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Evan Winter

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  1. And one more that's perhaps a bit more to the point: I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them. I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do. ~Robert A. Heinlein Evan W.
  2. I'm sorry but I'll sing happy birthday where and when I please. Each man must for himself alone decide what is right and what is wrong, which course is patriotic and which isn't. You cannot shirk this and be a man. To decide against your conviction is to be an unqualified and excusable traitor, both to yourself and to your country, let men label you as they may. ~Mark Twain Evan W.
  3. With all due respect Joseph, I don't believe you know what you're talking about. You won't believe me now but, to prove my point, bookmark this topic and make a note in your calendar to come back here in 5 years time. Reread this topic and pay special attention to your posts. You'll see what I mean then. Fairness Disclaimer: I've said/written/done quite a few things that I'm now properly embarrassed about. As the saying goes, 'we do better when we know better'. Evan W.
  4. Just saw "Knowing" projected on film tonight and I enjoyed it. I enjoyed "Signs" too though. In terms of cinematography, if I hadn't known this was shot digitally I wouldn't have guessed. It looked like S35 through a DI to me. Whoever mentioned Genesis is right - "Superman Returns" had a digital look (although I didn't particularly mind) but I didn't sense the same thing in "Knowing". I have no idea how much post work they had to put into this to get it to look as good as they did but I finally feel convinced by Red. After having DP'ed over 30 jobs on film I've now shot my first two projects on Red plus I couldn't find fault with its look in "Knowing". I believe that if I ever can't afford S35mm I'll shoot Red and in many situations where I can afford S35mm I may still shoot Red. Evan W.
  5. Karl, Lighting isn't all that's encompassed in cinematography. As John B is indicating, cinematography is also camera placement, lens choice, choice of movement (or lack of movement), etc. Indeed, a film that featured brilliant camera placement, incredible movement, and astute staging of action, without ever using a single artificial light, could easily be a showcase of sublime cinematography. To say it again, cinematography is not just lighting. Indeed, it's easy to imagine situations where a lack of lighting improves the effectiveness of cinematography. A mockumentary will likely benefit more from a point-and-shoot approach than a constructed light approach. Shooting in the slums of Mumbai and hoping to bring your audience into that environment in a visceral and engrossing way might easily benefit from a more verite style as well. I work in music videos where we're almost always over the top and yet I'm never so awed as when I look at films that are minimally lit like The Duellists or Barry Lyndon or City of God and it's when watching films like those that I realize just how little I know and just how far I have to go. Moreover, many of my favorite shots in these films, and others, were made without a single artificial light, or bounce, or even flag. Cinematography is so much more than all that and I, for one, am grateful that it is. Evan W.
  6. I'll chime in: Shooting exteriors with little equipment and making it look good enough to attract the attention of the Academy's DPs (who put this film in contention in the first place) would be one of the hardest things to do imaginable. Karl, the film was one of 5 nominees only because DPs (many of them Oscar winners themselves) determined it was worthy. Evan W.
  7. The separate departments thing is exactly right although the slight irony wasn't lost on me. :) Evan W.
  8. I just finished shooting a music video for Sony that was shot on Red and I would strongly strongly strongly recommend getting a Red competent first AC. Really, I'm not sure that you can effectively be a one-man camera crew with the Red. Evan W.
  9. Just a quick note to say how David consistently impresses me with his insight. I love your breakdown and it summarizes many of the different emotions I've felt during production and in post-production when watching footage. Evan W.
  10. Thanks for the reply JD! The shoot went well and I had a very well respected and amazingly experienced first AC on the job (Alex Gomez). My AC really had me covered and this shoot felt no different from a typical 35mm day, except that I could shoot and shoot and shoot. :) Here are my impressions in brief: A) The red is really well built and handles very much like a 35mm film camera. On occasion I even forgot I wasn't shooting film. Although, I really didn't like how the Red's fan sounds similar to film running through a camera because during a few handheld scenes my key grip would hand me the camera and my first thought was always - we're rolling!! :o B ) As a DP, with first and second ACs who are experienced with the Red's on-set workflow, working with this camera is almost indistinguishable from working with a film camera. C) It's really nice to be able to instantly play back your takes and watch them on an HD monitor and basically see exactly what you've got. D) My 2nd AC had a macbook pro and raid drive ingest system going and during lunch I sat down with him and played with curves and colors and everything to get a sense of what I had captured during the first half of the day - that was pretty damn cool. E) The camera was sucking batteries dry like a vampire. F) Because the camera uses an electronic viewfinder you can't look through it when the camera is powered down, or when its batteries die. G) The camera takes a decent amount of time to reboot after having died. It's probably only 1 or 2 minutes but on set that can feel like an eternity. H) The electronic viewfinder on our camera had this weird artifacty thing it would do. Every so often it created weird semi-transparent circles or dots. This was surprisingly distracting and made my eyes feel funny. :blink: I) When I watched the footage back on the monitor it was impressive to see how clean it all looked (we shot without filters on Cooke S4s). However, it doesn't quite have that film feel and if beauty is really in the eye of the beholder then I find film to be more beautiful. J) Although this was my first Red shoot I've debated shooting it many times and I've run all the numbers. For a music video a Red shoot is comparable in cost to a S16mm shoot (in fact, they almost cost exactly the same thing). That said, and now, given my new experience, I believe I will always choose to shoot Red over S16mm if I have the choice (I do reserve the right to change my mind after I see the final full resolution footage in our transfer suite) ;) K) The overall experience really brought home the theory that it's not the tools that make the cabinet. In other words, it's just a camera, it's just a tool. The shoot day is still the shoot day and nothing much at all has changed; for the DP at least. :) Evan W.
  11. I'm doing my first shoot on the RED camera this coming Thursday and I have one big question: We're shooting a music video and it will end up on DBeta. So, from the moment we wrap and walk away with all the footage on hard drives, what is the 'best' way to get the highest quality looking footage on to those DBeta masters? The production company has shot quite a few RED videos and they have a system in place but it seems like everyone and their mother has a RED post-flow in place and that the resulting quality can vary quite a bit... Anyone have opinions/workflows that they believe maximize the RED's potential? Thanks, Evan W. P.S. - I've done quite a bit of reading and studyin' but if anyone has quick pointers I'd love to here them! :) e.g., - set your meter to 320ASA and expose correctly; don't do the standard MV 1/2 - 2/3rd stop overexposure thing.
  12. Don't forget that much of the bottleneck will be your website's server. If you have one of the cheapie packages and pay $5 - $20/month you won't be able to serve up decent streaming speeds for files encoded at anything higher than approx. 600 - 800kbps. The real way to maximize video quality (if that's important) is to pay for a private server (approx $100/month) so that you have an entire computer dedicated to your website and thus dedicated to streaming your videos. With the private server you'll be able to encode up to 1200 - 1500kbps before you start to get stutter streaming on the client side (given the client has broadband). Above 1500kbps you'll need to go to a flash streaming service like influxis (www.influxis.com). I've used influxis but found their way of going about things overly complicated. They have good prices but I never managed to get everything working the way I wanted to with them so I went right back to my private server. As a final thought, I've tried just about every configuration known to man (or at least to me) and I can't really see much of an added benefit to encoding at anything higher than 2000kbps. In fact, I find 1200kbps to be very good and it results in video that looks better than 95% of everything else that's online. Hope some of that helps.
  13. Commercial shot entirely on the Red Camera. The product they are promoting and the way in which the creators go about doing it is interesting... Not so sure I'm buying the hype though. ;) http://www.vimeo.com/2596753 Evan W.
  14. I've heard a lot of good things about AFI (American Film Institute). They also seem to be very practical minded (i.e., you end up shooting a lot). Good luck! Evan
  15. Hey Richard, The torrent you found is indeed your full movie; from opening match flare to ending copyright credit. Also, torrents are actually pretty easy to use. You simply download and install a torrent client (the good ones are all free) and then for 9 out of 10 movies and albums you simply click the download button on sites like mininova or the pirate bay and away you go. In fact, I'd bet torrents are more user friendly than the 100-button remotes used to control the digital cable boxes that infest most homes. In my opinion, all the effort made to fight this technology is the epitome of an exercise in futility. The knowledge cannot be unlearned and the tech cannot be disappeared. The studios and music labels need to get all Apple-like and figure out how to properly monetize entertainment products. Actually, they need to leap-frog Apple's system and give their audiences something even better than the iTunes model. Moreover, I don't believe that the upcoming generation can be convinced that this is stealing. I barely believe it to be stealing myself and I remember, all too well, the days before anyone in my city could 'get online'. With regards to stealing, the common torrent argument is that stealing removes the item in question from the owner's possession and that what we see with torrents is more aptly titled 'copying'. The owner still possesses the original and has not be deprived of their property. The argument is likely specious and yet I can't bring myself to look down on torrent users or even chastise them. I have no idea what the solution will be but I'm fairly certain I know what it will not be. The RIAA and MPAA's methods are foolish and alienate the very people they would like as customers. As an interesting but not wholly analogous aside, check out the customer backlash against one of this year's most anticipated video games (read the reviews): http://www.amazon.com/Spore-Mac/dp/B000FKBCX4 The game 'Spore', in lieu of combating piracy, contained a form of Digital Rights Managment (DRM). This was EA's attempt to control the way their product was used by the customer. That didn't work out so well...
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