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Rear Screen Projection


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#1 catherine lutes

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Posted 10 September 2007 - 06:23 PM

I am interested in finding out any information about rear screen projection. In particular I would love to find someone who has had some first hand experience with it, and with any luck maybe they live in Vancouver CA!

I will be shooting a short on kodak 5222 and one scene will be a limo with rear projection background. From what I have looked into so far using a digital projector is probably the way to go. But I am wondering about exposure, distance the projector will need to be from the screen, what kind of projector , screen etc etc would be best. Do I need to be concerned with any flicker issues etc etc

Would love to hear some first hand experience

thanks
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#2 Tom Banks

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Posted 10 September 2007 - 11:09 PM

I'd also be interested in hearing some responses to this question. I've always approached the subject of rear projection with a bit of apprehension. It seems to be a common enough practice to consider for lower-budget projects, but I don't know enough to feel comfortable going out on a limb and doing this for the first time (at least on film).

Dealing with a digital projector, are their sync issues (just like filming a TV screen)? Is there any special way to orient the projector so that the lamp doesn't show through the screen?

I'm sure those who have done it before could offer some special pointers to problems that can't be predicted or expected.
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#3 catherine lutes

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Posted 11 September 2007 - 06:25 PM

No one really seems to be biting on this one but those are my concerns too, except that I will be going out on that limb to try it and shoot on film.


Will I need to shoot at 29.97 because the digital projector would have a frame rate of that? What kind of projectors are out there? I would love to hear some options
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#4 John Sprung

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Posted 11 September 2007 - 07:34 PM

The classic way to shoot rear screen was with selsyn motors on both the camera and projector. You really don't need a shutter on the projector, as it pulls down in 90 degrees. All you need to do is line up the selsyns so the camera shutter covers the projector pulldown. But all this is 1930's technology. I don't know of anybody using it in the last 20 - 30 years. Blue and green screen has pretty much replaced rear projection.

A DLP projector would probably work quite well. It gives you picture pretty much all the time, frames change without much black between. Shoot some tests to see if you have problems with getting two different RP frames in each new frame you shoot. If your plate is film shot at 24 and transferred with 3-2 pulldown, you should be able to shoot the DLP RP at 24.



-- J.S.
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#5 K Borowski

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Posted 13 September 2007 - 03:30 PM

Not to rain on your parade, but there is a good reason that bluescreen replaced rear projection. Then again, at least you can get away with it in B&W. Color rearscreen is usually brutally obvious whenever you see it in movies. IDK about using a digital projection. If I were you I'd shoot the background plate on 35mm, Plus-X would be best if you can afford to light it like that, and then use the classic approach. There's some pretty good use of rear projection (I think it's rear) in the old classics. I just saw Sands of Iwo Jima last night, and they pulled most of theirs off pretty well, and were probably using the same stock that you are, so study the masters some before you try to do this yourself. I'm sure there are older issues of ASC magazine where they have detailed descriptions of this process which would be an aid to you.

Regards,

~KB
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#6 Joe Sexton

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Posted 13 September 2007 - 03:39 PM

I could be mistaken but I believe they used rear projection in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. The scene where Indi and Henry are in the car being chased by an airplane, and they go into a tunnel and the plane follows them. When the plane goes by them and the pilot looks back. I remember hearing that they used rear projection.
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#7 Michael Nash

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Posted 13 September 2007 - 07:23 PM

http://www.cinematog...rear projection
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#8 catherine lutes

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Posted 13 September 2007 - 08:07 PM

thanks for the feedback. I still have some questions in regards to the fabric or screen to use. I hear 3M make a good film for rear projection but this may be too pricey - anyone have other ideas?

Im figuring I need to have the image be as bright as possible to have a chance at lighting the scene and getting enough exposure out of the screen
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#9 Bobby Shore

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Posted 13 September 2007 - 11:24 PM

Hey Catherine,

You should get a LCD projector to avoid any possible flicker with your film camera, and it should be something that can project at least 2000 - 3000 lumens. The great thing about shooting your background plates on video is that you can tweak them and time them to suit your needs exactly for your plate work (even though film plates can't be beat). I did this last year, shooting a super 16 short, it was a driving sequence at night in the rain. I shot background plates with a PD 150 (like they do, or at least use to, in the TV show 24), shooting them both in focus and out of focus (I enmded up using only the out of focus plate work)

What I found helped a lot was understanding the angle and focal length I would use for each shot during principal photography, so you can roughly match the same angle of view/circle of confusion (again, roughly), that you would attain if the background were actually real. After the footage was shot, I took it into final cut, timed it to my liking and made a loop of each angle I would be shooting in the car that would run for 10-15 minutes (so I we wouldn't have to rewind the appropriate angle between takes). As for the screen, I had a 14 wide by 10 high rear projection screen that was placed about 15 - 20 feet from the car. I was on the inside shooting out towards the driver from the backseat, so I was seeing partially out the windshield and partially out the drivers side window. The wider value was on a 16 mm lens, I believe. Either way, the screen was just big enough at the distance it was placed to fill the field of view.

My main reference for this scene was the driving sequence in fight club, the one with the big car crash in the rain at night. The int. car work was done on stage with 70 mm rear projection plates (I think, it says in the commentary), but it's great to study the way Jeff Cronenweth combined interactive lighting, color temp mix, etc., all smoothly integrated with good plate work for the scene.

Anyways, hope that helped. Good luck.

Bobby Shore
DP
LA/Montreal
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