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Help with reflectors!


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#1 Nick Norton

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Posted 31 May 2008 - 09:40 PM

So, after an odd encounter with a producer... i have my first shoot tomorrow as kind of an "audition."


It's a music video, all exteriors, downtown/ghetto etc.

I know i should get a (few) reflector(s), but wasn't sure if the ones at the camera store were worth the money.

Does a substitute at say home depot work just as well?


This is going to be shot on an HD sony fx1, have a tripod, crane, and going to try and find a wheelbarrow or wheelchair to use for a tracking shot.

Can anyone think of anything else i should have on set?



late notice, but this is my first shoot and could be an important one. so any help would be AWESOME!

-Nicholas
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#2 Tim O'Connor

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Posted 31 May 2008 - 10:20 PM

So, after an odd encounter with a producer... i have my first shoot tomorrow as kind of an "audition."


It's a music video, all exteriors, downtown/ghetto etc.

I know i should get a (few) reflector(s), but wasn't sure if the ones at the camera store were worth the money.

Does a substitute at say home depot work just as well?


This is going to be shot on an HD sony fx1, have a tripod, crane, and going to try and find a wheelbarrow or wheelchair to use for a tracking shot.

Can anyone think of anything else i should have on set?



late notice, but this is my first shoot and could be an important one. so any help would be AWESOME!

-Nicholas



How close to your talent/set can you be and how tight is your frame? The reflectors from camera stores tend to be
the collapsible ones that generally are helpful when held close to the talent just out of frame and provide a nice bit of fill and/or a glint in the eyes. They also tend to be expensive and for an "audition" would be more than I would want to spend.

I would guess that your local grip rental house is probably closed now, being Saturday night and all, but stores like Home Depot usually open early even on Sundays. You can get something there called beadboard which is inexpensive and can be useful for bouncing light. They also should have some white styrofoam that you can see if it would be useful.

A store that sells art supplies will have some FoamCor but for early Sunday if you go to a place that would be open like Walgreen's (don't know if you have them but they're big pharmacy and everything else stores) and look in the aisle near the colored constuction paper and crayons you'll find some white or white one side.black the other poster
board that could give you a good bounce with the white side and be useful with the black side as well.

Office supply stores tend to open on Sunday mornings, or by noon anyway, and they'll have poster board or presentation board as big (although rectangular) as a camera store reflector but probably cost only ten or fifteen bucks. White poster board/FoamCor gives a good bounce although you'll probably need to be decently close. It can however have a little more punch than a soft sided camera store reflector but that's kind of like having a bigger light in that you have the option to back up a bit more or stay closer and get more light onto your subject.

You also can buy one of those reflectors that goes on car dashboards to protect the interior and keep the heat out if you can find the ones that are silver/gold. Not the same as a white reflector but still can pretty useful and cost about five bucks tops. You might even like the different look, especially the warmer look from the gold side.

If you have to throw some hard light a long way, say deep into a dark alley, a mirror is amazingly powerful on a sunny day. You may find that you'll want to bounce the hard light from the mirror into a softer reflector like poster board and redirect it. You could also put it through some diffusion but that would take a lot more work, materials and hands.

BE CAREFUL about bouncing light if you use a mirror. If there are people driving by and you bounce some light into their eyes, you could easily blind them and they could lose control of their cars! Even if they're not driving, people could trip while walking. Also, although this is not necessarily common, a powerful enough light left reflected long enough onto the right substance could heat it up and ignite it. Just for the record.

Good luck!

Next time they pay $ !
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#3 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 01 June 2008 - 02:13 AM

Just make sure the Auto Exposure (AE) is turned all the way up, otherwise you'll be fighting the camera all day.

You have a crane, or a jib? I'd like to see the dinky FX1 on a crane!

Anyway, see if you can get some 4x4 frames of diffusion. Some opal, 250, 216, etc. Reflectors can be pretty hard and harsh, so it's always a good idea to soften'em up a bit if you can.
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Aerial Filmworks

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Technodolly

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Rig Wheels Passport

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The Slider

Wooden Camera

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