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Old May 26 2012, 03:32 AM   #203
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Re: Fan Filmmaker's Primer

Melonpool wrote: View Post
Thanks for posting! That will definitely aide me as I ramp up to shooting. Much more professional and easy to wade through than my usual ramblings!
Thanks. I hope things I post here are useful to people, so it's good to know when they are.

Speaking of the shoot referenced in those "sausage making" emails, we successfully wrapped our pickup and got all the shots on the "must have" list and "reset to one" the stage at the agreed-upon time. Whew!

Here are a few pictures I snapped before we rolled (I insist that all cell phones be OFF during shooting, so no pix were taken with phones while we were rolling).

Lighting check

Here my A.D. stands in for the actress (still in makeup) while we set the lights. If you've never worked with a professional monitor, the box to the lower right displays a histogram which allows us to see how even the lighting on the greenscreen is. You can see the "hole" in the middle of the histogram where the stand-in is and the light values are lower.

"Mr. DeMolyneaux, I'm ready for my closeup!"

Actress Heather Sherpardson in full makeup takes a moment in one of the director's chairs in front of the greenscreen before we do final checks. The strange makeup is because the film we're making is literally a black and white comic book, and every piece of scenery is a drawing.

Quiet on set! Sound check! Eye-light!

Finally, here we are moments from the first take. There are a few things happening here. First, Sound Recordist Phillip Foster is checking levels as Heather runs some lines. Notice the hot pink "T" of tape that is the actor's "mark" on the floor.

The hand you're seeing to the left is being used to help aim a tiny light that isn't for illumination but to try to get a "glint" off the actress's eye when she turns into shadow. The light is barn-doored down to almost a point, and focused on the hand, which is slowly moved towards the actress while the grip adjusts the light to follow (otherwise, it's hard to figure out where it's pointing).

About the lighting:
  • The flat black boxes at the top center and left and right are Kino Flo 4-bank florescent light boxes—each with four tubes—that are the light used to illuminate the screen.
  • The diffused light to the upper left is stage lamp used to backlight/rimlight the hair and shoulder to camera left.
  • The big glow to the right are two Parabeam 400 light boxes (one above the other) shining through a large piece of diffusion and supply the primary light source (as we are aiming for heavy shadows).
We were only reshooting Heather's closeups because the lighting on the original shots wasn't quite right, and my writing/producing partner and I wrote new lines for her after viewing the assembled cut of the film and deciding we wanted to give her more "zingers". This shoot killed two birds with one stone.

Hope that was instructive.

* * *
Well, I've been to one world fair, a picnic, and a rodeo, and that's the stupidest thing I ever heard come over a set of earphones."
óMajor T. J. "King" Kong

Last edited by Maurice; May 26 2012 at 09:56 AM.
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