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Help! Shooting 720/24P HVX 200 at night!


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#1 Matthew Finlin

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Posted 05 November 2007 - 11:28 PM

Hi all. Just had a test shoot for an upcoming film. We were shooting a scene on a city rooftop, large neon sign in the background. (See pics below) Basically trying to acheive the lighting some of these pics are portraying.

After reviewing the footage it's quite dark in spots and the features on the actresses face seem quite flat. We are shooting 720/24p Cine D, using the Redrock 35mm adapter with Nikon lenses.

Any suggestions for camera settings and lighting setups would be most helpful. The majority of the film will be shot at night. The other main location is a stand where cigarettes and Taiwanese Betel Nut is sold. (again see pic below)

Any suggestions for making the actresses features look more full would be much appreciated in these tricky environments. Many many thanks.

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  • roof1.jpg
  • roof2.jpg
  • roof4.jpg

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#2 Matthew Finlin

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Posted 05 November 2007 - 11:33 PM

The other pics. Thanks for your help.

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  • roof4.jpg
  • bintang.JPG

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#3 Bill Totolo

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Posted 06 November 2007 - 02:11 AM

I think your pictures look great.

If you're concerned about the lighting I wouldn't concern myself with the camera, I would concentrate on filling in the shadows with your lighting and enhancing the look to suit your taste. Whether that means edge lighting or back lighting or whatever you decide.

I think it's a matter of lighting in this case not camera sensitivity.

Again, I personally like what you're doing, keep it up.
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#4 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 06 November 2007 - 08:32 AM

Also, you might want to loose the red rock for the night shots only as it steals a lot of light (i think around 2 stops) from the camera.
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#5 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 07 November 2007 - 02:59 AM

Hi,

Forum member Matt Irwin posted something a while ago concerning shooting night exteriors on the HVX, very informative.

http://www.cinematog...showtopic=24565

From my own experience, the HVX produces a very noisy image in low-light, especially in Cine D. Your image will be cleaner if you light to a higher key and lower your master pedestal settings a bit to crush the blacks, where most of the noise is. I think your stills look very good though in terms of ambient light levels, I'd only worry about your Redrock adapter which, as Adrian says, does lose about 2 stops of light. You don't want to underexpose all that background cityscape ambience if you can since it gives your image depth.

About the "flat lighting" on the actress, are you looking to create more modeling on her face? I think this is more a case of implementing the basic key/fill/backlight on an actor. Your background, the skyline, is basically already lit, so now you only need to light the actress to about the same exposure level (make her brighter or darker than the background according to your own taste).

Did you put a light on her as well? Because she looks like she is keyed with a soft light (650w in a soft box?) from behind her (camera right) in pic#1. For a profile shot like that, I would instead try to put a hard 3/4 back edge-light on her to give her a hot rim (from camera left), then maybe a soft warm key on the face from below (camera left), as if coming from the street. I would probably flag that light off of her back and maybe simulate the red neon glow but dim it up and down, or simulate a warm source with defined shape like a lit doorway.

To create the hot 3/4 edge light, you would have to arm a sharp, spotty light like a Source4 ellipsoidal spot or a Dedolight out over the balcony, probably clamped and safety chained to that metal framework above the actress's head in pic#2. The soft low-angle key could be clamped to the balcony from close to camera position, then lowered and armed out toward her. I'd go with a Kino just below the frame, or maybe a series of small Litepanels. It'd be fun to add some dynamic light patterns to the key to simulate the street ambience from below shifting as traffic ebbs and flows. Just be really careful to secure anything hanging over the roof edge - you don't want it falling ten stories onto pedestrians below!

The other problem is that your two angles on the girl (pic#1, pic#2) would require a total relight, so I'd try to figure a way to cover the scene from one side or the other. I think pic#2 (the wide shot) is the most interesting angle. Hope this was helpful, good luck. :)
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