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HockeyFan12

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HockeyFan12 last won the day on April 12 2018

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  1. I was about to say the 24mm is not very good, but maybe I just had a bad sample. I found the 35mm and 85mm to be good. Very neutral. Never tried the others, or I think the 14mm I tried once and it had bad distortion but I hear it's sharp.
  2. @kye, no that's totally applicable to me. "CAT VIDEO MM/DD/YYYY" describes a lot of my "personal work." I think that might be the better naming convention for a lot of my stuff. Uploading to YouTube like that is a smart idea. The only caveats I can imagine are that you can never truly delete anything that way, or there's that story about Myspace losing 12 years of music. You can't really choose if it gets deleted, I guess. Still, I do that with a lot of stuff on dropbox, always keeping essential files there, but of course have to pay monthly to keep that data online. @KnightsFan, tons of great advice, thank you. Are your tools OS X or Windows? One thing I didn't realize would be helpful but think would be, is including relevant information (client, project name, etc.) in the "comments" section of all the files correlated with a certain project. That way, it's searchable even if it's not in the file name, I believe. Batch modifying comments might be interesting. I'd rather not change file names in some instances, but I wouldn't mind adding comments. The flip side of me (perhaps) having more projects to organize than you is that most of them are a couple weeks of work from start to finish at most. So I can't relate to most of those concerns about years of footage existing together in one scene; even for longer-term projects, it's a few days of shooting and then pick ups. I did something long-term like that many years ago and it was awesome, though. Despite some continuity errors and changing hairstyles... What's the two-year project you're working on? If it involves Blender and Fusion it sounds cool... That might be the best advice of all. I try to archive footage and photos I shoot, but have no idea why I keep most of it. Been shooting a lot of raw video lately and I can fill up a few 256 GB cards in a day. Backing those up is not cheap.
  3. Thanks for the detailed advice. Do you also organize by year? I’m trying to go through all my stuff, going way back, trying to organize even past work, so that might be a good idea for me… And then one folder for personal work and one for paid after year? And then projects in each? Then: preproduction (scripts, storyboards, reference), production (footage), post production (sound, vfx, color, etc.)... and so on... Do you organize by client or just include that in the name of the folder? What do you do for stock footage, plug ins, etc.? A separate directory entirely for that stuff? I'll sometimes clean install everything and it's nice to have that ready to go. Do you store other stuff like photos, music, etc. (I take photos and am starting to work more in Ableton) in the same drives as your film work? All my paid work is video atm... but my personal work is a hot mess. What do you do for version numbers and/or date for vfx or for design? For vfx do you organize project files by date, by shot, etc. Or just one project file per project? How do you version up? One issue is assets and workflows can be shared across vfx shots, or one client might refer to assets from a previous project for editorial, but do I copy those assets into both folders? What about stock footage and stock sound assets and fonts? What naming conventions do you use for vfx? What does one of the spreadsheets look like that you mentioned? Do you track hours, days worked, etc. and whether it’s been invoiced/paid/etc.? Where do you store invoices? Locally or Google Docs? I assume the project name in the spreadsheet correlates with the parent directory for the project? What do you do for dropbbox integration? I’m often rendering stuff out to deliver to clients and rendering straight to dropbox. But do I also save those files locally, too? The issue is then I’m required to have two copies of them on my SSD since my dropbox syncs to my SSD. I guess that’s not a big deal, I can selective sync at the end of the day. Hmm... I have this terrible habit where I work off my SSD (only 256GB!) then back everything up to a larger drive piecemeal. It’s… terrible. But essentially to me. So that makes this a bit harder. Or maybe easier in the future, but harder now, as projects span drives. For footage I just use the camera original file name. Do you change the name of footage or just project files, etc? I also don’t use proxy workflows often. I’ve been tempted, but usually just edit at a fractional resolution off camera original. Overall that seems like really good advice. I’m never going to be as organized as it sounds like you are, but that makes a lot of sense. The other issue is I have tons of unclassifiable junk: notes in notepad (scripts, to-do lists); screen grabs of stuff, cat videos, cat photos, random test shoots that don't even quality as personal work really (maybe they should, but that takes the fun out of a random test shoot).... knowing what to do with that is another challenge. The other question is do I just throw some stuff I shoot out? For test shoots and stuff, do you keep everything you shoot or delete some of it? Maybe I should devote an entirely separate drive to assorted photos and videos that I just shoot for fun with no plans to editor or publish.
  4. Broad question, but how do people organize their projects? Paid and personal? By client? By date? Anyone have any advice here or links to good conventions? Any post sups out there?
  5. Thanks, I appreciate it. Next time I'll at least watch the short first. And next time I write a screenplay I'll go hog wild.... then cut it way down.
  6. I'm sorry, again. Is there a moderator who could delete my original post? I didn't realize how out of line this was. What I'm even more ashamed of is I still don't know what parts I would have left out. :/ I bumped into an old friend who, since I last saw him, had success in the film industry as a producer, and he asked that if I email him in the future, to be sure to keep it short. Out of respect for his accomplishments, I told him I'd be sure to. When I write such a long post here, I realize it's an insult to all of you in that I won't show you the same respect I promised him. But it wasn't my intention. In school I'd always try to write a lot, but there I was the one paying to have my writing looked at... I felt I was being generous by writing a lot–but it was the opposite dynamic. I apologize for being so selfish. If a mod can please delete my post, I would appreciate it.
  7. Again, my apologies. I'm putting myself on time out for a while. I should have watched the short first; I ended up writing something more to myself, I think, than to Zach, and that's a disservice to him and to the forum, but I was just trying to share my enthusiasm for some directors who inspired me.
  8. Heh, I taught myself to type at 130wpm to help with essays... I guess I never stopped. I was only a minute late for the appt! I watched the short since, though. You didn't need my essay at all, I think you answered your own question very well. My apology again for the rant.
  9. I didn’t watch the short since I am in a rush to an appt. I’ll check it out later… But responding to the initial question, Imo, if you don’t have a particular story to tell (you do, but maybe your natural medium isn’t a screenplay), have a particular way of telling a story: •Watch Spielberg films and focus on how his camera placement and camera motion correspond to how characters feel. What is the emotional center of the scene? Where is the camera in relation to it? (Consider focal length: a CU isn't just a CU–it could be shot with a wide lens right in someone’s face or a telephoto lens from across the street.) How does emotion relate to what characters want? We get emotional about our needs... Focus on emotion and how Spielberg draws you into moments of wonder and drama, but provides distance on moments of tragedy or comedy through blocking and camera placement. Notice how he integrates the gags (whether CGI or practical) into the medium shot, but doesn’t rely too heavily on POV shots. He keeps you close to the characters, without making you "one" of them. He's very transparent and classical. He puts you in the world with his characters without directly putting you in their eyes. Watch how Saving Private Ryan’s opening puts you into the battle even before there’s a particular soldier with whom you’re aligned. What he’s doing is complex and subtle, and probably mostly intuitive. He uses POV shots, he just uses them differently from Hitchcock. So just do what feels right! •Watch Hitchcock films and focus on how his camera placement corresponds to what characters see. (Consider range of narration and plot vs story–what characters get the most POV shots and when do you know more or less than a character. The “master of suspense” is often aligning you closely with the protagonist to make you sympathetic… then giving you a more omniscient range of narration from time to time to create suspense. Read the “bomb under the table” quote about suspense vs surprise.) •Watch Fincher films and focus on how his camera placement corresponds to what characters know. Who is the protagonist of the story? Who is moving the story forward at any given time? Who knows the most information at any given time? What’s in the box? And why do we find out at the same time as Brad Pitt (instead of Fincher choosing suspense and telling us before hand)? Why does he choose surprise here? To me, the Fincher protagonist is whoever knows the most at any given time. I feel like Gone Girl and Seven change protagonists halfway through… or repeatedly... in that sense. I think Dan Harmon and David Fincher both like to focus on the smartest person in the room. No surprise, those guys are really smart lol. •Watch how Peter Jackson shoves the camera right up the face–generally with a wide angle lens–of whatever is scariest or grossest in a given scene. Why does he shock you and gross you out so well? •Watch how David Lynch taps into subconscious patterns, frequencies, loops, in story, visuals, and sound design. How does he get into your subconscious so well? His films, to me, are more similar to music and painting. More abstract. Read his “eye of the duck” quote and consider how he structures each scene around a particular detail, each movie around a particular scene, etc. etc. I think with him it’s very intuitive and abstract, but there is a repeatable process nonetheless. I just don’t think it works if you try too hard to emulate it and think about it. Doesn’t mean it isn’t worth thinking about at all... but if studying this stuff doesn't interest you, probably don't bother. Just think: “let me show you something.” What do you show and how? To whom? How do you see the world that’s different from how other people see the world? Who are those other people you want to share your vision with? Why? Try to meet them half way and show them in a way that’s personal to you, but accessible to them. That’s you see the world uniquely. That’s your voice. It’s your personality. Ultimately, part of this is a popularity contest. But you can choose your clique… and how true to be to yourself... Or if you know the story you want to tell, simply tell it, and the rest will evolve naturally. I suspect none of the people I mentioned above are laboring over the choices I mentioned. They’re simply acting intuitively, true to themselves. Be yourself, but be cognizant of your audience. Make them want to spend time with you, or show them something no one else can. I love Tim and Eric and Lars von Trier. Those guys aren’t making palatable content. But that’s the point. They’re agitators. If you're an agitator, agitate. I remember you mentioned before that your strength was visuals. That you were doing similar things to Kendy Ty? That might be even easier to get started with, but it’s a different trajectory than feature film director imo. (At first at least.) Maybe get into branded content, music videos, try to get a staff pick, etc. If your friends and you walk down the street snapping photos and yours are the most beautiful, that’s your voice and your strength right there! Translate it into videos and start posting them on Vimeo and hounding everyone you know to try to get a staff pick. Obviously connections matter, this is a social medium after all. Network. I hate networking... There are a million different avenues–festivals, YouTube, sneaking into some director’s office, etc. No one can help provide those specifics until you provide the specifics of what you want to do. And even then we’ll get it wrong. But it’s not too different from social media–why did you put this on Instagram vs 500 px? Why did you submit to Cannes rather than Sundance? I 100% appreciate the problems you’re struggling with. I have scripts that are too big for me to shoot on my own, and it’s hard for me to recruit enough people to produce them. But that has to be a part of the conversation, too. FIND people who like your stories. If they don’t like them, find out why–is your story bad or did you just find the wrong audience? Maybe it’s GREAT but they’re envious of it or disagree politically. Still a (potentially) bad collaborator, even if they're a good person and it's a good script. Maybe it needs work (mine do) and your friend is confused. Explain it to them until they get it, then incorporate those changes onto the page. The process of getting the film made starts with communicating your ideas to your first audience–your collaborators. The process ends with you communicating your ideas to a larger audience–your viewers. Build your audience slowly. Build your voice. Start small. And focus on the journey. That said, I struggle with the same stuff. It’s not easy. It’s why, for more ambitious projects, I’m focusing more and more on writing. Not my strength, but if the ideas aren’t there in the script, they’re going to be harder to get across in the final thing and I'm too busy now to devote my life to making weird magnum opuses. Sometimes I wonder how David Lynch got a huge crew together to make Eraserhead. That movie apparently had next to no script and it's bizarre, but this guy was so magnetic that he got people to spend five years filming it. And the movie is amazing. I would seriously doubt he would win any popularity contests based on his films, but here he is directing my favorite tv show. (Admittedly more a cult classic.) Be true to yourself. Act in good faith and with confidence and the two will reinforce each other and grow. Or if you cynically just want to be a director to say you’re a director, study Brett Ratner’s career. That's true to what that guy wanted. And it worked! And more than anything, be confident.
  10. Thanks everyone! Your advice has been really helpful.
  11. HockeyFan12

    Labelling Gear

    I love putting my name on things so I'm excited to have found a Brother label maker on sale at Staples. I want to label lenses etc. so if I have an assistant or something he or she can identify them, and so things don't get mixed up if I rent equipment. Does anyone have any advice for doing this? Should I include phone number in case someone is extremely honest and I lose something? Label cables, too? Color coding? Should I label the cases? SD cards? This looks fun: https://www.amazon.com/Unistar-Standard-Laminated-Compatible-Brother/dp/B01FJRURW4/ref=sxbs_sxwds-stvp?keywords=oem+brother+label+tape&pd_rd_i=B01FJRURW4&pd_rd_r=ab02dc4c-fb3e-4597-ac39-5963d91998e9&pd_rd_w=rd5q1&pd_rd_wg=kNil6&pf_rd_p=5c5ea0d7-2437-4d8a-88a7-ea6f32aeac11&pf_rd_r=EK74ADNXKYH35F8X0N57&qid=1552187252&s=gateway I'm not sure if I'm more interested in this as an art project or because it's practical and will help keep me organized, but at least I found another use for my camera and lenses.
  12. Yeah, stops under seems to be more subjective than stops over. Until you look at how Red suffers from loss of color in the highlights (they all look gray) or the C300 Mk II saturates yellow too much in the highlights... or SLOG 2 highlights are a neon mess.... but for me highlight dynamic range is still much more important. Both the Fuji and Nikon seem to have similar performance to the A7S in terms of dynamic range, though, I think? Like full on cinema camera level. Pretty crazy.
  13. I agree. I think the C100 has +5.3 for highlight detail. That's the official number. It looks pretty good exposed at base ISO, but most people seem to overexpose with it. AVCHD muddies up the shadows so I get why. I agree that the A7S has more dynamic range overall, but I'm not 100% sure since I never put them side by side. I think the Alexa really might be 14-15 stops total but the shadows are so noisy you can’t push them far. So you can see the detail there very faintly, but it’s not really detail you can recover, at least without denoising or something. So it’s tough to know what the real number is. The detail might really be there in the shadows, but if boosting the exposure makes the image too muddy to use, how much does it count? That’s why I think stops over 18% gray at base ISO is a more useful measure. Since it's more obvious when highlights are clipping. Not so obvious where the noise floor is exactly. And generally base ISO is where the image looks good and where most people shoot. (Except imo SLOG 2 looks much better overexposed by a stop, so that complicates things.) In terms of highlight detail, the Alexa is still way ahead, yeah. Next best is Varicam at +6.5 I think. But you rarely need that much anyway. The A7S has a lot of highlight detail, though, especially if you're good at working with SLOG 2, which I'm not.
  14. It's closer than you'd think. I've compared the Alexa and the A7S. If you properly expose an A7S at 3200 ISO in SLOG 2 (base ISO on the A7S; haven't used the A7III, but I suspect it's similar) and expose the same scene at 800 ISO on an Alexa (its base ISO, so open up two stops), the Alexa should have 1.4-1.8 more stops of highlight detail. I believe the Alexa has an over of +7.4 at base ISO or +7.8 maybe depending on what model it is (original vs Mini or Amira or something, or maybe it depends on firmware but Arri quotes different numbers) and the A7S I think has an over of +6 at base ISO (3200 ISO) in SLOG 2. Not 100% sure of this but it's what I found online and it correlates with what I've seen pretty well. On the other hand, I think SLOG 3 looks better than SLOG 2 because its base ISO is pulled to 1600 (or something, I'm not as technical as I used to be), and as a result it clips one stop sooner but looks cleaner. If you expose the A7S at 3200 ISO with an incident meter the image will look super underexposed, and that's how it gets that excellent highlight detail. Not sure about HLG, but I suspect it clips sooner, too, and has better tonality. The best image I've seen out of the A7S was SLOG 2 pulled two stops on a Q7+ external recorder, so it had +4 but was incredibly clean. Regardless, even +4 is good for mirrorless. +6 is good for a cinema camera. +7.8 is ridiculous. I don't like SLOG 2 at all, and I don't like how it clips aesthetically (especially how colors clip), but it does offer good highlight detail. I'm excited for the A7S III and would love to rent one and shoot in zero light with one of those f0.95 lenses. I just hope they address skew and how colors clip and offer a 10 bit option, that would be an amazing camera. Disclaimer: this stuff is changing so fast I'm sure I'm getting details wrong and am in over my head. But the A7 cameras, exposed properly at base ISO in SLOG 2, have very good highlight detail... but they look better overexposed IMO so maybe it's irrelevant. Regardless, the Alexa is still in a whole different league, but you also can't carry one around with you easily.
  15. That's pretty great. 120fps is, too (and of course requires that speed rs). Really impressive camera!
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