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Michael LaVoie

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About Michael LaVoie

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  • Occupation
    Cinematographer
  • Location
    New York

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  1. I remember that issue of American Cinematographer. Lynch and Deming discussed that scene a lot and it was super important to them how dark it was. Unfortunately when that scene occurred there was also a reel change. I remember cause I was a projectionist back then. Funny to hear how all that careful deliberation was literally chopped out of the film because of the accident that the scene occurred during a reel change and most of us didn't know why there was so much black leader in the head of the reel. We literally chopped it all out. Well, most of us. I knew better. Cause I was read
  2. Another trick I used was when I've need crew on smaller corporate or documentary gigs where I need an ultra quiet set. I've hired sound recordists and explained prior to arrival on set that I actually want them to work as grips or as an A.C. This was primarily because the job was too small to bother working with career A.C.'s or grips who in many cases, would not be a good fit in a corporate office environment. I needed people that would work and remain quiet most of the time. A sound recordist working as an A.C. is also not interested in taking your job and handing out their own DP busine
  3. I stopped hiring gaffers a while back because I was doing smaller shorts and features where there was mostly house power and no need for electrical distribution. I was asking production to only hire "Swing" as our G&E crew. There were no gaffers, grips, no electrics. No best. Nada. Just swing. This meant no hierarchy on set. Zero middle management, zero discussion. Just hands. Which is exactly what I wanted. Just hands moving units where I wanted and needed them. Obviously this would never fly on an IATSE shoot but for non-union simple 1 ton jobs, it was a real breeze.
  4. Everything Aapo and others mentioned about experienced producers, presales and distribution advances is 100% spot on. If you really want to learn filmmaking. Read The Biz It is a business first. Plan for a profit and you will likely ensure that people see your film. What's out of your control is when someone like Weinstein buys your film and buries it on purpose so that it doesn't compete with other films they are releasing at the same time. Those are business tactics that do happen as are theater chains closing, studios shelving etc. But, honestly, those are good problems to have. Y
  5. Name an industry where it isn't all about "who you know".
  6. If you're an outsider, the entertainment business is designed to make you quit. That applies to everyone. Also, keep in mind that Hollywood isn't greenlighting anything financially risky. But they acquire and distribute risky films all the time. The Oscars, Sundance, etc. These are actually reasons for studios to buy certain independent films where there is more diversity in front of and behind the camera. Moonlight, an Oscar winner of 2017 only pulled in 22million domestically on a 2M budget. Which for an indie is great. but for a best picture Oscar winner is pretty low by comp
  7. Most movies are co-financed and produced by various companies. This is for a number of reasons. Actors may own a production company and prefer a share of the profits over a salary, etc. So they join as a producing entity. But typically within this consortium there's one central developing company or production company that is the real reason the movie is being made. It's their film and they may choose to make that apparent in the credits. This is why there's a slideshow of logos in front of every movie. Nobody goes all in on financing their movie cause 99% of them lose money. It's not
  8. I will consider Kinefinity a viable brand when AbelCine takes on their product line for sale or rent.
  9. Same. Way back in the day I'd actually color correct for a Rec709 consumer box TV set with factory settings and always had better results from that than any flat screen or computer monitor. Now I have an HP Dreamcolor Display calibrated with an X-rite puck and although it usually performs, there are always issues with getting true black. I use a waveform but it's those highlights and shadows where you want to know how dark is too dark. A war of attrition given how little people seem to care about true black at all these days. When calibrating or when finishing a grade I would often p
  10. I hope that after they filmed that shot of a single woman waist up, they also filmed a dance number with multiple subjects on frame together side by side head to toe. Otherwise that entire effort was killing a fly with a bazooka. You could do that shot with one crew member on a stage a quarter that size. Not sure anyone is safe in that pic anyway in spite of the PPE. Given the recent experiment we saw in Japan...
  11. This company builds systems that would definitely run unreal 5 with no trouble. https://www.pugetsystems.com/ I may talk to those guys end of summer to see about getting something custom built. Gotta save up.
  12. Yeah but the money for a topshelf graphics card or entire mocap system is nothing compared to what it would cost to shoot it live. I took a look at a complete package from Iclone and it was under $30k. Not too bad. Matt Workman took an interesting approach to capture and is using an HTC Vive. Which is cool cause at least you can play games on it. I haven't upgraded my post system in about 10 years so I'm probably gonna go all in on something that can do this. The time to learn it well enough to work proficiently is probably 3 years at a minimum. By then the processing power and
  13. Funny, I've been thinking the exact same thing. Blender or Unreal, Faceware tech, Rokoku suits and using lyrebird A.I. to change voices in post. Never seen this done on a small scale character driven indie film. That might be interesting. I'm starting with a small webseries in Blender. Finishing up the scripts now and learning the software. A feature film in Unreal or Blender might be tough for one person to manage. Have you asked anyone about the timeline of creating and rendering photorealistic characters and worlds for narrative production? I'm very curious about how long that
  14. The new Sony XPeria 1 ii Pro actually has an HDMI in to use the phone as a monitor. Though it would big as an EVF. It also supports live broadcasting through 5G. Sadly, this is not available in the US at the moment. Hopefully soon. It may turn out to be a Japan only product.
  15. Non-luck related career advancement is impossible. Someone somewhere is greenlighting you as the film or TV shows cinematographer and they have to say yes. Luck is just another word for timing. So you have to meet that individual, first, then they have to like you and or your work. Both out of your hands in most cases. Even if you go the producing route and literally create your own opportunity. You still have to pitch investors. Sit down with bankers and convince them of your vision and ability to make it happen. So even in that case they have to say yes. The only way out of
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