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I want my Thesis project to look like "House M.D."


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#1 Phillipino Twitdiddler

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Posted 02 April 2009 - 03:49 PM

I'm not sure if I'm posting this in the right sub-forum, but I simply love the way the show House looks. I know it's not overly technical, but it's how I'd like my thesis film to look.
I'm not a cinematographer (sorry) but I'm trying to get a better idea of what I want to tell my DP when time comes.
Any information you guys could give me would be greatly appreciated.
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#2 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 02 April 2009 - 03:54 PM

Well it's shot 35mm on Panavision cameras/Lenses from what I've seen. I'm told it's shot on fuji film, though I can't verify that at all. Also just look at dissect the lighting/set design and costume choices.
If you can get good looking sets, good costumes, and good lighting, let the stock work as it works, ya know?
Sit down with your DP and watch some episodes of House together and talk it out in reference to what you have available to the two of you.
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#3 Phillipino Twitdiddler

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Posted 04 April 2009 - 08:49 PM

Thanks for the advice, I appreciate it.
Do you have any idea what angle lenses they use on the show. It looks to me that there aren't many zooms, so I'll assume that all the lenses are prime.
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#4 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 05 April 2009 - 10:05 AM

Well they're Panavision Lenses, so I'd assume they carry a prime set and maybe a zoom or two. If it were me, I'd go with something like this:

http://www.panavisio...,c3,c22,c23,c24

But that's just my rough guess, ya know?
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#5 Brad Grimmett

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Posted 06 April 2009 - 04:33 AM

If memory serves, they used to use Panavision and now they use Arri with S4's and Optimo Zooms. They were probably using Primo primes and zooms when they were a Panavision show. They don't seem to use any extremely short or long lenses except for special shots here and there. The episode with Mos Def is example of when they probably used a very wide lens for his POV. But if I had to guess I would say the majority of the show is shot with lenses between 35mm and 100mm, but that's really just a guess based on the episodes I've seen.
Oh, and I believe it is a Fuji show.
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#6 Brad Grimmett

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Posted 06 April 2009 - 04:32 AM

If memory serves, they used to use Panavision and now they use Arri with S4's and Optimo Zooms. They were probably using Primo primes and zooms when they were a Panavision show. They don't seem to use any extremely short or long lenses except for special shots here and there. The episode with Mos Def is example of when they probably used a very wide lens for his POV. But if I had to guess I would say the majority of the show is shot with lenses between 35mm and 100mm, but that's really just a guess based on the episodes I've seen.
Oh, and I believe it is a Fuji show.
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#7 Brad Grimmett

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Posted 06 April 2009 - 04:34 AM

If memory serves, they used to use Panavision and now they use Arri with S4's and Optimo Zooms. They were probably using Primo primes and zooms when they were a Panavision show. They don't seem to use any extremely short or long lenses except for special shots here and there. The episode with Mos Def is example of when they probably used a very wide lens for his POV. But if I had to guess I would say the majority of the show is shot with lenses between 35mm and 100mm, but that's really just a guess based on the episodes I've seen.
Oh, and I believe it is a Fuji show.
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#8 Brad Grimmett

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Posted 06 April 2009 - 04:37 AM

No clue why it posted that three times. I'm not a moderator on this forum, so I can't delete. Hopefully another mod will take care of it for me.
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#9 Tony Gioconda

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Posted 11 April 2009 - 12:50 PM

Oh, and I believe it is a Fuji show.


I recently shot a 16mm short on Fuji Eterna (8663 and 8673), but when i was researching stocks back in August, the Fuji sales guy (who was unbelievable helpful) told me that House uses the Eterna 400 (8583). He did mention that they did a bunch of "stuff" to it to get that specific look. He didn't elaborate, but i also think that that "stuff" involved a D.I.
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#10 Mathew Rudenberg

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Posted 11 April 2009 - 03:54 PM

The first question you should ask yourself is which seasons of house you're talking about. Early house (Seasons 1 and 2) were shot by Roy Wagner, who used a very old school hard light approach. It's not to every one's taste, but can be very different to the norm, and very striking when pulled off well (eg pulp fiction and pretty much every movie before 1980). I would argue that it also takes a lot more skill to do it well then contemporary soft lighting approaches, as you really need to place your lights and balance your key to fill levels perfectly to make it work.

More recently house is shot by Gale Tattersall, who does beautiful work with a more contemporary soft lighting approach.

In terms of lenses and framing I think it varies wildly depending on the subject matter of the episode and the director (in TV directors usually change much more frequently than directors of photography - depending on the show) I've seen episodes shots conventionally, with deliberately odd angles, or in the case of the mos def episode half with a lensbaby (which with all due respect I found overused and annoying)

Just because they usually don't zoom in shot doesn't mean they don't use zoom lenses, it just means they don't usually zoom in shot.

Considering how short tv schedules are it's most likely shot with two cameras.

If you want to see a really wacky looking episode get your hands on the pilot directed by Brian Singer.

The things that seem to remain relatively consistent (besides the 35mm element that has already been mentioned) are the set, the cool blue color palette for the hospital (with notable exceptions) and the use of the walk and talk.

the walk and talk is in pretty much every episode, and in it instead of standing still and delivering exposition, actors do it while walkng through the hallways of the hospital - this allegedly adds energy to what might otherwise be dull procedural explanations.

It is a really well shot show, still, nothing compares to the wire seasons 1 and 2.
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#11 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 11 April 2009 - 04:44 PM

My biggest gripe with the "locked in" episode is that I'd seen it already; done much better IMHO, in The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, shot by Kaminski.
Good call on the change in lighting style, have to admit I didn't notice it till now.
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Visual Products

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Aerial Filmworks

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