ME filming Wayne Barret- by Anthony Geathers - ABG Photography

LEARNING AS A DIRECTOR HOW TO BE A BETTER CINEMATOGRAPHER

Cinematography is a wonderful profession. You get to understand dramatic uses of lighting, play with the latest gear, become addicted to lenses, congregate with some of the best visual artists in the world and um…did I mention play with the latest gear?   Seriously, one of the areas that aren’t talked about as much are the roles of being a Director. And not just of the Photography portions. Those consist of commanding the Gaffer, G&E crews, working with makeup artists for the best portrait shots or working with production design to setup lighting. No, I mean the act of Directing in its rawest most potent form: communication.

Like many nerds, I am—or WAS mostly an introvert. I’d stick to the lunch room or library drawing comic pages, thinking of great martial arts stories, creating game designs and level layouts and become excited at the thought of going to the arcades later that afternoon. But, that doesn’t tend to lead to a very social-able lifestyle beyond a small clique of friends usually. Me- Tremor Team 12. 03   Flash forward to today, as a filmmaker you’re forced to overcome shyness unless you don’t mind your project failing in production. Communication is such a powerful tool that it can totally shape the scope of your actors’ performances, and how the images are painted on camera. Essentially, this is a nerd’s PARADISE. From my own recent experiences, not only have I learned to express what I want as passionately as I can, but I’ve learned to call onto my old creative experiences as a visual artist, a young storyteller within game design and action scene scenarios from martial arts direction.

Un-colored still frame from Temore Team 12

This is probably one of the strongest areas where being a total geek can cause you to succeed. Think about it, we have the fanatical drive, technical know-how and obsession for information and tinkering. So if you can tap into that zone, (the zone of a total child, really) and express yourself to the actors, you’ve crushed it! What’s more is that I’ve had the opportunity to work alongside some very strong Directors and watch them work, watch them communicate and gain some insight on how to express an element that you’re going for in a variety of situations with a variety of different types of people.

Directing isn’t about having an insanely grand vision — for some directors it absolutely is and we get some really cool-looking movies — but directing is all about like communication. If you can communicate to somebody else, if you can communicate a thought, you can direct, it’s that simple. – Kevin Smith

ME filming Wayne Barret- by Anthony Geathers - ABG Photography Me- Tremor Team 12. 02   It’s been a very, VERY crazy journey as of late. Thank you guys all for so much support! A special thanks goes out to great friends in Richard O’ Sullivan from Lost Colony Productions (for being a great friend and creative partner through self-funded filmmaking ventures) , Shane Hurlbut, ASC from Hurlbut Visuals (for being that forward thinker we as young Cinematographers need and personally helping me in times of creative need, Bob Primes, ASC (for giving me the best advice that kick-started my career) and Michael Grady (for inviting me to observe and sit in the production DIT for the upcoming Annie remake film).

Here’s some latest work from a variety of different projects within the last 5 months. Some are still in production.

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Thiago The Pitbull and a love affair with Coconut

YESTERYEAR

3 years ago I was granted the opportunity to film one of MMA’s finest superstars in Thiago “The Pitbull” Alves, who was at the time considered to be one of the top 10 most dangerous competitors in his weight class (170lb welterweight).   Years later, Thiago has suffered 4 different surgeries: one for each pectoral muscle and 2 on his other appendages. Consider that most fighters don’t come back from major surgeries, let alone FOUR. And, it probably didn’t help much that we haven’t heard from Thiago in the ring for two years straight. Thiago stretching   EVOLUTION

Flash forward to today, I’ve wanted to revise my original video for a long while now and wanted to do this with Pitbull’s kick back into the MMA spotlight in a major way. Thiago smiling   So here we are, in Thiago The Pitbull. A short film that delves into his psyche a lil’ bit and takes us into one of my favorite (okay, maybe my absolute favorite) MMA team and gym, American Top Team, located in Florida. Since I needed a vacation from NYC’s schizophrenic weather conditions, heading to Coconut Creek was a God-send. Thiago about to kick   Mike Dolce was also over at ATT for Thiago’s training camp to keep his meals and scheduling in check. Other than filming both of them, we were able to just simply hang out, which I picked up alotta’ pointers on what types of cooking utensils to use, all the way to watching Mike setup the meal piece by piece. Most guys suffer themselves steadily throughout the last week to cut weight, but Dolce had Thiago eating regularly 6-times per day. Did it work? Well, Thiago came into the event weighing 171lbs, 1lb over the weight limit of the class itself. That’s some proof for ya’! Thiago group photo Hosted by the great guys at SB Nation/Vox Media, this baby is a 15-minute short film, but you can also check it out in smaller 3-Chapter chunks. Just in case y’know, if you’re too busy and need your violent inspiration in bite sizes.   Enjoy and leave me some feedback, whether you love it or wish for me to kick rocks bare footed :)

http://www.bloodyelbow.com/2014/4/17/5625038/thiago-alves-discusses-return-to-ufc-action-after-two-year-absence

Joe FINALE WITHIN PAGES

PREVIEW: Joe Lozito – FINALE WITHIN PAGES

Three years ago, Maksim Gelman arrives in the Subway with knife in hand, caked with blood, ready to continue the trail he’s begun with a woman he’s stalked a day earlier. This time around he meets up with Joseph Lozito, a hardworking man with a strong love of combat sports, now headed to work in a botched up weekend commute toward the West Side of the City.

What ensues is a story suited for most Hollywood films: Gelman screaming, “You’re gonna die!” attacks Joe with his knife viciously, ripping open his face. Instead of sitting as a victim, Joe takes his life into his own hands, wrestles Gelman to the Subway car floor and apprehends him until the police arrive. Seconds later, Joe sits down and continues to bleed profusely on the floor, slipping closer to death, while nearby officers simply watch and provide little assistance to help this local hero recover.

Three years later, with physical scars healed, Joseph continues his battle but with the New York City Police Dept itself. Destined to leave him in the cold without any support whatsoever, he now struggles with legal battles with the authorities who stood by needlessly as a mass murderer went mad in mass transit.

This is a preview from the upcoming film where Joe sits down with me once again and shares what’s been happening since that day, the embrace he’s received from the combat sports community and the continuing struggle with the City’s authorities in their effort to dismiss his efforts in stopping a maddened killer on the loose.

 

UPDATE:
To see the original piece I’ve done with Joe 3 years ago, check out the video below:

Phil Nurse PROMO (RAW EDIT TIFF) (0-00-15-14)

The Wat

As a tiny teaser, a few images from my recent shoot at Kru Phil Nurse’s gym, The Wat. I’ve been wanting to film at his school for years now, so when he invited me downtown I didn’t hesitate at the opportunity.
Hope you enjoy. I’ll be adding a few more this weekend as the color work becomes more developed.

These shots by the way, were done with the Contax Zeiss Planar 50mm (1.6x) f/1.7

Original LOG file from RAW DNG file:

Phil Nurse PROMO (RAW EDIT TIFF) (0-00-24-16)

 

…and with a rec709 LUT:

Phil Nurse PROMO (RAW EDIT TIFF) (rec709)And finally fully graded:
Phil Nurse PROMO (RAW EDIT TIFF) (0-00-06-07) Phil Nurse PROMO (RAW EDIT TIFF) (0-00-11-10) Phil Nurse PROMO (RAW EDIT TIFF) (0-00-15-14) Phil Nurse PROMO (RAW EDIT TIFF) (0-00-18-05) Phil Nurse PROMO (RAW EDIT TIFF) (0-00-24-23) Phil Nurse PROMO (RAW EDIT TIFF) (0-00-27-03)

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Beauty Insanity @ Intl Beauty Show

While it wasn’t New York Fashion Week, there was a great amount of beauty in the air. Farouk Systems (you may know them from my previous work for Biosilk at the DVF 2013 show) invited me down once again for the International Beauty Show, held at the Jacob Javits Center.

The Farouk Systems team put on a crazy show on stage, getting the crowd interactive and hyped, pulling people up for hair demonstrations and having a great time with pumping music! I worked as a documentary still photographer as a change of pace, capturing as many grand and intimate moments to tell the story of the event.IntlBeautyShow.001IntlBeautyShow.002IntlBeautyShow.003IntlBeautyShow.004IntlBeautyShow.005IntlBeautyShow.006IntlBeautyShow.007IntlBeautyShow.008IntlBeautyShow.009IntlBeautyShow.010IntlBeautyShow.011IntlBeautyShow.012IntlBeautyShow.013IntlBeautyShow.014IntlBeautyShow.015IntlBeautyShow.016IntlBeautyShow.017IntlBeautyShow.018IntlBeautyShow.019IntlBeautyShow.020IntlBeautyShow.021IntlBeautyShow.022IntlBeautyShow.023IntlBeautyShow.024IntlBeautyShow.025IntlBeautyShow.026IntlBeautyShow.027IntlBeautyShow.036IntlBeautyShow.028IntlBeautyShow.029IntlBeautyShow.030IntlBeautyShow.031IntlBeautyShow.032IntlBeautyShow.033IntlBeautyShow.035IntlBeautyShow.034

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BREAKING NEWS: EXPLOSION ON 116ST AND PARK AVE

 

These photographs of mine are from the aftermath of the explosion that was held in New York City’s East Harlem area on 116st and Park Ave. Before running out of the door, it was reported that 11 people were minorly injured with 1 additional fatality. I have not been updated since heading out.

NOTE: by the time I arrived, police have barricaded all entries to E. 116st. These were taken before news photographers arrived on the scene (whom were also barricaded from entry).

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UPDATE: Police have completely barricaded the entire 116st area, making access for all photojournalism next to impossible. Here is what the situation looks like as of now…

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Second Row IMAGE

Sultry Slow Burn For A Jazz Trio’s Upcoming Album

Opening Shot

SECOND ROW BEHIND THE PAINTER

This marks the very first time I’ve been able to fully create a promotional piece for a band entirely centered on Jazz. Roy Assaf had approached me months ago about this piece back when I first began working with Producer, Monique Witt on a previous project, “Split Screen”. So this was something I’ve been waiting to put together for a good while now.

THE THEME

Roy had given me some ideas about what type of feel he wanted for the promo. He had seen a previous project of mine for Madison Square Garden, “God Bless The Ring” and really loved the opening sequence, which was done at 60fps high speed for slow motion at 24fps.

So for this work, we wanted to stick to a lot of smooth transitions, slow motion work throughout and calm, subtle dollies and pans. More to the rhythm of the voiceovers and the lifestyle’ish photography.

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Cheapo slider rears its head again. Don’t worry, she’ll be replaced soon enough…

TOOLS

Sticking to my current workflow, I went entirely RAW on this (hyuck hyuck) and stuck to my Magic Lantern powered 50D.

The lenses however were slightly different this time around.

Nikkor Q 135mm f2.8

Super Takumar 50mm 1.4

Zeiss C/Y 50mm 1.7

Nikkor AI-S 28mm 2.8

I wanted to use the two 50mm (1.6x on the 50D making them 80mm portrait lenses) for very different purposes.

The Takumar, from its aging and radioactive coating, gives a very yellow cast and a low contrast quality. It’s great for our purpose in the interiors, making the scene more warm toned and inviting which we used for the group shots over the piano.

The Zeiss 50mm (80mm) was used on the exteriors, but for a very dramatic quality, supplemented with a variable ND filter by Fotga. I maintained a steady ISO of 200, but adjusted my exposure entirely upon the vari-ND filter for every shot. This allowed me to maintain a wide aperture, without having to increase shutter speed or overexpose at all.

Portrait of Jake

THE ART

Slow, methodical and beautiful. These were some of the key words used to describe the promotional during the pre-pro phases. So that takes into account the color, editing pace and even the music being used- all of which was kept in mind during the entire process, even after the gear was all packed away. It all had to be in sync and I believe it accomplishes this task.

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On location, shooting in W. Harlem, Riverside Park

IN CONCLUSION

You can check out the Youtube link or the Vimeo one (which is usually of higher quality) and leave your thoughts below. What are some of your experiences with slower paced projects and how did you go about getting ‘em done?