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Tim Pipher

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About Tim Pipher

  • Rank

  • Birthday 08/23/1960

Profile Information

  • Occupation
    Producer
  • Location
    Los Angeles (Burbank), CA

Contact Methods

  • Website URL
    http://www.LACastleStudios.com
  1. When shooting on a stage, any suggestions regarding what white balance temperatures should be used to simulate different conditions/locations (indoors or outdoors, night or day, sunrise or midday, sunny or cloudy, office or living room, moonlight etc.)? I find lots of charts online showing different white balance temperatures for various conditions, but I suspect they're more for actually shooting in those conditions, rather than trying to simulate those conditions on a stage. In case it makes a difference, we're using Varicam 35 cameras, Fujinon Cabrio 20-120 zoom lenses, and can adjust light colors using a Digital Sputnik DS 1 LED. Thanks!
  2. Hi everybody. Many of you have given me advice through the years as I built a studio with a 3D virtual studio system in Florida. I thought that some of you might be interested to know that we've just re-located to Los Angeles (Burbank to be exact). LACastleStudios.com If any of you would like a tour of the new studio and/or a demo, just let me know (818-861-7317). Thanks to all for their advice through the years! Tim Pipher
  3. Thanks Mitch. But I don't understand your analogy. I asked for "opinions" of which looked better. As a matter of fact, there are plenty of situations where an opinion of which would look better -- green or yellow -- would be useful.
  4. Here are two low budget spots, identical except: 1. The first is shot 60i with a deep DOF 2. The second is shot 30p with a shallower DOF Any opinions of which looks better would be appreciated.
  5. I thought you might enjoy this video of my new studio. It doesn't show off the outside (which we think is beautiful), or our dressing rooms, control rooms, and offices, but it still gives a nice recap of what we do. Sorry -- I was just winging the script -- no teleprompter -- no makeup. Also, we've added a fifth teleprompter since we shot this. It's on the crane camera. Please don't hesitate to contact me with any questions. Thanks!
  6. I get this feeling every time I pick up the phone to make my first sales call of the day. I worry that maybe I'm bugging the prospect too much. Then I remember that I've got nothing to lose. Maybe there's a 1% chance that the prospect is going to get ticked off and decide that he won't do business with a guy that's trying so hard. But if I don't call, I'm not going to get the sale anyway, so I might as well call. Besides, it's just as likely he'll actually want to do business with a guy who hustles. It's the same thing with your situation. If you don't approach him, you're not going to get a job with him anyway, so you may as well go after him. He might even be impressed with your go-get-him attitude -- he's probably been in your shoes. And even if you turn him off, he's not going to remember that the next time you cross paths.
  7. Hi James. You can definitely create your own virtual environments. This is a language I barely speak, so some of what I say may not make sense. Your sets need to be in a VRML format from 3DSMax, Maya, Softimage XSI etc. I may be wrong about this, but I get the impression that 3DSMax is recommended. I have a PDF with all the details I can e-mail if you want. One great thing about making sets yourself is that you don't have to pay for them. But it's also good because you can use them over and over. There's a producer/director who plans on making a feature here in July. It will be a sequel to one of his science fiction movies. He'll be making his own virtual sets. The great thing for him is that he'll do that once, then have his sets ready to go for subsequent sequels.
  8. Hi James. It's much simpler than that. Everything is keyed and composited live. There's absolutely zero post production in these clips. Nothing is real except the people, any tables and chairs you see, and the square piece of grey carpet you see in a few of the shots. People ask me if that big set in the exercise video includes a big circular real carpet with the client's logo in the middle. It's not real -- just a green floor there. All the sets were easily customized in a matter of minutes with client logos and videos in various places. There are no tracking markers. Tracking is done mechanically with the encoded jib and with sensors on the tripod heads and from the lenses, combined with little infra-red cameras in the lighting grid interacting with these little domes on the cameras -- it's very sophisticated and way beyond me. However, all that complicated technical stuff during the system installation makes the actual productions extraordinarily easy. You just shoot and switch as you would with any real production, and the system does the work. This saves a fortune in set construction and studio rental days, and allows small productions to have major league sets. In fact, we rent the whole studio at a very reasonable rate, and we're headache free because we have almost everything most productions need in-house. The network that used our studio for a pilot didn't bring in a single thing.
  9. Hi Freya. I thought the fact that there are three cameras in these clips might be significant to some people for several reasons: 1. Everything shown was done live using a super-computer virtual system with absolutely no post production. Systems like mine are often demonstrated at trade shows like NAB so people here have probably seen them in action, but all the demos I've seen have been single camera. 2. You'll notice that the cameras are moving all over the place, zooming in, pulling back, on a jib, focus going in and out simulating depth of field, reflections of the virtual elements on the virtual floor, virtual monitors from different angles etc. Using traditional green screen compositing methods, this would be a huge amount of work with one camera -- with three, it would be even more 3. Three cameras require a bigger green screen or cyc than one camera, with a bigger area needing to be tracked. I thought it might be interesting to some that this whole big area is tracked. Although you may be right, I haven't noticed the keying differences on some sets vs. others. Everything is keyed with an Ultimatte HD/SD (hardware). The best looking stuff so far (we're very new) was for a pilot for a broadcast television network, but I can't show that to you. All the virtual sets were created by and licensed from Ronen Lasry of Los Angeles based FullMentalJacket.com. He creates them for NBC and many others. Thanks Freya!
  10. Here are clips from my studio showing live green screen compositing with three moving HD cameras (Panasonic HPX3000 cameras and Canon HJ Series zoom lenses). Saves not only $50,000 to $500,000 on set construction vs. building a real set, but also studio rental days for set construction and tear down. Live Compositing Demo
  11. Let me know if my studio can help. Southeastern Studios is located exactly two hours north of downtown Miami in Vero Beach. Website is www.SoutheasternStudios.com
  12. After three years, Southeastern Studios in Vero Beach, Florida, has finally opened, just in time for the economic slowdown. Pictures of Studio However, thanks to constant hustle from my sales team (my wife and me), a huge special that is saving producers a ton of money, and lots of prayer, I'm pleased to say that we're off to a good start. Several large infomercial companies and advertising agencies are either using the studio for regular productions or are about to start, and a broadcast television network has produced a pilot from the studio and is gearing up for production (they've asked me not to say anything more than that). What do these producers like? First, we offer live multi-camera high definition green screen compositing with moving cameras and virtual sets. This results in producers getting gorgeous sets and saving not only the $100,000 to $500,000 or more that these sets would cost to construct in the real world, but also saving the costs of the days of studio rental that they would otherwise be spending first to build the sets, and then the rental days to tear them down. Raw Footage of our Live Compositing Second, we have just about everything the producers need in-house. This includes our beautiful studio building with plenty of parking, the virtual set system from Orad, an infrared camera tracking system, three Panasonic HPX3000 cameras with Canon HJ series zoom lenses, a Panasonic HPM110 recording deck with six 32 gig P2 cards, two tripods with encoded Vinten 250E heads, a fully encoded Cammate jib encoded by General Lift, an HD Ultimatte, a large pre-lit cyclorama, all the lighting producers are likely to need with all the lights connected to a dimming system, a massive array of excellent quality audio and communications gear and mixing console, HD switcher, lots of monitors, two on-camera teleprompters and two presidential style teleprompters, and two luxurious on-site motor homes. In fact, for the network production, they didn't bring in a single thing -- we had everything they needed right here. Third, we're giving producers an outstanding deal. They're getting everything listed above, including the 3D HD virtual studio system that saves them so much on set construction and studio rental days -- and even the motorhomes -- for $7,500 per day. This includes a full crew including two camera operators, a jib operator, Orad operator, technical director, sound person, teleprompter operator, and a nice spread of craft services. Some productions bring in their own crews. However we charge the same amount. Outside producers and crews enjoy a special deal with a local oceanfront hotel for only $65 per night -- Vero Beach is a lovely place to visit, and is about half way between Orlando and Miami. I hope you'll consider us for a future production!
  13. Hello Richard. In Dov S-S Simens' book "From Reel to Deal", he discourages trying to self-distribute into theaters because he believes that theater owners are crooks who won't pay and you'll spend all your time in court trying to collect. Simens says that theater owners will pay distributors because if they don't, they won't get the distributor's next movies, but self-distributors don't have that leverage, so they won't get paid. Did you have that experience, or did the theaters pay you your percentage without trouble? Thanks!
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