Domenic Barbero Cinematography

COMMERCIAL/NARRATIVE/MUSIC VIDEO/DOCUMENTARY/CORPORATE

NORTHWEST CAMERA CO. - OWNER

CINEMATOGRAPHER and DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY

ARRI ALEXA MINI - RED EPIC DRAGON - RED SCARLET DRAGON - CANON C300 MARK II - CANON C300 - URSA MINI - A7s MARK II - MOVi M10

Owner/Op

 

Domenic Barbero is a freelance director of photography and creative director. Domenic resides in Seattle but works all over the west coast. He is a graduate of the Northwest Film School. Domenic spent time living in LA working for producers in the early 2000's. Now his focus to put his creative passion into feature length narrative, documentary, commercial, corporate and music video work

He is an owner operator of an Arri Alexa Mini, RED Epic-X Dragon, Scarlet-X Dragon, Canon C300as well as a MOVi M10 gimbal system. Also, Domenic owns lots of production equipment which he rents on the side. Please inquire and check out the gear rentals page.

CALL OR TEXT 10am-5pm Mon-Sat for rates and availability

360.319.6667

 

 

Paralytic: Shooting an Indie Feature On A Budget

CINEMATOGRAPHY OF AN INDIE FEATURE: JUMPING THE HURDLES 

In Jan of 2015 I was approached to shoot a feature called "Paralytic" that would be directed by Joey Johnson. This would be his second feature he's done. We chatted for a while in our interview and I got a feel for what this movie was about. A psychological thriller about a rogue drug cartel assassin looking for revenge by exposing the cartels dirty laundry to the media. The script was very well written and all parties clicked very well. I was booked for the job and we were on to the next round. 

Preproduction: I was given some very exciting tidbits of knowledge about the production as we started to get more in depth. The shoot would be 12 days only, The budget was pretty small, like REALLY small (sub 100k probably), but nothing I wasn't used to, the crew would be minimal, and we would have to work fast. My crew would consist of Casey Schmidt as gaffer and b cam op, Riley keeton as 1st AC and B cam op, Robyn Scaringi as media manager, and myself as DP/ A cam op.  We had a couple PA's on set to help us out in camera dept and g/e. Kat Goddard, Micah Knapp, and Rob Lawrence all were a huge help on set. Also we had a very seasoned first AD, Landon Salyer, who was a life saver at keeping us on track. 

Now the production had three main legs. 1 part local to Seattle, 1 part taking place at a cabin about 100 miles from Seattle, and 1 part taking place near the Columbia river at a winery. Now about the logistics. Joey had mentioned that there are almost no scenes at night and that we had almost 100 percent daylight scenes. Now controlling daylight is a lot harder in my opinion than starting from dark and lighting things up, so I knew my Gaffer Casey Schmidt and I would be in for a real challenge given our crew size and how fast we needed to go. So we decided to approach this a bit like "Dallas Buyers Club" and try a very naturally lit approach for most of the movie. Now another real big curveball was that Joey had mentioned that for the cabin interiors, Carson, our main character would not really be using any lights or power while he was inhabiting the cabin. That really made us have to think our approach to all the scenes shot there since soooo much of the script was in that location. So what to do?

STYLE: I researched several techniques for shooting with natural light and felt like this was something we could do, but our locations were absolutely KEY to being able to pull this off. We searched far and wide to get the perfect locations to fit the needs of our blocking and script. We were constantly having to rewrite the action in the scenes around our blocking to make sure we always had some large window key source hard on the side of someones face or that the sun would never be directly behind someone or action. In general we would try to block our scenes to that the sun would be a hard key to one side or the other of an actor and use a 6x6 frame with diffusion to soften it up. Then using an ultrabounce or solid floppies to shape from there. Another consideration was what camera to choose. I looked at a couple options but to me, the RED Dragon sensor, having the most latitude available, would give us the best option of capturing the natural light without sacrificing too much. What I love about RED DSMC system is how modular it is. It can be large or small depending how you want it and you can strip it down or build it up very quickly. This was essential for our shooting methods we chose as well as being such a small crew we would need as many options as possible. I'm the type of DP that loves interesting angles and with the RED I don't need as much Grip to support the camera, so I can get my interesting angles without sacrificing too much time rigging. We shot with a RED Epic Dragon as our A cam and a RED Scarlet Dragon as our B cam. We ended up shooting with the skin tone/highlight OLPF for 95% of the movie and rated it between 250 ASA and 500 ASA. For the lowlight olpf we shot two scenes and rated it at 2000 and 3200 ISO. We shot at 5k at 8:1 with frame guides for a 2.4:1 final aspect ratio. 

The movie takes place in three different time periods. Real time, which Alice (played by Darlene Sellers), our lead detective is discovering a grisly crime scene at a remote cabin. Then, we jump back in time to see Carson (played by David S. Hogan) our Lead for the film, occupying the cabin and trying to protect himself from the cartel thats hunting him down. Here is where he spends his time calling media outlets to expose the cartel. Then we jump back even further to show Carson in the cartel at ground zero for crime, which is at a cartel owned winery. This point in time shows Carson and the rest of the hit men and women scheming devilish plans of assassinations and crime, but it's here where we see Carson fall in love with a fellow assassin named Clarissa (played by Angela DiMarco). So we have 3 different points in time and it jumps around between them very frequently. I wanted to make sure that the viewer could easily tell the difference just by camera work alone. So we sat down and schemed up some ways to have specific shooting methods for each time period.

ALICE: For anything with Alice it was to be all handheld. I boosted the shutter up slightly to 1/72 to give a little more realism to Alice's scenes. I wanted her stuff to feel as real and documentary like as possible. I also decided to shoot all of her stuff on the Canon CNE primes. We had my full set to work with and being that they are very light and sharp for primes, it made the handheld work a lot easier. Also with Alice we shot everything on 35mm or wider unless she was on the phone or talking on her radio. Those were the only bits of action we reserved telephoto lenses for, mostly using the 85mm. Also with Alice, we tried to be following her a lot, We wanted to be behind her as she stumbled across clues and let her be the vehicle to lead the camera and audience towards each new discovery. 

CARSON: So for Carson at the cabin we decided on a few different ways to shoot his scenes. First off, lens choice. We decided to shoot on some vintage Zeiss Contax Lenses that had been rehoused by GL Optics. We had a 21,28,35,50,85 on tap. They have a bit more of a cooler tone and less contrast to them compared to the Canons so we thought these would be great given the mood of Carson's scenes. We chose to shoot most of Carson's coverage either on sticks or with some movement via dana dolly. Also we chose less traditional shots with Carson having more of a security footage or somebody is watching him type of vibe. We did however want to give Carson and Alice a connection so we chose to shoot him in mostly wide lenses as well unless he was on the phone. Then we would use the 85mm to cover his close ups. It was very important to give them a relationship via camera work since Alice is working hard to understand Carson's dark situation.

WINERY: The winery was a place in time before everything had hit the fan and where there was still some twisted magic in the air. Because of that, we chose to do things a bit differently for the winery. First off the color grade for the winery will most likely have a more orange, green, blue palate which will be far different than any other scenes in the movie. For lenses we chose to shoot these scenes on a set of Duclos modded Leica R primes. We had a set of 19,24,35,50,80,100. These lenses provided a softness that was very pleasing to the time period. the highlight rolloff, color cast and flaring on these lenses perfectly suited what we wanted to capture. We chose much wider wides in these scenes, more landscape, longer lenses even for wides and mediums, and did everything on sticks and dana dolly for the most part. We wanted the winery to feel mostly traditional and well put together. 

LIGHTING: Casey and I had to be light and nimble for our scenes that did involve some various degrees of lighting. We had a plethora of things to choose from but found ourselves mostly sticking to 1.2 HMI's, Dracast LED panels, some small tungsten fresnels, and then random practical lighting. We had 4x4 frames with 250 diffusion, 6x6 frames with various skins, and then the usual supply of 2x3 singles, doubles, silks, solids, etc for extra shaping. This setup allowed us to move pretty quickly when we did have to light scenes and all in all the package was just right for the size crew we had. 

WARDROBE AND LOCATIONS: During preproduction I had sent Joey a long list of movie still color palates for him to choose from as well as how we wanted locations to look. Tim Keaty, the production designer, worked with my suggestions on finding lots of extra props, materials and misc stuff to give each location some added texture and depth and also stay within our color palate choices. For wardrobe, Tanya Carlson Jolly worked with Joey and I to find great wardrobe choices on the cheap that would not only fulfill our palate choices per scene but also have some interesting texture and feeling to them as well.  

PRODUCTION: We spent a lot of time in preproduction trying to make sure we had enough resources to shoot this film right and do it effectively given our constraints. We had what we needed and were ready to begin principle photography. We had a 3 day stint in Seattle shooting some various pickup scenes that are related to flashbacks of the cartel meeting and doing jobs. The first day was our hardest with lots of extras, a city hall location, lots of complex blocking and character coverage. We had the Freefly Movi M10 there for the first day and we were using it for a lot of walk and talks as well as following some character action moving through the location. We managed to make our day though and get what we needed. The next two days were shot picking up long scenes of meetings between cartel members and our biggest struggle was sound. Lots of construction in the area we were shooting and needed a lot of time to hold so we could capture what we needed. The actors handled it like champs, that much is for sure. 

After a 2 day break we headed our production to Shelton Washington where we would shoot the Cabin scenes with Carson and Alice. This was our heavy shooting period and had about 6 days to shoot around 60 pages of script. A most challenging idea indeed. Now we only had a few bumps at this location and most of it was sound related. Whether it was the wind picking up, gunshots in the distance, roadwork on the lake (where there were only 5 houses) or crows in heat, there was always something just slightly too loud for us to shoot. Luckily Jason Alberts, our sound guy, is phenomenal and got us what we needed and kept it sounding good. The other issue was our always changing light. Sun moving in and out of clouds. Trying to keep continuity within a scene was sometimes tough with our main light source always fluctuating. We were able to employ our shooting methods here though and for the most part everything worked out exactly as we had hoped and came away with some great looking footage. We got everything we needed from that location and even finished a bit early. So we were able to get back to Seattle at a decent time and start prepping for the last leg. 

We ended Paralytic in a 3 day stint in eastern WA by the Columbia river near the Gorge Amphitheater. It was all sun all day long but still we had lots of movement through clouds we would have to wait for to keep continuity. Varying degrees of soft light through the clouds meant we would have to pick one look or another and go with it. Sometimes on our larger scenes this would hurt us a bit. But with this size budget and crew, we really didn't have much choice but to do the best we could to keep continuity on lock down. We did capture some great images at the winery though and the landscape here definitely looked beautiful and gave us a look that was far different than the cabin location. We were able to wrap on time and execute what we needed to in the short time we had there. 

WRAP UP: Coming into this project I think everyone was a little bit nervous about the scope of what we were trying to accomplish in such a short amount of time with such limited resources. But we had a great crew and each person was insanely talented. Because of this I think we really were able to pull off something big. It really is important to spend adequate time in preproduction for all departments to be able to achieve something that looks and feels much larger than the budget you have. Spend your resources in the right places and don't be afraid to spend some time cold calling people. The recipe for success has many different ingredients. I've attached some galleries of low res and mostly ungraded still shots from the movie as well as some BTS pictures as well showing what we were working with and who was involved. THANKS AGAIN TO ALL THE CAST AND CREW!!! COULDN'T HAVE DONE IT WITHOUT YOU. How have your indie feature experiences been? Any success stories or words of wisdom to share? Would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below. 

For more info and updates on paralytic, visit: www.facebook.com/paralyticmovie

PARALYTIC: WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY JOEY JOHNSON

  • RED EPIC DRAGON
  • RED SCARLET DRAGON
  • IPHONE 6+ (VIDEO CONFERENCE SHOTS)
  • CANON CNE PRIME LENSES
  • DUCLOS LEICA R PRIME LENSES
  • GL OPTICS CONTAX ZEISS PRIMES
  • REDCODE RAW
  • ASPECT 2.4:1

Diffusion. Use what you've got. Some is better than none.

So Casey Schmidt of Northwest Grip and I conducted a little test recently on diffusion. Sometimes on low budget shoots, people remember to bring lights, but often forget the modifiers. So what do you do when you need a little diffusion? Well, you start looking around your house or around set for some common items.  Here's the results, read below to know more about the test. 

Our little test used several items and we did our best to let you know how much each one drops the light in terms of stops. The items were.....

Garbage bag 1, garbage bag 2, hand towel, visqueen, paper towels, computer paper, t shirt, dress shirt, pillow case, bed sheet, and opaque tupperware.

Our key light was an Arri 650 tungsten fresnel on full flood. f9.6

Our fill light was a Desisti Magis 300 tungsten fresnel. f4.0 (never adjusted exposure when key was under f4.0)

Our kicker was an Arri 150 tungsten fresnel with a small amount of diffusion on it. f4.0 (never adjusted exposure when key was under f4.0)

Camera was RED Epic set to ISO 320 and balanced at 3200k.  Red Color 3/Red Gamma 3 and 5:1 compression. This is ungraded minus RC3/RG3 specs. 

Exposure was set to the key light and we adjust aperture to account for light loss of each object. Now had we have had more time, we could have done some more things like subtract light from fill and kicker to keep same ratio or move the key light closer account for the light loss. Key was direct through a 2x3 frame with diffusion pinned to the frame 24" from the globe. 

Our goal was to see what different items would do if absolutely needed. My personal faves were paper towels, bed sheet, and garbage bag 1. Just goes to show that when in a pinch, anything you can find to make some diffusion will definitely help your look. A softer light is a happier light. Click through the pics below to see how each was hung. 

So what do you think? What sorts of diffusion tricks do you carry in your bag? Reply in comments. :)

Digital vs. Live Cinematography.

As you know "Gravity" walked away with the Oscar last night for best cinematography. The brilliant movie was helmed by the masterful Emmanuel Lubezki. Last year "Life of Pi" brought home the Oscar for best cinematography. What do both of these movies have in common? Both are very heavy in CGI. Now a lot of cinematographers and DP's out there were very upset by this fact claiming that real cinematography is capturing it in camera without all the heavy post effects. Lets have a look at what the ASC classifies cinematography as shall we?

The ASC defines cinematography as:

a creative and interpretive process that culminates in the authorship of an original work of art rather than the simple recording of a physical event. Cinematography is not a subcategory of photography. Rather, photography is but one craft that the cinematographer uses in addition to other physical, organizational, managerial, interpretive and image-manipulating techniques to effect one coherent process.

Now with this, there is no mention that it has to be captured in reality or added in post, but my understanding is that anything you choose to do all aids in getting an image on screen and helping to tell a story with those images. 

Here is the Behind the scenes of how "Gravity" mixed practical and post effects to create its elaborate visuals.

This is where it gets fuzzy for me. If all the crazy post effects are acceptable forms of cinematography, then why aren't animated films ever nominated? It seems there is a fine line but the only hard point seeming to be that there must be a real person in the movie. 

I was on the camp of the realist side of cinematography last year after "Life of Pi" won. I couldn't process why that won over such a well shot movie like "Skyfall" by Roger Deakins. After this year though, I'm taking my time to evaluate things. "Gravity" is a feat of cinematic pioneering. They used tactics never before done and I think it worked wonderfully. But how is it any different than "Life of PI"? Well, it's not. But this year I felt very ok with it winning and thought it was well deserved. I Examined deeper and this is kind of where I sit.....

Even if we practically shoot something in camera in reality, is it not touched by several hands before it makes it to the screen? People rotoscoping things out that are unpleasing, taking out reflections, doing color grades and manipulating the original image. By this process, even what we shoot in reality is artificial by the time it hits the screen. So if its artificial anyways, is it not that big of stretch to something like "Gravity" that is artificial as well? Both are trying to portray a reality in a fictitious environment. Another thing to note is that you, as a cinematographer, must have a more clear vision when you are shooting for a movie heavy in post. You can't monitor and see your final outcome while you are shooting so the degree of precision and knowledge of what you are shooting becomes a monumental task.  "Gravity" was an experience like none I have ever had in a movie theatre and I think a big part of that was due to the cinematography and how they chose to shoot it and put moving images on screen. 

I think the trend of Hollywood is heading in that direction now that more tools are available to tell more fantastical stories. I Believe it's wise to study these practices as a cinematographer to make your abilities more well rounded. Holding back from learning is only going to hold you back from telling the stories you see in your head. 

I thank pioneers like Lubezki and Cauron for spending the time to provide me with an experience I will remember the rest of my life. In the future I will be taking the time to appreciate all forms of cinematography whether it be real, heavy in CG, documentary, etc. 

Your working life on social media

Lets face it, today everything you do shows up online. If you are doing things right as a freelancer, people follow you on Facebook, Twitter, Etc, but while thats mostly good it can also be a red flag for producers who don't enjoy your online appearance, especially if you have a lot of friends and followers. These days, several hiring outlets are monitoring your pages to see if you are worthy of employment and what sort of character you are. I believe these assessments aren't always fair since your working life and social life are usually completely different worlds, but you will still be judged for it regardless.

If you are a working professional in the industry whether its a dp, gaffer, director, producer, actor, etc, here are some helpful hints to keep up a professional appearance online without having to bury yourself under all sorts of pseudo names and privacy to avoid your future employers spying on you. Thing to remember is that people that are interested in working with you will constantly be monitoring you and checking up on what you are doing. So hopefully these tips can help you secure those clients and maintain a great social online presence without losing the freedoms of speaking your mind. 

1. Don't talk trash. Everyone is always watching you and trash talking others personally or saying negative things about a production will most certainly guarantee you being blackballed. Don't post negative experiences or post pictures from set depicting unsafe or non ideal situations from set even if they really make you angry or dumbfounded. Somebody who knows somebody may pick up on the post and word gets around very fast. Nobody wants a negative nancy on set. Your goal is to be a working professional, not a liability on set.

2. Keep it PG-13. Watch the vulgar language and posting nsfw videos. While to most they may be amusing, It could offend and detract future clients from approaching you.

3. Avoid posting about touchy subjects (Politics, Religion, sex). While it it is important to speak your mind and have an opinion, sometimes those things will quickly get you on the no thank you list. Especially if it shows lots of people disagreeing with you about things and getting ugly. keep all those conversations to private messages.4. 

4. Have a professional presence. We've all done good and bad work. But be able to recognize what makes your shine and what does the opposite. Realize when you should post your work and when it might be better to skip it. Create a separate page for your craft and cross promote. Make sure to post links to your work, reels, articles, imdb creds, press, etc. Also engage with your followers positively by posting topics than can have discussions. Just remember to keep the convo moving in a progressive and neutral way. Engage with your working peers. Post comments on their work that are uplifting. Try to build relationships with everyone and anyone you can. Relationships are built to last so don't treat them as such. Help your peers as much as you can. Put people in touch with others. Doing solids for your peers goes a long way and will probably come back to you in a positive light.

5. Keep the personal stuff to a minimum. Don't blow up peoples Facebook feeds and twitter and instagram with tons of pointless information about eating granola, or petting your dog, or getting coffee again. Also its not a place to air out your dirty laundry. Best bet is to just chat about the personal stuff with your family and friends face to face. It'll make you feel much better and keep you from eating so much ice cream. Posting some of the irrelevant little things is fun and ok every once in a while, but don't make it a habit. 

6. Be entertaining. Its great to post videos and articles that are funny and entertaining as long as they are safe for work. It feels great to make others laugh and think and learn, so don't be afraid to be that guy/girl that gives peoples day a jolt of fun and excitement. With more and more time spent online these days, its nice to get a little entertainment while you are working. 

7. Be mindful of your activity. Remember that Facebook activity and privacy isn't very good. So if you are online looking at some weird strange stuff, avoid liking pictures and commenting on them. Chances are your activity could end up on somebody else's wall who doesn't like what you are looking at or who you are associating yourself with. Just remember that every action you'll be held accountable for.

Hopefully these tips will help you turn your Facebook, Instagram, Twitter into a professional page that can promote you as an artist and filmmaker but allow you to keep your individuality and not have to manage 20 pages to keep your personal and professional separate. Social media gets me 90% percent of my work as a DP so it's very important to keep it balanced and positive. A good reputation goes a long way still, don't forget that. 

 

Handheld like a boss

Handheld camera work is a method of shooting that is often used in almost all movies that are shot today. Its a very popular trend usually meant to evoke a sense of realism and the feeling that the camera is the viewer looking into the action. 

I always feel like there is a time and a place for handheld work since it is a style and a choice. Whenever a director says we are going handheld, I constantly question what the motivation is for handheld. When there is a proper motivation for handheld work it can be incredibly powerful and do great things for a scene. 

Doing handheld "right" though, is something that is a bit subjective as everyones definition of handheld varies slightly. Also with handheld your lens selection becomes a little less large, but thats one of the trade offs of this style. The biggest thing to keep in mind though is where your action is taking place and to keep in mind where you are moving, since you as a camera operator dictate where the 180 lands when doing handheld. So be mindful, so you can match your shots right in coverage. 

Here is a great video by Sean Bobbitt, BSC, teaching a little master session on handheld camera work. For those of you unfamiliar with his work, check out his impressive IMDB and his newest "12 Years a Slave".

Head to the 8 min mark to skip the ARRI intro. (Some good info on Anamorphics in that intro though)

Demystifying the RED Workflow

There are lots of misconceptions about the intensity and difficulty of the RED workflow in post. But now, more than ever, is it easy to work with RED footage and the r3d codec. With programs like the new Adobe Premiere cs6 suite and Final Cut Pro X, working with RED and raw footage has never been easier. 

Now there are quite a few haters out there against FCPX but for what it is, it will handle most small projects no problem. If I was editing a feature, I would probably go with premiere. The little stuff though, Its hard to compete with the ease of FCPX. 

Here's a little tutorial showing some of the processes to ingest and work with RED within FCPX and REDcine-X, RED's proprietary footage handling software that is free from there website at www.red.com

The DP and the Gaffer

A lot of times a DP and the Gaffer are the bestest of friends on set. I often feel that a production can be efficient or not efficient because of this relationship directly. I feel like having a regular gaffer that knows your style and can predict your shooting methods drastically speeds things up on set. 

Here is a great series of little videos starring some great UK and American DP's and Gaffers explaining several aspects of the relationship on set and how they work together. 

Hands on with the MOVI on "the Arborlight" a full review

So in June I got to DP a short film called "The Arborlight". It was a great period type piece that we shot on my Epic. We shot mostly on Zeiss Superspeeds for interiors and Canon Glass for exteriors. The big deal on this set is that we were able to get sponsored by freefly and provided us with a MOVI for my Epic complete with REDROCK Micro follow focus system and TERADEK wireless monitors.

So here is my feedback after using the rig pretty extensively, also keep in mind that this was the prototype unit and I was told a lot changed since this design. 

The Pros:

- I was able to get incredibly dynamic shots. Really easy to maneuver around. The weight wasnt that bad honestly. Pick it up for a take, put it down until you are ready again. Dolly shots were a breeze to get. I really enjoyed being allowed to think again. I feel like anymore we are trapped by a few options, sticks, steadi, dolly, crane. This literally had me excited again thinking of new ways I can get some way cool shots that leave people really asking how that was done. 

- The ability to operate 1 part of the unit and break down the labor into seperate jobs is also very nice. When you can focus on one task you do that task so much better. 

- It was able to cut down time here and there. 

- The redrock follow focus was actually pretty rad. Gotta say it performed very well and a lot better than i thought.

- You get the same amount of smoothness on a 100mm as you do on a 25. THAT IS THE SHIT!!!!!!

- Majestic works well for the basic movement of tracking subjects and such. get a fingerwheel on the movi handles and you are set. 

- The way the gyro works is really smooth and very fluid. You can almost not tell its there. Pretty dang incredible. 

The Cons: 

- THE BATTERIES, Good lord, around 7 total batteries to power everything, all running and starting and dying at different times. 1 goes down, the whole rig goes down. That part was probably the biggest headache of the whole shoot. 

- The Teradek is not the best solution for wireless. with the movi, you need to be pretty mobile, thats the whole point, so having latency issues so often with such short distances was pretty sad. sometimes we would drop signal after only 10ft and in direct line of sight. Not movi's fault though. 

- Having to operate via redmote. FML!!!! having to go through all the menus for playback, card formatting, WB, etc was a royal pain in my neck. But there was no other choice. On the dslr version we had, it was much easier to navigate since everything is right there on the camera. 

- Switching lenses. Takes about 10-30 minutes depending on the setup. It basically is a weird area as you want to change lenses, but you dont have the time to, so you get stuck making a bit of sacrifice somewhere. I'm told though that this will be much quicker on the production unit. 

- The time it takes to orchestrate. This isnt really a con if you prepare right. Having the MOVI on set meant we were constantly retweaking our shot list since we thought we could do a shot on the movi, however this SHOULD NOT BE DONE. I would know exactly what shots you want pre shoot and have them well rehearsed if at all possible before the shoot. The process of three operators all having to be on the same page for every move, then have the actors hit their marks as well as the camera op hitting his is a time drainer. It takes quite a while to 1, know your moves, 2 get actors to know your moves and play to you 3, get all the operators doing the same thing exactly the same time after time 4, all while racing the clock of the batteries. If you do 15 rehearsals before you get the action right, it can eat up a lot of time. So def know what you want before you get there. If you find yourself saying "this would be a cool shot with the movi", know that you're about to spend a lot of time making that happen. 

- They are delicate. that can be a little stressful. if it takes a tumble it could set you back a while for time or just not work all together. If I bought one, I don't think I would ever rent it out unattended by an operator. 

- Gotta run it barebones. No mattebox or filters :( Not a totally terrible thing, but made me sad since I love my in camera looks. 

OVERALL:

I think its a really cool tool to have in your belt. There are some cons with the pros but all will improve when the real unit ships I've been told. Can't wait to get my hands on one again with a little more time to prep. If you are thinking of getting one, I would highly recommend getting a wireless follow and at least 3 wireless monitors and transmitters. Without those, I personally wouldnt want to run solely on majestic mode, but you could if you wanted. for any sort of dolly shots or crane stuff majestic will do just fine. 

Hats of to the guys at Freefly for making a pretty cool system, and if you think the lower priced competitors are better options, wait till you get your hands on the MOVI, youll instantly understand why they are more. They handle the weight flawlessly and the stuff they are planning on implementing will pretty much blow you away. The other guys aint got nothin on Freefly. 

Special thanks to Sam Nuttman for helping out on set and showing us the ropes and thanks to Freefly for being so generous.

If you have any questions please feel free to ask.

Frink is wrapped!

What a great shoot it was. Got to DP a phenomenal short film directed by Phillip Nelson. We started out in Roslyn WA in a cabin set atop lake wenatchee I believe. What a sight it was. It really made for some incredible imagery. Anymore it seems like the usual project is crammed in some urban location with tiny rooms and practical locations that don't offer much in the way of actual set design, but this was on a whole different level. Shooting out in the wide open is such a great feeling and exactly what I've been needing.

The cast and crew was amazing and they will all be really proud of this one. In the mean time here is a bts slate video and some early footage from the shoot. Special thanks to Royal Galactic Media for the superspeed lenses and Coburn Erskine for some much needed gear.

A Damn Dirty Night

This is shaping up to be one awesome short. The first three days of 10 scheduled are wrapped up. Got the pleasure of working with some really talented people. Directed By Erik McClintock, its the story of a one dirty night with a drug deal gone wrong and somebody seeking revenge for some stolen goods. 

The style is all black and white with a noir feeling to it. The producers and directors have given me some great creative control when it comes to the shooting style which has allowed me to get some cool angles. We are shooting this on my Epic and my Zeiss primes. Also really get to play with my Tokina 11-16 which I love shooting drug scenes on. The wide angle look does so much for a scene to really give it that surreal look. Also getting heavy use out of my Zeiss 25mm 2.8 which I'm really starting to fall in love with. So far its looking really good.

With actors such as Luke Shuck, Conner Marx, and Rich morris, this is truly a mesmerizing piece. Cant wait to shoot the rest. If you want more info go to facebook and check out their facebook page. and like my facebook to catch updates of screen shots and more.

Check https://www.facebook.com/ADamnDirtyNight?fref=t to view the facebook page for A.D.D.N.


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Soderbergh's newest movie "Side Effects" was great.

hot on the RED Epic, the newest flick from Soderbergh really delivers. It had a wonderfully believable story and was cast excellently. I kept watching the shooting style of the DP Peter Andrews. The choices for lighting were subtle, often letting natural light paint the scene. There were several times in the movie during standard coverage of OTS shots, the camera would dolly or action would move to switch the 180 line during mid conversation. I thought it was really slick and well done. 

If you haven't gotten a chance to go see it yet, do yourself a favor and go. It'll be well worth it.

ere's the link to the trailer.

The world is beautiful, it's our job to capture it