Posts Tagged ‘Director of Photography’

UMMMMM, well I didn’t know Bella was going to be in this movie, I thought it was Kristen Stewart. The movie was a little slow moving for my tastes but I sat thru it, as they introduced the adult version of Snow White played by Kristen Stewart, it reminded me of seeing Bella from Twilight. There was a part of the movie where she says the lords prayer, I was like really!?!?!? In Enchanted Middle Earth? Then the heaving of the chest seems to be her best moments but again they reminded me of scenes out of Twilight. Let’ see, she jumps off a cliff into the ocean, reminiscent of the scene where she jumps off the cliff just to see Edward again. Then there was a scene where she bit into the poison apple and guess what, she dies slow like when she writhing in pain when she was about to be dispatched and Edward had to save her. Ok I guess I’ve done enough Bella bashing but, come on now. She did her thing in Twilight only because they needed an awkward teen and she fit that perfectly. But a princess?, Snow White to be exact, not so much! Do I think that Kristen deserves a chance as an actress to grow…absolutely! But as Snow White, she does not convince me.  I think she is cute in an innocent sort of way and that’s why I admit, I liked her in Twilight, or should I say, I grew to like her.  Remember, like the Harry Potter Kids (as I like to call them), they grew into their roles.  You saw them “becoming”.

 As far as action it was cool. Loved the effects, especially the way they made Ian McShane and Bob Hoskins look like dwarfs. The troll under the bridge scene was climactic but Bella oops I meant Kristen, oops I meant Snow White soothed the savage beast with her eyes. She might have been thinking about Edward and that’s what actually turned the beast away.

 Chris Hemsworth is getting a lot of face time since Star Trek and has been pulling his weight.  I can see him having longevity as an action or fantasy hero.  He seems to own those roles well! Loved him in Thor and the Avengers if you didn’t see it, you must go now, stop reading this post and GO NOW!

Charlize Theron, ok, she’s HOT! I loved her role in Italian Job with Mark Wahlberg, and she was riveting in Devil’s Advocate as the simple wife going crazy after her husband played by Keanu Reeves, lands a great job in NYC as a hot shot lawyer with your boy Al Pacino.  Anyway, I loved her as this character Ravenna, but honestly she is so good, she could have played Snow White and had some unknown play Ravenna (the bad witch) who is seeking to stay beautiful and live forever off of the blood of the young and pure of heart Snow White…Okizay!

For me an actor should be able to pull you into the character he or she is portraying, making you connect with the character.  I remember HATING and I mean HATING Christian Bale as he played a racist guy in Shaft, that if I’d have seen him in person I’d probably would have jumped on him and beat him down myself….but that’s how good he played his role and now I love him as Batman, the DARK Knight, which by the way, to me is the best vision so far of Batman.  Anyway, I digress.  Great effects, visuals were stunning and believable.  We even get a chance to see some fairies.

If you haven’t seen Snow White and the Huntsman, well in my opinion, you can wait for DVD/Blue Ray but if you have nothing to do on Saturday or Sunday at Matinee time..lol, then go check it out! Oh it’s kind of dark, so not for the kiddies!

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Ok so we’ve been waiting and waiting and it is finally here.  I know most of you won’t know what I’m talking about but those of us who know the crazy wacky world of Film Riot with Ryan Connolly, family and friends, know what I’m referring to.  The Long awaited short film by Triune Films, TELL, I’m not gonna spoil it for you if you haven’t seen it yet! But, I will say this, I’m usually not predisposed to Horror Thriller movies, not my thing.  I’m more the Star Trek, Avatar, Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter (Yes I’ll admit it here) type, but I loved the story.  Lead Character Taylor, played by Todd Bruno, had me sucked in from the start.  The intensity of his character was evident, yet he was vulnerable, corny sounding but true! Jenny, played by Shana Eva, gave us a nice view of a woman wanting answers from her seemingly inattentive and non communicative boy friend Taylor.  Ray played by Tim Connolly, is the friend of Taylor, who finds out the ugly truth.  Remember I can’t give it away if you haven’t seen it, so yes I’m being evasive…lol…also supporting actress Brigitte Kali Canales  who plays Terra and Adriana Pascual who plays Officer Diaz round off the cast of this well put together piece.  I will say this, Office Diaz took it like a champ and I felt her pain, just glad she was able to….oops, Oh well I guess your gonna have to watch TELL and TELL me what you think.

As a student of Film Riot and yes a student, I’ve grown to love the way they weave their stories and skits.  My favorite out the box short was LOSSES.  I felt like damn, I wanna be like them when I grow up! Check that out if you haven’t seen it but I blogged about it so hopefully you’ve been paying attention.

Let’s continue shall we, ok so Ryan originally had another person that he had mentioned before that was supposed to be doing the score at first but for whatever reason he ends with Hybrid Two a dynamic duo consisting of Daniel James and Aaron Frensley, who in my opinion are phenomenal at what they do. I must have been on their site for about an hour, easy before regaining my senses.

By the time you read this post it will be a few days after the official release date of Wednesday May 23rd, 2012.

Make sure you stop by and TELL ’em HI! Support the independent film maker.  They’ve got DVD/Blue Ray and the sound track available for pre-order.  I pre-ordered MINE!

So while we’ve been waiting for the 5D Mk III and the we’ve been playing with the C300 and the Scarlet by Red, another player has been making a lot of noise in the background! A company named Black Magic Designs have come up with a unit that places a lot of very high end features in a very cost effective package for ALL filmmakers alike.

Please say hello to the Black Magic Cinema Camera

Now this camera impressed me with the stats out of the gate and for such a reasonable price point.  Not to say anything but it’s almost what I expected from the C300 and was hoping for some in the 5D Mk III but that’s another story!

“The Blackmagic Cinema Camera features an amazing 2.5K image sensor with a wide 13 stops of dynamic range for a true digital film camera. You get a built-in SSD recorder, popular open standard uncompressed RAW and compressed file formats, compatibility with quality EF and ZE mount lenses, LCD touchscreen monitoring plus metadata entry, all packed into an exciting hand held design!” This was taken from the site itself.  From what I can tell the industry is a buzz with this new entry into the film world.  It’s compatible with EF lenses and since I’m with Canon already that helps me out.  Although I was planning to get the PL set when I get my Scarlet.  So the only thing I see so far is the lack of more FPS, it goes to 30, there goes my dream of super slow mo’ EFX without using a plugin…but again I digress.

For the money this camera, based on the specs, should produce some very stunning images.  We’ll wait to see the explosion of tests that will undoubtedly start to trickle in as some more people get their hands on this unit.

For more information please see the Blackmagic Designs website for all the juicy tidbits!

From what I can see from the information, it’s gonna be a pretty cool unit that will offer a lot of things to filmmakers! Oh I didn’t mention that it comes with Davinci Resolve and I love the color editing features in that application.  I had to download the light just to see it work!  I’ll tell you more about that later

HAPPY SHOOTING!

Hey everyone, I have not written in a while and wanted to share my experience in “The Bubble” over the Thanksgiving holiday! The Bubble as it has been affectionately named, is a place in Rodeo New Mexico called “The Painted Pony Resort“! What do you do in a desert, you may ask? Well, absolutely nothing or absolutely anything. It was a brand new experience for me personally. I’ve never seen so much beauty in a place and history as well! Our guide Sky GypsiesBAlvarius welcomed us and during our time there shared his experience and knowledge with us. Fascinating seems to fall short of what it was like to hear the history and certain lore of the area. At night looking up into the sky, reminded me of standing in a planetarium, I don’t think I’ve ever seen stars like I saw there. It was breath taking, during our stay we also witnessed two beautiful rainbows in which could be seen the many colors of the spectrum in detail!

I can go on and tell you how wonderful it is but you’d have to see it yourself to believe it. The colors, the air, the sun, the stars, the dirt, yes even the dirt. Ok so let’s get to the accommodations. 9 Bedrooms total on property between the 3 building, a heated pool and Jacuzzi flat screen TVs and yes even internet. But don’t think for one minute you’ll be connected to the outside world via cell phone, remember I said bubble. Well unless you have Verizon, there is no cellular service in the bubble, well not with out help from a repeater which get’s you a Verizon signal. There is a land line there on property as well. I can go on and on about it but, I’ll post a link to some pictures.  For those filmmakers looking for a place to shoot or writers who need a quiet place to put your thoughts together or y0u just want to unwind, this is the place for you…The Painted Pony Resort in Rodeo New Mexico.

2nd Unit - 3 Bedrooms

The Painted Pony 2nd Unit

Master Suite - 1 Bedroom

The Painted Pony Master Suite

Main Suite - 5 Bedrooms

The Painted Pony Main Suite

I’ll be posting more links to pictures and sights shortly! Enjoy!
My name is Michael Stewart and I approve “The Painted Pony Resort”. 🙂

So November 3rd has come and gone, some of us have been left with, “well what happened to the 5D MIII?” or better yet “Ah heck, another bunch of camera’s out of my range…” or even still “No one cares about us indie guys :-(“, well in any case, technology is allowing us to do so much more than before and even if you still shoot with a 5D MII you are still ahead of the game in most cases, until you get into the “RED” zone. I must admit, when I first saw the RED at an APPLE seminar in Atlanta so many years ago, I wanted it, badly. It was amazing then and still amazing now! Does this mean I’m not a fan of Canon, oh heck no, I love the Canon gear. It actually allowed me to get into the game without spending $50k. But like Ryan Connolly said in one of his episodes, “I want to educate you guys on both DIY INDIE stuff to big name stuff” (yeah I know I paraphrased) but I understood him totally. It was in respond to a loyal viewer’s comment that “if you start filming on the red, I won’t watch you guys any more”…and I understood him too, cause Ryan and the crew and FilmRiot gives us indie guys so much inspiration as well as knowledge on how to make what we “HAVE” work to higher standards. And that is truly important to me. As an up and coming filmmaker.

I have a T2i, it is not as prestigious as the 7D or the 5D MII, but I’ve seen some amazing things done on this camera that rivals some 5D stuff, and that proves my point that it’s not the size of your equipment but how you use it! 🙂 With that said, Let’s get right to it!

Red and Canon decided to have a slugfest on who’s gonna bring the hottest new toy to the playground. SO LET THE GAMES BEGIN:

Canon introduces the Canon Cinema EOS C300
Here are the official specs:

• 8.3 megapixel 2160×3840 Super-35 CMOS sensor (4K resolution) with Digic DV III processor

• Canon XF codec (50Mbps 4:2:2 1080p MPEG2 MXF) records to two Compact Flash card slots

• Canon LOG gamma, SDI, compact body, Custom Presets and menus similar to Canon XF series

• Exposure and focus control are completely manual — there is no automatic exposure or autofocus

• Sold as a system, including LCD monitor / XLR audio unit, side grip, top handle, and battery charger

• Headphone jack (first EOS-branded camera to have this, though it’s obviously necessary

• Uses existing BP-955 and BP-975 batteries

• Lacks dual-link HD-SDI for native 4:4:4 output, though ships with LOG Gamma unlike the Sony F3

Available January 2012

Price: $20,000 (basic configuration)

Canon Cinema EOS C300

Canon Cinema EOS C300

Canon EOS C300

Canon EOS C300

The RED SCARLET X will do

  • 5K resolution at 12 FPS (for still shooting),
  • 4K at 1-25FPS, 2K at 60FPS,
  • 1K at 120FPS, and also does
  • Quad HD (which is popular for down sampling to 1080P since it’s precisely double the resolution in both dimensions).
  • It uses REDCODE RAW at 50MB/sec (which is 440 megabits/sec), comes with a side SSD slot,
  • Canon lens mount, and will ship December 1st.

Pricing will be $9,750 for the Canon mount version and $11,250 w/ a PL mount lens (and the mounts are interchangeable).

The RED SCARLET-X lists for $9,750 and that is direct from RED: no discounts. However, that is a “brain only” price (though it comes with a SSD recording module, Canon lens mount, and AC adapter). After December 31st, in fact, the RED’s prices will go up. But if you include the prices of the things you’ll need to shoot in each cameras’ most basic configuration, many all of these things are included with the Canon but not with the RED. (A couple of them are not included with the Canon either, where noted).

  • Camera Body
  • Lens Mount
  • Side Handle (RED +$950)
  • Viewfinder/Screen (RED’s 5″ LCD is $1,600, though it’s probably nicer than the Canon’s EVF)
  • Media Module
  • Media for 1 hour of footage (a cheap $100 CF card for the Canon, but two $950 SSDs for the RED)
  • Media Reader (a cheap $50 CF reader for the Canon, but a $250 REDMAG for the RED)
  • Battery Charger (an extra $150 for the RED, though I’m not clear on whether the included AC adapter can also charge batteries)
  • Batteries for a few hours of shooting (an extra $150 battery for the Canon, three $195 REDVOLTS for the RED)
Red Scarlet X

Red Scarlet X

Scarlet-X Aluminum Canon Package

Scarlet-X Aluminum Canon Package

This brings the RED up to an even $15k. As you get into more realistic battery and media numbers —  included is the absolute minimum above — the SCARLET-X becomes more expensive than the C300. Which is to say nothing of the fact that the C300′s 1080P MPEG-2 files require much less computer power to edit and process in post than do the 4K R3D files (thus more expense on the back-end for the RED). I’m gonna say that since the 5D was so good with low, the C300 will be better in low light situations, which makes your necessary lighting budget lower. Nice touch for those of us on a super budget and can’t get lighting. But my guess is if you can get a red or C300 you’re doing alright for yourself! 🙂
Now in both situations you know you can get those super CANON lenses, which I believe Canon will take advantage of in the C300 – Either way, if you got the funds make it happen.  Make sure you think about accessories and upgradeability as well, when factoring your costs.  Chances are, you’ve amassed a great collection of lenses that you probably are gonna wanna continue to use!
So there you have it, hopefully I’ve confused you all beyond any scope of recognition and it will make you want to research more and more until you find the one that fits your needs and budget, cause let’s face it, it’s all about what we can afford and afford to keep up.  We have a saying, don’t buy a Lamborghini unless you have Lamborghini money to keep it up! Maybe that’s too high of an example but you get my drift!
I’ll throw this in to see if it will help your decision, one of my all time favorite movies besides Avatar (and NOT THE LAST AIR BENDER, I’ll hit on that on another post ugh), was The Lord Of The Rings and I’m a Tolkien fan, read the books probably a dozen times.  Well Peter Jackson is making the HOBBIT and guess what he’s using….YES…THE RED, sorry Canon. Not only is he using it, but he’s using it in 3 f’ing D. Man can you imagine? Double REDS for each camera rig set up.  Check it out – 
Well I’m sold on that so far! SO let me get back to work so I can save up to get the camera of my dreams! It will be interesting to see which accessory company shows off in developing stuff for this new line up on either side.  Zakuto already has there hands on one. It would be great to see Letus and Redrock do the same!
HAPPY SHOOTING!

I have not posted in a while and wanted to share some things with you as I’ve been going through this journey. Being a DP is much more than just operating the camera and getting the shot. It’s more like you are steering the course of what the viewers will see as you are telling the story. It doesn’t necessarily have to be YOUR story but a story. Reveals, angles, movements, depth of fields, all these are just a fraction of the tools that the DP uses to help tell the story.

I was blessed to be a part of some really great projects that taught me more than a few things on telling a story. Since then I’ve been asked to DP on a new project and I’ve been studying the script and the shot list thoroughly to find out how I can bring the director’s story to life and keep the audience engaged! I must admit it’s a litte scary but I’m so up for the challenge! I will keep you posted!

Here is the graphic for Running an entry from a team that I had the extreme pleasure of working with in the 24Hr Film Race Atlanta.

20110512-041522.jpg

After getting into this thing called cinematography I figured out after being involved in some project that I wanted to try my hand at being a Directory of Photography. I love the things involved with setting up a scene and lighting and getting the shots. Obviously when you are a one man show you have to wear a lot of hats but in this case I decided to stick with the things I am passionate about, filming, lighting and of course sound. Editing is a different beast all together, I do it because I have to, but I’ve learned a lot in that area too. All these things take time and together makes a film what it is, a long with a script of course outlining what the film is about. Then you have directors and actors/actresses before you know it, you are like Universal Studios.

I have noticed that you can get a lot done when you put the right people and minds together and you can create something wonderful!