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AJ Young

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AJ Young last won the day on January 16

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About AJ Young

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  • Birthday 01/13/1990

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  • Occupation
    Cinematographer
  • Location
    Los Angeles, CA

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    http://www.AJYoungDP.com

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  1. How did it turn out? Any photos of the final rig?
  2. Atomos monitors are surprisingly good for pulling focus, but they lack a lot of the customizable features a 502 would have. When I've AC'd, I typically use a Flanders for the DP because it too lacks a lot of the features.
  3. The latest edition (10th edition) is the best because it's current and up to date with tons of sections about film.
  4. In my opinion, the native ISO a manufacturer states carries a lot of weight because it's the ideal ISO they've determined their camera works best in regards to image quality. Is that quality good enough for you? That's where the testing comes in. You're figuring out if the manufacturer's definition of quality matches yours and if you can make the camera shoot in a way that matches your definition of "good". Every feature I shoot, I make my meter match the camera. Every camera see's middle grey differently (18% grey card, 50% IRE, whatever is in the middle). So, on the camera prep day I set up a grey card and color chart with a single source light on it. I use a waveform monitor with the LUT loaded (most likely REC709 one supplied by the manufacturer or developed by me and the colorist in prep), and determine where the grey card lands on 50% IRE. At that point, I use my meter and see what the meter says. If it's over/under, I adjust the settings on my meter to make it match that specific camera (I use a Sekonic 758Cine). Now I know that when I do a meter reading, my meter reads 50% IRE the same way that specific camera does. As an added bonus, I roll on the "correctly" exposed grey card for reference in the color grade. This gives me a good starting point and makes life a whole lot easier. On set, with my gaffer, I have him/her match their meter to mine. That way now my gaffer's meter sees what the camera sees.
  5. I'll add some items to the mix as well: Lens Blower Can of Air Space blanket for covering camera: https://www.hollywoodexpendables.com/product/space-blanket-5x7-red-blue/ Dummy slate Insert Slate Small wooden wedges: https://www.hollywoodexpendables.com/product/camera-wedge/ Crescent Wrench (for tightening Noga and Ultralite arms) Tweezers (for lost screws and small parts) Needle nose pliers Adhesive velcro (for attaching accessories to camera/monitor) Camera log Expo Markers with eraser tips Wax pencil Chalk Hard T-Marks
  6. Laowa 12mm F2.8 is a full frame lens that has pretty impressive distortion control for the price and focal length. Check out Caleb Pike's video where he actually used it: The Gecko Cam G35's are also pretty stellar in the wide angle range you've mentioned. https://www.gecko-cam.com/products/lenses/genesis-g35/
  7. USB Powered Reading lights work great! Here's a random one I found from amazon, but there are hundreds of options: https://www.amazon.com/Daffodil-USB-LED-Light-Compatible/dp/B00BWTYMPM
  8. I've run into an issue of poor external recording quality when doing high-speed frame rates on the Sony FS7 with the Odyssey 7Q. This was back in 2015 for a short I did that used a lot of slow motion. We were recording internally and externally at the same time. The external footage was 2k ProRes and the internal was 2k XAVC for proxy editing. However, slow-motion, externally recorded footage had heavy banding and was largely unusable. The internal proxy, however, was in tip top shape! My theory for why I experienced this problem is compression. Because of the high-speed frame rate (240 if I remember), an incredible amount of data was being pumped through a BNC cable and processed by the camera's extension unit and main motherboard. I believe the banding happened either because the firmware in either the Odyssey or FS7 couldn't handle the data and was compressing the information. (I'm not sure if this issue has been fixed since) A camera can output 10bit, 4:2:2 images, but it may be unwise to assume that a camera manufacturer's statement about an uncompressed 10bit 4:2:2 signal is 100% accurate, given my above situation. Testing the externally recorded image is an obvious choice, but how does one truly test if an image is 10bit, 4:2:2 uncompressed? I'm open to everyone's thoughts!
  9. Not sure what lens was used because there is no technical data available, but if I were to place a bet it's probably a modern lens with a filter. Which filter? Most likely some sort of diffusion filter like a Black Pro Mist, Glimmer Glass, etc.
  10. Careful with this hasty generalization of networking via the internet. Yes, I've gotten a lot of work because of networking through the internet, but the connections I made are always grounded in networking from school, set, events, etc. The internet alone isn't enough. Furthermore, good film schools give students access to equipment that they can't afford. My alma mater, Columbia College, had an Alexa, Red One's, BL3's, Panavision G2, C300's, and numerous 16mm cameras when I attended. Film, processing, and scanning were provided by the school as well. In terms of GE, the school had enough equipment to fill three 3-ton GE trucks and a top of the line soundstage. None of these things I could afford, but was given tons of education and hands on use of it while attending. Of course, students get spoiled and are given a rude awakening when they get their first DP gig out of school. I landed a music video, I think one month, after graduation with a budget that could afford a Sony A7S.
  11. Film school is an odd beast. The only consistent problem most professionals have with film school is it's cost, otherwise most programs do generally prepare students to work on set. That being said, Film School (just like any other area of college) is only as good as the effort you put into it. Professors using internet videos, like essays or tutorials, seldom rely on that as the only teaching material. When I went to Columbia College, half of my classes would play a tutorial video or essay at least twice a month. The length of these videos are usually 10 minutes and the professor would then elaborate on the subject. In essence, their using it as supplemental material just like the textbook required/recommended by the school/professor. There is a lot of free resources online, and one can certainly learn just as much as film school can teach, but going to film school is much more than attending class; it's shooting projects, meeting peers and alumni, making mistakes, and building up a portfolio. What programs actually prepare students? I believe it's hard to say which ones don't because most schools market themselves as up-to-date with industry equipment. Add in part-time teachers who are typically professionals in-between work and I'd bet most schools do prepare students. The "x" factors are cost and motivation. If one can't afford a particular school, then putting themselves into debt is a bad idea. If one doesn't work hard and apply themselves in school, then no amount of money or quality of education will prepare them for the working world. --- I'd like to state for the record my personal belief in attending college: Get the bachelor's degree you can afford. Higher education has been proven to benefit any individual's career success in any field. However, debt from school can be detrimental to a student's success, so I recommend ignoring the name/prestige of a school and focus on the one you can afford. Once in school, work your ass off in and outside of class. Shoot as much as you can, meet as many people as you can, and make mistakes. The film industry, in particular, does not care where you got your degree (or what degree you have). They do care about your work ethic, portfolio, and connections; all three of which are not dependent on the school or degree you have.
  12. My experience: Producers want DP's who can deliver. If they deliver under the circumstances the producer's create for them, then the DP will get hired again for that Producer under the same expectations and circumstances. A good producer will know what they can expect in terms of quality from their budget/schedule. A bad producer won't.
  13. Practice makes perfect. Go to a rental house and ask if you can practice pulling focus at one of their prep bays on a slow day. How do you practice? Set up different distances using anything that can stand as a "character". This can be a lamp, action figure on a stool, etc. Just give yourself different points to rack focus to. Create a system for yourself on how you mark the focus wheel. What is the first mark? Second? Final? Etc. Everyone has their own way, but find/make the one that works for you. Learn to start recognizing common distances like 3', 5', 10', 20', etc. Typically, an actor may miss their mark, but if you can estimate their distance by knowing how far 3/5/10/20' looks like, then it'll give you a good head start. The monitor can be deceiving, especially with focus assist. Treat it like another tool, compare the monitor to your marks. Usually, a monitor has an AC over correct and ignore the marks. Nonetheless, learn the different focus assist features that various monitors have. Don't get frustrated! It's hard at first, but you can make pulling focus second nature by practicing on your free time.
  14. I treat litemats like this: Need to stack a few on top of themselves to shoot through a 4x4 frame of diffusion? Simplify the set-up and use a bigger head like a litemat 4. My goal is to have less footprint with my grip and electric Need a light in a weird position? The litemat 1's are great for taping into ceilings, small corners, etc. If the source is too "hard", then I typically add a cut of diffusion on it, like a 250 or 251. Litemats are great for car interiors, especially if the car is moving. They can run off most voltages a car can give through the cigarette liter or can simply use an industry standard battery. Again, they're light weight makes rigging on the car easier.Careful, the bigger the light mat, the more it'll act like a sail. The downside to how light they are is that they're not as strong or sturdy. I use a color meter to dial in the color temp of my litemat. The more recent versions have a more precise system to dial in color temp and color correction, but the most commonly used older models are a crude physical knob that isn't precise at all. I keep the proper screw drivers in a bag with litemats, particularly the 1st and 2nd generation ones. They have the terrible green connectors that can only last for so long. They need a tiny screw driver and wire cutters to fix; the last thing I want is to need those tools on set and not have them. That's what I can think of the top of my head!
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