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gustavo godinho

what should a cinematographer take note when visiting location?

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Anything and everything which will effect shooting.


Normally I look at:


The sun, it's relation to the building at the time i'm there scouting (and I try to get back to location around when we'll actually be shooting)

Any light that is already in location (intensity, color, locations, fixture types, bulbs used, ect)

Power in the area (how many outlets, maybe even check the way they're broken out from the breaker box)

size of the area

Breaker box of the buiding

staging locations for camera/lighting gear/ trucks/ gennys (how far will i have to go to get just one more thing and how much time will that eat up)_

How "live" is the room from an audio standpoint-- this will effect me inasmuch as if it's a very echo prone place I will try to throw up some solids/blankets to help out with audio if I can and also may impact ability to shoot hand held (if the floor creaks badly for example).

I also tend to shoot stills. Often I just want to see the place again before i build up my lighting diagrams, but sometimes I'll use a DSLR and shoot @ the ISO/Fstop i may want to be at just to see how it renders naturally

Any interesting elements of the room which may provide rig points for light or may need special equipment or can hid equipment/people

Windows, size, treatment, shades/blinds (i may ask for dressing if they are a hindrance and I may want to order pre-cut sizes of 85ND gel for them if i'm shooting tungsten)

Where is the bathroom

Where do I think we will set up video village


I could go on



I also like to have a rough idea of the shots we'll do in the room. Sometimes this comes before hand, other times you has it out there. Take a note book.



it's a lot and some stuff may mean more to you than to me. But the most basic stuff I'll look at are light, color, power, size.

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