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Michael Belanger

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About Michael Belanger

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  • Birthday 06/05/1969

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  • Occupation
    Cinematographer
  • Location
    Long Beach, CA

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  • Website URL
    http://www.mlbelanger.com
  1. As an argument for keeping the BPAV data from the camera as a backup, I recently had to re-transfer a clip shot on an EX1 to SXS because the .mov version had a 2 second 'drop-out' in the middle of a 20 minute shot. It's the first one I've seen in over a year of using the camera. If I'd dumped the BPAVs I'd be out of luck right now.
  2. My eye for digital camera's isn't that good, but there are several shots in the behind-the-scenes footage titled "La Boca" at Tetro.com I seem to remember he bought a couple of sony HDCAMs of some sort for Youth Without Youth so it may be the same gear.
  3. If you hate Facebook don't even look at MySpace. I tend to think of the social networking sites as your yellow pages ad. Just to get visitors to go to your website.
  4. That's an excerpt from an AP article a couple of days ago about LA possibly hiring a "film czar" to help bring production back into town.
  5. Glad your shoot went well. Just a footnote... DVCPro-HD is only 100mbps when you shoot 60 frames. In 24 fps it runs 40 mbps so much closer the the EX data rate.
  6. The full viewfinder is 16:9 as that's the camera's native aspect ratio.
  7. My day job is in post and we've seen a dramatic slow-down as well. I'm taking the opportunity to train in color correction and brush up my compositing skills. Now if I could find some time to shoot new demo footage... As for health care, that's the major advantage Europe has over us. Their coverage isn't tied to their jobs. The worst is being unemployed and loosing your health coverage all at the same time.
  8. The focus ring on the EX cameras are actually servo driven. The ring slides forward or back to change operation modes. In the front position it's the normal mushy "focus-by-wire" feel, but in the rear position, the ring is stopped at each end and the servo responds instantly to ring changes, so it feels as if it's fully mechanical. I've not yet used a follow focus on the camera but I'm betting it will behave quite well and focus should be repeatable.
  9. I'm waiting for their cell-phone baseplate. I hear it's amazing.
  10. It's actualy the difference between 35mbps and 40mpbs. The Panasonic camera uses a set amount of data per FRAME. 100 mbps only applies to 60i. At 24p the HVX-200 uses only 40 mbps. I find that the full-HD chips, the 1/2" chip size, and the modern compression algorithm more than make up for the 5 mpbs lower data rate. You should also consider the Sony EX1 and the Panasonic HVX-170 (did I get the Pany model number right?). They're both lower-priced alternatives with most of the same features. M.
  11. Along those lines for the far distance you can do black cardboard cutouts of 3 heads and shoulders side-by-side. Have an extra hold one on either side and you have 7 apparent extras. I think that trick was used for army scenes in one of the biblical epics back in the day.
  12. There are a couple of different scenarios: 1. The clip copied but you somehow deleted that one .mov file from wherever XDCAM transfer was storing it. File recovery software might be able to bring it back, but don't use that drive in the mean time. 2. The clip never copied and the only version of the footage was on the card. If you can get the card back there may be recovery software that will work with the SXS format, but I haven't heard any success stories in that regard. 3. Same as 2 above but the card has been re-formatted or shot over again. You're out of luck. Just to confirm, you did an import through XDCAM Transfer, but did not make a direct backup copy of the BPAV folder from the card somewhere else, correct?
  13. I was planning on an HVX-200 for a series of HD projects as well, but switched to the Sony PMW-EX1 when it became available.
  14. Here's an article I wrote back in 2006 after my first experience with P2 on a feature film... Panasonic AG-HVX200 / P2 Workflow for Feature Films
  15. Since Luke mentioned Hostel here's a tidbit. The scene that I found most disturbing in that movie was the torture scene with the blond tourist, drill bits, etc. There's a point where every muscle in his body is tensed in pain and he's struggling to get loose from the chair he's tied too, and you're just sick at how real the actor made that moment. It turns out that during the take they used, the actor was moving so much the chair broke loose from the set floor and came down on his foot, almost severing his toe. Not that I'm recommending maiming anyone in the name of cinema, but it shows how important it is for actors to connect with something real in a performance. As for on-screen deliberate creation of dread, there's a scene in a horror film from the 90's. I don't remember the exact franchise, but it's set in a mental hospital. There's a slo-motion shot of a nurse at the end of a hallway shot with a very long lens. She's crossing the hallway at a 90 degree angle to the camera, appearing at one side of the frame and slowly walking across to the other where she'll disappear behind the other wall. As she's progressing, a figure simply wearing a white sheet over it with it's arms outstretched follows behind her, reaching out to get her. The shot is of course timed perfectly so that the specter will reach her exactly when she's off screen. As the audience, we know she's doing to die and she doesn't. We have no way to warn her to just look around. But worst of all, we know it's going to happen just out of our view. Very creepy.
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