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KH Martin

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About KH Martin

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    Portland, Oregon
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    freelance writer on film production and visual effects

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  1. Just rewatched Frankenheimer/Howe SECONDS on Saturday, and the B&W snippets here really reminded me of those opening credits. This looked really hot! Definitely looked like mylar gags, one of my fave go-tos (and what Edlund used to create hyperspace for the brief views in STAR WARS and RETURN OF THE JEDI.) Some of the early images of the model laying down in space reminded me of the awesome ep 8 of TWIN PEAKS season 3, when Cooper is on that building out in space and falls off.
  2. I used to have a book on computer graphics in the late 1980s that had full page images of those two KHAN graphics, credited to E&S. I say 'used to have' because I carved the book up to use those images for a book proposal. Really regret doing that now ...
  3. I think Coulson did a lot of behind the scenes on ERASERHEAD too. Not sure how good she was pulling focus on KHAN, there's a scene with Kirk at home where he is out of focus and the drink he is holding is in focus (don't think this was a deliberate choice.) E&S created a planetarium program that Scott Farrar went to Utah to use for the film's starfields, especially the very dimensional opening credits. E&S was also the company that was supposed to solve all of the previs problems on the first TREK movie for Abel, but I guess it took forever to get their equipment and then to debug it ... when Trumbull came on, he didn't use any of that stuff. I think the very nice graphic of the E that opens the Kobayashi Maru part of KHAN was also done on E&S, but there's some question about whether it was done for KHAN or done for by Abel for TMP and just not used till KHAN, as it seems to show the Enterprise in a slightly different form, like it was before Trumbull came on and it got rained on by the A/C.
  4. Pretty sure he was living in Palo Alto (with Gale Anne Hurd maybe?) at the time, so it was almost a work from home thing. The movie doesn't rate too many pages in editor Paul Hirsch's bio, but that book does cover all of Hirsch's DePalma work to some degree or other, and has some new stories about many popular and some classic flicks.
  5. Streak photography, probably using the slit-scan process. In fact, here you go: https://www.artofthetitle.com/title/superman/
  6. Physical media, baby. So long as I have a power supply, I've got tons of viewing options, nearly a thousand of which are at least blu-ray quality.
  7. So long as this super-8 site is drawing attention, wanted to throw this out there selfishly. I picked up an Elmo ST 600 D M for a song recently but the seller moved out of the country the day he sent it, and he sent it without a power cord. I have looked around on the net and not found anything about how to get one. His email from after he moved said he tested it and the bulb and everything works, so I'm wondering if there is a way to use a generic cord -- I can't figure out why he didn't include the cord unless he thought it was unimportant -- he included the original box and packaging and instructions. ANY help would be greatly appreciated -- I've got a lot of film from the 70s through the early 90s I'd like to transfer, but they've all got bad sprocket moments, so sending them to a transfer place would just result in 'skippy' DVDs, so I will have to ride herd on the transfers.
  8. I've come round to the point that I wish more of my stuff was posted online rather than being print-only. Too many times print stories only wind up on sale in mag batches on eBay, and I'm kind of disappointed to realize now I don't have any access to past stories of mine where the mag never sent me a copy and/or they have since taken them off the website (which happened with my PROMETHEUS VFX piece and my Christopher Nolan/Wally Pfister interview for HD VIDEO PRO.) ICG only puts up cover stories now, but they used to always put up the EXPOSURE Q&As.
  9. I didn't know TFC was 2perf ... I've only seen it three times over 40+ years (was a big fan of Frankenheimer's sequel), but the last time I liked it a lot more, I do remember that. Imagine I'd pick up a blu- (not the Friedkin one, the latter one) if the price was right though, will have to keep an eye on Hamilton and my local pawnshop, which has all Blu-rays at a flat $2 (even whole seasons of tv.) Got Criterion BREATHLESS there last week.
  10. Go to blu-ray.com and you'll see fights and rants over the various transfers on this movie that make those FRENCH CONNECTION battles seem like kindergarten.
  11. Not taking the opposing position here, David, but I remember getting into a discussion like this someplace else 10 or 12 years back, and being forced to acknowledge that for someone trying to learn what works in terms of contemporary tech, that a study of classic techniques and masters was not as efficient a use of time as learning the how and why of current filmmaking trends. The point was made that light levels and film stocks of generations past alone made the art of cinematography something different technically, and so the creative choices were often derived from what was possible rather than what was desired. Personally I think there is an art to the somewhat heightened look that was mandated by slow stocks, and I seriously miss that. On MAD MEN, they seemed to step away from their established look in favor of an almost available-light look in later seasons (when they went to digital I guess) and I didn't like that at all. I suppose DPs always wanted to be able to do desaturation tricks without going to MOBY DICK extremes, but now with DIs they can go nuts with that -- but I think it is kind of nuts to go that route so often, or to lose the gorgeous contrast with beautiful blue skies and white clouds. But that's just an old guy talking ... I think the best way to be educated -- best of both worlds if you will -- is to study the masters of every era, then compare and contrast that with what is being done now, and figure out the WHY of those changes (and the why of those things that remain the same.)
  12. Ship of Fools is a super-cheap blu-ray; it is in the same case with LILITH, and when I picked mine up at Fry's Electronics it was $2.99 a few years back. Not sure why it was that cheap, but I think it is that way everywhere, that Hamiltonbooks.com has it for a similar price now. Didn't know from LILITH but it was pretty okay, too, but we really like FOOLS quite a lot. BTW, the buyer at Hamilton is really courting the blu-ray.com crowd, and is buying a lot of Kino titles and the like. Some pretty darn good price points, enough so that I'm sorely tempted to upgrade a lot of stuff I swore I wouldn't re-buy (again, after laserdisc and dvd) on blu-, like POINT BLANK and Vincent Ward's NAVIGATOR and orig TAKING OF PELHAM.
  13. Ashamed to admit I've only seen 40 of these (though out of those, there are a dozen that I've seen at least ten times.) Still can't get over some of the oversights (Jordan Cronenweth, Gordon Willis quadruple-COUGH!!), looking at the list makes me realize it isn't just VFX that goes for commercial choices over better work in better films
  14. Domestic video was an unvarying 30fps, so I always figured that is what we were seeing, though as I recall there was a lot of jitter like frames were missing. And they were certainly as fallible as any other camera - on Apollo 12, they had a color camera, but one of the guys accidentally pointed it at the sign and destroyed its ability to create viewable images.
  15. Except for most of the Saturn and Gemini launches, I didn't think there was supposed to be any archival stuff used for the spaceflights, that it was all done with the mockups and the miniatures. None of the folks I interviewed mentioned any archival space stuff with the LEM and CSM. There was an early push from the studio to minimize mention of VFX, which may explain why miniature effects supervisor Ian Hunter's name was never even mentioned to me during pre-release interviews -- in fact, it didn't turn up anywhere that I recall until it showed up on IMDB in early October as the film released -- but I never got the impression that anybody was pretending that the space stuff was stock footage, though they did try very hard to emulate the 'real' look by not putting starfields into most backgrounds. As for the other aspect you cite about Armstrong ... the real guy never struck me as being very interesting, and I was a prime space nut growing up -- the drawers of my desk at age 9 were filled with NASA FACTS pamphlets and my walls were covered with posters of astronauts and the VAB (okay, there was a Pete Rose one up there too, but nearly all space stuff.) Yet with me inhaling everything about the space program, literally the only thing I remember about Armstrong was his admission he treated himself to a cigar once per month ... and I can't think of any era where that would qualify as interesting, unless perhaps he had also turned out to be a marathon runner. I still haven't seen the movie yet (a part of me thinks a parody trailer about Buzz Aldrin called SECOND GUY needs to be made), but I do think Gosling is probably a very adequate choice. You could have gone with a character actor to duplicate Armstrong's goofy nerd-smile, but at the potential cost of what little box office the film did generate, and with very little gain.
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