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Stuart Brereton

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Everything posted by Stuart Brereton

  1. Over here in the UK, Cameramen were split into Lighting Cameramen and Operating Cameramen. The Lighting Cameraman only concerned themselves with Lighting. All decisions regarding Lens choice, camera position and movement were made by the Operating cameraman, according to the Directors' instructions. Below them were the 1st AC (Focus Puller) and 2nd AC (Clapper/Loader), just as in the American system. These days, many DP's choose to operate themselves. For those that don't, the system now operates much more along the American lines, where the DP is responsible for all aspects of the Camera work. Some DP's choose to give the operator a lot of freedom to deal with the director, some don't.
  2. Really, who cares? The whole Film vs. Video debate is OLD People will shoot whatever format is appropriate/affordable/available.
  3. It's a sad day when a contributor to a Cinematography forum considers Box Office takings to be the most important indicator of a films' significance.
  4. I wonder if Titanic will really be remembered. Citizen Kane dates back to 1941. For 64 years its has remained a topic of conversation amongst those interested in film. What is there about Titanic that would give it such longevity? The script? Hardly. The performances? Hmm... The Visual FX? Already surpassed. The only notable thing about 'Titanic', looking back on it now, is its' Box Office takings.
  5. "We're all potential Hall's and Toland's. It boils down to talent, determination, motivation, inspiration, creativity and personal style." You make it sound so easy.... "And that's what Dan is doing. He's questioning what may very well be outdated opinions and standards." Why should these opinions be outdated? Is Greg Tollands' contribution to cinema lessened because it happened 60 years ago? By that rationale, Van Gogh, Vermeer, Monet, Caravaggio, and many others painters are now longer 'Great'. "Casablanca and Citizen Kane, to many in our generation, are no longer what CASABLANCA and CITIZEN KANE were to my parent's generation." We're not talking about these films relevancy. We are talking about their Cinematography. That hasn't changed. "Road to Perdition and Gladiator were tremendous acheivements in their own right." I agree, however, Road to Perdition is actually one of the films that Daniel originally said that he thought was not as good as some music videos. "Besides, what's wrong with being inspired by music videos? Didn't Darious Kondji come from a commercial/music video background?" Nothing is wrong with being inspired by Promos. The original observation was that the camera work in them is largely derivative, and that many of the "innovative" techniques in them had been 'borrowed' from feature films.
  6. Are you absolutely sure that you want to be a DP? Cinematography is a demanding vocation. It requires both technical knowledge and artistic appreciation. It requires an understanding of narrative. It needs a familiarity with the work that has gone before. It requires a HELL of a lot of hard work and dedication. If your statement above is true, perhaps you should look elsewhere. It's interesting that the film you say you'd rather be watching, didn't require a DP....
  7. Creating good looking shots and conveying meaning are part of the job description. If you can't do that, you aren't a DP at all. For a DP, greatness comes from innovation and daring, and from moving the art onwards from it's current state. That's what separates DPs like Conrad Hall and Greg Tolland from the rest of us.
  8. Please, somebody tell me he's winding us up...Please.
  9. Sorry, just noticed that you're shooting daylight stock. Is your scene a day interior? If so, a TV effect would be minimal. The "how blue is TV" question is kinda like that "how blue is moonlight" question" Stuart
  10. I'd say go with 1/2 CTB, and instead of a flicker box use two lamps on dimmers. I saw a DP I was assisting do this years ago, and I've used it ever since. TV's don't flicker. Their brightness varies, but the variations in brightness are not actually that great and don't happen that fast. Using two 650w, both on dimmers, and altering their respective brightness will give you a more realistic effect. I would usually underexpose a TV effect by 1 - 1.5 stops. Stuart.
  11. Tim, Your stuff looks good. really well executed. here comes the BUT.... I think you need to step out of the shadows of your heroes/influences. your work seems overly thought out, and too much in thrall to "this is watkins...this is storaro...this is willis..." you have an extraordinary knowledge of film history...use that knowledge to form your own style, your own flavor, rather than slavishly recreate other DP's looks. This is NOT a criticism... Stuart.
  12. How am I avoiding the issue? I've just explained that there is more than enough light to shoot this. You don't need lenses that open up to t0.7 or whatever. You're not trying to take an incident reading off these reflections. you're exposing for the reflections themselves. I can't remember what stock you ended up using on your short, so I can't comment on what exposures you were getting. Stuart
  13. I'm going to take a reasonably informed punt at this and say that with 500asa, the fluorescents themselves would spot meter at about T45. If we assume that their reflections in the floor would read 2 stops less than this, we have a reflected reading of T22. To render this as white,as in the picture, we would open up to T8, or wider. Even if the the reflections were 4 stops less than the tubes themselves, we could still shoot at about T2.4 or T4. Without knowing what your camera setup was for the shot, it's difficult to say how another would differ. But it's obviously not necessary to shoot wide open in a film setup. If we want to go further and really burn out the reflections, we can. We can open up more, and then print down to recover the deep shadows close to camera. All of this possible without "gigantic amounts of power" or "pumping kilowatts at it" or even ultra fast lenses. Stuart
  14. Those highlights are a specular refelection of the overhead fluorescents. You spot meter them, decide how bright/burnt out you want them to be, and adjust your exposure accordingly. With a 500asa stock and some fast lenses you would have no problem at all shooting with the existing fixtures. Stuart
  15. I did quite a few freebies as an AC. The renumeration came in the form of experience (which sometimes I needed) and in new contacts (which everyone needs). I don't see the problem here. If you want to do a freebie - do it. If not, don't. No-one's forcing anyone.
  16. This is what extension viewfinders are for. I would rather handhold an SR than a DVW 790. That camera is a breeze block with a lens on it :-( Stuart
  17. Why would it? People shoot film under normal fluorescents all the time. As the actor in this scene is deliberately underexposed, you'd need even less light. I know you're not a big fan of film, but you have to forget this idea that you need truck full of lights just to get an exposure. BTW, nice work, Mr Townson Stuart
  18. I did a similar thing on a music video a couple of years ago. I had two windows, each with 6x1k par cans outside. I had thought about having one large lamp outside each window, but having multiple lamps gave me much more flexibility in deciding where the beams of light fell. As it was a promo, I didn't worry too much about realism. Go easy on the smoke. you want just enough to pick out your beams; too much, and you'll lose your contrast. Try to get your lamps as far away from the windows as you can. If they are close, you'll end up with a big exposure difference across the room. Stuart.
  19. It's BEADboard, otherwise known as Polyboard in the UK. White polstyrene boards of various sizes (4x4, 8x4 etc) used for bouncing light.
  20. Try to avoid shooting during the middle of the day. Harsh overhead sunlight is nasty! If you can shoot early morning and early evening when the sun is lower, and try to keep your actors back-lit or 3/4 lit with the sun, it will look much better. You going to need a lot of fill, so have plenty of beadboard to hand, also reflectors, and maybe some large mirrors for hot edges. If you have to shoot at midday, using some silks over the actors will take the harshness out of the sun. It's a matter of taste, of course, but I always really like the look of long lens work in deserts, picking up all the heat haze...nice! Stuart
  21. The lamps you linked to use 500w Edison screw bulbs (see the Suggested Accessories section under the item description). These lamps are designed primarily for studio portraiture with stills cameras, not for lighting Film/Video. I don't want to be rude, but if you want to be a DP, then you cannot afford to be ignorant about this sort of thing. You'd be better off trying to find some second hand redheads or similar on Ebay.
  22. Listen to Phil! An XL2 or a DVX100 will give you great images if you take the time to light and compose them properly. There is absolutely no need for you to spend all that money on HD, when it sounds like all you really want is Progressive scan. It's always really tempting to hire the latest bit of kit that promises to work miracles for you, but for a showreel piece all you need to demonstrate is an ability to light and to compose shots. Remember the Steven Poster quote: "if you can light, it doesn't matter what you shoot on. And, if you can't light, it doesn't matter what you shoot on..."
  23. I can't remember what Days Of Thunder looks like, but Last Boy Scout marked Ward Russell out as the best of the Kimball imitators. He had, of course gaffed for Kimball on a few Tony Scott movies, which obviously helps.
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