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Jeff Norman

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About Jeff Norman

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    Director
  1. Hi there, I'm a filmmaker looking to lens a short film within the next few months, and I'm on a mission - to find a gifted cinematographer who's experienced with working on 35mm celluloid. Where would be the right venues to come across a talented individual like this who understands the finer points of working with actual film as opposed to a digital toolkit? I have the script for my project, entitled "Kiefer + Gianna," attached to this message. It's a love story that takes place on a Santa Barbara County vineyard, exploring how passion can grow as one's knowledge of wine grows deeper. Any comments, leads, or advice are all welcome. Thanks gang! - Jeff
  2. Hi there, I'm Jeff -- a newcomer to Santa Barbara, greatly anticipating the upcoming SBIFF festival here shortly! I would love the opportunity to meet and interact with any cinematographers, editors, sound techs, and other film pros in the SB area. It might be cool to go see a film together, or at the very least spend some time talking about cinema in one of California's nicest towns. Please feel free to email me at jn8906@alumni.stanford.edu, or call/text 805.452.0852. It'd be great to hear from you! Have a great day, Jeff jeffnormanfilms.com
  3. Hello! I appreciate your reply. However, this is not discrimination. Female DP's out outnumbered and underrepresented by a disturbingly large margin compared to their male counterparts. So if I intentionally move to seek out a female head of crew, there should be support for that gesture, not derision. Thanks.
  4. Looking to partner with an excellent cinematographer, ideally a talented female DP, to work with on shooting my short student film (one-day shoot). Ideally will have lights and a full set of lenses for work. Will be interviewing DP's for a shoot to take place in early February in NYC. Please reply with your website, your IMDb page, and your favorite filmmaker.
  5. Hello Cinematography.com -- LOVE this community, and so much of the advice I gleaned from users here has helped me shoot AND finish my first short feature film, "Bobo Noir" (vimeo.com/bobonoir) -- thanks, guys! We are literally at the finish line and only have the sound mix left to complete. Unfortunately, our sound mixer suffered a serious illness and is not able to wrap his work on the project. The project is due to premiere VERY soon, and we were supposed to have the mix completed tomorrow night. The work left to do is exceptionally easy. All that needs to be done is a few hours cleaning up the dialogue and adding 5-10 effects. Very quick, very simple. A great gig if you're looking to establish serious film credits, including on IMDb, on your resume. Does anyone have any advice on how I could find someone in a pinch?! I have already posted an ad on Craigslist. Unfortunately this has to be an unpaid gig. But as mentioned before, I'm more than happy to give any willing sound mixer generous and kind enough to bless us with their help a full credit on IMDb. Does anyone potentially know any sound production / design students who might be interested in cutting their teeth on a super-short, super-easy project like this? Don't hesitate to e-mail me at bobonoir@gmail.com, or text me at 818.941.6780 YOU ARE THE BEST -- THANK YOU!! - Jeff, writer/director/producer, "Bobo Noir"
  6. Hello! I'm a HUGE fan of Cinematography.com and a first-time filmmaker, looking for people who wouldn't mind watching a rough cut of my upcoming project. I was the first-time filmmaker preparing to shoot his first-ever film project, called "Bobo Noir." And I had demonstrated some anxiety about if and how it would all happen. "Bobo Noir" is meant to be a short feature film (between 45-60 min.). It will also not be going the festival route, but instead will be distributed online for free. You can check out the project at www.facebook.com/bobonoirhollywood, and on Instagram at instagram.com/bobo_noir. Would you be willing to watch the project in exchange for feedback? Just let me know, and I'll set up a private Vimeo link for you to check out. Oh yeah -- here is a synopsis of the project: "Bobo Noir (French for "spoiled Parisian brat") is a pastry arts dropout with a heart of gold (or opal, his birthstone). His dream: become the black John Belushi. His skill: awful-awesome. His parents -- a Sorbonne professor of 19th-century Namibian watercolors and a Montgolfier Prize Winner in toy plane aviation -- have banished him from the family olive oil fortune. But a one-way ticket to Los Angeles, and a cousin convalescing in Mexico, have given him a summer in SoCal to pursue his funnyman dreams."
  7. The good news: I'm well on my way to getting my first-ever production off the ground. Great script. Great cast. Great DP and 1st AC in place. (Still need sound recordist though, but that's a separate thread.) And a budget of $6,000 including post secured. The bad news: I have absolutely no idea how the HELL to find locations for this project in time before we HAVE TO start shooting this May. AAAAHHH! What's my "first-ever production" about you ask? Here it is: Bobo Noir (French for "spoiled Parisian brat") is a pastry arts dropout with a heart of gold (or opal, his birthstone). His dream: become the black John Belushi. His skill: awful-awesome. His parents -- a professor of 19th-century Namibian watercolors and a Montgolfier Prize Winner in toy plane aviation -- have banished him from the family olive oil fortune. But a one-way ticket to Los Angeles, and a cousin convalescing in Mexico, have given him a summer in SoCal to pursue his funnyman dreams. So that's the synopsis. Since I'm based in LA, as is the cast and crew, we can't afford to trek too far out to find suitable locations for this project. And those locations include: - a DINER - APARTMENT INTERIOR (Art-Deco furnished if possible; living room, kitchen, bathroom, two bedrooms) - APARTMENT EXTERIOR (front lawn, OK to shoot at night, OK to activate sprinklers at night) - another SMALL, CRAMPED APARTMENT - an OFFICE / RECEPTION DESK - an EXECUTIVE OFFICE SUITE - an ANTIQUE SHOP - COFFEE SHOP - COMEDY CLUB - WAREHOUSE / GARAGE / INDUSTRIAL FACILITY (OK to create + cleanup a small mess) Now ok, I know what you're probably thinking... I should probably terminate the project. Have given that a lot of thought. But have ultimately decided to push past the trepidation and commit to realizing the project. (Maybe beginner's idiocy?) So far I've tried posting on Craigslist and city-data.com/forum... no luck :/ I tried cold-calling a diner and, bless his heart, he almost started laughing when I mentioned what I could afford to pay. He said he would need AT LEAST $2,000 for one day's shooting. If I weren't an athlete... I would have had a coronary I would just be out driving around and around for potential spaces.... but I have a full-time job which I can't really get away from for this project. I would hire a location scout, but... I just don't know if there's enough money in our budget for one. Or is there? What the heck can I do to make this work? I have THREE WEEKS to identify and lock down at least a majority of these locations. ANY advice or wisdom would be lapped up like a pitcher of sangria on Cinco de Mayo. Oh yeah, sangria's Spanish, not Mexican. Nevermind. Thank you! bobonoir@gmail.com
  8. Simple question: For the very first short film that you're planning on directing / producing, what should you concentrate on in order to be successful? I didn't go to film school. But I'm a huge fan of Truffaut, Kubrick, Cassavetes, and other biggies. Suffice it to say there is NO WAY in hell that my first film project will hold anything like a candle to their own first real stabs in cinema. And to be honest, filmmaking is (I'm sure you'll think it dumb of me to say but it ought to be said, for the newbies out there) EXTRAORDINARILY complex. Colour grading. Pulling focus. L-Cut. J-Cut. S-Cut. Location scouting. Workflow in post production. And on and on and on and on and .... I can see why so many risktakers give up on film eventually. It can all seem too much. That said, I don't want to make the filmmaking process wrinkle-free. I'd just like to know -- from the bona fide pro's out here -- what/how THEY would advise rookies to pursue their first goes at this exhausting, empowering art form. Thanks...
  9. Thank you Brian! In lieu of tracking down a vintage lens, I may end up just more deeply researching the makes of lenses you specified, brands which I think might help to achieve a particular look without having to necessarily break the bank.
  10. I'm gearing up to begin prepro on my upcoming short film, utilizing a DLSR -- most likely a Canon 550D, but it's not yet in stone. I've created threads in the past that addressed how much I hated being forced to choose digital over film, but time and financial constraints demanded the choice. I'm ultimately content with the DSLR option at this point, except for one particular pet peeve -- Why is it that virtually every DSLR project these days strikes the same visual look? Something about film forced a distinctiveness from filmmakers of old. You can tell a Truffaut picture from a Cassavetes from an Antonioni from a Scorsese. Obviously being touched by genius helped these folks out (just a smudge). But still, I'm a bit upset with how "samey" the low-budget projects of today seem to my eyes. Does anyone else feel the same way? Having done my newbie director homework has hammered into me three of the most important words for any kind of cinematic success: lenses, lenses, lenses. It's in the choice and preparation of the lens kit that a picture can live or die. I have a hunch that pinpointed, sophisticated lens work can also create a look that's more personal and distinctive for the filmmaker. Am I wrong about this? Not looking at it broadly enough? This all leads me to the following questions: - How do I fit a cine lens onto a DSLR camera? - What cine lenses were in popular use during the 1960s and 70s? - How does one track down such a 60s/70s vintage cine lens these days? - Is it possible to mount a vintage cine lens onto a DSLR camera? Any and all responses will prove enormously helpful to me and the team. Thanks a lot!
  11. Straight to the point: Where / how should I pinpoint a great DP for a first-time filmmaker's project? I'm a first-time filmmaker who is finally setting out to direct and produce his first narrative short film. In terms of storytelling, I've been in preparation since fall 2011 -- creating a compelling script, regularly feeding on my cinematic inspiration (the Nouvelle Vague films of 1959-1967), and honing the visual aesthetic of this story. 2013's first month is about to wrap, and I'm anxious to move into the next phase of this journey, assembling a cast and crew to realize this story of mine. The more I research DSLR filmmaking (I plan to shoot with a Canon 550D), the more I realize how essential it is that I pin down and hitch myself to a genius DP, as soon as possible. The rigamarole of focus pulling and building a lens kit and aliasing and moire and on and on and on.... is, granted, VITAL for me to deeply understand as the filmmaker, but ultimately overwhelming and disheartening. I simply do NOT have the time (I work 9-5) or the expertise to accomplish this task completely on my own. I really need to pin down a brilliant cinematographer in order to move forward. To move at all, really. I aim to maintain a petite crew. Myself, a DP, a sound tech, and (potentially) a PA, particularly for scenes involving complex light duty. Funny enough, the cast has come together without too much of a problem. They're chomping at the bit to get this material in the can. I have roughly 30 days to track down this angel of a DP/cinematographer, before I intend to enter prepro (in March) and principal photography (in April). I am for 12-18 shooting days in total (primarily Fridays - Sundays), including any potential reshoot(s). I live in Los Angeles (Santa Monica). Because I recognize how seriously essential a DP is to my goal, I am prepared to provide financial compensation, commensurate with reel and experience, for my DP. Here is the storyline: Bobo Noir (French for "spoiled Parisian brat") is a pastry arts dropout with a heart of gold (or opal, his birthstone). His dream: become the black John Belushi. His skill: awful-awesome. His parents -- a professor of 19th-century Namibian watercolors and a Montgolfier Prize Winner in toy plane aviation -- have banished him from the family olive oil fortune. But a hospitalized second cousin and a sketchy student visa have earned him a summer in L.A. to fulfill his funnyman dream. Again I ask: Where / how should I pinpoint this spectacular DP? Are YOU, genius cinematographer, willing to partner with me in the capturing of this narrative? Or would you happen to know of someone who might be? Please e-mail me, Jeff, at jnoahu@gmail.com immediately. Thank you! You're a lifesaver.
  12. I have been a fanatic about film for years, in particular La Nouvelle Vague (Truffaut, Resnais, etc.) Yet tonight marked my first viewing of the film that arguably instigated the entire movement, A bout de souffle, or Breathless. The title says it all -- discussing the absolute gorgeousness of aesthetic and meaning in this film depletes my oxygen supply and gets me all choked up. I'm a relatively new filmmaker who's just entered a long line of New Wave admirers; I can make out Tarantino and Scorsese's silhouettes at the top of the queue. Though loving this cinematic movement isn't new, it is extremely rare for young people today (born in 1985 or later) to even know what the New Wave was, let alone appreciate it. I guess i'm just a little different. The films of Godard and company have shot happy juice through my veins (in spite of their bleaker themes of alienation and existential meaninglessness). I want to make films. I want to make my own "Breathless" and leave viewers just that -- gasping for air. I have a series of questions that I SPECIFICALLY wanted to pose to you expert cinematographers, as a personal mastery of the visual image for emotional and intellectual purposes is what (at least to me) helps to describe the New Wave phenomenon. Please answer one or as many as you'd like. This budding filmmaker will be forever grateful! - from a cinematographic standpoint, what truly pops about the New Wave? (beyond the basics: jump cuts, hand-held cam, etc. Something really in-depth!) - Many people pooh-pooh film criticism as a sheer waste of time for filmmakers. Yet Truffaut and Godard were extraordinary film critics and attained great influence via Les Cahiers du Cinema BEFORE their films turned the world on it's ear. My question is: what is the relationship between criticism, cinematography, and beautiful films? - is there ANY hope of a NEW New Wave launching in today's cinema landscape? - Yes, film is dying and the DSLR's have democratized the moviemaking process. But those cameras are NOT film, no matter how many tricks are employed to make audiences feel otherwise! Besides just watching New Wave Films over and over again, what can the new generation of filmmakers do to push the art's boundaries and create new film grammar? - What about the French New Wave should every filmmaker know by heart? (the cameras / lenses used, the delicacy of the camera work, character > plot, etc.) I know these are some heady questions. But "Breathless" is a heady film. And I KNOW that you outstanding film artists reading this can relate to the burst of passion and excitement that emerges from the experience of a great movie. Excuse me while I find an oxygen tank and come back down to Earth!
  13. Thank goodness for Chris Burke -- you might just be the answer to our prayers! Finally, someone who takes us seriously in our mission to create high-class, web-broadcast productions via film. I cannot tell you how many people have completely killed the idea in the various forums we've enlisted for expert information. We just saw your project and were extremely impressed. The Super 16 looked extraordinary and vintage. And best of all -- it was actually funny! It's reassuring to us that comedic material can work well on film, when in good hands, as it did for you here. Another virtue: the sound was spectacular. Even though we're relatively newbies, it's been hammered into us over and over again-- perfect sound is the number-one indicator of truly professional cinema. Was it simple to capture sound with your Aaton? (Which Aaton model did you use for this, btw?) Or did your team use a 2-part system to handle sound? Super 16mm really does sound like a great solution to our quest: finding a filmic look that feels "Seventies," sumptuous, vintage, hipster-chic. You mentioned that Super 16 can look like either Super 8 or like 35mm. How would one go about manipulating Super 16 to feel like either of these? Is it a matter of equipment choice and lighting? Is there a post-production processing of the film that can produce a Super 8 look or 35mm look? We had aimed for a shooting ratio of 3:1, so needing about 3780' of 16mm. (Since we're low-budget, we adjusted our shooting time for a more conservative figure. We plan on rehearsing / improvising / planning setups on a camcorder first, then committing it to film, just to be extra economical.) As for finding filmstock, we plan to scour the entire city of Los Angeles for the absolute cheapest possible. Short ends and the occasional recan will be our life-savers. Do you know of any other exceptional Super 16 projects? We know that Paul Thomas Anderson shot "Cigarettes and Coffee" on 16mm, so I'm sure other noteworthy projects have emerged from the film as well. Sorry for this long response. But thank you so much for your wisdom; we REALLY appreciate it! We will definitely research the possibilities of Super 16 further on our own. And feel free to point us to websites / books that we should study to learn more.
  14. THANK YOU for your response and for this 100% absolutely essential step! Any recommendations on finding a film-experienced DP (in Los Angeles) that might be willing to collaborate with us for low-cost or for free? We were thinking of targeting the film schools throughout the city, using Craigslist, even using this one excellent website I know -- cinematography.com :)
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