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shooting on 16 mm - a few questions


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#1 Vincenzo Condorelli AIC

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Posted 13 February 2006 - 10:00 AM

hi folks,
im an italian film student from the london film school. we're about to shoot a series of short films on 16 mm (aaton xtr camera - stock: vision 2t - 7217 kodak) and my director is driving me crazy. i'd like to submit a few issues that somehow worries me, hopefully somebody'd help me with that.
our lighting equipment is quite limited, consisting of 3 800 w redheads and a leaky photax (that im probably not going to use at all). gels are limited to ctbs, ctos, nds and diffusions. filters: nd 3, 6, 9, pola, 81 ef, 85, 85 b.

1) my director has a very colourful vision (euphemism) that he wants to pursue no matter what. actually he wants me to establish a red key light on a very small bedroom with white walls. actually we dont get red gels on our school's equipment list, however i could get them from a friend. my concern is the red look itself: isnt it going to get too soft? how should adapt my exposure reading to that?

2) he wants me to fade from black in camera. considering that the range aperture of our lenses is 2-11 does that mean that i have to establish my red key light at 2 or 2.8 and then shoot all the other shots of that scene at that exposure to keep consinstency? if yes, what would be the drawback in doing that, especially in terms of stock's latitude? besides, i'd like to have a white practical as backlight just not to have everything red, but, if im not wrong, that means that my reflective reading on him should give me an exposure of no more than 3 stops over (if i keep the key at 2, no more than 5.6 right?) otherwise when i start to fade from 11 the white practical will be already visible, isnt it?

3) i have to shoot a day for night in an area with many neons and fluorescent (soho). as you might know, at this time of the year the kind of light we got here in london is definitely soft. should i use a 81 ef just to make it the overall look slightly balanced?

4) could the polaroid (600 istant film) be of any help on set to check the balance?

thanks a lot for your time and support,
cheers

v.
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#2 Robert Hughes

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Posted 18 February 2006 - 01:03 PM

The answer to all your questions (and you're posting a lot of them here):

Shoot a test, and find out if your setup meets your needs.

This sounds like a smart-alek response, but the best way to find out what happens is to do the test yourself. You don't need to shoot hundreds of feet of film to get the info you need; just a few seconds (or even a few frames) per setup. Then compare to what you were expecting (or hoping) to see, and make adjustments as needed.
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#3 Andy Sparaco SOC

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Posted 18 February 2006 - 01:36 PM

1) my director has a very colourful vision (euphemism) that he wants to pursue no matter what. actually he wants me to establish a red key light on a very small bedroom with white walls. actually we dont get red gels on our school's equipment list, however i could get them from a friend. my concern is the red look itself: isnt it going to get too soft? how should adapt my exposure reading to that?

Establish the exposure with your meter just like normal. Beware that you will get a lot of spill from the key and everything will have a red tinge

2) he wants me to fade from black in camera. considering that the range aperture of our lenses is 2-11 does that mean that i have to establish my red key light at 2 or 2.8 and then shoot all the other shots of that scene at that exposure to keep consinstency? if yes, what would be the drawback in doing that, especially in terms of stock's latitude? besides, i'd like to have a white practical as backlight just not to have everything red, but, if im not wrong, that means that my reflective reading on him should give me an exposure of no more than 3 stops over (if i keep the key at 2, no more than 5.6 right?) otherwise when i start to fade from 11 the white practical will be already visible, isnt it?

Put the lights on dimmers and dim them.

3) i have to shoot a day for night in an area with many neons and fluorescent (soho). as you might know, at this time of the year the kind of light we got here in london is definitely soft. should i use a 81 ef just to make it the overall look slightly balanced?

I would shoot it without a filter and expose for the hilights letting the shadows go dark -more characterisitic of a night shot-then color correct the blue of the daylight a dark ink color leaving the flourscents and Tungsten light looking normal


4) could the polaroid (600 istant film) be of any help on set to check the balance?

In your situation it will prove to be very little help.

Is the crazy Sushi converyor joint in soho still in business?


thanks a lot for your time and support,
cheers

v.


ciao
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#4 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 18 February 2006 - 04:56 PM

3) i have to shoot a day for night in an area with many neons and fluorescent (soho). as you might know, at this time of the year the kind of light we got here in london is definitely soft. should i use a 81 ef just to make it the overall look slightly balanced?


i think that you are going to be unable to keep the neon signs in Soho sufficiently bright to register while also underexposing to do Day for Night. Soho at night is lit by the neon, not by the moon, so DFN is really not a valid option here.
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FJS International, LLC

Tai Audio

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Rig Wheels Passport

rebotnix Technologies

The Slider

Aerial Filmworks

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Glidecam