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Gregory Middleton

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  1. Thanks Marcel. Sad we won't get to follow you onto a season 3 here. Your show looks great. Congrats! Best, Greg
  2. I took the time to view your examples. Its not a question of technology, just practice and technique. Its not a matter of not having enough lights but using what you have to good effect. As you practice, remember its all about taste. Knowing what you like is the first part, getting there is the fun part. The term 'professional film look' is actually holding you back. Its too vague and gives you no where to investigate. You have to answer the question yourself 'what do i like about those images.' Its detective work to deconstruct lighting and setups from other films/videos. Over time you'll get better at that too.
  3. Another great reason for shooting a note or sign as David calls them, with your chart is that this information is never 'lost' . The colourist will always see it. I used a dry erase board to shoot notes with charts on The Killing this year. With the same colorist you can quickly get into a shorthand. Greg
  4. Neil deGrasse Tyson said it best: Prometheus: Two parts Cowboys&Aliens, one part Mission To Mars, one part The Day The Earth Stood Still. Blend in the abdomen. also: Prometheus goes 35 light yrs into space, but CharlizeTheron gaffes "We're a half billion miles from Earth"- just past Jupiter
  5. The planet they are on is marked LV 233 on their 'map' in the Prometheus bridge. The Alien planet is LV 426. David refers to many other ships, like the one him and Elisabeth leave in, so I think they meant to mean they're are many. Perhaps what happened to those engineers on LV 233 happened to the crashed ship in Alien. That may be the only detail which made any sense in reference to the other films.
  6. The american series certainly does diverge from the Danish. We do solve the murder at the end of season 2 but its different from the Danish. I have an idea where we might go in Season 3, but I've not been told much. As for the translights, yes, the hospital set one was rented from a company. Its been used before, so when i said 'off the rack' I mean more like retail sales out of a catalogue. You look at pictures and try and find a good match for our set, Michael Bolton our production designer had to modify his design a bit to make the rather limited length of the translight work. 10ft longer would have been much better. The City Hall translight was indeed specially made for us. I know the designer had won an Emmy for his technique of scaling the film grain in the image to the estimated ideal shooting distance. The bigger the more expensive, and the more you have to raise the set. Its always a compromise, but I think this one works well. One flaw with the distance we have is shooting from outside the windows with the reflected city is that the reflection ends up being very close to the distance to a subject in the middle of the room. Its always nice to have the reflection more out of focus, especially at night. I ended up shooting most of those shots at T 1.9 to help blur as much as possible.
  7. If there is a season 3, I doubt very much it will be film. A tv show shipping negative to be processed seems very unlikely. FOX pretty much mandates digital capture on all their shows. With no working Lab in Vancouver it would be a tough fight. Switching for season 3 has been discussed already. Almost all of our driving scenes are process trailer. We have shot a few in true PMP style, but only brief ones. With our short schedules thats the best way, even though process work is anything but fast. It allows for some scheduling flexibility on our location days. We have become pretty good at the set ups the more we do them. Typically A Camera is on the side shot on a 4 or 6 ft linear slider with B camera through the front windshield. We almost always shoot through the windows and there is nothing like real reflections for realism or to reinforce the mysterious nature of the show. The hospital was a new set for this year. It is a translight. Its certainly not the best we have. It was purchased kind of 'off the rack' and not made for us or to specifics of our set/location. The City Hall office set has an impressive translight which when handled carefully really works well. Just wish it was a bit farther away! Other regular sets include the Larsen House/Garage, the Seattle Police dept and a swing stage for a few things you'll see still coming up this season. thanks for watching Greg
  8. We finished shooting last week. This will be the final 35mm film gate check in Vancouver for me most likely. Deluxe/Technicolor recently announced they will be closing their joint owned Film Lab after the Percy Jackson sequel finishes filming in a few weeks. Truly the end of an era. Below is 1st AC with that last gate.
  9. Roger Reid the kodak rep and I discounted 5230 pretty early on and decided not to test it. A few factors, availability and not as low contrast as the 29, an even older emulsion design more similar to the 5296. Thats too much contrast for what we were after. Pull processing is an interesting tool, but not possible for The Killing as we work with very low light levels, so the trade off in sensitivity wasn't possible. We shoot in a dark time of year, so I'm constantly stretching the film to its limit at the end of our days and in our night work want to bring out as much natural background light as possible. 5219 has great range which really helps when we need it. For example, the night driving scene at the beginning of Ep201 with Holder had basic fill from a single Kino tube on low output with Tracing paper on the fixture at a distance of about 9 ft. Not much light! Lighting setups are a bit different from last year as I'm a different cinematographer. We do use a lot of the same mix of tools, gels, diffusion etc. I've tried hard to keep it consistent with last year, but still let the show grow as the story develops more.
  10. We are using 5219. It took a bit of testing and work in telecine to imitate the contrast and saturation of the 5229. The grain structure is much tighter though and we can't really change that. Pushing is also a tool which no longer works as 5219 gains much contrast and not much speed, where 5229 pushed very well with a big gain in speed. As far as producers having control, ours was very pro film and really enjoying the look of season 1. She had enough influence to make them accept it. Its also a kind of look thats particularly hard to recreate with digital. Seeing as the story is basically continuous, a good match was mandatory.
  11. The Killing is a mystery and the showrunner certainly encourages darkness and obscurity. Some dailies at the start of week one, were a bit too bright as we were still finding the levels with the new film stock ( last years 5229 was discontinued ). I have yet to receive a note that a scene was too dark, so I'm really given a lot of freedom there. FOX produces the show, but I think they take pride in the difference compared to other shows. I haven't spoken to AC or anyone else about this season. There was an AC article last year on Peter Wunstorf asc who shot the pilot and season 1. I'd be happy to though, its certainly the end of an era.
  12. Last week we had our season 2 premiere. I've become keenly aware that this will be one of the last tv shows shot with film on television. Some other AMC shows are but all new shows are not. Happy to answer any questions about the show. GM
  13. Tests are the way to go for sure. Shelley Johnson is very right to point out that the fixtures on location can each be very different, both the Sodium and Mercury. If you can't shoot tests with your film or cine digital its helpful even to snap a few with your DSLR. The sensors may not be an exact match ( especially for RED ) but it allows you to try a few things quickly. MT2 works great most of the time. I find all the new 'Urban Vapour' series of gels much too red and don't match real sodium. Another trick for exact matching is to use real Sodium fixtures as off camera sources. Real Sodium 1 side , MT2 on tungsten the other.
  14. A review of a friends documentary in film school. " Like watching the radio " Ouch.
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