Author Topic: Tailor Making Magic Lantern?  (Read 5052 times)

extremelypoorfilmaker

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Tailor Making Magic Lantern?
« on: March 05, 2016, 11:19:20 PM »
Ok.

I was thinking:

Probably, for most people £10000 / £15000 Is not much money. An easy loan that most people could get from the bank.

For me, that means literally living with £25 a month for food, clothings etc. for 2 years more or less.

Why?

Because my credit score is so low that I can't get a loan anywhere (a part from loan sharks aka payday loans, (or actual loan sharks))
so, in order to rack up that amount of money I will have to save up £500 a month from my salary: £1177 (And i live in London, UK. My rent + buss pass + phone bills + direct debits is £650)

Even if thanks to magic lantern i can shoot RAW, all the paid job i got as a Camera Operator were shot with my 5D3 in h264 (not my choice)
and mostly, I believed i got them because I have a Ronin-M.

Now, what I have noticed in the last few jobs is that, the people who hired me, they didn't really cared about my skills as a filmmaker. What they wanted to know first, even before hearing my experience was: The brand of my Camera. The brand of my lenses.
Obviously, once i told them my camera (5D3) and my lenses (Samyang 85m T1.5, Helios 58mm f2, Nikon 28mm f2.8, Canon 24-105 f4 L) They were not willing to pay me £150 per day.

So, that made me thinking: "If I save every penny for the next 2 years, I might be able to afford the RED RAVEN jetpack package + Batteries and wireless follow focus, so then I could be totally justified charging £500 per day"

But that span TWO other thoughts:
1) for the things I want to do, I NEED to be able to record at least at 120 fps in 2K RAW.
2) The RED RAVEN seems to be the only solution, because all other cameras in that price range can't quite match what the RED RAVEN offers.

But then I thought: "If I am ready to put such a strain on myself in order to rack up £10000 in 2 years more or less, would I be crazy thinking maybe to buy a 1DC or a C300 and with the rest of the money, pay somebody to develop Magic Lantern for them?"

I know that Magic Lantern for the C series will never exist, but I like so much working with DNGs that I would be gladly willing to take the risk.

Am I crazy, stupid or shall I stick with my original project of buying the RED RAVEN in 2 years? (Or earlier if I find a sponsor)
I hope you will help me out! :)

axelcine

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Re: Tailor Making Magic Lantern?
« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2016, 11:49:36 PM »
@extremelypoorfilmaker

I have been teaching photo for many years, mostly in my spare time (I have been a radio and TV journalist and a photographer since 1981) and when we still used film and photographic paper, I showed my students to make a cardboard box with a tiny hole in one end and a sheet of photography paper at the opposite end inside the box (in the darkroom, of course). I closed the tiny hole with a pin, placed the box in a well lit room opposite a beautiful woman with the hole facing her, took out the pin for 10 seconds and then closed the hole again. Back in the darkroom I took out the sheet of photographic paper, developed and fixed it - and VOILA a beatiful, softened portrait of the sweet girl.

So when my employers ask me what gear I use, I tell them that isn't any of their business. The good cam doen't make the bad photographer good. But a good photographer gets results with a cardboard box.

You should be judged by the very deep knowledge and skill you have expressed in your many posts here in ML World.

A portfolio with stills from some of your best footage with links to (ie) Vimeo or Youtube, and maybe a smart website might help you.

Your list of cam and glass is impressive, so you're well equipped. Your clients should select your skills and experience, not the hardware you bring to the job.

I for one would love to see your productc or exercises here in Share Your Videos.

Good luck
EOS RP, 5dIII.113/Batt.grip, 5dIII.123, 700d/Batt.Grip/VF4 viewfinder + a truckload of new and older Canon L, Sigma and Tamron glass

extremelypoorfilmaker

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Re: Tailor Making Magic Lantern?
« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2016, 12:48:28 AM »
you should tell to the last guy (That still owes me £100) Conversation went like that:

HIM:"you got an 85mm?"
ME: "yes"
HIM: "Canon or zeiss?"
ME: "Samyang"
HIM: "2 seconds of silence"

Bottom end is: To get amazing shots you either need to know people that are producing cool stuff or be rich.
Unfortunately.

dfort

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Re: Tailor Making Magic Lantern?
« Reply #3 on: March 06, 2016, 12:55:49 AM »
Well, I have worked in the film industry for the past 20+ years and I can tell you that very few cinematographers and editors own the equipment that they use to make a living. In fact if you continue to buy equipment you will probably always be an "extremelypoorfilmaker" and your career will stagnate. I mean do you want to be hired because of the equipment that you can afford? No, you want to be hired for your artistic abilities. Do you think that the 'A' list DP's in Hollywood all have an Arri Alexa camera in their closet? Almost nobody owns these cameras, at least not private individuals. They are owned by rental companies who hire technicians to keep these cameras in top operating condition. Sure, there are a few people who own RED cameras but the best DP's don't live by the "law of the instrument." In other words, "if all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail."

Now how about buying a 1DC or a C300 and hire a developer to port Magic Lantern with all the features that you say you want? I doubt that any competent developer would guarantee that it is possible no matter what price you're willing to pay. If you insist on owning your own equipment why not go with an apertus? At least that would make you stand out from the crowd. It is also an open system (both hardware and software) so if you do hire a developer there's a better chance at getting the features that you want without the threat of a giant corporation ready to unleash a team of lawyers on you if news of your hacked professional gear leaks.

Bottom end is: To get amazing shots you either need to know people that are producing cool stuff or be rich.

It may seem that way but really it has less to do with money and mostly a lot of hard work. Sure, it helps to know people that are producing cool stuff--it is hard to fly with the eagles when you're surrounded by turkeys. Now go to the BSC and make some friends.

extremelypoorfilmaker

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Re: Tailor Making Magic Lantern?
« Reply #4 on: March 06, 2016, 02:58:08 AM »
What you say dfort is very true, and I stand by it. Specially about the "law of the instrument". Also, I am waiting patiently for the Axiom gamma. so who knows, maybe in 2 years once I will have the money. :) Or maybe in this two years I will finally get hired by people who understand that to get a certain shot they have to hire specific gear.

Mostly, in the last jobs i have worked on, I have been asked very specific shots that simply were not possible to do with my own equipment, but as soon as the word: "Hire" was mentioned, those shots were quickly scrapped..

I feel like I am stuck in a loophole: My showreel doesn't stand out -> I don't get hired to do cool stuff -> I don't get hired to shoot cools stuff -> My showreel doesn't stand out.

Want my showreel to stand out -> I have to spend money to get the shots that stand out.

Most paid AD on Mandy.com or starnow for example require the Cameraman / DP to have it's own kit.
And the last offer I got came from a friend of mine that is planning to shoot a short about police brutality in Italy, but the DP will be this guy that he knows because he has access to all the fancy gear (REDs, Anamorphic glass, Arri 5000W Fresnels etc.) because he works for a rental company. Even if he told me that he would prefer me to DPing he has to give the job to this other guy and leave me be an AC. Still, better than nothing, it's a paid job, so I can't complain (If he manages to gets the funds) but it leaves me a bit bitter.

I don't know, maybe it's just me being unlucky or maybe I haven't come across the right crowd yet.

Now go to the BSC and make some friends.

Hang on a minute, with BSC do you mean: British Society of Cinematographers?

cmccullum

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Re: Tailor Making Magic Lantern?
« Reply #5 on: March 06, 2016, 03:26:01 AM »
@extremelypoorfilmaker have you considered taking time with your gear (or better rental gear) to set up your own amazing shots outside of paid gigs specifically for your showreel? Or maybe take a great gig for "free" (or cheap) to help build your portfolio?

This may be nonsense advice as I don't actually work in the film industry outside of wedding and event coverage, but I thought that's how people get going.

dfort

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Re: Tailor Making Magic Lantern?
« Reply #6 on: March 06, 2016, 06:52:07 AM »
Hang on a minute, with BSC do you mean: British Society of Cinematographers?

Your profile says you're in London, right? Yeah, sure there's the argument that you should get to know producers and directors because they will hire you but since you seem to be doing more work as an AC, I'd say you're better off getting to know some DP's. You'll probably find out that the best aren't gear heads at all.

@cmccullum makes a good point. I studied photography in college and when I went to New York City to do my apprenticeship I found that some of the busiest photographers would still take the time to do their personal work.

Basically, if you got into this business for the money you're probably in the wrong business.

Danne

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Re: Tailor Making Magic Lantern?
« Reply #7 on: March 06, 2016, 07:15:59 AM »
dfort
Quote
it is hard to fly with the eagles when you're surrounded by turkeys.
Too funny  :D :D

DeafEyeJedi

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Tailor Making Magic Lantern?
« Reply #8 on: March 06, 2016, 07:16:37 AM »
Quote
it is hard to fly with the eagles when you're surrounded by turkeys.
LoL Love this Dan!  :P

I'm afraid it'll come down to how much Passion do you have to thrive in this industry, heck even I am still struggling along to find more work in what I love to do (on my free time) despite of my full time paid job which I do varieties of things from Audio Assistance to Stage Tech to Videography and Photography (even my bosses won't let me use ML for both Video and Photo) because I guess it has to do with the warranties of the cameras.

I often times tell myself "My Camera is only as good as the Glass!" which doesnt necessarily mean you have to have the grand of the branded top of the line Ziess or Cooke lenses and let alone Arri's, Red's, Sony's with the exception of Axiom Apertus for obvious reasons as @dfort stated previously.

Bottom line is to stay strong & keep on Networking and don't give up on what you enjoy doing even if it feels like no one is giving us enough opportunities because they are STILL afraid and bittersweet about the whole concept of a hacked DSLR named 'Magic Lantern' well guess what I tell them "You guys have no idea what you are missing out even with a four year old 5D3 and it's capabilities that comes along with ML and you can all kiss my ass!" and also just recently the other day with my thriven passionate addiction that I have with ML which helped convinced a client that she could use her 7D to shoot RAW and yet still give the same look/feel as if it were shot on a BMPCC or let alone an Arri or Red.

I mean RAW is RAW, right? It can be converted to anything so be sure to explain that to your clients that your precious 5D3 can deliver just as good as the big boys with the exception of slo-mo higher than 60p+ and don't forget that it can do crop-mode 2.5K Dual-ISO which is rather remarkable.
5D3.113 | 5D3.123 | EOSM.203 | 7D.203 | 70D.112 | 100D.101 | EOSM2.* | 50D.109

extremelypoorfilmaker

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Re: Tailor Making Magic Lantern?
« Reply #9 on: March 06, 2016, 01:07:58 PM »
@extremelypoorfilmaker have you considered taking time with your gear (or better rental gear) to set up your own amazing shots outside of paid gigs specifically for your showreel? Or maybe take a great gig for "free" (or cheap) to help build your portfolio?

This may be nonsense advice as I don't actually work in the film industry outside of wedding and event coverage, but I thought that's how people get going.

That is actually what I am going to do soon. And the "funny" thing about it is: Mostly, for my private stuff, I spend much more money on: Props, VFX, Actors, Costumes, Make-up and catering. Little to nothing goes into gear! :D And yes, If the gig is great I am more than happy to work for free!

Also, I didn't get into "the business" for money. I decided to get into it because of my love of cinema. Making a living out of it would be great, not being rich, just being able to live by filming. That would make me quite happy.

What you say @DeafEyeJedi Is quite true! Every time I get offered a job I always throw Magic Lantern in. I always push to shoot with Magic Lantern. But I guess the latest gig I had the clients didn't feel comfortable with: The amount of data generated, the workflow in post. Their loss, to my eyes (and nothing for my showreel)


axelcine

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Re: Tailor Making Magic Lantern?
« Reply #10 on: March 06, 2016, 10:49:13 PM »
This afternoon I filmed a local show, 2 x 35 minutes. I used a 700d/10-22ef-s as my static camera/sound base (for sync). I used a 5d3/16-35 2.8 as my flying cam, doing semi-bodyshots and 1/4totals, close-ups, details, all the good stuff. And another 5d3 with 50/1.8 for audience/musicians. Main audio source is a Saramonic VMIC Recorder placed near the stage. Secondary audio are two tiny Sony dictaphones with small but excellent microphones strategically placed near the music and the audience.

The final product should be 12-14 minutes with highlights, H264 MP4 for common broadcast. I won't have time for raw/lengthy post production. By using (mostly) Canon zooms, I know that the result is footage, that is a little on the soft side. That'll be remedied in editing/post (Adobe PP, AE). I operated all this equipment single-handedly. With 3 cams recording I don't have to run around all the time, so there is plenty of time to plan ahead, check audio levels, check power and 4GP/29.9min limiters. The last two days I was present during rehearsals, so I know what was going to happen and when.

I'll never discuss my methods or my tools with the client, and he'll never get to see me at work in post. For many years my projects have not been discarded. Often there is criticism, but that is only to be expected, and it's mostly very constructive. A few times I have offered to re-edit, if a client wanted to emphasize something. That's quite okay with me. The bottom line is: Satisfied clients > more jobs > more satisfied clients.

I do this for a hobby. I own my equipment (but rent glass when necessary), and if a client is satisfied, I get my transportation and food covered plus a little tip for candy and tobacco. I get to do jobs, that would otherwise never have been done, if the clients would have had to buy a professional team to do the job. So I don't undercut the pros. I have been a member of the Journalists' Union since 1977.
From time to time the local TV broadcasting companies (understaffed) use me for quick-and-dirty news work, and here I get paid by the standard tariffs for journalists and photographers. Of course it helps, that I've been working with some of these guys since 1981. From time to time I come up with a bigger project with some interviews, background, footage from factories, farms, transportation companies, the military, stuff like that... and good time to get it done. That's exactly what an old journalistic cowboy like me likes to do.

@extremelypoorfilmmaker - never let the clients get too close to your production methods. Remember: They can't do the job themselves, but they'd love to set their fingerprints - sometimes in their internal powerplays. Give them what they expect, but (try to) impress them with your independence: You'd love to do the job, and you're the best man to do it, but if they make your work a living hell with all sorts of silly demands, they can forget all about it and go elsewhere or do it themselves.
EOS RP, 5dIII.113/Batt.grip, 5dIII.123, 700d/Batt.Grip/VF4 viewfinder + a truckload of new and older Canon L, Sigma and Tamron glass

extremelypoorfilmaker

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Re: Tailor Making Magic Lantern?
« Reply #11 on: March 07, 2016, 01:17:36 AM »
@axelcine

What you say is right. I don't usually want to share my gear info with customers, but, more often than not (and usually over the phone) they ask me What gear do I have. I say: a good HD cam, good primes and a gimbal. And the usual reply is: what Camera do you have? Than I feel a bit cornered, as I think it is not very nice replying the same thing or tell them to not worry about that.

Regardless, future looks brighter, the next couple of years will be exciting! :)