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White Cyc Shoot - seeking advise


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#1 foofah

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Posted 18 May 2005 - 03:18 PM

Hi all~

This is my first posting to the list, although I have been reading it for quite some time. I tried to search for relevant posts, but couldn't find any... maybe I wasn't searching with the right key words.

I am shooting against a white cyc for the first time next week with a Panasonic SDX-900 and I was wondering if you had any tips or suggestions for 1) getting an even exposure on the wall without any hotspots, and setting the wall exposure so it reads white but doesn't halo onto my talent 2) separating my talent from the background (better with light or shadow?), and 3) achieving a beautiful, soft key all the time while keeping it simple?

Here's the scenario:

One locked-off medium shot of a single bartender (dressed in long sleeved white) standing in front of a white bar mixing drinks. There will be minimal props, but they will be reflective (bar glasses, shakers, etc.) I believe the bar is a shiny laminate white. It is not huge budget. The end product is for the Web. There are 8 bartenders, but the shot is always the same... we will rotate them through one at a time. For skin tone, 6 are white, 2 are black.

The shoot is for an alcohol company, so obviously the product needs to look great. I have not shot a lot of product shots, although I know with glass it is all about reflection. Again, any sage advise is appreciated.

Specifically, I'm looking for tips on which lights to use on both my background and my talent (ie, vertical kinos to cross light the cyc vs. 2k zips vs. scoops, and 1k or 2k through a chimera vs. bounced on beadboard vs. through double diffusion). It's just me setting it all up... so I'm wondering what will be the easiest... I won't have hours and hours to tweak around, although I recognize there is a cost difference between using kinos vs. fresnels, and a home made soft box vs. a chimera.

Thanks in advance for the input...

-Beth
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#2 Rolfe Klement

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Posted 18 May 2005 - 07:10 PM

It is tough to get an even white wall exposed correctly within latitude without serious kino lighting bills - I would recommend blowing out the background with floor lighting 2k cyc lights and | or ceiling 2k cyc lights

Use a spot meter to check the wall (a 2k every 2 or 2.5m seems OK for film) - luckily video will blow out quicker

Conventional wisdom will tell you to light with space lights but I am not sure you need this for your setup.

Now the issue is to make your talent look good - the issue being you have so much light bouncing around. I would recommend using as much negative fill as you can to clean up bounce light from the background to try and get a low key look - easier with African american skin

You want your key or fill light to have rapid falloff - otherwise it will push the background up and you go in a circle of brighter and brighter lighting.

Try use a camera light or ringlight to get rapid falloff for the higher contrast ratio on talent.

I would go with a ring light or kinos for talent - or you can just blow a bright fresnel down - try and get your talent to stand on as much black floor as possible - basically everything the camera doesn't see should be black :)

Check Andrew Eccles

Do a make up test to decide if you want to go glossy or matt - each has strengths and issues

thanks

Rolfe
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#3 John Thomas

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Posted 19 May 2005 - 08:17 AM

Beth,

Help yourself by keeping the talent far enough from the cyc so that the background is soft and not influenced by the lighting you do for the actors. If you can, back the camera up so that you're not on the widest part of the lens. good luck,

JT
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#4 Kevin Zanit

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Posted 19 May 2005 - 12:42 PM

The above covered it fairly well, but here is how I have done similar in the past:

I used Image 80s every 8 feet or so about 6 feet from the cyc.

Then, got the talent as far from it as possible.

To light the talent, I used a 12x12 frame of full grid with a maxi going through from the side, and then a book light with another maxi through light grid for fill.

I used the book light because it falls off so fast that it really won?t cast the shadow of the talent onto the screen/ ground.

The nice thing about Image 80's on the cyc is that they are so soft and lower in intensity than the maxis that there is very little bounce back from the cyc.


Kevin Zanit
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Visual Products

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Aerial Filmworks

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Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Willys Widgets

Rig Wheels Passport

FJS International, LLC

CineLab

Wooden Camera

CineTape

Metropolis Post