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Alan Lasky

Member Since 24 Mar 2006
Offline Last Active Sep 11 2010 06:31 PM
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Posts I've Made

In Topic: Christian Bale as Bill O'Reilly

03 February 2009 - 06:18 PM

In my humble opinion tirades like this should NEVER be allowed to happen on a set and the responsibility for seeing that a fire like this is extinguished IMMEDIATELY is that of the 1st AD.

The best 1st AD's I have worked with would never have allowed this to blaze on like it did. Why do we put up with the 1st AD's endless BS if not for the fact that we cede control to him/her for MANAGING the set? I respect the authority of the 1st AD because it is exactly at times like these when the crew needs a sergeant to take control and enforce discipline, no matter how big the ego or the check.

Not that I do not feel for the AD, who I assume is "Bruce" (Bruce Franklin) in the portion of the tirade:

"NO! Shut the **(obscenity removed)** up Bruce! NO! NO! Don't shut me up!"

At that moment all control is lost: Mayan civilization collapses, dogs and cats live together in sin, frogs fall from the sky and they run out of gummi bears at craft service.

Alan Lasky

In Topic: Christian Bale as Bill O'Reilly

03 February 2009 - 05:12 PM

As I understand it from talking to some people out here the release of the tape came through the insurance/completion bond company, not any crew member involved in TERMINATOR: SALVATION. The tape was delivered to the bonding company for two reasons, both of them related to the very real possibility that SALVATION would need to file a claim:

1. The actor walks off the set and they can't continue and have to file a stoppage claim.
2. 'Mental health issues' in one of the leads causes them to shut down and either:
A. Hold production until the issues are resolved. ($$, but not insurmountable)
B. If the issues can not be resolved, reboot with a new principal actor. (A mighty $$$ claim)
C. Shut down production. ($$$$$$$ and almost impossible)

The audio would be used as part of discovery in any litigation. I have worked on several films where specific actors required special 'riders' in the bond to cover drug and alcohol use, mental health issues, etc. I doubt very strongly any crew member would ever release a tape like this to the public.

Alan Lasky

In Topic: Dalsa/Arri Deal's Off

27 January 2009 - 03:29 AM

I rather think you will find that said individual or group had a very clear idea of what results they needed to find, if they knew what what was good for them.


Conspiracy? Stupidity? I honestly don't know, nor do I really much care. I can not tell you the number of times while working at big companies I have heard the following exchange:

"I have had a look at your revenue projections. Where did these numbers come from?"

"I pulled them out of my ass."

No assessment of agenda, intent or motivation alters the fundamental liability. The bottom line is still the bottom line and no matter who requested, served or drank the Kool-aid a massively irresponsible market analysis led to a great deal of frustration, wasted time and lost capital. No problem if you have a privately funded company and an endless pile of cash to burn through; much different if you are publicly traded and must answer to shareholders.

As for: "talentless hacks in upper management who swill the digital Happy-Ade as a mechanism for extending their lacklustre tenures," welcome to Hollywood. :rolleyes:

The great thing is when the poop starts hitting the fan you can sit back and watch the 'talentless hacks' shank each other in the back, just like the yard at Pelican Bay.

Lasky

In Topic: Dalsa/Arri Deal's Off

26 January 2009 - 12:58 PM

Having worked at DALSA for a while during their initial push into the Hollywood camera market I have a bit of a different view on the failure of the Digital Cinema Division and the Origin Camera.

Yes, the camera did have potential. Yes, it did at times produce stunning images. The Origin, like all other currently available digital camera systems, also had some fairly hideous problems that were never really fixed. That is not to single out DALSA's system; look deep enough at any digital camera system and I guarantee you will find a problem you will have to hide from the producer. Yes, it was too damn big and too damn heavy; my shoulders remind me of that every time I do military presses at the gym. Yes, efficient, cost-effective uncompressed 4K workflow is at present a pipe dream, no matter how hard the sell from the post guy.

However I do not believe any of these factors were the true cause of DALSA's failure. In my opinion it was a failure of fundamental business case analysis. Someone, somewhere in the distant past was tasked with providing a market analysis of the high-end digital motion picture camera market for DALSA. That individual or group either did not perform a true analysis or wildly over-estimated the true potential revenue of the digital camera market, especially using a purely rental model. Everything subsequent to that initial failure of business case analysis was pretty much inevitable.

Being seduced by the 'consensual hallucination' of Hollywood as a real business is nothing new. Hell, I worked for Silicon Graphics in the late 1990's and saw from the inside what happens when an entire company ignores a market's true revenue in favor of taking out advertisements that say: "Look, we worked on (insert big VFX movie)." Much like the digital camera business the visual effects/digital post industry was a low margin business with extremely 'difficult' customers who often did not want to pay for anything. Ask DALSA for some bottom line analysis on how much they had to kick in for post on the jobs they did do, I think you will see the same pattern at work.

DALSA's core business is pretty strong. They have some very good technology in CCD's. MEM's and other areas and some very smart people running the ship. Although their adventure in Hollywood was predictably painful in the long run they will survive and thrive. I am only sorry they had to go through so much typical Hollywood bullshit before they realized it was time to scuttle the ship. Oh well, live and learn. Just about now another company is pulling into town with grand plans and dreams of technical Academy awards. That cycle will continue, although the current economic conditions make it mercifully harder than it was before to justify.

Alan Lasky
People's Republic of California

In Topic: Big Red Sensors Theory

30 December 2008 - 12:55 PM

Arri bought Dalsa, so they have acquired 4K technology already.




-- J.S.


The "Arri bought DALSA" misconception is patently false and is a dangerous meme to be propagated, especially on internet forums. Arri did not "buy DALSA" at all. To quote DALSA's own press:
_____________________________________________________________________________
A letter of intent between the Canadian company Dalsa and the German company Arnold & Richter Cine Technik GmbH or Arri includes the possibility that Arri will invest in the Digital Cinema side of Dalsa's business. The announcement states that:

"Under the terms of the LOI, ARRI would acquire certain existing assets of the DALSA Digital Cinema division. Concurrently, DALSA and ARRI would enter into a technology partnership agreement whereby DALSA will develop for ARRI custom high performance CCD image sensors and related products. Furthermore, DALSA would supply the developed products to ARRI for digital cinematography applications through DALSA?s core businesses."
______________________________________________________________________________

As of yet there is a letter of intent for Arri to get sensor technology from DALSA, nothing more. No deal has been finalized and it remains exactly that: a letter of intent as both sides perform due diligence. DALSA is a large company with very successful divisions outside of the Digital Cinema market and is not a potential subject of a take-over by Arriflex.

I apologize if I am sounding a bit condescending, but please let us try and inject some business/economic reality into these discussions. This is how false information gets passed off as fact.

Alan Lasky
PROC

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rebotnix Technologies