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look of this Charlie Sheen interview


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#1 Tim O'Connor

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Posted 28 February 2011 - 09:28 PM

It seems to me that there is a sharp contrast between the look of the two faces in this clip, something that has to do with the way the skin is rendered.

The light is more even on her face, and he moves in and out of his a little bit, but beyond that ... is it simply that it is the difference between two faces, or between more and less make-up or is one light harder than the other, one lens a little sharper?



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#2 Brian Rose

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Posted 28 February 2011 - 10:47 PM

Coke and porn stars'll do that to ya!
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#3 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 28 February 2011 - 11:36 PM

Coke and porn stars'll do that to ya!


...and I've read that too much viagra can make faces redder.

But beyond that, the wide shot is a study in what looks like poor lighting from a technical point of view but is probably effective for the interview that was conducted. Sheen comports himself like a man whose brain innards have been fried and he's literally living on the edge of what brain matter is still existing.

from a technical point of view, it looks like they sacrificed soft lofting for a harsher, high grid lighting so they could show a real wide two shot with no lights anywhere to be seen. But look at what the result is in the two shot, the interviewer's clothed arms are blown out, Sheen's hands are blown out, the inteviewers forehead is blown out in the two shot as well.

It also looks like the lighting on the interviewer is from a bigger light source, which could explain the nicer, softer look.

Sheen's lighting is pretty minimal, as his darker clothing (again refer to the two shot) is virtually crushed to the point of loss in detail in the two shot. Is the light source for Sheen "too red", or is that Sheen himself that is too red.

I don't know, but he's definitely too red.
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#4 Tim O'Connor

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Posted 01 March 2011 - 01:10 AM

...and I've read that too much viagra can make faces redder.

But beyond that, the wide shot is a study in what looks like poor lighting from a technical point of view but is probably effective for the interview that was conducted. Sheen comports himself like a man whose brain innards have been fried and he's literally living on the edge of what brain matter is still existing.

from a technical point of view, it looks like they sacrificed soft lofting for a harsher, high grid lighting so they could show a real wide two shot with no lights anywhere to be seen. But look at what the result is in the two shot, the interviewer's clothed arms are blown out, Sheen's hands are blown out, the inteviewers forehead is blown out in the two shot as well.

It also looks like the lighting on the interviewer is from a bigger light source, which could explain the nicer, softer look.

Sheen's lighting is pretty minimal, as his darker clothing (again refer to the two shot) is virtually crushed to the point of loss in detail in the two shot. Is the light source for Sheen "too red", or is that Sheen himself that is too red.

I don't know, but he's definitely too red.




Who knows what were the circumstances of production or how much or little time was available for the crew but this is definitely a situation in which if it were my gig I would more than usual want to avoid making anyone look worse due to technical issues. I don't know to what extent that happened in this case but it seems that he's coming off a bit worse than necessary in how he looks on screen.

I heard that his publicist resigned today; it's likely that any friends or representation would advise somebody in this position against doing such an interview, so there may have been nobody there advocating for him. Most lighting people probably dislike when overzealous promotions people offer suggestions about lighting but on the other hand it's understandable that people look out for their clients.
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#5 Tom Jensen

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Posted 01 March 2011 - 01:40 AM

That was classic. I'd say that the lighting was all about her. If anything was going to be compromised it was him.
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#6 John Sprung

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Posted 01 March 2011 - 02:24 AM

I've seen it elsewhere. What struck me more was the strange head bobbling moves he's always making. Way too much to cut around, he can't have done a show like that.





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#7 Brian Dzyak

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Posted 01 March 2011 - 10:26 AM

I don't shoot news, but I've run into this sort of situation before where we need a wide shot but also simultaneous close-ups. It's not easy to pull off as the requirements for a "perfect" closeup almost always compromise the wide shot, and visa versa. Features are able to make those adjustments because they have control over the logistics. But a situation like an interview, where you only get ONE chance to capture it all, is different so there is almost no chance to make every shot perfect. You either have to compromise to make all three (usually three... two CUs and one WS) work which means that none of them are "great!" or you make the WS great! which compromises the CUs. To make the CUs great! usually means having gear in the shot (lights, Cstands, etc) which is what I've seen in some of the Sheen interviews.

It happens.
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#8 Hal Smith

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Posted 01 March 2011 - 11:39 AM

I've seen it elsewhere. What struck me more was the strange head bobbling moves he's always making. Way too much to cut around, he can't have done a show like that.


My wife, the LADC/LPC (Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor & Licensed Professional Counselor) took one look at the interview and offered "He looks, acts, and talks like he's on Meth."

Sure would explain why he's so quick to say he's sober but doesn't talk about being clean.
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#9 Peter Moretti

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Posted 01 March 2011 - 11:41 AM

Coke and porn stars'll do that to ya!


He almost sounds like Charles Manson.
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#10 John Sprung

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Posted 01 March 2011 - 03:43 PM

"He looks, acts, and talks like he's on Meth."


But looking on the bright side, he did this just in time for the crew to get pilot season jobs.... ;-)





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#11 Hal Smith

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Posted 01 March 2011 - 05:01 PM

But looking on the bright side, he did this just in time for the crew to get pilot season jobs.... ;-)


If he ever works again it'll be with a couple of his "girlfriends" in the Valley. Title undoubtedly will be "Two and a Half Women" with the "Half" being a Munchkin porn actress.

© Hal Smith...I'd better take dibs on the title right now! ;)
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#12 Tom Jensen

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Posted 02 March 2011 - 01:05 AM

He almost sounds like Charles Manson.


Only crazy.
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#13 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 02 March 2011 - 10:20 PM

Who knows what were the circumstances of production or how much or little time was available for the crew but this is definitely a situation in which if it were my gig I would more than usual want to avoid making anyone look worse due to technical issues. I don't know to what extent that happened in this case but it seems that he's coming off a bit worse than necessary in how he looks on screen.

I heard that his publicist resigned today; it's likely that any friends or representation would advise somebody in this position against doing such an interview, so there may have been nobody there advocating for him. Most lighting people probably dislike when overzealous promotions people offer suggestions about lighting but on the other hand it's understandable that people look out for their clients.


I had the unfortunate happen stance of seeing clips of the same interview on television. What struck me immediately was that the image looked much less contrasty on standard def television.

So, I'm thinking this is a continuation of the ongoing, never ending, battle between zero black and middle earth tones, aka maintaining the 7.5 IRE plateau as the true baseline black. So the lighting was made to look worse on the video clip provided by simply ratcheting down perfectly fine lighting work from 7.5 to zero black.

I'm wondering if an additional contrast increase was done as well. No codec will work correctly on every lighting scenario that is possible. In this instance, the blacks were dropped by 7.5, but it also looks like the white level on the bright side was increased as well, which would help explain the blown out look of the forehead of the interviewer. Either that, or, the third camera, the wide shot, was simply a lock off that could not handle the dynamic range of the lighting.

lol, my 15 year old betacam sp camera could have handled the dynamic range of the wide shot better than what I am seeing. The dropping of the black from 7.5 to zero would definitely have put a redder sheen on Sheen's face as well.
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#14 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 02 March 2011 - 10:27 PM

I don't shoot news, but I've run into this sort of situation before where we need a wide shot but also simultaneous close-ups. It's not easy to pull off as the requirements for a "perfect" closeup almost always compromise the wide shot, and visa versa. Features are able to make those adjustments because they have control over the logistics. But a situation like an interview, where you only get ONE chance to capture it all, is different so there is almost no chance to make every shot perfect. You either have to compromise to make all three (usually three... two CUs and one WS) work which means that none of them are "great!" or you make the WS great! which compromises the CUs. To make the CUs great! usually means having gear in the shot (lights, Cstands, etc) which is what I've seen in some of the Sheen interviews.

It happens.


Yeah, especially if Charlie "what's taking so long" Sheen was telling them he could light the shot in 30 seconds. I'm not saying he did that, but, the pre roll before they started the interview probably would be a hoot to see.

Based on my limited understanding of how compression works, I bet the wide shot, if zoomed in to either person probably looked fine, but when zoomed out, it could not handle that level of contrast. Are there any analog HD cameras? I bet an analog HD camera would have handled the wide shot just fine.
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#15 John Sprung

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Posted 03 March 2011 - 12:55 AM

Are there any analog HD cameras?


I shot some tests on one, circa 1993.




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#16 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 07 March 2011 - 01:56 AM

Is it possible that Charlie Sheen was kept extra far away from the interviewer to make sure no Charlie Sheen spit landed on her?
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#17 Tim O'Connor

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Posted 07 March 2011 - 03:12 PM

When ABC showed the full program from which that clip was taken, I saw in a fleeting wide shot the position of
some of the lights. The interviewer was keyed from the camera side and Charlie's key was on the other side, which
helps explain why she is filled in so much more cleanly and he has more contrast in the lighting on his face.
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#18 David Sellers

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Posted 07 March 2011 - 04:29 PM

Geez. And I thought it was an F3 vs RED test lol!!!!! (The F3 being on the woman of course!)
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