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Charlie Noades R.I.P.


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#1 Rupe Whiteman

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Posted 02 November 2007 - 03:21 PM

Due to start shooting in 10 days on indie feature film. Comedy set in contemporary Liverpool with flashbacks to 1950s with CGI backgrounds. Shooting on F900R with full set of Zeiss Digiprimes, Canon HJ21 Cine style zoom. Probably will use soft fx and Classic Soft with subtle 812 warming filter.

The film charts the lives and struggles of a father & son who's scrapyard business is under threat from money lenders, and their efforts to find a hidden bounty a dead relative writes of in an old diary...

We are shooting in a number of locations across the City for 4 weeks. Due to budget I've got to dop and operate and am hoping to find a focus puller who would like to get some more operating time-in and an assistant who has done some focus pulling too...

I've got a tech' recce coming up on Tuesday with further camera tests being done the following day. We're planning on shoot 24p with a view to going to print if the cut gets distribution...

I've put in my provisional order for lights (at the moment only judging from experience and the stills until the recce) and hope the production have got the budget. The guy who owns the lighting company is gaffing himself which is great as he's been around...

I'll post some production locations stills v.soon. I've got to compress them first...
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#2 Matthew Buick

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Posted 02 November 2007 - 07:04 PM

I thought someone had died when I read this. I'll be glad to see your film. You're DP I take it?
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#3 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 06 November 2007 - 01:03 AM

I've got a tech' recce coming up on Tuesday...


Is "recce" a mostly British film industry term? I actually heard it for the first time today. I'm AC'ing for a production that's being contracted by the BBC, and tomorrow I'm going out on one. But when they kept telling me about the "recce" (recky), I had no idea what they were saying. Ha ha!
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#4 Tim Terner

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Posted 06 November 2007 - 02:21 AM

Recce is short for Reconnaissance. http://en.wikipedia....ki/Recce_(film)
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#5 Matthew Buick

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Posted 06 November 2007 - 06:23 PM

I'm so surprised you didn't make the connection. :D
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#6 Rupe Whiteman

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Posted 18 November 2007 - 11:35 AM

... So I've just finished week one of shooting. 'Spent all week filming in a working scrap-yard which made life a bit difficult but the owners have been great - turning crushers off for sound... there's a guy in the yard whose sole job is to strip wires for the copper core - day in day out and often by hand!..

We've got a set built in the yard - which is very muddy, and on Tuesday life was tough with a lot of horizontal rain, a jimmy jib, arri lc wireless problems (I'd have preferred a preston for the f/puller) with the shitty weather. We've had a number of interior/exterior, night & day scenes to shoot and have had a few of the HMI chokes breaking down with all the water despite all the Gaffer's crews best efforts with waterproofing. I had a 60 foot tower built to fly an 18hmi which is our main moonlight source (with 1/2 cto and white flame green). Lighting-wise there's a pretty extensive kit to choose from - 18khmi, 6k's and 4k pars, 2's, 1.25's and a pocket par, kinos, diva. Tungsten wise I've got 5ks, 2ks, 1ks, various small fresnels, dedo kit, lite panels, wagon lights, chinese lanterns etc etc. The grip kit is pretty minimal and I've had a 'Joey-chair' made out of lightweight scaf' poles.

We've had a jimmy jib on three of the days and the operator did a great job in difficult conditions. We got a very nice night shot with it as our lead tries to romance his girl with a home-made dance floor in the scrapyard... The shot started on a 'crooner singing atop a old willis jeep, then craned' over to our lovers as step onto the dance, then counter-rotates as they dance... it looked really nice and just got the best take before we had to wrap...

Overall I've been happy with the digi-primes we're using - used the 7, 10 and 20 most so far... It's a brand new set and the back focus has held fine. The flaring on them isn't that pretty though. 'Have yet to use the Cannon Hj21 cinestyle zoom - going to have to use it judiciously as it does breath quite a bit. Filtration-wise for this week we've had a base of a soft fx1 with an 1/8 coral, for the night dance scene I used a classic soft 1&2 instead of the sfx. The menu settings for the f900r are based on panavised settings as it is to go to film. Running the cam at 24p at 1/48, though on a couple of occasion I switched it to a 1/32 for a bit of extra stop.

I'm hoping to get some frame grabs off of the hd rushes later this week so will get them up later...
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#7 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 18 November 2007 - 12:07 PM

So are more indie features in the U.K. shot in 24P or 25P (or if film, 24 fps or 25 fps)?
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#8 Dan Salzmann

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Posted 18 November 2007 - 02:27 PM

I thought recce came from recconoitre:

reconnoitre - Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

Reconnoiter \Rec`on*noi"ter\, Reconnoitre \Rec`on*noi"tre\
(r?k`?n*noi"t?r), v. t. [F. reconnoitre, a former spelling of
reconna[^i]tre. See Recognize.]
1. To examine with the eye to make a preliminary examination
or survey of; esp., to survey with a view to military or
engineering operations.
[1913 Webster]

2. To recognize. [Obs.] --Sir H. Walpole.
[1913 Webster]

reconnoitre - WordNet ® 2.1 (2005) :

reconnoitre
v 1: explore, often with the goal of finding something or
somebody [syn: scout, reconnoiter, reconnoitre]
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#9 Rupe Whiteman

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Posted 13 December 2007 - 04:47 PM

I've now finished the main bullk of filming - 4 weeks of 95% location work. In the New Year there will be another 7-10 days with a water-tank/studio shoot and some p/up days too. The shooting locations were pretty varied - from 7 hard days/nights in the mud and oil around a set built in a working scrapyard, a cavernous library, a bowling alley, crematoriums and churches, great old (time-warped) pubs, a farm, a huge house which was used as an old folks home, the leads house, the parents house, a flat, offices, then onto a night-club and industrial estate, city streets etc ... all over Liverpool. The first week in the scrapyard wore every one out and it was a relief to get out of the mud, 'gaitors and waterproofs, and get into some interiors for a while...

As I had very little prep time before the shoot started and was not able to prelight anything, we were constantly working on the fly - we turned up on location, watched an initial block then lit then shot an early rehearsel, as the director tweaked I worked the lights with my gaffer and best boy, then kept tweaking them right up until the camera rolled, and then between takes... As I operated every shot this often made it hard work as trying to do the two jobs was mentally quite tough at times, about 20% was shot hand-held. Initially we used the blue modular system with it's separate set of bars & pad but it put too much pressure on the (flimsy)mountings whilst I operated on the shoulder' - the fp lost the extra bars and we got a slide-on panavision shoulder support. Annoyingly because the shoulder support mounts under the tripod plate this now meant that I was looking up at about 30 degrees into the 'finder... you get used to it... and I'm glad I've kept 'training all these years... and there didn't seem to be another option with the 900. We used all of the digi-primes range at one point or another though the 10mm was great for a standard lens and the 20 for c/ups (it's 2.35:1)... We used sticks' shots, hand-held and Jimmy Jib - no dollies. There was a terrific range of material to film - comedy, black comedy, slapstick, 1950's flashbacks with some pretty hard modern day drama too. All the cast were pros to work with - driven by a great script, and a lot of them are comedians so the humour kept everyone going...

In the scrapyard I had a 50' scaff tower built to fly the 18k for our moonlight - it ended up at about 65' up. It really could have done with being higher but it was the maximum we could get it to. There was a nice night ext. scene to shoot as the lead tries to romance his wife - having spent the day hiring a crooner, knocking up a dance floor & dinner table and fairground ride-car with wendy lights etc in the middle of the scrapyard. The scene was 3/4 backlit by the 18k, 6 and 4k's provided bounce fill, then around the couple were chinese lanterns to augment the practical wendy lights, wire-lights and glow lights plus several lite-panel 'bricks', a make-shift dance floor was underlit by 4' flori's. A divalite provided front fill on the couple, with an old cine projector shining through a little smoke... A nice crane move started on a bird's eye down at the crooner, then tracked left as the couple got up from their table (an old wooden cable core) and stepped onto the make-shift dance floor, as they dance the camera counter rotates around them... Throughout this scene I used classic softs, the rest of the film, mainly sfx with a light coral. I'll try and get a grab so this makes sense!..

Loc.man's still of scrapyard
still_scrapyard_.jpg
A low rez jpeg of a frame of a scrapyard dusk scene
dusk_ext_frame.jpg
The opposite of the above: the next location was a huge library reading room, lit by a beautiful soft ligt from a central practical soft-light. To get the location we had to use a minimal crew and as usual - there were a lot of steps... We were allowed in at 7.30 am and had to be out by 9am. The ambient light was pretty low but it felt like a low key 2 shot scene - I used a single pocket par with a chimera to give a nice nice edge-light to the actors face as he looks through presscuttings on a micro file machine. A small bit of white card for bounce on the c/up...
Loc.man's still of library
interior_libray.jpg
This is a cropped still of the scrapyard office int. Because daylight hours were short, and we had a lot to shoot in the office set, we had to trace the windows and let them burn out, two windows (frame right) had 4 kpars through diff.frames then trace, then a 4/6 k through a single window frame left. Overhead practicals were mixed with ctb or cto to day/night fill. A 1.25 was bounced sometimes too plus a pocket par/chimera for fill.
still_office_int.jpg
still_office_int_2.jpg
This low rez jpg grab is a ext night in scrapyard - we used a bare mixed flori's as the characters work lights, added some moonlight fill from a bounced 4k, plus the end of the reach of the 18k for the background with a couple of 2k's with +1/2 cto, front fill was a diva lite and I used a lite-panel for an eye-glint on a c/up. sfx filter 1.
night_ext_frame_.jpg
For a nightclub scene: The shot started on the reflection of a hood and his cronies, pans off the mirror onto 2 characters at the bar with the hood reflected in another mirror and the back of frame as the dialogue plays out... Both these are grabbed and cropped stills from my nikon... excuse the quality... but they do show the head and tail of the shot. This is the reflection...
still__cropped__club_1.jpg
This the end frame (we turned over with a bit of spill flagging and with the dedo spot on the background photo brought down a stop from this still). 2 banks of 4' kinos and a diva provide the light from frame left, the two characters are edged from a 2k frame right as well as the ambient spill from various par cans offscreen. The hood and his cronies are backlit by coloured par 64s, various theatricals, a 2k and a diva.
still_club_2.jgp.jpg
We shot a scene at a farm where one of the gang is forced to go down into a septic tank where he's soaked... We had to shoot the initial part on location then cut to a make-shift studio int. for the inside of the tank. On the day of the exterior shoot we had warm low winter sun (moving in and out of cloud as it's the uk). On the set we used a 4kpar on an internal (concrete) roof for the suns rays - warmed up with a bit of cto, netted and scrimmed and flagged for spill control... A 575 was bounced off of a silver board and foil to simulate the water/poop mixture...
Basic set up in a very makeshift studio (old warehouse)
still_septic_tank_set_up.jpg

This cropped still aproximates the frame, the reflected light from the 575hmi was warmed up with 1/2 cto and brought down another stop than shown here...
still_septic_tank_2.jpg
Along the way, with a low budget, we had to find ways to do stuff instead of pulling it off of a shelf. Experienced gaffer Ken Sykes has done it all... I had requested a lightning rig in for one scene but it was not available. Ken dug out his old manual shutter (2' diam.) from the belly of the truck and it was perfect for lightning effect with a 4kpar (in a bedroom). It blasted really effective bursts of white light and was very controllable with Ken's skills. All the amps we had were tested on a scene with 60x20' marquee wedding scene. Having not been able to see the finished marquee before we turned up to shoot, we were worried how much light the lid of it would lose... and we prayed that it would not rain because we needed all the help we could get! The 18k (the only one we had on board) was aimed square down at the marquee and it barely put a hum' of light inside the marquee... We used every available daylight source... 6 4ks and 2 6 k's surrounded the sides - half of which we removed the lining and replaced it with silk and thin strips of gold metal paper, a 1.25 and 575's were bounced inside and I had the 6k moving around a lot because it burnt out the back of the marquee with a nice quality. We had a humber of rosco lite panels and lite panels around at hand for surupticious fill and eyelights. Also in the marquee was the jimmy jib on a 12' arm with operator (good bloke) Dan Shaw... I'll try and get some more frames...

A great experience, top marks to my focus pullers Dan and Steve and Danny Mendieta the loader, Ken and Craig Sykes and John on the 'genny.

David... I don't know is the honest answer!... It depends on the immediate market...
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