Forum Replies Created
October 31, 2023 at 7:47 am in reply to: Large Format for Empire of Light and returning to Super35 #215146
We shot ‘Empire’ with the LF simply because we liked the results from the camera on ‘1917’. I don’t know what the future will hold! Every film and every director takes a cinematographer down a new road. That’s what makes it interesting.
I consider contrast when I am staring a project and when I light a scene but mine is not a mathematical approach. Some cinematographers my work from a ratio when they light but I just use my eye, judge the way I want a shot to look by looking at it.
Whether you maintain the contrast of the image through the whole film is up to the individual and the script. Its impossible to give one sweeping answer.
Like for any scene you need to consider what you want it to look like and what would motivate the light. A park could have existing lamps on posts or you may want to add some. You may want the scene to play in ‘moonlight’, in which case you may be turning light off rather than adding them.
I don’t know of an LED lamp that is as powerful as a large HMI but I may be out of date there!
I would not say exposure plays so much of a role as you think. In every case you refer to there is detail in the windows. In no case was I wanting the highlights to be a pure white. The nature of the light is effected by the size of the set window, which is different in every case, and the quality of the light that is being ‘punched’ through the window. A series of lamps that are wider than the window project the light to each side, whereas a source the size of the window and at a distance from it creates a ‘tunnel’ of light that falls off to the sides of the window. And, the inverse square law plays its part as well. The light I was bouncing into Sapper Morton’s was far closer than the light I used to light the restaurant in ‘Unbroken’, which meant the light fell off far more quickly and the far walls of the set were that much darker. And lastly (maybe), a heavy diffusion on the window itself will become the source and spread the light whereas a very light diffusion will allow to be constrained.
How to light a day interior is actually quite complicated and we have not even discussed the limitations a location might bring into the equation.October 23, 2023 at 4:26 am in reply to: Bounce light challenges on Bladerunner (Sappers Farm) #215104
I was referring to the positioning of the light on the bounce. There were no lights inside the set at all so the positioning of the ‘hot spots’ gave me some shape to the light coming through the windows. I would adjust the focus of each lamp so that it was out of frame from shot to shot, and the white of the bounce seen through the window was lit only by the spill. This was so the window didn’t ‘burn out’ and I maintained detail in the highlights, texture of the dirt on the glass etc.
There are more and more good LED options coming into use with a larger spectral range, something which was an issue in the early days. I would not be worried about using LEDs and they do have many advantages. However, it comes down to the film and the conditions in which you are working. I don’t see an alternative to using an HMI (or a Dino etc) to imitate ‘moonlight’ right now, though there may be one I am not aware of. In the lower range of lighting, where there would be a 650, a 1K, a 5K, or even a 10K, the LED alternatives are as good if not better. To dispense with gels is a great advantage!
I’m glad that I did remember to ask Aleksey on our podcast, even if I had forgotten I had! It really was the best I have seen.
Yes, we used smoke on the ‘BR 2049’ shot on a studio backlot.
We talked with Aleksey Rodionov for our podcast and we should have asked him about that fog. I suspect it was a combination of real and added smoke but it certainly looks real.
Yes, a brilliant scene from a brilliant film. The fog is so good in that scene that I imagined it was done on the right day. Maybe it was! There is some equivalent work done on Antonioni’s ‘Red Desert’, although the wind does give the effects away at one moment. Serious fog and wind machines were used for ‘Red Desert’ as can be seen in some behind the scenes images. I have never seen images of the ‘Come and See’ rig but I imagine it must have been substantial.
I have had mixed success with fog, the best being done on stage. For an exterior you are at teh mercy of the weather. I would suggest setting your rig the day before you shoot as, invariably, smoke/fog will hang early in the day rather than later. Otherwise, if it is possible to have a flexible schedule and wait for a calm damp day …. Yes, that might not be possible. It seldom is.
Not every film begins with a look book. Some of them are created by a director in advance of the film. being given a green light, some by the production designer and some, less often in my experience, by the cinematographer. I will gather references if that is the way a director likes to prepare for a shoot but I don’t do it for my own sake. What I do are sketches of possible shots and staging as well as detailed diagrams for lighting. I find that the style of the film’s cinematography, camera movement and so forth, comes from discussions that happen during location scouting, when a director and I get time to talk through a script, or not until the actors go through a blocking rehearsal on the day of the shoot.October 8, 2023 at 6:39 am in reply to: Do I lose anything in the DI by not using 85/80A filter? #215046
I am a bit rusty as well. I think it would be fine to drop the 85. I used to do that when it was just a film print and I wanted cooler shadows. In the DI you should be fine.
The solids were outside the window. The LED was bounced to the side of the shot and not directly overhead, which would not have reached so far into the face.
I did use a single white bounce outside the windows for both of the scenes. I also had a solid to cut some light as well. I was only using the bounce for the shots on Michael. Inside the first cafe I used two LEDs bouncing off the ceiling to either side of the wide shot. These were set to a tungsten balance to give some warmth to the shadows. I did not use them for the closer coverage.
Ahh! We have different ways of working. I would in the past never considered blowing up an image and I still only look at that as an option as a last resort. You say you can make a telephoto shot from a wide angle but you are loosing definition whatever your capture system. Besides, there is a different feel to a blown up shot when there is movement in the frame. But I get what you are saying. You want the flexibility.