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nickjbedford
05-30-2012, 12:50 AM
I was thinking, I'm a photographer by default, and whilst I've been feverishly studying and analysing drama and blockbusters and everything I can get my hands to get a picture of how I would go about lighting my video scenes to a high standard, I've only had very little experience and that experience has been with the bare necessities. The more I work on treatments and build scene and shot lists for my first narrative + performance music video, the more I'm coming to terms with the idea of hiring some legitimate (though smaller) production lights and working out the grip gear I need to successfully light shots. I have pretty high standards for myself when it comes to releasing the first legitimate video I shoot which is why I'm hesitant to go all out before I've got the knowledge I need.

What I mean is that I can use the tools I've acquired over my two years in portrait photography to light a scene pretty effectively, and for the most part the tools needed are relatively small, cheap and electrically portable (speedlites). What I'm obviously facing now is using that lighting knowledge in photography and moving to lighting moving, changing scenes.

As an example, this is how I lit this scene with the result below it.

http://img821.imageshack.us/img821/2263/photo3esk.jpg

http://img137.imageshack.us/img137/2638/photo4y.jpg

I've been noticing in shows and films that, like photo shoots, the light doesn't necessarily have to even reflect where lights may be in the real scene and if done well, you never even notice. I expect that either two or three point drama lighting will be the best course of action for my drama-based narrative in the music video. Couple going through the motions of a break up is the narrative.

What would I expect to need to be able to get the flexibility of lighting setups like these? My best guess right now is something like these.

* Lights (obvious). Say a few 300W tungstens with barn doors. Using the barn doors (and black wrap) to manage the spill into the scene and highlight the actors in the right way. A fill and a kicker/rim light for the most past.

* Reflector boards, such as a a polystyrene board. Shoot a snooted light into this for a soft fill, not unlike using a silver reflective umbrella in a photo shoot.

* Boom stands for emulating an overhead light without getting the stand in the way. This is an obvious one, and definitely applicable in photo shoots too.

* Would you have to gauge the brightness of your interior scene lights (normal lamps, etc) and work with your production lights to keep the scene as dramatic and contrasty as you need?

* How about gels? Using a white backlight with a warm fill is something I see often. Or a diffuser gel to cut down the exposure of a particular light and also diffuse.

This topic doesn't apply only to the Blackmagic camera, but I guess what I want this thread to discuss and suggest is ways in which you can light scenes effectively on a small budget or with less initial gear to work with. Lighting in photography is something I love exploring and improving how I do things and I've studied the techniques of lighting a subject, but lighting a video production ultimately requires a different set of lights (hotter, more powerful, larger, more expensive) and a different set of tools and techniques to light effectively for moving subject matter and cameras.

I intend to hire out some gear for a day and get a friend to be a model for me while I "workshop" myself; trying ideas and learning what works for video.

I'm not above hiring gear if I can pull it off, and ultimately that's what I'd be doing anyway. Right now, I'm getting my head around it so that I'm not hiring the wrong gear, or missing vital tools I need to set up a scene's lighting.

Another example where the setup may be a little different if done in a video. An unused shot setup in a shoot I did a while ago. Two umbrellas, one on either side.

http://img535.imageshack.us/img535/2272/20110729finabah150211fl.jpg

nickjbedford
05-30-2012, 01:53 AM
For example, this is what I've worked out may have been the light sources used in these shots from True Blood (Season 3, Episode 4). To anyone with experience, am I close? At least in terms of the light placement and their qualities?

http://www.nickbedford.com/uploads/tblood1.jpg

http://www.nickbedford.com/uploads/tblood2.jpg

http://www.nickbedford.com/uploads/tblood3.jpg

http://www.nickbedford.com/uploads/tblood4.jpg

Brad Ferrell
05-30-2012, 08:36 AM
Nick, I think you're right on with this thread. I too started out as a photographer but focused mainly on using sunlight (natural light). I bought a few LED panels last year and they are daylight balanced. I've been working with those trying to keep a natural look to my videography on the 7D.

I think the 13 stops of DR are going to make a great difference to the way I've been lighting scenes and I agree with you, sometimes the light sources in films are unmotivated but work to tell the story.

stip
05-30-2012, 10:33 AM
sometimes the light sources in films are unmotivated but work to tell the story.

Director: 'Hmm, looks great but where's that light supposed to come from?'
DP: 'Same place the music comes from.'

mhood
05-30-2012, 11:55 AM
^^^ lol!

rick.lang
05-30-2012, 12:34 PM
Nick, lighting is about colour and contrast to focus our attention where you want it. In the picture of the girl at the table, you have a girl in a very dark dress, with dark hair, sitting in front of a dark wall, lit for nighttime. She seems to disappear. Take a look at Audrey Hepburn. Her eyes, her lips. That's where our attention will go. Hope this is helpful.

nickjbedford
05-30-2012, 04:21 PM
Nick, lighting is about colour and contrast to focus our attention where you want it. In the picture of the girl at the table, you have a girl in a very dark dress, with dark hair, sitting in front of a dark wall, lit for nighttime. She seems to disappear. Take a look at Audrey Hepburn. Her eyes, her lips. That's where our attention will go. Hope this is helpful.

Yeah I do see what you mean. This is probably a better example of the focus and separation. And it's actually from my most recent shoot and funnily enough is a video producer.

http://www.nickbedford.com/gallery/people_themanatthetop.jpg

Jason R. Johnston
05-30-2012, 04:50 PM
Nick...shoot a short narrative video in black and white. If you want to learn where-how-why to put a light then the best thing to do is get rid of the messy thing: the color. Color distracts. Lighting is about texture and shape or the lack of it...the direction of the shadows create a tone better than any color...the color aids the shadow, not the other way around. Things like depth of field and composition come with this study of shape and definition, so begin thinking in black and white...feel the tone, the mood of the scene and what it means to the rest of the story as a whole...then apply the color. Besides, color can be changed, but it's a lot harder to add a light to a scene in post...

Also, as a photographer, other than some of the tools used, I find no difference in my approach to lighting either stills or videos.

Also also: start learning movie set vocabulary.

Also x3: reverse engineer scenes by looking into the actors eyes for reflections.

And be sure to watch lots of crappy movies to learn what NOT to do! :D

nickjbedford
05-30-2012, 04:58 PM
Nick...shoot a short narrative video in black and white. If you want to learn where-how-why to put a light then the best thing to do is get rid of the messy thing: the color. Color distracts. Lighting is about texture and shape or the lack of it...the direction of the shadows create a tone better than any color...the color aids the shadow, not the other way around. Things like depth of field and composition come with this study of shape and definition, so begin thinking in black and white...feel the tone, the mood of the scene and what it means to the rest of the story as a whole...then apply the color. Besides, color can be changed, but it's a lot harder to add a light to a scene in post...

Also, as a photographer, other than some of the tools used, I find no difference in my approach to lighting either stills or videos.

Also also: start learning movie set vocabulary.

Thanks Jason. Good idea with the black and white. Yeah, I really need somewhere where I can really just experiment with some scenes and get my head around the best ways to light for shots, and what video lighting gear is used. I'm learning a million things each week while preparing to shoot this music video, but a lot of it I haven't been able to actually try yet and it's frustrating me from a can-I-pull-it-off point of view, hence why I intend to hire some gear on a day off and go to town with it.

I need to find a workshop in Brisbane :)

John Brawley
05-30-2012, 07:06 PM
I was thinking, I'm a photographer by default, and whilst I've been feverishly studying and analysing drama and blockbusters and everything I can get my hands to get a picture of how I would go about lighting my video scenes to a high standard, I've only had very little experience and that experience has been with the bare necessities. The more I work on treatments and build scene and shot lists for my first narrative + performance music video, the more I'm coming to terms with the idea of hiring some legitimate (though smaller) production lights and working out the grip gear I need to successfully light shots. I have pretty high standards for myself when it comes to releasing the first legitimate video I shoot which is why I'm hesitant to go all out before I've got the knowledge I need.


I think photography is a great place to start with working on your lighting. The main difference with motion photography is that you need to light to allow actors to move. You can be a lot more precise with setting lighting because the subject is more or less stationary. They are also more likely to be looking directly at the camera, which tends to not happen in narrative filmmaking. This means your lighting modelling tends to change a bit, because the face shapes are different.





What I mean is that I can use the tools I've acquired over my two years in portrait photography to light a scene pretty effectively, and for the most part the tools needed are relatively small, cheap and electrically portable (speedlites). What I'm obviously facing now is using that lighting knowledge in photography and moving to lighting moving, changing scenes.


My photography has been getting less and less lit by strobes. If I do a portrait it's usually not with strobes, but with tungsten lighting.
139

The above was lit with a 150w Dedo with a soft box and egg create almost just above camera and a dedo 100w back light from camera right.

140

The above here was ONLY lit with two strands of rope light. These are the kind of xmas lighting globes (not LED) in plastic sheaf that nightclubs use or housing festoon is done with. I had them on two C-stands, and I love rope light because it can be stretched to make the lighting source larger (which usually means softer) or smaller. And a lovely warm colour for skin tones as well.

142

Two strands of rope light from camera left resting on a 4x4 white form core. The BG was lit by a 2k Blondie with full CTB (you can also see the light stand out of focus on the left.)



I've been noticing in shows and films that, like photo shoots, the light doesn't necessarily have to even reflect where lights may be in the real scene and if done well, you never even notice. I expect that either two or three point drama lighting will be the best course of action for my drama-based narrative in the music video. Couple going through the motions of a break up is the narrative.


The longer I've been doing this, the LESS likely I am to use traditional film light. While they have their place, my own personal lighting style has drifted more and more towards a kind of naturalism.

You're right though, lighting doesn't necessarily have to be motivated and you can certainly cheat a lot of things. You can usually describe most lighting as being somewhere on a scale between pictorialism and naturalism. On top of that, you have to decide if your sources are motivated by what's in the scene. Now you can get a way with a lot, but if it's a day scene, and you have sunlight streaming from the camera right side through some windows that are in shot, you're not going to get a great result if you try and key from the camera left side of the frame. Even if you had the firepower to do it, it won't look *right*. Now some are OK with that and some will find it weird. I'm usually someone that has cared less about the truth of where lighting is sourced from or even what it is, as long as it feels right.

143

Even though it's a day interior, it's still moody...Lit with a 2.5k HMI though the window in the right in the BG and a 4k HMI free through an unseen window on the right. You can also see the C stand where I've hung a venetian inside to get hard shadows from it. Then my other pet project is lighting using actual prac lights. There's an ugly green fluro tube on the desk. Just out of frame some white foam for it to bounce off. You can see how hot it is on her hand and how it's "lighting" the stem of the light from below. Then just for interest, a tungsten prac on the left side of frame. it's probably too bright for the scenes and your eye goes to it. I'd dim it now if I could. There's also a little bit of haze in the room to create atmosphere and milk the blacks a little.

141

A single 4K HMI through the only window in the room. I aimed it at the bath (which is a great white reflector) so it would BOUNCE around the room and give me ambience. Again, a little haze helps here too. See how the girls face on the left is modelled from the "bath" source. Now I've staged them so they aren't really sitting in that light. If they moved a little deeper into that light it would turn very ugly very quickly. You can see how hot her arm is. I like also trying to light from OUTSIDE the set. So the light source, the only one used in the shot, is outside the set lighting through the window. I'm then using the staging to use what's in the set to allow the light to play and bounce around.

144

This is an ungraded Alexa frame grab from a TV series I did last year.m There's no lighting at all here. I think it's beautiful and it's just being in the right place at the right time, and being brave enough to not do any lighting at all. In this scene the character, whose just lost her husband to accidental death, has learned he was having an ongoing affair which bore an illegitimate child who's now 14. She's facing having to go back to work for the first time since her own children were born. This is the first call she's making to start looking for work.

145

Again no lighting other than what the designer has place for me. Pracs, and curtains to control the daylight. Which is also helped by two 20x20 Ultra bounce frames just to the left of frame to bounce daylight through the windows. Ungraded Alexa frame grab. ( I wonder if the trainspotters can spot the rolling shutter artefact on this stationary frame even though though this is an Alexa)

146

Another ungraded Alex frame grab. Lit only by the prac light in shot.

So you definitly need some film style lighting, but you can do a lot with time of day, location and judicious use of pracs and other non-film style lighting. I love using white paper chinese lanterns. They're soft, cheep and light enough to rig anywhere. And they have a great sweet spot on people's faces at about 3-6 feet they are gorgeous.

The only thing I'd want to maybe add to your proposed kit would be some daylight sources. You might want to consider some fluro daylight lamps as well.

jb

nickjbedford
05-30-2012, 07:19 PM
Wow, thanks John. This is exactly the kind of advice and examples I was wanting to hear about from someone who has lots of experience in lighting scenes and sets. Lots to take away from these examples in particular. I agree that it's not always about using production lights and both practical and natural light should always be considered, especially when you're using natural daylight as a part of your scene.

Brad Ferrell
05-30-2012, 07:28 PM
Great thread. Awesome examples, both of you.

pharpsied
05-30-2012, 09:01 PM
Simply... Stunning...
MORE!

rick.lang
05-30-2012, 09:41 PM
John, I think in all my years of reading posts, this post of yours is the most generous and thoughtful response to a query I've had the pleasure to see. You have my vote for president! Seriously, when you reach old age and have nothing to do, you could publish this sort of guide. Love your approach as you describe the growing appreciation for available light or enhancing available or practical light with reflectors and added lights at the natural light source. Something tells me you'll never reach old age!

Paul Stephen Edwards
05-30-2012, 09:50 PM
147

Here are a couple of screen grabs from a current project. It's meant to look like a 50's education film. Mostly daylight w/ bounced LED flashlights for fill.

148

I've found that those little LED lights can be lifesavers. They're only about a dollar each & I keep a dozen or so in my camera bag @ all times. They're pretty harsh on their own, but very bounce well & you can duct tape them to anything!

pharpsied
06-06-2012, 07:09 PM
bump.

Don't let this one die.

Paul Stephen Edwards
06-06-2012, 09:10 PM
bump.

Don't let this one die.

I agree! How do you approach lighting? Pick a scene that you've done (recently or just a favorite) & tell how you lit it.

Here's a shot of a web series that I just worked on. Its meant to look like standard daylight in a restaurant. We used a 400 diva Kino for the key and a couple of soft boxes for fill. The main problem with the location was a lack of power outlets, so we had to Frankenstein everything together w/power strips. Also, the background on one side was a beautiful brick, but on the other it was a drab dark brown padding. The gelled lights were hair lights that we used to separate the actors from the background.

Obvy, this is just an iPhone shot showing the set up... I hope to have a screen grab of the footage soon.

169

stip
06-07-2012, 08:57 AM
I think genres like suspension, horror, mystery are more indy, budget and beginner friendly to light than others. A single light can create a strong mood as it's often more about what you don't see than what you see.
These framegrabs are from a recent very low budget commercial production for compression sportswear, available light only. They aimed at a dramatic mood as the slogan is 'redefine your limits', but with almost no budget for lighting we decided to shoot everything at night/dark interior and use backlight only as much as possible. For the football shot we simply asked them to turn off one side of the field's floodlight.
172
173

It's not great but it got the mood we wanted.

I believe that if you're not really good at lighting like me, and don't exactely know how to work a look or mood with filmlights, it's quite easy to end up with a very artificial looking image that screams no/low budget. Probably the biggest thing I learned on lighting myself is that less is more most of the times (like with so many things) and if I can't afford a gaffer, working with one light only makes it easier for me to achieve depth and mood.

John Brawley
06-07-2012, 09:09 AM
I shot a great music clip for a terrific song by kate Miller Heidke called "Last Day On Earth".

Here the Youtube link (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KhQ5seprs6s) which has adverts.
Here's the vimeo link (https://vimeo.com/11460608). BEST one to look at.
Here's the iTunes link (http://itunes.apple.com/au/music-video/the-last-day-on-earth/id326697366).

Watch it first then come back here for the how to.

The song was quite sorrowful and the director wanted a bit of a nod to a post apocalyptic world. In the song, the lyrics describe the regrets and hope, that if there was a "last day on earth" that her lost partner would come to find her realising the mistake of leaving her.

We had a single day to shoot it and a total budget of 15K for everything.

The director had found a house that he was keen to shoot in that was oddly period and didn't require too much dressing. We had to shoot it all day for night. We started with the fish tank room. This wa sone of the few props we brought in. We didn't really set it up to run for long enough and the water was a bit cloudy.

I used a single kino in a harness with some half plus green. The cloudy water actually helped "spray" the light around a little and i introduced a teaser of black not he back of the fixture to stop it lighting up to much of the back wall above the tank.

Have a look in the side / profile shots here too. You'll notice a tungsten eyesight ? See if you can spot it. I had a Dedo on a dimmer mounted on the camera going direct (brave !). You can pick the orange pin prick in her eyes....
170

The room was blacked out for the day for night part.

We then shot the other day for night sequences and I used a cheap day for night technique where I just simply use daylight, tweak the WB in camera and then turn it into a sort of moonlight. It works best if you have some other lights on in shot, hence the xmas lights (which also added an extra level of poignancy in this weird post apocolyptic world. it's like the family have left this house win the middle of their xmas family dinner.

171

You can see I put up a 12x12 ultra bounce against the window. There was only a few feet of clearance to the house next door and we didn't want to see out the window. Which is damn hard doing day for night !! So I could have just hard blacked the windows outside, but instead I LIT it with DAYLIGHT ! Crazy but it's all about exposure. I lit the scene with the bounce, putting a couple of small HMI's into the frame and then underexposed dramatically. By also doing the WB at around 2600K you can sort of fake a moonlight. Aside form the weirdness of having clipped highlights in the window. I've found it worlds well too when you can introduce practical lights. In this case xmas lights as actual xmas lights did the job nicely.

We also had some simple camera moves that were basic pushes and slides.

174

We then had the performance elements of the song...aka..the girl singing....

This was done very very simply.

Using the same ultra bounce background i then took the WB back to 3200K. So the BG is still cool, just not crazy blue. Then I introduced a single 1K tungsten chimera pancake just above and slightly to camera right. From below, a passive bounce. A small piece of white foam, returning some of the pancake.

And that was it. simple...

175

And here's the setup.

177

My brilliant focus puller for the day here running the tape was Bridget Walsh.

We actually ran two lens sizes. Now I would normally never do this, but we ran the 18mm which is normally, not really a very flattering lens length for this kind of performance. We ran it first as a sort of wide to get things warmed up, but we ended up liking it a lot. We also ran an 85mm for the close ups, and often let the dolly tracking pull us into focus as opposed to the focus puller. So it's preset for say 6" and we'd track in from 10' to 6" so she'd come into focus on the move.

So basically we bounced backwards and forwards a few times on the Dolly in and out of her. Bridget did a great job of keeping her in focus. We were using "old" MK3 Zeiss superspeeds and I'm pretty sure I was running at T2.

The director, Mark Alston wanted to mark the change int he music with a lighting cue, which kate would do to *welcome* this person home. We opted for a more "warmer' richer feel which would actually counterpoint the bitter sweetness of the song.

178

It's basically the same setup with the lamps going into the ultra bounce in the BG gelled up with 85 and 1/2 CTS. In the grade we warmed her a little as well.

176

You can see the director Mark looking on here on the left.

We also didn't know she was going to cry. That took everyone, including the director by surprise.

It was completely amazing when she did it and we only got two takes out of her before she couldn't do it anymore. Have a look at the edit again and have a look at how few cuts there are during this "warmer" sequence.

It's times like this you thank your stars for having great focus pullers like Bridget who are so on top of it. That was take 1 mostly and she pretty much got it right all the way.

As the usual panic set in for the end of the day, we rushed to get the final sequence, of Kate sort of levitating off at the end. We ended up perching her on the dolly, and just dressing the front of the house with festoon lights and xmas lights. Again the 1K pancake from above worked well. It was attached to the dolly so the lighting didn't move or change on her as we went through the move.

We also shot this pass at 33.333 FPS, with the playback running fast as well. So shooting slightly slo-mo and having her sing slightly faster by the same amount.

179
180
Yes. That's me wrangling the bounce on the left there.

The clip was shot RED, which I think you can tell from the stills. Would have been an original RED ONE, not MX. Graded in Colour.

I was pretty happy with how it turned out, though i didn't like how clipped the ultra bounce was in the BG. I had hoped it wouldn't be so distractingly white, but in the grade I just couldn't recover the highlight detail that I though I'd protected using the RED exposure tools.

jb

John Brawley
06-07-2012, 09:11 AM
Probably the biggest thing I learned on lighting myself is that less is more most of the times (like with so many things) and if I can't afford a gaffer, working with one light only makes it easier for me to achieve depth and mood.

I think you're underselling yourself ! It looks great. Especially brave to have it be so dark and moody. It's great to hear you talk about lighting so simply too. Sometimes it is as easy as turning OFF a light.

jb

stip
06-07-2012, 10:31 AM
John, thank you very much for the encouraging words!

Abobakr
06-07-2012, 12:28 PM
I shot a great music clip for a terrific song by kate Miller Heidke called "Last Day On Earth".

Here the Youtube link (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KhQ5seprs6s) which has adverts.
Here's the vimeo link (https://vimeo.com/11460608). BEST one to look at.
Here's the iTunes link (http://itunes.apple.com/au/music-video/the-last-day-on-earth/id326697366).

Watch it first then come back here for the how to.

The song was quite sorrowful and the director wanted a bit of a nod to a post apocalyptic world. In the song, the lyrics describe the regrets and hope, that if there was a "last day on earth" that her lost partner would come to find her realising the mistake of leaving her.

We had a single day to shoot it and a total budget of 15K for everything.

The director had found a house that he was keen to shoot in that was oddly period and didn't require too much dressing. We had to shoot it all day for night. We started with the fish tank room. This wa sone of the few props we brought in. We didn't really set it up to run for long enough and the water was a bit cloudy.

I used a single kino in a harness with some half plus green. The cloudy water actually helped "spray" the light around a little and i introduced a teaser of black not he back of the fixture to stop it lighting up to much of the back wall above the tank.

Have a look in the side / profile shots here too. You'll notice a tungsten eyesight ? See if you can spot it. I had a Dedo on a dimmer mounted on the camera going direct (brave !). You can pick the orange pin prick in her eyes....

The room was blacked out for the day for night part.

We then shot the other day for night sequences and I used a cheap day for night technique where I just simply use daylight, tweak the WB in camera and then turn it into a sort of moonlight. It works best if you have some other lights on in shot, hence the xmas lights (which also added an extra level of poignancy in this weird post apocolyptic world. it's like the family have left this house win the middle of their xmas family dinner.


You can see I put up a 12x12 ultra bounce against the window. There was only a few feet of clearance to the house next door and we didn't want to see out the window. Which is damn hard doing day for night !! So I could have just hard blacked the windows outside, but instead I LIT it with DAYLIGHT ! Crazy but it's all about exposure. I lit the scene with the bounce, putting a couple of small HMI's into the frame and then underexposed dramatically. By also doing the WB at around 2600K you can sort of fake a moonlight. Aside form the weirdness of having clipped highlights in the window. I've found it worlds well too when you can introduce practical lights. In this case xmas lights as actual xmas lights did the job nicely.

We also had some simple camera moves that were basic pushes and slides.


We then had the performance elements of the song...aka..the girl singing....

This was done very very simply.

Using the same ultra bounce background i then took the WB back to 3200K. So the BG is still cool, just not crazy blue. Then I introduced a single 1K tungsten chimera pancake just above and slightly to camera right. From below, a passive bounce. A small piece of white foam, returning some of the pancake.

And that was it. simple...


And here's the setup.


My brilliant focus puller for the day here running the tape was Bridget Walsh.

We actually ran two lens sizes. Now I would normally never do this, but we ran the 18mm which is normally, not really a very flattering lens length for this kind of performance. We ran it first as a sort of wide to get things warmed up, but we ended up liking it a lot. We also ran an 85mm for the close ups, and often let the dolly tracking pull us into focus as opposed to the focus puller. So it's preset for say 6" and we'd track in from 10' to 6" so she'd come into focus on the move.

So basically we bounced backwards and forwards a few times on the Dolly in and out of her. Bridget did a great job of keeping her in focus. We were using "old" MK3 Zeiss superspeeds and I'm pretty sure I was running at T2.

The director, Mark Alston wanted to mark the change int he music with a lighting cue, which kate would do to *welcome* this person home. We opted for a more "warmer' richer feel which would actually counterpoint the bitter sweetness of the song.


It's basically the same setup with the lamps going into the ultra bounce in the BG gelled up with 85 and 1/2 CTS. In the grade we warmed her a little as well.


You can see the director Mark looking on here on the left.

We also didn't know she was going to cry. That took everyone, including the director by surprise.

It was completely amazing when she did it and we only got two takes out of her before she couldn't do it anymore. Have a look at the edit again and have a look at how few cuts there are during this "warmer" sequence.

It's times like this you thank your stars for having great focus pullers like Bridget who are so on top of it. That was take 1 mostly and she pretty much got it right all the way.

As the usual panic set in for the end of the day, we rushed to get the final sequence, of Kate sort of levitating off at the end. We ended up perching her on the dolly, and just dressing the front of the house with festoon lights and xmas lights. Again the 1K pancake from above worked well. It was attached to the dolly so the lighting didn't move or change on her as we went through the move.

We also shot this pass at 33.333 FPS, with the playback running fast as well. So shooting slightly slo-mo and having her sing slightly faster by the same amount.

Yes. That's me wrangling the bounce on the left there.

The clip was shot RED, which I think you can tell from the stills. Would have been an original RED ONE, not MX. Graded in Colour.

I was pretty happy with how it turned out, though i didn't like how clipped the ultra bounce was in the BG. I had hoped it wouldn't be so distractingly white, but in the grade I just couldn't recover the highlight detail that I though I'd protected using the RED exposure tools.

jb


endless gratitude and thanks John Brawley for taking us behind the scene and the great tips and lecture.. and your blog is very, very interesting and found in great informative articles.. thank you

jmacfadyen
06-07-2012, 03:04 PM
I've only recently really started getting into lighting, starting off as a music festival photographer mostly. Had to shoot a couple of scenes that were supposed to be completely lit by candles and a tiny bit of moonlight. I also used a single dedo in both of these. I found it very interesting working with a lot of candles, wish I'd had some shallower DoF though, as I shot on a xf100, and it has a tiny sensor. But it's what I had available. 185186

Fluoro
06-07-2012, 07:25 PM
I believe that if you're not really good at lighting like me, and don't exactely know how to work a look or mood with filmlights, it's quite easy to end up with a very artificial looking image that screams no/low budget. Probably the biggest thing I learned on lighting myself is that less is more most of the times (like with so many things) and if I can't afford a gaffer, working with one light only makes it easier for me to achieve depth and mood.

Totally agree with theses sentiments. I am new to lighting and plan to keep it simple. Many people over light.

Paul Stephen Edwards
06-07-2012, 07:47 PM
Stip,
That football shot was beautiful.

John,
Thanks for the tutorial... that was really helpful to see the video first & then look at the breakdowns. Plus, I loved the song!

nickjbedford
06-07-2012, 08:02 PM
While I'm mostly new to lighting continuously, I'm not new to lighting in photography and currently I'm a little bit anxious that I simply won't have gear to be able to effectively light how I need, not necessarily being able to light.

In photography, I have four highly adjustable speedlites, 3 umbrellas and a softbox, 3 lighting stands (which I can use in video) and a bunch of little accessories to help me craft my lighting but when I have no budget to speak of, and only some basic halogen work lights and perhaps hiring a few actual production lights, there's things that I kinda need to to pull off something as well as I can in photography.

So while I don't proclaim to be an expert at lighting a filmed scene, without having a grip's worth of gear, I do feel like I'm not sure I can pull it off to the level that I'm used to in photography. At least some of the scenes that I need to shoot soon anyway.

If you get my meaning.

Brad Ferrell
06-10-2012, 09:41 AM
If you've got a photo background and understanding of lighting, dynamic range, and basic CC, this camera will suit you well. I'm very excited about this new camera. It's perfect in so many ways for me right now. I hope ya'll find it the same.

Jason R. Johnston
06-10-2012, 10:07 AM
The majority of work on my demo reel is lit by the sun or practicals with a little augmentation or keyed with my lights while also using practicals (there's a difference). But, my lights (read: the lights I personally own) are cheap 500w halogen shop lights you can get at any Wal*Mart, Lowe's or Home Depot. I seriously did not spend more than $110 on my continuous kit. Everything else are monoblocks and their support and modifiers. I have a nice 6x6' 1/4 silk I use for everything, a lot of gaffer tape, some Rosco gels and an inbetweenie for catchlight sometimes. I grandfathered a few Lowel's that don't work anymore and two MR juniors that I use for night-for-day interiors. But, really? Practicals and some shop lights.

I always bring along incandescent globes from 25w-100w for practical fixtures where I need some more poop but, what I don't have is the badass Arri kits I'd like or anything like that.

Remember, being a photographer isn't about lighting. Anyone can point a light at something, maybe take a reading off a meter and get a proper exposure. Lighting is more about CONTROLLING the light and creating a mood that supports or enhances the scene. I'm not going to get into the chicken and the egg conversation with composition because this thread is only about lighting.

So, don't worry about not having the right tools; it's about controlling the tools you have (and repurposing items that were never supposed to be cinema tools in the first place). Speedlights don't have model lights but your craning desk lamp with a 100w bulb will do just fine through some wax paper or bounced off a wall or a sheet of cardboard with reynold's wrap. Maybe just use it to create a pool of light in the background.

And don't be afraid to mix color temperatures...

Brad Ferrell
06-11-2012, 10:50 AM
mixing color temps, me like.

nickjbedford
06-15-2012, 07:11 PM
mixing color temps, me like.

I don't do that many photo shoots, usually only one per month or less, but since really digging deep into film and TV lighting and set design, it's greatly increased my awareness of precisely what I'm trying to do with my lights in the scene, instead of simply saying, "okay, 3 point setup, easily done". Here's a BTS and shot of the lighting on my assistant at a shoot I did on Saturday (for a band). Not only that, it's made my awareness of the surrounding scene much greater (and also thanks to my production manager alerting me to many things I would never think of).

http://img163.imageshack.us/img163/7708/20120614goodnightmidnig.jpg

http://img545.imageshack.us/img545/7708/20120614goodnightmidnig.jpg

manakiin
06-16-2012, 06:23 AM
I'm just thinking out loud here...

If I was shooting a movie there I'd use a low-powered tungsten soft light for fill (barely noticable) supplementing the (harder) candle, slight white rim light to separate the person and keep the daylight WB and lower the exposure for a darker, moody shot. That way I'd get orange lit person and a dark blue/black background.

Basically I would just slightly amplify natural light (candle, moonlight). Less is more I believe.

I did a very quick photoshop. Something like this, but darker with much softer top light, the candle would make the main light source. I hope you don't mind Nick, I will take it down if it's a problem.

http://shrani.si/f/6/uy/3yPOmWXp/nick.jpg

nickjbedford
06-16-2012, 05:56 PM
Well for the purposes of that photo, we didn't worry too much about the candle, though we would want to have the candle be a more powerful source if I was filming it. The main issue with the candle was that it was very dark in comparison to the light needed to shoot at ISO200-400 for a clean image, even at f/2.8 1/60th sec.

I ended up doing a bit more to emphasise the lantern in the photos, not as far as your example, though :)

nickjbedford
06-25-2012, 09:53 PM
This is why I'm lurking around here :) I have a blog but haven't touched it for too long. Decided to write an update.

http://www.fillthekey.com/2012/06/motion-pictures.html?spref=fb