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Stephen Sanchez

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About Stephen Sanchez

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  • Birthday 10/17/1985

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  • Occupation
    Cinematographer
  • Location
    Tampa, Florida
  • Specialties
    I love interviews and redirecting sunlight.

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  1. Speaking to lighting, bounces can save space. Put a foamcore against the wall mounted with c stand or even taped, and shoot a beam into it from overhead or opposite side of talent (really anywhere you can put it). You could do a wall spreader to hang the light or softbox out of camera view. If budget permits, litemats are versatile and I've seen them taped to the ceiling with teasers to create a soft directional toppy source. As for lenses. That seems more informed by personal taste and if you can get what you want out of the location. So a scout with a zoom might be neccesary to see what lengths will or won't work.
  2. Also, you may find extension tubes helpful, as they reduce your lenses focusing distance. Keep in mind that some tubes do not have electronics passthrough making your camera unable to autofocus or adjust the iris.
  3. "Cine" lenses exist to give shooters geared rings, long focus throws, manual non-click iris, and usually wider apertures. Your adjustments will definitely feel easier using them, but they aren't necessarily features you need. And since you're likely shooting miniatures, you'll want to close the iris down, so fast lenses don't matter. I don't know your setups but I would suggest wider focal lengths with as short a minimum focus as possible, or wide macro lenses if they exist. I own a sigma 18-35 and it's minimum focus is really close. But there must be others that get closer. I suggest wider lengths because it'll make the space feel less constricted. With that, still lenses will be cheaper. But you can get really good prices on older manual lenses if you have an adapter to your camera. For instance Canon FD lenses to an EF mount. If you want the ease of cine lenses, Rokinon makes terrific ones, but I am unsure of their minimum Focus range. Hope this helps.
  4. To add to Adrian's list, there's also an app called Up Work. It has a ton of creative categories, from video production, to gfx, to scripting.
  5. What's borring is when they expect you to know their terminology. I once had key grip tell me to grab a 750 stand. After a minute looking around for a preloaded 750w or 650w light on a stand he points me to a baby stand. Could have said "double riser" or "beefy baby" or I dunno... "light stand." I still don't understand where that came from. Out of silliness on set, and with a crew I know, I'll sometimes call a Full Apple a "flopple." Maybe it'll catch on.
  6. Possibly playing with some nets in front of the cockpit to simulate the ground's luminance during a dive? Maybe consider silking the sun and redirecting it with a reflector board?
  7. You can add streaks against the wall, like through a window (or to fake a window). Or lamps if it feels appropriate. And if it's to dark, then you could raise the exposure with a bounce into the ceiling or off a wall for a side push. Alternatively you could rake a light across everything. So many options. Some folks have used a fresnel to highlight a certain area such as a painting. Hope that helps.
  8. Yes, we learn through experiencing and making adjustments. The work we do requires so much staging and actors and space with equipment that practicing or training can be impractical and instead learned live. Now you know. After a while it'll be inherent.
  9. When using guns in public spaces, call the sheriff's office in advance and tell them when and where you're going to be filming. And also have a "notice of filming sign" outside that might even include something like "fake guns on set." As for area lighting, scissor Clips are very useful in 360 situations like what you're describing. Beware of the weight of your fixtures, and safety chain them to something in the ceiling because the grid is not very strong. I'd pull some tiles out for easier access. Try to test the weight load before production. For the high-speed stuff, because it's macro, you can have your lights and fill cards close to your actor. So that should be super easy. Test the setup beforehand to be sure you'll have enough light for the effect you want.
  10. Well bounce light along with book light is about as glowy as you can get. That is, they have no beam. It just spreads. It's like sky light through a window. Diffusion allows the fuxture's beam to soften but still with a directional push. Think of a blurry oval stretching from the material. You see it as a hotspot in the diffusion. Even 216 doesn't 100% eliminate the beam. So diffusion will inherently have more throw in the middle, and thus more targeted. You can flatten that throw by putting an intermediate (a second diffusion) between the light and current diffusion, to an effect like a baffle in a softbox. And if you look at the diffusion you'll see is more evenly filled from corner to corner (No more hotspot).
  11. Color looks great. And those highlights are much better tamed. A note. I assume with the same setup that once you added the filter you had to iris open to regain correct exposure. This wide aperture is a bit too much in my opinion. The DOF is so shallow at times that the part of the food is discernable. I would have set my iris to a range where more food was in focus and adjusted the shutter and ISO to compensate. Even lowering the fps on the slow motion to help it out.
  12. Like Phil Rhodes said, people get used for their equipment. The kids with the Ursa, C200, or RED get the jobs, many who know nothing about lighting, but have a camera and easy rig. I've seen it. That's an expensive competition. I instead invested in some lights. Cheap used tungstens and some baby stands and did free gigs with my DSLR until I got enough for a reel. It went up from there. I now own my lights and a descent fluid head tripod. Cameras go obsolete after a few years. Support gear, lights and lenses really don't. If the BMPCC4K was available at the time, I would have bought that instead of my DSLR. But that's it.
  13. Something to note. If its a $20 polarizer then youll likely see a color shift as you turn it (usually warmer). So be sure to set it and leave it for consistency.
  14. I shoot food and product somewhat regularly. First, what you shot looks very natural. That single source look. I think it looks great. Reminds me of the Johnsonville look. The back light is key to getting the steam to show, which you did. Your aerial tabletop shot loos prefect. Regarding the highlights on the onions, 2 things. 1, it is a closeup shot which allows you to net and shape the light to a finer degree, which you should totally take advantage of. It's usually a food reset for each focal length anyway. You can flag or net using dots or fingers, foamcore scrap works great in a pinch. 2, If closeup adjustments are out of the question then exposure adjustments will have to be made, such as irising down to desired highlight level then fly in a foam bounce over the table to raise the table back to the right level. If that bounce is ineffective enough, then it'll need to be powered by a separate light source. Fresnel, tunable LED would be ideal. Alternatively, a polarizer could work if it is a reflection of the juices, but it'll elliminate other reflections as well, including on the spoon. I use polarizers a lot for product shots. Invaluable tool. The tabletop picture that you want to emulate looks edited to make the table dark, like they crushed the blacks. As far as lighting, there is obviously a side push from the right. It might be a 2x3 or 4x4 of opal considering the lack of crisp shadow. Then it looks like they have an overhead bounce on the left side. You can see this acting inside the cup, the spoon and the bowl. But it's absent on the square pan. So it might be a 4x4 board just over that area. And judging by the reflections in the cup there are a couple fill cards on the bottom of frame. The plastic spoodn handle is reflecting likely another fill card at top of frame. Hope this helps!
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