You're looking at a proud owner of a Dual 2.5 G5 Apple computer. Yes you heard it right. This bad boy is going to rock when we edit it with final cut pro! Oh, and you want to know what the best part is? I bought the 30 inch flat panel monitor to go with it. What? What did you say? Yes I am a lucky son of a bitch! or atleast a lucky son of a bitch without 6 grand. Here are the specs: Plus i got the apple extended 3 year warranty.
Product Name: Power Mac G5 Dual 2.5GHz Options: 065-4803 Dual 2.5GHz PowerPC G5 065-4933 512MB DDR400 SDRAM (PC3200) - 2x256 065-4925 160GB Serial ATA - 7200rpm 065-4928 8x SuperDrive (DVD-R/CD-RW) 065-5128 NVIDIA GeForce 6800 Ultra DDL 065-4985 Bluetooth Module 065-4986 AirPort Extreme Card 065-4923 Apple Keyboard & Apple Mouse - U.S. English 065-4897 Mac OS X - U.S. English 065-4894 Accessory kit
I was trying to schedule a day this week so we could rehearse the shoot of the character Meghan. But after talking to Sohail tonight I was sold on how important DOF is. As much as this pains me, I decided to stop shooting until him and John build the lens adapter that will help us achieve a better DOF. I want to really atleast attempt to make this project as film-like as possible. Even if it pushes our schedule off. I gave Sohail alteast two weeks, max 3 to build this. Patience is virtue.
A home made mini35 adapter? is it possible? Stay tuned...
"Now, I'm not some grungy wannabe filmmaker that's searching for existentialism through a haze of bong smoke."
--- John Travolta as Gabriel in Swordfish.
So here's the thing: I'm beginning to wonder if we aren't doing enough planning and prep for the visual elements of the film(s) that we're working on. Which is leading me to look at Missed and consider a scrapping of the project in favor of something more... visually provocative. Something with an unconventional story and a complimentary visual style.
This is a far cry from the type of filmmaking that I'd started out liking. Joel Silver or Jerry Bruckheimer might have produced the kind of film I wanted to make.
Now I'm thinking a whole lot more along the lines of a ... well, I don't really know it's more along the lines of. Perhaps a Joss Whedon or a Frank Miller or a Mirrormask feel. I have no fucking clue.
One thing's certain - it's a whole lot less about 'commercial' than it was when I first started out. Yeesh - am I becoming a snobbish film student?
So despite everything I've said in the past, I've not really given up the idea of somehow extracting better, shallower dept-of-field from the XL2. The problem has been that the optical science has been basically going over my head for quite a bit, despite John's valiant efforts to educate my dumb ass. Well, thanks to his instruction and prodigious reading, I finally got it.
Side Note: John was somewhat surprised at the low level of knowledge that I possess in the area of cameras and optics. He painstakingly answered my questions and for that, I am eternally grateful. This was a change from our usual roles, where John's usually picking my brain for computer advice, and he mentioned this role-reversal during our last encounter. I hadn't realized it, but John thought that I had a very low opinion of his intellect, which is simply not true. John, if you're reading this, I've never had a low opinion of your intellect, and I'm sorry I ever gave you the impression that I did. I have nothing but respect for your mental abilities and if anything, I'm in awe of the depth of knowledge that you possess in the field of cameras, optics and flying. Yes, flying - the FAA ground-school stuff is still so much gobledy-gook to me.
Getting back to bidness:
The whole DOF issue is one that's been bothering me for some time. Experimentation with the XL2 yielded some decent results; however, these setups required really long distances and a zoom in to at least half the lens' range. Not very useful for indoor stuff.
So the alternative was a P+S Technik Mini35 adapter, for a grand total of... $10,000 or more. Chris, got your checkbook?
I didn't think so.
Well, the nice thing about this stuff is that the proliferation of 24P cameras with 16X9 3-CCD chips has given a massive boost to DV-based indie filmmaking. As a result, more and more people are pushing to get "the film look" and as such, achieving a 35mm-esque DOF has become something of a 'movement'.
Thanks to this movement, I finally understand - it's not so much about the lenses - though those are important to get a proper image onto the target - but about the target itself. The 1/3" CCD's on an XL2 just aren't big enough.
So we need to project the image coming in through a 35MM lens onto a piece of ground glass, which is then captured by the lens operating in Macro Mode. Given that the 20X Flourite on the XL2 was able to focus on dust specs on the lens itself, I have no doubt it's up to the job.
Here's a cool example of that type of lens:
So I've decided - shallow DOF adapter, here we come. I'm not even gonna shoot my shorts without it.
Heh. *snort* Shoot my shorts. That's funny.
The ground glass is a challenge, but there are some good companies that I can go to for that. The whole thing shouldn't be too expensive either - low three figures is what I'm surmising from all the people who seem to have made a hobby out of this.
Of course, how this is gonna work on a home-built steadycam rig, I have NO idea...
I am very happy on how the second shoot went. I believe we got great shots, I am very happy with what I saw went I got home. Let me emphasize how right people are when they talk about good lighting. Boy does it make a difference. I approached lighting different this time. I didn't want to just simply light up the room. I wanted to paint it. Look at your enviroment, is there supposed to be a lamp next to the person sitting? Add a yellow light. Is there a TV on? Add a blue light. Play with your color filters. It makes a huge difference when trying to get that film look. Just simply paint the room. ;-)
We bumped heads recently. We all had differences in opinion on how the process of the first shoot went. Future filmakers be warned! You must have thick skin for this work! Chances are the guy sitting next to you will be your biggest critic.
This is what the script of Missed is amounting to. I got decent action lines and mediocre everything else.
Writing a thriller is something that I have wanted to do for a long, long time. The stuff came naturally to me; little did I know that the "stuff" was actually just really bad crap.
And yet, I persist, because I want to eventually write a thriller that gets right what most in Hollywood get wrong and few pull off. A thriller like Spy Game, or Spartan or some such. Something cool and fast-paced, something electric and with a kick-ass, Basic-esque twist.
Missed is not that story.
So I'm tossing it out - for the most part. I'm tossing it out and writer something a bit more understated, a bit less obvious, a story with more humanity to it than the tried and failed clichés of B-grade straight-to-video Hollywood garbage.
Because if you're going to follow your dreams and make a movie, you gotta at least try and do it right.