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What to think of 1 month before my first feature as AC


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#1 Anton Bergstrom

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Posted 02 July 2009 - 03:35 AM

Im going to work on my first feature in a month from now.
I been working as an DOP, AC, 2nd AC for 1,5 years mainly with commercials all shoot on RED.

Please just fill me with info about stuff i can do to prepare for the feature.
Im walking around guessing distances and then measure from time to time,
Reading about other in the same situation and just filling my head with info.

It will all be shot on RED with the Zeiss HS-series 18 - 85 mm.
What do you prefer, the LMB5 or say an MB18 that has the swing away model?

Any good advice, books, websites, charts for DOF or stuff that you wanna share with me?
What do i need in my AC bag? What do you always forget? and what is critical if you forget?

Thanks
Anton

Edited by Anton Bergstrom, 02 July 2009 - 03:37 AM.

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#2 David Rakoczy

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Posted 02 July 2009 - 06:24 AM

I recommend going to the Rental House and spending some time with the Camera. Forgive me Anton, but if you have been working as a DP, 1st and 2nd.... don't you already know these things?
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#3 Anton Bergstrom

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Posted 02 July 2009 - 06:53 AM

I got it all OK.

Its more that it's my first feature and time efficiency, smart tips and so on.

I´ve been working as DP, 1st and 2nd depending on the size of the projects so never any big DP stuff.

Im sitting with 2 RED's at work so those are not the issue.
I just would like tips and smart things to think about on set in terms of focus pulling.

/A
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#4 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 02 July 2009 - 07:04 AM

There isn't any difference pulling on a feature than on a short or a commercial or a music video, just that you're working more days and pulling on more shots.
The best thing to remember for yourself is comfortable shoes and aspirin. You'll be on your feet a lot.
What do you have in your AC kit now? How comfortable are you on that lens and with a follow focus, which follow focus system are you using? You say you have the camera with you @ work, so I'm assuming you have some lenses. Grab a buddy and walk around your work and practice, since you have the stuff there I'd be doing it like daily.
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#5 David Rakoczy

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Posted 02 July 2009 - 07:20 AM

Focus Notes
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#6 Anton Bergstrom

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Posted 02 July 2009 - 07:36 AM

There isn't any difference pulling on a feature than on a short or a commercial or a music video, just that you're working more days and pulling on more shots.
The best thing to remember for yourself is comfortable shoes and aspirin. You'll be on your feet a lot.
What do you have in your AC kit now? How comfortable are you on that lens and with a follow focus, which follow focus system are you using? You say you have the camera with you @ work, so I'm assuming you have some lenses. Grab a buddy and walk around your work and practice, since you have the stuff there I'd be doing it like daily.



We have 2 RED's at my work now. With a set of zeiss 16-85mm so i could really train with them i guess.
Going to use the FF4.

What do you think about the LMB5 compared to a swing away model like MB18?

I really need everything for the AC kit, or im borrowing a Leica Disto and some tape measures from another AC.
Just thinking of those extra special stuff that you always have use of.

We are going to be outdoors mostly.
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#7 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 02 July 2009 - 07:53 AM

Viva swing away. Easier to get into lens to clean it if necessary/change it etc. But I suppose i'm a bit partial as a I have an MB16.
I'd get some lens tissue, panchro, some of those fingerless gloves, protect your hands from getting too raw (i like 'em for when I operate, but that's just me). I can't think of much more. Some camera tape, sharpies, chalk, pencils, the basic stuff.
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#8 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 03 July 2009 - 12:05 PM

What do you think about the LMB5 compared to a swing away model like MB18?

Depends on whether you're doing a lot of handheld/steadicam or not. If you're mainly on dolly or sticks, then swing away will make your life easier. The lightweight mattebox is better for balance though.

If you're doing handheld, Element Technica has a nice 15mm lightweight rod setup and handheld bracket so you can ditch the whole Red 19mm/baseplate system. It screws into the bottom four hex screws on the front of the body, leaving the base of the camera totally clean.

Look into dual battery rigs. Test your workflow - find out how they plan on finishing the film, and at what resolution/format and prepare accordingly. Find out how they plan on recording sound and getting timecode into the camera, since they may not know that the camera doesn't have a standard timecode generator. Help the DP shoot tests and create a look for dailies. Hire a good 2nd AC. Hire a good data manager. Don't let them be the same person.

Get a decent heavy duty tripod head. An O'Connor 1030 won't really cut it for anything more than a totally stripped down package. A 2060 or Sachtler Video 30 is good for a studio sized package.

Make sure you get those lenses collimated by the rental house. If you have time, ask to see them projected so you can spot any problems they might have. And see if they can get you a Red Null, possibly mated to a Zeiss Sharpmax: http://blog.abelcine...05/12/red-null/. You really don't want to be futzing with back focus in the field.
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#9 Robert Tagliaferri

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Posted 07 July 2009 - 07:58 PM

Focus Notes


Awesome. Can I add one? I heard this tip the other day: If you're working with an op that you haven't worked with before, set the focus a little soft during the rehearsel of an easy shot, and ask the op if it looked sharp to him; if he says "yes", you know you won't be relying on him and you have to be extra cautious.
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#10 John Sprung

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Posted 07 July 2009 - 10:39 PM

I´ve been working as DP, 1st and 2nd depending on the size of the projects so never any big DP stuff.


It sounds like the difference for you will be how much rather than what you're doing. A dash and a marathon are both running. Are you accustomed to working 18 hours a day 6 days a week? Always make every setup as physically comfortable as you can for yourself. Sit down whenever you can. Absolutely never eat anything standing up. Since you're outside, long sleeves, a big hat, and SPF 50 or better....





-- J.S.
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