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Phil Jackson

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  1. That was my understanding as well. Time itself isn't moving backwards but rather objects and people are. What Nolan (erroneously) describes as reverse entropy. (Erroneous because time and entropy aren't actually connected. If you put food in a freezer you can dramatically slow down or functionally stop entropy, but time still marches on). But how this is done is basically a giant MacGuffin. Similar to "the formula" in Interstellar. A story like this is where you miss a great techno-thriller writer like Michael Crichton, who, I think, did a better job of setting up the story world for his stories to unfold. Jurassic Park is full of just as ridiculous MacGuffins and conceits but because everything within the story world is so expertly crafted and grounded in the real world you just kind of go along with it (but in fairness Jurassic Park the novel really goes deep into the background and the movie was able to take just enough from the book to make things work. It's a different story to start with a screenplay).
  2. I don't know if there's a lot of programs that do both well. I like Sketchup quite a bit. It's fast and easy and the Sketchup library allows you to create scenes very quickly to a high level of detail. Vectorworks is really good too and allows for pretty quick modelling of walls and sets and also has a lot of built in functionality for rigging, truss, lighting, etc. but its a bit of a learning curve and more of a serious tool for actual construction documentation. I've personally used ToonBoom and liked it for shot composition. Foundry, the company that makes Modo and Nuke, apparently has some sort of Storyboarding software called Flix but I'm not that knowledgeable about its capabilities.
  3. There were some production stills made available several months ago, that show it looking very Kaminski-ish (which isn't a bad thing necessarily). First Look at Spielberg's West Side Story Wet pavement and hot backlight
  4. Saw it here in Southern California. Finally a theater open (with only three people in the theater) in Orange County. Movie is definitely overwhelming. My brain was scrambled eggs when I left the theater, I had to go on YouTube and watch one of those 'ending explained' videos (and I still had a hard time following that). I was following along until the third act then I just got lost...and even a little bored. That last act reminded me of the third act of Rogue One where there was just so much going on for so long that it just became a bit much, especially when the movie has already told you what one of the characters is going to do and you're just waiting to see it play out. At times you feel like you're watching a sport you don't know the rules to and aren't really sure which team is which. When something happens you sometimes are asking yourself "wait was that a good thing?" Also yea, time running backwards and forwards isn't a new thing, I think back to good old Star Trek TNG episodes like Manheim's experiments in Season One's "We'll Always Have Paris" or literally characters going forward and backwards at the same time in Season Six's "Timescape." The show Lost got into this kind of stuff a bit too so its not uncharted territory, but it is presented in an interesting way. The fight and car chase action set pieces are something else and worth the ticket price. They reminded me of the corridor fight in Inception. That being said there seem to be a lot of big visual things going on in the movie that don't really serve a purpose like the boat race scene. That just seemed like something cool Nolan wanted to get in the movie. In lesser hands some of those sequences would become Michael Bay-ish quickly. From a production standpoint, it's basically perfection save for the sound mix, which as many have pointed out has dialogue that is oddly pushed back in the mix (as opposed to something that feels deliberate like the buried dialogue in the seduction scene at the nightclub in The Social Network). Even in 'quieter' moments the characters were hard to understand, and if they had an accent or a mask on that made it that much worse. I noticed this last year when I saw the prologue which was shown with Star Wars IX. Ludwig Goransson's score is incredible and fits the movie well, but I think pound for pound Hans Zimmer brings more warmth and heart to Nolan's movies. Interstellar and Inception, in particular really benefit from Zimmer's ability to bring emotion, where Goransson's score, while technically amazing and interesting, functions more like sound design in an already convoluted sound field. Zimmer's music also better bridges some of those quick transitions from scene to scene that Nolan likes to do by pulling two scenes into the same emotional idea whereas in Tenet those transitions seemed oddly abrupt, almost as if we'd just come back from a commercial break. The pacing of the movie feels a bit off. Maybe that's because Nolan's usual editor Lee Smith didn't work on this film. There's nothing to say about Hoyte Van Hoytema's work critically. The movie looks fantastic all the way around and he should definitely be in the running for all the accolades. Looks like there was a bit of DI work (the end credits called out a colorist at Fotokem) but the movie still retains a nice natural feel. To me this is what a 'large format' movie should look like (in contrast to so many movies shot on large format cameras that essentially could've been shot on Super 35 because of the lens choices and staging). I think they used the IMAX format very well. To my eye Interstellar is a 'prettier' movie but I think stylistically this movie hit all the right notes visually. There's a really interesting philosophical question being asked here that I think gets overlooked, both in the movie and by the critics, which is, if our future selves could judge us, would they choose justice or mercy? Without giving away too much, the 'future' in the movie (or some future antagonists at least) blame today's world for problems yet to come, but if every generation is doing the best it knows how, even if the consequences down the road aren't palatable, can people today really be blamed for acting in what they believe are their own best interests? If we knew better would we do better? And even if we do better does that necessarily result in a better future (or at very least a future that is more palatable to those living in it -- which may or may not be the same as 'better')? Unfortunately I think the movie gets too caught up in the grandfather paradox, of whether or not the future could judge the past technically, and doesn't ask the question of whether or not it should.
  5. It's definitely an interesting discussion. I was always partial to Dynamic Symmetry and the teachings of people like Myron Barnstone, but the guy has a point that they tend to a bit on the dogmatic side and a bit reductionist in approach. Also Stan Prokopenko is a very good teacher and I really enjoy his YouTube series on drawing.
  6. You know looking closer at that NBC image it looks like there's four or five lekos firing at that talent position. One or two on the far wall maybe at 11:00 to the talent, and probably the same around 2:00 on the right. I would think this would create a light that didn't have directional shadows or would eliminate them altogether, which basically is what you'd get with soft lighting (the quality of light isn't quite the same as using diffused light because of the difference in specularity a hard light source produces, but for all intents and purposes it works well especially on someone with fairer skin). Also I misspoke on the Oscars. They use amber no color gels to warm up the talent not CTO. Lighting the Oscars
  7. Those studio lighting setups often have lighting that is directional but not necessarily always super hard. These days there's a lot of LEDs involved too. Traditionally you might have two or three diffused lekos cross shooting each talent position with one as a backlight/hairlight. Subject to background ratio is almost always 2:1. In this photo of the NBC Nightly News set you can clearly see the talent has two lekos focused on him and a panoply of open and fresnels and everything else. Awards shows sort of have the same look, especially those lit by Bob Dickinson. In awards shows the talent is cross lit with two followspots around 30 degrees to the talent, which is lower than a normal theater follow spot position (and usually with a little bit of CTO to warm up the talent) and a usually bluish hot backlight with a 2:1 ratio subject to background.
  8. I'd be curious to see something rendered on a serious render engine like Vray RT (even VRAY for Unreal), Arnold or Renderman. Something with some real physically based shaders and raytraced lighting and shadows. I remember Octane, a few years back, had a product they were trying to launch called Brigade, which they seem to have pulled the plug on, but it looked very promising. UE5 seems to have taken huge strides and could be a real viable option down the road especially if people like Lucasfilm are helping with the R&D. Even in UE4, they showed the ability for a paradigm shift in film making altogether, not just backgrounds, but the ability to create entire animated films in real time. Check out Reflections which was made a few years back as a demo (I love the musak version of The Imperial March). They did a demo where the presenter actually places himself 'on set' and can move the camera around the CG characters and environment and all the lighting and reflections respond accordingly.
  9. Here's the actual quote from the video: It sounds to me like they're cooking up something other than their current ALEV III sensor.
  10. Anyone catch Arri's (sort of) announcement about the Alexa S35 coming out next year sometime? Supposedly a new true 4K Super 35 sensor in a Mini LF body. They seem to think (and they're right) that there's still a huge market for Super 35 for TV and movies that's not really being served in all the resolution and large format posturing. It's buried at the 34:40 mark of this Arri Tech Talk from last week. The entire talk is actually quite good.
  11. I think they need more market saturation (and someone besides Philip Bloom to do something serious with their products) before they become viable. It's frustrating because I think their product is superior to just about anything out there in its class, and can easily compete with Red, Arri and the Venice no problem. I would argue it looks better than most of its competitors too and for a fraction of the costs. But their marketing effort is very weak and disorganized. They have little trade show presence and only recently have rental houses picked up the Mavo LF, which is a fantastic camera and should've been a gamechanger for Indie filmmakers (pretty picture, 6K large format for under $10,000!!!). I've heard some people say earlier versions of their cameras were occasionally buggy, which is no good, but again there's so few people out there using them its really hard to know. The one thing they have going for them is superior image quality and fantastic color renditioning, which is what attracted me. The dynamic range of the Mavo LF was not as robust as say an Alexa, but pound for pound, the image quality can be quite stunning and very filmic with little manipulation. Here's a comparison someone shot. Red Gemini/Alexa Mini/Mavo LF Comparison And some dynamic range tests Alexa/Monstro/RED/C700/Venice Dynamic Range Tests Spoiler alert: the Alexa destroys everyone.
  12. And this is highly contingent upon it being a union job to begin with. A large chunk of work out here isn't. I know editors working on high end projects for as little as $300 a day. I think the NABET rate for broadcast editors is something like $40/hour. Non-union editorial is probably in the $500-$1000 a day rate if you're good and a known entity. I can't imagine too many production companies would pay much more than that for non-union editorial. The guys that make the money are Flame Artists (but this is a highly specialized trade), and some colorists depending on the house. The problem is that the business is overrun with editors, because it usually has the lowest barrier to entry of any position and its one of the few jobs you can get good at before you get into the business as a professional. I suppose motion graphics and 3D modelling fall into that category as well. Maybe some audio jobs. So you have an endless supply of young editors, most of which are halfway decent at most work (big feature work is a different ballgame altogether). It is not uncommon for me to get hired on a job that multiple editors before me, or after have worked on. I've been on several commercials that had like 5 editors over different periods of time because of costs, scheduling, personalities, etc.
  13. I would think a Drive In with today's digital projectors and HD radio should be pretty good. Drive ins don't necessarily reproduce a theater experience though. Depending on where you park the field of view of the screen is more like watching on television -- so you might as well watch on a television. But hey, maybe those big 70s conversion vans might make a comeback -- kids gotta have something to do! Drive in and chill.
  14. It's an interesting question. I wonder if theaters go back to more of the movie palace format where only the biggest movies are released theatrically in one or two locations in a city. I mean I guess this is the way movies worked before the era of the multiplex. While it might be a death knell for the theater business as it currently sits, it could result in an elevated movie going experience and make going to the movies an event again. Maybe the films get released in the big theaters a few weeks before streaming. It could definitely help quality control or directors like Tarantino who want to do 75mm releases, etc. Just thinking out loud. The other thing is that the streaming model is a bit dicey to me. It's a little like the pay cable TV model where the content provider is basically paid for the right to stream their content, but the problem with a movie is that you have no idea how well received its going to be. On television you have ad revenue to help gauge interest and viewership. For something like HBO you have subscribers. But with streaming it all seems like guesswork. Like "okay we'll make 6 Underground for 100 million because we guess it's worth that much..?" Maybe I'm just ignorant of the process but how do they gauge ROI without tangible metrics like tickets sold, DVDs sold, or ad dollars? Yes a million people might watch something on Amazon Prime, but those same million might've already been subscribed and are paying a blanket fee for all content. I guess in some ways streaming is less risky than a theatrical release model where no one could show up, or the movie gets killed by bad reviews (streaming basically mitigates the impact of critics) or some extenuating event like the Dark Knight shootings or a pandemic puts a damper on revenue -- these things don't happen on streaming platforms, but I wonder how sustainable it is. I suspect it might dramatically shift the way movies are financed with the platforms absorbing more risk than the studios, which is more like television.
  15. It was interesting because it covers the new Bond movie, which of course got pushed back to November so there's some mild spoilers. Still good stuff in there. I actually watched a little bit of Tales From The Loop simply because I wanted to see what Mark Romanek and Jeff Cronenweth did on the Panavision DXL2. The article on that show was interesting.
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