My 10th anniversary at DVinfo...and a nice announcement at DVinfo.net

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Old January 29th, 2012, 03:57 PM   #1
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My 10th anniversary at DVinfo...and a nice announcement

So yes, tomorrow marks the 10th anniversary of my participation on this forum, back when we were making magic with our XL1's. It's obviously been an intense decade for the technology and more importantly, the division between the indie production world and the "legit" industry. Back then, the big filmmakers were playing with the indie tools and feeling out the advantages of small-format filmmaking, but there was no question that said tools were nowhere near the quality of the status quo, which was still very much 35mm film.

Flash foward, and the crossover is so far advanced that we are using virtually the same tools to shoot studio features and episodic television as the wedding videographers/indie filmmakers/corporate producers. The cost of high-quality filmmaking has plunged as the manufacturers have blurred the lines between their prosumer and professional products. Some of those who complained "I don't see why a mattebox or follow focus should cost so much, I can build it for a fifth the price" have done exactly that and are now serving the accessory needs of the low budget world.

Over the years here, I'm seeing far less questions being posed to me for those curious about "how it's done in Hollywood". If I have a gripe, it's that there seems to less inclination to take the time to learn the craft; newer folk seem to want to extract easy answers and push a button or two to achieve a big-budget look. Thanks to amazingly affordable post tools, a certain amount of that is indeed possible. Few things are more staggering for me to comprehend than the availability of a free version of Davinci Resolve, for instance.

While the progression of the internet breaking down the business models of networks and studios is perhaps something to cheer for, for those on the outside, it's more than scary for those of us who have paid our dues (literally and figuratively) as we see our livelihoods, pension, and health insurance threatened by a likely union-busting future. Still, I'm excited and energized to see what people here are able to do on little to no money and how they are using these new tools, and I'm always willing to add my advice as long as it manages to have some relevance. Fortunately, framing and lighting still require the commitment to artistry as they always have, and no sweatshop in China will ever be able to replace that (famous last words)...

**********************

Next announcement, and I love that it dovetails so closely to my 10 yr anniversary here. I joined this site as a camera operator and Steadicam operator by trade, although I had been shooting (aka DP) on and off for years. As some know, a couple of years ago I finally committed to move onwards and upwards; sold off the Steadicam and began turning down operating work. The time I said "no thanks" to an $8K week of operating work on "Community" to sit at home making nothing was a turning point. Last year I shot three episodic network pilots; one of them got picked up and we subsequently shot the first season.

This Tuesday night, we premiere amongst extremely positive critical reviews and a lot of buzz thanks to the release of numerous clips and a lot of promo. The show is called "Key & Peele", it's a sketch comedy series and I'm very proud of what we were able to achieve with it. Each sketch required its own look and feel and we had to pull off a lot of production value on a very skinny budget.

The first episode to air is the pilot which we shot on the 1DMKIV, so it's not quite as pristine as the series (I switched to F3's with S-log) but it's pretty damn funny, which is what counts.

Please watch and tell others if you like it!

Episode 1 airs Tuesday at 10:30 EST on Comedy Central.

(p.s. I have a technical discussion about the show over here, so please post the appropriate flavor of discourse in that thread).

Here's to 10 more years at DVInfo.net--thanks Chris for such a great site! Cheers all!
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Old January 29th, 2012, 05:23 PM   #2
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Re: My 10th anniversary at DVinfo...and a nice announcement

Happy Anniversary Charles! Congrats on the show being picked up and finally giving your body a rest by not doing the steadicam work. Of course the money has to have been hard to turn down but we all do what we gotta do.
I also look forward to seeing Act of Valor to see "your name in lights".
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Old January 29th, 2012, 06:08 PM   #3
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Re: My 10th anniversary at DVinfo...and a nice announcement

Thanks Don! We'll see about the credits to "Act of Valor"--wouldn't be the first time that additional photography units have been left out. Mostly I'm curious to watch and see how the DSLR footage holds up to the 35mm in the theater.
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Old January 29th, 2012, 06:28 PM   #4
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Re: My 10th anniversary at DVinfo...and a nice announcement

Setting my DVR and thanks for all that you do here!!!
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Old January 29th, 2012, 06:32 PM   #5
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Re: My 10th anniversary at DVinfo...and a nice announcement

Watched the Promos for Key & Peele, and it looks to be quite good!

I thought it might be something along the lines of Adult Swim's "Tim and Eric", but it's MUCH, much better. I'll be watching it!

And, good luck!
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Old January 31st, 2012, 07:09 PM   #6
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Re: My 10th anniversary at DVinfo...and a nice announcement

Congratulations Charles! I'm one of those new guys you talk about and even tho we are indeed kinda used to the two button fix, I always try to take the long route and learn the proper way. I've learnt more tracking your posts (and Allister's and a few others) on this site than what I could have gotten from a bunch of courses here in my city (were there's pretty much no industry at all)

So please keep posting! We do read (and learn) from that!
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Old January 31st, 2012, 09:55 PM   #7
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Re: My 10th anniversary at DVinfo...and a nice announcement

I started reading that thread a while back to get some insight on how the entire production environment was set up and got a lot of good tid bits on how things are run in the other part of the TV world (I usually work live sports productions although I am trying to break into other areas).

Good to hear things are going well!
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