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Old February 26th, 2012, 11:41 PM   #31
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Re: Act of Valor movie shot on 5D

msnbc.com Entertainment - 'Act of Valor,' featuring real Navy SEALs, wins box office war

Its making money according to this news. So people must be watching it. -MISSION ACCOMPLISHED. :)
I'm watching it tomorrow with some friends. Congrats Charles.
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Old February 28th, 2012, 01:15 AM   #32
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Re: Act of Valor movie shot on 5D

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Originally Posted by Dylan Couper View Post
Charles, any idea why the boat interrogation scene was 60% out of focus?

Actualy, there were some key monolog shots that were out of focus (eyes out of focus, ears in focus type of stuff. The focus puller's first day with a 5D2?)

FWIW, thought the movie overall was terrible. Horribly directed, Grade 3 writing, and the acting... well, don't think everyone will ever use soldiers as actors again... but the Steadicam work was great! :)
Maybe I am a bit biased because I work with Shane but after reading "thought the movie overall was terrible" I wonder if you watched the same movie. Do a search on Twitter for "Act of Valor" and read what people are saying. I'd say they are 99% positive. Forget the "critics" reviews and read Rotten Tomatoes or any of the other review sites and look how positive the audience is about this movie.

This film was not shot like a traditional movie. There were very little "re-takes" and the interrogation scene you are referring to on the boat was shot as part of that entire yacht takedown sequence - all of it shot in 1 day. Normally a sequence like that would have taken 3+ days to shoot. This was also one of the times the 5D2 was used - when there was no manual settings, no 24p. Try keeping someone in focus on a sensor that size at f2.8. It's like shooting at under a 1 on a Super 35mm sensor. They decided they wanted that scene in very shallow depth of field to give the feeling that Cristo's world was closing in on him. The AC's on this pic are all established and talented focus pullers. Some of them zen masters.

I do hear the "acting was terrible" comment a lot. The acting from the "real" actors, such as Roselyn and the bad guys was actually really good and the SEALS did a bang up job considering they are not actors. The problem is that the audience is so use to over dramatic acting that we think normal delivery of dialogue in a real sense seems stiff. Well that is because that is how SEALS talk. They don't shout, cry, throw their arms in the air. Watch the movie again, look into their eyes. That is real. Watch their muscle memory, they way they movie. I'd rather watch that then over dramatic bs that "Hollywood" thinks is real.

Is Act of Valor totally polished - no. It wasn't that kind of film.
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Old February 28th, 2012, 01:40 AM   #33
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Re: Act of Valor movie shot on 5D

Tim...everyone can have their own opinion. I've heard a few about the movie and they range from enthusiastic to, well, Dylan! As far as the acting goes--I don't think it's really accurate to say that we are attuned to "over-dramatic" acting. I can think of many examples of fine actors pulling off dialogue that seems entirely natural. The guys did a solid job for non-actors, with varying results. Personally, I think the best actor was Marc Marguiles! laughed my ass off when he appeared (as Tim knows but for the sake of everyone else here, Marc was the US ambassador in the early scene with the ice cream truck; he also was one of the AC's on the movie, not an actor!) And to be honest, I heard one assessment that put certain of the "real" actors in the movie behind that of the Seals. It's all in the eye of the observer!
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Old February 28th, 2012, 03:16 AM   #34
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Re: Act of Valor movie shot on 5D

Hi Charles, I totally agree. I'm not suggesting that someones opinion is not valid even when it differs from mine. I was just surprised that it's so far different than the majority that I've heard about AOV.

Marc was great and I love that they used his real name in the movie. I was at the screaming where Marc watched that for the first time - we were all laughing.

And for the record, Charles did an awesome job, I especially like the shot when LT is leaving the house after saying goodbye to his wife. Kudos!!!!
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Old February 29th, 2012, 12:06 AM   #35
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Re: Act of Valor movie shot on 5D

I just saw "Act of Valor" tonight, and I was generally impressed. I was looking for 5D v. 35 mm footage initially, but eventually got lost in the story more than worrying about that. Occasionally you could see a scene were there was a focus issue, that is comparable to issues I have experienced, and I have had my own productions show the same issues. I think as we all got used to the camera we learned that just because we could shoot super shallow depth of field, not every shot called for it, and we need to shut down the iris a bit. I think that to keep the head in general focus for instance with a 50mm shot, you need to be around F5.6 or you will have an unnatural looking shot with part of the head being out of focus no matter what you do. That becomes less possible in low light, as you try to take advantage of the camera's capabilities in that area, so its a matter of doing what you have to do.

As far as the acting went, yeah, it was certainly understated, and a few scenes didn't play naturally. But having had a lot of contact with front line military guys and women through my son-in-law who is has been in Afganhistan with a evac helicopter crew, I think the low key dialogue is closer to the truth than we see the common war movies. It certainly was more realistic to me than most of the war movies I have seen. These guys are trained to do their jobs in low profile no bs modes, and that is what they seemed portray in the film.

Oh, and Charles, I did see your name in the credits, if someone hasn't mentiioned that.

All and all, I think the film played well.
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Old February 29th, 2012, 03:15 AM   #36
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Re: Act of Valor movie shot on 5D

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Oh, and Charles, I did see your name in the credits, if someone hasn't mentiioned that.
mmm yeah, not the one I was hoping for, but it is what it is.
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Old February 29th, 2012, 11:52 AM   #37
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Re: Act of Valor movie shot on 5D

The credit wasn't for the assistant to the assistant intern, was it? ;)
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Old February 29th, 2012, 01:48 PM   #38
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Re: Act of Valor movie shot on 5D

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mmm yeah, not the one I was hoping for, but it is what it is.
Yeah, I was looking for more than steaycam operator based on what your actual involvement was...

First time I was DP in a 48 hour film, when I went to the theatre to watch it, the director had left my name off the credits completely....Kind of makes you wonder how much your hard work is appreciated....
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Old February 29th, 2012, 01:58 PM   #39
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Re: Act of Valor movie shot on 5D

Well to be honest Chris, that is far more of a transgression than what I experienced. As you were the sole DP working for free under the duress of 48 hour filmmaking (I know it well, having directed 12 of those myself), having your name left off the credits was downright rude. Sorry to hear that. I once had one of my DP's ask to have her name taken on the credits, for reasons that were to me absurd. Still, I acquiesced and listed her as "Alice Smithee!"

I only shot two days of relatively simple additional photography, while the rest of the team worked their asses off endlessly for months under grueling conditions. My contribution was a drop in the bucket compared to Shane's vision and commitment. But still, credits are there for a reason. What I think is a true oversight was the omission of Rudy Harbon from 2nd unit DP credit, who was there for a lot of days.

Eh, onwards and upwards.
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Old March 4th, 2012, 12:22 PM   #40
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Re: Act of Valor movie shot on 5D

I finally got around to seeing this movie last night, and I thought it was really good. My 15 year old son and his friend did as well. I personally thought that i preferred the use a actual soldiers. Sure the acting is somewhat forced in a few scenes, but there is an inherent authenticity in their actions that shows.

The movie is unique in many ways, and was definitely worth dropping 10 dollars to see.
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