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Stuart Brereton

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Everything posted by Stuart Brereton

  1. I'd say go with 1/2 CTB, and instead of a flicker box use two lamps on dimmers. I saw a DP I was assisting do this years ago, and I've used it ever since. TV's don't flicker. Their brightness varies, but the variations in brightness are not actually that great and don't happen that fast. Using two 650w, both on dimmers, and altering their respective brightness will give you a more realistic effect. I would usually underexpose a TV effect by 1 - 1.5 stops. Stuart.
  2. Tim, Your stuff looks good. really well executed. here comes the BUT.... I think you need to step out of the shadows of your heroes/influences. your work seems overly thought out, and too much in thrall to "this is watkins...this is storaro...this is willis..." you have an extraordinary knowledge of film history...use that knowledge to form your own style, your own flavor, rather than slavishly recreate other DP's looks. This is NOT a criticism... Stuart.
  3. How am I avoiding the issue? I've just explained that there is more than enough light to shoot this. You don't need lenses that open up to t0.7 or whatever. You're not trying to take an incident reading off these reflections. you're exposing for the reflections themselves. I can't remember what stock you ended up using on your short, so I can't comment on what exposures you were getting. Stuart
  4. I'm going to take a reasonably informed punt at this and say that with 500asa, the fluorescents themselves would spot meter at about T45. If we assume that their reflections in the floor would read 2 stops less than this, we have a reflected reading of T22. To render this as white,as in the picture, we would open up to T8, or wider. Even if the the reflections were 4 stops less than the tubes themselves, we could still shoot at about T2.4 or T4. Without knowing what your camera setup was for the shot, it's difficult to say how another would differ. But it's obviously not necessary to shoot wide open in a film setup. If we want to go further and really burn out the reflections, we can. We can open up more, and then print down to recover the deep shadows close to camera. All of this possible without "gigantic amounts of power" or "pumping kilowatts at it" or even ultra fast lenses. Stuart
  5. Those highlights are a specular refelection of the overhead fluorescents. You spot meter them, decide how bright/burnt out you want them to be, and adjust your exposure accordingly. With a 500asa stock and some fast lenses you would have no problem at all shooting with the existing fixtures. Stuart
  6. I did quite a few freebies as an AC. The renumeration came in the form of experience (which sometimes I needed) and in new contacts (which everyone needs). I don't see the problem here. If you want to do a freebie - do it. If not, don't. No-one's forcing anyone.
  7. This is what extension viewfinders are for. I would rather handhold an SR than a DVW 790. That camera is a breeze block with a lens on it :-( Stuart
  8. Why would it? People shoot film under normal fluorescents all the time. As the actor in this scene is deliberately underexposed, you'd need even less light. I know you're not a big fan of film, but you have to forget this idea that you need truck full of lights just to get an exposure. BTW, nice work, Mr Townson Stuart
  9. I did a similar thing on a music video a couple of years ago. I had two windows, each with 6x1k par cans outside. I had thought about having one large lamp outside each window, but having multiple lamps gave me much more flexibility in deciding where the beams of light fell. As it was a promo, I didn't worry too much about realism. Go easy on the smoke. you want just enough to pick out your beams; too much, and you'll lose your contrast. Try to get your lamps as far away from the windows as you can. If they are close, you'll end up with a big exposure difference across the room. Stuart.
  10. It's BEADboard, otherwise known as Polyboard in the UK. White polstyrene boards of various sizes (4x4, 8x4 etc) used for bouncing light.
  11. Try to avoid shooting during the middle of the day. Harsh overhead sunlight is nasty! If you can shoot early morning and early evening when the sun is lower, and try to keep your actors back-lit or 3/4 lit with the sun, it will look much better. You going to need a lot of fill, so have plenty of beadboard to hand, also reflectors, and maybe some large mirrors for hot edges. If you have to shoot at midday, using some silks over the actors will take the harshness out of the sun. It's a matter of taste, of course, but I always really like the look of long lens work in deserts, picking up all the heat haze...nice! Stuart
  12. The lamps you linked to use 500w Edison screw bulbs (see the Suggested Accessories section under the item description). These lamps are designed primarily for studio portraiture with stills cameras, not for lighting Film/Video. I don't want to be rude, but if you want to be a DP, then you cannot afford to be ignorant about this sort of thing. You'd be better off trying to find some second hand redheads or similar on Ebay.
  13. Listen to Phil! An XL2 or a DVX100 will give you great images if you take the time to light and compose them properly. There is absolutely no need for you to spend all that money on HD, when it sounds like all you really want is Progressive scan. It's always really tempting to hire the latest bit of kit that promises to work miracles for you, but for a showreel piece all you need to demonstrate is an ability to light and to compose shots. Remember the Steven Poster quote: "if you can light, it doesn't matter what you shoot on. And, if you can't light, it doesn't matter what you shoot on..."
  14. I can't remember what Days Of Thunder looks like, but Last Boy Scout marked Ward Russell out as the best of the Kimball imitators. He had, of course gaffed for Kimball on a few Tony Scott movies, which obviously helps.
  15. Rental firms outside of London will generally be cheaper than those inside. However, HD equipment is not cheap wherever you go. Also, be aware that rental firms will probably want a large deposit, or payment up-front with ID unless they know you. They will also want proof of adequate insurance, or will expect you to pay an additional 15 - 20% of the hire as a premium on their insurance. Government grants are available to Filmmakers, in the form of Arts Council schemes and funding. However, they are not usually handed out freely, but only to those projects which meet quite stringent (and esoteric) criteria. Your local Arts Council or Film Commission will be able to tell you more. Shooting on HD (that is, with a HDW900 or similar) is something that even well funded productions can find themselves unable to afford. Unless you have considerable funds in place, i'd advise you to look at cheaper options.
  16. I have a home made ring light that cost about £15. I cut a 2'6" ring from 18mm MDF, then drilled 16 holes in it at equal distances and rebated them. Then I wired in 16 Bayonet cap light sockets in parallel. On the bottom of the ring is a wooden 'paddle' that can be clamped to a C stand or whatever. It works great, but can get a little uncomfortable for the talent with 16 100w bulbs in it!
  17. Shooting 16mm with the lens full wide, which is 17mm on the K3, I believe, and focused at Infinity is going to give you a field of view of roughly 18'x13' at 30 feet, where the road sign is. Unless it's a very big sign it's going to be small in frame. The same goes for the restaurant signage. The field of view at 100' is 60'x44'. In both cases the sign is taking up a tiny portion of the negative. When the neg is TK'd to MiniDV you're losing more detail. I could be wrong, but I think all you're seeing is the inability of miniDv to resolve fine detail in those conditions.
  18. If you have some money to spend, try Lanternlock, who advertise on this site. If you don't, do as David says, and make your own. Light fittings are easily available at places like B&Q (Home Depot if you're American), and the Paper Lanterns are available very cheaply.
  19. Shooting things full wide with focus at infinity does not guarantee that everything will be sharp. Depending on your stop, all it will mean is that things are acceptably sharp, depending on how closely you look. So, on the nice grade 1 monitor at the telecine facility everything looked great, but then you TK'd to miniDV losing a lot of resolution. If you then start to examine your footage in close up, you'll notice that not everything is sharp. If you focus at infinity then only distant objects are truly sharp, but miniDV doesn't have the resolution to properly render distant objects. A better test would have been to shoot both near and far objects, at a variety of stops, and then TK to DigiBeta
  20. A few years ago, when I was a 2nd AC, I worked with a DP named Giles Nuttgens (Swimfan, Battlefield Earth) on a British TV series. He would very rarely use fill on interiors, his rationale being (I think) that there would be enough bounce from the keylight off the interior walls to fill in. Whether he was right, I don't know, as I never saw the program, but even with the film stocks then, which were 7293 & 7298 or possibly 7296, that was his way of working.
  21. I don't think that DVcam is likely to disappear anytime soon. It's well established and widely used. If it was me though, I'd keep an archive copy of my film as a data file on a DVD, and a Digibeta copy for doing dubs Stuart
  22. hi, I used a Polecam system for the first time a few weeks ago. We used a Toshiba 3 chip camera recording into a DV-Cam deck. Once you know where all the cables are supposed to go it takes about 15-20 minutes to set up. The remote head has variable pan and tilt speeds and is controlled by a joystick lever that is velcroed on to the jib arm. I believe that it can be slung from a harness worn on the operators body. I used the tripod support. I would definitely NOT want to try using the body harness - This thing is heavy! I found that after about 30 minutes of use, i was able to execute fairly simple shots with a combination of pans,tilts and crane moves. I would say that about 30% of what i shot was usuable. This was fine for what we were doing ( a performance) as we were shooting it 10-12 times from all angles anyway. If you see yourselves using it a lot then get an operator who knows the kit. An experienced PoleCam op will be getting you good footage all the time, not just 30% like me :-) One last thing, if you are using it outside, it does not like wind AT ALL. We took it out into (admittedly) quite strong winds and it was impossible to control. The stronger gusts had me worried that the carbon fibre poles would actually break. Hope this helps, Stuart
  23. This adapter was talked about on the Cinematography Mailing list recently. no-one knew if it worked or not, but there was some concern that the interior of the adaptor was painted metallic red, rather than matt black. Any stray light bouncing around in there is going to do nasty things to your image. Also slightly worrying was the assertion that 'losing 1-2 stops of light is by no means significant...' well, maybe not if you're shooting Day Exteriors, but what about Night shoots? I would save your money for the Micro 35. Stuart
  24. This sounds like an interesting combo. I'll give it a try next time I'm doing a Sodium look. Stuart
  25. Hi, We have both High and Low pressure sodium streetlights in the UK, although the low pressure types are starting to be replaced by high pressure. The low pressure lamps have a highly saturated yellow/orange look. The high pressure has a pink/orange colour. I found Paul Camerons' gel pack a good match for the High pressure lamps. Stuart
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