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Benjamin Guerrero

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About Benjamin Guerrero

  • Birthday December 23

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  • Occupation
    Cinematographer
  • Location
    Santo Domingo

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  1. My copy of Cinematography: Third Edition just arrived! Also brought a bunch of other cinematography and filmmaking books from the recomended list. Thanks to Mr. Mullen and every person who decides to share their knowledge, either in a book or on the internet or wherever. God knows I've always been gladly helped by the members of this community. My only hope is to learn and keep learning, as a perpetual student of this craft. Cheers!
  2. It seems so obvious now, but now that i think about it I never did that. Everything is so rushed in low-budget-one-man-band productions that something as basic as resting to conserve energy gets lost in the moment. I will keep it in mind going forward. I knew this was coming hahahah, of course. Before quarantine I kept myself relatively fit by jumping from production to production, but since the pandemic hit, projects have been way more spaced out and for less shooting days, so my body fell out of the flow. Never been much of a gym geek myself, but I guess I have to be one for the sake of my job. My country is still under curfew regulations, and now with the holidays coming up its expected another infection cases spike. For the mean time, I will take your suggestion to heart and exercise from home. Thanks for both of these suggestions. If anyone has any more tips on keeping focus under stress, it's absolutely welcome too!
  3. I loved that episode! Watched it waay back when it came out. I took notes on it since it was soo good. Here they are, hope its not completely intelligible: Composition is not only where you place things in a frame; it deals with value (Lights, darks and in betweens), balance, texture, contrast, jerarquies of importance (Por eso es que es tan bueno analizar cosas en blanco y negro)*Trad:That's why its so good to analize things in black and white* You gotta arrange contrast not just in value but in shape, texture, color, detail, complexity, etc Youre composing with space, lens choice, camera position, dynamics, directional movements Contrast and balance is the use of opposites: the familiar vs strange, the organic vs the industrial, contrast of ideas, etc The choice of subject generates emotional response (Construction of a character) "Picture this. How pictures work." (Libro)*Trad: book* Artists mentioned for practicing Compositions: Francisco Goya John Singer Sargent Winslow Homer Käthe Kollwitz Frank Brangwyn Dean Cornwell Harvey Dunn Gustave Doré Rembrandt Suggested but harder to learn from: Edgar Degas
  4. Hello! I have been wondering if any of you have some tips on camera operating in uncomfortable postures/positions, climate, etc. In my short years of operating my camera in low budget productions (it was an entry level DSLR, but yesterday had a shoot with my new BMPCC4k), I noticed that when I feel physically uncomfortable, be it by the heat of the tropic, running and gunning the camera for extended periods without aid, one man banding the camera department due to budget restrictions, handheld shots that require an uncomfortable pose for me to execute, etc etc, I usually I focus way more on that instead of building and composing the shot. I always power through but I wish I could focus more on actually DP'ing the shots with a clear head. Just from yesterday's shoot I am so physically tired. I guess its the side effects of not being active as much during this quarantine, but still, this was a problem before. Any recomendations? Probably hitting the gym will be No. 1 hahahah, but if there's any more practical advice, its welcome. Thanks!
  5. Hello everyone! Sorry I took so long to respond, was doing the required internship in my uni program and it took a lot of my time. To my great surprise, it was a very very rare oportunity to "work" filming the Behind The Scenes of an important local movie and I'm over the moon. Learned so so so much by watching the camera team in action, from the focus puller, the clapperloader, the grips and gaffers, and obviously the DP. Such an amazing experience. Certainly my anxiety has waned a bit, but something I realized was how limited has been the capabilities of applying all the knowledge I have gathered either from film school or on my own. Not to ditch my alma mater, but a film school without cameras/equippment?? The studies and the people I've met have been really really amazing, but what's the point if you can't apply anything outside the shoestring budget of an in-debt student who only has a DSLR and a flimsy tripod, figuratively and literally. Doesn't that beat the purpose of a film school (and a fairly costly one)?. Maybe its just a consequence of the country I live in, but the resources have been very limited. Maybe that's the reason I want to go abroad to get an MFA so badly. And I get that limited resources help you be more resourceful, but we all hope to join the big leagues and not screw up big time, right? Filmmaking is an art that largely depends on money, sadly. Getting the job in this field depends on your ability to get the shot and let people know your ability to get said shot. I fear the day I have some kind of budget in my hands and know there's probably a better resource out there to capture the image closer to the way I intend, and can't use it just because I don't know or can't remember due to the lack of application of said resource. Until then, I'm trying to define my style and refine my taste, by literally writing it all down, in the hopes I don't forget. Thanks everyone for your kind words. Phil, your words have really really touched me, I really mean it. I hope they can help everyone who feels the same struggle. Tyler, you also have given solid advice. I have been working as a freelancer and have amassed modest savings. Lack of a decent camera is an obstacle I'm facing, since there's a kind of discrepancy between the "reputation" I have, and the images I'm able to get due to the limitations of my equipment. Also renting isn't so much an option, since there's really not that much affordable rental houses for small productions. I will try my best to get a scholarship, but if not, maybe I'll try some good courses or an intensive program so I can polish my craft and fill some knowledge gaps before diving in fully in the industry. If anyone has any recomendations on good courses/intensives, it would be greatly appreciated! Personally, have been checking the Arri Academy course with Mo Flam, but I dont think I can attend to this year's one.
  6. It's kind of a personal post, so I'm sorry if this is not the place where it belongs. Anyhow, after almost 4 years in "film school" , graduation is nearing very quickly. A lot of my classmates and very close friends/collaborators have been talking about getting a MFA degree in foreign countries. Thing is, it's very probable I can't afford it, since it's already a miracle in and of itself that I was able to enroll in the Cinematographical Arts program in an important Uni in my country. Maybe some of you have had the same experience. How do you deal/have dealt with the fear of missing out in this situation, seeing the people you have been working with for so long and know are so talented, being able to develop their craft academically further than your current finantial capabilities allow. Plus, while the film program in my uni is not bad, it's very very general and I want to specialize in Cinematography, so I have some quite large learning gaps in that area that I wish I could fix and been already trying to fix on my own. TL;DR: Friends are going for the MFA, and I can't. FOMO about that. PS, I know the battle for me is not yet lost, maybe I can get a scholarship since my grades have been good/have some valuable local projects in my reel, but I still want to post this in case someone else in the future falls in the same mental rut.
  7. Thanks everyone! I already brought the Sigma Art 18-35mm f/1.8 for its sharpness and versatility. A fairly decent buy for the moment and already have taken it on a couple of shoots successfully, but seeing David Mullen's pictures made me rethink my decision. They're both really good and unique looking. The Helios brand is one I have wanted to check out for some time. Great texture. Words to live by. Hard to remember sometimes when corporate and commercial work surrounds you, but so right. I have to keep on check my art ethic. Thanks for the suggestion! Will check it out for future investments.
  8. Thanks for taking the time to comment! You have given me some interesting insights and definetely agree with you in that it is not interchangeable. I was coming more from the flexibility angle, if that makes sense. The thing is I have been saving some money to buy gear and been back and forth between the two options for a long time. I really love the look of vintage lenses, but I understand not every job needs the characteristics of said lenses, as some will require a more "clean" image (say corporate/commercial spot productions). I think I will end up going with the modern lenses and buy some filters. I realized that at the end it comes down to if I value the flexibility or a particular aesthetic look, and I think its more wise for me right now to go with flexibility, at least where I am at the moment. Still, a part of me wishes to own a vintage kit for personal passion projects. On another note, I like a lot the look of von Trier's films, so at least that's a little nudge to where I should go for now. Also, had the oportunity to experiment with front nets on a shoot I did a while ago, and both me and the director were very satisfied with the results. Maybe I'll use them as difussion more frequently.
  9. Recently been seeing a lot of videos promoting vintage lenses to take off the edge of digital sensor's sharpness, but after giving it some thought inside my mind I personally believe it provides more flexibility to have a modern lens and attach a diffusion filter in front, so you can have both the sharpness of the lens when you need it, and the diffusion filter to use stylistically to your taste. I mean, vintage lenses have a permanent/fixed pleasing look but can't give the modern lens' qualities when you need them, but modern lenses provides a very sharp image right from the start, kind of like a baseline so you can work over it and shape it however you need it. What are your thoughts?
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