Jump to content


Photo

an idea for selective underexposing


  • Please log in to reply
13 replies to this topic

#1 Alex Haspel

Alex Haspel
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 282 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • vienna, austria

Posted 18 October 2005 - 06:58 AM

i'll be shooting an 16mm short movie in february, and there is going to be a dream sequence that the director wants to be dark and moody.
now the only role in the film is an isolated living woman, and this dream sequence is the only outside shoot.
there she will be sourrounded by a forest that the director wants to be really dark, almost black.

since this is a really tightly budgeted shoot i want to do as much effects as possible in-camera, and i came up with the following:

why not bleach her clothers and spot-measure how many stops lighter they are after that.
then let the make up people make her paler for the same amount of measured stops, and underexpose (when doing a light reading) the scene for that level?

she would look normaly exposed, and her whole surroundings would be a lot darker. that would also fit the "isolated" thematics quite fine, as i think...

have you ever done anything like that? experienced problems?

and:
what other additional effect could be used, since it's a dream sequence? i was thinking of something rather subtle..
like bringing the shutter slightly out of sync (yeah, is's an old hat) to get those vertical stripes (in lack of a better word) from the highlights (which will only be on her, since everything else would be underexposed)..


opinions are highly welcome

Edited by haspel, 18 October 2005 - 07:03 AM.

  • 0

#2 Jonathan Spear

Jonathan Spear
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 586 posts
  • Other

Posted 18 October 2005 - 07:12 AM

Sounds like an interesting idea.

How do you plan to light the actress?
  • 0

#3 Alex Haspel

Alex Haspel
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 282 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • vienna, austria

Posted 18 October 2005 - 07:16 AM

Sounds like an interesting idea.

How do you plan to light the actress?


thanks.

since it's outside in the woods and the budget is tight there will only be some bounced sunlight as fill or fill from a battery powered 125w hmi handlight..
  • 0

#4 Laurent Andrieux

Laurent Andrieux
  • Sustaining Members
  • 1527 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • France

Posted 18 October 2005 - 07:26 AM

I don't see what you mean with the clothes, if they are not seen in any other sequence, it doesn't matter how they are exposed since theyr are not totally unde/over exposed.

You could actually, meter tem as soon as they'got them, non need them to be in this sequence's light as to figure out their refelectance.

The point about your idea is that the make-up takes time to do... If you have to get the lalent in the light before the make-up can be done, you'll lose about half an hour or an hour and let everybody wait wich is not necessarly the best idea.

I don't have the answer to the question you're asking, though I reckon you have an idea that could work (apart from the point I was just pointing out) but what I'd rather try to find is a way of getting the set dark and leave the talent normally exposed.

A few ideas : use a pola or grade neutral density for the sky if you have it in the frame.

Slightly light the talent as to get her contrasty from the rest, that being the best solution, I think.

Maybe addeed to a light make-up "by eye" would just fit, without everybody to wait for you to meter and the make up to be done afterwards


You posted as I was writing...

I'm afraid 125w would only work for close-ups ! You could bounce the sun from a reflector for larger shots... Depending on the refelctor's quality, you can get some light that non one could "notice", though give her one or two stops over the rest
  • 0

#5 Alex Haspel

Alex Haspel
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 282 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • vienna, austria

Posted 18 October 2005 - 07:34 AM

I don't see what you mean with the clothes, if they are not seen in any other sequence, it doesn't matter how they are exposed since theyr are not totally unde/over exposed.


yes, they will be seen in another scene, that was the motivation to bleach them.

A few ideas : use a pola or grade neutral density for the sky if you have it in the frame.


well.. to be honest, i find this not radical enough.. altough the pola might be a nice addition.

Slightly light the talent as to get her contrasty from the rest, that being the best solution, I think.


well, to get the contrast i'd like to have, i'd need quite a lot of light. and i think it would be cheaper to maker her lighter not with lamps but with make up. i also think that i would be more flexible, since i won't have a big lighting crew.. and location changes would take more time with one or two guys rearranging the lights than a once per day done make up would take.

what i might have forgotten to say is that it doesnt need to look too realistic. if that was the case the option of lighting her was surely better...
  • 0

#6 Laurent Andrieux

Laurent Andrieux
  • Sustaining Members
  • 1527 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • France

Posted 18 October 2005 - 07:43 AM

If you don't mind the scene to be realistic, may be an idea would be worth a test or a thought :

if you have a lot of greenish around her - as it's in the forest - you could try to add a redish or magenta filter on the camera. When you'll correct in post you can get the talent back to normal values and will have all the greenish parts very dark...

Another solution would be to shoot it black and white, it's easier to darken areas with color filters...
  • 0

#7 Alex Haspel

Alex Haspel
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 282 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • vienna, austria

Posted 18 October 2005 - 08:20 AM

If you don't mind the scene to be realistic, may be an idea would be worth a test or a thought :

if you have a lot of greenish around her - as it's in the forest - you could try to add a redish or magenta filter on the camera. When you'll correct in post you can get the talent back to normal values and will have all the greenish parts very dark...


now that's a good idea.
i'll definately test that in combination with the make up thing...

Another solution would be to shoot it black and white, it's easier to darken areas with color filters...


that's right, but it has to be in color, so this is unfortunately not an option..
  • 0

#8 Patrick Casey

Patrick Casey
  • Sustaining Members
  • 24 posts
  • Producer

Posted 18 October 2005 - 09:30 AM

Well, if your February is anything like ours (in Sweden) then there will be precious little green in that forest. It'll be more like brown or grey :). I did something similar last year to what you first proposed, and I found that the forest was so dark anyway (apart from a couple of birch trunks that we dressed down with mud) that as long as the ground was dry (because wet leaves and such reflected too much light) it worked OK.
  • 0

#9 John Pytlak RIP

John Pytlak RIP

    (deceased)

  • Sustaining Members
  • 3499 posts
  • Industry Rep
  • Rochester, NY 14650-1922

Posted 18 October 2005 - 10:16 AM

One idea would be to enhance her clothing by having it fluoresce under UV light. Many fabrics and detergents already contain "brighteners" that cause light colored clothing to glow when illuminated by UV light. Most elements in a forest (bark, leaves, ground) don't glow in UV lighting, so they can be lit to be dark and moody.

For her face, there may be Halloween makeups that glow under UV.
  • 0

#10 Grainy

Grainy
  • Basic Members
  • PipPip
  • 65 posts
  • Director

Posted 18 October 2005 - 10:35 AM

However you decided to do this, Haspel, keep us posted, with screenshot results if possible. I love this kind of thinking and it sounds like you've got a very cool and possibly brand-new idea for day-for-night, at least in the woods.
G
  • 0

#11 Jonathan Spear

Jonathan Spear
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 586 posts
  • Other

Posted 18 October 2005 - 11:19 AM

Maybe adding a 1/4 pro mist would bring her out a little more if she's lit up... give her a nice healthy glow against the dark and brooding forest.

Another idea would be to hide blacklights behind tree trunks and stick nocturnal "eyes" made out of glow-in-the-dark fabric/paper on tree trunks and branches. By making the forest seem alive and unsettling you'd also add to its "darkness".
  • 0

#12 Laurent Andrieux

Laurent Andrieux
  • Sustaining Members
  • 1527 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • France

Posted 18 October 2005 - 12:45 PM

I've been thinking of pro-mist, but is it black ones you're thinking of ? I'm afraid white ones would lighten up the dark areas, that going to the opposite from the desired effect..

On the other hand, smoke and low fog filters could give a "special look" that could be interesting as well, if going to the opposite thought (of underexposing and search for a dark look), but maybe it's been seen enough for this kind of effect (dream)...
  • 0

#13 Michael Collier

Michael Collier
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1262 posts
  • Gaffer
  • Los Angeles, CA

Posted 18 October 2005 - 03:35 PM

I know its been done before, most noticably by scorsese, but have you thought of shooting with a reverse mag and have shoot the scene in reverse. Watch bringing out the dead, it adds a surreal quality to everything when the reverse mag is played backwards.
  • 0

#14 Alex Haspel

Alex Haspel
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 282 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • vienna, austria

Posted 19 October 2005 - 05:17 AM

I know its been done before, most noticably by scorsese, but have you thought of shooting with a reverse mag and have shoot the scene in reverse. Watch bringing out the dead, it adds a surreal quality to everything when the reverse mag is played backwards.



hmm.. could you explain this further?

do mean to let her act backwards?
if not, i think i dont fully understand...


oh, and
thanks to all of you for the global brainstorming happening here!

Edited by haspel, 19 October 2005 - 05:19 AM.

  • 0


Metropolis Post

Ritter Battery

Abel Cine

Rig Wheels Passport

Willys Widgets

Technodolly

rebotnix Technologies

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

CineTape

The Slider

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Glidecam

Wooden Camera

FJS International, LLC

CineLab

Opal

Aerial Filmworks

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Paralinx LLC

Tai Audio

Visual Products

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Visual Products

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

FJS International, LLC

CineTape

Metropolis Post

The Slider

Willys Widgets

rebotnix Technologies

Technodolly

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Opal

Wooden Camera

Aerial Filmworks

Abel Cine

Rig Wheels Passport

Tai Audio

Ritter Battery

CineLab

Paralinx LLC

Glidecam