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#1 michael rand

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Posted 08 May 2008 - 09:00 AM

so I'm prepping for a yoga series....see attached photo. How can I take such a terrible looking room and make it more cinematic. the mirrors are problematic and not much is pleasing to the eye in here...very cliche' yoga space

here were some of my ideas
1. hampshire frost on mirrors
2. large artwork leaning on mirrors
3. light the talent (4-5 girls) with a 25X4 foot roll of light grid....large source for relatively cheap

how do I deal with reflections (all walls have mirrors)
how would you make it look more cinematic?

michael

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#2 Michael Nash

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Posted 08 May 2008 - 09:25 AM

Forget about the problems of the space for the moment, and concentrate on the design and look of the video. What do you need to show, and what do you want it to look like? What kind of coverage will you need, and what kind of mood or "feel" do you want the video to convey? Those things will dictate the layout, art direction, and lighting of the space. Then see what you need to do to the room to make that happen.

On a practical level, I think it goes without saying that you need to cover up at least some of the mirrors if you want to avoid seeing reflections of cameras and lights in your shots.
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#3 michael rand

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Posted 08 May 2008 - 10:40 AM

want it to look warm, clean and simple. (approaching it like a car shot....or at least attempting to with limited budget)

we will be doing some slow subtle dolly moves, jib overhead of single person performing exercises, most likely using 2 cameras to cover action then going back for "beauty" close-ups

can we talk about the problems of the space now :)

I'm specifically looking for advice on how to deal with mirrors (hampshire frost a good idea?)
maybe some lighting advice also.

thanks to everyone in advance
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#4 Tim O'Connor

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Posted 08 May 2008 - 10:55 AM

want it to look warm, clean and simple. (approaching it like a car shot....or at least attempting to with limited budget)

we will be doing some slow subtle dolly moves, jib overhead of single person performing exercises, most likely using 2 cameras to cover action then going back for "beauty" close-ups

can we talk about the problems of the space now :)

I'm specifically looking for advice on how to deal with mirrors (hampshire frost a good idea?)
maybe some lighting advice also.

thanks to everyone in advance



Why is it that lately there are so many wise guys on here? "can we talk about the problems of the space now"

You asked how you could make the room look "more cinematic" You gave some details and a picture but to the people on this
forum, "more cinematic" is a vague phrase that they often hear, often when they need details.

I understand that humor in e-mails and electronic postings can be easily missed but I still feel that you could have proceeded without what
seems like a wise ass comment.

It seems like there have been more posters than usual displaying some attitude on here. Have you read the lengthy and detailed responses that
Michael Nash often writes? He asked you the question that occurs to a lot of us when we read posts that may have information but not the right information.
He probably wanted to find out so that he could best address your question without having to type more than he would have to, since he, like a lot of people
on here, take the time to mentor people by writing responses into which they invest more than a little time.

Good luck.
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#5 michael rand

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Posted 08 May 2008 - 02:42 PM

I was hoping the smiley face made it clear that I my intention was not to be a wise guy
Michael Nash, I appreciate your response to my question and your knowledge-shared throughout this forum.
that being said, here is some more detail....

in this case, cinematic for me equals beautiful images. The opposite of news. Lighting that evokes an emotion that caters to the story. I'm simply asking the forum what people would do artistically with the mirrors. How would you approach that challenge creatively. There are mirrors on 4 sides of the room. That is very limiting and presents a problem for camera placement and lighting instrument placement. They could be covered completely or covered allowing some degree of transmission (hampshire frost?)

So the story is 4-6 Yoga participants with a lead teacher. I'm looking for nice modeled light so I'm most likely going to hang a large silk from the ceiling with multiple 2ks shooting through or experiment with a 25 foot roll of light grid (with a bunch of totas shooting through)- rigged horizontally.

I'm looking for warm fleshtones, slow subtle camera moves, most likely we will shoot with primes (mini35 adapter) so that should help some with the reflections from all angles. I'm hoping if I get my source big enough (close enough) I won't have to deal with fill and that the big soft beautiful light will wrap the subjects well.

the plan is to keep the camera moving...lots of slow, subtle yet motivated moves (jib arm and P+S skater dolly)

thanks in advance
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#6 Tim O'Connor

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Posted 08 May 2008 - 05:42 PM

I was hoping the smiley face made it clear that I my intention was not to be a wise guy
Michael Nash, I appreciate your response to my question and your knowledge-shared throughout this forum.
that being said, here is some more detail....

in this case, cinematic for me equals beautiful images. The opposite of news. Lighting that evokes an emotion that caters to the story. I'm simply asking the forum what people would do artistically with the mirrors. How would you approach that challenge creatively. There are mirrors on 4 sides of the room. That is very limiting and presents a problem for camera placement and lighting instrument placement. They could be covered completely or covered allowing some degree of transmission (hampshire frost?)

So the story is 4-6 Yoga participants with a lead teacher. I'm looking for nice modeled light so I'm most likely going to hang a large silk from the ceiling with multiple 2ks shooting through or experiment with a 25 foot roll of light grid (with a bunch of totas shooting through)- rigged horizontally.

I'm looking for warm fleshtones, slow subtle camera moves, most likely we will shoot with primes (mini35 adapter) so that should help some with the reflections from all angles. I'm hoping if I get my source big enough (close enough) I won't have to deal with fill and that the big soft beautiful light will wrap the subjects well.

the plan is to keep the camera moving...lots of slow, subtle yet motivated moves (jib arm and P+S skater dolly)

thanks in advance



Hi Michael,


Yes, part of the problem is that the room looks like an aerobics studio and will even if you pull the standing heavy bags.

What if, rather than fighting the presence of the mirrors all the time, you create a bit of a set using fabrics, warm earth tones say or whatever feels right.
I'm not suggesting major construction or money, but maybe a trip to a fabric store and then some simple lattice work or whatever you could get inexpensively in order to hang the fabric.

If this would work, you could perhaps shoot from behind some of your set pieces for a number of shots and even if the mirrors are in the shot, the camera
and operator could be hidden behind a set piece, even perhaps while using a jib. You also might be able to use colors that tie in to the color of the client's
company or DVD cover or something.

Then, perhaps you could list the shots in which you want to use the mirrors to let you see the other side of a particular pose or movement and find a way to shoot while keeping your gear out of the shot.

Also on your list could be the shots which would require the mirrors to be covered. Hampshire frost could do the job but perhaps if the fabric/setpiece idea works for you; then you could drape some fabric or move some setpieces. Either way could work and give you some production value and thematic unity
to your images.

Lighting from above sounds like a good plan. Somebody on here suggested using Lee 188 Cosmetic gels for warming flesh tones and I've used them a bunch since then and really like them.

Good luck.
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#7 Michael Lehnert

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Posted 08 May 2008 - 05:50 PM

Just an unproductive interjection as the topic title got me...

maybe you should actually consider ditching the studio for an outdoor location. Most successful yoga videos are shot outside, and if you can access that space for free, you could also save on your budget.

It's not necessary to emulate Shiva Rea in Death Valley, but if you are based in tranquil surrounds with sunny conditions, maybe you should consider this over that studio.

Cheers,

-Michael
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#8 Bill Totolo

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Posted 08 May 2008 - 06:04 PM

I wouldn't deal with the mirrors, I'd have art dept bring in pipe and drape. Dress the studio as if the mirrors were never there.
Then I'd kill the overhead lighting and replace it with my own design. Some practicals to key off of, etc.

Set design may or may not consist of large color coordinated pillows (matched to whatever drape is brought in), candles, rice paper lanterns, etc.

For drape and set design I'd keep it warm and intimate and slightly feminine. Crimson and gold come to mind, maybe a bit of brown and green.

The floor looks nice but because it's wood it may have weak joints and creak. If so bring sections of carpet. If it's tight you might want some dance card on the ground just to protect it.

Because you have parallel walls and hard surfaces be prepared to deal with echo in there. Perhaps hang some 4 x floppies at 45 degree angles to deflect/absorb sound waves.
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#9 Michael Nash

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Posted 08 May 2008 - 07:08 PM

It's hard to get too specific without a proper tech scout. You'll need to measure the size of the room and scope out the power situation to see how you're going to cram all your stuff into that space, and what lights you can expect to power.

For layout, I think the simplest approach is to use the long axis of the room as your shooting direction. Build some kind of screen/wall/drape (whatever your production design dictates) across the back to hide the mirror and provide a place to hide light stands. You might be able to keep the side mirrors to make the room appear bigger on camera.

I'd rig a soft backlight for the whole set by putting a couple 4x8 sheets of foam core behind the wall, up high and angled down toward set. I'd bounce a couple decent sized lights into this like 2K Mighties to make a big, continuous soft source that will wrap around the back of your subjects. Then do something similar above camera as a soft keylight, but kept slightly dimmer than the backlight to keep it from looking too flat and preserving the nice wrap from the backlight. Then you may need to fill in a little from below the lens, with something soft like a couple 4' 4-bank Kino's. Just a little bit; it's only fill to keep the light from looking too toppy.

I understand the aesthetic appeal of shallow depth of field, but you might be painting yourself into a corner with the 35mm adapter. It sucks up light which will require bigger lights and more power, and can cause focusing issues. How are you going to pull focus on the jib shots? If you have enough depth of field on the wider shots to hold focus for the whole group throughout the jib move, then you really aren't getting the benefit of the adapter anyway.
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#10 Rolfe Klement

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Posted 09 May 2008 - 09:33 AM

Rent in 4 (20ft x 20ft) frames with white cloth. Use them to build a "box" in the studio. Rent in another 2 frames of various sizes with black cloth to wrap around the talent (but out of camera view) for negative fill

Leave some space behind each of the white frames and place big lights on stands bouncing up into ceiling (at least 2.5Kw HMI's)

Put a largish light on-top of the camera.

Make sure you have the yoga people well rehearsed and never do more then 3 takes of anything - otherwise you will spend days in post with the yoga instructor trying to find good shots.

Keep sweat off the performers since it blows highlights quickly

can't think what else I learned on my last yoga video prep

thanks

Rolfe
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#11 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 09 May 2008 - 06:00 PM

If you were Storaro you would just let the audience see the camera's reflection in the mirror, as he did with Tango (or was it Flamenco). In which case you'd have to line the opposite walls with duvetyne and have the crew dress all in black to make them less obvious.

Now I'll be releastic.

You're obviously never going to be able to shoot straight on at the window, so always work at an angle. You should probably block the Yoga instructor & perhaps students so you're shooting straight into a corner. Then set some marks on the floor so you know where you can and can't place the cameras. Plan to do a lot of high angles and a lot of shots using longer focal lengths so there's less of the mirrors in the background of your shot.
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#12 Jon Rosenbloom

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Posted 09 May 2008 - 08:11 PM

Yes, Hampshire Frost has worked in the past. There's also some opaque contact paper that I've seen scenics using on mirrors. But, damn, that's a lot of gelling! As far a lighting ... that's up to you. If I had the budget, I'd have my riggers hang a bunch of parcans w/ wide lenses in the ceiling, and then float a 5K w/ a big chimera on the floor. I'd also implore the production to find a better location.
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#13 michael rand

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Posted 09 May 2008 - 09:51 PM

I'm humbled by all the great responses. Thanks to everyone for participating. Those were some well thought out detailed guides for success!

VERY much appreciated. Are you ALL available to scout it with me tuesday. :)
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#14 michael rand

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Posted 09 May 2008 - 10:03 PM

I thought I would post this: 60" roll of waxed paper (uline proudct number s-12820 if link doesn't work)

I'm going to sample some related to this shoot which might or not work, but at 1,500'X60" I thought it was decent value for $162

unrelated: I've heard of people using this for diffusion material which I've never tried. what is it similar to opal? (chocolate opal in this case:)

related: wonder how it will looked taped to the mirrors (cutting down on reflection) but serving as a cheap substitute for frost

http://www.uline.com...keywords=baking
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#15 Chris Keth

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Posted 09 May 2008 - 11:38 PM

If it were me, I would try and shoot it outdoors. You will simply have more control that way while still having a pleasing 'set.'

If you ahev to use that space, I would have three of the walls (I like mirrors sometimes, just not 4 walls of them so I would leave a few) of mirrors draped with nice fabric that fits into the client's logo colours or something.

Like others have said, you ahve a lot of other things to check out. The size of the room, the power, possibility of hanging pipe to light from, etc.
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