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Old September 8th, 2003, 05:49 PM   #1
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Been using a Glidecam V8 this past week!

Over the last week a couple buddies of mine have been teamed up with me as we try our best crack at the NYC Midnight Madness film-making contest.

Basically the premise is that a team has exactly two-weeks to complete a project that is "thrown" on them. You can't pick your own idea... they pick it. Then, after paying your entry... you are told your idea. You then have two-weeks to fully complete and submit your finished product. We'll see how we do. We're editing it right now.

Anyway, I couldn't believe it when one of our guys showed up with a V8... so we actually had TWO xl1s' and a dvx shooting this as well as the full-body Glidecam... Crazy huh?

Well I just wanted to tell you guys that one of those babies does NOT do all the work for you! It took a lot of practice to get half-way good with it... I wasn't even sure if this time-limited project was the best time to try to figure it out. We all felt like madmen in ill-fitting straight jackets chasing a ghostly camera around the room. I'm telling ya'... if you get a chance to try one you should 'cause it's so weird.

I even told myself "I'll be an expert at this thing INSTANTLY... these guys are gonna' be kissing my natural ability's arse!"... 'cause I can perform MAGIC with a weighted monopod and a fairly light cam... anyway, no natural ability arse kissing was done. I felt like somebody strapped a possesed owl to my chest and gave it about three feet of leash! You have to use your whole body AND both hands... but the kicker is the hands MUST supply a light touch or else it's worse then not even using the damn thing.

Once you got into this little "zone" you could sort of surrender control of the cam to the device... but you could never surrender control OF THE DEVICE. Basically the way a V8 works is IT will get the steady footage as YOU keep the V8 "in line"...

It was funny as hell. I wish I'd have taken a picture of myself in it.
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Old September 9th, 2003, 05:36 PM   #2
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Matt:

Welcome to the "brotherhood" (we used to call ourselves the "Knights of the Green Screen" when all of the Steadicams had green monochrome monitors).

"possessed owl"--that's a hoot.

Sorry, couldn't resist.

Two weeks to make a film? Jeez, what a luxury!
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Old September 9th, 2003, 07:25 PM   #3
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Well Charles, those are quite impressive... I've just kicked back a few films and I think I'm ready to "kick back a few". The thing I especially like is each time I thought I had the "punchline" figured out in advance, but the film finished with a different flavor...

Your film was driving me nuts 'cause that girl is so, soooo.... "vintage" is a horrible word... She is the "THAT girl"... I did laugh my butt off at the chinese delivery. I expected that scene to be the payoff I was waiting for... then when it wasn't it tickled me...

I like the rapid fire approach... our little production won't be anywhere near that level of quality... but I was really just riding in the back seat on this one. My buddy and I were getting a little friction 'cause I kept saying "let's bang this sh*t out!" as he was surveying every detail.

I was feeling bad about my attitude about speedy production until I watched a few of your crew's videos... now I'm firmly back in the "let's bang this sh*t out!" camp.

You and your boys (and girls) definitely prove that with some talent it's possible to produce polished productions in a hurry.

P.S. Now that I know I have a fellow "insane-ematographer" on this board I'm gonna' have some truly wacky commentary set up just for you. I often wonder if anybody appreciates just how mad I am... now I know somebody will.
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Old September 9th, 2003, 07:58 PM   #4
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Thanks, Matt!

I was delivered a tough script this time around. The story was set in present day, and the sister and boyfriend were just plain--mean. Even with the "payoff" at the end, it was still sort of a harsh, almost offensive film, and I was concerned with the audience not enjoying it, possibly squirming in their seats (we screen to 400 people at the end of the filmmaking weekend). I don't necessarily mind making people uncomfortable if there's a reason, but I wasn't personally comfortable with the message in this one.

So I decided to set the film in the early 60's, both to give it some flavor but also to allow the actors to have more fun with their characters, which the audience responded to. It was pretty stressful, to have to deal with rewriting some of the dialogue to a more period feel, while figuring out the location and wardrobe and makeup needed to sell the right look, all for a same-day shoot which mostly took place in sunlight (although the Chinese delivery scene was shot after the sun went down, thankfully we had a big enough lighting package to make it look like daylight!).

Personally, I love "Tan Lines"--I think it's beautifully written and performed, and what's not funny about a guy in a bikini? I don't know if you recognize the actor in that one, he was in a bunch of classic 80's movies like "Summer School" (had a bit more hair then!)
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Old September 9th, 2003, 09:14 PM   #5
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Yeah, I was gonna' say a few things about "Tan Lines" but I wanted to stick with the one that had your stamp on it...

Tan Lines was funny and well acted. All in all it was a pretty impressive effort. If you only give it a minute you'll get bored, but from the end of the first minute on it paces extremely well. (Sorry... my "a.d.d." roommate is rubbing off on me... I do 3 days of shooting and if he doesn't see an explosion or boobs in the first :15 he's bored.)

Anyway, the beauty of Tan Lines is that the story tells itself in retrospect and you keep thinking a particular emotion is for a different reason... like the "co-star" regrets taking the role 'cause it's a poor movie rather then his broken heart.

Basically Tan Lines is the kind of thing I'd do just to make everybody I know look at the TV like the RCA-dog looks at a phonograph.

I'm a little glad to hear that the "Girl" flick wasn't your personal script 'cause I thought to myself, "this guy may have some issues with women"... but the whole thing was still absolutely superb.

You're the guy doing "Scrubs"... right?

My little film-festival projects make me hunger for the work/fun you're having. Adopt me! Won't you? I'm 32 and I don't eat much... okay, that's a lie. So I'm a 32 year old liar... fire that key grip and put me in there!
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Old September 9th, 2003, 09:51 PM   #6
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I was the guy doing "Scrubs". I decided not to go back this season, as I have been working on features plus I'm moving into directing & the 7 month schedule on full time episodic series work is a killer.

Yeah, one of the tough things about "Instant Films" is that people sometimes think the directors have control over the material--the scripts are written the night before and randomly distributed, so you have no idea what you'll be getting. It's luck of the draw, literally and figuratively.

So, I'm curious...what were you saying about the bikini girl driving you nuts? I think she did a great job (she's not at all an airhead in real life) and she's awfully cute, no?
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Old September 9th, 2003, 10:44 PM   #7
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The bikini girl is STUNNING... I'm fully in love with her. I should add that even though I'm not getting paid for video right now you'd be surprised if you saw me. I have a similar look to the guy in the Tan Lines video... the best looking one. Really. So are you gonna' hook me up?

I've been watching your 48hour films all night and so far I think I like "The Stockholm Syndrom" the best... forgive me if I have any spelling mistakes... I'm one drink past bedtime.

So anyway Charles, I like you, I really like you... Hopefully you'll see me one day and think, "that's the guy I want on my team"... once I get some QUALITY work done I'll post it. Then you can see me working both sides of the camera. I'm one of those freaks that wants to make movies AND be in them.

I think I was neglected as a child?
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Old September 9th, 2003, 11:44 PM   #8
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Yeah, "Stockholm" was killer.

Bikini girl--Jenna Fischer is her name, she's married (sorry big guy) and her career is on the way up--small part in "Gigli", a guest spot on the Alicia Silverstone series "Miss Match" the week after our shoot. I met her on a pilot that I operated last spring where she played opposite Scott Wolf--the series didn't get picked up. I can see her making it big, she has a lot of charisma.
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Old September 10th, 2003, 03:52 AM   #9
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I'm downloading those two movies now. BTW, Charles. That
menu up on top is still generating Javascript errors for me on
Internet Explorer 6 here on the PC.

I can take a look at it if you guys don't know what's wrong...
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