Goodbye Blighty…hello Hollywood!!

All packed and ready to go. Virgin Atlantic flight to LAX. Upgraded to Upper Class with my air miles so am actually looking forward to a flight. A rare occurrence. Being quite tall makes flying a right pain!

I tell you what else is a bit of a pain, the new regs on flying with Lithium Ion batteries. All have to be hand carried.

Although am shooting on the EX1 and the batteries are quite small, there are still 6 of them. My Sony top light takes NPF batteries, so got 3 of those and my Marshall monitor takes IDX batteries so only bringing 2 large ones. I can’t hand carry any more! It’s crazy!

My shooting schedule has changed, we start in LA  for a few days then work our way East. I get to go to Vegas for the first time in my life and of course get to do that drive from one of my favourite films “Swingers”. I understand that the era of the 24 hour marriage chapels is over so I don’t think I will be having a drunken night out followed by a quickie marriage/ divorce, Britney style!

The project I am working on is still in the early stages so I don’t know how much I am allowed to talk about it, but if I can I will be blogging my experiences. After all this will be the first feature length doco I have DPd and the first one I have done using the EX1, well two EX1s. One Letus Extreme and one without. I also have my Canon HV20 with me as a backup and maybe for some car mounted shots of Vegas. That camera is so good for it’s price. It astounds me!

It’s going to be hugely fun and hopefully really rewarding. I don’t think I would shoot an HD doco in 24p on anything else given that most of it will be after dark. This camera was made for it. I have stacks of cards, about 8 hours worth, loads of hard drives and a blu-ray burner, oh and a macbook pro of course! I have my cheapo shoulder mount but not my Zacuto shoulder mount. All my 35mm adaptor stuff will be beauty shots on the tripod. All the actuality will be clean. It’s just too hard to do doco actuality on a 35mm adaptor. You need to be able to crash zoom in and work really fast. That is not what a 35mm adaptor is all about!

Even if I can’t blog I will still be on email for any questions and hopefully I will get some down time to shoot some of the beautiful scenery around and post it on here.

My US cell phone number is 714-548-1415 but best way to contact me as ever is good old fashioned email!

Bye rain…hello sunshine, I HOPE!!

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5 comments

  1. Congratulations Philip!
    This is phenomenal. I hope travels are safe and I know you will love the west coast, USA. You mentioned Swingers, and I had to tell you that my son Jaiden (3) just finished a 2 day shoot with Heather Graham for a new movie called “Baby On Board.” I guess thats my six degrees of separation.
    Anyway, have a great trip, keep us updated, and hope to see you at NAB.
    Peace and Blessings,
    Hidalgo

  2. Hi Phil I was very interested in your latest film because obviously there is a chance to compare The red and Peter Jacksons film crossing the line. with the EX-1. Couldnt judge the resolution obviously because of laptop limitations however latitude seemed about equal to me. I suslected as much the EX-1 can hold its own at the level of my computer monitor anyway.

    What makes Peter Jacksons film really work well for the red is his directing, choice of camera angles and of course actors. Lots of low angles and close ups giving the impression of hidden dangers and emotions building the honesty of the grim task played out with soldiers working in unison with uniforms so close it made you itch. A photo of a loved one. A telescope to see over the top. Anger and aggression to go over the top with. The adrenaline of an encounter that will probably leave you dead.. Jackson captured this with his storyboard and actor emotions through close ups. His colour correction was a reflection of the situation dirty muddy with grey skies even greyer with the smoke. An rotten ordinary miserable day to die. Jackson had the advantage of a great score and great sound.

    Phil I thought your colour correction was way to saturated the faces to red and the helmets and countryside to green. It was shot in a documentary style and in keeping with its purpose.

    I felt some of the soldiers were going through the motions and showing little fear. Yes good for re enactments but not for film which is up close and personal where a renactment is seen from a distance some rehearsal time was needed or replacements? There was a lack of apropriate blood and gore. The uniforms sometimes looked a little to perfect and actors looked like they had had a bath that morning. Some shots were overblown and some were high contrast almost like a pictorial from a glossy. The shoulder badges stuck out and drew attention to much and ruined the colour scheme for me. Sometimes I was reminded a little of Black adder.Personally would have ripped some of those uniforms crunched them up got rid of the freshly ironed look dragged them through mud entangked a few soldiers in barbed wire some walking into machine guns. caked them in dirt and soaked the trenches with mud. a personal picture blood soaked and picked up someone pulling off an identity braclet to take back. perhaps someone being shot saving someone else those going over the top falling back into trenches.

    I know I know its for a museum. Sorry cant help getting carried away. Documentary style is fine then. But still I would ease up on the colour correction on this one. Perhaps just use basic and take some colour out to give a more washed out sat in trenches cold havent had a bath for ages feel?

    There was a lot of good stuff. Some nice dof effects and the trench run was cool. The effects were really good .

    Thank you for putting this up its really great seeing what the EX-1 can do.

  3. Thanks for taking the time to comment Mark, how come you didn’t do it on the trench page?

    Anyway, I take on board your grading thoughts. Of course there is never anyway we could compete with Peter Jackson. We had five hours, no rehearsals. One takes only, uniforms we couldn’t get dirty or get fake blood on or we would pay for them. Mostly amateurs and of course no Peter Jackson. Our budget was about as large as the cost of one of his explosions.

    But taking all that into account, it holds up pretty well. Actually I hadn’t seen his trailer until after I had done this. So it was kind of funny seeing it afterwards. It wouldn’t have made me shoot it differently anyway.

  4. Hi Phil

    I couldnt see the add a comment link on the trench page. Probably my fault! Yes I know I get carried away. YOUR right Peter Jacksons budget. Although your film was in there with explosions uniforms props etc. I think yes the grading could make a difference. So too could some work with the sound. Perhaps some ADR and some work on the score? Perhaps Im off again here!

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