Monday, January 9, 2012

Goodbye 2011, Hello 2012

First of all Happy New Year. As I sit and type this blog, I'm reminiscing the great year that was 2011. Sure, it had its lows, but overall 2011 ended up being one of those years that will be bookmarked for sure.

Lets recap. The year started off my moi getting my first ever gig as a director of a television commercial, something I never look forward to. Then there were documentaries, more commercials, a music video and while on vacation, a reality TV show and a short film (outside of a place I'd call home, with zero scouting). Apart from a few mishaps here and there, mostly successful projects. It reunited me with my LA brothers Lance Hobbie and Shane Glick, finally got to an SC tailgate, had a 20 min conversion with the man himself, David Fincher (where I couldn't put 2 words together without stuttering like a 6 year old Rob Pattinson fan) and of course found a directing "force to be reckoned with" in Sara Baumann. 2011 ended with news of making not one, but 2 feature films in the year ahead.

Which brings me to these 2 movies. In December I went with old friend and director Jahirul Hasan Badhon to Kurigram, a district north of Bangladesh. We went to shoot the documentary part of the feature film, which will be shot in the pattern of Band of Brothers, so real life interviews of Bangladeshi Freedom Fighters followed by live action dramatized events. The 7D with a Rode Video Mic and Zeiss primes (the now famous "Frayed" kit and slowly becoming my favorite piece of hardware) came along. Kurigram was ummm.....cold. On top of that, I tried the local "delicacies" and got extremely sick. Amidst all of this, we shot over 8 hours of footage in three days, met some real life Bangladeshi heroes and heroines and sadly also got a taste of how people who fought for the freedom of my nation are pretty much lost and forgotten (by their own people I might add) among the hoopla.

Here are some screen caps.

The other movie I'm gonna be working on is kinda about 3 stories in one kinda deal ala Amores Peros. Not a remake, not a copy, but 3 different couples brought together by a tragic event. I really can't go into details about this movie, since the copyright issues haven't been solved as the script is being finalized, but believe me, it sounds great. Really stoked about this one, as is anyone who listens to the idea/story. I volunteered to direct one of the segments myself. Hopefully I can get JH Badhon and Sara Baumann to do the other two.

Moving on to 2012. Apparently, the year we will all vanquish according to those Mayans. What a tragedy that'll be, since 2012 is the year I'm most looking forward to, as a camera gear ethusi....umm...screw it.....addict. If you love digital filmmaking, you're jumping up and down with joyful exuberance. New cameras from RED (new sensors for the EPIC and finally the Scarlet), ARRI (who else's celluloid heart will the ALEXA conquer), Sony (finally 4K CineAltas) and even Canon (C300 people??). If you're a celluloid lover, you're counting down the days till you're gonna have to make the shift eventually, with your film transfer machines, film processing labs getting shelved right next to the Moviola in the local film museum. I'm not the first one to say it, but here it goes again, 2011 was the year celluloid found out it was dying, terminally and 2012 will see digital starting to pull on the plug that controls its life support. The 2 best films of 2012 were shot digitally. Hugo was amazing and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was breathtaking. I had a discussion with Lance once about how everything would eventually become digital, where he vehemently opposed my views. Now, like his guru Scorsese, his motto is "who needs film?". I would personally like to congratulate Jim Jannard and the RED team. Had it not been for them, we would still be selling our houses to own a 1080/24p shoulder mount cam that shoots 422 8bit. Downsize, downsize, downsize and we now have a nuclear reactor in the palm of our hands like the EPIC. 444, 16bit, 5K, 120fps at under $50k. Bam!

Now will come the age of words like aliasing, moire, bit depth and of course my least favorite, ingesting, flying though the air. Unlike choosing film stock (bye bye Kodak and Fuji), DPs will be choosing sensors (by choosing different cams), LUTs and dailies, which will now be hourlies. Good times. The only people who are safe are the Lens guys. All the new cams come with a PL mount option, so cine glass will still have its charm. Zeiss and Cooke are still the big hitters, but new lenses from Leica (the Summix C) and Canon (Cine EOS) will give us more variety. Fujinon and Angieneux are cranking out great zooms.

So here's to a great 2012. A good friend suggested this title...."Film is dead, but cinema is ever so alive". Thanks to everyone who has read my stupid blog. I hope I given you some insight to the world of cinema and television as I live through it.

Here's the new 2012 Damage Inc. Productions showreel.