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Samuel Berger

Questions On The Cinematography of "HATERS BACK OFF!"

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"Haters Back Off!" is a very unique oddity. I first became aware of it through my daughter, who seems to be on top of whatever is popular at the moment. She tends to predict trends among young people quite accurately. Well, one day I caught her watching this on Netflix and after watching some of it, I told her it was probably not kid-friendly. She then pointed out it was in the children's section of Netflix. I was surprised to see it was true. There was something unsettling about it. So I watched the whole episode with her and I realised then that it was the awkward camerawork that was unsettling, not the silly humour.

 

"Haters Back Off!" is a nightmarish rendition of what it is like to be truly subhuman in an incomprehensible world: it shows a victim of incompetent (albeit caring) parenting and her inability to understand the society she inhabits. The protagonist, Miranda Sings, is infantilised by her mother and uncle, both also lacking in sufficient self-awareness, and dreams of being famous because, after all, it's what she believes she deserves anyway.

 

And it's all played for laughs.

 

Treacherously shot in British Columbia when it should have been shot here in Washington (It takes place in Tacoma after all), the weapon of choice was a Sony F55. I don't know how much work it was for them to get usable images out of a pair of Sonys, but it worked. The look is inspired by the film NAPOLEON DYNAMITE and it shows.

 

Here is the trailer. Would you agree that most of it looks like it was shot on a 24mm lens?

 

 

This is the awkward frankencamera shoulder rig seen in most of the behind-the-scenes footage. Anyone familiar with this rig and what all is in it? Just curious. Seems to have a lot of stuff!

 

post-10433-0-90904800-1549928288_thumb.jpg

 

post-10433-0-01922700-1549928719_thumb.jpg

 

Although the show is considered a single-camera sitcom, there were actually two cameras running at all times.

 

I really love this show. It looks like the Sony F55 they used had a sensor size of 24x12.7mm and my Ursa Mini 4K sensor is 22mm x 11.88mm. I imagine the 24mm would look about the same?

 

Thanks for any info on this, it's my favourite sitcom at the moment.

 

 

 

Edited by Samuel Berger

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This is the awkward frankencamera shoulder rig seen in most of the behind-the-scenes footage. Anyone familiar with this rig and what all is in it? Just curious. Seems to have a lot of stuff!

 

Fairly standard stuff - Preston MDR for lens motors, Sniper range finder focussing aid and display, onboard mini monitor, transmitter, Angenieux zoom, clamp-on mattebox...

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I did laugh though, when I saw that camera. What a classic. I wondered if it was part of the gag. Very impressive collection of wires and gadgets but if that's standard now then fair enough. Speeds things up/makes it more efficient.

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It looks like someone picked up some miniature buildings and mecha from BLADERUNNER's futuristic L.A. and put them on their shoulder. It's interesting that even in the pro world there isn't a one-step solution, that people have to build out kits to that degree.

 

Any thoughts on what kind of Angenieux that might have been? I imagine it's hard to tell from that pic.

 

Anyway, here is a shot from the episode where Miranda crashes a Youtuber's autograph session. Look at those crazy rigs!

 

post-10433-0-81043000-1549941343_thumb.jpg

Edited by Samuel Berger

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Strange that it's hard to find information on this show, it's very recent and was shot in 2016-2017. IMDB mentions the F55 as pictured, and says Cooke S4/Mini lenses were also used. The DP was Michael Balfry, CSC. Maybe the show being made in Canada helps obscure any info about its production. "A" camera operator was Andrew Coppin and his name appears on some monitors in the BTS videos. First AC was Jesse Vance.

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Did you get a Canon, Samuel? I think you were interested in the EOS C200?

 

Good memory. Nope, still haven't been able to save for one. It's now been almost two years.

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What's the standard audio recording equipment for shows like this? Netflix shows usually have good sound. It's when I watch SyFy series that I cringe at the audio.

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What's the standard audio recording equipment for shows like this? Netflix shows usually have good sound. It's when I watch SyFy series that I cringe at the audio.

poor sound is less of an issue of kit. Mosts recorders can record better then CD quality without breaking a sweat. Sound kit is pretty standard from production to production and is generally cheaper then camera gear. Sound devices make nice field recorders in the ~$1000 bracket.

 

Problems with sound are usually production driven and tend to stem from:

1: Not hiring a qualified sound recordist/boom swinger - getting the camera op to record sound or a runner etc...

2: Filming locations used with no consideration to how they sound - e.g loud background noise or poor acoustics

3. Schedule too fast for crew to do a good job

 

Most of the audio problems I've heard in TV are based on these kind of decisions.

 

Occasionally you get extra problems created in post production - e.g poor mixing with too loud music. But thats fairly rare. A lot of poor sound on domestic TV's is due to the tiny speakers used on modern LCD's. A mix that sounds horrible on a domestic TV - may well sound amazing on studio monitors.

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