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Samuel Lu

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  • Occupation
    Cinematographer
  • Location
    Los Angeles

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    samuellu.me

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  1. Thank you! I like it! Imagine walking with elephant balls in rhino skin. Kinda cool to me! lol!😂 We only have one life to live anyways. It is better to burn out than to fade away.
  2. Like how "traders" teach people how to "trade" in the stock market. How "successful guru" teach people how to be "successful". They all make a big fortune on the internet due to the Information asymmetry, and the advantage of ignorance, lack of education. The human nature has never changed in this realm, human tend to believe that magic pill. People always need something to kill their time(money), nothing wrong with that, demand & supply 101. Somehow, I just not that type of person. I hope I will always stay true to myself no matter the circumstances are.
  3. “Get to do exactly the work you choose” is a place called Utopia. The moment we realized it never exists the moment we become a free man. Otherwise, we are only the prisoners of our own device
  4. I am trying my best to know some people who work as a filmmaker, I don't care he/she is a professional filmmaker or like me just love this industry, and there is only one reason for doing this, is to shoot something, if I am good at acting, I would invite my best friends Mr. Tripod and Mr. C-stand work with me to tell some simple story. If there's not audience at all, so be it, the fulfillment and the joy I about to get is nowhere else I can get. So, it is a rough journey, I get it, I knew it before I dropped off my still photography career, I asked myself, what kind of life that I want to have, how do I want people remembering me... I guess the answer will bring me peace when I hit the road. (Everything looks gorgeous from outside. The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. 理想是一座围城,城外的人想进去,城里的人想出来。)
  5. Some people recommend me to apply for a still photographer on a film set, I think that's very reasonable since I can straight start to work without no problem, heard that actors hate still photographers🥴 (according to Team Deakins Podcast).
  6. I am terrified to join the discussion here since I am a total outsider. From the psychology standpoint, I cannot imagine myself working in G&E Dept. I also have no Gaffer experience, but being a professional portrait photographer more than a decade, I do understand how lighting works, I walk into a room, I will immediately know it is good or bad for the overall image, I can do some modification on this room to make it 'prettier', make everything include the small props fit my color pallet, to move distraction out of the frame.... I guess you guys call that Production Design. In my photography career, I used to work on my own, like the running&gunning 1 man crew, for a long time, and later I have managed a relatively big photography crew (about 20 people) to shoot some high end fashion brand's advertising stuff, the logic is pretty much the same, you want to make something big, you also need a bigger team to help you to bring an idea to life. I have no doubt about it. I may not know all the professional terms of filmmaking, but let's be honest, a good painter may be can not produce a winning picture, but he/she definitely can make an image stunning. 100% agree that we need to learn something from scratch, but the learning curve would be significantly different. The skills are teachable and learnable, but the 'STYLE' is not taught by anyone but adopted by yourself. Edit: If there's a chance to let me work as a grip, running guy, or a person who takes care of the trash and coffee, I would more than happy to take it, I haven't had a chance to see a real set yet. Everything is an opportunity for me. I am just trying to be honest, I won't do that for long, I got to find a way to touch the camera.
  7. Thanks for commenting, Personally, I think to make a film is unnecessarily that complicated (of course it depends on the level of the standard). To tell a story, I just need to know how to light a scene realistically, and all the visual stuff together enables the audiences to immerse in that story. No matter it is practical or HMI, or simply use the free source, the sunlight if I can manage the process efficiently in a certain period of time window. (It is easier said than done, though. A guy with zero sense of filmmaking can be judgemental on a movie.) Yet I am talking about indie filmmaking not the production studio work which I have no idea about it. To get to the high end film set, I think that heavily rely on the network you have, obviously the fastest route would be going to a film school, but again, it still depends on the person's personality and the way he/she works, so the film school can be good for someone also can be bad for someone(time and money wasting). For me? I don't know, I haven't gotten a chance to get into one, but I am seriously considering to go one. It provides an opportunity to let me work a lot with professional equips and teamwork in a relatively very short period of time, those practices can accelerate my skill learning, and if I am talented, I guess I will get some attention from the people around me in different groups. But no matter which route to choose, I think to get on to the top tier, it requires a major component- LUCK. Again, to a person like me, has zero network in filmmaking industry, I can't just randomly travel around in Burbank to buy some $2.95 coffee to convince some professionals to give me an opportunity. Just some thoughts out of my imagination, I could be totally wrong, which partially I hope so.
  8. I don't consider the FX3 is a cinema camera. So I would recommend FX6 (tbh I would recommend bmpcc, FX6 is a great camera too, but the image quality is not that great compared to bmpcc 6k according to the price difference. Personally, I would use that money buy 2 bmpcc 6k pro)
  9. When filming a static subject with panning shot, it is inevitable to have "judder" effect, even all the big feature films in theater have the same 'issue' (unless you meant to shoot a slow motion), so what I would do is panning my camera with the same speed as my subject move, or if a subject is static, I will pan the camera along with the orbit movement to prevent the 'judder' effect. Hope that helps if I understand your question correctly.
  10. Wow, my friend, thank you so much for writing these informative words, I value them very much. Even though I have not been in the industry yet, but I totally understand what you are saying. I am introvert but I am confident about the things that I am passionate about, say photography. Like Ray Dalio written in his book, “Some people who are creative are not reliable and vice versa; some see big pictures while others see details, etc. All of them are important to have on well-orchestrated teams.” I will not say I am not a reliable person, but I indeed not a very stable person, like I mentioned earlier in my post, that's where I came from, my past experience good and bad created me. I learned not to criticize myself for being who I am in my early 30's, it took a lot of time and extremely emotional phrases. So I am okay with "random" and "luck", tho I am not the guy always embraced by the "Lucky Fairy", but I consider it is part of a person's destiny. I completely accept it peacefully. What I can't accept is give up my dream, probably the only dream which can keep me passionately for decades. I've been wondering around a lot, doing small businesses, silly jobs, "part time" musician... etc,. But all the experiences provided me a sort of "sense" of being alive, those nuance emotions that I adapted along the way is priceless to me. I enjoyed it, and loved it. I won't argue Chloe Zhao's family background, as a Chinese also, I know her father is a rich businessman, and her stepmother is one of the biggest celebrities in China. Me share 0 similarity with Chloe Zhao (ok, we were all born in China lol). Film school can be good for some but bad for some too, to me, I don't know, tbh, I have never been to one, but that's the way I think I can get to know more people in or will be in the industry, and let them see my talent, maybe can find someone who shares the same passion. I understand you said it's better to find someone come from the same country as I am, that's true, but it is hard, Chinese who went to film school or in the industry are usually have the same if not even better financial background as Chloe Zhao, most of normal families in China, their whole life saving are not sufficient for US film school 2 year tuition fees. So they come to the US finished their film school study, they go back to China with the certificates, and work in the place with a huge rampart where their parents have strong relationships in and prepared for them nicely. (I know this paragraph is very negative and cynical) People call me a day dreamer ever since I was a kid, I am ok with it, and I even love it, it gives me a colorful world, give me an additional parallel world where no one can disturb me. After reading your comments, I am getting excited instead of intimidated. To me, the unpredictable future is the beauty of life. There is no 1+1=2 for life. Thanks again for lending your helping hand to me. It means a lot to me.
  11. Where would you recommend me to know some directors? I am in LA.Thank you!
  12. Thank you! I've read The Secret, my wife kinda adopts the idea very well, and I am slowly getting into it too. Otherwise, I could've dropped the filmmaking dream long time ago.
  13. Thank you very much for the time and consideration you put in my post. It does help me to clear the fog in the path.
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