Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Dali,Dali,Dali four minute short film version I was cinematographer on.

Dali Dali Dali was a 2008 VSM finalist, you can click here to see the four minute video.  (note, these two links no longer work) Dali, Dali, Dali is a work in progress that has not officially been completed but does exist as a four minute version as a means to showcase what the longer version will look like.

If you click here you can see a one minute trailer, or watch below.

Director: Irakli Karlo Uchaneishvili - Writer/Producer: Levani Uchaneishvili

This link works, but you may have to be a member of Stage 32 to see it 

Dali, Dali, Dali is the visionary work of Levani Uchaneishvili, who not only co-directed the film but also handled art direction, design and played the lead role of Salvador Dali. It was amazing to see Levani transform into Salvador Dali right in front of us.

I handled all of the camera and lighting for this four minute film to video project. Since I had no crew for most of the shoots, I devised a lighting system that was powered by anton bauer lithum batteries.

The anton bauer lithium batteries in conjunction with portable frezzi HMI lights allowed me to power up the HMI lights using only a 1.9 lb Anton Bauer battery source. The batteries could keep one light going for TWO HOURS! This in turn allowed me to literally pick up the light, stand and battery and the same time and move them.

I used a quick charger to immediately charge discharged batteries while the back up anton bauer batteries were being used. I also used lead batteries but those start at a lower voltage and one has to watch the voltage because once it gets below 12.0 volts, it could start to do some damage to the frezzi hmi lights. Frezzi lights like 13.2 volts but the lead batteries are such a constant source of power that I felt they were fine as long as the voltage remained up above 12.0 volts.

Its amazing how quickly lighting can be done when the power supply is a battery located at the base of the light stand. No cords to hide, no generator necessary, a wow all the way around.

The shoot got really crazy on some days. There were days where I was running TWO SUPER-8 FILM CAMERAS at the same time, doing the lighting, even taking polaroid stills to assist in nailing down the proper exposure, loading and unloading the film.

As if that was not enough, the film cartridges were almost always removed from the camera before they were run completely through so that the same angle could be filmed with different film stocks. This required my using a digital frame counter so I could keep track of how much film had been shot with a particular film stock before it was replaced.

I would write how many frames had been shot, put the new film in, shoot with that, then at some point, go back to the prior film stock. I would have to reset the digital frame counter to zero then do the math in my head as to how many frames were left. Yeesh. All this while doing lighting and keeping track of exposures and shooting some wonderful BW polaroid stills that enabled me to calculate the exposure of the shot.

Over the course of the production we shot on a boat (I lost my favorite cap on that shoot as the wind blew it off the top of my head during one boat manuever), the beach on more than occasion, in tight quarters, in movie theatres both old and refurbished.

The film transfer to video was done by Spectra Film and Video in North Hollywood California. Spectra Film and Video did an awesome job of doing a normal transfer, plus also a "special effects laden" pass of the footage as well.

You can go here to see a four minute promo of a short film I shot for the multi talented Levani and his brother Ira. (note, this link is no longer active however you can click here to see the one minute trailer instead.) 

I was asked to edit the longer version of the film but the prolonged illness of my father and several other considerations made it impossible for me to step in and do the editing on the longer version, but I was the editor of this four minute version that edited in my own studio.

The longer versions of the Dali Film will also feature the work of other camera people as well as some of the film has since been shot in Europe.

It's amazing what can be done with a 45 year old film format called super-8 when a talented actor and his brother get involved.


If you are planning on creating or broadcasting a commercial and want an objective, outsiders point of view about your commercial, contact Alessandro Machi about his consulting services at...

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