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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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    2 perf 35-3 and 2C, Nikon lenses, Ronford-Baker fluid head and tripod, S16 Rex-5
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    Cinematographer specialising in analogue film. Happy to shoot digital too.

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  1. For movies in the theater I prefer the look of anamorphic 35mm. I think if a director is setting out to make a movie that really stands out visually, then I don't think anyone would dispute that anamorphic 35mm film certainly has a wonderful, interesting look which is difficult to define or explain scientifically ... if filmed by a great DP who has shot a lot of film, of course. Anamorphic 35mm is a proven performer, and cinema organically grew out of film and film projection. In the cinema at least, digital has sought to emulate and catch up with 35mm film. Film already works, because the cinema is inherently film. Digital tries to catch that success. Says it all of course.
  2. It looks like it worked out really well. Yes, Phil's advice reflects his much greater experience. I've only done one music 'video' so far, and it was shot with a 16mm Bolex 🙂 So it was dubbed in post. It isn't really good enough to show - it was more a camera and lens test than anything. Playing along to one's own recording is a much better solution than my idea of trying to get musicians to play on camera to a metronome, for several takes. That would rob the music of life. So I've learned something important here!
  3. I've often thought about this, having been very much involved in creative pursuits all my life. And my mother was a successful painter and she often thought about it too (not successful commercially, but artistically - she won competitions and we all felt she had succeeded artistically, fwiw). I while back I came to the conclusion don't seek to be original (or as David puts it, different). Just do what you want to do - if you are in a position to - and even in a commercial environment you will have the opportunity for some personal input of course. If you are a sincere person who seeks truth in art (an interesting concept but it's a real thing, difficult to define), you will without fail - if you have talent - come up with something that has its own freshness and originality. But don't try to be different. Unless for the reasons stated above it is the best way to go. I could have written this better and more exactly expressed it but this will have to do.
  4. Should be reasonably straight forward I would think, to do several takes from different angles as you describe. The musicians might resist, but it would ideally be necessary to take along a metronome, with silent function and a bright light (if outdoors) that blinks for the beat, and they will have to follow the same tempo for each take. Then in post, a bit of adjustment should sync-up well enough the various shots with whatever audio take you go with for the final soundtrack. That could take a bit of work. I've haven't yet done it myself. It might help a lot if you can read music or have a musician with you when you edit it/do the soundtrack. Might save a lot of time. And take a lot of notes, on the shoot. Eg. "Take 4, approx. 20 secs, bars 16 to 23" or whatever info you need to make the job in post much smoother. Edit: for the benefit of those in America, I believe you call them "measures," not "bars" 🙂
  5. Great home movie of an important time in history. Thank you for showing it. Yes I agree, great scan and it shows off the quality of the cameras and lenses. Looks better than a lot of Super 8 I've seen. Your Dad was a good cameraman, as you say. Where did you get your film scanned?
  6. I was interested watching most of it. Nice light you chose to shoot in. Film seems to have a way of creating something slightly more artistic more intrinsically than digital. Digital seems to be often simply matter of fact, where as film adds an arty filter effect or something.To me, anyway. A friend at work asked me recently, "What is art?" Good question. Something that looks more cool than other stuff?
  7. That's true, Adam. Excellence is as rare as it ever was. In terms of popular music at least, the music was definitely better in the Beatles day than today. I think that's beyond dispute. Interesting to speculate on why that might be. Something to do with the general tone of society now. A lot of the films, let's take for example music videos, now have a continually dystopic theme to them. They tend not to vary from that. Sad, dejected faces. Hopelessness. A sense of energy and life is needed in art - not all the time, but most of the time. Creative works should be like a kind of food. Maybe in a way a kind of spiritual food. Are these works usable, valuable, in some sense? Do people derive something useful from them? Are their lives somehow enriched, even in a tiny way, by them?
  8. Looks great, Randy! I think film gives music videos a gritty, earthy, artistic edge. I expect that real film music videos will become more sought after by clients in coming years as the difference in quality/look is noticeable - even on youtube. It's just a great look. What's not to love about it?
  9. Thank you. A script I think I will write. Degrees of Geniality being the working title. Could even make it to the release. If someone can give me a good name of a UK director or producer I will approach them when I've completed the final draft.
  10. Great footage! Love it. Made me think that there's still a place left in filmmaking for helicopter shots, though much more expensive. Like the opening shot of We of the Never Never which I've always loved (combined with that soundtrack score) - a very fast shot that I don't think a drone could ever do. I've been aware of your work before Chris, through a friend of mine Mark Harwood. Beautiful colours around Alice Springs.
  11. The OP might like to learn about drones. Was talking to a pro video-maker yesterday and he does just about all his shooting with them. He showed me a film he made, and all the shots, interior or exterior, even with anything like an 'old-fashioned' dolly shot, was done with a camera on a tiny drone. He mentioned the Red cameras and described them as being too heavy. His video looked slick and professional but I found it uninteresting ... to me it looked, well, too slick and professional. I much prefer the wobbly dolly shots in the old black & white film camera images one sees in, for instance, Random Harvest (1942). Of course, to each his own.
  12. How about asking Les Bosher in South Wales? He might be able to help. http://www.lesbosher.co.uk/
  13. Thus, the large number of women in orchestras today (to take an example in the arts). They marry men who can support them. They wait until they find a good doctor, solicitor, mining engineer,or tenured academic to marry - someone who just doesn't play at all (may be talented and interested but hasn't got the time). And it works out well. For men who are creative it can be a bit more difficult, but with patience things can work out. Or is my thinking wrong on this? It's just I've noticed a thing or two, in the arts.
  14. "Faith, hope ... and a little bit of luck" - Alfred P. Doolittle, My Fair Lady Stay on course. Learn about that most amazing and sometimes difficult-to-find thing, faith. And above all be patient.
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