Hey brothers and sisters!

After a month of having bought a Canon 7D and doing some test with it (I’ve used it a lot, but not tested as I really wanted to) I do my homework of research about which contents are shot with DSLRs and gladly found a lot of information about it. The first thing I found was in the page of Philip Bloom (http://philipbloom.net/2009/12/12/skywalker/) and it’s about how he went to the Skywalker Ranch with Rick McCallum to test all the Zacuto riggs and gadgets, alongside with a Glidetrack slider and shot a video there. One of the most impressive things is how Rick was really impressed by the quality of image and possibilities of a DSLR. It’s not new that George Lucas is more from the Dark Side of Video rather than the Light side of Film (duh! Bad joke!). After all, he used the Sony F900 Viper (Senior retired camera, the father of the F35) to shot Episodes I-III. However, he found some qualities and advantages that when shooting a movie could come handy when you use a DSLR. Those are qualities that we all know, but even though we don’t think about them so often, are these ones:

1) Cinematic look

2) Narrow depth of field

3) You can put the camera in really little places.

4) Lightweight

5) Easy to do steadycam shots and handheld (no backpain!!! :) )

6) Possible adaptations of PL mounts, Hasselblad, Nikon, and almost every lenses. You can use Prime lenses used for real Cinema cameras, such as Zeiss Master Primes.

7) Speeds up production: you can see the light through the LCD or through a Monitor (Marshall or Lilliput), you don’t need a heavy tripod like a O’Connor, moving a full rigged camera is lightweight although it has almost the same adaptations as a film camera (follow focus, mattebox, monitor, etc).

And this are few possibilities only that I can recall right now, maybe you find a lot more (feel free to share them).

I think a crucial moment for the DSLRs went when House season finale of the 6 season was aired the last year. It was entirely shot on the 5D with Canon prime lenses and a couple of Zooms (24-70mm and 70-200mm all L series). They were lucky because they could use the brand new firmware update by the time, which made the 5D shot at 24p, which becomes handy for the lately filmed medical cliff hanger. Here is a full article in which Greg Yaitanes, the Director, explains how the production was done and decided: http://cpn.canon-europe.com/content/news/EOS_5D_mark_II_shoots_house.do

In a nutshell, the article explains how he had a really difficult shots (which you can obviously guess if you see the chapter) in tight places, in which the 5D came really useful. Also, as the DP proposal was a lot of handheld shots and the 5D made them easy, furthermore they could work faster and have a lot of shots being made. And it’s really obvious, the editing is brutal! They almost covered every angle in every shot. It was a great tool for a production in a such difficult schedule and scenes (they have a building sank because of an accident with a crane), so you could imagine the extras they had and the nightmares that the First AD suffered after finishing the chapter. With all of that problems, and taking advantage of the ISO changes without so much grain the episode was made at ease.

As we can see now the cameras day by day are getting smaller, I discussed that in my first post. The digital cinema must be embraced as a new tool that none must be afraid of. Film won’t die, or at least I want to think so, however the industry has changed for good and if you are an old school fashioned DP you’ll be let behind by the new generations.

Remember: THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IS TO TELL A STORY, and as a DP I’m speaking of lighting, composition, framing and camera movement.

Have a good time!

Regards,

AlexZReynaud

Howdy!!!

The 3D experience. So much things to say about it. Let’s start fresh about it: it’s not something new. Do you remember in the end of the 70′s that your parents went to the theaters with his hippie wearing style and came with those extravagant lenses with gel filters? Well, I don’t remember it, because I wasn’t born, but I do remember finding those lenses years after in an old stuff box in a closet, and my parents telling me about how cool it was. Later on, after I studied, I saw the first 3d movie with new technology. It was James Cameron’s Avatar. It looked really nice and the experience was pretty cool, because of the colors and the little contrast that the movie handles. It was amazed about how it looked, and about all the technology that was used to make such movie. This is my opinion as a normal guy from the audience.

The inner cinematographer that lives inside me (something like “my inner kid”, haha), started to get really pissed off. It was unreal the way the movie lost light. It was like having a ND9 filter (if not a ND12). And for me (I wear eyeglasses) was a really annoying to put other glasses after the normal ones. Still, Avatar was watchable, because the movies was extremely well developed in all the processes which involved the stereoscopic 3D, I mean, come on, Cameron invented technology that wasn’t even conceived before, he made a Revolution in the film industry. His movie handled really good the high contrast scenes, so you can see with detail every scene without any problem.

Yesterday, I saw the release of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2. And I won’t speak about anything else that it’s not cinematography, so don’t worry about spoilers. To be clear: I feel like I watch only the 50% of the movie. Eduardo Serra A.S.C. is such a great cinematographer, that’s why he got a nomination from the academy last year. But it’s a pity that his work can’t be appreciated by the poor 3D experience. He has an extremely good taste in lighting. He has soft lights and extremely high contrast in the scenes he lit. All of this, can’t be appreciated in 3D because of the loss of light. You can’t appreciate the detail in the shadows, the highlights are blown up (like if he had used a Silver Retain process), and in the end the depth of field of the 3D it’s not something that we don’t know it’s there, I mean, everybody can notice a rack focus in the movies without 3D. There is only one scene in the whole movie which is worth watching in 3D, it’s at the end of the movie, so you’ll have to see it for yourselves. Although, I won’t suggest you to watch it on 3D, I think you’ll enjoy it more in 2D because you will be able to see it with all of it’s light. Thus, it doesn’t have a lot of 3D scenes that worth watching it, like in “The Green Hornet” or “The Last Air Bender”.

As a Cinematographer, I think that with 3D you can’t lit scenes in high contrast. Because you’ll end up losing detail and getting mad about how the movie you made, in the end lose information. Maybe it was the 3D projectors in Mexico theaters, maybe it was the copy… the are a lot of possibilities. But, I’m sure that it wasn’t because the last movie was also made in this high contrast profile, and it looked extremely good in 2D, and it goes perfectly with the mood of the movie.

Giving more depth of field with the 3D it’s not a good justification for any movie. Film has depth of field by it’s nature, and the 3D experience has more problems than benefits of watching it – and in a production scheme, it’s more complex and expensive. I’ll have to watch the movie in 2D to make a final statement. But after watching a lot of movies in 3D I can conclude that it’s the more that you lose, rather than giving a experience far beyond than the one that the cinema has being giving us for decades.

- I wrote all of this on July 15, and I think this post needed to be completed.

My final statement about the cinema event of a generation, and the final movie of the decade, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II (haha, just kidding), after watching it in 2D is that it’s way much better. You’ll enjoy it more and you’ll save money while doing it. I want to complete this post with a part of a 3D article published by the ICG (International Cinematographer’s Guild Magazine), which is an interview to Pierre Routhier, one of the vice president and 3D product strategy and development of Technicolor. The article has 15 basic points which you need to take care while doing 3D, also this 15 points will make know when you’re seeing a good cinematography job of a 3D movie. I will enlist the basic points and leave you with a photo of the article. Sorry if it’s a little blurry, I don’t have an scanner and just take a picture quickly of it.

1) Alignment/Geometry: It’s when there is an improper alignment of left and right images. It’s caused by camera/lens not matched properly in production. It can be fixed by geometry alignment.

2) Luminance/Colorimetry: It’s when left image is brighter, darker or of a different hue than right image. It’s caused by cameras not matched and/or beam splitter diffraction. It can be fixed by color adjustment.

3) Depth of Field: It’s when focus not match in the left and right eye. It’s caused by different aperture settings/non-matching lens focus values. It cannot be fixed without significant post-production work or blurring the focused image to match.

4) Reflections, Polarization, Flares: It’s when reflections on shiny objects not match the left and right image. It’s caused by beam splitter polarization, and camera angles. It cannot be fixed without significant post-production work.

5) Contamination: It’s when dust, water, dirt or other particles is in one of the images. It’s caused by Challenging environment, lenses/mirror not cleaned throughly. It can be fixed by dust removal techniques.

6) Sync/Genlock: It’s when left and right images are not time accurate. It’s caused by non-genlocked cameras or editing error. It can be fixed by Sync: Re-edit. Genlock issues cannot be fixed without significant post-production work.

7) Full Reverse Stereo: It’s when left and right images are swapped. It’s caused by data management or editing error. It can be fixed by swap left and right image.

8) Hyperconvergence: It’s when objects are too close to the viewer’s eye to be viewed comfortably. It’s caused by improper camera settings or object going beyond the safe 3D zone. It can be fixed by push convergence back, or compress the 3D space.

9) Hyperdivergence: It’s when objects are too far back to be viewed comfortably. It’s caused by improper camera settings or objects going beyond the safe 3D zone. It can be fixed by pulling convergence forward or compress the 3D space.

10) Edge mismatch: It’s caused by left and right eye side edges not matching, either due to the addition of “floating” windows or beam splitter box. It can be fixed by removing floating windows or match edge.

11) Partial Reverse Stereo:It’s when some of the layers in a 3D Composition are reversed left and right. It’s caused by 3D compositing error. It can be corrected by swap incorrect layers in compositing. Cannot be fixed on the final image without significant post-production work.

12) Depth Mismatch: It’s when elements within a 3D composition are not in the correct depth to the scene. It’s cause by 3D compositing error. It can be corrected by fixing the composition. Cannot be fixed on the final image without significant post-production work.

13) Visual Mismatch: It’s when elements within a 3D composition do not match left and right. It’s caused by 3D compositing error. Can be fixed by fixing the composition. Cannot be fixed on the final image without significant post-production work.

14) 2D to 3D Ratio: It’s when too many shots in 2D to qualify the show as genuine 3D. It’s caused by lack of 3D content. Can be fixed by replacing non-stereo content with stereo content.

15) High Contrast: It’s when an element deep inside or far out of the window in high contrast with it’s environment, creating a double image on the display. It’s caused by refresh rate of the display device/partial separation of the left and right images by the 3D glasses. It can be fixed by reducing contrast, change convergence or compress the 3D space.

There is the image in which the explanation could be clearer for you. As I told you it’s from the International Cinematographer’s Guild Magazine, from the 3D Issue of March 2011. If you can have a suscription to the magazine you’ll be doing a great investment in knowledge, trust me, it’s a really good magazine.

One other thing, after reading a post from the http://www.elpais.com about the film and cinema theaters industry in Austing, I found that mostly all the cinema theaters don’t project their movies at 100% of it’s light power, it’s at 50%, which is a really good explanation why the 3D look really bad. However you still wear glasses which will make you have less light as I wrote previously. In Austin there is one theater which projects it’s movies at 100% of power, I’ll have to see that in order to do a final statement. Until that, here is the link to the article: http://www.elpais.com/articulo/revista/agosto/Austin/meca/cine/elpten/20110716elpepirdv_1/Tes

Thanks to Fernando Moreno (El More) for the link, you can follow his twitter, he is a really passionate man about film, a really good teacher and a nice guy. You could find useful information in his account: @elmoremoreno.

Sorry guys, it’s in spanish, :/, you can always learn spanish at anytime, hehe ;)

Regards,

AlexZReynaud

Hey you all!

Yesterday I received really good news. We won the 1st place of the Ecofilm Festival in the category of awareness campaign. This festival was sponsored by CONAGUA (National Commission of Water), CINEPOLIS (one of the largest cinema theaters company in Mexico), FEMSA group (Coca Cola, Cuauhtémoc Moctezuma Brewelry), WWF, and Hombre Naturaleza Institution (Nature Man). The main idea was to shot a commercial for water care awareness, and for it to be a campaign. I received a call a few weeks a go from the director Luis Raudón. I’ve never heard of him before and the Production Designer (Georgina Martinez) told him about me. He told me that he want to shot a commercial for a film festival and that he was about to do it on Sunday (it was Saturday, haha). He asked me to go to a scouting so I can see the location and start thinking about what kind of lighting should be used, camera, and all the stuff a cinematographer needed to know in preproduction. We ended up shooting on Wednesday, haha.

When I arrived I saw that another fellow cinematographer friend of mine was there (Paco de Burgos, an astonishing mexican cinematographer). We were in a very awkward position, haha. Two DP and one Director, in the end, Paco told Luis that he had shot another short film for him so that maybe this time he should work with me. It was really nice of him to take that decision.

I read the script and I thought “Hey, this is really a creative idea for a campaign”. Although in the beginning we had a different story and it changed from that very day to the shooting, and I was glad about that, it was more simple and with an straight forward idea of awareness. The only problem is that the director have to paid for everything, and we have really little money to do the project. And when I mean really little, I think it’s more accurate to say we had extremely little money, haha. I remember one of my senseys in cinematography (Alonso Mejía) the first day I worked with him he told me: with me you’ll learn to work with no money and with a lot of it. How wise he was.

Our budget was around $400 USD. And with that we needed to rent a camera, lights, grip, and pay for the production design. Extremely difficult. Still, I started to think how to do it. Because if you rent a KINO in Hermanos Pardo (a rental house for equipment) it’s expensive, although it is one of the cheap rental houses. We begin to freak out because of the money. And I remembered that Alonso had the lights he used to shot “I migliori sentimenti” in Italy. A Lupo lights which are HMI (read the post about HMIs if you have any doubt, hehe) and are just like a Joker 800, and two Superlights, which are like KINOS but a little bit more brighter and powerful than them. I had 3 Lupos and 2 Superlights, and that’s it. It was the only lighting equipment that I have. For the grip I had 6 C-Stands, 8 Sandbags, 1  6×6 single net, 1 6×6 double net, a Canon 5D Mark II with a EF 24-70mm f2.8L and a EF 24-105mm f4L and that’s it. We borrowed the camera from a friend ;)

The second problem we had, was the schedule. We agreed to shot on Wednesday and start at 2pm so we can end around 9pm or 10pm. The problem was that in the script we had something written down which sometimes you didn’t want to see when the time is against you: INT. LIVING ROOM. DAY. Damn, we were in problems. I had a big window on the apartment from which the sunlight entered. Something that I’ve also learned from Alonso is: don’t even try to fight against sunlight, it’s a battle you will lose from the beginning. So, I close one of the curtains so it could cut the light from one of the sides of the window, and then I used the 6×6 Double Net next to the curtain so I can reduced the sunlight entering from the window. I do that and at first it worked great, but then, the sunset was about to come so I just take out the double net, and that’s it, we have light once again for a little more time. I like to do that a lot when the window is to one side of the actor/actress, protect always with a double net, then with a single, then with nothing. Because in that way you use the HMI to fill the apartment (or INT location) and then you can manage the sunlight little by little by taking the nets (you can also do it with ND gel filters). After that, the problem with the sunlight was controlled. We shot all the Medium closes that you will see, so that we don’t have any problems with light going a step up or down. Then we go with the close ups. In the end we do all the close ups of the drawing book by using all the HMI lights over it so it can be balanced to the same color temperature.

For the Medium closes I used one Superlight and a Lupo over the fish tank, both with 216 gel filter. So we can have the little girl lit up. The backlight was using another Lupo without any filter (I love the strong and punctual backlights). And in the Kitchen (which is out of focus because of the depth of field, f2.8) I use the other Superlight and the other Lupo just to do a fake light entering from the Kitchen’s window. And with the single net we could reduce the intensity of it, because we where out of 216 filters. That was merely all of my lighting. And the American Shot in the end was done by night also, using all the HMI over the girl and the wall, giving also the backlight with one of the Lupos.

That was it, all the project shot in one day, with extremely little money. And we won the 1st place of the Ecofilm Festival. One thing a cinematographer must always have in consideration is that not all the projects need to be done with thousands (or millions) of dollars. You need to be creative and adapt to the conditions of the project. Still, this doesn’t mean that you don’t need a 18K HMI for another project, there will be different and more demanding projects which will need more money. But if you don’t have it, you just need to adapt to the circumstances and get over it.

One other thing – a lot of people may think that this post will be extremely stupid to publish. Because I’m telling you exactly what I do. I will say to those people, COME ON? – every creative job involves a personal aesthetic touch. And another cinematographer would certainly do it in a different way with different lights and maybe a different camera and lenses. This is a job about being creative, and everyone thinks different when doing something artistic, it’s not a 1+1=2.

Here are some photos from the shooting and the link to the video ;)

     

    

Regards,

AlexZReynaud

When I started learning at college, I had in mind that the world of cinematography was about big cameras and lenses. I saw my teachers, Mario “El Gallo” Gallegos and Juan José Saravia A.M.C. how they work with really big ARRI 35mm cameras. The take us to CTT Rentals and show how the “business” was. I have the opportunity to load ARRI Cameras, such as 535 and 435, also to see through a Angenieux 24-240mm Zoom Lens, a really big zoom. And what I thought by that time was: man, that is really such a big camera.

Down the road, I finish my career, and finished it by shooting my last project with a Canon 5D Mark II. Before that I shot everything in 16mm and the digital world was merely a disgusting thing you didn’t want to touch, haha. I didn’t know the possibilities of it and how a little camera like the 5D was about to change the whole film industry (and my perspective). We are speaking not only about image quality, latitude, depth of field, noise but also about weight and dimensions. I couldn’t believe the difference of working with a camera such as the 5D. When I first saw the material on my laptop after the data wrangler download it, I was totally impressed. How can a little Canon camera (come on! a still photography camera doing video! How good it can be?) do such an astonishing image and have a wonderful cine-like depth of field? – by that time I receive a really big lesson: trust the digital world.

I learned in film, and what you do in film is ALWAYS use your light meter to be sure of what you’re doing. I found it extremely helpful to do that project using the same techniques of filming in negative, if you expose it right, handle the light that you use, and the one from the sun, you’ll end up with precise and excellent results.I used the 5D alongside with a Go Pro to do some car rigging shots, and in the post production I found that both images get along together without any problem, I do the color correction and the project was looking really good. Still the sound design and music is being done and it’s not finished yet, but my part of the job was done in really high quality standards. After that I start shooting almost everything in digital (RED ONE, 5Ds, 7Ds, Sony EX1 and EX3, etc.) and I felt comfortable with the results of it, the only thing I hate, is the exposure latitude, that is really little. But one thing I have for sure right know after Zacuto’s camera shoot out: 7D has more latitude than a plenty of professional cameras (even against the Phantom Camera and Weisscam). After that projects a lot of things started to follow up this changes, one of them was new adaptations to use Canon DSLRs to the film business. We start having riggs, follow focus, matteboxes, PL mounts, and use Zeiss Master Primes on these cameras; it was like giving steroids to them. And in the end, voila! We have new (and little weighted) cameras that are making movies and TV series (new House season is being shot in 5Ds and 7Ds).

What’s next? – Just see the Red Epic and the Silicon Imaging Cameras. All new cameras are extremely little. And I think that without this kind of cameras a lot of Hollywood’s feature film movies couldn’t being done (Aronofsky’s Black Swan and Boyle’s 127 hours just to say a couple). With a cinema camera it’s difficult to shot under low budget situations or in little spaces and get good results. I was amazed by how Black Swan was shot in NY subway without permissions, only with a little crew and a 5D. You certainly can’t do that with a fully rigged Arricam lite (which by the way is one of shorties, haha). If we watch 127 hours it has rigged shots at a bike using the little Silicon Imaging 2K portable. It would be an expensive shot if the cinematographers (Anthony Dod Mantle and Enrique Chediak) had to make an special rig for the film cameras. But instead of that, they used a really little camera with a PL mount and a master prime, and that’s it.

It’s extremely impressive to see how this business is changing so fast. And it’s for the good of it. We will be able to spend very little money to make complex shots, and as a cinematographers we need to be informed about how this changes are developed. We need to get involved with the developers so they can notice what needs do we have, so that we can have new toys added to our playground ;)

 

http://www.siliconimaging.com/DigitalCinema/products.html

http://www.red.com

for more information.

Regards,

AlexZReynaud

http://www.alexzreynaud.com

Hi again, buddies!

One great thing Zacuto (camera rig’s developer) has done is a Camera Shoot Out, in which they do several tests to each and every camera in the professional market. It’s a must seen, because there are really great surprises about some cameras. I won’t spoil you the 30 min video, watch it a give your own opinions, if you want to discuss it, feel free to leave comments on the blog so we can get started ;). What I will only say (don’t worry it won’t reveal any important information) is that I’m impressed with the Canon 7D and the RED Mysterium X. Alexa and 35mm film stock I’ve already seen some tests directly from ARRI’s Production Manager, Stephan Ukas-Bradley in the ALEXA introduction here in Mexico at CTT Rentals, but still, it was really good to see against all the other cameras and found such nice surprises.

Here is the link (sorry for not embedding it, I don’t know why it can’t be):

http://www.zacuto.com/the-great-camera-shootout-2011/episode-one

Regards,

AlexZReynaud

Hi you all!

It’s been over a 5 minutes since I published my first post, haha. I decided to leave you with a really important topic about lighting. Which is about the HMIs. When do you use HMIs or when do you not use them. First, for those who don’t know what is an HMI, I will explain you quickly the types of lighting. There are Tungsten, and HMI lights, these stand for their color temperature 3200ºK and 5600ºK respectively, by color temperature we don’t mean that they are extremely hot or cold in real temperature, we are speaking about color in film or video. The lower the color temperature (I.E. 300ºK) the orange it will get, this means that it’s a really low frequency color which won’t help you to lit a scene. Think of the light of a candle or a match. And the higher the color temperature (I.E. 7200ºK) the blue it will get.

In film, the color temperature depends on the type of film stock you choose from the beginning; if it’s Daylight, the Color temperature of the film is set to 5600ºK, white light. If it’s Tungsten, it’s set to 3200ºK (orange). If you are in a situation in which you need to use tungsten light in daylight situation, either you can use a CTB (Conversion to Blue gel filter) in your lamps or use the 80A filter on the camera, so that the light of those lamps change from 3200 to 5600. If you are in the opposite situation, you are shooting in tungsten and using HMIs (think about that you have a tungsten film stock and the sunlight is entering through a window), you can do one of two things, put a CTO (Conversion to Orange gel filter) on the window, or use a 85 filter on the camera to change the temperature from the sunlight from 5600 to 3200. Why all the filtering? – easy, if you don’t get your color temperature balanced, you’ll end up suffering a lot in the color correction to balance both colors, mostly, mixed temperatures will reveal that you’re unexperienced, unless you really have a reason to use them (think of a party scene in which the colors are all mixed up).

In video, it’s easier, because you have the well known white balance, from which you can change the color temperature directly from the camera and don’t worry about the film stock. Also, you have a monitor in which you see the color temperature balance.

Another big difference about tungsten and HMIs is how hot they get when you’re working with them. Tungsten lights are extremely hot and you’ll get a really hot set and everybody will be pissed off after a while. And if you use HMIs they are mostly cold lights, they get a little hot after a while, but are considerably colder than the tungsten lights. Personally  I love to use HMIs, not only because they’re cold lights, but in color correction you have a higher frequency lights which you can handle contrast and color much better than having tungsten lights – in example: if you want a scene to be extremely red, have contrast but don’t lose information on the whites and on the blacks, what I would do is shoot the scene using HMIs and have everything balanced to 5600, so in the color correction we can do the adjustments to end up having the red color but with the information on shadows and highlights neat. If you do the opposite, the extremely red light done in set with filters on tungsten lights, you will lose information on the S&H and unless you are filming on Kodak Vision 3 film stock or ARRI ALEXA (they have a BIG exposure latitude), you can start to cry because you won’t be able to rescue information (you can “rescue” it, but you’ll have a beautiful ant party in your shot (noise), haha).

By this point, maybe you’ll be thinking: “Well, this guy is telling me that HMIs are the coolest thing on earth and I won’t use any tungsten lights again”. But there’s one last thing that will decide if you use HMIs or tungsten lighting. Trrrrrrrrr… snare drum sounds… the big surprise is: THE MONEY!!! HMIs, are more expensive than tungsten lights, and usually (at least in Mexico) they rent you the HMIs with a guy in charge of it, which also has a salary, so it’s the money of the HMI + the guy in charge + the electric generator + grip + gaffer and staff + camera + camera technician = a REALLY LOT OF MONEY! Hahaha.

But.. for every problem, there are solutions. If you can’t rent a HMI, you can use HMI photofloods, which are really cheap, and you can do a cone to the light using black wrap and rigging it to a C-Stand, just, buy a 500 watts photoflood and that will be a cheaper solution, maybe put a 216 gel filter for difusion or a silk in front of it and you’re ready to go. Also, think on the KINO flo lights, they are like fluorescent large office lamps, but you can plug them into a normal power supply in your home, and have both temperatures, you just need to change the lamps and you’re ready to go. There are several types of KINOS, from 2 lamps of 60 cm, up to the Blanket lites, which are 16 lamps of 120 cm each, and you can set up the color temperature you need just changing the lamps. And in the middle is the Flathead, which is a 8 lamps of 120 cm. Check, http://www.kinoflo.com/ for more information. Also as the tungsten lights, the HMI’s starts from 200 watts and up to 18,000 watts HMIs or the Airstar ballon lights which are up to 24K.

Although I love using HMIs for their versatility, you must adapt yourself to the conditions of the project (and by conditions, I mean money most of the times). A good cinematographer is a person who adapts to the conditions, remember, you can work with the daylight if you know how to use it and bounce it in the right place.

As always, think this job is creative, so you can always use any kind of light that you think will work, this is only my perspective.

Regards,

AlexZReynaud

P.D. Remember, I’m not an expert, haha, you can always leave a comment to any post ;) haha.

Howdy!

My name is AlexZReynaud, and I’m a mexican cinematographer. The first thing that you should know is that I’m not an expert in cinematography. But I’ve been around on several productions as a DP, data handler and First Camera Assistant, and learned a lot from being there. So, the main objetive of this blog is to share every experience that I had on sets, and off set.  Therefore, you can have information that nobody tells you on a school or college and you end up learning it by your very own mistakes.

I want start my blog by speaking you about commitment to the job in the film industry, I’ll paraphrase one of my teachers, Marcos Villaseñor (Director of “I Migliori Sentimenti” (The Best of Feelings)): “Once you start learning about film, your days of going to the movies to hang out with your boyfriend or girlfriend are over. By learning about film, every time you watch a movie it’s a process in which you analyze every shot, script, acting, direction, production design, lighting, art direction, props, continuity, framing, composition, and even, goofs. Every aspect is important and you should know that as by this lecture goes forward you will start that process. It doesn’t mean that you won’t enjoy a movie again, on the contrary, it will be a much richer experience.” – the only thing that I consider important to add is that your criteria to analyze a film grows also. Which means you will also won’t like a lot of films and you’ll end up going out from a movie theatre speaking about all the bad things of the movie you’ve just watched.

When you watch a movie, as a Cinematographer you have to think about everything. Because you’re the eyes of the Director, and you’re his right hand on making the movie. Darren Aronofsky said in the International Cinematographer’s Guild Magazine of December 2010: ” The Director/DP relationship is probably the most intense on the set, other than working with the actors”. Furthermore, you should see the movie theaters as another learning space, and don’t miss any shot, because the work of a DP is intrinsically related to each and every shot in a movie.

On the other hand, if you are starting as a DP or you want to become one, get your suscription to American Cinematographer Magazine (ASC Magazine) – I swear to god, I’m not getting paid for suggesting you to buy it, LOL. Why should you have it? Because it’s full of the secrets of DoP/Cinematographers from feature films around the world, and they explain their work in the articles published in the magazine. For example: Did you know that Roger Deakins A.S.C/B.S.C. used ten 18K HMI to lit only the sky in “No country for old men” in the sequence in which Lewellyn Moss is running away from the drug cartel? – that’s the kind of information that you can find.

I’ll try to write a lot and share all the information that I can about all my work, so that I’ll explain you how do I do a shortfilm or commercial. Maybe I don’t write in a whole week or a month, but maybe I write two posts with a difference of an hour, haha. You’ll find here not only written down information but also videos (made by me or by other people), and I also will share my works with you,  so you can criticize them and give me feedback or have a discussion. Feel free to tell everything about it, you can tell me it’s a BIG CRAP, but please, just tell me why. That’s the only thing I ask.

Any other question you can write me to blog@alexzreynaud.com and I’ll try to answer your questions as quick as I can.

Regards,

AlexZReynaud