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Miguel Angel

Why I decided to go to Uni to become a Cinematographer - and quit a full time job to do so!

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Foot-candles (or lux values) are more convenient than f-numbers. But not quite as convenient as EV numbers.

 

C

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Jerry Lewis, The Total Film-Maker, 1971:

 

I spent weeks in the production departement. They could never find me. Or I was by the camera. “Why does that turn? How does it turn to what? Where does he get the pictures they make? Why does it see people in that part, but when it turns over, I see no people? I see a black thing. What’s moving? That part in front is what?” “It’s a glass piece. A prism.” “Oh, I see. And why does that boom go off and I can’t step off it unless they give me permission?” “Because it will swing up.” “Well, why does it do that?”

 

“Well, it’s counter-balanced.”

 

“With what?”

 

“Mercury.”

 

“Oh, mercury. I see. Well, why does he push it? And why doesn’t the other guy?”

 

“He can’t. He’s not in that union.”

 

Laugh! Hollow!

 

“Lights? You have got to have all those lights?”

 

“Yes.”

 

“Why?”

 

“Because you have to have four hundred foot candle.”

 

“Footcandle? You have candles you bring in with your feet?”

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Big step forward!

I will be the b - camera operator in a new TV Series here in Ireland from Monday onwards.

It is just a 5 weeks mini series but it is a super big step for me!

Hopefully everything goes well, we will be shooting in very tight spaces, almost all hand - held and with a super talented director and a marvellous cinematographer!

Hence, looking forward to learning a lot and to rocking it too! :)

Have a lovely day!

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It would be very interesting to hear the reasons behind getting readings in FC as opposed as in T - stops :)

 

I also think the light meter is a fantastic tool and it is one that I need to have at hand.

 

Hence, if someone wants to chime in, feel free to join the conversation!

 

Have a good day!

Sorry I'm late to the party on this one. My feeling is that accurate f-stop readings with your meter rely on reliable ISO values. After all, what do you do first with a meter but set the ISO value? If one changes, so does the other. And ISO values in the digital age are somewhat arbitrary - a C300, Alexa, Epic and F55 all set to 800 ISO are going to be all over the place exposure-wise to start with. So unless you've calibrated your meter to the sensor you will be using, metering in stops will result in arbitrary values. If all you want to know is relative values between different readings on set, then it still works but it can be unnecessarily confusing if f/2.8 is not T2.8 on the lens. At that point you might as well work in EVs.

 

Footcandles on the other hand are an absolute measurement of how much light is falling on a subject. So it becomes a better way for a gaffer and DP to communicate how much light will be required for any given setup. And especially useful during a location scout or prelight day when you most likely won't have a camera to look though and may not even know what camera you will be using yet.

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Satsuki are you suggesting 800 ISO is not the same on all cameras? doesn't that defeat the purpose of ISO....

 

I assumed they are all accurate... I hope ...or at least within like 1/2-1/4 stop ...have you tested this ever?

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Not really the thread for this discussion but no, in my personal experience ISO on all the various digital cameras don't match up at all. I have not done side by side tests, but it's pretty obvious when you bring in the B camera of a different make and model than the A Camera into the same lighting setup and you have to play with ND and ISO to get the exposures to match. Even with the same camera, middle grey will vary radically depending on the shooting mode, gamma, and viewing LUT choices. I guess this is really because ISO in a digital camera is kind of a misnomer. It's really just electronic gain applied to the sensor's native sensitivity. So if you are relying on the light meter's ISO to match your camera, you're kinda screwed. On the other hand, at least you can judge the image on a calibrated monitor with a waveform...

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Congrats Miguel! Moving ahead at light speed it seems ;)

 

Haha, not really! It will take me 10 years to become a camera operator!! and another 10 to become a cinematographer!!

That's the saying, right? :)

 

Thanks though! ;)

 

Said that, I think I'm going to learn loads in this tv show because the dop is a fantastic camera operator and also an amazing cinematographer.

 

Also, sometimes it is very difficult to keep the characters in frame, right? :D especially if you are on a 75 / 100 / 135 ;) ;) and you have to guess how they are going to move without having done a rehearsal!

 

Ask me when this is finished but right now I'm the happiest person alive!!! :wub: :wub:

 

Have a lovely evening!

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And that's a wrap on the tv series! Not only was I the b - cam operator but also the 2nd unit cinematographer.

 

I enjoyed it a lot, learnt a lot and more important.. learnt how to start connecting emotionally with the characters through framing, something that I thought I knew how to do but I did not until I was shown how to.. work in progress there!

 

On the other hand, I am an Associate Member of the Society of Camera Operators since last Friday (like a lot of people here ha!), thanks to Dan for all the advice and I look forward to write on the SOC mag in a near future!

 

Have a good day!

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Hola!!! Hello everyone!!!!

I think this its my first post!!!

 

Hey Miguel Angel I have read all your post a couple of times as i think now im in a kind of similiar moment when maybe you decided to leave Spain to learn and perhaps having more opportunities.

 

Amazed on how much you´ve leanrt in this process and progress. CONGRATULATIONS!!!

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Hi Juan!

Thanks for the compliments!

 

Maybe it was time to update the post, right? :D

 

Hence, since November last year I have done b cam and 2nd unit on a medium movie over here in Ireland (3 million) and I'm currently working as b cam on a tv mini series.

I also shot some commercials in South Africa and in Spain as a cinematographer and just finished two short-films which I'm very proud of.

 

I would say that I'm quite happy as to how my career has progressed since I decided to go back to the filmmaking industry, also, being a b camera operator is a great way to learn more and more about blocking and polish my camera operating skills!

 

I am of course jealous (good jealousy tho) at my friends in Spain when they tell me: Oh! We are going to work on a movie for 7 months! or when they work on amazing commercials and I see those on the TV but I can't be with them.. :D but I suppose that when you move on in your career you have to make those choices, do I go back to be a 2nd AC or do I stay focused on shooting things that I like.. and the answer is obvious, right? even if you don't hang out with your friends on set, you still make friends :)

 

We will see what next year has for me!

 

I hope you have a good year too Juan!

 

Have a lovely day!

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Just wanted to say that I'm prepping my first movie, love the script, the cast and the director

 

And I'm also doing the preproduction of another one which will be shot in Croatia later in 2017.

 

Happy days!

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Just wanted to say that I'm prepping my first movie, love the script, the cast and the director

 

And I'm also doing the preproduction of another one which will be shot in Croatia later in 2017.

 

Happy days!

 

Congrats, Miguel! Best of luck with everything!

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Thank you!!

 

We talked about shooting the first one in Super 16 but it was impossible for us to get dailies daily so the conversation stopped there.

 

I'm shooting both on the Alexa.

 

Personally I prefer Dragon amongst all the formats but Alexa makes more sense for both of the movies.

Last commercial I shot in Spain, I shot it on Dragon and anamorphic, which is something that nobody does in Spain anymore because they are all in love with the Alexa Mini

 

Give me time and I might fall in love with the Alexa too

 

By the way, Phil, we might have some c-stands around

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I'm always here, send me what ya got! I've been very unlucky at grading stuff and making it look good on Vimeo. I have a beautiful 2k cinema projector which is color calibrated and if it looks good there, it usually looks like poop on Vimeo. So, I've given up trying to make things look good online. :shrug:

 

Yeah, Vimeo is pretty much rubbish these days, with their adaptive streaming.

 

For about a year though Ive been using these guys, they're the only site, it seems, that actually allow you to force HD. When I share a video, I steer well clear of Vimeo and always go to Iplayer. The quality is superb compared to YouTube and Vimeo.

 

I pay for membership, but they're doing first year free for newbies. I can't recommend them enough to be honest.

 

Here's some footage I shot on an old RED Scarlet

 

http://iplayerhd.com/player/video/57a4b81c-47b3-4c87-afd7-6c7f877bf6a7/share

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Miguel,

Thanks for this thread.

 

Im 38, and Ive been working as an amateur videographer for like 10 years. But I dont have any actual professional training.

 

Well, I just enrolled at the new Film School at Cleveland State University, in Cleveland, Ohio, USA. Im going for the full-on B.F.A. Degree - Ill be 42 when I finally get my degree.

 

There is a film industry growing in Cleveland and Im jumping in with both feet. Maybe in a few years I can work on the next big thing being shot in Cleveland.

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Miguel,

Thanks for this thread.

 

Im 38, and Ive been working as an amateur videographer for like 10 years. But I dont have any actual professional training.

 

Well, I just enrolled at the new Film School at Cleveland State University, in Cleveland, Ohio, USA. Im going for the full-on B.F.A. Degree - Ill be 42 when I finally get my degree.

 

There is a film industry growing in Cleveland and Im jumping in with both feet. Maybe in a few years I can work on the next big thing being shot in Cleveland.

 

Awww, you are more than welcome Michael! :)

 

I think that age doesn't matter, what matter is the passion that you have and how much you get out of your course, so learn a lot at the film school, make connections and shoot every single thing you can! :)

 

Hopefully you will be flying even before finishing uni! :)

 

Have a lovely day!

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