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Dominic Case

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  1. Hi - I don't visit cinematography.com very often now, but just happened on this question. David Mullen - as always - remembers well. In fact it was often common to make an IP before the answer print was finalised - or immediately afterwards. That IP would become the master from which Dupe Negatives were made for the release print run. But also a the IP would be used to print a number of short sections (on an optical step printer) that included all the shots for the trailer. This might be frame accurate, yielding a one-piece trailer negative, or possibly, if full takes were printed to minimise handling damage to the IP, then the dupe neg would have to be fine-cut. However, since as many trailer copies would be required as prints of the feature itself, it would not be unusual for the trailer to go through two more generations to produce additional dupe negatives for bulk printing. In earlier times it was common to make the trailer from out-takes, so it would follow exactly the same work-flow as the feature: edit work print, match-cut the original negative, then make an IP and an DN. However, later there was a requirement that the trailer only included material that was in the actual feature (to avoid accusations of false representation). Now it is quite common to shoot and release trailers during (or even before) production on the main picture but the questions of generations of film, and of exact shots, are either meaningless or irrelevant! Finally, I can't be certain, but I am pretty sure that Titanic's trailers would have been made in a moe traditional way - but yes, film-outs from a digital master using an EDL and film recorder would have come in soon after that.
  2. Hi - my first visit to this site for some time! The chinagirl? Used as print and process control both when making intermediates (IP and DN) and making prints. Cut into the leader, and printed at a standardised printer light, the mid-grey patch on the chinagirl is read on a densitometer after printing and processing and the readings compared with aim values. In the case of intermediates this is the most accurate check that the reel has been exposed correctly. In the case of prints, it provide a more objective control than a subjective judgment that the colour "seems right". After the dupe negative has been made and checked, the duped-through chinagirl would normally be replaced with original negative again to make for more accurate assessment of the subsequent prints. I can't speak for all labs, but in my experience it was rare to cut chinagirl into camera rolls for rushes printing (when there was rushes printing!), as it would have consumed a huge amount of chinagirl negative (which took considerable effort to produce to an accurate standard). There is a curious collection of chinagirls (dollies, ladywedge, etc) here:
  3. I know that the lights are now all but turned off (or is it on?) all over Australia/NZ as far as labs are concerned, and I see on this forum that there are only a couple operating in the UK still. Just to help with something I'm writing, it would be great if people could let me know if they still have labs (and which ones) still providing a commercial negative processing service in their part of the world. And how that compares with (say) a couple of years ago. This might also prove useful to other people on this forum. Thanks in anticipation.
  4. From Screenhub, an Australian web news service: "Deluxe, the last significant processor of motion picture film stock in Australia, has announced that it will close its Australian film laboratory on April 19th, 2013. Customers have been told they can access services at Technicolor in Thailand, or send stock direct to Deluxe in Hollywood. Local cinematographers are aghast." So now there will be no commercial film processing service in Australia or New Zealand. It had to come of course, but where does it leave local filmmakers who want to shoot on film. Or are there none?
  5. Indeed, if that's the problem. It's hard to believe that any transfer operator can have sent this result out without querying it. It does highlight the value of shooting a few frames of a colour chart on the head of each roll (or at least one roll per batch sent for processing). It can settle almost any uncertainty. It'd be interesting if you cold post a frame with the correct colours, once you have it re-transferred.
  6. Sorry - haven't looked at this forum for a while. Deluxe Sydney is assuring people that they will be offering 35mm neg processing for a while yet, but they are indeed the only option left. Village in Queensland had been borderline for a long time, and Deluxe Melbourne (previously Cinevex) closed at the beginning of this year I believe. Shipping costs, risk of X-ray, and distance away if anything does go wrong would be the main things to take into account when considering processing in NZ, HK or Belgium (or anywhere else for that matter), but unless you are in Sydney itself and not expecting overnight turnaround, none of those are going to make a big difference wherever you choose. That said, Village opened up the QUeensland lab on the site that Deluxe had previously vacated, because Queensland DoPs and producers weren't prepared to ship negative to Sydney. Still that was a few years ago. Perhaps shipping is less of a hassle now??
  7. If you can get hold of it, have a look also at an Australian feature shot in the early 90's called "What I Have Written". (Director John Hughes, DP Dion Beebe - one of his early gigs). I worked with Dion on the look and effects, sections of which we described as "almost black and white, almost freeze-frame" - but not quite). We took La Jetée as a reference, with still-ish sequences representing memories (or are they imagined scenes written in a novel? - that's the question the film asks). We considered shooting stills, but ended up shooting cine at 6fps (to get some motion blur), selecting key frames in a moving shot and step-printing them to freeze the action for the right amount of time until the next key frame came up. However, like Chris Marker we couldn't afford much film, so those sequences were shot in 16mm - and the 6fps helped with stock costs too, although that was mostly for creative reasons.
  8. Well, it's been a long time since I posted here. Just passing and noticed this thread. Brian (Hi Brian!) asked what we wouldn't be able to do if film disappeared. One very physical process that would be lost would be hand-painted or scratched film: frame-by-frame animation on the film itself. Of course this is a very "experimental film" process: a poetic form rather than the conventional narrative form. But apart from people like Norman Mclaren and Stan Brakhage, I'm sure there must be people on this forum who've tried this. That's my thought for today!
  9. Depends where you are. Your film lab would be the place to start for recommendations, but few labs have ever employed fine-cut neg matchers, who tended to work independently. And there are now very very few still in business. Don't confuse basic neg cutting (splicing camera takes together) with fine frame-exact negative matching, which calls for a much higher level of skill and care - especially for a 4-perf anamorphic negative with its extra-narrow frame lines. A badly-spliced negative could ruin your film. I'm sure there is plenty in Dov Simens' book that is still very valuable: but since 2003, DI postproduction has moved from being the exception to being the rule, and this has brought many changes in the landscape.
  10. Funny, apart from the quaint British vernacular, this sounds like a comment from critics at the beginnings of cinema itself. I think Murch has correctly identified the weaknesses , not the fatal flaws of current 3D (stereo) systems. Most aspects of cinema have weaknesses: the skill that needs to be developed is to trade on the strengths and minimise the weaknesses. Stereo 3D does suffer from the focus/convergence mis-match, but less so at greater distances. It's true the 3D effect is weaker there, but it isn't non-existent. And the occasional burst through in front of the screen is then more effective: like any effect, it's best used sparingly.
  11. Dominic Case

    Geoff Boyle

    I'm no arbiter of internet etiquette, but I don't see anything very helpful in using one forum to slag off about another forum. If you have an issue with CML I suggest you take it up with the moderators there. Funny, I never had any problem. Never heard of anyone else who did either. Perhaps email just isn't for you, Keith.
  12. That's fine for you and for the original poster - but it's not a term that is available to the rising numbers of women in the business. In this part of the world at least, the term cameraman tends not to be used for that very reason. After all, we don't have "editman" or "microphoneman" - and "continuity girl" went the way of the dinosaur. OK, don't bother to reply about "best boy". It's a curiosity, not a useful example. What is wrong with "Cinematographer" - after all, ACS, ASC, CSC, BSC and countless numbers of other organisations seem comfortable with it -and many of them include levels below accredited DOPs among their members.
  13. Dominic Case

    Geoff Boyle

    Don't waste your time on the CML website. It's far and away best as an email list. It's designed for working professionals on location who want answers to problems without fancy trimmings.
  14. The AFTRS course is, as you say, a FOUNDATION course. Don't think of it as the only course you'll do. What you will get will be a stupendously intensive course in making films with the pick of the bunch, and some great lecturers. Sure, you don't get a degree from that course, but you can go on to other courses at AFTRS or elsewhere. How many graduates of QUT or Griffith have won academy awards? You tend to get work through the contacts you make, rather than by having a certificate or diploma. Contacts at AFTRS would be great - and of course it is right next to Fox Studios Australia, so if they ever get any big productions in again (curse the weak US$!) you'll be well placed. And Animal Logic, Cutting Edge, Spectrum etc are also on the lot.
  15. Karl, I can't understand why you choose to pick an argument here. Well actually, I suppose I can. I have to admit to getting irritated sometimes when I read on this list of people who want to try "crazy" things for no apparent reason. But then I remember that I probably tried something similar years ago. No profitable venture, no cost-saving, just to see what happened, to see what the effect would be. I had the benefit of working in a lab where I could grab short ends of stock, cajole my optical printer mates into doing the bits I couldn't, and run odd processes in between machine tests. I didn't have the benefit of websites or chatrooms where I could ask 1,000 people for advice, so my inexplicable behaviour was a little more hidden (and fortunately tolerated by the lab management of the time). If I'm able to answer the odd question on this forum - about sensitometry, about colour separations, about cross-porcessing, about negative defects, it's not because I studied the official texts, and stuck to the straight and narrow "correct method". It's because I tried a whole bunch of crazy stuff to see what would happen. You can't prove rules by following them. And by the way, it is totally correct that this industry is based on scientific understanding and scientific methods. Yes, I have a science degree. It is also based on rule-breaking (we call it creativity,or even art).
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