Filming a movie “Just Like That”

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It isn’t necessarily the most glamorous job on set being the DP of a short film.  It is actually one of the most demanding jobs if you ask me.  When you have AD who’s sole job is to keep you on time and you have to guide your AC and production crew to get prepared for the next shot you tend to wear a few different hats in the process.  The Director, Tasi Alabastro, (Read his first days review here) came up with the script a while ago, but recently wanted to make it into reality.  I actually got really excited about the opportunity to do a narrative script as a DP as most of what I had worked on was more docustyle and interview type work.  I wanted the chance to explore composing shots, lighting and continuity on a whole different level.

One of the pre-production decisions that were made about this film (Which will be the first time I have tried this) is to focus on framing the movie so that when we output it we will be using a 2:35.1 aspect ratio

So far this is the list of cameras and lenses we used for the shoot:

CAMERAS

Sony PMW F3 – A Cam

Canon 5D – B Cam

Sony EX3 – C Cam

Canon 7D – D Cam

LENSES

RECORDING DEVICES

Convergent Design:  (2) Nano Flash w/ 8 32GB CF Cards

MONITORS

(2) SmallHD DP4 Monitors

(1) Panasonic 8″ HD Monitor

(1) SmallHD DP6 Monitor

 

The off the cuff interview

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What happens in Vegas doesn’t always stay in Vegas!  Here I was in Las Vegas for the EMS World Expo where I was actually providing video production services for vendors when I was contacted by a few friends of mine Sam Bradley and Bill Sugiyama.  They had been talking to Tim Phalen and felt it was a must that we get him on camera.  Now mind you I met Tim Phalen a few years ago, but that is another story.

My partner Chris Eldridge and I are equipped with:

  • Canon 5D Mark II
  • Canon 7D
  • Zoom h4n
  • Canon L-Series 16-35mm f2.8
  • Canon IS 70-200mm f2.8
  • Sennheiser Wireless Lav

We were equipped with a Monopod and a Libec tripod and available lighting was what we got from the location.  When we met up with Tim Phalen and said “We need to ave a candid conversation with you”.   Much of what happens at these conferences truly happens in situations like this and that is why I wanted to capture Tim in a raw form.  He is an amazing individual and I appreciate where he came from, he saw a need and filled it with 12 Lead education.

 

EMS Campaign to Read, Engage and Act

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As a Paramedic I am very aware of the chalenges we face in EMS, the changes that need to take place and just how complicated this all is.  As I begin to dive into how I can improve the industry through my skills I am reminded that the power of the video and a great cause can undoubtedly bring about change.  I recently had the chance to sit down and spend some time with the IAEMSC during their quarterly meeting and what I found was all the while I was helping push a grass roots movement of EMS 2.0 and help providers come together to improve the industry from the boots on the ground, there are EMS Chiefs out there trying to do the same thing from the top down.  Now not all organizations are perfect and I will be the first to recognize that we all have our reasons for pushing an agenda forward, I am personally inspired by the work that these chiefs are doing and I will be keeping a close eye on their recent submission of their collaborative White Paper they submitted to the White House for review. Take a look at it here:

Download the EMS White Paper

“Finding the One” Pilot to be filmed

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“Finding the One” is an edgy, comedy HBO like web series that allow viewers to experience the trials and tribulations of finding the right person in this day and age.  This pilot episode is produced by SETLA FILM Productions, Director Michael Navarra and Co-Produced with Brooke Dooley and will be filming December 11th-13th, 2009.  Recent production update shown on Variety.com.  The web series is set to have the trailer out in late December and the pilot episode to be finished in early February!

Conference News and Updates

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Over the last several years I have had the opportunity to visit many of the major EMS Conferences.  The chance to meet so many people and learn from some of the most motivated people in the EMS industry has left me just inspired.  You can’t achieve dreams without the help of others and I want to give a shout out to several people that I just flat out love.  their tenacity, their drive and passion for their business makes for a great circle of people to know.

Carissa OBrien, Chris Montera, Greg Friese, Justin Schorr, Mark Glencorse,

Editing RED Footage – Web Series “Finding The One”

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Screen shot 2010-01-01 at 2.32.59 PMWe are three days into the post production on the web series called “Finding The One” with Michael Navarra/ Director.  The pilot episode is a look into sex and dating in the 21st century with social media and the internet playing such a big part in how people meet these days.  Michael wrote, directed and acted in this and he has seen the project through from the very onset, so he felt it was important for him to be there during the rough edit to make sure the right scene and take was used to match the acting with his vision for the project.  Editing has taken a bit longer, but I feel it has made the process a bit more efficient from the beginning.

From the onset I went to red.com to download the Red Cine codecs for quicktime and I was able to open the files even before we imported them into the NLE of FCP 7.  I organized the clips on the hard drive from scene, take and any details that would allow the actually importing into FCP easier.  One lesson that was learned here was just how important it is to make sure and slate EVERYTHING! Yes I mean EVERYTHING!  We filmed on the RED HD and downloaded it each night a the end of filming, but did not have a chance to really organize the footage like I wanted to so it was a great too to have a very logical sense of how the story played out on each scene.  In three days we have been able to get through about 60% of the episode and have a great sense of the story so far.  We are editing the 2k version (2000 x 1000 in a 2:1 aspect ratio), but there are a few clips where we brought the 4k version in to change the scene dynamics.  I am extremely impressed with how the RED footage looks and can see why it is so important to pick the right camera for the right look and feel you want to achieve.  You can view more on how the production is coming along at FindingTheOne.tv

“Beer 15” Pilot Episode – A Thomas Koch Web Series

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Thomas Koch has invited me to come play along as assistant camera operator at the filming of the pilot episode of “Beer 15” this weekend in San Jose.  I have to say that the concept is absolutely an awesome one bringing entertainment, beer and music together in an entertaining comedy.  One of my favorite actresses is also going to be in the pilot episode, Ilea Mathews who was also in a horror film “The Violent Kind”, which just got official recognition at the Sundance Film Festival 2010.  When you work with these people you are bound to be inspired and create amazing content!

“LEVEL ZERO” Premiere Raises $14,500 for charities

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ALAMEDA, California – June 5, 2009 at 6:30pm – Kyle Conner, Owner of the Alameda Theatre & Cineplex will present the donation check to the Oakland Police Officers Association before a movie-going crowd in the Historic Alameda Theatre. The Alameda Theatre & Cineplex will make a cash donation of $14,011., proceeds from the theatres’ fundraiser event held May 18th; “Officers Remembered” benefitting the families of the four fallen Oakland Police Officers.

The event entertained over 700 guests who were treated to a spectacular evening of fine wine, beer, Fireman’s Chili & Cornbread, served by volunteers from Alameda Police Department, Alameda Fire Department and American Medical Response. The event was highlighted by live music and a documentary film about Emergency Medical Services in Alameda County made by a local upcoming film maker and paramedic, Thaddeus Setla.