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Achieving various lighting and color themes in a very different type of Film.


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#1 Christopher Harrow

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Posted 11 April 2008 - 02:46 PM

Hey all,

Stumbled upon this wonderful community and I am excited to see what I can learn from you talented DPs.

I am a beginning director in Atlanta, and I am seeking to make one of the most evocative, unique and compelling shorts that I can.

It is a sci fi, dark fantasy, film noir project, that is deeply meticulous in its themes and lighting transitions.

I haven't hired a DP yet, though I do have several prospects. I would love to know going into it, atleast a basis of how to achieve the specific imagery.

If you guys could assist that would be amazing.

There are 3 major color and lighting transitions in the short.

1. A dark, brooding industrial plant. I wanted a sickly green, fog and haze riddened atmosphere. Like something out of Blade Runner. Here is an example. By the way, the scene primarily takes place right outside of it, as our main character is leaving work.

Something like this in color.
http://img.photobuck...lowres_copy.jpg
http://img.photobuck...rCraft/MP13.jpg

And something more like this in lighting and atmosphere. Wet, alot of smoke and haze, etc. Hard, brooding silhouttes in the background. Not quite as severe in brightness though, we don't have a row of headlights. Monochromatic, oppresive, slightly melancholic.

http://img.photobuck...rCraft/DOCK.jpg

I guess I will just use this for now, and include the other transitions at another time.

Thanks everyone ahead of time for their assistance!

-Chris
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#2 Michael Nash

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Posted 11 April 2008 - 03:04 PM

Production design and lighting will get you 90% of the way there. Color correction during post production, in conjunction with the DP's use of filters, film stock and processing will help you polish the look.

Get a good production designer (and location scout) who can ensure that your sets have the right color, grime, and sheen to them. Get a DP who's familiar with lighting low-key night scenes. Oh, and DF-50 hazer ;) .

Your reference pics are great and I'm sure that you want your film to have its own unique look, but it will help your DP if you can find a few reference movies or scenes that have something similar to what you want. The DP can discuss that with you to understand your vision and cull through the various techniques used to pick his own strategy.
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#3 Christopher Harrow

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Posted 02 May 2008 - 08:36 PM

Hey I forgot to say thank you!


I have some questions about using Mattes if anyone would know about this....or direct me to someone or some place where I can get the right info.

1. I have a Matte Artist on hand, but we are shooting all on location, what crew member do I need to composite the mattes into the film?

2. I know locked shots work best for mattes, are there any other general tips I should know?

3. If I were to take a green screen with me on location, how big should it be, ie width and length?

Any and other advice and comments will be heavily recommended. I am big fan of film, Blade Runner, and I will be trying to emulate the approach of that film in the way they use mattes and special effects.

Thanks!
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#4 Mitch Lusas

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Posted 03 May 2008 - 12:56 AM

I love the look you're going for and I hope you achieve it. Either way, definitely put it up for us to see once you're finished. Feel free to message me once it's done.

What are you shooting on? If Super16, then I would advise against green/blue/red screen as the film jitters every so slightly, making it awkward in post. HDv is great except you need to make sure you're running on a low GoP for your camera (you're DP will know the best cameras).

First, since you're looking for a lot of greenish light, stay away from Green screen, you're lights will be making everything green. Whatever light you plan on using the least, that's probably the type of screen you'll want. I've even heard of someone using a Purple screen, though I have never done so.

Second, the size of your Matte Screen will depend on the action you're trying to cover. However, the bigger you go the bigger and more constant spread of light you will need. You may want to think of doing some motion control. By that, I do not mean true mechanical motion control, but rather, add 1"-2" dots on your matte screen that will serve as tracking points. This way you can do a moving shot and composite it in post. But you will want to experiment with this before you choose this method. It's a little late, so I apologize if some of this rambles or doesn't make sense.
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Aerial Filmworks

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