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Tuesday, December 24, 2013

••◊ Using Picture Profiles on the Sony FS-700

I wrote a rather lengthy blog post on the topic of using picture profiles on the Sony FS-700 over on the Video Gear blog.  As an example I did a color matching experiment between the 5D mark II and the FS-700 without using my custom picture profiles for the DSLR.  If you mix the two cameras it might be worth checking out.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

••◊ Cinephilia and Beyond = Free Film School

I've mentioned a tumblr blog called Cinephilia and Beyond before.  This time I wanted to explicitly highlight how valuable this web site has been.  It's a comprehensive study of vast Internet information on the world's greatest directors.  Cinephilia and Beyond is required reading for anyone who calls themselves a "cinephile" or wants to learn how to be a great director.

Some interesting things I've learned:
1.  Eric Stolz was the original "Marty McFly" in Back to the Future.
2.  Hitchcock carefully controlled the height of the camera in his films to make sure the camera felt like an observer.
3.  What happened to David Lynch's infamous "flaming nipple" shot from Blue Velvet?  "Cinephiliacs" know!

...and if you really like the site, please consider donating a few bucks to keep it going. 

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

••◊ Street Photography from U-31 in North Park

Last night I met my friends Mike and Melissa at U-31, a local bar in the North Park neighborhood.  They were having a premier showing of their time lapse film from Yosemite National Park.  After looking at the bar's web site I knew the place would offer a nice bit of street photography, so I snapped a few pics using a point and shoot.  Hope you find one or two appealing. 

It was a small and extremely loud place, so the night's outing was short.  My voice starts to go after about 10 minutes of trying to yell over the sound system and hard sound reflecting walls.  As with many of these night clubs they're trying to keep it at the right volume level for a mildly to average inebriated person.  "Average" is obviously open to interpretation.  My interpretation is somewhere around when the person drinking starts to offer grand unceasing philosophical advice.


Monday, December 16, 2013

••◊ What size lights do I rent?

I wrote a small article over on the Video Gear blog about how to know what size (i.e. 18k, 1k, 300W...etc) lights to rent to get an intended exposure. Check it out on their blog.

Is it just me, or does everyone need an 18kW HMI PAR?  I think they do!  For just $13k it could be mine, *all mine*!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

••◊ John Cassavetes Interview

I found this Youtube video of an interview with John Cassavetes on the Cinephilia and Beyond blog.  Great stuff.  He was an independent filmmaker before it became cool to call yourself an independent filmmaker.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

••◊ A Few Pictures from Coder God

Here's a few screen grabs from a short I shot last weekend called "Coder God." It should be a fun little film and good festival fodder.  Note that these pictures are not color graded yet, which is both interesting and scary.  When you hand over your photography for someone else to "correct it" there's an awful lot of trust involved.  It seems like Scott should at least have a solid base to work from.


...plus a few more behind the scenes pictures.  The double 1k book light into an 8x8 muslin sheet worked really well to give our actress a nice soft glow.  We also used a prototype of the Strahlen LED light for her hair light.  Fill was provided by a 250W Chinese lantern just over the camera. 

A lot of the gear was provided by Video Gear, so big thanks to them. The Atomos Samurai Blade made all the difference.  This IPS panel on this recorder is now color accurate and you can trust it for exposure.  That made all the difference on this shoot.  Plus with the Prores 4:2:2 codec, the FS-700 really shined.  It's a night and day difference between the in camera AVCHD crap codec and the Samurai.  I just wish we would have had a way to capture the overcranked sequence into the Samurai.  I guess Sony has to sell F5's somehow!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

••◊ A Few BTS Pics from "Coder God"

Here are a few behind the scenes pictures from a short we're filming called "Coder God" by Solar Light Films.  So far the photography is looking reasonably decent, even though the director nixed my originally intended beauty lighting at the last minute.  Hopefully I'll get a chance to fire that up tonight and make the lead actress sparkle.

We're finishing the shoot tonight, so hopefully I'll have a good report this week.