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Jamie Metzger

San Francisco DP's

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But wow Satsuki, I had no idea...4 hour turnaround for a State grad thesis?! I'd be steaming at the producer of that outfit. I suppose they had their "reasons" though, talent availability and what not.

Yeah, the director and DP just don't give a poop, it's amazing. They're very "nice" people but they seem to think nothing of working their crews to the point of exhaustion (mainly because they're extremely disorganized and inefficient, so everything except camera, sound, and make-up takes 10 times longer than it should). The producer and the prod. coordinator/AD (my friend who got me on the shoot) were aware of the problem but ineffectual in solving it, perhaps because the DP is a professor and the AD is a student. Still, I've never encountered people like this before in my short career. The lead actress is a very sweet and patient Korean lady in her 70's -- she's had to put up with the same crap, and she hasn't complained at all. The sound guy was extremely pissed, since he often sat around for 6-8 hours at a time with nothing to do. Did I mention they rolled sound on stuff like inserts of the tv, the clock, hands fondling mochi balls, etc.? We wasted so much time tweaking stuff like that.

 

The producer told me that the director and DP had shot some B-roll footage in Korea several months ago with a professional crew in a remote mountainside location. They got the crew, which had just finished a feature, to work for free from a connection that the director had made with a Korean producer. The crew ended up working the same crazy hours and no turnaround on the side of a frickin' mountain for a week! And that was a professional crew, so you can bet they were pissed by the end of the shoot. On our shoot, unpaid student crew just stops showing up.

 

Production actually rented a house for a month, dressed it, and turned that into their main location. Now they need help tearing it all down before Oct. 1. Wonder how many crew members will actually show up for that? I know I certainly won't be.

 

So Jonathan, did you end up finding an AC for your shoot on Saturday?

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So Jonathan, did you end up finding an AC for your shoot on Saturday?

 

Nope, I left another post at that thread about it. To save myself from giving a long explanation of the situation, the director/producer is a hipster kid down in Sunnyvale who has no control over his funds and is REALLY bad at communicating and following up on things.

 

I pooled a large group of people who wanted to AC and Gaff for me, but out of respect for them, I wasn't going to commit myself or their time to the project until an equipment rental was secured for the weekend...which neither the director nor the band's management could promise me.

 

Needless to say, I won't be attempting to work with that kid anymore, total waste.

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So I've been 2nd'ing on a feature being shot in oakland. Our longest day has been 9 1/2 hours! The DP is directing, and the crew is really good. I am really impressed about how much we are shooting in the little amount of hours that we have. We have been pretty leisurely as well. We still have a week and a half left, and I am looking forward to the remaining days.

 

What is everyone else up to?

 

Jamie

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What is everyone else up to?

 

I'll be 1st'ing a Columbia U student's Grad Thesis that's being shot here in SF and in Berkeley next weekend. We're shooting with the HDX900.

 

Originally, we were gonna give the HPX500 a shot, but the rental company double booked on us accidentally and gave us a discounted rate on the HDX package. It's just as well though, we don't have to worry about any P2 workflow issues (we're all quite new to the P2 process) and the HDX works much better in low light with a better sensor than the HPX...which essentially is more an ENG camera anyways, by the looks of it.

 

But we got a good crew behind us, with my good friend Michael Behrens from FAF working as 2nd AC, it should be fun.

 

Gotta go read up on the camera a bit, and do some focal distance practices since I'll be pulling focus, and I haven't done it in a few months! Anyone for tossing the ol' bean bag around and making a game of it?

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Jaime, that sounds like a sweet gig! Is it a paying job? I gotta find some of those soon.

 

Jonathan, where are you renting the camera and what are you getting, lens wise?

 

Next week I'm 1sting on a short that John Aliano is DP'ing, just a little DVX project with stock lens, so not much actual focus pulling for me. I'd love to get into a bean-bag face off game though. BTW, you should pick up a decent hard tape like a FatMax if you don't have one -- they're great for quick measurements from the camera position within a 10ft range or so. You can also use it to measure lens height as the director or DP approves a shot through his viewfinder -- the you don't have to guess whether you need to switch a heavy camera+head to the baby legs or standard sticks.

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Next week I'm 1sting on a short that John Aliano is DP'ing, just a little DVX project with stock lens, so not much actual focus pulling for me. I'd love to get into a bean-bag face off game though. BTW, you should pick up a decent hard tape like a FatMax if you don't have one...

 

The tape measure recommendation is kinda out of leftfield, but OK, thanks. For now I'm happy with my trusty Keson :)

 

We're renting from Chater out in Berkeley. Pretty sure we're going with the Pro35 with Zeiss primes. Everything's still being finalized and the DP doesn't get here until tomorrow, so we'll see. Next Wednesday morning I'm going in to prep and familiarize myself with the equipment.

 

Say hi to John for me!

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The tape measure recommendation is kinda out of leftfield...

Sorry about that, that's just where I'm from (leftfield, that is).:P

 

Actually, it's just something I noticed while working on that grad shoot -- the 1st rarely pulled out his Keson, the hard tape was so much faster close in. Of course, he never poked it anywhere near an actor's face, so the measurements were approximate but I imagine if you're doing a lot of handheld or steadicam without marks it could come in handy for double-checking your short distance estimates. I certainly could have used one on my last 1sting gig inside a cramped space ship set with a giant hole in the floor! I almost fell in a few times while running out my soft tape.

 

Say hi to John for me!

I certainly will, good luck with your shoot.:)

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Actually, it's just something I noticed while working on that grad shoot -- the 1st rarely pulled out his Keson, the hard tape was so much faster close in.

 

I do carry a little 12' hard tape in my AC bag anyways. I actually used it a lot back on that shoot with Barry Stone. So I can see how it could be useful.

 

Left field was my fav position when I played ball in HS :)

Edited by Jonathan Bowerbank

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Are you guys hitting on eachother?

 

I don't know whether that accusation is telling us whether you will or won't be at the Folsom St. Fair this weekend...ha ha!

 

:)

 

I won't.

 

And in the words of Kurt Weizmann: "Speaking of "San Francisco Values", if you ever need to check your values, check out the Folsom St. Fair! 'Oh yeah, some things are wrong and inappropriate!'"

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Hey guys, I am from SF and fairly new in cinematography. A student in SFCC and studing under Jonh Aliano.

Satsuki. John showed the production last day shoot in class and it is awesome.

Jonathan, I am looking forward working with you in the future.I am sorry in did not work the first time.

Martin, have you heared the news? The soldier story won. Let me know when your ready to shoot yours.

I'll see you guys tonight at the lecture and screening of Caravaggio.

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Caravaggio lecture? I want to go. Do I have to be a student there? I'd love to check it out if you guys could give me more info.

 

415.515.2841 jamie

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Caravaggio lecture? I want to go. Do I have to be a student there? I'd love to check it out if you guys could give me more info.

 

It wasn't a class at any school. It was last night at the Rafael Theatre...and it was excellent. A sellout crowd, a great lecture by Storaro beforehand, and the gorgeous film "Caravaggio" to follow.

 

I saw a lot of familiar faces there, people from the SF cinematography community, Aliano, Hiro Narita, etc.

 

I had the guts to walk up and meet Storaro, shake his hand and get an autograph on my "Goya in Bordeaux" DVD. He's a really warm, approachable and inviting old Italian artist...but much like David Mullen's first encounter with him, I couldn't think of anything to say but appreciative gestures.

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Did anybody else in the bay area notice how awesome the quality of the sunlight today was?

 

Thanks to the brutal Morgan Hill wildfire that's going on right now, it's as if somebody has placed a 1/4 CTO and some diffusion in front of the sun. It was like a sunset all day. I had to take advantage, get out and shoot a roll of 35mm stills.

 

My heart goes out to anyone involved in fighting the blazes...but wow, it was gorgeous out here.

 

'Tis the season again. Only this time I could actually sense some of the smoke, which made my morning jog today a little less enjoyable.

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Quite good DP wise. The AC gigs are kinda slow right now though :/

 

Outside of business, I'm doing even better. Spending this 4th of July weekend down at Pinnacles. Should be sweeeeeeeeeet

Edited by Jonathan Bowerbank

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Just finished a two day Red commercial in Santa Rosa with an HKSC cinematographer (not Chris Doyle, unfortunately!). Alex Worster was the 1st, I was the 2nd/data manager. It was 100% steadicam, so Alex had his work cut out for him. About the camera - let's just say we got very familiar with Red tech support... and I'll never do another Red job again without recommending that production rent at least one backup body.

 

Anyway, now I'm itching to shoot stuff again. What's Pinnacles, Jon?

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Camping!

 

http://www.nps.gov/pinn/

 

 

Sucks about the Red gig. It sounds like it's the type of camera where you literally have to live with it for a while, keep the firmware up to date and keep working the bugs out constantly to avoid certain issues. What kinda crap did you guys encounter?

Edited by Jonathan Bowerbank

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A camera mysteriously died and B camera's flange focal distance did not want to stay put. Satsuki's the bomb AC and even when my stress level made me a little cranky to say the least he stuck with me and helped us pull through. However, he does like spicy hot funyuns so proceed with caution.

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However, he does like spicy hot funyuns so proceed with caution.

Yeah, who knew they even made these? Seems like you can get any junk food you want "flaming hot" these days...

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However, he does like spicy hot funyuns so proceed with caution.

 

That is a questionable characteristic. Just don't breathe on me if we're on another shoot together and you're chowin' down on those ;)

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worked on one of the easiest shoots of my ac career; wait, maybe it's a tie. Either way. Simple and boring. I hope work doesn't stay like this!

 

jamie

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