Max Payne 3... 
Thursday, June 11, 2009, 01:05 AM
Am I the only one who likes how Max Payne 3 is turning out?

Set 12 years after the events of Max Payne 2, Max Payne has retired from the NYPD, moved to São Paulo, Brazil, and has taken work in the "Private Security" sector of one of the city's wealthiest families. He's now buff, bald, sports a beard, and has adopted the fashion sense of John McClane. I know what you're thinking "What have they done to my beloved character?!", but you've gotta ask yourself one question... After everything Max has been through, wouldn't YOU want to reinvent yourself just a little? I know I sure as hell would! Think about it psychologically for a second, OK? It's a highly probable scenario.

What's so fantastic about this noticeably fresh take on Max Payne, is the potential such a change in direction could offer the development of his character, and in my opinion, there is nothing more fulfilling than that. After all, that's what these games are about - The evolution of Max Payne's life, his psyche, and how he deals with it.

I'm just speculating, but imagine a story whereby Max is trying to leave his past behind him by moving to Brazil, then gets forced into a war involving the local Drug Cartel, somehow connected to the family he is guarding, and finds out they're smuggling / pushing Valkyr... Or something along those lines. A lesson that no matter where he goes, no matter what he does, or who he becomes, he will NEVER escape his past. This is Max Payne's curse, and THAT is Max Payne.

So long as they keep trademark elements, such as, and in no particular order, his addiction to painkillers (which, I believe they are), the voiceover, his cynical, dark, brooding personality, enjoyable gunplay, and an intelligent, compelling story (preferably longer than MP2), then I honestly don't see why you couldn't set Max Payne anywhere, at any time... Just so long as it isn't in Toronto, with Mark Wahlberg. Only kidding, guys - Love you, really! ;-)

I have every bit of faith that Rockstar will deliver a worthy installment to the franchise... And if they don't, then fair enough.

But I, for one, am really looking forward to it.


Fergle "Larry David" Gibson,
Writer & Director.

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Current to-do list... 
Monday, June 8, 2009, 01:04 AM
Just put together the current to-do list, and have split it into three categories for your viewing pleasure; Pre-Production, Production and Post-Production.


* Transfer HDCAM SR tapes from 2006 to HDD
* Edit the "Offline" - A rough cut of the film from the masters
* Review the rough cut
* Ascertain what pick-ups, inserts and additional scenes need to be filmed
* Compile a list of the above
* Write / re-write the scripts to be used for the additional scenes
* Go scouting for SUITABLE locations
* Confirm locations to be used
* Search for, audition, and cast additional actors
* Assemble a new, talented, but minimal crew
* Reunite original cast members w/ additional actors
* Conduct rehearsals w/ all actors
* Arrange initial shooting dates with cast & crew


* Film (and if necessary, keep RE-filming) all pickups, inserts and additional scenes until every single one is abso-fuckin'-lutely PERFECT


* Re-edit the film to accompany the new footage
* Add a temporary musical score
* Render a rough version of the film
* Screen the rough version of the film in front of a selected test audience
* Re-edit the film if necessary
* Create, composite and apply any minimal S(pecial)FX
* Colour-correct & grade the final cut
* Record the film's musical score
* Create and record "Foleys", add S(ound)FX, etc
* Record the lead character's voice-over and re-dub any necessary (but minimal) dialogue
* Mix all soundtracks
* Create the "Online" - The final, high-definition (1080p) version of the film
* Light a big fat Stogie and kick back for a day or two

There may be a few things I've missed out, but for now, that's what needs to be done to get this film finished and released. As soon as those HDCAM SR tapes are transferred, the end begins.

Fergle "Larry David" Gibson,
Writer & Director.

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Camera contender for the P&R pick-ups & additional footage... 
Thursday, June 4, 2009, 06:56 PM
The Panasonic HPX-3700.

Sure, it's a big step down from the D-20 (or D-21 now), but that also means it's a big step down in money, too... And for this project, that can only be a good thing. But don't think for one second that the integrity of the film's cinematography will be compromised! The HPX-3700 is Panasonic's top of the range HD camcorder for cinema distribution. But one of the best parts about it is, it records to P2 cards, which, in layman's terms, is a very VERY good thing. No more HDCAM SR tapes. No more transfer costs. No more waiting to view the footage. Just bunged straight into one's NLE (editing software), and away ya go!

I've personally been working with Solid State media for a couple years now, and would never go back to the hassle-full life of tape again, so I'm pretty excited about the freedom such an option will give this project.

The only thing I don't like about the HPX-3700 is its tiny 2/3" sensor, resulting in a rather deep depth of field when compared to the Super 35mm sensors on the D-20, D-21, RED One, etc, but a B4 relay lens and a Letus Ultimate DOF adapter *could* solve that problem... IF it can stand up to my extreme scrutiny.

Also, it looks like we might be getting a new, up-and-coming Director of Photography, whose camera geekiness and pursuit for perfection are second to none... well, so long as you don't count me into the equation, that is. Am I going to tell you who it is? Not yet...

Fergle "Larry David" Gibson,
Writer & Director.

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A P&R related update, at long last!... 
Saturday, May 30, 2009, 01:39 AM
If any of you have been following me on Twitter, you'll know that I have been looking for people and / or companies to transfer the P&R HDCAM SR master tapes to hard-drive. This will allow me to gain a lot more control over the project, as it will severely reduce (if not totally eliminate) the need for me to rely on the services of others, which, in turn, will help keep down many of this production's future costs. Currently, I'm not able to even *view* the original rushes, only crappy standard-definition copies that I can't do much with, other than get pissed off at. I guess this serves me right for having P&R shot on the D-20 at 880mbit/s, 4:4:4, and on a format that can only be read by an £80,000 deck! But I wanted the best digital equivalent to celluloid, and I sure as hell got it.

Anyway... Having these tapes transferred to a solid-state medium, in their "native format", will be a big step towards the completion of this film, and will get the ball rolling towards the next objectives on the current to-do list.

The cheapest Post House I've found so far has quoted me at £1K, which, by many standards, is not actually a bad price at all... But still not something I can afford to splash out on at this present time. In the meantime, I will continue my journey into the night to find the cheapest deal I can, until I have exhausted every option I can think of.

Stay frosty,

Fergle "Larry David" Gibson,
Writer & Director.

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Canon 5D Mark II... 
Thursday, May 28, 2009, 06:41 PM
This isn't P&R related, so if you're not interested, move along.

Due to the recent hullabaloo over Canon's announcement to implement full-manual-control over the exposure on the 5D Mark II (whilst in video mode), as well as the now rumoured ability to shoot 24p, I thought I'd write a little article on why you shouldn't ditch your A-Cam for a 5D Mark II just yet...

* No 25p
* No variable frame-rates
* No ability to under / overcrank those non-existent frame-rates
* No manual audio controls
* Records to the h.264 codec
* Limited to 12 minutes per clip
* No HD-SDI out
* No XLR ports (though you *can* use BeachTek's new adapter) - But why the hell are you recording audio in-camera anyway?! Pfft... Amateurs.
* There's probably more.

Why a 5D Mark II makes the perfect B-Cam...

* Full manual control over iris, shutter speed and ISO
* The (rumoured) ability to shoot at 24p in a future firmware update - Nice if you're printing to 35mm film
* Full-frame 36x24mm sensor, allowing for razor thin depth-of-field
* Unsurpassable low-light performance
* Beautiful / accurate colour reproduction - None of this washed out "video" crap
* Interchangeable glass
* HUGE array of lenses available, in almost any flavour you can think of
* Small form factor
* Light-weight
* And need I say... Canon?

So now the question you should be asking yourself is, do you really need that 35mm adapter bolted onto the end of your A-Cam anymore?

To me (and I'm not speaking for anyone else here), it makes more sense to use the 5D Mark II for one's "beauty shots", and the bare body of one's primary camera for everything else, as until the "Swiss Army Knife" of cameras has been invented, we're stuck with using the right tool for the job.

OK, OK, RED are getting there... But you know what I mean!

Sure, you could just as well keep your 35mm adapter and SLR lenses, and use them along-side your 5D Mark II, but if you can sell them (you'll want to keep any EF lenses you own, though!) and put the money you've raised towards a more useful bit of equipment, say a better tripod, a better fluid head, jib, or dolly, then why not? But anyway - I'm just hypothesizing.

So will I be selling my EX1? No way! But will I be selling my 35mm adapter and F-Mount lenses? I don't know...

Here's hoping the 1Ds Mark IV will be a glorified 5D Mark II, including, but not necesarily limited to...

* A full-frame DSLR body
* 2 XLR ports
* 2 CF slots
* Variable frame-rates, from 1 to 60 (120 would be NICE, but probably asking for too much!)
* The ability to under / overcrank (using a physical knob)
* A selectable bit-rate between 50-100 mbit/s
* A lossless codec
* A 4:2:2 colour-space
* Full manual audio control
* Recording time limited to size of CF card(s)
* HD-SDI Out for capturing a RAW signal

... One can dream.

Lastly, let's not forget... The 5D Mark II is first and foremost a STILLS camera, and one HELL of a stills camera, at that! So remember that when you're next complaining about its lack of video control.

Fergle "Larry David" Gibson,
Writer & Director.

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