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Is Rim Lighting the secret with DV interviews ?


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#1 Algis Kemezys

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Posted 25 June 2005 - 09:31 PM

Is rim lighting the subject the only method of separting the subject from the back ground?
I guess that or move the camera away from the subject, zoom in and fill the frame with head and shoulders; and then perhaps background fall off occurs.
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 25 June 2005 - 10:07 PM

You can also create separation by framing the dark side of the head against a bright glow on the background. It's either dark against light or light against dark, or color against a contrasting color, or focus against blurriness, or a mixture of some of those.

There are no "rules" regarding this; Storaro lit the talking head interviews in "Reds" in a soft side key light, no fill, and a black background.
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#3 Chris Cooke

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Posted 26 June 2005 - 01:35 AM

If you are shooting interviews, the subject won't move around a whole lot. In that case, you can light the scene dark (maybe an f2.8). This will help a lot in throwing the background out of focus. There are two main ways of doing this. Either light the scene to f2.8 or light it a little brighter (maybe 5.6) and ND it down to a f 2.8.
I really like what David said about putting a glow behind the dark side of the face (or vice versa). Ellipsoidals work well for this.
I find that a kicker on the dark side of the face and shoulder is much more visually interesting than a flat rim across the back of the subject's shoulders.
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#4 Algis Kemezys

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Posted 26 June 2005 - 08:01 AM

You can also create separation by framing the dark side of the head against a bright glow on the background.  It's either dark against light or light against dark, or color against a contrasting color, or focus against blurriness, or a mixture of some of those.

There are no "rules" regarding this; Storaro lit the talking head interviews in "Reds" in a soft side key light, no fill, and a black background.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>



Hello There DM,

Yes I agree this too is very nice .Thanks for reminding me.
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#5 Algis Kemezys

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Posted 26 June 2005 - 08:04 AM

If you are shooting interviews, the subject won't move around a whole lot. In that case, you can light the scene dark (maybe an f2.8). This will help a lot in throwing the background out of focus. There are two main ways of doing this. Either light the scene to f2.8 or light it a little brighter (maybe 5.6) and ND it down to a f 2.8.
I really like what David said about putting a glow behind the dark side of the face (or vice versa). Ellipsoidals work well for this.
I find that a kicker on the dark side of the face and shoulder is much more visually interesting than a flat rim across the back of the subject's shoulders.

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Hello from Montreal C,

Sorry, the kicker sounds good.
Is that a bigger splash of light wrapping around the subject from the dark side of the force ?
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#6 Chris Cooke

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Posted 26 June 2005 - 01:46 PM

Hello  from Montreal C,

Sorry, the kicker sounds good.
Is that a bigger splash of light wrapping around the subject from the dark side of the force ?

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It's more of a hilight. Check out special features on the DVD's that you buy or rent to see how they light their interviews. The Last Samurai and Spider Man 2 are some movies that I saw lately that had pretty good interviews.
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#7 Kyle Geerkens

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Posted 16 July 2005 - 12:28 AM

I have been shooting a lot of DV interviews recently, and I think I have some good separation between bg and subject.

I'd reaally like to know what everyone thinks of this small reel. I know it's not much, but feedback would be appreciated.


Thanks
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#8 Alvin Pingol

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Posted 16 July 2005 - 02:57 AM

I'd reaally like to know what everyone thinks of this small reel.

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Hi, what reel?
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#9 Kyle Geerkens

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Posted 16 July 2005 - 10:20 AM

Hi, what reel?

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www.rkto.com



sorry.... clearly I'm not here for my typing skills.
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#10 Jonathan Bryant

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Posted 20 July 2005 - 01:27 AM

www.rkto.com
sorry....    clearly I'm not here for my typing skills.

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Though your lighting skill are nice. The bar scene and talking heads looked very nice with the kickers.
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#11 CJ Biddle

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Posted 21 July 2005 - 09:37 AM

Kyle, Nice work. Interviews look great.

For those who are new to interviews --one basic thing that I would like to add, simply because it is a lesson I had to learn when first shooting interviews, it helps to put several feet of space between the subject and the background when possible. It will eliminate that person-in-a-couch-against-the-wall look that is often so flat. This is probably a no-brainer for most of you.

I think Kyle's interviews are a good example of separating the background with depth, color and contrast.
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#12 drew_town

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Posted 21 July 2005 - 01:09 PM

Kyle,

What separates your interviews from the backgrounds much more than the back and rim lights are the monochrome/mostly-monochrome backgrounds. It's a technique I try to incorporate whenever possible. Nice work. The lighting and framing looks well balanced. The shot of the guy with the hat looks the best to me. The only thing I could suggest would be to soften the key light and pull it farther away from the camera to give it a little shape.
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#13 Kyle Geerkens

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Posted 22 July 2005 - 03:00 AM

Thanks for the input everyone,

"The only thing I could suggest would be to soften the key light and pull it farther away from the camera to give it a little shape."


can you elaborate on this a little more? What do you mean that it would give it more shape by being farther away from the camera.


Thanks
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#14 Eugene Lehnert

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Posted 22 July 2005 - 09:52 AM

How did you light the bar scene? Natural lighting or not?

The interviews looked nice. What is the big difference between backlight and a kicker? Are kicker's lower?

The outside stuff didn't seem to be lit in any way at all. What did you do, or could have done to make them stand out more on that cloudy day?
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#15 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 22 July 2005 - 10:21 AM

The interviews looked nice.  What is the big difference between backlight and a kicker?  Are kicker's lower? 

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Lighting terms are never too precise, especially when dealing with moving people and cameras in relation to the lights.

Yes, a backlight comes from behind and over the head, whereas a kicker comes from one side of the head and behind, sometimes also referred to as an edge or rim light. Some people would say that a kicker is a hotter edge light, i.e. "a real kicker".
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#16 Eugene Lehnert

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Posted 22 July 2005 - 10:35 AM

Say I have a key light on the right side of the face. Should the backlight be on the right or left? What do people usually do? I always had a tendency to put the backlight on the opposite side of the key but a teacher said that was counterintuitive to what most people would expect. I still like it myself but I sometimes I have put the key and backlight on the same side then added the side light or kicker to the other side of the face. Any thoughts on this?
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#17 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 22 July 2005 - 11:51 AM

Well, "technically" the backlight would be neither left or right, but center. The kicker would be either opposite the key (more common) or on the same side as the key.

Generally if you put a kicker or backlight on the same side as the key, you'd be underexposing the key for an effect -- otherwise the hot edge would be lost in the brightness of the face. If the kicker is on the shadow side of the face, then that's not a problem.

For features, I like to use a strong backlight or kicker motivated by a window and then let the face be underexposed, which looks natural because it suggests that most of the light is coming from behind the face and the "key" is only the bounce-back of the backlight into the face (sometimes that's exactly what it is.)

For interviews, you would generally have the face at full exposure, so you'd probably use the kicker on the shadow side to round off or create some separation there.
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#18 Kyle Geerkens

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Posted 22 July 2005 - 12:39 PM

THe Bar scene was all artificial lighting. Quite complex as a matter of fact (for me) I had to block out a HUGE 20x20 skylight next to the bar, then went to work on evening out the bar. The colour was dialed out in the camera to make a dull image to sybloize how boring the patron's life is without his new beer.

The interviews were positioned in a doorway with a bedroom behind. this gave me enough room to allow for a good 10 feet behind the subject the kicker was a repositioned practical lightoff camera with one key and a wash over the bg to make it uniform. you can see on one of the interviews that the background is washed out except for a couple normal coloured foreground elements. does this work for you?
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#19 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 22 July 2005 - 07:52 PM

Here's an example from "Northfork" of the kicker on the same side as the key, but the key being underexposed to not blend into the kicker:

Posted Image
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#20 Chris Cooke

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Posted 23 July 2005 - 01:42 AM

Here's an example from "Northfork" of the kicker on the same side as the key, but the key being underexposed to not blend into the kicker:

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That's beautiful David, I'm watching "Northfork" for the first time right now and I just stopped it right after this scene. Great work so far, I'll watch the rest in the morning but I'm loving your use of angles and lighting. Did you use different sources for your kicker and your backlight or is it the same? Looks like it's the same, probably an HMI out the window.
I noticed that you added a little smoke to many shots. It must have been nice doing a period feature like this where smoke is always motivated by dust in the air or oil lamps.
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