Here is a video from FreshDV‘s Film School, a series that centers on a career camera assistant explaining his job and giving advice on how to pull focus.
This particular video is one I watched when was I first learning how to pull focus.
A film that shot in DC over the summer that I worked on within the camera department (that’s us above with the lead, Tate Donovan) is set to have it’s premiere at the Newport Beach Film Festival this Friday. Tickets are still available and can be purchased here. The film was a great experience with a wonderful crew and a talented cast including Tate Donovan, Kip Pardue, Annie Wersching and Sarah Clarke, among others. I haven’t seen it yet, nor do I live near Newport Beach so I can’t attend, but anybody in the area with an interest in quirky, political indepedent comedies should check it out. The script was excellent. Synopsis after the jump
photo credit: Jai Mansson
These ten keys to success were learned to me from the sweat of experience and the blood of many long days next to a camera. It covers stuff I’ve seen crew do on set that annoyed me or somebody else and, because of that, a lot of it is common sense.
Yet every day people on film sets fail to follow these pieces of advice. And it’s costing them jobs.
So pay close attention and you’ll take one big step towards helping yourself get more work and be better at it.
Watch a montage of all the creative slates done by the Italian 2nd Assistant Camera on Inglourious Basterds. This video was on the DVD as a special feature, but anybody working as an AC should watch! The originality of the slating is something to aspire to.
Marking actors outdoor can be a little tough when it comes to using paper tape. It doesn’t stick well enough and on some surfaces like gravel or grass, it wouldn’t even lay flat. There are various types of ground marks that one can lay, such as the sandbag type, but they are often expensive and heavy. When you are travelingfor work and flying, weight can cost you money. So here’s a simple, cheap solution that saves money both on the initial purchase and in the form of weight.
It wasn’t long ago that Jeffrey Katzenberg, one of the head honchos at Dreamworks, was pushing 3D in theaters hard. At that point, Avatar was still in production and many were skeptical of it’s success. Already then it was being billed as the Citizen Kane of three dimensions; providing a groundbreaking visual style that would revolutionize how people thought about 3D in film.
Cut to 2010 and Avatar, whether it fulfilled those lofty promises or not, stands alone as the highest grossing film of all time and leaving studio execs to demand, order, request that all their large tentpole films now be released in 3D. In an economy that is down and a market that has been plummeting for years due to the fall off of DVD and the rise of Netflix, Redbox and piracy, studios have found their newest industry cash cow in the third dimension, waiting to take back the profitability of cinema. However, it remains to be seen whether 3D is in it for the long haul or if it will simply fade into the distance, leaving a wake of hyperbolic predictions in it’s wake. There are pros and cons of 3D that the entertainment industry needs to realize about it to establish the technology as the future instead of a footnote in the past.
This weekend while working on “Heather,” the crew and I used the RED one to shoot some high speed footage at 120 frames per second. It was in the middle of the day and we were waiting for the sun to go down while shooting and since it was a fairly small crew and relaxed atmosphere, we took that opportunity of time to shoot some silly footage of us doing various activities in super slow motion.
I apologize for having to take the break from posting last week. I’ve had quite a busy two weeks that culminated this weekend with a three-day shoot in Richmond on a short film titled “Heather.”
Directed by Lisa Crawford with cinematography by Kuni Ohi, the script tells the story of a lonesome woman who is deeply in love with her cat and constantly trying to avoid interaction with other people, especially men. The final film should clock in somewhere around 20 – 30 minutes which is a decent chunk of movie to shoot on the weekend.
Luckily for me, they had already shot one day of 10 pages last weekend, largely suppressing the load for this past weekend.
We shot the short on the RED One (and a crazy set of accessories) with a fairly small crew. There were about 10 of us total and many people wearing multiple hats; myself wearing those of First Assistant Camera, some 2nd AC stuff and part-time data loader. But what was great about this was that each of us were friends with each other, extremely competent at our jobs and so despite the smaller size, we moved fast, efficiently and nobody felt dragged down.
Hi all – Just a quick note to let you know that I will be super swamped this week but will try hard to keep posting. I am directing a scene of my own this week as well as going to Richmond to work on a short film for a friend. While I am there I will do my best to update with pictures/stories from set. It’s a great little short piece about a woman and her cat titled “Heather.” It’s being directed by Lisa Figueroa Crawford and the cinematographer is Kunitaro Ohi who I have spoken of many times on here as he is a good friend and a talent with a light meter and camera.
This amazing Steadicam shot comes from the video of a foreign pop star’s concert.
I saw it posted somewhere long ago and had told many people about it immediately after seeing it, but was never able to find it again. For the sake of always having it available, I wanted to post it here and so that other people can get the opportunity to see how incredibly awesome this shot is.
It starts with a slight dutch roll until the camera reaches the stage, at which point, the Steadicam Operator hops on stage, punches in a zoom, and circles him multiple times. Then after the 3rd rotation, the camera exits, popping off a beautiful shot of the guitarist along the way.
And all it took was a Steadicam Operator riding a segway with a camera assistant running next to him…