quijotesco24

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  • in reply to: Exposed for film #202954
    quijotesco24
    Participant

      Before burning any film I would really try to learn how a lightmeter works, what exposure is and how expose for the desirable effect. Because at the end of the day you expose the same film or digital. So you can start practicing exposure with any digital camera.
      It’s a very broad and intricate issue to explain it here in a post. So the DP that told you that was actually giving you a valid shortcut in case you don’t want to go to the long and hard way of learning all is needed to know how to expose.

       

      quijotesco24
      Participant

        As a DP to own or not equipment… it’s the million dollar question.

        My take is it depends greatly what are you offering. Are you a DP? Or a production company? As a DP all you really need are a lightmeter and maybe a set monitor or maybe not even those things. But as a production company you may need all the tools to do your job or some tools and you will rent the rest.
        All of this is quite related to which level you are working. At higher (more budget) production level people/production companies don’t tend to own stuff. Everything comes from rentals. Why? One answer could be The simple fact of the maintenance of the tools is a high cost that very few production companies wants to deal with. Don’t underestimate how much cost to fix and keep in working order a set of lenses or a camera or even a set of lights.
        The lower you go on budgets the more normal is for production companies and DPs to own stuff.
        Being that said if you want to own stuff just make a list of the items you need and compare with your rental. If the tools you need pay for themselves in a short period and can keep generating revenue for you at every shoot then it make sense to buy/own.
        If you are starting and you need to practice and bring as much stuff as possible for a shoot then I would say for a basic lighting package the basics would be few “soft” lights, few hard lights everything LED for simplicity. Lots of black material, lots of bounce material. Few 4x4s, 6x6s frames. Few stands. Basically look at your car/van and see what can you fit in there.
        My personal opinion is that at lower budgets (no money, no crew) what you really want is to substract light not to add light. So to me I would prefer as much Molton black material as you can carry rather than start putting lights. Also the price of renting Molton is absurd compared to what it cost to buy and there is no maintenance cost associated. Same could be said about bounce material, fabrics are really a good investment. I could also start talking about all the LED technology and how fast it changes, so putting lots of money on fancy lights don’t makes sense in the actual market neither. But that’s my personal opinion.
        Some of the Dps you mentioned have shot movies without a single film set light.

        in reply to: Ansel Adams zone system #201712
        quijotesco24
        Participant

          I think the zone system is it still applicable in part in cinematography too.

          Specially the first part about metering and where to put each part of the scene in the “negative”.

          It’s been long time but if I can recall right Ansel Adams zone system is a 3 part process. The metering, the negative and the print, I may still  have his books some where. As David said the negative and the print process is hard to apply in cinematography for the said reasons, but the metering is very much interesting to learn.

          I’m coming from a photography background, where I shot a lot of large format too so to understand how to meter, understand the zones inside an image and how to expose for desirable effect was already knowledge I had thanks to know the “zone system”.

          If I was starting today I’ll probably won’t learn the zone system as it makes no sense nowadays but I would make sure to understand how to meter and expose consistently and for any desirable effect I would want with any camera/sensor.

           

          quijotesco24
          Participant

            Even shooting RAW I try to get WB as I want on camera. It can be “correct” to the lights on set or not depending the effect we want to achieve. Same as green/magenta. I try to get as much in camera as I can.
            It means everyone is watching a “final” image on set and it also means post will have less work and less chances to ruin it. As it has been told before, not every DP has the chance to sit down during color grading sessions. So the most final image you can get in camera the better.

            in reply to: Age factor? #197360
            quijotesco24
            Participant

              It depends the person more than the age in my opinion. Some people gets used to set rhythm some are not. Also not every set Is the same. Small crew and multitasking? Or 8 people on camera dept and a chair on video village?

              Also the circumstances. Spending all night long on a shoot after a long day when you earn 4k per day is more bearable than when you get paid 400 isn’t?

              Also not all cinematography work is the same. Commercial gig on a studio is not the same as 12 hours in the middle of the bush on a tiny African country shooting doc.

              in reply to: For a beginner, what is best to learn? #196011
              quijotesco24
              Participant

                To study movies.

                 

                in reply to: Building a tunnel of diffusion #195626
                quijotesco24
                Participant

                  There are indeed really big fabrics sellers if that’s what you need. The highest I’ve bought was 6 wide meter roll and the roll was like hundreds of meters long. But I know there was even wider than that. But it gets really expensive. So for massive pieces you will end up stitching.

                  Your best bet will be companies that deal with fabrics exclusively for stage purposes. You know, for big theaters, opera houses, music halls.

                  Also most of the fabrics these companies deal are already fire retardant treated, there are some heavy regulations about what fabric ends on a Stage, something you really need depending which lights you will be using.

                   

                  in reply to: Colors/Tone/Contrasts alternation along a movie #190938
                  quijotesco24
                  Participant

                    In my experience it’s very rare to think all of this alone. Film making is a collaborative process, so people bring different ideas and there are different stages. From prep to shooting to post. You will have to coordinate, talk and share with lots of people at these stages. So yes, you can bring a head full of ideas but at the end is a collaboration between everyone.
                    Maybe I’m shooting my own feet but too much value is given to DPs when what is seen on screen is a global effort from the whole crew. Yes, we do have certain weight on decision making. But I would like to emphasis the certain word.

                    About the flow of the whole film… I don’t think you can treat a film as a sum of different scenes put together. You must consider it as a whole story, where it’s important the Flow, the rhythm, the atmosphere it has as a full big piece. So a scene it’s just a part of that. So it’s important how you arrive to that scene and where are you going after. That doesn’t mean you can’t change drastically if it’s story motivated. And that’s the whole key. Everything must be motivated by the story. Any question you have will have its answer on the script.

                    It’s quite easy to find big movies scripts online, my advice for you is to read those, analyze them, also watch a film at the same time you read the script. Analyze how they bring those words on paper to images on the screen, what they choose to show and how they show it. Write down your own analysis and findings. Because at the end you should trust your own thoughts not someone else’s. So put time forming your thoughts around other peoples works. We are dealing with art and feelings here. So there is no wrong or bad. Just opinions. But it’s important you have your own.

                    in reply to: Printer Lights and Digital #187835
                    quijotesco24
                    Participant

                      In Davinci Resolve you can use the waveform plus a spot selection tool as a spot lighmeter to gauge exposure. Same as you would do while shooting but in post.

                      We use it all the time to know what’s the exposure related to middle grey of all elements of a frame. It’s super precise in the sense that if you have tested all your workflow with the exact LUTs you will use (to know the toe and slope of your workflow basically and how and where all minus and plus stops from middle grey land in the waveform) then you can exactly replicate any image you want.

                      This is how I learn about exposure from others people frames. We have measured a great deal of your images Sir Deakins!

                      Of course you are measuring final frames with all the post work on them but it gives you a clear idea where different DPs like to put, related to middle grey, their skin tone, to know the ratios between bright/dark side, between subject and background…

                      The important part is that maybe you are wrong because they exposed in one way and after they bring everything down in post, but what the system allows is to replicate that image adapted to your workflow with the exact ratios used.

                      One of the post guys I worked with taught me this but I’m sure more people use this system and there must be a article/video about it. Otherwise I can post pictures showing it.

                      in reply to: Light schemes & staging/shot-list #187514
                      quijotesco24
                      Participant

                        When I mentioned “The Rider” I didn’t do it because the equipment but the crew.
                        It was shot with a minimal crew. This is one of the reason I think it looks how it looks. It’s magic.

                        You can check “Rien à Foutre” a recent belgian film too to watch an European version of that. A movie set with again minimal crew where in this case they even use a small cheap “amateur” camera to shot it. And it wasn’t because there wasn’t budget. As there was budget to rent big commercial Airbus planes. But the image, the shots are powerful and as quality as any big name movie coming from a studio. My guess is they decide to shoot it like this because the outcome would be less rigid and more in line what creators had in mind. And again, it shows when you watch it.

                        Technology has allowed this ways of shooting. It has democratize film making.
                        Once you don’t need big money to shoot you are freer to find your own ways to shoot.
                        But we would all agree that this was already done many decades ago already with Bresson and the like but nowadays it’s even easier than what he had.
                        Also mentioning how all European movies are financed vs how they are in US would also explain in part this freedom. But that is another story.

                        All the movies you mentioned are Amazing films that define cinema as it is. But time has flown since then and nowadays MOST big studio films are not that much exciting anymore. Again, that’s my personal opinion. And if I try to find a reason why is that I go back to my point, the way you plan and shoot a movie it’s really important and define the outcome. I would love to watch next Star Wars film to be shot with a crew of 5/6 people. I bet the outcome will be quite different.

                        All of this was to answer OP question on how to plan and shoot a film. And my answer again is it all depends. But I mentioned all of this to make clear there are not one way to shoot a film, there are thousands. And also to have small crew don’t mean you can’t shoot a movie and make it look elegant and fancy enough.
                        We all look up to how masters do their job but that’s just one way of doing things, there are many more. Even more exciting. At least to me.

                         

                         

                         

                        in reply to: Light schemes & staging/shot-list #187182
                        quijotesco24
                        Participant

                          What I’ve encountered is that at low budget productions  it really depends on the production itself and what workflow has been stablished with the people, how much crew there is around is also important. The type of the shoot is also important, if it’s doc or fiction, or an hybrid. Outside big productions anything can happen. And that’s the magic in my opinion. People are free to develop a system that work for them. At the end results is what counts and you can see how some films are amazing in part for how they were shot.

                          That’s one the reasons I really prefer European cinema (or anything outside US), as it’s more freer in that regard and the result they show, but watch “The Rider” for example in US, that film looks and feels more authentic than 20 big studio production together in my opinion. There are few interviews online that you can learn how it was shot. But it was a crew of a handful people.
                          Also to me thanks to newer and cheaper technology it’s gonna be what will really change cinema. How we shoot and plan a shooting day. The big studio ways to shoot a story are dead and completely boring to me as the results are often the same. And in the future with all these LED walls and Virtual Production systems coming the gap between commercial and authentic will be broader.

                          To answer your specific question is really hard as you have said some directors like to find the shots on location, some like to come with a define shot list to the set. Some do story boards some don’t.

                          Whatever they like you need to come prepared, if director tells you way ahead he/she doesn’t have any shots in mind and wants to get on set to discuss them you at least come prepared. Usually I like to visit all locations and discuss with them but sometimes it’s not possible so you have to improvise on the spot. But as I said you need to know how they work before shooting days so at least you have a plan already in the head and can transmit ideas right away. And it’s usually more than 1 option. So in case first idea don’t fall you have back-ups.

                          Also, and this is my personal opinion, every DP out there would need some years of experience shooting Documentaries on the field. Or at least work as photo journalists. The fast approach to get not useable images but amazing ones 1 minute after you arrive at one place gives you an enormous experience and prepares you to be in your toes and work fast and efficient. Something as basic as where is the best spot to shoot in any location (based on the actual light and architecture of the place) you can train even with your phone while you do your daily stuff. Next time you go to supermarket wonder yourself what would be the best spot to get the best frame you could get if you need to shoot someone picking a bag of carrots. Repeat this to any mundane action anywhere you go.

                          quijotesco24
                          Participant

                            To add another layer of interest I would suggest you stop thinking about focal lengths and Lenses, in my opinion it doesn’t help to understand how images are created. Here is an idea: Think more about distances, the distance camera to subject, the distance subject to background, the distance between subjects.

                            in reply to: Lighting dark space for TV #183906
                            quijotesco24
                            Participant

                              I would trust your DP on this.
                              As I understand you are the Director/Writer right?

                              in reply to: Diffusion and Bounce Placement in Day Ext. #181643
                              quijotesco24
                              Participant

                                Not Roger but in my opinion if You feel the bounce too much is because it’s too small for your subject/s. Being small relatively to your subject it feels very sourcy and doesn’t wrap around much. But sometimes you want that hardness. Neither way is better or worst. Depends the situation.

                                Same thing as the position of the bounce, light side or shadow side or even frontal. Depends the situation. But personally the first thing I’ll try to do it’s to bounce from light side. And it stays there most of the time. But sometimes I use bounce on shadow side too.

                                in reply to: Black and White as a stylistic choice #179002
                                quijotesco24
                                Participant

                                  Im not aware of any specific book or article about the use of b&w in actual times but I’m sure there must be some paper on it. You could also expand the search not only about cinema but also photography. Dig on John Berger as he must have something on this topic I’m sure.

                                  I can only think of some of the reasons some directors or photographers have said on this matter. Quickly comes Nolan and his first movie, where he said it was for economic reasons, not only film and dev is cheaper compared to color but b&w also ease on production design hiding and lighting equipment is cheaper when no color is taking into account. Or when Eggers used b&w for The Lighthouse as simply stylistic choice. 2 completely different uses of b&w. Into the photography world many photojournalists not shooting breaking news in the 90s/00s or even today still shoot b&w. Each has its own reasons but many said they choose b&w because when you removed the colors on a picture all it’s left are forms and shapes. No colour to distract so an image have a deeper meaning. Also following this, my opinion, we humans don’t see in b&w so when we watch a b&w image we know it’s a representation of reality, not the reality itself, and thanks to this we are more open to absorb the interpretation or meaning the creator decided. Up to a point of course. As any image, moving or not is ambiguous.

                                Viewing 15 replies - 31 through 45 (of 61 total)