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Sean Cunningham

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Everything posted by Sean Cunningham

  1. [quote author=HurtinMinorKey link=topic=738.msg5475#msg5475 date=1337358835] [quote author=MANYHANDS link=topic=738.msg5472#msg5472 date=1337345021] Whatever happened to handheld! The lowest budget film-making technique of them all. [/quote] I think you mean "laziest" technique of them all. But it's put to good use in your trailer. ... [/quote] Maybe "misunderstood" would be better.  It's hardly lazy.  It's part of the grammar of visual storytelling and as appropriate or out-of-place as a dolly shot.  Successful camera technique is arguably more dependent on its thoughtful pairing with content than it is on its specific technical execution.
  2. It's an inherent part of the craft with these tools.  Given the fact that it's an option, as a shooter, not being at least somewhat versed in the options available would be like a traditional cinematographer not caring to know they have a variety of choices in film stock, each with its own qualities, quirks, strengths and limitations.  They wouldn't really be competent in their role if they just grabbed a box of film off the shelf, shot and were either disappointed or pleasantly surprised by the results.  Any overly successful imagery would be through no fault or praise of their own and they would likely be unable to duplicate such efforts if they ever needed to. Photography/cinematography, like filmmaking in general, like most complicated artistic craft, is also a technical discipline.  It's not either/or if you wish to claim true ownership of your craft.  And if you don't then there's no reason to be discussing it outside a pedestrian list of likes and dislikes, exposition being mostly a selfish exercise when its devoted to gut opinion.
  3. [quote author=Sara link=topic=712.msg5239#msg5239 date=1336780370] On that note a group of people I work with all got free tickets to see Hugo in 3D last month on a 2k screen.... [/quote] Exactly.  If you show the same footage side by side, 4K and 2K and ask someone, "which is sharper, which has more detail?" of course they are going to say the 4K.  The answer to the question of "which is better?", without qualifying the full meaning of the word "better" a child could answer.  Now...show them a CU of a conventionally done actor with conventionally done make-up.  Show them 4K, show them 2K and show them a pristine optical film projection.  Which one they say looks better may not be the same.  It won't be for the talent being photographed. Do the same comparison photographing a set designed to look like the interior of a spaceship.  Do the same thing with a set designed to look like a pre-industrial period...a western...a fantasy movie.  Which one they say looks better isn't likely to be the 4K.  In fact, set construction will not be able to rely on any amount of impressionistic leeway with the audience as resolution goes up and acquisition becomes more and more clinical and closer and closer to what Apple has achieved with its Retina display.  For decades people have been fooled by visual alchemy, quite literally.  Metal they accepted as real actually being wood.  Stone that's actually cardboard.  Glass that's actually plastic.  Metal that's actually plastic.  I'll never forget the first time I walked directly from a screening room, viewing film dailies from a previous day's miniature shoot to compare the amazing images I'd just seen on film with what was actually photographed.  The difference was astounding, in this case, a crane shot booming up through a burnt-out cathedral to see the sun flaring out the lens, peaking through a smashed stained-glass window.  If you're familiar with Interview With the Vampire you might remember the scene.  In actuality the cathedral was maybe 5' in height, made mostly of painted cardboard and the sun was a lightbulb.  You can forget about that kind of magic with a GH-2 much less the 4K future. The make-up effects industry is already on the down slope.  They're even less prepared to deal with 4K than the set craftspeople or model makers.  Contemporary make-up effects cannot even stand up to conventional HD photography very well because digital renders rubber [i]as[/i] rubber, paint [i]as[/i] paint.  It doesn't look like alien skin.  It doesn't look like human flesh.  It doesn't look like anything but what it [i]actually[/i] is.  The loudest voices pushing technology in filmmaking since George Lucas first shot digital, 3:1:1 green screen plates that all had to be hand-rotoscoped because keying didn't work with early HDCAM have always been incredibly myopic.  It's funny he, Cameron and Jackson have all been hailed as visionaries and revolutionaries in this new, digital century and yet the only reason some of their decisions weren't complete failures was due to the sweat and long hours of literal armies of digital professionals who fixed their filmmaking and try and turned their lie into some form of truth.  Rodriguez didn't have an army to depend on, initially, and relied on denial.
  4. Jeff is totally wrong about the quality of "release prints" going down, equating the current hype over 4K as a sensible if not necessary improvement.  The switch to first generation digital projectors effectively quadrupled the release print experience for audiences.  Over-the-air HDTV transmission and the native resolution of our GH-2 and Canon DSLRs is nearly as big of an improvement.  This is based on the long observed metric that optical release prints, by the time you went through all the duplication steps, rendered the potentially greater than 8K original negative contents (depending on 4-perf, 8-perf, anamorphic or super-35 process) at a meager 1K effective resolution for audiences. Early digital projection wasn't hampered by its own limitations per se but by the playback technology driving them.  Even today, this is the main limitation, especially since we have cameras better than the original CineAlta line for acquisition (3:1:1 8-bit).  The camera systems available to the studio establishment for digital acquisition have not been the lowest common denominator in the chain between filmmaker and audience for the last five years at the very least. 4K is a waste for most applications.  It's just more and so long as digital release standards aren't much more than JPEG2000 sequences, 12bit or not, I'm not convinced 4K isn't anything but an engineering circle-jerk.  It's porkbelly pixels.
  5. It's too bad this doesn't also help with follow-focus at a static focal length.
  6. Ahhhhhh, the step-up ring in the center wasn't apparent to me at all. I get it now. Neat. That's really clever. I wonder if the same could be accomplished with an o-ring perhaps, or some other solid piece, but this is still very cool. I might just have to pull the trigger on one of these now. I was just worried about being able to reliably adapt without it being janky.
  7. I wish he described in detail his modification. His picture looks like three small washers wedged into the bayonet and I'm not really sure how that'd work.
  8. I've tried through both google and ebay to piece a search together with the right words but haven't seen a definitive mount adapter that will let me convert a Century Optics 1.33 anamorphic lens designed for the bayonet mount on a Sony PD150/VX2000/etc. to screw threads so's I can pair it with a lens on my GH2. Is there a readily available adapter type for this that I just haven't found or have folks had to make friends with a machinist to get this combo (or one like it) to work in the past? thanks
  9. [quote author=Bruno link=topic=696.msg5060#msg5060 date=1336497800] I agree with the article if you're talking just about beauty shots, commercials, music videos, etc, but for narrative work, that can become quite distracting. If you're shooting a dialogue and cutting from different focal lenghts between 2 shots, close ups, wides, you don't want every lens to have a different aspect to it, you want consistency, and that's very hard to get with vintage lenses (you'd need to have a set for each lens you like, probably impossible to find!). That's when good neutral lenses are very important, most serious work is shot as neutral as possible, because in this time and age you can make it look however you want it to, but once you shoot with one of those beautiful lenses, that's pretty much it. [/quote] These lenses would be just as appropriate for the right narrative work as the right commercial or music video.  After twenty years we finally have synthetic lens flares, chromatic and DOF plug-ins that very closely mimic the real deal (though Doug Trumbull still has nothing to worry about) but what is much harder to quantify and therefore mimic are the random, accidental "artifacts" that work because there's nothing contrived about them and they represent perfect moments captured unintentionally. One of the great things about the GH2 is it basically doubles your lens collection, turning every lens into two.  You could very easily and competently shoot the majority of a film with one lens for medium and CU type shots using the crop, these being the shots that will most directly benefit from bokeh with character.  Wides and establishing shots will mostly be done stopped down with a majority of the frame in as sharp a focus as possible which nullifies a majority of continuity issues. I mean, DPs and directors have been intercutting footage with and without diffusion.  Spielberg used to be really, really bad about this.  I find that way more objectionable than just about anything.  Intercutting less-than-Ridley-Scott quality stage lighting with location footage too.  Classic day-for-night footage.  Lenses with character aren't a bad thing.  You have extreme examples like BELLFLOWER... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j3KX2IPTbjE ...and here, the "neutral" look of the talky-talky bits are the more distracting, least interesting or engaging parts of the film, cinematographically.  But for a refined, exceptional and beautiful example of bollocks-to-lens-continuity in a narrative film, check out IN THE CUT, which has brilliant photography, including liberal use of swing-tilt lenses... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6ZKfF84LKT0 24P + 1/48th second shutter is, generally speaking, the biggest issue with "narrative".  After that it's all gravy.
  10. [quote author=Andrew Reid - EOSHD link=topic=56.msg675#msg675 date=1323554345] If you have any other films you want to know more of how the cinematography was handled let me know, I think we can all learn a lot from these masters. [/quote] A film that I'm constantly going back to reference for its beautiful yet understated anamorphic cinematography is Magnolia.  Lots of Z-axis location movement requiring either available light or clever, difficult light placement to avoid being seen in its many, extended tracking scenes.  Love it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cxcegktcxSM
  11. [quote author=garypayton link=topic=596.msg4920#msg4920 date=1335892577] I was thinking more about this camera. I really think this sadly will be a studio only camera, cause of the battery short life and the really bad ergonomics. Another problem is...is this camera tropicalized? How will it react working outside, with 30 degrees, for a couple of hours? I was thinking to sell my Mark2 to make money, but really I think there will be a lot of situations when this camera won't work. To me it made a lot more sense to put the spirit of DSLR filmmakers in this camera, not only the price! Like this we have a steril studio camera that will be really difficult to adapt to "run and gun" shooting [/quote] There's an awful lot of assumptions here that have little basis for existence yet.  Ironically, the Canons (or any DSLR) are not robust devices built to be used in extreme conditions [i][b]while shooting video[/b][/i].  Live View makes them (the Canons at least) overheat very easily, which exacerbates imagine issues (not to mention auto shut-down).  I'm surprised with all the DSLR add-ons that have been made the last few years nobody has developed the definitive "camera cooler" that might increase the practicality of these cameras for exotic locations like Central Texas. A location that can also easily dew up $100,000 worth of CineAlta and almost miss morning Magic Hour.
  12. [IMG]http://i48.tinypic.com/2wfit5w.gif[/img] ...is going on in this thread?
  13. When I saw the headline of the story all I could say was: "Duh." Douglas Trumbull's ShowScan didn't take over narrative film, in fact didn't even make the slightest dent in narrative film, a long time ago when 48fps and 60fps was sorta cutting edge technology.  The jury has been recessed on this issue for decades.  High speed film is a side show attraction, a theme park ride or appropriate for other such "special venue" applications.  Not narrative film. Duh. I won't waste my time seeing this at a 2D screening if it's 48fps.  Why not just stab a pencil in my eyeball and be done with it?
  14. [quote author=garypayton link=topic=596.msg4436#msg4436 date=1334937963] ... DSLRs are revolutionary because they give you immense power in a pocket, because you can take it in your hands, put a viewfinder or a small monitor and go, to a favela, into the jungle, in crazy positions, in difficult envyroments. If this camera is intended for a static set with SDI monitors, tripod, for us to play like we are the Orson Welles of the moment, then it really makes no sense. ... [/quote] I'm sorry, but I can only assume you haven't actually tried to do those things with an HDMI setup based on this, because my own experience with  the 7D is that HDMI is crap even for the "static set" with "tripod", etc.  It's a horrible hardware spec, down to the cables.  I went through three or four Monster mini-to-HDMI adapters doing very careful setups with both an external monitor and this POS IKAN we got as a loaner.  That's like $50 a pop for about nine inches of cable.  On our last day we actually had a setup for this overhead shot where the cable had to have just the right amount of tension in order to maintain a signal to the monitor and it would blink in and out.  It's no surprise to me that professional A/V installers with "on call" service to their clients [i][b]always[/b][/i] run component connections as back-up for when their client's HDMI cables get tweaked just the wrong way (but not unplugged), or gravity pulls just enough on that bottom, vertical connection (but doesn't unplug it) and they lose signal at 3AM on a Saturday night. Garbage.  Even for a consumer spec.  Must be video engineers getting even with the world for decades of jokes about NTSC and its finally being banished from existence.  That or the same folks that came up with the hardware spec for 1394/Firewire, which is/was also bad and glitchy.
  15. [quote author=John Twigt link=topic=596.msg4368#msg4368 date=1334864547] No HDMI for EVF [/quote] This isn't really a negative.  HDMI has no business in the field.  It's a terrible hardware design.  Mini-HDMI even worse.  Never again. 
  16. [quote author=johnbauerphoto link=topic=596.msg4320#msg4320 date=1334834817] [quote author=BurnetRhoades link=topic=596.msg4281#msg4281 date=1334791005] [quote author=johnbauerphoto link=topic=596.msg4273#msg4273 date=1334784371] yes flange depth will be the problem. EF Mount is quite "adapt-unfriendly". [/quote] I'm still not clear this isn't just "baggage" that's come along with the EF mount, based on existing cameras. [/quote] We'll see I was just stating this based on the thing I read on wikipedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flange_focal_distance [/quote] Ah, okay.  Seeing that illustration makes it clearer to me.  Thanks.  Damn.
  17. [quote author=johnbauerphoto link=topic=596.msg4273#msg4273 date=1334784371] yes flange depth will be the problem. EF Mount is quite "adapt-unfriendly". [/quote] I'm still not clear this isn't just "baggage" that's come along with the EF mount, based on existing cameras.
  18. [quote author=Andrew Reid - EOSHD link=topic=596.msg4242#msg4242 date=1334760097] ... Yes it is a shame specialist stuff like LOMO OCT18 and rangefinder glass ([i][b]also Nokton 25mm F0.95[/b][/i]) won't adapt but you will still have a GH3 for that. [/quote] Why wouldn't the Nokton and other M43 lenses not adapt?  I understand why you wouldn't on a full-frame camera that normally makes full use of what you get with EF glass but you would have full coverage here.  Or is it a flange depth issue?
  19. [url=http://vimeo.com/35168717]Sick Boy -- Official Trailer (indie thriller shot on 7D)[/url]
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