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#1 jbraver

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Posted 27 August 2005 - 05:35 PM

What do you guys think of the way TV shows are shot these days?

Two shows stand out for me

24 ---Rodney Charters A.S.C.

Lost ---Michael Bonvillain and Larry Fong
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#2 Chris Cooke

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Posted 28 August 2005 - 02:03 AM

TV shows are getting better and better in my opinion. Shows like 24, Lost, CSI, etc, etc are like mini features every week. Huge budgets for these shows (13 million per episode is a ballpark figure for CSI Las Vegas) are helping a lot. Actually, if you really want to make money... get into TV.
I've read a few good articles about 24 that are very interesting. The lighting for most scenes is basically all hanging lights since they shoot 360 degrees quite often. Also the lighting doesn't change much (if at all) for the CU's. The exteme movement I guess fits the show, not my favorite style of cinematography but whatever.
American Cinematographer Magazine has a good article about Lost in the February issue. It's a very harsh and realistic show in terms of the way it looks.
Ahh, the oversaturated, no fill look of CSI Las Vegas. If you want to know what a kicker is, watch this show. I enjoy watching this show and I've learned a lot from it.
Overall, for the lack of time that tv series' have, most do a great job. If you want to see a piece of cinematic art though, go to a movie theater and watch a 35mm projection of your favorite movie.
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#3 jbraver

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Posted 28 August 2005 - 01:14 PM

Thinking about it, 24 is the real standout for me. The transitions from day to night are always done in such a tasteful and beautiful way. I heard they are shooting HD this season.

I think TV has to get better because less and less people are going to theaters


Jake
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#4 Tim J Durham

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Posted 28 August 2005 - 10:56 PM

What do you guys think of the way TV shows are shot these days?

Two shows stand out for me 

24 ---Rodney Charters A.S.C. 

Lost ---Michael Bonvillain and Larry Fong

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

"Deadwood" is the best looking show on the tube. Great lighting and note-perfect set decoration combined with great writing and acting. Not having lived in the late 1800's, I can't vouch for the authenticity, although it sure takes you to a period and keeps you there, and that is rare in TV.

As opposed to "American Dreams", that show about living in the 60's which abounds with anachronistic dialogue and overly diffused, fuzzy photography. Everybody is soooo damned earnest it makes me wanna...

Deadwood never looks like a film/TV set and that should be the standard.
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#5 Michael Nash

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Posted 29 August 2005 - 01:11 PM

Ahh, the oversaturated, no fill look of CSI Las Vegas. If you want to know what a kicker is, watch this show. I enjoy watching this show and I've learned a lot from it.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Same for CSI: Miami. Similar lighting style, but a different color pallette. Vegas is purple, blue and yellow; Miami is gold and green; New York is blues and grays. The New York show gets the short end of the stick, since color contrast is such a defining characterstic of the other two shows.

What impresses me the most about these shows though is how they maintain a consistent look with rotating DP's. If you watch closely over several episodes you see that the approach to coverage and lighting is pretty formulaic, as it would have to be to deliver a consistent looking show on a TV schedule.

That's not meant to downplay the creativity and skill of the production crew; quite the opposite. Since I've been shooting a TV show I learn a lot by watching shows like this to see how to whip a million real-world variables into submission to deliver consistent, quality shots and coverage.
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#6 Larry Fong

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Posted 14 October 2005 - 12:46 PM

Michael,

You're quite right. I never would've signed onto the episodic portion of "Lost" without the rotating DP situation. When I found out Michael Bonvillian, who I'm a big fan of, was available, I was thrilled with the possibilities. Obviously we built on the foundation I laid down during the making of the pilot, but Michael had his own talents, ideas, and logistic contributions that helped the series evolve as well.

It was a great mental exercise figuring out how to both keep the show consistent PLUS allow for our individual aesthetics...something the average DP will never get to do, so I count myself lucky.

And yes, at least for more and more productions, the rotating DP scenario IS a viable way to keep up the quality in a very short time-frame. For those who may not know, the single-DP scenario means the DP cannot scout any locations before the shooting, or spend much quality prep time with the director. Although it's been done this way forever it sounds pretty crazy and I would feel uncomfortable with it. But I suppose that should make us appreciate all the more, the hardworking, psychic DP's that can, and have, pulled it off in the past as well as the present!

Larry Fong
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#7 jbraver

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Posted 18 October 2005 - 08:00 PM

Mr. Fong

I have some questions about how Lost is shot ...would this be the approprate place to ask them and would you be open to answering them.

thanks,

Jake
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#8 Larry Fong

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Posted 20 December 2005 - 03:13 AM

Sorry for the late response Jake. I'd be glad to answer any questions, although I'm not working on the show anymore (in Montreal shooting a film). Also, if you like I could give Mr. Bonvillain and Mr. Bartley a heads up to get on this forum although I know first hand that the show leaves precious little free time for its DP's!

Larry

Mr. Fong

I have some questions about how Lost is shot ...would this be the approprate place to ask them and would you be open to answering them.

thanks,

Jake


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#9 Adam Frisch FSF

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Posted 20 December 2005 - 06:43 AM

I don't watch much TV since I haven't got one, but the little I've seen of CSI and 24 is, as usual on TV, a little to dependant on close-ups. It drives me bonkers, makes me suffocate and feel clautsrophobic. You keep waiting for a wide 'release', but it never comes...
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#10 K Borowski

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Posted 20 December 2005 - 09:14 AM

Thinking about it, 24 is the real standout for me. The transitions from day to night are always done in such a tasteful and beautiful way. I heard they are shooting HD this season.

I think TV has to get better because less and less people are going to theaters
Jake


You heard wrong Jake. They've decided to keep shooting on 35mm. For a while they were testing a Genesis, and they've used video for shooting plates. This has all been archived extensively on a previous post though, so if you want more than just my recap, look it up. . .
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Wooden Camera

Glidecam

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