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Category Archives: Film

Fear, Anger, Pain

Sunset Studios (Namely; Duncan Eastwood, Richard Thomas, & Myself) have an entry for the Make My Horror Movie contest called Fear, Anger, Pain which is set 1855, New Zealand.

Deep in the Coromandel forest three Pakeha gold prospectors and their Maori guide, Kepa, are attacked by an unseen force. While fleeing they take refuge with a group of local Maori, led by the fearsome Huinga, who are stockpiling weapons for a rebellion against the government. After members of both groups are killed by the invisible creature it is left to the remaining Maori and a Pakeha to form an uneasy alliance in order to survive. Is it a curse on the local Maori or the Pakeha’s presence that has incurred the creature’s wrath? And why does the creature remain invisible to some but reveal itself to others?

Please visit the page and hit like in the top right to show your support. cheers.
 
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Posted by on October 14, 2013 in Film

 

Last Flight released on YouTube

For all those that didn’t get to see this on the big screen…

I was heavily involved in the making of this including VFX advice, shooting the green screen footage at my studio and grading the final film (see my previous post). I also did some additional camera work on location and produced some concept imagery/pre viz during pre-production. Cheers to Damon for putting this online and getting me involved, it was an awesome experience.

 
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Posted by on July 23, 2012 in Film

 

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Why I bought a 60D over the 7D

Recently I bought a brand new Canon 60D ( + 17-135mm lens and a 50mm f1.8 prime). Before you ask, I couldn’t afford the 5D mark II. The 7D was affordable but it wasn’t the cost difference that influenced by purchase. Firstly, the 60D and 7D are almost identical, both have APS-C 18 mega pixel sensors although the 7D can shoot stills at 8fps and the 60D at a little over 5fps. As far as I’m concerned it’s far from 25fps so I don’t really care. The 7D is more rugged, so if I was dragging myself through the humid swamps of Zimbabwe I may have bought the 7d, but I’m not. The 60D is a bit lighter and has a fancy swivel screen making in much easier to shoot in difficult locations, (one of the most compelling reason to shoot on an SLR) the screen can completely rotate protecting it from scratches too, cool. The 7D has auto gain only for the audio and no manual control for levels, the 60D has both auto and manual gain control. The 7D has more auto focusing points, can’t see why I need 19 over the 9 on the 60D, seems over the top to me. The 7D has a shutter response time of 131 ms vs 253 ms on the 60D, which a 122ms difference, this could make a difference for some I suppose. The 60D uses SD cards which means I can use the very cool eye-fi card, the 7D uses compact flash (I’ll post something about the eye-fi card soon). As you can see there’s pros and cons for both, and when you look at these you may still think the the 7D is the best option, I certainly did, but here’s the kicker. There’s a little firmware hack for most canon SLRs called Magic Lantern than unlocks a plethora of features, it doesn’t work on the 7D. I may write something about Magic Lantern at a later date but for now I’ll just say, it rocks! Go and have a read over on the site, esp if you own a canon DSLR. Overall, I’m loving the 60D, although my hard drive would tell you that 18mega pixel raw images are overkill, it may be right. Pics coming soon.

 
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Posted by on October 10, 2011 in Film

 

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DCP – The end of 35mm film

I was going to right up a bit about the talk I went to last week about Digital Cinema Package, however Damon over at the LastFlight blog beat me to it. Rather than a re-write I suggest you pop over there and have a read. Theres some huge changes happening behind the scenes, so if your interested in how a movie ends ups on the big screen post 35mm prints, I’m sure you’l find it interesting.

 
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Posted by on August 23, 2011 in Film

 

Mars has left the building.

Handed over all the graded footage of Last Flight (short film set on Mars) yesterday. When I agreed to grade this I was thinking it would be easy, just put a red wash over it right? Boy was I wrong! As it’s been shot in lots of locations all over the country (including composited shots filmed at Sunset Studios), the footage was all very different and a scene was seldom made up of the same location. Also the Mars look is actually quite difficult theres very little white and the shadows are quite orange/brown due to a dusty atmosphere. The gamma curves are very different (esp the red), there’s very few black regions as a lot of the shadow areas have a high ambient illumination and most of the highlights are muted with an orange hue however the extreme specular highlights are relatively white. I’ve never had to use so many secondaries before and I found myself using the advanced tab in Apples ‘Color’ app a lot to tweak the lift, gain and gamma for each channel separately. Another thing that didn’t help was the Actors space suit was the same colour as a lot of the backgrounds making it damn difficult to separate when needed. If your going to set a film on mars use blue space suits.
Damon’s now putting all the audio and soundtrack together so it should be done very soon. I’m hoping to go over it all again and make a tweak or two where needed. Also keen to see it on a TV and perhaps a projector before it get finalised. The colouring is very sensitive, just a tiny little bit too much green or blue and it looks heaps different. Keep an eye on www.lastflightmovie.com for more info.

 
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Posted by on February 21, 2011 in Film