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Tristan Noelle

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About Tristan Noelle

  • Birthday 04/04/1983

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  • Occupation
    Cinematographer
  • Location
    North Hollywood, CA

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    http://tristannoelle.com

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  1. This might be slightly paranoid, but... I think some productions will send a “Call Email” with limited info on it because one of the ways shows in production are flipped union is by forwarding call sheets to your respective hall or rep. I mean, you probably still have enough info to get them flipping it, but the call sheet gives them everything at a glance.
  2. Thanks, Adam. I do want to apologize however. After I posted I reread your initial post and realized I was kinda off on my own lighting tangent, not terribly helpful. I think you have it covered. Getting more 600D’s is a good idea, they have a lot of punch and will prob be more consistent than mixing and matching HMIs. It’s good you know the style you’re going for. You may not have to worry about negative fill very much if your key is strong enough and you have solid ratios. The shadows fall off quicker on film than modern digital. Your meter will tell you that though. FWIW I think 500T is fine, but you could also prob handle 250D with the light’s you’re getting; dealer’s choice really. Regardless, I’ve shot 7219 in full sun exteriors before and it’s doable, your situation isn’t as extreme and will be okay. Just overexpose a bit too, you’ll have the room and print down.
  3. It sounds like you could treat your train car basically like it’s in a stage, but with natural backgrounds out of the windows. Taking a spot reading of what the backgrounds are outside the window would be smart to see where key levels should be inside to keep some detail, (maybe 4 or 5 stops over max? Someone who shoots more film in extreme situations would know.) If they blow out, they do, but at least you’ll be emotionally prepared. To light the train car itself, you have options, the following are just my instincts, your mileage may vary. Ideally, ambient would be created with a soft push through windows on both sides of the car, or at least the one with most exposure to the sky, maybe giving you 2 stops or less under in the middle of the car. A few HMIs into ultra bounce would do. If you want to then add sun, you could do hmi’s at each bank of windows, hard with some warmth added or that M90 with 1/2 CTS far away hitting the side of the car, let it be at key or a little hotter (creative decision) Several smaller heads can work too, and wouldn't have to be so high and far away. Another approach would be a semi-soft push as key, like 4x4 frames of 250 in front of each bank if windows with your 1200s behind them, as if it’s skylight but more contrasty and aggressive than a general push, shaped by the windows, exposed at the shooting stop. Could possibly use skypanels or geminis if the frames are a problem in the wind. Ambience could be made inside the car with tubes and diff, maybe move it around to key side for close ups and use a bounce for return. Anyhow, a million ways to skin a cat. Trust the meter and make sure something important is exposed correctly.
  4. The other day I watched “The Hunger” with Tony Scott’s commentary, and he mentioned a distinct change that occurred prompted by Stanley Kubrick and later British commercial movement, him and Ridley included, (I’d personally include Tarkovsky and possibly David Lean as other outliers) that ended the idea that the director could be agnostic to the lighting of the film. They had shown how engrossing and engaging a very well coordinated photographic aspect could be. I forget who he mentioned specifically as the older studio type of disinterested director, maybe Robert Wise. If I put it on again, I’ll make a note of it.
  5. If I had to guess, it has to do with the actual objects you metered. Some of the envelopes(?) should read white but the meter wants them to read gray, so it gives you a recommended darker exposure. The spot/reflectance meter need to be interpreted more so than an incident reading. To my eye, you probably should have exposed at an f/2, what the gray object to the left, is reading, or taken a reading from an 18% gray card at the proper angle. Honestly, an incident reading would have prob been more helpful in this specific situation. If you haven’t read up on the zone system, it’s a good guide to interpreting spot readings. IIRC, Blaine Brown has a write up of applying the zone system specific to Cinematography in his his book, “Cinematography” by Blaine Brown. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zone_System -Tristan Noelle
  6. I though the focus was far too distracting. I watched it with some friends who aren’t too film literate, and they felt self described “whiplash” from it. Also, destroyed Vegas is spectacle, you want to see it. But with everything out of focus, the epic location ceases to feel like a character. Not my cup of tea. Also, look for the Larry Fong billboard, was a nice shout out.
  7. The “Bright Lights, Big City” special edition DVD has a solo commentary by Gordon Willis that is very informative and typically salty.
  8. https://www.vulture.com/2021/03/zack-snyder-explains-justice-leagues-first-cow-connection.html I think the likely answer to why 4:3 is because Zack Snyder had just watched “First Cow” by Kelly Reichardt (an “Art Film”, incidentally) and thought “dude, my film is art too”. BTW, check out “First Cow”, it’s a delightful anti-western. Highly recommend. Has Fabian Wagner commented on the change? Tristan
  9. If I recall correctly... ”Young Sherlock Holmes” (1985) - First CGI character, or something like it, with the Stained Glass Knight. “Willow” (1988) - First digital morph effect.
  10. The apple boxes and high hat may work provided you have solid places to secure the ratchets. When you have to place some boxes on the seat, you are always fighting the cushioning. But it may be “good enough” and will provide enough steady action to give the editor something to work with. Again, I highly advise scouting for smooth roads. Best of luck.
  11. First, I’d strongly recommend reaching out to a key grip with some experience in vehicle rigging. If you cant guarantee the safety of the gear and the crew/talent, you shouldn’t attempt the shot. If production won’t pay to do it right, with experienced crew and proper gear, you have to put your foot down. That said, I would not trust that Matthews tray with 40lbs. The 2 6” suctions and the little wedge in the window will have a hard time dealing with the momentum that 40lbs bouncing around could produce. It’s meant for light, minimal builds. Can you strip down the camera body, remove batteries, use a lightweight prime? Or rent a Blackmagic 4k on Sharegrid for like $100 just for that shot? To do 40lbs you’d want a real Hostess tray. To rent vehicle rigging equipment from a rental house, you’ll need liability insurance, and you’d need a grip to set it up. And the window has to be down... For the hard mount inside, there’s not a really good solution that doesn’t involve taking out the seats and anchoring to the body, but it depends on the car. I usually resign to doing handheld or being on a monopod, smooth streets help a lot. You can suction mount a small camera to the windows, but they can be unstable without enough anchor points. Sorry I don’t have easy answers, but it’s a specialized field and mistakes can be very costly and dangerous.
  12. I use Sharegrid in LA all the time for gear. Rented a Red Gemini not too long ago. When you pay for their coverage, you don’t have to provide a deposit. The individual renter may not approve the rental if you have no history, though, because rental fraud and the “voluntary parting” loophole are a problem. There are rental houses on Sharegrid which are an option too. Also, short term production equipment insurance isn’t terribly pricey; do a quick look at insuremyequipment.com. If you plan on a lot of producing, look at a yearly policy. Tristan
  13. Unique is a moving target, and often a Luxury. Kaminski has a very unique eye and a style that is always apparent, but not mimicked or in demand, apparently. But Spielberg likes it and that’s what matters. I don't know anyone who would shoot something that looks like “Crystal Skull” intentionally. Deakins is uniquely talented. He openly posts his setups because you can copy something he did but you can’t “think” like him. And that’s what you’re paying for to get Deakins and why he’s “irreplaceable”. I’ve been gaffing for a DP who’s so good and so specific, he’s just transitioned to directing because he can more fully impose what he wants to do on a project and make the visuals work with the story more completely than he could as a DP. Honestly, unless you work with a very good, successful director who will fight for you as a DP, It’s impossible to get to an irreplaceable status. I may be misremembering, but IIRC Matt Libatique at a Cinematographer’s round table one year, looked at Deakins, Phister, et al and said “Look, we’re all here because of one director.” In the meantime, be agreeable, work hard, test and experiment, and make solid relationships with directors. Tristan
  14. Well it’s a multi-faceted answer really. Ideally, of course, proper testing of all aspects should be done. And thats a drum I beat a lot myself, believe me. It really just comes down to time and money. This is a short passion project I’m doing pro-bono with a friend. We have a small window to make the project because the director starts a full time position next month, and this has been a crazy summer of travel/work for me, so scheduling testing and getting the results was too difficult to make happen; I can’t take time off to do them. The location scout and photo boards on DoubleX 35mm was a compromise in that regard, and were very informative. Also money is short, as always. Were this a feature or something more well funded, I’d test as one ought to. Given the limitations of this project, we do what we can. At the end of the day, I know I can ‘trust’ the negative to give me a good image if I treat it right. And the insight from the members here has helped understand how to do that.
  15. Thanks for the insight, David. That makes a lot of sense. In my limited tests, the shots with a full range of tones popped more. I’ll actively keep it in mind.
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