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Jacob Mitchell

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About Jacob Mitchell

  • Birthday May 24

Profile Information

  • Occupation
    Cinematographer
  • Location
    Los Angeles
  • Specialties
    Cinematography, 35mm and 16mm, Red and Arri Cameras, Underwater Operating

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  • Website URL
    www.jakelmitchell.com

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  1. Howdy all, I'm curious to hear people's personal experiences when joining Local 600 as a DP. I'm currently a non-union DP in LA and doing well focusing solely on that, but I'm getting sore working with lower budget, non-union productions and wish to orient and guide myself in the right direction. I realize that joining the union will not bring me more work and magically make everything wonderful. I'm particularly curios to hear: What made joining the union seem like the right choice? What were the signs? Did you feel like you joined too early? Too late? Is there anything crucial someone trying to get on the path to the union should know?
  2. If you're really bold, you can build out a standard fish tank. I've done this on two recent productions and it went super well. Just a bit of a nail biter and takes some prep: Using a sizable fish tank, I got some clear vinyl tarp, cut it up, and velcro'd it over the top for a splash guard. It was secured over the edges of the tank so even if the fish tank was fully submerged from a fall, it would likely survive with a few drops getting in. Then, I secured a suction cup shower handle, made for elderly, to the side to act as a solid contact point. I usually press the rest of the tank against my body for nice control of the tank. Two crucial points for imaging - placing the tank in the water you will be shooting in 10 minutes ahead, to prevent fogging, and definitely having a matte box on your build. The matte box, usually oriented vertically, will prevent odd reflections/ghosting on the image. Everything needs to be snug in the fish tank so the camera isn't moving around when you can't make any adjustments, so getting the onboard monitor pressed up against the glass and additionally a towel inside to keep it snug is nice. Also, make sure you have a spotter in the water, I do a sort of leap frog system with them, passing the camera off, so we're never actually taking steps with it, just pivoting around. And we had water shoes on to prevent any painful rocks from making us trip up. Finally, build your camera with the fish tank during the prep day, to see if you need any special battery plates to make it all fit. And, you'll need wireless focus and video. AND a run stop cable so your AC can cut and roll for you.
  3. I feel like any Arri cameras other than the minis/35 are going to be very limiting for you in terms of low light - not to mention the sheer weight. Even on the Alexa mini you're hard pressed for resolution to get high frame rates, and while they perform well in low light, thats not quite what they're built for. The gemini was originally made for the SpaceX launches, so low light is their bread and butter, while also being light weight and affordable. The dual iso is really useful. Additionally, high speed has always been a strength of RED in my opinion, having options like 480 frames down at 2k on some cameras. Now, anytime you're buying an older DSMC camera it feels like a ticking time bomb in terms of shelf life, obviously some exceptional cases are there of some epic MXs still surviving, but the real measure is that RED will begin refusing service of older cameras, making them paper weights. Not a big deal, but something to keep in mind as an investment. I'm sure the prices on these are a good deal right now. In terms of matching, really anything shot with proper exposure, a chip chart, and a good colorist can be matched. Doesn't fully contend with the Gemini, but the BMD pocket 6k is exceptional in low light, and I love their new color science. However, your 120 fps will be at 2.8k. Maybe a budget option.
  4. You really should have some sort of splash bag or surface level submersible kit on it. This sounds like a big risk especially with the nature of the action, and while there isn’t a current, a river floor is anything but stable. All it takes is one loose rock to step on. I would check out the Air Land Sea splashbags. They’re really lowkey and simple to build and aren’t horrendous on budget.
  5. Thank you everyone for the pointers! I would be curious to have everyone's thoughts on this, shot on 35mm Ektachrome Print stock! Also, Karim, that print 35mm looks incredible, I'll have to buy some.
  6. Hi all, Can't remember from where, but I've heard of the ability to shoot on print stock just as one would on regular motion picture stock, with the idea of having a very punchy and contrasty look. Does anyone have experience with this? Looking at the Kodak catalog, it seems print stock primarily comes in 2,000' rolls, which would make the process of downspooling a bit tedious...
  7. I am in awe of this!! Is that particular process camera still working?
  8. Eirik, Do you recall what type of bulbs were in the practicals? Were they CFL or normal Tungsten? When do you get your scans back? Worst case, if it is very minor, you can have your editor use the "Flicker Free" plug in. Its a very cheap one off purchase, and man, it has saved me so many times. Can remove some of the worst shutter flicker.
  9. I have never seen this lens before! Had no clue that Angenieux even made primes before their current set, especially for 16mm. Do you have any more info for this lens? Did you have a set of them?
  10. To start, I would focus on ways in which you can make lighting easier by using either low-light performing sensors and secondly lenses that are fast and can operate at low apertures while maintaining quality. I like to start the thought without restriction; say this was just one subject and closeup, how would you light it? Say you want to give everything some edge and definition with something harsh, you could use whatever background/midground out of frame to place some wide-lensed HMIs and simply give everything some depth. Then for your key maybe something very broad and soft to bring some attention to your subjects and keep things looking nice. Taking this idea further, in this situation I would say you'll need to approach it from a grip standpoint. With such a large scene, you'll need to maybe multiply the size and scale of everything you're using almost by a multiplier. More heads, more output, larger lengths of stands, etc. If possible, I'd look into using a cherrypicker, condors, what have you to place your key light or back light setup in a place where it has effect but at the same time is out of frame. Or if you don't need it that extreme, a max menace or normal menace arm. Or maybe it simply is too wide for that, and you'll need to designate one side of the set to pushing HMIs through a large 20x or booking through a large 20x. I always find in large scenes like this it is super helpful to have extra heads ready incase you incorrectly predict how strong a certain light is, or if you need to bring up little details of the scene here and there, etc. In summary, start from a theoretical point, thinking with no restriction in how you would light it. Then work further in understand how you can scale this up and what tools you may need to achieve this. Then, hopefully, see if its possible within budget!
  11. Dealt with this a lot, typically where I start is with a solid on a frame, whether that be 8x8 or 12x12 (make sure to get window measurements to determine this). I'll place this frame at about a 45 degree angle and shimmy it up as close as possible to the exterior of the building, leaving space for lighting. Then, I'll essentially create a giant floppy, by getting more solids of the appropriate size and simply tying one end to the edges of the existing frame and letting it drape down. Makes it easier than setting a million floppies. Big note, ANY little leak or gap in the blackout will show very easily. Gotta be pretty dilligent to cover it up tightly. Tape is always your friend in securing the edges of the rags to the exterior of the building. In terms of seeing out this window, I would suggest having either curtains or blinds atop the window to bring the attention away from the blackout and potentially hide any details seen in the rags outside. Also helps to flag off any spill from your heads outside to keep it off your blackout canopy. Now, it sounds like you may be adding diffusion onto the windows, which would probably be my next suggestion. Something like opal or Hampshire frost would be nice and light to stay illuminated, but completely blur anything on the other side of the window. If you are simply recreating daylight and need the all day consistency, if you've got diffusion on the windows you probably don't need to go so crazy on the blackout, probably just the one solid above the window to kill most the daylight. Maybe just note there will be a shift in your fill levels with the small amount of ambience coming in.
  12. Hi everyone! I will soon be venturing into the 360 world of cameras on a music video. I've always been intrigued by the format but never have touched it yet. What's everyone's favorite value 360 camera? Is it a combination of say, 8 go-pros, or is it standalone products with two lenses? Do any 360 cameras offer a stitched feed via SDI or HDMI for wireless viewing on set? Do any of them offer slow motion?
  13. For me a beautiful example of night exterior cinematography is the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Throughout the 3 films there's an immense amount of different types, from the plain forests of the shire, magical, glowing elven fortresses, to massive battles lit by both torch and moon. Albeit this example may be very fantastical, giving the lighting style a lot of leeway to be "unmotivated" - in the Fellowship of the Ring I can think to a few shots where you can basically see the source they're using as the moon. But it all "works" and is incredibly beautiful and striking. Additionally, I think one of the most interesting things about the difference between an audience "detecting" a day and a night scene is the background. For me, you could leave the same style of key light between two scenes unchanged, and set the time of day purely by the illumination of the background.
  14. Hi all! I will soon be using a 16mm bolex with the weaver stead man 2-axis head - essentially I will be spinning the bolex 360 degrees, and the camera will be completely turned upside down. I'm wondering if this will effect film movement? I've heard some things about shooting upside down and possibly getting ghosting/movement issues with the film.
  15. Ah I've been wondering if there's anything reflective in 12x! I use 4x mirrors so much but they often are only good to backlight one subject. Is it basically a 12x of shiny?
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