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I wonder what ‘the fundamentals of photography and lighting’ actually are? The more I do the less I seem to understand. I don’t mean technically, for that I can read a book or ask someone far more proficient than myself, but what really are ‘the fundamentals’?
In the past I have certainly pushed film to get more grain. I disagree that it is the imperfections that are missing in today’s work. To me there is a lack of risk taking and of pushing the possibilities of film (by which I mean film as opposed to film or digital capture).
For ‘1917’ we did shoot on a 40mm on the Alexa LF. To me this lens length was equivalent to between a 35mm and a 32mm on a standard format but that seems debatable. Some suggest that a 40mm is equivalent to a 27mm on an academy format. This doesn’t feel right to me and I only really am interested in what feels right. On ‘Empire of Light’ my favored range on lenses was between 32mm and 65mm but I sometimes shot much wider than that as well as longer. I was just judging by eye as I set a shot. Best not to get obsessed with numbers!
The scene in Wallace’s Office was lit in a quite different way to those shot for the far more red ‘Las Vegas’ sequences. For the former I was using direct sources both for the reflections off the water, which were achieved using 10K Fresnels, and the circular ‘chase’ of 300 watt Fresnel lamps that was lighting the characters. For this scene I wanted something a little more ‘golden’ and clean. For the Vegas sequences I was using a filter on the lens. This filter was specifically made by Tiffen for the shoot, a deep amber that was not available ‘off the shelf’.
The particular shot you refer to was made using swing and tilt lens. This was used a number of times for the montage shots and elsewhere, such as for the shots of the rocking chair.
The montage was mostly shot during pre production whilst others were made during the main body of the shoot when something interesting occurred to us.
This storage room was a small set and it was lit using a 4′ x 2 tube florescent overhead. I tried to control the spread of the light with silver wrap and I also used 2′ x 2′ silver stipple reflectors to get a little bit of light into Theo’s eyes on certain shots. There was no deliberate intent to change the color or the softness of the light from one scene to another. I think that was simply a case of returning to the same small set many weeks after our first visit.
That makes sense.
Pure coincidence!November 28, 2022 at 2:14 am in reply to: Skyfall lighting question and Sicario camera question #171715
The T12 created the sunlight effect and the 2Ks were set to bounce soft light into the corridor and the room. There were no lights inside the set.
I was shooting the opening scene of ‘Sicario’ on set and a deeper stop, with more depth of field, would, in my opinion, felt more like it was shot on location.
I don’t know the exact make of laser but it can be done. I have tested lasers with a standard Alexa so an LF should be no different. Any laser should give a beam in a haze if it is set correctly.
That looks like a digital image captured using a relatively low res camera and overexposed.
Yes, the scene was shot on stage with a dollies tracking various lights that were snooted down and on dimmers.
I don’t think I would do things very differently on ‘Sicario’ or that any films I have shot would have looked substantially different if they had been shot on film. I know I would have used a little more light for the night scenes but that would have been just using slightly brighter bulbs or units in the same places. I would always allow myself a thick negative for dusk work so I would have underexposed some and printed down some which is not necessary shooting with the Alexa. There is a similar extended ‘magic hour’ sequence in ‘No Country for Old Men’, which was shot on film. Certainly that was difficult but it was also more complex than the sequence in “Sicario’.
It was true that film used to handle highlights better than digital but that certainly isn’t the case with the higher end cameras today.
The process is run faster to allow for the warmer developer so the ‘exposure’, or more precisely the density, of the negative isn’t affected. What this faster processing does lead to is an slight increase in grain and, perhaps, contrast.
A hard question. I doubt I would do things very differently if I were to shoot on film again. Yes, a little more light for night shoots but I wouldn’t think much else would change. I don’t agree that film requires more hard light. I might even suggest the reverse is true but projects are always different so it is hard to judge that.
Perhaps some lab work is a little less consistent than it might have been but there should be no issues with scanning.