8 Great Robert Pattinson Movies To Watch Before “The Batman”

About two months ago, Robert Pattinson was announced as the new Batman in Matt Reeves’ upcoming film and reactions were mixed.

While we can understand why some people don’t think he is a good choice to play the Caped Crusader – maybe they don’t consider his appearance right for the character – we don’t understand those who still associate Pattinson with his “Twilight” vampire days and underestimate his acting chops. But we are here to contradict them and its enough for them to watch some of the films on this list to change their minds.

Pattinson is a great actor and in the last decade he has proven his acting skills time after time, after starring in more than half a dozen of great movies. Of course, most of the movies on this list were not even close as popular as the “Twilight” saga, but infinitely better.

Here are 8 great movies starring Robert Pattinson which you could watch until “The Batman” comes to the big screen.

 

1. Good Time (2017)

One of 2017’s biggest surprises, “Good Time” is surely a classing in the making. Robert Pattinson gives one of his best performances so far as Connie Nikas, a character that has been compared by many to Robert De Niro’s Travis Bickle from “Taxi Driver.” Connie and Nick, his mentally challenged brother, try to rob a New York City bank, but things don’t go according to plan when Nick gets caught and taken into custody by the police.

Pattinson’s character tries to rescue his brother, but his mission turns out to be way harder than initially thought when a series of unexpected events happen.

The action takes place during one night and this translates into an alert, entertaining movie which will keep you on the edge of your seat for its entire 99 minutes of running time. With the Safdie brothers’ fantastic direction, a memorable score from Oneohtrix Point Never (it didn’t win the Cannes Soundtrack Award for nothing) and a career-defining performance from Pattinson, this film is indeed a good time.

 

2. High Life (2018)

Claire Denis’ ambitious science-fiction film features Pattinson as Monte, a troubled man who has been sentenced with a death trip to space.

When he was young, Pattinson’s character has been sentenced to prison after killing one of his friends over a dog. In the present day, along with a bunch of other prisoners, he has been sent on a deadly space mission whose purpose is to find a black hole and extract and alternate form of energy from it.

On the ship with them there is also Dr. Dibs (Juliette Binoche), an older woman who we later find is also guilty of some very nasty deeds and who has another mission of her own: she is obsessed with artificial insemination experiments and demands the males on-board to donate their semen.

The ship is also equipped with an unusual room called “The Fuckbox” where crew members go to masturbate and which is the setting of a very erotic scene featuring Binoche. As you might have already noticed, Claire Denis has merged together some oddly interesting ideas for this film. Surprisingly, they work together very well and the result is a dreamlike movie which differentiates itself from every other sci-fi you’ve seen before.

“High Life” is a strange movie and its non-linear, somewhat confusing narrative and slow-burn atmosphere might not appeal to everyone. However, one thing is sure: Pattinson gives a magnificent performance as the complex protagonist and proves himself as one of the best actors of his generation.

 

3. The Lost City of Z (2016)

The Lost City of Z

Based on David Grann’s non-fiction novel of the same name, “The Lost City of Z” recounts the true story of the British explorer Col. Percy Fawcett (played by “Sons of Anarchy” star Charlie Hunnam)., who in the early 20th century disappeared along with his son while exploring the Amazon Jungle in search of a lost ancient city.

Robert Pattinson plays Corporal Henry Costin, who accompanied Fawcett in his first explorations. Despite his small on-screen time, Pattinson steals the show every time he shows up in a scene. His character, who is a bearded, straight-faced and very rational man, looks and acts so different to what we were used to from his Edward Cullen days that some might not even recognize Pattinson at first glance.

 

4. The Lighthouse (2019)

“The Lighthouse” has its premiere at this years Cannes Film Festival and, judging by its stellar reviews so far, we just can’t wait for it to get a wide release (in the USA, the film will hit the cinema screens on October 18).

“The Lighthouse” is directed by Robert Eggers, whose debut film “The Witch” (2015) was also a critical success and one of the best horror films of the decade, so the expectations are high for his new movie. “The Lighthouse” was shot on black and white 35mm film and in Academy aspect ratio (which is nearly a square), just like films used to be shot in its early days by pioneers such as Fritz Lang and G.W. Pabst. We hadn’t had the chance to watch “The Lighthouse” yet, but based on the trailers and the critics’ reactions, the cinematography is something special and it really has the looks of a film which comes from long-ago.

As for the story, we know that it will revolve around two lighthouse keepers from the 1890s (played by Robert Pattinson and William Dafoe) who live alone on a remote island and start to lose their sanity as they are facing their worst nightmares.

The good thing is that critics praised the film not only for its visuals but also for the fantastic performances given by Pattinson and Dafoe, who are the film’s sole protagonists. “There are moments where Pattinson is so transformative it’s jarring. You simply never thought he had it in him.” said Gregory Ellwood of Collider. This film will surely be one of the year’s must-sees.

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Watch How ‘Avengers: Endgame’ Pulled Off That Epic Final Battle

‘On your left’ kicks off Marvel’s biggest action scene ever. Here’s how they did it.

Avengers: Endgame broke box office records and made comic book fans’ dream come true with much of its epic running time. But it was that final battle, with Giant Man punching Thanos’ space eels out of the sky as EVERY AVENGER EVER (and Howard the Duck!) brought the Mad Titan’s forces to their knees and theater patrons to their feet with applause.

With Marvel Studios having recently released Endgame on digital home entertainment (it arrives on Blu-ray and 4K Tuesday, Aug. 13), SlashFilm interviewed Weta Digital’s visual effects supervisor Matt Aitken to provide an unofficial audio commentary over the battle and its behind-the-scenes footage. Aitken goes in-depth on how and when the production executed the effects-filled climax to the Infinity Saga. Watch below:

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What’s Up With Rose In ‘The Last Jedi’? A Character Study

When it comes to character studies, Rose in The Last Jedi is a fun one. Let’s go over her arc and see what we can learn.

When it comes to Star Wars movies, sometimes there are too many characters to count. They’re like the Nashville of space epics. And that’s not even counting the droids. So how do you get these characters to stand out when you meet them?

Writing and developing a main character is hard, but throwing a new person into that mix and getting them to shine is even harder.

Today we’re going to go over Rose Tico, look at how her character fits into the Star Wars universe, helps set where the franchise is going and develops a unique arc that sets her apart from any other character we’ve seen in the universe.

Let’s go.

Who is Rose?

Rose Tico is a resistance force volunteer. Her sister died in the beginning of The Last Jedi and now she’s both dealing with that grief and trying to make a name for herself in a world with so many famous heroes already. That’s hard to do when you’re just a maintenance worker.

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ART OF THE CUT with Fred Raskin, ACE on editing “Once Upon a Time in…Hollywood”

As an assistant editor to the legendary Sally Menke, Fred Raskin, ACE, worked on both of Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill movies and created a working relationship with the director that launched him from assistant editor to the coveted editor’s chair with Django Unchained, though he HAD edited projects for other directors prior to Django.

Fred has worked – solo or as co-editor – on films including Hateful Eight, Django Unchained, Guardians of the Galaxy – 1 and 2, Fast and Furious AND Fast Five.

Today, Fred and I discuss his work on Tarantino’s latest film, Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood.

Fred Raskin, ACE, in the cutting room of Hateful Eight. Photo courtesy, Wm. Stetz.

(This interview was transcribed with SpeedScriber. Thanks to Martin Baker at Digital Heaven)

HULLFISH : Let’s talk about the diegetic (http://filmsound.org/terminology/diegetic.htm) music, or the beds of music and sound and radio and TV content that the characters are listening to — or that you would imagine are filling their space.

RASKIN: The entire movie — to some extent — is a product of Quentin’s memory of that era. And one of the things that is foremost in his mind was that everyone listened to 93-KHJ — an AM station that played the rock music of the era. He wrote into the screenplay that the deejays from that radio station would be — to some extent — the narrators of the movie. Them introducing the songs and coming out of them and even the way they read the commercials was all going to be part of the soundscape of the movie. He actually got ahold of a 40 CD set that was just all of this KHJ material from 1969. And he listened to all of it. And I had to have my assistants catalog it all so that when he would say, “OK I want to use this song which is from this date with this deejay” we were able to pull it up. KHJ is as much a character in the movie as any of the people.

HULLFISH: Did you find that you needed to edit picture to that audio material or were you trying to edit mute or were you adding the audio later? What was the timetable of including those soundtrack pieces?

RASKIN: When I’m doing my assembly, Quentin really does not come into the editing room during production. He just remains focused on shooting the movie. He literally had to come into the editing room twice during the entirety of the five-month shoot. So when I’m doing my assembly I generally am working without music. He’s very good about not telling me what songs he intends to use because he doesn’t want to have the experience of watching it for the first time to find that I’ve used the song in a different way than he had intended. Sometimes he knows — down to each verse — what he wants to see at what point, so seeing something that’s off is going to throw him and he’d rather see it silent and then put the music in later.

But sometimes he would shoot with a particular song playing in playback and if that was the case then I had a pretty good sense that that was a song he was intending to use. And when I knew, I would use it and usually wouldn’t be too far off from what he intended. But for a lot of the stuff, I didn’t know, so generally when I had assembled something dry, when he came in, we would try putting the music in against it and then make the adjustments so that the rhythms of the edit matched the song. But if it was something where I knew what the song was ahead of time then I would use that. It was kind of cool. There are probably more jump cuts in this movie than in any of his previous movies and a lot of that comes from cutting the stuff in time with the music. That allowed us to get away with things that I don’t think we would have had they played dry.

Quentin Tarantino directing a scene from ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD.

HULLFISH: One of the things I noticed with some of those tracks is that often the background audio cut as if the character was listening to it in their car and so if there was a picture cut there was also an audio cut. It wasn’t like a traditional music montage where the music continues under the picture cuts.

RASKIN: Yup. Cliff’s drive home is probably the most obvious example of that. We’re collapsing a relatively long drive home and one of the ways that we had to tell that story is by hearing a different song every time we cut to a different part of his drive. For me, as I was working on the movie, I got used to the rhythms of the way we had cut those songs and they almost formed their own new rhythm. I’m sure on first viewing it’s a little bit more jolting, but I kind of fell in love with the way we transition from one song to the next.

HULLFISH: You mentioned jump cuts so let’s talk about that. The most obvious place that most people are going to remember them — I think it’s even in the trailer — is where Rick….

RASKIN: … has that freak-out in his trailer after he blows his lines.

HULLFISH: Yes.

RASKIN: That was always [Quentin’s] intention for that scene. That is sort of a rarity in the Tarantino pantheon because that’s a scene that was actually pretty much entirely improv-ed. Quentin had spoken with Leo about what he wanted the scene to accomplish and he gave him the main beats that Leo had to hit. And then he said, ‘OK, I’m going to shoot this from one angle.’ They ultimately ended up doing four takes of it. It’s all from one wide shot inside the trailer and each take Leo kind of did his own thing but found those particular beats that Quentin wanted him to hit. Then — stylistically — Quentin refers to it as his Taxi Driver sequence. There was really no way to put that together other than jump-cutting it — unless we were literally to just hold on a shot for five minutes of a guy freaking out. But I think the jump cuts give you a good feeling for how frustrated Rick is in that moment. I’m really proud of that sequence. The jump cuts tell the story. They contribute to the comedy of the scene, like when Rick says “That’s it! No more drinking!” and then we cut right to him taking a sip from his flask.

Brad Pitt star in ONCE UPON TIME IN HOLLYWOOD.

HULLFISH: The other part to doing those kinds of jump-cut sequences — not only do you have to be conscious of the material that you want to have the audience hear, but you also need to kind of choose where there are going to be big visual jumps. Like from the left side of the trailer cutting to the right, or sitting than standing. Talk to me a little bit about constructing that if you can remember.

RASKIN: We occasionally would use big sound effects like door slams or him kicking the table as a cut point. There weren’t really any rules in terms of what we could get away with. In general, I think it tended to work better when Rick wasn’t in the same position. When he’s jumping around from one end of the frame to the other it just adds to the insanity that the character’s feeling. We kind of found the beats that we were going to use, strung them all together, and then found the rhythm by watching it through and feeling, “OK, we should lose a few frames here” and played it back until it felt like “All right. This is working. We like this.” We tried a few different versions. There were a number of different beats. We watched the whole thing back and felt like, “All right. This is doing everything that we needed it to do.” Then you play it for an audience whether that’s my assistants or an actual test audience and then you find out whether it’s working or not. In this case, everybody responded really well to it.

HULLFISH: There are other jump cuts, too, right?

RASKIN: Yes. The other thing about that trailer scene — since I went into it discussing the music-based jump cuts — is that there is no music under that scene.

Another series of jump cuts is when Roman and Sharon are driving to the Playboy mansion and Deep Purple’s “Hush” is playing, we were able to collapse their drive through the use of jump cuts. It was a combination of slow-motion and 24fps and we found — certainly with the slow-mo — using the jump cuts was just a really cool effect.

Margot Robbie stars in ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD.

We have the moment where Jim Stacy introduces himself to Rick Dalton which is a weird example. That was a scene that played out in one take and we wanted to collapse it and Quentin said, “This is my homage to the Brian De Palma movies of the late ’60s — using the jump cuts in this way.” So I said “OK.” He’s pretty firm that there are no rules. Even though plenty of people would look at that and say, “What are you doing? You can’t do that.” Quentin will just say, “Eh… I did it.” The real joy to working with him is that he knows everything that’s come before and he uses that knowledge to great effect. He knows what’s going to work and what isn’t, and certainly there’s stuff in this movie that people are going to be bothered by, like the fact that like we hear from a narrator very early on in the movie and then we don’t hear from that narrator again until the last act of the movie — that’s something that I’m sure studio execs would have issue with. And he just says, “I use the narration when I need it, and I don’t think the audience has any problem following that.”

HULLFISH: You’ve referenced Taxi Driver and Brian de Palma movies. I think everyone knows that Quentin is a big film aficionado. How much of your interaction with him relies on you having his level of film references that borders on the encyclopedic?

RASKIN: It’s an interesting question. In order to do the job, probably not so much. In order to converse with him about it, a whole damn lot. Nobody is going to be up at the same level as he is. If you ever want to feel like you don’t know anything about movies, spend 10 hours in a room with Quentin Tarantino. So you’ve got to roll with it. He’s going to talk about movies that he expects you’re going to know and you’re gonna hang your head in shame and say, “I haven’t seen that — but I’m going to.” But the truth is that he knows what he wants and he’s very good at explaining what he wants. And then we can execute it together. And then it’s just if you’ve edited movies before you kind of understand how you’re gonna refine it to make it work. Certainly, my experience at doing the job helps but I don’t think I needed to have as encyclopedic a knowledge base as he has in order to pull off something like that.

Margot Robbie BTS in Columbia Pictures “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”

HULLFISH: I’m trying to remember the story from our last interview. Your love of movies helped you land the editing job — seeing movies at the arthouse theater that Quentin owns and talking to him at that theater?

RASKIN: No. Not exactly. I met him because I was an assistant for the great Sally Menke on the Kill Bill movies. I assisted Sally on the two movies that she cut prior to Kill Bill and so she brought me on to Kill Bill. We didn’t see him at all during the production on that movie and that was a LONG production. If memory serves, it was about eight months. And when he got back from shooting he came into the editing room for the first time and we would have lunch together — at least initially. Once they really got into it, Sally and Quentin would be in the room together hunkered down. I’ve come to understand what that’s all about!

But whenever the opportunity arose, we would just engage in conversation about movies and I think he very quickly had a sense that we were kind of kindred spirits. And I WAS a regular at the New Beverly — that’s the theater that he now owns. But long before he owned it I was regularly going there to check out revival double features. After finishing the Kill Bill movies I would just randomly run into him at that theater or at various parties and whenever we’d see each other we’d talk about whatever we’d seen recently and so he kind of kept me in mind so that when they did their rough-cut screenings of both Deathproof and Inglourious Basterds he called me up and invited me to his friends and family screenings — which was a tremendous honor, really exciting. There’s not really much more thrilling than getting a call from Quentin Tarantino saying, “Hey, I want you to come and see our first cut of my new movie.”

HULLFISH: I talked to another assistant of Sally’s — Phyllis Housen — and she said her job on Kill Bill was conforming the Avid cut to a film cut so that Quentin could watch Kill Bill projected on film.

Leonardo DiCaprio star in Columbia Pictures “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”

RASKIN: That’s correct. Kill Bill was actually a weird situation because that movie was shot three-perf Super 35mm so you couldn’t actually conform work picture. We had to do a film-out of the entire first cut and then whenever changes were made, more film-outs had to be done and those film-outs had to be physically cut into the initial film-out. But all of the movies that I’ve worked with Quentin on as editor have been shot four-perf so that we’ve got work picture printed off the negative that can be conformed based on the Avid cut so that we can do screenings in 35mm, or, in the case of Hateful Eight, 70.

HULLFISH: So he’s still doing screenings on film? On Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood, you guys were screening on projected film? Not just for audience screenings, but kind of every day?

RASKIN: Yeah. We definitely did dailies screenings on film. That was for probably the first half or so of the shoot. They always fall off at a certain point. It was every day or every other day when the shoot began. At first we went to FotoKem to screen, but then we built a screening room downstairs at our production office that could hold about 70 people — something like that. The whole crew and cast were invited. But then as we got into post whenever we finished a scene I would turn it over to my assistants to have them start conforming it so that when Quentin wanted to screen it on film we had that option. We didn’t do it that often as we were putting the movie together. We screened what — at that time — was the first two hours, which really only went up through the scene where Rick meets Trudi — the little girl on the porch of the saloon on the set of Lancer. We screened all of that with Bob Richardson on film. So it was cool because we’d been looking at the Avid for so long and then to get to see it on 35mm — there was an extra level of period authenticity to see it projected on 35mm. In general, when you’ve finished a cut, you want to screen it right away and that’s not really possible when you’re conforming film. There’s at least a one day lag time and then you also have to think about opticals and titles. So we were definitely forced to screen digitally sometimes when we needed to watch it right away. We were cutting on Avid DNX 115, so it looked really good projected, but it wasn’t film. We did eventually end up doing at least one of our test screenings on film and that was pretty amazing.

Quentin Tarantino and Brad Pitt on the set of ONCE UPON TIME IN HOLLYWOOD. (woman in shot: ELISE NYGAARD OLSON)

HULLFISH: When you were screening dailies on film, was that the first time you were looking at the film or had you looked at the film in Avid before?

RASKIN: In general I had watched it on the Avid. When the first day’s material came in, I wanted to see it on film, so I watched it on the KEM, but as more material came in and my time was more limited I would watch one take for each set-up on the Avid so I kind of had a sense as to how he wanted the scene to come together and to make sure that we had everything we needed, but honestly there was never a time when we didn’t.

HULLFISH: The reason why I ask that question is because I’m wondering how you were dealing with looking at dailies on film — or when you were with Quentin in the screening room were you getting notes? How are you keeping track of notes? Just by the scene and take numbers?

RASKIN: My assistants’ built daily rolls and we knew what takes were on it. They had a FileMakerPro codebook that would spit out a screening notes page that had room for about six takes on a page and it would have the scene and take number and the camera lens. Any information that might be asked for while we’re in the dailies screening. It also had a little space for me to write notes and for the most part, what I would do is I would sit next to Quentin and anything that he laughed at meant he liked it and I would note that. Sometimes he would say to me, “Here’s what I’m thinking about this.”

There was the scene in Lancer where Timothy Olyphant rides up on his horse and the camera follows him and ends up on a shot of him framed over Scoot McNairy’s gun belt. Quentin wanted that scene played entirely on that shot, but he also shot coverage on it and we watched the coverage in dailies and Quentin said, “Listen, I think I’m probably just going to hold on that shot in the movie, but when you do your assembly, use the coverage because I’m curious to see what that version of the scene looks like.” So there’d be things like that that he would bring up during dailies screenings. But honestly, the most important thing was: what does Quentin laugh at, because that is almost invariably what he wants to see in the movie.

BTS – Leonardo DiCaprio and Quentin Tarantino in Columbia Pictures “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”

HULLFISH: I love that idea that you just pointed out which was: he can see in his head what the single shot looks like, but he’s interested in seeing the coverage version, so you cut the coverage version knowing probably it’s never gonna make the movie but you still have to do it, right?

RASKIN: Seeing it play out as one shot? Well, anybody could do that. But looking at the coverage was going to take more time. And I have to say that when I did that, there was one thing that I really liked in the coverage version, but ultimately it just wasn’t as cool as letting it all play out in one shot, so that’s how it is in the finished movie.

HULLFISH: Tell me a little bit about the process: the way a film changes over time; what those decisions are; how easy it is as an editor to kind of unlock your brain from what you’ve already cut to what the film COULD be…

RASKIN: My assembly for this movie was not short. It was about four hours and forty-one minutes long. So there’s two hours worth of movie that didn’t make the final cut of the movie. We knew going in that there was some stuff that wasn’t going to make the final cut of the movie. And I think when Quentin came into the editing room, he had a pretty good sense as to what a lot of that material was. Not all, but a lot of it.

Leonardo DiCaprio stars in ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD.

I think when we got it down to — I don’t want to call it a director’s cut, because I think the director’s cut is what’s in theaters right now — but when we got through the first pass with him working with me I think at that point the movie was hovering somewhere around three hours and twenty-five minutes and we kind of knew the goal was approximately two hours and forty-five minutes. That kind of felt like what the length of the movie should be. But when we ended up at close to three and a half hours we were both not quite sure how we were going to get there. (laughs)

It was a process of watching the movie with an audience and the more times you watch it, the more things you notice. We did something on this movie that we hadn’t done on the previous ones. When we finished a cut we would watch it silently at high speed and take notes of anything that we saw that we thought would be a good cut, without having to watch the whole thing at speed. It just helped us come up with ideas for cuts. And that turned out to be very effective. We came up with some good stuff that we were able to lose by doing it that way.

But I would say probably the most significant cut that we made involved the Lancer material. In the screenplay, there were four Lancer scenes. In the finished movie, there’s only two. And it’s the middle two that were kept. The first and last scene we ended up dropping. But the way it was designed you actually get the story of the Lancer pilot episode over the course of this movie. Every time you go to Lancer, you get a little bit more of the story and you can actually follow that story.

Quentin Tarantino, Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt on the set of ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD.

One of the neat concepts that he had is that, if you’re paying attention, this is another thing you get to enjoy. But we found as we were trying to get the movie down — and just kind of watching the movie – that if it didn’t have to do with Rick, Cliff or Sharon, it wasn’t integral to the movie. And in the case of both the first and the last Lancer scenes, they were kind of getting in the way. You just wanted to get back to Rick and Cliff. So that was a big concept that Quentin had that is ultimately not really represented in the movie.

Initially, the fourth Lancer scene was Rick rehearsing his lines. The movie takes place over three days: two in one weekend in February, and then the third on a Friday in August. The second day actually ended with Rick rehearsing his lines for that final Lancer scene. It was actually a really beautiful scene — one of the best pieces of writing in the screenplay — but it was Quentin himself who said, “I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I think we have to cut that scene. We have to cut it because we’ve already accomplished what that scene was intending to accomplish.” When we see what is now Rick’s final Lancer moment — when Trudi comes up to him and says, ‘That was the best acting I’ve ever seen in my whole life,’ and he is overjoyed, Rick has accomplished what he set out to accomplish that day. He’s delivered the performance that he was hoping he could deliver. So that aspect of the story was done. We were kind of all of the feeling that once you got past Spahn Ranch it was time to wrap up the second day. So let’s drive them home and get them watching “The FBI” together — just Rick and Cliff together as two buddies and then that’s going to be the end of day two.

Leonardo DiCaprio star in Columbia Pictures “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”

Once we lost the fourth Lancer scene, then it became clear that since we’re not actually following through on that storyline, we probably don’t need the first scene either. It was great conceptually because you kind of got dropped into this Western world without knowing what it was. You were introduced to Timothy Olyphant and Luke Perry’s characters in this Western and you didn’t know what you were looking at. It was disorienting but in a really good way. And then when the scene comes to an end, we see Sam Wanamaker — the director — come in on his on his crane and yell “Cut!” and then we see Rick and Cliff arriving on set in the Cadillac. Now that’s just a moment unto itself. Originally. they showed up and Trudi noticed Rick arrive.

But once we realized we weren’t going to use the end of the Lancer story there seemed less of a point to have the beginning. So it really just became about Rick’s performance within Lancer. Keeping the movie focused on Rick and Cliff.

HULLFISH: I’m really interested in those structural changes.  Other than dropping two hours worth of material, were there any other structural changes? Because otherwise, you’re kind of following things linearly. Like you said: it’s day one, day two, day three.

Quentin Tarantino and Margot Robbie on the set of ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD.

RASKIN: There were minor things. In Quentin’s original concept — despite the fact that you’re essentially cutting between three different characters: Rick, Cliff, and Sharon — in his original concept we would have stayed with each of those characters for a good chunk of time. We weren’t cutting back and forth between them that much. If you’re with Sharon, you’re with her for 20 minutes.

There were a few things that ended up becoming a little modular. For example, the scene where Jim Stacy introduces himself to Rick originally came right after the scene on the porch with Trudi. But we felt it was going to be better to have some time after that scene — let that scene sink in — so we moved the Jim Stacy scene to after the scene where Sharon picks up a hitchhiker on her way to Westwood. So there was some slightly modular stuff. Just a few things kind of moving around a little. There’s nothing that was massively reordered. And the flashbacks actually came exactly where they had always come. That’s scripted.

HULLFISH: The interesting thing in that restructure you were just talking about is that I feel like that happens a lot when you drop significant portions of a movie. Then pieces that were never meant to be joined are now adjacent and when you see them together you can immediately see that there needs to be some time between those scenes so you have to pull a scene from somewhere else to break them up again — or maybe create a montage from the deleted scenes to break them up.

RASKIN: That’s true, but we also had a really happy accident happen by scenes that came together because of lifted material. The Jim Stacy scene is intercut with Rick’s fantasy about being in The Great Escape. The last shot of The Great Escape scene is Rick as Hilts, The Cooler King, walking away from the German commandant and the framing matched exactly with Sharon crossing the street in Westwood. We cut straight from one to the next and have the music carry over and it was just a really nice happy accident.

HULLFISH: When you’re intercutting multiple storylines, were they always scripted so that the cut from one storyline to the other was the same as it ended in post?

RASKIN: Not always, but a lot of times — yes. A lot of it was scripted the way it plays out in the movie. The scene that happens in the third day where Marvin calls Rick “Two words: Sergio Corbucci. Nebraska Jim.” That scene originally happened at the end of the second day. But we were kind of feeling like we don’t want things to be that positive for Rick at the end of the second day. Let’s let the second day end not necessarily knowing what the future holds for Rick and then we can get into it when we get into the third day. Although it wasn’t scripted that way when Quentin came into the editing room he had a pretty good sense that that’s what we were going to do with it.

HULLFISH: Were you trying to edit the scenes that were actually part of TV shows like a ’60s TV show would have been edited or were you just cutting them the way that you would cut the rest of the movie?

Brad Pitt stars in Columbia Pictures “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood”

RASKIN: Probably more the latter. The one thing that Quentin had everybody who worked on the movie watch was the actual pilot for Lancer. He knew going into the movie that he was treating Lancer like “this is my third Western” after Django and Hateful Eight. So he wasn’t going to direct it like a TV Western. He was going to direct it like a Quentin Tarantino Western.

Initially, there was kind of a fake-out. When Lancer first comes onto the screen, you don’t know what you’re looking at until you realize that it’s a show, so it had to feel like the rest of the movie. If we saw it and it was 4:3 format, you would have instantly known what it was. But when it came to the Bounty Law episode I really just kind of went with my gut there and then obviously Quentin came in and worked with me to refine it. It was initially a little bit more cutty in my editor’s assembly, but Quentin is very good about restraining me. So, no, there wasn’t a conscious effort to emulate the cutting styles of ’60s TV shows, but I think that, as with all of Quentin’s material, the footage dictated how it was going to be cut.

The truth is a lot of what made it feel so perfectly period was Bob Richardson’s cinematography and the musical choices.

We had a running thing going for all of the media in the movie — which was mainly Bounty Law and the 14 Fists of McCluskey — that those would all be scored by Bernard Herrmann. There’s a lot of pieces that he wrote. Actually, the “14 Fists” music is the score that Alfred Hitchcock threw out for Torn Curtain.

Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt star in ONCE UPON TIME IN HOLLYWOOD.

HULLFISH: I didn’t know that!

RASKIN: Yes. I believe that was the last movie that they worked on together. Hitchcock was really not happy with Herrman’s score for that and he threw it out. But Elmer Bernstein re-recorded it and so that’s what the “14 Fists” music was. Initially there were three cues that Herrman recorded himself and our music supervisor — Mary Ramos — got ahold of those initial recordings and when we’re at Spahn Ranch and Cliff is walking down the hall toward George Spahn’s room — or what he hopes is George Spahn’s room — the music coming from the television set is one of those initial actual Bernard Herrmann recordings of the Torn Curtain score. It’s “scource.” it’s creating tension but it’s supposed to be coming from the TV.

HULLFISH: You mentioned the VO. In the single viewing of the movie, I missed the early VO and I just caught the VO that was at the end of the film.

RASKIN: When Rick introduces Marvin to Cliff when they’re sitting at the bar. Rick says, “This is my stunt double, Cliff. My car’s in the shop, so he gave me a ride.”

HULLFISH: Now I remember! Then the narrator says, “That’s not why he needed a ride.”

RASKIN: Exactly. That’s the one time that we hear from the narrator in the first part of the movie. I think as scripted there were a couple of other times that he appeared, but for various reasons, we ended up dropping them. Quentin just said, “They’re going to understand it. They might not like it, but they’re going to understand it.”

Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt star in ONCE UPON TIME IN HOLLYWOOD.

HULLFISH: That’s one of those interesting things with a director-editor relationship. Did you try to pitch him or say, Why don’t we try to find some things for the narrator to say in the middle or do you just say, “Hey, it’s Quentin Tarantino. I’m leaving this alone.”

RASKIN: No. We did try a few things. There were a couple more that were scripted but ultimately we just didn’t need them. It’s kind of like the narration in the Hateful Eight which also kind of comes out of nowhere. For some people, it doesn’t work. And I understand. It’s jarring. We haven’t heard from this character before. Who is this person? But it’s how Quentin chose to tell the story. This is not a guy who’s afraid of breaking the rules. Look at this movie structurally and if ever there were a screenplay that did not conform to the Syd Field screenwriting rules it’s this one.

The first two hours of the movie are virtually plotless. There’s sort of the storyline: is Rick going to be able to pull off the scene? Beyond that, there’s not that much. You’ve got the specter of the Manson murders looming in the distance, that does hang over everything and provides you with a ticking clock during the first two hours of the movie and then it comes into play in a serious way in the third act. It is a very “not traditional” movie and it’s only a filmmaker who is as familiar as Quentin is with what has come before who can say, “OK, I’m going to throw all of these rules away. We’re just going to do our own thing.”

Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio star in ONCE UOPN A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD.

HULLFISH: It’s really an interesting idea that early in the movie you get to see Charles Manson and then your brain kind of says, “Oh, wait a minute. I see where this movie’s going.” And that carries you. So did you guys play with where that revelation of the Manson family landed?

RASKIN: No actually. The Manson stuff was always kind of where it is, mainly because the scene in which Manson shows up at Sharon’s house is something that actually happened. Manson saw Sharon which is why Manson knew that movie stars lived there when he sent the killers out on their way. It had to happen before Sharon went to Westwood. It couldn’t really happen anywhere else. You see the Manson girls at the beginning of the movie before they cross paths with Rick and Cliff. I don’t think the entire audience is 100 percent clear that that’s the Manson family at the beginning, but you figure it out over the course of the movie.

HULLFISH: As you guys were trying to finalize the length of the film were there other places that you felt like we’ve got to get to this moment for the audience earlier?

RASKIN: I mentioned cutting the Lancer stuff. There was one other pretty major cut in the movie, which is the Musso and Frank sequence was originally a much longer sequence. I want to say my assembly was something in the realm of like 28 minutes — something like that.

Al Pacino stars in ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD.

HULLFISH: For people who aren’t quite as familiar with the movie as you are, you’re talking about the scene with Pacino where he’s talking to Rick about needing to go to Italy.

RASKIN: Yes. And you see cuts to the different media that Rick has been in. That sequence was originally much longer. And it was this giant thing that you had to get past before the movie could really get started. We realized pretty early on that that was going to have to change. It needed to be more of a scene that felt like it was part of the movie and hit the key beats that we needed to hit in terms of setting up Rick as a character and setting up his place in this world. And once we had done that then the movie could get on its way. We knew we had to get through that faster than it was originally envisioned.

HULLFISH: That must have been a tough call for Quentin to cut down Al Pacino’s scene by 80 percent.

RASKIN: The main goal while we were editing the movie is “what’s going to be best for the movie?” not “what scene am I so proud of that I need to show off my writing ability or my directing ability?” It was always just: “what does the movie need?” He was ruthless making this movie and editing this movie — finding what it was. Obviously having a movie that is relatively plotless for the first two days in which it takes place doesn’t hurt matters any. He knew we had to get it down to a reasonable length. I know that two hours and forty-one minutes might not feel like a reasonable length to some people but when you factor in that we had to cut out an entire feature in order to get it there — it was a job.

HULLFISH: I’m sure it was.

RASKIN: One of the things that I really love about the movie is that people perceive it as being so different from his other movies. There really isn’t any violence until you get to the end of the Spahn Ranch sequence. That’s not actually true. It’s just that all the violence is contained within these films within the film. You do watch a guy take a flamethrower to a roomful of Nazis, but because it’s under the guise of being within this other movie, it doesn’t feel like it’s real violence.

So we actually got to have a lot of action beats that people don’t even really notice or regard as action but that’s certainly what they are.

Brad Pitt stars in ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD.

Then the whole Spahn Ranch sequence I think is something that I didn’t realize until the dailies came in — obviously, I’d read the screenplay — but it wasn’t till I was seeing it play out in the dailies that I realized Quentin was doing something that he really had only done before in Kill Bill. With Kill Bill, the whole point of the movie is that he’s telling the story by hopping around from genre to genre. It wasn’t until the dailies came in on the Spahn Ranch sequence that I realized, “Oh, all of a sudden we’ve entered The Texas Chain Saw Massacre.” I don’t think it’s a coincidence that it resembles Daniel Pearl’s cinematography.

We’re there with the family and who knows what’s going to happen? He’s directing it like: is Cliff going to survive this sequence? And if you know anything about the history, you know there was a stuntman who was murdered at Spahn Ranch. Cliff may not be making it out of this movie alive! One of the interesting things about playing with both real-life figures and fictional ones is that the audience knows and expects what’s going to happen to the real-life figures, but the fictional ones? Anything is fair game. If the sequence works, hopefully, you’ll feel a sense of dread about what Cliff is walking into.

I also give credit to our sound editors and mixers on that sequence because like they really leaned into the whole Texas Chain Saw Massacre with all the weird sound effects as the Manson family kids are peeking out of doorways and watching Cliff as he arrives. Even Cliff walking down the hallway with the creaks in the wood. It plays out like a horror movie.

Beverly Hills, CA – Brad Pitt, Leonardo DiCaprio, Producer/Writer/Director Quentin Tarantino and Margot Robbie seen at Sony Pictures ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD Photo Call in Beverly Hills, CA

HULLFISH: One of the things on my list to ask about was the sound design on that Spahn Ranch stuff because it’s great.

RASKIN: That’s also a byproduct of when I was putting my assembly together I had no idea what Quentin intended to use for music there. Maybe his intention was going to be, “We’re gonna put all this creepy music in.” But I have to put it together dry. So I really relied on the sound effects to create the tension and the suspense and the horror. So our sound editors — Wylie Stateman and Leo Marcil and Harry Cohen — they really came up with great stuff for that sequence that served as music.

HULLFISH: Did the sound team deliver any of that stuff to you early, during production or for early screenings? Or were you coming up with sound effects and design for your first cut completely by yourself?

RASKIN: Midway through production, Leo Marcil, who is one of Wylie Stateman’s sound editors, he joined us in the editing room. One of the things that I learned working on the Kill Bill movies is that Quentin gets very attached to the sound effects that he’s been hearing. I’m laying this on him, but actually, we all do.

HULLFISH: Temp love is not just music. Temp love happens with sound effects too.

Leonardo DiCaprio stars in ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD.

RASKIN: Yeah, absolutely. So one of the things that I started doing on Django was — as soon as we finished a scene, we’d get it over to the sound editors so that they could cut more realistic sound effects, so that the good stuff would make its way into the movie, as opposed to my crappy library temp stuff. So on this movie, there were certain things in particular that I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to pull off with my library.

The two big things were Spahn Ranch. How do you create tension solely through sound effects? The other thing was the sound of the Hollywood backlot. Specifically when Rick is shooting Lancer. Because I had this idea in my head that when Rick is doing the scene and when the scene gets interrupted that we were gonna hear a change in the backgrounds. Our sound team did an amazing job pulling this off. I have to give credit to Mike and Chris Minkler for the way they mixed it. When we’re in the world of Lancer you’re hearing — if you look on the floor you see the shadow of a ceiling fan and they’ve put in these whooshes for that ceiling fan. You’re hearing a fully sound designed Western movie.

Then you get to this point where the music just drops out and the sound effects start dropping out and it just gets totally dead and Rick says, “Line.” Then you hear the script supervisor from off-camera give him the line. The sound team came in and made that work and it really didn’t fully work until we were on the mix stage. They just really nailed that. And when the scene starts up again all the sound effects come rushing back in. I just love what they did with that.

HULLFISH: I love that story, Fred, thank you so much for spending time with me I really appreciate it. It’s always great to talk to you.

Art of the Cut book cover
Art of the Cut: Conversations with Film and TV Editors

RASKIN: My pleasure. Take care.

To read more interviews in the Art of the Cut series, check out THIS LINK and follow me on Twitter @stevehullfish

The first 50 interviews in the series provided the material for the book, “Art of the Cut: Conversations with Film and TV Editors.” This is a unique book that breaks down interviews with many of the world’s best editors and organizes it into a virtual roundtable discussion centering on the topics editors care about. It is a powerful tool for experienced and aspiring editors alike. Cinemontage and CinemaEditor magazine both gave it rave reviews. No other book provides the breadth of opinion and experience. Combined, the editors featured in the book have edited for over 1,000 years on many of the most iconic, critically acclaimed and biggest box office hits in the history of cinema.

The post ART OF THE CUT with Fred Raskin, ACE on editing “Once Upon a Time in…Hollywood” appeared first on ProVideo Coalition.

This On-Site Wedding Highlight Video Was Shot Entirely on Smartphones and Kase Mobile Lenses

This On-Site Wedding Highlight Video Was Shot Entirely on Smartphones and Kase Mobile Lenses

A wedding video team from the Philippines called Wishing Well Films released a wedding highlight video produced entirely using smartphone cameras and various Kase mobile lenses. Though the wedding was documented using mirrorless cameras by the team, they threw in the free wedding highlight video shot entirely on smartphones.

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DJI Ronin-SC Versus Zhiyun Weebill LAB: Which Is the Best Tiny Gimbal?

DJI Ronin-SC Versus Zhiyun Weebill LAB: Which Is the Best Tiny Gimbal?

For some time now, the Zhiyun Weebill Lab has been my favorite gimbal. The main reason for this is because it’s tiny in comparison to many other gimbals. I can comfortably fit it in a messenger bag, and traveling with it is so easy. However, DJI has definitely caught my attention with their new Ronin-SC.

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Olivia Wilde’s New Movie Deal Just Made Hollywood History

After the success of Booksmart, studios were scrambling at a shot to land the new Olivia Wilde movie. So how did New Line win?

At one point, around 18 people were bidding on the next Olivia Wilde project. Now, the director has made a record-setting deal with New Line to make a movie called Don’t Worry, Darling. We don’t know much about the plot except that the drama thriller centers on a 1950s housewife who uncovers a disturbing truth to her perfect life.

Wilde will director and star, and will also produce with Katie Silberman, who wrote Booksmart.

Roy Lee and Miri Yoon of Vertigo Entertainment will also produce.

Catherine Hardwicke is the executive producer.

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Samsung officially unveils 108MP ISOCELL Bright HMX mobile camera sensor

Samsung has officially announced the 108-megapixel camera sensor first teased by Chinese company Xiaomi last week. The new Samsung ISOCELL Bright HMX is the first mobile camera sensor that offers more than 100 megapixels, exceeding the company’s recently announced 64MP sensor. Samsung says the ISOCELL Bright HMX is the fruit of a ’close collaboration’ with Xiaomi.

The ISOCELL Bright HMX is the first mobile sensor to feature a 1/1.33″ size, according to Samsung, which says its Tetracell tech enables the HMX to ‘imitate big-pixel sensors’ for brighter 27MP images.

The sensor will be paired with what Samsung calls its Smart-ISO ‘mechanism,’ which toggles between a high ISO in darker environments and a low ISO in bright settings, the result being increased pixel saturation and the promise of ‘vivid photographs.’ The new HMX supports recording video at up to 6K 6016 x 3384 at 30fps.

Talking about the new product is Xiaomi President Lin Bin, who said:

‘We are very pleased that picture resolutions previously available only in a few top-tier DSLR cameras can now be designed into smartphones. As we continue our partnership, we anticipate bringing not only new mobile camera experiences but also a platform through which our users can create unique content.’

The company hasn’t yet revealed what those ‘new mobile camera experiences’ will be. Samsung plans to start mass-producing the ISOCELL Bright HMX in August.

Security firm Check Point shows how ransomware can be installed on Canon cameras

Security researchers with Check Point Research have demonstrated that it is possible to incapacitate a DSLR camera using wirelessly transmitted ransomware, a type of malware that forces victims to pay in order to decrypt their data. Though the demonstration involved using Wi-Fi, the researchers say it is also possible to hijack a DSLR camera using USB.

Modern cameras feature an unauthenticated protocol called Picture Transfer Protocol (PTP) that comes in two varieties: PTP/USB for wired connections and PTP/IP for wireless connections. Whereas USB requires the hacker to compromise the camera owner’s computer, Wi-Fi makes it possible to target the camera directly by simply being located near the device.

The DSLR malware demonstration involved a Canon EOS 80D camera, with the researchers explaining that they chose this model due to Canon’s popularity combined with the 80D’s support for USB, Wi-Fi and open-source software called Magic Lantern.

The researchers detailed the technical aspects of developing this malware in a blog post, ultimately explaining:

‘The ransomware uses the same cryptographic functions as the firmware update process, and calls the same AES functions in the firmware. After encrypting all of the files on the SD Card, the ransomware displays the ransom message to the user.’

It’s possible for hackers to set up a rogue Wi-Fi access point that causes these Wi-Fi-enabled cameras to automatically connect to the network, after which point the ransomware can be deployed. In a real-world scenario, this malware would demand payment from the victim — usually a few hundred dollars — in order to decrypt the images on the camera.

According to Check Point Research, Canon was contacted about these vulnerabilities in March and worked with the company to patch the security issues. Canon released the first security patch on August 6 alongside an advisory detailing the PTP vulnerability and the cameras affected by by it.

I Found an Abandoned ‘Palace’ in the Desert, It’s Actually a Gameshow Set

While exploring the southern, lesser-known part of the Jordanian desert Wadi Rum, I notice a remarkable, palace-like structure sitting on a high, rocky cliff. The view reminded me of a scene from the classic Oscar-winning film Lawrence of Arabia. It just lacked camel caravans and people.

Who lived in such a place and why did they decide to abandon it? Perhaps the abandoned structure was the set for a film I was unfamiliar with. The harsh background recalls those against which The Martian, Rogue 1, A Star Wars Story, Red Planet or Prometheus were filmed. My curiosity piqued, I headed closer.

The huge wooden gates won’t budge a millimeter, as if they intentionally do not wish to reveal the secrets lurking behind them. Luckily, the back of the complex isn’t fortified, making it easier to get inside.

The central area of the palace was occupied by a building crowned by a dome. It looked like a small mosque. Around it were a dozen or so smaller buildings. The majority of them were closed; in any case, even if they were open, the thick layer of long-unmoved sand would effectively prevent me access.

Luckily, I was able to look inside through the windows located above it, and enter via a network of underground tunnels which, as I quickly discovered, connected to many rooms.

The scene inside, rather than helping solve the puzzle, raised even more questions. The rooms were full of strange objects and devices that I would never expect to find in the middle of the desert.

Movable gates, trapdoors, and crushers. Strange mechanisms, gears and dozens of similar objects of unknown purpose. Was this an abandoned mine or prison with a torture chamber in the middle of the desert? If the palace had been built today, I would have thought it was a huge escape room.

It was only upon returning home and checking some information that I discovered the palace’s secrets. Suddenly, all of the pieces begin to fall into place.

Have you heard of the French gameshow Fort Boyard, which took place at the fort of the same name? It was one of the most popular gameshows of the 1990s, a precursor to programs such as Fear Factor and Survivor. Due to its popularity, the same producers decided to make a similar program, this time in the Wadi Rum Desert in Jordan.

In the new gameshow, two 2-person teams took part in competitions that began in the desert before moving on into the palace. The game’s finale took place in the main area of the palace, known as the forge, where the victorious pair had the chance to literally turn their prize into gold—melting down gold bars, the game show’s main reward, by hand.

What this looked like in reality can be seen on the gameshow’s trailer.

Unfortunately, the gameshow Forges du Desert (The Desert Forges), which premiered in 1999, quickly turned out to be a total flop. Due to low viewership, only three episodes out of the six shot were broadcast. The audience was disappointed.

The production of subsequent parts was stopped, and the palace was left to the mercies of nature: the omnipresent sun, sands and violent winds that slowly, but systematically, destroyed the entire structure. This is something of which Lawrence of Arabia wouldn’t surely have been proud.


About the author: Arkadiusz Podniesiński is a Polish photographer and filmmaker, a technical diver, and a graduate of Oxford Brookes University in Great Britain. You can find more of his work on his website. This photo essay was also published here, and is being republished with permission.

A Prime Lens Photographer Tries Out Tamron f/2.8 Zoom Lenses

Being in the photography game over 12 years has given me some fixed routines that are hard to break. Routines like focusing solely on prime lenses. In the last few years I’ve been carrying 20mm, 35mm, 85mm, and 200mm fixed focal length lenses on my camera bag while occasionally wondering if the grass looks greener on the flexible focal length side.

Spectacular clouds and the calm sea in the morning. Tamron 28-75mm @28mm, f/9, ISO 100, 6-25s, ND filter. 4 images panorama.

All photos in this article taken with the Sony a7R III with Tamron 17-28mm f/2.8 and Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 zoom lenses. For some shots I used a tripod, ND filter, extension tube, and HDR/panorama techniques. The photos were edited in Photoshop to match the quality of my paid work.

Beautiful aftermath of the sunset. Red clouds, reflection on the Porvoo river and the iconic red ochre painted riverside warehouses of Old Town. Tamron 28-75mm @28mm, f/5, 1/60s, ISO 800.
Zoomed in view showing some really deep reds on the clouds. Tamron 28-75mm @65mm, f/7.1, 1/13s (handheld), ISO 160.
Dog mayor Foxy admiring her city. Vibrant colored buildings of the Old Town Porvoo showing on the background. Tamron 28-75mm @32mm, f/5.6, 1/125s, ISO 800.
Photographing and admiring the city of Porvoo as the sun sets. Tamron 17-28mm @17mm, f/11, 30s, ISO 100, ND filter.
Late summer evening colors on a reflecting door. Tamron 28-75mm @75mm, f/2.8, 1/125s, ISO 320.

I’ve been shooting with the Sony a7R III for over 1.5 years now with prime lenses only. For a prime lens shooter, using high-quality zoom lenses was really refreshing and inspiring. For years I’ve been constantly changing mainly between 35mm and 85mm lenses and didn’t have anything between. A focal length range of 17-75mm opened new dimensions to my photography. Focus Nordic, the importer of Tamron lenses in Finland (and lots of other photography equipment too) kindly loaned me the Tamrons, making this article possible.

The lenses used for all the photos in this article. Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 Di III RXD and Tamron 17-28mm f/2.8 Di III RXD for full frame Sony E-mount.

Due to an error on the part of the postal service, the Tamron 28-75mm got delivered to my previous home town. I did what every enthuastic photography geek would do and used 3 hours of my saturday evening sitting on a bus to get the lens right away.

Both Tamron f/2.8 zoom lenses have an almost identical minimalistic and solid build. They are fun to shoot with and provide high-quality images with great sharpness. Autofocus is impressing and it nailed almost 100% of the slower-paced situations and did a good job with more demanding scenes too.

After a late evening of shooting with the new lens, it was time to prepare myself for the true test: an overnight camping trip by the sea. To add more challenge, I promised to look after my friend’s beautiful corgi.

Adorable Foxy waiting for us clumsy humans to follow. She was very happy being on the nature and figuring out which rock to jump next. Sony’s animal eye af worked nicely with the Tamron. Tamron 28-75mm @55mm, f/2.8, 1/250s, ISO 100
“Ok, human. I pose for one more shot but then we’ll continue the walk.” Tamron 28-75mm @52mm, f4, 1/250s, ISO 1250.
Deadwood in the early morning light. Tamron 28-75mm @28mm, f/13, 5s, ISO 100, ND filter.
Jewelwings mating. Tamron 28-75mm @46mm, f/8, 1/125s, ISO 100, extension tube.
Closeup of heather plants. Tamron 28-75mm @28mm, f/2.8, 1/250s, ISO 100.

I had a really fun time shooting with the 28-75mm normal zoom. It is quick, light and has a nice feel. Sometimes I took panoramas to match the desired focal length. I have never owned a wide-angle zoom, so taking panoramas to simulate a wider field of view has been a standard practice for me.

A few weeks later, the Tamron 17-28mm f/2.8 arrived. The very similar looking, stylishly minimalistic, and slightly shorter lens felt familiar to use. I learned to appreciate the fact that they both use 67mm filters, making it quick and easy to swap lenses for the shot.

The 17-28mm focal length was much more unfamiliar for me. I tend to use the wider 17mm end of the lens as a default, then zooming in just a little bit to match the desired crop. On the other end, 28mm felt a bit too wide. I’m used to taking photos with a 35mm prime, so I might have a pretty biased opinion on that. It also didn’t help that I got used to the Tamron 28-75mm zoom range just before.

Roll cloud and rainbow. Tamron 17-28mm @17mm, f/8, 1/125s, ISO 250. 3 images hdr.
People enjoying the mix between nature and the city on a street festival Kallio Block Party. Tamron 17-28mm @17mm, f/8, 1/1000s, ISO 800.

The Tamron 17-28mm turned out to be as stellar of a performer as its normal zoom cousin. Together they cover impressive 17-75mm range with an aperture of f/2.8. Even at f/2.8, sharpness is good enough for everyday commercial use. There is some vignetting wide open but nothing disturbing. As I’m familiar with very large aperture primes, I tend to go the other way with the Tamrons — using a small aperture and trying to get as much of the image in focus as possible.

That being said, the bokeh at f/2.8 was pretty good. When a subject is near, f/2.8 is large enough to bring separation between the subject and the background. Still, 28-75mm f/2.8 isn’t optimal for taking portraits filled with blurred backgrounds. I found that my Batis 85mm f/1.8 was a great complement with the two Tamrons. When using the zooms I sometimes missed the nearly perfect color rendition of my Batis but honestly, it isn’t fair to compare prime lenses that are almost twice as expensive to affordable zooms.

The Helsinki cathedral. Tamron 28-75mm @46mm, f4.5, 1/60s, ISO 125.
Helsinki Music Centre and people enjoying summer day. Tamron 28-75mm @36mm, f/9, 1/250s, ISO 160.
Making street food on the Kallio block party street festival. Tamron 28-75mm @30mm, f/2.8, 1/250s, ISO 250.
Fireweed and setting sun. Tamron 28-75mm @75mm, f/2.8, 1/250s, ISO 250.
The Porvoo river. Tamron 28-75mm @28mm, f/8, 25s, ISO 100, ND filter. 4 images panorama.
Rainy clouds. Tamron 17-28 @18mm f/10, 8s, ISO 100.
Flower in the last light. Tamron 28-75mm @28mm, f/5.6, 1/125s, ISO 640.

I can imagine using both Tamrons on my everyday shoots. The $899 Tamron 17-28mm f/2.8 wide-angle zoom is an excellent choice for festivals and landscapes. Popular 67mm filter thread makes it easy and cheap to use ND filters with and I found myself eagerly waiting for the sunsets with a tripod on my back bag. The $879 Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 normal zoom is a great walk-around lens and with its ability to focus pretty close I used it for some fun macro shoots with an extension tube.

Size- and price-efficient Tamron f/2.8 zooms are kind of a game-changer. It really makes harder to justify buying the $1,348 Sony 16-35mm f/4 for much higher price or the bit outdated $898 Sony 24-70 f/4 in similar price point. More competition is good for the consumer and I truly like to encourage manufacturers to experiment with non-traditional focal lengths.

I’m pleased to see there are more and more excellent lens options for the Sony full-frame mirrorless cameras, with the Tamron 17-28mm and 28-75mm zoom lenses being one of the best options for their performance in this price point.


About the author: Pasi Markkanen is a photographer, artist, and entrepreneur who lives in Porvoo, Finland. The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author. You can find more of Markkanen’s work on his website and Instagram. A longer version of this article was published here.

The Art of Composite Photography: Part Three

The Art of Composite Photography: Part Three

Welcome back to The Art of Composite Photography. In the previous parts, we have covered pre-visualization, planning, and unbreakable rules.

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These Time Slice Composites Show the Life of a Total Solar Eclipse

Photographer Dan Marker-Moore climbed to a remote mountain top in South America to capture the 2019 total solar eclipse back on July 2nd. He then took the photos of the progression and turned them into beautiful “time slice” composites.

Here are the five composites Marker-Moore, a Sony Alpha Imaging Collective member, created:

This last composite contains 425 photos of the Sun.

All the Sun photos were shot over the course of three hours using a Sony a7R III and a Sony 100-400mm lens.

Here’s a behind-the-scenes video showing how the photos were shot:

And here’s an 18-second time-lapseMarker-Moore made with the photos as well:

VEGAS POST: MAGIX’s NLE gets the special effects from FXhome

VEGAS POST: MAGIX’s NLE gets the special effects from FXhome

VEGAS Creative Software and FXhome announced at NAB 2019 their partnership to create a new solution for editing video and creating special effects. Well, VEGAS POST is here now.

VEGAS POST is a full-range integrated suite for powerful video editing and post production. Edit faster than ever with VEGAS Pro, apply over 800 stunning visual FX in VEGAS Effects and experience advanced image compositing with VEGAS Image. VEGAS POST is your new video post production suite, says MAGIX.

ProVideo Coalition wrote about the new software last April, when it was announced, at NAB 2019. The new partnership, we wrote then, “sees FXhome – creators of the popular editing and VFX software, HitFilm, developing a customized effects and compositing tool specifically designed for VEGAS POST. With VEGAS Pro at its core, VEGAS POST will provide industry-renowned editing tools coupled with FXhome’s expertise in compositing and visual effects to offer a massive array of features and capabilities, ideally suited for video professionals in post production facilities of all sizes and requirements – from individual artists to large post production studios, broadcasters and SME (small/medium enterprise) installations.”

MAGIX meets FXhome

Additionally, we wrote, “VEGAS POST will integrate a custom-developed version of FXhome’s new non-destructive RAW image compositor that will enable video editors to work with still-image and graphical content and incorporate it directly into their final productions. All three tools will work together seamlessly in an integrated, end-to-end workflow to accelerate and streamline the post-production process for artists.”

Now, the whole suite is revealed, and MAGIX says it is time for professionals to “discover the smart alternative for video editing and post production”. The suite includes three key elements. VEGAS Pro, VEGAS Effects and VEGAS Image. It’s not difficult to see what each segment represents the core NLE is MAGIX’s, while Effects and Image come from FXHome own NLE and VFX software, HitFilm, and the Image from Imerge Pro. Those three elements unite under the name VEGAS POST.

VEGAS POST: MAGIX’s NLE gets the special effects from FXhome

VEGAS POST Suite: the components

So, the highlights of the new software are:

  • VEGAS Pro
    The new VEGAS Pro 17, which we announced recently, is here to make your video production more efficient than ever before. With its over 30 new features, such as multiple nested timelines, and industry-leading HDR editing tools, VEGAS Pro will supercharge your video production.
  • VEGAS Effects
    Take control of a vast array of high-quality effects, presets, and correction tools for endless creative possibilities. Over 800 effects and filters to tweak, combine, pull apart, and put back together. Everything you need for delivering incredible results.
  • VEGAS Image
    Create pro-level composites with unlimited layers, automatic keying and zero baked-in changes. VEGAS Image keeps your image data RAW and your layers self contained. No more switching between different software!

Presented as an UPDATE and priced at $549.00 until August 27, 2019, VEGAS POST regular price is $999.00. There is also an option to go for a subscription model, with VEGAS POST 365. Available in English, German, French and Spanish, VEGAS POST is a software for Windows 10 only.

The post VEGAS POST: MAGIX’s NLE gets the special effects from FXhome appeared first on ProVideo Coalition.

After Effects Classic Course: Tinting with Solids & Shape Layers

In the previous post we showed you how to use Photo Filter, which is an extremely easy color tinting effect. However, you don’t even need to use a plug-in to get this result; you can get the exact same effect using Solids and Blending Modes. 

For an advanced version of this trick, it is worth learning how to create Shape Layers. Shape Layers allow you to fill them with gradients, which allows you to tint the top and bottom or left and right sides of the image differently, or even introduce multiple color tints across an image. This is especially useful for enhancing skies. We show how to use both Solids and Shape Layers in the movie below:

This movie was previously created for our Insight Into Effects course on Lynda.com/LinkedIn Learning. They’ve retired that course from their library, so we’re making the movies from it available publicly for free. Click here for the playlist of previous movies we’ve made available.

The post After Effects Classic Course: Tinting with Solids & Shape Layers appeared first on ProVideo Coalition.

Three Questions That New Photographers Should Avoid Asking

Three Questions That New Photographers Should Avoid Asking

Learning photography, especially for beginners, can really be kickstarted by one’s enthusiasm about the craft. In fact, since people have different ways of learning and different paces of learning as well, being able to ask the right questions most of the time gets one on the right track. So, here are a few questions that one should skip entirely.

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