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Jax McLennan

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About Jax McLennan

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  • Occupation
    1st Assistant Camera
  • Location
    Melbourne, Australia
  1. If you're running your REC OUT as a MON OUT clone, it literally gives you exactly what you see through MON OUT including peaking etc. Clean REC OUT is only available in HD; in 2k you must either have the duo for external/raw recording or you are forced to have a Mon Out clone. Even in HD, clean REC OUT won't have frame lines etc. Therefore, your best bet is to run an external monitor that has it's own peaking, and not use the Alexa's in-built peaking.
  2. I don't know where you plan to purchase from, and maybe you've been able to swindle some deals, but: http://www.lemac.com.au/Products/DedolightDLH650650WTungstenLightHead.aspx http://www.videocraft.com.au/arri-650-plus-with-doors-filter-frame Arri Fresnel is almost exactly half price, and that includes doors (which the Dedo doesn't). You can get off-brand FIlmgear lights (which aren't much different to the Arri's) for even cheaper: http://johnbarry.com.au/products/filmgear-lighting-filmgear-650w-fresnel-junior All the control in the world doesn't help you when you need one more lamp placed somewhere.
  3. If you're confident you can light what you have been in the past the same or better, and you can foresee the same or similar clients paying you appropriate rates to do so with the gear you will have, then I don't see too much of an issue. On the other hand, if you're not sure you can command appropriate rates to be able to pay off the higher priced items, it might be safer to invest in cheaper units, pay them off quicker, then start making some profits which you can use to upgrade.
  4. First of all, it's really going to depend who you're working for. Every DoP works differently, and whilst some may completely embrace new lighting 'toys,' others will prefer to work with what they know, at least until they figure out a new light. As well, some DPs will never use an LED, as much as you'd try to convince them, others will be happy to; some will on smaller jobs and won't on bigger jobs. Certainly I'd imagine your smaller LED panels at the very least will need minus green stuck on almost permanently, assuming colour is indeed a concern for the DP you're working for. I know the Area 48 lights you're talking about, and whilst I haven't worked with them extensively, I've seen them in action, and they're certainly not bad, though I'm not sure that they're really equivocal to a Kino. Admittedly, my time spent with them was short. Another thing to consider is that you've listed some pretty expensive lamps. This is all well and good, and Dedos are certainly great lights. That said, for the same price as one 650w Dedo head, you might get 2-3x Arri 650w fresnels. If you're going to be bouncing or shooting through a frame regardless - then the benefit of a Dedo starts to diminish. I was recently using the new Hive plasma lights, which are actually not bad little lights - lot of output for relatively low power draw, flicker free, and all self-contained in a road case. I feel like they're pretty pricey though. Overall, I think it's going to depend on the work you intend to be doing, and the people you intend to be working with - which is not an incredibly helpful answer I know ;)
  5. The biggest tests you're looking for in prep is edge to edge sharpness of a lens, as well as doing a steady test. You should also check that the collimation and FFD is correct. You can't really do any of these properly without shooting a test roll, and assuming the prep day is the day before shoot - that's going to be tough. Hopefully you can push for the shooting of a test roll, perhaps pushing prep back a day to give you a day to process in between - if something goes wrong because you didn't test properly they're going to blame you, not the fact that you didn't have enough time to shoot a test. I would very much reccommend a DoF calculator. I personally use pCam for iOS, but there are equivalent apps and other manual options. Get one, and start learning your DoF. You're shooting S16 so you're generally going to have a lot more leeway than you would on 35mm, but once you start getting up into the longer focal lengths you're going to start having issues, especially if you're shooting wide open. I'd also suggest learning run time vs feet, so that when the DoP looks at you and says 'we've got 30 feet left, how long is that?' you don't give him a blank stare or have to spend 5 minutes trying to calculate it. Check the gate after every shot, and make sure you speak up if there's even a slight chance that there was something in there. Make sure you measure everything, and get measures for different spots around the shot. Guess the distance before you measure it. Be prepared to make judgement calls if an actor misses their mark - this is why I reccomend a DoF calculator. You know that if an actor misses their mark by 6" on a 9.5mm lens, then they'll still be sharp. But, if they're 6" off on a 50mm lens at 1.3 you may have to adjust. You'll hopefully get rehearsal time, and if you need rehearsal time - ask for it. It's easier and cheaper to rehearse a tricky focus pull than roll on it and blow it. Trust that you're sharp, and trust your operator to let you know if you go really soft. If you're not sure, ask for another one but don't make a habit of blowing the shot. The one good thing about shooting on film is you don't have 20 people gathered around monitors letting you know every time you blow a shot.
  6. Short of a doorway dolly or jib, you might want to look into rental of an Easyrig. It's certainly not as smooth as a steadicam, but similar in principle. Shoot at 4K and then stabiliise later on if you have to - assuming you're finishing at 2k or HD.
  7. You certainly want a good dolly grip, and I'd suggest getting a motorised zoom controller.
  8. I'd agree. My experience with RRM stuff has not been great. Not to mention this has been 'in development' for quite a few years now, originally planned for Summer 2010 release, then Summer 2011... It's been through a few iterations and developments and has only just started shipping to customers who had pre-ordered. I wouldn't be hanging my hopes on this one.
  9. Yes it would - two 1/2 CTBs combined create a full CTB, for example.
  10. You write on the slate what your scripty tells you they want on it. In terms of calling it, the only things you need are 'Sc#, Shot#, Take#'. It depends where you are, in some areas they prefer to number shots, others they prefer to letter shots.. either way it's the same - '24-1 Take 1' Clap. Or '24-Apple Take 3' Clap. And yes, there is a thread here somewhere touching on proper slating technique.
  11. What version of Avid do you have? The newer versions of MC should have AMA, which should give you a direct link to the footage?
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