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55 minutes ago, aapo lettinen said:

to me, the main issue with today's cinematography is that very few people seem to be interested in mastering their lighting skills, especially the younger generation. It is extremely camera/technology centric nowadays and most people just don't seem to care that much about the final image as long as it is technically perfect on the pixel level. 

bad lighting and grade makes any format look like crap, whether being film or digital. But the issue is that if you want to master those skills, purchasing more fancy gear does not help at all. so it is much easier to just purchase the new fancy camera than to spend five or ten years finessing one's lighting skills. 

the whole "painting with light" approach lost, nowadays it being more like just recording something quickly so that the viewer can see and hear what is going on in the scene and then trying to polish it later in post to make it watchable. just making standardised lighting for all the scenes and then adding some stock music in post to try to set the mood for the scene

Totally  disagree .. its the opposite ... films / tv / commercials / docs are all looking so much better these days ,than ever before .. big budget films for the 80,s even 90,s  look like shite in comparison to much small budget productions now .. the average level on all productions is massively better than 15 years ago, to say that younger generation DP,s don't care abut the final image ..is just totally wrong and insulting .. what is the evidence for this statement.. look at any recent show and it looks amazing .. whats going on here .. why this dissing of the younger generation of DP,s ..they are far better  on average the. ever before .. there are quite big time DP,s of the 70,and 80,s who wouldn't get a days work these days .. the bar has never been higher ..Jesus.. have you not been watching Netflix / HBO etc .. everything looks good .. every feature film looks look .. 

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39 minutes ago, Robin R Probyn said:

Totally  disagree .. its the opposite ... films / tv / commercials / docs are all looking so much better these days ,than ever before .. big budget films for the 80,s even 90,s  look like shite in comparison to much small budget productions now .. the average level on all productions is massively better than 15 years ago, to say that younger generation DP,s don't care abut the final image ..is just totally wrong and insulting .. what is the evidence for this statement.. look at any recent show and it looks amazing .. whats going on here .. why this dissing of the younger generation of DP,s ..they are far better  on average the. ever before .. there are quite big time DP,s of the 70,and 80,s who wouldn't get a days work these days .. the bar has never been higher ..Jesus.. have you not been watching Netflix / HBO etc .. everything looks good .. every feature film looks look .. 

no need to be sarcastic all the time, you know what I'm talking about 😄  most of the Netflix movies looking like those scripted low budget documentaries but with slightly better production design and actors 🙂 using the same key light for every shot and so on. "Hasty and cheap" looking most of the time and most of the stuff actually looking like they had the sets of all the shows built back to back into the same studio lot and when calling "cut" they just panned the camera 180° and started to shoot a take for the other show when the current one setups for the next scene🤣

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11 hours ago, aapo lettinen said:

no need to be sarcastic all the time, you know what I'm talking about 😄  most of the Netflix movies looking like those scripted low budget documentaries but with slightly better production design and actors 🙂 using the same key light for every shot and so on. "Hasty and cheap" looking most of the time and most of the stuff actually looking like they had the sets of all the shows built back to back into the same studio lot and when calling "cut" they just panned the camera 180° and started to shoot a take for the other show when the current one setups for the next scene🤣

Well I would disagree again.. almost every think looks good these days .. the average standard of "cinematography " has never been higher .. there is stuff on you tube shot with an A7s that looks way way better than "high end " commercials  / feature films of 15 -10 years ago .. its a bit much to say young DP,s don't care what the image looks like !! .. they do and they are producing way better camera work that the generation before them across the board..  the evidence is just massively obvious .. 

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20 hours ago, Gabriel Devereux said:

On film the image is not 'created' on the set anymore than digital. I've yet to see chemists on set altering chemical compounds of said emulsion in an attempt to boost the magenta channel/layer while you're attempting to get a shot. If anything the look of film is somewhat predicated by the stock you choose disregarding the post process the emulsion and prints will go through similar to that of a digital pipeline  however arguably with less control. 

Well yea, much less control. So with film you kinda have to get what you're after on set. 

20 hours ago, Gabriel Devereux said:

I don't see why you view a film being graded in a certain way sad. Is choosing a certain stock for a certain look, sad? Is it because the film maker has more latitude and can make more refined decisions? Because it means they can potentially fix an error? The latter two I believe are the main causation for the DI to be knocked but personally I don't mind it. 

I'm tired of modern show/film grades, which are all so focused on altering the look of the shot medium to a point where it no longer resides in reality. 

20 hours ago, Gabriel Devereux said:

The amount of times people throw around the term 'The DP's job is too *insert remark here*' I find interesting yet, isn't our primary job, above all else, to deliver an image? The images that are being delivered 'nowadays' I would partly consider more exhilarating, exciting than in previous decades - this is of course disregarding the actual creating of the image which as said above is becoming easier with more latitude and tools. With that - the bar of quality is getting higher, while the required skill is getting lower. It's almost as if cinematography is becoming easy to learn, hard to master. Which is different, but I wouldn't knock it. 

The thing is, what do you need to master when you can fix everything in post? Not saying everyone does that, plenty of DP's treat the image coming off their camera as sacred and only do minor tweaks in post. My earlier comment was referring to two shows I know pretty well and how their images were treated. I felt it was not required to tell a good story. 

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21 hours ago, Robin R Probyn said:

But surely thats the same for film .. Ive been a lot of film sets that looked nothing like the finished graded shots .. you could see that all the time on the old DVD ,s that had the out takes after the film .. ungraded they looked quite ordinary alot of the time ..  And video sets with DITs adding LUTs to calibrated monitors that looked great .. ? 

I mean I've been on a lot of sets too, I haven't noticed that phenomena on film shows. On digital shows "fix it in post" is usually discussed before even trying to fix it on set. 

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2 hours ago, Tyler Purcell said:

I mean I've been on a lot of sets too, I haven't noticed that phenomena on film shows. On digital shows "fix it in post" is usually discussed before even trying to fix it on set. 

Well most big shows are shooting raw or at least slog so there is bound to be alot done in post .. but film is also just the negative .. it will need quite a bit done in the lab and post .. its a bit if a generalization to say there is more in digital than film .. and anyway is it not better to have options in post .. 

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19 hours ago, Robin R Probyn said:

Well most big shows are shooting raw or at least slog so there is bound to be alot done in post .. but film is also just the negative .. it will need quite a bit done in the lab and post .. its a bit if a generalization to say there is more in digital than film .. and anyway is it not better to have options in post .. 

Yea, I mean nobody is baking in a LUT that's for sure. However, the amount of re-tooling of shots in post these days is incredible. I've been involved on that side, from the engineering perspective and I've sat in rooms when they're doing final color for some pretty big shows and it's remarkable how many power windows they have, we're talking dozens of them per shot. They composite the living crap out of nearly every shot. This is to basically 'fix' what was shot on set and create a very specific look, maybe because they couldn't afford to make that look on set, or maybe because it's still cheaper to make it look a certain way in post. Needless to say, post these days is really about incessant tweaking and not just telling the damn story. 

At least with film, you kinda have to light right, you're forced to do several things you aren't forced to do with digital. Thus, it helps smoothen out the post workflow quite a bit. I have to say from experience on editing/coloring on both formats, the limitations of film really force you to be accurate on set. You can't just use the "fix it in post" mentality, it doesn't work. 

 

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1 hour ago, Tyler Purcell said:

..I've sat in rooms when they're doing final color for some pretty big shows and ..

 

I really wish we could get an actual colourist to give some realistic input rather than Tyler’s opinions based on what often turns out to be imaginary or exaggerated experiences. 

2 hours ago, Tyler Purcell said:

This is to basically 'fix' what was shot on set..


At least with film, you kinda have to light right, you're forced to do several things you aren't forced to do with digital. 

I think it’s pretty insulting to the DPs working on these shows to have someone like Tyler blather on about post “fixing” their lighting or having to create a look because the DP wasn’t   able to create one on set, as opposed to film DPs who are forced to “light right” because you can’t manipulate film in post as much. Sorry, but this just comes off as such an insulting crock of shit, and a massive generalisation about the vastly different projects that get shot on both film and digital.

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4 hours ago, Tyler Purcell said:

Yea, I mean nobody is baking in a LUT that's for sure. However, the amount of re-tooling of shots in post these days is incredible. I've been involved on that side, from the engineering perspective and I've sat in rooms when they're doing final color for some pretty big shows and it's remarkable how many power windows they have, we're talking dozens of them per shot. They composite the living crap out of nearly every shot. This is to basically 'fix' what was shot on set and create a very specific look, maybe because they couldn't afford to make that look on set, or maybe because it's still cheaper to make it look a certain way in post. Needless to say, post these days is really about incessant tweaking and not just telling the damn story. 

At least with film, you kinda have to light right, you're forced to do several things you aren't forced to do with digital. Thus, it helps smoothen out the post workflow quite a bit. I have to say from experience on editing/coloring on both formats, the limitations of film really force you to be accurate on set. You can't just use the "fix it in post" mentality, it doesn't work. 

 

Although equally you could argue , and Im sure its been done .. because you can have DIT,s , calibrated monitors ,  LUTs etc, you really can see what you are going to get with digital , you can get it very close to what you want the end look too be .. more so that film .. except maybe a few very experienced film folks .. but even Sir Roger had anxiety over the next days rushes ..  🙂 

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Posted (edited)
On 6/5/2021 at 12:14 AM, Dom Jaeger said:

Sorry, but this just comes off as such an insulting crock of shit, and a massive generalisation about the vastly different projects that get shot on both film and digital.

Do you even work on films? How many have you colored before? How many clients have you worked with as a colorist, where you've had to change the color of someone's shirt throughout the entire film, alter the color of the sky or ground, change day to night or night to day, remove people from shots, add people to shots, remove objects from shots, add backgrounds, nodes upon nodes of beauty, tweaking/adding lighting, stabilization, chroma key, etc. Forget about creating a "look" for the film, which is an entirely different node group anyway. 

It's the old adage; "Just because you can do a thing, doesn't mean you MUST do that thing". The tools exist, so filmmakers today are forced to use them. With digital its wholesale, not a single professional production is finished without these tools. It's very common on digital shows to alter the entire look of the project wholesale compared to what it looked like on set. Many times pushing the DP aside. Only on the very top shows, do the DP's have any real say on the finished product AND, the story trumps anything the DP says. So if the director says "hey we're changing this scene to be a night scene", the DP has no choice but to say yes. On film, you just can't do that sorta shit, it's literally impossible. As a consequence, DP's have more control with film, they can literally put post in a box where they can't do much at all. The film they shot, is the film that will come out in theaters. Good luck trying to do that on a digital show... even shooting REC709 Pro Res on the Alexa, there is still a pretty large range of adjustment available. 

Outside of the obvious things I mentioned above, one of the other major problems of course is beauty. Faces unfortunately are pretty crisp on digital, especially with modern lenses. Due to digital imagers ability to see a wider dynamic range in the sub grey areas, you have a lot more data to play with. Faces are generally more textured than normal, which makeup helps with, but in the end you still need to do a boat load of beauty to clean up. With film you really don't need to even use much makeup at all, just to help reduce reflections and such. Using beauty on a film shoot would require the entire frame to be de-noised/grain, then beauty added, then grain put back in again. It's a nightmare, which is why it's just not really done on film shows outside of emergency fixes in certain areas. Less makeup on set AND much less time doing beauty work in post, saves quite a bit of time and money. 

 

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Posted (edited)
On 6/5/2021 at 12:55 AM, Robin R Probyn said:

Although equally you could argue , and Im sure its been done .. because you can have DIT,s , calibrated monitors ,  LUTs etc, you really can see what you are going to get with digital , you can get it very close to what you want the end look too be .. more so that film .. except maybe a few very experienced film folks .. but even Sir Roger had anxiety over the next days rushes ..  🙂 

But what you see on set is rarely what the finished product looks like Robin. I'm also not talking about reality television or industrial films. I'm referring to main stream workflow for music videos, commercials, scripted dramatic TV and features. Read my response to Dom's remarks above, more details on why things are done the way they're done. 

Ohh and you'd be surprised about RAW with Alexa's. I have only done one Arri Raw show and we didn't touch the raw files until the very end. Nearly everything on Alexa's is done with Pro Res because the files are so much smaller and with XQ you get 12 bit 444, which is all ya need. Sure with Red's ya shoot Red Code, but it has a lot of limitations at the higher compression ratio's which most people shoot to save space. I also work at lot with XAVC-I from Canon and Sony cameras, haven't once received a project that's RAW from either companies cameras, or have I personally tried using raw on either system. Too much data to deal with. 

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On 6/7/2021 at 3:10 AM, Tyler Purcell said:

Faces are generally more textured than normal, which makeup helps with, but in the end you still need to do a boat load of beauty to clean up. 

Isn't it better and cheaper to just use a Glimmerglass or something? I mean, if productions are genuinely budget conscious, why are they spending so much in post? I wonder if a lot of producers actually know what they are doing. Clown world...

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2 hours ago, Karim D. Ghantous said:

I mean, if productions are genuinely budget conscious, why are they spending so much in post?

I mean don't get me wrong, the stuff I'm talking about has nothing to do with indy/low budget production. The sub $1M productions, are rushed in production and in post, no doubt about it. I'm referring to the higher end production the 50M+ movies, where they'll spend 45 days on set and over 100 days in post. This is pretty typical from not only the shows I've worked as post supervisor and lead editor, but also the shows I've worked on in the technical fields. Again, because the tools exist, the ease of using them, they want to screw with everything to fix what they couldn't get right on set. It happens even on really great movies, ones you'd never know had so much re-tooling of the story and look in post. It's just common place these days and does it make better movies? No it does not. The movies which tell great stories in the camera, generally are better films to begin with. Throw the gimmicks out the door please and just tell me a great story. 

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2 hours ago, Tyler Purcell said:

I mean don't get me wrong, the stuff I'm talking about has nothing to do with indy/low budget production. The sub $1M productions, are rushed in production and in post, no doubt about it. I'm referring to the higher end production the 50M+ movies, where they'll spend 45 days on set and over 100 days in post. This is pretty typical from not only the shows I've worked as post supervisor and lead editor, but also the shows I've worked on in the technical fields. Again, because the tools exist, the ease of using them, they want to screw with everything to fix what they couldn't get right on set. It happens even on really great movies, ones you'd never know had so much re-tooling of the story and look in post. It's just common place these days and does it make better movies? No it does not. The movies which tell great stories in the camera, generally are better films to begin with. Throw the gimmicks out the door please and just tell me a great story. 

I thought you were specialised on the sub 1M productions and commercials / docs.  You should ask the line producers of these 50M+ shows to correct the credits and imdb

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Posted (edited)
On 6/7/2021 at 11:34 PM, aapo lettinen said:

You should ask the line producers of these 50M+ shows to correct the credits and imdb

Tell me about it.

When you work as an engineer, the only people who get credit are the post house executives, they never credit the technical people. Worst part is working in restoration, when you're literally doing a full restorations of films, doing new color, new audio mix, record out, etc. ZERO credits. I was yelled at for posting an instagram picture of the color bay over at technicolor where we were doing the work. It really sucks when you spend months doing something and get zero credit for it. 

I'm sure most people who work in Hollywood have faced the same issues I've faced with getting credit. I shot a feature when I first got here that never got released due to a feud between the producers and the director, weeks of work with no credit. I've shot several TV pilots, none of them went anywhere. I've been the DP and/or editor on a dozen scripted/dramatic industrial films. Then you add the commercials, music videos and beauty projects, the list of uncredited productions FAR exceeds what's on my IMDB right now. If you check out my instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tye1138/ you can see many of them on there, but it only goes back to 2017 and of course, on some shows I was not allowed to take on-set BTS, so all ya get is an image of the build for that shoot.

On 6/7/2021 at 11:34 PM, aapo lettinen said:

I thought you were specialised on the sub 1M productions and commercials / docs

Sure, but I'm also an engineer and when you work for some pretty big firms, you're placed on some pretty big shows to help with their post workflows. So yea, I've been a fly on the wall on much bigger shows than I'm usually the creative on. I've learned a lot about how the bigger shows work, it's quite different than what I normally do for sure. 

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1 hour ago, Tyler Purcell said:

 

When you work as an engineer, the only people who get credit are the post house executives, they never credit the technical people. Worst part is working in restoration, when you're literally doing a full restorations of films, doing new color, new audio mix, record out, etc. ZERO credits. I was yelled at for posting an instagram picture of the color bay over at technicolor where we were doing the work. It really sucks when you spend months doing something and get zero credit for it. 

 

😅 Tell me about it!  500+ features over 25 years but "publicity is not your job".  I should legally change my name to "We", because "We" did all this work...

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2 hours ago, Tyler Purcell said:

Tell me about it.

When you work as an engineer, the only people who get credit are the post house executives, they never credit the technical people. Worst part is working in restoration, when you're literally doing a full restorations of films, doing new color, new audio mix, record out, etc. ZERO credits. I was yelled at for posting an instagram picture of the color bay over at technicolor where we were doing the work. It really sucks when you spend months doing something and get zero credit for it. 

I'm sure most people who work in Hollywood have faced the same issues I've faced with getting credit. I shot a feature when I first got here that never got released due to a feud between the producers and the director, weeks of work with no credit. I've shot several TV pilots, none of them went anywhere. I've been the DP and/or editor on a dozen scripted/dramatic industrial films. Then you add the commercials, music videos and beauty projects, the list of uncredited productions FAR exceeds what's on my IMDB right now. If you check out my instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tye1138/ you can see many of them on there, but it only goes back to 2017 and of course, on some shows I was not allowed to take on-set BTS, so all ya get is an image of the build for that shoot.

Sure, but I'm also an engineer and when you work for some pretty big firms, you're placed on some pretty big shows to help with their post workflows. So yea, I've been a fly on the wall on much bigger shows than I'm usually the creative on. I've learned a lot about how the bigger shows work, it's quite different than what I normally do for sure. 

well, I have learned in the industry that not getting the credit for the hard work usually means that those people hate your guts and they want to damage your career and would rather not work with you ever again if they absolutely don't have to.

I would want to find out why that is the case in those post houses. Surely you could find work in places where they credit the technical people like it is customary in almost every other production out there? I mean, it is normal to credit the unpaid interns and daily workers too. Vfx artists and technical people always get the credit. but if they hire another company to do some part of the work then if you work under them, it may be possible that the credits don't end up in the final movie because someone lost the memo and forgot everyone in that subhire company

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1 hour ago, aapo lettinen said:

well, I have learned in the industry that not getting the credit for the hard work usually means that those people hate your guts and they want to damage your career and would rather not work with you ever again if they absolutely don't have to.

Yea, thats absolutely not the case here. None of the teams that worked on their products got credited at all. We're talking dozens of people. They credit the chef's newborn, but they don't credit the people who prep the shows and engineer the workflows. 

1 hour ago, aapo lettinen said:

I would want to find out why that is the case in those post houses. Surely you could find work in places where they credit the technical people like it is customary in almost every other production out there? I mean, it is normal to credit the unpaid interns and daily workers too. Vfx artists and technical people always get the credit. but if they hire another company to do some part of the work then if you work under them, it may be possible that the credits don't end up in the final movie because someone lost the memo and forgot everyone in that subhire company

Well yes, it's a 3rd party company. Example.. in Christopher Nolan films, he credits the guys at Fotokem. But on Quentin Tarantino's movies, they only credit the lab manager and the sales manager. The projectionist who does dailies? No credit. The guy who did all of the film-out's? No credit. The guy who did the color matching from film to Digital and back to film again? No credit. There were at least a dozen people who were not credited. 

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6 hours ago, aapo lettinen said:

well, I have learned in the industry that not getting the credit for the hard work usually means that those people hate your guts and they want to damage your career and would rather not work with you ever again if they absolutely don't have to.

I am not in the business, so I don't know for sure, but based on my understanding of psychology, I don't think the reason is as nefarious as you point out. I think it's more simple than that: everyone is busy and they have little time for pleasantries. Life isn't fair, but it doesn't mean that people don't like you.

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14 hours ago, Karim D. Ghantous said:

I am not in the business, so I don't know for sure, but based on my understanding of psychology, I don't think the reason is as nefarious as you point out.

Here in Hollywood, it's not nefarious at all. Many productions just don't want to bother with IMDB. Maybe because they're too embarrassed to show they've done some short films? Maybe because they don't want the publicity? Maybe it's a brand or model who doesn't want any recognition? I will never understand that mentality. Nobody knows who the DP or Editor is on a music video or commercial, so why not give them credit on IMDB? This way at least they get SOMETHING for all the hard work outside of a paycheck. I've spent upwards of a month working on a single commercial before, with the shoot, clients notes, multiple versions, etc. That's more time than I usually spend on a short narrative. When your IMDB and your "credit list" don't match up, people get concerned and may not hire you. So IDK, credits are a big deal in my book and yes, a lot of shows when you're a smaller part of the machine, ya don't get any credit if you aren't directly being paid by the production. That's pretty common. 

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