Yesterday was the premiere of Ghosts Don’t Exist, a feature film shot in Leesburg, VA and produced by 19th and Wilson, for which I was 2nd assistant camera (you can read part 1 of that story). The film was shown as the closing selection for the DC Independent Film Festival in the “Twilight Zone” session, sharing the time with two short films. While there had been a cast and crew screening before, this was the first public showing of the film and the first time I had personally seen it as I had not been able to attend the aforementioned cast and crew event. Despite most having already seen it, a large amount of the cast and crew were there to celebrate and meet up with old friends. Everyone who worked on this movie truly felt like family.
Back in the day, before the REDone and other digital cinema platforms, Hollywood used to make films on, well, film. In fact, many are still shot on 35mm stock and then later converted to digital for editing and effects purposes. There are, however, certain directors who have adopted either a completely digital workflow, or many aspects of one. Some pull it off successfully, as Robert Rodriguez did with Sin City (it doesn’t hurt that the clean, stylized comic book feel of that movie was tailor-made for HD), but some directors have taken digital cinema and used it poorly. These are the top 5 most guilty directors, and their films, of not just shooting digital, but utilizing it in the wrong ways and not playing to digital cinematography’s strengths.
UPDATE 2: RED has since released Build 30. I have posted that menu map along with Build 21 below.
UPDATE: The link for the PDF file was bad in the previous post. It has been corrected.
The RED ONE is essentially a computer disguised as a camera and so it has quite a complex set of menus to navigate. And while you get used to the specific areas that a function is located in, or which button does what, or how to find a setting, it’s easy to get lost in the Red’s sometimes labyrinth of menus when you’re looking for an option not accessed frequently.
Here to save the day is the menu map, a clever graphical configuration of the Red One’s menus. Provided on the Red site within the manual download, their self-designed menu-map is a helpful three-page document to keep in the camera case or have access to if you’re going to be using the Red One on a shoot.
Below the Beltway, a DC-based independent film I worked on over this summer, is supposed to be featured in tonight’s 10:00 p.m. episode of Ace of Cakes. Duff from Charm City Cakes, the Baltimore based bakery the show is based on, had a small cameo part in the film as a clown. I remember this day on set when we got to eat lunch with him and hear his stories. The Ace of Cakes crew was also their filming the process and that footage should crop up in tonight’s episode. Set your DVR’s!
When I was doing prep-work as 1st AC on “Red Herring,” shot on the RED ONE, I went ahead and created Red specific camera reports. The document was created out of a variety of different types of camera reports I had seen. Many of them were either for film or for video, but neither tailored to the specific settings of the Red One. The result was a template that enabled easy marking of traditional notes (lens, f-stop, etc.) as well as Red-specific meta-data.
“Red Herring” is a Las Vegas based independent film produced by Cohencidence Productions that I worked on back in October as the First Assistant Camera for a talented cinematographer and good friend, Kunitaro Ohi. It’s a film that’s shoot was as grueling as it was rewarding – nothing worth doing comes easy, I suppose. We shot it on the RED ONE using Zeiss Superspeeds. It’s a testament to everyone on that crew that the footage looks as great as it does with the fast-paced schedule we were working through. I will comment more on this film in future posts. In the meantime, check out the trailer after the break:
I’ve featured Pat in much of my own work, specifically about Ghosts of Pluto, or as they are now known, Wings of Apollo. Pat has been an invaluable resource and subject for me in my projects, so when he approached me to help him make a “digital portrait,” it was easy to say yes.
The concept of the project was to create a digital profile, or portrait, of yourself. Pat approached me to help him with the editing, but I pushed him to let me shoot it and light it just for fun. He complied and we rented out some equipment, much to the surprise of the teacher who had never even heard of some of the equipment I put on the list (it was an intro class after all.)
The following story is the first in a series of entries exploring Evan’s experience with his first job on a film set working as the 2nd Assistant Camera for “Ghosts Don’t Exist.” The series is divided into three parts: Pre-Production, Production and Aftermath. The “My Summer as a Camera Assistant” series will expand longer to the other films that Evan worked on.
Marshall laughed at me because I told him I had never worked on a film before. Walking away, he put the last of his cases on the deck of the house. I was sitting awkwardly against my car trying to feign my nervous anticipation while he still chuckled to himself. We were both in the front yard of a farmhouse in Leesburg, Virginia – the main location of the shoot.
Marshall and I were the only two there. It was a preparation day for the camera department. He was renting the equipment to our production and I just happened to be the first one to arrive. I looked up the driveway to see if anyone else was showing up. I could tell there wasn’t. Gravel usually gives away anything that approaches.
Hello all, I’m currently in the midst of customizing the theme for my new blog page. Please be patient while I configure everything. I plan on re-posting all of my previous blog posts along with some exciting new ones. In the meantime, you can find more about me, Evan Luzi here.
Thanks! – Evan
The short film Colin Rogers and I made, Doppelganger, was recently accepted into the local film festival for Virginia Tech students and Blacksburg residents. We managed to snag two awards from the festival: Best Editing and Best Sound Design. We were pleased that we were able to be acknowledged for the hard work we put in, especially in post. Full film embedded after the jump…