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Matt Sezer

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  1. I've found that moire and aliasing are bigger issues than flickering when filming real screens. I've done it with both real and comped screens and they both have advantages / disadvantages. It really depends on what you're shooting. Is it more important that the reflections look realistic than the audience being able to read small text? I've done software ads, where the most important thing is seeing what the software does on the screen. At least with my comping skills, it doesn't look extremely realistic, but nobody cares because that's not what is important. Regardless of which method, a trick that I use to make it readable is increasing the font size on the computer to make it as easy for the audience to read as possible.
  2. There are two copyrights on any song. One is for the composer and one is for the performer. You'd still have to pay royalties to the composer if you use a cover version. Fair use is something completely different. It's never definite permission to use copyrighted content; it's a defense based on president from prior works and established industry best practices. I can't tell you for sure what is fair use, I'm not a lawyer, but the way I think of it is like quoting a passage from a book. If I quote a two sentences from a 1,000 page book to make a point about historical context, and those two sentences are the smallest amount that I need to make that point, that in theory is fair use. Apply that idea to film and you should have your answer. As far as festivals, you can often get away without clearing copyrights. However, you'd look extremely unprofessional if you got caught, especially if you sign something that says you take responsibility for it, which I know some festivals make you do. Anyway, I hope this helps.
  3. Thanks, Yeah, I need to shoot more narratives and music videos, as I have nowhere near enough good material to make a reel of those alone. I'm basically looking to continue shooting docs and corporates, while getting more into narratives. Plus, from time to time, docs have reenactment sequences, where more artificial low-key lighting is used, so I want to show I could do that. For the time being, I think I'll just do what I've been doing: have a doc reel and if it's a narrative project, send them an example of a narrative that I've shot along with my doc reel, clearly saying that most of my experience is in documentaries. Most of the narrative projects that I shoot the directors want in a hand-held doc style, which I assume is why they hired me.
  4. I feel I'm in a bit of a weird situation in terms of making a reel, as most of my experience is in shooting documentaries, although I also shoot narrative films from time to time. I've only been out of school for a year. One of my challenges with my old documentary reel was that it didn't really show my ability to light, which I had several prospective clients comment about. However, I have nowhere near enough good narrative footage with artificial lighting to make a decent reel, so I decided to combine the two and make a hybrid reel that you can watch here: I'd be interested to hear what feedback people have here, as I feel it's a bit different than most reels I've seen. What is and isn't working?
  5. Having two cameras limits a lot of what you can do in terms of lighting. You need more lights and grip gear. Shooting with 2 cameras limits the type of lenses you can use a lot of the time. You also can't cheat actors over as much and can't flip the set for reverse shots. Another big con I've found is the loss of attention that I give to an individual shot. If I'm operating A cam, I can't see what B cam is capturing. Anyway, it's definitely a time saver and necessary with tight schedules or spontaneous performances. People can still get amazing shots with 2 camera set ups. However, at least for me, there's a slight loss of quality.
  6. I've never heard of the University of Alabama's film program, but school is what you make out of it, so if you find some classmates that are as into film as you are and make some short films, you'd be getting most of the same experience that you'd be getting anywhere else. Most things in film school are learned out of the classroom. I definitely know people that went to film programs that aren't well known that are doing better now than people that went to name programs. Who knows if you'd find passionate people to make films with there, but I can tell you there's a much better chance that you'd find them at a large university than in a small town. Also, if you find that University of Alabama doesn't have a sufficient enough film program for you, you can always transfer and use your gen-ed credits. Regardless of where you go, the first year of college is a lot of gen-eds anyways.
  7. I'm a believer in the idea that people are products of their environments and it definitely sounds like the environment that you're surrounded in isn't conducive to you becoming a filmmaker. Going to film school will put you in an environment where you're surrounded by film, both in terms of your classes but also with all of your classmates. It's the only time in your life where you'll be forced to make films in an environment that is conducive to doing that. However, film school is really expensive; $80,000 is way to low of an estimate. A 4-year film school like NYU costs more like $250,000, even more if you spend a lot of money out of pocket shooting your films, which some of your classmates definitely will. Film school also by no means guarantees that you'll be successful. In fact, the statistics say that most people who go to film school won't go on to work professionally in film. There is no definitive answer to your situation, but I'd say if you're planning on going to college anyways, you should go to some place where you can major film and either double-major or minor in another area in case film doesn't work out. Another option is to go to a community college for 2 years to get your gen-eds out of the way and then transfer to a film school, saving you a lot of money. If you weren't planning on going to college anyways, I'd say look at relocating to a place where there is more production going on. Work a crappy day job and volunteer on film sets. Get to know people. Surround your self with film. The advantage of doing this would be that if you find out that film isn't for you, you haven't wasted a quarter of a million dollars and if you find out that you want to go to film school, you still can too.
  8. I would think you could just shoot a clean shot with a fisheye and then in post composite it over a shot of the door covering where the actual peephole is.
  9. I agree that getting an incident meter would be your best option. They're simple to use and they're also significantly cheaper than spot meters. But yeah, taking stills on film will really help you learn what you're doing too.
  10. I actually meant to say the Canon 60D is not that much more than the T5i and would be better for the money. Sorry for the typo.
  11. At least for video, the T5i isn't noticibly better than the T3i, which is significantly cheaper. The 60D is much more than the T5i, but it's much better built and has far better controls and buttons. Although I haven't used it, the Panasonic GH4 has amazing specs for video, it shoots 4K, 200mbt/s HD, and takes pretty decent stills too, but at $1700 for just the body, it's a little more that your budget. Technically, the GH4 isn't a DSLR, so it doesn't have an optical viewfinder, if that's important to you for shooting stills. Also, do you have any lenses that you want to use with your new camera? The GH series cameras have micro 4/3 sensors, which produce around a 2X crop factor in terms of 35mm equivalent field of view. For video, this is fine. It's somewhere in between the senesor size of 16mm and 35mm motion picture film. The Canon APSC cameras have a sensor that's pretty similar to 35mm montion picutre film, while the full frame DSLR's have a sensor that's equivalent to 8-perf 35mm still film.
  12. This looks incredibly front heavy for hand held shooting. If you had the battery further behind the shoulder pad, it would help a bit.
  13. I was just talking about grading and that's just compared to the default settings on something like a C300. You can definitely get a filmic image out of the FS100/700.
  14. What I've done before is use a very soft fill light for base exposure. For tighter shots, I've actually used real candles, which look great, although you'll probably need a few of them. I was shooting wide open around 1600ISO, which shouldn't show too much noise on a DSLR. Kubrick used real candles on Barry Lyndon and that was on film, although he did have a F 0.7 lens designed by NASA. Anyway, if that doesn't work, you could always use a flicker box or a dimmer to create a candle light effect from the dedo lights.
  15. As far as I know, the BMCC has pretty horrible internal audio, so you'd most likely need to record externally to something like a Zoom H4N or Tascam DR-40. I don't know the kind of stuff that you'd be filming, but as far as mics, you'll probably at least want a decent shotgun, which you can boom or mount to the camera. The Rode NTG-2 is a pretty good budget shotgun. Wireless lavs come in handy too, but anything under $500 is probably junk. Regardless of what gear you have, you should never treat sound as an afterthought and realize that it's very difficult to focus on both cinematography and sound at the same time, although as someone who shoots a lot of low budget documentaries, I often have to record both sound and picture.
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