Monthly Archives: April 2014

Day 1 The Taking

OK, I’m in my shared house in Hebden Bridge and it’s all cool.

I finished preparing looks in RCX yesterday, I just wish they would take standard LUT’s but its RED and they have to reinvent everything.

It should be fairly simple today, a longish couple of dialogue scenes in a bank and then a disco sequence which is just a series of quick flashbacks.

Of course it would have been nice if our camera two operator had bothered to tell us that he wasn’t going to come to the house last night but would go directly to the studio in the morning and join us after that.

Not that Gregg, lead AC, and I were waiting up for him and trying to call email etc and getting no reply…

I must try and find a really uncomfortable shot for him today!


Prep The Taking

Well as always happens nothing was as it was meant to be.
I got off the flight from Bangkok to find my phone full of messages from Gregg my lead AC telling me about all the kit that wasn’t there and the random changes that had been made.
I still had another 5 hours of rail travel to look forward to before I got to the prep and it would be close to midnight by then so I decided to ignore it until the morning in the hope that it might get better.
I did send a few expletive laden emails to people who needed them!!
So, two days of bartering later and I now have Epics replacing the Red ones and Arri/Fujinon Allura’s replacing the Optimo’s, one a win and one a fail 🙂
On top of that my PC decide to stop recognising RED SSD’s unless I rebooted every time I wanted to load one, thanks for that last upgrade Microsoft.
So, just reading the script and playing with generating looks in RCX for the next 2 days and then a reasonably simple start to the shoot…

Pre Prep The Taking

Lower budget films much less time for prep but you need to be more prepared than ever.
Gregg has 3 days to prep 2 cameras and 8 lenses.
I’m not taking a large monitor for my use, I’ll use my Oyssey7q even though we’re not recording with it.
The 2 nine inch monitors for the director will be given to a runner and from then on we don’t want to know about them!
Our 2AC’s, both final year cinematography students, will not arrive until the day before the shoot.
It’ll be a baptism of fire for them.

The Taking intro

This is the first of a series of blog entries that I’ll do during the prep and shoot of The Taking.

I’ve done this before and the studio’s legal department forced me to take it down, hopefully that won’t happen here!

The Taking is a very low budget film that I’m doing because I like the director and the script.

We’re shooting on the original RED One M’s not the updated Mx’s, I’ve been doing some tests with rushes from Wallander that I shot on the original RED One and with the improvements in post software I believe that it’s a very viable camera. It’s still a pain in the arse design but I have learned to live with that.

I’ve booked pretty much exactly the same kit I had on Wallander 5 years ago as I know that it worked! no room for experimenting on the schedule we have.

I’m off to the Thai Film Festival first, 3 days in Bangkok and off the plane on Wednesday next week to go straight in to 4 days of prep before I start shooting.

I’ve sent the entire camera and lighting crew a pdf of the script that I’ve marked up with date, camera and lighting details for every scene. Hopefully this will help on the tight schedule we have.

NAB 2014

It’s really sad that the obsession with numbers that was started as a marketing tool by one camera company has swept over the entire camera market.

Now, all anyone wants to know is has it got a big number, not what are the pictures like.

I guess that it’s easier for non camera oriented people to grasp the idea that a big number is better but it isn’t!

Just look at the NHK 8K demos, very sharp but no dynamic range and garish colour, it was like television from 40 years ago.

We have to get back to looking at pictures and not worrying about numbers.

This is why Dolby Vision is so important, it’s about better pictures and that’s all.