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My first reel


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#1 Mike Berlucchi

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Posted 26 August 2006 - 02:15 AM

Hey everyone, my name is Mike Berlucchi and I'm an 18 year old DP from Detroit. I finally got together a demo reel and am looking for some feedback. The reel is available here www.mikeberlucchi.com


Thanks ahead of time.

Mike

Edited by Mike Berlucchi, 26 August 2006 - 02:16 AM.

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#2 G McMahon

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Posted 29 August 2006 - 11:06 AM

Nice shooting kid, you have an eye. Shot on the rail tracks, great frame, really nice frame. Intro skate board shot, very nice. I love frames that delay the audience on what their seeing.

Criticism:
Too much of the car aerial stuff, you don?t have to show off so much that you have shot from an aircraft (don?t pad out your reel)?

The two sitting with their backs to camera, why? At least cut it with some other footage. Show directors how you cover (or see) a scene, not just your eye.

The dolly shot over the playground, it lacks interest. Dolly?s over ordinary objects is dull. Dolly moves have to be motivated, if you come out behind the wall and the swings were immediately in the foreground swinging, then that would be interesting and would lead to the children lovely (the music composition in the film may have made this work but on your reel it hasn?t). I believe the dolly is overused. Think motivation, whether its camera movement or lighting.

On the band stuff, those streaks of light, were they done in post?

In summary, I got into this game late; I envy you at your age that is shooting like that. I?m of the school if you can compose and frame like you have, then the rest is just time in the saddle. Trust your eye, don?t get caught into fads. I have never done a music clip, and if I did I would try and shoot it like some old film musical to be novel. You seem to compose innately, so stay with drama and show your shots to directors and producers. That means showing emotion. I believe directors look at a good piece and do not necessarily appreciate what another director has done, but what they would do if they had the same cameramen (and actors, script) on their project.

Sorry no one else has given you any feedback. You deserve it.
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#3 Scott Lynch

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Posted 30 August 2006 - 11:50 AM

Hey Mike,
Your reel's coming together, I would agree that there is too much aerial footage. And you should add some more indoor scenes that show some narrative scenes between characters. I also like the skateboard fooatge, it works well in the edit :).
-Scott
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#4 Mike Berlucchi

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Posted 01 September 2006 - 04:31 PM

Hey guys,

Thanks alot for the feedback, its greatly appreciated. You have made some very valid points and I think I will rework through the reel. After all it was the first cut so Im really glad you both have responded. Also the effects were done in post by Scott Lynch, he does great work; I wish I could have done that in-camera. Once again thanks guys.

Mike

Edited by Mike Berlucchi, 01 September 2006 - 04:32 PM.

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#5 Matthew W. Phillips

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Posted 01 September 2006 - 06:12 PM

I thought the skateboarding footage was among the best in the whole reel. I'm not so sure that there is actually too much aerial footage as I think that you should change up HOW you do the aerial footage. I do agree with whoever said to include more indoor narrative shots. I didnt really get a chance to see if you have an eye for "moody" scenes so it's really hard to judge you as a cinematographer. I think that for what you have done here, you have done a good job and, for an outdoor action type of thing, I would hire you.
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#6 Jamie Metzger

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Posted 03 September 2006 - 03:10 PM

Good Looking stuff
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#7 Mike Berlucchi

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Posted 10 September 2006 - 08:19 PM

Thanks alot guys, I just updated my reel taking the suggestions youve given me and added a few clips. Heres the link again www.mikeberlucchi.com. Thanks again guys and let me know what you think of this new version.
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#8 Michael Collier

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Posted 11 September 2006 - 03:04 AM

Good looking stuff. I loved the shot by the train tracks. Any diffusion on the lens, or was that more the atmosphere/fog natrual.

good work for 18 years old. I am 22 and felt a bit ahead of the game until now. Now I gotta get on my work. Great band stuff. I like the streaking (however cleche it is, sometimes directors want cleche) and the skate stuff was cool. How long have you been working as a DP? (I got into the ENG game early, only to find I wanted more DP/narrative work.)
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#9 Scott Lynch

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Posted 12 September 2006 - 11:03 AM

Mike,
I like this version a lot, the new footage adds a lot more variation and shows a greater spectrum of your skill.
-Scott
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#10 G McMahon

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Posted 12 September 2006 - 11:27 AM

Good cut,
I agree with my Lynch.
Now, go and critique mine would you, it?s been up for a day and only one response. I'm taking no replies as a bad sign.

I think I need to work out how to put it on my web site.
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#11 G McMahon

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Posted 12 September 2006 - 01:08 PM

Hello again Mike,
I just looked at some more of your footage, the dramas "pesadilla" and "Knife".

You have to read 5 C's of cinematography for two reasons. 1). you don't seem to fully understand (could be the director) where the camera should be. It's a subjective thing, but when you interpret a script you have to understand the audience has no clue as to what this story is about and where you place the camera will dictate what you want them to think. There?s allot to think about, "there?s a nice shot from here", but am I giving the audience an aesthetic which is not appropriate for the script. Unmotivated beauty shots are for stills photographers and music clips (just have to watch any mafia genre film to understand that). 2). you are not shooting for the edit. I noticed in the reel there was a jump cut, but I thought it was for the sake of the reel. In your drama though, you seem to let the dialogue scenes run like you?re shooting a TV sit com. There is cuts from wide to wide (jump cuts) which don't work. Block the scene prior with the director and actors to get the most out of your coverage. Also, don?t bore the audience; if it?s important, bump in for the spread of peanut butter on toast, it also helps the editor with the cut The audience isn't your family, girlfriend, boyfriend; they are the impatient philistines who think all films should have guns etc.

Cinematography is more than shooting. It becomes easy to find a great angle; it?s harder to make that great shot cut with other angles which look great. But this also means you can cheat, e.g. the wide shot looks great, but the angles on tighter coverage has nothing backgrounds. So you cheat them, so the BG's are nice.

It seems your coverage isn't rehearsed. The difference between theatre and film is the actors should understand the frame on them. Don't assume it?s a nice a frame and roll camera with the actors walking, insist on a camera rehearsal. Nothing looks cheaper, and camera intrusive, than a character in a group shot who is half out of frame. Good actors understand this too, even inexperienced ones; they understand the DP can double the amplitude of their character with framing and light. Also, the camera doesn't seem to flow with the character dynamic, if you are going to move the camera, move it with the camera, not before or after, unless it?s intentional. Think of it like your escorting someone and your holding the umbrella in the rain.

I have said it before, when you read a script, what you see in your head, the visuals, is the best idea of how the story should unfold. It is surprisingly easier to shoot drama on subjets you know nothing about as you become the naive audience.
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#12 Mike Berlucchi

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Posted 13 September 2006 - 07:54 AM

Thanks guys Im glad I finally got some negative feedback. Im actually reading the 5 C's right now and its been pretty helpful. As for Pesadilla I have been contemplating whether to take that one down for a while now, I decided I should since it was the first narrative film I had tried to shoot and I had no clue where to put the camera half the time. It really doesnt show my ability as a DP at all, it was more for my friends but videos for my friends arent gonna get me a job! Thanks again guys this is helping me out alot.
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