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Ben Kahn

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  • Occupation
    Cinematographer
  • Location
    New York

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  1. Hi, I am shooting a driving scene using a tow dolly. We will use hostess trays and hood mounts. I'd love some advice on how to light it. I'd like to see some reflections in the windows (trees, buildings) but concerned that a bright sky will be overpowering and I won't see the actors. And using a polarizer might not cut the reflections down enough. I was thinking of doing an overhead frame of half soft frost that would kill any hard sun coming through while still letting light in. But i think that would also kill all the reflections Is it necessary to light the actors from the hood or insert car? We will be shooting early in the morning until around 11. Thanks for the help Ben
  2. @Miguel AngelI love this idea! I Don't think it will work for this but I'm definitely stealing this one! 🤣
  3. Thanks for the tips @Satsuki Murashige The scene takes place over one day but the last couple pages fall into evening. The location is locked in unfortunately and won't be using green screen or backing. I think the HMI and skypanels is my plan. Maybe instead of a silk overhang outside I'll use a solid to block as much hard sunlight getting in as possible. I'm going to see if we can schedule all the wide coverage in the mornings before the sun would make it through the windows. The houses on the west side of the street are the problem though because they will get direct sunlight. I'm crossing my fingers for cloudy days! thanks
  4. Hello, I am shooting a day interior scene that is 20 pages shot over 3 three days. The whole scene takes place in an open living room over the course of a day with seven characters sitting in front of a line of bay windows. I've attached pictures. I would love some advice on how to create a consistent lighting scheme. We'll be shooting from around 7:00am to 6:00pm. The windows face west. The scene is meant to be like a stage play so the characters stay in this area the whole time. Most of our coverage will be shot towards the windows. One caveat-the scene is set in Covid time so they keep the windows open. The director wants to see the open windows so we can't use sheers or windows. One idea I had was to build truss outside and hang a 4k and a few sky panels coming in from the camera right side windows. Then build a shelf off the roof with a 12x silk to help control some of the hard sun light that might get in. Also, thinking about a 12x20 2 stop net but I'm worried I would see the patterns. Thanks for the help.
  5. Hi, I'm shooting an old CRT TV, playing a video from a VCR. I'll be using the Sony Venice. I did a test with a Sony mirrorless and couldn't get rid of the rolling bars no matter what shutter I tried. I'm assuming it will have the same result with the Venice. I know sync boxes are used for film cameras. Do they work for digital cameras as well? Or is there another solution. Thanks for the help. Ben
  6. Hi, I'm looking for advice on shooting Christmas/party lights without having them flicker on camera. Are their flicker-free lights specifically made for filming? What about LED vs. incandescent? Does that make a difference? Or is it just a matter of playing with shutter angle? Thanks for your help
  7. Thanks! This is exactly what I was looking for. Do you happen to know what movie that Kiera Knightly clip is from?
  8. Hello, I was wondering if anyone has advice on how to simulate a night to day time lapse in camera. The scene is an overhead shot of a character lying in bed staring at the ceiling all night and into the morning. He is lit with a soft wash of blue moonlight. Then we see the transition to day. The effect of sun rising creates a moving hard light over his body. My thought is to just use a few LED's and fade from blue moonlight, to a soft, cool daylight mixed with a warm, hard sunlight. Maybe it's that simple I'd like to get that stop motion staccato effect too but I think it would have to be a post thing.. Thanks, Ben
  9. Thanks. These both will be super helpful
  10. I'm sorry I took so long to respond. Thank you for the advice. I wasn't able to test the K-35's. I found both the Supremes and the Radiance were really sharp and kind of sterile looking. I wasn't crazy about them clean but I tried some filters (BPM, HBM and Satin) and it looked much better. 1/8 BPM felt the best. Would you recommend any other filters that might take some of the edge off of the sharpness but retain contrast? Even at the lightest the BPM made the blacks a little milky. Thanks
  11. Hello, I'm going to do a lens test for an upcoming TVC. Shooting on the Sony Venice so I'm looking for FF lenses. I'll be testing Zeiss Supreme and Radiance primes as well as Canon K-35's. I'll have a subject to shoot and a small lighting setup. I was wondering if anyone has a guide for how to go about the testing. What are the different variables I should be looking at? Thanks!
  12. Hello, I'd love to hear people's experience with the Blackwing7 lenses. I've been reading about the tuning capabilities and having a hard time wrapping my head around it. The 3 options are Straight, Transient and Expressive. Any examples would be really helpful. Does the tuning have to happen at the rental house by the technicians or can they be adjusted in the field? Thanks
  13. Thanks David, This is super helpful. How big do you think the HMI's need to be through the lower window? Would 3 4k's do it? I never thought about the menace arm over the balcony. The living room is small and we'll have 2 cameras so keeping things off the ground is ideal. That along with the Covid protocols of having everyone socially distanced. The more space we have for crew the better.
  14. Hello everyone, I have a TVC coming up and could use some lighting tips regarding a day interior (living room and kitchen) (pics attached). My question is how (or if) to utilize the natural light from the windows. More specifically how should I decide between the amount of natural light to use vs. using artificial lights. Or whether to even use natural light and just go artificial keep everything controllable. I have a sizable budget so have the freedom to bring in any lights I'd need and to pre-rig. It's an open white walled space so light will spill anywhere and while it needs to have a daytime feel I still want to bring in a little contrast to give the scene some shape. We are shooting 2 celebrities sitting on the couch talking to each other and looking at a TV off-screen. We only have them for 4 hours and the windows face NW. I'm advising to shoot mid-day so the sun is high in the sky above the house keeping the light fairly consistent from the window. Should I play it safe and build a tent outside, block the daylight and shoot HMI's through the windows in the living room (I would still let natural light go through the background windows in the kitchen). We have a lot of pre-light time so we'd be able to do that.. The last thing I want is to get a partly cloudy day and have the light keep changing. I like the controllability of that. With our limited window to shoot I won't have the flexibility to adjust. Another idea i had is to block out the windows high up on the wall and let light come in the lower windows. Then supplement with a bounced Skypanel or 2 inside to wrap around the front a little. Then line the fill side with floppies and duv for contrast. Sorry for the length post. I appreciate any suggestions.
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