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Chance Shirley

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About Chance Shirley

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  • Occupation
    Director
  • Location
    Birmingham, AL

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  1. I've had a BMPCC4K for a few months now. Bang for the buck, it's an incredible camera. My minor gripes: I occasionally see some strobing with some non-pro light sources (assuming this is because of the rolling shutter), batteries don't last long (I'm eventually going to get a more heavy-duty power source), and the LCD is hard to see in bright daylight (though no harder to see than most other LCDs). Also, last I checked, the raw data recording options aren't compatible with Adobe, so I've been shooting ProRes (which looks pretty great). But you would have some of those same issues with other cameras that cost a lot more. I'd been shooting video on a Canon 7D for years, and the BMPCC4K was the camera that finally got me to retire the 7D and start shooting 4K.
  2. In my experience, ADR isn't that much more difficult than getting good location audio (which is also difficult). But, as they say, your mileage may vary.
  3. > On the low-budget it can be quite difficult. Sure. But everything about low-budget filmmaking is difficult.
  4. You should record reference audio. Even noisy reference audio will be a huge help to actors trying to loop their lines later. I also like to get "wild" audio takes on set. Basically, do a couple of takes with the camera. Then do a couple of dialog-only takes (without the camera running, of course) while the scene is still fresh on the actors' minds. I'm always surprised how well wild takes sync up with picture.
  5. "I personally feel like it's harder for films to impress me after learning all that I've learned about the filmmaking process, but the ones that DO actually hit all of those marks allow me to enjoy them even more. It's like I have higher expectations now, but I can appreciate good films even more because of it." I will only add... when I see a bad movie now, I might dislike the movie, but I have sympathy for the filmmakers. Because I have some understanding of the many things that can go wrong while making a movie. I'm impressed that anybody ever finishes a feature, especially a low-budget feature. So a genuinely great movie is like some kind of miracle.
  6. Not sure about the Alexa, but last I heard, the native aspect ratio of the Red sensor was 2:1. So there is a little cropping done in post most of the time -- either from the sides for 1.85:1, or from the top and bottom for 2.39:1.
  7. Oops. Everyone, please disregard my earlier attempt to cut into Richard's sales!
  8. My two features are Hide and Creep and Interplanetary. You can watch Hide for free (and legally) on YouTube ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eCY7XSTT4_Q&feature=avmov2 ) , and the DVD is available at Amazon. Interplanetary is available on DVD and digital download at Amazon, and it'll be streaming soon on Netflix "Watch Instantly."
  9. And after you buy one of Richard's movies from Amazon, please pick up one of mine!
  10. Dang, I wish I could watch this. I hope the BBC makes the iPlayer available in North America at some point.
  11. I have financed two "B" movies with my personal credit cards. Okay, the budgets were very low (I'm not rich), so maybe they're "C" movies. Neither film was hugely successful, but neither were total failures. The first, Hide and Creep, played on the Sci Fi (now SyFy) channel a few times. It's now streaming (legally) on YouTube. The second, Interplanetary, will be available soon via Netflix "Watch Instantly." Why did I make these movies? Because I love films and I love making films. Both movies were shot on nights and weekends. Most of the cast and crew were people, like me, with more enthusiasm than filmmaking experience. > Haven't the people behind B movies gone to film school and learned about lighting, composition, how to tell a story, etc.? School and experience are great, but filmmaking is both an art and a science. And time and money, both of which are limited in the production of a "B" movie, are necessary for even the greatest cinematographer to do his or her best work. As for story, all the education in the world won't create a good screenplay. Have you ever written a feature-length screenplay? It ain't easy. > It seems like a huge embarrassment to have one's name even associated with a bad B movie... I'm proud of both of my movies, despite their flaws. And, though I have read plenty of negative reviews of my work, it makes me very happy to read the positive reviews. It's a great feeling to hear how someone watched your movie and appreciated what you accomplished. > I'm sure none of the movies they enjoy watching are B movies... You're wrong about this. I love many "B" movies. I love plenty of "A" movies, too. At the same time, I understand that there are plenty of bad movies in the "A" and "B" categories. If I have learned anything from filmmaking, it's that a good movie is something of a miracle, regardless of budget and the talent involved. > I mean how can they not realize how unbearably bad the movie is while they're making it? Sometimes you realize that the badness is creeping in, sometimes you don't. When you're filming a movie with limited means, compromises will happen. Usually, I am trying my best to execute what I think is a good plan to create a scene. When those scenes don't work, I don't realize it until much later, when it is too late for a do-over. Sometimes, though, I am aware that I am compromising too much during the actual filming of a scene. Those times, I try to make the best out of a bad situation, and hope that the results of the one scene don't sink the whole production. > ...it's not like everyone's just doing it for the money, since the budgets are by definition very low. You're 100% right about this. That said, I'm sure most people working on bigger "B" movies (like those made by the Asylum) at least get paid a little. You should also keep in mind that many of today's successful and popular directors, like Martin Scorsese and James Cameron, got their start working for Roger Corman, the man considered by many to be "king of the 'B' movies." (I believe James Cameron's first director credit is for Piranha II, a movie about killer flying fish.) > I am saddened by the existence of B movies... I am saddened by the existence of movies that aren't entertaining. But I learn from bad movies (as I learn from the mistakes I made filming my own movies), and those bad movies make me appreciate the good and great movies even more. I have a question for you: what are your favorite movies? I ask because I'm curious about how you define "good" movies.
  12. Probably some good info here... http://www.theasc.com/magazine/oct03/cover/index.html
  13. I remember this book... www.amazon.com/gp/product/1570872856/ref=as_li_qf_sp_asin_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=evonmaisde-20&linkCode=as2&camp=217145&creative=399349&creativeASIN=1570872856 ...being a good intro to 16mm cameras. However, I don't remember it being so expensive. 66 dollars USED? Jeez.
  14. Cinema is 24 frames per second, regardless of what James Cameron or Roger Ebert says. Stu Maschwitz explains it nicely on his blog at ProLost.com: "Roger Ebert hates that wagon wheels go backwards. It drives him nuts. Years ago he saw a demo of Maxivision 48, a system that shoots and projects 35mm film at 48 frames per second, and he’s never forgotten how smooth it was. Like many, he decries 24 fps as a technological dinosaur, a holdover from a bygone era. Why Roger should relax: With the advent of HD, it became easy to create digital moving images of high enough spatial resolution to pass for film (unless you’re Jim Jannard, see above), but at first we could only do so at 50 or 60Hz. HD video at 60 images-per-second inspired no filmmakers and no audiences—in fact, at the very Sundance I met Roger, a 60fps HD test shot by Allen Daviau was booed off the screen. It wasn’t until we hobbled our HD cameras to 24 that we could start making movies digitally. More frames-per-second is indeed smoother and more life-like. Just like video. Who would have imagined that audiences don’t want movies to feel more like daytime soap operas?" You can read Maschwitz's whole post here: http://prolost.com/blog/2010/7/8/seven-fetishists-and-why-they-should-relax.html
  15. I still prefer 16mm to any of the digital cameras, but it is so expensive (especially the HD telecine). I've been shooting with a Canon 7D lately, and I'm willing to work around its limitations (aliasing, rolling shutter) because of the cost savings. But if I could figure out how to do it affordably, I'd happily go back to my Aaton LTR and Optar primes.
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