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Stuart Brereton

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Everything posted by Stuart Brereton

  1. I'm going to correct myself here; the qualification needed is actually City & Guilds 2330 Certificate in Electrotechnical Technology. There's a load more info on the Skillset website.
  2. Sam, I believe that the qualification you need is the City & Guilds Certificate in Electrial Skills (Supply & Distribution) You can get this part time at many local colleges. I could be wrong, so anyone that knows better, please correct me. Tomas, It used to be the way you describe over here, too. A few years ago new legislation was brought in which meant that even sparks with 30 years experience suddenly had to get a qualification. It's probably not a bad thing, but I can imagine that it upset a few people at the time.
  3. What's patronising about it? Surely it's better than simply telling people not to bother? You were saying that the situation is different in the US Object all you like, it happens to be true. Of course you can market yourself. You send out reels, cvs. You join a crewing agency. You make contacts at the production companies. If you're sitting at home watching daytime TV, then no wonder the work isn't flooding in. 'Hang around' anywhere for ten years and you'll end up in debt. You have to be proactive. And forget this idea that Hollywood has an abundance of work. There are just as many failures there as here This is absolute bollocks. I know many camera people and all of them manage to make a decent wage, buy a house blah blah blah. I do it myself, and I'm not shooting features. There is plenty of money to be made working in TV and corporate work. You actually said 'we are crap'. In the absence of any qualifiers, I take that to mean all British crew. That is undeserved and unfair. You've obviously got a chip on your shoulder the size of a house brick. If you're so bitter and disillusioned about this industry, why do you still work in it? Why don't you take your own advice and find something else to do instead of whining about how your life didn't turn out the way you wanted it.
  4. The Film Industry traditionally attracts far more people than it is capable of supporting. This is true here in the UK, where the industry is small, and it is also true in the US where the industry is huge. There is always going to be competition for work, and it is not always the most talented person that gets the work. There is more to being a freelance technician than just ability. You have to aggressively self-market, you have schmooze, you have to be friendly, helpful, available. You have to be a 'can-do' kind of person, not a whiner. You have to be the kind of person that other people want to work with. You also have to be extremely determined, and accept the fact that it is probably not going to happen overnight for you. I'm sure that there are plenty of talented people who never 'made it', because they lacked the determination, or self confidence, or whatever. David Mullen said recently that he spent 10 years earning less than $20,000 a year working on indie features. I'll bet that wasn't easy, and I'll bet there were times when he thought about chucking it all in and getting a 'real' job, but it's paid off for him now. Determination, or bloody-mindedness or whatever you want to call it. The vast majority of people will never get to shoot a big Hollywood feature. Does that mean they should give up camera work altogether? Of course not, you just have to accept it and realise that you can still make a living shooting less prestigious projects. Phil, you're right to point out that this is a tough business to be in, but there are lots of professions equally difficult to crack. Any self-employed person knows how tough it can be to establish yourself, whether you're a bricklayer or a focus puller. It's fine to sound a cautionary note to others, to help them understand what they're getting into, but PLEASE, don't insult the abilities of other freelancers just because they are somewhere you're not.
  5. He's right, everyone. Abandon your dreams and ambition. Don't even bother to try because it won't work. Not for any of you. It didn't happen for Phil, so it won't happen for you. You can believe this bullshit, or you can get out there and see for yourself. some people will succeed. some will fail, but if you don't TRY you'll NEVER know.
  6. As a matter of fact, Phil, I have. I spent 6 years as an AC on features, TV dramas and commercials. I worked withh DP's and crews from all over the world, and not once did I think to myself "Oh, they're so much better than British crews'. Britain has, for a long time had a deserved reputation for excellent crew. To describe them as Mickey Mouse is offensive and highly inaccurate. Try saying that to Geoff Boyle next time you see him. You've just described British crews as 'Mickey Mouse' and yet you're 'not good enough'. What does that say about your level of competence? Christ, Phil, just how sour are those grapes?
  7. Phil, The reason that camera like the D20 are patterned after film cameras is because they are most likely to be used by people who are used to film cameras. Sure, Arri or Dalsa could have made their cameras look like a DSR 570 or any other ENG camera, but why would they? Film crew are used to working in a certain way, with certain accessories. For the D20 to be a success it has to be popular with crews and rental houses (as well as being a great camera) and the best way to ensure this is to minimise the disruption to working practice and maximise compatibility with existing accessories. Your experience obviously differs, but in the six years that I was an assistant, I never came across a film DP who 'knew everything there was to know about every motion imaging device'. Quite the opposite, most were quite happy to admit their ignorance of video formats, as I am happy to bow to others who have a broader knowledge than me. Don't be ridiculous. It's not. And if you are offended, then I'm sure it's no worse than the offence you give to people when you claim, as you have in another thread, that there is no professional practice amongst British Filmmakers.
  8. You must be having a bad day Phil, but I don't think that insulting every crew member in Britain is the way to deal with it.... There was a question asked, and I think it deserves an answer, not just another one of your rants about the state of the film industry/film crew vs. video crew/telecine colorists. The National Film School has an excellent reputation, but is very difficult to get into. The London International Film School is good but very expensive Bournemouth Film school has a good rep, as does Newport The Northern Film School used to be very good, but has gone downhill since it it was split into the NFS in Leeds and the Northern Media School in Sheffield There are others, but I don't know much about them.
  9. Rodney Charters, CSC, who shoots 24 apparently does this all the time. I've tried it on the last couple of film jobs I've done, and been reasonably confident with what the dSLR is telling me. It's not a replacement for a lightmeter, but it is reassuring sometimes to have an image there in front of you.
  10. David, This is just beautiful..... If the rest of the film looks just half as nice... Brilliant!
  11. I've used a thing called an 'A-Frame' for towing car before. It attaches to the front axle of the car (I think) and pulls and steers from there. Because the wheel are still on the ground, there are no problems with strange perspectives. If you're using it on a car with an auto gearbox, it must be in neutral (probably the best bet in any case).
  12. It is possible to achieve these moves without MoCo or other specialised equipment. I have seen a short clip by an Australian Timelapse/Time Slice cameraman named Mark Ruffy, where he just moved his stills camera 6 inches between every shot. When his sequence was finished he imported it to After Effects and stabilised the picture. The results are spectacular. I'll try to find a link to the clip.
  13. It's called 'Arc-Eye' and it is quite extraordinarily painful. Your camera will be fine, as long as you follow the previous advice about using ND rather than shutter to knock down exposure. It's your eyes that are at risk. NEVER look at an arc with the naked eye, even for a few seconds. If you need to line up a shot, either get the welder to stop, or use a welders mask.
  14. sorry, didn't realise you were talking about a 2.35 extraction only rather than the full aperture
  15. You may have already heard, but over the weekend, a factory unit in Bristol, UK owned by Aardman Animation burnt down. Stored in it was all of the sets from every film they have made in the last 20 years or so. The blaze was intense, with flames apparently reaching 100' in the air, and it took fire crews all night to get it under control. Sadly, nothing was saved. Luckily, this is not the building housing their studios, so their production faciliites were untouched, but it is still a horrible loss of all that film history.
  16. iStopMotion from Boinx software can do Timelapse via Firewire from DV, or from a few DSLRs.It's pretty cheap (about $35.00) I think it's Mac only, but I could be wrong.
  17. The APA is the Advertising Producers Association, who BECTU used to have a Pay Agreement with. The agreement lapsed in 2002, but the rates of pay are still more or less adhered to. A Video Assist operator should get between £240 and £292 for a 10hr day, according to BECTU's recommended Commercial rates. What you actually get is anyones' guess....
  18. Unfortunately, record labels take a very dim view of unauthorised usage of their material. I've been in this situation myself, and found that the best approach is to contact the record label, explaining exactly what you want to do, emphasising the 'not-for-profit' nature of your project. If you're lucky (and it does happen) they'll give you permission to use the track. If not, use your own music. Really - record labels have teams of Lawyers who like nothing better than to scare the poop of people over unauthorised use.
  19. 28 Days Later did not look 'amazing' it looked 'okay', and that was after they spent many thousands of dollars on grading and film looks. The XL2 is perhaps the best of the Mini DV cameras, and with a little care can yield fantastic results, but it is still MiniDV. There are many other options, s16mm being preferable.
  20. Stuart Brereton

    DSR 450

    This is incorrect, the filter wheel on the DSR450 only changes the ND setting. Colour temperature is changed via a small button above the filter wheel Colin, The method I described to you will allow you to have different setting for each ND, but you must make sure that the Filter Inhibit function in the Maintenance menu is set to allow this. Just like on a DVW700/790 this function ensures that all the ND colour temps are the same when activated.
  21. Stuart Brereton

    DSR 450

    Colin, I've had the opposite problem with the DSR450 of trying to get all the ND positions having the same white balance. If I'm understanding your needs correctly, you should be able to precisely set the WB for each ND setting via the PAINT menu. I don't own a DSR450, so I don't have one in front of me, but there is a page in this menu whuch allows you to manually input a Colour Temp. This setting will apply to whatever ND you are currently using. Once you've set the CT, stay in the menu, and spin the ND around to the next setting. The menu will now display the exact same page, but with the setting for that ND. Change that setting to your required CT, repeat until all 4 are set how you want. I'm not sure how useful this will be, as the different CT settings will still have ND built into them, but this is the way I would do it. Another thread on the same subject, I believe: www.cinematography.com/forum2004/index.php?showtopic=8854
  22. Roy, Sam Dodge (www.samdodge.com) has three 2709's of various ages listed for sale currently. Hope this helps, Stuart
  23. Shameless self promotion is usually posted in the Jobs & Resumes forum, and I believe Tim Tyler likes people who advertise on his site to make some sort of contribution to the upkeep of it......
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