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This guy just called the entire camera department "cotton balls" between the director and his vision


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#31 Janice Arthur

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Posted 22 April 2015 - 08:02 AM

Charles

Never confuse me w the facts.

You're right again, I thought he was some recent college graduate.

Have a good year.

Janice
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#32 Charles Papert

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Posted 22 April 2015 - 11:04 AM

Charles

Never confuse me w the facts.

 

Planning on stealing this and using it today. Cheers


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#33 Francois Archambault

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Posted 23 April 2015 - 12:42 PM

When I first saw that "Cotton balls" comment, I was immediately insulted.  I said to myself: What a schmuck!!!  But after a couple of minutes, I realized that the "problem" behind that comment had really nothing to do with me, but everything to do with Mr Jarvis himself.  The first comment made here by William Demeritt was not only spot on, but it actually pointed directly at the real issue at hand:  Chase Jarvis's total ignorance of the art of film-making, period.  I rarely make comments on this site, but William's words on this guy prompted me to write this because it reminded me of a story, so here goes:

 

I was working on a show with a great and famous director.  We had a good thing going on set, sharing ideas and opinions and making sure we always stayed true to the story and the actors style etc.  It was not a big feature, it was a pilot for a series.  I, like everyone else on the set, shared and voiced opinions directly to Him all the time.  He very much encouraged it, and He always listened to what you had to say.  Our days were long and our schedule brutal.  We were averaging 18 hours per day.  Time was precious, but still, He always took the time to hear you out.  He would then say: "…hey! great idea! let's do that…"  Or he'd say:  "...no, can't do that because...…",  always taking the time to explain why he couldn't go with your idea.  Anyway, one day (actually it was a night shoot…), He was standing beside me at my dolly (He almost never ever sat down), both of us an eye on what the DP was doing.  So I decided to ask Him why, being this big-shot director, working on this tight crazy schedule that we had, He would always take the time to listen to his crew instead of simply calling for whatever he wanted and having them done.  His reply was very much like William's comment.  This Big shot director's answer was this: "… you're right, this is MY crew.  And on MY 70-80 people crew, at every moment of each day, on every scene, every shot, every setup, one person on MY crew is bound to come up with a genius idea.  I either listen and make the movie profit from it, or I lose that opportunity like a stupid fucking self-serving egotistical cunt…"  ...sorry his words...

 

In my 26 years of earning a living as a camera/steadicam operator, I've seen all kinds of directors and cinematographers.  And I feel I have enough experience to say that it is clear in my mind that, with this mindset, Chase Jarvis is "loosing" big time on every shot, every scene, every setup, on all of his shooting days, and probably on all of his living "off set" days too.

 

Entire camera dept "cotton balls" between director and his vision…  Mr Jarvis, I recommend you use words, put them together in well constructed and grammatically-correct sentence, then voice your demands clearly, and express yourself in an intelligent and practical fashion.  It has been done before, you know, and by great and talented directors with vision galore, directors that gave us fantastic iconic films of all kinds and genres, with jaw dropping performances and deep super-charged stories.  Get over yourself, Mr Jarvis, I may be wrong (but I doubt it...), but I believe it is quite clear to all of us in all the camera depts of our world, or any dept for that matter, that you sir,are not the very "thing" in the way of your own vision.  By promoting this sort of "cotton ball" philosophy, you actually become part of the problem, encouraging the growth of everything bad that can negatively affect the process of good and proper film-making.  A film crew is a hard working team.  Make friends with them. Make them your accomplices.  They can do wonders for you if you let them, if you trust them.  A single lonely person is, and will always be… well… only just a single person…  

 

Gear is only gear.  The Mimic is only a tool.  Running in a park with available light and no sets, lights or rigs is ridiculously easy, no challenge there, no big achievement there.  I'll put you on a stabilized 3 axis head with a set of wheels, alone, and see how you fare.  Tools don't take "cotton balls" away from any film-making equation.  That would be like saying that if you get a 2500$ set of golf clubs you'll play better.  You say:  "I understand the tradition…"  tradition?!?!?  well, I don't think you do sir.  Film-making is not a tradition, it is a craft, a technique, at every levels of every depts.

 

 

Ok.  Enough said.  Sorry for the rant. but it was quite therapeutical.  I feel better now


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#34 axel ebermann

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Posted 24 April 2015 - 06:49 PM

This reminds me of a great discussion I once had on set whenever the Movi first hit the market. Some guy comes up to 

me and says "Isn't this awesome ? Now we can make movies with just like two people !!!"

 

I gave him my most snobbish stink face and replied:" well knock yourself out. I will continue trying to work with

as many seasoned professionals as I possibly can".

 

:-)


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#35 Ryan Brooks

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Posted 24 April 2015 - 07:21 PM

I thought Mr. Larry McConkey has some great insight, in the article below, into how working with a big crew makes a production great. He also has some great thoughts on the MOVI. I'm sure you guys have seen it but for me it was a good read. Very encouraging and made me excited to continue to strive at Steadicam Operation.

http://filmmakermaga...m/#.VTrd0Ba9KnM
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#36 thomas-english

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Posted 25 April 2015 - 02:15 PM

I think the cotton balls comment comes from ignorance. A seasoned director envisions a shot and the budget to get said shot. A joker comes along having watched these amazing shots and is then frustrated when their inexperienced crew can't afford the kit, expertise and mainly time to get those shots. The director then gets frustrated and calls the crew cotton balls.

I see these devices making certain shots slightly easier under certain conditions. That's it.
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#37 Sam Morgan Moore

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Posted 05 May 2015 - 10:38 AM

Chase is not a bad chap and was a great stills photographer in his time before being consumed in multi media and being a 'blog hero'

 

I think his comment is being mis-construed.

 

It is true every bit of kit and suchlike does get in the way of film making.. the directors vision.

 

Was not Steadicam invented by partly because Mr Brown was pissed off with laying track?

 

Id take a light that put out '10k' and ran off a couple of AA batts over one that needed a genny any time 

 

All the gear does get in the way. 

 

I don't think he is stupid enough to think that creative minds and skills - which might be a fantastic dolly grip or fabulous art department have no value.

 

Of course the Movi may of course not actually do what it is supposed to but that is a different story.

 

S


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#38 Christopher Moone

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Posted 07 May 2015 - 12:35 PM

You put a stick in the hand of an untrained person, it's still just a stick. But in the right hands it is a tool that can be used to make fire, build shelter, whatever. I played with the mimic at NAB. It has things it will be good at, and lots that it won't. It's a tool in the right hands and just a stick the rest of the time. Film making is a corroboration of skilled and talented people, as has already been said. Every one of you knows that our job is hardly pan tilt shut up. We are part of a creative team, Francois said it great.
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#39 Tommy Stork

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Posted 08 May 2015 - 12:49 AM

Sam, I couldn't disagree with you more about his comments being misconstrued.  I can't imagine anyone, who was well intentioned, giving the crew such short shrift and basically overlooking them as non-sequitur baggage to creating a vision.  I would welcome his comments here.


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#40 Sam Morgan Moore

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Posted 09 May 2015 - 03:44 PM

Is a Cotton Ball a person or a wall of some nature? In the UK it is not an established phrase, maybe it is in the US.

 

I think he is making a general (and valid) point. Take a jib, for example, total pain to set up, if we had a silent, controllable, safe drone we'd probably use that, not a jib, because the wall to setting it up would be lower. But without that drone, you need a jib and skilled ops to use it.

 

Wider, DR, usable high ISO, lighter cameras, more efficient lights all this stuff is 'lowering the wall' to creating the directors vision and that is, IMO, good.

 

Where his argument falls down, however, is that Mimic seems to need two (or more) skilled ops, as opposed to one Steadicam op, it shows footsteps, having no stabilising arm, cant hold a lock off like a camera on sticks or track and must be really hard to operate don juan.

 

So apart from maybe being more intuitive than a toy car remote control what does Mimic bring to the party? Like all gimbals it 'beats' the steadicam for a few odd shots.. car window pass out, some really tight spaces but not really much more.

 

His argument also collapses if he thinks the director can operate, because, well, even on sticks camera operation is a deep skill, add the co-ordination of timing your moves with your 'legs' operator and, well it needs an op on the controls.

 

I buy his sentiment, but think his argument is technically deeply flawed.

 

I was much more impressed by the vid of Larry using the Mimic on a fluid head. That is cool to 'oldies' who a no good at Xbox/remote control cars. If it is a rig, or a remote head or filming with an iPhone, Larry can do it better than him, if he doesnt realise that he is.. a cotton ball

 

S


Edited by Sam Morgan Moore, 09 May 2015 - 03:47 PM.

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#41 William Demeritt

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Posted 10 May 2015 - 01:20 AM

We still talkin' about this chode? 


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#42 steve wagner

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Posted 24 May 2015 - 05:47 AM

Well couldn't you argue that the Movi itself is a cotton ball. At least for the solo operator. It only vaguely expresses or tries to guess your intended camera orientation while it stabilizes itself automatically, unlike steadicam which points exactly where you direct it hands on. Couple to that the mimic and you have a second cotton ball. where an operator removed from the action attempts to compose the shot with no situational/positional awareness of the 'operator' (i.e. Movi Carrier)  Really doesn't seem like a fair comparison between this and shots by seasoned steadicam artists /practitioners. Little need to worry about this in my opinion.


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#43 Alex Kornreich

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Posted 25 May 2015 - 01:46 PM

 

It is true every bit of kit and suchlike does get in the way of film making.. the directors vision.

 

...

 

All the gear does get in the way. 

 

 

 

 

Completely disagree. The gear is what enables a director's "vision", not gets in the way of it.

 

By this logic we should just strap go pros to the director's face. 

 

 

 

 

I think he is making a general (and valid) point. Take a jib, for example, total pain to set up, if we had a silent, controllable, safe drone we'd probably use that, not a jib, because the wall to setting it up would be lower. But without that drone, you need a jib and skilled ops to use it.

 

 

 

A drone and a jib produce the same shots?


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#44 Charles Papert

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Posted 25 May 2015 - 02:10 PM

A jib or crane are hardly a total pain to set up if you have enough skilled "cottonballs" on hand to do so. Remember that the original video described a 70 person crew so the assumption is that you do. On a low budget set with a small, less experienced crew, it does make sense to keep the equipment package manageable otherwise there's a time penalty involved.


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#45 Abad Rosa

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Posted 18 July 2015 - 07:01 AM

The jib / drone comparison is ridiculous. 

 

The Movi is a fad. It will soon fade away. At least from the hands of turdburglars like Chase Jarvis. Carbon fiber and hexagonal design go a long way to sell overpriced units. 

 

I worked with the Movi guys on a Taylor Swift concert. The director was disgusted with its performance. It was a jittery mess full of taped on Hex keys to balance a too large camera that the kid could barely hold up for more than 30 seconds.

 

Funny how no one brings up these topics to me in person.


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