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Justin C

Specific Video Style

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Like many others here I'm a beginning cinematographer and I've started through gaffing and camera assisting. I have a short film coming up in the 3rd week of January and I've been discussing colour palettes, styles...etc with the director. Last night he sent me this video here and asked if I could achieve the blowouts within the video.


We'll be shooting on the Panasonic HVX200. I'm currently compiling my lighting package and being a small independent short I've only been given about $1000 for camera/lighting/grip. The director said he's using a local co-op so I'm once again limited to what I can choose from.


I mainly want to stick to achieving the look below:






So far my lighting package is as follows:

Arri Three Light Kit #1- 1k open, 600,300 Fres

LTM Peppers 100W, 200W x2

Kino Flo Diva-Lite 400 x2

and I'll also have a set of 3 650W Redheads


The equipment I'm allowed to pick on from is listed here: http://www.charlesstreetvideo.com under shooting and mobile equipment.


I was thinking of mainly using the open faced 1K as a backlight and then use the peppers to add a brighter rim around their heads. I'd then use the kinos for the faces.


My main problem whenever I try to blow-out video in certain areas is that it either loses all detail or retains far too much (thus no longer being blown out). Does anyone have any suggestions for achieving something similar? I know a lot of it has to do with the actors wardrobe and the white clothing being overexposed (in this particular example) but what about for the over exposure of the back lights on the hair and such? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated! Thank you.

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Usually people say that highlights are "blown out" when they do lose all detail. It sounds like you're asking how to make highlights "very bright" yet not quite blown out or clipping, but then the examples you show have highlights that are significantly clipped. So I'm not quite sure what you're asking, or what to tell you.


As far as the video goes, I see a pretty contrasty image with clipped highlights (no detail). To create the look in camera, you could use a standard video gamma (SD or HD), turn the knee function "off" so that the highlights clip, and perhaps lower the master black level to taste. Color saturation seems a bit lowered as well.


For lighting, just try to include a high contrast ratio somewhere in the frame. That's often not hard to do with only one light.

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