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Mike Atencio

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About Mike Atencio

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  • Occupation
    Cinematographer
  1. Hey David, check out this video shot with the HDSLR Nikon D3100 I think you'll be impressed with the quality - especially for $699.00 FYI, the time lapse par was shot with a different camera. What's your opinion on the footage. I ask because you work in the field professionally so you know what you're looking at better than I and your experienced eye sees things my eyes don't. Thanks for commenting.
  2. Yeah. I agree with you about it eventually costing more with the add ons. I'm getting some of that now. What works for me is the ability to do it a bit at a time instead of all at once. Truth be told, I'd love the entire Red system but I have to live with my wife and the budget I have available to me. I'm the Captain of my ship and like every good Navy, every cent spent must be approved by the Admiral. I'm sure you can appreciate that. Indie's have a hard time but I'm learning that it's the journey that's making this the most fun. Anyone can buy the best equipment but I kind of feel that not having the best equipment forces me to be a better filmmaker. I have to make up for the stuff others take for granted. I'll eventually be able to buy the better equipment but for now, this'll work. By the way, how'd the camera hold up after the crash shot? Mike
  3. I bought a Nikon D3100 HDSLR. It's got 1080 / 24 - 30 - 60 fps and I can manually focus my shots. The only drawback I have found is that there is no microphone jack for an external sound recording source. It was $699.00 with the lens. Not a bad deal and the 15 mega-pixel images are incredible. The video isn't perfect but it is much better than miniDV tapes and I can use this footage professionally with a little bit of smart cutting. I'm very happy with it and expect to shoot my film in the next few months. As for shooting in the "south" I wrote a screenplay about evil and greed in the swamps of Louisiana and urban legends. It's going to be really good and cheap to shoot. My final biggest challenge is going to be shooting inside or outside at night with my equipment. I have to figure out how to light the scenes. To everyone that offered advice, thanks. Mike
  4. Thanks Adrian, I spoke to the film commission and they are telling me that there is no money for any indie work in LA. It seems that the Governor has permanently cut all grants and programs in our state and they couldn't help me much on any subject. If I was in New Orleans, it would be different but I'm in the north near the Arkansas border. Up here we're on our own. I do appreciate the reply. Mike
  5. Thanks for the input. I'm hearing the things I knew all along but just didn't want to accept. Dreams have a way of making us blind to reality. That's why I posted here. For a realistic approach to the business. I'll look into the equipment rental idea. You're right about college students and students are exactly that - students. Can't expect more than that out of them. I remember my film classes and how there were all these chiefs and no indians for the work. Again, I hate to accept it but you're right about the business. Thanks, Mike
  6. Did I mention I live in Louisiana? Think of it as filming on the moon. There just aren't any sound pros around. I'm on my own. I have sound experience but not extensive. Know any good book about the dynamics? Thanks for the info about the DSLR. I was surprised. I would have thought a HD Pro camera would be a better choice for cinema but I seem to remember a DSLR used in a commercial to shoot the commercial.
  7. Hey man, I can tell you this. Networking is everything and you won't be able to do it unless you are where other people in the business are. That being said, plan to move to Los Angeles at some point or be prepared to strike out on your own in your own studio. That's what I have to do because I live in Louisiana with a big family and can't afford L.A. I'm over fifty so I decided to do my own thing. I have my connections from school (I completed film school and have a BA) but I'm confident that I can make a great low-budget high-quality feature film on my own. I write screenplays and have directed at school and beyond so for me, it was a natural choice. If you are single and don't mind working two jobs until your opportunities present themselves, then head for L.A. and have a blast. You'll never regret it. Go to UCLA and take more classes. I'll envy you all the way. You can never learn too much!
  8. Mike Atencio

    Camera choice

    I'm wanting to shoot my first complete film after years of working on other's indie projects. What's the best HD camera for under $5,000.00 to shoot cinema movies on? I don't want to use film so what will work here? I'm leaning towards the Panasonic AG-HVX200A but I don't like the P2 card system. A 64 G card is a thousand dollars! It's better to download straight on to a hard drive. What camera and sound system would be gentle on me and complement my lack of experience. Any comments or opinions on this would be very helpful. Thanks
  9. I'm opening my own production company with the intent to make high-quality (Alfred Hitchcock type) horror / thrillers and dramas. My plan is to stay away from as much CGI as possible and let my audience use their imagination instead. Cost is a major factor here for me as I am 60% disabled (former cop with a reconstructed back) and there is a serious lack of funding. No one wants to hire me because of work comp issues. Well, I don't want a government disability check, I want to earn my own money. I also have worked on many indie projects over the years and then went to school for a degree in television and film production. My studio will do work similar in nature to "Paranormal Activity" and eventually police dramas. My biggest hurdle is a financial one. I used all of my savings on my surgery and preventing the bank from taking my home. I'm still kicking and haven't lost the house but the money planned for equipment is gone. Anyone out there have an idea for financing my studio equipment? FYI, I have an agreement with the local university to have students act and work as crew members once I'm ready to shoot. I just need equipment beyond my DV camera. I figure I need about $15,000.00 for entry level camera, sound and lighting equipment. I have an X64 PC editing system with Premiere Pro, Sound Booth and After Effects - all CS5. My system ran me several thousand dollars so I'm vested for editing. Anyone want to help or know someone that can help, contact me ASAP I chose the horror genre because the audience is going to be more forgiving than other types of movies and it's easier when you have a cast that has little or no experience in front of a camera. I can direct and know how to edit. I write screenplays (one spec has been bought but not produced) so I'm very serious about getting this going. Thanks for your assistance in achieving my dream. Mike
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