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Gregory Irwin

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Everything posted by Gregory Irwin

  1. Brother, you’ve got to stand down a bit. Members here want to help. No one here would ever want you to fail. We are a global, close knit group of people who share the same passions for cinema. G
  2. Sadly, I agree with Tyler. It’s sad because I’m a native Southern Californian, having made my home for years in beautiful Newport Beach, CA. I chose to leave California because I never got to live at home. All of my work took me everywhere but California! In 2016, I left for work in January only to get back home just in time for Christmas. I spent the majority of the time in Atlanta, Georgia where all of the studio, big budget movies are made now. My family and I now live in Atlanta. It was a good choice due to the cost of living is roughly 20% of what California is and the quality of life is much better for us. The work is plentiful. And, I get to live in my home as opposed to corporate apartments and hotel rooms! Ironically, I am writing this from a hotel room where I am finishing the Disney/Marvel picture I’ve been on for the past year here in Prague, Czech Republic. At least the majority of it was in Atlanta. The point is, think about what you exactly want out of this industry whether it’s features, TV, documentaries, etc and where that business mostly is. Compare that with what you can realistically afford and make an intelligent decision. Once you’ve “made it”, you can live anywhere you want as long as you’re willing to travel. In the meantime, position yourself where you can be available at the last minute and take any job that is offered at a cost of living that you can afford. G
  3. Hire well and hire smart to have a good team around you to share the burden. G
  4. That’s another good question Dom. The CoC really doesn’t come into consideration on a daily basis. These days with 8K resolution and the want of shooting wide open, all you need to know is that there isn’t any dof. Stay vigilant. If any dof charts are used these days, I would say the P-cam app is it. But you’re right in observing that we can see the depth on HD monitors. The random times that I will still look up a dof calculation would be for wide shots when I have to hold a specific range in focus. I can pretty much calculate it in my head faster than I can look it up but I still sometimes need to confirm my expectations. Otherwise, what’s the point? Just do your job and keep the shot in focus! G
  5. I hear what you’re saying David. I’m comparing the Kelly Wheel to the Samcine which offers the user 3 different CoCs to choose from. The Kelly does not. G
  6. No way to choose COC. That’s why it was inaccurate.
  7. Remember the Kelly Wheel? Not as accurate as the Samcine.
  8. Way too much information. Keep it simple and just pull focus. G
  9. I totally agree Stuart. For many years, I worked for the great cinematographer, William Fraker, ASC. If an actor didn’t live up to his/her responsibilities of their craft, Billy would calmly walk up to them, point out their mark and key light and kindly explain if they don’t pay attention to these, their mothers will most likely never see them in the motion picture! 😂 I loved that he held them accountable for their end of the filmmaking craft. G
  10. I agree with Stuart about his assessment of “good” actors. Sadly, those classically trained cinema actors are a dying breed. Here is a quote from me when recently interviewed by International Cinematographers Guild magazine’s Pauline Rogers on this topic: It used to be that actors would be held accountable for their part in hitting their marks and finding their light. They would also have the awareness to find the lens every time and understand frame size. Those days are over. Now we have to pander to their whim of where and when they move, try to unbury them from behind another actor who has also missed his/her mark. A lot of my success is knowing when and how the camera will move to compensate. ICG Magazine, July, 2020 G
  11. That’s our entire skill set Justin. That’s exactly what we are paid well to do. It’s a game of FRACTIONS of an inch. It takes practice of many years to get good at this and still it may not be for everyone. It’s one of the hardest jobs on set. We focus pullers have to understand human nature and body language in order to anticipate what motion will happen next, we have to understand storytelling and how our focus choices may affect the editing of the shot/scene. We must have a complete mastery of cinematography and how our actions will impact it. Many times it’s guessing what will happen next and sometimes we’re wrong and need another shot at it. Focus pulling is not a perfect science. It’s a human act. And with that comes imperfections that may become part of the cinematic character of the image. That’s not to say we like and accept mistakes. We hate seeing soft focus or choices of where we played focus in a shot that didn’t quite work out. But we are human beings doing this and not machines. If you ever meet a focus puller who says he/she never has a soft shot, I will tell you right now that they are not being truthful or they haven’t done it for very long. G
  12. I’ve been silently following this thread for a couple of days now. I wasn’t going to weigh in because there’s no need to repeat past conversations on portions of the above. However, I will say that in the film world, it is absolutely the operator’s job to see and report on focus whether it’s to confirm success or failure. I’ve known several incidents where the operator was let go due to not fulfilling this part of the job. In the digital world, all focus requirements and practices have changed. With monitor focus pulling and practically everyone on set being able to judge focus, the onus has been placed squarely on the shoulders of the focus puller. Yes, the job has been made easier since you can immediately see the results but digital focus is much more difficult due to resolution (ie. 8K) and the perception that rehearsals are unnecessary since we have much more liberal running times with the media. Personally, I embrace both of these factors and I enjoy the reality that the art of focus pulling has become more about storytelling rather than a technical process. G
  13. Ha! I just bought it! G
  14. Thanks for the info as well Miguel. I've never used the mini Hawks and would love to test them sometime. As for the rest of the Hawk lenses, the excessive flaring and the inability to handle any amount of sourcey backlight (such as a bright window in the bg) drives me crazy. They are also just too big and heavy. G
  15. Thanks Manu! Great information. My wife and I have gotten hooked on the series during this COVID-19 hostage crisis. I actually guessed that they were Hawk lenses. They sport all of the hallmark characteristics such as an overall softness, veiling and flaring. I personally am not a fan. If the DP wanted imperfect optics, he got them! But the show is awesome and overall looks terrific. I feel for the focus pullers since they were tasked with an almost impossible job of keeping these T1 lenses in focus. They did a very good job considering their compromised position with these lenses. Cheers to them! G
  16. Anyone have any info on what lenses they used? G
  17. This morning I received the horrible news that another icon in cinematography has passed away. Denny Clairmont fell yesterday in his kitchen at home and never recovered. He was in his 70s. Denny, along with his brother Terry, owned and operated Clairmont Camera which supplied numerous Hollywood productions and camera departments for over three decades. They were a powerhouse in the industry. I personally had prepped cameras for movies at Clairmont Camera dating back to 1980 till they sold their inventory to Keslow Camera just a few years ago. Denny as well celebrated as he was, had just started to enjoy his retirement. We will all miss his graciousness, his knowledge and mostly, his friendship. G
  18. I hate to point it out but the “ no flares” frame is full of flares. All anamorphic lenses flare (some flares are attractive and others not so much) with the exception of the Zeiss Master Anamorphics. They are optically pure and are difficult to flare. G
  19. I’m not being sarcastic and I know everyone else will answer your question the way you meant it. But my answer is going to be Quickbooks. It’s as important as any other tool for the trade to run yourself as a freelance AC. G
  20. I couldn’t agree more. I have only one email account and I’m not on Twitter! In fact, I’m not on any social media. I refuse! I have only one phone number. Like I said in an earlier, separate post on this site, I keep it stupid simple! G
  21. There’s a motto within my camera team that we believe in and is stated several times a day: “Keep it stupid simple!“ I believe that applies here. G
  22. Please don’t sugar coat it Dom! Tell us what you really think! 😂 G
  23. It’s not! The film plane/sensor is the right position for focus collimation. The whole concept of the entrance pupil is more related to the calculation of F-stops and exposure. It’s an actual virtual image magnified when viewed through the front element of the lens. This is as opposed to the diminished size of the aperture when viewing through the rear element of the lens, known as the exit pupil. There’s a lot more to this and this can be researched from here on so you can go as deep into it as you desire. I’m sure it’s a bit confusing. G
  24. I respect Jay’s article but I do believe he’s a bit misleading with it. With regards to the entrance pupil of a lens, technically he is correct. Where he goes astray is in two places. Firstly, it is absolutely impractical to measure focus from the entrance pupil of different lens designs since lenses are commonly collimated to the film plane/sensor. This especially come into play where different camera manufacturers have different flange depth measurements to the film plane. We need a consistent standard here and not a moving target to complicate further a complicated practice. Secondly, where Depth of Field is referenced, he should be talking about Depth of FOCUS. There is a big difference between the two. Depth of Field refers to the range of focus IN FRONT of the lens where Depth of Focus measures the tolerance of focus BEHIND the lens. When you look at the rear element assembly from the lens’ flange to the tip of the rear element glass, the noticeable difference is how a wide lens’ rear element is a narrow torpedo shape that extends much further away from the lens flange. Longer lenses sport a rear element that is a much wider in diameter rear glass element and is much stubbier in length. The wide lens rear element measures much closer to the film plane/sensor than the longer lens’ equivalent thus making the wide lens’ Depth of Focus much more critical for the lens’ ability to achieve proper focus. Long lenses have much more forgiving Depth of Focus while having much less forgiving Depth of Field. The two physical properties are polar opposite of each other. If the Depth of Focus is off, the lens will simply not focus anywhere within the lens’ focus range. G
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