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"Dirty"


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#1 Brad Grimmett

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Posted 26 January 2006 - 03:59 AM

I'm curious if anyone has seen "Dirty" yet? It's open in like 25 theaters in five cities in the south right now and will open in N.Y. and L.A. next month, and then hopefully wider after that. I was the "b" camera/steadicam operator on the movie and I'm curious how it looks. Unfortunately, I haven't seen the film yet (only the trailer online), but I'm really itching to. It was shot in a very interesting style, by Eliot Rockett, that was very fun and challenging for me as an operator. We used zooms with zoom sticks and did all of our own zooming by hand improvisationally and on the fly. Lots of handheld and steadicam was also used, both of which also incorporated the same zooming style. This was one of the most creatively challenging and rewarding jobs I've ever worked on and it was an absolute joy for me and many of the other crew. On the last day of production we were all asking the director if he'd like to just continue and make "Dirty 2" right away. Sadly, the producers said no.
The trailer can be viewed here for anyone interested. It's getting great reviews so far, and the look has been praised in some of the reviews.
Anyway, I'd love to hear any feedback.
By the way, this movie is worth seeing just to see Cuba Gooding Jr. play completely opposite of the good guys he's played in the past.
OK, I'll shut up now.
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#2 Richard Vialet

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Posted 26 January 2006 - 09:03 AM

I've only seen the trailer but it really does look as interesting as you say...seems very engaging

as soon as it comes out in D.C. I'm gonna check it out! Congratulations and I hope that this will lead to even more satisying projects in the future!
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#3 Robert Glenn

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Posted 26 January 2006 - 01:17 PM

wow that looks awesome!
what cameras/lenses were used?
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#4 Brad Grimmett

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Posted 26 January 2006 - 03:41 PM

We used two Arri SR3's with Canon 11.5-137mm lenses. Zooming was part of every shot, so the zooms pretty much never left the cameras. The one exception was one steadicam shot that was (I believe) done with a 6mm prime. Other than that the zoom was it. We never zoomed out though. That was a specific order from the director on my first day. We zoomed in as we saw fit, but when we got to the end of the lens we stayed there until the end of the take. We never zoomed out. And the zooms were all snap zooms done by me or the other operator with a zoom bar attached to the lens, except on steadicam where I had a motor on the zoom and the D.P. zoomed when he wanted, and we never rehearsed any of the zooms on steadicam, so it was always a surprise! I ended up doing quite a few shots that ended up at 137mm on steadicam. That's equivalent to about a 250mm in 35mm! Very long lens for steadicam! On my very first day the D.P. zoomed from about 20mm to 137mm in one fell swoop. It sounds like a bad idea, but they wanted a searching and floating look througout the movie, so it actually worked quite well. It was tough on the focus pullers, but everyone understood the challenges of this style, and shots that took a second to find focus were embraced. The 1st's were encouraged to not snap to focus too fast, but to roll it into focus when they were out.
This movie was the first time I used a slider, and I really loved it. We used them as a way to always have a bit of movement, but they are also very effective for correcting into an over. There were a couple times when Cuba thanked me because an actor missed his/her mark and I was able to still find the over without him having to move off his mark. I think most good actors probably love sliders because they can really save shots that would otherwise be blown, and good actors recognize this. They're even better than a dolly in those situations because many times you can correct as the shot is being blocked, and not have to wait until after the shot is already bad and you've had time to motion to the dolly grip to move. It became quite an interesting proposition to deal with both the zooming and the sliding at one time, and also try to compose a nice shot. This was the ongoing challenge with this film, but it was a heck of a lot of fun!
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#5 Robert Glenn

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Posted 26 January 2006 - 11:38 PM

We used two Arri SR3's with Canon 11.5-137mm lenses. Zooming was part of every shot, so the zooms pretty much never left the cameras. The one exception was one steadicam shot that was (I believe) done with a 6mm prime. Other than that the zoom was it. We never zoomed out though. That was a specific order from the director on my first day. We zoomed in as we saw fit, but when we got to the end of the lens we stayed there until the end of the take. We never zoomed out. And the zooms were all snap zooms done by me or the other operator with a zoom bar attached to the lens, except on steadicam where I had a motor on the zoom and the D.P. zoomed when he wanted, and we never rehearsed any of the zooms on steadicam, so it was always a surprise! I ended up doing quite a few shots that ended up at 137mm on steadicam. That's equivalent to about a 250mm in 35mm! Very long lens for steadicam! On my very first day the D.P. zoomed from about 20mm to 137mm in one fell swoop. It sounds like a bad idea, but they wanted a searching and floating look througout the movie, so it actually worked quite well. It was tough on the focus pullers, but everyone understood the challenges of this style, and shots that took a second to find focus were embraced. The 1st's were encouraged to not snap to focus too fast, but to roll it into focus when they were out.
This movie was the first time I used a slider, and I really loved it. We used them as a way to always have a bit of movement, but they are also very effective for correcting into an over. There were a couple times when Cuba thanked me because an actor missed his/her mark and I was able to still find the over without him having to move off his mark. I think most good actors probably love sliders because they can really save shots that would otherwise be blown, and good actors recognize this. They're even better than a dolly in those situations because many times you can correct as the shot is being blocked, and not have to wait until after the shot is already bad and you've had time to motion to the dolly grip to move. It became quite an interesting proposition to deal with both the zooming and the sliding at one time, and also try to compose a nice shot. This was the ongoing challenge with this film, but it was a heck of a lot of fun!

Thanks for that! Sorry for the ignorance, but what exactly is a slider?
I'm amazed by the look of this film, even with the crappy quicktime movie, i would've easily taken it for being made in 35mm. I've strongly considered using either the canon or angenieux 12x zoom when/if i ever get my little movie going, so I'll definitely check this out, as you guys seemed to work those lenses to their full extent with amazing results.
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#6 Brad Grimmett

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Posted 27 January 2006 - 01:08 AM

Thanks for the kind words.
A slider is basically a mini dolly that fits on a Mitchell plate, whether it be on a tripod or dolly. It allows the operator to do small camera moves independent from anything else. Here are a couple links to pictures of different sliders.....here and
here
It's really a great tool to have.
Regarding the lenses we used: I really like the 11.5-137mm, it's nice and small for it's range in comparison to 35mm lenses, but I really can't comment too much about the look of the lens yet because I haven't seen the film projected yet. A lot of people really like the Canon 8-64mm as well. I've used it once, but not as extensively as the 11.5-137mm.
Also, Dirty had a poor man's DI applied to it. They transferred to HD, color corrected, and then blew it up to 35mm. I'm interested to see how it looks.
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Aerial Filmworks

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Visual Products