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I wanted to get some opinions on things i could improve on. I was DP on this so mostly looking for input on DP stuff like lighting ect. but would also love to hear opinions on anything else. thanks


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Congrats. It look very decent. 



one thing I'm curious about. In the shot that we can see in 0:21, why you didn't make the face of the woman brighter? I mean this lighting gives me the impression that she is hiding a secret or she is not as excited as her beloved is.



And yeah, may you please tell me how did you light the scene in 0:14? I absolutely love it. 

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I forgot to mention this was shot with RED Scarlet-W, Sigma Cine lens.

the shot at 0:21(24mm, ISO400, WB5600, 24fps, 180shutter) was basically all natural light there is a big window with curtains and i basically used them to "flag" off the wall as much as i could and then hazed up the room. that was it for light on that one. I agree i wish i could've made her face brighter or "wrapped" the light a bit more or maybe had her "cheat" a bit so her face would match his more. I run into this situation a lot where it looks good natural and I would be tempted to add a light to "wrap" the natural sunlight to her face but it seems like when i start down that road in the past it always feels like too much or too fake. So ive learned I'm happier with just letting it go dark and be natural. If anyone has advice on this I would appreciate it. Another issue i came across with this scene was that i shot it at iso400 and it looked even darker than it currently is. I put the iso at 800 in post and denoised it in the grade. Im wondering if I'm shooting stuff too dark. I was trying to think what i could've done differently to achieve a brighter/more even feel with this scene but also keep the same mood. What I came up with was that i could've silked/sheers the window and brought it down a stop but also softened the light and it would've spilled around more. Then i would've stoped up or taken the ND out (i think i was on .6) which would've brought the shadow level up but wouldn't over expose the highlights. Anyone have thoughts on that technique ?


For the shot at 0:14 (50mm, ISO400, WB5600, 24fps, 180shutter) and anything else with the rancher scene I made a quick breakdown that i hope helps explain the set up. I hung/hid 3 titan tubes in a pattern between the rafters. I put them on the back side to cover then up in the shot then turned them to make the ambient pools of light. The 2 are working in the background well and i added a 3rd on a stand just camera left to bring up the level on the wood in the foreground. I didn't necessarily like how it was spilling onto the girls face. I think they were set around 40% and 3600k The key light was a cob300d with the light dome at 100% daylight balanced. that was parked outside through a small barn window and it was just hitting him. Then i hazed up the background and there was a door that is being blocked by the wall frame right. I kept playing with how far to crack that door open to let the light spill/flag off the rest of the light on the wight garage door.

I hope my drawing help. Let me know if I can clarify anything thanks for the feedback!



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A lot of this is subjective to the shooter, which is why critiques can be difficult, and likely taken negatively. So without dictating you what to do, I'll share some pointers and criteria of importance I look at for a commercial production.

1) I pick a camera with high ISO range. FS7, FX9, EVA1. Even a Varicam or Venice will work. I find this important when shooting with small crews and small budgets. With your lighting package I would have used any of those cameras, the FX9 being incredible. I don't worry about sensor size, as all these are minimum Super 35. And on TV or internet, nobody cares about the capture method.

2) Exposure. I make commercials bright. If you haven't enough light/fixtures, you'll need a higher ISO camera. Narrative lighting invokes a mood and can get dark. Commercial lighting sells a product, and those faces are selling it. Shadows can and should be present, but those faces must be seen well exposed. For the guy and girl rancher, I would have wrapped the key so it reached her face more consistently, which (might necessitate a larger diffusion). For the hardhat lady, I would have ensured that her face was absent of that hat shadow with either a bounce card, or a sidey softbox. And if the window became too much, then I'd cut that. Personally, I would go softbox, because that would generate a killer eye light, which draws the viewer's attention (see below).

3) Edge light. You have great soft "skylight" in your scenes. Imagine putting in a sun along with that. But this isn't for arts-sake. Human eyeballs are attracted to contrast. And an edge light (commonly kicking the back in some fashion) will make your people pop. This is why shooters put the sun to the back on exterior shots. Just be sure it's believable. An edge on just the subject can appear artificial, and may need to extent to the whole set. Eye lights work in the same way. A sharp ping in the eye draws your attention.

4) Keylights will blow out on screen. You mentioned trouble with the window. I assume you were using it for the young couple's key. I chop the window down to acceptable exposure using ND, sheers, even a double net against the glass outside. Then I'll extend that window's light inside with a rag to push onto the talent. Because a keylight will blow out on screen, so don't show the key light on screen. Narrative can be different, buy that's because it can be a moody scene where the talent is keyed at 30 IRE (Man In The High Castle did this a lot). I keep my commercial key at 60-70 IRE, and 50 minimum.

Personal note:
I believe you're putting too much importance on the specs: Red, ISO 400, RAW, haze even. None of that matters in my opinion. In the stills I've attached, the boy was shot on an A7sII at 10,000 ISO, and the mayor campaigner on an FS7 at 1250 EI in S-Log3 only. I shoot log only as the editors don't have the time or storage to deal with RAW. It's just not needed. I hope this helps.

SECRET (2).jpg


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Definitely need to make sure the audio for your narration is consistent. People blatantly sounded like they were recording on different mics or room spaces.

Filmmaking is 60% audio 40% visual

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