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Explosion with an HVX??


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#1 Matthew Pebler

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Posted 08 March 2006 - 08:16 PM

I am the DP for an upcoming short that will be shot with two HVX's in 720p so I can take advantage of the variable frame rates. One of the shots calls for a 5 mortar explosion of a car during the day on a highway in the middle of nothing. My question is... For this shot will the HVX be able to hold an image or will it simply blow out? Should I shoot this shot on 16mm knowing I can get it that way? Should I do both just to be sure?

If you think I can do it with the HVX what is the best way of setting this up? I mean I have to expose for the scene but is there anything I can do to help hold an image during the flash? Besides stoping down the camera... Has anyone every done any effects shots such as this that might have a still I could take a look at?

Thanks,
-Matthew
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#2 John Pytlak RIP

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Posted 08 March 2006 - 08:47 PM

I am the DP for an upcoming short that will be shot with two HVX's in 720p so I can take advantage of the variable frame rates. One of the shots calls for a 5 mortar explosion of a car during the day on a highway in the middle of nothing. My question is... For this shot will the HVX be able to hold an image or will it simply blow out? Should I shoot this shot on 16mm knowing I can get it that way? Should I do both just to be sure?

If you think I can do it with the HVX what is the best way of setting this up? I mean I have to expose for the scene but is there anything I can do to help hold an image during the flash? Besides stoping down the camera... Has anyone every done any effects shots such as this that might have a still I could take a look at?

Thanks,
-Matthew


It may be just my personal preference, but I don't really think fire and explosions look very realistic captured on a digital camera. I suspect it has to do with holding the detail in the highlights of the flames, plus a motion artifact that just doesn't fit my "real fire" aesthetic.

Take a look at "Once Upon a Time in Mexico" again, and compare it to other features with lots of fire or explosions that were shot on film, "Back Draft" or a Bond film for example.
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#3 Matthew Pebler

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Posted 09 March 2006 - 03:21 PM

Thanks for the input! Much appreciated!

-Matthew
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#4 Michael Collier

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Posted 09 March 2006 - 04:45 PM

If its a day scene I have a hard time believing that the explosion would be too bright for the camera. If its daylight outside you would be stopped down pretty far with ND, so I dont think it should. But if you have the HVXs then run a test. In my limited experience with them they seemed pretty good with highlights, especially if you turn knee on. My recomendation is to fill a barrell with gasoline and light that up in the middle of the day (or when you plan on shooting this that is) and see what it looks like (burning gasoline is about as bright as most mortars are, as 9of10 mortars are black powder for the explosion, and gasoline for the flame.

I have a feeling your going to be well within range, but test.
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#5 Kevin Zanit

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Posted 09 March 2006 - 05:40 PM

As was said, it depends on the explosion.

Generally, if you have a 5.6/ 8 on the camera you will hold detail in fire. If the explosion is more of a flash, then there is really no reason to hold detail.

As for motion, avoid fast fireballs (if it is a fireball), talk to the pyro guy, and see if he can use a gas fireball as opposed to a naphthalene fireball, as these burn very fast, and not super colorful.

If you can't over crank, but you want the fireball to hang longer, try and have them set off two or three fireballs from the same position, but staggered slightly, this keeps the fire "going" longer.

Kevin Zanit
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Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

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Glidecam

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Broadcast Solutions Inc

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