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Gregory Irwin

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Everything posted by Gregory Irwin

  1. Gotcha about zone focus. As for the Goodfellas shot you referenced, my friend Larry McConkey was the steadicam operator. He did it brilliantly! But know that there was also a focus puller who did a magnificent job keeping the shot in focus by eye, a dolly grip guiding Larry through the maze and a sound boom man waving the mic overhead. If you watch carefully, you can see a couple of camera and boom shadows in the shot (just to show how hard they were working ☺️). They did great! G
  2. Drifting focus issues are the exact reason why cinematographers hire people like me, called “Focus Pullers”, who specialize in keeping shots in focus. We pull focus manually via skill, judgment and experience. In motion pictures, we don’t use any form of auto focus because it takes away from the story telling objectivity that is required during the course of a shot to where and how focus is played on the subject. We may also elect to shift focus from foreground to background (or elsewhere in the frame) at a moment the story demands to continue to tell the story cinematically. Auto focus simply chooses to focus on what’s predominantly in the foreground and that may or may not be the correct choice. With the camera moving as well as the subject moving, it’s too difficult for the operator to frame and keep the subject in focus. Unlike television, sports camera operators who do both, they are primarily following focus on one subject from start to finish instead of playing multiple focus cues based on framing, the action or dialogue. G
  3. Thanks so much for this info. This could be perfect! We’ll rent it first and test it to evaluate if it’s the desired effect the directors want. What’s even better is the location of this business since we will be in New York! G
  4. Hey all… are there any places left in the USA that rents or sells tape driven video cameras such as the High 8 camera? Any suggestions are appreciated! G
  5. Long work hours is a very real issue in our business. I only work on narrative, feature films and for as long as I’ve been around (42 years and counting), our hours have been difficult. I can remember working 110 hours in a 5 day week before. I won’t do that anymore. My life and my family’s well being are much more important than any movie. I was one of the Focus Pullers on PLEASANTVILLE, mentioned in the LA Times article. Brent was my loader and my friend. We lost him in a fatal car accident due to fatigue. I still miss him and will never forget him. That is why this issue is personal for me. I have actually shutdown shooting many times for the day by announcing to the ADs and producers that I’m going home after 14 hours. I’ve actually said that once 14 hours have elapsed, I don’t care if the cameras are rolling, I am walking to my car and driving home. I always put the weight of liability upon their shoulders for the crew’s safety. I’ve never been fired for this. What are they going to do? Let me go for being responsible? Even they know how that would go over if ever publicized. I always thought I was being way too generous by setting the bar at 14. It should have been 10. In fact, the Marvel Studios work model is 10 hour days, no breaks. They bring lunch to us and pay us the Union meal penalties per the union contract. I like that model. Every production should adopt this. The IATSE is currently negotiating our new contract with the Producers and Studios. Our employers are balking at reducing our hours and are electing to keep us working long, dangerous days. I encourage our business agents and representatives to hold them accountable and fight for our quality of life. We work to live. We don’t live to work. G
  6. Could there be a gate matte installed? G
  7. That’s exactly the issue I’ve experienced with the WC4. It’s not reliable. The nice thing about the Prestons is that you can adjust the torque levels of the motors. We normally have them on the lowest level but even that seems too much at times for older lenses. But the signal is always solid for good distances away from the camera and I like incorporating the read outs of the Cine RT or Light Ranger right on the display of the handset. G
  8. Of course, I appreciate you and Panavision. Your knowledge is valuable! We were referring to only anamorphic lenses which are getting older. My previous show was a Marvel show and we shot with the T Series. Every week we had to send in a lens for service/return due to elements dropping out of position, dublet’s coming unglued or other failures. The coveted Cs and Es are getting fewer and far between because of age and breakage. Part of the problem is that we use Prestons full time and the older lenses were never designed with the powerful motors constantly driving them in mind. That’s a lot of the wear and tear. Panavision has made many gains in the large format spherical world but the anamorphic world is lagging in my opinion. I guess I should mention the anamorphic expanders that help convert 35mm rear elements to cover large sensors which is good but still a bandaid solution. I love what we can do with detuned lenses but the problem is that every detuned lens becomes a prototype. If or when that lens goes down, there is not an inventory of custom detuned glass waiting to replace it. In fact, we really don’t have the luxury of testing several anamorphic lenses like we used to, spending a couple of weeks making our selections because the detuning process can take too long for most prep schedules. They are chosen for us ahead of time to facilitate the process. That, I don’t like. Thankfully, I can still convince producers to grant me prep schedules that can accommodate the time but I realize that isn’t the norm for most. For my current job, BLACK ADAM for Warner Bros, I had six weeks of lens prep. That was for testing lenses, making my selections and then detuning. Afterwards, the camera prep began for another three weeks. But that is not the typical prep time for most jobs. G
  9. I really appreciate your knowledge Dom. It’s always insightful. I would agree with the Panavision anamorphic point to a limit. I’ve been shooting with Panavision Anamorphics for the last 40 years. And I was very involved with the inception of the T Series Anamorphics that Dan Sasaki made for me for INTERSTELLAR, even though they didn’t have a name yet. Today, the Panavision Anamorphics are getting too old and they show the wear and tear. I have more issues with them than I do with any other current manufacture. It’s frustrating because I know what they are capable of and they are constantly failing these days. I wish new and fresh lens technology would come out of Woodland Hills but I don’t think they are in a financial position to do that. What are your thoughts? G
  10. I’ve never used any 1.3x but I’m currently using the Technovision 1.5x Anamorphics. After much testing, we dialed down the squeeze factor to 1.44x to eliminate any perception of mumping. We then built custom 1:2.40 frame lines for Open Gate, 1.44. They cover the large LF sensor very well using much more area of the sensor than what 2x would be able to use. G
  11. I can’t remember the focal length of the clip but it was a V-Lite. It’s too bad. I always want lenses to perform. Hawks by Hollywood standards just can’t compete with all of the other manufacturers out there. In the end, we shot STB on Master Anamorphics. Not much anamorphic personality in those lenses but they did perform well! G
  12. I would challenge the excellent lens part Tyler. Having tested them extensively, I would honestly not be able to recommend them. They distort, they are milky at the wide open apertures, they are very heavy and the minimum focus is not very close. Finally, as you can see from my attached clip, they flare in a way that is not good. This clip was from when I tested them for STAR TREK BEYOND. Just my opinion… IMG_2828.MOV
  13. Of course a “normal “ shutter is 180 degrees. A 190 shutter is hardly any difference. It gives you a minimal advantage with exposure. Treat it the same as a 180. That’s about a 1/48th of a second exposure time at 24 FPS. G
  14. It has always amazed me on how millions of dollars are spent on lens performance R&D and then in return we do everything we can to simply muk it all up! 🤣 G
  15. Joaquin, like any experienced cinema actor, knows exactly where the lens is, what the frame lines encompass and where his light is coming from. That kind of seasoned artist makes our job easier. G
  16. Honestly, I used to see it but I don’t see that very much anymore. I hate to go back to JOKER, but that was a great example for NOT blanket lighting. I feel that Larry Sher was very brave to light that movie in a single source style. We never knew what Joaquin was going to do or where he was going to go. It was completely improvisational. Larry took the risk of letting him go dark, knowing that he would eventually come back into the light. It was a risk that paid off extremely well. G
  17. David O. Russell for sure. He is interested in the story and acting only. The cinematographer must accept that her/she must blanket light for 360 degrees and plan on rolling continuously no matter what. G
  18. Sorry for taking so long with this, I’m on set everyday on a very demanding movie that is requiring my full attention. But for now, the evidence is suggesting a compression issue. We are still looking at the data you provided but at the moment, that’s the current thinking. I sadly don’t have any further information. Hope this helps. G
  19. Can you copy and paste the Arri file from this clip? G
  20. I’ll have several questions for you regarding this as we go along. For now, we are interested in what the light sources were, if any filters were used? If so, which filters? Also, does the low pass filter look clean and clear? G
  21. Got it. I’m consulting with my DIT because you’ve peaked my curiosity. I’ve shot a lot of open gate Alexa and have never experienced this. Let me get back to you. G
  22. Ah! Now I see what you’re referring to. Sorry, I didn’t see the texture before now. Interesting. I guess the first question would be is it showing in the ARRI RAW footage? This could be from a variety of reasons. What sensor mode were you in? G
  23. That looks like a lens flare along with a coma to me... G
  24. That’s the worst having to deal with that sort of personal gear. You have no recourse when it doesn’t fit in with the ultimate end user or when it goes bad. The owner doesn’t want to admit the failure and lose the rental income. It’s not like you can just call the rental house and swap things out. You’re forced to conform to what the pre-set standards are for the gear and that may not adhere to your particular needs such as metric in an imperial world ( at least as far as cinema goes)! G
  25. Most international camera folks, I would say , use imperial. In my many years of international work, only one focus puller in Eastern Europe I remember wanted to go metric. The rest of the local crew was more accustomed to imperial. Planning a trip Sat? 🙂 G
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