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"Punctum Temporis" SHORT - RED One Cinematography

red one kino flo hand held silent no dialogue arri lighting students

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#1 Tomas Frigstad

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Posted 19 April 2013 - 03:54 PM

Hello!

 

Last year I was a part of a student production called "Punctum Temporis". A 10-minute, no dialogue, short film. My first time operating a Red One camera, so I believe I might could have gotten more out of it. Although I co-directed and wrote, I would like get some feedback on my cinematography for this one, as this is the branch I really want do continue doing. 

 

This was a small production with only eight crew members, so I ran the lighting and camera operating myself, while my camera assistant pulled the focus. 

 

Would appreciate any feedback!

 

 

 


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#2 Nico Nonne

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 04:42 AM

Hi,

 

first: congrats on shooting with a Red One, it can truly record nice pictures. However, if you know how to frame (and I think you did some nice shots in that regard) it really is more about learning how to light than anything else.

Except for a few people from the film making community no one would have noticed the gain in resolution and dynamic range that makes the difference to a DSLR (apart from all those other little details). It simply makes your life easier (and sometimes harder ;) ). So instead of renting a Red One, get a gaffer, light and grip equipment (if you can). That said, I think the dynamic range of the camera actually saved you in quite a lot of shots, that would have been blown out or mostly black otherwise.

What really makes a difference with all cameras is not to respect the dynamic range of your sensor in terms of highlights, only using hard light, not thinking about where to put the light and how it changes the shadows, using thick smoke 'just because' etc.

This sounds overly harsh and you really got some nice shots (some of them even because you used hard light), still there is a lot of room for improvement, I think. Then again I simply hate "in you face"-lighting, so I'm quite biased.

 

I was contemplating whether to actually post this critique of mine, but in the end we all learn from seeing someone else's point of view, even if we disregard it as rubbish ;)

 

Nico


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#3 Tomas Frigstad

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Posted 23 April 2013 - 10:34 AM

Hi, and thanks a lot for taking the time to write.

I totally get what you're saying in regards of might prioritizing other things than renting an expensive camera, but this was a really small production, and everybody working did so for free. I felt that this was an opportunity to get to learn a professional camera system and (technical) workflow, so I decided that was what I wanted to do. And I sure did learn a lot :)

 

In terms of the lighting I agree with most of your remarks. The "flat" and hard lighting style was something we actually wanted to illustrate the somewhat psycho/mental side of it, but maybe it didn't work so well (perhaps somebody else have more inputs here?). I think the main problem was that so many of the pictures is similar to each other, and the hand-held camera movement might become somewhat monotonic and boring in lenght.

 

Next time I think I will spend my resources on lighting/grip equipment, and make sure to either having more people in the camera department to help me out, or make sure that cinematography is my one and only focus.

 

Again thanks for the feedback. It might be hard to believe, but I really do appreciate it :)


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#4 Santiago Semino

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Posted 21 May 2013 - 11:55 PM

Hello! 

 

I guess I'll open with what I enjoyed about the film in terms of cinematography. I thought what you did best were the decisions in framing and timing. There were several shots in the film that carried nicely and gave room for the coming shot. Though your angles got a touch "eclectic" at times, I thought you covered your limited space quite nicely (something I think most people don't notice). There's a solid amount of rack focus which I admire and was used well in times when the scene called for a sudden cut, quick transition, or slow fade/fade-in. All in all, the color worked for me and there were never issues of "bad" lighting or lack of detail. 

 

I think the main areas for improvement may be on the heavy dependence for rack focus ( I know i'm slightly arguing against myself but it's important to state nonetheless.) Though it was utilized well for the most part, I think after a while the extreme shallow depth of field was bothersome. The second thing that doesn't really fall on cinematography SO much is the use of smoke. I think it was too obvious and as Nico pointed out in the earlier post it is very noticeable with such a good camera. I remember shooting with heavy fog and an HVX200 and it created a beautiful creamy feel, the smoke just wasn't an issue. These newer cameras are so good that there has to be a serious consideration with it. Lastly, there seemed to be a big difference between the harsh light that lit the ambiance, and the harsh light that lit his face. In the room it felt fine, and is usually what we see in rooms. But when it was so hard on the subject there was too big of a disassociation with his location. It didn't feel like the light had space to fall-off as it normally would. 

 

I think you should be proud of yourself for making a beautiful film! And the fact that there's no dialogue worked well. 

 

Good luck on your future projects and I hope I helped in some way :)

 

Best,

S


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#5 Tomas Frigstad

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Posted 25 May 2013 - 05:11 PM

Hello! 

 

I guess I'll open with what I enjoyed about the film in terms of cinematography. I thought what you did best were the decisions in framing and timing. There were several shots in the film that carried nicely and gave room for the coming shot. Though your angles got a touch "eclectic" at times, I thought you covered your limited space quite nicely (something I think most people don't notice). There's a solid amount of rack focus which I admire and was used well in times when the scene called for a sudden cut, quick transition, or slow fade/fade-in. All in all, the color worked for me and there were never issues of "bad" lighting or lack of detail. 

 

I think the main areas for improvement may be on the heavy dependence for rack focus ( I know i'm slightly arguing against myself but it's important to state nonetheless.) Though it was utilized well for the most part, I think after a while the extreme shallow depth of field was bothersome. The second thing that doesn't really fall on cinematography SO much is the use of smoke. I think it was too obvious and as Nico pointed out in the earlier post it is very noticeable with such a good camera. I remember shooting with heavy fog and an HVX200 and it created a beautiful creamy feel, the smoke just wasn't an issue. These newer cameras are so good that there has to be a serious consideration with it. Lastly, there seemed to be a big difference between the harsh light that lit the ambiance, and the harsh light that lit his face. In the room it felt fine, and is usually what we see in rooms. But when it was so hard on the subject there was too big of a disassociation with his location. It didn't feel like the light had space to fall-off as it normally would. 

 

I think you should be proud of yourself for making a beautiful film! And the fact that there's no dialogue worked well. 

 

Good luck on your future projects and I hope I helped in some way :)

 

Best,

S

 

Thank you very much for your input! I really appreciate your feedback and will definately make use of it on the next project! :)


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Glidecam

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Aerial Filmworks

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