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Filming on RED for Godfrey Reggio's new feature


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#1 Tom Lowe

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Posted 04 December 2010 - 07:53 AM

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Me shooting on the swamps of the Atchafalaya basin, one of the most beautiful and primordial places in the United States.

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DP Graham Berry with his Red MX on a prototype Kessler slider designed for Red and Epic (missing its Mitchell adapter, which was in my garage in Palm Springs).

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My kick-ass assistant Dustin Kukuk and our guide Bernard Blanchard.

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Godfrey and Philip Glass came out to the swamp with us for a day. Philip likes to experience Godfrey's actual locations before composing music for Godfrey's films.

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About a month ago, I got an offer I could not refuse... an opportunity to shoot 2nd unit plus all the timelapse for the first leg of Godfrey Reggio's new feature film. I took a month off from filming "TimeScapes", packed all my stuff, and drove to New Orleans.

What an amazing experience this has been!!!!!!!!!! I have learned more in one month with Godfrey than I could have in two years of film school. This is an education you cannot buy. Of course, without Godfrey's legendary, groundbreaking 1982 film KOYAANISQATSI, I would not even be making a movie like TIMESCAPES, nor would Ron Fricke have ever made BARAKA. Godfrey is the godfather of modern-day non-narrative and timelapse filmmaking.

Godfrey is, to me, the most epic person I have ever met. I've met a few politicians and celebrities and artists, but no one can compare to Godfrey. He is incredibly kind and thoughtful. I have dozens of voicemails on my iPhone of Godfrey wishing me well, telling me that he is keeping me in mind, giving me words of encouragement.... never asking "did you get the footage?"

When it comes to filmmaking, Godfrey approaches his films from a very lofty, cerebral angle, physically detaching himself from the actual craft of capturing the image (he stays behind his monitor), while encouraging the camera team to see the world as he sees it. And he loves it when you are able to surprise him with something he hadn't thought of! Godfrey always says, "I am like a blind man, Tom, and you are my eyes."

I could go on for pages about this experience. I still cannot believe that this even happened. I am eternally grateful to Godfrey for this opportunity. And I can't wait to spend time with him again!

The Red cameras have been a dream come true for Godfrey. We watched the footage every night on a big screen, and he was thoroughly impressed. We all were. Just tonight as I was packing my truck, Godfrey said, "God I love that camera." He was talking about Red!

I also want to say thank you to Greg, Dave and Jonathan at DigitalFX in Baton Rouge. They provided all the Red cameras, gear and support. Greg rolled out the red carpet and gave us treatment fit for royalty, bending over backwards to help us with even the smallest request. Thanks, DigitalFX!
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 04 December 2010 - 02:01 PM

Your talent is making you a fast-rising star, it's fantastic!

What sort of lens is that on the Red camera? It's so nice to see a stripped-down camera without all the accessories that AC's and sound people want/need...
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#3 Saul Rodgar

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Posted 04 December 2010 - 03:44 PM

Awesome! Congrats!
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#4 Tom Lowe

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Posted 04 December 2010 - 07:40 PM

Your talent is making you a fast-rising star, it's fantastic!

What sort of lens is that on the Red camera? It's so nice to see a stripped-down camera without all the accessories that AC's and sound people want/need...


David, that was an Arri Ultra Prime 8R 8mm! Or as I referred to it, "My preciooouus...." Absolutely stunning lens.
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#5 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 04 December 2010 - 07:59 PM

David, that was an Arri Ultra Prime 8R 8mm! Or as I referred to it, "My preciooouus...." Absolutely stunning lens.


That's a very Cinerama / IMAXy sort of lens! Great for those traveling shots looking forward.
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#6 Tom Lowe

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Posted 04 December 2010 - 08:07 PM

That's a very Cinerama / IMAXy sort of lens! Great for those traveling shots looking forward.


Yeah. We found some huge fields of lily pads and algae on the swamp. I got up on the bow aiming forward, and the boat driver drove right through it. The shots almost seem like a low aerial flying over the lily pads. The distortion on that lens makes everything "zoom" and race around the edges. It's especially nice when you are filming at 3K 48fps.
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#7 Graeme Nattress

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Posted 04 December 2010 - 08:15 PM

That sounds like a most interesting shot - looking forwards to seeing what you've done.
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