Jump to content


Photo

The 40-foot Closeup with Crescenzo Notarile

cinematography notarile ASC Gotham long lenses closeup camera work CSI Las Vegas beauty portraits

  • Please log in to reply
11 replies to this topic

#1 Richard_Swearinger

Richard_Swearinger
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 15 posts
  • Other
  • Des Moines Iowa

Posted 11 December 2016 - 06:48 PM

In his interview on the American Cinematographer podcast, Crescenzo Notarile ASC says when he was shooting CSI that he would do his closeups from 40 feet away using 150mm to 250mm lenses (as opposed to Gotham where he uses 21mm to 32mm).

 

 

As mainly a stills photographer, I understand where he's going, most people look a lot better with longer lenses. However, the farthest I get from my still subjects is 10 or 15 feet. Forty feet away would be a whole other universe... 

 

 

So, in cinematography is there an advantage to shooting with such long lenses besides the flattering look and change in subject-background relationship?

Does it change the actor's dynamic with the camera? What other benefits does it bestow? 

Thanks

 


  • 0


#2 Phil Rhodes

Phil Rhodes
  • Sustaining Members
  • 11862 posts
  • Other

Posted 11 December 2016 - 07:23 PM

I like to do that sort of thing because you can then move with people and nobody (well, nobody at home) can tell the difference between a track and a pan.

 

In all seriousness, what it does is to motivate a lot more movement just to follow people around as they gesture, talk, shift their weight, and so on, which is a very CSI sort of a look. I was watching a few clips of CSI just the other day (not sure if it was shot by the guy you mention, but it's fairly consistent) and noticed exactly this technique in use.

 

P


  • 0

#3 David Mullen ASC

David Mullen ASC
  • Sustaining Members
  • 19606 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles

Posted 11 December 2016 - 10:20 PM

You pretty much nailed the reasons, the flattened perspective, the enlarged background (but softer), shooting through more mid ground to foreground objects/action/atmosphere in front of the actor (which is not great if the set is too hazy).  

 

At some point, because a face does not have a lot of depth to it compared to larger objects, it's not going to look much different at 150mm versus 300mm but the background will and the amount of atmosphere that you are shooting through will increase.


  • 0

#4 Phil Connolly

Phil Connolly
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 373 posts
  • Director
  • London

Posted 12 December 2016 - 06:36 AM

For documentary longer lens might impact the performance. It can make the camera seem less intimidating if its further away - so the go too option for nervous interviewees on doco's. But its difficult to objectively tell if its making a difference as each time you do it you in a different situation with a different person. I can see how remote rigged cameras for documentary shooting can make a difference - allowing people to forget they are being filmed.

 

But I've found people tend to adapt to what ever your doing pretty quickly. I once did a music video everything including close ups on a 14mm and the camera was inches away - weird at first but the performers soon adapted an got on with it.

eg: 

 

Mostly choice is about the feel between subject and background, On drama shoots you always hope that the actors you cast will be experienced enough to ignore the camera placement


  • 0

#5 John E Clark

John E Clark
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 844 posts
  • Other
  • San Diego

Posted 12 December 2016 - 01:05 PM

In his interview on the American Cinematographer podcast, Crescenzo Notarile ASC says when he was shooting CSI that he would do his closeups from 40 feet away using 150mm to 250mm lenses (as opposed to Gotham where he uses 21mm to 32mm).

 

 

As mainly a stills photographer, I understand where he's going, most people look a lot better with longer lenses. However, the farthest I get from my still subjects is 10 or 15 feet. Forty feet away would be a whole other universe... 

 

 

So, in cinematography is there an advantage to shooting with such long lenses besides the flattering look and change in subject-background relationship?

Does it change the actor's dynamic with the camera? What other benefits does it bestow? 

Thanks

 

 

The Wife use to use a 100mm on a fullframefilm Nikon for her 'ideal' portrait lens. I presume for the cinematography example, using a somewhat standard frame format equivalent to 35mm 'movie' film, that a 150mm has a bit smaller Angle of View, than for the FF 35mm still.

 

With that in mind, 40 feet sounds reasonable for a 'shoulders up' shot.

 

In terms of the 'film language', how distant the camera is to the action does give a certain message. More of a distant observer, rather than in the middle of things wide angle perhaps even distorted slightly. (Other than extreme distortion for that effect).

 

In the case of CSI, my guess is that the mood of the show is 'reality', 'factual', 'undistorted' (aside from the philosophical point of view that any filming necessarily distorts reality...).

 

In the case of Gotham, while not going as far as the old Batman TV show 'total cartooning', there is some sort of distortion which to me is in keeping with the idea of the comic... excuse me... graphic novel style. I've also noticed more 'dutched' shots as well... no 'ka-pow' in big psychedelic letters yet...

 

b3de9904202972a838564e9fa136edbb.jpg


Edited by John E Clark, 12 December 2016 - 01:09 PM.

  • 0

#6 David Mullen ASC

David Mullen ASC
  • Sustaining Members
  • 19606 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles

Posted 12 December 2016 - 01:15 PM

That would be a 67mm in Super-35 terms, close to the 65mm and 75mm primes often used for close-ups.  Actually the 65mm is one of my favorite lenses for close-ups since it is puts the camera at a reasonable distance from the actor without feeling like you are far away but not right in their face either.

 

 

The Wife use to use a 100mm on a fullframefilm Nikon for her 'ideal' portrait lens. 

 


  • 0

#7 Stuart Brereton

Stuart Brereton
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 2907 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Los Angeles

Posted 12 December 2016 - 01:22 PM

Actually the 65mm is one of my favorite lenses for close-ups since it is puts the camera at a reasonable distance from the actor without feeling like you are far away but not right in their face either.

 

My usual set of Super Speeds comes with a 65mm, rather than the normal 5 lens set. It's amazing how useful it is, once you get used to having it.


  • 0

#8 Miguel Angel

Miguel Angel
  • Sustaining Members
  • 749 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Spain / Ireland / South Africa

Posted 12 December 2016 - 02:46 PM

My usual set of Super Speeds comes with a 65mm, rather than the normal 5 lens set. It's amazing how useful it is, once you get used to having it.


Now I understand where are all the 65mm lenses when I ask for them in the camera rental houses, they are all in USA!

I don't know how it works in the rest of the world but in Ireland and Spain you have to pay an extra amount of money for the 65mm in the Super Speeds / Cookes
  • 0

#9 Marcel Zyskind

Marcel Zyskind
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 135 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Cph

Posted 12 December 2016 - 05:35 PM

Now I understand where are all the 65mm lenses when I ask for them in the camera rental houses, they are all in USA!

I don't know how it works in the rest of the world but in Ireland and Spain you have to pay an extra amount of money for the 65mm in the Super Speeds / Cookes

Servicevision in Barcelona has a few 65mm Super speeds :-)


  • 0

#10 Shawn Sagady

Shawn Sagady
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 171 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Maryland

Posted 13 December 2016 - 03:46 PM

I've discovered when shooting around 35mm sensor size that 85mm is my favorite long lens for close ups, it just feels really good and I can stop down some without throwing away to much depth.  I made a ton of use of the 85mm on an anamorphic project which I guess might make it feel more like a 65 on a spherical setup or is it the other way around.


  • 0

#11 Miguel Angel

Miguel Angel
  • Sustaining Members
  • 749 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Spain / Ireland / South Africa

Posted 14 December 2016 - 02:06 PM

Servicevision in Barcelona has a few 65mm Super speeds :-)


Thanks! I will remember that the next time that I work in Spain with the Superspeeds (which I really love!)
  • 0

#12 Miguel Angel

Miguel Angel
  • Sustaining Members
  • 749 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • Spain / Ireland / South Africa

Posted 11 January 2017 - 06:34 PM

Marcel, I finished my first feature in Ireland and I shot it on the Super Speeds.. I asked for the 65mm in the camera rental house (Vast Valley, they are just fantastic!) and they said: "We always give the 65mm in the Super Speed set!" 

 

Although our hero lens was the 35mm (I just love it!), we used the 65mm quite a few times for details and it is such an interesting middle ground lens inbetween the 50mm and the 85mm that I don't know why not all the Super Speed sets have the 65mm included.

 

Now, I'm shooting a commercial in Spain next week in which I want to use the Super Speeds, I asked for the 65mm in Sercivi (a camera rental house in Madrid) and they don't have it XD 

 

Have a lovely day!


  • 0



Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: cinematography, notarile, ASC, Gotham, long lenses, closeup, camera work, CSI Las Vegas, beauty, portraits

Glidecam

rebotnix Technologies

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Abel Cine

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Technodolly

Willys Widgets

Aerial Filmworks

FJS International, LLC

The Slider

CineLab

Ritter Battery

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Tai Audio

Visual Products

Metropolis Post

Rig Wheels Passport

Paralinx LLC

CineTape

Metropolis Post

rebotnix Technologies

FJS International, LLC

CineLab

Abel Cine

Glidecam

Technodolly

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Visual Products

Paralinx LLC

Ritter Battery

The Slider

Willys Widgets

CineTape

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Tai Audio

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Rig Wheels Passport

Aerial Filmworks