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Christopher Santucci

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Christopher Santucci last won the day on September 3 2017

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About Christopher Santucci

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  • Occupation
    Cinematographer
  • Location
    Buffalo, New York
  • My Gear
    Red Epic, 5DMKIII, EX1R

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  • Website URL
    http://santucci-cinematographer.com

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  1. Do you not have ambient light where you live? 😛 I don't think you can go wrong with Aputure, but seriously, you should try and work with available light if at all possible.
  2. It really depends on budget, the nature of the script, the expectations of the director, and how the DP likes to work. I've DP'ed features where there was zero prep or even discussion about the cinematography, but then I worked on a spec PSA once and the director wanted to discuss at length every aspect of the cinematography down to also visiting the location to discuss it even more. I worked on a feature that was completely storyboarded by the director, but we never much discussed lighting, etc. I think I've DP'ed 9 features, but I don't remember ever doing any screen tests with actors. When performing lighting tests, it's generally to work out a difficult lighting situation or to test a non standard technique, so really, it's more about just knowing what will work and what won't work on the shoot day.
  3. Build 2 large book lights to place on each side of the frame, one closer to camera and one further back.
  4. Clipped highlights, drastic focus issues, and just generally poor lighting, is what stands out for me. They're using the overheads and keying with small sources, it looks like. I'd guess they had a very small lighting package for this.
  5. 2-3 years sounds about right but of course now the danger is that new camera models are being released more frequently and you don't want to get stuck with an obsolete camera that producers and directors aren't asking for anymore. That said, I'm still using a Red Epic MX and have no intention of upgrading. Buying used is the way to go with the pricier cameras, I'd say, especially given the lesser lifespan of cameras as of late. I would expect a reputable rental house would have maintained and restored a sale item to 100% prior to sale.
  6. I would think 35mm on a S35 sensor camera. 85mm is a bit long depending on what the product is and what sensor size you're using. I definitely wouldn't use 85mm on a full frame sensor camera for tabletop stuff unless I wanted a lot of it to be out of focus.
  7. Use a point source fixture, not a skypanel or anything diffused. You'll have to experiment with placements to achieve the effect you want. Another option would be to produce a slide with the exact coloration you want and use it in a Leko or project an image file with a projector.
  8. If I had the budgets top tier A-list directors had, I might shoot on film too. Or, I would put that extra expense into something an audience would actually appreciate, like production design. I wasn't referring to them, obviously. And I'd be willing to bet if movie goers were polled, most if not all wouldn't know and wouldn't care what the movies they watch are shot on. Content is king.
  9. Just pull the wire harness out of the fixture and extend each leg as needed with quick splice connectors and 16 gauge lamp cord.
  10. What possible advantage could there be at this point to originate on film? Even IF it cost the same as digital? People are shooting popular features and commercials on iPhones & cameras you can pick up at Best Buy now. Audiences don't care about film. People watch more video/motion picture work daily now than they used to watch in a year, and are really only interested in content. I see work shot on film (stills or motion picture) these days by tech hipsters and for the life of me, I can't see anything different in terms of look from any other modern digital imagery. Film is more time consuming, offers more possible ways to ruin it (fog, dust, tears, scratches, crinkles, lab damage, etc.), and film is a one time use medium as opposed to thousands. I started out with film and I for one don't miss it. Clients don't ask for it and consumers/audiences don't either.
  11. Keyers these days are WAY better than they used to be, so I have to think it'd work. Green light is green light, either way. It'd be pretty easy to test this out.
  12. A film story has a beginning, middle, and an end. It has a likable protagonist struggling to achieve something against some form of opposition usually in the form of an antagonist while the protagonist experiences a definable character arc (growth) throughout the course of the story. Unfortunately, this kind of self-indulgent subject matter isn't really generally embraced by the public so you'd have to find some way to make it palatable to a potential audience, or find something the public likes as source material for a film. I'd suggest using CBD to lighten your mood and see if you can explore something as subject matter that's not the big D.
  13. Market prices for film cameras DO reflect that reality. You can buy an SRII for about the same price as a Panasonic HVX200 when it came out, 4 grand. Originally, I think that was a $30K camera, just for the body.
  14. I generally suggest what instruments and modifiers to place and where, then start tweaking over radio or directly. A lighting diagram is preferable to hand off to the gaffer and key grip since it cuts down on miscommunication, finger pointing, arm waving, and gives them a visual reference. I also like to produce story boards so everyone understands the setups but these are generally print outs of photos made during a scout on location with stand-ins.
  15. I would top light it with the Kinos and send some hard light through the glassware from behind.
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