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filming in a bar/club


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#1 jason duncan

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Posted 09 June 2007 - 09:21 AM

Please help. I shot lots of footage of a band at a club and it's all underexposed. I used a Canon 1014 XL-s and a 814 XL-s both are "Low Light" cameras. The film was 7266 b/w Tri-X, I had the shutter speed set for low light (the Window setting 220 degrees), and I had the exposure set to manual at 5.6fstop on the lens. I did not use a light meter but apart from only going down to 1.4f what else can I do? I do have the option to set the expousre dial to +/- 1fstop. I also recorded the same show with a mini-dv cam and that footage looks great. If anyone gets a chance, please look on YouTube. I made a short promo clip from the mini-dv footage. My username is "videoaudiomaster" and the 50 second clip is called "miles beyond" This will give you the exact conditions of the room. Thank you.
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#2 kevin jackman

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Posted 09 June 2007 - 10:24 AM

what can we do to help?
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#3 jason duncan

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Posted 09 June 2007 - 10:51 AM

Please tell me what I did wrong. I have about $250 in film that I can't use and I need to re-film them again and I really don't want to have the same mistake know what I mean!? Would the strobbing lights have any effect even with the exposure set to man. and not auto.? But how come the mini-dv looks perfect?

Edited by jason duncan, 09 June 2007 - 10:52 AM.

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#4 John Hyde

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Posted 09 June 2007 - 12:14 PM

Apart from manually locking your exposure at 1.4 you must remember that film is typically not as light sensitive as todays digital video.

You may also want to try shooting Kodak's 500T super 8 neg for greater light sensitivity (it really helps). Later, you can make it into a contrasty black and white (during your transfer). Mounting a small battery operated video light on your camera helps for movement into crowds and dark areas on stage. Finally, try to see if they can bring up the lights a bit in the club.

If you are still getting exposure fluctuation with bright light when your camera exposure is set to manual, there may be a problem your your camera. You should test it out before your next shoot.

Good Luck
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#5 Anthony Schilling

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Posted 09 June 2007 - 12:33 PM

I have shot dozens of stages in bars, and when it comes to TriX your looking at 160T. You really need decent stage light, and max out your exposure to get anything on Tri X. I usually stick with 500T in clubs, anything else is pretty risky... even 500T is risky in those joints sometimes. I have had a couple of successful stage shoots with TriX, involving a full apeture and lots of hard light.
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#6 jason duncan

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Posted 09 June 2007 - 01:45 PM

The club I was at mainly had the strobbing lights going. I don't know if they could/would turn the regular lights up anymore. I thought Tri-x was slower of the two b/w films meant for low light. So you are thinking since tri-x equals 160t, I need more like 500t, even 200t wouldn't work? Once I insert the cartridge in and the camera reads what film speed it is, how do I varify that it is reading the cartridge correctly? Another thing, the lens on the super 8 is much bigger than the mini-dv but yet the video footage looks great?

Edited by jason duncan, 09 June 2007 - 01:46 PM.

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#7 Hal Smith

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Posted 09 June 2007 - 01:53 PM

I just shot some music video in a Toby Keith's I Love This Bar. The DJ/light operator was more than willing to add in some white light all the way through the gig so I had a better baseline of light. The video came out just fine.

He also sent me a direct feed off the house sound system mixer back through his permanently installed snake cabling. I patched it through my mixer into my camera so my audio was actually better than what the audience was hearing - no house reverberation.
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#8 Toby L Edwards

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Posted 09 June 2007 - 04:05 PM

If you really want to understand why your footage is underexposed, you should buy a light meter.
Super 8 film has a very narrow lattitude(reversal). It will only give you acceptable results one stop(if that) under or overexposed.
If you have been shooting film for many years you might be able to guess what stop to use. If not use a light meter.
You don't want to guess everytime you shoot. If you learn to use your light meter you can control the look of your footage.
Just my opinion.
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#9 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 09 June 2007 - 11:29 PM

Please help. I shot lots of footage of a band at a club and it's all underexposed. I used a Canon 1014 XL-s and a 814 XL-s both are "Low Light" cameras. The film was 7266 b/w Tri-X, I had the shutter speed set for low light (the Window setting 220 degrees), and I had the exposure set to manual at 5.6fstop on the lens.


Why would you set the manual exposure to F 5.6? The bigger the number, the smaller the aperture opening is, meaning less light is being let in. You needed to be either completely open at f 1.4, or maybe, maybe you could have snaked it up to f1.8-2.0 just to get a teeny bit more depth of field, assuming there was some overhead light to work with. Although it sounds like there was so little light that f 1.4 was probably the only option you had.
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The club I was at mainly had the strobbing lights going. I don't know if they could/would turn the regular lights up anymore. I thought Tri-x was slower of the two b/w films meant for low light. So you are thinking since tri-x equals 160t, I need more like 500t, even 200t wouldn't work? Once I insert the cartridge in and the camera reads what film speed it is, how do I varify that it is reading the cartridge correctly? Another thing, the lens on the super 8 is much bigger than the mini-dv but yet the video footage looks great?


So many people that have been weaned on digital video and Non-linear editing don't learn the importance of "regular light" mixed in with colored lights. I think it's that dang NLE "filter" fix for everything that goes wrong. "Oh put a filter on it", "Yeah, let's put a filter on it", nonsense. You can only filter something in NLE if there is luminence in the shot to begin with. If you only had colored lights to work with, you already were in trouble and you automatically would have to keep your iris practically wide open to have any hope of a getting an acceptable exposure, however...

...I have touched on this topic on my super-8mm.com website. Tri-X does not seem that light sensitive to me, and if I was ever worried about not having enough light, I'd instantly go to either 200T negative or more likely 500T negative and just turn it black and white later if I wasn't sure I had enough light to begin with and wouldn't be able to add any light.

In general I have found it difficult to get house lights turned up at events in which people have paid money to enter and are there to have a good time rather than being there for your shoot. This again is an example of a HYBRID shoot that I have talked about in the past. HYBRID shoots are shoots where you are allowed to film at a location but you don't have the authority to change much of what it is you are filming. Unfortunately for you, the establishment you filmed at has a responsibility to it's PAID guests, so getting the lights turned up might have really been a big deal to them. However, there probably was wiggle room to bring up some house lights just enough to give you a base of "regular light" to work with.

As for the regular video camera looking fine, the bottom line is you didn't give the Super-8 camera a chance to compete once you locked the f-stop at 5.6, game over at that point. In general, figure digital cameras are working at around an ASA of between 250-500, so if your digital video camera was wide open, then how could your super-8 camera set to f 5.6 capture the same level of recording with black and white film rated at ASA 160?

I wish you had asked about this before your shoot so you would have some useful information and a more satisfying result.

If newbies want a simple answer to shooting indoors with low light levels, don't even bother shooting anything other than Kodak Vision 500T. Even if you desire black and white, just turn the Vision 500T black and white either when you transfer your film to video or when you are editing, but also do a second pass in color as well because you may find yourself really liking the colors and fine grain as well.
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#10 Chris Burke

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Posted 10 June 2007 - 06:55 AM

Please help. I shot lots of footage of a band at a club and it's all underexposed. I used a Canon 1014 XL-s and a 814 XL-s both are "Low Light" cameras. The film was 7266 b/w Tri-X, I had the shutter speed set for low light (the Window setting 220 degrees), and I had the exposure set to manual at 5.6fstop on the lens. I did not use a light meter but apart from only going down to 1.4f what else can I do? I do have the option to set the expousre dial to +/- 1fstop. I also recorded the same show with a mini-dv cam and that footage looks great. If anyone gets a chance, please look on YouTube. I made a short promo clip from the mini-dv footage. My username is "videoaudiomaster" and the 50 second clip is called "miles beyond" This will give you the exact conditions of the room. Thank you.



Another thing you could do is push process. If the overall asthetic suits it, then push your Tri-X two stops. You will get very grainy, high contrast shots, but I dunno, you might like it. You might also want to shoot at a very slow frame rate (9 or 12fps), just have it transfered at the same speed. But as mentioned before, you really should be using a light meter with a manually controlled camera.


chris
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#11 jason duncan

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Posted 10 June 2007 - 09:32 AM

Yes, I plan on buying a meter after that costly adventure. Would it be too hard to match up audio if I were to film at 9fps?
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#12 Chris Burke

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Posted 10 June 2007 - 11:22 AM

Yes, I plan on buying a meter after that costly adventure. Would it be too hard to match up audio if I were to film at 9fps?



Some one else may have a better answer than me, but when you have it transfered on say a Rank, it will be transfered at 9fps or whatever you choose and then converted to 29.97. So in theory, if your audio is recorded as 30 non drop frame, it should sync up no problem. Anyone else want to chime in?


chris
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#13 Anthony Schilling

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Posted 10 June 2007 - 04:32 PM

Light meter or not, the bottom line is with TriX in a bar or club stage, you will be wide open no matter what, and trying to hit the brightest parts of the stage. I've only had TriX come out good only 2 or 3 times on the stage... maxed out apeture XL shutter. Brightly lit club stages, and one brightly lit concert hall. Even 200T won't usually cut it in a cluc unless it's a really bright stage. 500T is your only real bet, and you will still most likely be at f1.4-f2.8
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#14 jason duncan

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Posted 10 June 2007 - 05:11 PM

Light meter or not, the bottom line is with TriX in a bar or club stage, you will be wide open no matter what, and trying to hit the brightest parts of the stage. I've only had TriX come out good only 2 or 3 times on the stage... maxed out apeture XL shutter. Brightly lit club stages, and one brightly lit concert hall. Even 200T won't usually cut it in a cluc unless it's a really bright stage. 500T is your only real bet, and you will still most likely be at f1.4-f2.8


Wow, I thought I was doing good by having the slower of the two b/w films with a XL camera and setting the apeture to 5.6 but even with 500t I'm still pushing it. Thanks everone. I still don't understand why the mini-dv looks perfect in the same setting. Smaller lens means less light.
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#15 Anthony Schilling

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Posted 10 June 2007 - 06:34 PM

TriX is the faster of the 2 B&W, which means more sensitive to light. An f-stop of 5.6 is reducing the light from a full apeture of 1.4... it will most likely be black if you get it processed. the higher the f-stop number, the lesser the light hitting the film.
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#16 jason duncan

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Posted 10 June 2007 - 07:23 PM

Yea, I feel pretty foolish about the whole deal. Thanks everyone for you input and comments!
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#17 Anthony Schilling

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Posted 11 June 2007 - 09:44 PM

Yea, I feel pretty foolish about the whole deal. Thanks everyone for you input and comments!

Don't. I've flushed more cash than I would like to think about while cutting my teeth in S8. But it's cheaper to learn that way than spending it trying to learn on 16mm. Once you get it right, you will see that DV live footage doesn't hold a candle to S8 and 16mm.
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#18 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 12 June 2007 - 01:59 AM

Wow, I thought I was doing good by having the slower of the two b/w films with a XL camera and setting the apeture to 5.6 but even with 500t I'm still pushing it. Thanks everone. I still don't understand why the mini-dv looks perfect in the same setting. Smaller lens means less light.


It's like you avoided my previous response.
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#19 jason duncan

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Posted 12 June 2007 - 03:32 PM

Alessandro, I wasn't avoiding your responce. I've been boucing around from here to there trying to read this and that. I'm sorry if I didn't answer a question or if I re-asked something after you gave me an answer. I really do appreciate you taking the time to try to help me for free. Thank you, all of you.
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