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J. Lamar King IMPOSTOR

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Everything posted by J. Lamar King IMPOSTOR

  1. Thanks Phil, I'm now all but certain that the ND .9 was actually an 85ND9 or some kind of Coral and ND. After loading the footage into an editing program and color correcting, the second and third scenes were normal. The third scene was a little warm due to late day light. The first scene is so screwed looking, everything is orange/magenta. I found a shot I slated and I was wearing a dark blue ball cap and it appeared as a maroon color in the uncorrected footage. Thankfully it corrects out easily. I'll just have to watch that camera closer next time to make sure and get the rental company to look through their ND's Monday to see if they can find the filter for positive proof.
  2. Yes, I suspect that could be it. That first and most orange setup was shot in almost mid-day light. I don't think it could have been that orange but it definately could have been something to do with the white balance of the camera. It really looks like an 85B, I know that color when I see it. The .9ND might have been an 85ND. But I would sware it wasn't. I'm going to call the rental place to check but they may not be able to find it. Do you feel it's better to white balance throughout the day? I didn't want to mess with it this first time because I wanted to work more like a film camera, that's what I'm used to.
  3. Unfortunately, I can't remember what it was called. I don't live in that town anymore but I drove over there and wouldn't you know it the book was checked out. maybe it'll show up in a few weeks. Other than that it was a foot square 2 inch thick hardbound book. It was called something like "The Camera Handbook." It had basic info on cinematography and at the back it had a section on then new (I guess 70's) camera systems. It had a list of the old series of lenses with the focal lengths, stops etc. with some technical drawings. David could probably get this information for you faster.
  4. Thanks for all the help you guy's gave me with my recent shoot with the DVX-100. It went great and we got everything we wanted. Awesome camera and we want to finish the docco with it. But; While lining up the first shot of the day I noticed the tone of the sky was a deep steel blue in the monitor not like the rich blue it really was. I assumed it was due to not being able to see the monitor well even with a hood. Also, after close scrutiny of the footage I noticed that the subjects shirt appeared to be a rust colored red in the first scene, a nice royal blue in the second and sort of a mixture of the two in the third! WTF After an hour of twidling knobs trying to color correct the playback to get the shirts to match I concluded that the subject must have changed shirts during the day. Of course no one noticed this happen. A hunt through the footage revealed he indeed had "changed" shirts. Apparently he took off his shirt to remove an undershirt (it was cold in the morning) and when he put his shirt back on he turned it inside out. It was reversable!! This didn't account for the odd shift in the color of the sky in the first scene. Which now knowing he had changed shirts, when correcting for the blue shirt he had on in the second scene the first scene was WAY off color. Looked like it was shot with an 85. I modified and saved scene file 5 the night before and I know I had it set right when shooting because I named it 101. I didn't change anything but detail to -7 and pedestal 0. I used the factory preset 5600K color balance, I did not do auto or manual color balance at any time during the day and it was always set to 56K. The only time the camera was turned off was between scene 2 and 3. On scene one at 11:30am, full sun, I used a .6 and a .9 Schnieder ND and the internal 1/64th ND to get a stop 4. Looks like it was shot through an 85. On scene two at 2:00pm,shooting into a garage, subject lit by skylight and a Kino Flo to light the BG, I pulled the .9 ND and switched Out the internal ND to get a stop of 5.6 with just the .6 ND in. Color balance is perfect the subject and the area lit with the Daylight Kino are both perfect white light. Scene three at 4:00pm, lower sun, I switched the internal 1/8th ND In and still with the .6 Schneider for a stop of 4.8. This scene is closer to scene two than one. The shirt seems to be blue but it looks a little off toward red. Could be the warmer light. So now, looking at the First and Third scenes through a full and 1/2 CTB they immediately color correct to almost normal. Still some other shift in there. Common thread here is the use of the internal ND filter. Are these known to have a color cast? Might have been the Schnieder, ND85? But I know I looked at it and it was a plain .9 ND. Hmm...
  5. The BBB should be online. Google it. Anyway those prices look high. $49 bucks for a 100 footy of 7246? Is that with processing? Kodak's price is like $35. Film emporium sometimes has factory sealed for $29. I also noticed that one of their pages had a tag line (the one that appears at the top of the browser and on the button) at their dv24p.net site says "2-pop- The Digital Filmmakers Resource Site." Not the 2-pop I know.
  6. Thanks Mitch, I went to videouniversity.com and lined up the monitor again and this time it looked a hell of a lot better! The skin tones were looking reddish but now there spot on. I noticed that the darkened pixel line is exactly at the point where the sub-bars touch the long bars. This is where the trashy looking line is and I guess it's just burned in from all the use. The verticle vibration is only in the monitor but it's not really an issue. You don't really see it unless your right on top of it. About setting the white patch in the color bars. I'm not sure I ever really understood what the "bloom" looks like. How do you know when this is set right? Finally I've decided to run with -7 detail but I'm still not sure where pedestal should be. What will give the widest range of manipulation in post? 0 or - something?
  7. Bill or Mitch or somebody who might see this before mid-day Thursday US. I got the DVX-100 package today brought it home to do some tests and it's an awesome camera. Question about my monitor though. Does the Sony 844Q run at 0 or 7.5 IRE? Is it switchable? I don't seem to be able to find a switch or anything. Does it really matter that much for assessing exposure? It only looked slightly different when I switched the camera to 7.5. I haven't aligned a monitor with color bars in a number of years. I went though the process and when I turn on the blue gun only it seems I can get the tone of the bars to match but there is a big wacky line between the long and short bars and the short ones seem offset a little. I don't remember it looking that junky last time I did it. (we're talking 10 years here). What gives? The monitor also appears to shake verticaly a small amount and it has what looks like a 1 pixel wide dark strip theough its lower third. Bad monitor?
  8. Thanks guys, That detail thing might have tripped me up. I assumed if you went below 0 you were going below what is considered normal detail. I didn't realize it meant OFF. Anyway I'm getting an early pickup so I'll have all evening to play with it at home before shooting Thursday. If I save a scene file will it stay in memory after I remove power? Looks like my test day is going to be a production day. Typical, you have to use it if ya' got it. I guess I'm going to have to roll 16mm at the same time incase I don't like (or I screw up) the DVX-100 footage. :unsure: I'm about halfway through reading the manual now, which I find hard to learn anything from because I don't the camera here.
  9. Actually, I would think your skills are much in demand these days with so much electronic cinematography going on. If you don't have a background in basic film technology I suggest> The Negative by Ansel Adams Other Good books. Cinematography by Kris Malkiewicz(sp) ASC Film Manual- You'll find a lot of specific technical info here. Film Lighting by Malkiewicz Filmmakers Handbook by Pincus and Asher Masters of Light by Schaefer and Salvato Professional Lighting Handbook Verne and Sylvia Carson Film lighting books are good to read because film lighting technique can be somewhat different than the average video shoot.
  10. Narration is in no way indicative of a bad movie or failed screenplay. That's something you read in books and hear in film school but I have yet to have one person explain to me why it's bad. There are plenty of great films that have narration and most of them benefit from it. This idea that narration is somehow a fault probably stems from the notion that you shouldn't say what you can show. In fact all films have a form of narrator. The director. Films function in two realities. Bob Foss wrote an excellent book about this "FIlmmaking, Narrative and Structural Techniques." All films have two realities; The Plane of Discourse and The Plane of Events. The Director manipulates the Plane of Discourse to tell the story while the charaters act out on The Plane of Events. Voice narration is no different than the director having a camera pan off of the characters in the Plane of Events to examine some poingnant piece of the scene or group of characters that make a visual comment on what is happening in the Plane of Events. The camera has now become the Narrator via the Plane of Discourse. Because of this duality voice narration can be used to great effect. Such as the ability to have two points of view from the same character. A person reflecting on events in the past, who may or may not have learned anything from it or a narrator that tells you one thing yet his on screen character is doing another. Both good uses of the narrator. In the second instance you couldn't even achieve that within the false reality on the plane of events. The Narrator in Seabiscuit's case was there to relate factual information to you. And function as a way to move the story forward on the plane of discourse in real time then drop back in on the characters at another place in another Story time. If you had all of this happening on the plane of events you would have a huge amount of subplots and diversions away from the main point of the story. I offer the opening scene of Jules et Jim as an example. Instead of having the character do the usual exposition of themselves in story time, the Narrator introduces them with a little story which later turns out to be important. During this narration the film moves through time on the plane of discourse, there is no story time, it's just a montage that functions to relay information. This is what I mean by an Epic form. Each scene is complete in itself. It is a conception of the world. We are invited to observe but ultimately we remain outside. Progress is made in leaps and montage. Human behavior is examined and we are brought to understanding. Mankind is changeable and can bring about change. It's mankind as a process. So it is a pretty sophisticated way to tell a visual story rather than simple cause and effect. I guess some people feel manipulated by this but the Director is only trying to bring you to an understanding not a conclusion of the story. I thought Master and Commander and Cold mountain were both good movies. Sure you don't have just a little sore spot about the "main stream" movies Tony? BTW I don't care for most mainstrem movies myself. Just a selection of random DVD's within my sight are: Winged Migration Three Kings Jules et Jim Fiddler on The Roof Hair
  11. Hi Leon, Internal mods to the K-3 can easily be made to prevent jamming and more importantly scratching of your film. You can do it easily yourself. The mods consist of removing everything related to the autoload film path. These cameras are made to automatically feed the film though the gate. I never could get mine to load like that anyway and its just a lot of rubish that is going to scratch your film. I will atempt to explain it here and if you have the camera in front of you, you will easily understand what I'm talking about. You need to remove the loop formers by removing the interior baffle plate and cutting the rope (yes it has rope inside of it) that connects them to the plunger that moves them out of the way when you put the cover on. At the same time discard of the plunger and its springs and the rope all the way back to the footage indicator dial but leave its spring hooked up. Then with a hot cutting knife remove the plastic where the film emerges from the top side of the drive sprocket pinch roller nearest the gate. You only need to remove enough plastic so it doesn't come into contact with the film. Do this same procedure on the lower side of the drive sprocket where the film returns to it. You can also remove the metal guards that are between the two pinch rollers on both sides of the drive sprocket. Only remove the part that's near the surface of the film, don't remove its frame because it holds both of the pinch rollers together. It also helps to remove the front beauty plate that says "Krasnogorsk-3" in cyrilic by gently prying it up with a pocket knife. Drill holes in this plate to correspond with the recesses where the screw holes are that hold the front cover of the camera on. Then super glue the plate back on and you will have easy screwdriver access to the front of the camera if you need it. All of my gates are smooth and they don't scratch, but the channel plate above and below the pressure plate is a bit brief. I think Reel Trading installs a longer gate channel. It's not a major problem just make sure you or your assistant forms the feed side loop small enough that the film doesn't rub against the painted area of the interior of the camera before it goes into the gate chanel. After these mods I have never had a jam or a scratch in a few thousand feet of film so far. Make sure to load the camera in subdued light, you'll never do it without looking at it. Then tape off the entire camera cover mine have leaked light under full sun. Then you can unload in complete darkness. Hope this helps. I think there is a website called k3camera.com or something that has sometips on it.
  12. Hey Bill, just a few more questions. I'm getting the DVX100 Thursday for a test. I got the 8044Q 9" monitor just because it will be easier to tote around. Might still go for the 13 during production. Keeping in mind that I intend to upconvert to HD and there might be a possible film out. What do you know about setting V_Detail Freq. in Cinelike set to THIN while using in-camera crop to 16:9? I understand that this will maintain more resolution for HD upconvert at the expense of more moire in SD output? Could I then change detail in Scene File to -1 to obviate this? Or would I wind up with what I started with? How did you set your master pedestal? I'm thinking about using Detail 0 and Master Pedestal -1. As far as setting up the monitor is it ok to use the interlace colorbars provided by the camera (it's not an A). Then switch to Progressive? Finally did you use Zebra to get exposure? Did you use 100 and stop down to eliminate hotspots? Or use 80 and stop down to eliminate hotspots on skintone? Basic questions I know but I skipped video 101, to takefilm 101.
  13. The racial content of Rabbit Proof Fence is obvious to anyone watching it. I didn't feel there was any real menace behind it though like there was in Schindler's List. I guess I wasn't buying the acting or the Directing style. Just because a film is about a PC subject like racism doesn't mean that it's automatically a good film. That long walk home felt like it was a 5 mile hike. Just having one of the characters say "I'm hungry" every once in a while doesn't convey to me the true hardship of that journey. Why would I want to go to a film and not learn or feel anything more than I new when I came in. In that particular film IMO it didn't go far enough to show me anything unique. But that is personal oppinion and I guess we are talking about something that is impossible to quantify. What point does a person become emotionaly engaged in the subject?
  14. I hope you don't mean to imply that I'm some kind of Racist, it's just that I've seen the topic covered better IMHO in other movies.
  15. You make some good points but I have to say it sounds a little bit like splitting hairs to me. I guess it goes down to what Mitch says about being receptive to the story. I wonder if people laugh at it because they really think it funny or does it hit a little too close to home and they don't want to confront their emotions. What's wrong with manipulating emotions?????? Isn't that the point of making a film? To make you FEEL it? The only way a work of art or any event will register in your permanent memory is if there is a significant emotional response experienced with it. Sure, you shouldn't make this process an obvious one as in "Armeggedon" or "Pearl Harbor" where they suddenly jump out of the story and use these beauty shots to say "oh look at the horror, can't you feel the drama?" Rabbit Proof Fence was much more subtle at this but I didn't feel they ever drove the point home clearly enough. I never FELT the hate and racism. For some reason I'm reminded of the opening scene of Walkabout. It's a way over the top idea but it is emotionally arresting and leaves you with no doubt of the characters mind set. I've heard people say they thought it utterly rediculous and so they didn't enjoy the film. It's all about your prospective on things I guess. As far as stretching the truth I don't think they went over the line. It's not a documentary and the essence of the truth was present. This horse was not a perfect specimen yet it beat the best. That's true, it really did happen and it was amazing. It is the very example of what competition is really about. I guess that's a universal ideal but I believe it runs deep in those Americans who haven't given up on existance yet.
  16. Well said Dave, that is true for many, many people in this industry. AC is one of the few mags in any industry that you can actually LEARN something from. Because of the length of its history it is now nothing short of THE authoritative source of the history of cinematography. You're probably the guy that keeps out bidding me for old issues on ebay. ;) As for me I read everything about cinematography, even if it's the umpteenth book about the basics. I recently came across a few cinematography books at a small local library, they were 60's and 70's era and didn't really cover anything I didn't already know, except one contained an in depth examination of the older Panavision anamorphic lenses which are still in use today. I find I get just a little bit of new information or insight from everyone of these books and with the books I own I read them at least 5 times. I don't know about others but I feel that one of the unique duties of a cinematographer is to be able to reproduce any look desired by the directors. It's also your duty to try and expand those techniques. Cinematographers need to be artists but they also need to be well versed technicians. To expand upon the cab driver analogy, I believe it's like your real job is being a professional driver and you should be able to effectively drive a cab, a Ferrari race car, a Mack truck or jump a triple on a dirt bike if you have to! Also I would like to say there are some books a cinematographer must read like Paul Wheelers "High Definition and 24p cinematography." It's a great resource for the "How to" of production with the Panavised Sony HD camera. If you want to shoot indie features in the future you are most likely going to come into contact with this camera.
  17. Windman, don't bother with this guy. He is paid by his corporate masters to infiltrate these websites and attempt to subtley manipulate our ideas and to keep their products name in circulation. The problem is he sucks at it. He just drops the whole list of positives for their products and negative for our beloved film product which we all seem to make horrible mistakes at shooting that are very hard to fix in post. He's too lazy to spend the time at making repeated posts and engage us in seemingly innocent conversation and smoothly dropping the information like any good paid aggitator would. We could probably get this guy fired if we told Sony that we were able to spot him so easily. I reccomend that Sony hire ex-CIA operatives in the future for this kind of mission instead of some teenager from Europe looking to make an easy buck. This proves that the corporations are the real evil in society that is spying on you. The Government really doesn't give a poop what you do as long as you pay taxes. A corporation wants to know exactly what you are up too so they can be there to sell you something.
  18. With all respect to your viewpoints I offer the following constructive comments. I've heard this complaint about the movie more than a few times. I could understand UK audiences not "getting it" because it does deal with some uniquely American ideals. The local film reviewer in my town even said that no one cares about the underdog anymore. I don't belive that for one second, I think rather people that are "in the know" are programed to automatically hate anything from "Hollywood." I don't know what it is, over marketing of movies or downright jealousy that makes people believe that nothing from "Hollywood" can possibly be good. The attitude is Hollywood=Drech. Plus the movie was structured around a very advanced storytelling form. What is sometimes called a True Epic or European Epic form, though it doesn't adhere exactly to that principle. That is, there is only the most basic dramatic story line. The characters themselves don't choose what scene comes next based on the cause and effect of their actions, rather the film moves to a place in time and a new portion of the story is told at the will of the storyteller (the director). That's why the narration is there to set the scene off. Quite frankly I believe some people do not grasp this concept (I'm not saying don't, in fact looking at your site I'm sure you do) and what an elegant way it is to tell a story. You're not watching the story unfold from inside, it is being told to you from the outiside like a verbal history. The film did have a bit of staying power in theatres in the U.S. which is rare theses days, so audiences do still believe in the underdog.
  19. Digging up an old topic, what about "Seabiscuit?" I don't think anyone mentioned that. As far as I'm concerned it was THE BEST movie last year cinematogaphic wise. And it was emotionaly moving too. Looks like the ASC agrees with me. It really fit Schwartzman's style, I don't think he's at his best in the action genre. I thought it was great all the way around, it had real nuance to it. In my screening the jaded American audience actually shut-up for a change and you could hear a pin drop during silent passages. That last 360 degree shot was really cool too, what a strong visual to end a movie with.
  20. I second that, a great film. Did you notice when the Special Forces arrive on scene, that the parade scene in Red Dawn is etremely close, sometimes almost shot for shot? It must've been an inspiration for the makers of Red Dawn.
  21. I actually have a little bit of dread for the day I have everything at my disposal and on the biggest set of my life. In the back of my head I might be thinking we need to cover this entire city street with silk but I'm not sure if I would be absolutely confident in such a big decision. Or it would be the other way around and I specify 200 sky pans to light a cyc and they tell me I should've used 500! As far as arrogance on set, it's just a quality that people are born with. I mean look at Robert Rodriquez that guy is one step away from setting up the craft services table, cooking the food and serving himself! Then he'll probably yell into a bull horn "Robert we need you on set." Also I'm a person who doesn't particularly like backlight. I once lit a scene in a bedroom where a guy wakes up, sits up, then turns on a bedside lamp. I shot a flooded out 1k through CTB and a silk through the window to hit the background wall (basic moolight) and shillouette the guy as he sat up and reached for the lamp. When he flicks the lamp on (out of frame) I just switched on a warmed up 2 bank Kino with opal. Then I said I was ready and like 10 minutes later the director wanted to know why I wasn't putting up a backlight and fill, I guess they didn't hear me. They must've thought I was a real lazy dude for just sitting in that chair while they were waiting on me! I explained that the principle was wearing a white T-shirt and about 3 stops over the BG. A backlight IMO would be useless he said ok and no one ever complained about that scene. I don't know what I'll do if I run into one of those hard asses I read about in magazines that keep insisting on backlight or kickers at all times because that's "how it's done." Or they think you don't know what you're doing because you don't set a particular light. I could understand doing it if we agreed to do it all the time but even then in this scene, what would have motivated the backlight? I guess this could be put down to a bit of miscommunication but sometimes I think directors would really rather be working with Mr. X and wonder why you don't light like him. I'm not a film school graduate but I did take all the film classes at a JC with a pretty decent program. I learned photography at an early age then took classes in HS and JC. I'm not trying to be arrogant but I've past every photography and film class I've ever taken with an A and been the top person, always. It's not even because I worked hard it's because I LOVE it. (And humbly, I thank the Creator for allowing me to do it because if not I would probably be strung out on drugs or something). I would seriously spend 10 plus hours in a darkroom every weekday printing what I shot that weekend. Other people in classes would sometimes get pissed at me for getting good grades and I would tell them that their photography isn't that bad it's just that they didn't mind their photographic P's and Q's and let a tree grow out of someones head in the composition or something. There also seems to be a "feel" to good photography, I know when my work is good (to my standards) and I know when it's not working. It's like I'm playing in a band and my instrument is way out of tune. I have to acknowledge it isn't working and do something about it NOW.
  22. It's a simple thing, but it always helps me to take just a moment to look at how I've lit a scene. I mean really look at and understand what I'm photographing. Then I can make decisions about what other lights it might need. Look at the scene through the viewfinder to find the top, bottom and sides of the frame then take a step to the side and look at the scene framing it with your hands. Use the classic palms out fingers verticle with the tips of your thumbs touching for 4:3ish frames and for widescreen hold your right hand horizontal palm in, fingers to to the left and thumb verticle, then do the exact opposite with your left hand, your thumbs will be touching the index finger of the other hand. Once in AC they called it cinematic Tai Chi, funny but it works. This with a little knowledge of various fixtures can help you decide say, how "big" of a key light you need and what area of the frame it will look natural coming from. Bottom line is I'm going to go with the largest fixture that's going to give me the quality I want but not be overkill for the situation. It's much easier to knock something down than change to a more powerfull fixture or put up a second one. It helps to look at manufacturers data and memorize how many footcandles a fixture produces at 10 or 20 feet. You only need to memorize one figure (maybe two for spot/flood) because inverse square law will tell you what footcandles there will be at 5 or 40 or whatever feet. Then you can convert fc's into stops.
  23. As far as screwmount lenses for the K3 search for M42 screwmount lenses. There is an excellent 20mm Zeiss Flektagon in this mount and all of the SMC Pentax Takumar lenses are decent; relatively speaking. You can also find a newer Samyang?/Phoenix zoom that goes as wide as 15mm? I think. Remotes are pretty easy to build with a solenoid like Mitch said. Search around some still camera sites and you should find a version with a solenoid contained in one end of a box with a standard cable release glued through a hole at the other. I have also seen one of the air bulb releases rigged to a bicycle pump and you just pushed down slowly to keep the air pressure up until you got to the end of the stroke. It had about 15 feet of line.
  24. Being a multiple K-3 owner and user I can attest that if you don't need sync-sound (and you have a great post facility to work with) you can make a film that will stand up to any other 16mm film quality wise. In fact I started a short documentary film to be shot entirely with K-3's and posted out to HD. I tested this process and it works great. Only problem is that once I got started shooting, the story of the documentary turned out to be way more involved than what I had planned for. So now it's a full length project that needs sync sound segments which I'm seriously considering shooting on the DVX-100. The impact of someone breaking down and crying in "voice over" audio is nowhere near that of watching it. In fact it's a little comical. But that's the nature of documentary. If your doing scripted narrative or music videos you might be able to absolutely rule out the need for sync-sound. A major factor in the rent/own decision is the cost of insurance. I haven't found a rental house yet that will rent me a film camera without insurance. They might exist, maybe others can inform us. That's why I'm considering the DVX because I can rent one without insurance and it is an acceptable alternative to 16mm film IMHO. I also haven't found low priced insurance (if that's even something you should consider, like a low cost nuclear bomb). If you have the money for insurance look at getting a producers policy which you can get for a whole year for the same cost as a couple of weeks of rental insurance. Which also happens to be enough to buy a good sync-sound camera. :blink:
  25. One way to improve the "Rock n' Roll" type PAR64 fixtures is to cut the housing down. I cut mine down by 5 1/4"s and used a drill and screws to reattach the gel frame holders. It makes them shorter and I find it helps to spread and smooth the beam out wider, though some of the PAR64 lamps available can have a hot center area that is hard to make look right. You can attach them easily to a grip head with a 7/16th inch bolt, fender washers and a wing nut. For use in interiors you should also consider building one of those fixtures invented by Raoul Coutard. I can't remember what their exact name is but I built one out of 2 lengths of perforated angle iron screwed to two short pieces of 2x4 lumber which are screwed into the two ends of a wall spreader. Attached to this are a number of high temp lamp sockets that accept the various types of photo floods. You just spread it between walls near the ceiling and switch on what lights you need. While it's not totally directional you do get a hard and bright light out of it but multiple shadows can be a problem.
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