Posted 02 October 2012 - 12:39 PM
I have a shoot coming up where the director would like to accentuate the harsh flourescents. Ideally they will be flickering like crazy and as ugly as possible. Think 8 mile. Now, I understand that flicker can be caused in camera (by shooting off speed) or by the actual light itself. I have seen flourescent lights flickering with my own eye, but can other lights flicker as well? (tungsten? mercury vapor? metal halide?)
So I guess my question is, what would the best approach be if I want to ensure the light is flickering on film? (We are shooting 5219). Should I shoot at an off speed (it is a music video so it doesn't matter) or can I "trick" the light to do this? Ideally I can get the light to do it as well so that if the dir. wants to we can shoot at safe speeds as well (eg. real time, 24fps).
I have attached an example video shot by the ridiculously talented Matthew J Lloyd CSC for Flying Lotus "Until The Quiet Comes". You see the effect very strongly at 1:44 and at 2:18 onward during the dance scene. Do you think he was just shooting at 32fps or something "inbetween" that allowed for flicker?
FLYING LOTUS -- "Until The Quiet Comes"
As always thanks so much for your help!
Posted 02 October 2012 - 03:59 PM
on PROVIDEO COALITION on how to avoid flicker.
He explains the "anatomy" of flicker and the effect on
global shutter camera and rolling shutter camera.
Film camera and flicker is mentioned also.
Link to article: Rough Guide to Flicker-Free HD Shooting
By knowing how to avoid it, you'll know how to create it.
Posted 04 October 2012 - 04:35 PM
Posted 04 October 2012 - 07:46 PM
Many flourescent/ LED / and arc lamps will flicker if you shoot off speed. The slower heat up and cooldown of tungsten lights tends to hide the flicker until you get up to about 100 FPS. The best way to know is to test of course.
If you don't have access to the power supply of the lights you basically have two options: shoot off speed or flicker the lights in post.
If you do have access to the power supply you have a couple more options.
A standard dimmer does work, but in my experience I find it tricky to use because there is a very narrow point that flickers between completely on and off. Not only that but it varies, and you'll kill the ballast after a certain period of time.
I've had the most success just using a flicker box so you can dial in the exact level of flicker you want. Have fluorescent tubes and fixtures though, because this also kills them sooner or later.