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Lighting under a row of trees


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#1 Bennett Cerf

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Posted 14 August 2006 - 03:03 AM

I've got a scene to shoot where two actors are walking side-by-side between two rows of trees for about 40 feet. When I'm tracking in front of them for the two shot, they will go in and out of shade from the trees. When I do the OTS shots on either of them, the director does not want to see the trees in the foreground, so I have to cheat the actors to one side of the trees. The branches will no longer shade them if I go outside the rows. I'd need some kind of shadow that's about 8' long to mimic this light gag. So my question is: On a dolly shot that's 40 feet long, how do I have the actors go through 4 bands of dappled light that are in sync with the tree trunks. Keep in mind the length of the band must be riggable to accommodate a dolly passing under it and two guys going side by side, each rolling their bikes on either side of them.

This would be the configuration from above:

Tree====Tree====Tree======Tree
bike=====================>
actor====================>
actor====================>
bike====================>
dolly=====================>

Where could I hide the stands? If I had to rig to each tree, what would I have to use?

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#2 G McMahon

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Posted 14 August 2006 - 07:21 AM

Before I give my answer I want to make sure I understand.

Shot 1 - Camera is dollying backward with actors and bikes at the trail following camera

Shot 2 - Dollying parallel with actors

Shot 3 - Reverse of shot 2

For starters on a long lens, I would be justifying the dynamic of the passing FG trunks would be a nice shot (I can't imagine deliberately going out of the way to avoid a nice shot). But I only imagine you may have already tried that. I also believe the extra time and cost rigging to get the shot you require is not justified, save the money and time so it can be utilised on something important latter (like good coffee).

Otherwise I would be looking at booming some sort of dappled cutter out from behind the dolly track. Running C-stands behind camera.

Time of day where the light is low to one side then only one side you need cutters to replicate the trunk shadows. You need a slick crew when working with narrow light timings.

Cheers,

G. McMahon
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#3 Bennett Cerf

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Posted 14 August 2006 - 07:56 PM

Thanks for your quick response. I agree with you that the cost and time doesn't outweigh the small detail he wants out of the shot. My first instinct was to see the trees passing in the foreground. Depth is usually my aim, right? I talked to the Key Grip on the show I'm ACing on, and he suggested rigging Camo net to 12x poles rigged to high rollers. All of these are great ideas. But I think pushing for the cheaper and less laborious and prettier approach is the correct way. I agree with your idea.

Thank you.


Before I give my answer I want to make sure I understand.

Shot 1 - Camera is dollying backward with actors and bikes at the trail following camera

Shot 2 - Dollying parallel with actors

Shot 3 - Reverse of shot 2

For starters on a long lens, I would be justifying the dynamic of the passing FG trunks would be a nice shot (I can't imagine deliberately going out of the way to avoid a nice shot). But I only imagine you may have already tried that. I also believe the extra time and cost rigging to get the shot you require is not justified, save the money and time so it can be utilised on something important latter (like good coffee).

Otherwise I would be looking at booming some sort of dappled cutter out from behind the dolly track. Running C-stands behind camera.

Time of day where the light is low to one side then only one side you need cutters to replicate the trunk shadows. You need a slick crew when working with narrow light timings.

Cheers,

G. McMahon


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Opal

Glidecam

Abel Cine

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Aerial Filmworks

Broadcast Solutions Inc

The Slider

Ritter Battery

FJS International, LLC

rebotnix Technologies

CineTape

Wooden Camera

Visual Products

Rig Wheels Passport

Tai Audio

Metropolis Post

Paralinx LLC

CineLab

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Technodolly