Monday, June 29, 2009

Wow, just Wow

OK I know and accept that I have a small readership. Something like 3 hits a day is average lately and that is mostly due to me not posting for almost a year. I vowed to change that and even got the spouse to whore my blog in hers. That bumped me up rather nicely but nothing like what happened on Friday. If you look at my side bar you will not some blogs and comix and that I had acually orginized them to some extent. Well I went out to Wil Wheaton's blog and was reading a post of his that was an exerpt from a column he wrote. Basically it was how the technology of film and television production is changing. he was guest on a show called leverage. it shoots in Portland and evidently it is being shot on the Red One Camera.
I also noticed that there were no other comments on this post. I like to comment on blogs if I have something to say but on his he is so popular that the comments become white noise at some point.
Anyway I posted a link back to this blog since my previous post was about the new camera and the tests. I thought it was germain to his post.
Long story short a plethora of people clicked the link and checked out this blog.
I was not purposly whoring his popularity to get hits but the result was pretty amazing. And if anyone who actually stuck around and read my posts, welcome and I hope you found it entertaining and informative.

On a completely tangental note, Whenever I play Fallout 3 and come upon the Wheaton Armory I always think of and somehow connect it to Wil.


Friday, June 26, 2009

Camera Test

The Zombie quiz lost its graphics suddenly so I removed it. Too bad I was amused by it.

I bought a new camera last week. it is a Panasonic AG HVX205a Hig def camera that can record to either DV tape or P2 type solid state hard disk. A couple of years ago when we were preparing for Fearless I did some testing with the camera we used a Cannon XL2 which did not have Hi Def and only recorded to DV tape.
Look here for the original tests
With that in mind Mark and I wanted to do an inital test of the new camera. The difference was amazing. Look at how much detail comes out in the background and how it is much less mushy. Also there is none of that bloom nonsense we had with the cannon. I set it at F 8 it stays at F 8

HVX 200 Camera test from Eric Thomas on Vimeo.

So the basic lighting setup was a 1 K Baby as a key with 1/4 CTO on it which reads F8
i mounted a 650 Tweenie on the wall behind her for a back light which reads at F11 and then we filled to the right of the frame with the Kino Flo using daylight bulbs and this read at about an F4. the lampbehind her we replace the bulb with a 75 watt photo flood


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

How Bout Some Random Photos

Some Extras that are crew woman on the Phoenix

A Shot of our Set For Phoenix

Another Shot of the Phoenix Set

The WeekendLites Grip Truck

A shot from the Graveyard scend for Black Sheep Boy

Monday, June 22, 2009

So I was bored

And was checking who is looking at my blog, in particular who is actually reading and what are they reading. See I only get about 3 hits a day since I am not particularly interesting like say Lorraine. Regardless I saw someone took some time to read my bloc this morning and I saw they were linked to me from Site Meter who manages my traffic data. That spiked my curiosity so I looked a bit further and saw it was from a company in Beverly Hills. Ok so there is a company in BH that googled lighting or some such and found my site and read a wait it was not a google referal it was from site meter. Stranger still. So I looke a bit closer and I see that the company is Headquarter Entertainment. So I do the natural thing and google Headquarter Entertainment. Turns out it is the multimedia empire of an actor named Tyrese Gibson. He is in among other things the new and previous Transformer movies. Plays an airforce Sgt. Have not seen the first but likely will cause the new one looks really cool. As much as I hate to say it, Michael Bay does eye candy well.
So then I start thinking why the hell would someone from this company track back to my blog from Site Meter. That means I would have to have linked to something on my page.....w a i t a m i n u t e. I added some links to my blog last week. And I went over to one called Don't Forget to Validate Your Parking. A minimalist sort of comic by a screen writer in LA named Michael Le. It is basicaly about the incredulous conversations he has with various industry types on the phone. check it out I think it is very amusing. So I go the link and start reading some of the stuff he has had there for a couple of weeks in the side bar. Sort of what I am up to. this included some photos of him and the coauthors of a comic they are doing called Mayhem that they are releasing. Also involved is one Tyrese Gibson.
so there we have it. Mystery solved. Some one at Mr Gibson's company was looking at the hit tracker on Michael's site for marketing information. They see my little blog and come over to check it out.
How nice is that. Hi leave a comment next time.


Friday, June 19, 2009

Some Updates and a networking meeting

First off I updated the side bar adding some links and removing some dead links. I also added the film centric category that links to all things filmish. Or at least those that interest me.

Secondly I have been a member of a group called Indie club for a couple of years now but saddly they do nothing to promote networking here in Seattle. it is really rather sad. but Leo over at the Star Trek production group has put on twice a networking party over the last few months. The most recent was last night and Normally I do not do things on a school night I decided to go because I needed to get out and press some flesh and promote my grip and electric and new camera stuff. Yups I bought a new HD video camera, a Panasonic AG-HVX205-a which is a bitchen camera and I made a lot of new best friends last night.
The party was in the upstairs of a bar called Bal Mar in Ballard. I showed up at 7 and a number of peeps from the Phoenix crew as well as Lucien from 3rd Eye were there. Lucien bought a few 1 K stage lights about a year ago and was storing them at my place. He picked up all but one that Ihave been tripping over for the last few months in my garage so I took him his light back. I hope he remembered to take it home as he can get a bit rambunctious. By about 9 the place was packed with all sorts of film making types and I wandered around pressing the flesh and introducing myself to strangers. Talked to a nice makeup lady and more then a few producers who were very interested in my grip and electic stuff. I gave them all my basic spiel. If you want to talk about money then it is going to cost you 1500 bucks a day to get me, my truck and all the gear. If on the other hand you have a cool narrative script and have your shit together, I will be happy to come and play so long as you pay milage on the truck and if the HMI plays give me 30 bucks a day for bulb costs. (A secret here, the HMI always plays) Lots of attractive MAWs. (Model, Actress, Whatever) I made an interesting observation here. I guess as I am typing this that it is not great revelation but they all seemed to cluster together and prey on those they thought were producers and directors. I was amused.
I saw Elle and her Husband Adam who do the behind the scenes stuff for STP and they had this really cool looking campy scifi show they want to do. She asked if I would help and of couse I said sure. They are fun and creative and I would be happy to work with them. Leo conviced me to bring the Camera along for the next STP shoot and Elle will operate since that is not my scene.
I also had a nice long chat with Forest Gibson who is a DP and director for a fantastic live actor graphic novel called Night Zero that can be found on line. there is a link on the side bar. all in all it was a great time and I hope Leo arranges some more of these things. We as a community in Seattle must try to get together more often.

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Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Fan Films

So what else has there been going on? Funny you should ask.
Now I am not one to do fan films. I leave that to the fanatics but Lucien convinced me to go do one last fall for some Star Trek types, called ST: Phoenix. So I show up with Mark Schapiro and we shoot a couple of separate vignettes at the local public access studio. If you want to see them I will post them below. Both involved some green screen work which I am slowly figuring out. Though the productions never suffered.
About a month or so later we showed up again and shot another vignette and then in January we shot again but this time for the primary photography of the show.
Now the Phoenix universe takes place about 40 years after the events of the last Star Trek Movie that does not have Captain Kirk young or old in it. The Phoenix is a huge ass ship. One of it’s nacelles is about the size of the entire ship from next generation. It actually carries a smaller ship in its hold. Their mission is to hang around the Romulan sector while peace treaties are being negotiated or some such. It follows a core crew and that is about all I really know or can say about it. Now I went in dubious about the project but I have to say that the writing is spot on for the Star Trek universe, the performances are fantastic and the Geek factor is not on the level of say Indian Food night with the gang from the Big Bang Theory. Thought production was rank amateurs at the outset they have been learning and are getting much better at running a professional production. And, truth be told I like these guys.
So the shoot in January was a big day. They had lots of bodies on set and we all had little name tags. Very McMovie.
The set was simply 4 flats of muslin and Florescent lights to be corridor walls. They wanted to light through the muslin for the keys and there was a ceiling to the set. They had a lot of work scheduled that included reconfiguring the set to make a Tee corner. The ends of the set had green screens for adding BG and star fields I guess. They also wanted to do a trailer that included the entire cast and was a completely different setup.
Now I had just bought a few new lights including the 2 K and Tweenie and EVERY SINGLE HEAD worked on that setup.
My call was at 6:00 AM which I made. Turns out the art department was not ready and they had not even started building the sets when I got there. I told them not to screw around with the ceiling portion as we would need to get lights in there but they did not listen. Instead they fucked around with it for a couple of hours before they gave up on the ceiling and I could even start lighting the set. The work basically involved having actors encounter each other in the corridors as an introduction to the characters. All happening at separate times. And we had about 12 pagers of script to shoot not including the trailer. Also the effects guy wanted a clean plate shot of the each empty scene for the matte shots. We finally start rolling the camera, I was going to say tape but this is a digital Red One Camera that uses a hard drive. So we will start calling it Poking Bits.
Anyway we finally start poking bits at about 11:30 when they wanted to start at 9:00. Come lunch time I indicate to the AD that hey it has been 6 hours since first call, Where is lunch? Oh go ahead and take a break and get some crafty. We did not break for lunch till dinner time around 7 PM.
BAD production!
No I was not too happy about that and once I got some food in me and a break under my belt we agreed that we would not reconfigure the set to the corner scene and simply shoot it as lit.
All told it was about 19-20 hours for me that day.
But the next time we shot, which was in the Darth Vader Building in downtown Seattle they split the work into two days, had lunch on time and we got every thing done. Like I said they are learning.
Come Norwescon which is the Seattle Science Fiction convention over Easter weekend ,they had a booth and screened a bunch of stuff that had the attendees all in a twitter. So yeah, am doing Fan Films and enjoying it.
Now Take a look at some of this stuff.

This is the first vignette we shot called Hollow

Hollow from STAR TREK: PHOENIX on Vimeo.

This is the Second one called Third Degree. Note, this was all done in front of a green screen Cyclorama. Also Snaps to Amanda Cherry who plays the young LT. she did the Technobable in one Take. No shit. One Take

Third Degree from STAR TREK: PHOENIX on Vimeo.

And here is a third one we did on a set. It is called No other Medicine

No Other Medicine from STAR TREK: PHOENIX on Vimeo.

For more information about these guys check this out, ST: Phoenix

Also one of the Actors, Ben Andrews was part of this group that produces this really cool High Def Live Actor Graphic Novel called Night Zero. Check them out here, Night Zero It is the Zombie Apocolypse in Seattle.

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