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Lighting for Black & White on SD/HD Camera


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#1 Marcus Tan

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Posted 07 April 2008 - 06:30 AM

I'm planning to shoot a short film about a girl in a park. I want the film to be in black and white, but I am shooting on video, and I do not plan to shoot it in black and white. I'm going to do the process in post-production. So my question is, how do you light an EXT DAY scene for black and white, in color?

I know of "The Man Who Wasn't There" and how producers wanted it in color print but the cinematographers wanted it in black and white. So they shot it in color for the producers but lit it for a black and white film. The result was totally bad and that persuaded the producers later to have it in black and white print. I wasn't able to search up much on the lighting styles in the film, so I hope someone could help me out here.

Much Appreciated.
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#2 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 07 April 2008 - 11:46 AM

Black and white builds depth via separation of gray-scale values, light and shadow, whereas color well, colors separate themselves. Most video cameras have the option of a b/w viewfinder, throw it on, and give a look @ your location (i'm assuming you can get out there), or take some digital stills and see how the light plays on it. Then, shoot when you have some shadow's 'round in the bg for some depth and use bounce-board/reflectors to light your actors.
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#3 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 07 April 2008 - 12:56 PM

"The Man Who Wasn't There" was always intended to be in b&w, and it wasn't the producers who wanted it shot in color. It was the film's European distributor who demanded a color version.
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#4 John Holland

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Posted 07 April 2008 - 01:06 PM

Dont know where you got that from it was a B+W print i watched here . Producers must have wanted colour neg so they could flog it to tv. where everything has to be in colour.
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#5 Chad Stockfleth

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Posted 07 April 2008 - 01:39 PM

Take your monitor and turn the chroma all the way off. Instant b&w preview!
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#6 Leo Anthony Vale

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Posted 07 April 2008 - 02:07 PM

"The Man Who Wasn't There" was always intended to be in b&w, and it wasn't the producers who wanted it shot in color. It was the film's European distributor who demanded a color version.


I'm thinking it was for the Asian/ Far East market, rather than Europe.
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#7 Michael Nash

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Posted 07 April 2008 - 11:20 PM

Yes, the easy way is to simply turn the chroma all the way down on the monitor.

There has been lots of discussion about shooting B&W on video:
http://www.cinematog...04/in...ite=B

Even when you shoot in color though, you should still be using the basics of contrast to create depth and composition.
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#8 Marcus Tan

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Posted 07 April 2008 - 11:58 PM

thanks! ive read through some of the topics in that particular forum and it's really been helpful. thanks a lot guys!
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