Special Guest: Gale Tattersall


HDDSLR: From Still to Video


Lesson Info

Special Guest: Gale Tattersall

Good morning gail thanks very much to meet you show I think what you're doing is just make thanking the thing and you know this is really helpful to people and how could it be any better this what you've been doing a spectacular so congratulations thank you very flattered and honored to have you here I think that for people who don't know gail is a new award winning sc director of photography uh he is currently the director of photography on house uh one of the most successful team isn't the most successful tv show or is it one of these it's um it's constantly neck and neck with them cs isa one year were more popular the next year they're also we we run this you know sort of competition so to speak and one thing I need to correct is that unfortunately have not actually an air sea I've been investing so much money in various things that I have I actually haven't come up with the den randhir but so technically it's not an issue although I probably will be surely but just to put matters r...

ight because that could irritate of you people that worries you have more than earned it tenfold so askew said it's just a matter of time um basically what people should know about you that is relevant amongst many things to this discussion is that you took the five d mark to literally to a new height and in the history of issues lars set, you know, a new benchmark last year when you shot the final episode of house, uh, a network show entirely on the five d mark, to which at the time I was pretty much equivalent of the rubber stamp of saying this is a bona fide camera that can actually make it not only know the silver screen but onto a major, not just a television show who wanted the most important television shows in the country on perhaps overseas on dh. That was just when I can tell you that when I watched this show I I've known a five d since its first days, I tend to be able to recognize the footage from a mile away no matter if it's on a website an iphone um film or television. I had to pinch myself a few times when I saw what you did with it and say, is this really one hundred percent with the five d, uh, congratulations and I'd love to hear from you is how that came about. How did you come about shooting, eh? Twenty seven hundred dollars, twenty four dollars whatever it is now camera on a humongous show with a significant budget and, uh, you know, I know you collaborate with greg thie, executive producer uh how did this all come about? And it was it was an interesting thing. I really I mean it's really? A so I was saying before this is all your fault you were the one that really was the pioneer of this when you produce your first piece on blew everybody away, and I think you had I think it was two million hits within the week. What was the name of that piece? I'm gonna terrible memory, and it was there that reverie, reverie, reverie. I mean, it's a beautiful piece of work, and I think, you know, I am state my hands off to you for actually taking this whole thing off, because as we all know, the the five d was really developed for voter john less to do web interviews and things like that with this apparatus that they were photographing. And and out of that you took this, cameron produce a work about just blew people away. So and this is really all your fault and, well, speaking of fault, how did the first a sees, uh, think of of you, me and the five d on that show for that episode? How happy of a bunch were they? They basically I think they actually had little we do does that they were sticking pins into because I'm a can in the arrest, and I and this'd be used cannon menses because for me the most interesting thing about the five d and the dslr system is that this is an affordable system for oh basically anybody to be able to make their dreams and make a movie and what a gamma that's affordable I mean who could afford an airy and shoot thirty five and do the processing jealous any and all of that and it was just impossible and this was the big stumbling block and then certainly we have and I jim in a hands gifted to us by cannon that enables people to basically make and I'll say there's openly a cinematically releasable movie for a fraction of the budget if you have a a couple of actor friends and you have most importantly a good script right? Um you can make a fantastic piece of work that can be shown theatrically and I think an interesting statistic I oh, I believe I'm correct in saying that that twenty percent of entries at sundance this year were shot on the viability or seventy or one d mark for or possibly an icon but this is just going to show the change of the world than them how do you get a lot of our revolution is basically enabling people we're going to see a message demented crap of course, but we can do also discover some incredibly talented young directors that deserved to be seem so I'm going back to how this season finale came about it just so happened that we had a script on dh which was about building that had been collapsed by a construction crane falling wanted so we were working an incredibly tight spaces on dh one of us that's who is m started off a three feet dole and the very idea of trying to get thirty five millimeter cameras into those spaces on dh every time we would have to move the camera would have to be construct this and it was designed to do then and if the camera isn't setting up our next charts and that's him it would have we would have still been huge ing to deconstruct this had to get out a new angle isn't dead so we were sort of forced into looking for a small camera that would you know enable us to work in these tight spaces without pulling the set apart all the time and then eventually the there was a secondary collapse and the ceilings of the parking structure again did engine two feet so the shorts a large part in that sequence basically lying on our bellies and just resting on some bags that kind of thing s o we really didn't have any choice and then after that because of the beautiful large size of the sensor on dh I suddenly realized this fantastic it better to be too putin actor into his own head use the shadow depth of field we shot a massive amount of one, and one for using the cannon lynched is, which was absolutely held for our focus pullers. But on you knew when you're shooting on so I could twenty never eggplant needs little mill, and you can throw the background there to give you any other films on that. So and what to me was interesting was if you take all the beauty of advantages of the dslr system, and to me, the only camp really loves the five d because of the large sensor being able to separate your back. You're right from the background, which is something that you were talking about, a lot of states, a story telling point, I mean, you know, hospital is a hospital, and it looks like a hospital and sometimes it's so nice to be able to be focused the background when you could do this with wide lenses, which, again, on the five d on dh, you've created a comm completely different to the storytelling, and, you know, so it all came about that we just love the look of that lost to the fact that you couldn't grand three cameras into the space that one conventional camera would normally again, no, she was that that, uh, letters into shooting the whole episode and of course I had about a week to do many jet was possible to leave trying to punish the camera to explore the running shot juke and he spoke with the acting and compression issues and so it actually managed to avoid all of those chips. Just take your time now speaking of camera prep do you remember specifically thie first shot that you did on set with your crew? How did that go off? They go through flawlessly that you make sure you set up an easy one or how was that experience of it was yelling, you know, action while shooting the five d on such a big production it was kind of interesting to the first few days the end the cast for a little bit nervous because they used to working with our big areas and elisa and sent me they found themselves and surrounded by a bunch of paparazzi and it took them a little bit of a while to get comfortable with them and they and I think subconsciously felt more how can we be possibly shooting are incredibly important show on a bunch of stills get risk you knows this could work but once they started seeing the results they we're totally behind it supportive and that in some ways and in the end they realized the advantage that and it blocks there are lines less you convey you know a camera on a close up of cameron maneuver within inches of each other so it means that the eye lines aren't so spread and getting into the actor's face much better devote using the background I mean they started to love the idea of it and and that's a love that hasn't stopped and we still use the five b for a massive momentum shooting just re jumping the other day we I had to do a car shoot seven pages in the car and them I'm sure you like me it's about the worst thing I get asked to do but used it to shoot car interiors abs on an open road in california sun china's it's just about the nastiest light situation you could encompass because the light was so savage and unforgiving you know I come from britain and when I first get into l a you know I just couldn't believe that now see the light was you know, from where ten o'clock through about four directly overhead you haven't no shadow that runs all the way down to your feet I mean it is the most nasty light of all and you know and of course when you take that egg reason that that came to be is I'm in the early days of chaplin and keystone kops movies they were into the place where it was three hundred sixty days a year of some time because on just used to build full or three wolves sets and put his hill top and then and then the walls were painted with the gradation served as the walls have closed to this will get top again increasing density I'm so this was perfect on that kind of thing because film stock in those days was so incredibly snow they needed this massive amount of light and so then some idiot decided to put troops on the studio's climate now I know he was ah quiet kind of interesting fellow or you remember as a quote from any from you anyone on your crew that has stuck in your mind related to that first use of the five the during an episode is there is singer that came out that's uh not r rated I think him most of that stuff was done behind my back you know it was absolutely health vote is clueless because the very very thing that makes life hell for them which is shallow depth field and you know you're talking about you know, say or no and one hundred mil or something like that a one millimeter rotation on the barrel is a ten foot shift in focus out in front of the camera when you're active about eight feet away so this is how it is that there's no way that you could use marks on the floor in the conventional way and mark off your lenses especially with the way the lenses slip beyond infinity and slipping on minimum in the amanda rotation from minimum focus to infinity is so tiny and, of course, reason being is that design vistula is bill is god right now hands fifteen times to find focus, and I'm praying like hell, like all of us that soon can't cannon come out with the scent of burst into my lenses, which have much more barrel movement, because I didn't think their optics can be faulted. They're the most beautiful optics, and they'll stand up against remo's or cooks, or any of the to mention all movie lenses. But again, going back to the democratizing asian build investors, I andi, I don't believe in putting his eyes lenses on cannons with the elements, because then it defeats the whole purpose of the the exercise, which is to make cameras avoidable and enable people to, you know, just go out, make a movie with stuff that you dependant sam, his camera store for a hundred bucks, you know, now I'm it's rather like putting, putting a solid gold roof who's back on the smokes market. Now, speaking of which we're about to shoot a short, four page narrative seen here with three actors, um, and of course, as a dp, you surprise me that you're breaking all the rules instead of shooting that piece that at four, five six you really you know pushed the limits, shooting a one, four times have to, um you've always got to find a balance between getting that incredible look uh and also making sure you give your first day season your actors a little bit of breathing room in terms of hitting their marks a little more depth of field um and just taking less risks do you? You know you work with, you know, one of the top cruise in the business some I'm sure some of the very best first a sees in the business for the everyday person who's going into this would you recommend they shoot their their scenes that one four or to give themselves a little more depth of field? What would you say? I think if there's a lot of movement in the scene, if the active moving around, then I know exactly the opposite of might back up twelve to twelve fifty on my five d or, you know, twenty five hundred dollars on my one d mark for just give them a bit of a chance one of the things that saved our asses basically was I'm a huge fan of marshall monitors in the peking and was what enabled our first assistance to survive this event and dispose this engaging, you know, half an inch of depth out five feet or six feet and so on going back to your question, I think it's also recourses some shorts when actors a fairly stationary I think you can be brave, you know, get into their heads by just turning the background into immersion. I think this is such a valuable tool in terms of storytelling. Andi think you end over a lot of this? Yes, they have. Focus really is a key to story telling you what do you want to say? Where do you want to focus the eye on, you know that the actor's face of that time in separation put it put him in his own world, you know? So there were times where we do really go for makes me depth to give up focus. What is a johns on day? Of course, the longer lenses tend to do this anyway. I mean, way did a crucifixion scene, a city's of there's a while ago, and one of our operators, rob house and great guy and he did, is in vogue is putting on a five hundred. So I was in munich going to give him for for there, and I gave him twenty two just to give him some kind of fudging johnson he managed to pull an act all the way out from about two hundred feet and do about thirty feet without to breathe and the focus on, you know, but a twenty do that's kind of possible, you know, so again, too many people on this job that's how I make my choices, but it's, andre, the great advantage of being having all these films stocks effectively, I'm sort of music. That is a metaphor, you know, terrible these choices in your back pocket by just being able to slip the irs. Odile is a fantastic tool in a second, you know, I wanted tio. We're going to switch overto, asking the students in the live audience as well as the web, to ask you some questions directly before I do that. I want to make one comment on that as I watched that final episode, umm what I took away from it, besides the usual, um uh, fantastic operating you concede done from any crew around the world. What, you guys, uh, what your team did was to make sure that the lighting I was still at the standard that you guys are used to producing on your episode, the lighting was absolutely flawless, and I think that was a a huge contribution to the quality of the image that we saw on the broadcast. It was it is a crystal clear image beautiful lighting on I think you know to me one of the one of the mistakes people make is they get these cameras and they think that because refuse me they're so sensitive to light they don't have to light anymore they can rely a hundred percent of natural light which at times works but you definitely found a great way to balance that and I'm gonna go ahead and bounce this off to the students here or the web where raises their hand first? All right, they did gil the internet would love to know more about the camera and that's behind you in that shot here about I purposefully shut my job because I want everybody to remember our roots I mean, one of the things that I think has contributed and to me being a reasonably good beef is that when it was a kid I spent years in the darkroom and this camera behind me here it's a nineteen oh two on blade camera that shoots sixteen by twenty negatives and then I'm still into that kind of photography and I think it's what makes reasonable dp out light in directs with silver and the thing that blows me away is that just literally on one hundred ten years ago this is a nineteen oh two british camera I think certitude sixteen by twenty banks who you can message bam and it's a lesson in first of all I have this picture of a bunch of victorian guys in suits and top at standing around it saying my goodness, what an incredible piece of technology which is only one hundred ten years ago and it just goes to show how far we've come and I think understanding riel photographic process is very, very valuable if you're going to become a good dp or a good camera technician because you find an awful lot of people in this digital world I'll just start shooting and eventually it's some kind of picture will turn up then and then they have a basis to start shooting you can't afford to do this if you're working with traditional for met the dog of the on dh real film especially not on this scale no day today b thirty forty bucks so you don't mess around you it forces you into a discipline of understanding lines, understanding, dynamic range, understanding all the things that they're still just is critical in this digital age is they have back in the day so it is keeping their just through my mind that this is a process you understand lives that you can't just huge ing and eventually come up some cameras stopped that works on dh it's important to get us through the process understand that certain system the's a very, very important things when you're shooting gauge or not and uh it's you know it's a really good one hundred that anyone in the audience daniel is that you know, after all your experience before you picked up the five d once you kind of got that in your hands I bet you know kind of inspire you to realize hey, you know, all these new things are possible under that kind of excite you reinvigorate you as a dp and oh, absolutely. And jared lee I mean, one of the things that you know that mentioned before the five p to me is the is the machine because on being able to shoot it on that sense or it's equivalent to a system they had back in the fifties and early sixties calm estimation which was our horizontal and pull them cameron that job basically a full thirty five no stills right in a horizontal film format through a movie camera it didn't last very but it just gave you this extra field to shoot on extra real estate because israel no you know the larger the film format or the larger the sensor in the digital world and there's shallow your depth of field will be to the point where you get up to something like there's this sixteen by twenty you have no depth of field I think the prime lens on that camera is a three sixty millimeter lens on dh so you get three sixty millimeter on dh depth of field even though you're it's equivalent to a fifty mil on, say, a seventy or something like that, whatever we decide the standard lens on his seventy years I mean there's a lot of talk about whether it's this or that but if just for example and you decide to fifty and you have a limited depth of field on this it's a three sixty and so you have that shallow depth you're already working for you, it just has a very, very large coverage but it has the same quality the three sixty no lens that you put on your five d know that shallow depth of field and but in this case is so to effect it's a stand that lens a five hundred mil on this would be something like I don't know five hundred inch lens, you know so it's a very important thing to realize that tim and size of sends them isn't very, very important and that's something to be the reason that by being so special and become the love of my life is because it can achieve things that there's no way even on the most expensive motion picture camera, the most expensive red khun be achieved until the epic came along in the epic I haven't had a chance yet to play with theoretically it will work in the same way as the five d which is enable you to play with depth and field which to me is one of the most essential parts of my tool kit you know in terms of telling story we're going to take one more question from the internet all right? Labarga in the chat room has asked gayle do you get involved in the editing process on house and if so, tell us a little bit more about your role there you know it's funny on a big tv show it's very compartmentalized on to the point sometimes where it's embarrassing and I mean even within the camera department I have and operators at two operators I have to tell people is I have second assistance and everybody has a role I mean, sometimes I embarrassed myself when I in the age of the moment I got deep remember to get into alive you on you know, because I'm lucky enough or fortunate shouldn't have to that was a distance that you know will help me with those things and free me up to concentrate on the lighting it's a very different world to the world and low budget filmmaking and on you know, so it enables me to focus all my attention on the lighting be working ed with lighting on the show so in terms of getting involved in the editing and then doesn't often happen unless suddenly when I'm doing my funny final callin timing on an episode I realized that a lighting change we had created for special effects somehow got me mixed in the translation got ms and onda story point was lost and that happens every known again but really it's a very separate thing so it's it's a very different deal too low budget filmmaking where you basically have to you know, sweet desserts and make pretty huge operate edit you know I'm beginning to learn about it eating and I loved your thing yesterday about dobie on what a fantastic to let is because I was hardened final cut lover until the last few weeks where I've discovered this incredible engine that they have that enables you to do I'm start editing straight away and if I've got a second I'd love to explain one thing that way do workshops and the last project of our workshop is actually doing a music video where all the students and stuff get involved in turn them together shooting a music video and we tried to present present too rough count at the end of the day and using final count it was just impossible because by the time we transco did you know twelve cf god's way basically ran out in creative time to do a night at it and you know that was a little bit evident yesterday when uh vincent was working with the energy it's really, really difficult especially when he was slowed down by internet speed and bandwidth and stuff like that to really show how this raceman what premier have done is just mind blowing in terms of making it user friendly too shoot and edit in one day and this is exactly what we've been looking for and you know, so again returning to the question I really don't have an awful lot to do with the anti john harris and there's I find something that's not working when they come to do my color timing the last thing I'll leave you off with is a very quick question um I'm being hurried by my director here alive teo get within the next segment I would want to talk to you all day to be quite frank as opposed to having to get up on stage and talk myself if you had one pearl of wisdom to leave with all the people watching here there's the students in the live audience oh our students are the people on the internet um either relating to making a film a short or as a director of photography what's the one thing you would leave us with in terms of us something you've learned over your vast experience and I think most important thing is to treat filmmaking is something that's part of your soul I am even after my forty nowadays on hers I am when we go into hiatus I always going to try and make a a film have been dressed that I love, I think, and the inspirational side of filmmaking is just being made one hell of a lot easier by the dslr system. And so what I would say to people is going make your dream, you know, find your friends, find your act two friends find your good script trying to friends and just get to it, because now all the excuses sadly joke on have been removed and there is no excuse for you not to make a cinematically releasable film using these cameras and a film doesn't have to be huge with visual effects. You could make him a fantastic film about two people eating cucumber sandwiches in the library if you have to, it can still be a great film, but just go do it is is where it's all about now on anybody can do it runt any excuses and has run with a be creative, but now your dreams together because she going to do some great stuff, and now we have all these wonderful distribution general such a romeo and you know youtube and you can get your work scene and there is no into the possibilities of creativity no, and I think you'd be done incredibly cheaply. I mean, one of the things we do in our workshop is to teach people how to do beautiful lighting with a lighting thinks she is that you can pick up a home depot it doesn't have to cost a lot of money on dh you know so say that just live your dream and jake grab this with both hands and going make kim beautiful new media's um there is one more question no but gayle we just wanted to tell you how much the internet is loving this enjoying talking to you and they would like to talk to you all day is on and parana says why doesn't creative live have a class with you gail that would be awesome I think that would be very cool I mean this is the first time I hooked up with vincent and have a great fan of mention because he when I was jokingly saying this is all your fault he's the guy that started this off I almost feel like a thief in the night the game and on took what's all the groundwork that he'd done and m guys like shane and run the charges and you know all of these wonderful dps and photographers have done and you know basically I just came in and still the ground jewels by doing the first net network tv so with me my hat off to you guys were actually bringing this to our attention and you know I miss this for a long time and then congratulations I think your work is wonderful and this is to me on a really revolution, and we're just seeing the beginning of this let's going to be a very exciting world out there in the next two years. Well, thank you, gail it's. Been an honor having you with us. I think we do literally mean we could stay on the entire day, uh, in your own world words, everyone else, just go do it. A little bit of a change on one of the more famous logo is out there, so gail taught us all. Just go do it.

Class Description

Learn what it takes to make the move from photographer to filmmaker in HDDSLR: From Still to Video, a digital filmmaking course with Vincent Laforet.

In this comprehensive digital video course you’ll learn; how pre-production can help you develop a better movie, both documentary and cinematic filmmaking techniques, and which editing suite is right for you. Vincent will demonstrate the production essentials of setup, script development, and shooting quality b-roll.

HDDSLR: From Still to Video gets you up-to-speed on the latest gear, cameras, and production techniques. You’ll learn the skills you need to make the transition from photographer to cinematographer.