Jump to content


Photo

My Ambien CR commercial


  • Please log in to reply
35 replies to this topic

#1 David Mullen ASC

David Mullen ASC
  • Sustaining Members
  • 19769 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles

Posted 05 March 2008 - 12:42 AM

Just saw the Ambien CR commercial I shot air on CNN -- was a bit disappointed in how it was timed. The agency and client basically took the footage with them back to NYC and did their own transfer and edit. It was, as I feared, timed way too bright for nighttime (I guess it's a good thing I didn't underexpose the negative because at least it doesn't look grainy.)

And I shot a lot of clock imagery to create a nightmare effect (the person can't sleep and is menaced by clocks) but most of it wasn't used. I guess they decided it was less about an Expressionistic nightmare and more about sleeplessness.

The new 5219 stock looked good though, nice and clean.
  • 0

#2 Saul Rodgar

Saul Rodgar
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1682 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 05 March 2008 - 01:13 AM

The agency and client basically took the footage with them back to NYC and did their own transfer and edit.


That seems to be the trend. Some of the gun-for-hire commercial cinematographers I know are used to it. Moreover, they keep the negative completely clean, the exposure split and just give the client and agency as much latitude for them to go whatever way they feel like it in the editing room/ telecine suite.

Some of the big Hollywood films are also taken away from the control of the directors /DP and just finished to cater to focus groups. Last year I worked on the remake of The Eye and that is what happened. I hear the directors were replaced by the production-controlled editor at the end of the movie to make the necessary adjustments the focus groups indicated. The movie sucked and the reviews slammed it hard.

The producers' side of the story is that since they are spending so much money to produce the damn things, they might as well appeal to the largest audience -taking any soul/ style out of the film/ commercial and going with the lowest common denominator in order to make as much money as possible. Sad indeed.

Kinda the nature of the beast, these days . . .

Edited by saulie rodgar, 05 March 2008 - 01:17 AM.

  • 0

#3 David Auner aac

David Auner aac
  • Sustaining Members
  • 1117 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles

Posted 05 March 2008 - 01:59 AM

The producers' side of the story is that since they are spending so much money to produce the damn things, they might as well appeal to the largest audience -taking any soul/ style out of the film/ commercial and going with the lowest common denominator in order to make as much money as possible. Sad indeed.


Yeah, that seems to be the case. They need to learn that it doesn't work on the long though. I think audiences will be bored to death by seeing basically the same movies over and over. And that will not make them money!

Cheers, Dave
  • 0

#4 Justin Hayward

Justin Hayward
  • Sustaining Members
  • 928 posts
  • Director
  • Chicago, IL.

Posted 05 March 2008 - 02:09 AM

There tends to be so many people involved with the final product (not including the people who shot it), I usually wonder how much was changed in the final timing, due to some guy justifying his existence and pay check, rather than an honest opinion on how the footage could be better.
  • 0

#5 Max Jacoby

Max Jacoby
  • Sustaining Members
  • 2955 posts
  • Other

Posted 05 March 2008 - 05:13 AM

(I guess it's a good thing I didn't underexpose the negative because at least it doesn't look grainy.)

Maybe you should have, so they wouldn't have been able to make it brighter later on ;)
  • 0

#6 Serge Teulon

Serge Teulon
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 757 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • London UK

Posted 05 March 2008 - 08:15 AM

To everyone,

As of interest, is there a set number that you like to time at?
Or you just base it on the feel of each project?

Cheers
S
  • 0

#7 David Mullen ASC

David Mullen ASC
  • Sustaining Members
  • 19769 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles

Posted 05 March 2008 - 11:33 AM

Until the ASC universal digital color timing lights system is implemented (I think it is called CDL for Color Decision List), there aren't really printer light values that apply to digital color-correction.
  • 0

#8 Mike Panczenko

Mike Panczenko
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 324 posts
  • 2nd Assistant Camera
  • Philadelphia, USA

Posted 05 March 2008 - 11:46 AM

Maybe you should have, so they wouldn't have been able to make it brighter later on ;)


Yeah, I've heard of some commercial DPs who will underexpose 2 or 3 stops, so that it can be brought back up to level, but not much more, without introducing noise and artifacts. Now I have never seen this, only heard stories of it- so take it with a grain of salt, but sounds like if the DP is able to get away with it, it's a pretty sweet deal!
  • 0

#9 Saul Rodgar

Saul Rodgar
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1682 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 05 March 2008 - 12:38 PM

There tends to be so many people involved with the final product (not including the people who shot it), I usually wonder how much was changed in the final timing, due to some guy justifying his existence and pay check, rather than an honest opinion on how the footage could be better.


This is true. Some of my footage has been timed diferently when I am not around because the colorist (not my usual guy) felt it was better his way, despite my instructions to the contrary. What is the point to shoot a color chart even, if the colorist will just ignore it?

Filmmaking being a colaborative art, that is how it goes.

As I often say, if Van Gogh (or anyone for that matter) had to rely on an army of people to make his paintings, the results would have surely been very, very different.

Which is why I prefer working with skeleton crews, it is much more real and while things usually get rough, it is what it is. Can't stop traffic to have a car chase? Tough poop.

Too much control can be a very bad thing sometimes. Some of the big Hollywood producers I have worked under sincerely believe that it is their god given right to control and rule their sets like, well, god. Some have lost almost complete touch with reality.
  • 0

#10 Justin Hayward

Justin Hayward
  • Sustaining Members
  • 928 posts
  • Director
  • Chicago, IL.

Posted 05 March 2008 - 01:54 PM

This is true. Some of my footage has been timed diferently when I am not around because the colorist (not my usual guy) felt it was better his way, despite my instructions to the contrary. What is the point to shoot a color chart even, if the colorist will just ignore it?


Well, to be fair, I was referring to all the extra people from the agency just hanging around and throwing out suggestions because they feel that's what they're supposed to do, not the colorist.

It's what I see on set, so I'm curious if it's the same once we hand over the negative.
  • 0

#11 John Holland

John Holland
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 2250 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • London England

Posted 05 March 2008 - 02:22 PM

Just to put me out of my misery what sort of product is Ambien CR ?
  • 0

#12 Adrian Sierkowski

Adrian Sierkowski
  • Sustaining Members
  • 7118 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles, Ca

Posted 05 March 2008 - 02:26 PM

http://www.ambiencr....urceCode=AMC303
  • 0

#13 John Holland

John Holland
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 2250 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • London England

Posted 05 March 2008 - 02:32 PM

Thank you Adrian .
  • 0

#14 John Sprung

John Sprung
  • Sustaining Members
  • 4635 posts
  • Other

Posted 05 March 2008 - 02:39 PM

As I often say, if Van Gogh (or anyone for that matter) had to rely on an army of people to make his paintings, the results would have surely been very, very different.

Strangely enough, it actually was done that way sometimes -- though not with an army. Peter Paul Rubens, for instance, had a guy named Frans Snyders who did the birds in his paintings:

http://www.megaessay...aper/99977.html





-- J.S.
  • 0

#15 Saul Rodgar

Saul Rodgar
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1682 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 05 March 2008 - 03:40 PM

Strangely enough, it actually was done that way sometimes -- though not with an army. Peter Paul Rubens, for instance, had a guy named Frans Snyders who did the birds in his paintings:

http://www.megaessay...aper/99977.html





-- J.S.

Yes, but can you imagine if somone did his lighting, then a tech mixed the paints? Then someone else would do the actual sketching, while yet somebody was in charge of backgrounds and the tech in charge of fabric rendering would get upset if the guy who did the hair painting wouldn't let him give it enough color for fear that the viewer would pay more attention to the robes than the hair, etc, etc.

That's what I am talikng about.
  • 0

#16 Jonathan Bowerbank

Jonathan Bowerbank
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 2815 posts
  • 1st Assistant Camera
  • San Francisco, CA

Posted 05 March 2008 - 04:14 PM

Which one is it David? I've only recently seen the one with the lamp post that enters a couple's bedroom window.
  • 0

#17 John Sprung

John Sprung
  • Sustaining Members
  • 4635 posts
  • Other

Posted 05 March 2008 - 09:03 PM

Yes, but can you imagine if somone did his lighting, then a tech mixed the paints? Then someone else would do the actual sketching, while yet somebody was in charge of backgrounds and the tech in charge of fabric rendering would get upset if the guy who did the hair painting wouldn't let him give it enough color for fear that the viewer would pay more attention to the robes than the hair, etc, etc.

That's what I am talikng about.

Yes, I understand. Rubens was in charge, he hired the bird guy, and maybe others. It needs to be the same way with film, only on more levels. The DP is in charge of the image, the gaffer, operator, and colorist all work for him/her. But the DP, in turn, works for the director, who works for the producer. Without the right chain of authority, you get chaos.



-- J.S.
  • 0

#18 Walter Graff

Walter Graff
  • Sustaining Members
  • 1334 posts
  • Other
  • New York City

Posted 05 March 2008 - 10:33 PM

Don't take it personally guys. One mans light is another mans dark. Agencies are a collective of creatives who base their descisions on a story board, and the final look is usually determined by the art director. It worked for them the way they used it, and that is all that counts.
  • 0

#19 Paul Bruening

Paul Bruening

    (deceased)

  • Sustaining Members
  • 2858 posts
  • Producer
  • Oxford, Mississippi

Posted 06 March 2008 - 10:15 AM

Just to put me out of my misery what sort of product is Ambien CR ?


Hello John,

It's a medicine all Americans take nightly so we can sleep-walk, sleep-drive and sleep-gorge-eat. We take it in conjunction with another medicine that causes us to compulsively and uncontrollably gamble and engage in sex.
  • 0

#20 John Holland

John Holland
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 2250 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • London England

Posted 06 March 2008 - 01:29 PM

So that must explain why you all voted a strange chimp like looking President in twice , now i understand thanks . :(
  • 0


Opal

Visual Products

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

CineTape

Wooden Camera

Willys Widgets

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Glidecam

CineLab

Metropolis Post

Ritter Battery

Technodolly

The Slider

FJS International, LLC

Paralinx LLC

Tai Audio

Aerial Filmworks

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Abel Cine

rebotnix Technologies

Rig Wheels Passport

Aerial Filmworks

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Metropolis Post

Paralinx LLC

Visual Products

The Slider

CineTape

CineLab

FJS International, LLC

Abel Cine

Broadcast Solutions Inc

rebotnix Technologies

Technodolly

Opal

Willys Widgets

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Ritter Battery

Wooden Camera

Glidecam

Rig Wheels Passport

Tai Audio