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Student film: Signature / style


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#1 Christian Ekrem

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Posted 13 November 2010 - 08:10 AM

I finished this short film last week, and wanted to show it to you guys to get some critique and help! :) The assignment was to shoot something - anything - that could show "who I am" as a cinematographer. As I did the whole thing by my self, I struggled a bit with getting the right locations, actors, budget for lighting, grip etc., so what I managed to finish in time (what you see here) is considerably less than I wanted to shoot. In addition, I do feel that my personality and style is best shown when in a context - working with a director, trying to achieve something specific. Nevertheless I did finish something, and I kind of like how at least some of it turned out. So to clarify: no story here, no script, just shots I like.

:)



Feel free to comment on vimeo as well!

thanks in advance
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#2 Christian Ekrem

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Posted 14 November 2010 - 04:30 AM

...and don´t be afraid of giving harsh critique! Please tell me what works - what to keep doing - and what doesn´t. And if possible, tell me why it works / doesn´t work!
:)
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#3 Aaron Solomon

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Posted 14 November 2010 - 09:47 AM

Really beautiful shots! I'm curious as to if you shot the outdoors mainly on the RED or the 550?
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#4 Christian Ekrem

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Posted 14 November 2010 - 10:01 AM

Really beautiful shots! I'm curious as to if you shot the outdoors mainly on the RED or the 550?

Thanks a lot! Everything outside (except the one shot when the girl has the black jacket on) is the 550d. It obviously can´t take as much grading as the RED-footage, but I like the look of it!
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#5 Aaron Solomon

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Posted 14 November 2010 - 10:04 AM

Did you do a lot of grading? In which program?
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#6 Christian Ekrem

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Posted 14 November 2010 - 11:42 AM

Did you do a lot of grading? In which program?


No, I didn´t do a lot. I did white balance manipulations in-camera, and tweaked the gamma/contrast on a few shots in post (Premiere). I also avoided the super-flat canon picture styles. Basically I tried getting it right in the camera as much as possible as it was mostly a "cinematography" project.

By the way, being a hardcore Final Cut (+color) user, the native transcode-free workflow of CS5 blew me away, especially dealing with RED footage. Saved a lot of time in post, which allowed me to spend more time shooting! :)
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#7 Aaron Solomon

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Posted 14 November 2010 - 01:42 PM

Yeah I do all my cutting in FCP and I'm trying to get to know color.
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#8 Christian Ekrem

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Posted 14 November 2010 - 03:44 PM

Yeah I do all my cutting in FCP and I'm trying to get to know color.


To clearify: I did not do this one on Final Cut. I cut (and graded) this one with Adobe Premiere CS 5.
:)
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#9 Panidhar Revanur

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Posted 17 November 2010 - 03:22 AM

the look and feel are good, sometimes, I felt sometimes the shots are little shakey ... otherwise no comments. the BG music matches well !

Cheers,
P
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#10 Andrew Wilding

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Posted 18 November 2010 - 12:21 AM

Its not bad by any means. In hink that to best get across who you are a cinematographer though, you need to add a day interior and a night interior. When i see it, i think, ok, the guy can do backlit exteriors. But can he light a set/location? A very contrasty chiaroscuro of a man boxing is not enough to wet the appetite of a director I don't think. But the work is good so far, just keep adding to it and always excersize taste and restraint.

Edited by Andrew Wilding, 18 November 2010 - 12:22 AM.

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#11 Adam Hunt

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Posted 18 November 2010 - 05:25 AM

Speaking to what "style" comes across rather than a technical critique, this is what I get from the reel:

You like the slightly surreal. Not all out surreal, but just a slight disconnection from reality. This comes through in most of the aspects. The lighting is stylistic and does not mimic real lighting situations. The colour grading choices though sensible, have a surreal feel to then. The use of slow motion also disconnects it from reality.

I think it definitely communicates a style. The point of the exercise was to show your style. Yes, the lack of certain types of shots may not make it the best reel to show directors by itself, but I think for what the assignment was you nailed it.
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#12 Christian Ekrem

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Posted 18 November 2010 - 02:16 PM

Its not bad by any means. In hink that to best get across who you are a cinematographer though, you need to add a day interior and a night interior. When i see it, i think, ok, the guy can do backlit exteriors. But can he light a set/location? A very contrasty chiaroscuro of a man boxing is not enough to wet the appetite of a director I don't think. But the work is good so far, just keep adding to it and always excersize taste and restraint.



Speaking to what "style" comes across rather than a technical critique, this is what I get from the reel:

You like the slightly surreal. Not all out surreal, but just a slight disconnection from reality. This comes through in most of the aspects. The lighting is stylistic and does not mimic real lighting situations. The colour grading choices though sensible, have a surreal feel to then. The use of slow motion also disconnects it from reality.

I think it definitely communicates a style. The point of the exercise was to show your style. Yes, the lack of certain types of shots may not make it the best reel to show directors by itself, but I think for what the assignment was you nailed it.


Thanks a lot to the both of you! Appreciated! You're absolutely right, it's not a complete reel yet by any means. I wanted to shoot 3 more settings, but didn't finish in time. But thanks for the comments on what I did finish. I think it's right to say that I like my pictures a little surreal and not quite ordinary. Perhaps it's something I should work even more on, to make it a more thorough trademark. I'll think about it! But thanks!!
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