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Art Direction and Lighting


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#1 Ramesh C Gupta

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Posted 05 July 2009 - 11:43 PM

I just read this article on FreshDv.com and thought it might be helpful for some of us here.

http://www.freshdv.c...ion-primer.html

Though the author talks about a commercial, we face similar situations in the independent film making scenario. What is 'good' art direction? How to make it cheap, meaningful and aesthetic? What elements in production design make a DP's composition better? How does production design on a HD shoot differ from a 35mm shoot?

Edited by Ramesh C Gupta, 05 July 2009 - 11:44 PM.

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#2 Matt Workman

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Posted 06 July 2009 - 02:13 AM

Nice article.

On a low budget music video, my main concentration lately, there is rarely an art director / production designer / set dresser. Some directors come from a theater background or a crafty background and are very hands-on when it comes to dressing a set. Other are not, and it pretty much falls on the DP's shoulders to make it work.

I think as a DP the most important thing you can do is figure out what you see in the frame and what you don't see in the frame. Once you have that figured out you can re-arrange furniture, paint walls, light, and place actors to make the space feel appropriate for the scene/shot.

A common mistake seen on low budget / inexperienced sets is spending time on fixing something that is out of focus, barely in frame, or not in frame at all. This included set dressing too high above talents head with out low angle shots, stuff outside windows that aren't lit, things on the floor with no wide or high angle shots, etc.

I'm looking forward to the day that I can have a meeting with the set designer and plot and design all of the practicals on the wall/set and pick the color/tone of the walls to match the over all art direction.

I'd say the next important thing to do as a DP/Art Director is to light the good and stuff and flag the light off the bad stuff. Bad stuff can include talent. :lol:

Matt
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#3 jeff woods

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Posted 06 July 2009 - 12:07 PM

figure out what you see in the frame and what you don't see in the frame


A little OT, but I have to share.

Outside of the day job, I do lighting for theatre. I was working on a show with a set designer who is a retired scenic artist with a history in TV. When he was hanging items on the walls of the set, he suddenly stopped and said "Huh, I just noticed I only hung them 8' up, because intuitively everything above that would be out of frame...".

Needless to say, he fixed his "mistake".

-j
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