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Night Vision Cinematography


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#1 John Klein

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Posted 17 February 2009 - 12:33 PM

I am a director of photography in Chicago. I'm shooting a short horror film in mid-March, and the director wants to achieve something akin to a night vision effect for the ghost's POV, complete with the red-eye esque possessed look.

We are shooting on the Panasonic HVX200 with the M2 adapter and Canon prime lenses, although the M2 and the primes will probably come off for this particular effect to distinguish the look from the rest of the film.

How would I go about doing this on a somewhat low budget? I've read reports of DPs focusing to a night vision screen with a 50mm Macro, for example. The horror film The Descent does this effect well also. Any help would be hugely appreciated. Thanks!

John Klein
Freelance DP - Chicago, IL
www.windycitycamera.com
www.imdb.com/nm/2610696

HVX200 * M2 Red Rock * Canon FD 28mm 35mm 50mm 85mm 100mm 135mm 200mm 28-105mm
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#2 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 17 February 2009 - 12:35 PM

They have NOD attachments for most cameras. They ain't particularly cheap to buy, but perhaps you can rent one.

http://www.bhphotovi...r...0&Go=submit

Or you can just shoot it normally and light it normally and degrade the image in post later on. Test to make sure that works, but certainly can work.
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#3 Scott Fritzshall

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Posted 17 February 2009 - 02:38 PM

What would help a lot is if you had some visual reference; some sort of look that you liked or something like that.
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#4 John Klein

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Posted 17 February 2009 - 02:49 PM

What would help a lot is if you had some visual reference; some sort of look that you liked or something like that.


I've attached some of the inspirational images courtesy of the director.

Adrian, thanks for the equipment reference. $6k, huh? Whew. I'm nervous about degrading the image in post; it's worth testing though to see if we can achieve the effect we're going for with the eyes.

Attached Images

  • Hangers_Inspirational_Images_1.jpg

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#5 Andrew J. Whittaker

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Posted 20 February 2009 - 09:18 AM

Have you considered trying to borrow, rent, or purchase a consumer digital video camera that offers the night vision function that a couple of those reference images display. It seems to me the most direct and cheapest approach next to lighting the effect practically on set and then in post using color correction to fine tune the look.
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#6 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 20 February 2009 - 09:21 AM

Quite true, there are those Night-shot handycams. I think Sony is the main maker of these things on palmcameras.
Maybe try this:
http://www.bhphotovi...it=Submit Query
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#7 Saul Rodgar

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Posted 20 February 2009 - 03:02 PM

Well, what you need is an infrared light fixture. I don't know if it would work with the HVX right off the bat, as I can't remember if it will switch to infrared. But you can look for a camera that will.

http://www.rayled.co...CFShRagodgh-C1Q

I personally would love to shoot IR motion picture film with one of these puppies.
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#8 James Steven Beverly

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Posted 22 February 2009 - 03:50 AM

You could try setting an eye light, under exposing and using a green filter. Do some tests and see if that works.
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Glidecam

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Willys Widgets

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Wooden Camera

The Slider

Ritter Battery

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