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Bruce Greene

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Bruce Greene last won the day on June 13

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About Bruce Greene

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    Los Angeles
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    specialist in narrative projects, features and series.

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  1. I think it’s not necessary to go to film school and pile up debt. You can learn filmmaking now with a phone and a laptop if necessary. Though I think a college degree from a state university, in any subject, can still be valuable. My daughter ended up as a writer / producer with an English degree and no dreams of a film career. It’s not rocket science, but good writing skills are very valuable in many industries. And I’m a cinematographer with an Economics degree 🙂 I heard a lot of advice like yours David... and just thought, “screw em”!
  2. If you use a gimbal, it will be harder and more time consuming to rig, so keep that in mind. Hard mounted to the car will show all the shaking, and might even be desired. The gimbal will show a smooth background with shaking car and people, and you might like that effect as well. Also, on a trailer you may not need hostess trays if the trailer is wide enough. You can just strap down a tripod to the trailer.
  3. With my small exposure to sports broadcasting ... most cameras use big zoom lenses that are manually focused by the operator. some cameras shoot high frame rates, but broadcast live at the standard rate. The higher frame rates are recorded for slow motion playback to review the play. they also employ smaller cameras and lenses for handheld, Steadicam, and robotic camera systems.
  4. David I will stipulate that your math is correct. But, the odds of becoming a professional filmmaker if you don’t try are zero. If you give it everything you’ve got, maybe 5 - 25%. And when you’re young, there is always time to reconsider and choose another path. So I’ll go further. If you need to study the odds, your odds are about zero.
  5. Phil is correct. But, someone is going to make the movies. Why not you? The odds are always against you in any popular profession. If that worries you, find another career. If not, stop posting these questions and get to work! 🙂
  6. Watched the video and it's reassuring to know that in Kiev, where I spent 5 months last year, the background radiation is near normal. 🙂 But, I don't know about the food and how much contamination it may have contained... BTW, I was never tempted to take the tour of the forbidden zone, but I did go to the little Chernobyl museum in Kiev 🙂
  7. In general a shaking handheld camera creates tension in the viewer. If you use handheld extensively, you loose this effect as the viewers get used to it. And sometimes, if too much handheld, you will observe some people leaving the theater feeling sick, as I saw when watching "Beasts of the Southern Wild" some time ago... So, if you want the viewer a bit uncomfortable use hand held. Also, handheld can suggest that the view is through the eyes of someone in the scene, which you can consider as well. Especially when cut into an otherwise stable scene.
  8. Sometimes the green screen can not be placed at a distance that simulates the background plate. And in this case it's up to the artistry and skills of the VFX artist to create the best tracking of the background. I have an example of this at the 3 minute mark in the clip linked below. This shot was made in a studio set of a boardroom in an office tower. The city seen out the window is computer generated. Even though we used tracking marks on the green, it was probably not very helpful for the FX artist as the distance to the green does not match the distance to the city out the window. So this became a not easy and expensive DFX shot. The chroma key shot begins at 3:00.
  9. I think that when you are doing moving camera on chroma key, it's important to consult with the person who will be creating the digital FX and composites. Ask them what kind of markers they will need to track the new backgrounds. And, if you really can not consult with your fx artist... Keep in mind that it's best to be able to see at least 2 tracking marks on the green screen at all times. So let this be your guide as to how to space them. Also, the tracking marks are "tracked" by finding contrast in them against the green background, so, if they are also green tracking marks or crosses, they should be of a different brightness to the green screen background. I would think that if you use something like black tape for the tracking marks, they will be easiest to track, but the chroma key will fail around these marks and need small amount of rotoscoping to fix the mask. This still might be preferable if the back ground green goes out of focus and lowers the contrast of the background. If there will be multiple layers of background elements added, then it's time to think about tracking markers placed in front of the green screen on stands (hopefully wrapped in green cloth). Theses should be placed at a distance that will simulate the intermediate background element. If none of this makes sense to you, it is imperative that you consult with your VFX artist before shooting.
  10. Fine. Just say your directing a motion picture. I think that covers it 🙂
  11. Really? Just get out there and make MOVIES :):):)
  12. I've known gaffers who became successful cinematographers. That said, being a cinematographer is not only about lighting and camera technologies. It's about visual story telling, and less about the tech stuff. And I think the only way to learn it, is to do it. And, looking back... I think it's about as difficult to become a gaffer as it is to become a cinematographer. If I were to get a "do over" in my career, it would be to start as a cinematographer and not "work my way up". I was a camera/steadicam operator before I began my DP career, and it was almost like starting over from the beginning. Not quite, but 90%. So, if one wants to work as a cinematographer, work as a cinematographer. 🙂 🙂 🙂
  13. Congratulations on your new job! You're not going to learn how to be a Director of Photography on an internet forum... So, just do you best. There is a reason you were chosen for this roll. Just show em' what you've got, tell the story, and learn along the way. Happy shooting!
  14. I think you are looking at this technically, but need to look at it from a story telling perspective. For example, when you dolly into a face, you are starting with a character in their environment and then emphasizing their reaction/emotion. The opposite is true also. Starting close on a character shows their emotion, but moving back then reveals the environment and the reason for this reaction or emotion. Tracking on a close up of a person running allows one to concentrate on their emotion, while simultaneously showing speed and urgency. In general, one needs to think of camera movement as "editing in the camera" to tell a story. Sure, one could also use cuts to tell the story, but that, to the audience, feels like a manipulation by the filmmaker. Continuous movement allows the viewer to believe that they've discovered the story for themselves, and is therefore more powerful. Because the moving camera is more powerful, it's often best to reserve camera movements for the most important parts of a scene, so that they create the biggest impression. In other words, keep your powder dry, until the ultimate time and let em rip! The same can also be said for composition. I usually leave symmetrical and/or centering a character in frame for special moments and this brings particular emphasis to these shots. If I did this for an entire movie, they would loose their power... unless I was Wes Anderson, of course!
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