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Light Vs. Dark Areas


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#1 J. Søren Viuf

J. Søren Viuf
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Posted 10 December 2006 - 01:01 PM

I'm shooting a very moody, low-key scene in a room (for a horror film) with lots of shadow areas, but I'm a little bit confused about how to maintain the consistency b/w the master and the CUs. The key is at a f/2.0, but then when the actors deliver lines in the shadows (which I, as a filmmaker, am fine with, but the director is not), is it better to cheat more light in or to open the aperture. I've been told to minimize ap changes, but then the shot is sometimes 2 or 3 stops underexposed. Yet, that would be the same as it was in the master.....


I could really use some help.


Thank you,

Soren
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 10 December 2006 - 01:12 PM

I'm shooting a very moody, low-key scene in a room (for a horror film) with lots of shadow areas, but I'm a little bit confused about how to maintain the consistency b/w the master and the CUs. The key is at a f/2.0, but then when the actors deliver lines in the shadows (which I, as a filmmaker, am fine with, but the director is not), is it better to cheat more light in or to open the aperture. I've been told to minimize ap changes, but then the shot is sometimes 2 or 3 stops underexposed. Yet, that would be the same as it was in the master.....
I could really use some help.
Thank you,

Soren


You don't want to change the f-stop because that changes the whole room. You just have to decide whether to keep the actor in the light by making the area lit bigger or restricting the actor, or cheating more fill into the area that the actor will be dark in and deciding how dark do you want them to be at that point - two stops under would probably be fine.

Sometimes when an actor is going to move into a very dark area, you can compensate for the fact that the face is very dim by adding a brighter edge light or something to balance out the exposure range so it isn't just underexposure at that point.

Sometimes you can increase the fill just at the point they will step into darkness by making more of a projected light, a dim light with a snoot on it to keep the spread limited.
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