5Apr

Still Photos from The Chantilly Sisters

bellyHere’s about a hundred stills I shot last night for The Chantilly Sisters, a show now playing at the West Valley Theater in Canoga Park.

The show is getting good reviews, and a website is forthcoming. There are also plans to tour the show around the USA.

Photos on Flickr

Photos taken with my Nikon D80 and a crappy zoom lens that came with the camera. No editing, cropping, or color work has been done yet. Once the director chooses a few stills she likes I’ll do a bit of touchup if needed.

Despite the D80’s lens only being a f4.5 I think it did a good job of capturing the show.

2Apr

Frame Grabs from “The Visit”

JohnI shot most of a short film this weekend for my friend Erica. We shot in an old Hollywood theater owned by Ricardo Montalban (TV’s Mr. Roark from Fantasy Island and my own personal favorite Kahn from Star Trek The Wrath of Kahn).

This was the first project I used the Brevis 35mm lens adapter on, and while Erica wanted most of the shots to be deep focus shots rather than the very shallow focus the Brevis can give, we had a lot of fun with the lenses and possibilities that the Brevis brought. One huge advantage of this adapter is it just screws onto the camera- no fiddling around for 30 minutes to get it set up like a certain other lens adapter.

This is also my first project where I’ve had to deal with very low moody lighting rather than the flat blast of light usually used in comedies. I think it turned out pretty good, given our time and other limitations. The actual location looks nothing like what we created for the film, so unlike most of my proojects where I start out with a good practical location and then add lights to accent the characters and story, this time we had to create a mood completely from scratch.

By the way, the out of focus lights outside the window are Hollywood at night.

Here’s a link to the frame grabs from my camera- no color correct or anything, these are raw frame grabs:

Pictures from The Visit

I’ll be adding a lot more frame grabs as I import the footage and get it ready for Dave to edit.

2Apr

Frame Grabs from “The Visit”

JohnI shot most of a short film this weekend for my friend Erica. We shot in an old Hollywood theater owned by Ricardo Montalban (TV’s Mr. Roark from Fantasy Island and my own personal favorite Kahn from Star Trek The Wrath of Kahn).

This was the first project I used the Brevis 35mm lens adapter on, and while Erica wanted most of the shots to be deep focus shots rather than the very shallow focus the Brevis can give, we had a lot of fun with the lenses and possibilities that the Brevis brought. One huge advantage of this adapter is it just screws onto the camera- no fiddling around for 30 minutes to get it set up like a certain other lens adapter.

This is also my first project where I’ve had to deal with very low moody lighting rather than the flat blast of light usually used in comedies. I think it turned out pretty good, given our time and other limitations. The actual location looks nothing like what we created for the film, so unlike most of my proojects where I start out with a good practical location and then add lights to accent the characters and story, this time we had to create a mood completely from scratch.

By the way, the out of focus lights outside the window are Hollywood at night.

Here’s a link to the frame grabs from my camera- no color correct or anything, these are raw frame grabs:

Pictures from The Visit

I’ll be adding a lot more frame grabs as I import the footage and get it ready for Dave to edit.

30Mar

Happy Spring, LA’s On Fire

440145925_69f1d9704e_m.jpgYup, we’re in Springtime in Los Angeles and everything’s a burnin-down. This is the view from my balcony of the Universal City fire that happened today.

Click here for more photos.

Other than the blazing inferno happening down the street, I have to say I love Springtime in LA. Most of pilot season is over, so the traffic isn’t so crazy with out of town actor and producer types, and I know that when I get into a traffic jam it’s because a geniune LA native is driving like a freakin’ maniac or a grandpa on ‘ludes.

Seriously, it’s a beautiful day in Los Angeles… hope you enjoy the pictures. If you look closely at a couple of them you can see the Disney buildings and the Warner Bros. water tower.

30Mar

Happy Spring, LA’s On Fire

440145925_69f1d9704e_m.jpgYup, we’re in Springtime in Los Angeles and everything’s a burnin-down. This is the view from my balcony of the Universal City fire that happened today.

Click here for more photos.

Other than the blazing inferno happening down the street, I have to say I love Springtime in LA. Most of pilot season is over, so the traffic isn’t so crazy with out of town actor and producer types, and I know that when I get into a traffic jam it’s because a geniune LA native is driving like a freakin’ maniac or a grandpa on ‘ludes.

Seriously, it’s a beautiful day in Los Angeles… hope you enjoy the pictures. If you look closely at a couple of them you can see the Disney buildings and the Warner Bros. water tower.

19Mar

Chantillys St. Patrick’s Day Show

st pats 2I don’t normally shoot shows without a lot of planning, but I had the chance to bring my camera to a St. Patrick’s Day show of the Chantillys this past weekend. Sure, the PA system was pretty weak but everyone had a great time and loved the show. As for me, it was another chance to play with my new camera.

This is bare camera, no tripod even. However, I did bolt it to my figrig which helped a lot as far as smoothing out some movements. For those who don’t know, a figrig is a pretty simple and very cheap device that looks like… a wheel. You bolt your cam in the middle of the wheel. Easy!

View a QuickTime movie of the show (it’s a largish download but worth it)

Flickr Photo Set of a few stills I shot during the show.

19Mar

Chantillys St. Patrick’s Day Show

st pats 2I don’t normally shoot shows without a lot of planning, but I had the chance to bring my camera to a St. Patrick’s Day show of the Chantillys this past weekend. Sure, the PA system was pretty weak but everyone had a great time and loved the show. As for me, it was another chance to play with my new camera.

This is bare camera, no tripod even. However, I did bolt it to my figrig which helped a lot as far as smoothing out some movements. For those who don’t know, a figrig is a pretty simple and very cheap device that looks like… a wheel. You bolt your cam in the middle of the wheel. Easy!

View a QuickTime movie of the show (it’s a largish download but worth it)

Flickr Photo Set of a few stills I shot during the show.

13Mar

High Def Camera Test1: Time Lapse

timeLapse1Click for a 720p high definition Quicktime movie compressed using H264 “best” settings.

I wasn’t a fan of the HVX200 at first. I prefer to rent something a bit more high end most of the time, but one has to use the right tool for the job, and for a lot of jobs the HVX200 is a good choice.

As it stands, the HVX200 can use a lot of the same gear that my old DVX100 used. Plus it gives me a much better 4:2:2 colorspace for my shots than the various HDV cameras out there- which is important given the amount of compositing I tend to do. Speaking as someone who has pulled many a key with a HDV 4:2:0 colorspace camera, I say this rocks.

So far the limited record time P2 format has not even been an issue. I’m battle testing this camera now in preparation for using it on paying gigs and my own projects.

6Mar

Misc. Thoughts

I’m doing a render right now of some new stuff for a show that’ll be playing at a local theater (I refuse to say “theatre”) in about 2 weeks. I got the chance to do some skin repair/digital makeup for one of the actors in post, plus some after effects work. I’ll probably post something about all that eventually.

But as I wait, there’s a few things that run through my mind:

1) Why does Google have a huge wing of their company devoted to the US Government and military defense? Seriously- they do.

2) Why are the most popular videos online not the well-crafted ones that tell stories but instead are usually just women jumping up and down or accidentally showing nipple (or both)?

What do these things have to do with each other?

I guess this should keep me busy for awhile, but it won’t. Because, like most of you, I have a very short attention span. And really, isn’t that truly how governments and corporations get away with all the rotten things they do? Just bore me, and I’ll move on. It’s brilliant, really. Too bad it doesn’t work on the personal level. Can you imagine how awesome that would be? I imagine it’d go something like this:

“You horrible gender-neutral person! I can’t believe you sodomized twelve of my goats!”

“Yes, well, have you noticed that the refractive qualities of the splendiforously green foiliage supports over two thousand species of insects? There’s the grasshopper, the ant, the fly (over 12 varieties of those), the common sloth, the…(droning on ad infinitum and yes I’m aware a sloth is not an insect, but again I have a short attention span)”

“Ooo! I see something shiny over there- later!”

And that thought is not really too far out there. After all, there is a variety of goat that, as part of its defense mechanisms, faints.

Maybe this is something Google’s miltary defense division should investigate…

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