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Tyler Purcell

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Everything posted by Tyler Purcell

  1. Again, my batteries are around 15v and the camera works fine. The voltage regulators are designed to reduce the voltage regulators inside the camera, are designed to reduce the voltage down to 5v which is what the camera runs on. These are not "analog" cameras, they're computer controlled motors, so voltage is regulated.
  2. There was such a limited production run of 1200ft loads for 16mm, I doubt you'll ever find one. The 800's are far more common as Kodak will still spool 800's off if you order a certain amount. For 800's, I'd just use 1000ft 35mm cans because they're a dime a dozen.
  3. I run the NP1 solution, which is super easy to deal with. They make dozens of varying NP1 to 4 pin XLR that you can very easily connect to anywhere on your camera. They also made adaptors which were for the Aaton which work great on ALL the cameras BUT the Xtera. I use the batteries as stock 15.6v and they work fine. The power regulators in the camera which convert everything to 5v are good for upwards of 30v before they fail. Sadly nobody appears to make 12v battery solutions anymore, they're all around 14 - 16v.
  4. Ohh interesting! Sounds like your emitter has a light leak of some kind. I've seen emitters fall out of position entirely and do all sorts of weird things. Unfortunately, the emitter is on all the time, it's just one MORE during aaton code writing, which the camera does not do unless you have a programmer tool. You can try taking a little piece of rubber and sticking it in the hole, making sure it's nowhere near the film plane. That should gum up the works enough to stop that from happening.
  5. Honestly, I personally don't care about what anyone says about being a filmmaker if they aren't working in 2019. The industry has changed A LOT in the last 5 years. We went from an industry with dozens of decent distribution outlets, to an industry with basically one; streaming. We went from an industry that produced and promoted mid to low budget movies, to an industry that shames low-budget and doesn't give them any chance to be successful. Tent pole movies are now commonplace, not the exception and that has killed theatrical for an entire market segment. Streaming services are the "future" but Netflix is in debt by the tune of over 12 billion dollars as of this writing. Amazon hasn't had a single "success" with their platform and even HBO's wildly successful Game of Thrones, they are considering scaling back production. So where you can learn a lot about crew roles, storytelling/writing, blocking and technical aspects from books. You aren't going to be successful unless you know what's happening in 2019! HELLO!
  6. If you have a consistent job, I would for sure not go freelance until you have at least 5 clients with consistent work. I started freelance with 5 clients and over time, they dwinded off as more and more companies stopped paying for high-end production. With cinematography, it maybe easier to get more consistent clients. However, many agencies have in-house directors now, who serve as line producers when they aren't directing. It's cheaper for the agency to do that AND they don't have to worry about conflicting schedules. They still hire out DP's, that's a huge business for sure. However, I believe the days of Director/DP working freelance for an agency are dwindling outside of the very top top top agencies, which generally use the same guys. The lower agencies are all in-house and the middle agencies are slowly starting to shift as well. I have many commercial director friends sitting on their asses right now because of this issue AND the fact, there is just less being shot. My suggestion would be to try and capture a few agencies before they make this shift and do good work so they don't shift over to in-house only.
  7. I got the camera loan before I had the clients and with private rentals alone, I make my loan payment back each month.
  8. Going to an expensive film school is worthless in my opinion. Far better to buy a cheap digital cinema camera and experiment outside of school and make your inexpensive state school major, a backup career. I was heavily motivated as a teenager and I believe it takes that young motivation, to become successful. If you go to school to figure out what you want to do, then you probably aren't passionate enough to be a filmmaker. The most successful students I was in contact with during my years teaching, were those who had direction in high school. Those who decided to skip college and work on film sets instead. Those students have jobs already because the industry loves passionate young people. I know so many people in their early 20's who have worked on some huge shows, just because they had a clear path. I think most people feel their path could have been smoother, could have been more direct. Where I don't regret the path I've taken, I do regret not starting sooner. Having spent 5 years at two different colleges and earning 3 degree's plus a bunch of certifications, it was just too much time away from my career. I did make a bunch of films, but nobody really cares about what you made in college unless it's amazing and back in the late 90's, the cost to make amazing was too great. The only people who could afford it, were people who had gobs of money. So we did projects on analog video that nobody wants to watch and it's really sad because the production value is pretty amazing for virtually no cost. Today film students have access to the very same equipment the top productions use and they're creating amazing productions. The stuff coming out of the school I taught at, was winning awards at the national level. I was shocked how good these high schoolers are, not only at story development, but also cinematically. Since they all grew up with a camera in their pocket, experimenting and shooting, they've become incredible weapons that rival what I was doing at their age. Don't get me wrong, we did some amazing stuff too, but the kids these days are at another level.
  9. Things have changed a lot since Robert produced his first low-budget movie. Again, when you're a top guy, it's really easy to give notes on what you did 30 years ago to become successful. This is 2019 and the rules of the game have changed dramatically. All of the standard revenue avenues that use to be open; theatrical, home video, television, pay per view and in-flight, have all diminished for low-budget production. Thus, financing has become an entirely different game and wouldbe directors have been turned into full-time producers in order to make their $250k movies come off the ground. I know this because I work on those movies for a living and I have worked on them long enough to see the game change in the last 5 years. So please don't lecture me about making low-budget movies in 2019.
  10. It's called an equipment loan. If you have consistent clients, spending $40k on a camera is nothing. You can make that back in a jiff. Heck, the income I make off my film cameras is pretty darn good, thanks to repeat customers. If I had an Alexa mini 4k, I'd have no problem paying it back in a year or two. I've thought many times of doing it, but nobody will give me a loan because I'm a freelancer. 😞 You don't need to setup as a rental house. You just need make friends with rental houses who don't have the camera you have and allow them to offer it. Then, whenever you want it, you simply call them and go pick it up. If you're busy with the camera, than you won't need to do that. However, most people aren't THAT busy with their cameras. As long as they're paying the loan every month from rentals, they're fine. Amira's drag in around $700/day, which means if it rents two days a month, you've got the loan paid every month. All that matters is your day rate with camera or your rental rate. I don't understand why Netflix is even brought up. Again, anyone shooting for Netflix is not going to be using their own equipment, even if they OWN their own equipment. It's not worth the risk, they will simply rent something. The Arri Alexa is the #1 digital cinema camera. In fact, in 2019 there are still dozens of shows being shot on the XT and the Amira is just a re-packaged version of that camera. So I don't know why a client wouldn't be happy with the image. Here is how it work, if you have the same camera EVERYONE ELSE HAS, why would anyone use YOU? The Canon C series cameras have flooded the market, they are literally everywhere and as a consequence, their rental value is basically nothing. Few years ago when we were prepping for a feature, we had the option to pay for Red Dragon's, or the rental house would give us FREE C300MKII's because and I quote "if you rent lenses from us, we will give you free bodies because nobody rents them". So if you buy a C200 (which is arguably a worse camera than the C300MKII), you may be able to get $150/day for it, IF you had a client that has no money. However, do you really want to work with a client who has no money? If your camera package is a high-end, then you have weeded out all of those low-end clients.
  11. I'm just basing my info on friends who own cameras here in LA and what garnishes them work and what doesn't. Red dragons are a dime a dozen, so owning one will not garnish work. Everyone wants Alexa Mini 4k or Healium's or Venice. Those are the 2019 camera packages that owner/operators need to have in order to get work. Talking heads is always compressed because the subjects aren't moving, so you don't need the benefits of RAW. I personally rarely shoot in Raw outside of on Red cameras. I think the raw formats are too difficult for the computers to process generally, so it makes post production difficult. However, since Arri's are still the most sought after camera package, it does make sense to stick with that, even tho the camera i suggested isn't 4k native.
  12. In raw it's 3.8k, which means when you do the transcodes in DaVinci to Pro Res 4444 after a day's shoot, you can deliver in full 4k if you want. I've done this many times and nobody knows the difference. Saying the Amira is 4k is fine. My friends who have Amira's make a killing off them, the cameras are constantly rented because they're really good for cinematic documentary work.
  13. There is no business sanity to filmmaking. I know many cinematographers who make a killing renting their Amira's. Also, nobody put a price on how much the package should cost. Some people have money to blow on good stuff, other people don't. Maybe if the OP put in a price range, he'd be stuck using something a lot cheaper. Also Netflix approved cameras only benefits people with "netflix" on their paychecks. If you make a project funded by Netflix, you are not going to be using your own camera. Netflix buys 2k content every day of the week. In fact, on two of the shows I finished, when we asked them if they cared about 4k delivery, they said 2k was fine. How are you supposed to hold any of the C series cameras with a decent zoom lens? They're so front heavy with any lens, it makes them completely impractical to use. Like the Red and Alexa mini cameras, you wind up spending gobs of money building rigs with add-on viewfinders, shoulder kits, counterbalance battery adaptors, yada yada yada. Most people spend more on the rig, than the camera body itself. At least with the Amira, there are used packages with everything included. All of the canon C series outside of the bulky and over-priced C700, have an incredible poor design. Canon is a still company not a video company and they still haven't figured out how to make video cameras work well. Yes, they make a great imager, but outside of that, the camera usability is poor at best. I have used them quite a bit and would rather pay less money for an arguably worse camera (blackmagic pocket 4k) if I was stuck in that form factor. Otherwise, give me a full sized camera that natively sits on your shoulder for documentary work. If you can't handle the weight, then go to a gym. Worlds best autofocus for video? Nobody in their right mind would use Canon EOS glass on a documentary shoot, with non-repeatable focus AND non-parfocal zoom. Without EOS glass, many of the cameras features are worthless sadly. Yes, I have shot a lot with S and L series glass from Canon on C series and 5D series cameras. I have been unimpressed every time and have literally paid for a camera myself on several shoots because I'm so dissatisfied with the canon EOS glass. Canons cinema primes are pretty darn good, but they're all manual.
  14. So think of it a different way. A production company "hires" a cinematographer with gear. So yea, many companies won't need to insure the DP's package. This saves them a lot of money AND time to pay the DP to deal with the rental house. Yes, it's labor + kit in most cases. I've done quite a bit of work with the Amira, it's no Sony or Panasonic ENG camera, that's for sure. However, it looks just like the Alexa, so you can shoot b-roll with an Alexa and interviews with Amira and you've perfect matching images. Now this is the high end, but if the question is "owning" a package, It's a really good camera to own. I'm not much of a Canon C series fan. I don't see the purpose of holding a camera out in front of you all day and when you add a zoom lens, it's pretty cumbersome even with a shoulder rig. I don't like the XAVC codec, even though it works nicely with Avid, it doesn't work nicely with anything else really (I use it a lot). I don't like Canon's menu system either and I think the camera over-all is very outdated in the way it functions. The problem is, if you're going to rent yourself AND a camera, you should be looking at something people want. I mean, a Sony Venice MAY be an option, but it expensive. I don't think anyone wants the EVA-1 or Sony F5/F55, they sit at rental houses. Red is out of the question for Documentary work, it's too much of a pain to deal with. 2/3'rds imager cameras are worthless for professional commercial work. So it's a real tossup!
  15. I don't know if you need to be interesting. I know a few filmmakers who are complete duds personality wise, but have made some amazing movies.
  16. On the high-end, cinematographers rarely own their equipment, unless they're Shane Hurlbut or want to be the next Shane Hurlbut. Yes, many have some sort of camera, but they have connections with rental houses who supply pretty much everything. High-end would be anything with guaranteed distribution before being shot and enough budget for their crew to live comfortably. On the mid to low arena, things are very different. Many Documentary filmmakers do own their own kits, so they can be out shooting their films without assistance. They'll bring on a DP for interviews or "beauty" work, but having done post on many doc's, it appears the filmmakers themselves do quite a bit of shooting. Mid to low are shows that have a limited up front budget and most of the time, do not have a guarantee of distribution before being shot. You'll find many commercial DP's in the mid to low budget range also have serious stashes of equipment. Here in Los Angeles, I find most of the working commercial guys, own their own rigs because they're so busy, they don't waste time dealing with rental houses. Many have small grip trucks with everything they use and use the same camera/gaffing/grip team on all of their shows. They make money by doing A LOT of shows, sometimes two or three different clients a week. They work directly with agencies to get work and a lot of times work with the same directors. The difference between the high end in the commercial world and the low end is that DP's in the high end can make tens of thousands per day, so they don't need to work much to make ends meet. Where the mid to low guys are hustling non-stop to make ends meet. I think today, unless you're a high-end guy -in which case you'd already know the answer- the answer is yes, you should have your own camera package. You are a better asset to a line producer having a rig, then dealing with rental houses. You can invoice them singularly for labor and camera package, making things way easier. Insurance covers you and your camera, vs special coverage for a rental camera, etc. There is far more paperwork to do with rentals as well. Heck, I know guys with small grip trucks who work non-stop just because they don't need to do paperwork. So what camera package to own for both ENG Doc work and Commercial work? The Alexa Amira would be top of my list. Get that beautiful imager with the ENG package body. Heavy yes, expensive yes, but pretty damn good camera.
  17. - Original Camera Negative (OCN) Reels; These are assembled by the lab during the transfer process and are a max of 1200ft. For digital, these would be identified as the actual cards that come out of the camera. This helps avoid confusion on set. - Reels without the OCN ahead of it, come from the film projection days where films were split on to 20 minute loads for A/B projector change over projection systems. This was to actually help the editors who couldn't playback more than 20 minutes at a time on a flatbed editing system anyway. So the whole industry has used 20 minute reels since the beginning. In later years, films were spliced together onto platters from those reels, but the studio's have always delivered film prints as reels. In the digital days, we rarely use reels. Even if a film is being recorded back to film, it's rare the post production team uses reels for any reason. As editing systems got faster and theatrical film presentation died, there was no need to cut/conform negative, so there was no reason to edit as "reels". Today, films are done in a single timeline and even though a lot of the audio industry still prefers reels, picture editing is one timeline and OCN information is only used to figure out where to find certain assets or if something is missing.
  18. Again proof you know nothing about this subject. Many top filmmakers on here with multiple feature credits in theaters around the world, have agreed with my statement that modern filmmaking is a job of producing, more than anything else. film·mak·er /ˈfilmˌmākər/ noun a person who directs or produces movies for the theater or television.
  19. Aren't the steadicam mags the same thing, but with a longer tube?
  20. What is this grade school? The only embarrassing thing here is how you handle yourself on an internet forum. For the record, the other thread I posted about getting a proper cinema camera, was in direct response to someone wanting to be a cinematographer (this is a cinematography forum). The replies I made on here to your comments, have nothing to do with cinematography, they have to do with being successful in the film industry, which has nothing to do with a single job like cinematography. .... assuming we're discussing director of photography. The OP wants to know the steps to becoming a filmmaker. As you probably know, the role of a filmmaker is actually producer more than anything else. Truth is, if you have a story you wish to tell, the filmmakers job is to find the people capable of helping bring it to fruition. Does it talk about what sells content wise 2019/2020? Does it talk about crowdfunding? Does it talk about grants? Does it talk about modern budgeting? Does it talk about contract negotiations? Does it talk about insurance? Does it talk about casting non-professional actors? Does it talk about advertising/marketing the jobs on set? Does it discuss festivals, sales agents, lawyers and E&O? Does it talk about getting screwed by people and how to make sure your asset isn't toxic when it's all over? To me, those are probably the most important things a "filmmaker" needs to know. The vast majority of filmmakers will work with someone who has experience in the writing department. Most filmmakers will bring in an experienced crew of some kind; cinematographer, gaffer and sound at the bare minimal. Most filmmakers will get pointers on post production, even if they edit it themselves. In the world of production and post-production, it's very easy to get a small crew together with experience to help get your project done. So I don't see the purpose of someone reading a book about the way things worked during the studio system unless they're interested in history. It's far better to pay for a masterclass on being a producer in 2019 than it is to read a book that you're probably going to forget about the moment after you read it. The masterclasses have visual cues which help long term retention and the higher entertainment value plus current knowledge, will truly help younger would-be filmmakers. I will also say for the record, if you watch movies -especially the classics- read scripts written by masters and practice shooting scenes with friends, you have some idea of how a scene comes together. Add a few masterclasses in there about producing, funding and writing, you're in pretty good shape to make a product in 2019. Who said they weren't? Citizen Kane is the first film I show in my cinematography class. Followed by Paths of Glory and The Third Man. I could go on all day about Kane as I've studied Toland's work quite a bit. I part that knowledge onto my students through lecture and in-class projects where we recreate some of the unique camera and lighting techniques used in some of these early classics. Just because I don't think a book written in the late 50's has much play in the world of 2019, doesn't mean technically brilliant films are thrown away because they're "old". Well if you bothered to research me, I have an educational foundation and I teach filmmaking as a part time job. I have lectured at USC, Cal State and UCLA in a room full of adults, many of whom are professional filmmakers. Only thing I get are standing ovations. It's funny, I google your name and see nothing. :shrug:
  21. Obviously you didn’t read the other part of my post which stated that in the end, the most important part is story. This isn’t a forum for writers, so I wouldn’t expect anyone here to need advice on writing. There are some phenomenal books on story structure and most importantly how to spice your story up to keep the attention of a modern audience. Oh and yes watching/studying the classics is very important
  22. I also don't understand how someone who retired in the late 50's from filmmaking and wrote a book about his experience in that era, could shed much light on today's filmmaking, especially when it comes to equipment, financing and distribution, which are THE HARDEST PARTS! Honestly, if you wish to be "successful" in classical filmmaking, the first steps are to learn about fundraising and producing. The act of making your product, that's the easy part. You hire people do help you with that.
  23. I wholeheartedly agree. If you have the passion, you can figure out how to make it reality, even if it's just an iPhone video. Having been a teacher for the last few years at a very successful local arts high school, I would say this statement is accurate. You can always tell the students who want it and those who don't want it. The ones who don't really want it, they go to some far away fancy university, far away from a media city. The ones who want it, they stay at home with cheap/free rent, get part time jobs and spend the rest of the time making content. I always told my students, the younger you start building a portfolio, the better off you'll be in the long run. Where getting a degree is good as a backup plan, if you really want to be a filmmaker, going to college is 4 years of wasted time. The best course of action is to milk the free room and board, create content and if things don't go well, hit up a community college and get a degree in something to help pay the bills. Once you lose the ability to stay at home, life becomes super expensive very fast, especially if you live in a media city like New York, Atlanta or Los Angeles. I don't believe practicing your passion is a waste of time. I don't believe in discouraging people for selfish and jealousy reasons. I do warn my students that the road is challenging, but I explain how things are done and clear the debris so there is a clearer path to eyes on your content. People forget, the whole purpose of this industry is to tell stories and if people see your stories, then you are successful in my book. Maybe it doesn't garnish you wealth, but it does fulfill the desire to share your ideas with the world. Today, we're so lucky to have amazing outreach and with a modicum advertising, you can get hundreds of thousands of views or more. The formula is easy to read online, it's easy to find other people who follow the same practices and learn from them as well. The truth is, nothing holds you back from making content but yourself with the help of discouragement from others. This is not 1995, this is 2019, this is an era where the phone in your pocket, creates higher quality media than most digital cameras from 10 years ago. Where software companies are giving away super high end software for free. Where an iPad is more powerful than most laptops. If you aren't making content on a regular basis, if you aren't practicing and getting better, that's down to your own passion, not the industry. There are no excuses anymore, get your telephone out, get an app that allows you to control the camera and go tell your story.
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