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"Summertime" - Low Budget Feature in NYC


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#1 XiaoSu Han

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Posted 31 July 2009 - 01:12 AM

Hi, we are almost finished with our feature film in NYC, called "Summertime", directed by Max Weissberg. Andreas Thalhammer and me are the DOPs on this film.

We are shooting on RED in 4K with Cooke S2 lenses in BNCR mount.

We have so little budget that we didn't use one single film light, everything is lit from either practicals or home depot style stuff. We rented a few C-Stands, a bit grip and a doorway dolly for a few scenes, and even managed to get a Steadicam shot.

Here are a few stills, if you have lighting setup questions, shoot! Otherwise I'd be happy if there's some criticism and suggestions to improve things. Those are just quickly 1-light corrected in Lightroom after I exported TIFF's from the RAWs

Some are cropped to 1:1.85 and some are 1:2.35, we are finishing in 1:1.85 but for personal reasons I cropped some to 2.35.

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Edited by XiaoSu Han, 31 July 2009 - 01:14 AM.

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#2 XiaoSu Han

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Posted 31 July 2009 - 01:13 AM

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#3 XiaoSu Han

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Posted 31 July 2009 - 01:15 AM

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#4 Ram Shani

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Posted 01 August 2009 - 03:26 AM

it's looking awesome

that's what i call less but better


how did you handle that WB with the worm interior?

did you go by the ETTR? for exposere?

what built did you had?

how did you light the soft worm interior of the guy and girl in the living room?


the only 2 shoots i think are little flat and not that interesting are the girl with the gun at the library and the shoot at the restaurant (the three shoot)

but over all great job
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#5 Ram Shani

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Posted 01 August 2009 - 03:34 AM

hi

this is what i call less but better

few q:

what built did you used?

how did you handle the WB with all this warm practicals and lighting?

did you used filter on camera?


how did you light the soft warm interior of the guy and the girl in the living room?

did you used the ETTR for exposure?

the dimmed interior look very clean (the blacks)



the only two shoots i didn't liked and i think are flat are the girl with the gun in the library and the three shoot on the restaurant
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#6 XiaoSu Han

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Posted 01 August 2009 - 08:38 AM

Hi!

thanks!

we used build 20, the latest color science included because we had a substantial part of tungsten lighting and wanted to get the best noise ratio

most of the time we left the camera at 5000K

no color filters at all

for the soft warm interiors we often used unbleached muslin to bounce or shoot through, looking back though I think we should've lit with normal tungsten and just warmed it up in the color grade, would've been better if you needed to change it to a bit cooler look maybe

we expose a bit to the right yes, and we set the light meter to iso 250 to ensure there's enough light for the hungry RED ;)



hi

this is what i call less but better

few q:

what built did you used?

how did you handle the WB with all this warm practicals and lighting?

did you used filter on camera?


how did you light the soft warm interior of the guy and the girl in the living room?

did you used the ETTR for exposure?

the dimmed interior look very clean (the blacks)

I think it's important that you have to light what you want to see to a proper exposure level and then let go of all the shadow detail, crush blacks where you don't need them and thus avoid unnecessary noise.

cheers, Xax

the only two shoots i didn't liked and i think are flat are the girl with the gun in the library and the three shoot on the restaurant


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#7 Izack Ackerman

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Posted 01 August 2009 - 11:37 AM

Hey...

That's what I call, a great use of location!!

Great job...it looks very cinematic.


Uri Ackerman
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#8 Ram Shani

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Posted 01 August 2009 - 04:44 PM

i will use built 20 for my next feature start in October:)

what did you bounced to the unbleached muslin

if you had no "film light"?
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#9 XiaoSu Han

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Posted 01 August 2009 - 06:08 PM

http://www.homedepot...03 90401 501093

silver clamp lights with 500w photobulbs..
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#10 Sing Howe Yam

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Posted 02 August 2009 - 03:23 AM

This looks really good, I disagree about the three shot being flat. I love the dimension of the shot being a reflection off a mirror, the little lamp that hangs in the foreground adds a nice depth to the shot.

You must be stoked on the look, I dig it a lot man. Let me know when this movie finishes, I would like to see it.

Did you do a lot of booklights by bouncing those 500w photofloods into a bounce source and then back through your muslin?

Cheers man, this stuff looks awesome.
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#11 K Borowski

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Posted 02 August 2009 - 10:18 AM

Excellent work. You really exemplify the expression: "Content is king!"

Way to take advantage of a limited budget by making excellent use of composition and location photography. Those are some gorgeous compositions you have there. Must have taken a ton of scouting work, and obtaining all the permits.

You make something that must have been very very difficult look easy.
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#12 XiaoSu Han

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Posted 02 August 2009 - 01:54 PM

Thanks a lot for the comments,

actually we didn't really have that many permits, for the exteriors yes, but for the interiors we just got lucky locationwise I guess.

Also, we didn't have a production designer so we had to dress the sets ourselves.. and we had to change almost every interior completely...

As for lighting we either bounced or shone two of those 500w things through muslin.. never did both because then nothing would be left :), also we had some grid cloth and used that if we didn't want the uber-yellow look... We also had a china ball but used it quite rarely... we lit a lot with practical lights where we would just put 500w in them when they were off screen and 150 when they were on...

I'll try to put a trailer together soon and am going to post that then!

cheers, Xax
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#13 John Hoffler

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Posted 08 August 2009 - 12:07 AM

was that all available light used in those daylight scenes? those stills look amazing! I'd love to see the film when it's completed! It takes a lot of talent to get images like that with home depot lights! great composition!

also, what was the lighting setup in the last still? were one of those 500w's utilized or simply a bulb change in practicals?
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#14 Jamie Metzger

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Posted 08 August 2009 - 03:51 AM

Looks great
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#15 XiaoSu Han

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Posted 08 August 2009 - 01:54 PM

Hey John,

yeah only daylight in the day scenes, we had a bunch of reflectors though (lastolite knockoffs) that we carry around.

Thanks for the praise, the last setup only involved changing the bulb to a 200w, that's it.

I'll have some moving images ready soon, a small reel.

cheers, Xax
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#16 XiaoSu Han

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Posted 11 August 2009 - 11:56 AM

We wrapped and it's in post now, here's a small cinematography reel quickly put together and one-lighted in Color

http://www.stilfabri...mertimereel.mov
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#17 Nor Domingo

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Posted 18 September 2009 - 05:39 PM

We wrapped and it's in post now, here's a small cinematography reel quickly put together and one-lighted in Color

http://www.stilfabri...mertimereel.mov


Inspiring! Proof that one doesn't need tons of equipment to make a film look beautiful!

Question about how you lit the shooting range: Was that all practicals or did you add anything to light the subject? I suppose the greenish cast is from the flourescents?
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#18 XiaoSu Han

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Posted 20 September 2009 - 05:49 PM

thanks!

we hid one flouro bar from home depot above the actress to give her a bit more light

the green is from the flouros mainly yes but we emphasized it a bit in the grade
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#19 Mike Donis

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Posted 27 September 2009 - 07:30 PM

Great work, especially considering your limitations. I prefer the 1.85 compositions to the 2.35 generally in this batch of stills, so it's nice to hear that's how you're finishing.

Keep us updated :)

Cheers,
Mike
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#20 Dominic Gruenberg

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Posted 03 October 2009 - 06:46 AM

We wrapped and it's in post now, here's a small cinematography reel quickly put together and one-lighted in Color

http://www.stilfabri...mertimereel.mov

I really like the photography in that reel. It's great how you lit almost everything with practicals, which gives it a very natural, still cinematic look.

The first segment kinda got me interested on the movie itself. ;) What is it about or where can I read more about it?
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