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J. Lamar King IMPOSTOR

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Everything posted by J. Lamar King IMPOSTOR

  1. I understand the gist of what you were doing here but obviously there is still a large amount of skylight bounce that is illuminating the underside of the arch. So did you have to compensate much as the sun went down? Did you save the closeups for then and lit them with more fill and background light or something?
  2. You should read "Directing the Documentary" by Michael Rabinger. It's a pretty standard text for college film classes, including the one I went to. It's got a really good chapter about how to plan when and what to shoot. It's very good advice that'll save a lot of time and money.
  3. David, I'm curious what you think about the GlimmerGlass diffusion at this point? Are you mixing 1 & 2 for different shots?
  4. Basically what you do is just loosen the mount. You can move the lens a small bit side to side and get a kind of "swing shift" look. Depending on the camera you might just have to turn the mount catch and that lets the lens move out a little causing the focus to pop out. I've done an extreme version of it with a still camera where I used black gaff tape and literally taped the lens to the camera but I had enough room to move it about a 1/4 inch out. The tape stopped light from getting in. I got some crazy effects. You don't need to get that wild with a motion picture camera though to get good looks. You can rehearse the effect just looking through the finder. This video is supposed to have the effect in it. Cradle of Filth - Nymphetamine
  5. Everyone should study the "rules" of compostition and I really recomend going to museums and looking at compostion with this knowledge in mind. Look at the "whole" of the piece and what the actual shape of the canvas is. Then look at how the artist used the space within. Often you'll see things that go against traditional theory yet still work. For example there are a number of western paintings in one of my local museums that use bottom center composition within approximately a 1.78 frame. It works well for some shots yet seems like too much sky in others. What you have to figure out is why.
  6. It's not actually that bad. The only things I would point out are; 1. It seems like you went for a "sunny" window light look yet there isn't a real good bright area anywhere. Gives it a kind of neither this nor that feel. That's one of my worst nightmares and I manage to do it every now and again. 2. The shots don't match. What happened to the light that is on the guy in the first shot yet is missing in the second? I think it reappears in the third. 3. The set is drab. Not really your fault. In the girl's two-shot I would have cheated the "sun" from the window more on her and thus the background. 4. I would have added hot kickers from the key side and probably amped up the very soft backlight from the shadow side. That would help to give it more of a sunny feel. I mean this as positive criticism. :D
  7. It's worse if you've got the cap off and you're really reading the set wall and the exposure is a believable one!
  8. That also doesn't take into account the large number of jobs that never even get listed because; A. The director thinks he's a DP. B. The director lets his buddy do it because he's good with Uncle Willy's Hi-8. I've heard and seen a number of paying jobs go down like that. Though not good paying jobs it'll still pay your rent.
  9. I gotta side with Kevin on this. I find it better to have the meter do the calculation if at all possible. My mind is usually preocupied thinking about the relative footcandles in various parts of the scene. I like to preset it ahead of time and not worry about it. I used the 508C for a few years but I've now gone to two seperate meters. I'm not too embarassed to admit that I've been tripped up a few too many times by not having the switch in the proper place for spot/incident. Its never caused any serious errors because I've always caught it. It's easier on my sanity to use one meter for one thing at a time. I love the Minolta spot and I'm glad I got one before they discontinued them.
  10. Well cheating in this situation could be like not using frontal fill in the wide shot but then using it in a closeup because it would be easier to exclude the reflection of the source on the tank from the frame.
  11. You said "Photo shoot" so I guess it's a still shoot. If it were motion picture it's a good place to engineer a cheat when you move in close.
  12. *is jealous* If it were a week later I would've went. Guess I'll shoot for that expo deal.
  13. Wow, that must've made for a sleepless night. I guess that's about the worst technical snafu you've ever had?
  14. David, one of the things I enjoy about your work is the consistently strong and above average composition. I was curious about your thoughts and intent of the compositions you are using in this movie. How does your sense of composition compare with the director? etc. Has the director helmed a 2.35:1 movie before?
  15. I hate the practical doorway on location. Like a door that exits the house yet has a huge overhang so you get a blownout background with the actor standing in a dark tunnel and really nowhere to put light on the actor that looks right. I like to avoid houses that have a hallway or small foyer that leads to the door. I like to have it open to a fullsize room on at least one side and have a big open porch. I discovered a good way to light that is to hide an HMI outside just off camera as a backlight for the actor then cover the outside of the door and everything possible with bounce material so it goes back in his face.
  16. Well, my copy of the book "The British Cinematographer" by Duncan Petrie says: Desmond Dickinson (1903-1986) " Dickinson also photographed Laurence Olivier's 'Hamlet', another landmark of British film-making...Olivier decided that an appropriate style be found to allow him to film a shot in a particular way to convey a certain atmosphere but also allow some flexibility in the staging of the action. As Dickinson recalls: 'The first time I met Olivier he said,"I want this picture to be sharp all over so I can have a great big closeup in the foreground, but the back of the set must also be sharp."' Then it explains, unlike Toland's use of wide angle lenses on 'Citizen Kane', "...Dickinson was restricted to a 'normal' lens as Olivier wanted a certain naturalism in the image with no distortion." The film was shot between f/8 to f/11. It goes on to explain "The film was shot on Eastman Kodak Plus-X stock with the French Eclair camera Dickinson had acquired for shooting the Monopak sequences on 'Men of Two Worlds.' However the subsequent depth of field allowed Olivier to revert to long takes with the actors free to wander around the set. The soliloquies in particular were planned with a great deal of movement and consequently the film is full of long takes with the camera panning, tracking and craning around the sets of Elsinore." "Hamlet was to prove the major achievment of Dickinson's career...Among his more notable films of the 1950's and 1960s are collaborations with Anthony Asquith, including 'The Browning Version' and 'The Importance of Being Earnest'; a handful of features utilising new widescreen technologies such as 'The Black Tent' in VistaVision, and the low budget horror 'City of the Dead' effectively photographed in atmospheric black and white."
  17. If you're asking if people shoot stuff just to go on their reels, then the answer is yes. It's better to show actual work produced for real programs but there is nothing wrong with just shooting for your reel. I would concentrate on shooting stuff you lit though and not just shoot random scenics. Show off the skills and shoot something interesting.
  18. Actually I didn't think any of those were digital AND battery operated until just recently. There really wouldn't be any reason you couldn't use it. I've been using a consumer DAT with AC power and a small mixer to record a documentary and it works well but we are always in a small area with power handy. What you get with pro DAT's is portability. I also know an audio guy that has two HHB studio DAT's on his cart with some special invertor situation that will run those things all day. Works fine for most stuff.
  19. I wonder how anybody gets along without storyboards and/or shot lists. It always seems funny when people tell me they don't need them. My first went on a show recently that I was passed on and he was telling me about these big fights between the DP and AD that were happening and how that DP is 180 degrees different in personality than me. Turns out they weren't even using a shot list and the poor guy was struggling to get basic shots! I can't say how I would react in a situation like that because I wouldn't even get to the set if the Director didn't want to work things out beforehand. That would almost make me want to leave a show. I'm usually a bit nervous that we didn't do enough planning and it's hard to be precise when you don't have enough info about a location.
  20. Well you dont actually remove it. Just loosen the mount and " J-J-J-Jiggle it a bit" as Arkwright would say. Try it with a still camera and you can see the effect easily.
  21. I avoid the issue by virtue of the fact that I love lens breathing and other "lensy" artifacts. I would also go with the Zeiss though, it's a better all around lens.
  22. Were any of these shots storyboarded? Did you look at how you were going to execute the exterior shots while scouting? Or are you flying by the seat of your pants?
  23. I remember seeing a picture in AC of that shot in "The Horse Whisperer" where Redford is talking to Johanson on that cliff top. In the picture it looked like Richardson had two huge silks one in front of the other about four feet apart and on the key side. When you watch the film you see a soft late day sun effect. I've always been curious about that.
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