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That 'TV Movie' look

tv movie cinematography post production production looks

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#1 Jim Alix Heru

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Posted 12 September 2015 - 10:49 AM

Greetings People,

 

My first post, had a search and can't find anything specific on the subject (please correct me if I'm wrong)

 

The 'TV Movie Look'

 

I first heard this on an episode of Entourage where a Director fires his cinematographer due to making his film look like a TV Movie. After hearing this I looked into it and you can just tell now when a film, or series have that 'look'

 

So my question really is, what makes it look like that, and how in the hell can you really avoid it lol

 

A great example is anything by 'The Asylum' lol 


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#2 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 12 September 2015 - 12:17 PM

Low budgets, no time, and generally flatter lighting.

And of course major lack of production design.


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#3 Jim Alix Heru

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Posted 12 September 2015 - 01:23 PM

Low budgets, no time, and generally flatter lighting.

And of course major lack of production design.

 

I'd defiantly agree on flatter lighting, would you say its 'over lighting' as well?

 

However, take 'Sharknado'

 

Production is alright, can't really fault locations etc.

 

But it stil looks like a TV movie. Where would the lack of budgets come into this for example?

 

(sorry for the extra questioning lol, feel like its still pretty ambiguous)


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#4 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 12 September 2015 - 01:32 PM

Well it is. It's specific to each film as to exactly why-- but you could also say over-lighting I suppose-- or "speed lighting" that is lighting which covers you to shoot very quickly.

One could ask the same thing of why soap operas look they way they do-- it's a product of time, budget, and general approach. MoWs, especially things like Asylum or the Lifetime things I've worked on, deal in quantity-- they make their money by having very many low-budget films come out very quickly, so they're working to get acceptable results which allow them to shoot, on occasion 12pgs/day. (typically when I've worked lifetime movies we've done a 14 day schedule-- you can imagine how compressed that. Shooting 2 cameras and often breaking into 2 units limits your lighting substantially as you're almost always lighting for quick set ups / break downs and turn arounds. Also I find they want to see the actors-- all the time-- which limits some more dramatic choices you could make.)


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#5 Jim Alix Heru

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Posted 12 September 2015 - 01:41 PM

Well it is. It's specific to each film as to exactly why-- but you could also say over-lighting I suppose-- or "speed lighting" that is lighting which covers you to shoot very quickly.

One could ask the same thing of why soap operas look they way they do-- it's a product of time, budget, and general approach. MoWs, especially things like Asylum or the Lifetime things I've worked on, deal in quantity-- they make their money by having very many low-budget films come out very quickly, so they're working to get acceptable results which allow them to shoot, on occasion 12pgs/day. (typically when I've worked lifetime movies we've done a 14 day schedule-- you can imagine how compressed that. Shooting 2 cameras and often breaking into 2 units limits your lighting substantially as you're almost always lighting for quick set ups / break downs and turn arounds. Also I find they want to see the actors-- all the time-- which limits some more dramatic choices you could make.)

 

That makes perfect sense and defiantly has given me lots of food for thought when it comes to lighting a scene :)

 

Thank you :D


Edited by Jim Alix Heru, 12 September 2015 - 01:41 PM.

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#6 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 12 September 2015 - 03:49 PM

My pleasure.


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