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Gothic Cinematography


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#1 rickieuk

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Posted 13 March 2008 - 03:48 PM

Hi

I am a student film maker, hoping to make a film with the gothic stylings of films like "Seven", "Sleepy Hollow" and "Delicatessen."

Could I get some advice on how to acquire such gothic cinematography onto miniDV?

Many Thanks for replies
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#2 Chad Stockfleth

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Posted 13 March 2008 - 04:38 PM

use a lot of darkness in your frame. use hard light sources for extreme contrast. film scary/haunting images.

all those movies were shot on film so expected lessened results.

good luck!
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#3 Jonnyw

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Posted 22 March 2008 - 06:42 AM

The dark noir film look. Can be achieved moderately if you film at night using basic three point lighting ensuring that you are using the camera onboard settings to their fully capability.

Things to consider;

the scene itself looks like a film set with correct lighting

you can use red card to do your white balance(some scenes in se7en and fight club do this)

open the aperture as wide as possible

colour and sharpness features on the camera turned down to minimum.

I hope this helps.
JonnyW
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#4 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 22 March 2008 - 11:01 AM

"rickieuk" and "JohnnyW", you two will have difficulties as students... if you can't read the first thing printed on the registration page:

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Please go to My Controls and edit your Display Name and add a signature as required. Thanks.
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#5 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 22 March 2008 - 01:10 PM

The dark noir film look. Can be achieved moderately if you film at night using basic three point lighting ensuring that you are using the camera onboard settings to their fully capability.

Things to consider;

the scene itself looks like a film set with correct lighting

you can use red card to do your white balance(some scenes in se7en and fight club do this)

open the aperture as wide as possible

colour and sharpness features on the camera turned down to minimum.

I hope this helps.
JonnyW


3 point lighting is not really appropriate to the kind of films you reference. They are all predominantly soft lit and underexposed.

I have never tried to white balance using a red card, but I suspect most cameras would find it impossible. Either way, all of the films mentioned were shot on film, and therefore had no need to white balance.
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#6 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 22 March 2008 - 01:42 PM

White balancing to a red card -- or lighting a grey card red and asking the colorist or timer to correct it to neutral -- would result in the opposite color of red, which is cyan (green + blue). Probably a pink card would be enough to get this tone if you wanted it, though I don't think of "Seven" or "Sleepy Hollow" as being particularly cyan-ish movies. Some of "Fight Club", yes, but I think that has more to do with using Cool White fluorescents in some of the set lighting.

Most of those movies are marked by monochromatic set design and costumes combined with single-source lighting, often soft, with a lot of fall-off to darkness. Sometimes the color of the light or timing is warm and sometimes it is cold. There is some desaturation and increase in blacks -- something you can do with a video camera by turning down the Chroma and crushing the blacks a little.
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#7 Duncan Rice

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Posted 26 March 2008 - 04:24 PM

This is actually one of the questions I have on an upcoming exam.
Through my research I found that all these points help attain a gothic look.

Single source and soft lights
Emphasis on dark areas and shadows
Underexposing the frame
Desaturation of colours (although in Sleepy Hollow the reds in the blood and candle wax are bold , placing emphasis)
Lighting to create silhouettes of characters is another theme which seems to be a convention in the Gothic style.

Good luck with the exam!!

Edited by Duncan Rice, 26 March 2008 - 04:25 PM.

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