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Your definition of "Quality of Light"

Stephen Sanchez

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20 hours ago, Justin Hayward said:

I grew up in the Midwest and that green light before a tornado is actually really creepy. There’s a lot of yellow in it too. Like a sunset without the sun.  I haven’t seen it for probably 20 years, but it’s a really weird, impending, look that feels like it just washes over everything when you’re outside. Now you got me thinking how I would re-create it. If it were exterior (I see your shot is interior so that’s a little easier), I’m not being very creative, but I can’t think of how else to do it other than shoot in overcast and add an overall green/yellow tint in post. Or maybe a light green filter if you wanted to do it in Camera? But you would obviously have more control about where you want it heavier and lighter if you did it in post.  I don’t know. Your shot looks good, though.

Cheers Justin. This was really early on for me, I was basically still a student. We just had an ARRI kit of tungsten fresnels and an HVX200, and no real color correction tools. So I did the best I could at the time. Luckily, it wasn't a literal recreation effect - the story was about a 'mer-man' sea-creature who washes up on the beach and is taken in by a lonely older woman. As he gets creepier, the light gets stranger. We did use some Fog filters and Day for Night filters outside, but not for the 'tornado' look. I just used Yellow-green gels on tungsten lamps for those scenes.

I guess if I had to do it for a day exterior now, I would probably do the same approach as you suggested. It's an overall look, since the sky is the main source of ambient light. I think I would either use a light green camera filter, or make a Yellow Green LUT to preview in camera. I actually made one for a film last year, and I really like it:

SLog3: SLog3_BASE.thumb.jpg.71b8b16a33a47e7be1b7ebf80eb69e1d.jpg

Green V1: Green_V1_GRADED.thumb.jpg.207ded7613593b01bd055e97f71f8055.jpg

Green V2: Green_V2_GRADED.thumb.jpg.5c17819ea12a6f9a277d17718146ee6a.jpg

Rec.709 V1: R709_V2_GRADED.thumb.jpg.4cdcd77e33adcb37f2dc53e42793becf.jpg

Rec.709 V2: R709_V1_GRADED.thumb.jpg.ebc40a6680b01961286210c6a69c4d02.jpg

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1 hour ago, David Mullen ASC said:

Keep in mind at the time, HBO had twice the subscriber base as Showtime... and the shows had twice the budget.

Showtime embraced 24PHD soon after it arrived in 2000-2001 ("The L Word" in 2004 comes to mind, shot on the Panasonic Varicam), and there were no log-based cameras other than the Thomson Viper in 2003 and that was troublesome to use because of the uncompressed HD output to early data recorders, and then all the back-ups that had to be made to LTO tape (or Panasonic D5 tape I think) because the post houses didn't have a way of storing mountains of data.  The Dalsa Origin also debuted in 2003, and the ARRI D20 in 2005.

When the HDCAM-SR tape format came out in 2003 and then the portable SR1 deck came out along with the Genesis camera in 2005, that made the Viper (and the D20) more usable. The early 2000's involved the switchover from video engineers to DITs in order to basically set levels in the HD camera for color, contrast, etc. in a Rec.709 recording that was more or less broadcast-ready.

All of this meant though that Showtime was a bit slow to embrace the rise of more film-like log-based and raw-based digital cameras until there were simple and affordable workflows for log-to-Rec.709 dailies conversions and for data storage.  

Ah, that makes sense. Can you say what the budgets back then were?

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Speaking of odd qualities of light, this is the view from my back porch right now. Yes, those are town street lights in the distance. Local time is 12:55pm in the afternoon...


I guess Blade Runner 2049 came 29 years early! 


Edited by Satsuki Murashige
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The purpose of light in motion pictures is to create and sustain the illusion that the audience is looking into a three-dimensional world. Any use of lighting instruments, shadow, and color that contributes to that illusion is good lighting. Unless it is intentional, any use of light that shatters the illusion is bad lighting

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