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Night Exterior Roof-top Shoot


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#1 Frank DiBugnara

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Posted 18 June 2006 - 10:11 PM

Next week I'm shooting a night exterior talking-head scene on a roof top overlooking the buildings of Downtown Los Angeles.

The directors really want to keep moving the camera and actors to keep all the dialogue fresh. My strategy is to keep a nice mix of moonlight and motivated tungsten sources from the rooftop itself. Because of all the camera/actor movement, the role of the moon and tungsten lights is going to be constantly changing...an edge or backlight sometimes, a key at other times, etc.

Can anyone suggest a film to watch where this type scene has been photographed particularly well? I hope to not mimic but get "inspired" by other people's work.
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#2 Matt Sandstrom

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Posted 19 June 2006 - 05:46 AM

just stay away from just like heaven. horrible bluescreen rooftop scenes with bad 3d tracking and a depth of field effect that screams gaussian blur. pity on an otherwise great film.

/matt
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#3 Bob Hayes

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Posted 19 June 2006 - 10:33 AM

One thing about shooting night city scenes from roof tops is that after 10 PM the city will start to shut down and by 1:00 AM most of the lights will be off. So I?d recommend shooting your wider shots early.
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#4 Jayson Crothers

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Posted 20 June 2006 - 12:25 PM

Hey Frank~

Where are you shooting in downtown - depending on what your backgrounds are, you'd be surprised how much available light there is; I did a shoot there a few months ago and shooting at a T2 (on 5218) we were able to take advantage of all the background light. A 6K Par placed on a roof across the street gave us a nice edge light, and when the camera came around 90 degrees, still worked as a side light quite well.

What format are you shooting?

If you look at most anything by Michael Mann, you'll see a lot of this. There's a parking structure scene in the beginning of HEAT that works well in my opinion.
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#5 Frank DiBugnara

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Posted 20 June 2006 - 04:37 PM

Hey Jayson...great to hear from you. Thanks for the advice.

We're shooting near 6th street and Alameda. It's a Super16 job...

(I don't think I have your current email address...are you going to be around next week? Going to CineGear?)
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