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J. Lamar King IMPOSTOR

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Everything posted by J. Lamar King IMPOSTOR

  1. Yes you were clear and yes I imagine they were going for a warm kicker effect on daylight film to mimick a low setting sun.
  2. Try Agfa Scala which was still being made last time I checked a few months ago. Be aware that there are only a few labs that process it. Depending on where you are you might have a drop-off point, usually a pro stills lab, for processing. Well after checking the web I guess Scala isn't actualy made anymore. I have seen it around so maybe you can find some. There are photo labs out there that print BW negs as chromes. I'm not sure how acurate this would be though. If you're shooting on B/W MP stock you should really send a short test roll to the lab to test the speed of there juice.
  3. Douglas' stuff is actually criminally cheap for the quality you get. If you look around on his site he quotes some figures there.
  4. http://www.douglasedward.com/ I can't recommend this guy enough. He scored a short I shot and now he is scoring a recent feature I shot called "Garrison." Both are extremely good scores. He really knows how to manipulate music for different tones and quiet/loud passages and emphasis. Say "Make it darker here." and he does it perfectly, I have no idea how. He also plays a lot of acoustic instruments such as violin and will track those in so it's not an all digital thing. Really adds some warmth to it. Check him out.
  5. I have worked with some DP's who seem to have a hate for it too. I'll commonly use a 2x3 silk with a tweenie near the camera to fill in up to a two shot but when I go for a bigger frame and light used as a key I always go to grid or 216 etc. But I don't hate silk and surely use it. It's less efficient though like David said.
  6. Wally completely got me on this one. You know, I didn't think a lot about the hand-holding, composition or lighting while watching the film. It just seemed seemless to me and I settled in to watch the movie. That is the mark of excellent work in my opinion.
  7. I'm glad to say that I haven't even paid much attention to RED or any of the other latest round of digital equipment. I mean what is the point until it hits the market, people use it and you test it for yourself and you know what it can really do? Just give me the basic specs then I'll look at what the camera can do when I get to test it for myself. Personally I don't care if it's a 4K camera because a few years from now there will be an 8k, then a 16k blah, blah, blah. How good is the image to my eye, is all that matters. As far as the price level that this comes at, it doesn't matter if it costs even a $1.50. Just because you own one doesn't mean you have the talent to use it.
  8. Just wanted to send along a little update on this film. The Director/Producer showed a cut of the film to a post house in Dallas in hopes of cutting a deal with them for color grading and finishing. The post house really liked what we achieved for such a low budget they gave us really incredible deal. We did a color grade on an Avid Symphony running on Nitris hardware. Not as good a situation as using a DaVinci, Poggle or Pirhana but it worked well for what we had to do. Especially because we really had no idea IF there would ever be a color grade. The grade mostly consisted of finding a good look for the scenes that take place in a Barracks location that I shot with just the available flos and bounce. We had to do that to make our schedule and budget. We wound up desaturating those scenes quite a bit, upping the contrast and lending the whole image a greenish tone. The rest was just general density and contrast matching. The film will go to festivals next year and we made the Sundance entry deadline.
  9. In practicle working terms if I had lit this shot I would have set the light to the right first as the "Key" at my shooting stop by measuring with an incident meter pointed back to the light. More than likely I would have set that light to a particular stop that all my keys would be at in that location or the entire film for all night shots perhaps. Then I would have set the other light's by eye with the aid of my contrast glass then I would have measured them for reference for later setups if the lights have to be moved. If I shot a grey card I would have stuck it into that right side key or perhaps lit and shot it seperately at the same stop but I find doing that sometimes create incosistent results.
  10. There is a book out about Shaymalan shooting LITW and it has a lot of stuff about Chirs Doyle in it. I thought it an interesting read but who knows how accurate it is. If Night was trying to use Chris as a catalyst to shake things up he picked the right guy. Personally I love the film the story and the cinematography.
  11. I shot a couple of short films on the GL-1 earlier this year. Not the greatest camera in the world but adequate for small no budget shorts. I think the frame mode for some reason looks a little better on this camera than the other Canon's. You can see some footage here if you have the right plug-ins and a fast computer: http://www.aaronmarquette.com/reels.php Check out the titles: Mary's Promise, From Joseph's Quill and Business Rush. All were shot on the GL-1.
  12. "GARRISON" wrapped last Sunday with a small crew shooting in a strip club. We were shooting insert footage for another place that we had dressed as a strip club and all the dialogue took place there. There were only actresses who didn't want to appear topless though. So I guess we were basically shooting insert boobies. Not that sexy after a month of 10 and 12 hour days. I'll try to post some more screen grabs after I visit the editor next week to view an assembly and discuss color correction. I'm shooting a music video for two days this month and packing for L.A. as I write this. So next time from La La land!
  13. The film was written and directed by a U.S. Army vet of Afghanistan and I believe Iraq. It doesn't really take any political sides but rather talks about military life after warfare.
  14. I actually liked the film. I wasn't sure what to think about it at first. It was kinda like watching a Kubrick film where you are still analyzing it two days later. After debating it with several friends I really do feel like the film is trying to say something deeper about assumptions or mistakes or something. A lot of the characters made assumptions and they were wrong. The narrative seems to have mistakes, the directing, even the cinematography you could argue has mistakes in it. Like not pulling focus, letting people completely drift out of frame etc. Maybe I'm reading too much into it. I think the animated sequence at the beginning should have been left out. It would have been even wierder that way. The characters in the film seem to be trapped in a fairy tale like the characters in "Unbreakable" are trapped in a comic book come to life. Interesting.
  15. So we had one day this week where we shot all this little pickup stuff instead of waiting until the end. That was nice and allowed us to get ahead of our schedule. Here is a production still of one such pick-up of a character spying on a house. no lighting just shooting. The thing on these no budget/no time shoots that really gets you is you have to make up time somehwere. I decided to do it at the location that is supposed to be an Army barracks. The location was lit with flourescents so I just white balanced and shot. I only lit about four scenes. We shot 36 pages there in two days. Seems like a compromise but a justifiable one because the barracks is not supposed to be a comfortable place. I think letting the practicals play was the right choice. At most I would of flew in a few Kinos to fill in eyes and add some seperation. But I have no Kinos or the crew to move them around. Sorry no frame grabs as all the material is now with the editor. I'll post some when he sends me some frame grabs for CC in SpeedGrade. One of the pick-ups we had to shoot was actually a reshoot of a character on a six mile road march on a dusty rocky road. I had to reshoot because we had gotten some specks of trash on the outermost filter which was the Chocolate. I was using it in combo with the T-pol. I never recall having so much problem with DOF on DV. During the reshoot I saw something in the viewfinder again. This time it was a piece of lint on the front element. I can't believe it, that lens could look up a nats ass if it landed on the element! The problem is I couldn't just zoom through it because I was shooting from a Glidecam which are a bitch to control at best. I wouldn't normally even use a Glidecam but I felt it looked right along with our handheld footage. I wanted to keep that feel yet running with a handheld camera would be too much movement and a Steadicam or dolly too smooth.
  16. You know, I've worked for people exactly like that in real life. Including one guy who lied to me, said he was an adult and was still actually in High School! When these people call I tell them that they are not Indie but Amateur filmmakers. Do you have a script breakdown? No Do you have a real budget? No Do you have a schedule that remotely relates to the breakdown and budget? No Do you have a PM, an AD, a scripty? No Are your actors and crew available every single day of the production? No You are an AMATEUR.
  17. "The Monster" A unique thing on this shoot is a 2,000 gallon pumper truck with 100' boom arm. You normaly just couldn't do a rain scene on a budget this small but this truck is free. I wasn't sure it was going to work at all but we were able to get some really nice medium to medium wide rain shots with it. So far we used it mostly to get some setups at a drive in theater. It was the Mission theater in San Antonio. I used my 1K PAR cans to punch light into the scene from a distance then used a 4x4 frame of 216 with a Tweenie for fill on the actors. We then used the boom arm to boom the rain nozzle to the right place. It worked a treat. We had a projectionist on hand to project those snack bar promos behind the action and the XL-2 picked it up great in 24p mode 1/48th shutter. Sorry I don't have a frame grab right now but I have some plots and some production stills to give you an idea. Thanks to David Mullen for his thoughts on this. He pointed out that drive-ins usually close in rainy weather but we discovered that they do keep playing films if it starts to rain in the middle. At least this one does. The setup: Some production stills: The Monster bucket:
  18. Here is a production still of the Jeep setup above. That Chocolate filter was very hard to find here in Texas. We went through four rental houses to find one in 4x4". I originally wanted to use Antique Suede but that was impossible to find here in 4x4. If I had a bigger matte-box I wouldn't have had as much trouble finding one. I'm using MS Publisher to make the plots.
  19. Another setup shot last week. Two characters sit in a Jeep waiting for another outside of a house. This is the exterior of the one shown above. Pretty basic setup with two Tweenie Back-cross lights, a Tweenie through a 2x3 silk for fill and a 1K PAR to light the background. There were some other scrims/flags and such but I don't remember their positions. Mostly we had to knock down the light on the white house by rolling in a double bottomer. Frame Grab: Lighting Plot:
  20. On to the Chocolate filter on exteriors. Here are some that were shot on a partly cloudy day. I hope your monitor is adjusted right because they look a bit pink on my laptop. They look fine in the original though.
  21. On to some set-ups. Here is the inside of a house where the characters are looking for a soldier who they think has murdered someone. Due to budget restraints my biggest lights are 1K Rock'n Roll PAR's, I have six of them. In this setup I used them to punch my 1/2 CTB+Pale Green "moonlight" through the windows. The camera is set into 5600K White balance preset. The room is hazed and the characters are carrying Surefire flashlights which occasionally bounce back to fill their faces in. The background out the door is hit with the Storaro Yellow as a Sodium street light effect. A lighting plot:
  22. GARRISON is the title of a feature I've been shooting in San Antonio, TX. We started July 5th and end July 30th. It's loosely based on some killings that were committed at Fort Bragg by soldiers returning from Iraq. We're shooting with the Canon XL-2 and 20x lens in 24p mode. Because this is a DV feature and because of the nature of the content we decided to embrace the format we are shooting on and play to its strengths. It's not film so we are not treating it like film. After looking at various movies for reference, most notably 'Traffic' we decided to set some guidelines as to the style of coverage. We are always hand-held but very steady, no walking hand-held, no zooming and minimal panning. We have a Glidecam with vest if we need to travel with the characters. We only shoot the top of the scene as a master because the meat is in the close-ups on DV where we can back up and get good depth of field. For the visual scheme I am playing off of the military camouflage uniforms. Using greens, browns and yellows wherever I can. All DAY EXT. is shot through a Chocolate 2 usually combined with an Ultra-Pol. DAY INT. is no filter with lighting pushed through windows and pumped up practicals. NIGHT INT. and EXT. is a mix of 1/2 CTB+Pale Green for moonlight effect and Rosco Storaro 2003 Yellow as a sodium vapor effect. The Chocolate filter lays a nice yellow on the lighter areas of the camo uniform and any specular highlights in the frame. It echoes the VS yellow used at night. We have been trying some ambitious things for the budget size of this film like using a 2,000 gallon pumper truck for rain effects and wet downs. It worked out pretty good that the director?s father happens to own said truck. I wasn't sure if we had the crew or time to use it but it has worked well so far and I'll post about "the monster" later. I'm using the Custom Preset 1 on the XL-2 pushing Master Ped down 3, Black Press On and Knee High. I've mostly used the 5600 and 3200 white balance presets. Only white balancing a few times when we were using practicals as the main source of light. Exposure is set via 100% Zebras with an eye toward exposing for the highlight. Kinda like you do with reversal stock. I only have an 8 inch monitor for reference. I've played around using SpeedGrade On-Set to see if my final grade is what I'm looking for. I plan to use it as a guide for a grade on Lustre or something in post.
  23. Without knowing the exact setup it's hard to know what to do. If it is indirect sunlight or just sky bounce lighting the scene I would use what I had to at least add some directional modeling to the subject.
  24. There really are too many to list in this category. But if I had to pick a current favorite it would be the "Old Man River" song sequence from the 1936 "Show Boat." A long circular dolly move, incredible lighting, incredible composition, incredible acting/singing. Unbelievable, for that time or any, still works, puts a lot of current stuff to shame.
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