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Paul Salmons

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Posts posted by Paul Salmons

  1. There's a great app you all may have heard of by Per Holmes called shot designer. It's a lot of extra work in preproduction but if I can get a director to jump on board with me to use it and we can plan all of our blocking and shots it usually leads to some of the best footage I have.

  2. Red also has the option to overlay 2:40 frame lines and will carry the frame guides over in redcine x for preview or export. There is also an awesome plug in for premiere that will add different aspect ratio mattes across your timeline for when it comes time to edit.

  3. If you do decide to pick up the strobes and just need some more basic soft light, maybe look into picking up a few china balls. Super cheap and look great at the cost of being hard to control the light. You can get them in all kinds of different wattages as well. I think the strobe modeling light is usually about the equivalent of a 75w bulb.

  4. This isn't across the board but a slight trend I have started noticing from first time or inexperienced directors is they hover around camera and get overly involved with camera. They tend to neglect their actors and want to spend a lot of time designing ground breaking camera movements. I love working on great moves and angles as much as the next guy but it drives me crazy when I get a short notice 30' curved dolly move that should really be on a stedi-cam and we are getting crap performance or no time for extra takes.

     

    The best directors for me are the ones that give me a very clear vision of what they want prior to the shoot day, the ones that send me still images and clips and have a very clear idea of what they want and listen to my feedback on how to make it happen. When I can collaborate is when I get the most of a production.

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  5. There's no way I would get that as my only lens on an F5. Being locked at a 3.9 is just too limiting for current technology. I understand cameras low light capabilities are amazing and it's possible to live at a f4 at iso 800 or even 1600 but I prefer something that allows me a little more control over my depth of field and choice of iso. On top of that, it's is a massive lens with a min. focus of almost 6 feet! If your like me and love working with directors that love shooting in closets and the smallest possible spaces you can see what kind of a hinderance that could be. I personally have never used the lens so I can't vouch for the optics of it, but what I have noticed from older lenses is they generally don't hold the sharpness of more modern lenses and tend to have a softer washed out look, which is great if that's the look you want, but may not be the look you want for every one of your projects.

  6. Here's a great way to get pro with any camera. Take it home with the manual and read every page! The camera settings being set 8 months ago is the first problem. Once you get a chance to read the book cover to cover you will gain the confidence to get in and adjust settings as well as understand them. Simple things like black shading and setting white balance will not be overwhelming. You may just want to reset both camera to factory and set up your own look as well!

  7. Another option might be to have some soft party color coming from the stage like it's bounce back/stage glowing then give your heroes a nice edge. When I'm in a situation that's very dark and I don't have a lot of lights a good edge will always help show that your scene isn't underexposed, just meant to be dark.

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  8. I often get asked about adding this shot to a film. I have tried it a few times without the results I wanted. The best result I had was on a doorway dolly, red epic, cooke 20-100mm zoom. I had one follow focus on the focus ring, zoom was pulled off the lens.

     

    I'm not sure if maybe I was trying to go to fast, maybe covering to much distance I don't know, but it seamed like syncing the dolly speed to zoom speed was near impossible. Anybody have successful experience with this shot?

  9. As a cinematographer I want to have a base knowledge of everything that enters my frame so I can distinguish good from bad and at least be able to have educated discussions with other department heads. Having said that, my job corresponds with some departments more than others. VFX and SFX are pretty closely tired into my job more so than make up.

     

    For example, if I know that in the shot there is something broken that will be tossing out sparks and the sparks will be added in post, I will try to at least add a blue flickering light to where the sparks should be. In my opinion this helps create a more believable effect and on a low budget production can be the difference between selling the effect or not. Another example is sometimes the production can't afford a pyro team, so I have built my own small air canon that will toss out debris, so when the director decides he is also the VFX artist and all he adds is a flame, the debris and red light are already in the image. Not only that, but FX in general are a ton of fun and being resourceful as a department head is what will get you your next job over someone who didn't know about FX.

     

    As a director, I believe you can go either way, either know a lot, or surround yourself with people who do.

  10. Hey guys just wanted to update on the progress. I went ahead and got the T12 florescent from home depot yesterday. It was cheap and worked great, the ballast on them is so bad they already have some built in flicker to my eye! I tried tapping in a 650 into the circuit and it gave me exactly the look i was going for. I'll wrap those bulbs in a little ND and I should have the perfect effect. Thanks again for all the help guys!

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  11. In the settings menu there is a way to control the brightness of the phone. That's worked for me for all my indoor shoots. If it's not possible to get the screen to read because it's just to bright outside you could always add trackers and do it in post.

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