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Dinner scene analysis


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#1 alessandro sambini

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Posted 09 November 2007 - 11:32 AM

Hi everybody, This is my first topic here. I hope to spend a nice time here with everybody

Before starting this topic I have to ask you something. Is it possible to post images from the movie?
So that we can analyse them?

I would like to discuss what kind of light have been used during the dinner scene of "Close Encounter of the third kind", the one where he re-creates the mountain into his dish.
I really like it and i would like to reproduce it in a scene of mines. ;)

See You later

Bye All
alexander
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 09 November 2007 - 12:11 PM

Before starting this topic I have to ask you something. Is it possible to post images from the movie?
So that we can analyse them?


You can post JPEGS of frame grabs as long as there aren't too many, which slows down people's ability to read the post on some connections. A DVD frame is about 720 pixels wide, which fills the forum page - I usually reduce them by about 10% (actually, because of the non-square pixels of video, I have to reshape the frame grab in Paintshop, so I usually start out by cropping out the letterbox, then reducing the width to 90% of the original, and the height to about 82% of the original, to make it look less skinny -- if it's from a 16x9 transfer.)

You need to have a personal website to load the frames onto and then post an image link (the "post image link" function is the mountain icon) which then requires you type a URL. This is different than just posting the URL because the image function will then display the photo in the post, rather than require the reader to clink on a link and go to it.

You can see the effect here:
http://www.cinematog...showtopic=26778
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#3 alessandro sambini

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Posted 09 November 2007 - 12:52 PM

I have done it.
first, I must say that for the first time I will not use a "right" terminology, as I am a newbie, but later....
I would like to say what I think of these 4 pictures, How I think the light sources have been disposed. Frame by Frame. (just 4, by the way)


http://www.assembled...thirdkind/1.jpg
http://www.assembled...thirdkind/2.jpg
http://www.assembled...thirdkind/3.jpg
http://www.assembled...thirdkind/4.jpg


1.. there are two lights on her. The first comes from behind (from the kitchen maybe?) and the other one comes toward her. Others? I do not know! Maybe there is a fill that goes toward the young girl to smooth the shadows.

2.. one above him and one toward him. again a fill from the camera side

3.. this is strange, I need your help. -What is the little spot of light visible between the door and the wall: where does that light goes to and where does it come from? And again, isn't the light on the little girl too bad? It looks like if they had just one light to cover all the three actors and it was not enough to cover them well.

4... the light behind her has disappeared (why?) Two keys here one toward him and one toward her. But where are those lights? The one on him is where the camera is, and the one on her is on the left side of him.

Generally speaking, how much power is needed to lighten up the plants outside?
Do you think is a real house or a studio set?

Thank you if will want to join this topic. And thank'you if you will help me.

Bye
Alex
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#4 Douglas Sunlin

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Posted 09 November 2007 - 01:09 PM

It's remarkable how dark they kept the background considering that it was a peaceful domestic scene. Probably going low-key to foreshadow?
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#5 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 09 November 2007 - 04:38 PM

I believe all the house scenes were shot on location in a real house in Mobile, Alabama that the production bought and modified.

The dinner table was lit in a sort of classic style, with multiple hard lights rigged overhead in a crisscross pattern, more or less keying in each direction as if they were a single overhead light in the center -- in an issue of AC magazine, Zsigmond discusses lighting a pool table scene in "Deer Hunter" in a similar manner. I don't know the units, but I would guess 650w or 1K tungsten fresnels (i.e. Tweenies or Baby-Babies), barndoor-ed off to create the shadow on the wall above the actors heads. Actually, it could be a mix of units, from Inkies to Babies. Maybe they drilled nail-on baby plates into the ceiling, since they owned the location.
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#6 Michael Nash

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Posted 09 November 2007 - 07:14 PM

You can post JPEGS of frame grabs as long as there aren't too many, which slows down people's ability to read the post on some connections. A DVD frame is about 720 pixels wide, which fills the forum page - I usually reduce them by about 10% (actually, because of the non-square pixels of video, I have to reshape the frame grab in Paintshop, so I usually start out by cropping out the letterbox, then reducing the width to 90% of the original, and the height to about 82% of the original, to make it look less skinny -- if it's from a 16x9 transfer.)

You need to have a personal website to load the frames onto and then post an image link (the "post image link" function is the mountain icon) which then requires you type a URL. This is different than just posting the URL because the image function will then display the photo in the post, rather than require the reader to clink on a link and go to it.

http://www.cinematog...showtopic=26778



On a Mac it's easy to size the DVD player window to whatever you like, then use a capture widget to take a snapshot, cropping however you like. It automatically saves as a "screenshot.jpg" to the desktop. If you need to resize an existing image you can view it at different magnifications in Preview (Mac's default image viewer) and take a snapshot of that.

Validating & sustaining members here can also attach pictures to this site without hosting the images elsewhere.
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#7 alessandro sambini

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Posted 10 November 2007 - 04:32 AM

I don't know the units, but I would guess 650w or 1K tungsten fresnels (i.e. Tweenies or Baby-Babies), barndoor-ed off to create the shadow on the wall above the actors heads.


650w?? I start to get scared... The light I will use are:
3X150w babies and a 500w with diffusor! They are all part of a lowel Kit

Please, tell me, will I do something with this? Or, shall I find something mooore powerful? The fact is that I will not pay for the Lowel Kit, and the budget is almost gone! That is why I would use it.


thanks
Ale
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#8 Ignacio Aguilar

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Posted 10 November 2007 - 09:47 AM

"Close Encounters of the Third Kind" used Kodak 5247 (100 ASA) for its non visual effects scenes. Plus it was shot using anamorphic lenses, which most people stop down a bit in order to get a decent performance and more depth of field. Even if DP Vilmos Zsigmond pushed the stock one stop (200 ASA) for the night work, it still means he needed 100 footcandles to get a T/4. Depending on your shooting format, you won't need as much power from your lights as he did.
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#9 alessandro sambini

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Posted 10 November 2007 - 11:08 AM

Even if DP Vilmos Zsigmond pushed the stock one stop (200 ASA) for the night work, it still means he needed 100 footcandles to get a T/4. Depending on your shooting format, you won't need as much power from your lights as he did.


I do not know how much sensitivity has the Panasonic HVX200E I am going to use. 320, maybe? How much power do I need to have 100 footcandles?

Sorry, it is really the first time!
thanks!
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#10 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 10 November 2007 - 06:44 PM

I do not know how much sensitivity has the Panasonic HVX200E I am going to use. 320, maybe? How much power do I need to have 100 footcandles?

Sorry, it is really the first time!
thanks!


Why do you need 100 fc? "Close Encounters" was shot in 35mm anamorphic, which means that the depth of field at T/4 was much more shallow-focus than what you can get with the HVX200 shooting wide-open, so the last thing you want to do is have too many footcandles, and thus have to stop down the lens. You only need about 32 fc to shoot at f/2.8 at 320 ASA.
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#11 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 11 November 2007 - 12:00 AM

It's remarkable how dark they kept the background considering that it was a peaceful domestic scene. Probably going low-key to foreshadow?


I just wanted to note, this scene was not peaceful. If you recall, it's the famous mashed potato scene where Dreyfuss basically has a breakdown in front of his family.
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#12 alessandro sambini

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Posted 12 November 2007 - 04:42 AM

I just wanted to note, this scene was not peaceful. If you recall, it's the famous mashed potato scene where Dreyfuss basically has a breakdown in front of his family.



I quote you Jonathan but I would like to quote everybody before saying: Thanks to everybody for your cortesy. In particular to David, Ignacio and Jonhatan.

Bye
ALex
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