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Recent 35mm Shoot


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#1 Thomas Worth

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Posted 12 May 2005 - 10:39 PM

I finally got some footage from a 35mm shoot I DP'd a few months ago, and would like to hear some comments. This clip is from a rough cut, so please excuse the crappy sound:

http://rarevision.com/films/got.html
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 12 May 2005 - 11:21 PM

You're clearly going for some stylization with so many sources of different colors, so it might be silly for me to comment on how realistic some of it looks.

My first comment is that the room should be even darker before they hit the switch or else you wonder why they bother hitting the light switch. You could perhaps time it darker until the moment that the switch is hit.

Otherwise, it has a nice funky, colorful apartment vibe that fits with the young character.

The white light that comes up & down in the f.g. -- is that supposed to be from passing cars or a flashing neon sign outside?

The angles & coverage seem good.

My main critique is that perhaps you've got too many things going on, lighting-wise, in the scene. The backlight on the bed is a good idea but perhaps it could have been softer, or softened for the closer angles. I would have made it more of the dominant source, as if they were backlit by a practical, and then reduced the rest of the lights even more to keep the frame from looking too cluttered.
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#3 Thomas Worth

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Posted 13 May 2005 - 12:11 AM

My first comment is that the room should be even darker before they hit the switch or else you wonder why they bother hitting the light switch.  You could perhaps time it darker until the moment that the switch is hit.

I agree with that. I'm sure it can be darkened in post.

The white light that comes up & down in the f.g. -- is that supposed to be from passing cars or a flashing neon sign outside?

I was thinking some type of neon or other type of flashing sign. I wanted the feel of an urban apartment building.

My main critique is that perhaps you've got too many things going on, lighting-wise, in the scene. The backlight on the bed is a good idea but perhaps it could have been softer, or softened for the closer angles.  I would have made it more of the dominant source, as if they were backlit by a practical, and then reduced the rest of the lights even more to keep the frame from looking too cluttered.

Thanks a lot for the advice! It's pretty cool to have an A.S.C. cinematographer critique my work! ;)
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#4 J. Lamar King

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Posted 13 May 2005 - 01:01 AM

Well I'm no ASC DP but I've been in my share of critiques. It seems to me that the levels should be tweaked a bit. It should be darker in the first shot as David said but the insert of the light flicking on should also be darkened or the whole scene after lightened because it's a little mis-matched.

It seems you were going for a stylized look which is cool but I was left wondering where and what the source was and whether it was a day or night interior. I think the lamp at the bedside would have been a great source to work from. It would have given you a source for the characters as well as a source for light to go into the drawer.

BTW, the drawer looks white throughout the seqence then it looks brown on that push in, not sure why. I guess the way the light was reflecting off it. That push in, I think would have been a lovely moment for that light to have been on and revealed as the source.

The shot after the bedroom, the single on the guy is beautiful, I like the DOF and the color of the candles red/white is carried forward in the sofa. Very nice.

However, the following master shot seems a little like the bedroom, neither here nor there source wise. IMO, it would have looked a little better if the light on their faces weren't so chopped up and felt more like an off screen lamp.

Edited by J. Lamar King, 13 May 2005 - 01:03 AM.

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#5 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 13 May 2005 - 01:38 PM

If the light fading up and down was supposed to be something outside like a neon sign, I probably would have gelled it heavily (your choice of color) rather than let it be white -- usually those sorts of sources are colorful in some way, unless it was some sort of JumboTron sign or passing searchlamp, and those tend to be daylight balanced anyway.

White would make more sense for a passing car headlight effect.

The best lighting tends to be the simplest, so my overall comment is that you could have turned off some more lights, or played them less strongly to keep some sort of single source as dominant in the room, with the light fading up & down perhaps being the second source that you notice the most.
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#6 Landon D. Parks

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Posted 14 May 2005 - 04:39 AM

Shouldn't there be a "WARNING: Contains explicit adult content, not suitable for children" sign? lol, j/k.

Anyway, as to the look. I think it looked pretty good, the lighting did seem a bit flat to me though.... But overal good job!
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#7 oscar jimenez

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Posted 14 May 2005 - 03:39 PM

My opinion, the job is beautifoul. Very good light job.
Good job!!!
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#8 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 14 May 2005 - 05:47 PM

Hi,

...and I still don't see how that looks intrinsically better than it could have been on video, at least in an online quicktime.

Phil
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#9 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 14 May 2005 - 09:02 PM

Hi,

...and I still don't see how that looks intrinsically better than it could have been on video, at least in an online quicktime.

Phil

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Well, if you're just shooting for Quicktime presentation, you probably don't need to shoot in 35mm...
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#10 Sam Wells

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Posted 15 May 2005 - 12:06 PM

Hi - a nice job altho I agree with the critiques above.

I have to say the scene read as daylight - afternoonish so I did not "understand" the passing lights in that context (well executed but...)

The opener needs some rethinking as the light / switch on is problematic plus the wall gets kinda messy when it happens -- you're subject is double keyed (I can see hint of a thrird shadow also) when the lighting is switched on.

Since I'm nitpicking (I hope you want that !) I thought the slash on the wall in the last shot was a little too hot and over-the-top as effect (also it reads sort of like a beam of sunlight in this context).

You got chops I think, but maybe need to work on the balance ?

Constructively,

Sam
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#11 Sam Wells

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Posted 15 May 2005 - 12:21 PM

BTW, the drawer looks white throughout the seqence then it looks brown on that push in, not sure why.  I guess the way the light was reflecting off it.  That push in, I think would have been a lovely moment for that light to have been on and revealed as the source. 

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Well specular surfaces of polished furniture are always tricky. Here is where negative fill can - depending on geometry of course - be a good "cheap trick" without rethinking the lighting from square one. I have to say in this case 99% of non cinematographers are not going to run out to the popcorn stand because the density on a bedside table doesn't match :)

(The WORST case of this is trying to light a room with those shiny wood product laminate type walls. Certain building materials should be illegal :D

-Sam
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#12 J. Lamar King

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Posted 15 May 2005 - 02:36 PM

Well specular surfaces of polished furniture are always tricky. Here is where negative fill can - depending on geometry of course - be a good "cheap trick" without rethinking the lighting from square one. I have to say in this case 99% of non cinematographers are not going to run out to the popcorn stand because the density on a bedside table doesn't match  :)

(The WORST case of this is trying to light a room with those shiny wood product laminate type walls. Certain building materials should be illegal  :D

-Sam

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Exactly, I'm trying to suggest that IMO he should of flagged it or changed the angle of bedstand to light or dulled it because when they first jump into bed there is a mess of relflections in that surface that draw your eye. Maybe that's nitpicking but that's the kinda stuff a DP sometimes gets nailed for by the Director or Producers.
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#13 Tomas Koolhaas

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Posted 16 May 2005 - 05:58 PM

Hello,
as everyone else stated you're obviously going for a very styalized look so any feedback you get is pretty subjective. But, I would say that it seems slightly flat to me aswell, this may be due to you having frontal lighting in the scene or just a bit too much light in general.
I would definately say that for my taste at least there were too many sources, I think people respond better to fewer more defined sources (such as a bedside lamp as Lamar suggested).Your neon sign (which I too thought was supossed to be passing car headlights) was nice, but due to your multitude of sources got a bit lost in the mix. I would have liked to have seen the same scene with about half the amount of sources, and have the neon sign on a flicker box (so the flicker was less regular) and gelled with a green or flame red Gel, if this "neon" source had been the more powerful in the scene, with the couple edged with slightly softer cool light, then you would have had them intermittently sillhouetted (with only the cool edge) and filled in by the neon on the flicker-box.
I have used effect lighting tricks many times (candle's, headlights, TV's etc..) and feel that they work best when they are set on very irregular intervals, and are also a different colour temperature than the key on the subjects, and usually work best when not used with 'white' light. Also, the sharp cuts on the lights in both scenes are a little too sharp for me personally but hey that's just me I found it a bit distracting especially the sharp slash on the white wall in the BG of the bedroom scene, that's just my opinion, no offfence to how you shot the scene which was good.
Cheers.
Tomas.
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#14 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 17 May 2005 - 03:52 AM

Hi,

I think the problem with the sign is that they don't generally fade. I mean, you ever tried fading neon?

Phil
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#15 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 17 May 2005 - 11:08 AM

Hi,

I think the problem with the sign is that they don't generally fade. I mean, you ever tried fading neon?

Phil

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


There are flashing neon signs (not a slow fade though) plus rotating neon signs. There are also LED or other type lightbulb displays that changes images, like the giant TV screens in Times Square.
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