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AJ Young

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Everything posted by AJ Young

  1. I'm a bit old school, but I still draw my overheads by hand. Nothing is exact, but it gives me a good idea of what to do on the day. I start my overheads once we have our locations locked in. More recently, I've been using Blender and free models of humans for "storyboarding". It takes a bit of education on simple modeling to build the sets that match their real life counterparts, but once you learn the program it becomes a breeze. Cine Tracer by Matt Workman can do this as well!
  2. Ohhh-kay, a lot to unpack here, Josh. First, you should definitely read "Like Brothers" by Jay and Mark Duplass before you do anything else. It's an honest book that gives realistic advice about starting in the film industry. You'd be surprised how many working cinematographers, big and small, are introverts. Networking and meeting people takes time, some are good at it and others are bad. However, the biggest factor with networking is luck: the right person, in the right place, at the right time. I recommend reading "How to Win Friends and Influence People" by Dale Carnegie Before I got my Bachelor's from Columbia College, I was attending Scottsdale Community College in Arizona. A made a lot of friends who still live and work in the film industry in Arizona to this day; they own a house, have happy lives, etc. Any state has an industry. Again, it takes time, but there's no reason why you can't get the work that comes into town. Albeit, it may be harder than other markets that have more work coming in, but no impossible. Some people are saying you should take the leap and move to LA immediately. I strongly advise against it. LA/NYC are the ideal places to move when you want to grow your filmmaking network (and I highly recommend it), BUT you should only move to LA/NYC when you can afford to. The best advice I got was to save up 10 months of living expenses (for the desired new city) before moving. When I moved to LA, I calculated that I could spare to live on roughly $1200 a month. This was rent, student loan payments, car insurance, health insurance, phone bill, food, gas, etc. Before I moved to LA, I saved up roughly $10k at my job at the time and made the move in Feb 2015. I moved in with my future wife and started the hustle. The first year in LA will be very slow. You'll have a hard time finding work, hence why you need to save. Those 10 months of living expenses will allow you to take the freebie work, to meet people, to network, to grow. By the second year, you'll start to get enough regular crew work that you can pay your bills. All of this means that you are freelancing. Freelancing is hard. While you're saving up, learn about freelancing: https://www.freelancersunion.org/ Yes, in both LA and NYC. There are more working filmmakers here that you can meet. But, it doesn't happen by chance. You have to put yourself out there and actively try to meet people. I'm not afraid to share. Work is painfully slow for me (I still work non-union). I've had two features cancel on me this year because of COVID and numerous other projects and repeat clients cancel as well. EIDL, UI benefits, and the stimulus checks have kept me afloat while work is slowwwwwwly coming back. Additionally, I'm married; my wife pulls in a regular income which made us break even every month this year financially. I can only imagine what it's like for those flying solo right now. 😞 Outside of COVID, between features I'm shooting content for YouTuber's, short films, and crew for my colleaques. Pro Tip: the best networking is on set and crewing introduces you to more people.
  3. I believed that, in my approach, grain was just one piece of the puzzle. There are multiple factors that play into the look of film vs digital that the underexposure technique was hoping to replicate, chief among them was highlight response. Here's what I mean: https://petapixel.com/2015/08/10/how-much-can-you-overexpose-negative-film-have-a-look/ When we screened our tests for The Watchman's Canoe, we watched them via DCP on a gigantic theatre screen in the local town we were shooting in (at the time, the test screening was during our tech scout). It looked great! 🙂 On film, Martha Marcy May Marlene and Birth are two prime examples of a theatrical release.
  4. Ah, that makes a lot of sense. I used this technique on a western short film that was entirely at night and what you exactly described happened. We barely noticed a change in the highlights because almost nothing in the film went over say 70% IRE!
  5. That actually explains a lot for why I barely noticed a difference with my highlights when I underexposed by one top vs three stops. I think is a very important note that I failed to realize. Are you okay if I paraphrase this or quote you on the blog post? Regardless, thank you!
  6. Just so I can understand it right: when changing ISO of the RAW data, does the camera apply the log curve to that portion of the linear data? I've seen a chart like this floating around on the internet: but I'm not too sure if the concept applies to both RAW and Log images, or if the concept is flawed overall. A lot of questions I've been getting since releasing this experiment are regarding RAW. Deviating from the native ISO begins to affect the dynamic range of the camera, but if we change the ISO of the RAW data, then does that mean we don't shift the dynamic range but disregard whatever portion of the linear RAW data doesn't fit the log curve?
  7. My apologies for drudging up an old topic, but I wanted to update my experimentation with this method: I've since used this technique on two other projects and loved the results. Essentially, I underexpose the image by a certain number of stops intentionally and then recover it in post for a desired look. This was partially inspired by Martha Marcy May Marlene and Birth, but also inspired by how film responds to light (poor shadow detail in comparison to how much highlight detail film, particularly Vision 3, can handle) The idea behind this method is to control how the camera's dynamic range is distributed. The general theory with ISO and digital cameras, particularly in RAW, is that changing the ISO doesn't make the sensor more or less sensitive, it just reads the RAW data differently (there are a few exceptions, of course). When a cinematographer deviates from the native ISO, they are under/overexposing the image and the new image has the dynamic range re-mapped by the debayering process. However, I wanted to control how that dynamic range was redistributed. Is this something we can do? Something we can test? I recently finished an experiment and would love for everyone to check my work, to make sure what I'm experimenting with is actually correct. You can find the detailed (and very nerdy) experiment here: http://www.ajyoungdp.com/articles/blog/OverUnder01/ Here's a tease with all of the over/underexposures from the experiment in one image: What do you think? What are your thoughts? Am I off base here?
  8. I take it you guys didn't like Gordon Willis haha
  9. Wait until 5D Mark II's sky rocket in price in 20 years when filmmakers want to get that coveted 2010 indie film look. 🤩
  10. Can you elaborate more on what you mean with underexposure?
  11. Fun stills! I think the close up of the woman could use either an eye light or repositioning of the key light to act as an eye light. Love the colors!
  12. I've shot a lot with Cooke anamorphics; to be honest I rarely went past a 75mm. I vote for the 65mm Macro!
  13. I think this is the droid you are looking for:
  14. I'm not familiar with printing (never had to do it professionally), but I would imagine that negative stock has more dynamic range than positive stock. That's probably why your mapping looks flat. My reasoning: that's how digital works. A digital camera records more dynamic range than the final output (typically Rec709, Rec2020, P3, etc). I think this may be of some help: https://www.kodak.com/content/products-brochures/Film/Basic-Photographic-Sensitometry-Workbook.pdf Again, anyone please stop me if I'm wrong because I don't shoot for printing on film, so I'm definitely out of my element.
  15. @Josh Gallegos: I feel you should read "Like Brothers" by Jay and Mark Duplass. It'll inspire you to make movies! The good news is that you've got a camera, a really good camera. When I started out, the Canon 5D Mark II was barely on the scene and a lucky few were shooting on it. I was left with tiny chip cameras that had the dynamic range of screen printed t-shirt. BUT, some great films were shot on cameras like that (28 Days Later) is an example. The best thing you can do is just make movies, a lot of them. The more you shoot, the better you'll get. --- @David Mullen ASC: These frame grabs are cool!
  16. Good luck and keep at it! A career in the industry takes time, so remember to take care of yourself. 🙂
  17. Matthew Allard, ACS has a great breakdown of the camera: https://www.newsshooter.com/2020/09/24/canon-eos-c70/
  18. In the US, there is no union for PA's. They are the only people who are non-union in the crew on a union production. A way to get to those union productions is to contact the 2nd AD, 2nd 2nd AD, or Key PA. My wife's first union PA job was on Lone Ranger right out of college. She used IMDb Pro and found, I think, the UPM or 2nd AD's contact info (can't remember at the moment). She spent a lot of time and energy contacting them until they responded and essentially said, "If you can get yourself out to Utah, we'll get you some days". She drove out there and stayed in a campground (the production was remote in the desert) until they had a day where they needed additional PA's. She kept being available and showed up to enough that they brought her on as a staff PA. (She eventually got a hotel room, but still on her own dime because they were hiring her as a local)
  19. True! In fact, James Neihouse ASC shot IMAX films digitally in 4k with the C500 and those films cleared the muster. The specs alone for the 9x7 will meet IMAX needs. 🙂
  20. Legally they don't have to feed you nor do they have to reimburse you (unless it's in a contract). Legally they are required to pay meal penalties in California if the time card reflects it as so. However, the meal penalties, for non-union, only apply for the first meal and not the second. I'll be honest, though, PA's get the short end of the stick when it comes to labor protections in the US. Unfortunately, production treats it as an easily replaceable job, whether or not they actually replace the PA. It's hard to stand up for what's right when they tell you not to come in the next day.
  21. If I remember, this app does: https://www.artistsviewfinder.com/ (It's the one I really liked)
  22. I'll have to be the outlier here and say that the future of cinema will not be IMAX, higher resolutions, or larger sensors. It will be virtual. The tech behind The Mandalorian is only just the beginning. Already, that technology can be utilized by low budget productions because Unreal Engine itself is free and there are alternatives that give it a run for its money (Unity and Blender are two prime examples). LED walls on the scale of Mando are already being constructed for smaller studios that any production can rent in LA/NYC/beyond. It's only a matter of time until one could rent a space like that for pennies on the dollar. (For more examples, check out the Unreal Engine: Virtual Production group on Facebook) The virtual assets like locations, lighting, etc are already cheap/free and getting easier to make day by day. (Example, example) This is all without taking into account creating characters virtually a la Avatar. Machine learning is making motion capture easier and cheaper. (https://github.com/mkocabas/VIBE) Computers are getting faster, technology is getting cheaper. There's no reason that, and no way to stop, the industry moving towards virtual production.
  23. Let's be honest, though, up scaling past what the camera can already shoot is reserved for the largest of screens like IMAX. That makes sense, given the person who created and developed this camera shoots for IMAX.
  24. Matthew Allard, ACS did a really great break down of the camera, costs, and what it can do. https://www.newsshooter.com/2020/09/14/achtel-9x7-65-megapixel-motion-picture-camera/ Spoiler alert, the price tag: $143,000 USD
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