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Bruce Greene

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Everything posted by Bruce Greene

  1. I think that since a digital color correction has no standard look (vs. film negative printed on film) there is no way to make a "standard" comparison here. I think the best one can do for this test is to color correct the digital camera file and the film scan in a proper grading software and present your preferred look from each original. They might look quite similar or different and it's your choice.
  2. Ha! But sometimes one needs to zoom no? 🙂 🙂 🙂
  3. Were you posting videos that you don't own the rights to? If so, sometimes this happens.
  4. I have a nice Fujinon 4.5-59mm cinema style B4 mount zoom lens if your buyer is interested 🙂 Like this one: https://www.adorama.com/fuhac13x45b.html But much lower price 🙂 🙂 🙂
  5. I'm guessing that studio overhead is so large that it makes no sense for them to release any product that doesn't have a chance to sell $100m +, no matter how likely it is to make a profit. So, some large flops are to be expected with this business model as long as the hits are big enough in the long run. Profitable small pictures don't really fit this model, so I'm not surprised that they might not be interested in most indie films.
  6. I've tried using a flash with my Alexa and it hasn't turned out all too well 🙂 Well, for movies, I guess one would use a little on camera LED lamp if one were shooting documentary footage and really needed to see something beyond what is available lighting wise. And the least amount of non available light would be best.
  7. Just saw this last night. A good and very well photographed film. But, a thin story, for me. The "single shot" idea was well done, but I don't think I would have even noticed if there had been obvious cuts and they certainly wouldn't have really effected the story telling if done correctly. But, very good publicity for the film, so not without it's marketing merits. Perhaps because I've read a bit of the WWI literature, I didn't feel the film captured the nature of the war and the way it was fought. And that scene with the French woman and baby felt particularly old fashioned and poorly written. The booby trapped bunker and the whitewater made it kind of "Indiana Jones" meets "All quiet on the Western Front". But as a technical achievement, it was pretty awesome. 🙂
  8. I've been pretty impressed with the few underwater shots we've done with a GoPro. It's certainly the easy inexpensive method.
  9. It looks like a moire problem, but it's caused by the image processing in the camera. I don't think it's visible on the live output from the camera, at least I didn't notice it until I brought the footage into Resolve later. After I discovered the issue, I googled about it and found it is a common concern with this camera. I've shot ProRes LOG on the bigger Varicam 35 without issue in the past. I think the Varicam 35 can record 4k ProRes 444 in camera, but the LT only 422 and I think this is where the issue is manifested.
  10. Off topic.... I tested a Varicam LT for a shoot a few months ago. And I found that the internal recording and compression produced some unwanted colored artifacts. Like a grey T shirt becoming a rainbow when in perfect focus. When out of focus, it looked grey. It seems to avoid this problem, one needs to use an off camera RAW recorder. I don't think this issue exists in the full size Varicam though. We shot the movie with an Arri Alexa mini 🙂
  11. the 110% is the encoded value for the recording and does represent the brightest value that can be saved. The reason it is a % is that this was the standard for analog video recording and so they've kept to that scale. In reality, an 8 bit recording can hold 256 values (0 to 255) and a 10 bit recording can hold 1024 values (0 to 1023). Higher bit rate recordings can hold even more values. So, today you will come across waveform monitors with values from 0 to 1023 for example, rather than 0 to 110%. This is what my Divinci Resolve waveform lists as values on it's waveform. The V-log does also clip, but at a point beyond that which is pictured in this graph. So, imagine that this graph continues to the right further than is pictured here. It is also possible that the Varicam LT, pictured here, clips the v-log at roughly 75%, and the values from 76% to 110% are left empty. And this may be because the V-Log curve is designed to replicate the response of color negative film, which can see values higher (brighter) than the Varicam LT sensor.
  12. I will just comment here on the LOG curve, the first in the list. The idea behind recording in LOG is really a compression scheme for digital capture. Basically, to minimize the amount of data recorded. In other words think of the amount of data recorded as a bucket and the bigger the bucket, the larger the file size necessary to store the data. The LOG curve helps to fit the entire range of tones that the sensor can see, and store them in a smaller bucket, by... deleting a lot of the original data. Digital sensors record light in a mathematically linear curve or a straight line in the graph. . And it turns out, that if one squished all the sensor data, in it's straight line into this bucket, this would only be possible by deleting data evenly along the exposure curve. And this creates gaps in the tonal scale of the image that are quite visible, especially on smooth gradients. And it turns out that the "meat of the image, the dark to light tones that appear to make up most of an image from black to almost white, would only cover from 0% to maybe 25% of the graph. Leaving "almost white" to the "brightest tone" using 75% of the data. It turns out that we have difficulty perceiving the smoothness of gradients in the near whites to the brightest whites, while we are very sensitive to gradients in the dark to almost white tones. So what they've done here is to stretch darker and mid tones up the scale, so that there are smaller steps between adjacent tones. They then flatten the highlights so that there is a much wider gap between adjacent tones in the part of the scale that we don't notice these gaps. So, in the end, a huge amount of data is deleted from the the lightest tones and much less data is deleted in the darker and mid tones of the image. And this makes it possible to record a large dynamic range of tones in a small package. Of course, when you see this LOG curve image displayed on your monitor, it looks quite low contrast and washed out. In post production color correction, where there is a very large data bucket available, this curve is corrected to create an image that looks like what we would generally call "photographic", but without deleting any additional data. On the set, there is a setting in the camera to output this correction to your monitor so that you can see a "normal" looking image, while recording the LOG image containing the entire dynamic range that the sensor/camera is capable of seeing. As David mentioned above, this has the effect of increasing the contrast in the darker tones, which allows much smaller gaps between adjacent tones on the scale. The other Varicam "look" curves in your example are Panasonic's attempt to capture a larger dynamic rage, while needing less color correction in post production. The "video" curve is to match traditional broadcast camera look that is standard in live broadcast productions and that's why you'll see so many blown out highlights when you watch your favorite sports on TV. I hope this makes some sense out of all this for you!
  13. Hmmm. Tough choices here. A good script supervisor vs. a new Mac Pro 🙂
  14. Yes, of course. But I was commenting on the contractor vs. employee situation that you posted about. Not really about Union vs. non-Union work. I've worked in this business a while and I've had issues with both Union and non-Union companies regarding failure to pay or pay in full. But in general, the Union jobs create better relationships between the workers and the company as there are clear rules that all understand and follow. And, production management is usually more relaxed on Union projects as they have a very clear idea about what everything will cost which can make their decision making and planning easier. In any case, once a deal is made, a deal is a deal... and we all need to do our best work to produce the best movie within the budget available 🙂
  15. No. I work as a contractor and must report and pay my own taxes plus the "self employment tax" which is the employer's share of Social Security and Medicare taxes. An additional 9.5% tax. My first Russian film was produced by Sony pictures and they refused to pay me on an IA contract, even though they are a signator. I even offered to adjust the rate so that it would not cost them extra for the benefits. But they did pay me on the Sony payroll as an employee and flew me 1st class 🙂
  16. I would just add to run the camera for a few feet after the last take before cutting the film.
  17. Richard, I believe that it's always been illegal to pay film crew as independent contractors in the US, though there were some work categories that could be paid as contractors. The practice of paying crew as contractors was accomplished due to a lack of enforcement. I've always preferred to be paid as an employee. Firstly, that means that the employer's share of pension taxes are paid. Independent contractors must pay both the employer's share plus the employee's share. About a 9% extra tax for working as a contractor. Also, employees are eligible for unemployment insurance payments, but contractors are not. Employees are also not liable for events that take place on the set, from work injuries to failure to successfully complete the work. As a contract camera operator I've been refused payment in the past for out of focus results. Even when I've had no good view of the focus (video assist monitor as viewfinder). On my work for foreign productions, they often send me a contract that states explicitly that I will be financially responsible for work screw ups. (like I'm going to pay them $50,000 to reshoot a day!) I cross out these provisions before agreeing to the job. Either they trust me, or they don't. And as far as tax cheating being easier for contract workers... I've been audited by the IRS. And they check every bank deposit and withdrawal and demand a receipt for every expense. In my case, as I had reported all my employee and contractor income, and had paid my share of pension taxes plus the employer's share, I was not charged additional taxes or penalties. The only "safe" way of tax cheating is to be paid in cash and stash it in your mattress. In Los Angeles, when you've reported contractor income (or your "employer" has reported your contractor income) the city of Los Angeles also demands that you pay a city business tax. And they know about your contractor income as the state reports this to the city. If you are paid as an employee, no city business tax is due, nor a business tax return necessary. So, at least in the US, it is to the film crew worker's advantage to be paid as an employee. And technically, a contractor is required also to provide their own worker's compensation insurance for workplace accidents... and even having liability insurance is probably a good idea. In general, it's very short sighted for a film crew worker to prefer to be paid as a contractor. Of course I can't speak to the situation in Canada 🙂
  18. Yes. You must do all those things and... these days, you must also be able to pull focus by eye looking at a display. That you are asking this question of "do I really need to...?" suggests to me, that focus pulling might not be the job for you. So, maybe take Robin's advice and become an operator instead? For me, my professional focus pulling career lasted a total of about ... 10 days I think. It was not the job for me and I went into the Steadicam business instead 🙂 🙂 🙂
  19. If you are shooting film, the tape measure is the necessary tool for following focus. The reality is that extreme angles are only possible with wide lenses, where the difference in focus setting is not so precise. There are times, when even using a focus pulling crew member, that the camera operator may see something out of focus and grab the focus knob and make an adjustment by eye. And usually, the operator, with his/her eye in the viewfinder is the person to confirm that a shot is in fact, in focus. If there is any doubt about the focus mark for the lens, due to extreme non-centering of the subject, it is always possible for the 2nd assistant to go to the actors mark with a focus target that's easy to see, and set the focus by eye through the viewfinder. All of this of course goes out the window when using a remote focus device on a Steadicam or crane etc. And here the operator can not see fine focus in the video assist. Lastly, in near 40 years on the set, I've never seen a focus puller measure to any spot other than the spot where the actor will be standing. I've never seen trigonometry used for focus marks either. And I've never shot 35mm film without a focus puller. There have been a few special occasions where I've operated a camera and pulled focus by eye though. If you have any doubt about the correct way to measure, I suggest that in camera prep, you have the focus team run a tape measure to a mark and then pan the camera so that the target is near the far side of the frame and see if it still looks in focus through the viewfinder. Because you won't be actually shooting, you can use a good amount of light so that you get a clear view of the focus. If there are any discrepancies, note them, by lens, for use durning filming. I think you'll find that if you test motion picture lenses by aiming at a flat object, that generally the flat object stays in focus across the frame. Which means that a straight tape measurement, without trigonometric compensation, will give the correct focus mark for off center subjects.
  20. I shot an anamorphic picture last year with the Cooke anamorphic lenses. Our longest lens was, I believe, 135mm and that was fine. I'm not even sure we used it all that much. What we needed and did use though were the 65mm close focus lens, and the 25mm wide angle lens. I was surprised that we used the 25mm for more than two set-ups and it was really needed.
  21. Well, just don't do it. The lens is too big for comfortable hand holding, with the weight too far forward. Your arms will hate you. And maybe even your back will hate you. And most of all, the image will probably be very shaky as you will fatigue very quickly. Even using a prime lens, you will tire quicker than you think. Just say no 🙂
  22. Yes, what you see in the viewfinder should be accurate to what will focus on the film. The hard part is seeing focus clearly through the viewfinder on wider lenses which have a larger depth of field. With wider lenses, it's easier to see focus on close subjects, but as you get near infinity, it's more difficult, and one usually then relies on the footage scale on the lens. But, in your case with adapters and such, that might not be accurate. In your case of using lens adapters, I'd be tempted to bring the lens and adapter to a lens technician who can then test the lens and adapters on the the lens projector for accuracy. You might also want to have your camera lens flange distance checked by a camera technician to make sure the mount is accurate as well. And then of course, shoot tests and project or scan the footage to make sure all is good.
  23. Please be very careful. The explosive force of the expanding spring can be very dangerous. I'm sorry I don't know about the proper tools for this job, but I have witnessed it done badly! Kaboom!!!!
  24. Sorry, I don't as I don't shoot with these types of cameras. Google is your friend here 🙂
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