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Jaan Kristjan Utno

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About Jaan Kristjan Utno

  • Birthday February 9

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  • Occupation
  • Location
    Los Angeles
  • My Gear
    RED Monstro, ARRI Alexa Mini,
  • Specialties
    Previs, Lighting, Shooting,

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  1. I'm also interested as to why this difference is so drastic. Shooting in Europe, all we have is gold mount unless we are shooting on a RED package. Everything else runs on AB's. Here in the US the split is noticable in preference - for operators who love operating off the brick the default preference is AB, while others love and enjoy V-Lock, as long as they're not touching the brick. At the end of the day, you always have the option of getting a block block battery or a vest/belt setup so you won't have to worry about either ;D It's a matter of efficiency and weight - Gold-Mount is always more robust, a bit heavier and sturdier in design. They can take a beating. V is usually lighter weight, more space efficient, and often the batteries aren't as sturdy.
  2. If you're worried about it, tape it up. It never hurts to be extra careful about your film. I've been taught from the get-go to cover mag-to-body connection along with mag lid.
  3. I've honestly been happy with a 10" monitor in the past. It's big enough to see all of my frame without having to move my eyes drastically from place to place, but it's small enough to not get in the way, easy to pack.
  4. Congrats on putting something together, exporting it and actually having a product. You are leagues ahead of anyone who is "thinking" about shooting and learning, by actually having a product you can show. You've no idea how many people end up abandoning small side projects at the cutting table. Since you want opinions on lighting, I won't touch your camerawork (for which I honestly don't have much to add given that you're starting out - your composition is pleasing me for the most part). You did mention this is a rough, but I'd have liked to see what you'd do for color correction to help match the first scene's look a little bit more to the rest of it, as the look is very flat and doesn't match the rest of your visuals. Continuity of light is a must when you are intercutting between subject and whatever is casting light on them. When she's working out, that glow that is frontal on her is cold, whereas the TV itself has a warm backlit glow and a picture that is very warm as well - the difference is spotted immediately and whatever disbelief you want me to suspend flies out the door. Also the fact that I see your light source in the reflection behind her doesn't help any. I would have swapped your colors, so that the sidelight is a little bit colder, mimicking a moonlight or just a kitchen light or something. I would also have blocked off the spill of that light with some black foil or fabric, restricting it to only light her. As an extra tid-bit - when she turns off the TV, you could have turned off the glow of the TV to make a practical lighting effect. Once you turn that TV off, you'd see how the rest of the light is playing on her and you can draw her out of the space more. Brightness automatically draws your eyes, so when lighting for night, you want your focus to be expressly directed at what you want viewers to see - her working out, while not paying attention to her background. Apart from the first scene, I enjoy what you've done with the rest of the short and your look resonates with what I'd be looking for in a night scene - more side and backlight to see shadows and contrast, edges and such. When I'm shooting night scenes, that's usually my main lighting directions, with perhaps a little directional fill light from the front if needed. I expose my edges 1.5 stops over my key light, and usually bring shots down by 1 stop in post. Note that this is a "standard" formula that I start off with and then tweak as needed for story and shot. On the side - what gel are you using for moonlight? Is that Peacock or a mixture of something?
  5. We have something in common in Estonia with the UK. A C-Stand is a sight to behold, granted you're ever lucky to get a glimpse.
  6. Here's a solution I've used a few times. In an ideal world, you should do this with two pipes so that your baseplate is more secure, otherwise depending on your tilt speed and your lens, you might see some wobble. You are partially limited in this setup with the wall distance you have available, but doing speedrail extensions is usually not a problem.
  7. The crop issue is only a problem if you see it as a problem. If the sensor crops in, take that into consideration and compensate with your lenses for it. If you know that you'll need a specific width, and the crop is a deal breaker, see if you have the capability of getting wider lenses to compensate for it. It will change your look a little bit depending on lenses, but that's the clearest workaround for such a thing - that and having decent amounts of space to position yourself in.
  8. Thanks for taking the time to read this. I am going to be shooting in the LA Riverbed and am currently figuring out potential shots with my stunt co-ordinator. Our sequence involves a character pushing himself up the sloped side of the riverbed, making it to the top and tumbling down again. I want to pull off a shot tracking alongside our character as he slips, barrelrolls and meets his demise. On the stunt side we have our blocking figured out for the most part, but I am not sure how to pull off this shot with the utmost safety and capability of control. Ideally, the shot will have the camera alongside the actor tumbling down a 45* slope. My immediate thought was to use a speedrail setup with a dana-dolly and an angular base, but my biggest concern is how to lock rails in to position. With a lack of experience rigging, I wanted to see if anyone has thoughts! Alternative thoughts are also welcome, but my budget is that of a student film - small and practical. I can pull this shot off with a technocrane, no problem, but how to do it with a budget that can't get anywhere near that?
  9. I for one loved the series. I don't even expect the series to have a soft hint - it isn't meant to be soft from the get-go and I think going chemical would have had a different effect. I'm not even mad about the RED, as the slight contrast it has itself is great, and they got a good set of lenses to shoot with it as well - crispy was the way to go for them and they nailed that aspect of it. The sharpness was refreshing for a period piece, I wouldn't have gone through with filmstock for the sole reason of the visually weaker CGI - it would have looked even worse trying to weld it into 4k scans, as they were not on point with grain rendered in post. I fell in love with the color palette - I moved around a lot, but I lived in a fairly foresty area of North Carolina as a child, and the November they portrayed gave me nostalgic feels - the cold dreary emptiness was fantastic. The stories were great, and the ending was designed in a wonderful way to open up to a sequential season, which, to my knowledge, had been green-lit, if not already in production. I just hope they don't get too crazy about their success and lose sight of the story and the elements that make this show theirs. What I honestly didn't like about the CGI was the seemingly lack of professionalism or budget/effort (I'm not sure what to blame this on, as I have little to no clue about actual VFX workflow, so pardon me). The monster looked great far away and unrevealed. The moment we see the head and the widening of it, it is superfluid and an immediate CGI red-flag for me. Every scene with the monster took me out of the experience. I did enjoy the ashen atmosphere of the alternate dimension, and the particles flying around. Considering what has already been done, I look forward to a new season exploring their world further.
  10. How do you store your gels? I spent some time searching and came up with nil here on the forums. The reason I am asking is because I am going from set to set, seeing various gels and filters being thrown in a tall trashbin or tub or something of the like, lacking any organization and efficiency. I am still fairly inexperienced and low-budget, and don't have means of a storage facility nor the luxury of storing them on frames. I'm beginning to grow my collection, from smaller rolled up 4x4 sheets to actual full rolls, and as they are fairly expensive, yet still expendable, I can't come up with a reasonable way to store them, thought I have many ideas. Maybe you guys can help me get a better idea or a good recommendation of what to do. One idea that I have had is to actually have a large PVC tube, and strap full rolls inside and lock them with a twisted cap, and roll smaller sheets on the outside and fix them to the tube with a mixture of a PVC sheet or bit of tarp covering them, and a bongo-tie securing system. Labeling will be a breeze, and visually finding them will be a lot easier. I imagine this could be nice and safe for the gels and filters, yet if I have too many of these, the weight will become ridiculous. Any tips and ideas are appreciated, thanks!
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