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match in the luggage compartiment


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#1 JeanFrancois Metz

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Posted 13 July 2007 - 05:42 AM

Hi

I'm a young cinematographer. French (hard to speak english, but I try...).
I'm working now on a short film. The shooting is in september.
All the story is in the luggage compartiment of a bus. Sometimes driving, sometimes stopped. Sometimes by day, sometimes by night...
An african guy is hidding there with some matches to light this small place.
It's an intimate film. No wide angle.
A big challenge for me in the limits of the low light.

I would like to use opticals effects. I mean, the adaptation of the eyes: when he lights the match, I want to have an over-exposure of the frame (be dazzle) with a progressive adaptation for the key-light ; when there is no light, the frame has to be complitly dark with a progressive adaptation for the under-key-light (just to see silhouette in a low low light).

We will shoot in studio.
A false luggage compartiment with mobile walls.
A crack on one side to have a very few outdoor light inside.
The difficulty is that the match is often in the frame. So all the light is based on the key-light from the match...

My first question is about the camera.
This short-film was supposed to be shot with the RED. But this camera will be not ready at time (snif).
Shoot in 35mm or in HD?
(I will do some tests in august. Compare this two ways).
For the 35mm: I'd like to compare Kodak 5218 and the 5229. Which is the most apropriate?
What about the color temperature? (I wan't to keep the flamme warm...)
For the HD: what's the best and the less expensive (the RED was so cheap compare to the other camera!!)?
(Viper;Arri D20; Silicon Imaging;Sony950;Genesis???)

Thanks a lot for any answer!

jeF
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#2 Michael Nash

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Posted 13 July 2007 - 11:23 PM

http://www.cinematog...n...&hl=matches
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#3 Kenny N Suleimanagich

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Posted 14 July 2007 - 04:04 AM

Il faut que vous utilisiez l'option de "recherche" sur les forum. Bonne chance.
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#4 JeanFrancois Metz

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Posted 14 July 2007 - 06:45 AM

Autant pour moi...
Thank you for the link...

see you.

jeF
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#5 Lav Bodnaruk

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Posted 17 July 2007 - 09:54 AM

Hi jeF,

I will try and get the DP from the short film that I worked on to answer your question - just email him on the address I had provided in the PM.

Best,
Lav
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#6 Matt Floyd

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Posted 18 July 2007 - 07:04 AM

Hi Jef,

I recently shot a short film called "A Difference in Shadow" for producer Lav Bodnaruk & director Michael Mier... I was posed with a similar situation.

On that film I was asked to light the film for a WWII setting with just the available matchlight. We did some tests on the 7218 @ T1.3 on Zeiss Mk3's. We knew that using only the matchlight as a source would not work & that film lighting would be needed to augment this source. There are many ways to achieve augmenting matchlight & fires... There's a good example of using this in a documentary produced by AFTRS in the early 90's about Dean Semler, ACS, ASC shooting "Dances With Wolves"... a few of these techniques involved using 'Tota' lights hidden just out of frame.

In our short film the subject was moving about frantically and so I needed a source that was both mobile and precise in its direction. My gaffer (Graham Rutherford) & I discussed using 2kw fire-flicker units (or flicker-master units.... there's several different models around). From the tests I knew that without any film lighting I was getting about f/2.8- f/4 on the initial light up of the match (on the actor's face, which was white) and that the match would then settle down to around f/1. So my idea was to have a constant film light (on the fire-flicker unit dancing between f/1.4 & 1/2 and f/2). The match held by the actor within 1 ft of his face would take care of the initial "flash" upon light-up, then as it settled down it would merely be a prop and the film lighting would set the ambience & take care of the rest. The lamps that we used on the fire-flicker unit were 2x household practicals (1x 100w clear, 1x 75w frosted) positioned in a china ball and rigged over the top by a boom. The grips then dressed the china ball with blacks to make the source more direct to the actor's face. So basically it was a careful co-ordination between myself and the two lamp operators (one of them on the flicker unit and the other booming the source). Now the next issue is stopping and starting the source.... in our script the source continually dies and the actor is in complete darkness & re-lights so we simply kept the film lighting as a continual ambience throughout each take (rather than try to co-ordinate between the dimmer board op. & the actor a precise time to bring up the lamp)... we then did our fades in the telecine on a Da Vinci suite.

While our ambience from the film lighting averaged f/2, I generally overexposed the stock by 1 stop - 1.1/3 stops, shooting the whole film @ T1.3, which allowed me to get the highlights from the flame working to the desired intensity... then we crushed the toe of the neg. in the grade (we did a one-light to tape then went back to the do the final grade straight off the neg). We shot the film on the 7218; for this type of shooting I would suggest getting a stock with the maximum amount of latitude and the V2 500T is great for just that.... also if you have the budget I would shoot on 5218 pm 35mm rather than HD... the only advantage of HD is seeing what you're getting on the day; aside from that the 5218 will give you more options in the grade and you can push & pull it (either in processing or telecine) a lot harder than you will with HD. Especially for short film, shooting on either super16 or 35mm would be much more cost effective than Genesis / Viper / D20 type shoot.

I would also suggest do as many tests as you can, even it they're on DV to get an idea of how the match prop is going to work and how much / how little you need to manipulate your film lighting to augment the match source & to practice the timing of the flicker unit and the match.... the most important thing is getting the film lighting to look correct to the naked eye, remembering that the match itself will have quite a sharp fall-off so the film ligthting only needs to be a small unit too.

There are some flickers units too that actually have a sensor spike that you can point at the source and the dimmer in the flicker unit will match those levels... we had that type of unit on this film but because the actor was moving so much it was more efficient to have a general source, control it as much as we could with blacks on the day and then use power windows in the Da Vinci to black out any unwanted spill from the film lighting (a tool which also allowed us to have our film lighting in shot at times).

Best of luck with the project. Hope the helps.

Cheers,

Matt Floyd
DP, Australia






Hi

I'm a young cinematographer. French (hard to speak english, but I try...).
I'm working now on a short film. The shooting is in september.
All the story is in the luggage compartiment of a bus. Sometimes driving, sometimes stopped. Sometimes by day, sometimes by night...
An african guy is hidding there with some matches to light this small place.
It's an intimate film. No wide angle.
A big challenge for me in the limits of the low light.

I would like to use opticals effects. I mean, the adaptation of the eyes: when he lights the match, I want to have an over-exposure of the frame (be dazzle) with a progressive adaptation for the key-light ; when there is no light, the frame has to be complitly dark with a progressive adaptation for the under-key-light (just to see silhouette in a low low light).

We will shoot in studio.
A false luggage compartiment with mobile walls.
A crack on one side to have a very few outdoor light inside.
The difficulty is that the match is often in the frame. So all the light is based on the key-light from the match...

My first question is about the camera.
This short-film was supposed to be shot with the RED. But this camera will be not ready at time (snif).
Shoot in 35mm or in HD?
(I will do some tests in august. Compare this two ways).
For the 35mm: I'd like to compare Kodak 5218 and the 5229. Which is the most apropriate?
What about the color temperature? (I wan't to keep the flamme warm...)
For the HD: what's the best and the less expensive (the RED was so cheap compare to the other camera!!)?
(Viper;Arri D20; Silicon Imaging;Sony950;Genesis???)

Thanks a lot for any answer!

jeF


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#7 Lav Bodnaruk

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Posted 18 July 2007 - 08:32 AM

Now that is a thorough answer!

Appreciate you taking the time Matt - check out the rest of the forum too mate, I reckon you will like it ;)

http://www.lavproduc...ects.htm#Shadow

Posted Image

-- not an actual still from the film / just behind the scenes stuff...

Edited by Lav Bodnaruk, 18 July 2007 - 08:33 AM.

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#8 JeanFrancois Metz

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Posted 08 August 2007 - 07:39 AM

Hi Matt

Thank you so much!
I was out of the "internet civilisation" during a few weeks, but now I'm back...

It is very interesting what you have done. It helps me. Sure!

I'm going to do my own tests soon.
35mm will be certainly the best. But it may be difficult for the budget...
The producer is also worried about the director: this is a first short movie, so shooting in HD would be easier for him (more shoots)...

Whatever, we'll see.


I was also looking about the setting: the luggage compartment.
When there's no match, I need a basic ambient lighting. I'm thinking about use a very wide lighting source placed on the top of the set (for example, neons that I can dim, fixed as a spiral on a big surface).
I asked to have the wall behind the actor (who is black) in a reflecting texture (as the steel).
D.O.P. Benoit Debie told me about his experience on ?Calvaire? (?The Ordeal?): because of a low ambient light, they used in the set a stuff called ?illac? (a kind of varnish).
I was also thinking that I could use a kind of translucent wall (with a light on the back) behind the actor: like a lighting source, but so low that it doesn?t seem so?


Well.
I?m just on the beginning of my research.
There is a long way to go.


Now I?m regularly on internet. So if you have more suggestions for me, you are welcome!

Thank you also to you Lav!

Tell me if it?s possible to see more pictures of ?A Difference in Shadow?.

Thanks a lot

See you

jeF
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#9 David Auner aac

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Posted 08 August 2007 - 08:48 AM

35mm will be certainly the best. But it may be difficult for the budget...
The producer is also worried about the director: this is a first short movie, so shooting in HD would be easier for him (more shoots)...


Hi JeanFrancois,

why not shoot the whole thing on R16 or S16? You'll have the pretty much the same latitude as with 35mm at lower cost. In your film, grain shouldn't be that much of an issue right?

Cheers, Dave
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#10 John Sprung

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Posted 08 August 2007 - 01:31 PM

A crack on one side to have a very few outdoor light inside.

The big problem here is getting a variety of looks, so the shots don't all look the same, which could make a very boring movie. The key to that is getting outside light to give you a sense of day, twilight, and night. Could you get them to do a POV looking out thru a crack?

First and foremost, talk your director and production designer into letting you have as many cracks and holes as possible. Busses here often have luggage compartments that extend all the way across the vehicle, with access from both sides. That would let you key with the crack from one side, and motivate a rim light from the other. Seats on a bus can be bolted through the floor, so missing bolts could give you some nice shafts of light from above.

Shiny surfaces that are usually a bane can be a blessing for shooting with practical matches. Once had a shot with shiny venetian blinds in an office that kicked enough light to show up perfectly during the flare up of lighting the match, then settled just barely visible as it burned -- like magic, sometimes you get lucky.



-- J.S.
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#11 JeanFrancois Metz

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Posted 21 September 2007 - 06:41 AM

Hi everybody!

we are shooting now...

this evening is the last day.

Soon, the way we've done in this forum...

see you

jeF
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