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#1 Simon Wyndham

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Posted 13 July 2005 - 03:30 AM

Okay guys, here's a scenario I'm going to find myself in in a month or so. Not entirely sure of how I'm going to solve the problem mainly because of a distinct lack of budget. Although we might (being the operative word) be able to blag an HMI or two, but by no means guaranteed.

The shoot is in a forest. A very dense one at that. I've shot a couple of test shots in there just to see what the natural light is like, but it is very murky. I had to put the camera on 6db of gain in order to get a halfway decent exposure. I don't want to switch the camera to 1/25 shutter either as it makes the picture too smeary.

In the movie it is supposed to be sunny. In other words nice areas of dappled light 'shining through the trees'.

We have the ability to get power in there, up to around 4k. Lighting the medium and closeups shouldn't be too much of a problem as far as the actresses faces are concerned. Whats bugging me is how to handle the background. I don't want nice sunny actress faces with a dark dull looking backdrop. Firstly it will look dark, and secondly it will look weird.

For some of the early morning scenes I thought we might be able to get away with having some fake mist in parts of the background with a hidden light shining through it in order to establish the fact that there are pockets of light around even if I can't get any kind of wide area light in there.

If it really is sunny when we come to shoot we might be saved in a few of the shots. But I am working on the assumption that the weather will not be favourable and possibly be overcast.

Anyone got any ideas on how to tackle this?
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#2 Simon Wyndham

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Posted 13 July 2005 - 04:10 AM

Doh! Forgot to mention that the big problem is the wider shots.
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#3 Tim J Durham

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Posted 13 July 2005 - 06:23 AM

Doh! Forgot to mention that the big problem is the wider shots.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

You could get a dozen or so Coleman battery-powered camping lanterns (very bright!) and suspend them on the backside of a series of trees, then fog it up a little.
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#4 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 13 July 2005 - 10:47 AM

The solution is to find a less dense forest if you can't afford to light one up...

For very wide shots, the only solution to having sunlight coming down through the trees is either to really have sunlight coming down through the trees... or shoot near the edge of the woods and have a bright light on a crane shining through a hole in the canopy, if you can find one. But even that will only spotlight one area.

Otherwise, limit yourself to less wide shots and rig HMI PAR's to high branches to create some hot pools of light here and there.

Fogging up the woods may help although it may also cut some of the exposure.

I'd start with finding areas of the woods that are less dense.
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#5 Jon Rosenbloom

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Posted 13 July 2005 - 10:49 AM

One of the great things about being a DP is you can say "This location doesn't work for me."
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#6 Simon Wyndham

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Posted 13 July 2005 - 12:08 PM

Just had an update today. It appears that they should be able to get one 2k hmi and one 4k hmi.

Where possible in the more difficult areas we will try to avoid expansive wde shots. Which suits me down to the ground as it means I can get shallower depth of field from longer focal lengths and make things easier on the compression.

Most of the other parts of the forest aren't so bad although there is still the high contrast ratio to contend with. I will test out one of those ultra cons to see if it has any effect. The dense part of the forest is by a stream. The nature of the shoot dictates that we shoot in this one forest, and since the stream is a crucial part of the story we have to shoot there. I'm sure we'll find a way of getting a result. We've got a fantastic gaffer on board who had some ingenious ideas. Turns out his main experience is with some very well known 35mm films so this lowly DV25 DOP will be humbling to his every suggestion! A nice surprise. :)
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