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2nd Unit Television
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Old September 30th, 2006, 10:10 AM   #1
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This is the end

Well, almost. Season 1's finale is out. Episode 13 brings you on on the set of CBS's "The Unit", with Krishna Rao and Giovanni Lampassi, DP and gaffer for the show. An eye-opening interview that shows that not all sets are based on tyranny and micromanagement but instead on trust and freedom of artistict espression. Krishna and Giovanni interview runs for about one hour. I decided to split it two to avoid lengthy downloads. This means that we will have an Episode 14 next week. And that will be really the end... of Season 1. Season 2 is already in the works so don't worry, "2nd Unit" will continue to bring you the top players of Hollywood's directly on your computer screen :)

Enjoy.
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Old September 30th, 2006, 10:17 AM   #2
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Congrats, on making it thru season one! I'll go watch the footage now and then leave feedback.

~Gabriel~
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Old September 30th, 2006, 03:23 PM   #3
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Congratulations, again! Great stuff. I can not wait until next week. I loved the intro scene! You did pretty good!

Jonathan, do you wear those clothes all the time? haha.
But no, really you guys did an awesome job. Thanks!
~Gabriel~
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Old September 30th, 2006, 04:14 PM   #4
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Thank you Gabriel.
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Old September 30th, 2006, 04:21 PM   #5
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Oh! I forgot. I was going to ask you, What three cameras do you use on the set? And what lights?

Thanks in advance!
~Gabriel~
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Old September 30th, 2006, 07:18 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gabriel Yeager
Oh! I forgot. I was going to ask you, What three cameras do you use on the set? And what lights?
If you look at the end of the video, after the end of the credits there are a few still photos that show the set from far back. We used the usual 3 JVC HD100 calibrated with my TrueColor 3 config and the set was lit both with the ambient light used by "The Unit" and a few 1x1 and a 2x2 LitePanels. I think that you can see the 2x2 in one of the stills.
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Old October 1st, 2006, 04:13 PM   #7
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No, I always wear flight ops suits!!!!!!!! Congrats to Paolo. Great job on the shots.
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Old October 1st, 2006, 06:09 PM   #8
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Thank you boss :)
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Old October 1st, 2006, 07:32 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonathan Ames
No, I always wear flight ops suits!!!!!!!! Congrats to Paolo. Great job on the shots.
haha! You should. It looks good on you... :D

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paolo Ciccone
Thank you boss :)
How formal of you.
(OT) Do you mind if I ask, how you guys met, and came up with the idea of 2nd unit television doing interviews with pros?
I mean, I can take my guess's at these. But I would rather know the real thing.

Thanks guys!
~Gabriel~
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Old October 1st, 2006, 08:33 PM   #10
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Well, 2nd Unit is the brainchild of Jonathan. I'll leave to him to explain how he came up with the idea. We met via the HD100 forums. J bought 6 HD100 prior to start 2nd Unit and he noticed my posts in the forum. The week before shooting the first episode he asked me if I wanted to be one of the 3 camera operators. I accepted and the rest is history :)
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Old October 1st, 2006, 10:36 PM   #11
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Actually it's a study in how valuable these boards are. Pure love of the craft is first and foremost here where people come together to give of themselves and their time to help others. Sure, there are the occasional jerks here and there that just want to talk to hear themselves talk and play the expert when they don't know the first thing about filmmaking but all-in-all, the people on these forums are wonderful people. The problem was that the advice I was finding was limited by the fact that the members were, for the most part, very experienced amateurs who had rarely set foot on a real sound strange. And when I say "real" I mean shows like 24 or NCIS or The Unit, Miami Vice, The Island and the like; places where the real pros live and work. Add to this the fact that, for the most part, the people who are really responsible for the look and feel and yes the success of most of those shows, the DPs, the Gaffers, the Best Boys who work "Below the Line" don't get the recognition they deserve much less the money they warrant and I thought how great it would be to bring people who really had a thirst for knowledge and a love for the art of making movies together with people who had learned to make shows like 24 and NCIS and the like really work. And that's how it all started.

So I put up the money to make the move to HD or more precisely HDV which I had to do anyway because of the production I was involved in demanded the move, buy alot of equipment and, being in the business for more years than I care to think of, made sure I could get people like George Spiro Dibie and other ASC people to appear with me. Then I made some more calls and found people like Paolo and Scott Chambers and Michael Ross and Jaime Emmanuelli a few others who care enough week after week to work the production of 2nd Unit into their already busy schedules and here we are. The idea was and is to move the experience of people like Rodney Charters and Jody Eldred and a hundred other friends I have over to the 150,000 independent filmmakers out there who don't have their experience. The idea is to preserve the art of filmmaking. The idea is to give others a chance to learn in an environment where the information being presented is honest and valid and not pushed by the marketing dollar. And the idea is to make a difference in a world where everywhere I looked, no one would do anything if there wasn't a big dollar ROI return on investment attached to it.

In the last six months since I started this project, I've made some of the best friends I've ever had. People who for some reason believed me when I said I didn't want anything in return except to see the light bulb go on over the heads of people who read my site. And pretty soon, my site and my vision and my idea became our site and our vision and our ideas and today 2nd Unit is growing leaps and bounds supported by some of the biggest names in the industry. Sony, Apple, Adobe, Tiffen, Fujinon and other up and comers like LitePanels who makes what I consider to be the best lighting available and Studio Direct Cosmetics which I can honestly say makes the world's best cosmetics that I'd put up against any...any of the big names head to head and cosmetics that the industry is using and using big time. These corporations have given us carte blanche into their worlds. They're supporting us with the money it takes to expand and the equipment it takes to expand. And before you ask, if you don't know by now, no, we select the equipment before we approach the manufacturers and ask them to come on board. As Paolo said, I bought 6 JVC 100HDs before I even told JVC what we were doing. Then, when we elected to step up the production to a full-fledged feature, we tested the available equipment and selected Sony as the camera of choice and Fujinon for the lenses we wanted. In both instances, our reputation for honesty and integrity and hard work preceded us and now both are rabid supporters of 2nd Unit. They don't tell us what we can and can't say but rather require that we keep on telling the truth. Could we have asked for an gotten a couple of F900s for the feature we're doing, El Papel? Yup. But we didn't want them because it would have been overkill. I asked for and received F350s; 1/2" cameras that we'll use to prove that this camera can do everything necessary to produce a great feature film/pilot and 13-week episodic dramatic series piloted by the experienced amateurs of this board and DVXUser.com.

The cast and crew are mostly all amateurs and I'm so excited to get it completed and out to Sony and the rest of the world that I can't sleep at night. And why? Because 2nd Unit revolves wholly around proving the importance of the basics of education provided by the guests that appear on 2nd Unit. It lives to dispel rumors that this camera or that lens can't be used for drama or that equipment limitation is the culprit of bad films. I'm excited to finish this project and move on to the next because there's no limit to the good people I come into contact with here and on other boards can do; people who have at their very core a need to help others improve their workproduct, a product which is a reflection of their very soul. That, in a nutshell is how we got started and where we're going. And we invite you to come on aboard. For 2nd Unit the reward is, most certainly, the journey. It may sound corny but we've earned the right over the last six months and 13 successful episodes to be corny.
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Old October 2nd, 2006, 11:11 AM   #12
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Thank you. When (or if) You guys ever come to the northwest, be sure to let me know. I would be more then happy to jump aboard for a day.

Sorry if I am asking a million questions, but I have one last one.
What do you use for transportation? And how do you afford it? The gas prices got pretty high for a little bit. Thankfully they are starting to go down.

Thanks a bunch guys!
~Gabriel~
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Old October 2nd, 2006, 01:53 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gabriel Yeager
What do you use for transportation? And how do you afford it
Jonathan's drive:

http://www.2nd-unit.tv/images/excursion-s.jpg

As ou can see he's not too happy about fueling :) Here is the inside.

http://www.2nd-unit.tv/images/inside_excursion-s.jpg

The RV is great to load all the exquipment, get near the location and establish "base camp" there. Many times we get to the place the day before, sleep in there and start at 6:00am without having to commute.

Myself, I use a small Honda Civic, it has excellent mileage but still it costs me a few hundred dollars a month to drive it from Santa Cruz to LA. There are sacrifices that you need to do in order to build anything. Jonathan can tell you hist story, he sold an Internet company years ago. I am fortunate enough to have built a modest business (http://www.hellrisercustoms.com) that pays the bills and allows me to take time off to pursue new interests. It takes time to get to this point. Everybody has a different story, remember Rodriguez's story? How he sold his body to science for 1 month to get his original capital? :)
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Old October 2nd, 2006, 05:57 PM   #14
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Cool. That thing has got to go thru the gas fast. But at least it looks comfortable.

I can't help but notice you had a couple macs in that picture. I use mac, and prefer it over all.

Your website is good, Paolo! It looks like it could be a fun job.
Thanks for sharing all this info!

~Gabriel~
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Old October 2nd, 2006, 06:15 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gabriel Yeager
C
I can't help but notice you had a couple macs in that picture. I use mac, and prefer it over all.
We like'em too. I'm an old Unix geek and became a convert when Mac OS X was introduced. The laptop that you see on the table is what I use to edit "2nd Unit. You can seem, hidden by the foam core, two Lacie external HDs used to store the footage. I love being able to move and bring my editing suite with me.

BTW, both photos were taken with a 15mm Canon fisheye, I then de-fished the photos with the free "DeFish" app.


Take care.
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