Phaedrus' Street Crew
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About Erkki

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  • Birthday 10/05/1979

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  1. Filmmaking

    I'm now trying to edit what we shot today and the close-ups don't seem to go well at all with the wide shots. Maybe because I lit differently for the close-ups... [edit] I edited something together... it has several mistakes in it, but would anyone be interested in seeing? It's really my first time shooting with lighting and actors, so I'm very curious how it looks to others.
  2. Filmmaking

    No other goal, thanks for the feedback. I had a practice shoot of my movie today. Man, it was kind of fun but also stressful due to time. Firstly, one assistant didn't show due to a misunderstanding, the other was later than I thought they'd be so the first two hours we just messed around with the actors and did some wardrobe tests. Then when we were about to start shooting, food courier showed up and spilled the food, leaving it for us to clean up. Another half an hour gone. In the end, we only managed to fully shoot one scene and walk through another. I'm not sure I'm entirely happy with how it turned out. My lenses and camera combo is not the best as it turns out - the camera makes the lenses a lot longer than I would need so I have to turn the camera to keep actors in frame. I also realized that at the widest aperture on these lenses (F0.95), the color temperature changes significantly. So I might shoot with F1.2 instead, which should be fine though. Initially one of the actors couldn't stop joking around, even when we started a take. But somehow after lunch break, he then managed it and it turned out quite well. But the actors are not very experienced, so their close-ups may not convey emotions as well as we'd like. I'm now thinking whether to try to get a better performance out of them or to skip close-ups... But skipping close-ups might make for a boring to watch movie. But I don't know anything about getting a performance out of actors, especially while also handling the camera, lights and other stuff.
  3. Filmmaking

    I made another video to test out my new gear. Would appreciate any comments about the montage - is it way too slow, should it be more fast cuts like the one with the bike near the end?
  4. Nope, but that blackface seems even worse than Orson's black&white one.
  5. I saw Orson Welles' Othello and the blackface is really offputting. In general this movie seems to have some rather weird cinematography, which doesn't seem to follow any established film language. And the dialogue is impossible to understand. I turned on Spanish subtitles for help (English were not available). Still, there's something in it, so I gave it a 3/5, but it's the first time I see what's behind saying that Welles remained an amateur. The composition of some shots and the super low camera angles make very little sense. Yet, I see some similarities to Chimes at Midnight, which is one of my favourite movies. But I think Chimes was much more polished even if it probably had a lower budget. Also since this was on Mubi related to it's Cannes win, I see that Cannes has actually always favoured not-so-great movies from certain names, it's not just a recent thing. I haven't been following the flak Cannes has been getting, but it does seem deserved if they are favoring certain big name male directors, over women for example.
  6. Movie/TV recommendations

    Found another interesting Soviet film from the 60s - I Am Twenty (It's on Mubi here for a few more days). It's about the generation who entered their twenties in the 1960s, and so were born around the end of WWII. Like many Soviet movies, it has some propaganda in it (ends with a visit to Lenin's mauseleum), but it was also initially banned like many great works. It mostly deals with ennui and coming of age and mostly due to the presenting of ennui I would compare it to Antonioni. Perhaps some elements of French New Wave are also seen in it, and I would also compare it to other contemporary soviet work such as I Am Cuba. It's not quite as polished as the latter, but something in the camera movements seems familiar between them. One thing I noticed is that the camera is often kept below chest level, even at waist level perhaps, leading to the characters having more stature than is common in western cinema. Now that I think of it, I think Kalatazov and Urusevski did the same in The Cranes Are Flying, I Am Cuba and Letter Never Sent. I could also be wrong that this is a soviet thing or uncommon in the west, I haven't actually paid that much attention to the height of the camera when watching movies. [edit] Forgot some more notes: I kind of think the film focused too much on men, though, and did not present women as equals to men. Also, Tarkovski has a small role in it and gets slapped.
  7. I had some random thoughts about average ratings on different sites. On Letterboxd, a movie that is for me good, but unremarkable, usually might have a distribution of ratings like this: A movie like this can have close to 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, though. Here's the same movie there: Basically Rotten Tomatoes seems to be favouring "safe", average movies. A movie that no critic dislikes, but everyone thinks that it's rather fresh than rotten, even if it's not great, can achieve a 95% or 100% rating. I guess this can actually be good, and it worked for me for a while, but I do think it can be elevating some movies undeservedly compared to others. On another note, the movie these are taken from is not really "safe" in all ways though - it's "Paris 5:59 - Theo & Hugo" and has a hardcore gay orgy in it. And it has some good cinematography, but on the average it didn't seem anything to remember for ages. Yet, I'm kind of glad to have seen it, and if I had just gone by the Letterboxd rating - I would have filtered it out (generally I go for >3.6). But it was just about to expire on and so I decided to see it after checking RT. On the other hand, a movie like Phantom Thread, probably overall less interesting for me. Letterboxd seems to have a bias for some very new movies... They can take the top easily, but start falling down slowly. But then again I thought RT also has a bias for newness, when checking the top lists last year.
  8. Women Directors

    I watched two films directed by women on Mubi yesterday. Lynn Shelton seems to be somewhat associated with mumblecore, which is a genre I’m starting to appreciate more and more. I have seen Your Sister’s Sister before, which I liked a lot and yesterday saw her debut We Go Way Back, which is a rather unique (AFAIK) story about a 23 year old confronted by their 13 year old self. Liked this one quite a bit too. Angela Shanelec is currently under focus on Mubi and I will definitely check out more than Marseille, which is about a young woman who doesn’t seem to know what to do with her life. I liked the first half of the movie a lot, but while I see why the second half exists, I didn’t enjoy it that much. [edit] I have now also seen Orly, Afternoon and The Dreamed Path. The latter is perhaps the most interesting, but they are all pretty low key movies and nothing super memorable. I do like the overall mood, but all of the movies seem to have some technical or dramatic peculiarities which I'm not fond of (digital zooming shot seems to be utilized - does not look good).
  9. Filmmaking

    Yeah it’s a cool look. I would leave more margin space. On the weekend we did photos based on the storyboard with the two principal actors. I realized that I might have a problem since one of them makes a lot of jokes and then is able to quickly convey different emotions right after, but the other needs the exact opposite kind of atmosphere to get into the role. But I hope we’ll figure it out during a practice shoot.
  10. I don't know the term, but I think nowadays I would look down on this. Definitely did not care for it in Reservoir Dogs when I saw it recently. Pulp Fiction was my favourite movie for a while, I wonder if now I would find it rather dumb in some regards. I don't even know why it appealed to my teenage self and so many others - what's so cool about different names for Big Macs or what the main character thinks about how much mayo people in a different country use? It does absolutely nothing for the story, and I'm not sure if it helps build the character at all.
  11. Filmmaking

    God damn, how small stupid tech things can ruin one's mood. I got a bunch of pieces of gear delivered this week from many different sources and was feeling good as on the weekend I plan to do some screen tests and photos based on the storyboard. Mood totally ruined by a stupid ND filter step-up ring getting stuck to a lens hood adapter ring - the most dumb pieces of gear ever where you'd least expect failure. Yet this now means I can't use my lens hood with the lens. Not that it's totally ruining everything, but I never work without lens hoods normally - they protect the glass from potential bumps into things more than anything, and also I will have differences of light coming into the lens for the photos I'm using to plan the shoots, compared to when I'm going to actually shoot (by which time I hope to have replacement lens hood because I tried ply these rings apart again, but now they are totally ruined by pressure from the pliers). Fuck technology, I'm going to stick to writing and write a hundred screenplays into my drawer. [edit] I can now see, though, why one might prefer big matte boxes with non-screwed rectangular filters, to scewed-on round filters and lens hoods.
  12. Filmmaking

    Thanks for sharing that! I went to a one-day film course a few days ago where the teacher said that a scene is sometimes filmed so that first they film the whole scene as long shots, and then they do the close-ups separately - this also gives actors time to get into character for close ups. I am thinking that this might work for me for the office scenes. I'll only have one camera, and maybe this way I also avoid switching lenses a lot (I'll mostly use 3 fixed lenses from 35 to 85 mm). But I'll probably need to use a dolly a lot if I want to get several montage shots for from one physical shot. And the lighting for long shots could also be done once per scene then.
  13. Filmmaking

    I just did the first draft storyboard based on my screenplay and it's about a 100 shots. I was expecting 60 or so. Damn. I'm kind of scared now - how do I light all that etc. If anyone wants to check it out I shot a video with my phone where I show the frames and talk about what's shown or said, at roughly the same speed the movie should be at.
  14. Women Directors

    I would mention two Estonian women who have directed some pretty good films lately - Moonika Siimets and Sandra Jõgeva. But it's probably very hard to find their movies outside of Estonia. Paz Fábrega is a Costa Rican director who has made some pretty good low-key movies about relationships: Viaje (2015) and The Cold Water of the Sea (2010).