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Reinis Traidas

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Everything posted by Reinis Traidas

  1. Ok, guys, this has been bugging me for some time now. I'm a young working DOP, still learning obviously, done a variety of ads and the one type of scene that I am always unsure of, always afraid of is the EXT DAY scene in overcast conditions. I always get confused about what lighting to rent/order/bring when I know I will have to shoot people outside (city or country) and it's not going to be sunny. Now I have worked out that a very good and basic, solid approach when lighting scenes in SUNNY or THIN CLOUD conditions is to just make good use of the sun's position, set the subjects or objects about so that the sun is either 3/4 of the way or completely behind them and then bounce some fill back around onto them with various reflective things. Or alternatively, if the sun is slightly more side-on, I would use a large butterfly with diffusion or a china silk to take the edge off it, again, bounce some fill and off we go. But, but, but, flat overcast kills me. Silver reflectors are fine to bounce some fill onto the subjects, but skin tone looks very pale, flat and uninteresting. What would be your approach to lighting in such conditions? Let's say you have a very basic setup of two people sitting at a table, outside in the field. A dialog scene. What would be the best approach? Pressure the agency into rescheduling to get clear skies? Opt for bringing HMIs? And if so, how would you gel them? Add some contrast with powerful, diffused HMIs and then go for a more stylized look in post? All these choices! I've found that Tungsten looks very nice on skin tone, even in daylight. I've sometimes tried using Tungsten lights outside just to add some color to the skin tone, but with mixed results. Tips, please! Thanks! :)
  2. Thanks for the tips, guys. I'll be sure to try out the 1K Inky trick next time around. I guess I'll have to play around with how close or far from the actor it has to be to reflect nicely and yet not add too much fill. If I put it on a dimmer though, dim it way down and put it quite close to the actor, won't it cast excessively warm light on him?
  3. Hello, I've been starting out shooting some short films and I've just realized (via some feedback from established DOPs) how important it is to light the actors eyes. I've never really thought about this until now when lighting. I was wondering what some of the more experiencing shooters out there use to add a nice, subtle light to be reflected in the actors eyes in a close up. Is there a solution that would add something in the eye without adding any unneeded light on the actors face or in the scene? Or is it just the way you position a light so that it reflects in the eye? Especially in a dark/dim or high contrast situation where you don't exactly want a lot of fill light - i.e. want to keep the face rather dark? I would appreciate your comments.
  4. Hey, thanks. It wasn't a job, more like an unpaid internship. I was hiring some film gear and said I was really interested in shooting film. They liked me I guess and offered me to come and learn more about film cameras and lenses.
  5. Hey, thanks for your feedback. Yes, the girl in the car shot is a bit overlit :) It was my first considerable 16mm project, I have learned much from it :) The site shouldn't be too slow. Even if it is slow, all you're downloading from it is the text and graphics. The video itself is hosted by Vimeo, so it should download/stream like any other Vimeo video. Odd that it was slow. It seems to play fine from where I am. Oh well maybe it's an isolated connection issue.
  6. I've used small LED Litepanels in the past. If you're getting single close-ups or medium shots of either actors you can easily use folded gaffer tape to attach a thin litepanel on the bottom of a sunscreen. This will give you fairly good, soft and filling illumination on the actor's face and will help you keep the background from blowing out. These things can plug into a cigarette lighter. You may need to try and conceal the cables somehow too. Again - if you're getting close-ups then it's a relatively easy, quick and inexpensive option. If you want a 2-shot then you might need to put the car on a low loader or platform. The LED's aren't very bright (although there may be brighter ones available now) but as far as I remember they will give you at least 1 or 1.5 more stops on your incident reading near the face.
  7. Rental houses normally provide any ground glass you need or want. 1.77, 1.85, 2.40 or combined, whatever. With the 35BL4 you would shoot full 4-perf and then apply a crop/mask when transfering or when editing. I just shot a short film with the 35BL4 and had such a great experience. It's about as easy to load and thread as an ARRI SR2. Really great.
  8. Hi there, I've just recently graduated the Victorian College of the Arts in Melbourne, Australia as cinematography major. I've shot a few short films over the years in film school. I recently shot my graduating project (a 14 min film) on RED ONE and a short project on 35mm. All other work is 16mm. Please take a look at my reel - it's the first one I've ever made and I'm still not sure how to do "reels". I don't think I'm a great fan of reels, because they don't really let you showcase the mood of the film, the editing and how your choice of angle helps it. Regardless, I've tried to include some variety. Any criticism is welcome. http://vimeo.com/8023759 Just briefly about myself - apart from my bachelor degree I've interned at a rental house as assistant prep tech for a couple months and I've interned as video assistant on an Australian feature that got into Sundance 2010 program. I've also just recently returned from the Budapest Cinematography Masterclass 2009 led by Vilmos Zsigmond, ASC. Again, any comments welcome re: site or reel or both. My reel is also available on my site that I just put online - http://reinistraidas.com Thanks guys! Give feedback! There's no other way for me to know if my reel does what it's supposed to do!
  9. Can you tell me which issue (year/month) this article was published in? Thanks.
  10. This question has been in my mind for a longer time, but I have never actually shot anything involving shining or flashing flashlights on film. So I'd be interested if anyone has the experience and can share any tips. I'm interested if there is a special low-wattage bulb that's used for when we see the flashlight and it's shined into the lens? Or do they simply take a regular flashlight and shine it around? Also, if shooting an underlit (dark) scene where somebody is walking and lighting his way with a flashlight (source of light) - it really isn't "a flashlight" is it? As that would probably have not nearly enough punch to actually expose the film normally in that small spot of light? Although I've seen scenes where a flashlight is first used as a source of light (POV) and then it turns into a practical, when the actors walk in frame with it and still keep shining it around. What should I know?
  11. I think you need to employ an FLD (instead of FLB) filter to eliminate the blue-green cast from the fluorescents for daylight balanced stock, altough in doing that you will also change the daylight that's coming in through the windows and make it a lot warmer. I can't say for sure as I haven't used an FLD before, so I'm hoping someone more experienced will jump in. I think you need to look at the light in the hallway and decide which light source is going to be the key light in the scene. If, as you say, there is a good amount of daylight coming in from one direction, why not use that as the key and simply add more ambience (or fill) in the hallway by bouncing something off a white wall or ceiling? If you have tungsten lights, you will need to correct them with full CTB. If you want a warmer look, go for 1/2 CTB. If it's day, it may be better to leave the fluorescents turned off? I'm quite sure FLD (and FLB) filters are best used in a location where the only (or the main) light is fluorescent. Again, I'd like some opinions on this, as I'm rather new at filtration myself.
  12. I think only ambient, background light can be motivated by moonlight - e.g the space behind the subjects. For lighting people, motivate something practical - either the car's dashboard lights if you're in the car, or headlights if outside the car. Or similar. Try Litepanels. There's a nice mini version, 3x12" if I'm not mistaken. Very thin, very light - can easily gaffer tape it to the sunshield or roof of the car, or dashboard. Mini-flo also will probably work. Much easier to light INT. car at night then it is at day to compensate for the huge difference in shadow and in the sun, outside the car.
  13. I get it now, thanks. I have yet to experiment with all this, though at this time I don't see any reason why I should make the lab pull or push when developing - film has an excellent dynamic range and you can quite literally push it in post to get more detail out of the dark areas. Especially with hi-res DI scans and a proper grading facility.
  14. Wait, I don't get it. If you're shooting 500 and set your meter to 800, isn't that going to underexpose slightly? The meter is going to give you reading thinking that your film is more sensitive where it actually isn't. If you wanted everything a stop over normal exposure, you'd probably need to reduce the ISO reading on the meter by 100%? Say if you're shooting ISO 400, set the meter to ISO 200 and everything will be a stop over, or pushed a stop. Does that sound about right? Please tell me if I've got this wrong.
  15. The new Vision2 500T is a beautiful stock. Very sensitive and can be very contrasty, if you light it in such a manner. I remember hearing that Lance Acord used the 500T in "Lost in Translation" and I'm sure you'd agree that the Tokyo night scenery shots (shot from a taxi) looked really good. From what I remember, he said that he even had to close down the aperture down to T5,6 at some occasions or he'd overexpose it - that's how sensitive it is. And 500T simply LOVES the color red.
  16. Did not say those stocks would be unreliable. You can shoot on them just fine under any conditions - it's just that if you had a lot of night/exterior scenes planned, the more sensitive 500T would be a better choice, since it would allow you to get away with less lighting and squeeze more details out of "the darkness". I've shot some Vision2 500T out on the street with just a few dim street lights and the results were pretty amazing.
  17. Since you don't have any EXT NIGHT scenes, I'd say - go for a decet mid-range stock that you can use basically anywhere. If you're shooting mostly indoors and a bit of outdoor day - get either the 200T or the 250D, depending on what lights you may be able to get/use. You'll be able to light for it interiors - no problem. If you're outside on a very sunny day, you might need to put in some darkening ND filters to compensate, but both of these stocks are good for pretty much "any" situation unless you really plan to shoot in low lighting conditions. As to the "warmth" of the image - it all depends on how you light it - e.g if you have the 200T, you might gel your tungsten lights with CTOs (orange gels) or by putting an orange filter on your lens to get that warm color. Or you can play with the colors in post. There are many ways to make scenes/images distinctly visually different. I'd still say all depends on how they are lit - the stock doesn't matter that much, it is merely a technical thing. Your DP will light FOR the stock you are using, not the other way around. What I'd suggest is - don't light your night scenes too much - use subtle, low-key lighting to create high constrast ratios, warm them up. Do hard light maybe. Really depends on what the scenes are. For your "other" scenes - use more traditional lighting - flat, even and soft. You'll definately get a different feel to it. Anyway, there's no "right" way to do it. 200T would be my option. It's sharp and not at all grainy. Good stock.
  18. Out of curiosity - how much actual on-set experience did you guys have when you applied for NFTS MA Cinematography? How many short films have you worked on (directed, DP'ed on, camera assisting, grip) and what have you shot on? I'm only asking because I am thinking about applying next year and would like to know what my chances are given my experience...? Have you guys already had prior experience in lighting sets (studio and on locations)? I've directed 2 silly short films (with 6-8 person crews working with me), shot another two - one on 16mm and one on BetaSP and have been crewing as camera assistant on a few other ones. Have also done sound recording and boom swinging. Been a photographer for 2 years doing news pictures for agencies. Think I would stand a chance?
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