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Old December 8th, 2011, 08:18 PM   #31
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Re: Canon 5D Versus Red Scarlet for Filmmaking

Thanks Charles!

Yes, I think time was the biggest thing for us. But also, it could have been better planned out. For the next one, I am thinking of having it story boarded out rather then a shot list. Like you said, its all about good planning! Glad you like the alley shot, too, we had 30 minutes to get that because of the way the sun was behind a building. I came out to the spot a few days before the shoot to see exactly what time we would start and when to end. Its one of my favorite shots in the film! Any other advice or tips you have regarding cinematography specifically would be greatly appreciated as well!

We had to shoot in the rain a few times and that screwed up using the Sun as a backlight a few times. Plan for everything I guess haha.
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Old December 9th, 2011, 04:14 AM   #32
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Re: Canon 5D Versus Red Scarlet for Filmmaking

Quote:
Originally Posted by Silas Barker View Post
One of biggest things to making my next film will be making sure I take ALOT of time to direct the actors to do exactly what I want, on the last one I know there were a few points were we ran out of time and I simply said "Action!"!
It's often less of getting the actors to less of doing exactly what you want, but of doing the best casting for a role and then guiding the actors. The best casting isn't always the best actor you got in the your auditions, but it could be the one you feel is bringing that something to a particular part. The actor you select in the end may have a limited acting range compared to others, but they shine in the role you've cast them in.
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Old December 9th, 2011, 02:02 PM   #33
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Re: Canon 5D Versus Red Scarlet for Filmmaking

Picking the right time of day for exteriors is definitely something that planning ahead can make or break a shot. Having a reliable sun position tool (various apps now available much cheaper than our previous methods, with dedicated software, printout and inclinometer/compass) is critical. Never be "surprised" by the sun--it is one of the few things we can rely on in this business! I was amazed when I worked with Roger Deakins that he used no lighting or grip gear on the various exteriors; he did have a specific time of day scheduled for each shot that delivered the ideal light. Very few of us have that luxury, but if you can do it, it's a great way to go.

Bryan's point on directing is well-taken. So much depends on what the actor brinsg to the table. A great one will generally need less direction than a weak one. Just remember not to do line readings unless the actor asks for it (usually they hate that!)
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Old December 10th, 2011, 11:36 AM   #34
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Re: Canon 5D Versus Red Scarlet for Filmmaking

Yeah I think Roger Deakins has the right idea, shooting at the right time of day makes a huge difference especially for wide shots, the close ups are a little easier to light.
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Old December 10th, 2011, 11:48 AM   #35
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Re: Canon 5D Versus Red Scarlet for Filmmaking

Yeah... Roger Deakins is not a bad guy to emulate... Any more anecdotes from one of my favorite DP's Charles?

I bought a book 20 years ago called 'Masters of Light'. Interviews with 15 top cinematogaphers. I still have it. Great book, great insight.
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Old December 11th, 2011, 04:35 AM   #36
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Re: Canon 5D Versus Red Scarlet for Filmmaking

My favorite Roger story came on the first day I worked for him, doing Steadicam. It should be said that Roger is not particularly a fan of that piece of gear but when a director requests it and it's the right tool, he'll use it. It was a walk-and-talk in downtown LA (standing in for NYC) with Dennis Quaid and Greg Kinnear. We rehearsed it, and the sun was screaming down the avenue from behind me, so there was camera shadow all over the actors. I waited for a bit, knowing it was obvious that there was an issue, and eventually asked Roger "so, what is the plan? Will you be flying a diffusion frame behind me, or....?" He said, "no, we wait until the sun goes behind the buildings and shoot it in the shade". "Ah" I said. "Will we be shooting something else in the meantime?". He smiled wryly, shook his head and said "we wait".

About 15 minutes later the first AD came over and said "Roger, what time can we shoot?" Roger pointed down at the sidewalk. "Do you see the sun line? When it gets to that crack in the pavement, bring in second team. When it's on that crack, first team". Then he winked at me.

Sure enough, we did exactly that. And the light was perfect.

(p.s. for those unfamiliar with the terms first and second team, that refers to the actors and their stand-ins respectively).

My dormant Steadicam reel is still up on the web, although you have to be a bit of a sleuth to find it...shhhhh, here it is: SteadicamReel
A piece of the shot described above appears about halfway through. Prior to that are two others from Roger shows: the shot with Charlize Theron and the subsequent one with George Clooney.
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Old December 12th, 2011, 11:44 AM   #37
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Re: Canon 5D Versus Red Scarlet for Filmmaking

Thanks Charles... great story. And the shot is beautifully lit. I love how he used the cracks as his clock and lightmeter. Like a Sundial.

Also a great reel. I did watch it a couple of years ago, so it was good to see it again, and it got me thinking about one of my favorite steadicam shots - the foot chase from Point Break. So I watched it again. But its funny, I hadnt seen it for years and it's no where near as impactful now. At the time I thought it was an absolutely incredible shot. I'm not sure why, but now I look at it and because of all the cuts, it doesn't seem nearly as impressive as i once thought.

Thanks for the Deakins story.
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Old December 12th, 2011, 11:59 AM   #38
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Re: Canon 5D Versus Red Scarlet for Filmmaking

For my money the great Steadicam shot in Point Break is at the beginning, when John C McGinley takes through the office. So many whip pans, flawlessly executed. Jimmy Muro was the Steadicam operator, who now shoots Southland.

Steadishots.org : Steadicam Shot by James Muro from Point Break
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Old December 12th, 2011, 12:30 PM   #39
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Re: Canon 5D Versus Red Scarlet for Filmmaking

Agreed... looking at the two scenes now, the opener is the definitive steadicam shot in the movie.
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Old December 12th, 2011, 03:09 PM   #40
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Re: Canon 5D Versus Red Scarlet for Filmmaking

Nice reel Charles!
Just curious too, do you always have a focus puller, or do you sometimes have your aperture smaller to keep everything in focus and keep the camera at a constant distance from the talent?
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Old December 12th, 2011, 03:31 PM   #41
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Re: Canon 5D Versus Red Scarlet for Filmmaking

Just to clarify, I have retired from Steadicam--now I'm telling my guys to "strap it on"!

The short answer is yes, always a focus puller. Nearly every shot on that reel is 35mm originated (very few were in HD, but that's because of the age of most of that material--1996 to 2007). Film or HD, I always have focus pullers. The compromise in having to "work the hyperfocal" is not an option for me. Too creatively restricting. I've owned wireless lens controllers since around 1991.
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Old December 13th, 2011, 08:05 AM   #42
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Re: Canon 5D Versus Red Scarlet for Filmmaking

I would consider Panasonic GH2, which can be used at GOP1 176 mbs, excellent quality, much better in my experience than any Canon DSLR. Lately tested Nikon 5100 another inexpensive DSLR, in direct compare it's better than Canon 5dmk2 in DD, noise.. all IMO.
Another thing Nikon optics more film like, sharper, have more contrast..

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Old December 14th, 2011, 09:29 AM   #43
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Re: Canon 5D Versus Red Scarlet for Filmmaking

Have to disagree.
* 4/3 is doomed for video
* No one else shoots video on Nikon
* Nikon lenses mount on Canon

Makes Canon still a win.
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Old December 15th, 2011, 02:05 PM   #44
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Re: Canon 5D Versus Red Scarlet for Filmmaking

@Charles, I figured you used a focus puller, but wondered if you ever worked "solo." Whenever I use a steadycam I usually use a small arpature keep a fixed distance from the talent. Of course, a focus puller would be better though!


@Oleg, I believe the GH2 has a much less bitrate (24mbs unless hacked) for video compared to the Canon 5D (38 Mbps)
Panasonic Lumix GH2
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Old December 16th, 2011, 03:20 AM   #45
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Re: Canon 5D Versus Red Scarlet for Filmmaking

Silas, I can barely recall not having an AC on a given shoot--maybe 2/3" SD video jobs back in the day. Again, once you have a remote focus system, it seems silly not to use it. The live TV guys tend to pull their own focus, but I didn't do many of those kind of jobs.

I've certainly been aware that many peeps have adopted the super wide angle/deep aperture combo for shooting Steadicam with large format cameras (DSLR etc) and kept their distance. A couple of years ago I was prescribing that people become familiar with depth of field tables so that they can be a little more flexible with their options for this kind of shooting.
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