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Mark Allen

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Everything posted by Mark Allen

  1. Suddenly lost our AC, need someone else. Camera is an F900 with zeiss lenses. Please message me here if you have a high recommendation and info or if you want to suggest yourself. I will forward you to the DP, thank you.
  2. Lucas is often cited as being a genuis for keeping his merchandising rights. However, in an interview he mentioned that all he wanted was control over how the posters looked because he really didn't like how American Graffiti was marketed. Back then, the world of merchandising from movies wasn't really recognized, so to get the right to posters and such - he got the rights to merchandising. An industry was then redefined. As for YouTube. They are definitely trying to cover themselves - but they are also starting to now distirbute user material at their own discression. YouTube is the number one cellphone channel, for example. Expect more and more distribution as they have now amassed an enormous content library. You need to think twice about trying to start your own channel there. Make sure you understand what rights you are giving away. It's a catch 22. YouTube can give you a huge audience. bliptv.com on the other hand is not after your rights and you can pull your content at anytime. But they don't have a built in referencing audience.
  3. It's been years since all of my regular DP's have been booked all at once, so it is time to add someone new to my call list. I have a shoot in a week and a half. It will be very much like the other Sebastian stuff on my reels... most like Discovery and Corridors: www.markallen.net/movies.html Not sure what we will shoot on yet - possibly the SPX900. This one will be brighter probably than the ones I mentioned. I am looking for a DP to step in for this shoot. Know that I control the camera placement and push the lighting direction very much and need a DP who considers this an asset - so that they can take it even further and is not annoyed by it feeling like I am stepping on their toes. I don't operate the camera 98% of the time. We shoot at a quick pace with a small crew (DP, Gaffer, Grip, PA who does audio). Everything but Least Likely on my movies page was shot like this averaging 10 minutes of finished runtime per day. This particular job is unusual in that we have 3 days to do this. If you're interested and available (Los Angeles, May 5,6,7), please click on my name here and send me an email with a link to your online reel. Thank you, I look forward to enjoying your work. Thank you.
  4. So, I have to bid an HD multicamera concert shoot this weekend... nice that I find this out after the rental houses close. :) I do NOT need to live switch - the switching can/will all be done in post. I WOULD need to monitor all the camera feeds from outside of the theater though. Does anyone have any experience putting one of these things together and can share some info like... about what it costs to do this... is it just the usual gear plus some really long cables and monitors to watch them? I'm not even sure of what to ask beyond that at this point.
  5. One thing that a movie like 300 points out with exageration which I think is something which is not much discussed is the gray area between cinematographer and production designer/art director. Once I sat reviewing reels with a producer who was feeling verbal and was making comments on what he liked about the cinematographer's work. I didn't say anything just listened. I would say that 70% of his comments were really about the art direction. I see this time and time again. He would talk about how good the distressed texture on the wall looked. How the red on the out fit made the character stand out so perfect from the mostly gray set. It's true, you can do much with light and how you capture these things, but I think really that a great production designer / art director would be a cinematographer's best ally. Ideally everyone works together as part of a team to make this all work together. I know myself when I do green screen stuff, the more we know what the final will look like, the better equiped the DP will be to light the characters such that they fit into the scene. But then... who made the image beautiful? The artist who did the world? The DP who lit the actor? The Director? Maybe the actor just because they're the most beautiful piece of art in the shot. It's really impossible to say. It's the synergy which I think can pay off in the long run. But I think being aware of the reliance of everyone on eachother can really help get toa positive end result. All this is probably very obvious for people who have worked on a few movies. But I can not emphasize enough how NOT obvious it is for people who have worked on many movies but just not from a hands-on involvement.
  6. I think anyone who has worked with professional cameras understand how they don't come with all the accessories. The RED is a pro camera. People coming from the world of the DV revolution would, perhaps be a little shocked. Wait two years, there will be some consumer options which will shock everyone. Anyone who actually "drank the Kool-Aid" and put in an order should be very happy since they have now a 110% rebate offer to give up their reservation. Or, they can finish their sale and resell it pretty easily (perhaps making profit off that $2,500 discount). I ordered the camera the first day it was available simply because most people said a camera like that could not exist at that price. I can't afford film for most of my projects and It hurts me to struggle with some of the limitations of the HVX200 and other cameras I use. Even if I hadn't reserved one, I'd be thrilled that there would be a rentalbe option like the RED. Even if I never rented one, I would be happy that someone is setting a all new price target for that level of quality. Being a reserver though (who has avoided these forums for quite a while) I now look at things one month from NAB and think "Wow... they actually did it. Neat." Coming within $200 of a promised price even. That's pretty remarkable if you think about it. I will tell you the things I really want to see though.... 1. More footage - a wider range of environments and conditions. 2. The Warranty and Repair Policy. 3. My next project shot with this camera. 3 isn't likely to happen since it will be happening before NAB... ah... one more rental....
  7. My review: I was prepared to hate it and was pleasantly surprised. I'm not really going to review the plot because this is a cinematography forum. GREEN SCREEN: I think of the "green screen" movies this is the best so far (including the star wars ones). First off, I suspect the director was good at giving the actors a sense of where they are and what is going on in addition to where they are in the story which makes a big difference too. From a Visual Effects point of view, I can't underscore the importance that many of of the sets were live and most often the blue screen was used for the larger landscapes and skies rather than entire sets (which has been most filmmaker's inclination... it makes a huge difference. The abs were apparently not done in post. :) FIGHTING: Visually - I thought the fighting scenes were really fantastic. It is what I would lean towards if given this type of situation. It was a nice balance of watching the grace of the motion and then seeing the specific of what is actually going on. The gore was pretty intense, but so comic-book styled that it wasn't terribly offensive. I didn't squeam and I'm a guy who can't sit still for a movie like Hostel (which I couldn't get through). People could debate the morality of which is better for hours I'm sure. Limbs could be done by roto'ing out the existing limb and putting in a CG limb. All of this stuff was excessively planned and rehearsed. If a blade has to go through an arm, you can be sure the blade was not there originally... or the arm was not. COMPARED TO THE COMIC...errr GRAPHIC NOVEL: I was thinking while watching the movie "Wow, they probably plucked this right from the pages of the book." However, after I saw the movie, I looked at the books and I must commend the filmmakers because I think they really took it way beyond the book. The level of aesthetic beauty in the movie is all in it's own. While definitely inspired by the book as conceptual art, the realization of it is a huge compliment to all the key artists involved across the board. I hope they receive many production design awards.
  8. Thank you! Sounds perfect, will look into that. Will definitel get an experienced operator. If anyone reading this has Las Vegas recommendations for me - send me a private message.
  9. Supply and Demand. Genesis are very expensive because there are so few of them. Red supplies will also be very low at first - so I think for the first couple months if you are looking to rent a RED, you'll be looking at prices which compete with what it is competing against - The Genesis, the D20. As more and more cameras come into the market towards October I would imagine that the prices being discussed here (500 range) will emerge. Does this assessment sound realistic?
  10. I'm almost embarassed to ask this... What is the advantage of the EVF over the LCD? I'm almost embarassed to ask this... but... I know that even on rare occasion when I'm having to operate I always use the LCD these days because it lets me stay aware peripherally of what is going on around me.... is it just that most people prefer having the more focused (and probably therefore accurate) view?
  11. The SDX900 was on the maybe list... so I think the fact that this is coming up a lot means I need to take a closer look at it. I was leaning towards HVX because I will have to have one that weekend for the greenscreen shoot anyway. You need the extra mbs for GS. But it sounds like life would be a lot easier for the 2nd day with SDX.... I'm curious about the synching as well. Since I don't need to swtich live can I just synch in post or will it drift. I'm doing only a six minute song - not the whole concert.
  12. We have to have the HVX for one camera the day before. (It's Greenscreen and I'v efound the HVX does good Greenscreen short of full HD). Would the HVX cut in with the DVX100s well? Thanks.
  13. First off - I'm a director/producer yet I'm stuck trying to make a budget for a shoot I will most likely be doing next month which will involve a jib arm because it's a concert shoot. I don't normally do live events, so this is new territory for me. Can anyone suggest what type of rig i should be looking at renting and how many people it would take to safely operate it? Too vague? I know... well... I'm guesing it's a 1000 seat theater, I'm guessing I will have space in the aisles or removed seats to place the base. I'm guessing we'll need something which can sweep over the audience as well as get back behind the performer to show the audience. Is there some standard piece of equipment people use for this kind of thing? I'm saying all I know at this point. initial budgets are like this... you get no information and are expected to figure out somethng that would work. Thanks.
  14. Looks like I'll be shooting a Live Concert with 3 cameras. We'll get two or three passes pre-show and then one shot with a live audeince. I've been using the HVX camera a great deal. Is there any reason to think it would not work well in this case? I've also always used it with the P2 (or firestore or direct to disk), but if memory serves - it can read to tape as well, right? Is the quality on tape reasonable? If I'm shooting to tape, should I consider another camera altogether? It's all rental so if there is a reasonable option, I can consider it. F900's probably are out of range for both rental and post purposes. We are most likely finishing only to standard def. anyway.
  15. When I was looking into them as a keylight source I was told that the amount of light I would need coming out of them would probably burn the lantern. Also - I need something that can be on longer that 3 hours without burning out which i was warned the daylight fotofloods would. So far.... this is my mental summary.... Lowell ego light looks great - but I need more light. Building my own light is probably beyond my skill set. The savage lights are in the lead because they're probably nearly as cheap as it would be for me to build my own. I am very curious to know the quality of the build and how it compares to other lights like kinoflo, rifa, spiderlite. The other more expensive options are: rifa, spiderlight, bowen tri-light. but the savage (with the link provided in an earlier post) is definitely the price to beat. I just wish someone local had them on display. I am curoius about the difference between the open face one and the boxed one.... not sure if there is an advantage to the longer tubed light vs. the cluster of smaller ones in the lightbox. Thoughts are always apprecaited.
  16. Nice links greg, have you used the savage lights? should I expect a similar light as from the kino flo? (I use that just because it's something I know.) Also what would the light quality difference between your link and http://www.shopwise2000.com/index.asp?Page...&ProdID=113 be ? I notice the fotodiox has the same light types - I'm assuming they'd be the same quality of light? thanks.
  17. It's not hard to get someone to distribute your movie. It's hard to get someone honest and legitimate to do it though on a good deal. But not hard to even get that if your movie is rockin' some socks. It's actually not the hardest thing to get a distributor to CONSIDER your movie - especially if it has any accolade or name talent or any angle at all. If it fits their genre, they'll probably watch the first 10 minutes of it. A producer's rep would be able to help guide you through this and tak a 10 percent cut of the sale. But if they land you a favorable deal, it's worth it. Otherwise, you can just do your due dilligence. Check out AFM members for distributors - there's a list online somewhere for sure. Know that at some point you'll need E&O insurance before someone actually releases the movie. Often distributors are the ones who pay for this. But it is unlikely that Netflix would pay for this for you unless they were really excited about the movie.
  18. okay realizing now that ikea option is stupid as it's the same price as a cheap stand, so ignore that one. Was a whim. So - to help me understand things. It seems like for a light to be a fill, it needs to be about How many lumens? 8000? How many watts for tungsten and flourescent does it take to reach that? Is it consistent among similar types of lights? (I'm guessing not?)
  19. I'm continuing this thread after doing some research. David's suggestion of the array of ego lights in a box is a good one. I may try to find someone handy to put that together for me. I simply have no mechanical skills at all. Also - huge question about the ego light is.... where do you get the pieces to plug the ego lights into if you're building your own frame? (Sorry I'm so unknowledgable on this side of the business.) Looked into the whole LED (thanks Troy) - yeah - expensive for now. The blue lights linked in this thread... would they work if put into a configuration like this? http://members.aol.com/filmgroup/china.htm Would that give enough light? (a 250W daylight bulb in this plexi-glass bulb)? Trying to get clever with price I also was thinking about using a standard chinese lantern on this stand (after taking off the ikea 60w limited electrics) http://www.ikea.com/webapp/wcs/stores/serv...Number=60103854 Is that nuts? Couldn't be much differnt in weight (if using paper chinese lantern) Can you use a paper chinese lantern as a key fill without a fire?
  20. That would be interesting to see Stuart. But don't work too hard on it for my sake. :) I'm also interested in LEDs. Has anyone used these professionally? Eventhough the lights themselves seem to be pretty pricey - the technology is not. I might be able to talk an electronics industry friend into building me one (or several) - he tells me you can color the light very well - but I've literally never seen these used before on a set. Would it create a similar look?
  21. Is your frame suggestion in regards to using the lowel lamps (bulbs) without the rest of their "Ego" gear? how does the quality of light of this compare to a kino? What is a blue-dipped 500w ? Are they very very hot? Would it be hotter than four lowel ego lamps? Thanks!
  22. Not a hijack at all, sounds like we're looking for a similar thing. Basically - I need to have one light available at all times - so renting isn't an option. It's not a money earning project, so I'd like to keep the purchase under $200 - the cheaper the better. I'd like to hear other people's experience with the daylight balanced flourescents - flicker problems etc. Where would I get the kinds of lights people are mentioning? Home Depot?
  23. I would like to do a little personal shoot in home-type spaces. I'm very used to using kinoflos (and occasionally chinese lanterns) on sets and I'm wondering what would be my best option to create a similar look to that. I'm aware of the "graphlight" and that's an option - but I am not sure I was loving the samples I saw from that. Can someone suggest what they feel would most approximate the kino flo 4bank look that I'm used to using? Thanks! (I'll be shooting digital btw if that matters)
  24. Keep in mind I'm making a suggestion to a 15 year old first time director. I think there is a much much greater chance for this director to make a film that has no clear focus than one in which the subtle nuances have been spoiled by obviousness. But to take that concept a step further... I'm totally walking into THEORY and SPECULATION here... you may agree, may not... but the rest of this posting is just there for fodder. I'm not sure anyone who would be able to really conceive and execute successfully the subtlety of which you speak would ever have to have it suggested to them. By the time one could execute this, I would imagine that they've come to that understanding in advance. That's just a hunch. That said... when I had just graduated theater school I was adamantly into performance art and abstract theater and was very anti anything that simplified one's movie into a simple concept. As I worked more though I found there is a certain beauty to cohesive thematic ideas. I think it is an extension of the Aristotle unitities. His original unities are completely thrown out the window on most movies.... (unties: the movie would take place 1. within 24 hours 2. at one location 3. eliminate anything not related to the main story.) I think this thematic unity provides what Aristotle felt necessary to bring a completeness to the project. Also - I think it would be hard for someone to find a movie that I couldn't sum up with a thematic concept....even if you say "un chien andalu" I would say it's "about" being abstract. That was their guiding principle in making it. Note something... I was not suggesting (even for this poster) that the "about" should be a message like "war is bad" - but just a concept "war"
  25. Something to keep in mind about actor salaries is that they are, in a way, investors. People don't get super pissed that investors made money off an investment. Actors just put it all in one place. The chances of being a jackpot are incredibly remote - astronomical. The chances of being a working actor though are even hard. If you're talented enough to get an agent who can send you out, you've basically got a full time job of auditioning. If you're not auditioning, your preparing. Then you need to squeeze in as many hours as you can to actually make money because the economics are not in your favor. If you are an actor and you work 3 times during the year (3 day rates), you're probably doing better than all the other actors you know (except for the famous one) - and you made like between $1.5k to $3k on allll the time you spent. But take away 10% for your agent and 15% for your manager. Now, lets say you work enough that you can start asking for flat rates... $60,000 for 3 weeks is a starting place... $2k a day. GREAT! but... by now you need a publicist all year round who is charging you $3k per month... because if you don't have a publicist, you will not get to the next level. Okay - so minus agent, manager, publicist... yeah, you better still work that job. By the time you are making $300k - you have just enough fame that people start to vaguely know you now and then... but now you're getting paid more because just enough people know who you are that you are starting to be paid like a billboard ad. You have crossed into being part of the marketing budget... even if slightly... but now you're needing to turn down films to make sure that you keep moving upward and this might be the only 300k you make. After 10 years of making nothing, you finally get one year and really all you get to keep of this is like 150 minus taxes.... now... considering how long it took you and how much captial investment and risk you STILL are doing pretty lousy return on your investment (ROI). It's not until you break into the million dollar category that you start getting into the realm of successful investor. But that's what it is, it's a winning investment. Sometimes an actor gets super lucky without putting the work in. That happens with DP's too frankly... I bet you can think of one or two. Certainly happens with directors, I can think of a handful. I just say this to give a sense of the numbers. if a writer made $250k on a script that took him 3 years to write... that's great, but he was writing 10 year before that and made nothing. So, the amortization needs to be there in thinking about it. Yes, there are royalties too, but the value of that usually goes hand in hand with the value of the upfront payment. All this said..... I DO think that it would be wise to alter the system a little bit that if the actor is helping to market the film by their name (even at the 300k) level it might be smarter to somehow work a participation deal out. It's just hard to make that a trustworthy option. I'm sure actors would be willing to do that more if they trusted the entities... but if peter Jackson has to sue the production company, imagine how helpless and actor would feel about that. but this will have to happen because the situation has reached a point where it can't sustain itself. this was totally film-centric and didn't address tv at all.
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