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Guinness - "Timeless"


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#1 Stephen Murphy

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Posted 28 July 2006 - 12:48 PM

The ?Guinness ? Timeless? Test commercial was shot on Fuji?s 250D 8562, in Super 35mm format for a 2.35:1 aspect ratio. We used an Arri 435 and Cooke S4?s, my absolute favourite spherical lenses.
The Director wanted the whole piece to use the same colours that you would find in a pint of Guinness i.e Creamy whites and Rich blacks with a hint of Ochre/Brown. She also wanted to use selective focus to enhance the rich quality of the images so we both agreed to shoot on longer lenses as much as possible, and for some shots used either an 45mm or 90mm Arri Tilt/Shift Lens.
I really like the contrast and colour palette of the Fuji 8562 and im particularly fond of its grain structure ? its not as grainless as some of the more recent stocks.
I shot with a Varicon infront of the lens for every shot, using a piece of Lee 156 Chocolate to flash the neg. I also used a Black Diffusion *1 Filter and applied a 100% bleach bypass on the neg. To counteract some of the density of the bleach bypass I underexposed the neg by 2/3rds of a stop using an Asa of 400. This gave me the rich blacks I wanted and a slightly thicker neg but I didn?t loose all the detail in my whites.
As all of the commercial takes place at a bar my lighting was relatively straightforward. The Grips blocked out any natural light streaming in from the locations real windows, and our Sparks placed our key light to the right of the frame abpprox 10 feet from the talent. I used two 4K Cinepars, gelled with double Chocolate (Lee 156), bounced off an 8? x8? Claycoat Ultrabounce as the key, and then used another two 4K cinepars with Chimeras (1/4 gridcloth) and Grids, gelled with a single chocolate, as a soft side light for the rest of the bar. A 1.2k Cinepar was used as a backlight again gelled with single Chocolate. Kino tubes were added behind the bar to add a little sparkle to the glasses and Practicals were dressed to camera and were dimmed to between 50% and 25% to increase their colour temperature. The product shot was toplit with a source 4 (corrected to 5600K) and a few microflos were used for refelctions. The whole piece was shot at T2.8 using the Varicon at Level 2 (150).
Im not a fan of heavy grading in post and neither is the director so the final grade itself was very brief ? the neg looked exactly how it was supposed to!
Attached are some stills, larger versions are available on my website. All comments, criticisms and questions are welcomed.
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#2 Rolfe Klement

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Posted 28 July 2006 - 01:03 PM

very nice!
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#3 LondonFilmMan

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Posted 07 August 2006 - 07:52 AM

Well you make yourself sound clever in your write-up, but there again I only see 3 still images. What's to critique?
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#4 Andy_Alderslade

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Posted 07 August 2006 - 12:32 PM

From what I saw on your website it looks great, when we going to see it in motion?

I think the selective focus works well with the colours and lighting, there is a lot of selective focus material out there, particularly for commercials but I think in this case the combination is great.
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#5 Stephen Murphy

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Posted 07 August 2006 - 12:37 PM

Well you make yourself sound clever in your write-up, but there again I only see 3 still images. What's to critique?



Nice attitude. At some point in the future i'll update my website with quicktimes of all my work, untill then you'll have to settle for the frame grabs. Or you can politely ask for a copy of my reel, and if i think you're worth sending it to, you could criticise that.

From what I saw on your website it looks great, when we going to see it in motion?


Thanks Andy. I was hoping to avoid having to host Quicktimes on my website, prefering to use it as a taster for those interested in my dvd, but maybe i should reconsider! When i have it updated i'll be sure to let everyone know.
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#6 Jonathan Spear

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Posted 07 August 2006 - 01:40 PM

Looks delicious :)
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#7 Chris Keth

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Posted 07 August 2006 - 11:58 PM

Well, I'm thirsty.....ya happy? <_<







:P :D
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#8 Stephen Murphy

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Posted 08 August 2006 - 04:02 AM

Well, I'm thirsty.....ya happy? <_<
:P :D


Ill put one in the post for you:)
Personally i cant stand the stuff!!
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#9 G McMahon

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Posted 08 August 2006 - 02:26 PM

Very nice. I appreciate you giving the detail in approach and physical set up. I would like to see more high caliber shots explored this way on this site.

Question - the use of the lee chocolate. I read your a fan of doing the work in camera, but surely you didn't have to use as much considering the loss of light and just timed it in latter. Just wanted to understand your approach, not condemning it.

Question ? Forgive my ignorance, how is a cinepar different from a par can or a par found in a ruby 7, and what is a source 4?

Keep it coming.

G. McMahon
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#10 Stephen Murphy

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Posted 08 August 2006 - 03:42 PM

Question - the use of the lee chocolate. I read your a fan of doing the work in camera, but surely you didn't have to use as much considering the loss of light and just timed it in latter. Just wanted to understand your approach, not condemning it.

Question – Forgive my ignorance, how is a cinepar different from a par can or a par found in a ruby 7, and what is a source 4?



The loss of light wasnt a problem, i had plenty of lights on the truck!
Where possible i prefer to photograph each project the way the viewer is supposed to see it. If you leave creative decisions untill the post phase then i have found the photographic intent can become diluted by other "creative" people eager to give their opinions or "help" when viewing rushes in a telecine bay.

In this particular case because i was using a full bleach bypass on the neg, which would reduce the colour saturation, i used double the amount of chocolate gels to counteract that loss of saturation. If i hadnt been using a bleach bypass i would only have used a single layer of each colour.
Other DP's would take a different approach and there are many who would feel that using a bleach bypass and using heavy colour filtration is OTT for a commercial. They would claim that the same look is just as easily obtained in post. I respectfuly disagree, hence my In Camera approach.

A cinepar is a type of HMI - a Parcan is a tungsten light usually using a Par 64 bulb. A Cinepar can output a lot more light than a HMI Fresnel of the same size becaue of the way its bulb is orientated. I havent used the ruby 7 but i think its a collection of 7 Par 64 bulbs in an indivdualy orientatable housing.
I love parcans and use them often but they woudnt have provided anywhere near the same amount of light in this particular circumstance. A source 4 is similar to a Parcan in that its a tungsten unit initally designed for theatre use i think, i cant remember what size/type of bulb is in it. It is fitted with a snoot that accepts gobos and allows it to shape the light precisely which is why i used it to toplight the Pint of Guinness, without it spilling onto the surrounding set or actors hands.
Hope this helps,
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#11 Hal Smith

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Posted 08 August 2006 - 05:11 PM

A source 4 is similar to a Parcan in that its a tungsten unit initally designed for theatre use i think, i cant remember what size/type of bulb is in it. It is fitted with a snoot that accepts gobos and allows it to shape the light precisely which is why i used it

On the west side of the big pond the Source Four is called an ellipsoidal or leko. S4's are highly efficient - putting out about twice as much light for a given wattage as older ellipsoidals. They also use a dichroic reflector so much of the infra-red heat goes out the back and is radiated by the housing. Standard wattages are 575 and 750, the lamps are available in 3200K and other, warmer, color temperatures. All in all a pretty awesome piece of light engineering, they've become the conventional fixture of choice for Broadway, replacing older design 1 and 2kW Ellipsoidals.

See http://www.etcconnect.com for specs.
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#12 Jamie Metzger

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Posted 08 August 2006 - 06:48 PM

^^ plus the use of Gobos!

Nice work Stephen
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#13 Stephen Murphy

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Posted 09 August 2006 - 10:19 AM

For anyone who is still interested i have uploaded a Quicktime of the Guinness Commercial to my website. I'll add Quicktimes of most of the other projects over the next few days/weeks so check back if there's something in particular that you're interested in. Thanks for all the responses,

Sincerely,
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#14 G McMahon

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Posted 09 August 2006 - 01:32 PM

Good to see, nice shooting. Liked the highlights on the beer pull, did you pull out extra lights for that or were they just reflections from your cinepars.

By the way, I could be wrong, but In Australia I'm used to them being called HMI's not cinepars. Glad you clarified my confusion.

Caught the main actor blinking on the dolly in on the freeze. Sorry

I also checked out one of your shorts, the car one. Loved the split screen, I've been trying to sell that to directors for a while now (Thomas crown affair, original). Didn't understand a word they were saying but still found it engaging.

I will look at some more stuff of yours soon. Question - why do you post the details of your methodology on your site? Don't want producers thinking this stuff is easy.

G. McMahon
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#15 Stephen Murphy

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Posted 09 August 2006 - 03:56 PM

Good to see, nice shooting. Liked the highlights on the beer pull, did you pull out extra lights for that or were they just reflections from your cinepars.
By the way, I could be wrong, but In Australia I'm used to them being called HMI's not cinepars. Glad you clarified my confusion.
Caught the main actor blinking on the dolly in on the freeze. Sorry
I also checked out one of your shorts, the car one. Loved the split screen, I've been trying to sell that to directors for a while now (Thomas crown affair, original). Didn't understand a word they were saying but still found it engaging.
I will look at some more stuff of yours soon. Question - why do you post the details of your methodology on your site? Don't want producers thinking this stuff is easy.
G. McMahon


Most of the reflections on the beer glass were from the backlights. The bleach bypass works wonders with highligths on glass.
A Cinepar is a HMI but not a HMI Frsenel. So if someone asked for a 4k HMI it wouldnt be the same as asking for a 4K HMI Cinepar.
The eye blink annoys me too.
Glad you liked the short but even though it doesnt sound like something i recall being involved in?:) Ill take the credit anyway though:)) What was it called?
The reason i post the details on the site is for others to learn from my mistakes. Its not really intended for producers, more for directors or other DP's. Some producers find it interesting but not many.
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#16 Martin Biskup

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Posted 13 August 2006 - 07:10 PM

Very nice
I really enjoy screengrabs and wait on trailer of The Formorian which is on your site, looks very good.
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#17 Dan Stone

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Posted 14 August 2006 - 01:28 AM

Nice job!

Here are some thoughts from someone who's watching a compressed picture on a computer monitor:

There's something unpleasing about the lighting and the coloring in several scenes that I can't put my finger on. Maybe it's the fact that the whites are too close to the browns - I'm not sure - but the overall picture seems flat. Almost video-ish.

The shots where the glass is being filled up and the bartender sets the glass on the counter look great - not flat or video-ish at all.

The varying intensities of lighting in a couple of scenes seems to stand out. For example, during the closeup of the guy's teeth, the lighting is not nearly as intense as in the first shot with the bartender. Something that should have probably been adjusted in post.

I would probably have used a little bit of powder on the actor's face. That way it's less obvious that there's a light blarring right at him.

There are some editing things that stand out as well, but that's probably not you.

Again, many of the above things are things you probably don't have control over - in which case, please ignore them.

Overall, great job!
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