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Stephen Perera

Dream 'job', massive budget - would you shoot digital or film?

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Just now, Gregory Irwin said:

Absolutely not! He wanted digital all of the way! We could have shot film but like I’ve said, Larry was and is committed to digital. 
 

G

Cool, thanks for the inside info Greg. If you don’t mind, I’m curious to hear your take on how a director-DP disagreement about format choice gets worked out at those budget levels when most options are on the table?

At the level I am working at now, budget is almost always the deciding factor. 

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1 hour ago, Tyler Purcell said:

How can I support a claim you wouldn't believe. 

Tyler, this is the equivalent of saying “the dog ate my homework”. If you can’t provide evidence to support a claim, either don’t make it, or have a very persuasive argument why we should believe you.

With regards to the Arri issue, I work with Arri cameras all the time. Never had an issue. Never even heard of an issue. My assistants, who work on a huge range of projects,  have never once commented on Arri cameras having problems, and you can be sure they would, because they have no end of complaints about RED cameras.

if you choose to pretend that Dom’s evidence is somehow biased, despite being based on Panavision’s worldwide service logs; if you want to deny the vast majority of experience of other users, and instead cling to this assertion that you’ve made, without proof, then go ahead, but please don’t expect to ever be taken seriously again.

Likewise with your comments on Roger Deakins. You made a statement claiming that he thought film looked better than digital. You provided no direct quote. You provided no evidence of any kind to support this. Now you’re saying that it’s perhaps something that he might have said in the past, or that it was a feeling that you got from something he said. Had you said as much in the first place, I doubt anyone would have taken issue, but you didn’t. You made a unsubstantiated, and easily disproven claim, and then doubled down on it. Of course people were going to argue. Of course you were going to be picked up on it. You might want to ask yourself why it’s always you that this happens to.

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4 minutes ago, Stuart Brereton said:

With regards to the Arri issue, I work with Arri cameras all the time. Never had an issue. Never even heard of an issue. My assistants, who work on a huge range of projects,  have never once commented on Arri cameras having problems

I have seen an Alexa Mini trash a Cfast card's partition table badly. probably happened during unmounting I believe. On all the other productions the Minis have worked fine as far as I have heard

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as I have understood (and also personally experienced) , the drones and gimbals tend to be most troublesome pieces of camera equipment on field. And anything wireless is unreliable, especially if it monitors something.

Most of the wireless technology in general is crap anyway so I am just happy if a wireless device of any kind happens to work correctly even once in a while...

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2 hours ago, Satsuki Murashige said:

Cool, thanks for the inside info Greg. If you don’t mind, I’m curious to hear your take on how a director-DP disagreement about format choice gets worked out at those budget levels when most options are on the table?

At the level I am working at now, budget is almost always the deciding factor. 

Sat, I wouldn’t say it was ever a disagreement since Larry and Todd are such close friends. It was more of a pro vs. con conversation. Larry can be extremely convincing when he wants to be. Todd even came to me and asked my opinion on the matter. I have a slightly different POV than Larry but I supported his position on shooting digi 100%. It was the right decision and I favor the medium over film.  
 

G

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1 hour ago, Gregory Irwin said:

Sat, I wouldn’t say it was ever a disagreement since Larry and Todd are such close friends. It was more of a pro vs. con conversation. Larry can be extremely convincing when he wants to be. Todd even came to me and asked my opinion on the matter. I have a slightly different POV than Larry but I supported his position on shooting digi 100%. It was the right decision and I favor the medium over film.  
 

G

Great to hear from the source, thanks Greg!

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3 hours ago, Stuart Brereton said:

With regards to the Arri issue, I work with Arri cameras all the time. Never had an issue. Never even heard of an issue. My assistants, who work on a huge range of projects,  have never once commented on Arri cameras having problems, and you can be sure they would, because they have no end of complaints about RED cameras.

I mean I didn't know anything about that topic until I was at a small ma and pa rental house schmoozing with the owner. I also run a small rental business and I was just talking about how he got started. He told me his story as the AC was building the camera for our shoot and he just happened to mention the issues he was having. I was shocked because I never heard of such a thing. Where it's true, I've mostly shot with the Red, Sony, Blackmagic and various film cameras, I have been on plenty of Alexa shows and nobody had ever mentioned anything to me. I became interested once I heard his story, mostly because I wanted to verify if there was any validity to it. 

So from that day on, I simply went out of my way to ask everyone on sets and to my surprise, people went back through their memories and were like "yea I remember the A port not working" or "we had to use our backup body due to a power issue". Again, since I'm in the business of renting cameras, I've simply conversed with the management of the other rental houses I've been at and they've been pretty open to discussing it. Of course, the "fragility" of the Mini over the standard classic body was one of their concerns as well, but only when the camera was abused. It's hard to call an all of a sudden SDI port failure or power issue "abuse",  when there is no physical damage on the outside. Remember,  Dom probably takes apart cameras that are damaged and can identify it's user damage vs random part failure, where none of the other rental houses I work with can. So when a camera comes back not working, they simply send it out for service, maybe not even knowing what shoot/renter caused the issue. 

I run into this issue all the time. People return equipment, I test it, seems to work fine. Then three shoots later, someone complains about something going wrong. I take the camera back, check it out, sure enough there is something wrong. Was it the renter who just picked it up? Was it the renter before that guy? I mean you just don't know and yes... when I do have issues, sometimes it's just coincidence and other times it's a manufacturer issue, generally a bad design.

For instance, the stupid pocket cameras, the tripod mounts would come loose when you'd over-tighten the tripod shoe. One could argue it's the customers fault for over-tightening the shoe. I simple chalk it up to a design flaw and ya know what, most modern digital cinema cameras have some serious design flaws. From the fan that blows dust onto the filters/imager on the Sony FS7 to the overheating Red's with fans on top that allow pretty much anything inside the camera body. 

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4 hours ago, Stuart Brereton said:

Of course people were going to argue. Of course you were going to be picked up on it. You might want to ask yourself why it’s always you that this happens to.

I talked about someone who isn't on this forum, who I didn't quote, a comment I dug up from memory, which I honestly thought I'd be able to find. However, upon research (which I didn't have time for until two days after I made that claim), I realize it was probably from before his switch to digital. You can't expect everyone to be able to substantiate a claim immediately if not sooner.  

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45 minutes ago, Patrick Baldwin said:

There is a podcast here: https://gocreativeshow.com/cinematography-of-joker-with-lawrence-sher/ where the reasons for shooting digital are discussed. Well worth a listen. 

Yep, it's a good interview. We talked about this on another thread and I spent a lot of time discussing it on another facebook group and with friends. 

As I said in another thread, I think Lawerence Sher (and his crew) did a phenomenal job with "Joker". I would give them an Oscar nom for best cinematography for sure. It's rare for me to watch a movie (twice now) and not have major issues with the cinematography. Where I think it would have been a different more gritty image, that would have fit the piece better, had it been shot on film, that can't take away from the outstanding job the crew did on the final piece. The 70mm print added enough film grain and flicker to satisfy some of my beef's, even if I feel the digital-looking motion blur and HDR look of the blacks, made it clear the film was shot digitally. I still love the movie, love the cinematography and hope they make a part 2 very soon! It broke one billion in box office receipts! 

Edited by Tyler Purcell

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1 hour ago, Tyler Purcell said:

   "a comment I dug up from memory..." "You can't expect everyone to be able to substantiate a claim immediately...".  

If you can't substantiate your claim in your own mind, why not research what you're unsure of substantiating in your own mind a little bit before posting it publicly? 

Edited by Justin Hayward
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On 11/9/2019 at 7:05 PM, Robin R Probyn said:

Your quite right Stuart..  I was mistakenly thinking of the old forum, that was full of facts and correct advise, and opinions that were logically discussed , by very competent and professional  people ,who actually had real jobs in this industry..  people made incorrect statements ,even gave wrong advise ..I stand guilty as charged on many occasions .. others would flag this up is a polite way and the poster would  except they were wrong and make some sort of apology and thank the person who had noted their error..and added to their knowledge of said subject.. .. ah heady days.. I just thought they would never end.. such a shame ..

An allusion to an utterance of Jesus' in John 8:7, viz. “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.”

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4 hours ago, Tim Smyth said:

An allusion to an utterance of Jesus' in John 8:7, viz. “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.”

Gospel of John .Chapter 11. verse 35...

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10 hours ago, Gregory Irwin said:

It was the right decision and I favor the medium over film.  

and you guys did a wonderful job there. The joker looked gorgeous.
interesting to read that you prefer digital as AC.
I can only speak for my bubble where many AC´s are happy if they shoot film. maybe because of the variety after many digital jobs or
because they get the time to measure, use markings and so on…?

Hmm, I personally still prefer film. but that's my personal thing. I just like that. The cameras, the workflow and somehow I can deal better with highkey / highlite scenarios. But sometimes i get torn, like when I saw Joker... 🙂

I think nobody contradicts that we live in an exciting time where you have so many opportunities to make beautiful movies… If I look at all these good cameras, lenses and lamps that you can get for a bit of money these days... our creativity should actually be dancing all day ...

P.S:
It is also important! As Cinematographers and creative filmmakers, that we keep these "many" possibilities. It can happen so fast that the less creative side of our world turns a knit out of these discussions and says ... you know iphone XYZ looks like film and then we have a problem... cause thats not the true.

 

Edited by Philip Reinhold
ADD P.S.

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18 hours ago, Justin Hayward said:

If you can't substantiate your claim in your own mind, why not research what you're unsure of substantiating in your own mind a little bit before posting it publicly? 

But that's the thing, I know what I know to be the truth.  I've spent so much of my life studying his work and his life, I really thought I could share my interpretation of what I've studied and nobody would bat an eye. I have a problem posting things that nobody else knows, with the assumption that at least someone else has learned what I have. Also, it's hard to find what I'm after as American Cinematographer doesn't post their past articles for google search. So I'd have to get a subscription to AC online and read through the back issues (that I don't have) to copy and paste some quotes. 

The other problem I have is that I'm an extremely fast writer, sometimes my fingers get me into trouble. This is one of those cases that maybe should have been substantiated prior to writing and I'm sorry that I couldn't in such a short timeframe. I honestly thought it would be a google search away, but alas the oldest article I found was from 2010. That's unfortunately where I have to stop because as a fast writer, I can get ideas down on the page instantaneously, but research takes a lot of time. I'm in the middle of post on two shows, wrapping one this weekend and shooting another the weekend after, so my time is very limited. I can only write things on here because of my ability to write quick and I use it as down time when rendering or exporting. 

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On 11/9/2019 at 4:05 PM, Robin R Probyn said:

opinions that were logically discussed , by very competent and professional  people ,who actually had real jobs in this industry..

You have said this statement on many occasions and it's always been a direct attack on freelancers like myself. 

It flat out denigrate's anyone who comes on this form who doesn't get a paycheck from a studio. There are thousands of professional's out there who work even harder than union members. Freelancers, who wear multiple hats, many producing, shooting and directing content, barely able to pay bills, but doing so because they love it. Throwing all their experience out the window because they don't have a real job in the industry is asinine.

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1 hour ago, Tyler Purcell said:

But that's the thing, I know what I know to be the truth.  

Tyler, just yesterday you made a post advising someone about Netflix and anamorphic and every single piece of advice you gave was false or misleading. Something like 5 or 6 separate pieces of misinformation in one post. You thought you knew about all those things but it turns out you didn't. You thought you knew about Deakins but actual quotes from him said the opposite. You thought you knew that Arricams needed lubrication every 50,000 ft but they don't, you thought Alexa Minis have a hole leading directly to the boards but they don't, you thought DaVinci Resolve couldn't read 10 bit files from a GH5  etc etc. This just in the last few weeks. You clearly don't know what you know to be truth, you have an exaggerated opinion of your own knowledge. It does nobody any good to post things that you vaguely remember or have made  assumptions about but that actually aren't true, and it happens with you a lot. Please stop posting about things you think you know and stick to your actual areas of experience, like Blackmagic cameras or shooting film with Aatons etc or if you're unsure at least do some cursory research before posting. You have good knowledge to share, but if you keep posting misinformation as well, it gets mixed up with the good stuff and no-one can trust what you say. And it makes the forum seem untrustworthy as well, despite some of us trying really hard to make this a reliable place for information.

I know you want to be helpful, and I appreciate that you're always cordial and friendly, but it just takes a little restraint.. if you're not really sure of something, maybe just leave it for someone else to answer. 

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59 minutes ago, Tyler Purcell said:

You have said this statement on many occasions and it's always been a direct attack on freelancers like myself. 

It flat out denigrate's anyone who comes on this form who doesn't get a paycheck from a studio. There are thousands of professional's out there who work even harder than union members. Freelancers, who wear multiple hats, many producing, shooting and directing content, barely able to pay bills, but doing so because they love it. Throwing all their experience out the window because they don't have a real job in the industry is asinine.

Pay check from a studio ?? who ever said that.. Im freelance !! as are I would think 99% of people on this forum..I never said that.. I mean people who know what they are talking about .. who actually have mastered a skill and can share that knowledge .. not make stuff up and patently have no clue what they talking about  and confuse readers who are looking for information .. ie you..   

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1 hour ago, Dom Jaeger said:

I know you want to be helpful, and I appreciate that you're always cordial and friendly, but it just takes a little restraint.. if you're not really sure of something, maybe just leave it for someone else to answer.

How can you not be sure of something if you think your sure of something? 

I wasn't even responding to the OP. I was responding to Dominik Bauch who was talking about Netflix deliverables. He was the person who mentioned the low resolution issue, not me. I was confused to all shit on why someone would shoot 2.8k on an LF. I was offering ideas on what I'd do instead. You can call my ideas wrong, but they all would have worked fine and given an acceptable resolution. 

In terms of your other babble against me, bro. You wouldn't even let me explain myself, it was always "you're wrong" and that's one more check on the principals list for detention. This isn't school, you aren't my teacher and I make movies for a living, so I have a bit of experience using the equipment you service, on set, in actual applications and then taking those images and manipulating them in post, using the industry standard software. If you always shut down user feedback to the equipment that is used, then how will anyone know of the issues? How can anyone share their experiences if all they get is you coming on here telling them they're wrong. 

WRONG

WRONG

WRONG 

Only words that ever come out of your mouth. You correct everyone, about everything.

Edited by Tyler Purcell
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6 minutes ago, Robin R Probyn said:

 Dunning Kruger syndrome..   

"In short, those who are incompetent, for lack of a better term, should have little insight into their incompetence—an assertion that has come to be known as the Dunning–Kruger effect"

25 minutes ago, Robin R Probyn said:

I mean people who know what they are talking about, who actually have mastered a skill and can share that knowledge .. not make stuff up and patently have no clue what they talking about  and confuse readers who are looking for information .. ie you..   

Basically, you're saying I'm incompetent and have no clue what I'm talking about. 

You're right, I'm just an incompetent looser. 

 

 

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25 minutes ago, Tyler Purcell said:

"In short, those who are incompetent, for lack of a better term, should have little insight into their incompetence—an assertion that has come to be known as the Dunning–Kruger effect"

Basically, you're saying I'm incompetent and have no clue what I'm talking about. 

You're right, I'm just an incompetent looser. 

 

 

Im just asking you to not post about things you dont know about..and claim them as "well known".. "In reality "  "things other people don't know"  or  "things I know are true " ..  Dom has listed just a few you have been putting about only in the last week or so..  you're one man mine of misinformation..and just down right lies.. I had actually worried about embarrassing you .. but you seem to have had an embarrassment bypass at birth. you are still there fighting this losing battle.. digging that hole..Im embarrassed  for you..! please for the love of Jove.. just give it a rest.. I know its just the inter web .. but your just destroying the credibility of this forum.. rather than you suggesting I shouldn't use internet  forums.. maybe you should take that advise yourself.. or finds one thats more suited to your "style" of posts .. 

Edited by Robin R Probyn
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2 hours ago, Robin R Probyn said:

Im just asking you to not post about things you dont know about..and claim them as "well known".. "In reality "  "things other people don't know"  or  "things I know are true " ..

So to get your point across you insult me? 

You have never met me, you have never talked to me, we don't have any friends in common, we live in different continents and we share entirely different style of profession. 

Yet you have the audacity to come on this forum and in public, call me incompetent. 

You've never seen my workshop and seen me service cameras. You've never been on set with me working side by side. You've never watched me edit or for that matter, seen any of my work other than the few things I made for fun. You for sure haven't researched any of my hobbies or former careers. Never watched me make costumes or race motorcycles. Never seen me re-build scuba regulators or been on a dive. Never hung out with me in a projection booth shooting the shit between reels or been to the lab where all the magic happens. 

Yet here you are, trying to "calm" the situation down by ignoring the fact you just called ME, the guy typing right now, INCOMPETENT. 

2 hours ago, Robin R Probyn said:

I had actually worried about embarrassing you .. but you seem to have had an embarrassment bypass at birth.

Sir, the only person who should be embarrassed is you.

Why? 

Because your characterization of me is the polar opposite of the truth and pretty much everyone else knows that. 

2 hours ago, Robin R Probyn said:

your just destroying the credibility of this forum

Robin, what you may not know is that you're destroying your credibility outside of this forum. That's the joy of using real names. You just told one of the most liked "film" people in Hollywood that they're incompetent. 

What a joke. 

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5 hours ago, Tyler Purcell said:

I have a problem posting things that nobody else knows, with the assumption that at least someone else has learned what I have.

Having an opinion, even an informed opinion, on a subject is not the same thing as having a monopoly on the truth that ‘nobody else knows.’ 

Most of your posts that people have problems with share the same tone of ‘TRUTH’, regardless of whether you are stating an objective ‘fact’ (Alexa Mini has exposed circuit boards), a personal opinion (Sony Log is hard to grade), wild speculation (big-time DPs are forcing their directors into shooting digital), or just something you heard somewhere (rental house owners prefer Alexa Classics to the Minis because the Minis break all the time).

You don’t bother to differentiate for the reader which is which, broadcasting it all with equal confidence and at equal volume. Reading your posts is like parsing the tabloids at the supermarket checkout stand; there may be some stuff in there that is factually accurate and valuable to the reader, but it’s buried in the noise of opinion, speculation, hearsay, and factual inaccuracies. It would really go a long way toward smoothing things over if you simply stated up-front which is opinion and which is fact in the future. I have also been guilty of this in the past, and will strive to do better as well. 

Lastly, when your posts veer into the direction of questioning a fellow filmmaker’s motives, as with Mr. Deakins and Mr. Sher, and when someone who was actually privy to the situation corrects you, you tend to persist, argue the point, or ignore the correction. Personally, I find this to be rather rude, and I think it tends to cause more friction than is necessary. Just my opinion.

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