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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. It's a combo of the angles you chose for those location photos and what the outside light is doing in them. Keep in mind that when you pointed at the kitchen, it's front lit because of the floor to ceiling window in the living room. So you will want to close those blinds in the living room when you're pointing in the direction of the kitchen to avoid the window light front lighting and washing out the kitchen when you shoot from that angle. Same thing when you point to the living room. The kitchen window isn't frontal, but the overall bounce from it is. And it's quite a lot of fill. So be prepared to knock that down with commando or big 4x4's. The reference image that you love is mostly side lit without much fill at all. That's the key. You're playing with contrast ratios here. In your case, because of the white walls. Much if it may involve using commando cloth or duvatine to make those walls and the ceiling black (when it's not in frame)
  2. Funny, I once had an angry director literally rip the headphones out of my ears. He was a douche. Pissed off everyone on the crew. I was the only person who was totally chill around him which I think annoyed him even more. Mostly because I was always listening to music.
  3. I usually make a playlist of music that inspires me and brings out the "tone" of the film. This way I can listen to that while I shoot and I'm not distracted by writing or acting that may be disappointing. The music will keep me on track and make sure I don't compromise my work just because other areas of the production may be lacking.
  4. Just caught this last night. Beautifully shot by Jose Alcaine.
  5. Just caught this over the weekend. Shot by Dick Pope. Highly recommend.
  6. Exactly. So try to imagine with the amount of content currently being produced, if everyone was shooting on film how that would impact the environment. Every show and every movie for every platform burning through miles of stock only to be transferred directly to digital and go through the same post process as if it was shot on digital. It would be horrific. Again, it's the medium's green factor. Not an Ewaste issue. Apples to Apples using the same camera on the same show. After 12 episodes three film cameras will generate a ton of more waste than three digital ones. C'mon. I totally agree though that digital cameras should be much more modular and upgradeable so that they aren't churned through and replaced so quickly. That would be ideal.
  7. That argument which everyone tries to use doesn't hold up when you're talking about a single use event such as renting a camera for a production. Pick up a digital camera or a film camera, what is going to be more wasteful for that one production? Pretty simple. Not talking about the endless disposable consumer cameras both film and digital produced over the years. Planned obsolescence is a separate issue and a huge problem across many industries that's much too broad to unpack here.
  8. Dreaming of shooting film is all fine. But shooting it isn't very green. Lots of wasted materials, chemicals, etc. Best to shoot on Digital since IPCC reports lately say our near future is looking more and more like this:
  9. If you're getting consistent work without owning gear, then why bother? It's a huge liability that depreciates instantly. It can also sometimes work against you if production decides to haggle with you over the price. They're not doing that now and everything is going well, so why change that? It's hard to bargain with a rental house because there's a "fair market value" rate industry wide that is accepted for each camera package. In my experience that rate minimum goes out the window fast when it's your own gear. People expect you to give it away for next to nothing.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
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