At the Edge of Time: screengrabs pt. 3

I got to review more of the footage from the feature I shot last November-December, At the Edge of Time. Here are a few more screengrabs that I wanted to share.


Quick update

I haven't been too good about updating lately, so thought I do a quick one.

My feature for late May-mid June shut down unexpectedly during pre-production, so I've been doing the odd job here and there. One of them was shooting some title sequence elements for an upcoming television series. It was pretty secretive and the first time I've had to sign a $1 million non-disclosure agreement. Needless to say, I can't really say much about it right now. When the show comes out, I'll grab a couple screencaps to share of the parts I shot.

Another thing I did in May was shoot some miniatures for Mystic Cosmic Patrol. While at the location, I also got to see a rough cut of one of the episodes. I have to say, even in the rough stage I was quite pleased. It came together nicely and is pretty funny. I'm looking forward to seeing the final cuts of all 3 episodes and hopefully it'll get picked up so that we can continue the show, because it was a lot of fun.

One of the benefits of the extra downtime I've had is that it's given me a chance to work on a couple of my own ideas I've been kicking around for a while. I'm not the most naturally gifted writer, so it's been some hard work as I develop the stories and characters for a couple projects I'd like to shoot. Progress is moving forward and I'm making some headway.

Coming up, I'm also in the early pre-production stages of a short film, a very cinematic Kickstarter campaign video, and I also have two panels to attend at San Diego Comic Con for projects I shot, Space Command and Nobility. Besides these DP jobs, I'm excited to do a little directing with one of my own projects. June and July look like they'll be keeping me quite busy!


Sony CineAlta T2 six-lens set

Earlier this month I received my first set of PL mount lenses, the Sony CineAlta T2 set.  Now, they aren't super common and my set is the first I've actually seen in person.  They have a nice clean, modern look and are pleasantly sharp.  Many people have compared them to the RED Pro Prime lenses, but I feel like these are slightly less sharp in a good way, helping to soften up the digital look that can become apparent with the RPPs.  Build quality is top notch, with smooth, even dampening on the focus and iris, and a full metal cine housing with proper cinema focus rotation (which should make my AC happy after all the Canon lenses he's suffered through).  All the ring spacing is the same, so follow focus gears/motors don't need re-positioning when switching lenses.  All lenses except the 135mm are the same length, so the matte box doesn't need to be adjusted either.

Immediately after receiving them, I took them over to an acquaintance's place and we put them up on one Epic Dragon, with a Fujinon Cabrio 19-90mm zoom on the other.  Side by side, they were fairly similar, with just a slightest of color shift between the two.  Optically, the Sony set seemed to pull just a bit ahead on some focal lengths while drawing neck and neck on others.  The Sony's even seem pretty sharp wide open.  They do tend to exhibit some CA on super high contrast scenes, but I was pushing them to their limits by shooting with a contrast ratio that I certainly would almost never shoot in a real life situation.  Today I put them on a Sony F55 to conduct further testing and liked what I was seeing.  While these are obviously no Master Primes, I'm very pleased with how nice they look, performing better than I would have expected at this price point.

I'm a bit surprised that I've never seen these lenses around before.  Perhaps people are put off by their size and weight (they are a bit large and heavy).  Or maybe because Sony isn't a well known lens name (it's speculated that Minolta -who has a long history of making lenses- supplies the glass, seeing as how their camera and lens business in now owned by Sony).  Whatever the reason, I'm happy to have this new set of lenses and am eager to put them to work.


And that's another wrap!

Today we wrapped on principle photography of the latest feature film I'm shooting.  We got to shoot in some fantastic locations, from the abandoned towns of Salton Sea and fields of grass in Malibu, to a bit on a soundstage and the basement of an old hospital.  Mostly shot handheld on a RED Epic, with some small pieces on a Panasonic GH4 riding the DJI Ronin.  While I've flown my Dragon on a Ronin, I have to admit that something small like the GH4 is much easier to hold for longer takes.

While I've already begun some basic pre-production for my next shoot, now that I'm wrapped on this I can really dig in.  Although it's a smaller project (teaser trailer for a Kickstarter campaign), it is ambitious, should be a lot of fun, and we have some really cool shots lined up.  Once that's all done, it's likely straight into another feature, currently scheduled for early May.  Gotta keep shooting!

Nothing quite like natural sun right before sunset.  That soft, golden light is beautiful.  Too bad it doesn't last a couple hours longer.


CareerBuilder.com commercial

I had one day off from the feature I'm shooting, so what better thing to do than camera operate on that day?  It was a pretty easy shoot and we had 4 cameras: 2 RED Epic Dragons, a RED Epic MX, and a RED Scarlet MX.  Shot on Arri Master Primes, a Canon Cine zoom, and an Angenieux zoom, all in a candy store.

Built up my RED Dragon with an Arri Master Prime.  I think I need a set of these.


On to the next one

This past week was spent out in the Salton Sea desert area shooting the first week of another feature film, Robot Fighter.  We shot in a bunch of fantastic locations, with dilapidated remains of abandoned buildings featuring heavily.  Fortunately, it wasn't too hot and we managed to get some great footage.

Most of my features to date have relied mostly on tripod and sliders, but this one the director decided to go for a handheld look.  My shoulder is a bit sore from the not-so-soft shoulder pad on the handheld rig, but I've got a Camera Comfort Cushion on the way and it should be here Monday.  I'm looking forward to shooting the next week on set, which will offer an interesting change of venue.

This guy was hanging out, watching us shoot, and wasn't afraid to pose for the camera.

One of our many broken down building locations.

Something about this location felt a bit fishy...


Mystic Cosmic Patrol principle photography wrap

Well, we wrapped on the first 3 episodes of Mystic Cosmic Patrol.  It was a lot of fun seeing the hilarious script brought to life by the actors.  On our final day, it was threatening to rain and we had some outdoor scenes to shoot, but the weather ended up working out and we got everything done.  There are still some miniatures to be shot, but principle photography is done and the footage is off to the editor.

Unfortunately, the last two Nobility pickup days overlapped with this project, so I missed out on that, but it sounds like they managed to get it handled fine.  Now I've got a little down time before my next feature begins towards the end of the month if all goes to plan.  So I'll leave you with another picture that doesn't really give anything away.