Where to put the backlight
Posted 16 November 2009 - 01:19 AM
It was a Steadicam move. I was at the bottom of a short bit of stairs, looking slightly up toward the Talent who was walking toward me as I pushed in on a wide lens. As she finished her dialogue, I let her out of frame and continued tilting up to frame up the large church in the background.
I attempted to work in a 2.5k HMI par just off the right side of frame. My lens was getting nailed, so I had a Grip attempt to walk a solid as my shot moved forward. With the sun sinking, the rain beginning to fall, the Talent getting anxious, and the Director pushing to go, I made the decision to just go without the backlight. The Electrician killed the light, backed it off and we went with only the Key.
The shot looked great, but I couldn't help but study the environment afterward while the crew wrapped, trying to figure out where I could have put that light where it wouldn't be seen or where I wouldn't pick up a flare.
Posted 16 November 2009 - 01:29 AM
Posted 16 November 2009 - 02:48 AM
With the sun sinking, the rain beginning to fall, the Talent getting anxious, and the Director pushing to go, ....
You made the right decision for the circumstances.
If this had been addressed in pre-production, you might have had some sort of architectural element built behind which you could hide the HMI, and had the set piece cut the light out of your lens. Without being there, it's hard to say if there may have been some sort of five minute fix that would work. But five minute fixes are few and far between. And it sounds like even five minutes may have been pushing it for those circumstances.
Posted 19 November 2009 - 01:15 PM
I started with David's suggestion, with the unit to the right (farther right than I generally like my backlight), but the framing and the move negated any way to set a solid to take the hurt off the lens. And the choreography to walk the solid with the move was a bit too much, which was why I decided to just bag it and go without.
The shot was fine without her getting rimmed, but it would definitely have "popped" with a backlight. I just can't for the life of me figure out how I could've gotten one in without it being seen or having the flare. The world will continue spinning, but it was very frustrating nonetheless.
Posted 19 November 2009 - 01:29 PM
John Seale had an interesting trick in those Kodak lighting demos from Australia where he put a tweenie on a nail-on plate above a window frame, inside a dorm room set, and then painted a piece of showcard or wood to match the wall color and put it in front of the lens in the foreground, to hide the fixture and cut the flare from the camera view, but the card blended into the background wall, thus "erasing" the light fixture from the frame.
Posted 19 November 2009 - 07:22 PM