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1st Feature Film


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#1 Andrew Brinkhaus

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Posted 20 May 2008 - 01:52 PM

So this fall, I will be shooting my first feature, called "A Lonely Place For Dying" and I wanted to ask all of the DP's here who have worked in the feature realm, what advice they could give from the ups and downs of their own experiences, as well as ways to stay healthy during shooting, etc. Any words are appreciated. Thank you.
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#2 Ayz Waraich

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Posted 20 May 2008 - 06:14 PM

This may sound like i'm kidding, but i wish someone had told me...

Remember to Eat.

Seriously.
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#3 Michael Collier

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Posted 20 May 2008 - 06:26 PM

on smaller shows with the typical working lunch its more like, 'be sure to get in a PAs ear (or someone within your crew) to grab food for you and the rest of your crew. Last show I noticed in the begining none of my crew was fed, because we would schedule it to arrive when we were done with one setup and moving into a major relight. By the end it was more like 3 or 4 people would take the inititive and bring us plates, which really helps.

also keep your wits about you. Its easy to get lost in all the noise, so you have to sometimes work to stay focused and effecient.
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#4 Nate Downes

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Posted 20 May 2008 - 07:54 PM

So this fall, I will be shooting my first feature, called "A Lonely Place For Dying" and I wanted to ask all of the DP's here who have worked in the feature realm, what advice they could give from the ups and downs of their own experiences, as well as ways to stay healthy during shooting, etc. Any words are appreciated. Thank you.

Sure... need an AC? I'm BORED! 8) I'm also only an hour away.
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#5 Andrew Brinkhaus

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Posted 21 May 2008 - 12:24 AM

Nate, we are actually shooting In New Mexico. Thanks however.
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#6 Nate Downes

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Posted 21 May 2008 - 06:35 AM

Nate, we are actually shooting In New Mexico. Thanks however.

Beautiful area, good shooting and have fun.
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#7 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 21 May 2008 - 09:46 AM

This may sound like i'm kidding, but i wish someone had told me...

Remember to Eat.

Seriously.


Tell them that not feeding costs money... the crew is only working at 50% by late afternoon. Then the rumbling in the ranks starts... (sometimes picked up by the mic mid take).
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#8 Gus Sacks

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Posted 21 May 2008 - 01:06 PM

Hey Andrew.

Congrats! I just finished my first feature about two weeks ago...

I would say figure out early how to juggle being a DP and being a friend and boss at the same time. On the feature we just had, the Production dept seriously left a lot to be desired, and that caused a fair amount of frustration on professional and personal levels.

So figuring out how to get the job done while also keeping your guys at only a mildly searing level of frustration took me a few days. Hopefully you won't have any of those problems, but learning to pick ones battles in a long term situation is important.

And, yes, remember to eat. And sleep. :)
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#9 Andrew Brinkhaus

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Posted 21 May 2008 - 01:45 PM

We are very fortunate, on this show we will only be shooting 10 setups a day, which gives me a good amount of time to work without rushing, and keeps our schedule to solid 10 hour days. The only downside is that extends us to 6 days a week. Seems like the best way to schedule photography, for me anyways.
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#10 Nate Downes

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Posted 21 May 2008 - 07:53 PM

We are very fortunate, on this show we will only be shooting 10 setups a day, which gives me a good amount of time to work without rushing, and keeps our schedule to solid 10 hour days. The only downside is that extends us to 6 days a week. Seems like the best way to schedule photography, for me anyways.

On second thought, I'd be willing to travel there for the right project anyways. 8)

But 10 setups a day is a very decent pace, and more than doable. Then again, I'm the crazy guy that likes figuring out how to pre-setup such as to allow 2 setups per hour.... 8) Doing a shoot at the end of next month where we have to pull off 16 setups in 4 hours. The key, prep-prep-prep-prep.
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#11 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 22 May 2008 - 01:51 AM

I'll 2nd the PA idea. Was on a shoot recently where craft was serving burgers a the end of each day. Only camera never got any because we were last to leave set and were busy wrapping. So I assigned a very kind and outgoing PA to run and get us some sliders at the end of each day and leave'em on the truck for us.
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#12 Saul Rodgar

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Posted 22 May 2008 - 10:57 AM

I know Justin Evans, the director of this film. Have you ever worked with him before?
He is a big HD fan, what are you guys shooting on, RED?

Remeber you will be in a very hot and DRY place (that I call home), so staying hydrated is VERY important, especially when you are used to the humidity of Florida. Particularly if you are filming outside in the summer. I hate that part, one needs about a gallon of water a day to stay alive. Also, wear covered toe shoes, long sleeved pants and shirt and a hat or the sun will burn you to a crisp. Believe me!
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#13 Andrew Brinkhaus

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Posted 22 May 2008 - 12:50 PM

Thanks Saul, I am actually a Colorado native, so I know all about the dry weather! We are actually shooting on the HVX+Letus Extreme, though RED would've been ideal.

I have a great pair of Merrel hiking shoes that I love, great comfort and support, as well as nice Columbia Sportswear hat that is vital for me when out in the sun. I burn in minutes.

Edited by Andrew Brinkhaus, 22 May 2008 - 12:51 PM.

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#14 Saul Rodgar

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Posted 22 May 2008 - 01:24 PM

Cool, have fun out here!

The weather is been kinda crazee lately. Bring a couple of jackets, it's been rather cool at night. If you want the lowdown on great places to eat, let me know. For a mid size town, there are some amazing restaurants. Especially noteworthy, Asian food is great out here! I know is hard to believe . . .

Also, I know most of the film/ video players in this town, so feel free to ask me about that, as well. This summer and fall is going to be crazy, there are so many features and TV shows shooting, finding crews for low budget productions is almost impossible. I still can't find an experienced AC (nor a gaffer or a key grip for that matter) for a short I am doing in a couple of weeks on a SRII, it sucks . . .

Edited by Saul Rodgar, 22 May 2008 - 01:24 PM.

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#15 Timothy Martin

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Posted 22 May 2008 - 03:47 PM

Hey Andrew, let me know if you need a 2nd A.C. I'll be out there on the west coast first week in August and am willing to drive to NM.

Thanks,

Tim
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#16 Nate Downes

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Posted 22 May 2008 - 10:31 PM

Cool, have fun out here!

The weather is been kinda crazee lately. Bring a couple of jackets, it's been rather cool at night. If you want the lowdown on great places to eat, let me know. For a mid size town, there are some amazing restaurants. Especially noteworthy, Asian food is great out here! I know is hard to believe . . .

Also, I know most of the film/ video players in this town, so feel free to ask me about that, as well. This summer and fall is going to be crazy, there are so many features and TV shows shooting, finding crews for low budget productions is almost impossible. I still can't find an experienced AC (nor a gaffer or a key grip for that matter) for a short I am doing in a couple of weeks on a SRII, it sucks . . .

Hey,offer stands, if you'll find me a place to crash and fly me out. 8)
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#17 Andrew Brinkhaus

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Posted 23 May 2008 - 04:46 PM

I am going to add some points of advice-

From a feature cinematographer standpoint, how might some of you maintain scene by scene continuity? Because this whole film is shot at 1 large location, an abandoned prison, and takes place all during the day, do you have any pointers that may help me in maintaining lighting and exposure continuity over the course of five weeks? My current plan is to use my DSLR and double my lighting photos as my exposure continuity photos.

Thoughts? Additional ideas?
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#18 Bruce Greene

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Posted 23 May 2008 - 05:06 PM

I am going to add some points of advice-

From a feature cinematographer standpoint, how might some of you maintain scene by scene continuity? Because this whole film is shot at 1 large location, an abandoned prison, and takes place all during the day, do you have any pointers that may help me in maintaining lighting and exposure continuity over the course of five weeks? My current plan is to use my DSLR and double my lighting photos as my exposure continuity photos.

Thoughts? Additional ideas?


Continuity? Just go by eye and do your best...I'd worry more about telling a good story with pictures.

If you're shooting in the prison in Santa Fe, be sure to visit the gas chamber and have a guard give you a historical "tour":) And I really liked the Blue Corn cafe restaurant down the street from the prison.

Have a great trip!
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#19 Andrew Brinkhaus

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Posted 23 May 2008 - 06:39 PM

Thanks Bruce, we actually have a scene that takes place in the gas chamber. I'll also look into the cafe as well.
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#20 Gus Sacks

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Posted 23 May 2008 - 09:43 PM

The direction of the sun; I'd say.

But, frankly, if an audience member notices something like that I don't believe the filmmakers are doing their job properly ;)
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Visual Products

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The Slider

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Gamma Ray Digital Inc

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