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Matt Dennie

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Everything posted by Matt Dennie

  1. I moved to Los Angeles 1.5 years ago to attend film school so that I could become a DP. Like most people who do this, they discover that they want to do something else, perhaps more specific than what they first wanted. For me, I started drifting away from the camera side of things, and moved towards lighting. I now find myself out of film school and looking for work as an electric. Unfortunately, I didn't learn how to find work in school, just how to work. All I hear is 'work for free, meet people, they will call you for paying jobs later', or 'the people you meet in film school will call you when they get paying jobs'. Nobody is getting paying jobs. I am really beginning to doubt the economic feasibility of a career in the film industry. It seems like it is made of a bunch of cliques with no way in. So what I would like is your advice, especially if you recently got into the film industry. I would also like to know what you think I should do next. Should I continue taking free/almost free jobs with the hope that that will turn into paying work and connections? Or is it time to find a different industry?
  2. Simple question: Who makes the daily schedule that the 1st AD uses on set?
  3. Can someone recommend a good place to rent a generator, preferably in the san fernando valley. I need something around 200 amps.
  4. What is the yellow orange switch on the arri 575w mag ballast for? It looks like a ground symbol on it.
  5. http://www.ebay.com/itm/2000w-Photo-Studio-Video-Continuous-Lighting-Kit-Photography-Softbox-Light-Stand-/370612317710?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item564a372e0e
  6. I'm shooting a short film in the desert soon and was wondering if anyone had some advice they would like to share. I post this in the lighting section because my main concern is keeping the contrast low on the subject. We are bringing plenty of bounce and diffusion. I am going to use the sun as the backlight and bring fill in from the front. Any other tips, even not lighting related would be appreciated.
  7. Here it is: My best guess is cs6364. I think that would be 250v 50A. Any info you can provide would be great. Especially with regard to power distro. I found this, but I don't know if rental houses have something similar or what it is called: http://www.amazon.com/Ericson-Portable-Temporary-Distribution-Center/dp/B003NXX7JM
  8. Could somebody send me a sample invoice for a director of photography? I've been looking for a basic outline or template and haven't been able to find anything. I have done invoices for still photography, but I think I need some more information on the one I would use for cinematography. I think I heard something about a place is needed for the producer to sign. Any other tips would be great.
  9. A couple of questions though. First, could you explain what petty cash envelopes are used for? That's one thing I haven't heard of before. Second, does one role typically do most of those things or is it split between the UPM, 1st AD and Producer?
  10. Thank You!!! So much helpful information. I'll definitely have to do a lot of research before I can do anything, but this is a great starting point for me.
  11. Could somebody just post a few links maybe on some basics on paperwork on the money side of film making? Or perhaps recommend a book? Basically, I'm thinking of producing a short film at some point, and would like to know what is involved in paying people that work on it. I think there's some form like w-4 or something, not really too sure about anything though. I guess some details on the production would help. I'm thinking the budget would be around 35K. Let's say SAG actors too because I know that makes a big difference in paperwork. Also, the length of production would be around a week. Maybe some info on how and when people get payed too would be nice. Do you pay the actors anything up front? Or is it all mailed to them later? Also, let's assume none of the crew is union. If anyone happens to know all of this and feels like just answering these questions that would be great, otherwise some links or books would be nice.
  12. Thanks for the advice already. It was helpful. Here's some better detail this time: We have two people in this scene ( a man and a woman), and 3 zombies. We are in a church sanctuary. An explosion has just happened. The walls are burnt and there is ruble on the ground. The woman is lying on the ground in ruble. Zombies are approaching. She has a gun, but can not aim very well. She takes a shot, but it's not going to hit anything at first. Now, time slows down to a crawl. The man has super speed powers and looks over to her, then the bullet. He appears to move at normal speed as the bullet slowly travels across the scene. He walks over to each of the 3 zombies near the bullet, and moves them into the path of the bullet. Time now speeds up as he moves away from the zombies and we see the resulting triple headshot. Oh, and to throw a wrench into the whole thing, all the explosion/debris/damage to the church has to be VFX. We can't actually burn the church (unless you know a way to do it with set design, I guess that might be a possibility) If you have any tips on how to make this shot happen as simply as possible, let me know.
  13. Ok so I have a difficult shot I am in the progress of planning. It is most similar to the effect used in Heroes where time stops, however one character moves through the scene at a normal speed, however time will not be stopped, only moving very slowly (thinking around 300fps). I'm trying to simplify the shot as much as possible. Instead of moving the camera on a steadycam through the scene we will probably keep it on a tripod and use several angles. The moving actor needs to interact with items in the scene that he will brake. This will be shown at a slow speed/high frame rate. Most likely in 3D/Maya. Oh, and there might be time ramping too. Anyway... My main question is should I shoot the moving actor on a greenscreen at 24p and the bg separately at 300fps, or do you think it would be easier to do some rotoscoping when necessary? Or maybe I have no idea what I'm doing and you can think of something better. Perhaps bottom line...do you think this shot should be entirely 3D? Or is there some possibility of pulling off most of it in camera? Right now I'm leaning towards shooting the normal speed moving actor on a greenscreen then shooting/creating the background to match.
  14. I always use a grey card for white balance. Never had a problem. Of course, I'm coming from a photography background.
  15. Looks good to me! Did you have pretty large set ups for the film? It looked lit decently. It didn't feel like a student film that much. I would say it was closer to a feature than a student film visually.
  16. Answering in order of response... Los Angeles City College. Yep, I think I will check with them tomorrow. I feel like once I have some work to show for myself people will be able to judge me better. Ha! I guess I should just stalk a movie set then...
  17. I know there is a post similar to this just below, but my situation is a bit different. I recently moved down to L.A. and am in a film school. I want to work my way up to being a DP some day. I am looking for some work preferably on a set. Does anyone on here know of a crew in need of a PA or other job that could get me on set? I mainly just want to observe how everything works.
  18. Keep in mind there was a lot of good stuff in there. I'll just get straight to the bad. The lamps they were carrying around were blown out occasionally. The main scene with the hanging lights felt empty. What I would have tried to do would be to isolate the center of the room, maybe with a focused hmi pointing straight down from the ceiling, flagged off from the walls. Another thing in that scene is it looked like you lit the whole thing with tungstens since the bulbs were white. I think I would have liked hmi's to give the bulbs more of a yellow glow. Framing seemed ok, nothing amazing, nothing bad.
  19. I now have a 1K fresnel and it's great, but my lights stand is a little inadequate for its weight (12 lbs). I am thinking of getting a c stand for it but I am also thinking about a more solid light stand that can hold it. What do you think would be best? And can you recommend a light stand?
  20. I think I have a relevant enough question to post it here. When you diffuse a hard light, about how much of a decrease in luminance do you typically see? I usually factor about 1.5 stops for a shoot through or bounce.
  21. I use the arri calculator all the time. It is my main resource for figuring out how much power I will need for a location. I generally aim for about 120fc to account for diffusion. I usually end up with T4 with iso 400.
  22. 1000 will give you a ton of artifacts. Use 1250 or 1600. 1250 will give you less noise, while 1600 will give you a bit more dynamic range. As for your main question, try looking at the footage on an HD tv if you can, or maybe some other displays to see how it might look. In my experience, ISO 1600 looks fine on a 1080p tv, as well as a standard def tv. I use a t2i by the way.
  23. It's quick and dirty, but I think it gets the point across. A friend of mine and I shot this in 50 hours for a film festival. http://vimeo.com/21957930
  24. I found a thread where people started to talk about this, then went back on topic. So my question is how did you get started in "the film industry"? I'm sure it was a very long process. What got you motivated? Books? Still photography? Watching movies? How about education? Did you attend film school? If not, did you work as a PA or something to get experience? How has work been recently with the recession? Feel free to only answer a few questions if you don't feel like typing up an autobiography ;)
  25. Just a couple questions... How often do you use a light meter while working? (assuming digital since film would be obvious) What do you think of this one? http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/245894-REG/Spectra_Cine_18002AB_Professional_IV_A_P_2000EL_A_Digital.html Also, any cheaper recommendations for a good light meter? I currently use a dslr for most projects and I have heard that light meters make things a lot easier. I used one all the time for studio photography, but now I just light by looking at the camera lcd. Is that a bad habit?
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