Jump to content

Gregory Middleton

Basic Member
  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by Gregory Middleton

  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.
  15. A product called Goof-Off works well on adhesive residue. Its a solvent.
  16. Not much different than the other movies, with only a passing interest in shooting for 3D I thought. By the end I'm not sure anyone noticed it was still in 3D as our eyes and brains adjust. One thing I did notice was lots of retinal rivalry in the highlights and reflections. I was surprised, but I think using a 1/4 wave retarder was still too new an idea when they were shooting. I just shot my first 3D film (Cobu 3D) and the results with that filter were a huge improvement. I'm also very used to looking at 3D after weeks wearing glasses on set.
  17. Its always safer to shoot flicker free. You should be able to see any issues on the waveform however. Sometimes it will only show up from 1 light or at a particular angle depending on conditions as a very slow pulsing density shift. Flicker free will make sure however of no issues at 23.98 Beware fluorescents in locations with magnetic ballasts however.
  18. Thanks David. Have to share credit with the excellent make up artist Calla Dreyer. She tried some new techniques that were not used last year by the previous make up team. We managed one camera test a few days before. As always its a team effort and you need to involve all your collaborators when tackling such a challenge. I could have done a little more skin smoothing with more time in the suite, but not on their schedule.
  19. Yes, the same problem shots were still a problem. I'd mix in the use of some front nets next time after more extensive testing. Noticed a few things in the broadcast. De-aging of John worked well, especially seeing him at his real age in the preview for the next episode. Color wise the broadcast comes across as slightly brighter and snappier than in the color suite. A few scenes had been graded quite differently after I left. The scene between Walter and his wife in the vanity mirror was intended to be much warmer and slightly golden, but came up looking exactly the same as the previous room. Now this gets into the sensitive topic of Post color correction and the Director of photography. I found myself in the unique position on FRINGE of coming into an established show and learning from the other DP's and their previous episodes about the 'look' of the show. Tom Yatsko who has been with the show from the beginning was very encouraging to let me experiment and try new things as the show develops and to add my ideas. It was a fun collaboration. I had one other area to learn from and that was the color correction based on the broadcast. After shooting a few episodes I started to learn the tastes of the Post Producers who end up with the final say on the final grade based on the finals I was seeing. There is no sense in my lighting or using colors that I know they will change later. The amount of contrast they apply also varies, and that is the hardest to deal with because if thats inconsistent, then lighting extreme contrast or very dark scenes becomes very difficult to judge. There had been obvious differences of opinion previous to my arrival. Now the scene I'm referring too in last nights episode I knew might be too golden for their tastes, but I decided to try it anyway and keep it subtle enough. The colorist and I actually discussed that in the suite. He is often obviously caught in the middle but ultimately answers the the Post Producers. So the end result is a very normal skin balance and actually not as warm as the living room scenes earlier. Not my intention, not my choice but a different one that you could easily make an argument in favor of. The last part of the image handling which I found very surprising is the path of the material to final color. They do not master of of HDCAM SR or an uncompressed format , but export out of the AVID in a highly compressed film format ( RXM 115?). This explained a lot of what I assumed was digital noise due to broadcast compression, but actually is compression artifacts introduced at this point. It also greatly reduces the color and contrast range available to grade. I was very surprised to say the least. FRINGE is not a cheap show to produce and the tiny cost savings vrs the compromise in quality seem like a terrible trade off. You can really see the difference when you compare it to an HBO show shot on film for example where they keep everything as close to original quality as possible.
  20. FRINGE this friday Feb 25th is the final episode I shot this season. For fans of the show its a follow up to Episode 15 of season 2 and takes place back in the 1980's in both Universes. The story involves the effect of Walters abduction seen in 2-15 on his family and young Peter. We also get to meet young Olivia at the daycare where Walter was doing his experiments. As far as period cinematography goes, I followed the lead of the episode last year. Rear nets were chosen by Tom Yatsko then for two reasons. Firstly they helped with the de-aging of John Noble trying to look 25 years younger and secondly because their slight star effect evoked a period feel. I stuck with the same net material on rings behind most of our lenses. I also used a combination of other filters for the very wide lenses when the nets would appear too soft or on lenses which had no rings. Cementing directly on the back of a lens is tricky business and on a tight schedule having them come off unexpectedly can cause big delays. I was warned in prep that any digital de-aging of John Noble as had been added last year would be impossible this year due to post/vfx schedule, so I erred on the heavy side diffusion wise and tried to complement the lighting as much as possible. A few times its actually much too heavy, but once I realized that I did make some adjustments later in the shoot. Nets cane be notoriously unpredictable as their effect depends on so many factors. I've used them before on other projects but still encountered new anomalies. The entire episode was on location, which is unusual for Fringe and makes for a complex scheduling challenge with a young cast who can work limited hours. We even had some extreme weather to deal with as you'll see in a couple of scenes including the teaser. The later scene was incorporated into the script and was actually a magical addition. It was snowing.....in Florida! I didn't use too much color mixing in this episode. It seemed to help with the period considering the palette of the sets and locations. Ep 313 I used all kinds of color in the 'Bug Lab' and its nice that the show has so many different worlds. I was in LA the week of color correction so I managed to be present for the first pass which was a first. Any questions I'll be happy to answer. Regards, Greg
  21. Currently I'm shooting Episodes 13 and 15 while Tom Yatsko directs Ep 14. So I'm filling in for him. That should be it for me on the show. Tom and David Moxness will finish out the year. I do not believe that Tom has any plans to leave. I know that the show runners and Tom go way back to Alias days so their reference is not that surprising. There is a certain amount of anxiety around FOX's decision to move the show to Friday night in January and there is no guarantee that Fringe will return for a 4th season. I'm optimistic however that its large PVR/TIVO audience will allow them to do well on Fridays and we'll get to see a lot more Fringe. best Greg
  22. That effect was entirely in camera with a lens. We used a Lensbaby with panavision mount on our camera. It allows for a sort of selective focus / bellows effect you can manipulate manually very simply. It was also used later in the episode when Olivia is on the operating table and rescued by Col. Broyles.
  23. Tonight's FRINGE was directed by a series regular Brad Anderson. I really admire his films (Session 9 , The Machinist , Transiberrian) so it was a thrill to get to shoot this episode with him. He's very good with suspense so he was a natural fit for this episode which follows the 'other' Olivia being found out as a double agent and the real Olivia getting back to her home. Brad carefully plans his sequences and still manages on a tight tv schedule to make it relatively effortless. Lighting was sometimes a bit compromised to get the angles and shots he needed, but that is a trade off I'd make any day for a good sequence. It can even lead to some happy accidents. Not many new sets, but a train station interior which we had to make day in at night. Probably the biggest set up of the year so far. If any of you have any questions about , happy to let you know what I can. 9pm Fox Thursday Dec 2nd. Greg
  • Create New...