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Steven Buckwalter

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About Steven Buckwalter

  • Birthday 12/29/1976

Profile Information

  • Occupation
    Cinematographer
  • Location
    New York
  • My Gear
    Random stuff.
  • Specialties
    Narrative, period, beautiful, passionate, colorful, artful, thoughtful.

Contact Methods

  • Website URL
    https://makefilms.cc/about/steve-buckwalter/

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  1. Starting Day 20 of 29 of a period feature, shooting “summer” in winter of course.
  2. I'll fly to Vegas and shoot it for you, sounds like fun! 🙂 But I'm a little confused by your post, are you testing your Moviecam for your short? Or are you testing it by shooting your short? But if you're looking to connect with other locals, Instagram isn't a bad place to start. Just start searching for Las Vegas DP or cinematographer and you'll start seeing interesting work I'm sure. Funny enough I'm really bad at keeping up IG, but I'm going to be making it a priority this year. Really I am!
  3. David Mullen answered this when someone asked about the LLD filter, basically it filters out some of the blue light that Robert is talking about. I used it successfully last year and can confirm that using Davinci's White Balance tool worked fine for me, although some colorists still insist on using the color wheels for some reason.
  4. I did some of my first work in the early 2000s with an ancient Arri 2c that had a viewfinder that didn't swivel, and the ground glass was held in by bars, so it looked like you were just operating through a jail cell. I'm not really sure how I got anything usable out of it, but I feel like it all held up pretty well the last time I looked at it. But I'm definitely thrilled to have a modern digital viewfinder to work with.
  5. Use a calculator and a tape measure. Those formulas are a ratio, where 1 is the vertical height, so if you're trying to find the exact crop for 2.39, measure the width of your panel and divide it by 2.39. For example, and I'm going to do this in metric to make the math easier, even though everyone measures their panels in inches. If your panel is 10cm wide, then the vertical height of the image should be 10/2.39=4.2cm. Divide that in two again to give you the size of the bars at the top and bottom of your screen, so each bar should be 4.2/2=2.1cm. Measure in that distance from the top and bottom and make that your tape line. Alternate way is to use a framing chart. Print out a framing chart that shows your desired frame line, then set and frame the camera to match that, and just align the tape on the monitor to the lines on camera. If you're having trouble finding a chart, you can use Arri's frame line tool, https://www.arri.com/en/learn-help/learn-help-camera-system/tools/frame-line-lens-illumination-tool. It's specifically built for Arri cameras, but you should be able to find a camera combination that would match most cameras in terms of resolution.
  6. I made the mistake last year of thinking that I could make it through a test using an older BL3, not realizing that the viewfinder would be so unusable. But it still astonishes me that so many older movies look amazing and sharp when you consider how awful the viewfinders were in their cameras.
  7. I've done a fair bit of macro work on tabletop, and it's very difficult to be smooth even on a dana dolly, so I can't imagine it being better on a doorway dolly, but you may find differently. What's worked best for me is dana dolly with a few extra shot bags on the dolly just to give it more momentum and help to smooth the starts and stops.
  8. This is not meant to be a digital vs. film post, I like both and they each have their place. I'm working on a feature, and in pulling a bunch of imagery as references for what I'm aiming for, and after diving through older threads on this website, I came across "Jennifer's Body", and particularly this frame. I love how it shows warmth, while her skin doesn't look orange, indeed there is a whole range of colors in her skin, from reds to pinks to oranges and even a little blue it seems. Earlier this year I did a side by side test between 5219 and the Alexa, and saw immediately how Kodak was able to really build skin tones into the chemistry of the film. Faces and arms and any exposed skin just seemed to pop with a wider range of color compared the the Alexa. I'd love to know if Mr. Mullen feels like he can get these kinds of skin tones working digitally now, or if he was shooting Jennifer's Body on digital, would he light it differently? More than that, I'd love to know if this frame was the result of a serendipitous combination of artificial back light and natural cool ambient? Or was he filling with a cooler light here? Or how much of it has to do with Amanda Seyfried's natural complexion or great makeup work? I always want to get better at my craft, and I'd love any input on how different people really focus on getting beautiful skin tones like these. Thanks in advance for any responses.
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