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"San Francisco Values" TV Sitcom Pilot


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#1 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 09 July 2007 - 03:07 AM

So, we just wrapped two full weekends of shooting on a TV pilot I'm working on as DP. It went EXTREMELY well.

It's being done as a "faux-reality show", so I can't get TOO creative with my setups. A lot of flat and basic ambient & available lighting. But I got to throw in a little creativity and (gasp) a backlight every now and again.

The china balls I built worked out famously, especially since we were doing some mighty complex moves and on occasion had to shoot in nearly 360 degrees.

We still have one more weekend to go where we're shooting at an office location, but it's been a really great experience working with so many funny people. We're using mostly local standup comics, so the morale on set is always a healthy one.

For details and if you would like to follow our production as it goes, visit: http://adroitfilm.com/

Thanks!
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#2 Sam Kim

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Posted 09 July 2007 - 04:28 PM

Sounds awesome.
I'm always around and if you need an extra hand or anything let me know.
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#3 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 30 July 2007 - 02:35 AM

Just an update. We finally wrapped shooting today. We got a great location in SF's financial district and honestly, it's some of the best steadicam stuff I've done so far I think. The available overhead fluorescent lighting in the office was perfect, I didn't even want to add anything else. I just simply white balanced and we went for it. The blocking we used worked perfect with the actors always having a backlight and being keyed overhead. I'm really happy with what we did, and we got some really funny stuff done!

At the moment, we're planning on having a kickoff screening of the show at the Punchline here in San Francisco sometime in mid-August. I'll keep you guys updated on the details!
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#4 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 09 August 2007 - 12:26 AM

So, the premiere is September 17th at the Punchline San Francisco!

All the comics from the show will be performing some stand-up before the showing of the pilot episode.

So come along, have a drink and laugh your @$$ off!

Tickets being sold here: http://www.livenatio.../eventId/294103

Spread the word!
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#5 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 09 August 2007 - 01:48 AM

Sweet! Nice work Jonathan. If you'll be there at the premiere, I'll try to make it.

Who did the steadicam work on the show? Do you have any set pics to share?

Congrats again, sorry I didn't see this before.
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#6 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 09 August 2007 - 02:09 AM

There are a few pics at the website mentioned in the first post of this thread. There's also another thread here about chinaballs where I posted a few stills from the set. (I've now learned my lesson by the way, and constructed some much safer fixtures): http://www.cinematog...mp;#entry182478

I had an operator on the shoot (basically, a kid who had a camera and was willing to donate it to the project). And to be honest, he was so green it was hard to work with him. He was still in that beginners habit giving way too much headroom, but I think he learned quite a bit during the production and he was a great backsaver when I got tired of operating all day. Thing is, I still don't think he quite understands the difference between a DP and AC/Operator. He still tried writing in the title of "DP" when the producer came around getting a written version of our credits.

As a disclaimer, on this project I had to go against instincts lighting wise. The director kept calling for flat lighting with very low contrast, like a reality TV show. So the cinematography isn't anything impressive, but the performances are great and it's going to be quite entertaining.

Edited by Jonathan Bowerbank, 09 August 2007 - 02:13 AM.

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#7 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 09 August 2007 - 02:15 AM

Oh, here are the rest of the stills from the shoot, scroll down: http://www.cinematog...n...22102&st=20

Edited by Jonathan Bowerbank, 09 August 2007 - 02:16 AM.

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#8 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 04 September 2007 - 02:08 PM

Just a reminder to all who will be in San Francisco around the 17th of this month:

"San Francisco Values" will be premiering at the Punchline Comedy Club on September 17th. If you have $10 to spend and wanna have a few laughs, then you should totally be there. All the stand-up comics from the show will be performing and the episode will screen directly after them.

You can either buy tickets online for an EXTRA $10 in processing & "convenience" fees: http://www.livenatio.....cisco values/

OR

Go to the Punchline's box office and buy them at face value.

See you there!

Posted Image
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#9 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 18 September 2007 - 01:34 AM

Hey everyone!

So, the premiere was tonight at the Punchline in SF, and it was great. Reactions from those who were there were very positive, and we're feeling really good about it possibly getting picked up.

Gracias to those who showed up, especially Satsuki who I had a chance to finally meet in person.

Wish me luck!
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#10 Kieran Scannell

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Posted 18 September 2007 - 04:32 AM

Congrats on the premiere Jonathan! I would have loved to have been there! I'll just have to wait for your first feature i guess!

Kieran.
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#11 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 19 September 2007 - 01:30 AM

It was a great show, and the live comic acts were especially hilarious. Again, congrats Jonathan -- I hope it gets picked up. Can't wait to see what you'll do with a decent budget (and a better projectionist ;)).
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#12 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 19 September 2007 - 01:44 AM

Can't wait to see what you'll do with a decent budget (and a better projectionist ;)).


Thank you! Ha ha

Indeed, I don't know what the deal was with that. They didn't even balance or adjust the image to fit the screen correctly, and how about that sound!? Thankfully, people forgave it and enjoyed the show regardless.

Yeah, a budget, crew and ability to actually do some proper rigging would have definitely helped. Literally, there was only a budget for a $50 grip kit rental, mic package and food. The camera was donated to the project by the operator, and the lens was horribly scratched and blah blah blah.

But I think it's something that's worth pitching, and I'm definitely optimistic about it, especially after last night's reaction.
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#13 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 19 September 2007 - 03:08 AM

They didn't even balance or adjust the image to fit the screen correctly...

A few camera wedges would have worked just fine... I think I'll carry them with me to every projected screening of my work from now on.:)

A budget, crew and ability to actually do some proper rigging would have definitely helped.

These are the times when you want to call in your favors and get some decent equipment/crew to do the job right. If you really believe strongly in the merits of a project then go for it, by all means. It's admirable that you want to pay people (I'm all for that, of course!) but we've all done our share of freebies for future gains (experience, exposure, contacts, etc.), and I think you should have exploited that draw. A strong project that finds the right audience can boost everyone's career, so it shouldn't be too hard to convince a few good crew members to help out and/or lend their gear for a few days. I've even put my own money into renting gear or buying expendables for someone else's production because it made my cinematography (and thus my reel) that much stronger.

But I think it's something that's worth pitching, and I'm definitely optimistic about it, especially after last night's reaction.

Well, it certainly found an audience, that's for sure! It's really too bad that you couldn't pull together more resources to round off some of the rough edges, considering that the added production value might just be the difference between being picked up or being shelved. I think the strong writing and talented performers really shined through, though.

I don't mean to come across as overly critical since I'm very aware of what working on a no-budget shoot entails, but I think that part of being a good filmmaker is being resourceful and not allowing yourself to make excuses for getting anything less that what you needed. I'm still struggling with this myself and I have to resist the urge to become defensive when someone criticizes my work (I fail at that a lot too -- artists and craftsmen are sensitive folks, after all!). But I've recently realized after being bombarded with criticism on my current shoot that every valid critique that I receive (no matter how it's phrased) only makes me a better AC, DP, and filmmaker.

Anyway, I hope you don't take this the wrong way because I do admire what you've accomplished. I wish you the best of luck, and hope we get to work together someday.
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#14 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 19 September 2007 - 03:39 AM

No worries Satsuki, always happy to take advice from others who are in a similar boat.

I'm pretty much my own harshest critic, which you may have caught wind of when we spoke beforehand, ha ha. Production value and sharpness was definitely lacking...it was part intentional for the "reality show" feel, but I know exactly how you mean.

I definitely tried to pool my resources. The production came together so quickly and in such short time, it was tough to get people to help out, since most of the people I know were already involved in projects for the summer.

The list of possible co-workers is growing everyday though, it's just a matter of finding a good mix.

Edited by Jonathan Bowerbank, 19 September 2007 - 03:41 AM.

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#15 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 13 November 2007 - 04:30 PM

Hey everyone, here's an update on the show!

It has been sent out to many major networks, and we've received a few bites here and there where people are interested.

But at the moment, "SF Values" has been entered in a contest on MySpace to be considered for a possible development deal with Fox.

If you could go to the link below, and vote "Booyah!", I would really appreciate it. We're trying to get the rating up to 90%, so please lend a hand!

http://myspacetv.com...ideoid=20101229

Thanks!
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#16 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 11 December 2007 - 03:07 AM

The show's in the top 12! I actually had to sign a release form today so MySpace could post the entire episode.

Fingers crossed!
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#17 Toby L Edwards

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Posted 12 December 2007 - 06:23 PM

Jonathan'
This is pretty funny stuff.
Good luck on this project. I voted for ya.

Toby
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#18 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 12 December 2007 - 08:57 PM

Thanks Toby! :)
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#19 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 08 January 2008 - 05:14 PM

The show just made the Top 6 in voting and is being pitched to Fox NEXT WEEK!

Two shows will be given development deals, at least, so fingers crossed!
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#20 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 15 January 2008 - 03:12 AM

The pitch to Fox went great! I'm so glad I had a Creator/Writer/Producer/Director with an intimate understanding of the system and was able to go in there with a well prepared pitch.

Now the waiting game. The verdict should be in by the 25th of this month.
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