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David Bowsky

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  • Occupation
    Camera Operator
  • Location
    Oakland, CA
  1. Chances are you are right on both counts. I haven't seen most of the latest "tent-pole" movies, so I won't go into knocking them, but it's pretty easy to tell when the trailers are just an encapsulation of the entire film. I don't remember which upcoming tent-pole it was, but the trailer for it that preceded PacRim basically hit everyone one of Snyder's "beats," almost as if to reassure the audience that they will get an experience like they are used to seeing. Even Elysium, which I am really excited about, I fear will suffer from the same basic, overtly mushed into your face, structure. In retrospect, as much as I loved District 9 for it's subtext, I think it might be more tied to that basic outline than I ever really considered after seeing it. It's too bad about PacRim on many levels for me. I'm more of a "giant mechanical war machine" fan than I am an anime fan, but I will admit that the movie is partially designed for people like me as well, albeit they are aiming for nerds my age who actually have kids, for the most part. It's too bad that I will not be able to see The Conjuring before I leave civilization for a couple of months. I heard an interesting radio bit (taken with a grain of salt, naturally) about the film, the female leads, and how that might relate to it's successful run so far and larger than normal female audience for that genre. Supposedly it's also more "old fashioned real estate horror" from the 70s than post-torture-porn modern horror.
  2. The Transformers "films" were a crime against the childhoods of everyone between the age of 30 and 40 who ever watched any cartoons as a child, ever. This is from someone who would sit down with you and have a long conversation about the "awesomeness" of such "films" as Dark Descent (Dean Cain plays the sheriff character from High Noon/Outland, but this time in an underwater mining colony) and Laser Mission (Brandon Lee has to save a German Scientist from the Cuban Army while located somewhere in Africa). Pacific Rim fell short in several places/ways, but delivered exactly what was advertised: Giant Robots fighting off Giant Monsters. More "roll your eyes" dialogue moments than you can shake a stick at, and plenty of condensed and cliche character arcs. You know, like the pilot in Avatar who's switches sides with absolutely zero story motivation to do so. Still, as a movie trying to captivate a young audience I think it deserves more credit than it is getting (and certainly better BO). If nothing else for the fact that they were able to have the male/female lead characters sideline the typical (boring) "love story." Wifey commented that it was a better film without them having kissed or "gotten it on", because she was imagining the scene of it happening after the movie ended. Give it a whirl when it comes your way James. I'm not here to call it the be-all-end all of the genre, nor do I think you will actually like it. I just think it deserves more credit than perhaps it is being given. If nothing else, I enjoyed watching it and later in the film some of the modeling and comps are actually quite good. Definitely better than that still in the OP. That still is from the worst scenes (in terms of craft) in the film. Which is weird because usually the early comps are the big, elaborate, "suspend disbelief" moments and perhaps that is one of the reasons the film is not doing as well. It really is the weakest at the beginning because due to the mad amounts of exposition they shoved into the first 20 minutes or so. It got me thinking about how much more effective the beginning scenes of Star Wars are. That brief scroll at the beginning basically saved them from the boring expository beginnings that films are chained to these days and allowed them to jump right into the Star Destroyer chase and from that point everyone is in. And please, no Evangelion movie. No one wants to watch giant stompy robots with extension cords. I'd rather watch a theatrical adaptation of FLCL than that. :lol: Oddly, the part that bothered me the most about it was their closing title graphic sequence was an almost cut-for-cut duplicate of the one from The Avengers. It really looked like it was done by the same people. Nothing wrong with that, I guess, but I wish they had done something more original for that.
  3. Hi! I did a few searches around the board and didn't find too much, but I'm looking for some help with an upcoming job that will be my first time working in Arctic conditions. Gear package is pretty basic. 5D mkIII, 2 canon XF-100/105s, lots of Go-Pros, and a few consumer cams that have survived previous shoots. If you guys can think of any threads I may have overlooked, I'd be more than happy to give them a read, same for blog posts or similar content elsewhere on-line. The job also involves long periods on the water; I have some familiarity there but any and all advice is always welcome. Also, if you could pick the top 1-3 things you learned on an arctic job that you wish you had known before you left and would be so kind as to post them up I would be in your (probably beverage related) debt. Thanks in advance everyone! -- d
  4. No way to pick just one, and I would consider myself thoroughly blessed to work with any of the living masters already listed. I'll just add two lesser-known Cinematographers who's work I greatly admire: Siu-Keung Cheng http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0155624/ Chung-hoon Chung http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0161200/
  5. Very interested in this particular tangent. I am in the process of collecting/assembling what I would call a "vanity reel" (the type you describe as best suited for DPs seeking work in commercials), but it seems perhaps this is not the best route to take if one is seeking long form narrative for documentary work? It stands to reason that the reel should include the work for which you are applying - like a tailored resume in the 9-to-5 world - so theoretically the narrative reel and the documentary reel would be separate entities. Would either or both of you be willing to offer advice on what you do like to see in a reel (or submission of work)? Sending someone an entire feature when cold-contacting seems unwieldy, but would a series of links to completed scenes be more appropriate? Is it best to skip the vanity reel (unless seeking work in commercials) and instead create a separate reel for each type of work sought? What would you recommend for those of us who have a strong body of short narrative/doc work, but are trying to convince a producer to hire for their first feature length narrative/doc? Thanks in advance for any tips/advice.
  6. Thanks to you both! I agree on the issues with the lighting. Much flatter than I was going for, in addition to the other problems. Live and learn. :) Nico, you've definitely touched on the one thing that I couldn't quite place - how these visuals serve to further or enhance the narrative. The idea the director wanted to convey was the main character "loosing herself" in the memory of the party/celebration. Having nailed the lighting better could have helped to convey that, though I wonder if there are other elements we missed, or perhaps a different approach where we lost, found, lost, found again our main character. The director and I worked pretty closely on our shot design and blocking, so I was definitely in a good position to have made additional suggestions, though I know that is not always the case. Also, Hyun that you are right, more people guiding the camera in the last half is needed, and might have better helped convey that notion of her having "lost herself" in the moment.
  7. Good morning everyone! I recently shot a short narrative film, and despite the overwhelmingly positive response to my work, I am dissatisfied. For lack of a more efficient description, I feel that my work still lacks the hallmarks of a true professional and hope that I can garner feedback from the friendly and helpful folks here. I know that it can be problematic to discuss a single shot, without having seen more of the film and where/how the shot in question cuts into the whole. I'll try to give a bit of information that I hope will help. The piece was rather "high-concept" in that our heroine is traversing various corners of her memory (as represented by a single house) and re-encountering the relationships of her past. This particular encounter occurs late in the film. The clip begins with the actors obscuring camera to give us a hidden edit point to change from a glidecam to our jib. We have just seen her enter the room in OTS, the young man comes to greet her and sweeps her away into this particular shot. The clip is here, password protected: https://vimeo.com/57810961 password: thanksforyourfeedback A bit of self-critique. Here are what I feel are some of my mistakes: -- The operating is clumsy at best, and incredibly chunky at its worst. This is take 13 of 14, and in each take there is some form of operating error or another. -- General underexposure, and not enough range of luminosity in the room. I could go into a very long paragraph on this, but it would just sound like making excuses. Suffice to say that in navigating the compromises of the day, I feel I could have done a much better job. Particularly where the hero couple lands at the end of the shot. There is also weird reflection as she exits (light bounces off the door she opens) which comes from our HMI instruments outside and a whole host of other issues. -- Excessive Warmth. This is probably a function of several factors, including the camera. We shot at 3200, though the paper lanterns we used were slightly off-white and warmed our already warm bulbs. The yellow walls of the room enhances this to create an effect that makes the shot feel as though it were at the wrong color temp. It is also possible that the camera trends toward yellow, but I previously thought that trend to be a function of my old Canon FD lenses (not used on this piece) I didn't think to compensate for this on the day, and although the bottle's label and the table cloths appear correct on my monitor, some of the skin tones where actors are farther from lights seem pretty yellow-y. -- The overall flow of the shot seems just ... off ... For example, I should have asked the director to have the dancing couple that swings the camera back to its left (after the shot of the wine bottle) to continue their movement all the away across the lens, rather than panning off of them to continue the move. This was the director's first film (though he has extensive theater experience) and we did work together closely on blocking as there is movement throughout most of the film. -- While I would like to avoid turning the discussion into one about the camera I used, I do understand that there are many who vehemently dislike certain cameras, but hopefully we can set all that aside. ;) Understand that I used the camera that was available to me, as I feel the craft is more important than the tool. I would rather shoot with what is possible, than sit around wishing I could shoot on something that is not. On the other hand, I am more than happy to hear any and all recommendations for getting the most out of the tool I used, which was my GH2. Many advance thanks to all who are willing to help me improve my work. Please don't hold back. There is no critic that will ever be as harsh to me as I am to myself. :D
  8. Hello again SF area crew people! I'm scanning for recommendations on an accountant who is familiar with the ins and outs of our business from a freelancer's perspective. I don't need anything fancy, just someone who can build Quickbooks for me, and possibly handle my taxes at the end of the year, and the occasional advice/education/consulting. Any and all suggestions/tips/advice appreciated. Many thanks in advance!
  9. Oooh. Gonna try that trick for clearing sharpie marks next time I run into a dirty disk, thanks. Pancro or ROR work great. I tend to keep a piece of scrap microfiber just for cleaning marks. Also a fan of the vis-a-vis overhead markers. Nice fine points and they erase cleanly.
  10. Hey Bay Area folks, I'm attached to 1AC an ULB feature (they might be working with less than those numbers, I'm not privy) and we're in need of a cart rental for the month. We load into location between the 29th and 31st, with our first day of shooting on 8/1 and our last day scheduled for 9/1. We're shooting RED, but want to keep things trim. A Jr. cart would be perfect, and I'm hoping someone out there wants a little extra cash on their gear that isn't getting used at the moment. The DP did bring up the idea that I just purchase one and take the rental myself. I'd love to, but this hasn't been the most lucrative summer so far, and don't really feel capitalized enough to carry the rest of the investment until the off chance I can get another rental for it. Maybe if I found a deal on a used one, but those seem few and far between. Thanks! -- D
  11. Thanks! After a bit of digging, looks like one can generally tell by the number of digits in the price as well. :lol:
  12. This is probably one of those questions that I'm going to realize was really silly once an answer or two comes along. I understand that Arri standard mounts were found on both 16mm and 35mm cameras long ago. Were just the mounts common, or were all the lenses fundamentally the same in terms of image circle and could be used on either format? Is there anyway to research or just know which lenses where used where in this mount type?
  13. Thanks! FWIW: They'd have the corner on the market. 2 months later and I still can't find anything remotely close for Android.
  14. Ran across this the other day. Enjoy.
  15. Just a quick thanks for posting up this info. Great show and always loved the cinematography. Amazing what you guys can do with such a tight schedule.
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