Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Epic News

We're excited to announce that RED DIGITAL CINEMA has selected us for their RED EPIC-M program, and we will be receiving our RED EPIC-M camera today!

EPIC-M is a hand-machined model of the RED EPIC that is only being released to people in the film industry selected by RED.  What that means is we are among a very small group that will own the EPIC for it's release.  We're in good company, as James Cameron just bought 50, and Peter Jackson is shooting on the EPIC-M for The Hobbit.

So how much of a head start do we have until the EPIC is available to everybody?  Well, not even RED knows that.  The tragic events of the Tsunami in Japan affected mass production of the EPIC, and it's release is indefinite.  At this point in time the EPIC-M is the only available RED EPIC, and will be for a while.

That being said, we're excited to continue our tradition of being on the bleeding edge of high-end cinema.  Stay tuned for unboxing and first impression videos.  We also plan on doing some heavy shooting to share what the EPIC is capable of.

Until then, check out these great videos other EPIC-M owners have shot!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Behind the Scenes peek: Camera prep.

Chris Gearhart goes over the camera prep for a two camera shoot.  The setup consisted of two RED ONEs. One with a Cooke 18-100mm zoom, and the other with Zeiss Super Speed primes.

BTS Photos

Enjoy these behind-the-scenes photos from our latest production. 
April 20, 2011 Shoot

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Close-Up

In my mind there are certain moments in film that seem suspended in time, and put goosebumps on my arms when I think of them, and most of them are contained in a close-up.  The close-up demands your full attention.  It's what actors long for and dread all at once.  As a filmmaker, it's crucial to have the close-up in the arsenal as a powerful tool to draw the audience into the character's mentality as well as the actor's performance. 

The insane, yet disturbingly precise movements of Marlon Brando's insane gaze as he confronts Martin Sheen in Apocalypse Now.

The complete loss of hope in Maria Falconetti's eyes in The Passion of Joan of Arc.

The reluctant yet emotional declaration of guilt as Daniel Day-Lewis screams "I've abandoned my child!" in There Will Be Blood.

The next time you watch a film, pay attention to when the director elects to go into a close-up.  If done well, it's at a key moment that strikes a note about the character's involvement in the scene.  It grabs your attention as an audiences and tells us "this is important".  Pay attention to the amount of time the close-up is held.  The above shots are held for a long time and draw you in as a viewer.  I remember watching these moments and literally holding my breath, staring at the screen without blinking.

Do you have a favorite use of the close-up?

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Some evening musings on film

Often times I sit and think about what it is I actually do for a living and my mind begins to go in all sorts of directions. Essentially, we in the film industry work on a refined process of creating illusions that come close enough to something our brains interpret as some level of reality. There has been a lot of discussion on what makes film what it is. Walter Murch, the great editor of Apocalypse Now, The Godfather Part II, and The Conversation wrote a great book on breaking down the way film goes past being a series of flickering images.

Going to the movies is kind of a bizarre concept. You go into a dark room full of seats and strangers. You shut off any connection with the outside world. The lights go dark. And you sit and stare at a white wall with projected images flickering on it in rapid succession. Yet, this experience draws us in. It challenges us. It inspires us. It was enough to make me want to spend my life trying to make those experiences for others.

It's even more bizarre to think of how distant those images are from their original creation. When you watch Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia running from Stormtroopers in the Death Star, you're not thinking about the rehearsals, repeated takes, missed cues and stunt teams behind those images. You're not thinking about the electrician hurrying to get the 1K scrimmed just right to cut the glare from Stormtrooper #5's helmet, or the caterers that are running behind on lunch because an actor wanted their salad without croutons and someone forgot, or the AD barking orders at the below-the-line crew, frantically trying to stay on schedule. You're not thinking about all of them, but they're there. All of them working tirelessly to bring you a moment that you almost forget is purely fiction, and purely illusion.

So what are we in the business of doing? My answer to this question will change day-to-day, but today my answer is this: We're in the business of manufacturing a meticulously staged series of moments, capturing the images and sounds from those moments, extensively manipulating those images and sounds, and getting those manipulated images and sounds to dark rooms full of people. Somehow, after achieving all of these things, our real goal is to make those people in those dark rooms feel something. And that's what we do.

And you know what? We love doing it.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Hello World!

Welcome to the official blog of Lakeview Productions. If we keep this up-to-date as much as we're planning, you'll be able to get some insight on our latest projects, as well as get our thoughts on industry-related topics.

Instead of posting the standard boring "who we are" post, I thought I'd share some of our work instead!

Le Plâtre Rêveur from Lakeview Productions on Vimeo.