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Tyler Purcell

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About Tyler Purcell

  • Birthday 07/28/1978

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  • Occupation
  • Location
    Los Angeles
  • My Gear
    Arricam ST, 3 perf, Aaton XTR Prod, Bolex EBM, K3, Blackmagic Pocket Camera
  • Specialties
    Cinematography (digital cinema and 16/35mm) and post production (DaVinci/Avid/Final Cut Pro)

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  1. Theoretically, but the Harrison tents fall apart. I've had two and both disintegrated. The outside reflective coating fails and turns into a sticky goop. I really like the tent, a must-have for 35mm and larger. However, when you're just shooting for yourself and may not have a dedicated place to put the tent on a professional film set, then a bag works a lot better. I can put it on my lap in the car and change film. My Harrison tent barely fits in the back of my X5 and it's a bear to setup and take down multiple times a day as you shift locations. The whole thing is a PITA for non-professional "I need to load one roll" situations, which is what 99.9999999% of people out there with PERSONAL 16mm packages need. Otherwise, they're hiring a loader who has their own tent. Plus.... and this is a big one. It's super easy to forget a changing bag/tent. So that's why having a bag in the camera case is a life saver.
  2. Yea, the MP4 is "AVC" actually. MP4 is a wrapper not a codec. AVC is a codec, it refers to variant of .h264.
  3. OOOOO You're trying to do 8k in AVC ahhhhh now I get it. Yea that won't work sadly. You'll be transcoding for sure. The problem is different tho... AVC 8k is not supported on the hardware decoder of ANY AMD GPU. Whoops. I don't know if the M1's can do it either. It's not part of the "standard" use of the codec unfortunately.
  4. Yea, the R5C Raw files will not playback in real time on a non-Apple Silicon system, no matter how much power you have. It's just not possible sadly. The Raw decode is not hardware accelerated properly. Maybe they'll fix it someday, but for the time being, the Apple Silicon systems are the only ones that play it back flawlessly. Rendering the timeline does not solve the problem sadly. You won't be able to edit, having to render it every time you throw a clip in the timeline, it's a horrible way to work.
  5. Yea, I agree I don't believe there is a difference between DP, DOP and Cinematographer.
  6. I agree, especially with the Pocket 6k Pro because the integrated ND filters + EVF really helps the camera come together nicely. I've seen stuff from the 6k Pro that has blown my mind away. I've shot with it a bit, but haven't owned one to really dive deep into sadly. I really shot a lot with the original pockets tho, still shooting with them today! Plus the 6k Pro can be kept for a while, nobody is going to say "no" to a raw 6k image.
  7. Like you, I own tungsten and incandescent lights. I prefer the look of them for the majority of work I do. For interviews and intimate settings, I think you'll find there to be a lot of benefits to LED lights. Types of lights like these are very popular: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1476411-REG/nanlite_15_2008_4kit_pavotube_30c_4_rgbw.html/?ap=y&ap=y&smp=y&smp=y&lsft=BI%3A6879&gclid=CjwKCAjwj42UBhAAEiwACIhADtu1szVJk64ZySitqQB0ppRQt-dpcfUR6Zwm8t14an1clWibvABU5xoCCPAQAvD_BwE I generally rent SkyPanels or Orbiters when I need LED lighting. However, there are a lot of not so bad knock off's you should think about. These are super nice, I've used them for quite a while now and where they don't create exactly the same light as the Arri kits, they do create a very nice light, are battery/AC operated and aren't horribly expensive: https://ikancorp.com/shop/studio-broadcast/dmx-lights-studio-broadcast/lyra-rgbw-1-x-2-soft-panel-digital-color-light/ These types of LEDs aren't going to go bad fast, only the low cost ones fail fast. In terms of books, I'm sadly not much of a book guy. The way I learned was watching other people work. Seeing what they did through behind the scenes documentaries mostly and then experimenting myself. Theory is great, but practice trumps theory honestly. It's one thing to light a person sitting at a chair, it's another to create mood through lighting, which is what cinema is all about. It's understanding what you can get away with and what you can't. This is mostly done through experimentation, because reading doesn't really explain why. To me, the "why" is the only thing that's important. That's what you're learning. Once you KNOW the "why", then the rest is easy. I kinda started in the 90's, so for me some of the most influential films were Darius Khondji shot "Seven". I was obsessed with that film and what he was able to do. The blacks were black, you never really saw any lighting, it was so realistic and no shits given. Yet at the same time methodically controlled. When you watch the BTS, it was like seeing masters of the craft. They tried to re-create it with Panic Room, but things fell apart between them, so it wasn't a fulfilled vision sadly. Still, I have to say "Seven" re-wrote the book for me at least. I think knowing what they did was possible, let me to experiment in that direction. I was also obsessed with James Cameron and Spielberg when I was a kid. The two of them were masters of shooting fast and had gobs of behind the scenes documentaries to boot. So you could see how they were doing things and why they did those things. As I got older, my interest shifted to Roger Deakins. To me, he's the perfect DP in every way. Methodical, yet you never say "wow that was outstandingly shot" because he doesn't over emphasize anything. The trick is to be invisible, which goes right back to "Seven" and what was achieved in that film. I don't purposely copy anyone really. I just know through experience, what to do when and why. I prefer less light, than more light. I prefer a large source, with augmentation if required... for instance the sun with bounce or an HMI with mirrors/diffusion. I prefer shooting fast and not worrying about creating the perfect setup, your story and actors should be able to hold the story. Mind you, the large camera thing that Aapo was talking about earlier... I mean, I shoot on film majority of the time. I have no problems swinging a 40lb Arricam around with 1000ft magazine. I've done dozens of 35mm shoots by myself, loading the mags, grabbing lenses, putting the camera on the tripod, come on. This is all easy stuff. It does not slow you down having a bigger camera. What does slow you down is indecisiveness. You have to show up with a game plan and when you make decisions, stick with them. Since I shoot nearly everything I make, it is a lot more work than just being a shooter or just being a director, especially without a highly competent crew. I do a lot of teaching and have YouTube channel dedicated towards teaching people about film cameras and such. But if you want to learn a bit about how no-budget films "can" be made... you can check out this link from my last short narrative I made which kinda explains the process in greater detail. It also shows some BTS footage and of course, the final piece.
  8. Do you think the value of an Alexa Classic will drop below $4k in a year? If not, then they can buy, shoot some stuff and re-sell pretty fast. Mind you, Netflix, Amazon and Hulu, will not take your indy film in 4k. Also, there have been a few high profile indy features in the last few years, shot on 1080p cameras. One of them was bought for international distribution. So where I would personally never shoot a feature in 1080p, the idea that the product you creates is useless, doesn't play. Here in the States, people hand off demo reels of stuff they made internally and it qualifies to get bigger jobs. Nobody verifies that the Nike commercial in your demo reel or on your website, was paid for by Nike or something you shot yourself. I do A LOT of paid commercial work and NONE of it will ever be seen on broadcast TV. It's all stuff done internally for the companies. How can I prove any of it was paid gigs? I can't, zero way of proving it outside of my pay check.... which let me tell ya, nobody cares about. I'm sorry, but where I completely disagree with the practice of doing so, if you build a great reel of your own stuff, you'll get work. I've seen PLENTY of people do this and I know they're all very busy working on paid gigs. Hey I mean, ya gotta start somewhere. Make a dozen shorts that nobody watches, that's better than making nothing.
  9. Because the OP said he'd be ok with a 1080p camera. There isn't a better 1080p camera made, then an Alexa Classic. I don't consider 800 ISO "low" sensitivity either. It's better than 500, which is the max I've had to shoot with for years. What production isn't narrowed by the resolution that is suddenly narrowed by the camera size? I shoot film man, I've never had an issue with putting my cameras wherever I want them. Power consumption means nothing as well. The batteries are not expensive. I got 4 AB lithium batteries from Ebay for $90 bux each. Charger was $200 used. Not a big deal at all. Sure you can switch them off, but who would want to? If a crutch exists, whether it means infinite shooting on digital cameras OR automatic functions that work, people are going to use that crutch. If the crutch doesn't exist at all, like shooting on film or an all-manual camera, they're FORCED to learn. This is why the Blackmagic Pocket cinema cameras were so damn good. They forced people to learn about color temp's, shutter angles and how to manually expose a shot in the way commercial cameras did it. The problem is that today, building an entire original Pocket camera rig, can still be expensive. Few grand more, ya get the camera that shot Skyfall. They are very poplar in Europe and the United States. Filmmakers prefer to buy Amira's due to added features and the same imager/color science. The OP stated he wanted to learn, not do commercial shooting.
  10. I think being forced to shoot with an 800 ISO native camera is great. Teaches you to build skills you normally wouldn't need to when you can just crank up the ISO. People are literally giving away tungsten lights. I bought 6 lights during the pandemic for $500 bux. Got some stands for $50 bux. Add a few modern cheap battery powered LED lights for augmenting, maybe $1000 more in lighting total and you're good to go. We buy gel's on rolls and simply stick them in small frames instead of flags. All of that is cheap and folds up into a nice bag to carry around. Then I always carry around incandescent bulbs in 100W, 150W and 200W with me, including my own sockets with chimeras. All in all, I probably have $2k into lighting, so not a lot at all. I still don't understand the ideas of tight budgets/time constraints and lighting issues. Raising the ISO of your camera, does not solve lighting issues, it just makes your show look unprofessional. One light is enough to augment MOST scenes anyway. Sure, complex night time interiors, require a bit more work, but are totally doable on a budget.
  11. Most of the learning is about how the camera works from imager through post. Menu's are easy, it's just understanding the entire workflow and being able to grade the files well and understand how the professional workflow actually works. Plus being able to get that look from day one and understanding the limitations of the system, is quite important. Nobody has shot with a Classic here in a long time either, but who cares? The way the camera operates is nearly identical. The great thing about the classic is that you don't need to pay a huge entry price for a 3.2k camera. You can get a classic for peanuts, learn the workflow and dump it after a few shoots. Can't do that with a mini. For the 2021 award season, Alexa accounted for around 70% of all production. Film actually was the 2nd most popular "format/camera" system. Red was 3rd and Venice was 4th. The new Venice II may change that, it seems to have some offerings that have been missing. Here is hoping they trickle down into the FX9 MKII. Still, nobody is beating the Alexa for top camera in Hollywood. You don't even have to look at IMDB specs anymore, it's guaranteed whatever you're watching is shot on Alexa and if it looks slightly different, then it's probably Red. Eh, its good to learn the "cinema" way of shooting. Anyone can use an ENG camera like an FX6 or FX9. They're pretty automated honestly. With Sony glass, they have auto focus, auto iris, build in variable ND, etc. Also, nobody uses them for feature production. Yet, everyone uses the Alexa imager for documentary, with the Amira. So the downside to the Alexa Classic is basically no audio. But why would you want internal audio anyway? Professionals shoot with external audio, so why would you waste time messing with internal audio? We just slap a tentacle on the recorder and camera to keep TC in sync. Then throw a wireless receiver onto the camera for temp audio out of the recorder. This way we have audio in the camera just incase, but the files will auto sync in programs like Resolve. So you get beautiful 32 bit audio, with excellent preamp and mic quality, without having to worry about syncing later. This is the way every show I've ever worked on has operated. Sure if I'm going out as a one person crew shooting an interview, I'll grab a basic camera and plug the mic directly into the camera. But that is the only time I'll ever do that and yes, the Alexa Classic CAN do that no problem. FYI again, I'm not suggesting someone buy an Alexa classic, I'm just defending the idea of why a beginner would like to learn how to shoot with one.
  12. AH yea, I totally spaced on the filter not being external on the EL. Hmmm. It sure seems like a light leak. It's just not very strong, and it's also consistent on how much light was leaked. The fact both times I saw the issue, the camera was moving, is a good indication of some leak. However, the one at 2:07 is a different location. I now kinda can't imagine it being the camera. With that said, you did say that some of the film was older right? That these issues have been on multiple rolls from different time periods right? That kinda rules out Kodak. I also can't imagine it being processing, seems very unlikely. So that leaves us back at the very beginning with the camera.
  13. Bolex's have issues with light leaks from the filter holder. It's quite common and many users tape that entire area up. Direct sunlight, maybe bounced off an object out of frame, can easily create a light leak. It's also green because I've noticed that when scanning Ektachrome, I'm having to shift the color slightly more green to get it "natural" looking. I think it's just a side effect of that action during the scan. Where I don't shoot with my Bolex's enough to re-create this look, I bet it wouldn't be too difficult.
  14. Our last film shot with one Helium in 8k and one Komodo in 6k, two cameras every shot, sometimes 3 cameras. Shot over 18 days. 90 page script there about, is 38TB for all the raw material from set. We got our raid box for $399. We populated it with 4x14tb drives and were editing the same day we received the components for $1300 bux after tax. I don't understand what the big deal is? Wanna back things up? Just buy a bare drive reader. Buy some 14TB drives (the best deal currently) and back files up onto bare drives. Store them in your safe and every 3 - 5 years, back them up to newer drives. Where I do have a lot of media today, I also work on a lot of big shows. If you're just a young filmmaker, you're not going to have a problem.
  15. I will preface by stating, I'm not recommending an Arri Alexa. I think it's a big mistake to buy a 1080p camera in 2022. However, to LEARN what it's like (which is what the OP wants to do ) to work with a pro camera, it's the best camera to do that with. The Alexa cameras all work the same, similar menu's, similar color science, similar functions, it's all so similar, the knowledge gained can be used directly on film sets today. Not the same with any other lower-cost camera. I agree, the Alexa Classic is heavy. However, a decent tripod is required for any shooting. I got my Mitchel base, Sachtler 25 for $900 bux used with sticks. I've seen them go for $1500 on eBay many times. The thing will hold 60+ easily. I've thrown HUGE 35mm kits like Moviecam Super America's on it and been great. The balancing system is designed for heavy cameras. I would never spend $4k on a tripod, absolutely insanity. Even my "lightweight" kit, which is a Miller kit I got just for my 16mm package can EASILY hold the Alexa Classic with a prime lens kit, EASILY. I got it for $600 bux nearly brand new from craigslist. Why is an Alexa Classic (XT as well) a long camera setup? You throw an AB battery on the back, throw a lens/rods/mattebox on the front with a follow focus and you're good to go. Takes longer to pull the pieces from the cases than it does to attach them. Any show that needs wireless equipment, either FF or video, will probably have no problem with a more complex build, doesn't matter what camera body is underneath. I don't understand why moving the camera around would hinder you with an Alexa Classic. The camera is on a hot shoe from the tripod. You simply unlock the shoe, which unlocks the dovetail and you lift the camera off the tripod complete. Move the tripod and re-attach it for your next shot. I shoot on film man, my cameras are for sure heavier than an Alexa and I do PLENTY of indy work. Moving cameras around is no problem, it does not slow you down at all. Sure if you had a Moviecam Super America with a Cooke 20-100 zoom and 1000ft mag, ya just get another camera assistant for moving the camera. Honestly, I shoot primarily on dollies anyway, costs $250/day for a decent kit and a few bux more for a jib arm that will take a 30lb camera. You can't really build a Red Helium to be much lighter than an Arri Classic anyway. We're talking maybe 5lb total difference once you kit it with EVF, wireless FF, video, monitoring, battery, focus aid, shoulder/dovetail kit and lens. I've shot with the Alexa classic, Mini and of course the Red Dragon and Helium. Because the smaller cameras require a much more substantial kitting/rigging out, they wind up not being small after all and very heavy. I may have missed that suggestion and it's not a horrible one. Where I absolutely despise the camera personally, having done a few "Sony" shows and said I'd never work with Sony again, I guess for a beginner camera at todays price point, maybe its ok? I personally can't stand their color science, it's atrocious. They use proprietary memory cards, aftermarket ones have issues and the card readers are very weird. I've had some that don't read certain cards. So you get back from your shoot and none of your card readers work, great. Sony also licensed the shit out of these cameras, so doing things like over cranking can be tricky if you don't have the appropriate licensing, which of course includes pro res and raw, which are both extra difficulty and cost. On the best of days the F55 is fine for interviews. On the worst days, it just doesn't work. The Alexa Classic with it's 2.8k imager will do circles around the F55 in every department but resolution and sound. The F55 does benefit from having TWO XLR inputs, but how your image looks in my eyes, is more important than two xlr inputs. I don't understand this really. Why is it tricky to roll a dolly around? Why can't you shoulder these cameras? I shoot with the same support using a light camera, then a heavy camera. That's how you make your stuff look professional, by putting it on a dolly, jib arm, Steadicam, etc.
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