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Stuart Brereton

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Everything posted by Stuart Brereton

  1. I used to do this all the time with O' Connor heads. Much better than using the rods and getting snarled up in the focus motor.
  2. Assuming you're not trying emphasize one character over the other, I would tend to split the difference in height and place the camera there, perhaps adjusting up or down a little if either angle was particularly unflattering or extreme.
  3. Yes, you can see that it is a large bounce source outside the window, which is then double and triple diffused, creating a very flat, soft light.
  4. Soft frontal light appears fairly directionless because the shadows are thrown behind the subject, but you still have to deal with the fall off from the light, so if you're trying to light a large area, you'll need multiple large sources to keep it even.
  5. High key photography can be approached various different ways, but your reference pics are all fairly similar in that they are fairly low in contrast and frontally lit, with a backlight or kicker to provide separation. Try a big, soft source close to camera, and add a harder 3/4 backlight from the opposite side of camera.
  6. California labor law says you're in OT after 8hrs, so 4 hours out of your 12 are already being paid at 1.5x. Normally, hours 14 - 16 would be paid at 2x, and anything over 16 paid at 3x. $230/14 (8 hrs + 4 x 1.5 = 14) =$16.42 ph As David says, you should check with your production accountant.
  7. Is that Kelly Samuels in the video?
  8. For sure, it's nowhere near as flexible as Resolve, but I don't think that's the intent behind it anyway. I use it mostly for quickly creating LUTs when I'm shooting away from home, staying in a hotel or something, and just need an approximation, knowing that I'll finesse the look in post.
  9. There's a very useful app called LUTCalc, which creates LUTs. You specify the input side (Camera, ISO, Gamma, Gamut) and then the output side (Gamma & Gamut) and it will create a 3D LUT for you. It has most of the manufacturer's LUTs built into it, so you can mix and match between cameras. It also allows some basic customization of things like white balance, color, black levels etc The online version is free to use, or you can download it for a small fee. http://cameramanben.github.io/LUTCalc/ I've used it a lot of the last few years, particularly when shooting with Sony cameras
  10. My regular gaffer has the Donner wireless DMX system. He and I have also used Luminair with an Apple router many times on set without problems. I don’t particularly like Luminair as an app; there are many things it can’t do, or can’t do easily, but it’s still probably the best cheap, non proprietary solution.
  11. I’ve called the Kodak sales office in the past to ask about batch numbers. They’ve usually been helpful. What’s more important than the age of the film, though, is how it has been stored. Refrigerated (or better yet, frozen) stock will remain useable for far longer than stock that has just been left on a shelf somewhere in the sun. As far as shooting expired stock goes, you can get rolls clip tested at the lab before using them. Here, the lab spools off a few feet of stock and processes it, then analyzes the negative to see the fog levels, and any other issues. They then give you a report on your stock. It can be useful, but the labs are always extremely conservative in what they class as usable. When shooting, it’s common practice to overexpose expired stock slightly, in order to lift your exposures away from the toe of the characteristic curve, which is where any fogging from deterioration would be most obvious. I believe the rule of thumb is to overexpose by one stop for every decade the film is old. FWIW, film is pretty resilient, and even ancient stock can yield 'great' results, as long as you’re not expecting a pristine image.
  12. Guy, it may be more helpful to give simple answers to simple questions. I don't doubt the accuracy of your knowledge, but it's not necessary to give us the full-on technical infomercial every time.
  13. Kodak can give you the production date if you tell them the emulsion and batch no. that’s printed on the can. AFAIK, they don’t publish expiry dates, but they recommend that the film is exposed and processed as soon as possible after purchase. For professional purposes, anything older than about six months would probably be considered expired. This is more for insurance, rather than because of deterioration in the stock itself.
  14. I would use the two terms interchangeably. It's more a case of common usage rather than any real difference.
  15. Reversing the front element will give you a center spot that is in focus, and blurred edges. It's a lot like a Lensbaby effect, but not as controllable. The effect in your pictures looks different, as if they are shooting through a piece of glass with a hole cut in the center of it.
  16. I did this on a music video a couple of years ago. The director wanted a frontal pool of light, with definite falloff on the edges on the wall behind the singer. We cut a small circular hole in a piece of black wrap, and clipped it to the barn doors of an Arri 300w fresnel. The flood/spot controlled how hard the edges of the circle were. The talent wasn't moving very much, so we had the lamp on a stand right behind camera, but you could do the same thing with a smaller lamp attached directly to the camera if you needed to move around In another setup on the same video, we did a similar thing, but instead of the blackwrap gobo, we used a XS softbox with a grid in it, shifted the talent further away from the wall so we could use the falloff, and then moved the lamp around during the shot, so the shadows moved as well. Looked pretty cool when it was cut. You can see it here: https://www.stuartbrereton.com/pretty-girl
  17. And they are right to be. In the digital world, it has become incredibly easy to alter imagery. Back in the "baked in" REC709 days, there was only so much that could be done to the footage, so if you exposed or lit it a certain way, you could be reasonably sure that it would remain fairly close to that. With the advent of RAW and Log Gamma, combined with the inexpensive ubiquity of Resolve, it's become the wild west in post production. Editors can do a color pass, slapping on filters of dubious provenance. Colorists can completely change the look and feel of material. Producers have seen just how much flexibility there is, and now often actively discourage DPs from attending the grade. They like having the control taken away from the DP. A few years back, I had a producer specifically tell me to light flat, expose in the middle, and they would "create" the look of the film in post (I ignored him). I've even had directors who I trust lose their nerve in the grading suite and brighten up material that we had agreed should be dark, just to play it safe. With underexposure, my approach has always been to do most of the work in camera, and then finish the last 10-15% in post, but these days the temptation is to go the whole way in camera, and damn the consequences.
  18. Yes, that's what I meant. As Willis himself says "the lab can do very little to jerk it around...They can’t print it up, for example — and that’s exactly why I expose it that way." Willis used to rigorously test his stock and printing lights before shooting a movie, so he knew exactly where to place his exposures, and as he says, once the exposure/printing routine was established, he didn't deviate from it.
  19. By underexposing by one and a third stops, he's pushing all his shadow detail down onto the toe of the characteristic curve, where it's only just above black. Then he pushes by one stop. A one stop push is really only one stop in the highlights, it's less in the shadows, so that may be what he means when he says it's still half a stop under even after the push, rather than one third. The end result is a slightly thin negative, with shadows that are almost impossible to print up. A thin neg has a different look to "normally" exposed one, which he evidently liked. Ultimately, it's about creating a look, and maintaining control over how the neg is printed.
  20. It will be fine. Keep it refrigerated, but that's standard practice anyway.
  21. Unless the car is a convertible, high sunlight won't be much of an issue. If it's reaching into the car at all, it will mostly be arms and legs that it hits. You can deal with that with 4x4 frames easy enough. If you're going to bounce some fill in, rather than light it, I always think that keeping the bounce low looks more realistic, as if it was coming back off the road. Some white sheets inside the car can also help to lift the overall level, but can also make it look very flat if you over do it. As far as lighting for mood goes, you're pretty much tied to whatever the exterior conditions are. You could have it low key and moody in the car while it's full sun outside, but it might look a little strange.
  22. You're describing the action there, not the concepts. The central idea of this movie, time inversion, is never adequately or consistently explained. Without being able to understand that, and how it relates to those action sequences, the movie is really just a James Bond clone, without the fun.
  23. If shooting dialogue, I always try to keep cars backlit, whether they are moving or not, and then fill with a large bounce (if they are not moving). Backlit meaning downstage from camera, rather than the actual back of the car. If you're shooting wider shots of the entire car then use whatever angle gets you the best reflections.
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