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#1 Adam White

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Posted 30 May 2006 - 12:56 PM

A lot of topics, like day-for-night, pop up often in the forums as they are, to any newbie, quite an intimidating effect to pull off for the first time.

what types of shot test your patience? What shooting styles have you reaching for the stress balls? I am not talking about the "last-minute shot with no buget and blown bulbs" groans that we all have, I am talking about the stuff that seems to test you even on a well paced day. I know that every shoot (and shot) brings its own obstacles, this stuff just annoys you.

For me its large group shots around tables. checking angles seems so easy to others while I end up drawing plans of almost Leonardo complexity to get everything right.
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#2 Michael Nash

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Posted 30 May 2006 - 04:31 PM

I realized sometime earlier in my career that a problem is only a problem the first time you encounter it. After that you have a solution, so it's no longer a problem.

That said, there are still a lot of "problems" I have yet to solve... ;)

One of my biggest pains the long exterior scene with changing sunlight. There are solutions of course to any given lighting challenge, But some locations make it darned near impossible to guarantee a consistent quality of light throught the day, for every camera position. Especially wider shots or dolly/steadicam shots that reveal shadows from stands and overheads. And planning the time of day for any given angle ahead of time is a crap shoot -- something that's out of your control always happens to throw the schedule off, and your plan gets dumped with it.

I'm still looking for a better solution to the "mid-day" exterior where the characters aren't near a logical shadow source (like a tree or building). I think it looks terrible when the wide shot shows the characters in hard sunlight, and the closeups have this beautiful soft silk overhead. Blech. I prefer to fly a single overhead and add some soft fill to lower the contrast, but from certain angles the shadows can still look terrible. I do know of several solutions, but they're not always practical on a modest budget (like shooting one angle early in the day and the reverse late).
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#3 Matt Lazzarini

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Posted 30 May 2006 - 04:40 PM

I find I have the most trouble coming up with a creative and interesting lighting plan for the dreaded 'basement apartment' scene. For some reason I've had to shoot a lot of scenes in such locations, and they always have white walls! Ugh :angry:
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#4 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 31 May 2006 - 12:53 AM

Yes, windowless white-walled rooms are a pain, as well as corridors without decent sources built-in.

I always find the severely underexposed sequences, as someone walks through a moonlit house from black shadows to barely being exposed, etc. to be stressful, but the results are amazing if you do it right.

And I agree about shooting a long scene outdoors all day long. If the best light for the wide shot is at the end of the day, it would be a nightmare to guess how that would look by lighting the coverage all day for a natural light effect you haven't seen yet, plus to wait on shooting the wide master until the end, only to have it go overcast, let's say, by the time you shoot the wide shot, so now your coverage doesn't match. In other words, find a location that looks best in the morning for the wide shots and then match the coverage to that...
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