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Master Primes are amazing lenses but they aren’t all that much better than some of the other affordable options out there. The problem I think you’ll face is that once you buy one, you’re likely going to find yourself wanting another.. and another, just to complete a set. If I were you i’d look into a set of Zeiss Super Speeds or even Standard Speeds. Perfect lenses albeit older and finding a decent matching set can be tricky. Sharp but still have a quality that won’t resolve “too much” detail to where it’s a bit sterile. IMO that’s the way to go!
Yea I think that’s an interesting question because I think off the bat, you’re boxing yourself into a style: Comedy needs to look like this or that. Rather, you should do what comes natural to you rather than try to do something because it’s some “established” look to a genre. I was just speaking to a DP whom I respect that shoots according to his taste no matter the setting. Roger Deakins is a perfect example of being able to shoot comedy (albeit dark comedy) with the Coen Brothers, yet still have the traditional look of drama. I think Bradford Young is also another prime example of this. I’d say motivate your main key from the door then use practicals to balance out your interiors. If you need to give extra level, then maybe bounce a light that is “motivated” by the practicals throughout the room.
Last I might say is hire good gaffers/grips that can take your ideas and make them work for you in a tasteful way.
A bit of a separate question for David, but when you’re designing a shot like this are you planning well before to set your framing for how the trucks will sit and the characters both in the fore & background? Like this still is incredible…
It definitely varies as each scene mostly likely is different. Night vs. Day. Interior vs Exterior, etc. Sometimes you don’t have control and have to lean into those obstacles.
What you can do is, let’s say you want to shoot at a t/2.8 the entire time. Then maybe your subject at key is always a 2.8. You can modify through lighting or in camera via ND, shutterspeed/angle, ISO..then work from there.
Maybe the fill or shadow side of your subject always lies at a t/2 or 1.4, then adjust accordingly. Same goes for background or practical’s.
A light meter is your best friend, buy a combo if you can! I think Roger (and myself) own the Gossen Luna Pro which have both. Cheap to find and take a 9v battery.
I imagine with is spekaing for S35 format
I look at it this way– You are investing in yourself and if it’s something you plan to make a return on by creating an end product, it should pay itself back relatively quickly. I’m not sure what level you’re at, maybe your day rate is $500-1200/day f0r example and your kit fee is $300/day, you can expect to pay off that camera in a few videos. There is a saying that if you do it right the first time, it will be cheaper in the long run as you won’t be needing to upgrade again and again.
And if you really want to pay it off quickly, throw it up on a rental site or house or rent it out to your friends and you’ve got yourself passive income.
Turtle Base, they are the bottom or ‘feet’ of a c-stand. Essentially the lowest position you can get on a stand without a babypin nailed to a piece of plywood.
@Roger — Ah I’m starting to see where there was confusion in my thinking. Printer lights and timing are completely separate from each other? I was assuming they were a part of the same process.
So if one shoots on 16mm (or any film for that matter) and scans to digital, then there is no real need for printer lights as that’s meant for projection?
@Quijotesco — Yes I’ve done something similar using Resolves false color to figure out ratios between background and talent or to see where the overall exposure lies within a frame. You’re correct though in saying that the final image is what you’re basing it off of, so if it was decided in post to take down the background 1 or more stops… you’re left up to imagination.
@David — That’s the most true statement if I’ve ever heard it haha. At the end of the day it’s not so much technicallities as it’s about the story and how we feel about it.
Thank you for such a considered answer!!
Since I’ve shot entirely digital in my career, my familiarity with printer lights is only up to the last few weeks, so it all feels rather “sorcery”. Your example including Richard Kline makes sense to me though as I assume it would’ve otherwise been left up to a lab technician to decide what was ‘normal’?
Also thank you for the tip about doing tests and shooting a grey card at the top of the roll –that helps me understand this more.
Roger, i’m more recently shooting 16mm on a Bolex and mostly gauge off my meter where a general exposure would land — printer lights are done once the film has (or is) been scanned correct? Then you can tell if you’ve been under or over in the shooting process?
Your DI on the day sort of has your back while shooting, monitoring scopes or waveform, but I imagine in your head you still expose just as you would’ve when shooting film.
I hope i’m not complicating the topic, i’m just curious to your method
Ah yes and I have played with such tools in resolve. It actually makes it much easier to grade as it’s a point based system (+\-1) within each RGB channel as opposed to moving a wheel around.. i’m no colorist so I can’t say that I full understand resolve in all it’s complexities.
The problem with unbleached muslin is that it significantly reduces light emission. Depending on your lights, placement of lights and diffusion you may lose a ton of light and be in a pinch–which is why a lot of the time, muslin can be more efficient as a bounce source.
Your best bet is to test a scene where you had your light open face (or w/o diffusion) then place each sheet and see if you like the effect. I hope that helps
Depending on your angles, could you ‘motivate’ your key by shooting alongside the window? Without knowing any details really, you could also bounce a few lights off the ceiling to bring up room tone and shape as you go into tighter frames. Judging by the space, the biggest source you can get without moving too much around is a 6×6, maybe an 8×8 could just fit?
Shed some more details and we can help you further!