Jump to content


Photo

matching master w/coverage


  • Please log in to reply
9 replies to this topic

#1 Daniel Madsen

Daniel Madsen
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 201 posts
  • Student
  • Boston

Posted 19 January 2007 - 09:08 PM

What techniques do you use to ensure your masters match closer coverage? What do you tend to change from one to the other, if at all (i.e. f-stop, lighting intensity)?



-dan
  • 0

#2 Adam Frisch FSF

Adam Frisch FSF
  • Sustaining Members
  • 2009 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles, USA

Posted 20 January 2007 - 12:36 PM

They have to inhabit the same world, but they don't have to match. That's the beauty of filmmaking - you can get away with a lot.
  • 0

#3 David Mullen ASC

David Mullen ASC
  • Sustaining Members
  • 19759 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles

Posted 20 January 2007 - 12:44 PM

It helps to work at the same f-stop for the sequence, so you can leave some areas of the set alone with the master shot lighting and not have a change in their brightness, but a lot of this just involves knowing how much you can cheat.

It depends to a high degree on the change in shot size and direction compared to a master angle. For example, a 180 degree reverse angle allows you more leeway in making changes, or a change from wide to close-up looking in the same direction... however, a change from full-figure to knees-up or knees-up to waist-up is not enough of a change in shot size and direction to allow much change in lighting (nor would there be much need to make a change anyway.)

The hardest thing is when you have to move into a close-up from a wide-shot all in one camea move where cheating isn't possible, so you have to light your wide shot in such a way that it looks good in the close-up too (the other problem is avoiding ending up with a close-up shot with a wide-angle lens...)

Hopefully if you light a wide shot well-enough, changes for tighter coverage are minimal until you turn around and look the opposite direction.
  • 0

#4 John Holland

John Holland
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 2248 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • London England

Posted 20 January 2007 - 01:01 PM

If you look at 50s/60s films , quite often the close up was suddenly keyed from a totally different angle ,stuck out like a sore thumb really sucked . some of these pics won awards !! John Holland.
  • 0

#5 Dan Goulder

Dan Goulder
  • Sustaining Members
  • 1259 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 20 January 2007 - 03:04 PM

If for any reason you have difficulty finding a way to smoothly cut to the closeup, don't overlook the value of a decent cutaway shot as an insert. Make sure you include that in your coverage.
  • 0

#6 Walter Graff

Walter Graff
  • Sustaining Members
  • 1334 posts
  • Other
  • New York City

Posted 20 January 2007 - 09:18 PM

It helps to work at the same f-stop for the sequence, so you can leave some areas of the set alone with the master shot lighting and not have a change in their brightness, but a lot of this just involves knowing how much you can cheat.

It depends to a high degree on the change in shot size and direction compared to a master angle. For example, a 180 degree reverse angle allows you more leeway in making changes, or a change from wide to close-up looking in the same direction... however, a change from full-figure to knees-up or knees-up to waist-up is not enough of a change in shot size and direction to allow much change in lighting (nor would there be much need to make a change anyway.)

The hardest thing is when you have to move into a close-up from a wide-shot all in one camea move where cheating isn't possible, so you have to light your wide shot in such a way that it looks good in the close-up too (the other problem is avoiding ending up with a close-up shot with a wide-angle lens...)

Hopefully if you light a wide shot well-enough, changes for tighter coverage are minimal until you turn around and look the opposite direction.


I think it's a combination of all. David had it good with f-stop consistency and lighting your wide shot so it's close to your close-up. Many times if you do, you'll find that even when yo have to add a fixture or tweak what you have in the CU, not even you'll notice. And as others noted sometimes it's simply something you learn. I know I do it but find it very hard to explain. I know it has to do with me snapping a shot in my head of the feeling of a shot then recreating it with consistency on the closeup. That comes partially with the art and partially with training.

And as others have noted, there are plenty of films where it really is not the same and yet unless you worked in the industry and were looking you would never notice. David posted such an example once. Actually I referred to it recently my DVD Light and Shade. David mentions a film (with photo exmaples) where the talent steps into light in a dark scene in a wide shot. In the next shot he is in a medium shot and now that you have the comparison, it is quite noticeable. Then in the third time you see the talent he is in CU and it is so obvious that it is different that its almost silly. But the important thing is that in the context of the story most any time even a trained eye will not notice. I know I never did till David dissected the scene.

And that is the most unimportant thing going for you. It's never any one element that one sees/hears when watching a film once they immerse themselves into the picture, so many liberties go unnoticed. And that is why it is hard to give a universal answer. A well shot film has some underlying visual consistency (color, lens, f-stop, lighting style, motion, angle) and other elements outside the cinematography allow the viewer not to see what might be obvious if we say here and simply showed you two shots out of context and asked you what was different.
  • 0

#7 Jim Feldspar

Jim Feldspar
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 288 posts
  • Student

Posted 21 January 2007 - 07:51 PM

Hopefully if you light a wide shot well-enough, changes for tighter coverage are minimal until you turn around and look the opposite direction.


David, I think that it was you who mentioned recently in a post how Akira Kurosawa liked to cut to
master shots that were 180 degrees reversed from the original master. I think that you also
mentioned it influencing Clint Eastwood and somebody else. I've been keeping an eye out for
such instances. Do you ever do that?

Also, we learned the 180 degree rule and I've seen
how it can be broken and be totally jarring and
confusing, i.e. two people looking at each other and talking seem to be looking in the same
direction when cutting from close-up to close-up.

However, I'm amazed at how often some shows cut across the line (like all the time on
"24") and it works. Is this a new style?
  • 0

#8 David Mullen ASC

David Mullen ASC
  • Sustaining Members
  • 19759 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles

Posted 21 January 2007 - 08:21 PM

Breaking the line in coverage is nothing new, just more rare until recently.

Kubrick also would shoot wide shots of rooms and then shoot the 180 degree reverse direction.

Like I said, what matters more is that the close-ups don't cross the line if intercut while they are looking at each other when talking. Sometimes you can even break that rule though.

Look at this sequence from "The Shining". Kubrick intercuts the first two wide shots, which are 180 degree of each other, causing Jack to be on frame left on one angle but frame right on the reverse. But since these are wide shots, it doesn't matter because the geography is clear. But when Kubrick goes in for medium close-ups near the end, they match the line established by the most recently used wide shot. Kubrick probably (being Kubrick) double-covered his close-ups to match both masters though, but sometimes you just have to pick which master angle you are matching to. In this case, Kubrick chose to match to the wide shot that favors Jack's face and not his back, which makes sense.

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image

The way the two actors are standing, normally you'd set the camera for the second slightly less-wide shot without crossing the line set by the widest shot, which means either looking at the toilet wall or the sink wall depending on if you only used Shot #1 or Shot #2 as your master. But in Kubrick's case, obviously he felt that it was more interesting to look straight down the depth of the room in both directions, hence the 180 degree line cross.

While this example from "The Shining" is nothing radical, you'd be amazed how many script supervisors get upset when you stage a scene like that and then shoot two wide shots that cross the line, especially if you don't then repeat all your coverage to match both potential master angles.
  • 0

#9 Jim Feldspar

Jim Feldspar
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 288 posts
  • Student

Posted 21 January 2007 - 09:07 PM

[quote name='David Mullen ASC' post='149877' date='Jan 21 2007, 05:21 PM']
"Breaking the line in coverage is nothing new, just more rare until recently.

Kubrick also would shoot wide shots of rooms and then shoot the 180 degree reverse direction.

Like I said, what matters more is that the close-ups don't cross the line if intercut while they are looking at each other when talking. Sometimes you can even break that rule though.
[/b]
"24" does that a lot and it seeems to work pretty well.






[quote name='David Mullen ASC' post='149877' date='Jan 21 2007, 05:21 PM']




The clear geography point is a good one. Keeping that in mind, this looks like fun.



"But when Kubrick goes in for medium close-ups near the end, they match the line established by the most recently used wide shot."

That makes sense. It would be too disruptive to break the line at this point, yet up until now
he's been able to use far more angles than most people.


"Kubrick probably (being Kubrick) double-covered his close-ups to match both masters though, but sometimes you just have to pick which master angle you are matching to."

Yes, particularly if I'm shooting film!



"The way the two actors are standing, normally you'd set the camera for the second slightly less-wide shot without crossing the line set by the widest shot, which means either looking at the toilet wall or the sink wall depending on if you only used Shot #1 or Shot #2 as your master. But in Kubrick's case, obviously he felt that it was more interesting to look straight down the depth of the room in both directions, hence the 180 degree line cross."

Thank you so much for posting these examples. I, and I bet a lot of others, really gain
from your efforts. I think that I didn't really get the 180 degree reverse master until now.
I couldn't think of any examples and haven't noticed any since I've been looking and was
having a difficult time visualizing it (almost as if my mind were saying no you can't do that,
it's against the rules.)

"While this example from "The Shining" is nothing radical, you'd be amazed how many script supervisors get upset when you stage a scene like that and then shoot two wide shots that cross the line, especially if you don't then repeat all your coverage to match both potential master angles."
[/quote]

[b] I believe it. They have a job which is providing a kind of insurance and may not be
confident
in a rule breaking director even if he or she knows exactly how the scene will work.

I read a story once in which a director, working with a seasoned Hollywood crew, told
Orson Welles how he wanted certain scenes to be lighted in an unconventional way
and the crew (or D.P. and crew I guess but the story said the crew) rebelled and wouldn't
do it because the lighting wouldn't have been justified by the apparent sources and their
reputations would have been hurt, or so they felt.

The director was shooting the next day and wondered what he could do to get the lighting that
he wanted. Orson Welles told him that he should just answer their opposition by saying that
the scene was in a dream and reportedly that worked.



I had some difficulty in quoting and replying in this post above and attempted to edit
so apologies if there's any confusion as to who said what,
since some of my replies are in the light blue shaded quote area.

Edited by Jim Feldspar, 21 January 2007 - 09:10 PM.

  • 0

#10 Satsuki Murashige

Satsuki Murashige
  • Sustaining Members
  • 3510 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • San Francisco, CA

Posted 22 January 2007 - 02:44 AM

Kubrick intercuts the first two wide shots, which are 180 degree of each other, causing Jack to be on frame left on one angle but frame right on the reverse. But since these are wide shots, it doesn't matter because the geography is clear. But when Kubrick goes in for medium close-ups near the end, they match the line established by the most recently used wide shot. Kubrick probably (being Kubrick) double-covered his close-ups to match both masters though, but sometimes you just have to pick which master angle you are matching to. In this case, Kubrick chose to match to the wide shot that favors Jack's face and not his back, which makes sense.

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image

Posted Image

In this sequence, Kubrick crosses the line for a specific reason. If you notice, he cuts from the wide master to the tighter reverse master just as the waiter reveals himself as Delbert Grady, the former caretaker who butchered his family.

Shot 1: Wide master.
"What do they call you around here, Jeevesy?"
"Grady, sir, Delbert Grady."

Shot 2: Reverse master - Grady and Jack switch places in the frame, as if looking into a mirror. Jack is Grady, and Grady is Jack.
Jack: You chopped your wife and daughter into little bits, and then you blew your brains out."

Shot 3: Back to the wide master, switching places again.
Grady: "That's strange sir, I don't have any recollection of that at all."
Jack: "Mr. Grady, you were the caretaker here."

Shot 4: Back to the reverse master, switching places again. Jack's grin falters. Grady's voice changes, suddenly commanding.
Grady: I'm sorry to differ with you sir, but you are the caretaker here. You have always been the caretaker."

Shot 5: CU of Jack.
Shot 6: CU of Grady.

So Kubrick is using the line cross to reveal the theme of the double, which appears in many of his films. Whether he did this conciously or not, I don't know. But I'm pretty sure that was his main motivation for shooting it in this way, not just that the bathroom looked better from one angle or the other.
  • 0


Ritter Battery

Abel Cine

Tai Audio

Opal

Glidecam

Paralinx LLC

CineLab

Aerial Filmworks

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Willys Widgets

Technodolly

Wooden Camera

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Visual Products

CineTape

rebotnix Technologies

FJS International, LLC

Metropolis Post

Rig Wheels Passport

The Slider

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Glidecam

Visual Products

Paralinx LLC

CineTape

Metropolis Post

Aerial Filmworks

CineLab

Ritter Battery

Rig Wheels Passport

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

rebotnix Technologies

Wooden Camera

Opal

Willys Widgets

The Slider

Technodolly

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Abel Cine

Tai Audio

FJS International, LLC

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS