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Michael LaVoie

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  • Occupation
    Cinematographer
  • Location
    New York

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  1. No difference. The worst is when they're looking for a "lighting designer". Because the DP they hired knows nothing about lighting. Which essentially makes them more of a camera operator. Not a DP.
  2. Chris Voss' book Never Split the Difference is pretty effective. It explains the psychology of negotiation. Knowing the type of person you're speaking with. Their personality will fall into one of three basic types and you'll have an easier time talking to them if you can pinpoint what they are. For tricks and tips I was on a set where everyone was called Uncle or Aunt (Their name). Sounds silly but it did relax the vibe. I wouldn't recommend that today though due to the sensitivity surrounding pronouns and gender.
  3. Hang in there. The advice on sleep is so true. Getting good sleep during shoots is tough but essential. It helps your mood, your energy throughout the day. Alcohol and sugar before bed ruins this. This Ted Talk has a pretty good solution. Worked for me.
  4. When it works. It works really well. I just saw C'mon C'mon at Nitehawk Prospect Park Brooklyn. The sound and picture were beautiful. The audience was packed but very quiet and respectful. It was, all in all, a great experience. Movie was fantastic too. I love that this theater has 2 Black and white movies playing. This and The French Dispatch.
  5. I remember being a projectionist back in the 90's and the trailers were always overmodulated and hysterically loud. We'd have to lower the overall volume and then bring it back up for the actual movie. Struggling theaters were always dealing with really shitty sound systems. Speakers were everywhere in sight but most were always off. With the only sound coming from the screen. Rarely did surround sound work at all. Funny how it works too well now. Gone are the days of waiting in the dark patiently. Now you're forced to listen to endless commercials before the trailers. So that audio is also usually way off in volume, all over the place. Super annoying. Then of course there's the most annoying noise, the people next to you.
  6. Tough call for web based new media. Moreso cause you're brand new to the job so you'd have a hard time commanding market rate. Typically A 1st A.D. has worked as a 2nd 2nd and then a 2nd A.D. many times on many sets big and small before they ever took on a 1st A.D. job. Ideally they were trained under a DGA 1st A.D. and know what the job is inside and out before taking it on. Maybe none of this applies in your case but that would also mean the rate would be probably way lower than what you'll find online cause it's apples and oranges if the experience level doesn't factor in.
  7. There's no way you're going to hook up with an amazing director as an unknown DP. Once a director has already proved themselves, that ship has sailed. You will not be able to work with them cause they can pretty much get anyone they want. You can try to hit up schools or screenwriting groups. Convince a writer that you can shoot one of their short films and take it from there.
  8. That's exactly my point. The youngest IATSE members don't have families to go home to and they love hitting golden hour. What I'm saying is, if you eliminate the incentive to stay, you'll have more consensus within IATSE ranks that the long hours just aren't worth it. There's a generational divide in the ranks that makes this a difficult problem to solve cause some members don't want 12 on 12 off. They earn way to much in overtime to give it up. Reform is very difficult if members don't want it.
  9. This problem would be much more easily solved if you wipe out monetary incentives for overtime. No overtime, nobody will stay. Then it's really a non-issue.
  10. One of the many odd counter productive practices of the business is appearing unreachable and above "for hire" contact. The most often used tactic is to only include an agency's company contact email on your website or sm. This leaves anyone wanting to reach out to you no choice but to follow up with your agency. Not even the agent necessarily, just the agency. If you're worthy, you'll get the actual agent's contact info. It's a filter to keep away crazy people and "dreamers". But unfortunately, it also keeps away realistic collaborators with funded projects. Because even with a very legit casting director and a 2M budget, getting agents to forward your script is difficult.
  11. If I were you, I'd ask the key P.A. on the shoot. Or the 1st A.D. how they are filling in their time sheets or invoices. So yours looks like everyone else's and you're asking for the same penalties and breaks that everyone else got. Using the same, template, form and language as people who are indispensable on the film is a great place to start.
  12. Michael LaVoie

    Airpeak S1

    Finally now you can get a drone that has actual tech support in the U.S. This looks so sweet. A real controller. Non appbased. If something goes wrong call any number of Sony support services in the U.S. This has been long overdue.
  13. This seems simplistically cynical. Even to me. You can't give a total newbie tons of responsibility without setting them up to fail miserably and embarrass themselves and the person who recommended them. Climbing a ladder is different for each department and personal relationships may allow you to jump in at a rung above where you were on your last gig but there are typically mechanisms in place keeping everyone where they ought to be based on skillset and experience level. These include but are not limited to unions, guilds, bond companies, insurance companies etc. That's the Hollywood way. It's a byzantine hierarchy of legalese and economics.
  14. Inflating a budget is hardly unheard of. Happens all the time. The budget sales corollary demands it. Expanding on the crew is more of a perception factor. You want to appear like someone who plays well with others, enjoys collaborating etc. All good qualities. Assuming of course that you actually want to one day make a movie with a crew and a budget. I've definitely met people who, if they could make a film entirely on their own without any outside involvement at all, would. So this advice won't apply to everyone.
  15. If you directed the short, then you are the connection. You've proven you can make a film. Just don't make the mistake so many others do and try to take every crew credit on the short that you can. Or brag about how you did it all in a day for $10. That looks terrible. Make up names for the jobs you did but don't care that much about even if nobody was there. Inflate the budget to something realistic and make it look like you are someone that people can trust to work with and give money to.
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