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#1 freddie bonfanti

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Posted 04 April 2006 - 06:40 AM

hey all

im a 22 year old aspiring cinematographer and i just shot my second short film. since this forum has been very important for my learning experience i decided i would post some pictures of the set, so that i can get some constructive criticism and improve my skills. the film is about a james bond fanatic grandad and his nephew who is moving away from his house to live with his new wife and their troubled relationship. the director wanted this short to look like the early connery┬┤s bond films, therefore our palette, camera movements and lighting had to follow that style. however i managed to convince the director not to use the bond films lighting as reference just because it always looks like studio lighting and its not very charming. we were supposed to shoot on 16 and try to achieve that saturated technicolor look but our budget collapsed in early preproduction so we opted for the Z1E. i was a bit worried because trying to achieve that look with an HDV camera was not an easy task at all. doing some intensive testing, though, paid off. i used cineframe 2 and cinetone 1 along with some in camera color correction and shifted the white balance to a more tungsten orangish look while using 1/4 promist and 2 low contrast filters on the lenses. i dont want to sound big headed but the results were impressive, the whole picture has a suttle retro 1960 look, enough to make the director happy. our lighting package was student film like, therefore 4 300 fresnel, 4 650s, a 4x4 kino, an 1200 hmi and a 2 k. i used lots of bounce light and mostly the 650s. here there are some pics from grandad┬┤s room and from a pub scene

as i said im a beginner and id love to hear some tips if the lighting is not properly done

thank you all

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#2 SSJR

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Posted 18 April 2006 - 12:32 AM

hey all

im a 22 year old aspiring cinematographer and i just shot my second short film.


Yeah dunno what to say about these.I like the shots of the old man. there okay. Overall lighting composition and framing looks messy and to me and I'm not really feeling a retro 60s look, more like an artsy porn look. If you wanted a Technicolor look couldn't you just de-saturate this more in post? Production design is extremely cluttered and distracts from anything that would be telling a story. The shot in the last still is extremely flat. Over all it seems like you were trying too hard to make things look a certain way. There is absolutely no subtlety.
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#3 freddie bonfanti

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Posted 18 April 2006 - 05:20 AM

Yeah dunno what to say about these.I like the shots of the old man. there okay. Overall lighting composition and framing looks messy and to me and I'm not really feeling a retro 60s look, more like an artsy porn look. If you wanted a Technicolor look couldn't you just de-saturate this more in post? Production design is extremely cluttered and distracts from anything that would be telling a story. The shot in the last still is extremely flat. Over all it seems like you were trying too hard to make things look a certain way. There is absolutely no subtlety.




cheers evan

these are stills from the photographer and the framings are not the real ones, i was more interested on the judgement of the lighting. by the way its a silly way to hit me back because i made a honest judgement on your boring reel, evan. you should have had some guts and reply there, but i liked your criticism anyway as it doesnt really bother me, pal!

desaturate the look in post? well since i want to be a dop when i grow up i was looking for a smart way to do it in camera and, mate, everyone here is saying that it worked well

now concentrate on your work and try to make a decent reel
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#4 Logan Schneider

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Posted 18 April 2006 - 12:49 PM

Federico

I think that the lighting in these stills is very stylish and well done. I especially like the old man. The lighting does remind me of the sort of hard lighting used on old James Bond films, which it seems like you were going for. Do you have any actual frames from the shoot? I'd like to see what these look like through the Z1. (I don't know if you're interested, but I just did a shoot with the z1 and I used schneider classic softs to give the skin that milky feel that film has. Just a thought.) I really like the card scene. The softlight on their faces is really nice. The kick on the main character's face seems a bit unnatural. Also, it seems that there is a bit too much light on the background. You could probably hit both birds with one stone by pulling the table further from the wall. This way your soft light will fall off and seperate your actors from the background. Also, it would give you more room to make the kick hit all of the actors. The only still that I didn't like as much was the last one. the room looks a bit overlit. There is a lack of contrast. One thing you could do is bring in a big black negative fill on the right side of the frame so that you get good blacks in your shadows. It seems like you were trying to go for a well lit feel, but I would just suggest trying to keep contrast in the frame. One technique that works well is something called 'key-side fill'. This means having the fill be on the side of the fill light, so that all of the light is still coming from the same direction and the blacks are still good on the shadow side.

As for the little tiff going on between you and Evan, get over it. Both of you. Both of you are doing good work. Both of you should be above this sort of thing. Just say you're sorry. Nothing is more important betwen dps than respect. Insults demean yourself and this forum. There is no need to compete.

Logan Schneider
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#5 freddie bonfanti

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Posted 18 April 2006 - 05:07 PM

dear logan

thank you for your nice words and constructive criticism. i hate to start silly arguements in this forum and waste people's time but really i could not help it. evan did not have enough pride to reply to my criticism which was by the way a bit rough but sincere, but deliberately struck me back in such a silly way on my post. he should have instead replied firmly and proudly in his own post. it was really a reaction of a 1o year old. he not only used offensive words towards me but also towards the production designer. i thought it was very pathetic.
i am sorry i do not want to bring this any further but i come from a place where we never let arrogant people step on our toes

cheers and for me thats it

freddie
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#6 freddie bonfanti

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Posted 18 April 2006 - 05:17 PM

about what you said, logan

i agree with the last shot being overlit: i am hoping to correct that in post bringing the levels down. cheers also for the tip on side fill, very helpful. i am waiting for the editor to make a rough cut so that i can post a small trailer which will hopefully show more than these pictures. i heard about the filters you named but unfortunately i had to use what the college provided: a small box of 7 filters. it was just lovely to try and make something good with few lights and no money. the atmosphere on set was amazing: we were all enthusiastic about making this short and everyone gave everything. our tutors are impressed: the result will still be student standard but for being without budget and me and my gaffer self thought (our course does not have lots of cinematography lectures) i am very bloody proud of it.

i would love to see your Z1 footage, logan. i love that camera

Edited by federico bonfanti, 18 April 2006 - 05:18 PM.

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#7 Logan Schneider

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Posted 19 April 2006 - 12:46 AM

Federico

I don't have access to the z1 footage right now. It was an interview for a doc. I just lit it really softly and tried to stay near the end of the zoom to keep the depth of field down. Then the classic softs (a #1) gave the skin a milky texture and gave the background a more out of focus feel without making the woman look diffused. Really amazing filters. It was only the second shoot I've done with the camera, and the first was on a white cyc, so it was interesting to see what it can do in a natural light situation. We were lighting to a small HD monitor which helped a HUGE amount. I could really see exactly where the exposure fell off, which was very important to the look I was going for. The onboard LCD is a bit of a disaster. I've been shooting almost exclusively film for a while, so it was really a fun experience seeing exactly what are getting. It allowed me to push to the edge of the exposure level. On the other hand, if I went a little far doing the same thing on film I could most likely pull back some information that was hidden on the negative.

Anyway, I'd love to see the trailer and I'll post a still if I can get my hands on one. I'll put up a reel, too, next time I get one together.

Logan Schneider
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#8 Jon-Hebert Barto

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Posted 19 April 2006 - 01:06 AM

Pretty pictures!!

EVAN QUOTE:"Production design is extremely cluttered and distracts from anything that would be telling a story."

The reason the room seems cluttered is because thats the way old people live. If you've ever seen an old persons room/apartment that is exactly what it looks like, to bad we can't "smell" the room.
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#9 Adam White

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Posted 25 April 2006 - 03:35 AM

The shots look well lit and the retro feel you aimed for is evident. Can I ask what motivated the side light on the grandfather? I assume it was a table lamp but the stills guy framed it out. The light levels also differ between the first and second shots but that is, I am sure, due to the stills again. I only noted this as I really like the first shot and hope that is closest to what you were getting in camera.

Was a lot of your time flaging and controlling the lights to keep the room at low level? What ways worked best for you? What time of day was the final shot lit for?

I hope in future that you dont have to respond to overly negative comments. Enough people view these forums in an open way that the overly negative comments of one person will only help in prompting others to add their own, more constructive ones.

I look forward to seeing future shoots posted, nice one!
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#10 freddie bonfanti

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Posted 26 April 2006 - 10:50 AM

The shots look well lit and the retro feel you aimed for is evident. Can I ask what motivated the side light on the grandfather? I assume it was a table lamp but the stills guy framed it out. The light levels also differ between the first and second shots but that is, I am sure, due to the stills again. I only noted this as I really like the first shot and hope that is closest to what you were getting in camera.

Was a lot of your time flaging and controlling the lights to keep the room at low level? What ways worked best for you? What time of day was the final shot lit for?

I hope in future that you dont have to respond to overly negative comments. Enough people view these forums in an open way that the overly negative comments of one person will only help in prompting others to add their own, more constructive ones.

I look forward to seeing future shoots posted, nice one!



thank for your words

i am not really bothered by negative comments, hell im only 22 and i cant pretend to light sets like libatique...i tried to o my best with the equipment i had.

for the grandad shot i had nothing but two practical lights, both with 100 w bulbs and a 650 fresnel bounced off a reflector. i didnt have flags with me so i used lots of cinemafoil. the last shot which looks definitely flatter than what it really was was mainly lit by daylight from a window behind the camera and a 12k hmi.
thanks

freddy
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#11 Tom Bays

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Posted 26 April 2006 - 11:44 AM

was the second shot lighter because of the still camera...or did you iris up.
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#12 Chad Stockfleth

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Posted 26 April 2006 - 03:02 PM

great job! i think the shots of the older gentleman look especially good. i would have to agree with someone's comment that the frame seems a little cluttered, but if that plays into the story then it isn't an issue. i would also agree that the last pic is a bit overlit, but as it is ungraded, perhaps it isn't the best example.

thanks for sharing! don't let the hater's bring you down!

cp
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#13 freddie bonfanti

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Posted 28 April 2006 - 01:18 AM

was the second shot lighter because of the still camera...or did you iris up.



its because of the camera. i never change setups for that scene. the shot was more like the first one. i wanted to have constant darkness around grandad as he is sort of cast away from everything, especially his nephew. i was shooting wide open (2.8) just because of the dof and so that i could afford to have only a 650 as key and few practicals as fill
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