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john Spear

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About john Spear

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    Cinematographer

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  1. Huhumm, I see... Now the difference is coming into focus... Thanx for that...
  2. What good is shooting SD HDV on the JVC GY110U if you can shoot HD or shoot SD? Why woul you want to shoot SD HDV and why does it hold the name HDV if it is still SD? I have never used it yet, altough I've used 60I and HD. What is the best scenario for SD HDV? Anyone?
  3. I don't know if this will help or what but it is relevant in a way. Julio Iglesias had been at it for most of his life till his fourties and had gathered a following in latin america from which he lived hardly well and had many downfalls and downslides but "kept it going" and was persistent like Mr. Mullen observed/stated. The thing is that one day at a party in Hollywood he met up with a friend by the name of Robert Mitchum (we all know who this guy is) and he told him that he was going to introduce him to his private publicist, and so he did. Now this PP told Julio that he was to attend another party where he was going to be introduced to a record executive who would be instrumental to his career. So he did and this one offered him to make a record with Dianna Ross which drew in the latin public to the mainstream where Julio had all of a sudden become the instrument of this markerting strategy. I guess what I'm trying to say is NEVER GIVE UP ON YOUR DREAM whatever that may be. I could tell you another similar story about someone who is very famous and would be quite unbelievable... but I'll leave it at that. The best to you and keep on trucking.
  4. HUMAN STORY about love,inspiration and freedom. Though this is a low budget indie-I will have a budget assigned. I am clear about what I want to achieve in terms of my story. This one is different. film to be shot in the Himalayas Himalayas seems like a very undisturbed color rich area of the planet. I think photography will be "awsome". This "human" story is too generalized. These words of "love,inspiration and freedom" are big and get lost in a sea of thoughts. Could you be more specific? Is the final draft for your screenplay a working one? Is it about something spiritual? Carnal? Is it about politics? Certainly the 20th century was built upon those ideas and words. Including some not so nice wars. I guess my question is what is the movie about in specific? What genre? like the comment about the carrot dangling.... The best to you. I wouldn't mind going to india. I have a project I want to do there. I could take off tomorrow... I feel free as a bird, but I want to keep my head between the two wings if you know what I mean.
  5. I must agree with Walter. In my own experience when I've used regular mini dv tapes I have oftentimes gotten "artifacts" at different positions of the emulsion. Then again, I look for every detail, and some people might not. I have never got that problem with the higher quality tapes, which I must agree are more expensive but 100% better quality. When I shoot features or documentaries I make sure I walk the extra mile. It is YOUR IMAGE that will reflect your choice. I would stick with the higher quality tapes. I have had good experience with the other tapes but you are certainly taking a risk and in my experience it is not worth it.
  6. Some directors started out as editors and in my experience these are the most inclined to technique. Others were actors and ended up directing and these are more inclined towards the artistic side of things, although this is not a rule of thumb. Directors who studied to be directors seem the most versitile when dealing with the story as far as the DP is concerned, but also the most complicated, since they want to cover so much and usually have very pssessive personalities. Then there are those that came to directing from the capacities of a writer. These many times are very good at communicating their ideas to the DP, and I feel are really good Directors. Even first time Directors. I guess it varies...
  7. I don't think anyone is misrespecting anyone else by having an open and healthy discussion about aspects of our profession or how we feel about things related to it. I do think that coming to referee is out of place though. I deeply respect the people who are voicing their feelings about this or that, and in a way they are right... and in another way I believe I am. It's true that it is not a matter of "what paper says what" or anything like that because a seurgeon who has studied for years his theory, and how things "should be" in an operating room, when they are actually in front of an open heart seurgury, they are terrified and unable to perform all the things which "in theory" should work. So I have respect for everyone who voices their opinion and stands for what they believe id right, I just think each one of us should talk for our own experience and not for others. Yes I think it is right about the positions and their respective duties, but many a time it doesn't work that way in the real world. Having said that, I love you all...
  8. It seems to me that you are trying to speculate about everybody else and generalizing your concept of what would take long to acheive. Perhaps you are looking at it from your perspective and this is what you see... I don't know of anyone who "sits around contemplating ideas" unless this is done in pre production on a brainstorming session between the parties involved. About being efficient, it is a fact that if you're not you can and will be replaced facing rejection and intermittent employment About direction I insist that this is not the turf of a DP but the Director. If you mean direction to point out to your crew duties, that is only part of your job, not a big deal. It seems like you think I am inventing some strange set up, when it is in your own country that you find this descriptions of your work as a professional. I quote the department of labor whose source is the Union of Cinematographers and the Department of Motion Pictures and Film Arts and Sciences... I don't think these people are European or don't know what they are talking abou. It is a different matter if you disagree... You are entitled to do whatever you want. Here is the quote and the link to it: "Cinematographers, camera operators, and gaffers work together to capture the scenes in the script on film. Cinematographers compose the film shots to reflect the mood the director wishes to create. They do not usually operate the camera; instead, they plan and coordinate the actual filming. Camera operators handle all camera movements and perform the actual shooting. Assistant camera operators check the equipment, load and position cameras, run the film to a lab or darkroom, and take care of the equipment. Commercial camera operators specialize in shooting commercials. This experience translates easily into filming documentaries or working on smaller-budget independent films. Gaffers, or lighting technicians, set up the different kinds of lighting needed for filming. They work for the director of photography, who plans all lighting needs." [url=http://www.bls.gov/oco/cg/cgs038.htm]http://www.bls.gov/oco/cg/cgs038.htm [/ur] This is a project Executive produced by Ben Affleck, who by the way knows a bit what he's doing. TURNING IT OVER (24p High Definition Digital - Varicam) This short drama is financed by Ben Affleck (as executive producer). We used the "new" P+S Technik Pro35 Digital Lens Adapter combined with a set of 35mm Zeiss Super Speeds (T1.3) on a High Definition Varicam (Panasonic AJ-HDC27F). It certainly makes it look much more like it was shot on 35mm film!!!!! And we went for a relatively extreme look, very stylized, with highly de-saturated colors. I co-D.P.'ed (Lighting Director) and did the HD engineering as well. The test of the pudding is in the eating, but I get the feeling that when this movie is projected onto a full-sized cinema screen, people will really think it was shot on 35mm film. The writer and director is Josh Marchette, and the producers are the dynamic Leda Maliga and Michael Totten.
  9. It's not a matter of feeling secure or not to light a scene, since wanting to work with other artists is at the core of film making and not a question of "capacities". I feel I am very much capable of DPing my own movie, apart from the fact that I wrote it, and envision it from the perspective of the creator. But I would very much like to work with OTHER artists who have their OWN vision and who might therefore either contrast mine or refresh it. Humility is a virtue as opposed to false pride. I for one do not have a problem with that, maibe the "competition" mentality so engraved in modern culture imposes limits which you cannot detect... That does not mean that others exercise their choice in a different manner. I like to work with others and yes, learn from and with others, since they are learning too... Do not fool yourself into thinking you are "better" because you are called upon. Man's ego is a sad thing when it believes itself...
  10. I never would confront that fact. I love the way this country has crafted a world wide respect for this business, no matter what position within it, an actor, a Director a Cinematographer, etc.. It could not have happened anywhere else. I love Orson Wells... and others...
  11. Sure... and I appreciate what you suggest... but I didn't know if to take it literally, because the word "established" implies: es·tab·lish 1. 1. To set up; found. See Synonyms at found1. 2. To bring about; generate: establish goodwill in the neighborhood. 3. To place or settle in a secure position or condition; install: They established me in my own business. 4. To make firm or secure. 5. To cause to be recognized and accepted: a discovery that established his reputation. 6. To introduce and put (a law, for example) into force. And that is what these people had the balls to do. Establish, introduce, make firm and secure, and made a business out of in spite of the tremendous odds against them. They truly are an example of "the American dream" Then yes, as long as it worked, and proved to be profitable, this country was wise enough to invest money and resources behind, but as you can appreciate it didn't come easy as the popular myth likes to make of it. Ask Robert Rodriguez, who was not accepted in the school of cinematography in Texas, and who carried on and made his movie, because a "filmmaker" is what the word implies, and not the criteria of those who conceptualize the term into snippets or slapstick cliches. Whatever...
  12. REALLY? Life IS stranger than fiction... :blink: 1 William Fox, born in Tulchva, Hungary in 1879, dominated the movie industry of the 1920's. He began a leading production company and he owned various movie theaters, both in America and abroad. This is impressive for a Hungarian immigrant who was formerly in the garment industry. Fox's empire began, when he bought a nickelodeon and turned it into a chain if movie theaters. This did not prove as lucrative an enterprise as Fox expected, so he began to form a production company. By 1915 Fox had a monopoly over film production and was strong-arming the movie industry. This was such a beautiful monopoly because Fox pictures made the films, and they were viewed in Fox-owned theaters. Fox was most successful because he was a visionary. He saw a place for sound in the movies when other producers and production companies did not. Even during the Great Depression, Fox retrofitted over a thousand theaters with equipment to make this possible. Fox's domination of the movie industry could not remain long before it attracted attention, jealousy, and a desire to make Fox and Fox Pictures tumble. Fox Pictures suffered anti-trust litigation, 2 Paramount Pictures can trace its beginning to the creation in May, 1912, of the Famous Players Film Company. Founder Hungarian-born Adolph Zukor, who had been an early investor in nickelodeons, saw that movies appealed mainly to working-class immigrants. With partners Daniel Frohman and Charles Frohman he planned to offer feature-length films that would appeal to the middle class by featuring the leading theatrical players of the time (leading to the slogan "famous players in famous plays"). By mid-1913, Famous Players had completed five films, and Zukor was on his way to success. That same year, another aspiring producer, Jesse L. Lasky, opened his Lasky Feature Play Company with money borrowed from his brother-in-law, Samuel Goldfish, later known as Samuel Goldwyn. The Lasky company hired as their first employee a stage director with virtually no film experience, Cecil B. DeMille, who would find a suitable location site in Hollywood, near Los Angeles, for his first film, The Squaw Man. 3 The founder of Universal was Carl Laemmle pronounced|ˈlɛmliː}}), a German Jewish immigrant from Laupheim who settled in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, where he managed a clothing store. On a 1905 buying trip to Chicago, Illinois, he was struck by the popularity of nickelodeons. One story has Laemmle watching a box office for hours, counting patrons and calculating the take for the day. Within weeks of his Chicago trip, he gave up dry goods to buy the first of several nickelodeons. For Laemmle and other such entrepreneurs, the creation in 1908 of the Edison-backed Motion Picture Trust meant that exhibitors were expected to pay fees for any Trust-produced film they showed. On the basis of Edison's patent on the electric motor used in cameras and projectors, along with other patents, the Trust collected fees on all aspects of movie production and exhibition, and attempted to enforce a monopoly on distribution. It was believed that the productions were meant to be used for another company but they turned it down. 4 Goldwyn was born Schmuel Gelbfisz in Warsaw, Congress Poland, Russian Empire to a Polish Jewish family. At an early age he left Warsaw on foot and penniless. He made his way to Birmingham, England, where he remained with relatives for a few years using the Anglicized name Samuel Goldfish (later to become Goldwyn). In 1898, he emigrated to the United States, but fearing refusal of entry, he got off the boat in Nova Scotia, Canada before moving on to New York in January 1899. He found work in upstate Gloversville, New York, in the bustling garment business. Soon his innate marketing skills made him a very successful salesman. After four years, as vice-president for sales, he moved back to New York City. All I'm saying is... "Can't we all just get along" Rodney King.
  13. I thought this thread was about a DP taking over the production, and acting as if he was the Director. Yes, perhaps he notices a weakness in the Director and he decides to "take over" the aspects of production. I very much doubt that the investors secured funding behind somebody that they thought would not be able to come in within budget and within schedule. An educated investor that is, because there is all types of "investors" but in a serious production (no matter how small) I think the individual who raised the funding, executive producer is not playing around with their money, so I don't think they would be happy to have a DP take over just to come in and deliver product in time. Film is an art. Oftentimes we forget... (the seventh an last one we have come across) a young one at that, and perhaps that is why it is so American, so to speak because this is a young country and it has "adopted" it with passion. Did I say Passion? However even if the Director is incompetent your loyalty should be to him and not make him feel less that. In that there is a chance to show that the DP has some class and ethics. After all the vision is the director's, the colors you are painting should reflect that vision, however lacking he may be in other aspects, technical, timing etc. Sometimes, not always, but sometimes the DP, being the most capable to bring about a materialization of that vision becomes most egoistic and in my opinion "looses it". There is a parameter for everything in life, if you cross it it the balance is lost. Isn't it about balance? I think it is...
  14. I was directing a Thriller and had hired a young DP, he was hungry and pretty good but He started arriving late on the set and having everyone waiting as if he was the star of the show. An unbelievable ego possessed this person, although he had nothing to show for it. This trait can be dangerous, and it usually occurs to those who are starting out or have not climbed high enough to be humble towards the Director. I have operated Cameras all my life and grew up around sets and veteran professionals (my mother was literally rushed to the hospital from the set when I was born). The second time he arrived late we were in a studio, which we had rented to shoot some scenes, everyone was waiting. I picked up the phone and called the DP. He very calmly said, "I'll be there soon". My response was " If you are not here in 15 minutes or less I'm taking over the DP department. "How?" he asked, "you have a camera?" "I do and its loaded with my FUJI stock and ready to shoot". His tone changed suddenly: "No, no, I'll be there right away..." And he was. I actually had a better Cam. than his and I had brought it with me in case this happened, which I had suspected it would. When he arrived I had set up the scene and we were working the actors in rehearsal. Even though he did not like this happening in front of the crew, he behaved pretty professionally after that. You always must be prepared. Preparation is a must for every art and more so for the art of Motion Pictures. Check this: Some DP's prefer not to work than working in conjunction with others. It's a free and brave new world... Live and learn and keep on trucking...
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