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Stuart Brereton

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Posts posted by Stuart Brereton

  1. 23 hours ago, Mei Lewis said:

    To judge results fairly you have to compare them to the alternative.

    In this situation, what would the results have been for the extremely dedicated individuals if if they had spent £30,000 and two years of their lives in some other way trying to become cinematographers?

    (I'm saying this as someone who still might consider going to the NFTS. That's why I was looking at their site It's the only place in the UK anyone has ever said is any good. Did you go there Stuart?)

    I didn't go there. I went to the vastly inferior Northern Media School when it was still a film school and not just a department of Sheffield university.

    Going to the NFTS will give you a gigantic leap forward in those two years. It's purely anecdotal evidence, but every DP that I've ever heard of coming from there has had an agent before they graduate, and has moved directly into shooting commercials or high end promos. Narrative work seems never to be far behind. Do they deserve it? Is it £30,000 well spent? I can't answer those questions. All I know is, much like the AFI in Los Angeles, the NFTS gives your career a huge boost.

    The list of well-known alumni is long, and includes one R. Deakins.

    • Like 1
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  2. 6 minutes ago, Karim D. Ghantous said:

    Nobody in their right mind would get formal training at this price. 

    It might not be cheap, but the NFTS is the most prestigious film school in the UK. The education is second to none, and just about everyone who graduates finds quality work very soon afterwards. Whether they deserve to is a different question, but there’s no denying that the school gets results.

  3. 14 hours ago, Stephen Sanchez said:

    The local DPs I know use the fabric store stuff. I have some and wasn't impressed with the weave and wondered why folks suggested it.

    There's nothing necessarily wrong with it being from a fabric store. I have quite a few yards of Ikea curtain material that I use as a bounce. I don't know what it's called, but it is the same color and weave as unbleached muslin. Ultimately, it's the color and texture that's important, not its name.

    • Like 1
  4. 17 hours ago, Max Field said:

    The counterpoints I'd say are if I was selling 20 million of anything I wouldn't feel like it's a microscopic niche. Also this Walmart was in north eastern, PA. A total backwoods dive compared to LA or NYC. I discovered in 2018 (my year for attempting still film) there's still a number of development labs within 30 minutes of each other in eastern rural areas. I know it's surprising but still film is hanging on more than most would assume. 

    No one is saying it's microscopic. I won't use the word niche as it seems to trigger some people here, but it's undeniable that the film market is a fraction of what it used to be. It's good that there are still labs outside of cities. Where I am right now there are only two serving a city of 500,000 people and its surrounding areas. A far cry from the days when there would be a mini-lab in almost every drugstore.

  5. 15 hours ago, Karim D. Ghantous said:

    The opposite might happen: the price of silver might go higher, against my projections, and film will just be not viable anymore. It will suck, but it's a technical possibility.

    The silver market seems to have been fairly tumultuous ever since the recession in 2008/9. In the last twelve months, silver has jumped from $12 to $28. A few years back, Harman Photographic, who make Ilford film, had to suspend production for a few months because of silver prices. It obviously has the potential to be a major headache.

  6. 1 hour ago, Phil Rhodes said:

    weird light sources, including LEDs, can have unpredictable results

    One example of this is using CTO on HMIs. Older globes can have a pronounced green spike which is often largely hidden by the blue in the lamp. When you put CTO on it, the blue frequencies are cancelled, and the green suddenly becomes very visible. I've been told in the past that one reason for this is that CTO is designed to convert Daylight, not HMIs. LEE actually make a specific gel to do this (LEE 236). Similar things can happen with cheap LEDs

  7. I’ve always felt that effects gels work best with tungsten sources, mostly because of their origins in the theater, where tungsten sources were the norm. There’s also the problem of using gels on discontinuous sources, which can have unexpected results. That said, these days, as long as your white balance matches your lamp, as Satsuki says, it shouldn’t make too much difference.

  8. 13 hours ago, Stephen Sanchez said:

    Bleached muslin has a loose weave and so some of the light shoots right through 

    There's often some confusion and difference of opinion as to what muslin is. Bleached muslin is the same as unbleached muslin, just, well, bleached. It should appear like a heavyweight white cotton sheet. Muslin used for large rags is a heavier weight fabric again, almost like canvas in feel.

    If you have a loose weave white fabric, while it may be called muslin, it's probably not what would usually be used on set.

    (in the UK, for instance, Muslin is sometimes called Calico, and what they call Muslin is so loose woven that it's sometimes used to hold herbs for making mulled wine.)

  9. 11 hours ago, Max Field said:

    Can't agree that motion picture film isn't niche, but as far as stills go I was surprised to see still 35mm film still being sold in Walmarts, if it's in a Walmart I can't call it all that niche... 

    Apart from the “millions” of people who are apparently busy hiking around LA with their 35mm cameras, worldwide stills film sales are at about 2-3% of what they were at their height. Sales of nearly one billion rolls a year has dropped to a few tens of millions, and while the market has stabilized and is even showing healthy growth, it’s still a very small proportion of the larger picture. Outside of large cities, stock and processing can be hard to find. Stores like Walmart may well still carry a few rolls of film, but that’s because their huge stock turnover makes it possible to carry items with a limited market. In much of the world outside of LA, film remains a boutique item.

    @Karim D. Ghantousmost of this thread has been entirely tangential to the original discussion, but the salient point is that the small size of the film market currently prevents things like economy of scale from making much of a difference to retail prices. Kodak Alaris is increasing their prices, citing the need for reinvestment. This suggests that their profit margins are pretty small, which in turn makes it unlikely that a decrease in production costs would result in a corresponding drop in retail pricing.

    Another important point, I think is that a large part of film’s renaissance has been its positioning as a prestige item. In that way, it has managed to retain a base of people who are willing to pay a premium in order to use it. Those people will happily spend $6 on a roll of film and another $6 on processing 36 exposures, rather than shoot digital for virtually nothing. There are filmmakers who will sacrifice every departmental budget in order to afford film. There are directors who throw tantrums if they can't shoot film. If a manufacturer has managed to establish a premium price for their product, why would they voluntarily change?

  10. 1 hour ago, Tyler Purcell said:

    Niche is a specialized part of a market.

    Niche refers to a small segment of a larger market. Often specialized, yes, but small is the operative word here. Film, regardless of its current popularity, represents a very small portion of of the entertainment imaging market. The term "niche market" is therefore entirely accurate, as you would know, had you bothered to look it up before you started arguing about it.


    1 hour ago, Tyler Purcell said:

    I wasn't the one who came on here with zero knowledge of what's going on 

    Actually, it seems like you have zero knowledge of what this thread is actually about. Had you read the original posts, rather than picking fights about nothing, you would know that the actual subject is whether fluctuations in the silver market might have an effect on the price of film stock. No one was comparing film to digital, in fact no one was talking about digital at all.

    You came here with straw man arguments and fake statistics, looking for an opportunity to show everyone how clever you are, but you just ended up making yourself look stupid and immature. Well done.

    • Like 1
  11. 2 hours ago, Tyler Purcell said:

    It's self evident how many people shoot film when you're part of the community. I'm also talking stills by the way, not just motion picture. There are probably only a few thousand people who shoot motion picture. But the stills market is huge. It's rare I go somewhere these days and NOT see someone with a film camera, very very rare. I was just on a hike yesterday and passed a group of people with film cameras. 

    Anecdotal evidence of something you saw on your hike does not explain the discrepancy between "millions" and "only a few thousand". You are careless with language, unconcerned with accuracy, and extremely prone to exaggerate details in service of whatever point you are trying to make. Makes you a very untrustworthy source and devalues whatever it is you're saying.

    • Like 1
  12. 9 hours ago, Tyler Purcell said:

    Whatever bro, you have no idea what you're talking about. Keep shooting digital enjoy. 

    Unfortunately for you, Tyler, I do know what I’m talking about. It’s sad that a grown man refuses to do something as basic as checking a dictionary before he argues the meaning of a term, but that’s you through and through.

    This thread isn’t about film vs digital, and in any case, at no point did I express a preference for either format. Of course, I’m not surprised that you didn’t actually read the original posts before you jumped in with your fake statistics and straw man attacks. After all, it wouldn’t be a Tyler Purcell post if it was actually informed.

    • Like 1
  13. 8 minutes ago, Karim D. Ghantous said:

    As for the history of silver prices, keep in mind that I have no argument with history. I am merely arguing about the future. 😉 

    As with any retail item, the price of film is determined by market research into what the customer will pay, rather than base production costs.

    Nike sneakers did not suddenly get cheaper when they cut production costs by shifting manufacturing to Asia. Cars did not get cheaper when production moved to Mexico.

    Prices are always set close to the maximum the market will support. There’s no reason for manufacturers to do otherwise.

    • Like 1
  14. 2 hours ago, Tyler Purcell said:

    When millions of people are shooting/using film in the US alone, that's no longer niche. 

    You’re going to need to provide some proof for that number, else it’s just another of your made up statistics.


    2 hours ago, Tyler Purcell said:

    "Niche" is the local craft beer only sold at the shed down the street. 
    "Niche" is the flatbread pizza place in the barn around the corner that you say is the best in the world. 
    "Niche" is the $67,000 speaker cable to connect your $150,000 speakers too. 

    You should go read a dictionary before you argue this point.

    • Like 1
  15. 6 minutes ago, Satsuki Murashige said:

    I also think an individual’s frame of reference for such things often depends on their influences. I grew up in a very foggy part of San Francisco, so I rarely ever saw hard moonlight - ‘moonlight’ to me came to mean a soft overcast ambient glow. The Hollywood-style wet-down/hard backlight ‘moonlight’ never felt realistic to me (although it often worked as beautiful and evocative imagery).

    Much later, when driving through desolate parts of the Southwest at night, I saw that moonlight could be something else entirely. 

    This reminds me of an old interview with Scorsese. He was commenting on Spielberg's love of "godlight" rays of sunlight, and how for him, growing up on the streets of New York, he had a completely different appreciation of light to Spielberg, who grew up in the Arizona desert.

  16. 48 minutes ago, David Mullen ASC said:

    I had heard that the shoot-out in "Road to Perdition" was backlit by a 20K - I don't know if it was cooled-off in color-correction or with a gel, or softened with diffusion or simply the rain acted as a diffuser.

    There's a production still from this scene on the ASC Magazine website that looks much warmer than the scene was in the movie, so maybe the blue was added in color timing.


  17. 9 hours ago, Tyler Purcell said:

    All my clients do is shoot film and generally pre-covid, we're slammed. You can't even rent film cameras in LA most of the time because they're all out on shoots, even the ones in private hands. By the end of 2019 things were looking really good for film in general, 5 theatrical bound films were set to release on 35mm and 70mm in 2020, but thanks to covid it didn't happen. That's not a niche market at all. 

    What your clients do or don't do is insignificant in a global market. Film origination is a tiny percentage compared to the millions of hours of footage shot digitally, worldwide, every year.

    Niche market is a term for a small subset of a larger market, which means it describes film origination very accurately. If you have a problem with the term, I suggest you go argue with a dictionary, not me.


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  18. Just now, imran qureshi said:

    Do you happen to have an example of a moonlight scene that you think is more realistic with a harder source? 

    There are many examples, but two that actually come with lighting diagrams are the night scenes from True Grit and NCFOM. Roger Deakins has posted stills and diagrams on his website. Obviously, these were huge setups with multiple lamps, but the principles remain the same no matter how big or small your scene.

  19. 2 hours ago, Phil Rhodes said:

    I have to say I'm actually not that big a fan of this; the softness of it makes it read as artifical to me.

    I have to agree. In this example, his moonlight is the same color as the light from the buildings around it. As they are all quite brightly lit as well, his "moonlight" really just looks as if it is coming from the building on right of frame.

  20. Moonlight is not a soft source, as this video states, it's a very hard source. It can sometimes appear soft, as its low luminance makes it appear low contrast. This means you can often use a softer source than would be strictly accurate. One way to create moonlight is to use a hard back or 3/4 light and then a soft fill from a more frontal position. If you have the resources, you can also use soft toplight as from a lighting balloon. The trick in either case is to keep it underexposed, with a slightly cold look.

    The method outlined here seems to throw light in all directions, which is not generally that useful. Backlight and sidelight are good, but anything that is front lit will look odd. As with all lighting rigs, there are some situations where they work, and some where they don't. You might find this approach useful, but there are many, many ways to do the same thing.

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