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Karim D. Ghantous

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About Karim D. Ghantous

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    Melbourne, Australia
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    Photography (mainly portraiture and live theatre).

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  1. Social engineering is for chumps. Like communism, it's unnatural and destined to fail. The mainstream comic book industry is pretty much dead because of progressive ideas. The replacement industry, made up of smaller publishers and independents, is naturally diverse, if that is worth anything. It's made up of both sexes, and of multiple races, worldviews and nationalities. Crucially, these emerging players exist at the mercy of the customer, and so they must create stories and characters that resonate. Do you want to be hired because you are either female or a cultural minority? Or would you find that demeaning? And as an audience member, do you respect talents regardless of identity, or must the talents have sexual and racial profiles before you respect them? Anyway. I refuse to believe that Hollywood has any discrimination problems, seeing as most people in the industry are either liberal or progressive. 😗
  2. FWIW I have used incandescents with a dimmer. Sometimes, even 5W is too much light for photography!
  3. Sounds like a fun challenge to me! I have not much to suggest, but here's an idea: where possible, put sound foam or a rug on the opposite wall during mid-shots or close-ups. It might help. Also, if the rooms aren't carpeted, put down a large rug. You could even permanently hang Persian rugs on the walls. If you can afford it, put sound foam on the ceiling, unless it's going to interfere with lighting. I personally would use low wattage incandescent bulbs for the practicals. I'm talking 5W, like oven pilot bulbs. You could even have a large screen TV turned on, showing some generic graphics sequence, such as a test pattern or disc loading screen or perhaps something more interesting. That can create some problems with the camera if you're not careful though. Another way to introduce light into a scene could be a fish tank.
  4. Okaaaaayyyyy.... soooooo.... Well I suppose I agree with all of what Phil said. I think I will like the film, despite the fact that I am not impressed by the trailer. The novel is a must-read, regardless of whether you like sci-fi or not. It's properly epic and should be a high school text. It wouldn't be a great story were it not for the details, and novels are superior for conveying details. Also, by reading the book, you will see where George Lucas got some of his inspiration. It's beautifully lit, and I say that despite not liking the style. The fashion these days, in commercials or in features, is to underexpose to the point where it still looks 'not underexposed'. It's not easy to do, BTW. But I can't say I love it. I mean, I believe in freedom for the DP, but I want to be able to see what I'm looking at. (Quick confession: for one job a few years ago I delivered slightly underexposed photographs to the client, which was my fault, but he really really liked them. I didn't like my mistake, and I still don't.) A few things bothered me besides the photography. Firstly, I don't think that any movie or trailer should open with whispered or low volume dialogue. Secondly, I think we can dispense with the visuals of armies a-la Triumph of the Will. That film is brilliantly shot but we've seen enough of that particular image. Thirdly, the music is not quite appropriate. I didn't like the music in Lynch's version, either. But to be fair we have not heard the rest of the soundtrack. Fourthly, changing 'Jihad' to 'Crusade' is kind of disingenuous. In the novel, it is explained that long ago there was the Butlerian Jihad, which was waged against computers, and so from then on computers were never used again. I see no reason why the word 'Jihad' is such a problem in the context of the story. I would agree that Lynch's version had brilliant moments. The sandworms were amazing, for one. The Guild Navigators were perfectly designed, too. The opening monologue was memorable, too. The opening music sounds like it was composed in the 1960s and brought out of storage just for this film. Still, it's often an awkward movie and has some moments of cringe. Finally, at the risk of sounding like a broken record, digital cameras did not do this project any favours. But at least it was shot in 4K, unlike BR2049, which was shot on the older Alexa, as wonderfully lit as that film was. I personally believe that 15-perf 65mm is stupid, but so too is shooting sub-4K digital for big budget projects. Finally, a reminder to read the novel. You're welcome. 😉
  5. In medium format, though. The channel owner tests other emulsions, not necessarily relevant to a DP, but definitely interesting. Keep in mind that scanners also matter. (14:47)
  6. Amen. If Johnny Overgrade worked for me, he'd be fired.
  7. I don't really have any suggestions. But someone I know recorded Teen Wolf, probably in the '90s, and apparently the TV cut was slightly different to the home video cut.
  8. This is a question for anyone, really, but especially those who act or direct for both stage plays and movies. The screen formatting standard for scripts is very well known. I find it easy to read and I think that if I was an actor, particularly on stage, I'd have a much easier time reading a script in the screen format. The key feature of the screen format is that the character names are centered, above the dialogue. Some formatting standards for stage plays have the character names on the left, next to indented dialogue. It looks elegant but I don't like reading it, as my eye has to go from left to right, left to right. But when I'm reading a screenplay, in the 'Hollywood' standard format, my eye follows a more linear path down the page. I'm just asking out of curiosity. I'm not a director or an actor, but I do aim to write for both stage and screen.
  9. It's like pornography: you know it when you see it. But more to the point, I think it's better to talk of light's qualities, plural, rather than its quality. Not that I disagree with any of the above. Sometimes your camera can't properly capture what you see, but that's a different discussion.
  10. I was wondering, what about a zoom compact like a recent model Sony RX100? This would be as a replacement for a director's viewfinder, as well as useful for location scouting and planning focal lengths. You could even use it as a light meter. The 8x zoom includes pretty much every focal length you're going to use.
  11. Okay, the chart makes a lot of sense, as you are neutralising primaries and secondaries very specifically (I assume that a WB card can't do all that?). And of course charts let you set black and white points. But I'm not sure if a piece of paper is wise as paper stocks usually have some kind of cast to them, although I've only tested this with light going through them, not light bouncing off them.
  12. This sounds interesting. What's the brand? Just curious: do you consider a white balance card as useful as a grey card? Would you say they're different enough to warrant having both? Not sure how much of that I can fit in a man bag. 😛
  13. You know, I tell photographers who have no history on photo forums to go straight to cinematography forums. Why? Because forums like this one are full of people who are helpful and not unduly critical. I'm not the only photographer who has noticed this. In addition to that, you get to learn cinematography techniques and maybe different ways of thinking about light. There's everything to gain. It's rare that you get bitter DPs on cinematography forums. Yeah, it can happen, but mostly, DPs are professional and yet also relaxed. They'll give your ideas and questions, no matter how naive they might be, a fair hearing. My point here is that I hope that people lay off the snarkiness. It's not necessary. Be passionate, by all means, but I don't think that personal attacks are useful.
  14. Further observations: 1. Cameras are disposable. It's the image that counts. It's great that some cameras have gone up in price, though. I mean, try finding a discounted A-Minima. Good luck! 2. Sometimes the format, or shooting style, is appropriate to advertise. E.g. The Wizard of Oz (Technicolor), Citizen Kane (deep focus), Schindler's List (b&w as a minority format), Too Late (four long takes on 35mm), Russian Ark (one take), Tangerine (iPhone + anamorphic), Timecode (parallel single takes), The Dark Knight (IMAX). N'est-ce pas? 3. You only shoot a project once. Maybe the hassle of film is worth it in the long run. That's up to the producers. 4. You don't get to say lenses matter but at the same time say that media doesn't. Get the **(obscenity removed)** outta here, as they say on the East Coast. What you can argue, very fairly, is that cameras and lenses should be as cheap as possible, but no cheaper. So, Cine Alta primes with a Red EPIC are a very smart choice compared to Summilux C's and 35mm. Pro-film guys aren't going to say that you are wrong. 5. The word 'show' is half as long as the word 'business'.
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