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The TOTEM Poll: Totally Off Topic, Everything Media
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Old January 28th, 2004, 08:36 AM   #1
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Tom Cruise hit man Movie "Collateral"

I kick myself for not remembering the website article location but Michael Mann is currently shooting "Collateral", where Tom Cruise plays a hit man who hijacks a taxi and makes the driver (Jamie Fox) take him to all of his hits in one night. According to the article, 80% of the movie was filmed with the Thomson Viper Filmsteam camera and Sony CineAlta HD 24p. 20% of the movie takes place in the cab. Must have been a logistical nightmare for the HD technicians. If anybody finds the article (it might have been in The Hollywood Reporter.com) please post. It is very interesting to read Mann's reasons for using HD.
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Old January 28th, 2004, 10:54 AM   #2
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Looks like you have to pay to get in...
http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/thr...&sortByDate=on
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Old January 28th, 2004, 11:38 AM   #3
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When I did a Google search it tom me right to the article. Now I cannot remember the search criteria I used!
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Old January 28th, 2004, 12:14 PM   #4
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I can't imagine fitting a fully decked-out Sony-Panavision CineAlta into an actual cab. When we wanted an interior perspective on 2 + 1, we had to fake it.

Maybe the Viper system, with the recording medium separate from the camera, is more configurable for such use.
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Old January 28th, 2004, 12:45 PM   #5
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Gee when I use

the Thompson Viper to shoot my kid's b-day parties, I never have a problem...




;-) The visuals on these cams are perfect for claustrophic movies...not so good on sweeping vista westerns...
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Old January 28th, 2004, 05:58 PM   #6
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The Viper is much smaller than the Cinealta, and last time I saw it (at NAB) this spring, there was a small hard-drive recorder on top with a 2 minute capacity. It's reasonable to assume that is up to at least 4 minutes by now, and that would make it comparable to a 400 ft film magazine, with a lesser footprint than such a camera which we do take handheld into vehicles.
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Old January 28th, 2004, 07:50 PM   #7
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How the heck does anything get done on so many films with such short recording times??? I'm always amazed by it.
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Old January 28th, 2004, 08:57 PM   #8
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Easy. Most takes are less than 30 second and there's plenty of time to change rolls between takes. Changing rolls only takes a minute.

Now, with the Viper, swapping hard drives? Downloading? That would be a time killer I think. (If using the on camera hard drive).
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Old January 28th, 2004, 11:46 PM   #9
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Hot-swappable or not, changing hard drives is no more time consuming than switching mags, and there's no need to send the loader into the dark.
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Old January 29th, 2004, 01:18 AM   #10
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<<<-- Originally posted by Robert Knecht Schmidt : I can't imagine fitting a fully decked-out Sony-Panavision CineAlta into an actual cab. When we wanted an interior perspective on 2 + 1, we had to fake it.

Maybe the Viper system, with the recording medium separate from the camera, is more configurable for such use. -->>>

Robert,

That's a great picture! Pretty ingenious.. my only question is how did you move the cab? Or was it parked?
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Old January 29th, 2004, 01:58 AM   #11
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Yes indeed. I can't imagine that swapping a drive takes as long as reloading a mag, which usually takes about 45 seconds.

I mentioned 400 ft mags, but those are generally reserved for handheld or Steadicam. 1000 ft mags are more standard for conventional shooting and they run around 11 minutes.

One of the more annoying things about using 400 ft mags for a long take is that if there is a flubbed take, and the assistant has calculated that there won't be enough film to make it all the way through, the mag has to be changed & the unexposed stock loaded back into a can as short ends, which may or may not end up being used down the road, depending on length.

No question, digital is a lot easier when it comes to that sort of thing!
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Old January 29th, 2004, 08:45 AM   #12
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I didn't mean swapping hard drives took a long time, just the downloading. How big and how expensive are the hard drives? If the economics didn't allow having a whole slew of hard drives then you would have to download to another system in between takes. If that was fast enough, then maybe you would only need five or ten drives.

Last summer we shot a soccer movie ("The Game of Their Lives") and only used 400 foot mags and four cameras.
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Old January 29th, 2004, 10:20 AM   #13
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Alex, in that scene the cab was supposed to be parked. That shot shows the eyes of the cab driver (played by Jean-Baptiste Puech) looking back at his new American fare (Harris Doran) in the rear view mirror. The size of the camera prevented us from shooting inside the cab when it was being driven.

During one of the takes the fake rear view mirror dropped right off the glass plate onto the brick rue with a clunk (but luckily not a smash!). I wonder if they ever cut together a blooper reel.
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