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Christopher Santucci

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Christopher Santucci last won the day on September 3 2017

Christopher Santucci had the most liked content!

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About Christopher Santucci

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

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    http://santucci-cinematographer.com
  1. Really not bad. I LOL'ed at the one part with the cheese puff, but the lighting and framing - not bad at all. Yes, it's traditional to not underexpose for dark scenes. As long as your highlights aren't clipping, expose those normally and "print down" in post. When using gel to wash a scene like that, might be good to have some white light on your actor. Maybe just have enough distance between talent and wall, so you can wash the wall with that color and then light talent with white light.
  2. I would key them from a high angle above the actor close to camera. Could be a hard source, or as diffused as you can manage. It'll look better this way than the alternatives unless you could back them out of the doorway a little so larger/softer side light was possible. If you manage that key so it's a little less bright than normal, it'll look less sourcey and you could put a hard side light on hallway guy and a hard back edge on the girl. As for the door opening, try flagging the key until the door clears the frame.
  3. Why not? All it's doing is heating the fog juice. Could do that with a coffee can and a propane torch.
  4. Wow, looks real to me. Might be two stunt performers though. One to exit the window and one to run toward camera.
  5. Storyboarder is probably the best. Although I do also prefer the old fashioned methods. One can draw out a frame a lot quicker than it even takes for a computer to boot up.
  6. I once worked on a multi camera commercial project and during a prepro meeting, the much younger B camera operator (also providing a bunch of gear and a few cameras) actually said "I don't care about the money." That kind of thing is very alluring to producers working in markets where acceptable quality tends to be middle of the road.
  7. For what it's worth, someone once suggested an insect fogger to me as a hazer and they actually do work very well for small to mid size spaces.
  8. Shafts or beams of hard light will be visible with haze, yes. Ideally, the beams would span some distance in middle space, not just raking a back wall. And I'd think diagonal beams would be best if you can swing it. Another thing that can help is breaking up the sunlight entering your set so there are more distinct beams visible.
  9. It seems the trend as of late is toward smaller crews. I've spoken with multiple DP's and directors in the past few years who stated a preference for smaller crews at least in the realm I generally work in, which tends to be story-telling (b-roll, and interviews). I just today had a call with a director about shooting some internal pieces for a large bank featuring their staff. We both agreed that having a less obtrusive, intimidating camera rig as well as a small crew (just the two of us!) was the way to go, which of course we can get away with as long as expectation matches our approach, especially if we're willing to share tech duties to some extent. You just have to go into it having your azz covered. Stretching yourself thin means the chance is greater that things slip through the cracks. I've been shooting MOS spots lately with 2 G&E, an AC, PA, coordinator, makeup, a director, and we've been fairly comfortable while also nailing the intended imagery. Of course part of getting the shots with a smaller crew means, yes, eliminating certain things like slating which is a total buzzkill in my opinion, haha.
  10. A friction head might be better or even the Manfrotto 322RC2 locking ball head.
  11. Any household tungsten lamp is fine. Wattage depends on your needs. I generally bring a range from 25 watt to 100 watt, with some higher jacketed lamps (250 watt) just in case. Frosted would be better for most applications I would think. Tungsten lamps don't flicker. Dimmers are a necessity unless you want to waste time wrapping lamps with ND gel. The electronic dimmers can make the filaments vibrate at higher frequencies which are often audible to the ear. This is why you're better off trying to find an ideal wattage that doesn't need dimming, not to mention the lower color temp that (as mentioned) occurs when dimming.
  12. It really depends on each project you set out to produce. Something with moving talent and a lot of shallow DOF - get a focus puller. Something with a lot of talent - get an AD. Something with a lot of setups that require good lighting - get a gaffer. One thing I've grown accustomed to is booking crew who are multi-skilled who don't mind swinging. It's common in my market for crew to be expert in 3 or 4 different roles. At this point I don't think I'd hire someone who only did or could only do one thing unless they were amazing at it and it was something I really needed (like a great focus puller). When I was shooting a lot of indie films, I generally insisted on having a script supervisor, in part because I was generally editing, haha.
  13. I'm pretty sure being 50+ has put me at a disadvantage with some out of town producers looking to hire a freelance camera operator or videographer in my area. I think "cinematographer" connotes experience, though, and there's a slightly different mindset when it comes to hiring. That said, many producers don't even know what a gaffer is, so cinematographer is synonymous with videographer to them and as we all are aware, any 23 year old with a film school degree and a Sony a7S is a DP these days. I've gotten a few weird looks when meeting some producers for the first time on location, which I have to attribute to my age and their expectations. I applied for 200 open staff positions in 2017, positions with titles like "digital media specialist," "videographer," "cinematographer," "video producer," which all described skills that I'm expert in with almost 30 years of broad experience. I got zero job offers & any of the few rejection emails I got were boilerplate rejection letters. One very telling thing I noticed with the job posts, HR almost always stressed formal education over work experience, with 1-3 years experience being the prevalent requirement along with a 4 year degree. I honestly don't even know if any HR people screening applicants ever even looked at my reel, but just based on their specs, it seemed they were only looking to interview 20-somethings.
  14. I have 2 of these and 2 of the 1X2 mats. To my eye, the chroma is balanced. They come with remotes, are dimmable, are pretty bright, and break down into a very small package. Only weak point are the corners for the frames which can break pretty easily if you're not careful: https://www.amazon.com/FOSITAN-FL-3090-Daylight-Dimmable-Photography/dp/B0779XZQ6F/
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