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"The Job" on DVD - Why so much grain in the pilot?


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#1 Tim O'Connor

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Posted 15 March 2007 - 07:28 PM

I'm watching "The Job" the complete series on DVD and the pilot in particular is surprising
in that it has several day exterior shots that are rather grainy. It seems to have been shot
in 16 mm. but these scenes seem to be have grain that is not there by design, such as some
attempt at evoking a documentary feel. I believe that "Homicide" was shot on 16 mm. and that
looked pretty good. Does anybody know any details about this? Thanks.
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#2 John Thomas

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Posted 15 March 2007 - 08:36 PM

Does anybody know any details about this? Thanks.


I didn't shoot the pilot but I'm pretty sure that they did a bleach bypass or similar process. The producers decided not to continue along those lines for the rest of the shows. We shot our shows on super16 Kodak with Aatons and Canon zooms, lots of hand zooms :blink:
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#3 Tim O'Connor

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Posted 16 March 2007 - 08:54 PM

I didn't shoot the pilot but I'm pretty sure that they did a bleach bypass or similar process. The producers decided not to continue along those lines for the rest of the shows. We shot our shows on super16 Kodak with Aatons and Canon zooms, lots of hand zooms :blink:


Cool, thanks. It looks like it must have been a fun show.

Very nice work John!
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#4 John Thomas

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Posted 16 March 2007 - 10:12 PM

That's a show where the camera operators made a huge contribution.
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#5 Tim O'Connor

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Posted 17 March 2007 - 08:55 AM

That's a show where the camera operators made a huge contribution.


Were the operators allowed more freedom than usual or how did that work? What I've seen
so far looks really good.

I've watched the first couple of episodes and I'm looking forward to watching the whole series
when I have time, soon I hope.

Do you have a preference for Arri or Aaton?

I never minded, in fact liked, using Arri SRII for handheld but never had to do it for long, long
periods and maybe that would make a difference.
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#6 John Thomas

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Posted 17 March 2007 - 04:56 PM

We would rehearse, and then the director would talk about what to shoot during the first take. On take two we were already modifying the shot, getting little important bits. Take three was usually the best because the operators were into the rhythm of the scene, knew where the handoffs came, knew the lines pat. My job was basically giving notes between takes, and letting the cameras know what the other camera was doing so that we were not overlapping too much. The operators did all the "work"

My "A" camera operator was Peter Reniers. Peter has a ton of experience as an operator and a DP. I was very lucky to have him. Peter was able to rent his Aaton to the production which helped me convince him to do the job. Jim Denny operated "B" camera, he was always looking to fit into the scene, grab a shot and stay out of Peter's way. "B" camera on this show was very difficult, Jim did a great job. Every scene was shot hand held with the operator controlling the manual zoom with one hand. They both had seats with wheels so they could sit and scoot around during a take. The ACs used wireless focus and had mini monitors on the cameras so that they had an idea of what the operator was shooting. We transmitted video to the monitors at video village. The operators were untethered and free to roam. They could shoot wide then jump in with the zoom whenever they wanted. A big part of lighting that show was keeping the lights out of the shot. The camera ruled, if a light was bugging an operator we pulled it. The sound dept. was forced to wire the actors and use the boom carefully, we'd often shoot one camera wide and one in CU. Tough show for sound. Tough show for a focus puller. Tough show for good lighting. Lots of fun with the camera. :)
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#7 Tim O'Connor

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Posted 18 March 2007 - 05:53 AM

We would rehearse, and then the director would talk about what to shoot during the first take. On take two we were already modifying the shot, getting little important bits. Take three was usually the best because the operators were into the rhythm of the scene, knew where the handoffs came, knew the lines pat. My job was basically giving notes between takes, and letting the cameras know what the other camera was doing so that we were not overlapping too much. The operators did all the "work"

My "A" camera operator was Peter Reniers. Peter has a ton of experience as an operator and a DP. I was very lucky to have him. Peter was able to rent his Aaton to the production which helped me convince him to do the job. Jim Denny operated "B" camera, he was always looking to fit into the scene, grab a shot and stay out of Peter's way. "B" camera on this show was very difficult, Jim did a great job. Every scene was shot hand held with the operator controlling the manual zoom with one hand. They both had seats with wheels so they could sit and scoot around during a take. The ACs used wireless focus and had mini monitors on the cameras so that they had an idea of what the operator was shooting. We transmitted video to the monitors at video village. The operators were untethered and free to roam. They could shoot wide then jump in with the zoom whenever they wanted. A big part of lighting that show was keeping the lights out of the shot. The camera ruled, if a light was bugging an operator we pulled it. The sound dept. was forced to wire the actors and use the boom carefully, we'd often shoot one camera wide and one in CU. Tough show for sound. Tough show for a focus puller. Tough show for good lighting. Lots of fun with the camera. :)


I had a shoot yesterday and last night and watched "The Foot" episode on my break. That's
very interesting about the ACs using wireless focus because it looks sometimes like it would
have been tight quarters with even the operators by themselves. The show looks really good
so you did a good job of both lighting and managing the cameras because they never seem
to duplicate themselves.

"The Bathroom" episode offers a commentary with Denis Leary and Peter Tolan but they
don't say much so I watched about ten minutes only. (I did watch the entire episode first)
but I'm learning more from you. Thanks.

Are those seats with wheels adapted office furniture or specially made for camera work?
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#8 John Thomas

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Posted 18 March 2007 - 09:24 AM

Are those seats with wheels adapted office furniture or specially made for camera work?


People have used office chairs, but the problem with those is when you change direction the wheels need to swing around on their posts causing a bump. A lot of R&D went into casters for "The Job" which I was not a part of. Both "A" and "B" camera had their own solutions with help from Gary Martone, Key Grip. Sorry, I don't remember the details, maybe someone from the show will help out. Both Peter and Jim had done serious time on "Law and Order" so they came to "The Job" with a lot of tricks up their sleeves.
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#9 Tim O'Connor

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Posted 21 March 2007 - 08:35 AM

People have used office chairs, but the problem with those is when you change direction the wheels need to swing around on their posts causing a bump. A lot of R&D went into casters for "The Job" which I was not a part of. Both "A" and "B" camera had their own solutions with help from Gary Martone, Key Grip. Sorry, I don't remember the details, maybe someone from the show will help out. Both Peter and Jim had done serious time on "Law and Order" so they came to "The Job" with a lot of tricks up their sleeves.


Hi John,

I have been working like crazy so I've just come home and slept but I did get to
watch another episode in the DVD set ("The Massage".) At 22 minutes it's perfect to eat my take-
out
and watch and then crash. I think that your lighting is great. Nothing ever
looks lighted but there have been several times when I could see a glint in somebody's eyes,
usually the wisecracking Det. McNeil and I'm sure that is your doing (and it's also nice that it's
ONE glint in each eye.) I really think that the lighting is so good because that's something
that I look for and I keep finding myself drawn into the story and forgetting about lighting.

I am noticing the grain more than I remember noticing it when it was on t.v., although those
were subsequent episodes. I never saw the pilot and these episodes until now. Was there a
particular factor affecting the grain earlier on?

Again, however, it looks so good that I get absorbed in the story and the lighting works
perfectly.
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#10 John Thomas

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Posted 23 March 2007 - 05:13 PM

I am noticing the grain more than I remember noticing it when it was on t.v., although those
were subsequent episodes. I never saw the pilot and these episodes until now. Was there a
particular factor affecting the grain earlier on?


Tim, I'll take a look at my DVDs and see if I can answer your grain question.
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Glidecam

Technodolly

Willys Widgets

Aerial Filmworks

Wooden Camera

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Metropolis Post

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Rig Wheels Passport

The Slider

Visual Products

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