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Joshua Miner

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About Joshua Miner

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  • Occupation
    Cinematographer
  • Location
    Burlington, Vermont
  1. I've considered this, but after lots of research I determined that it's just too risky to load everything onto the OS drive. Between programs running that require sporadic read/writes and finicky OS behavior it's safer to use an external drive to offload data. That way you can duplicate it as needed and hand it off. I understand that if that's the only option it's better than nothing, just something to bear in mind. Looking back at my original post, we ended up aborting the shoot due to bad weather; half the cast couldn't make it to the location. On the plus side we did shoot a small unscripted project with the people we did have on-site. I was able to back up everything onto SSDs, but for future shoots I want to set up a good workstation to abide by best practices for DIT wrangling. I'll probably pick up ShotPut Pro; one of the books I recently read by Blain Brown had a section dedicated to on-site data management and that echoes much of what was said here.
  2. Thank you David and Adrian! I'll check in with the Rag Place, pick up a 6x6 frame and go from there.
  3. Hello folks, I watched a diffusion video from Aputure where they used some smaller diffusion frames, I think 48"x48", and various diffusion fabrics like muslin, magic cloth, and grid that were already in that size. I cannot for the life of me find 48"x48" fabrics aside from Voodoo Cloth from MSE and Magic Cloth from TRP - I'm wondering if they were custom made, though they had grommets and looked like larger-sized fabric pieces with a hem. To that end, what do you all recommend for diffusion in interior spaces? I'm fine with getting a 6'x6' or an 8'x8' frame for outdoor usage, I just wonder if there's a feasible, smaller form factor for interior lighting. I'm still learning much about lighting and grip and I'm grasping at straws on how to properly do it. Any help would be greatly appreciated!
  4. Hi folks, I'm still gearing up to shoot my pilot and want to poll the DITs about their laptop recommendations. I want to have a laptop on-site to offload media onto at least two backup SSDs. On-location grading and editing is a plus but not strictly necessary; my primary goal is simply to just offload clips from my media safely and securely. Are MacBook Pros still the recommended laptop, or are there equivalent Windows laptops available? I've read that Mac seems to have the best media backup programs like ShotPut. I may have access to student DITs, but I am not sure yet, so I'll likely be doing that myself since I have the most experience with digital film in my crew. Any guidance would be greatly appreciated!
  5. Hey folks, I've recently been asked to record a bunch of live music events in crowded nightclubs, and I'm trying to find a good way of nailing down a camera to prevent shaking from people dancing close to it. There are some heavy duty rail pipes on the ceiling, but I don't have access (or a portable ladder small enough) to get up there. I've tried doing a Google search but due to the terms I get a lot of unrelated things. Due to the venue I'm unable to corral the tripods away from patrons. Any guidance would be greatly appreciated!
  6. It was an awesome event, plenty of lighting and lots of haze. Made for some atmospheric shots and lots of depth. Next time around I need to use something a bit lighter because it was hard to balance my shoulder rig and get everything, so I may use something like a Crane or Beholder.
  7. I shot this last year for an event held by Dream City Dance at a venue called ArtsRiot in my city. I'm friends with several of the dancers and ended up going on to record several shows for one of the bands. I'm pretty pleased with how this turned out, condensed from roughly 5 hours of walking around during the event. This was shot on a BMPCC with the Metabones booster using a 35mm lens (with a 1/2 Black Pro Mist filter) and a shoulder rig, and graded in Resolve.
  8. I have this picture saved on my phone for quick reference! It's perfect. Many other charts only have whole and halves, while I use thirds to help with figuring out the exposure on my BMPCC with a speedbooster.
  9. I'm scouting my location on Thursday, so I should have more information on how I can set up my lights. One bit of complexity is that we're going to be shooting this during the day time and will be blocking out the windows. From what I've read I can set up light tents with some floppies and duvetyne, with the lights inside. One friend suggest 6mil black plastic sheeting, though I'm not sure how safe that would be with hot lights, while duvetyne is fire-retardant. For that, would I still punch in directly through the windows, or try to use a bounce setup? Intuition says just to punch directly in with a fresnel (with maybe some light diffusion) or if there's room, bounce with an open face. I'll likely have curtains drawn, so I may not truly get the shafts of light I want, but maybe something cool will come of it regardless. I'm keeping the HMI lights in mind as an option since I can rent them, and I'll know more once I scout the location. I can also look into the status of their 240v lines, though I am wary of it because the location is pretty old and the wiring may be dodgy. Definitely worth a shot, though! I appreciate all the responses I've gotten so far, it's making more sense to me now. For ambient fill, would I use practicals and then use my tungsten lights through diffusion (and maybe a dimmer) to match the practical bulb color temp?
  10. I love the recommendations here! Guy made a great argument for using fresnels instead of PAR lights. I'll have to check the location to see what kind of outlets and circuits they have (I just recently secured the location and will be scouting it next week with my gaffer), though I'd love to use higher-power HMis if possible. I did some test shots in my kitchen using a 60w 2200k incandescent bulb and my 650 fresnel just to get a feel for what lighting I had on hand. I had set the white balance to 2800k for both shots, and my cat was kind enough to model for me. One shot has a 1/2 CTB gel over the fresnel, the other is without. ISO 200 at T2.8 on my Ursa Mini 4k. No atmosphere since my cheap fogger is on the fritz. No grade aside from a Captain Hook LUT in resolve. And without the gel:
  11. Excellent, thank you so much! This makes it so much clearer, and easier to set up than I had thought. I'll look into renting some Jokers; I saw them used on a set a few years ago and loved how compact they were. A quick glance indicates that they're not too expensive to rent, so that should work perfectly.
  12. Hi Adrian, Thank you for the recommendations - I fully agree with you. Tungsten in this case would just not be feasible once gels come into play. (To clarify, you mean putting CTO on the tungsten, or CTB? Either way there is a dramatic loss in light output. As a follow-up question, if I want to use practicals to get a warmer interior light (say for a desk light or hallway lamps with incandescent bulbs), would I color balance the camera for ~3200k? I was thinking that way, I get a warmer interior light and if I use a 1/4 or 1/2 CTB on a tungsten light I'd get a grey/blue light from it (if I went the tungsten route, which seems like a fool's errand at this point). However, the Joker 800 may just be the best way to go and then cut the light as needed instead of trying to squeeze as much as possible out of a tungsten. The local rental house does have Jokers, so I think that may be an option after all and doable on existing power.
  13. Hey folks, I'm shooting an urban fantasy series pilot this November and am seeking guidance on creating a specific look. We're shooting inside a manor or mansion (location pending) for a lengthy interior night scene. I'd like to create a stylized moonlight look by having light spill in from the windows to create shafts of light, while the rest of the room remains dark and low-key. I understand that I'll need a hazer to create the atmosphere for the shafts to appear, but I'm trying to figure out a good lighting setup for it. I have some restrictions in that I can only run on house power, perhaps one Honda 2000W generator, and my ability to get larger lights is limited by budget. I currently have two 1k redheads and access to a few 1k fresnels, though I'm looking at picking up a Aputure 300d as a close 2k equivalent. I will likely not have access to HMI lights. In this case, are fresnels the de-facto way to go for creating this kind of light? I'll be running some tests this week with my current gear, but I'd like to get other opinions to see if I'm going in the right direction. I've attached a picture of approximately what I'm looking for. Any guidance would be greatly appreciated!
  14. Hi Justin, It depends on the camera, though I believe that still holds true for Canon DSLRs. It's not necessarily 'easier' to fix, but there will be less overall noise if you have to darken the exposure in post. However, if you absolutely overexpose the shot then nothing you do can fix it - all the information that is overexposed is lost (at least in this specific case with this specific setup). When I have some time tomorrow I'll play around with my T5 and do some exposure tests using normal room lighting. One essential tool I would suggest is a light meter - I wish I had one when I first started making movies and videos, and it's worth the investment to accurately gauge how to set the camera for proper exposure. I'd recommend this: set up some stationary thing like I mentioned above with flat lighting (as David suggests) and take an image or short clip at every ISO setting but leaving everything else the same (so shoot at t4 or whatever and 1/50 shutter but increment from ISO 100-6400) and look at it in post to see how ISO affects the image quality. Now, ideally, you'd shoot at the lowest ISO, but that's not always possible (given lighting constraints or otherwise) so for your first projects and experiments don't get hung up too much on the ISO - work on your framing and practice the fundamentals of getting light on the subject. It's okay to mess up, it's part of the learning process, and thankfully digital is cheap so you can afford to experiment as much as you like.
  15. Hi Justin, I have the same camera and Rokinon lens - based on the video you posted, you don't have enough light to make for a good image. The low ISO on the camera will mean that the image from the sensor is cleaner than a higher one (mileage may vary), but in post you're raising the exposure levels, which will also raise any existing noise in the image. With that Rokinon lens the 'sweet spot' is t4/t5.6 where you get a nice clear image. When you have the lens opened up to t1.5 it is less sharp and has some odd colors on the edges. Unfortunately you will need to add more light to compensate for that. You can light with cheap hardware store lights - and it'd be a fun challenge, but it is challenge to get the right lighting. If you're on a super tight budget, try some of those el-cheapo-deluxe 500 watt work lights for $35 or so. They're big and ugly, but cheap and put out a lot of light. You can try shooting at ISO 800 or 1600 with the lens set at t4. As others have posted above, try lighting some object, like a toy model or a bookshelf. That way you can be behind the camera and see how it will approximately look and make adjustments from there. The Canon T5 is a decent starter camera (and I absolutely love the Rokinon 35mm, it's my workhorse), so you just have to keep experimenting and plugging away.
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