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Could Someone Lend Me a Critique?


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#1 Jake Ures

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Posted 24 December 2008 - 03:47 PM

Hello all,

I've been browsing this website for some time now, and you guys seem to be pretty knowledgeable. I was wondering if any of you would interested in critiquing (mainly the lighting--which was my area of concern) a short film (roughly 12 minutes) that I DPed.

The budget was somewhere around $10000. We rented out lights:

-Two Teenie-Weenie Moles
-A 5K lamp

For the most part we used some PAR lamps and some Kino's that we owned.

My main questions would be:

1. As a first venture into lighting, how did I do? Where can I improve?
2. With the lights we DO own, where do you think I should go next as far as purchases go. Let's say our budget is $500.
3. What would you have done differently?


EDIT: There was some coloring done in post, using the Color program with Final Cut Pro.



Edited by Jake Ures, 24 December 2008 - 03:49 PM.

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#2 John Lasher

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Posted 27 December 2008 - 02:50 PM

I think this should be moved to the "Please Critique My Work" section.
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#3 Dan Diaconu M

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Posted 27 December 2008 - 11:20 PM

I liked it.
Light wise, there was only one scene where the magic was broken: passing hallway 2 seconds (1:10 to 1:12).
Above energy efficient light can bee seen but it does not provide much light.
Nice way at the end credits to "break the spell" and leave the adapter's screen off. Nice BTS. Keep on shooting.
Cheers,
Dan
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#4 F Bulgarelli

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Posted 05 January 2009 - 12:00 PM

That was very good, the music felt a bit too much like "molin Rouge", I don't know if that's good or bad
The only part where the lighting bothered me a bit was the dialogue between the magician and the janitor, the magician was nice and moody and the janitor felt a bit too bright and flat.
The phantom shots are awesome!

Great Job!
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#5 Andreas Ursin Hellebust

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Posted 09 January 2009 - 10:47 AM

I guess it has come to a point where you should be shooting on 35mm/Red/Red-equivalent to be able to critique properly.

I thought the lighting was a bit harsh at times, I would've used more diffusion (inside at the janitor) so that people wouldn't get too hot/overexposed. But on the other side, maybe the lighting would be just perfect if shot on film/red? I think generally the lighting was moody, but was annoyed at the shortcomings of the 35mm adapter (never thought I'd say that) - sometimes being not very sharp, sometimes having "orangish" hot spots and sometimes seeming too heavy for the tripod (shaky).

Let me know if any of my assumptions was wrong :)

I think the lighting was better than the script/direction if that's a help. Best of all was the music (not necessarily the lyrics).
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#6 Rodrigo Silvestri

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Posted 09 January 2009 - 03:18 PM

That was just beautiful.
More info about other works? (I prefer not to believe this is your first incursion in DP, but in "Real DP", first time that you can do what you want to do with a script.. isn't it?).
Production design was good too.

I think the same as Francisco Bulgarelli, about the janitor being flat, but I wouldn't call it a "mistake"... just something I'd change.

I'd love to have such a rich script (visually-wise) to be able to do great things ^^.

Rodrigo
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#7 Jake Ures

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Posted 10 January 2009 - 01:55 AM

I guess it has come to a point where you should be shooting on 35mm/Red/Red-equivalent to be able to critique properly.

I thought the lighting was a bit harsh at times, I would've used more diffusion (inside at the janitor) so that people wouldn't get too hot/overexposed. But on the other side, maybe the lighting would be just perfect if shot on film/red? I think generally the lighting was moody, but was annoyed at the shortcomings of the 35mm adapter (never thought I'd say that) - sometimes being not very sharp, sometimes having "orangish" hot spots and sometimes seeming too heavy for the tripod (shaky).

Let me know if any of my assumptions was wrong :)

I think the lighting was better than the script/direction if that's a help. Best of all was the music (not necessarily the lyrics).



Thus far, I have been a dolly grip who had an interest in cinematography. This was the first film that I was given free-reign on lights. Framing, the director still likes to have control of.

We are using a CineAlta f900 with a pro-35 adapter. The back focus was a bit off, and this was only the second shoot that we were given to play with it. We are looking into a Red sometime in the future, but we are also looking into some Canon Digiprimes. David Fincher seems to use a similar set-up, so we are willing to keep trying.

Thanks for the encouragement. I promise this was my first DP job. I've done a lot of studying. Roger Deakins, Janusz Kaminski, etc...
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#8 Jake Ures

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Posted 10 January 2009 - 02:08 AM

Thus far, I have been a dolly grip who had an interest in cinematography. This was the first film that I was given free-reign on lights. Framing, the director still likes to have control of.

We are using a CineAlta f900 with a pro-35 adapter. The back focus was a bit off, and this was only the second shoot that we were given to play with it. We are looking into a Red sometime in the future, but we are also looking into some Canon Digiprimes. David Fincher seems to use a similar set-up, so we are willing to keep trying.

Thanks for the encouragement. I promise this was my first DP job. I've done a lot of studying. Roger Deakins, Janusz Kaminski, etc...



Forgot to mention, many of the shots you found too shaky for the tripod might have been our camera operator with the camera on his shoulder. He has a pretty steady hand. Although our tripod has seen better days...
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#9 Hal Smith

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Posted 10 January 2009 - 01:48 PM

....... I've done a lot of studying. Roger Deakins, Janusz Kaminski, etc...

And learning from them.

The entire film looks a bit dark on my monitor. That's probably a transcoding and Flash issue.
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#10 Jake Ures

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Posted 11 January 2009 - 01:46 AM

And learning from them.

The entire film looks a bit dark on my monitor. That's probably a transcoding and Flash issue.



It is sort of dark, I agree.

Does anyone know anything about Canon Digi-primes? We're thinking of using those to replace our Pro-35/prime lens combo. The Pro-35 has presented too many problems.

Edited by Jake Ures, 11 January 2009 - 01:46 AM.

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#11 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 11 January 2009 - 04:53 AM

Only Zeiss makes "digiprimes" and "digizooms", they're both excellent glass.
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#12 Edrick Smith

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Posted 13 January 2009 - 01:00 PM

Hey is the magician the same actor in Awake O'Sleeper?
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#13 Ralph Keyser

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Posted 13 January 2009 - 03:58 PM

It is sort of dark, I agree.

Does anyone know anything about Canon Digi-primes? We're thinking of using those to replace our Pro-35/prime lens combo. The Pro-35 has presented too many problems.


Canon calls their line HD-EC for Electronic Cinema. They are definately more "flim lens" like than the normal Canon HD lenses in terms of design and ergonomics, and Canon's reputation for glass is pretty good. I don't, however, have any first hand experience with them.
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#14 JD Burditt

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Posted 13 January 2009 - 09:24 PM

Great work.

Shots in the park of the father and boy, slow motion, leaves floating, very nice.

The only lighting that really jumped out at me was that dialogue scene between magician and janitor. Other people have mentioned.
Around 12:20 or so, the scene with the magician and boy, some of the talents shadows ending up in undesirable places.
Easy fix might have been adjusting talents movements.

Anyway, Nice work. The film as a whole well done.

JD
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#15 Jake Ures

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Posted 13 January 2009 - 10:23 PM

Hey is the magician the same actor in Awake O'Sleeper?



Yes he is. His name is Jackson Walker. He's great. That was our first movie with him, and we had such a good experience with him during Awake that we decided he was also right for the lead in That's Magic!.
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#16 Jesse Aragon

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Posted 13 January 2009 - 11:16 PM

good job I enjoyed the film, I dont know if it was intentional or not but some of the close ups looked rather flat with a lot of dead space, cool stuff though.
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#17 Edrick Smith

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Posted 14 January 2009 - 12:06 AM

Yes he is. His name is Jackson Walker. He's great. That was our first movie with him, and we had such a good experience with him during Awake that we decided he was also right for the lead in That's Magic!.


I absolutely loved Awake O'Sleeper he did a great job in both of the shorts. Hopefully he gets to work on more Whitestone projects, I saw that he was also involved in Final Destination surprised that they're still milking that franchise. But pretty awesome actor and hopefully he's in more!

Edited by Edrick Smith, 14 January 2009 - 12:07 AM.

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#18 Rich Hibner

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Posted 14 January 2009 - 03:06 AM

i'd be pretty upset considering they listed two others guys as the DP
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#19 Jake Ures

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Posted 14 January 2009 - 03:12 PM

i'd be pretty upset considering they listed two others guys as the DP


Naw. They deal with framing. I handle lighting. It's fair, I suppose.
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#20 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 14 January 2009 - 11:03 PM

Naw. They deal with framing. I handle lighting. It's fair, I suppose.


From your tone, it doesn't sound fair. If you're the DP, you should be there behind the camera as well, supervising the framing and collaborating with the director in that aspect. If you're handing off the camera responsibilities to someone else, you're essentially a gaffer. A gaffer who's considered part of the "creative team" perhaps, but I'd fight really hard to be there with your eye to the viewfinder setting up the shot, if I were you.
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