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Raafi Rivero

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About Raafi Rivero

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  1. Raafi Rivero

    Artistic / aesthetic use of Bokeh?

    A lot of the reason the bokeh look feels overdone is that it's cheaper to buy a fast lens and open it up on a night scene than light up a huge area and stop down. So with the flood of content from cheaper cameras and less-experienced filmmakers, we tend to see that look a lot. Aesthetically speaking, though, the only thing that matters is how the story works, how a particular shot makes the audience feel in the telling of the story. The dreamy quality of bokeh can't be denied. Even Wes Anderson uses it from time to time: The other is a grab from my film where a tough-talking street dude is also surprisingly witty. The bokeh enhances the dreamy-turns-nightmarish quality of the scene as the lead character is has fallen asleep on the subway and wakes up in an unfamiliar neighborhood. But for other night scenes we pushed the ISO and stopped down to mitigate the effect. The key is to have total control of the image as a storytelling tool. Bokeh is a part of image-making, so use it as it suits the content.
  2. Raafi Rivero

    How do you practice?

    To me, shooting stills with manual focus is a pretty good way to practice, and you're only editing stills afterwards instead of video. You learn different framings and lenses and the muscle memory for focus pulling in unpredictable situations. Shooting doc-style stuff also helps. One way to practice is to reach out to friends or people who interest you and shoot a short profile piece. Something you can shoot in a day and edit in a weekend. Here's one such piece - an interview with a former bank robber that I did when I was researching and working on a feature script. I didn't have a sound person and borrowed a couple camera bodies and just operated all three cameras myself and did the interview. But as they say, "the only way to get ten years experience is... to work for ten years."
  3. Raafi Rivero

    festival Submissions

    Of course, plenty of worthy films don't make it into Sundance (ahem, mine), and plenty of people have success independent of what film festivals they play. And there are a good many people who've blown up after their work took off on Vimeo just as a good number have done the same through the festivals. Causation is almost impossible to prove in any of those cases so I'm not sure the point of bringing it up here. The film Pariah that I mentioned earlier was rejected the first time they applied to Sundance and it was only after premiering at Women in Film and Video and word-of-mouth building over several months that they were invited to the next Sundance, which (to me) is a great story of the perseverance that is necessary to go far in this world. But since we're talking about film festivals, I guess the best part of what they do is create the context for the artistic side of the work. There are infinite numbers of channels broadcasting the latest reality tv competition shows and a lot of good filmmakers hone their craft working on them, etc. But those types of shows don't provide a platform for filmmakers who want to be making feature films and aren't quite there yet. Film festivals (the good ones, at least) do. They help both the audience and the creative workers, albeit through imperfect means. I spend a lot of time on Vimeo, have found a great many projects I love and have learned a ton from that platform, too. But one of Vimeo's limitations is that it's not designed to stoke the shared viewing experience that is one of the foundations of our industry. Film festivals do that, too. (again, the good ones). It's up to each of us to decide how we want our work to be seen and how to make sure we're making work that can reach it's audience. I think of film festivals as a critical piece of infrastructure in that process, just like Vimeo. For me a film is complete when it is seen by its audience, the better if that process can happen in a dark room with hundreds of people watching at the same time. Film festivals do that. The good ones.
  4. Raafi Rivero

    festival Submissions

    The director Dee Rees had a short film, Pariah, that played in Sundance in 2007. Then a kickstarter. The feature version of Pariah played in Sundance 2011. The Director of Photography of both, Bradford Young, won the cinematography award at Sundance that year. A few years later he was nominated for an Oscar for his work on Arrival in 2017. Rees' most recent feature, Mudbound, received four Oscar nominations. You can't do much better than that. Here's the trailer of the feature version of Pariah. I went to a screening of it last weekend in NYC.
  5. Raafi Rivero

    'The Cold Dark' - teaser

    Excellent work. Longer short films (12+ mins) are harder to get into festivals because it means it's taking the place of two or even three films. That said this thing looks incredible and I think it should play tons of places. The other option, of course, is releasing online and just building views/community around it in forums like this one and on the comments on youtube, etc. Getting things seen is always tough but you kinda did the hardest part which is make something worth talking about.
  6. Raafi Rivero

    festival Submissions

    Most festivals will ask you for a flat 1920x1080 file for projection so you should prep one of those with the black bars at the top and bottom. Some festivals are sophisticated enough to project in anamorphic but I wouldn't count on it, especially for a short where they're programming things in blocks. Most people will be submitting/projecting 1920x1080 so it's best to have a simple file that they can drop right into the timeline. As far as which festivals to submit to, it's always a somewhat scattershot process but I'd take a look at what kinds of films they've programmed in the past as a guide. You wouldn't submit a drama to a comedy festival, etc. Each festival has a personality so you should target festivals that look like your film. The other thing is travel - it's most valuable for your career to be able to actually be there for the screening so you can meet the programmers and festival people. I once won best short film at a festival that I wasn't even there for, so that was a missed opportunity. And that's why it's better to be there. So if you don't think you'd be able to make it to the screening (on your own dime) then that festival might be a lower priority than one where you can. Obvious exceptions are the top tier fests where you'd go regardless... but what difference does it make that your film played the Hawaii Children's Film Festival if you're not there? Ideally what happens is that you get into one or two top festivals and other festivals invite you to submit with a fee waiver - that way you can play Hawaii or wherever without having to pay to submit. Often programmers from one festival will go to others nearby to scout films and filmmakers. And often programmers will move from one festival to another. So getting to know the people who work at the festival will help your reputation over time as those workers spread to other festivals, etc. So, to recap, start applying to places you'd like to go, starting with the top dogs. Prioritize places you can get to on your own. As for festival gems, I had a great time at the Milwaukee Film Festival last October. Really well run, strong audience engagement. I wrote a long journal about the experience here. And I've had great fun at the Los Angeles Film Festival (top tier fest, great staff), Blackstar and Urbanworld, (niche festivals that fit my film), and New Orleans (incredible city, met a lot of filmmakers), etc. They're all fun. Keep plugging away and good luck.
  7. Raafi Rivero

    Geoff Boyle: "F**k The Numbers"

    I'm gonna call both/and here. There are no two types; we are snowflakes. We are all limited in different ways: some in our ability to master technical details, others in composition, in content, others still in understanding what makes a good image on an emotional level. There are simply an incredible number of levers to pull to create a stunning image: lens and camera choice, f/stop, filtration, lighting, subject, location, subject distance and on and on. The process is inherently imperfect and complicated by the huge number of decisions there are to make. What I like about Geoff's talk is that he doesn't choose one or the other. Yes, the talk is called "fuck the numbers," but then he goes on about an 8K scan of a classic film negative and the resolution in the chainmail of a costume in a terrible movie. Understanding the process of image-making is messy. It is a journey. Over time our attempts to master as many of these levers as possible will show on the screen but we will all have strengths and weaknesses.
  8. Speaking of detective work, I did some more digging and found an unlisted video comparing the Bokkelux 75mm prime to other top lenses and confirm the Bokkelux - Nisi - Kinefinity chain here (too long to post in the thread): http://kinecommunity.com/a-primer-kinefinity-mavo-lenses/
  9. I pretty much use the terms "guerilla filmmaking" and "run and gun" shooting interchangeably. They're both war metaphors. The shooting style is applicable both for when you have permission, and when you don't, when you have actors, and when you're filming real people. There's also "one man band" which fits in a similar mould. To me run-and-gun is a relative term. A Hollywood person might use it to describe a crew of 10 people, LOL. If there is a difference between the terms it's that "guerilla" implies an ethos - get the film shot by any means. When I shot the piece below, for instance, I never had more than two crew members and was usually alone. All of the rooftop shots were a location that we sneaked onto (and setup a slider and handheld LEDs, ha). The terms guerilla, run-and-gun, and one man band apply to nearly every shot:
  10. Raafi Rivero

    Mother of all "Large Format" Video Cameras

    or the DIY way: the guy who did it was 18, btw: https://www.newsshooter.com/2018/01/03/this-18-year-old-photographer-built-his-own-8x10-large-format-video-camera/
  11. Raafi Rivero

    The House Invictus (feature film shot on GH5)

    Looks amazing!
  12. Raafi Rivero

    NAB 2018 - Kinefinity and Atlas Lens Co Orion Anamorphic

    About half the shots in that are 24p. And nearly every shot in the first 5.5mins (and more than half overall) in my Terra 4k review are regular motion. But you can judge parts of image quality based on a still frame. David Fincher shoots everything in slow-motion, btw, then delivers almost everything in regular speed just so has the option - so there's your utility. I agree that the next hurdle is to use the cameras for narrative stuff. Working on something in that arena now. Stay tuned.
  13. Raafi Rivero

    NAB 2018 - Kinefinity and Atlas Lens Co Orion Anamorphic

    ... Anywayz.... I got to test the Atlas Orion 40mm on the Kinefinity Mavo. (am also the talent in a few shots since it was just a small number of us). Some of the shots are from another test the night before. I like performance of both lens and camera:
  14. Raafi Rivero

    Kinefinity Terra 4k has landed

    I doubt it's the same sensor for the Pocket 4k as that looks like it's still Super-16 sized but there is a lot of speculation the Terra 4K shares a sensor with the GH5S
  15. Raafi Rivero

    Kinefinity Terra 4k has landed

    Outro outtake with the full IronFilm mention: https://www.dropbox.com/s/t58pz9ggu0oe5q8/ironfilm.m4v?dl=0
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