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Dino Giammattei

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About Dino Giammattei

  • Rank

  • Birthday 02/18/1954

Profile Information

  • Occupation
    Other
  • Location
    A mile west of the crossroads and the old circus grounds
  • My Gear
    HPX 2700, Canon 5D II & III, Go-Pro, HVX200, Arri S, M, BL
  • Specialties
    All the other stuff so that the real talent can concentrate on what they do best.
  1. The first thought that came to my crazy old man's mind was to kluge together a xenon projector lamp house, for creating a flat field, with the condenser head off a 4"x5" black and white enlarger. Use a high quality orthochromatic film for the pattern then find an appropriate combination of lens, focal length converter, extension tube or whatever to create a practical working distance..... I'll go sit down and be quiet now.
  2. Two situations come to mind. One I handled well the other not so much. (The Good) Shooting in a mall in front of a restaurant. We had full permission from the mall management. The owner of the restaurant angrily confronted us to say we were going to ruin his business. I pointed out that our being there was attracting a crowd of people and that we would recommend that folks check out his establishment. By the time the day was half over, his business was so good he fed the crew for free. (The Bad) In my younger days as a newsie, while covering a County Council meeting where a group of protesters were present. One of the protesters became physically abusive to my camera operator. I bull rushed the guy and explained that if he touched anyone of my crew again I was going to remove his intestines through his left nostril. He screamed in terror and called the cops (At six foot, 214lbs and ugly, my friends say I'm quite scary when angry). What I "should" have done was to calmly explain that we were there to cover the event and then ask if he wanted to express his his point of view on camera. It would have surely diffused the situation and possibly gotten me a couple of good sound bites for the evening broadcast. You live and learn...
  3. Two situations come to mind. One I handled well the other not so much. (The Good) Shooting in a mall in front of a restaurant. We had full permission from the mall management. The owner of the restaurant angrily confronted us to say we were going to ruin his business. I pointed out that our being there was attracting a crowd of people and that we would recommend that folks check out his establishment. By the time the day was half over, his business was so good he fed the crew for free. (The Bad) In my younger days as a newsie, while covering a County Council meeting where a group of protesters were present. One of the protesters became physically abusive to my camera operator. I bull rushed the guy and explained that if he touched anyone of my crew again I was going to remove his intestines through his left nostril. He screamed in terror and called the cops (At six foot, 214lbs and ugly, my friends say I'm quite scary when angry). What I "should" have done was to calmly explain that we were there to cover the event and then ask if he wanted to express his his point of view on camera. It would have surely diffused the situation and possibly gotten me a couple of good sound bites for the evening broadcast. You live and learn...
  4. From the "Make it or Fake it" department, a possible solution. Get ahold of some patterned plastic sheeting. The material mentioned here is only a 12 inch square, but you should be able to find larger pieces if you look. (ebay.com/itm/Vertigo-Film-Translucent-Patterned-Sheets-12-X12-1-Pkg-Prism/111791974760? Cut a circle out of a sheet of black foamcore. Attach plastic to foamcore. Shoot a light at the plastic from way back so as to allow the pattern to spread to fill the circle. You should be able to make a light as big as the largest piece of plastic you can find. You may need to stick some frosted gel in there to spread the light enough to sell the illusion. I apologize to the professionals here for such a low tech, kindergarten craft day idea. At my level of the industry, if I want something special I have to do stuff like this. Upon further thought... Get a few of those springy reflector thingies. Angle them right, hit them with something from behind camera. (an ellipsoidal with an iris if you can find one) It could work.
  5. I have a love/hate relation with these. Love the quality of the light emitted, but hate the relative fragility of the units. Ours get used constantly by everyone in the shop. We have had several get buggered with rough handling. The most common damage is the wire lamp shield getting broken off. I found that using the skinny cloth bags to store them is a pain. Now I just put them in the long black cases without the bags. The white diffusion can get brittle and crack. We replaced the diffusion covers on ours but in the future I'm just going to clip some 216 or something over them instead of replacing the material. Using the fluorescent lamps with the adapters has been interesting. It seems like at least one of the bulbs fails every time I use them. One thing I want to try is loading the adapters with other incandescent bulbs for effect. Something like those retro antique bulbs you can get from Home Depot, or even colored "party bulbs". I would even like to try some "flicker" bulbs for a fire effect. All in all a great product. Just be extra gentle with them and they will serve you well.
  6. Although they aren't cheap, I have been purchasing wool blend socks from a local outdoor store. Fortunately they seem to last forever as opposed to the cotton tube socks I usually wear. I often double up and wear the cotton socks inside and the wool ones over. The new wool blends are quite comfortable worn against the skin though. They also have the added advantage of remaining warm when moisture builds up. I have like six pair that I have had for many years and they still look like new. Growing up in New England, wool clothing was readily available, but now that I reside in Virginia I have found it almost impossible to find wool shirts in the local department stores. It's a shame because wool is still one of the warmest materials to use for winter clothing. It also outlasts cotton by a long shot. I have 20 year old wool flannels that are still in use. As for manmade materials, I used to do a lot of video work for cold weather divers and they swore by the Patagonia brand thermals. Again, these are not cheap but last forever and keep you warm without the bulk that cotton long johns have. As others have said, good shoes/boots are probably the most important. If your feet get cold you will be miserable.
  7. According to the company s literature (http://www.k5600.com/products/jb1600/jb1600.pdf) it can run on a 15amp circuit. That being said, I couldn't find info on the actual current draw for the ps. I wouldn't try to add a significant amount of extension cord to it though.
  8. If I use open faced Lowell fixtures at all, I prefer Totas over Omni's. This is mostly due to the fact that I can go from 200-250 watts to 500, to 1000 watts in the same fixture. I can also fit a bunch of them in a small case. You may also find that using open faced fixtures with gels to be problematic as the lack of glass tends to let the heat destroy whatever shmootz you put in front of them in short order.
  9. If you use a Hi-Hat for this purpose I would suggest not mounting it perpendicular to the floor. I mount a Hi-Hat at around 45 degrees and tilt the fluid head to get the camera vertical. This is meant to reduce the stress on the mounting plate, thereby lessening the chance that the whole mess will come crashing down. I also safety cable the dickens out of it. The first project I had to do this with had the camera mounted to a studio grid, but I later came up with a way to do the same thing using an Avenger A4050CS boom stand for when a grid (or our jib) isn't available. olduncledino
  10. The biggest issue your'e going to run into is the lack of gain with a dynamic microphone like the SM7. It was designed to be an in your face microphone used by radio announcers. Even if your preamplifier has 70db of gain you may still find it lacking for distant mic'ing. Comparing the dynamic SM7 to a condenser like a 416 is like comparing a sports car to a pickup truck. Both were designed to do what they do extremely well. They're just not what you could consider interchangeable. As far as a "toob" preamp, unless you spent more than a thousand dollars on it, you probably have what is referred to as a starved plate design. With this type of preamp the heavy lifting is done by a solid state operational amplifier and the "toob"is pretty much a distortion maker. The plate voltage in the "toob" is made intentionally low to cause the waveform to flatten out, theoretically adding pleasant harmonic distortion to the clean signal. This may actually work for VO if your'e careful with your levels, but generally you would be better served to have a quality preamp to begin with. Expensive... yes... But you're probably not shooting with Tamuron primes either. Lastly.... Before you spend another penny on audio equipment, please contact me. I have thousands and thousands of dollars of recording equipment sitting around here and I don't want to admit to you how much of it was a waste of money. Respectfully submitted, olduncledino
  11. It looks to me to be the same socket used in a Mole Richardson Mini Mole. In which case I would get these three lamps. FEV 200 watt quartz CEB 100 watt old style incandescent CAX 50 watt old style incandescent I keep all three in stock and interchange as needed in my MM's The incandescents will give you a warmer than 3200k look which I find rather flattering. All of these are still available at B&H
  12. As I thought about what I had suggested I realized that a single "kickstand" wouldn't keep the round rig from rolling side to side. An inverted "T" shaped appendage with rubber feet would though. If you can get me some pix of the rig it would help me visualize what is needed. I love doing stuff like this. dino
  13. How about a Maffer clamp with an appropriate length of camera rail or equivalent diameter pipe. Perhaps a small rubber cane tip to keep it from slipping on a smooth surface. If I had it in my shop, I'm sure I could fabricate something in about ten minutes. Dino "the mad gaffer" Giammattei
  14. We weren't using our Arri L7 for much other than background lighting so I can't comment on its flesh tone use. It was getting a good deal of use until it died right in the middle of a shoot. We just packed it up for its return to Arri. I'll let you all know what happens once they take a look at it. We loved it while we had it though. Checking the internet, we couldn't find another case of one failing so hopefully this is an anomaly.
  15. You have a story to tell that you feel passionately about. You wouldn't be feeling the anxiety if you didn't. You have something to record it with. This is a documentary and your capturing it. You are a film maker. No lighting equipment? Table lamps, Home Depot quartz utility lights. Bed sheets, and aluminum foil for reflectors. Car headlights pointed at a window. Anything that works...Anything. Focus on the story you're trying to tell and enjoy the process. Solve problems as they arise, and be happy with yourself when you do. Try smiling. Without any reason, even if it's the last thing you feel like doing. Just do it. You and I may never get to breathe the rarified air that most of the folks on this site do. That doesn't make us any less of a film maker than they are. For myself, the more obstacles, the fewer resources I have just means I get to prove to people once again what a clever little bugger I am. The feeling of satisfaction I get when I can save a shoot that has gone terribly wrong is my drug of choice. Take a deep breath and jump into the fire. Always remind yourself that this is the most fun you could possibly be having. If you ever need a pep talk, send me a PM. Never give up.....olduncledino
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