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  1. #5701  
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    Thank you David!
    This is exactly what I was looking for. I greatly appreciate this!
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  2. #5702  
    Senior Member Michael Hastings's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Mullen ASC View Post
    I've been using the Panavision 19-90mm lately, it's a decent zoom that doesn't breathe when you rack focus, which is nice. It's not in the category of a lightweight zoom like the 28-76mm though.
    David:

    First, thanks for all the time and good info you have given to us Redusers.

    https://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/con...=Y&sku=1246187


    I do mostly travel and documentary work, but also rent to people doing low-budget independent films, shorts, music videos etc. so have been looking at this inexpensive Canon cine zoom that covers super 35.

    Obviously for $5225 it isn't in the class of the Panavision but my question is about the t4.4 maximum aperture. I know this is fairly slow, but we are also getting greater sensitivity with the new Helium sensor.

    In practice where do you find your typical t-stop for you film and Television productions?
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  3. #5703  
    Member Jamie A's Avatar
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    Hi David,
    How do you deal with colour temperature change when incandescent lights are dimmed? (let's say 2KW and below)
    I know you can place gels in front of the light to counter it, but then that changes the output again.
    Do you have advice for this?
    Thanks...
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  4. #5704  
    When I dim a tungsten lamp I'm usually fine with it getting warmer. Besides if you are dimming to lower output, why would you be worried about the loss of output from using blue gel?

    If you are using the type of lamp that can be gelled, you can use avoid dimming and use scrims or ND gel to darken if you don't want to lower the color temperature.
    David Mullen, ASC
    Los Angeles
    http://www.davidmullenasc.com
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  5. #5705  
    Senior Member Peter Moretti's Avatar
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    Hi David,

    I'm looking at a short film that I shot, and see a "mistake" that I made. Being so familiar with the material, in some moments I anticipated the upcoming action and moved the camera a little prematurely.

    For example, the I knew that lead character would start talking about sand and rubbing his hand across the bedspread feeling "sand" that wasn't actually there. (He's suffering from a breakdown and the sand is in his mind.)

    So before he says "I need to get away from all of this sand" I started to creep the camera down. It slowly moved from his head to down his neck, arm and wound up on his hand at what I thought was great timing. I felt like I was genius.

    However, when watching the footage, it feels a bit odd that that the camera started to move for no real reason at that time.

    Can you chime in a bit on the idea of moving the camera in anticipation of what's going to happen next vs. reacting to what's happening in real time?

    Thank you so much!!
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  6. #5706  
    In that case, I don't see that there is a right or wrong answer -- I've seen many films where the camera moves off of the person in mid-sentence and lands on something important, relative to the dialogue. It's sort of like a POV of someone observing the person as they talk but starts to look around at their body language and hand gestures.
    David Mullen, ASC
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    http://www.davidmullenasc.com
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  7. #5707  
    David,

    I think I've learned more about cinematography from you than any other resource. Thank you so much for that. I've run into a few problem situations and wanted to see if I could get your thoughts on them.

    1) I'm at a point where I've shot a four $500K features, but two of the main issues I've run into with them is that there is never enough prep and specifically I feel like I never get a chance to see locations enough or early enough. Can I ask if you've ever formalized a prep schedule and approach to preparing for each film / TV show. I think I need to start being more specific about what I need in prep to be successful on a film, even if they don't fully have the money to pay me for all the prep. For instance do you typically outline when you expect location scouts (2 months out), tech scouts (a few weeks out), specific conversations with the director about beats, scenes, and the arc of a film, and then specifically visual conversations with the director and other department heads. Additionally, what sort of tests do you find yourself doing for each project? I often am lucky if I can schedule a camera test, which often has to be done in house (I'd prefer to do a few of them out in a real environment). I know what I need from prep, but I think I don't always do the best job of communicating that to the director or the producers to make sure it happens.

    Essentially have you ever formalized your prep schedule and what are the minimum number of days you'll take for prep?

    2) If you're on location and looking to create a dusk interior look all day, what are some effective techniques you've used? Obviously there are different looks to dusk, but I'm talking about that time of day after any direct light is gone. I think what makes this look challenging is seeing windows if you're on location.

    3) If you're shooting in a skyscraper interior and looking to build up the daylight pushing inside, what sort of techniques do you tend to use that don't feel fake or forced? If you have the money and a pre-rigging crew would you attempt rig off the building from outside with 18Ks and frames or use Joleko's etc inside? Obviously this all depends upon the specific look you're after, but it's always a challenge.

    4) If you're crafting an interior moonlight look where you're using no other motivation, how do you deal with lighting from outside without creating hot spots of white in the windows, blinds, or curtains themselves? Or do you find yourself doing a blend of techniques?

    Thanks! Sorry for all the questions, but I've been thinking about a lot of these for a while and figured you'd have thought through a lot of them.
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  8. #5708  
    Quote Originally Posted by Nicholas Matthews View Post
    1) I'm at a point where I've shot a four $500K features, but two of the main issues I've run into with them is that there is never enough prep and specifically I feel like I never get a chance to see locations enough or early enough. Can I ask if you've ever formalized a prep schedule and approach to preparing for each film / TV show. I think I need to start being more specific about what I need in prep to be successful on a film, even if they don't fully have the money to pay me for all the prep. For instance do you typically outline when you expect location scouts (2 months out), tech scouts (a few weeks out), specific conversations with the director about beats, scenes, and the arc of a film, and then specifically visual conversations with the director and other department heads. Additionally, what sort of tests do you find yourself doing for each project? I often am lucky if I can schedule a camera test, which often has to be done in house (I'd prefer to do a few of them out in a real environment). I know what I need from prep, but I think I don't always do the best job of communicating that to the director or the producers to make sure it happens.

    Essentially have you ever formalized your prep schedule and what are the minimum number of days you'll take for prep?
    On indie films there is always a difference between the number of prep days budgeted for and the number of days you actually need. I always take the attitude that I will work as many days of prep needed no matter what they are actually paying me for, so if they budgeted three weeks of prep and I need four weeks, I start a week early and just don't turn in a time sheet for a week (my agent would probably not like to hear me say that...) I don't turn in a "prep schedule" request, the schedule is based on what the director needs/wants I have to work around that. But when I interview for a job or in early discussions with the director and producer, I tell them what generally happens and what I need creatively, which is time with the director to talk through the script in detail outside of time spent scouting locations.

    You work backwards from Day 1 of shooting. The week before shooting consists of the crew tech scout, usually all day long, the production meeting (usually three or four hours), final department budgets being delivered, followed by the equipment prep and pick-up, director's rehearsals with the actor all week long. The last day of that week is almost all taken up by equipment pick-ups which actually doesn't involve me. But the days before that involve camera prep and any testing I need to do, plus taking the test to a post house and setting up the dailies workflow. So that last week of prep is pretty booked.

    The week before that last week is usually made up of scouting and finalizing locations, casting sessions for the director, crew hiring, and department meetings.

    So that really leaves the week before those two weeks when it is quiet enough to meet with the director every day to break down the script. I usually request that they schedule three hours every morning for a week at least to go through the script. I want the mornings because by the afternoons, the director is being pulled in a hundred directions with calls, etc. Trouble is that some directors, unfortunately, are not morning people and I might have a meeting scheduled every day from 9AM to 11AM or Noon, only to have the director show up at the office at 10AM or later, take calls, and then tell me we should postpone our meeting until the evening like at 4 or 5PM or later, only to then completely cancel it because, as I warned, they had too many other things to attend to by the end of the day, like meeting actors. Some directors then realize too late that they've blown off all the meetings with me only to try to schedule some all-day marathon script meeting which ends up being too mentally exhausting -- you can really only discuss maybe ten pages of script in detail per day before your brain is fried and you need a break.

    So then you end up winging it, maybe getting some discussions in the van rides to locations when scouting, walking around the location, etc. In an ideal world, you'd have time to break down the script in a quiet room PLUS time to walk around the locations with the director and discuss how to shoot the scenes.

    In terms of testing, it all depends on what you need and what the director needs to set the look of the show or to solve a unique problem. Some tests are more elaborate than others. My minimal test is to shoot a face and a chart and play with the color-correction, create a workflow for dailies, etc. next level would be to also test filters, next would be to try some extreme lighting conditions to see what the limits of the camera are, etc. Just depends on the show.


    2) If you're on location and looking to create a dusk interior look all day, what are some effective techniques you've used? Obviously there are different looks to dusk, but I'm talking about that time of day after any direct light is gone. I think what makes this look challenging is seeing windows if you're on location.
    That's hard to do, of course, because you have to control the level of daylight coming in and flagging off any hard sun coming in, and avoiding noticing a background with hard sun. It's easier of course in overcast weather and even easier if you aren't trying to balance the daylight with interior practical lamps. It may involve ND gel on windows, hopefully you can afford hard gels, but even then you have to watch out of the windows are large because when you look at a window from a raking angle, the ND gel looks heavier than when you look at it straight on.

    3) If you're shooting in a skyscraper interior and looking to build up the daylight pushing inside, what sort of techniques do you tend to use that don't feel fake or forced? If you have the money and a pre-rigging crew would you attempt rig off the building from outside with 18Ks and frames or use Joleko's etc inside? Obviously this all depends upon the specific look you're after, but it's always a challenge.
    I'm assuming a situation where you can't put lights out the window. What you do depends on whether you want the room to mainly be lit by window light or by overhead fluorescents and lamps in the office, if you can live with fluorescents lighting the people, then you can ND gel the office windows for balance. If you want the windows to be the source, then you have to expose more for semi-silhouettes or shoot at more of an angle to the windows so you can augment with bounced lighting or use very soft bounces from the ceiling that do not overpower the daylight. In those cases, I often use HMI's like Jo-Lekos, or bigger HMI's, but the main thing is to not flight the natural light, try to imagine what you'd do if you were a documentary filmmaker or if you were shooting for Terrence Malick and couldn't add any lights -- you'd try to get the actors closer to the windows, etc.

    4) If you're crafting an interior moonlight look where you're using no other motivation, how do you deal with lighting from outside without creating hot spots of white in the windows, blinds, or curtains themselves? Or do you find yourself doing a blend of techniques?
    Sometimes if you have sheers and cannot dye them gray or use net flags to darken the light hitting them or hide ND gels right behind the sheers to darken them but let the light come in through the gap in the sheers, then you have to add light from inside as if it were coming from the windows. It can be a bit theatrical and fakey but moonlit interiors often seem like a theatrical convention anyway. You can decide also to go for a soft dim look versus a hard shadowy look.
    David Mullen, ASC
    Los Angeles
    http://www.davidmullenasc.com
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  9. #5709  
    Senior Member Nick Morrison's Avatar
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    Hey David, would you mind elaborating a bit on TODD AO Anamorphics?

    My wife and I saw Peckinpah's The Getaway this weekend, and I was surprised at how subtle the Anamorphic "look" was (outside of the aspect ratio). That's when I looked it up, and noticed it was Todd AO.



    The film looked like they used a lot of zooms - you think they used rear anamorphic elements? And maybe that explains the restrained, almost spherical look?

    I was struck by how traditional the bokeh was (no cats eye that I could see), and almost total lack of horizontal flares.

    Just curious.

    We've been on a 70's kick recently!

    thanks
    Nick Morrison
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  10. #5710  
    Front anamorphic zooms are a recent phenomenon, so yes, a lot of 70's anamorphic movies like Robert Altman's used rear anamorphic zooms.

    The "making of" doc for the first "Mad Max" movie mentioned that they bought some Todd-AO 35 anamorphic lenses (or the rental house did) that had last been used on a Peckinpah movie only to discover that the only prime that wasn't beat-up was the 35mm, which is quite wide-angle in anamorphic (I think they said 35mm...), which George Miller used for most of the movie.

    "Logan's Run" was one of the better-looking Todd-AO 35 movies. So was "Dune".
    David Mullen, ASC
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    http://www.davidmullenasc.com
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