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AJ Young

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About AJ Young

  • Birthday 01/13/1990

Profile Information

  • Occupation
    Cinematographer
  • Location
    Los Angeles, CA

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  • Website URL
    http://www.AJYoungDP.com

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  1. Thank you so much! I was incredibly lucky to get both great actors and great wardrobe, plus an amazing set. Our shoot schedule lost a week because of a COVID outbreak, but the actors were so well prepared that we finished the film with everything we wanted.
  2. I shot a feature adaptation of Antigone and it's currently playing through a limited virtual performance. You can watch it here: https://bit.ly/antigone-virtual Here's the trailer: My old college hired me to shoot this feature for them. Because of the pandemic, their theatre department couldn't produce any live performances. The department decided to film a play, but instead of shooting a live (or in COVID's case "live") performance like Hamilton did, they wanted to actually shoot a single camera movie. They reached out to their alumni network to hire former students and I was one of them who was available. Here's a story from NPR about this production: https://kjzz.org/content/1671861/mesa-community-college-premiers-first-feature-film-antigone We shot the film on my DIY anamorphic lenses, a combination of Schneider Cinelux and BH16 anamorphosers with Nikkkor and Russian sphericals. You can find stills of the film here: http://ajyoungdp.com/articles/narrative/antigone/ A final interesting note, we utilized Blender for pre-vis. All of the prep work was done remotely. The art director sent me the blueprints for the set and I built it in Blender to build our shotlist, blocking, and lighting.
  3. I ran into a problem concerning Negative Pixel Values and ACES 1.1 (ACEScct) on a project in DaVinci Resolve 17. With the help of Tim Kang, we found the solution to my problem: incorrect pipeline set-up. Additionally, Elvis Ripley, Paul Curtis, and Nick Shaw gave incredibly valuable insight about this issue on Cinematography Mailing List. For posterity's sake, below are the problem, solution, and insight: Problem: Negative Pixel Values on an image in DaVinci Resolve 17 using ACES 1.1 (ACEScct). To over simplify what a negative pixel value is, essentially they're pixels that go below 0 but appear as bright and distinct noise. They can happen because pixel values (RGB) are floating point in color grading programs and somewhere along the line those negative values are displayed as positive, showing up as noise. Here's a screenshot of what negative pixels can look like: Solution: In this particular case, I had an incorrect pipeline set up. The movie files (clips) are 10 bit Apple ProRes 422 from the Panasonic GH4 in vLog/vGamut. My first mistake was having DaVinci automatically choose the data levels of the file. Apple ProRes can either be legal (video) or full range data depending on the camera. Sony, Canon, and Panasonic cameras are full data ranges while ARRI logC is legal (video). However, DaVinci automatically chooses legal data ranges, and my Panasonic video file was being used incorrectly by the program. My second mistake was using an incorrect ODT (Output Device Transform). Because I'm coloring this project on a traditional computer monitor (circa 2019), the ODT should be sRGB. I had my ODT set to Rec709. Both of those mistakes combined created my particular negative pixel problem. Once I corrected them (set data range to full and ODT to sRGB), my negative pixel values disappeared. However, there may be an instance where this won't fix the problem because there are times a negative pixel value can occur with a correct pipeline. One solution is to use a gamut compress created by the ACES community and available here: https://github.com/jedypod/gamut-compress --- For anyone who stumbles on this post in the future, I hope it helps! To those who helped me fix this problem, thank you!
  4. Hi Raj! If you're getting 2160, you should be getting 4k (4096x2160). Are you getting any errors? Could you also post a screenshot/picture of what the Shogun is telling you?
  5. This all looks fantastic. How does your plugin work with ACES?
  6. Very interesting! I've been shooting with a lot of DIY anamorphic lenses and they utilize variable diopters to pull focus. If I'm not mistaken, I believe a lot of higher and mid end anamorphic lenses do the same (ie Cooke, Atlas, but please correct me if I'm wrong). I would think adding a diopter is another way to distort the lens, albeit a very subtle way. It's another piece of glass that is most likely not as refined like the glass in the lens, so its aberrations could be...very interesting.
  7. Thank you, all! Phil, I still have an old trailer on my website. It's basically the same trailer, but with the old title: http://www.ajyoungdp.com/articles/narrative/noise_color/videos/noise_color_trailer02.mp4
  8. A feature I shot in 2017, then called Noise and Color, has been picked up for distribution by Gravitas and re-titled to Exodus. It will be released on Apple and in a limited theatrical run on 3/19/21. Here's the trailer: And here's where you can watch it: https://itunes.apple.com/us/movie/exodus/id1555414930 Some info about the movie: Camera: Red Epic Dragon Lenses: Kowa Prominar Anamorphic - 40mm, 50mm, 75mm, and a doubler for the 75mm ~1.5 Ton GE Package A lot of our cinematography inspiration came from The Rover, Blue Ruin, Out of the Furnace, and Mad Max: Fury Road. Shot in two areas: Surrounding region of St. Louis, MI Desert outside of Albuquerque, NM The crew put there all into it and I am beyond thankful for their hard work! If you're curious, I can post some BTS stills here.
  9. Of course it's more expensive, the Venice is newer. 🙂 The struggle with owning a camera is that you're entering the rental game whether you like it or not. Productions and DP's are always going to ask for the latest and greatest; you might miss out on jobs simply because the F55 is too old for productions. (Not that you can't make great images with it, but they would rather rent newer equipment) BUT, if you're getting the camera for personal projects, then it'll be just fine. 🙂
  10. To be honest, the Venice will blow the F55 out of the water in both operationally and image quality. It's just a newer camera that has improved upon the issues in the F55. However, the F55 can still put out some beautiful images. If you're looking to invest into a camera package to make money on it (or be hired because you have it), then go with the Venice. If you just want a good camera for personal projects, then the F55 will be great.
  11. If I'm not mistaken, "multi-gamma function" is just a marketing term referring to different output displays the camera can record in. REC709 has its own gamma, vLog has its own gamma, etc. Choosing from multiple gammas means choosing to record in multiple outputs. If you're shooting for cinema and a color grade, then vLog captures the entire dynamic range of the camera and gives you the choice in post of how to apply the gamma. If you're shooting for broadcast, then you need to pick the gamma that matches your broadcast means. Please correct me if I'm wrong! 🙂
  12. Owning your own camera to rent and owning your own camera to shoot projects are two very different things. If you're looking to get hired because you have a camera, then you'll need the top name brands: ARRI or RED. At that point you're joining the carousel of the rental business; you'll need to always have the latest version of the name brands. It becomes a bit of a losing battle for small owner/operators. If you're looking to have a great camera for personal projects, then get the one that will meet the final delivery demands of the personal projects you want to make. (I assume most likely 4k DCI) At this point, the world is your oyster. The Komodo seems like it'll tick off the boxes you're looking for. Red's color science has gotten substantially better over the years, particularly with IPP2. My recommendation: Get the Komodo!
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