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Jon O'Brien

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Jon O'Brien last won the day on December 10 2019

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About Jon O'Brien

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    A couple of 2 perf Arri cameras, recently serviced. Nikon lenses. Ronford Baker tripod and fluid head.
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    Interested in script writing, cinematography, directing and producing. Interested in raising money for, and above all making profit from, feature length movies addressing traditional, classic themes, of a generally hopeful and/or family-friendly nature; and aimed at that part of the popular market that appeals to the more intelligent and discerning members of the cinema-going public.

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  1. I shot a wedding about a year ago on a Canon 1014 xls. It was in excellent condition but hadn't been seriously used for decades. I was about 15 seconds into the first shot of the bride approaching when suddenly 'END' started to flash in the viewfinder (in a sort of 70s-esque pin ball-arcade, reflected-light analog/non-digital, charming style which I can't describe any other way). But serious stuff as the bride is now at the altar!!! And I'm it. There's no-one else filming this event. I grabbed out the cartridge, banged it on the side of my leg (not knowing what the problem was), and threw it back into the film bay, praying. For the rest of the wedding (two cartridges) it worked absolutely perfectly. I'd say the feeler in the compartment has seized up but as long as nothing is corroded I'd say there's hope. Perhaps try simply loading and unloading a cartridge and that might loosen up the component that engages with the cartridge to read it.
  2. Interesting video! I hadn't seen that one. Spielberg started out as a teenager at home, making amateur movies on 8mm, and was the energy behind the whole creative process, from script, to model building, to photography, directing, special effects, soundtrack, the works! He really understands how to use the camera to tell an entertaining story that keeps your interest and must have been born with a camera in his hands. He knows how to film a scene brilliantly. Good idea to study his works.
  3. Jon O'Brien


    I don't rule it out. I lived there for years as a kid and it's a lovely place to visit - I especially enjoy the inner city of course, where there's so much to see and do. And down the coast near Brighton. Brisbane has a growing film presence, so the interest must be there. It just needs to be sustained and keep growing.
  4. Jon O'Brien


    Ah, I see. You are fortunate then. You must understand, I come from the land down under .... where real movie film and film projectors are long forgotten. It's all digital as far as the eye can see. In fact if you raise the topic in conversation with pros here you tend to get a blank stare back at you. Like what you just said doesn't register. The cursor of their mind blinks in silent anticipation, as it were, while they await your next input to the conversation with something that connects with their personal experience. Film? No response. Brain cells not engaged. But a loyal few remain ....
  5. I had a look at Star Wars again, flicking through, and found a shot where C-3PO and R2D2 suddenly decide to trundle off back to the Millenium Falcon, when troops get distracted by Obi-Wan, and there's a focus change and you can see the 'circle' thing on the side of the Falcon become slightly more anamorphically 'squeezed'. Yes, I like the look of that. I know it's unintentional but to me it adds a bit of spice to the cinematography. I haven't had time yet to check for signs of other lens breathing in the movies I was thinking of yet, but will ... These are only subtle things. It doesn't amount to much .... but still. I can't help but think a little 'imperfection' in lenses can be interesting. Van Gogh didn't have perfect brush strokes and thank heavens that he didn't. When cinematography is too slick and clean and precise I tend to lose interest somewhat. It's just too mathematically sorted-out, as it were.
  6. Is breathing really all that undesirable in cine lenses? Stills lenses are often passed over as having too much breathing, but I've often noticed lens breathing in a movie and actually sometimes really like the look of it. I will think of some examples - I noticed one example a while back on a DVD but at the moment can't remember the movie. Any thoughts on this? There must be occasions presumably where it's irksome or undesirable, or just plain impractical.
  7. Jon O'Brien


    Why shoot it on 15 perf 65mm if it's to be shown with laser IMAX? Isn't that a lot of extra expense to go to if it's not going to be shown on a film projector? I'm not criticising, I'm trying to figure out why Nolan would shoot with such an expensive process. I suppose the answer is that he likes doing it that way and the movie will easily make huge profit so cost of film is no object really.
  8. It's a plain fact of history that a great deal of journalism and certain areas of academia have both become greatly biased. There are a lot of claims being made that are deceptive. "...test everything; hold fast what is good."
  9. Fixing things ... that's good. Trying to fix things by hugely mucking things up isn't good. I guess that's where we would agree. There's indeed many encouraging things happening in society worldwide, by all reports. So hooray for that.
  10. Phil, I think that's one of the best things I've read in a while, what you just wrote. That's a fine summation of what has beset the entire western world in the last decade/s. This strange need to play fixer of things, to 'know best', to change things, to make artificial rules that turn things around, to set quotas, to treat people like material objects to be assigned places according to some idea. Yes, of course women make just as fine cinematographers as men. People bend over backwards to help a woman in her chosen profession. Don't set up artificial quotas for sex discrimination set by some sort of meddling from on high. That's replacing a mistake with a mistake. Have no quotas, no agendas, no discrimination at all. Just be supportive where you can be supportive. Encourage people. And look out for your own job, and do what you can to protect it, lest someone tries to decree that you can't do that job because someone else wants it or artificially sets up a system where, no matter who you are or what you are, you just don't materially 'make the grade' according to the discrimination. My God, that's unjust.
  11. I'm not afraid to say it. Men have to watch their backs big time in female-dominated industries. They push men out. They work together as a team. They look out for the sisters and the sisters only. I'm talking about particular workplaces that in some cases have a toxic environment. No man who has never experienced this or known men who've admitted it would believe it. Men can do these things too, to women, so I hear, but I've never experienced, seen, or taken part in such bad goings on. All people can do bad things. Both sexes. It's illegal but it happens. So, we hear how women tend to always be good and fair. It's simply not true. I'm not a supporter of making up for historic mistakes by making new mistakes. So, if you're a man and find yourself in a job/industry that values you, and you find there's few women in that industry, don't worry about it.
  12. Speaking of cinema projectors ... Anyone remember my little story of how, last year, the aging projectionist led me along a dusty track in the hills, to a small garden shed in which resided two enormous Victoria 8 35/70mm cinema projectors, complete with all the gear, lamps, lenses and generators, all in top condition, and lovingly cared-for? I held back on buying them as he wanted to only sell one, and I wanted both. Well, I contacted him a few days ago, again saying I will buy them both if he still has them. He said, alas, a fire swept through the 'bush' property - and the shed, his personal belongings, and both projectors were destroyed. The other thing he said is that he'd gladly have given both to me! If only he'd told me that the first time I met him. They're gone now. Sort of speaks of the peril that film projection finds itself in today ... at risk of extinction if big efforts aren't made to keep it alive. If the general public can be 'educated' as to how good real film can look I think interest might rise sufficiently to support one dedicated cinema in a large city. As often mentioned, you'd have to have access to great prints.
  13. For movies shown on the big screen in a cinema, my own view of things is that, if in my dream (since this topic is about dreams) I could make some feature films 🙂 - which, who knows, could happen - I think with digital projection now being commonplace that the look I would go for is one where the movie is "quite obviously shot on film." So, my preference would be 35 mm, where there's more chance of seeing some grain. Super 16 on the big screen usually looks just a bit too noisy to me - though I must admit, in First Man the S16 shots looked perfect for that movie. With 65mm, this to me doesn't make much sense these days if, other than the shooting, it's all going to be finished and exhibited digitally. If done that way it will be difficult to tell from digital, and at great expense too. 2 perf 35mm seems a good option for what I'd like to do, as the grain becomes just barely noticeable on the big screen, and the cost is reduced by about half. Ideally though, speaking of dreams, I would establish a cinema somewhere with film projectors in it, in a large city like Melbourne or Sydney. You've gotta have dreams. As the lady said in the movie, how else you gonna have a dream come true?
  14. Yes, that's what you'd expect of show attendees. Ask someone with training in art, like yourself of course, who contends with the difference between digital and film regularly and I think you might get some insightful comments. In many cases the difference is starkly obvious to someone who has trained their eyes. Film people are saying that, sure, the audience doesn't know most of the time .... but is nevertheless affected by things that they don't consciously notice. In my opinion film is, on the whole, a nicer look, yet quite a few people adore digital images and are sold on the whole thing. But I suspect we're living in a time of reduced perception of what is artistic, yet there's at the same time a huge hunger for art, especially amongst younger people. Interesting times. The baby-boomer generation were pretty much entirely sold on digital imagery. Sure, so are a lot of young people today. But there's a quiet revolution happening out there, right now, as we write.
  15. It's the stills world, not filmmaking I know, but I was speaking with a photographer the other day who sells some pictures to a fairly well-known company. She doesn't make much from it, but she says they do pay. Now, I won't mention any names, as it's anecdotal information and may not be correct ... but anyway, she said this company is turning their back on digital photographs, and is now asking for negatives from photographers (just for your interest it was not National Geographic). She said the company now no longer likes the look of digital photographs for their product. Well, it's one of those "I heard an old man on the bus say ....." Except in this case it wasn't an old man, and it wasn't on a bus. So, there it is. I was surprised by it. Just the other day I determined that I'm going to get my old film SLR off the shelf, dust it off, and buy some Kodak film for it. And then I met this photographer and she told me that.
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