How much??

As a follow up to one of our earlier stories about Sony factories and the Japanese earthquake and the April 6th press release Sony delivered the following update. Note the comment in conclusion that indicates that manufacture has been halted by a lack of ability to move raw materials and components between Sony group companies.

Scary stuff. Currently the stall in manufacture of Sony tape stock is having immediate consequences for anyone that would like to purchase new tapes, and as I said in the previous post, HDCAM SR tape stock has the most impact for TV production. The obvious consequence on everyone’s mind is price. Distributors have jacked the price way up to deal with the demand as existing productions scramble to secure HDCAM SR stock.

The Hollywood Oracle did some research and our sources tell us that since the earthquake in Japan, a standard 64 minute HDCAM SR has soared from around $83.00 to nearly $200.00! Due to the uncertainty that studios and facilities around town will be able to replace their dwindling inventories, some are charging as much as $280.00 to keep clients from hoarding.

Below is the release from April 28th:

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Just when we had it figured out. Film might be out for TV, the old guys were rushing to digital format, the school fresh kids were talking crazy and realizing they couldn’t afford any of the above (same as it ever was), tape was ‘Ol Reliable. Right?

On March 11, Eastern Japan suffered an earthquake, and resulting tsunami, that can (and should) only be measured in a global perspective by ours and successive generations. This tragic event has caused some serious problems for the Japanese people in the short term. With the nuclear ramifications, you have to be a complete nimrod if I have to explain further… If you have not considered how the Japanese problem has affected world industry, and how long it will take to regain any of the benefits our global machine has profited from in the past, let’s get back to XDcam.

Believe it or not, everyone and their brother, has gotten dependent on HD tape stock for production and post production. The standard, as they say. HDSR produced by Sony at the top of the food chain. Yeah HDcam and DBC are still rocking and rolling for the show with waxing longevity, but the machine wants HDSR.

Long winded, yes, dramatic, but here is the skinny. Japan makes the HDSR, and since the earthquake, the entertainment industry has been concerned about a shortage.

Here the release from Sony in April:

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OK – I hire for a company with a couple hundred employees in the Film/TV business. The company I work for has downsized HR, and we are looking for creative ways to screen potential new staff members. Here is a bit of advice: Put down the bong when your friends are taking pictures, then take a good look at all your social networking accounts. (Facebook page(s) / MySpace.)

Employers are doing the cheap and easy when it comes to background checks these days. When we want to fill a position, we gather resumes, and then we start looking you up on the popular social network sites. Cheapest way to weed out the problem children when you need to make the right decision and do not have a budget for attracting recruits. Hey, the economy is bad, and companies looking to hire don’t want to pay $29.99 to find out if someone has skeletons in the closet, has a party priority or is searching for kinky love.

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I don’t get it anymore.. Please explain!

16,000 kids, most of which are living in their own delusional fantasy land auditioned in Nashville last weekend for the new season of American Idol. All hoping for that one chance to make it to the bright lights of Hollywood. Apparently, their is no other way to get here! And last night, 10,000 more Milwaukeean’s had their chance to show that they got more than just cheese and beer soaked brats on their minds. All this excitement for a reality show that had to cancel 7 tour dates in 2010 for a lack of ticket sales. Fighting the idea that the size of these audition turnouts are all just because they dropped the age requirement from 16 to 15 this year. I truly wonder if it’s really just that these kids & young adults are just getting more desperate to escape their true destiny of working full-time at their local KFC while living in a van down by the river. On top of that, I’m sure the fact that their just aren’t that many X-Box scholarships out there to go around is becoming a big concern for these dreamers of instant fame and fortune. What will they do when mommy starts charging them rent?

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If you haven’t read Part One of this story please (Read it Now).

Rule #2 – Channel Selection.. For the love of god, please make sure your talking on the correct channel. Each department will be assigned their own channel. The Main Shooting Set will have their own, usually Channel #1.  Channel #2 tends to be reserved for one on one communication. If you hear “Go To 2” when someone is talking to you. That means turn your Walkie Talkie to channel #2 so that we can talk privately. But when you’re done talking, turn it back to your main channel. If you forget to, you will most likely miss the next 30 minutes of info do to your idiotness and that might just cost you your job.

film set walkie talkiesRule #3 – Talkie Time.. This is not your telephone. Most crew members don’t have time to chit chat and if your talking on the channel it means other people can’t. So keep it short and simple. Especially if your on Channel #1. I’ve seen people get their Walkie Talkies taken away for idiotness. FART noises are not tolerated. They will find you!

Rule #4  – Beware of Roaming Chatter – Most active Film / TV sets that operate in LA on any given day will be using very similar Walkie Talkie systems to yours. Sometimes the exact same ones. There are only so many frequencies available in the LA communication spectrum and those pro talkies we use tend to only have 10 or so channels to access.

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So you finally got that highly coveted first Hollywood PA job on a film production. All that hard work you did for all those years is about to pay off. Don’t screw it up. Being the new guy or gal on a Hollywood film set can be quite intimidating for anyone, whether you went to film school or not. Day one can start many different ways, so be prepared to be thrown to the wolves immediately. Most of your fellow crew members will assume you’re their because you know what your doing already, that’s why you got the job. Hollywood Walkie TalkiesAt this point, your better start faking it if your nervous or apprehensive about doing things. But the quickest way to be revealed as a complete Newbie on a active set is to not know how to work your Walkie Talkie or by using incorrect terminology on it. (a.k.a. Set Lingo) So let me point out a few ground rules and tips for you so you can make it through those first few days of shooting with out looking like a complete idiot.

Rule #1 – Set Lingo.. People On-Set are not truckers, these are not CB radios. Trucker lingo is different then Set lingo. Forget what you think you know. Film sets have developed their own lingo to relay info quickly and accurately. Whether we need to locate someone on set or we need something immediately brought to set, you better be ready to respond with the correct answers on the walkie.

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Tech Floss in the morning..

What is your handle on new post production tools for film transfer?
Film is still being shot in the business, right?

The big boys at Kodak, Sony and Fuji are still selling 1000 ft rolls of negative for more than our meager salary draws in a paycheck, and realistically most DPs over 12 years old will still want to shoot film these days.

Think you know how much 3-perf will set you back in time and cash when you need to get your project to edit? Even if your budget manages to deep six your production into R3d record (RED is cheaper, but it ain’t cheap), transfer of your picture to a digital format for edit is a crucial step in the post process.

Truth is, you are probably not shooting a film at the moment. Perhaps you have never thought about how film (or a project shot on RED, for that matter) makes it to the cutting room? Either way, you have probably thought about finding a job, and if you’re reading this, you have most likely thought about finding a job in the film industry. You might fancy yourself a DP, or as the person able to make a DP’s film nightmare a daily reality….?

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