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Author Topic: High five and a big thank you to BCOOTER  (Read 1347 times)

Jeffery Salter

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High five and a big thank you to BCOOTER
« on: October 04, 2016, 11:22:44 AM »

I would like to publicly express my gratitude and thanks to James.  He gratuitously shared some advice with me which was invaluable.  You rock man!

Recently I had a corporate and environmental still shoot with over 100 attorneys at a high end law firm that morphed into "Motion portraits"  It seems to be what's trending now....

Just a few nuggets from "Bcooter":

Test Test Test! 

I had the client add three additional days to ten day shoot in order to test camera and lighting.   I ended up purchasing the Canon 1DX mark II for the motion stills.  For lighting we tested HMIs vs Astra LED Panels.  HMIs have such character and a beautiful quality of light which can be cut, bounced and modified to add such an emotional character to the scene, but for this case we ganged up (4) ASTRA panels and bounced them into 4 x 8s to give a simple soft look. They could run all day and stay cool.

Crew Crew Crew!

 He raised the bar on my shoot by opening up my eyes about having a separate crew for stills and motion.  I have a superb stills photo assistant named Gerald Connell.  But  I added to my team an absolutely masterful A/C to pull focus and set up slider/ dolly moves.  Wow!  He came with everything and was always two steps ahead of me. His name Abdeil Thorne.  His level professionalism was out of the world.  For example he arrived to the set everyday two hours before the call time and was the last one to leave after the daily shoot wrap.  One additional bit of sweetness was the addition of an "onsite' digital video editor, Jaime Martinez. The clients went crazy over being to review, select and color grade on set.

Direct, Direct, Direct! 

Hiring the right people to handle the tech gave me the freedom to focus on the Talent.  And bring out the best in them.  One of many golden nuggets I picked up was the power of positive affirmation when dealing with a talent.  The A/C whispered in my ear four powerful words "Let's build on that".  Say that to the talent and they will keep doing a scene forever!

A few technical notes.I wanted to shoot in 4K.  Bcooter suggested I was a bit crazy.  My crew suggested I was a bit crazy.  They were right!  I shot in 1080 saving mucho hard drive space and time in post workflow. The client was pleased with everything.   In stills I always tended to shoot at the highest quality, with the belief of "beginning any project with the end in mind".   Which is great for the day I get my one man show at the Museum of Modern Art.... However for ten second motion clip on the world wide web....it just wasn't necessary.


I was very happy with the Canon DX1 mk II. It's built like a tank and a perfect dual purpose tool for the motion and action/fitness stills. It's affordable and if you live in America...you can write it off on your TAXES just like Trump does....  I used CFAST cards both sandisk and lexars 128 gig.  We did a motion test with a Canon 24/70 series II using the predictive focus which worked really well in tracking the subjects face during a three foot push in on a Cine-slider.  Ultimately I decided to shoot with Zeiss CP.2 50 mm T2.1 cinema prime lens.  I wanted to background to drop off nicely and I preferred the rendering of that optic.  The follow focus kit was the Arri MFF- Cine Hard Stop Follow focus and matbox was an Ikan Tilta 4x4 Carbon Fiber Matte box.  For framing and viewing at camera I attached a SmallHD 702 HDMI field monitor.  The A/C stressed the importance of using the highest quality field monitors when pulling focus, he had his own personal, SmallHD DP7 pro OLED monitor.

Here's a quick and dirty iPhone snap of the rig.

And James I owe you a Mojito, the national drink of Miami.





« Last Edit: October 04, 2016, 11:31:55 AM by Jeffery Salter »
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Warmest regards,
Jeffery Salter
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Jeffery Salter
Miami, Fl. U.S.A.
photos:  www.jefferysalter.com
Blog: http://blog.jefferysalter.com/
Instagram: @jefferysalter

Chris Sanderson

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Re: High five and a big thank you to BCOOTER
« Reply #1 on: October 04, 2016, 11:19:36 PM »

Jeffery, kudos to you for this post. Help begets help and 'pays forward' to others looking for clues.

And to bcoooter, a big thank-you.

Chris
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Christopher Sanderson
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bcooter

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Re: High five and a big thank you to BCOOTER
« Reply #2 on: October 05, 2016, 06:28:42 AM »

Jeffery wrote a kind note, but I didn't do much, just offered a few things I learned the hard way.

Jeffery's success came from honestly persuading his client to allow for proper testing and finding/vetting/hiring a small but excellent crew.

It also helps that he is a very positive guy.

Too often all of us hear in forums, reviews or through associates, "that camera doesn't work", or you can't shoot stills and motion effectively, when in my experience I know differently.

Before I bought my original REDs I heard from everyone in LA, they shut down in heat, they don't work, they're really not 4k, etc. etc., when in my real world use in very harsh conditions, I found the opposite.

The only issues I've had is when you don't have the right crew, or time to set up professionally.

Not to turn this into cameras, but Jeffery touched on something that motion portraits are trending. 

It's not just portraits, it's a part of our world as content creators which kind of bugs some purists, but it's moved from request to expect.

Knowing this I'm surprised that the 1dxII doesn't get that much love in the internet world.   It's probably the perfect camera for most going from stills to motion, especially with the pdaf autofocus in motion.

It really works, Canon has very easy to grade color and even though it's an 8 bit camera, it shoots at a very high bitrate which is as important as bit depth. 

The fact it uses an older motion jpeg codec is perfect because it does allow a high bitrate with minimal compression.  Most people don't know that when they watch a movie the dcp the theatre plays is essentially motion jpeg 2000.

Anyway, thanks Jeffery and Chris. 

Kind words, though Jeffery proved how to work make it work for him and his client.

BC

mitchino

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Re: High five and a big thank you to BCOOTER
« Reply #3 on: October 06, 2016, 04:32:06 AM »

Really interesting! Can we see some finished results?

BTW what make is that slider?
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UlfKrentz

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Re: High five and a big thank you to BCOOTER
« Reply #4 on: October 08, 2016, 11:28:46 AM »

Really interesting! Can we see some finished results?

BTW what make is that slider?

That´s a Kesslercrane Cineslider. Now I´m wondering who makes that tripod underneath :-)

Cheers
Ulf

D Fuller

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Re: High five and a big thank you to BCOOTER
« Reply #5 on: October 09, 2016, 03:57:23 PM »

That´s a Kesslercrane Cineslider. Now I´m wondering who makes that tripod underneath :-)

That looks like a (pair of) Matthews slider stands
https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1047272-REG/matthews_249561_the_slider_stand.html
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UlfKrentz

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Re: High five and a big thank you to BCOOTER
« Reply #6 on: October 10, 2016, 03:28:57 AM »

That looks like a (pair of) Matthews slider stands
https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1047272-REG/matthews_249561_the_slider_stand.html

Thanks, David. Thought it would open up more options, though…

Jeffery Salter

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Re: High five and a big thank you to BCOOTER
« Reply #7 on: October 10, 2016, 08:56:13 AM »

The matthews slider stands allow you to rapidly roll  the slider over to a new shooting position.  I initially did my test with a gitzo tripod and a twenty inch c-stand which provided stability but paled in comparison to how flexible and quick the specific "Matthews" Silder stand which costs about 352.00

Here is a direct link to the matthews site.

http://products.msegrip.com/collections/monitor-stand/products/the-slider-stand

I rented the Kessler cineslider its a prosumer grade slider, from Lensrental.com.  The A/C really preferred a more rigid slider from a production house.  However do to the specific move I wanted to do in the space allotted the cineslider was more suitable.  I had to do multiple takes with non-professional talent so rather then do the pull in manually (at least 1000 times) we used a programable motor called Kessler elektraDrive with Oracle Controller. 

I realized straight away that a set up is only as strong as the weakest link....  By using the prosumer slider it limited the size of my fluid head.  For ultimate stability it was suggest that I  use a smaller fluid head.  I rented the 509HD Manfrotto which is heavy, the Lensrental suggested a smaller 504HD.  I compromised by using the heavy fluid head and reducing the amount of pan during the push in.

The A/C had a professional grade fluid head by Sachtler and it's obvious what a difference in quality and better performance it provides when compared to the Manfrotto heads.  Please keep in mind that Miami has a plethora of production houses for motion picture makers.  It you are not able to try out different gear, I had a good experience with Lensrentals.com.

In addition I forgot to mention a website and blog by Jon Roemer, http://blog.jonroemer.com/2016/06/rodeo-sunset-canon-1dx-mark-ii-test-run/

Jon's blog is chuck full of great information and reviews on DSLR filmmaking. 

Thanks again to Bcooter and to Chris.

« Last Edit: October 25, 2016, 06:24:43 PM by Jeffery Salter »
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Warmest regards,
Jeffery Salter
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Jeffery Salter
Miami, Fl. U.S.A.
photos:  www.jefferysalter.com
Blog: http://blog.jefferysalter.com/
Instagram: @jefferysalter

JonRoemer

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Re: High five and a big thank you to BCOOTER
« Reply #8 on: October 14, 2016, 05:11:03 PM »

I haven't been around here in a while but saw some folks drifting over via the link Jeffery posted above.

Jeffery - glad to hear it worked out so well and thanks for the shout out.
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