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Music video and new colorist. Thoughts?


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#1 David Grauberger

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Posted 02 September 2017 - 09:42 AM

Hey everyone,

 

This was a low budget music video I DPed on epic dragon 6k.  I had very minimal lighting.  I mean minimal, like 2 1x1 LED panels.   We pushed that dragon sensor probably too far... :)   I'd love some thoughts and feedback.  I had a great colorist and am new to the process of working with him.  I'd love some ideas and thoughts back on where to improve and what worked.  (kinda nice to hear what worked too, rather than just the negative :) 

 


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#2 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 02 September 2017 - 12:32 PM

Honestly, music videos like this are hard to critique because they get artistic and honestly, there isn't anything that stands out. Overall I thought it was well shot cinematography wise, with some really beatiful locations and setups.

I thought the color was subtle, which is kinda good for what the project is.

I would have actually lit the exterior locations with the piano, the bed and I think there was one more close up exterior. Just because I felt there could have been more pop in the faces that's all.

The only other scene that stood out to me was the fire stuff because it was so much darker then everything else and there wasn't very much shadow detail. When I shoot with fire, I tend to light and reflect as well, so that even when backlit, the actors shapes pop more.

I'd love to see a full 4k version of this video, Youtube doesn't do it justice.
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#3 David Grauberger

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Posted 04 September 2017 - 11:25 AM

Hi Tyler,

 

Thanks for the feedback.  I agree I looking at it after the fact, I wasn't happy with how dark my blacks went on the fire and piano stuff.  It was my first time shooting with fire and I was worried to put some fill in the shadows without a flicker box to mimic the fire.  I'm curious how that has worked out for you?  In your experience did you have to flicker the fill a bit to hide it?  On my fire stuff I did a criss/cross back light from gelled LEDs to aid the fire.  I felt like with how quick the cuts are it hid the lack of flicker a bit.  Still worried me a bit.  

 

Thanks for the feedback!  Yeah the 4K does look much better to me.  Youtube compression blah blah blah..! 


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#4 Bruce Greene

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Posted 04 September 2017 - 04:23 PM

Well done David.  Very resourceful!


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#5 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 04 September 2017 - 11:23 PM

Thanks for the feedback.  I agree I looking at it after the fact, I wasn't happy with how dark my blacks went on the fire and piano stuff.  It was my first time shooting with fire and I was worried to put some fill in the shadows without a flicker box to mimic the fire.  I'm curious how that has worked out for you?


You can get away with something like moonlight, if it's high enough in the sky. I honestly haven't shot silhouette with fire before, but if I did what you did, I would have done an artificial moon. You can't really do anything else because there was no practical fire on that side of them, so things like a flame bar, wouldn't have helped.
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#6 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 04 September 2017 - 11:43 PM

It seems in some shots there was fire coming from two sides so if it wasn't important to keep the logic of a single fire, then you could have filled with some flickering firelight from a second fire or a flame bar, etc.  Up closer even a white or silver board might have bounced some of the fire back into the faces enough for some fill.

 

Otherwise, if you want fill -- and the dark silhouettes looked fine to me -- you could do a very soft and high bounce fill as if moonlight, just keep it very minimal.


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#7 David Grauberger

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Posted 05 September 2017 - 03:04 PM

Thanks for the feedback guys.  The artificial moon is an interesting concept.  I wonder if high in the sky while maybe a whitecard below to fill?  Worth a try. 

 

I agree David that sometimes it doesn't need to be so practically motivated.  For the close ups of Seth in the band by the fire, he is sidelight by the fire with a gelled LED on the opposite side as kicker.  Because I knew it was going to be quick cuts, I thought we'd get away with it.  Maybe if it was dialogue or longer shots it would start to appear pretty fake.  Dont think I'd have tried at that point.  

 

Thanks!
 


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#8 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 06 September 2017 - 03:43 AM

Theater.pngWhite card below, ANYTHING is better then nothing.

I faced a similar issue recently on a short film and filled in using a 1k bouncing off a white board and giving nice soft light over the faces. It was a slightly different situation because I needed to see the actors actual faces, but it was hard backlight and that's how I solved it. Took 10 minutes to setup and without it, you wouldn't have seen anything.
 


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#9 David Grauberger

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Posted 06 September 2017 - 10:03 AM

Looks good Tyler.  Very "direction-less" fill.  How far away would you say the whitecard is?  laying on the ground?  angled at the actors?  


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#10 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 06 September 2017 - 12:49 PM

So the white board was on top of a c stand with a clap, which was around 20 feet behind me and as high as the stand would go, so maybe 14ft in the air? The light source was pretty close to me, maybe 10 feet or less, it was a 1k open face and I believe it had 2, 1 stop scrims in it already. I knew I would block it with my body if it were low or not high enough, so I made it super high and didn't put much light into it. 

 

If the bounce had been under me, I would have never seen their faces thanks to the shoulders getting in the way. If I was shooting further away, I would have put the bounce right near the camera, but because it was a moving hand held shot, I couldn't risk it. Also, this was hour 18 of an eventually 26 hour day, so I was completely and utterly wasted.

 

When the people who ran the theater told us we couldn't use their studio lighting, I had to improvise in umm... 10 minutes? It's funny because this was a short film with a bunch of pretty decent actors, directed by a pretty well known guy, yet they couldn't afford to bring in a gaffer. Worst part is, the two people we had who were helping hands earlier in the day, they split because they had work the next day. So from this scene onward, it was just the director, producer, sound guy and me. To say the least, this is how I solved that problem. lol :P


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