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Roger Deakins & dailies


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#1 Chai Rolfe

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Posted 19 March 2012 - 12:30 PM

I'm trying to get my head around what Roger Deakins said in a printed interview in 1978 ('The Art of the Cinematographer: A Survey and Interview with Five Masters') -

“It is getting more and more important for the cinematographer to see a project the whole way through. In the old days we could be off shooting another movie and we could talk to our timer and enhance the print and view it the same way we view dailies. Then we'd send the print back with some messages about scenes that needed further correction. Now, we have to be in the digital suite for every shot. Technology is becoming more and more complex, and there is so much to know and so much more we don't know. As opportunity expands and ambitions become bigger and bigger, the role of the cinematographer will expand to no end as well. Having one person in control of the visuals is very important.”

I might be missing something really obvious here, but how could a DP enhance and view a print for a previous project whilst working on another film? And why is it that correction seemed less thorough/pedantic/call it what you will(in that 'Now, we have to be in the digital suite for every shot')?
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#2 Bill DiPietra

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Posted 19 March 2012 - 03:19 PM

“It is getting more and more important for the cinematographer to see a project the whole way through. In the old days we could be off shooting another movie and we could talk to our timer and enhance the print and view it the same way we view dailies. Then we'd send the print back with some messages about scenes that needed further correction. Now, we have to be in the digital suite for every shot. Technology is becoming more and more complex, and there is so much to know and so much more we don't know. As opportunity expands and ambitions become bigger and bigger, the role of the cinematographer will expand to no end as well. Having one person in control of the visuals is very important.”


If the lab was in New York and he was shooting in Europe, why couldn't the lab simply airmail it to him to view? Especially if this interview was printed in 1978, people were still cutting on Steenbecks. He most likely had something on location that he could view it on. I'm not really sure, just going on what seems like the most logical conclusion.

I'm not sure what digital suites he is talking about if he made that quote in 1978. Perhaps my history is off, but didn't the Avid System become more of an industry standard in the 80s?...

Edited by Bill DiPietra, 19 March 2012 - 03:21 PM.

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#3 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 19 March 2012 - 06:31 PM

Perhaps my history is off, but didn't the Avid System become more of an industry standard in the 80s?...


I remember first hearing about Avid in 1993, and I don't think they were commonplace for a few years after that.
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#4 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 19 March 2012 - 07:08 PM

I'm trying to get my head around what Roger Deakins said in a printed interview in 1978 ('The Art of the Cinematographer: A Survey and Interview with Five Masters') -

“It is getting more and more important for the cinematographer to see a project the whole way through. In the old days we could be off shooting another movie and we could talk to our timer and enhance the print and view it the same way we view dailies. Then we'd send the print back with some messages about scenes that needed further correction. Now, we have to be in the digital suite for every shot. Technology is becoming more and more complex, and there is so much to know and so much more we don't know. As opportunity expands and ambitions become bigger and bigger, the role of the cinematographer will expand to no end as well. Having one person in control of the visuals is very important.”

I might be missing something really obvious here, but how could a DP enhance and view a print for a previous project whilst working on another film? And why is it that correction seemed less thorough/pedantic/call it what you will(in that 'Now, we have to be in the digital suite for every shot')?


You must be confusing two different books because Deakins wasn't being interviewed for cinematography books back in 1978 -- he didn't really start shooting feature films until the early 1980's. The "five masters" in Maltin's book were Arthur Miller, Hal Mohr, Hal Rosson, Lucien Ballard, and Conrad Hall.
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#5 Bill DiPietra

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Posted 19 March 2012 - 07:16 PM

I remember first hearing about Avid in 1993, and I don't think they were commonplace for a few years after that.


Yup. According to the website, the company was founded in 1987 so that would make sense...
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#6 Chai Rolfe

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Posted 19 March 2012 - 08:22 PM

You must be confusing two different books because Deakins wasn't being interviewed for cinematography books back in 1978 -- he didn't really start shooting feature films until the early 1980's. The "five masters" in Maltin's book were Arthur Miller, Hal Mohr, Hal Rosson, Lucien Ballard, and Conrad Hall.



Aha, it appears that you are correct and that I quite a silly mistake. Apologies - I'm currently sleep deprived and surrounded by stacks of books to support my dissertation. Would probably be a good starting point to get my dates & titles right, huh?

The book the quote came from was actually 'Cinematographer Style: The Complete Interviews' (the unedited interviews for the feature length doc of the same name), and the interview was conducted in June, 2004.
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#7 Chai Rolfe

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Posted 19 March 2012 - 09:34 PM

If the lab was in New York and he was shooting in Europe, why couldn't the lab simply airmail it to him to view? Especially if this interview was printed in 1978, people were still cutting on Steenbecks. He most likely had something on location that he could view it on. I'm not really sure, just going on what seems like the most logical conclusion.

I'm not sure what digital suites he is talking about if he made that quote in 1978. Perhaps my history is off, but didn't the Avid System become more of an industry standard in the 80s?...



Thanks Bill. I didn't realise they airmailed prints - always thought they would be too precious about them to trust the post system but that would make sense. Cheers!
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#8 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 20 March 2012 - 12:19 PM

Thanks Bill. I didn't realise they airmailed prints - always thought they would be too precious about them to trust the post system but that would make sense. Cheers!


I used to stick pieces of paper into the answer print giving comments on the scenes. I suspect they may have used airfreight rather than the postal system, the film industry had specialist freighting companies.
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#9 Chai Rolfe

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Posted 21 March 2012 - 06:55 AM

Thanks Brian, that's really helpful. Cheers!
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#10 John Thomas

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 08:17 PM

I might be missing something really obvious here, but how could a DP enhance and view a print for a previous project whilst working on another film? And why is it that correction seemed less thorough/pedantic/call it what you will(in that 'Now, we have to be in the digital suite for every shot')?


If Mr Deakins is preping or shooting another film, I'm sure his Lab would make an accommodation so that he can sit with the timer at night or on the weekend and give his notes. In the film printer days, cinematographers were limited to color and density corrections that effected the entire frame and could be changed only at the points where editors had made cuts. Today in digital suite, we can change any frame or any part of the frame that we have the time, money, and inclination to screw around with. It's photo/chemical - printer lights to the 100,000,000 power. If you're not in the digital suite for every shot, a well meaning colorist, producer, or director might be.
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Broadcast Solutions Inc

Tai Audio

Ritter Battery

Abel Cine

Metropolis Post

Willys Widgets

Opal

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Technodolly

Glidecam

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Wooden Camera

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FJS International, LLC

Rig Wheels Passport

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