UTURN – Submission to Sundance and Onto Post Production

Our Sundance submission marks the first milestone for post production to Uturn! I’ll be doing most of the editing and Tippett Studio will be doing the post and app work. We hope to do some test screenings at a few venues coming up – stay tuned!

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GoPro Omni Shoot In LA

A yet to announced music video, that I’ll be stitching together over the next few weeks. The Gopro Omni is a nice 360 camera setup. Notes on that later.

NEWS! Rita Moreno’s newest — on location in west side Berkeley – SFGate

The film I’m shooting now just appeared online on SFGate!

On a recent Monday afternoon, Rita Moreno, 83, walked in on a flamenco dance class in Berkeley. Standing at the back, it took her full concentration to get the steps wrong and look like a flat-footed granny.

Moreno can certainly do flamenco and any other dance, as she proved while winning an Academy Award in “West Side Story.” Moreno is now filming “Remember Me,” an independent feature, which is scheduled for release in 2016 and was shot entirely on location in the East Bay during June and July.

Follow the link for the entire article!

Source: Rita Moreno’s newest — on location in west side Berkeley – SFGate

VFX CINEMATOGRAPHY: CINDERELLA MOON

One of our village camera rooms

The Cinderella Moon production rented my camera as the “B cam” and I was going along for camera support and to help shoot VFX plates for the production. For 3 months (57 shooting days) the production traveled from 5 different remote villages throughout south-west China and finishing just outside Beijing. It was an intense shoot.

When I arrived, I quickly learned that the VFX supervisor I was to work under had a scheduling conflict. The director, Richard Bowen, quickly put me in charge of acquiring all the VFX shots. I can remember Richard telling me, “I’m sure you’ll figure it out.”

Keep in mind that I was brought on the production late, and had not attended any of the pre-production meetings. In fact, I had just arrived in China a day before.

So for the first half of the production, I was on set following the main crew and taking copious notes for all the shots that needed VFX background plates. I measured tilt, lens, aperture and focus data in my VFX camera log. All the while I helped support the two RED cameras and data backups on the shoot with my crew, Samuel Lam, Max Chan and Megan Olinger. This was important because not all the VFX shots were outlined in the shot list, and often a shot would require a background plate to fill in the correct landscape we wanted.

 

Original plate.

Final plate.

Original plate.

Final plate.

Original plate.

Final plate.

Original plate.

Final plate.

Original plate.

Final plate.

Original plate.

Final plate.

Original plate. Pan shot following the main character.

Final plate. Pan shot following the main character.

Some of my camera notes and sketches.

More notes and sketches.

Then about 40 days into the shoot I would ship off to a remote location in the Baoshan Mountains 8,000 feet above sea level. This was probably the most amazing village I’ve ever seen to date. Armed with camera gear, my notes, a long list of shots, and hard-drive full of reference captures from the A/B cameras so I could check my work directly with the real footage. My task here was to shoot the distinctive mountain range that would be inserted into the background of the various scenes that were shot in other locations. We were effectively making five different villages look like one. The key aspect of that illusion would be our “hero” mountain range.

Baoshan AKA “Stone City” 7.47998658898007,100.4338788986206

Shooting timelapse of what would be the iconic mountain range in the film. In the foreground is the graveyard set for the film.

Our cameras had the first Panavision lens mounts ever made for Red One cameras directly from Panavision.

Director Richard Bowen on a scout day just outside Beijing.

Shooting with the main crew.

On one of the many treks up and down village mountains to capture background plates.

For 10 days I would get up before sunrise, throw on a 40-pound pack filled with camera gear and hike up 500 vertical feet up the mountain and shoot. Then with some planning, I would hike down the mountain and hit various spots along the village and river to cover the various background shots needed. I would hike one thousand vertical feet every day, up and down stone stairs, along steep farm tiers and irrigation channels to find the perfect shots.

During the heat of the day (and it was HOT) I would huddle up inside my shady guest room and test my day’s work by comping the shots I had taken with footage from the shoot using After Effects. Weather, sun angle and camera angle where all important factors in trying to get the shots to match. Hiking back to the same place 3 or 4 times wasn’t out of the question – just to get the shot I needed.

Though I was thrown into managing the VFX shoot, I was thankful that I had 20 years of organizational and CGI skills to get me through the task. What I thought would be an experience where I’d further learn from incredibly experience cinematographers and VFX artist, turned out to be a no holds barred dive into the responsibility of getting it all done. There was no one but me to make it happen. All and all it was an amazing adventure.

Here are some of my BTS photos (and a select group of other crew photos) from the shoot:

FB Photos 1
FB Photos 2
FB Photos 3
FB Photos 4

The Wayback Machine: Cinematography

More digging up the old files.

This is a teen horror film that I shot mid 2003, called Halloween House Party (imdb). There’s a lot I might say about doing this shoot – in short it was grueling. We only had 9 days to shoot a 90 page script, so we had to be very organized. Lighting, Camera and Production departments worked like a dream, other things not so much.

I made these maps in MS Visio to help guide the A and B crew with the set schedule for the day. My 1st AC, Gaffer, Set Decorator, 1st AD and Director all had a copy of these sheets. I kept a full script (printed half size) and this sheet tucked into my AC pouch.

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The Top Gun of Racing Films

I never thought I’d do a post like this…

But I was in Best Buy the other day I saw, an HD-DVD version of “Grand Prix” in their new, “Next Generation DVD” section. Holy Cow, I now know the first disc I’m getting when I pick up the HD-DVD drive for my 360. This film totally rocks.