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Jon O'Brien

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Jon O'Brien last won the day on June 14

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About Jon O'Brien

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    A couple of 2 perf 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 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. Amongst other things, I'd like to make a musical like South Pacific or Carousel. Can you imagine the sort of talent, money, but above all spirit and drive and faith!! that such a production needs from those at the top. And with the original story, intent and tradition without trying to be 'correct'. Can we even find singers who can sing like that? Yes, shot on 65mm would be the way I'd do it too. And a traditional western with 'good' values of faith and steadfastness and the things that have sustained human beings for thousands of years. Not cheap and boring violence for the sake of something to fill the minutes on the screen. Films about suffering, loss and redemption. Hope. You name it.
  2. And the projector sprockets went ta-pocketa-pocketa-pocketa in the darkened room, as Tyler took a long, slow draw on his Havana cigar. And then the door swung open with a bang, shuddering on its hinges. Light filled the room. In walked Robin, wearing a fedora and a crinkled raincoat. Dom followed at his heels, a large calibre gun in his hand ..... the look on their faces was grim. Tyler shut down the projector and it rattled to a halt. Someone flicked on a lamp. Swirls and motes of dust circled in the beam of light ...
  3. I agree. Film really suited that picture. It was gritty and risky, like the on-screen events. Now, digital is great too, for what it's best for. I'm still not convinced. I think it's true they don't care to know what the thing was shot on/with. But as I see it, it's the responsibility of creative people to put on the best show they can. It's the makers who have to know what is going to affect the audience the most, for that picture, and take the leadership to make that show as great as they can. The audience, while not knowing why the film has affected them so, will simply benefit from the expertise of the makers. The audience themselves just want to sit back and enjoy it. Only a tiny few technician geeks in the average audience will know what's going on with how the thing was shot. But not knowing how or why a creative thing moves you doesn't mean that technical differences aren't important. Story alone isn't enough. It's how the thing is stitched together, how the story is told, that plays a huge part. Think of fireside stories, back when that was the main entertainment. There's a great story, sure, but it's how that story is told really well that makes the big difference. I think that format really comes into that, with movies. But the audience doesn't know that, or care, but it is still important, and the makers need to step in and know what is going to work best for that particular picture. It's the maker's responsibility. Put a truly good meal in front of someone and they will love it. Okay, some filmmakers want to shoot digital. Some would like to shoot film. Just put on the best show you can. If you are a producer, you should have a say in how that product is made, so that you are inspired to make it as best you can. To use a musical analogy, a violinist must be inspired by the music and by his/her instrument in order to put on a great performance. It's not going to happen otherwise. The audience benefits from that artist's inspiration. But they don't know why or how they do.
  4. It's obvious that there's something going on behind the scenes in the film industry worldwide. It's like two people who love each other, but neither can come out and say it (yet). They were apart for a bit, trying to prove by their actions and words that all was fine and okay and there's nothing there between us. But they couldn't hide from the truth forever. Filmmakers, which includes anyone who works on a film production, including actors, do really have a soft spot for shooting on film (the real thing, not the thing in name only). Yes. Film will survive ... because of a love for it that's not going away anytime soon. It's growing. Now how's that for waxing lyrical? A love letter for film.
  5. VOD? Musicians make a living by teaching usually, and keep sane by doing gigs which fortunately contribute towards some milk, bread and pizza money each week. Videos are a huge amount of work for not much return, for the average gigging musician. Best policy for the average musician is to keep it live, keep it real. Back out of too much online stuff, I reckon, it seems to be a great idea but there's already too much out there. Stephen's thread has gone rogue. It's all good.
  6. Conjecture is okay. We are really just chatting, testing ideas and talking about dreams and what we would like to do remember. If flat-out incorrect statements are given as fact, okay that has to be challenged, but some strange things can be said on both 'sides' of the 'debate'. It is not mere "nostalgia" for film exhibition. That is a bit insulting to say. This is also a discussion about where the film industry is clearly going, and where it's been headed for a while now. I agree with Satsuki's comment about Roger Deakins more recent work. To a lot of people, something has been lost or is in danger of being lost in the movie going experience. And so many don't want to see it. Just pay me my money is the only thought. Tyler's comment is spot on. Digital filming and projection results in an image that looks like what we already see with our own eyes. That's a theatrical failure! We go to the theatre to be transported to another world, not to see what we already see. THIS is why real film has value and will grow in value, especially in cinema-release movies. Another thing is that a lot of industry people clearly don't even bother going to the cinema anymore. That's a mistake. Get to the cinema.
  7. Note the rather poignant words. Discontinued publication of an industry paper. Hmm. Did the article point something out that may have been the seeds of the publication's own demise? Then again, the Australian fully home-grown feature film industry seems to come and go in periods of boom and bust. Or am I wrong? It's interesting, to me at least, that George Lucas chose Australia to lob his first salvo at the film tradition of the industry, with his Star Wars prequels going all digital with Attack of the Clones. Still, it was a revolution that was coming anyway. And it all started ... right here.
  8. I would have thought film was greener, even with the processing chemicals. Digital doesn't seem greener to me at all. I suspect the claim digital is greener might have had some traction once, and was used to try and add some extra push to its shove 😉
  9. I've written this before, but I can remember back as early as the mid-eighties there was an article published in the discontinued Australian film industry publication Cinema Papers that the future of feature movie cinematography was going to be fully digital, and imminently so. I have no idea how the person writing that article knew, but time proved them right. It just took a bit longer than was thought. Clearly, technicians at Sony or wherever must have already known by then that sufficient quality was scientifically and economically doable. During my teens I'd planned to go on to be a cinematographer and I wanted to work with film. Believe it or not I was so in love with film as a teenager I would get up early on Saturday mornings to watch a show on TV called 'Wonderful world of boating' (I was not into boating at all) that even on the crummy tv images of those days I could see was clearly shot on 16mm film. We also in Australia had 'The Leyland Brothers', an evening tv show, I specifically watched because at first it was shot on 16mm, and later they started shooting on Super 8. By this time, this was in the days when tv shows were almost all shot on video. So, I don't know why I was so committed to film, but I was. Someone decides they are just an oils person, as a painter. Who knows why. It's just a look they are seeking. Perhaps a method of working too. Video never got me interested. My mistake maybe, but it doesn't matter as I went on to do other good things. Like many teenagers contemplating their future lives I was in two minds as to what to do after leaving school. That Cinema Papers article clinched it for me. I decided I didn't want to get into cinematography if it meant it was all going to change one day soon to digital. And in Australia you could tell there was a lot of excitement out there about digital. I just didn't share that enthusiasm. So there it goes. My point in writing this? Just to say that the first talk of a coming revolution happened long before it actually arrived. Most here would know this, but still worth repeating. To this day I'm amazed not only at how true that article was, but also that I myself could clearly see, young as I was, that that big change was definitely coming. For some reason Australia was particularly keen to change completely to digital.
  10. Man, I like this spirit!!! THIS is how we should be. Come on people.
  11. You've got it. I will write it into your contract if that's what you want. Seems reasonable. Except the bit about tent boy and the opium pipe.
  12. Sprockets in the Gloaming ... my new script I'm writing. Feature length, set in southern England, circa 1940. To be shot on 35mm film. Robin, would you like to work on it? I will give you a job. Just have to raise the money. Stephen, turned out to be quite an okay thread after all, didn't it.
  13. Something likely to become increasingly noticeable. Some people tend to wave the whole film thing off as something only hipsters care about. I'm not so sure it's really a hipster thing at all though - it's becoming more mainline and popular than that. Film was always about getting bums on seats, and promoting a prestigious difference is one (not so small) way of doing that. A country that values its film industry ought to look into this. But of course script and direction is the foundation. What's starting to stand out, I feel, is that especially younger people are looking in popular culture for authenticity, earthiness, realness, and a return to valuable things that have meaning. It's not a shallow search for mere prestige though. Obviously I can't back my assertion up with hard facts. Talk to people and read a lot and you will notice this trend. As David Lean once said, you can hold film footage in your hand. You can smell it. Light actually shines through the stuff, physically. Hard to beat that, when it comes to creative use of image. It's magic. It takes risks to be creative with film. I'm not knocking digital. I'm just saying don't give up on film. Because if you do it might mean you could be a little out of touch 😉
  14. My dream would be Panavision and classic old anamorphic lenses and 35mm. Or 65mm Panavision. Preferably all photochemical but, well, digital projection would be okay too. Much less of a headache to get the thing finished, out there, and seen. But you know, it's already been mentioned twice - a great script and a great director I think is the key to a wonderful film, assuming the money can be found (I think, with difficulty, the money can in theory always be found - there has always been and will always be very rich people and companies who can fund things). The problem with scripts and direction is that we've somewhat lost our way as a society in understanding, on a popular level, fundamental things about entertainment. It's not about explosions and violence and things like that. All of that stuff is just seasoning, but it's not the meat and the vegetables. Great movies are always, always about the classic, common themes that beset all people. The human condition. War, worry, loss. Trying to find love, despite all. Suffering, sacrifice, doubt, faith, happiness, hope. If we can find a great script, we can find the director for it, and we can find the acting talent because a great director will have the talent to see the potential in an actor, discover it, and bring it out. That's the way it's always worked. It can be done again. I see signs, from my occasional visits to the cinema over the last few years, that the film industry is slowly working its way up to the creation of some truly great classic films again. There's been some really impressive films released in the last few years.
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