Thread: Speed of the production, and hiring the right cinematographer... as a diretor's pov

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  1. #1 Speed of the production, and hiring the right cinematographer... as a diretor's pov 
    Senior Member Minu Park's Avatar
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    I just got a client to make their branding 60k budget project.
    They hired me as a creative director, director.

    The dead line is short(10 days later shooting, I made the full story board 86 shots total 2 days_It's a lot) - I slept 2-3 hours a day for preparing...
    but as a DP, I am known for super fast. I make every single lighting plan, I love doing pre production.

    Experienced on variety of features, and recently I nailed 130 min feature within 9 days in south korea.

    I hired a pretty well named DP with hafty amount of money by reference. I gave him a chance to bring his best gaffer, and he was more paid than union payment

    But these two evils almost screwed me over. I won't say who that was...
    These two guys have more than enough lighting equipment, and more than enough human resources to achieve the goal.

    Their speed was almost the slowest team ever...
    Yet he is well connected that he is working almost everyday, with named brand. I feel frustrating let other directors experiences same as me.
    My producer got nothing to say - because he refereed me, and asking me to try him out.
    My producer keep saying " He is a commercial DP, he knows how to take a time to make a beautiful shots, not like shooting fast like yours Minu"

    When I hear this, I was so pissed. That's fucking non-sense to me. "You are slow, that means you aren't good enough to be DP. Just go back to learn how to light in your head, and just do it already"

    Of course i had to accept the fact that his image was just okay, and not looking at my storyboard, and my AD kept talks to him adjust.
    - "It's ECU shot we are shooting, not MCU"

    I write this here, because I wonder whether other DPs also experienced hiring a referenced DP that was so suck, you feel anxiety.
    This anger, and my frustration was stronger than dealing with teaching film school students.

    What do you prefer when you get 50-150k branding/ campaign commercial as a director?
    - My fiance said, I just hire better gaffer, solid camera department, and I just gotta do DP, director instead giving an option to others.
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  2. #2  
    Moderator Phil Holland's Avatar
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    Much of this comes down to prep and communication I imagine. Realistic expectations need to be set and discussed even in days where you are landing 40-60 setups, which is certainly on the high side of things.

    I wear both hats, but at the beginning of any shoot you need to figure out exactly what needs to be done.

    Whatever transpired here, the DP and likely his crew didn't meld with this project's shooting schedule requirements. That can be do to a lot of reasons, but often it mostly comes down to communication.

    In this case you had a high shot count and it sounds like it was a frustrating endeavor.

    I'll say this, when I work the tricky shoots, I tend to go with crew I know. That allows you to get up and running quickly and also generally having the working chemistry to accomplish your creative and schedule goals.

    To the point of your question, it sounds like you are just looking for a different DP and crew next time.
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  3. #3  
    Quote Originally Posted by Minu Park View Post
    I just got a client to make their branding 60k budget project.
    They hired me as a creative director, director.
    There's such a spread of professionals, each has their method of working. I don't know that the crazy setups and so on is a badge of honour but it can be a necessity at times. On indie stuff it tends to be much tougher and on more traditional sets there can be culture clashes. Only yesterday we pulled off 60 setups on a moving train, in heat, battling sun and quick train turnarounds. Because we had no choice (availability of cast and cost). I'm used to this (you either do it or it doesn't happen), but there were some cast/crew that found that very difficult and others who adapted. The ones that struggled are used to much much slower studio sets.

    There's nothing wrong with either approach but you need to match the right people to the approach. Sometimes that indie approach can lead to great stuff in the heat of battle, moments of emotion that are difficult to capture in a glacial production where cast are spoon fed a few lines at a time. And other times you can move too fast and miss moments or be unable to control light or composition in the way that you'd like to.

    All good fun, either way.

    cheers
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  4. #4  
    Senior Member Ryan Purcell's Avatar
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    I think when you are moving that fast - and 43 shots a day is moving pretty dang quick - it's better to have the camera in your hands acting as a director/dp. Just less translation happening. Hire a good support team. Pretty much what your fiancee said!
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  5. #5  
    43 shots per day for a brand shoot ?

    Studio, same light setup ?
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  6. #6  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan Purcell View Post
    I think when you are moving that fast - and 43 shots a day is moving pretty dang quick - it's better to have the camera in your hands acting as a director/dp. Just less translation happening. Hire a good support team. Pretty much what your fiancee said!
    I've worked on shoots that had 150-200 shots a day, even with dialogue. Commercials could go a lot more than that if it's MOS. A lot depends on the nature of the material.
    marc wielage, csi • colorist/post consultant • daVinci Resolve Certified Trainer
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  7. #7  
    I get stressed from just reading this thread. What about having days per shot instead of shots per day? Thats my strive. To me good, hardly ever comes quick. Go out test shoot, edit. Make an animatic. Think things over, rehearse, Reshoot the bad test shots, edit again, then iterate until shit is down to a sience, then shoot. The whole idea of trying to sqeeze as much as possible into a day makes me itch. But yes that seams to be everyones aim these days. Not only producers, but directors and DPs as well.

    I like Roy Andersen’s aproach much better, He does not care if it takes 4 years to shoot his films and can spend several months on a one clip scene. :)
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  8. #8  
    Quote Originally Posted by Marc Wielage View Post
    I've worked on shoots that had 150-200 shots a day, even with dialogue. Commercials could go a lot more than that if it's MOS. A lot depends on the nature of the material.
    Shots or clips ?

    :)
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  9. #9  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hrvoje Simic View Post
    Shots or clips ? :)
    Takes. I can think of many, many, many commercials that did 60-70-80 takes per scene. And then shot 3 scenes per day.

    Even in features, I would see dailies reports for certain projects, and they frequently would have more than 200 individual "events" (whatever you want to call them) per day. And sometimes more. It's the nature of the business.
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  10. #10  
    Quote Originally Posted by Marc Wielage View Post
    Takes. I can think of many, many, many commercials that did 60-70-80 takes per scene. And then shot 3 scenes per day.

    Even in features, I would see dailies reports for certain projects, and they frequently would have more than 200 individual "events" (whatever you want to call them) per day. And sometimes more. It's the nature of the business.
    Yup, my experience as well. Clips/events yes. Shots nope.

    But 43 shots per day ?
    That's about 15 mins per shot (overtime excluded) for all it takes ( light/grip/camera setup/crew interaction/etc)...and all the takes. :)
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