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#1 Kyle Bourgoin

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Posted 13 July 2009 - 01:08 AM

Hello everyone!

I've been a member and a lurker on this forum for a while now and have learned so much from this place, it's just been an excellent resource for me. I am a young and relatively inexperienced cinematographer, only a year removed from film school and what I really hope to gain with this production journal is to get feedback about my process and any other critique you have for me. Hopefully other people in similar situation as me reading this will learn something too!

A little about the project:
It's about a couple arguing while making breakfast and doing some other things around the house. The film takes place entirely inside during the morning hours. It will be almost entirely hand-held. I want to light it very natural, I'm using Revolutionary Road as a reference; especially towards the end when Leo and Kate erupt and it's all hand-held.

For cameras I am considering the F900R and EX3. I like the F900 because of the shallower DOP I can get, which I think will really come in handy since we may be shooting in a small space such as an apartment. I really want the back ground to be fuzzy. The EX3 is a lot cheaper and the work flow is easier and faster, plus I know the EX3 really well.

It will be my first time using the F900 and unfortunately we don't have the money for testing. That's the only thing really holding me back. Do you guys have any suggestions about which gamma curve would work for me or do you think I should just shoot flat and correct in post?
Next week I will be going down to Connecticut to do location scouting. We are looking at a couple house and an apartment. I will be taking lots of pictures and will post them next week along with the lighting diagrams I will create based on the location we choose. This is where I hope a lot of people give some input.

BTW, does anyone know good rental houses in Connecticut? So far I've found HB Group, which carries the F900R and Clear Light which carries the EX3. If anyone knows any other places please let me know. We have to rent everything from Conn. for tax reasons.

thanks,
Kyle

Edited by Kyle Bourgoin, 13 July 2009 - 01:09 AM.

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#2 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 13 July 2009 - 08:17 AM

Kyle,
I'd go F900 and leave yourself room for a post color correction if you've got the budget for a nice supervised session. You'll get a lot more data/less compression off of the F as opposed to the EX and generally, with video, I feel you should try to preserve all the information you can if you know you'll have the time to massage it properly later on in a color suite.
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#3 Ross Neugeboren

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Posted 13 July 2009 - 09:42 PM

Kyle,
I live in CT so I have a bit of house info.

BarnDoor lighting is up in Hamden, CT and they have a good rental inventory - though it is off the beaten path so they're a little pricey on the specials - kinos, mainly. Their tungsten prices are reasonable and they carry mainly arri fresnels with some mole specials, and some barger specials. http://www.barndoorl...talCatalog.html


There's also Show Lighting up in Berlin, CT. But as the one might infer from the name, they carry mainly stage lighting. They do have a larger mole fresnel inventory - I imagine they'd be able to rig up those with TVMP adapters. http://www.showlight...com/contact.htm

Finally, with all the productions coming into the state there's a production resource center. I believe they charge for their services but they do operate a couple soundstages, maintain office space and warehouse space for productions. http://www.ctfilmcenter.com

Finally, you might've run into this but I might as well link it: the connecticut film commission just set up an online production resource site with a location database. Link: http://ct.reel-scout...loc_search.aspx

Best of luck. Looking forward to seeing the production journal.

Edited by Ross Neugeboren, 13 July 2009 - 09:42 PM.

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#4 Kyle Bourgoin

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Posted 13 July 2009 - 11:38 PM

Adrian-
That's what i was leaning towards doing. Only thing is I would be doing the correction myself in Apple Color. I'm no a pro but I'm no slouch either; I've corrected a few films using color and a bunch others with MC. It would be nice to have a real pro do the correction but for this project there isn't a budget for it.

Ross-
Thanks for the great links!
BarnDoor Lighting was one of the places I was looking at, the other was KJFilms (http://www.kjfilms.com/home.htm). They have slightly cheaper prices but the biggest HMI is only a 1200W Par.


Thanks guys!

-kyle
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#5 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 14 July 2009 - 06:55 AM

Hmm see that throws something sticky into it. If you're working in Color you'll pretty much be stuck working with the ProResHQ version of your clips, with which you edited (unless you have a rig that can handle the uncompressed HD). As such, I worry that maybe the F900s don't make as much sense to shoot as neutral as I would as a lot of that information will be thrown away when you go over to ProRes. Hmm.. sticky situation to say the least! What's the final output destination for this project?
I know what you mean 'bout Color. I took a color correction class on the program when it first came out so I know it and can use 'er when I have to though I much prefer my colorist's DaVinci.
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#6 Albert Smith

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Posted 14 July 2009 - 11:05 AM

I would shoot f900 for sure. even if you dont know the camera at all...its just a camera...cameras are easy, read up on the manual before hand and keep looking around the internet searching out peoples settings and what not. Regardless if you shoot on the f900 with almost any settings your going to have way more data in your picture then the EX3 and alot more room to correct the image.


this of course assumes its not a strain on the budget. then you might want to rethink it.
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#7 Kyle Bourgoin

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Posted 14 July 2009 - 11:34 AM

Hmm see that throws something sticky into it. If you're working in Color you'll pretty much be stuck working with the ProResHQ version of your clips, with which you edited (unless you have a rig that can handle the uncompressed HD). As such, I worry that maybe the F900s don't make as much sense to shoot as neutral as I would as a lot of that information will be thrown away when you go over to ProRes. Hmm.. sticky situation to say the least! What's the final output destination for this project?
I know what you mean 'bout Color. I took a color correction class on the program when it first came out so I know it and can use 'er when I have to though I much prefer my colorist's DaVinci.


Well since we are recording to HDCAM tape which records 8bits at 144Mbit/s I don't think too much color information will be lost. Apple ProRes supports up to 10bits at 145Mbit/s HQ is 220Mbit/s. If we were recording HDCAM SR 10bit 4:2:2 that would be a different story.

That said I would still love to have it graded on a DaVinci.

I do have confidence in my own abilities for correction but I welcome any suggestions for hyper gamma curves anyone thinks would work.


Jake-

Yeah, I've already read the manual once over. Right now I got some good wiggle room in the budget. Mainly due to the fact that i have access to a number of lights and some grip equipment. The problem is the biggest light I have is a 1k. If we shoot in a house wish some big windows I might need a couple of 6ks and some silks. Depending on how much additional lights I need is going to play a big part in which camera we shoot on. I would rather have the scene lit well and shoot on a lesser camera.

But I might be able to ask the producer for a slightly bigger budget if it only ends up being a little over.
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#8 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 14 July 2009 - 11:55 AM

It's not too much so the bit-depth or mbps I worry 'bout, it's rather that the pro res will still be "compressing" the image as it applies it's own algorithms to it. That's the rub which'd worry me a bit. But again, it's a specific situation I've not come across, most of the pro-res I've worked with has been spit-out dailys or color corrected ones which are going right to DVD.
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#9 Ross Neugeboren

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Posted 17 July 2009 - 08:08 AM

Hey Kyle,
I realized I forgot about one DP in Ridgefield, CT that rents out his gear. He's got a 10 ton grip and lighting package. Might be worth checking out, given the size of his inventory. His email is brian@przypek.com
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#10 Kyle Bourgoin

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Posted 19 July 2009 - 02:25 PM

Hey Kyle,
I realized I forgot about one DP in Ridgefield, CT that rents out his gear. He's got a 10 ton grip and lighting package. Might be worth checking out, given the size of his inventory. His email is brian@przypek.com


Thanks Ross I'll definitely check into that. The only place in CT I could find that rents an F900 is HB Group and they wanted $3400 for a weekend rental! $2000 for just the cam body. If we we shooting for a week or longer I'd go with HD Cinema. They rent out of LA but corporate is based in CT and they ship anywhere in the US, rates are really great too. They wont ship for anything less then a week.

Last I've heard shooting is going to be delayed a month or so, that's all I was really told. I'll be sure to post pictures of the location scout when ever we end up going since that's been delayed too.

Thanks for all the input so far guys!

Edited by Kyle Bourgoin, 19 July 2009 - 02:25 PM.

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#11 Doug Durant

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Posted 10 August 2009 - 08:37 PM

Thanks Ross I'll definitely check into that. The only place in CT I could find that rents an F900 is HB Group and they wanted $3400 for a weekend rental! $2000 for just the cam body. If we we shooting for a week or longer I'd go with HD Cinema. They rent out of LA but corporate is based in CT and they ship anywhere in the US, rates are really great too. They wont ship for anything less then a week.

Last I've heard shooting is going to be delayed a month or so, that's all I was really told. I'll be sure to post pictures of the location scout when ever we end up going since that's been delayed too.

Thanks for all the input so far guys!


Kyle! I forgot you were on here buddy. Glad to see your shooting and sharing the whole experience on here. If you're in need of an AC (I've worked a lot more since my first time ever working as an AC with you) or any help at all, let me know.
I noticed you mentioned revolutionary road as a visual references. You might've seen this but I figured to post it anyway.

http://www.theasc.co...Road/page1.php#

Deakins' uses 12K HMI's bouncing off 12x12 ultrabounces to light through the windows of the house for the daytime interior scenes. The 12k's are probably a stretch on the budget. I'm not sure of the space and windows, but for one of the senior thesis films I shot last year, I was able to convince the director Matt to rent a 4K HMI Par, which diffused with either grid cloth, or some 1/2 CTO and Opal diffusion worked well for punching through windows to get that early morning directional sunlight. Definitely post the pictures of the locations whenever you get them. Hope everything is going swell for you.

-doug
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#12 stephen lamb

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Posted 16 August 2009 - 04:13 PM

Hey Kyle,

I know this is now a little later on this topic....but if you have yet to shoot then I can offer some input on gear/crew in CT. I'm an electrician/gaffer in CT and can highly recommend Barndoor Lighting and KJfilms. I'm not familiar with their prices though as I get calls from them, and don't rent my own projects from there. In addition there are several other great gaffers/gear owners with good lighting equipment. If you need crew recommendations PM me. Best of luck!
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