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Derek Van Gorder

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  1. Seeing THX 1138 again recently, I'm struck by the classic final shot: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4RTRKQkoQHg Roughly, how long of a lens did they need to get a shot like this? Anyone have any experience shooting something similar?
  2. Thanks, Bernie & Ian! I'll give it a try.
  3. I acquired a used ACL from ebay. It's definitely a little beat-up, but is in working order. This is my first 16mm camera, and I'm spending time trying to learn the basics and how to load it properly. I definitely will be getting it properly serviced by a technician before using it on any production. I ran one trash roll through it. Seems to be working OK, and I don't see any timing problems, but it makes a repeating scraping sound while running. I couldn't quite figure out which part was causing the sound. I recorded a video of it running: (password = eclair) Any thoughts o
  4. Thanks for the replies! I decided to junk the 160' and practice with it, but my curiosity is getting the better of me with the left-over film and I just might have to process it. What can I say, I'm a sucker for the unknown. If I come up with anything interesting I'll be sure to post it!
  5. Hello! I recently purchased a used Eclair ACL on eBay. It came with two 200' magazines and one 400' magazine (the English one, which I hear is a bit dodgy). To my surprise, both 200' magazines are full of film! The first one appears to be halfway spent, there's film over the pressure plate. The second mag I opened in a darkened room-- the take-up side is empty, but the other side has what I'm guessing is 160' of unexposed Double-X (the magazine is labeled with a piece of tape, "160' 7222"). From what I could tell in the dark, there's indeed a good amount of film on a core, not a daylight s
  6. I am looking to create some fictional documentary pieces styled after old-fashioned science documentaries, in particular Carl Sagan's "Cosmos" from 1980. I'm interested in the approach to location work, visual effects, and graphics. Studying the show itself has been helpful, but I was wondering if there was anywhere I could find behind-the-scenes information about cameras, lenses, lights, film stocks, and effects photography. Failing that, are there any good general technical resources about documentary production from this time period I could study? Any info appreciated!
  7. Hello, Here is a teaser trailer for a science-fiction film I am working on. It's an outer space adventure movie shot the old fashioned way, without CGI or greenscreen. Would love to hear some honest feedback and first impressions, from a photography angle and also just whether or not it makes an effective trailer.
  8. Well hey, thanks for sharing! Seems like you've done a lot of interesting stuff. As a fellow shooter the most interesting thing to see was your reel on Vimeo, I really dug it. Most of the time I find a mix of documentary/performance/narrative/commercial distracting, but you managed to make it blend, it's clear you have your own style. And the occasional added sound effect was really effective, pulled me in. Only stuff I wasn't crazy about was the on-white backdrop stuff, lighting was fine, just seemed very middle-of-the-road. Other than that, lots of epic shots; fantastic catch with that l
  9. Working on a new reel and was hoping for some feedback. I'm taking a risk with an unusual approach, and am wondering how it strikes people on a cold viewing. I'm a young DP and editor working the low-budget scene in NYC. For my past reels I would just put what I thought were my best shots to music, but this time around I wanted to try and better communicate coverage, setting, and establishing mood, while still conveying a range of work in different styles and genres. So I decided to incorporate sound design and emphasize certain moments and scenes; giving short impressions of completed fil
  10. Hey, I really liked this. Lots of dramatic action & emotion in a short span of time. Also nice that it shows both good coverage and the ability to tell a story in a single shot. The lighting in general is excellent for this type of material, simple but purposeful-- especially at 0:10 and 0:37. The only shots I don't like are the two that start at 0:20. They just don't convince me as night shots; the blue fill doesn't seem justified, and we see too much background, it feels staged. Seeing the scene through some foreground, or better use of shadows may have helped. Compare to your other
  11. Really professional stuff. The period work is particularly impressive! I think my favorite shot is the old man with his dog in the fog. Simple but beautiful, shot at the right time of day for sure. My only complaint is that the music seems best suited for commercial-style work, and it makes the more dramatic narrative shots get lost in the mix. I noticed your older reel on Vimeo grouped projects together, and although that reel was too long, it gave a better sense of coverage for narrative work. Anyway, great work!
  12. Hello, I'm shooting a feature film on HDSLRs in Utah through the end of August. The director has made an unusual request to shoot a short scene by the actual light of the full moon. I suspect this may be possible only with the 1D Mk IV and super-fast lenses, f/1.0 or faster (even then I assume I will need to employ some noise-reduction in post). Though I've found information about such lenses online (a Canon 50mm 1.0, a TV Nikkor 35mm f/0.9), they seem quite rare and so far the rental houses in Salt Lake City have no idea where to find them. What's my best bet? Is there some sort of sp
  13. Hello, I am a NYC-based DP and filmmaker about to head out on a trip to Europe. I will be in Copenhagen and Helsinki for five days each in late October / early November, and will be staying briefly in Stockholm and Berlin as well. I would be interested in working on any short projects that require a shooter, editor, or perhaps just a helping hand on set. I will be traveling with a light HD video and Super-8mm film kit, and can provide these for any production I am involved in. My reel can be viewed at: http://www.vimeo.com/4804555 Please send me a message if interested, I
  14. Hello, I've got another Beaulieu question... Anybody have some good suggestions for C-mount prime lenses to use on the Beaulieu? I know that in general, prime lenses are supposed to be sharper than zoom lenses, is this true even with when comparing to the Beaulieu 4008 ZM II's Schneider lens? What about the Angenieux? Also, will the camera's built-in light meter still work with non-stock lenses?
  15. Hello, I was wondering, what are the differences between the 4008 ZM and 4008 ZM II? I can get the 4008 ZM for a decent price, but would it be worth waiting to find a ZM II? Thanks!
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