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2nd Unit Television
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Old June 23rd, 2006, 09:41 AM   #16
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Jonathan, I was really just being nitpicky. Like I said, I was enjoying the show as best I could. I had kids going off every 10 seconds, so really couldn't soak it all in. Maybe that's why I didn't notice the audio issues? I had to fight just to hear it anyways!

Overall, I thought the show had a lot of promise. In fact, it sort of reminded me of the TechTV show, The ScreenSavers. Back before G4 took over and made it suck.
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Old June 23rd, 2006, 12:02 PM   #17
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The guy introducing the show is indeed Jonathan.

I know Jonathan and he has expressly told me that he doesn't mind people being nitpicky. He invites constructive criticism and it helps everyone when people explain what they were dealing with and why things were done that way.

As for me, I felt like I wanted to see and have explained what was on the screen. Looks like some good info hidden there.




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Old June 23rd, 2006, 03:56 PM   #18
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Just checking messages here at CineGear and need to respond to this one. He's right. I love nit-picking. It's how I got where I am today and how I'll get where I'm going tomorrow. You have to know, I pick up alot from you all and 2nd Unit is my way of saying thank you to everyone who went before me, everyone who's been with me for 20+ years in this business and everyone like Stephen and Paolo and James and Michael and Warren and Tim and Robert and Michael and the other Stephen and 100 others here. So pick away but also look at the time frame for putting the last show together...3 days with a 1/2 day power failure. I'm NOT HAPPY with it and we're recutting it. But, when I said we'd debut at 8:00, I'm proud of hitting that mark and what my guys and girls did get together to hit that mark. And now, thanks to George Dibie and Lazlo and the ASCs at CineGear, everyone here knows about 2ndUnit as well. So nit pick away. It's what family does and this is one big family. OH yeah, one more thing. If you can make it to CineGear, it's worth the trip this year. Amazing the stuff. Bring lots of plastic though. You'll want everything you see!!!
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Old June 23rd, 2006, 03:56 PM   #19
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Just checking messages here at CineGear and need to respond to this one. He's right. I love nit-picking. It's how I got where I am today and how I'll get where I'm going tomorrow. You have to know, I pick up alot from you all and 2nd Unit is my way of saying thank you to everyone who went before me, everyone who's been with me for 20+ years in this business and everyone like Stephen and Paolo and James and Michael and Warren and Tim and Robert and Michael and the other Stephen and 100 others here. So pick away but also look at the time frame for putting the last show together...3 days with a 1/2 day power failure. I'm NOT HAPPY with it and we're recutting it. But, when I said we'd debut at 8:00, I'm proud of hitting that mark and what my guys and girls did get together to hit that mark. And now, thanks to George Dibie and Lazlo and the ASCs at CineGear, everyone here knows about 2ndUnit as well. So nit pick away. It's what family does and this is one big family. OH yeah, one more thing. If you can make it to CineGear, it's worth the trip this year. Amazing the stuff. Bring lots of plastic though. You'll want everything you see!!!
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Old June 24th, 2006, 12:33 AM   #20
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I don't want to sound like the party pooper here, guys, but the show was kind of low-budg looking, in my opinion. The concept is brilliant and I wish it all the success but I had a few issues. For example; the lighting for the interview with George was nothing short of horrendous. I was astonished watching a guy who's supposed to be the "Spielberg of lighting" getting interviewed while bathed in lighting that's just, plain, bad. He tended to go on a bit which I personally would have cut in more of the lighting B-Roll they stuck in a few places here and there. To me the cut-aways of him working practical lighting techniques with the girl was the best part of the interview. Where you can- show it, don't tell it. More cut-aways of what he's talking about would go a long way to keeping my attention, especially during long interviews. Even if it were Angelina Jolie talking I'd still get bored of staring at her for an hour. I realize they were behind the gun to deliver the show on time but you're always better off looking your best, especially on the inaugural episode, than compromising the show just to make the party. You, usually, only have one chance to hook 'em. Having said that, I'll give it the chance it deserves and watch it again next week in hopes of a more polished look.
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Old June 24th, 2006, 08:48 AM   #21
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Well, Scott, you're exactly right on many of these points and we've addressed them previously. In the end it was may call relative to what the episode was all about and I eleced to risk "bore"ing people but, to tell you the truth, I'd do it again. I really think you need to know the person when it's someone like George. Someone once said you know you've made it when your first critic says sometheing bad about you production. Well, i guess I've arrived! The one part that troubles me though is your review of the lighting. This forum is as much about learning as it is anythinig else so please let us all hear your specific issues relative to the lighting that was "just plain bad". It troubles me beacuse that's the one thing on which the everyone has commented positively with most of them ASC members from the panel yesterday. It's beneficial to everyone where you can say, "This area was flat" or "This area was shadowed too heavilly" or whatever so we can then discuss it to the benefit to all. So let's see, or rather hear, where you think specific improvments and can been made instead of saying generally it was "horrible". And know, please, that you don't have to be disagreeable to disagree. Let's just share our opinions here and discuss our apparently differeing points of view with underlying support so we can all benefit. I'll be at CineGear all day today again but checking in to I'm anxiously awaiting your response.
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Old June 24th, 2006, 09:17 AM   #22
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Hi Scott.
Well, some of your points where addressed on Thursday, when Jonathan and I discussed the video. Jonathan takes deadlines very seriously and so, I believe, he decided to post the video as promised, instead of risking missing the deadline in order to make it "pretty". Please note that Jonathan shot some additional footage on Wednesday, the inserts of George moving the lights around the model.

Jonathan has graciously agreed on letting me edit it a bit. I can tell you one thing, I looked at the timeline for the show and it had all the clips from the 3 cameras. It was just a matter of time to not be able to include all the cuts. So, we are going to address some of the issues and re-release the video soon. I first need to learn how to use Premiere :)
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Old June 24th, 2006, 09:51 AM   #23
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Jonathan, I have obviously deeply offended you and I apologize. I reread my post, as it was way past my bedtime when I wrote it, and realized the "nothing short of horrendous" part was harsh and undeserving. Sorry. As for "boring" I never said that. I only meant that George tended to go on a bit and more cut-aways would help that. When you say "I need to know the person" I take it you feel that I've dissed George. I didn't in my opinion. The guy is the king, I realize that. I was just surprised the someone of his stature, talking about painting with light and all, wouldn't at least make sure you were lit without harsh shadows etc. I'm not a DOP so what the hell do I know, anyway. You're not going to get an argument out of me or specifics on how you "should have" lit the interview cause I don't know anymore than the next guy. Good luck with the show and I look forward to the next one.
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Old June 24th, 2006, 10:13 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonathan Ames
Someone once said you know you've made it when your first critic says sometheing bad about you production. Well, i guess I've arrived!
It's always been because your show has made it "on air" for people to critique (which they will). For the web site & first show to get uploaded is a triumph. The next show will get better and then the next even better. You're up and running now which was the main thing, right John?

Once again, it's a fantastic idea which has become reality. That alone is worth a six pack of Red Stripe.
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Old June 24th, 2006, 10:31 AM   #25
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I'm watching with anticipation to see the variety of topics which get covered.
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Old June 24th, 2006, 12:30 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonathan Ames
Just checking messages here at CineGear and need to respond to this one. He's right. I love nit-picking. It's how I got where I am today and how I'll get where I'm going tomorrow. You have to know, I pick up alot from you all and 2nd Unit is my way of saying thank you to everyone who went before me, everyone who's been with me for 20+ years in this business and everyone like Stephen and Paolo and James and Michael and Warren and Tim and Robert and Michael and the other Stephen and 100 others here. So pick away but also look at the time frame for putting the last show together...
I for one very much appreciate what you are bringing together with this. It stimulates my desire to look more carefully at what I see, and pay more attention to what I am doing. I look forward to future installments. There are a couple of minor, and maybe for some people not so minor, things you will want to look at again. The nitpicky ones are things specific to this piece that are fait accompli. But there are a couple of things that you might want to reconsider for the next installment. So in the interest of offering what I hope will be seen as helpful hints for sprucing it up a bit, here goes:

You have already seen my comment about the on camera changing of the content on the monitor screen. That was actually closer to the middle, and I hope you were able to find it.

Personal opinion: the lighting of Jonathan at beginning and end was better than the lighting of Mr. Gibie in the interview. Gibie, and the monitor, cast rather prominent shadows. Could you have moved them both a little further from the wall and hit the space with the output from a 200-300 watt soft light for a more even back illumination? Given the dark clothes, that would have given a bit more contrast and by effect might have increased the apparent brightness of the shots. BTW was it just my perception or did others see that his right hand (our left) usually had more green than his left, which had more of a magenta overtone? That was an indicator of slightly uneven illumination, I believe, although I think his proximity to the monitor screen might have had something to do with it. That had to be a complicated lighting problem and overall it was not a bad view.

I hope you will forgive a bit of physics. Two popups about Lite Panels state physical impossibilities because they misapply the notion of the watt. A remark like that requires a bit of explanation, and I sure don't want to come off like some kind of know-it-all - 'cause that I ain't. A watt is a unit of power; in this case, electrical power. The wattage figure on a light bulb is not its output level but its maximum electrical power handling capability. The unit of light output is the lumen. Since bulbs with filaments strong enough to support 500 watts of electrical power can put out more radiant energy, we tend to associate a higher wattage capacity with a larger light output. That's fine for everyday speech, but when you want to compare different light sources, especially in a discussion of lighting, the colloquial use of the terms can be misleading. What you wanted to say is that at full output a Lite Panel may draw 45 watts of power, but put out as much light as a 500 watt incandescant lamp. What you are really telling us is that the Lite Panels are more efficient at converting watts to lumens than incandescent bulbs.

There was a typo in the popup on Leonardo de Caprio that had him "staring" as Luke Bower. (Now that's nit pickin'! - unless you're Leonardo de Caprio)

The signoff at the end looked clumsy to me. I wonder if it would have looked better if you had faded to black while Jonathan was still looking at the camera instead of having him look for a couple of seconds and cut as he starts to swing forward to get up. It's a style thing, I'm sure, but it seemed a little odd - like he was waiting for a cue to cut and it didn't come, so he finally just got up.

Most of these things are so small they hit us below our level of cognition until someone points them out. But then, it is that subtleness that is a driver in setting mood, a point Mr. Gibie was at some pains to make. Anyway, I hope these notes are useful. I think the overall project is excellent, and I applaud what you have done and intend to do.
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Old June 24th, 2006, 12:53 PM   #27
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As promissed, here we are checking in at a break in the CineGrea panel discussions as I promise and I want to respond briefly to this post just to say Thank You... it's EXACTLY what 2nd Unit is all about, and thank you so much for the time to bring these things up. Everyone learns through dialogue, exact, specific dialogue like this so again, thanks. I have to get back to CineGear but I'll address the points it makes later this evening when the show dies down.
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Old June 24th, 2006, 01:02 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen Knapp
There was a typo in the popup on Leonardo de Caprio that had him "staring" as Luke Bower. (Now that's nit pickin'! - unless you're Leonardo de Caprio)
I don't know about that... you ever see Decrapio in that role?
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Old June 24th, 2006, 01:04 PM   #29
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Scott, No problem and I certainly didn't feel offended. Ask some of the people here!!! You'll know it if you've offended me maliciously. One time someone purposely and I might add unwarrentedly (new word again!!!) attacked me and I was amazed and the dogpile this group had on this guy. I didn't even have to post anything, they pretty much said it all. So, you'll never offend me with your personal observations and opinions. It's how we all learn and it's what families do. I can't express that enough. If I didn't think this to be a family of filmmakers, I wouldn't be spending the time and tons of money it takes to porduce this. Remember, we're not a profit engine. All of this comes out of my own personal pocket so far to the tune of almost $200k with equipment, talent, crew that gets paid, location, transportation, makeup, insurance (BIGTIME) and the hundreds of other expenses, well, you get the idea. It's an expensive proposition briginging 13 episodes to the big or small screen so believe me, no offense taken. Again, it's what 2nd Unit is all about and it's why my crew keeps comibng back like Warren a,d Paolo and Scott and Jeff and a dozen others that threw in with me for this. AND it's what the sponsors want too. We're starting to get some much-appreciated financial support from these big companies so I want to hear and to know what you want, what you think and what you feel. This is truly your show, I'm just the producer.
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Old June 24th, 2006, 01:08 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonathan Ames
This is truly your show, I'm just the producer.
Is it too early for me to ask for a raise? What about Health Benies?
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