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Alexander Winfield

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  1. Great point, Carl, as to the limitation of each tool, while knowing each tool's strong points. Yes, I find when I watch film, my eyes are rested, I can concentrate on the story. But when it's digitally shot (depending what the content is), I find it to feel more like work. But I still do watch digitally shot stuff, I really enjoy Celebrity Apprentice, and stuff like that, but as for drama and cinema, I tend to watch older stuff on tv that was shot on film. In regards to story, I always go back to the police cam on the cruiser dashboard philosophy. There are entire shows of crazy stuff that has been captured on police dash cams and many of times, the viewers are glued to the screen, the picture sucks (although has been getting better lately), but the viewer is watching those ten police cars chase this one guy who just lost a rim on the freeway and is pushing his car to the very end, then trying to get away on foot after that. It's the story and picture matching that's keeping that viewer interested. A realism story told with a realism picture works. But if you try to tell a cinematic story with a realism picture, will that work as well? I'll leave that to you to decide. My personal opinion, it hasn't worked that well. But because of tech, $$$, the latest thing, people will reason that a cinematic story could be told with a realism picture. When I first saw the Hobbit, 48 fps, IMAX, digitally shot on the red, I'm sorry, but it just didn't match the adventurous storybook tale that is the Lord of the Rings collection. The first third of the movie looked like a soap opera. I didn't even bother to see the second two films, and I was a diehard fan. Now I did see Titanic in 3D IMAX with the 1.78 aspect ratio (as opposed to the common 2.35 as it was normally released) and it was AMAZING. I felt like I was on the ship and seeing more of the frame was a treat. So the picture has to match the story. I guess it's this simple equation that every artist should have in their arsenal. One thing digital cameras have not perfected, not sure if they could, IMO is motion blur. In that regard, film will always be more dream-like. Great posts! Alexander
  2. I guess we could agree the writing is on the wall, or rather, its been on the wall. In fact, cinemas look like the Titanic right now. “Maybe two hours, maybe three, but eventually it will sink. It’s a mathematical certainty.” And things have to change sometime right? Nothing stays the same. Maybe we’re blessed for seeing it early on while many are still in the fantasy of theaters. We can start to think of different ways as to how to present our work. We can see the trend and meet it as it arrives, be ahead of the change. Again, not be Blockbuster. I totally agree, episodic content is the future. Whatever it takes for people to keep distracted and numb. Although on the other hand, episodic content could be a good thing. But by and large, it’s mostly used to keep people plugged in and usually allows for more money to be extracted from the viewer. If you look at musicians today, many of them tour and make money from concerts and merchandise. All of this because they’re not making money from record sales like the music industry used to. Maybe this is the future for the filmmaker, traveling the state or country with their film. Maybe not playing in traditional venues like movie theaters but renting out cool locals where their movie could be shown providing a unique experience. If the talent comes along, that’ll be even more of a boost. When it comes to movie theaters, one thing comes to mind, and I don’t know why because it’s a little odd. What comes to mind is taxes. Property taxes. Here in the North East, property taxes are high no matter what land you have, I can’t even imagine what it is on the square footage of a movie theater, or a multi-plex. And if the money is not coming in, they have to fold. I know it’s odd, but that’s what comes to mind. One last point, I really hope Star Wars comes out and is great, and the story is great, and the turn out is great, and everything’s great. I really hope so. But it’s been a while since the last three were in the theater and the world has changed some. I wonder if the turn out will match historical numbers. Best regards, Alexander
  3. I love this question, thank you for asking it Bill. It certainly made me look inwards and really assess what's going on, and if I still feel the same as when I started on this journey. It also deserves an honest answer. All of the above. I guess what's bothering me is after writing scripts, learning all I can learn about filmmaking for last 15-20+ years, I see where the industry is heading and it looks like it's eroding. Maybe the industry needs to reinvent itself, maybe I need to do things differently and hopefully it will catch on. In shooting a movie and let's say that movie is decent or even good, I can't see at the present time how to make money from it. It would be nice to be able to pay the crew and expenses, and have a little left over and not have to be in debt. Unless I'm shooting music videos or commercials which is fun and where I get paid regardless, I don't know how to get paid in making a movie. If anyone has any insight to this in the present time we live in, please share your insight. At the heart, it is storytelling what I want to do, sharing characters that are in my imagination with the outside world to hopefully inspire and illuminate, stories that encourage and are engaging, bringing new creativity to the screen, but I'm not going to go in debt for it. Alexander
  4. Where are the drive ins? Tyler brought out a point I didn't want to, the end of cinema. By the way you can go watch Intersteller on glowgaze.com (I didn't see it). The point is, the general populace don't care if it's film or digital, they just want to be entertained. It's us, who care so much, and granted, I like to think we're artists. There will always be some sort of show somewhere, a nickelodeon, a drive in, but if productions are putting zillions of dollars into a movie, and because it's available online immediately, then they won't get all that money back. Many companies hope to get money from DVD sales, that will decline for sure. The newer generations don't pay. And following that trend, theaters will close down. Truth of the matter, older generations are starting to not pay either. I know plenty 40 year olds, family and kids, who won't pay to go to the theater, and won't pay for the dvd, don't pay for premium cable, maybe they have netflix for the kids. Follow that trend. Are the remaining people enough to sustain a multi-plex? I guess we'll see. Personally, I think maybe the way to make money in the future with movies is advertising. You can watch it for free but will have to deal with some ads, or pay to not have the ads. And on this platform, you'll have a much better quality, like a quicktime. Free will be the only way you can make money in the future, it looks like. So do we all understand the point? That the public as a whole DON'T CARE if it's 1080, 2k, 4k, 6k, red, epic, dragon, film, digital, video, sony, alexa, viper, 2-perf, 3-perf, 4-perf, anamorphic, 5-perf, maybe they care about IMAX, but all they know is it's bigger, and maybe better sound. We're the only ones that care, they've been trained not to due to society and culture. Sometimes I feel like taking the money I was going to spend on a camera and equipment and relocating to Maui and forget about all this crap. What started out as a labor of love for years is now a frustration. Seems easier, I buy a boat and just fish all day or be a beach bum. Instead of trying to impress the 90% plus people that would watch my movie and not even care. Before, an author could write a book and hopefully sell it, even if you had to self-publish it. But then Print on Demand came out and now everyone is an author. Then Kindle and Nook arrive so we became over saturated with books, and now, digital books are offered for free so the author trying to make it, good luck. If I make a movie now, IN THIS TIME, on my own, like a Napoleon Dynamite, how will I make money, the industry is so over-saturated with movies because digital made everybody a movie maker. On top of people just used to watching things for free. Hard to compete. I think the only medium left, unless something new comes out, where one could be a storyteller and have some shelf-life to their work are graphic novels, but that's a niche market, but it could grow. Alexander p.s. - Nice cams Aapo
  5. I concur, lenses is it. That's where it's really worth it to invest your money. Thanks!
  6. As someone who loves film and the process of it all, and wanting a lucrative career in filmmaking, I would fight anyone who says shooting digital is better (than film) or anyone who puts film down for any reason because I believe film is superior. I still do, when it comes to the approach and the finished product. Well, fast forward into reality, I was about to throw down $3,000+ on an Arri BL4 (plus extras), spoke to a few owners who were more than willing to sell. And although I had that driving force to shoot film and have a big ol’ bad camera, something was bugging me, something was holding me back. Now, I am not a rich man, I’m just like you. But I started thinking, hmmm…most people can’t even tell the difference or don’t care about the difference in picture quality. They also aren’t helping me when I have to purchase, process and scan a 1000’ foot reel. Also, if I differ the costs to the client, then I price myself out of the market if I want to do any ‘for hire’ work. I’m also investing in a camera that will be hard to find parts. So what am I fighting for? Why do I want this uphill battle? Oh, right, the picture quality is supburb and digital still sucks. But it is getting better. Now as nostalgic as Super 8mm is, digital surpassed it. I don’t know if anyone out there could tell me they would want to see a feature length movie on Super 8mm. And as economically as it is to shoot 16mm to a certain extent, digital passed it in regards to resolution and clarity. And it’s just a matter of time before 35mm is caught up with, maybe this year by the new Alexa 65. With filmlabs dwindling in the world, and with Kodak one economic hiccup away from closing, why would I want any counterparty risk to be able to do my work? Yeah, yeah, Star Wars is supposed to be shot on film, etc. etc. etc. but if there’s an economic crash like is expected this year (possibly in the Sept. time frame), then Kodak will be gone, or will become super expensive. And if Kodak goes bye bye, then J.J. Abrams and team will be like, “Uhm guys, let’s do the George Lucas thing and shoot digital seeing that we can’t find any film. And Christopher Nolon might be crying in the bat cave.” And if there’s no film, then I doubt there will be any filmlabs. (Note: If you do not think we are set for a market crash or for an ever spiraling down of the U.S. economy, I invite you to take any U.S. currency bill out from your wallet (if you have any) and I guarantee you, you will not find a bill printed past 2009 (that includes that new $100 bill with the blue stripe…if you’re looking for some tangible proof to what I’m saying that is). You’re money is already monopoly money, you just may not know it yet, shh….mainstream news doesn’t want you to know. To this, l will say one thing and quote J.P. Morgan himself – “Gold is money, everything else is credit.”) So, do I want to buy a BL4 and possibly have nothing to feed it in the near future, and very limited places to process it when digital whom the masses have already accepted helps my wallet? Plain and simple, the infrastructure to shoot film is disappearing more and more everyday. Case in point, the two CVS stores that would develop my C-41 took their machines out last week. Now I have to travel or mail it somewhere. I don’t mind waiting for personal stuff, but for work and clients, I need it today. Now, I will still shoot film for personal use, my old Nikon FG is still kicking, or if I find a 16mm camera at a garage sale, or if a friend is shooting a 35mm movie and needs my help or my own little project, but for my work and my dime, uh-uh, I rather keep as much of my money as I can and shoot digital. What I do like about film is that it allows you be as artistic as you want to be, digital isn’t there yet, but it’s getting there on some level. And I’m not looking for a digital cam that will look just like film, that a pipe dream, but if I can find something I can at least work with, that could be something. I did see one video recently that got me thinking. It was footage shot with the Blackmagic production camera and here’s the link… Is the footage perfect? No, but it does have a different feel I think from the Alexas-Reds-Sonys-Genesis of the market. I could do something with this, I can work with it. The camera housing is butt-ugly, I would have to get passed that. And if not this camera, then another, but the bottom line is, digital makes a lot more cents. Where was my breakthrough you ask? I realized I was emotionally attached to film, and I needed to break that. It was clouding my mind from looking at things objectively. I didn’t want to do Blockbuster’s mistake and not foresee the trend and inadvertenly have my butt kicked to the curb by Netflix and Redbox. Big deal, I can’t call myself a ‘filmmaker’ because I’m not actually shooting physical film through a 40 lb. iron movie camera, oh well, I’ll just have to let that title go for a lucrative career. I’m sure I can find something else to call myself, like, ‘the camera guy,’ or ‘digitizer of the world’, whatever, who cares, at least I’ll have work and food in my stomach as I enjoy my craft. Just sharing my journey, maybe someone else can relate. Best regards, Alexander
  7. I was having a nice conversation with a camera owner and he mentioned to me, according to conversations he had with other camera folk, that movie film cameras are set to appreciate in the near future and I wanted to post this to get some feedback from the community here. I do agree with him, since these cameras are not being made anymore, film is still available and people enjoy the film look and working with film. These cameras could turn into a nice commodity and maybe hard to get your hands on in the future. Love to hear your thoughts, Alexander
  8. Thanks Mr. Mullen. I definitely feel that we're going to be seeing a lot more Super 16mm and even Super 8mm shot projects become a lot more popular in the future. And I say that for a few reasons... 1. Filmmakers will be able to come out with a different look, hard to replicate with even computer effects. 2. I don't know about anyone else, but I see colors in those two formats which I don't normally find in 35mm and/or digital. Maybe they're just more pronounced in those formats. 3. And lastly, it's cost effectiveness.
  9. Does anyone know if Super 16 shows like The Walking Dead, and other S16 shows in the recent past (That 70's show, Gilmore Girls, earlier seasons of Psych and Burn Notice) were scanned at 2k or 4k? Thanks!
  10. Regarding box office numbers, let's not forget about inflation keeping those $$$ numbers above water.
  11. Wouldn't that match the ratio of film movies to digitally shot movies that came out in 2014? Last week, when I went to the movies, I got there early and looked at every theater in there, there's like 15 or so, and most, except the movie I was watching and Taken 3, was digital.
  12. Thanks Mr. Compton for the correction, I'm terribly sorry to the community for posting incorrect information. :)
  13. I completely understand what your saying regarding workflow, but at what cost? Going back to my original argument, "I don't hear people raving about movies these days (especially digitally shot movies)," and "shooting digitally does not appear to be having a good effect on the movie industry as a whole." I went to the movies last friday night and it was scarce, in a major area inside a huge mall. Now why is that? Actually what I do hear people talking about are TV series, quite a few actually. But one specifically I would like to note for the sake of this argument. Isn't it interesting that the Walking Dead was such a hit (shot on Super 16 by the way) but as soon as they switched to digital, you don't even hear people talking about it as much anymore. I know die hard fans of that show that just lost interest. A good story on film works! Now there exceptions to the rule in some way, Avatar broke Titanic's record, but wouldn't you say that was just because of the 3D technology? That's what I heard people were excited about and telling me about, the 3D technology. No one said anything about the story. Would that movie do even close to what it did if it was 2D and had to rely on the just the story? All I can tell you is that I didn't see that movie in the theater, I saw it home and it put me to sleep. zzzzzzz.........zzzzzzzzzzz........
  14. Okay, hold on everyone, take five, after reading some of the comments I gotta weigh in on all of this... When I said 'boycott', it didn't start out like that. I just noticed that I didn't have a desire to go see movies shot digitally so gradually I only went and paid for movies that were shot on film. Okay, then after that...it turned into a boycott. You can just say I'm voting with my wallet. Mr. Bitic mentioned before, "Why have people (producers since they're paying) all of a sudden chosen to not shoot film?" I may have an answer for that, Maybe, and this is only my opinion, but they know it will probably just end up on the internet the same day it's released or even before. So they don't feel like it's even worth it to go through ALL the trouble of shooting film if people are just going to rip it off ruining its shelf life. They just want to make their movie, make their cash and go on to the next project. (I understand this may not be the case with cgi movies, it's a workflow thing.) I mean if you go to http://www.glowgaze.com, Selma is already playing there, and in fact, it was playing there since Tuesday (Jan 7) of last week, then later in the week it had its expanded theater release on Friday (Jan 9) for all the paying customers. Now maybe some of you don't want to look at that aspect of the industry but it's happening, and something has to change or the industry will drastically change and maybe not in a good way. I even spoke to a guy today, he's 25 years old, and I asked him, "Dude, do any of your friends, the people that you know, pay for movies or go to the theater?" He just looked at me and shook his head. He replied that he just saw a movie (forgot the name but I know it's not on Netflix yet) on his lap top yesterday. Oh, I remember the days of working in the movie theater when Forest Gump came out, it was in the theater like for ten months, Titanic too. Remember that song, 'Video killed the radio star'? Maybe soon it will be 'Video killed the movie industry'. Now I have a cousin, he's a just your average guy, he's a cop, has spending money for whatever he wants to buy, and I asked him, "When was the last time you went to the movie theater?" He drew a blank, he couldn't even remember when, and this comes from a guy who loves movies, always has. Instead his thinking is, "If a movie comes out that I think I'll like, I'll just buy the blue-ray for twenty-bucks, it's a lot cheaper than movie tickets plus food and I can watch it whenever and however many times I want." So you see, the guy earlier who posted that who has the sick big screen and boombastic sound system isn't alone. I did recently see "The Imitation Game", of course shot on film. It was a WWII movie, thought it would interest me, not that I'm big on war movies, but I like period pieces, and WWII is interesting. Visually, it had some great shots, especially the few aviation scenes, but whenever they shot indoors, in quite a few scenes the people were facing the big windows and their faces were just completely white washed with cloudy day light. That happened on a lot of scenes, it started to bug me. But there were plenty of great shots and great photography that allowed me to not focus on that. Maybe there was an artistic reason for that, but for me, it just reminded me of a poorly lit digitally shot movie. Now that I can actually feel some of you just wanting to respond with your comments, I'll finish with saying, I do get a lot out of digitally shot things, i.e. nature shows, that show Revolution was good and that was digitally shot, stuff I shoot with my iPhone, but if I'm sitting in the theater, I don't want to be watching something that I could've just as well watched at home. Best regards, Alexander
  15. Whew! After reading your posts, and checking different lab's websites and your blog Perry, and since I'm starting out, I think the prores444 is the best way to go. Maybe on the second job, I would have learned more, and maybe can experiment some. One thing that did surprise me, on the Video & Films Solutions website, their prices, are .21 cents a foot full aperture for 2k, and a $1.05 for 4k (I imagine these are the going rates, still looking at more websites. Colorlab didn't have 4k prices from what I saw). I realized after some calculations that even on a short, this is quite a difference in money. I'm leaning to 2k and put the money saved towards a hard drive and save the 4k for another project. Thank you all for your generous insight. Alexander
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