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cml-general@cml.news Integration <cml-general@...>
 

By Cinematography Mailing List

I worry that Grumpy Old Men In Black, ie older cinematographers, tend to discourage young crew when they think that they're helping them. "The business has got much tougher" is a typical comment that I don't think is true. OK, there are more people out there competing for the work but there's a lot more work out there! I'd like to start by saying that this is a great way to earn a living, I've travelled all over the world and got to see all kinds of things and places that people just normally don't get a chance to experience. [ 401 more words ]
https://cinematography.net/CineRant/2018/10/08/grumpy-old-cinematographers/

 

You are right Geoff that there is much more material being shoot, but in the UK so much material is now self shot.  The role of Self Shooting Producer Director is now firmly part of the TV lexicon, I know it’s nothing new but what has changed is it is now the default position. 

The shift has gone hand in hand by the BBC removing the teeth from its technical gatekeepers.  Some material that gets let through is shocking.   Low and behold, trying to ask a question whilst trying to hold focus at 2.8 whilst shooting on a C300 or FS7 is quite hard - who knew?

Most production managers know it hasn’t saved anyone money, because edit times have gone up as editors struggle to piece together segments without decent material, or fix bad sound.  That said self shooters have realised handling more than one radio mic is pretty hard so sound recordist are coming back in to fashion.

But it gets worse: A friend of mine was working (as a recordist) on a show that’s shot multicam.  Last year it was shot with proper operators but this year the ops have been replaced by self shooters and no overall Director.  On a number of sequences, no one had a wide shot and no one had a single on the presenter... that would be fun to edit.

It would also be foolish to assume all self shooters are all bad.  The majority are not great but some are really good.  “The Might Redcar” currently running on the BBC is brilliant - but sadly it is the exception rather than the norm.

The BBC just don’t get that with Netflix and Amazon being so strict on technical standards, the BBCs stuff looks cheap makes over time will make it harder and harder to justify the licence fee. 

What really pisses me off is - as we all know - it’s never been cheaper to make brilliant TV.

I’d love to know if the UK industry is unique in this rush to the bottom which is so sad considering the lofty position the BBC used to hold.

The use of self shooters has now moved into corporates. At least one big corporate prod co is now regularly using self shooters to film interviews with bigwigs on its own A7s kits.

One of my clients has an A7s and a few basic lights which until a few weeks was just used for pitch videos, but they have now done at least one shoot for an external client with it.   At least on that occasion they brought me in to shoot it.

Michael 

Michael Sanders: Director of Photography.  London based but works globally.

reel/credits/kit: www.mjsanders.co.uk    m: +44 (0) 7976 269818

On 8 Oct 2018, at 06:37, cml-general@... Integration <cml-general@...> wrote:

OK, there are more people out there competing for the work but there's a lot more work out there!

 

Oh and photographers are now shooting video..

Last year I helped out an old friend by agreeing to edit a video.  The video (a demonstration) was shot on two cameras (C300 MKIIs in 4K) by a “photographer” and their assistant.  A DP would have be too expensive apparently.

The cameras were not locked and time codes drifted all over the place.

80% of the B cam material was out of focus. 

On set discipline was terrible with the presenter speaking before anyone called action and the assistant was still in shot in one example.

So many other things... bad audio etc.

Around 1TB of material for a 5 min video.

Took two days to edit a video which should have taken me 6 hours.



Michael Sanders: Director of Photography.  London based but works globally.

reel/credits/kit: www.mjsanders.co.uk    m: +44 (0) 7976 269818

On 8 Oct 2018, at 08:28, Michael Sanders via Cml.News <glowstars=me.com@...> wrote:

Most production managers know it hasn’t saved anyone money, because edit times have gone up as editors struggle to piece together segments without decent material, or fix bad sound.  That said self shooters have realised handling more than one radio mic is pretty hard so sound recordist are coming back in to fashion

Geoff Boyle
 

I am very aware of the drop in standards of the BBC and for a long time now they have not been able to justify the license fee but they are an institution and God forbid that in the UK you say anything against the sacred institutions of which there are many!

 

I did a consultancy job recently where the C200 went down incredibly well, the AF was the selling point. Self-shooters greatest asset 😊

 

Of course there are people out there who can d an adequate job, and also a lot who are totally incompetent but I don’t think that is necessarily a problem. There comes a breaking point where the people commissioning the work realise that they need pro’s.

 

It has happened in other fields and whilst there is a lot of dross there is also a high end of competency.

 

We just have to fight to occupy that high ground.

 

I think the way to do it is not to be negative about how bad some  work is but to be positive when we see good work.

 

I’m really enjoying “Trust“ billed as BBC drama of course it isn’t and it shows.

 

cheers
Geoff Boyle NSC
EU based cinematographer
+31 637155076

www.gboyle.nl

www.cinematography.net

 

 

From: cml-general@... <cml-general@...> On Behalf Of Michael Sanders via Cml.News
Sent: 08 October 2018 09:28
To: cml-general@...
Subject: Re: [cml-general] CinematographyMailingList #facebook

 

You are right Geoff that there is much more material being shoot, but in the UK so much material is now self shot.  The role of Self Shooting Producer Director is now firmly part of the TV lexicon, I know it’s nothing new but what has changed is it is now the default position. 

 

The shift has gone hand in hand by the BBC removing the teeth from its technical gatekeepers.  Some material that gets let through is shocking.   Low and behold, trying to ask a question whilst trying to hold focus at 2.8 whilst shooting on a C300 or FS7 is quite hard - who knew?

 

Most production managers know it hasn’t saved anyone money, because edit times have gone up as editors struggle to piece together segments without decent material, or fix bad sound.  That said self shooters have realised handling more than one radio mic is pretty hard so sound recordist are coming back in to fashion.

 

But it gets worse: A friend of mine was working (as a recordist) on a show that’s shot multicam.  Last year it was shot with proper operators but this year the ops have been replaced by self shooters and no overall Director.  On a number of sequences, no one had a wide shot and no one had a single on the presenter... that would be fun to edit.

 

It would also be foolish to assume all self shooters are all bad.  The majority are not great but some are really good.  “The Might Redcar” currently running on the BBC is brilliant - but sadly it is the exception rather than the norm.

 

The BBC just don’t get that with Netflix and Amazon being so strict on technical standards, the BBCs stuff looks cheap makes over time will make it harder and harder to justify the licence fee. 

 

What really pisses me off is - as we all know - it’s never been cheaper to make brilliant TV.

 

I’d love to know if the UK industry is unique in this rush to the bottom which is so sad considering the lofty position the BBC used to hold.

 

The use of self shooters has now moved into corporates. At least one big corporate prod co is now regularly using self shooters to film interviews with bigwigs on its own A7s kits.

 

One of my clients has an A7s and a few basic lights which until a few weeks was just used for pitch videos, but they have now done at least one shoot for an external client with it.   At least on that occasion they brought me in to shoot it.

 

Michael 

 

Michael Sanders: Director of Photography.  London based but works globally.

 

reel/credits/kit: www.mjsanders.co.uk    m: +44 (0) 7976 269818


On 8 Oct 2018, at 06:37, cml-general@... Integration <cml-general@...> wrote:

OK, there are more people out there competing for the work but there's a lot more work out there!

Jan Klier
 

The downward pressure Geoff and you described in the video business happened to photography too. They’re a few years ahead in that cycle, which is why some of them diversified in order to stay in business. Some of them figured if they just put their stills camera into motion mode things should work as usual. Others have taken the time to properly learn the business, use proper camera and technique for camera, light, sound, etc. And a fair number of people who primarily are in the video business also own stills cameras and do paying work there. So I would be reluctant to call out photographers wholesale. The point about proper technique and crews are more than valid.

In the end this battle can only be won on value. A final end product where the client can see the difference and understanding that some shortcuts inescapably will surface elsewhere either in quality or in cost. There are endless examples of sloppy set work resulting in multiples of cost in post. And endless examples that failed to launch or produce results because of poor decisions by clients.

It’s been interesting though to explain to photographers what the differences are and why they matter. Some get it quickly, other’s are a bit more dense.

Jan Klier
DP NYC
(formerly a photographer)

On Oct 8, 2018, at 3:49 AM, Michael Sanders via Cml.News <glowstars=me.com@...> wrote:

Oh and photographers are now shooting video..