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Senior Thesis... dun dun dun...


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#1 Jocelyn Hanc

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Posted 27 June 2006 - 11:03 PM

Hi.

I have just been confirmed to shoot my girlfriend's senior thesis *wince.*
Yes, I can imagine what a bad idea that sounds like, but really we work well together on a film production. Anyway.
This isn't about that, this is about how I want to shoot a really beautiful film to add to my reel and I want to gain experience and succeed at the same time.

What I'm looking for is advice. I'm not entirely doing my own lighting - I have a lighting designer who I have worked closely with before and who I have lots of faith in, so that's great. I'm looking for advice on how to prep this summer and what I should be thinking about, and ideas for preproduction and etc. for a Director of Photography. This production is being taken very seriously by all included, and it is something we are all doing for ourselves and for each other.

I won't see the script for maybe a month. After that, the school year starts at the end of August and shooting is being planned starting the first weekend. I want to know as much as I can about everything before that happens. I already have the manual for the Aaton XTR Prod we're shooting on (courtesy our college. yay free equipment rental!) I am starting to think about my style of shooting, coverage, short end purchase - as you can see my method of research is somewhat scattered. Does anyone have any advice about what I should focus most intensely on as far as preproduction?

Also - does anyone have XTR Prod advice? I'm not sure what the budget for this film is yet - and I have no idea if we're matching back to film or what - but I want to be prepared. I want to be able to provide the director with something she CAN match back to film (whether she wants to go 16mm or 35mm... but I doubt the funds exist for that) For the college screening, I'm going to assume we're finishing on DV. As for festivals... who knows. Should we be thinking about those all ready? Should I think about festivals before I shoot the film? (probaby, right?)

Any advice on where to find information on visual narrative? So far I've shot my Cine Prod 1 shorts, which weren't really narrative, two narrative films the second semester my freshman year (which were, eh, ok - I have learned much since then), and two music videos this past year (my sophomore year). I will now be a junior, with some experience in my pocket, but I haven't shot narrative for a year.

Anything would be appreciated - I am currently reading "The Camera Assistant" by Douglas C. Hart, which is providing me with a lot of excellent technical knowledge that I will pass on to my A.C. once I have chosen one (which brings me to the realization that I probably should get one - soon) and now I have just realized that I need to stop focusing on technical stuff and start really zoning in on telling this story (that I have yet to read the script) Don't get me wrong, I know the STORY. I am very connected to the issues in this story, and I know the script will be something I will want to shoot... but I need to work on ... as I said - visual narrative.

Sorry for the long-winded nature of this cry for help. I am very excited for this opportunity, and I have a lot of ideas and questions and they just come pouring out. Any advice at all for D.P.ing a 16mm narrative would be great.
Thanks for your time.
Jocelyn
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 28 June 2006 - 01:09 AM

When you get the script, it will be easier to answer your questions. For now, I'd just start screening movies that might in the ballpark of the look you may be seeking, and talking to your director and showing the clips to her. Maybe talking vaguely about other visual references. But it would help to have the script...
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#3 Rik Andino

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Posted 28 June 2006 - 02:02 AM

Any advice at all for D.P.ing a 16mm narrative would be great.
Thanks for your time.


Have long discussions with your Director...
So you both know exactly what the other is thinking.

Personally I lown an Aaton so I ike shooting with the Aaton XTRProd...
I recommend that camera but that's inconsequential.

Transfer to HD-DVCPro if you want the best resolution for low cost...

Other than that take it as it comes
It's just another student short.


Good Luck
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