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First time operating 35mm


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#1 Saba Mazloum

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Posted 19 November 2007 - 02:04 AM

Hey guys,

Going to operate B cam 35mm commercial in china, its sorta my first time operating for a full commercial.
Just wanted to know any pointers and advices before we shoot.

Thanks =)
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#2 Bob Hayes

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Posted 19 November 2007 - 07:50 PM

I many ways you are a reporter telling the Dir and DP what they got. If you have a problem you MUST tell them immediately. Three seconds is too long. As soon as the Director or DP yell excellent lets move on you are dead.
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#3 Chris Keth

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Posted 19 November 2007 - 11:27 PM

Make sure you're always watching focus along with all of the other stuff. You're the only person on set who can really tell whether focus is on or not.
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#4 Saba Mazloum

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Posted 20 November 2007 - 10:10 AM

Thanks guys,
Ill keep that in mind. Whats weird is we will have 2 days of rehearsal and pre-light.. why would it take 2 days for that? interesting huh..

Anything else guys?
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#5 victor huey

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Posted 21 November 2007 - 02:43 PM

Shooting in China for the first time? Wat happens if gear is lost or damaged in transit, and you wind up with a different rig, not yours, as the say "Murphy's law", two days for pre light you are so lucky.....hahahaha
One thing about working in china, no matter how well you think it is pre planned and well organized, expect to be surprised , in fact if there is no surprise that would be a surprise! Like they say the best laid plans of mice an men, back up back up, bring spares...you'll need it. I've shot in china for over 20 years.....sooooo


Victor

Thanks guys,
Ill keep that in mind. Whats weird is we will have 2 days of rehearsal and pre-light.. why would it take 2 days for that? interesting huh..

Anything else guys?


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#6 Saba Mazloum

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Posted 22 November 2007 - 01:34 PM

Shooting in China for the first time? Wat happens if gear is lost or damaged in transit, and you wind up with a different rig, not yours, as the say "Murphy's law", two days for pre light you are so lucky.....hahahaha
One thing about working in china, no matter how well you think it is pre planned and well organized, expect to be surprised , in fact if there is no surprise that would be a surprise! Like they say the best laid plans of mice an men, back up back up, bring spares...you'll need it. I've shot in china for over 20 years.....sooooo


Victor


Haha victor, i totally know what your talking about, i never worked anywhere but in china.
Im canadian but i can speak fluent chinese.. lived in taiwan for 16years.. You in beijing or shanghai?
You dpin or? China is very random.. but its a whole differnet ball park for flimmaking..
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#7 Brad Grimmett

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Posted 22 November 2007 - 06:45 PM

Saba,
I'm guessing you've done video operating and not 35mm, is that correct? One thing I had to remind myself to remember when I first started operating on film was to never remove my eye from the eyepiece. With video I would sometimes pull my eye slightly off the eyepiece for one reason or another during a take. This is obvious advice, but easy to forget. Just try to keep it in the back of your mind so you don't blow a take.
Also, focus is much more critical with 35mm than it is with video or 16mm, so pay very close attention so that if/when a shot is soft you can tell your first and the DP exactly what part of the shot was soft. If you do a two minute take and then just say "it was soft", that's not very helpful to anyone. If you can say for example, "when the girl turns towards camera for the second time the focus was deep" it's very helpful to your first, and will make it easy for them to get it sharp on the next take.
One last thing that may be obvious. Make sure you know what aspect ratio you're shooting for, and which ground glass marks correspond to that aspect ratio. Make sure that you get an answer to this question before you roll, so there is no confusion and there are no mis-framed shots.
Good luck.
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#8 Saba Mazloum

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Posted 22 November 2007 - 11:48 PM

Hey Brad,
Thank you so much for the advices, yah i operated on a 16mm mv last week, and i always remember to never leave the eye piece. But thanks for the ground glass aspect ratio, ill check up with the dp as soon as we meet.

Do you prefer looser pan on the tripod or harder? because i dont want my framing to be shaky.. what are your thoughts on that..

Thanks
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#9 Kevin Zanit

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Posted 22 November 2007 - 11:55 PM

I think a lot of it depends on what the subject your filming is. Personally, I hate fluid heads for most things, I always try to use a gear head when I can because I personally do a much better job on the wheels. I'm just not that smooth with fluid heads to be honest. That said, on most of my music video work, the subject would be way too hard to deal with with a gear head, things moving too fast and focal lengths changing.

Kevin Zanit
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#10 Saba Mazloum

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Posted 23 November 2007 - 12:00 AM

I think a lot of it depends on what the subject your filming is. Personally, I hate fluid heads for most things, I always try to use a gear head when I can because I personally do a much better job on the wheels. I'm just not that smooth with fluid heads to be honest. That said, on most of my music video work, the subject would be way too hard to deal with with a gear head, things moving too fast and focal lengths changing.

Kevin Zanit

Yah i havent used gear heads before, that takes awhile to get used too no?
We have some fung foo scene , so i guess fluid head is best for that..
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#11 Kevin Zanit

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Posted 23 November 2007 - 01:25 AM

Sounds like a fluid head is a good choice, at least for some Kung Fu styles. The learning curve tends to be fairly steep with a gear head. That said, I played the drums for many many years, and thus am used to my hands doing different speeds at different times, so the learning curve on a gear head was very short and came fairly natural to me. If anything I need more work with fluid heads, I usually just use an operator if its a very fluid head heavy type of project.
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#12 Brad Grimmett

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Posted 24 November 2007 - 05:30 PM

Do you prefer looser pan on the tripod or harder? because i dont want my framing to be shaky.. what are your thoughts on that..

Thanks

Set it however it feels comfortable to you. Personally, I tighter or loosen it depending on the shot. I generally don't like it to be too tight, but I do like a bit of resistance. But if you're doing a lot of fast dolly moves you should probably tighten it, and if you're doing a lot of whip pans you should probably loosen it. How much is up to you. It's kind of a common sense thing based on what feels right to you and the demands of the shot.
With the weight of a 35mm camera and a good head, a shaky frame shouldn't be an issue.
I like fluid heads, especially for jobs like music videos or commercials where you have to be very flexible and reactive, but a geared head is great in more controlled situations such as scripted work. Of course, either head can work fine in either situation.
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