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FRINGE season 3


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#1 Gregory Middleton

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Posted 24 September 2010 - 02:27 AM

I've had the privilege of shooting FRINGE this fall. Episodes 2,4,6 and 8. I've been alternating with Tom Yatsko who has been with the show since the beginning.
He does a wonderful job in my opinion and its been a pleasure and challenge to step into such a show that is very much up and running and finding its own visually.
We still shoot film, one of the few.
If anyone has specific questions about the cinematography I'd be happy to share from my experience so far.

regards,
Greg
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#2 Jed Shepherd

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Posted 24 September 2010 - 02:29 AM

I've had the privilege of shooting FRINGE this fall. Episodes 2,4,6 and 8. I've been alternating with Tom Yatsko who has been with the show since the beginning.
He does a wonderful job in my opinion and its been a pleasure and challenge to step into such a show that is very much up and running and finding its own visually.
We still shoot film, one of the few.
If anyone has specific questions about the cinematography I'd be happy to share from my experience so far.

regards,
Greg

What is the show shot on? Im yet to see an episode.
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#3 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 24 September 2010 - 08:35 AM

Greg, I've got one question for you. The "fringe streaks," Are you doing those totally in post or is there any filtration going on in camera to sneak 'em into the real world. Sadly I only caught1/2 of last night's episode, and I've no idea what # it is but it's always been a very pleasant looking show and John Noble is quite the captivating character.
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#4 James Compton

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Posted 24 September 2010 - 11:02 AM

I've had the privilege of shooting FRINGE this fall. Episodes 2,4,6 and 8. I've been alternating with Tom Yatsko who has been with the show since the beginning.
He does a wonderful job in my opinion and its been a pleasure and challenge to step into such a show that is very much up and running and finding its own visually.
We still shoot film, one of the few.
If anyone has specific questions about the cinematography I'd be happy to share from my experience so far.

regards,
Greg



First of all, thanks. Thank you for taking the time to share your experiences on FRINGE. Now, that LOST is off the air, its the only TV that I watch avidly.

James
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#5 Gregory Middleton

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Posted 25 September 2010 - 01:03 AM

Greg, I've got one question for you. The "fringe streaks," Are you doing those totally in post or is there any filtration going on in camera to sneak 'em into the real world. Sadly I only caught1/2 of last night's episode, and I've no idea what # it is but it's always been a very pleasant looking show and John Noble is quite the captivating character.

The streaks you are probably referring to are actually a filter effect. Its literally called the Streak filter. Sort of like a star filter, bit a glass streak that creates the long diagonal flare only on highlights.
Flares with lights pointed into the lens are also used. Some are in camera but many are in post. There is one big one in the next episode that was done in camera. Many of the flares in the taxi scenes in the premiere were done in post.
cheers
g
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#6 Alex Lindblom

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Posted 25 September 2010 - 01:52 AM

Hi Gregory great to see you working on the show.

I've been a pretty big fan since Fringe shifted focus from "monster of the week" to a more serialized format which I really like.

Now over to the questions.

1. Shooting days -- How many first and second unit days per episode, and how many hours per day?

2. Cameras -- How many cameras are usually in use on any given setup. And how many setups per day are you able to pull off.

3. Lenses -- Primes? Zooms? Focal lengths?

4. Stocks?

5. Workflow -- How is the show posted? Is everything scanned to 4:4:4 HDCAM-SR, and taken form there or is it something else?

6. And of course last but not least, how is to work with the great cow : )

Looking forward to seeing your episodes.

Best -- Alex


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#7 Gregory Middleton

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Posted 25 September 2010 - 07:31 PM

Hi Gregory great to see you working on the show.

I've been a pretty big fan since Fringe shifted focus from "monster of the week" to a more serialized format which I really like.

Now over to the questions.

1. Shooting days -- How many first and second unit days per episode, and how many hours per day?

2. Cameras -- How many cameras are usually in use on any given setup. And how many setups per day are you able to pull off.

3. Lenses -- Primes? Zooms? Focal lengths?

4. Stocks?

5. Workflow -- How is the show posted? Is everything scanned to 4:4:4 HDCAM-SR, and taken form there or is it something else?

6. And of course last but not least, how is to work with the great cow : )

Looking forward to seeing your episodes.

Best -- Alex


Hi Alex,
Your questions are very specific, but the answers vary greatly episode to episode.
1- Shows are 9 days. 8 main unit and 1 2nd Unit. 2nd Unit are still bigger scenes typically but without the principle cast. There is also an insert unit which works occasionally.The show typically has many inserts. I get to shoot my own 2nd Units. Hours depends on directors. Short days are rare. 12-14hrs more typical.
2- Depends on the director. Some are about 50% only one camera, some more like 90% 2 cameras. I have had to adapt to very different styles director wise. On Episode 302 directed by Jeff Hunt we did a 64 set up day. I was regularly trying to light for 2 cameras at 90 or 120 degrees from each other starting very wide then ending up at 275mm for coverage. A single camera director may get 20-40.
3- Carry both. Zooms are used majority of the time, mostly for speed.
4- 5219 and 5213 although the Expression stock was experimented with a few times
5-Film processed and dailes transfered here at Technicolor Vancouver. Unsure if it stays 4:4:4 or is 4:2:2. Final color in LA
6- haven't met the Cow myself yet. They try and keep her out of most scenes for obvious reasons...

I'm just starting my 4th episode nest week. But to give you an idea of the relentless pace of production, during prep I have shot 4 pick up scenes from earlier episodes and 1 for the upcoming one. Its an amazing feat that they manage to pull of such ambitious scripts.

Regards
Greg
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#8 Alex Lindblom

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Posted 27 September 2010 - 12:54 AM

Thank you Gregory, great answers.


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#9 ryan knight

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Posted 28 September 2010 - 09:13 PM

Hey Greg,

I'm glad to hear you're shooting the show. I'm a big fan of Fringe's narrative (I've been hooked since the first season preemed) and your work. I managed to sneak my way into finding you reel online somehow, and I really admire the shots you grabbed from Fugitive Pieces. As well, I just missed working with you in Alberta on Passchedaele. Whizbang threw me on Z.O.S. in Bosnia instead.

Two questions...

1) How much of the show is shot on a studio (and if so, under a grid) and how much is in practical locations?
2) I haven't seen any of season three yet, but I'm assuming the season has held on to the turquoise-blue- rim/edge lights in Bishop's lab (generally on Bishop himself when he's operating on something or chemical mixing, etc). If you have played with that colour, I'm wondering what you guys use to get that hue.

Best,

RK.
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#10 Gregory Middleton

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Posted 30 September 2010 - 04:08 AM

Hey Greg,

I'm glad to hear you're shooting the show. I'm a big fan of Fringe's narrative (I've been hooked since the first season preemed) and your work. I managed to sneak my way into finding you reel online somehow, and I really admire the shots you grabbed from Fugitive Pieces. As well, I just missed working with you in Alberta on Passchedaele. Whizbang threw me on Z.O.S. in Bosnia instead.

Two questions...

1) How much of the show is shot on a studio (and if so, under a grid) and how much is in practical locations?
2) I haven't seen any of season three yet, but I'm assuming the season has held on to the turquoise-blue- rim/edge lights in Bishop's lab (generally on Bishop himself when he's operating on something or chemical mixing, etc). If you have played with that colour, I'm wondering what you guys use to get that hue.

Best,

RK.

Hi Ryan,

1 - Varies by episode. Ep 1 this year was all location. Ep 308 that I'm shooting now is about 3 1/2 days out or 9.
2 - Lab colors. The back lights vary. Mostly 1/2 ctb, although the operating lights are gelled with Steel Blue. That color is common. Sun coming in the windows varies from 1/2 CTS to White or 1/2 blue. Some Cyan has been used in the past but not usually in the Lab. The exterior moon/night look is HMI with 1/2 CTS and 1/4 Plus Green. That might be the look you were thinking of.

Its been a fun adventure on this show so far. 7 days left on episode 8.

Greg
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#11 Gregory Middleton

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Posted 30 September 2010 - 04:12 AM

I've had the privilege of shooting FRINGE this fall. Episodes 2,4,6 and 8. I've been alternating with Tom Yatsko who has been with the show since the beginning.
He does a wonderful job in my opinion and its been a pleasure and challenge to step into such a show that is very much up and running and finding its own visually.
We still shoot film, one of the few.
If anyone has specific questions about the cinematography I'd be happy to share from my experience so far.

regards,
Greg



Episode 2 Thursday Night on Fox. My first this year. Takes place in the real, not alternate universe.
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#12 Rob Vogt

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Posted 30 September 2010 - 02:24 PM

Looking forward to the episode tonight, I've never seen it actually but am interested- alternate universes and cows? Interesting! My friend used to work on the show when it was in NY. Glad to see the shoots are going well, hope its not too hectic. What % of the episodes do you shoot compared to Tom... Do you ever do 2nd unit work for his episodes?

-Rob

Edited by Rob Vogt, 30 September 2010 - 02:29 PM.

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#13 Rob Vogt

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Posted 30 September 2010 - 02:33 PM

Also wondering how you and him communicate to create a fluid style?

-Sorry for the double post, it wouldn't let me edit.
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#14 David Leugers

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Posted 30 September 2010 - 09:29 PM

I am a huge fan of the show ever since the first episode aired. Love the cinematography, stay with film!
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#15 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 30 September 2010 - 09:37 PM

Tonight's episode looked really good. I really liked the little flash-light bounce back in the subway tunnel-- subtle but effective. Not have too many questions on the episode, just saying lookin' good.
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#16 ryan knight

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Posted 01 October 2010 - 08:10 PM

Steel Blue's where it's at! That's what I was looking for.

Thanks.
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#17 Gregory Middleton

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Posted 02 October 2010 - 04:22 PM

Looking forward to the episode tonight, I've never seen it actually but am interested- alternate universes and cows? Interesting! My friend used to work on the show when it was in NY. Glad to see the shoots are going well, hope its not too hectic. What % of the episodes do you shoot compared to Tom... Do you ever do 2nd unit work for his episodes?

-Rob

Hi Rob,
I am alternating with Tom for the first 8, then David Moxness is coming back on the show as he alternated last year. I filled in for Tom on about 1/2 of episode 19 in season 2. He enjoyed my work and asked me about coming in the show for season 3. Schedules were perfect for me to shoot 4 episodes.

In general they are pretty good about letting the DP get to shoot all the 2nd Unit or reshoots etc. I have shot stuff for other episodes as well. Day nine of each episode is a 2nd unit day, but as iI noted earlier it's really main unit sized, just not with principle cast.

As far as styles go, Tom and I had lots of discussions about photographic style. Shows always evolve over time and he was very clear that he welcomed any input and ideas. In general the producers want the show to feel real, as the content is quiet far fetched.
There are some specific colors he/ they have used and established which help identify the show visually i think. The lighting/grip and camera crew is unchanged from season 2 so they are big resource as far as techniques etc. They are also given quite a lot of creative freedom on their own, which i have tried to let continue. I think Tom and i think similarly so its been pretty seamless in most ways. We both keep track of each others dailies, that helps a lot. I will always check with him id i have an idea that might be too far out there. The big difference is the style of the different directors, which can be significant.

gm
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#18 Gregory Middleton

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Posted 02 October 2010 - 04:25 PM

I am a huge fan of the show ever since the first episode aired. Love the cinematography, stay with film!


Digital switch was briefly considered at the beginning of this season. Its very nice to shoot film though!
gm
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#19 Adam Hunt

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Posted 03 October 2010 - 10:48 PM

Digital switch was briefly considered at the beginning of this season. Its very nice to shoot film though!
gm


Hi Gregory. Good to hear you guys are staying with film. The show really looks great. I actually have a question along those lines. Has 100% of the shooting been done on film or is there some digital used occasionally, such as for VFX work?

There were two episodes last season that had a very different look than the rest of the series. 'Peter' and 'Northwest Passage' both had a very different look. Specifically 'Peter' looked "digital" especially in some of the lab scenes. I watched the episode with a friend who works in the VFX world and there was some speculation that the episode may have been shot digitally to aid in "Benjamin Button" style work to make Walter look younger. Is there any truth to this or was it simply a matter of what was done to the show in post to give it an 80s look?

And why the drastic change in look for 'Northwest Passage'? Was this simply a choice on the part of the director/dop for that episode?
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#20 Gregory Middleton

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Posted 05 October 2010 - 12:30 AM

Hi Gregory. Good to hear you guys are staying with film. The show really looks great. I actually have a question along those lines. Has 100% of the shooting been done on film or is there some digital used occasionally, such as for VFX work?

There were two episodes last season that had a very different look than the rest of the series. 'Peter' and 'Northwest Passage' both had a very different look. Specifically 'Peter' looked "digital" especially in some of the lab scenes. I watched the episode with a friend who works in the VFX world and there was some speculation that the episode may have been shot digitally to aid in "Benjamin Button" style work to make Walter look younger. Is there any truth to this or was it simply a matter of what was done to the show in post to give it an 80s look?

And why the drastic change in look for 'Northwest Passage'? Was this simply a choice on the part of the director/dop for that episode?


I know for sure that both episodes were shot on film. The post color manipulation and camera filtration on ' Peter ' is what made it look more electronic. If you push the information a lot you can end up with more 'video' looking highlight characteristics.

I actually cant remember 'Northwest Passage' right now, so not sure about the look of that.

This season ( including earlier today actually ) we have been occasionally using Canon 5D mkII and my 7D for a few shots. Mostly because of size and the ease of rigging to things..( hospital gurneys etc ). We've also had it underwater in a very confined space. Its a great camera to throw into a multi camera action set up because its so easy to hide.
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