Gene Parsons 2019 Redux

An American Eccentric Revisited


In 2012, while on a Grand Tour of 33 states of the USA with his family, Paul visited former rock star Gene Parsons in California with the intention of buying a new guitar. 

Gene is a very interesting and talented man, and so Paul shot this profile of him.  In 2019 he revisited the colour grade using Red’s IPP2 colour science, and in the process made some tweaks to the intro and the cut. 

The result is a very warm and engaging fireside chat with the man himself. He talks about his invention, the String Bender, his fascination for model steam trains and his love of restoring ancient banjos.

Technical notes.

This was shot in 4k with a Red Epic MX in raw format. The glass used was an old set of Mamiya 645 medium format, 35mm, 45mm and 80mm. Remastered in Da Vinci Resolve using IPP2, 2019.

 

Abbey’s Christmas Cracker Joke

 

It’s Christmas Time Again

Part two of our little comedy series, which continues with Abbey of Parti Komedi Rakyat telling us his favourite Christmas Cracker joke. Don’t worry, he gets there eventually, but the journey is as much fun as the destination. 

Catch Abbey at the rest of Parti Komedi Rakyat at General Space, PJ, 20th December. 

More to come next week. 

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Conversations About Christmas

It’s Christmas Time Again

The holiday season is upon us! So we caught up with a few local comedians for some light-hearted conversations on the theme of Christmas. Here is episode 1, featuring Adrianna., who talks about giving and receiving presents.

Catch Adrianna at the Joke Factory in Publika on 16th Dec, where she is hosting a multi-starred night of laughter

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It’s been a good week, with Cats! being selected for some more international film festivals, including the Short Cine Fest. It also won Best Comedy in the South Cinematographic Film and Arts Festival couple of weeks ago. Top work by all of the team, including the star Keren Bala Devan, who will definitely be famous one day, I promise.

I’m writing this in Manila airport waiting for my connection to Malaysia. Glad to be coming back to KL today after an 8 day shoot in Cambodia and the Philippines for Dentsu/Toyota, working with one of my favourite directors/collaborators, Tom Radford. I’ve got a week to catch up with the paperwork before heading to Vietnam for the final phase. It’s a very interesting project that will be very nice when it comes out. The logistics are incredible and there are lots of complications, but it will all be alright on the night.

 

Some of what we are doing involves the Orchestra of The Age of Enlightenment, the South Bank’s house orchestra. Without doubt one of the finest orchestras I’ve ever seen/heard, and a lovely bunch of people too. They are playing KL on 13th November in the auditorium at Petronas Towers, and I highly recommend this to anyone who is into classical music. http://mpo.com.my/18-toyota-classics/. You might even see me there.

However, the trip has not been without incident. Only yesterday I was served half a dead cockroach in my dinner at a Pasay City restaurant. Yuck! I don’t know who got the other half, but I didn’t stick around to find out. I’ve seen enough Gordon Ramsay Kitchen Nightmares to know that any kitchen that lets a cockroach get into the food chain is not one you want to wolf down a lunch at. I’ve eaten Crickets and Grubs in Thailand, Balut in Davao and Durian almost anywhere I can find it, but cockroaches are way too crunchy for me. 

Cheers

Paul

 

Accor Hotels – Singapore Startover

We’re pleased to have been part of this cool video. It’s a promo for Accor Hotels, shot in Singapore under the guidance of our regular collaborator, Tom Radford, with an excellent edit by Youtuber Benn TK.
 
As A-cam, Paul shot around 70-80% of this video with a Sony A7iii and Tilta GX2 gimbal over a five day shoot in May
 

e for Accor

We’re pleased to announce that our short film Cats! has won its first award, taking away the prize for Best Comedy Short Film at the South Cinematographic Academy Film & Arts Festival #13 in Chile. 

When you look back at the history of the Oscars you’ll see that, despite laughter being universal, very few comedies actually win any awards, so we’re particularly pleased with this result. It has fired us up to enter the film into more international festivals. 

 

I wrote this reply to a friend of mine who asked how we filmed Cats! with such a small crew. Perhaps you might find it interesting.

I’ve learnt a lot and absorbed a lot of influences over the few years (Wes Anderson, Gordon Willis and Roger Deakins for cinematography, with Edgar Wright and Beat Takeshi Kitano for editing). Like Willis/Deakins I tend to just light the room and let the Red Dragon’s wonderful dynamic range take care of the rest. We also faced the challenge of getting cinema quality cinematography on a very tight budget. In the case of this film we used a 3K Arri-clone LED light as the moon and a 2K fluoro softbox with a tungsten balance gel inside the room pointing up at the ceiling to decrease the dynamic range between darkness and the practicals. Going shoulder mount with a Tilta wireless follow focus dramatically increased the speed with which I could setup new shots and angles, and it’s a technique that I really like for its dynamism.

Cats! BTS. The Red all decked out in its full regalia

I don’t storyboard because I tend to work collaboratively with the talent, so there’s no time, and I’ll just work out the blocking and work out which shots I need to tell the story. It helps being the editor, too, so I’ve already edited the story in my head before we start rolling. The bucket joke is a great example of that as it was improv’d on set.

We shot this over two nights, a total of about 12 hours shooting time, including the drone footage. I had two crew, myself and my son Michael. I also deliberately shot for a delivery in a 3:2 aspect ratio, giving it more of a Wes Anderson feel and forcing me to centre the action in the shots so that quick cuts could be easily understood by the audience. Total budget for the short was USD250, which was mostly the hire of the M60 and the purchase of a pair of Ralph Lauren pyjamas.

The nice colouring comes from Red’s new IPP2 workflow, which is a vast improvement over previous colour sciences. All it took was a Philmcolour LUT to bring out the skintones, although I did use a very light Blackfrost over the lenses to soften it a bit. I used 2 lenses, the Contax prime 28mm F2 and Macro 60mm f2.8. Anyone could shoot a feature film using only these two focal lengths.