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#1 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 01 July 2005 - 09:08 PM

It's not official yet, nor have I signed a contract, but it looks like my next film will be in September / October, a small studio feature (i.e. small for them but my biggest budget to date) for the Polish Brothers ("Northfork").

I'll be putting some prep info when it happens in the In Production forum, with more details then.

Looks like I'll be shooting in 35mm anamorphic Panavision again though, maybe Fuji stocks, maybe a D.I. if we can swing it financially.

A modern story set on a family's small ranch, which is about all I can say right now.

I was about to sign for another summer feature, a smaller indie film, but got stuck for a month or two in a long negotiation because this other film's dates kept slipping later and later, and this new Polish Brothers film in the Fall started to look like a schedule conflict. I'm "stuck" in that I basically had to turn down one small film offer for a bigger one that didn't have an official greenlight. But the small film kept putting off giving me dates, etc. In fact, they still haven't called my agent back with the final shooting dates.

This is all so typical in the film industry -- you rarely get any obvious indications about which direction to step. I interviewed for a couple of summer films and the one I pick ends up then slipping into late August... and then it conflicts with a maybe film in September, etc.... and if I made the wrong decision I could end up with neither film, etc. But now it looks like it is working out in my favor. I hope I'm not speaking too soon though.
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#2 DavidSloan

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Posted 01 July 2005 - 10:52 PM

The Polish brothers and yourself making another 35mm anamorphic film...now that's something to look forward to!

Please keep us updated.
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#3 Peter J DeCrescenzo

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Posted 02 July 2005 - 12:51 AM

David Sloan: Just a heads-up; your thumbnail icon photo thingee (in the left column) is a 1 megabyte JPEG file. You might consider scaling it down a bit for the benefit of folks with slow 'net connections. Just thought I'd mention it. ;-)

- Peter DeCrescenzo

P.S.: David Mullen: Best of luck with your work, whatever happens!
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#4 K Borowski

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Posted 02 July 2005 - 12:35 PM

A question for you David: Doesn't a digital intermediate have an effect on the way that you have to shoot the movie? So wouldn't that mean you'd have to know before you even start shooting whether or not you're getting one? Also, what changes in shooting style would you personally make when shooting with a DI as opposed to shooting the traditional optical way.

Regards.
~Karl Borowski
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#5 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 02 July 2005 - 12:53 PM

It might affect my shooting if I absolutely knew for sure I was going to use a D.I., but I have to shoot this in a way that can be printed straight just in case. So I'm not going to do anything differently. The only reason I'd like to try and use a D.I. is to avoid all those optical printer effects (fades, dissolves, etc. -- there were like 40 in "Northfork", plus about three digital efx shots) plus adjust the colors to make certain things pop out -- I want to get a certain "Kodachrome" red to come out.

I'd also like the option of doing some cloud replacements in some wide shots if needed. Of course, I could do all of this without a D.I. by just scanning those shots individually.

I had toyed with the idea at one point of doing 3-perf Super-35, etc. but I've basically come to the conclusion that the director doesn't mind shooting with anamorphic lenses and I don't either, so why bother changing? We both like the format. Haven't heard a peep from the studio yet in this regards. I interviewed for two different projects with directors who had all sorts of misconceptions about the pains of shooting in anamorphic so we were talking about Super-35. I don't want to force anamorphic down some director's throat because the minute there's a problem due to those lenses, they'll say "see, I told you..."

If I were going to do a D.I. for sure, I might not overexpose the stocks as much, and I might not worry as much about using grad filters on the set. I might even consider digital diffusion as an option, I don't know.
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#6 Delorme Jean-Marie

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Posted 03 July 2005 - 03:23 AM

[quote name='David Mullen' date='Jul 2 2005, 09:53 AM']


If I were going to do a D.I. for sure, I might not overexpose the stocks as much, and I might not worry as much about using grad filters on the set. I might even consider digital diffusion as an option, I don't know.


hi david
does it mean that with a non D.I. chain you are more precise in your way to expose the neg knowing exactly your printing "lights"?
What is the "danger with the grad filters on the set for the positive print?
same question for the diffusion but you already said you didn't know.

very happy you'r doing bigger project and keep on going (we are going to learn tons of experience from this new challenge) :)
take care
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#7 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 03 July 2005 - 03:28 AM

does it mean that with a non D.I. chain you are more precise in your way to expose the neg knowing exactly your printing "lights"?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


No, I just mean that there's less benefit to a dense negative if it's to be scanned instead of printed. In terms of the consistency and precision of the exposures, that shouldn't change.

In other words, for normal printing, I would typically rate 500 ASA stock at 320 ASA, but for a D.I., I probably would rate it at 400 ASA or even just 500 ASA.
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#8 Evan Winter

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Posted 04 July 2005 - 02:30 AM

Hey David,

Typically, for music videos, colorists prefer a neg that is 'over-exposed' 1 to 1 1/2 stops. They're always telling me that the denser negative gives them more play in the suite. Now, seeing as i've never had to print any of my work (all ends up on digi-beta for broadcast) i'm not sure if the same would hold true for you. I bring this up just because it struck me as odd that with a D.I. you would actually rate stocks accurately, whereas, in music videos (where everything is kinda 'd.i'ed') we're almost always struggling to underrate our stocks.

Evan Winter
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#9 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 04 July 2005 - 11:04 AM

That's funny because I was just talking to a producer of music videos from a big commercial house and he was complaining that DP's with no feature experience tend to grossly over or underexpose negative, but never expose it correctly! The director was complaining to me that all the footage from his last music video was two stops overexposed.

Truth is that there's no reason to overexpose by more than 2/3 to 1 stop if all you are doing is trying to record more shadow information and tighten grain. Above that and all you are doing is cramming your highlights into the shoulder of the curve and getting a flatter look up there, with some possible noise problems in the telecine.

Anymore than 1 stop overexposure and you might as well just drop down to the next slower speed film stock.

For scanning and telecine, there is still some benefits from a midly denser negative IF you have a need to pull up more shadow detail or tend to accidentally underexpose or not use enough fill light, but you don't really need to overexpose to get black blacks or more saturation since that is merely a color-correction adjustment. Unless you want black blacks BUT more shadow detail, then a little overexposure helps. But it's not exactly the same thing as printing at higher printing lights.
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#10 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 11 July 2005 - 01:55 AM

An announcement regarding the film:

http://www.kobtv.com...39&cat=ABQMETRO
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#11 J. Lamar King

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Posted 11 July 2005 - 02:15 AM

Wow sounds like another very cool script. You're so lucky to be able to work with them. Give me a buzz if you need a second unit guy.
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#12 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 19 July 2005 - 12:41 PM

I'm not going to start an official thread under the title in the "In Production" forum until I really sign my deal and start official work, but the latest twist is that we might not be shooting in anamorphic now.

The director asked the studio for a D.I. and they said that all their budgets tack on a $300,000 additional post charge for D.I.'s, to be done at Technicolor, so whether or not we can really get one cheaper cannot be factored into the budget. But they told him to shoot Super-35 to save money for the D.I.

Of course, that doesn't make sense -- what they meant was shoot 3-perf Super-35 to save money, but that would really only add up to about $50,000 or so in savings. However, we may have to switch to 3-perf Super-35 (for a 2.35 extraction) just as a good-faith measure to say that we're trying to save money to pay for the D.I. The director is more sold on the D.I. than shooting with anamorphic lenses, whereas I'm a little more ambivalent. But with a number of reels containing digital efx, we are concerned about timing issues. Plus we've never used a D.I. yet for creative purposes so this may be the project to test it out. We've always done something different on each film (first was 1.85, ACE prints / second was 24P HD / third was anamorphic plus skip-bleach, etc.)

Also, if we switch to 3-perf, they sort of don't have a choice but to give us the D.I. I just hope that using mostly Fuji F-500T Eterna will still work out because Fuji has yet to update their 250 ASA stocks.

So that's the status as of today.
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#13 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 19 July 2005 - 01:49 PM

Hi,

About people without feature experience - I was going to get some of that 16 I shot printed just to get a solid idea how much of a hash I'd made of it, but more or less immediately after used them the lab went out of business...

I did get the chance to ask one of their guys what they thought of it technically, and the conversation went rather like this:

Me: "So, just so I know, what's your impression of it technically?"
Lab guy: "S'OK"
"It'd be printable"
"Anything's printable."
"So I guess I'll do the same thing again if I ever need to print anything."
"Well, I don't know about that. It's a bit yellow, the stock's a bit old, you could overexpose a little more, it's rather filled up in the shadows, one of the lights is greenish..."

The moral of this sorry tale is that if you want a straight opinion out of lab people be prepared to press for it...

Phil
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#14 Nathan Milford

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Posted 19 July 2005 - 03:24 PM

Gov. Bill Richardson announced Friday that Warner Bros. will shoot the feature film this fall in central and northern New Mexico, creating 100 new jobs.


HAH!
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#15 Landon D. Parks

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Posted 20 July 2005 - 12:32 AM

Well, maybe 100 new jobs for a few months anyway. Unless there gonna setup camp there till the end of time.
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