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Episode 40 · 1 year ago

SPIDER-MAN (2004) with Camera Operator Joseph Cicio

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Parth and Trent talk with Second Unit Camera Operator, Joseph Cicio, about his work on Spider-Man 2, 3, as well as other films. Parth also does his Batman voice. 

Edited by Parth Marathe

Have you been nice to see you. Oh well, that's that's so sweet of you to say. What have you been eating? See here, I'll give you a visual reference. It's like a small starbucks double shot espresso thing, you know. Gives me the boost I need and the caffeine constricts the blood vessels in my head and take swim and mourning my grain. So it's not only tasty, but it's medicinal. What about you? I myself had a brown sugar cinnamon popped heart. Do you do toast your pop tarts? Usually I did not this time because I was trying to eat quickly and I couldn't wait, but I generally. Are you a toasted or untoasted? I feel like we've discussed this. I only toast my pop tarts and I feel strongly about people who don't. I think that's fair. Would do you eat? I mean the packages come with two, so do you eat to it at a time? I feel like that's a lot of pop tart for one sitting. I usually do, but I feel like I feel like one and a half pop tarts is the correct amount. But once I get to that second, what do you do with the last twenty five percent. I mean, I eat it, but just be grunge. And Oh, I see, name your three or your favorite kind of pop tart, Brown check or cinnamon. Yeah, give me a few more smores. Is Good. It's more than yeah. Do you know the hot fudge Sunday? It was my third one. Yeah. Also, there's an area one that's very delicious. I've never had it myself. What about the fruity pop tarts? I feel like that, like why even try to act like you're kind of healthy? Like I've had I mean, I don't have like an issue with them, but the thing is, it's like I'm I'm not going for nutrition when I eat a pop tart. You know what I mean? That's what I'm saying. Like you might as well like like lean into the skid a little bit and that, like if you're having a popped our half hot bunch Sunday, just like go for it completely. It's garbage. Accept that and and then in just enjoy it as much as possible. Parts. So this was nearly a the lost pod. This is true. Do we want to cut to the interest? We could tell the the the lovely listeners, how they were almost unable to listen to this episode, how we found the lost pod re relocated it. Should we do that? We shall. Yes, q the Intro, welcome back to our show craft services. or we talk about the movies with new and improved voices. Yeah, this is true. This is true. Also, Trent, your voice level perfect, beautiful. Oh, I'm not. Thanks, I'm trying to talk soft. Each week, yeah, we interview someone who worked on a movie we like because we're podcast about what? The movies? Yeah, if you haven't heard about podcast yet, there are a thing. Film also a thing. So just combining the those, this was nearly the lost pod parth. That's true. That's true. It's explain why, how and and how we found it. So this week we interviewed Joseph Scio, who was the second unit camera operator. Are One of them for spider man too, as well, a spider man three and it was and iron man, and iron man too. Yeah, he's done a lot of cool things, a lot of cool superheroes. He also did Logan. Wasn't he very nice? Best of all, he was incredibly nice. He was very gracious with his time. I called him Mr Sissio and he said hey, call me Jude Joe, and I was like MMM, yeah, it's so nice to be treated like an adult. Yeah, by an Adam. Yeah, but because I haven't worked on spider man too at all compared to him, who's definitely worked on spider man to so it's why he's on the show. We interviewed him and we use the site called squad cast and sorry, squad cast, we're going to call you out. No, but also this is we're going to pad squad casts on the other digital...

...back at the end of the story, after they betray us. But trying. Let's keep the suspense rolling. So we're recording this interview right and he's on the call and the way squad cast works is everything is going swimmingly. The way the way squad cast works is that it records each person's tracks individually. So at the end of a recording, when we press stop, what happens is we wait for like thirty seconds or so and then the guest this track uploads. Is this correct? This is correct that after we stopped recording there's like a limbo period where were they can't leave right away. So we have two small talk them and talk about the weather, and this is where things got a little hairy. Yes, I was as we were small talking Joseph Sisio, and I was like, yeah, it's cloudy and part I saw panic looked on parts faces. What it happened was we were small talking, and usually what's happening is Trent is, you know, entertaining our guests while we forced them to stay with us for longer than they probably want. So then what happens is I look at how long the time codes are and it shows that Trent's track it's about an hour long, my track it's about an hour long, Joseph CISIO's track is sixteen minutes long and that it's at this point where I go fuck yeah, because I thought that we had lost the interview and I was so scared because I was like where did this how did this happen? Why is this happening? And then I had to tell Joseph Sisio, to his face too, his face damn it, that we may have to Redo this interview because the site didn't record it. And to his credit, Joseph Sisio was incredibly nice about it and said he would gladly record when or whenever he was available. But you could sense the pain in his in his chuckle, and he said okay, I'm going to need I'm going to need a break. We can do this next week. We once we once lost an episode and a discussion promising a woman with emily and we had to recycle a lot of of what we said and it was really painful and I'm sure for an interview to make this man answer the answer the the same questions would have been a lot to ask. And so, yes, and so then what happens is I'm freaking out and then we say, okay, I guess you can go because it doesn't seem like there's anything we can do. So Joseph Cecio leaves and then Trent calls me in a panicked voice and goes part. Did we just lose this episode? And I go, I think so. And so then I start looking up if there's any ways to recover a recording on squad cast and we find out, and this is where we're going to pat the digital back of squad cast, is that what they do is they record a low quality mpthree file from even before you press record. So whenever anybody joins the call, it immediately starts recording. And the funny thing about this is that we didn't know this. So a lot of things that part and I had thought were off the record. We we're there on the record and we had to trudge through hours worth the footage to find really low quality file of US chatting with Jo. But there it was, but there in all of its in all of its mpthree glory. So thank you, squad cast, because that is a useful feature. We hope never to have to use it again. But if you he you're a slightly lower quality on our wonderful guest voice. It's because of that, but I think I think it turned out fine. Trent this speaking of lost episodes, are our second episode was nearly lost. Episode the the curve and Er Bash, was a very similar situation. Our Star Wars Episode Eight, the last Jedi episode with storyboard artist Kurt Vander Bash, was also nearly lost, but that was because we didn't realize that he had to stay for the file to upload. So we left and it just never did and so we thought that we'd lost the entire interview and then had to frantically email him and beg him...

...to come back, which again he was very gracious with his time and we were able to get the interview, obviously, but yeah, this. This was I would say this was scarier because with that first one I kind of immediately knew what we had to do, whereas with this thought this time I just assumed that it just didn't have a recording. Also, that was our first interview ever. I felt completely dejected and like I'd gotten kicked in the teeth when that happened. And now, on our, you know, twenty interview, I was like, come on, we've been we've done this nineteen times and now this. Yeah, but should we? Is this enough about that? Enough about the inner workings of podcast production? Do we want the guest to listen to this or should we just throw this out the window? Yeah, sure, they can listen. We Retard on it. I guess. I guess, I guess, since we had we asked questions, he answered them. Need I say more? Yeah, so, without further ado, hello everybody, and welcome to our interview with Joseph Cecio. He's the camera operator that's worked on such films as the fast and the furious, iron man, one in two and Black Swan. He also worked on our film for today, Sam Ramy Spider man too, as well as it's equel spider man. Three. Thank you so much for being here. Good to be here trump for so just to start off, what was your relationship with film as a kid? Pretty typical like my generation. My Dad had a super eight camera and, you know, there was every he was trying to document everything, you know, so first hair cuts, and so he'd always have it with him and and occasionally I would, you know, get a hold of it and trying to you know, trying to mimic what he was doing and found out that, like he was really, really a bad camera but but it was good that he he he had, you know, the desire to do that and he was just playing around. I think every you know, that was like the way to record motion capture back in the day. And so so I knew a little bit about super eight and then that stuff got put away and with the school with the intent of being a journalist. So photojournalism would have been great, but, you know, I wasn't particularly interestood and still photography. So I found myself wanting to you know, maybe the involved with storytelling or or doing anything that required a camera and being able to tell a story. So after after college, I didn't necessarily go to film school, I did take some film courses, but mainly it was more towards journalism, broadcast journalism, and was trying to pursue that and accidentally I got involved with documentary work and commercials and then eventually stood me and started doing camera assisting. Occasional film would coming to the area. It's cheaper to hire someone local or I knew enough not to get fired, I guess, and you know, but I knew that I had to get a lot more experience. So I decided to move. I grew up and down in Alabama, so you know, was in a film hub binding stretch, and Atlanta was the closest place I could actually go and see equipment. But it will se either move to New York or Los Angeles, and I happen to work with more people from from La so it just was a natural progression to go out west and and that's been over thirty years ago. Was So what was the first, like big movies that you worked one? MMM, you know, it's interesting. Way Back I got hired on to be a camera assistant and...

...down in Pensacola, Florida, which was where the USS Lexington, which was a World War Two aircraft carrier. It's no longer. I think it's like a floating museum now, but back then they were using it for this period piece and and it was like we were even filming Old World War Two aircraft taken off from a week go out until the Gulf of Mexico shoot these battles, the battle of midway, and and so you know, I was seeing some like wow, this is this is crazy that you could actually do this. And so I was really like the fortunate to see that pretty early and that was before I moved to move to Los Angeles. So it saw I was seeing some things pretty early on. I knew that if I was most of the crew that was working on it, it's but you know, especially camera crew were from La and there were some some folks from Chicago and a few from New York, and it was a big enough project that it hired people from all over. I thought, all right, well, if I want to continue down that path, I'm going to have to make the move. Jumping forward a little bit, how did you get involved with Spider Man Too? Everything in the industry is free Lance. So you get whether you're in camera production, design or editorial. Usually a team starts to develop and you go from one project to the next to the next. So prior to to spider man, to the director of photography, Jonathan Taylor, who I had worked with a's a cinematographer DP and they also it's a director DP. So Jonathan, I had met him on Tim Burton's what was a planet of the Apes. So from that we hit it off from the get go and and to this day we still work. I'm actually the show that I'm about the start a few weeks is with Jonathan. So I think it's done twenty one movies together. So yeah, so typically that's how it can work in the industry. Is especially for camera crews and editorial crews, production design crews, that you tend to flow from one project to the next to the next, unless you leave and go off into a whole different direction, like documentary or commercials or something on the film side, on the movie side of them. You find it. You start to work with a core group of folks. You know, people come and go and leave for other projects. But so that's what happened with Spiderman. To he had asked me to come and operate it and that's that was for the second unit. Actually likes unit guy so the would so the core team of folks involved with that word or people that had a lot of experience. Jonathan Taylor, I think his first job was as a clapper loader. He's from the UK film side of things, so this first job was clapper loader for Goldfinger, one of the bottom films. So you know. So I was really lucky to be to be involved with with people who've been around for a long time with all this great experience and and so yeah, that's how that happened. And the second unit for that that show probably shot nearly half. I know that the spider man three, which we kind of folded right into to that project. I think the second unit shot more than fifty percent of the actual screen time because every frame, typically every frame on marvel movie, especially that that style, has of...

...thefts element and an action element as well. So it was a really great experience because you set up stunts or set up vfx stunts and toby McGuire would come over or James Franco or whoever. You know, I was going to have to be in that because typically they didn't want to do a lot of face replacement use a stunt double once. Once you see spider man for head gear and everything. That's one of three acrobatic level, like circus of a level stunt people who were doing all that wire. So so that took the only time, you know, toby had to be in that environment was when, more generally, whether it's the director or the second unit director, how would you say they communicate to you, the camera operator, about what they want on a given shot or where or where is your like directions coming from? You storyboards? Sam would have these fantastic storyboards drawn from that. Sometimes they would want to do an animatic which would be done in platform. But so you would get the gist of the camera movement and especially, you know, because the wire work would have to be pretty precise. So if you're going to have a stunt person on a wire, how that that action element would have to be filmed would come down to just the physics of, you know, how quickly culd a camera move if it's, say, spider man moving through a canyon of Manhattan, you know, Down Sixth Avenue the typically you wouldn't go and shoot that. In New York. We shoot the background elements and at that time you know that this is pre digital. So we're shooting film, usually thirty five millimeter for Perth pulled down or vis division, which is, you know, eight perve horizonal. And so once you are filming with that large, you know, target area of film, they can do. Island was doing most of the vfcs and then then it was some image words that we ultimately took over the VFX post production with compositing and CG lighting, CG element that had to be rotoscoped in and also, once we figured out the physics of say, you know, sparder man is coming through a canyon, that's all in green scheme screen. We didn't really have like a wire frame background that we could put in its kind of see how that would work. So we kind of knew, all right, well, we're going to make that into a more dynamic shot. Is If we could bring the camera and the and the stunt player across. So now the closing rate would be a lot quicker, rather than death just having the camera sitting still and having the stunt person come at it. We could move the camera and usually that would require another put the camera on a on something called a spider can, which had nothing to do with spider man. That was it was a way to digitally move the camera on these leveling winch systems. That was nearly most control repeatable. So if you took it back to one the camera where it was positioned in space would be within, you know, fractions of a millimetor as to exactly where it was on the previous day. So you could do multiple passes, nearly have the equivalent of emotion control pass and that's where we can take our experience and understand there might be a better way to...

...make that happen. Usually Sam or Jonathan or John Die Extra or the stunt director, who's a guy named Dan Bradley's go off to do a lot of the born identities and born movies. So everybody knew everything. They knew what they were doing photographically, from a vfx standpoint, from a stunts standpoint. But then at some point in time physics, we're just not allow you to do what you want to do without it's where we could understand what piece of gear could accomplish the mission. Usually Sam would have especially if there was one of the elite actors was involved with it. He would be there to direct them. But as far as getting input from the directors, whether it was Sam or Jonathan or John. I mean immediately they would say, yeah, that's not going to work. It would have. Can you out run them on a pan and then we can let's let's make a different maneuver. And so everybody's kind of working in consort on how to accomplish, you know, the particular shot mission because ultimately those shots, whether they last for thirty seconds or three seconds or less, I mean they're really critical to the to the timing of that particular at it. You know, if you're looking at an animatic it's usually when they sign off on that it's a pretty precise visual. It a slip and slide one way or the other, but you can almost just plug in the live action elements and then once you see the composity it's like wow, there that kind of work exactly how everybody envisioned it. M Yeah, we listen to the commentary track for, I mean, all of the Spiderman movies, but I think, like Sam Urmi said, that he has like nine to twelve storyboard artists. So I mean from what you're saying it sounds like it's pretty accurate to the story like what you shoot is pretty accurate to the storyboards. Yeah, most of devinely, and I mean even Sam who's, you know, I think, brilliant treatment of just everything that, whether it was Stanley or whoever was doing the original, you know, color and draw you know, like the suits had to be something that would stanley would say, wow, that's exactly how I envisioned it way back. And the materials that we did, you know, just screen testing for different different reflecting value, certainly brought in like different fabrics, you know. So they would make the whole suit, bring someone out wearing it and then, you know, rotating will range in the different types of lighting that most likely like day, exterior, night exterior, night, interior, day interior, and you'd start to see how those suits would work and then it's like okay, and I think even Stanley was was pretty instrumental on on like, you know, the color was exactly how he envisioned it. And so, yeah, that was Sam was really true to the to the art form, I think in a big one. In reference to Samuramies general shooting style, were many takes required for each setup, or was there any shot in particular over the two movies that like took like more trials than others? You know, again doing the the action vfx unit, so that second unit, Sam would come over and typically we would finish those with not a lot of fuss on them. I didn't see that, but but it usually that happens, especially...

...if there's a stunt home, because you know the reset could be a long way. Not that I remember lots of Piro, but you can imagine on on movies that require staring, crashing and whatnot, a recent big movies. Yeah, the resets could take hours because you're having a really love Piro and reloads and in our and the reason why you're hosing it down with a lot of cameras, even though one angle might be the best angle that will carry that's vfcts and that stunt through. But it's always good they have something to you know, cut a way to and and. But when SAM would show up, it's usually he was there. It might have been a stun element that toky required or Franco or whoever might have. He was there mainly concerned about the dialog and it certainly about how the shot was working, but I don't remember doing any tanks. To be true. I can' can't recall that. We do more than just a handful of teams. The the DOC ock scene where Toby McGuire and here's some duns are in a New York deling. Right, if you remember when the right yeah, hard is we remember thrown in. Okay, so we were shooting at meanwhile men unit was on stage over it's owny where that New York Delhi Unit was filmed. was believing that on the back lot of universal, because the backlot already had a bit of a New York Mulberry Street, you know, feel, and that Delhi set was nothing more than a facade. They had to build a trench plates that were vertical and then there was a forty five degree massive like, you know one foot dianter poles or one foot square beams that would hold it up so when the car smacked into it it wouldn't continue going like the background. was that just like a plate then? No, no, that that was all practical. But the car coming through the window. So when you saw the interior of the Delhi, that was all just you know, Delhi set. Dressing, the tables, the board, you know table clause, all that was was actually there. So we did all the you know the scenes with, I guess, firs Singa came over and did the dialog scenes with, you know, with the actors, and then once that was then they left. We moved in and now this is all the stunt work to do and the actual practical special effects. So we did all the plates. Even had the stunt players moving out of the way so as if they were there and they're they're moving on the way they were. There were tables that were maybe on wires that would as if they were getting hit by by a car. And then once we get all those elements done, you know, we got everybody out of the way, it was just go time. And so two one action. A car comes through nearly a hundred feet a second or more. So when all those elements were put together, you had the a side, which was with, you know, some players, and the B side with the car actually coming through. I just have to ask, because the train scene and this movie is my like favorite action scene in a movie ever. So you know, if I guess if you were shooting the action stuff, did you? You did work on that and anything you could say on that would be amazing. Yeah, yeah, no, no, that was we we actually shot that at stage fourteen, actually two stages at Sony Columbia.

Fourteen was where the actual subway train car was on like airing the machine air platforms to get the right you know, when you're in on a subway it's kind of rocking and roll and and to get all that movement right so the actors didn't have to move themselves, they were being moved by the subway train movement. And then so all the all that was done on stage green screen. So they had all the elements of the interior of the of the trains. And then I don't know if that was CG, the the lack actual tunnels that you know underground, but pretty sure that those were say somehow they may have a shot those elements in Chicago or some other underground area, maybe New York. I doubt it was New York, but but it was pretty, you know, once your underground is pretty time to script, pretty dark. So I think they were embellishing that with maybe some CG elements, but all the actual acting and all the stunt work that actually was done, a lot of action actually took some they built some subway cars. The train tracks were he falls down through the you know, the real road ties and all that that was on the stake. That was all green screen. So all those elements were we're done right at SARN. But yeah, so that was that was, you know, old school compositing and which was really the best way, because it would have been really tough to try to do that all. You entirely green screen environment. I know that doc os tentacles were controlled by a team of puppeteers and I was wondering if you if you saw that in action at all, and I'm sure that that would be an interesting balance with with it was largely green screen based off right right. Yeah, yeah, so, I mean I remember Albur Molina having aware like the the best those arms. As you can imagine, they were practical. They were built out of I mean they were elegant. You know the whole vertebrate if you will. You know how those things move. But but you're right, they had the puppeteer each one and do wire removal and all and and it was a pretty heavy piece of apparatus. So it wasn't like you could just go walk around the way it was, you know, it's almost like a steadicnvast. You know where that and then they can remove it. If I remember, comes out of the fine, right. So, so all that was overlaid with really great vfcs. But the but to get the arms right. They those were actually built. I mean they would go into velvet sleeves when they were done just to protect them. They were really, really well designed and you know, just the movement, as you can imagine what you would expect. Not Maybe not like an octopus could move, but you know, certainly it had that particulation that allowed it to flex and and you know, so it gave them a basis to go by and then everything else it would cg after that. Were you part of any of the stuff in the hospital that was shot? That was a lot of that was main UN as well, because Sam's right, it's great actor and Alfred Melina doing, doing what he does best. And but yeah, we mainly like the stunt elements of that. We're people getting, you know, killed and wiped out or beat up and all that. So Electric Hea, yeah, exactly. So that that was that was stuff that we did and that set operating or yard set or whatever it was. So on any large production, about how many camera operators like are needed on set? And can you also describe what the role of assistant camera person is sure. Yeah, typically, I mean on...

...a stunt, you know action unit, you can have a lot of cameras because you trying to make sure you've got plenty of coverage for that, especially if the stunt is going on for within a you know, if it's an outdoor environment where the stunt lasts for a thousand feet. To get imagine you might have a Russian arm or pursuit arm. It's chasing it or tracking with it. May Have a drone or a hell or an actual, you know, human piloted full team of people want to and whole scale helicopter. Ground cameras everywhere, crash cameras that if it's a you know sequence, a truck is hitting cars and careening all over the place. Of So if that that's a pretty long area, stretch of area that has to cover that whole stunt. You can you can easily have ten operated camera. So you work on projects three you have ten operators or more. And and that's usually and it can be a lot more, depending depending on the stunt. Typically, for like even a large movie that is, you know, doing mainly the dialog, two cameras would do nicely because you're not having it. You know, cover all that action and usually you get more than two cameras. Just on a dialog scene that might lead up to that there could be a compromise for the main cameras. Usually, for like you go back to a normal traditional single camera or a two camera scenario. You know, great movies have one thing in common. It's usually that that, especially if it's a dialog driven project, of where you're it's really about performance and camera performance. In a choreography usually it says one camera, that's that's really all it's required. But soon as it starts the VFX and the action starts to combine that it can get you know, necessity to have more cameras starts coming. So when you, because you obviously ended up working on spider man three as well, was there any sort of like learning curve that you'd gotten through spider man too, that anything specific that your experience in spider man two really helped the stuff you had to do in spider man three? Yeah, I mean each each and to give back to the camera assistance. Just to finish up, when you when you see in the creditor of year about a camera assistant and there's the focus boiler. You know, and then there's the second you see the second assistant camera person, and then the load or whether you're shooting film or digital, it's, you know, the same basic you know, crew count for camera because whether you're shooting stunts or dialog scenes, you have to have someone who can pull focus because the cameras are moving. Whether you're technic Rane on doll I on a Russian arm thing with starts going on. Sometimes it's night, you don't have a lot of depth of field, you're a long land, so it's really critical that the focus is on point and there's no such thing as risking even with some really great tools like Presston, you know, remote focus system. There is some autofocus capability, but it's you'd never risk blowing a shot by letting it do its thing, because it can only it can give you really good, accurate information as far as closing rates and things like that, but the human decision on when to take focus from that area to know Whit Pan and in the focus needs to be on a actor who's...

...about to give some dialog. So all that is is being done by someone who's a WHO's called a focus foller. And then the second system is usually the one who's supporting the focus biller and clapping the slates and all the loaders. If it's film there, they're bringing fount you know, their loading in the dark room, you know, stage or in intruck. So so it's the same team of people, just different cameras. But Focus Bowling hugely critical and that's the first acy. First of the system. Second, they see it's there to when we call for a Lens Change, usually they go grab the Lens, if we're using primes, zooms whatever, and they swap out the Lens. So so it's just a pretty elegant process of just making sure that stuff happens precisely so. So anyway, that's that's what's going on there. As far as what was learned from spider man to to spider man three, you start to you know, every every movie has it's it's you know, it's look and it's saying in all those things that start to develop. You usually try to establish it before you get out into principal photography. But but a lot of things start to get learned. You know, along the way a certain actor and actors they're close up. Lens may not be a fifty but it might be a sixty five or seventy five. They just look it just kind of gathered up all what they do and it makes them look either a little more heroic or depending on what you're trying to do in that scene. But now like a common brothers movie. I remember Roger Deacons, you know, I think he opened up a bottle of champagne when he could get them to go to like a thirty five millimeter. That was it. And prior to that they're their widest art longest lens might have been like a twenty seven millimeter, you know, because of the physical comedy and how they like to tell stories, they never thought, you know, about getting into, you know, a hundred and fifty millivater. Just there was too much going on in the frame to miss in the wide angle. Is How they saw life and their storytelling and it really work or its well. So you start developing this Bible of like the treatment of Lens, saying everything that look, the color, timing and all that. But but as far as the you know, with action and vfacts, what was carried over from spider man to to spider man three was yet trying to refine, refine that that look and refine how you could move the camera and be a partner in that dance of the wire work, especially, you know, you've got spider man on. So you have a stunt person on. Why or how do you make that more dynamic rather than that person flying by a camera, which are real close flyby is usually really dynamic. But you can't draw every you know, you can't ask a storyboard artist to make this more dynamics or it must be that he comes close to camera. Will what if we can bring the camera into that scene a little more? And what's the what are the tools that allow that to happen? So so yeah, you learn from every project, which is really the point of good cinematography. I think that by whatever you knew, you know last month or last year, ten years ago, it's still valid. But it can take that experience or take what you know and then read tool it a little bit for something might be appropriate for a project...

...that had nothing to do with spire. So yeah, but there was definitely a learning current that, you know, continue on. So it was great to have that challenge to thing. Yeah, we can always make this better. In reference to spider man three, both Sandman and venom are, you know, very vfx base and I'm sure it was quite the spectacle to see the before compared to the after. So did you see that in the works at all? Yeah, yeah, no, crazy. I mean there was like in the scene the fight sequence in the armored car, there was a point where you, yeah, you could build a false bottom, put some sand, have Thomas, you know, with this. He'd wear you like this prosthetic which was, you know, his his weapon of choice, you know, but that would just get him part of the way, almost like the DOC ock, get the armature on the actor and then the vfx will at least, you know, go go from there. A lot of times you couldn't either. The stuntman say if they couldn't do what they need to do with that big, heavy apparatus, and often they would even penant on a cable to so they wouldn't have to wear thirty, forty, fifty pounds so this armature and be able to move with any kind of equipments, you know. So being memble with that venom was a hold the suit for Venom. They wanted to get that right because a lot of that was practical. But then, you know then, like you said, there CG elements to just had it had to be done that way, and so being able to marry the practical elements with the CG elements. That was the trick and that, you know, can again having someone like John Dykes were there and in the Scott Scott night, who was his assistant, who ultimately became the vfx supervisor for spider man three. So he learned a lot. Everybody was learning a lot to you know, to follow through with the core, you know design of what what Sam was wanting, and it really Sam was just making sure that he was carrying through the natural progression of spider man as it goes from, you know, two dimensional comic strip to to a two dimensional motion cap comic strip with with you know, with real humans. That was an interesting trick to see how. Yeah, so spider man's not the only Superhero related movie that you've worked on. You've also worked on iron man wanted too, with Jon Favreau, and were wondering what those movies were like. Yeah, it's so spider man was, you know, marvel intellectual property that Sony Studios, Sonny Columbia Studios, was was doing and and and then iron man wanted two is more of those predisney for you know. So that was before they were acquired by Disney. So they were true staydalone Pilo at that point. They were producing it, that was their intellectual property. They hired the same teams of people that, even though it wasn't Sam rainy that, but a lot of the and his cord folks, but a lot of folks, especially in the second unit, in Action Unit that did spider man two or three. One, two or three actually folded right into iron man. So at least on the action and the VFX side, there was there was a common team on Maddie. Libertique was the main unit. DP fever o course...

...to mention, was that was the main unity of actors. So so basically the same method that was established one spider man was used on hireming. So you had, you know, the main unit doing the you know, all the dialog scenes and some action scenes as well. But early the dialog seems we would, you know, do the action elements. For so when when Tony Start goes to the Hindu Kush or it goes to Afghanistan to show the generals the new technologies of stark industries, when the ambush happen, that we shot up in what's called the Alabama hills of the Sierra Nevada, your mountain with me, out on the east side of the sier the bottom mountain range. So really does look like we saw pictures of the Hindoo cush and got like this. You know, down in the bottom of the mountains are kind or beige orange and then as you get in the higher elevation it's more granite like and it looked, I'm sure for people who live near the Hindu Kush and say looks nothing like it, but from just a photograph it it happens or power. So that's where that that was all shot and it was a place where they shot many Westerns, John Houston back in the way back, you know. I think they shot Gunga Din there back of s or s and so it's been a place where filmmaker's been going on a long time and it's about three, three or four hour drive northeast last angels. So you also worked on fasts and the furious took you a drift. And speaking of you know, stunt, heavy action sequences, I would imagine you got to see a bunch of cars ex blood and tell us about that. Yeah, I mean there were just I can't remember all the one. Yeah, but there was. What I was so impressed with was the drifting, you know, because I had said a potentular drifting right, and I was so so when you're filming it it's like wow, that's that's pretty amazing that those cars were doing what they can do and the drivers, or is recent milling, world class drift drivers, Rally Card D everage, the cars were because it had some of it took place in Tokyo. We shot all that, all the action stuff in La the beginning of the movie where that the old muscle car and is racing through the subdivision that was being built. That was all in Victorville, California, which was suppant to be Arizona. So that was a couple hours. He's three hours east of Los Angeles. But the all the Tokyo night stuff, that was all la. It's called the lower brand, so it's pretty easy to dress, you know, Los Angeles for Tokyo. There were some vfx elements of that huge intersection in Tokyo that those elements were shot there, but very little background plates. Most of it was solved down practically and just changing everything out. The best you could to Todyo street vending machines and things like that, signage and all that. But yeah, the cars were right hand drive. To to be they were built in Japan. All the drift cards, the the Mustang, which was that was the biggest thing. Reese Millen was task. We're trying to drift that and they went through a lot of trouble because most drift cars or turbo charge light adaloie movies with a lot of Torq going to the rear end. But it required...

...some really great drivers to do that. Yeah, you see see some cards. You know, the get blown up and read. The most impressive stuff is the drifting. And Terry Leonard, who was the the stunt director and he wasn't like I think he started out as a doubled a lot of actors way back. And Terry, I think he retired by now, but he started out his career on a John John Wayne movie back in the s. So his experience was more like a cowboy and he learned. He thought, well, of Westerns are not the only form of films Hollywood. It's doings. I've better learned something else, and we learned. taught himself, bought a race car. Really wanted to learn driving so how he could apply those skills to to moving making and filmmaking and and then he really started drifting and I want to say Terry went to Japan and just went to watch it and see mystique of it. You know, and in drifting is really not a fact. They're not doing a hundred miles an hour. It's like really elegant. You only do it thirty, thirty miles an hour. You can go faster, but it's really happening at a fairly slow rate speed. So what he thought about was, oh, if we're doing drifting, where cars are? We're looking, we're chasing the drift cards or we're leading them. I have to have cars moving and those cars have to be in precise position so the drift can happen, you know, around and through and all. But take one and take two and take three. You can just arbitrarily start to say hey, car number twenty seven, make sure you're up ahead. You want to keep that keep the spacing perfect. When we did perpendicular side view, those cars were never moving. You, you're passing by them and we're only doing thirty five miles an hour. The cars that are being passed. It made a lot easier not having them. So they were sitting still. But you're on a profile angle, you you don't know that the cars are not moved and that was a really interesting way to do it safe. He was all about safety. I don't think we one car was crashed accidentally, which is a trick, you know. So usually have a fender bender here and there, but but Terry made that into a very safe with all that stuff going on, you would think, man, there should have been some near Mrs especially for camera. There were a couple of clothes things, but not the way you would call it. Wow, that was that was a close call and we nearly took the camera out and they never have. So to just talk about one last other movie that you worked on. I'm wondering what work you did on Black Swan, because that's not a very I wouldn't say there's any drifting of Carno less. We're less drum less drifting, but it's yeah to watch really you know, skilled dancers do. What they do is more at more elegant than any drift guards. But they they are like amazingly they're just so strong. You know, think of someone who can dance like that as being you know, obviously the guys that have to hold up an answer and all all the dancers are strong and they're all injured, which that's what they do. Find out there that every athlete, you know, whether they like tennis or football, what would have you, they're playing injured. That's part of like the core test. You know. It's like how how injured can you be and still do your job at the you know, at the New York Valley Company, and so so what you did? You...

...found all these these answers are so good at what they do, but you don't get out of that game without injuries, you know. And Anyway, Maddie had called me said Hey, I'm doing this movie and we'll start work. You do it a lot of handheld or sometimes you do handheld or you jump into the Russian arm vehicle or you go to spider camp shot or flying the camera on a cable system and all. So so, you know, as as an operator, you want to be hopefully proficient at every aspect of it. You know, I don't do steady camps. I don't even you know I don't do that. But but I do aerial so I do Russian arm, pursuit arm I do you know a lot of the different things. And then handheld is one of the things. For fight sequences. You it's really good to be proficient at them because to do a fight sequence sequence well, you want to bring the camera into the fight and you know, if you ever shoot a fight sequence, don't worry about crossing the line. The more you can cross the line the because you know, if you've ever been in a fight, no one's paying attention to the line. You get a hit here, had here or whatever. So you want it. You want it to be confusing and purposefully changing the shot so you don't know where the hell that hits are coming from. That's a good thing, that's that's, you know, the way it should be. And so if you're doing that handheld as you quickly maneuver that on the fly and it makes it the less the audience knows what's coming, the more exciting fight can be in the more you could be into the shot. So Black Swan, it was going to be all handheld. We shot that with the AIRY D and sixteen shot off film. Darren Aronovsky like Super Sixteen. He just loves the grip of IT. Although you can absolutely scan, you know, vision Super Sixteen to wear it looks as if you're you're shooting thirty five millimeter or shooting, you know, Alexa digital or would have you so, but he wants it gritty. So you've got a smaller target area and that makes it a little easier to get there. The lenses we're using this prime lenses. The package is so small I could just keep it on my shoulder and we could talk through the shot and I wouldn't even really think about it. You can almost one hand this camera and it's got an optical Ip so what you're seeing there's no latency, whereas digital you still have a little slight amount of delay. So things are being fed to your optic nerve, it just with a slight delay in it and it's hard to be reactionary or to predict when you're still waiting on a little bit of information. So the Nice thing about a film camera with an optical ipiece is that you're seeing things about to happen as a before they get into the ground glass area, and so that's that's really nice, even though you can say in a digital if you find her as you've seen stuff coming in where you think you get a hint of something coming in, it's actually already happening. So so that really nice thing about that movie, still shot on film for Sixteen is like, I think, the best handheld camera ever design. It's after a hundred years of camera building area comes up with this magnificent tool, fits right on your shoulder and it just stays there, you know. So it's real nodal to your to your brain, to your optic nerve, training, getting ready to understand how to be a part of that, that dance routine. And then I got there a couple of weeks ahead just to kind of help, help myself and rehearse and understand the choreography.

And Darren was really, you know, wanting to the camera, you know, to part of the needed to be a dance partner to Natalie's work and too, you know, to all the dancers. But you know, so to have that, you know, to have that that antwerplay, it's really important. So so I showed up like I wanted to be able to say, like, okay, I can of do this and it's better be in shape. And so that's so that was really Maddie so gracious asked me to do them. I just didn't want to disappoint you know, and so it's really a wonderful project to be a part of our big KAHUNA. Last question is what's the last great thing you watched? And it can be a first time viewing or it can be a reva's and that is a good question. I've been, you know, looking at a lot of documentaries, which I love, and in the meantime, you can tell us a little bit about the documentary that you're working on now? Well, this is this is not a documentary, but it's a it's a whole logic. It's it's an eight part series based on the book dope sick and it's you can I am DB it and not a lot of information. It's Michael Keaton is area Dawson. Barry Levinson is the was the lead director to do the first two episodes and it's about the oxycotton epidemic for new forema and this a lot of the madness, the criminality of what's going on there and and really a great, great project. So that those projects will come around off. And did you know where that will be released and when it'll be whoo. So it's a Disney, whoo and not sure, I think sometime later this year for hopefully the leaders here. And I don't know if it's going to be eight hours streamed or if it's to be a weekly episode thing, but it's it's an eight eight part series, eight hours and it should be a fantastic project. So yeah, it'll be. Aren't who were doing Disney and who would for green wining and project like the s? They can't do enough of that be true. Well, I think that's a natural conclusion. So thank you so much for Joseph Sisia for coming on. He worked on, you know, iron man one and two and Black Swan and spider man two in Spiderman three and a bunch of movies that we like and care about. So thanks so much for your time. Great to be here. Thank you for for having me on board. I can't wait to see what you guys go out. Hopefully will will cross paths again right. Yeah, was that a good episode? Is this Christian Bail Batman? It's the episode our listeners deserve, but not the one way need right now. You kind of look like a silent guardian, like a watchful protector right now during night. Yeah, a nice way of saying a dark night, someone knows where he is. Can you do them? Michael Keaton, Batman, I want you to tell your friends about me. That's pretty good. I'm Batman Nice. I think Christian Bale's Batman Voice is too low and to raspy. I know, I know, part of the point is is pers distortion. I think it's ridiculous and especially when he's talking alone or with people who know that he's Bruce Wayne, he still does the voice whenever he's in the costume. That's part of what makes it lovely, because you know what it is, it's a superhero movie. Brings us to spider man, to Joseishis, you was a great guy. We think he. We think he was a lovely interview. We Trent.

Yeah, what a delightful character. Thanks for coming on in our show. Yeah, and check US out next week we're going to be discussing our own thoughts on spider man too, with a very special guest, a former teacher, professor, mentor friend and fellow Podcaster, Adam Bowler rich. Yeah, he has this on podcast called I have the duck, and it's pretty good. Really, it's really good. It's kind of like ours, but a little bit better and it's also a movie podcast. But yeah, you can look them up on spotify or apple podcast, wherever you get your podcasts. Yeah, we talked about spider man too, and it was pretty awesome because it's spider man two week, undeniably, and again just to shout out his pot again off the record. He told us some very exciting things that are happening there. So if you're not listening, you should check them out right now. But people should, I guess, if they've come this far, they should like they should radar page, wouldn't that be nice of them? Or they can like follow us on instagram. There were places where we can be reached. Yeah, I don't know much about it. Make what you want to make. You want to make a craft services tick tock. No, no, wait, I dude, like the the the bad thing about that is, like it seems like they're just a bunch of twelve year olds there, but it like everyone I know who's gone on Tick Tock and putting a few brain cells of effort into it has really, you know, amassed like like a big following of children. So and I really think that's how to succeed in business. These days, but I don't know if twelve year olds are listening to podcasts, and that's why next week you can check us out. We're actually indefinitely moving solely to tick tock. You can listen to our interviews in twelve second bits. I've never been on tick tock. What goes down there? It's just an end seems seems like a dark plate. Wait, don't you have any one? Yeah, it's just an endless stream of content. trant. Yeah, I mean after spider man too, and then there and then it's Judas week, and then who knows what's coming? We do and yeah, all right, I think we I think we've found a run out of things to say.

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