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We mix 4-perf stock and inserts into 3-perf shows all the time. With optical printing a thing of the past, 3-perf features will be DI. Once you're into a DI, you can come from either 3 or 4, no problem.

 

 

 

-- J.S.

 

Agree. While I don't shoot 35mm yet, I have very successfully mixed 16mm inserts (and some entire scenes!) within S16 mm projects at the 2K DI level with results no one has been able to distinguish.

Edited by Saul Rodgar
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Agree. While I don't shoot 35mm yet, I have very successfully mixed 16mm inserts (and some entire scenes!) within S16 mm projects at the 2K DI level with results no one has been able to distinguish.

 

You mean 16mm cropped to the same aspect ratio as S16?

Sounds quite neat. I'm more impressed about the inserts working. Generally if you are in a whole new scene you can get away far more with a change of look than you might within an existing scene.

 

Did you shoot with the same lenses on each? What cameras did you use?

 

love

 

Freya

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Yes, but keycode in the EDL is not affected by 16mm vs. Super-16 since they use the same number of perfs.

It's a little extra work to trace back with flex files, but post can do it. It's nowhere near a good enough reason to not get the shot you want. Having the four perf full aperture Arri is a good idea if you want to be able to grab things when conditions are right.

 

 

 

 

-- J.S.

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You mean 16mm cropped to the same aspect ratio as S16?

Sounds quite neat. I'm more impressed about the inserts working. Generally if you are in a whole new scene you can get away far more with a change of look than you might within an existing scene.

 

Did you shoot with the same lenses on each? What cameras did you use?

 

love

 

Freya

 

Yeah, it was R16 cropped to match S16 (center extraction). The thing that I was more surprised working seamlessly was the grain match up. I thought since I would be center extracting on R16 to match S16, the grain would explode and would give it away . . . Whether it was an insert or a whole new scene. Again, using a DI (Spirit/ Da Vinci 2k with grain reduction) the match was seamless. Even looking at the blown up R16 without the grain reduction, it looked really well both in its grain and resolution.

 

The stock was 7217 processed normally, cameras were Eclair ACL, Aaton LTR and A-minima. Lenses were Angie (15-150mm, 17- 65mm, and 10-150mm) and Cooke (12-120mm Varokinetal) zooms. I love zooms, don't like to be changing lenses unless I have lots of help, which hasn't happened yet.

 

There are some pictures here: (including some of the center extracted R16 inserts)

 

http://www.flickr.com/photos/10352165@N07/...57604091065100/

 

The In Production post is here:

 

http://www.cinematography.com/forum2004/in...showtopic=29646

 

The director is not done with the edit, will post a link to it as soon as he is done.

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Yes, but keycode in the EDL is not affected by 16mm vs. Super-16 since they use the same number of perfs.

 

 

If your post house is on board it can be done.

 

I did a film which had 3 perf and 4 perf 35mm AND Super 16. SD rushes. All for a 2k DI. It didn't seem to fuss them.

 

jb

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Very insightful look into shooting this film David thank you. Shooting a moonlit-woodsy-ghost show in May myself (on a pilot tv series budget mind you!) Very helpful to have someone with a heck of a lot more experience than I do walking through the process, I feel much more prepared for my own testing especially when it comes to stock choices.

 

Really looking forward to hearing how your exterior night stuff goes with the Vision 3.

 

kevin

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We're just starting Week Three, but I wanted to just cover Week Two. The first four days were spent at one house, belonging to the main character. We started with some day scenes -- I lit a kitchen mainly with a 12K HMI coming through a window through 1/2 CTO as a warm backlight, the stuck a piece of white card on the wall to reflect it back into the face of our main actress. Looked natural.

 

But the hard scene that we spent nearly two full days on was a suspense scene inside the house with no lights on, which was particularly hard because the main corridor in the house was windowless and covered with dark brown wallpaper. So I had to hid various lights that were gelled half-blue for moonlight to rake the walls and bring out the character as she moved through the space. I used the Kinoflo Kamio ringlight quite a bit for an eyelight as we followed our lead actress in close-up on a Steadicam. It often had ND3 or ND6 to knock it down. I also often black paper-taped the upper half of the ring to make it more of a lens light below the lens. But the Kamio does a nice job of giving you a glint in the eye without a donut ring effect.

 

We ended the week at a mental hospital location shooting a cafeteria scene, mostly lit by rows of fluorescents that the art department hung in the ceiling. Decided to go Kubrickian and use a 14mm lens as we tracked through the space.

 

We ended the night out on a road shooting a long walk down a moonlit road. I had two 18K HMI's on a 125' condor way down the road -- because the road was naturally wet (this is Vancouver after all) I was able to shoot at an f/2.8 despite the fact that my meter said there was much less light, because of the glare off of the road from the backlight. We shot the wide shot on a 150mm lens for a telephoto effect where you see the person in silhouette walking downhill as they are backlit by the moon.

 

I've been using my DSLR (Nikon 40X) as a quick double-check on my exposure choices -- it is particularly helpful in night situations, but it is only a rough indication of the final effect.

 

Only used a little of the 200T 5217 stock for a daytime walk-n-talk on a Steadicam; otherwise I've been shooting 5219 all week.

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Thanks for keeping us up to date David. An excellent read, as always. It seems, when you're in production, I check the forums more for the next chapter in your production diary than for anything else. It sounds like it's been a good shoot so far and I hope the rest of it goes smashingly.

 

Best wishes,

 

Evan W.

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How much do you rely on your light meter vs. your DSLR when determining the exposure you want?

 

I know this question wasn't asked of me, but I would like to chime in, if I may . . .

 

Personally I like to use my digital camera for peace or mind. Negative film will always have more latitude than digital, but it makes me less worried about contrast and key to fill ratio, etc.

 

First I take snapshots of locations at scout level. Later, after talking to the director and going over a storyboard, I make diagrams of where lights will go, then look at storyboards some more. Sometimes I will storyboard with my still camera on location, shot by shot. The day of the shoot I light everything by eye using my meter and then take out the camera, look at my stills with the director. If we like it I move on, or keep on tweaking. This is a composite technique based on what I have learned on the shows I have done, taking what works for me from individual approaches and adding my own touches.

 

Looking forward to hear David's approach.

Edited by Saul Rodgar
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I light with my meter, get a final exposure, then take a digital snapshot -- 90% of the time, it just shows me what I expect to see... but sometimes I see the photo and decide to change a few things in the frame. Since I have a lot of dark underexposed night scenes in this movie, the digital snapshot is one method of making sure I'm not underexposing or conversely, overlighting, too much.

 

I find though that the digital photo is not completely reliable -- depending on whether I'm daylight or tungsten balance, or in a bright day room or a dark night room, it seems to come out a little darker or brighter than what my meter says. This is partly due to the lower dynamic range of the digital still photo, so windows and practicals are hotter in the photo, but also, sometimes shadows are plugging up faster in the digital photo.

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I find though that the digital photo is not completely reliable -- depending on whether I'm daylight or tungsten balance, or in a bright day room or a dark night room, it seems to come out a little darker or brighter than what my meter says. This is partly due to the lower dynamic range of the digital still photo, so windows and practicals are hotter in the photo, but also, sometimes shadows are plugging up faster in the digital photo.

 

David, have you played with the DSLR's contrast ("Tone") settings to try to emulate the filmstock, or does it simply not come close enough to bother with?

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I find though that the digital photo is not completely reliable -- depending on whether I'm daylight or tungsten balance, or in a bright day room or a dark night room, it seems to come out a little darker or brighter than what my meter says. This is partly due to the lower dynamic range of the digital still photo, so windows and practicals are hotter in the photo, but also, sometimes shadows are plugging up faster in the digital photo.

 

I wonder if having a Polaroid back (remember those?) for a medium fromat camera could solve some of these issues . . . Something not too bulky like a Pentax 67 or one of the smaller Hasselblad or Mamiyas (?).

 

I think Polaroid pretty much stopped making film cartridges some time ago though. I don't know if they had 500T film either, so that may be the catch, even if it were still available.

 

Actually, I just checked. They still have some left, but what I found is Daylight balanced ISO 640 only, so there goes that idea.

 

http://shopus.polaroid.com/shop/public/pro...duct=645743%2D5

 

It was probably a crazy idea anyway. . .

Edited by Saul Rodgar
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Week Three is finished, five more weeks left...

 

This was a tough week because of location and scheduling issues -- we had night exterior work on Monday through Wednesday but on Thursday we had a day exterior scene scheduled that would take all day to shoot, except that there was no way we could have a sunrise call time on Thursday if we had been shooting until midnight or so on the previous three days. So we tried to shorten each work day by a hour each day to back up in time to have as early a call time as possible on Thursday, which worked out to be about a 9:30AM call, which wasn't bad.

 

So on Monday we finished scenes at the Riverview Hospital location, ending with a night exterior shot of the building. I wanted it to look more harsh and industrial, since it played as a mental facility / prison, and asked for six mercury-vapor / metal halide lamps I could hang around the building as security lights. But not being able to find those types of bulbs, the art department bought six sodium vapor lamps, because they were told by the store that they could be rewired to take metal halide bulbs. But that turned out to be incorrect; the bulbs eventually got fried once the lamp was powered-up for awhile. So that was a waste of money and I had one department blaming another department about whose fault it was. Part of the problem was that they worked fine once rewired and reglobed for metal halide a week before shooting, but they screwed up on the actual the day of shooting when it was too late to do something about it. So there was blame to go all-around but I was just surprised at how hard it was just get to get metal halide fixtures I wanted.

 

So I ended up hanging six HMI Jokers with Full Plus Green on them around the building and it worked fine for simulating that industrial lighting effect. I pointed the lights at the camera lens for a little flare, though the Primo lenses actually didn't flare at all from them.

 

Before this night scene, I had a day scene that had to look like magic hour. I was not blessed by overcast weather unfortunately, so I started out with shots I could tent from the overhead sun. Luckily we were in a wooded road area and eventually most of the sun was blocked by trees. Then the sun set and we rushed to get a lot of complicated shots -- a steadicam move down the street, a crane shot, etc. I was sure we were going to be screwed and lose the light, but I forgot one thing: I'm in Canada. Magic hour lasted well over a half-hour, unlike the ten or fifteen minutes you get in California.

 

Tuesday and Wednesday were spent at a small house, mostly in a small basement bedroom, tented for night during the day. We did a nice shot at magic hour again of someone sitting next to a window, shot from outside looking in, with the magic hour woods reflected in the glass over her face, which was lit by a table lamp. I had one night exterior where I had to push the '19 stock one-stop (so 640 ASA instead of 320 ASA) just to get some of the ambience from the sodium streetlamps to read at T/2, and even then, they hardly exposed on film. I lit the foreground from overhead with a tungsten lamp from a small condor crane gelled to match the sodium look, and then at the far end of the block was an 18K HMI with 1/2 CTO on a 100' condor to backlight the far houses & street.

 

Thursdays was spent in the woods, shooting a day scene -- it was a nightmare because we were in a pine tree forest, and once the sun came out, it blasted areas in the frame with hot light from bad directions, forcing the grips to climb trees and hang 12'x20' grid cloths and whatnot to block out the sun. I had hoped for overcast light so I could control where the sun fell in the scene, but the whole space was much brighter and sunnier than I wanted. Then on Friday we went back in to grab a few inserts and pick-up shots and it was overcast and raining, and I was shooting wide-open at T/2 on '19 stock when I had been shooting on '17 stock at T/5.6 just the day before.

 

We ended the week shooting a dialogue scene in a park at night. I didn't want another moonlit scene so I had the art department bring in some small park lanterns on poles, which we put 500w tungsten globes in. I had to push the stock again one-stop just to get enough exposure from the streetlamps, and then lit the foreground park with an overhead tungsten lighting balloon. I had some uncorrected HMI light from a condor in the far background for moonlight and then shot the grey scale with a half-blue light so that the timing would shift the tungsten park lights towards half-orange for a warm glow in the park.

 

Then we had some scenes in the moonlit woods by the park, which I lit with uncorrected HMI's and shot a grey scale with 1/4 Blue on a tungsten light to take 1/4 of the blue out of the HMI light, for a blue-ish look. I used an HMI lighting balloon inside the woods for a little soft top fill. Then two 18K HMI's on a 100' condor provided a backlight through the woods, though half the light got blocked up by trees. But it looked moody. Again, I had to push the film one-stop just to get enough exposure (even with two 18K HMI's) for a T/2.

 

But my tests of 5219 showed me that there was hardly any grain increase with a one-stop push (especially since I was rating it at 640 ASA with the push, not 1000 ASA), just an increase in contrast.

 

However, next week my night exteriors are not so extremely wide and distant, so I shouldn't have to do any pushing.

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Sounds like this has been a pretty difficult shoot. Are you finding this to be one of the more difficult one's you've shot in terms of logistically accomplishing the shots that are planned? Do you think this is down, to a relatively lesser degree, not being fully prepared/organized compared to other productions you've done at this budget?

 

Also, I've always wondered when you come into situations where "Plan A" goes out the window and you have to think on your feet to come up with a solution and have to do thinks like rig 12x20s or a bunch of jokers, how do you prepare for these things in prep? When you and your gaffer sit down to determine your grip/electric package, were things like the 12x20s and jokers originally part of your package? I know most 5-ton+ packages don't usually carry these things, at least not in these numbers. Or are things like these part of a plan for another setup and it was a case of using what you just happen to have to make things work?

 

With having to go back to pick up shots with entirely different lighting/weather, are you concerned about the shots matching or is this something you think you'll be able to work with in the DI? I also might have missed it in an earlier post, but are you rating the '19 stock at 320 ASA all the time or just in specific situations? With a stock that apparently has greater latitude that '18, what would be the reasons for rating it at 320 ASA for the whole shoot (if that is what you're doing) instead of just situations that will require it?

 

Thanks for taking the time to keep everyone updated on your work!

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No more difficult than most shows... things going wrong or not as planned is standard operating procedure on a film set. You can only plan so much, predict so much, anticipate so much, and still the unexpected happens, so you just deal with it. That's what you were hired to do, solve problems. I hoped for overcast weather in the woods but I also knew that the sun could come out. I also knew that the woods location wasn't ideal if it did because all the best angles looked sort of north-east, and the sun crossed sort of south-west, front-lighting many shots, not backlighting them -- because the angle looking southwest saw roads and structures we didn't or couldn't see for the story. And these particular woods were picked for scheduling and location reasons -- they were next to a park where we had a lot of other scenes, and it worked for the availability of a certain actor in the scene to schedule that scene for the days we were in that neighborhood.

 

It started to cloud over when we set up the first wide shot, so I had the grips clamp some pipe between some trees up high so I could have a few spots from HMI PAR's hitting parts of ferns and trees. But then there was a delay on getting the actress to set and we started shooting something else, some efx plates we needed of animals in the woods. Then finally just as the actress was coming to set, the sun came out and I had to have the grips start hanging the 12'x20' diffusions, etc. So my ideal wide shot didn't quite happen. I don't normally like to use much lights for day scenes, preferring the available light look... but with the sun going in and out, and knowing that this scene was going to take six hours or so to shoot, I had to use some artificial lights on the main action so that it would be consistent for most of the shots.

 

By the end of the day, it was overcast and again and I was losing the light, but it worked in my favor because the last scene was set at sunset, so I was able to take a row of HMI's gelled orange and side-light the woods as if the sun was setting off to one side. It balanced quite well with the natural ambience, but I was rushed to get all the set-ups before the light level from the skylight dropped too far. But we got it.

 

Overexposing color negative gives you more latitude for color-correcting later, since more than often, you are trying to pull out or adjust things in the shadows.

 

My Gaffer and Key Grip both have a decent equipment package so generally I haven't found myself missing some piece of gear, but we also planned it that way when we created the equipment list, to have some flexibility. We use HMI Jokers quite a bit, which is why we are carrying a number of them, but if we didn't, I would have used a different light where we had enough of the same unit, for that shot of the building with the six security lights on it.

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I'll post some of my exposure snapshots here just once, though I won't be able to do much of that until after the movie is released. The person in the photos is the lighting stand-in.

 

This is a shot of a road I lit. This was a case where the incident meter told me that I had a T/1.4 at 400 ASA, but because of the glare off of the wet road (it had just rained, we didn't do that -- and the mist in the air was natural too), my DLSR said it looked better at a T/2.8, which by coincidence is also what our stills photographer was shooting at. It was backlit with an 18K HMI on a 100' condor at the far end of the road; another HMI on the same condor pointed at the opposite direction to front-lit the far end of the trees:

 

jb4.jpg

 

This is a day interior lit with a 12K HMI PAR going through 1/2 CTO for a warm look; the light on the face was just the bounce from the backlight -- I put a white card on the wall to catch the light back into her face but even that was too much so I clamped a single net to the white card to make it more of a grey card. There was a slash of light on the radio from a tungsten Source-4 with 1/2 CTB:

 

jb5.jpg

 

This was a shot from Friday night of some woods, backlight from a far away condor, again with an 18K HMI on it. I also had an HMI lighting balloon overhead, dimmed down. At the last minute, I added a rake across the foreground tree trunks with a small HMI Joker. (In this case, we added the slight mist in the air). I shot at a T/2-2.8 split at 640 ASA (one-stop push):

 

jb6.jpg

 

This was the night shot of the building where I added the HMI Jokers with Plus Green on them for a metal halide security light look (T/2.8 at 320 ASA):

 

jb7.jpg

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