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Deep Focus Question


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#1 Simona Analte

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Posted 26 April 2010 - 09:57 PM

I am planning to shoot short film on 16 mil and like shoot most scenes in Deep Focus.

Now I'm wondering, what are the benefits (other then the great look it creates), and
downfalls of shooting in Deep Focus?

I know it would require a lot of light, but could this be solved by using a very sensitive film
stock?

any advice would be much appreciated.

I want to know what I am getting myself into.

Thanks
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#2 Chris Keth

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Posted 26 April 2010 - 11:12 PM

I am planning to shoot short film on 16 mil and like shoot most scenes in Deep Focus.

Now I'm wondering, what are the benefits (other then the great look it creates), and
downfalls of shooting in Deep Focus?

I know it would require a lot of light, but could this be solved by using a very sensitive film
stock?

any advice would be much appreciated.

I want to know what I am getting myself into.

Thanks


Well, fast film will help but it won't get you the whole way there. Say you're lit to shoot at a T2 on 200 speed film. If you bump up to 500 speed film, you're only up to T2.8 and a third. Every stop deeper you want to shoot needs double the amount of light so it climbs fast and the set will be hot.

Also, consider blocking for deep focus. There's no point in doing all that work for a deep focus look if you're not going to take advantage. Watch some movies from when deep focus was fashionable and see how they block their masters. There is depth, they use it as another dynamic where you can stack characters or separate them. Study it and think hard about it. Blocking with really nice depth to a frame is harder than it appears on the surface.
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#3 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 27 April 2010 - 03:11 AM

For a deep focus similar to the classic films, I suspect you'll probably need to have a stop around F4 on 16mm. I'm not sure if the fast stocks will look good, because these films traditionally tended not to have a grainy look. Using 200 asa stock the lighting levels aren't massive, they were pretty standard in the days of only 100 ASA stocks. However, temperatures can build up and you do need make up to keep the shine down.

Another downside will be your power requirements, since there's an extremely good chance you'll need to use some 2k lights (if not 5k depending on the set size). If you're in the US that may require a mains tie in, for which you'll need an electrician. Shooting using classic hard lighting would keep the power levels down, since you wouldn't be losing light through diffusion etc, However, this will depend on your film's story and style.
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#4 Leo Anthony Vale

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Posted 28 April 2010 - 03:41 PM

For a deep focus similar to the classic films, I suspect you'll probably need to have a stop around F4 on 16mm. I'm not sure if the fast stocks will look good, because these films traditionally tended not to have a grainy look.


An out of focus background will seem grainier than a "deep focus" background on the same stock.

The eye will look for the sharpest detail. If the image is blurred or soft, the eye will lock onto the grain.
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