"Table Manners", EX1/Redrock short film online - Page 2 at DVinfo.net

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Old January 23rd, 2008, 09:10 AM   #16
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Thank you :)
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Old January 23rd, 2008, 06:26 PM   #17
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As requested I have put up some behind-the-scenes stills of the film, linked through the main page:

http://web.mac.com/chupap/Films/tablemanners.html
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Old January 23rd, 2008, 08:07 PM   #18
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Man, seeing stuff like that always helps you realize how much is going into a production to make it look the way it does. Thank you for sharing :)
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Old January 24th, 2008, 07:51 AM   #19
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Yeah, you sounded so casual when you posted it, like you just called up a few buddies that day with an idea. I knew better when I watched it though!

Excellent job with lighting. (well, and everything else) I hope to be there one day in that category.. where you don't notice the lighting, just that it looks damn good, and everything is well saturated. :)

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Old January 24th, 2008, 08:23 AM   #20
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Haha Carl! Well, it was almost like that in some ways. There honestly wasn't a lot of pre-production and planning, we were sort of flying by the seat of our pants given the time-frame. I literally wrote the script from scratch on Sunday, visited the set for the first time on Monday and came up with the shot list and lighting diagram and also met with Brian to break down the script for props etc. (we were REALLY on the hairy edge with the production design--had to move pictures and plants and things around the room depending on which way we were shooting)! So Monday was like a 3 hour day. I had already cast the four parents, although I did have to drive over to Terry (the English chap)'s house and ring his intercom as I couldn't get him on the phone to ask if he'd do it! We hadn't found the young actor to play Mike, so Brian put out an ad on Craigslist.

Tuesday I had a big shoot (for director McG with the RED camera) so the last few details were a bit harrowing to get through. I had my laptop away from set and Brian was forwarding me links to various actors that had submitted. By 3 p.m. he was getting awfully anxious but I just didn't have time to devote to checking out everyone's stuff--finally I pulled the trigger on the actor we ended up with (who was on a layover in Vegas enroute to Chicago--Brian had to offer him his frequent flyer miles to come back to LA for the shoot!) I also had a sudden panic that we didn't have the appropriate "nude" clothing for the Mike character, and via frenzied texting managed to link Brian up with a source (dance supply store). My crew was laughing at me trying to nail down the details for my shoot while somehow still making it all happen for McG...meanwhile, the grip and electric lads were prelighting the set per my diagram.

And on Wednesday, there we were. Some technical issues like the HD-SDI to component adaptor for the monitor was DOA, but Brian hustled and found a backup while we started off with just the onboard monitor. By lunch however we had only completed some 5 of the 23 shots scheduled for the day, and I had a series of deadlines to meet; getting Alex (Mike) out the door to make his return plane to Chicago, followed by another actor who had to work that night, and a hard-out for the stage. My shot list became a frantic juggling act as the usual method of shooting "round the clock" (i.e. all shots from one direction, then from the next closest direction etc until you have shot all sides) had to be tossed to get all of Alex's shots done first, then the next actor etc.

I amped up the intensity and we started to cook. Got Alex out just on time (he arrived at the airport just as they were boarding), got the next actor out, was granted an extra hour of shooting by the generous gent who oversaw the stage, and polished off the shotlist with only one omission, which was an additional "mystery" clip of Alex walking down the stairs as I had intended that sequence to be a little more protracted than it appears in the final film, but I determined I could live without it. We finished up with the plate crash, for which we had 3 plates ready to go but on immediate review at 60 fps (love that solid-state recording) I realized we had it and it was a wrap. 22 setups in 8 hours with most of them in the last four; not bad.

So yeah, it was a bit more than just calling up a few friends, but not all that much more, really! And it cost us next to nothing to make. Next time a little more pre-production (and not working on something else the day before), plus I'd really love not to be shooting and directing with that kind of brutal schedule. And had I taken the opportunity to listen to playback I would have realized what was and wasn't happening with the production sound (boom being mixed with wirelesses that had a lot of clothing noise, making all tracks boomy, scratchy and muffled all at the same time, hence my need to ADR nearly everything).
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Old January 24th, 2008, 09:31 AM   #21
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Great! Especially the cinematography. Wow!
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Old January 24th, 2008, 11:07 AM   #22
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Wow.

Add in explosions and that's an action movie in it's own right. =D

Awesome job on an incredibly inhumane schedule, it sounds like your friends know how to boogie as well, I bet that's handy when you have a sudden inspiration and feel like making your own no-prep 48 hour film fest. :)

On that note, love the other videos on your site!

Carl
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Old January 24th, 2008, 04:49 PM   #23
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thanks--really looking forward to moving beyond "last-minute filmmaking" on the next one!
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Old January 24th, 2008, 10:38 PM   #24
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Charles, what size and type of monitor is attached to the noga arm?

Do you recommend any general settings for the EX1 for this type of studio shoot with controlled light, such as the Cine Gamma Curve, Matrix or other settings, like Detail, etc?

The BTS stills are always great to see, thank you.
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Old January 25th, 2008, 01:58 PM   #25
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That is the Carrion made by Luis Sinabaldi, who was along on the shoot to help out. It's an impressive image for the money.

The EX1 arrived the day before the shoot and Brian from Redrock took care of getting it dialed in for me--I had just asked him to make a fairly neutral cinegamma-type look with as much latitude as possible. At the shoot I had no chance to even sniff at the camera, so I'm afraid I can't tell you what the settings were.
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Old January 25th, 2008, 02:52 PM   #26
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Charles, could you give your opinion on the overall experience, working with the Sony EX1? (picture quality, ergonomics, workflow, etc.)? I'm highly interested in it.

And off topic, or maybe you could post this in the RED board, how your experiences with the RED camera were?

Thank you for your short film, I actually wrote a review here, but I can't seem to find it, so I don't know if the board was acting weird or my computer was, but anyhow: great shots, great lightning, good camera placement, and especially very good acting! Good job!
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Old January 25th, 2008, 03:12 PM   #27
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Thank you Mathieu, I would like to see your review (especially since it sounds favorable)!

Overall I was quite impressed with the EX1. As I indicated I had far less contact with it than I usually would on a shoot but the picture was quite nice. I look forward to trying it out without an adaptor so I can get to know it better. I was impressed with the solution to the age-old problem of mechanical focus vs drive-by-wire autofocus; the resolution is a great asset; the picture quality seemed very in-line with the rest of the Cinealta line, which is astounding considering the price-point. I never hefted it by itself and I've heard the ergonomics are a bit suspect (although the rotating handgrip seems nice) but any camera that doesn't sit on the shoulder is a liability as far as I'm concerned, so a 3rd party solution will take care of all. 1/2" chips are a nice compromise, you can actually start to get a taste of shallow DoF without having to bend over backwards. It's funny that the original camcorders and 2 piece VHS setups from the 80's all had 1/2" tubes, so they had similar shallow focus--I used to wonder why my old tapes exhibited more of this than the DV cameras we've been using for the past ten years until I made this connection.

To me, the HVX has met a worthy successor and I would go for the EX1 over that camera at this point if I were in the market.

As far as the RED project, once it has been posted I will put up some thoughts. I was supposed to shoot a music video with it last night but I've been socked in with bronchitis.
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Old January 25th, 2008, 04:16 PM   #28
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Hi Charles,

thanks for the post. My review was essentially the same as I wrote above, maybe that's not enough to call it a review :-D
Just typed the same stuff again, maybe that I typed some more or less, but that was what it came down to.

Best regards,
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Old January 25th, 2008, 10:16 PM   #29
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Charles, thanks for the Carrion confirmation.
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Old April 6th, 2008, 06:16 AM   #30
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Hi everyone:

I'm pleased to announce that "Table Manners" will be seen at various venues at NAB; in the Sony booth (along with some behind-the-scenes footage) and in Douglas Spotted Eagle's various presentations.
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