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David Mullen ASC

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Everything posted by David Mullen ASC

  1. Since there are car headlights involved, you’d be better off shooting dusk for night (magic hour). If you get lucky and it’s overcast, you could do your tighter coverage in daytime where light sources are not in the frame; or silk everything in the coverage to match the soft light of the wide dusk shots. Maybe you could get away with DFN if the car is only pointed right into the lens and the lights go out the moment the car stops, and then the bright headlamp glow could be added in post and hopefully no one will notice that the ground in front of the car isn’t being lit by the headlamps. But any other angle and you’d expect the car headlamps to sweep objects in reality as it pulls up. And in DFN, the real headlamps aren’t going to be strong enough to light anything. DFN works best when the only light source in the scene would be the moon.
  2. What most cinematographers do would be considered commercial art rather than personal art, so we are often asked to execute the artist vision of the director. Of course our personal aesthetics factor in but rarely are we asked to be far outside the norm. For style to be organic, I don’t think it should be too self-conscious, it emerges from who you are at that moment in time. If you have strong visual tastes and impulses, you should pursue them but I don’t think you should try to be different simply for the sake of being different. However, I think it is just as wrong to follow everyone else by route rather than by passion or inclination.
  3. There are many degrees of backlight, both in softness and in intensity. I tend to reserve a very strong hard backlight for situations where it is motivated, like from sunlight. Here are three examples from work I did last year, from dailies. First is a hard backlight from a 1K tungsten parcan, motivated by the high window on the set (though the backlight was rigged inside the room), the second is a soft backlight motivated by a chandelier, using a Litemat LED, the third is from a 20K outside the set window.
  4. Yes that would work. Some singers have a hard time lip-syncing to sped-up playback however.
  5. You’re mixing up the concept of exposing the raw print stock with light versus passing light through the developed print. In the unexposed print stock, there are emulsion layers sensitive to colors that when processed form yellow, cyan, and magenta dyes. In the processed print, there can be areas with no dye, allowing white to be on the screen, or just one dye, or two dyes over each other, or all three dyes over each other. Unexposed film stock is opaque — processed film is semi-transparent. When the white projector light passes through yellow dye, you get yellow on the screen, when it passes through cyan, you get cyan, when it passes through magenta, you get magenta. But when you have two dyes over each other: yellow + magenta = red yellow + cyan = green cyan + magenta = blue and yellow + magenta + cyan = black This is a subtractive process, the dye in the print is filtering out certain color wavelengths.
  6. The trick isn’t so much to overexpose the b&w stock overall but to light the scene so that have a good tonal range with some hotter highlights, otherwise the image can look muddy. When Janusz Kaminiski did “Schindler’s List” he discovered that he sometimes had to expose faces to a lighter tone to create stronger highlights, so he wasn’t so much overexposing the stock as he was overexposing parts of the frame.
  7. https://www.kodak.com/uploadedfiles/motion/2383_ti2397.pdf see page 6
  8. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Subtractive_color Actually the color dyes in a print are yellow, cyan, and magenta in order to create all the colors.
  9. The max Helium sensor size is 8192 x 4320 / 29.9mm x 15.77mm, which is a 1.89 : 1 aspect ratio. If you are shooting in standard-squeeze 2X anamorphic for a 2.40 : 1 finish, that means the actual area used, whether film or digital, is 1.20 : 1, nearly square. Most digital cameras have a wider sensor than that, so the limitation with anamorphic in terms of sensor size is usually the vertical dimensions since you will not be using the full width of the sensor (otherwise your 1.89 : 1 sensor would yield a 3.78 : 1 image once unsqueezed.) Since anamorphic lenses were mainly designed for the 4-perf 35mm standard format where the contact print made off of the negative used a 21mm x 17.5mm projector mask, if you want to maintain the same field of view when shooting digitally, you'd need to use a camera with a sensor that is at least 17.5mm tall. Trouble is that the Helium sensor is 15.77mm tall. So if you record 8K 6:5, you are recording 5184 x 4320 pixels with a sensor area of 18.92mm x 15.77mm, a bit smaller than the 4-perf 35mm area (about a 1.11X crop factor, not major) so your anamorphic lens image will be a little cropped on a Helium compared to on a 4-perf 35mm camera.
  10. Are you asking if a given anamorphic lens on the Helium at 8K 6:5 gives you the same field of view as it does on a 4-perf 35mm camera, which is about a 21mm x 17.5mm area for standard anamorphic?
  11. Yes, the sensor isn’t 6:5 (1.20 : 1) it’s more like 1.9 : 1 so if you record 6:5, you’re cropping the sensor.
  12. I think everyone is being far too critical. For one thing, this is a real location and not a set, unlike many of those Disney Channel shows. Second, it’s a cliche that comedy has to be lit brighter and flatter. Third, it’s not easy to make a real fluorescent-lit high school look interesting. Having a bigger lighting package doesn’t solve the problem that if you see the ceiling in the background then the background is mainly going to have to be lit by those ceiling fixtures and all you can do is play with the foreground.
  13. Gordon Willis would sometimes short-side his coverage, like in "Manhattan". Sometimes when you have a restaurant scene and behind the actors' backs are windows but next to them is a wall, it's a choice between seeing depth and light beside their heads versus a blank wall. Or in this case in "Manhattan" below, short-siding allows the dramatic contrast of other diners in the restaurant versus the unhappy couple... as opposed to framing conventionally but getting more sidewalk traffic in the shot: The other time short-siding is common is when two people are sitting side-by-side with their backs against a wall and are shot in raking profile shots with the extra space in front of their faces... but when they turn to look at each other, they are looking at the short side of the frame.
  14. When I can't rig a light to the ceiling, my next option is to rig some white to the ceiling, perhaps with a white card also hanging down slightly, and then bounce a Source-4 Leko into it (daylight HMI Jo-Leko if daylight-balanced interior). The other option is to use menace arms with lightweight lights (Litemats these days).
  15. Search under Petro Vlahos Color Difference matte technique... https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/vfx-for-filmmakers/0/steps/13250 https://books.google.com/books?id=_0BwukkzE7AC&pg=PA84&lpg=PA84&dq=petro+vlahos+color+difference+technique&source=bl&ots=MwwAkaoHcZ&sig=ACfU3U0NUl6cZECG16OHmx5WaUWaaK9TUg&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiW79u6_JnjAhUIsp4KHaGDADQ4ChDoATANegQICRAB#v=onepage&q=petro vlahos color difference technique&f=false
  16. One thing to keep in mind is that a lot of the hard lighting back then was done with fresnel units, so if you wanted to use LED instead of tungsten, keep that in mind and look for fresnel LED’s for any frontal key lighting or shadow-making effects. Matters less for backlights or big lights far away, or anything to be softened. As for color, just watch out for letting your LED’s get over-saturated when doing color effects — some let you desaturate the effect.
  17. I don't think one should just light flat and somehow create contrast and mood in post. That hard lighting style was complex because it was often high and frontal for women's faces but more shadowy everywhere else. This requires a lot of flags. You would do the same lighting whether or not you shot in film or digital, but with the higher ISO of digital cameras compared to the slow film stocks of the day, you'd probably use lower-wattage equivalents to what they would have used back then, assuming you wanted a similar depth of field (mostly in the f/2.8-4 range). But in terms of the ket to fill ratio, I'd probably do the same whether shooting in film or digital, but with digital I'd be lighting to a LUT with enough contrast and deep blacks so that I was forced to add fill where I needed it.
  18. I think that was a 25-250mm zoom that progressively went longer as the circles he ran were farther away as he moved from the center.
  19. It’s more like a 1/2 but I’d use a 1/4. Use a 1/8 for wide shots.
  20. The advantage of glass diffusion tends to be that it comes in degrees of strength as opposed to using a Dior net, for example. The Hollywood Black Magic has a 1/8 Black Frost as a base for all strengths for a bit of a misty glow, then degrees of softening from an HD Classic Soft, which also adds a bit of a blurred glow.
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