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Michael LaVoie

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Michael LaVoie last won the day on November 11 2018

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About Michael LaVoie

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    Cinematographer
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    New York

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  1. His line had no columns for weekly or daily and no demarcation for shoot / prep/ etc. So it may have been all in and included prep. Most of the other crew in the budget had prep/shoot/ columns and weekly rates.
  2. As an additional example, I got to take a look at a pitch pack done for an 18 million dollar international thriller where a quite well known german DP was budgeted at 150,000 euro for an 8 week shoot. Which comes out to about $20k a week. Similar to the other quote. This was back in 2015 or so. I should add, that he was listed as "operating himself". So I don't know if that also affects the rate deal. The movie hasn't been made so who knows if someone looked at the budget and freaked out about the crew and cast rates. But that's what was penciled in. The director, also quite well known was offered 3.5% of the budget as the overall rate.
  3. I had an agent quote me $20k a week for a top ASC DP. He's someone who works a ton though and is always busy. That was a while ago. Probably makes even more now.
  4. Weinstein used to buy up lots of indies at Sundance whether he liked them or not. He bought films that he didn't even want just so they didn't compete with titles he wanted to push. This is also done by studios and sometimes networks. They'll bury I.P. they don't think is strong enough, tests well enough or is just not timed properly for release. All so it doesn't compete with this or that title that is favored to do very well. So, with this kind of studio / network business model of buy and bury, it's extremely high risk to make a million dollar bet on any indie drama when you don't know for certain that it will even be distributed. I can't cry a river for either of those two DP's as they both already have very strong credits in the industry and can shoot anything. Soderbergh shoots all his indies himself with an Iphone. Give me a break.
  5. There was an online netflix style source for BTS and commentary stuff. It was called wearecolony.com Part of the whole archergray thing. The purpose was to provide you with all the extras you get from the hardmedia blurays and dvd's that you're no longer buying cause you watch everything online. Of course it didn't make it and was recently bought. I think Fandor.com or mubi.com should try out something like that. Seems like a very niche thing. Most people have zero time to watch anything longform unless they're binging a show and there are far too many shows to get through. Nevermind going back and rewatching with a commentary.
  6. If you're shooting on a soundstage or the film is animated, boards can be a brilliant starting point. You can conceive of the images you want and plan accordingly. An example would be The Matrix which used concept art in the boards and the final film is very close. If however, you're an ultra low budget shoot and you have no ability to build or change anything in your real locations, then you are better off visiting locations ahead of time and doing a board with an actual camera and then laying out those frames in advance so you know what to get when you back for real. It's kind of a camera / blocking rehearsal done well in advance of the shoot with standins and this can save a ton of time later on cause you can pick and choose your angles and know what will work.
  7. I had a similar situation shooting a Barnes & Noble for a marketing video during store hours. It was the giant one near Union Square. The big problem of course, was not being able to turn off their house lights which were a rainbow of mismatched sources and colors. It was horrific on skin tones. But being open for the public, they had to remain on. I had plenty of 4x4 floppies. At least 4 but to be honest, I wanted even more. Don't underestimate how awful the interior lighting may be and have enough grip gear to keep it off your "on camera" subjects.
  8. Another tip. In Premiere Pro, and most NLE's there's a slider for whites that will let you increase them without affecting much of the rest of the picture. Assuming your subject isn't dressed head to toe in white. Best to avoid white and black clothing if possible. This slider tool can be useful if the white background isn't totally even or if lighting it at 100IRE starts to flare the image. Using hardmattes on your mattebox can help you protect the lens as well.
  9. Short films don't make money. Everyone knows this. So if you spent $100k on a 10 minute film you'd want to keep that to yourself as you'd seem like some trustfund one percenter who can blow 6 figures on a hobby project. Many people would potentially find that offputting. You mentioned reputation building in your post and that's a factor. Impressions matter. This is true with your crew listing as well. If you did everything yourself, then use pseudonyms and at least put in those key positions and don't take IMDB credit on everything. I would not suggest making up a 100 person crew cause again, that looks ridiculous. A short film is a calling card and so in many ways, you want to give an impression that's true to who you are and how you want to work going forward. Are you a writer? Then make up a pseudonym for the director name. Are you going to try to be a producer? etc. Only take IMDB credit for the position you eventually want others to pay you to do. In other words, having 12 vanity projects on IMDB where you did absolutely everything and it's clear that they're all your personal projects looks worse than having only 2 that clearly show someone else paid you to be on their set. Which is ultimately what most professionals want. You want to seem qualified and capable enough for a producer who doesn't know you to feel confident hiring you.
  10. I find that if I use my light meter and cross check results against a rec709 waveform and stay within that IRE scale while shooting LOG or RAW there's plenty of room to manipulate the image later because I've already restricted the exposure range. You can shoot tests with greyscale charts next to faces and see how the camera handles different skin tones under different light. Meter those 18% grey charts, spot meter the faces and cross check that with the camera's waveform or the NLE's waveform to determine a guide for yourself. You could probably do the same test with an HDR workflow and get familiar with those readings as well.
  11. The WGA / ATA mess surrounding packaging fees is a huge turning point. This has nothing to do with technology and I don't mean to hijack the thread but AJ touched on it briefly above with WDMV. Many in film behind the scenes are unaware of the development process and how it's been tightly controlled by a cartel of sorts among the talent agencies who have been in bed with all the major studios networks and platforms for decades. Cutting all kinds of deals with them packaging shows and films in exchange for keeping costs down for the very clients they are supposed to represent. It affects everyone from writers to showrunners and producers. Many distributors now won't look at any pitches or packages that don't come from the top 5. You often can't get meetings at HBO or Netflix without someone from the top 5 in your corner. Unless you're a name or known person in the business. We think of "gatekeepers" as development execs but it would seem it's really the agencies who are creating the biggest barrier by keeping producers from being able to reach talent and walling off networks and studios from anyone trying to break in and create something without an agency getting the lions share of the profits. This kind of systemic corruption has poisoned the industry for a while. It's only recently become more widely known because of the WGA standing up publicly against it. Where it's going, who knows but hopefully we'll see a system that is more equitable and fair to the actual creators. Platforms and network earnings have gone through the roof while writer salaries have gone down. Doesn't make any sense why this should be taking place other than pure greed.
  12. "Anti-drug" shows tend to be either cautionary tales of self destruction like Requiem for a Dream which visually beat you over the head with a hammer in their presentation of the horror of addiction. Or a ridiculous satire like Rules of Attraction that becomes an exercise in patience as you laugh uncomfortably waiting for every character to fail. Euphoria has a distinct approach to it's characters, themes, giving them lengthy cold opens of backstory for context. Even if the episode isn't really about them. Though the central character Rue narrates it, her neutral, nonjudgemental tone is neither for or against the characters behavior. As a viewer, you can easily empathize with the lot of them because the look of the show is intoxicating and draws you in to their world completely. So for that reason, I think it's worth a mention.
  13. Anyone else watching this show? Great eye candy...
  14. That article hits the nail when it talks about the whole anti-trust monopoly aspect. Movie studios cannot own the theater chains. It's a horrifying dynamic for that to happen and in the U.S. we learned it early on and passed laws preventing it. Studios owning platforms means less money for producers, less bargaining power, less artistic control and fewer distributions options. Filmmakers can roll with that or rail against it. It will take legislation for the latter. We just did it with music in the music modernization act. This kind of thing is desperately needed for filmmakers to protect them and provide transparency. Producers need to know how many people are watching their films and how that translates into revenue for the platform. How this is "proprietary" knowledge that the platform can legally withhold is beyond me.
  15. Totally agree. When you combine a unique filmmakers perspective with the marketable elements of the industry, you end up with commercially successful "arthouse" film. Paterson is painfully slow but by the end you walk away with a sense of what Jon describes.
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