Guerilla Shooting a Post War Zone

Cinematic Immunity Launching Soon

Hey everyone!  Its great to be getting Cinematic Immunity off the ground.  After 20 years of being entertained by entertainment business,  I finally have a place for sharing ideas and experiences.  I could not be doing this without my Cinematic Immunity podcast producer,  Bryan Hart.  Who is working behind the scenes to make sure we are prepared for the road ahead.  In this post we will cover my experiences in Ukraine with a full gallery of photos, we will briefly rap about photo and video documenting subject matter in the action on the fly and we will go deeper into the c300 performance as a documentary camera.  I would like to thank my sponsor, Hollywood Coffee for letting me sit for hours on end to get this site in action.  Please make sure you check out www.cinematicimmunitycast.com.  If you like what we are doing,  please click the red link at the bottom of the page and donate to Cinematic Immunity.  Proceeds go to The Sarah Jones Foundation to help protect motion picture and television workers.  Additional proceeds go to Gobble Gobble Give, feeding thousands of homeless every year here in Los Angeles.  They host one of my favorite events and I'm donating to help them for this year's big event!  So without further ado, Guerilla Shooting a Post War Zone.

March 11th, 2014

I arrive in Kiev after traveling 16 hours from Los Angeles to Paris and then into Ukraine.  For those of you reading this much after the fact or just not aware,  Ukraine was recently attacked by military forces used to support Ukrainian Police quelling the then political resistance in Kiev and Crimean citizens.  See the link here. The Crimean Penninsula has been annexed by the Russian government as the former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yanukovych signed a deal with Russia without a vote from Ukrainian parliment or it's people to ensure a continued trade agreement with Russia that continues the ongoing deal to export Russia's natural gas and to keep their own subsidized gas prices down.  Meanwhile, Ukraine has no citizen elected leader and the citizens in it's capitol city don't know if they will be defending themselves again.  So the barricades made of anything they could find, remain.

 What was the Rebellion?

In Maidan, a cultural and religious center of Kiev, there exists a militia made up of citizens ready to defend themselves and their city.  These pictures below document some of what we saw in Kiev while we were there. For photographic reference.  These stills were pulled from Pro Res video files but they give us a great understanding of how the format holds up in no lighting situations.

Documenting a War Zone

It always pays to pay attention to what is going on around you.  Not just for great shots but for your own safety when you are in an uncontrolled area.  Be aware of any situation where you could find yourself a target for robbery or otherwise.  If you are documenting, remember to be fast on your feet,  always have the camera ready and settings set, batteries and media are always on hand.  Also be mentally sensitive to the people are around you that have to live through any situation you may find yourself taking part in.  Remember, they have to live it. 

Haskell Wexler, one of the most socially influential cinematographers of all time, said this of documenting Medium Cool (1969), a Vietnam War documentary. He said that when he saw a wounded soldier bleeding out and struggling to be carried off, he had to say to himself" Put the damn camera down!"

In the past when I have traveled internationally to tricky situations I never advertise myself as being American.  It's my personal opinion that it is best not to.  I was in Amsterdam a month after 9/11.  It was not a good time for Americans abroad as the pity for Americans had waned globally and a certain level of resentment had set in.  I think that stuck with me over these years as I remember that not everyone loves us out there and after getting in my first taxi cab in Amsterdam and hearing Brittany Spears on the radio, I understood why.

The c300 - Post and Camera Notes

So I ran into this interesting discovery.  While looking at my Pro Res output from the c300 footage on the job in Ukraine, I discovered a shifting of the magenta and green tones when looking frame by frame in a shot.  I have not seen it anywhere else in the footage.  Since this is a new discovery, I am looking for an answer to find out why this might happen. When it is played at speed though, you cannot detect any shift in color .  Seems like a glitch to me. See for yourself.  It is subtle and it can be very hard to tell when output on the web, but the difference is there.  Below are stills pulled from the video.

Subtle Green Shift

Subtle magenta shift

Join us next week as we talk more about the story of Sarah Jones, the camera assistant who was hit by a train while working the the Greg Alman biopic "Midnight Rider".  We also talk a little more about "Wheels", a feature film I co-produced and 2nd unit directed.  It is premiering at the Newport Beach film festival on Sunday, April 27th.  Thanks for all of the great feedback as we get this blog and podcast off the ground.