramatic, almost noir feeling shots where heavy back/top light really worked wonderfully. However the scene that really bothered me was the very first, the conversation at the table, perhaps it was an overly bright projector, but that table was just so incredibly hot, and so obviously coming from source directly above. The scene being in an otherwise dim cottage, with windows on the sides, the light just seemed strikingly out of place. Perhaps you could say it was a skylight, but given how much brighter the table was than even the ext. seen through the windows, it didn't seem justified. However scenes such as the bar (particularly the SS agents introduction) made up for it.
  13. Try doing a search on the subject on here, I know it's come up before several times (I think once or twice by me a while ago). You should find plenty of good answers. In short however, you will use likely either an incident meter, or reflected meter. If you take an incident meter reading, the resultant f-stop you get is telling you: In this light, if you shoot at this stop, you whites will be white, grays gray, blacks black etc... With a reflected meter, if you point it at a subject, the reading tells you that if you expose at that stop, the object/surface you metered will be rendered as middle gray. So if you take a reflected reading of a black surface, it will want you to overexpose to get that black to read as gray. And conversely to underexpose if you meter a white surface for the same result. These are the fundamentals of what the meter is telling you, it is not a rule, it is only information, you take that information and base your exposure on how you want your scene to look. There are many factors when you take a meter reading, most importantly where you are metering. But yes, do a search and you should find a bunch more on the subject.
  14. Now all we need is redrock to introduce the M2, excuse me...M3g lens adaptor
  15. Thanks everyone, Brian I'll check those websites out. And be staying away from Ryan Air... Cheers
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