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James Wallace

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  • Occupation
  • Location
    United Kingdom
  • My Gear
    Red Epic
  • Specialties
    I work for a small production company and as such wear many hats. Depending on the day of the week I am variously a DoP, Camera Assist, Gaffer, Grip, Editor, Motion Graphics Artist, Sound Designer, Inventor. I love my job.
  1. Hey there. In my day job I regularly shoot from gimbal stabilizers and aerial rigs using dslr and mirrorless cameras and lenses. Given that I do not often have access to a wireless follow focus, I have to improvise and work with hyperfocal distances and such. The one piece of information that would be really usefull to me when planning shoots where we will be hiring in this sort of gear never seems to be available in any review or spec sheet. That is the distance beyond which the lens has infinite focus. I can usually take a rough guess with fixed primes, but with compact zooms it's a completely mixed bag. I often resort to google image searches and taking a guess based on the lens markings, but some newer lenses have no focus markings at all. For instance on an upcoming shoot using a Sony a7rii we are considering using a Ziess Vario-Tessar T* FE 24-70mm F4 ZA. The lens has no focus markings and I can find no spec sheet anywhere that tells me even approximately at what distance this lens achieves infinite focus. This information would be really useful to me. I know that by using hyperfocal distances I am to some extent negating this issue and always achieving the maximum possible field of sharp focus in any given situation, but it seems like this info should be available as a matter of principle. Does anybody know where this spec might be available for modern lenses? Thanks
  2. Hi Paul. I'm not 100% sure from your description exactly what you're trying to achieve, I'm guessing the 'magic' door appears in open space in the middle of the barn, rather than in the wall. Is that correct? Obviously how you achieve this will depend on the time and resources available to you, is there a reason why you must create this effect practically? In my case I would be tempted to create most of the lighting effects in post rather than on set, allowing for much more control over the final look of the shot. I would shoot a clean plate of the barn and then shoot the door and talent with a green screen behind them and perhaps a carefully flagged HMI off to one side to throw some initial glare as the door opens and to give your talent a halo. Then when you come to the composite you could use a volumetric lighting plugin, such as Trapcode Shine in After Effects for instance, along with glows and light wraps to craft the look of the light emitting from the door to your requirements. There are probably many other ways to create this shot, but that's how I'd do it.:)
  3. After Effects also has a handy tool for this called 'CC Force Motion Blur' It works on a similar principle to Twixtor. If you have remapped footage from 50 to 25 fps and the action looks choppy I've found this will yield good results in all but the most extreme circumstances. Drop it onto the footage set the shutter angle to 180 and up the samples from the default 8 to between 30 and 60 (you may need to go higher if you have very quick motion elements in frame). Be aware that it does take some time to process (the higher the samples, the longer the processing time) so it's probably best to wait until you have edit lock and only apply the effect where necessary rather than to all the rushes. I've used this on both time remapped live action and animation that has been rendered without motion blur to very good effect. :) Also handy for rough and ready extreme motion blur effects, if that's your bag, as it will allow for shutter angles into the thousands.
  4. Thanks for your input Chris. This definitely looks to be the way forward given the time constraints Now to remember where I put that roll of diff.....
  5. Thanks David Unfortunately as much as I would love to try your second suggestion both time and budget will not allow for it. If I'm lucky I will have an hour to rig and shoot this entire scene with only one other crew member to help, so the simpler the better. I was already thinking along the lines of your first solution, so I'm glad I wasn't too far off the mark. Given that the amount of light coming through the window will guide the overall exposure and the completely white walls will help immensely in bouncing soft fill around the room I thought I should probably throw the 300 through the window too for good measure as I can likely achieve sufficient fill for my needs with the panels or chinas whilst retaining a little contrast. If anybody has any alternative suggestions I would love to hear them :)
  6. Hi Guys. I'm new here and relatively new to lighting for film. I'm hoping this forum will guide me and help me improve my lighting techniques. I'm shooting a small corporate on Saturday and there is one shot on which I would appreciate your suggestions. I have not had a chance to recce the location but have been sent this photo from the client. The scene must look like daytime, but unfortunately due to a tight schedule it is likely to be shot at dusk (best case) or in total darkness (worst case, hopefully not as I will then be battling exterior sodium street lighting too). As you can see the room is quite small. The key shot I'm concerned about will be a wide from slightly to the right of the photographed position (against the back wall). It will take in three people sat on the sofa looking at a photo album and must include the window. There is a vertical blind that can be drawn across the window and be either partially or fully closed, but obviously it must be sufficiently backlit to look like daylight outside. A relatively soft look is desired. There is no budget to hire in extra kit so this is what I have available to me to make the shot work: 2 x Arri 650w Fresnel 1 x Arri 300w Fresnel 2 x 55w (200w eq) Energy Saving Daylights w/China Balls 2 x Bicolor 1x1 Litepanels 1 x 1m lastolite style reflector Plenty of Gels & Diff Will be shooting on a Red Epic with Samyang cine lenses. I have had some thoughts on how I might go about lighting this but I'm seeking the wisdom of more experienced folk. I'd be interested to hear what different approaches you guys might take towards achieving a soft daylight effect under these circumstances. Thanks.
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