This week on the podcast we look at a challenging VFX heavy spot made even more difficult by a very small shoot location.  No studios here as we make a flight simulator room work for our blue screen cockpit shots.  

One of the best parts of the job is that no two jobs are the same and this one certainly had it's suprises.

Enjoy the behind the scenes look!

Patreon Podcast: The Hateful Eight

On the Feature Film breakdown this week we are taking a look at The Hateful 8.

Tons of elements to talk about in this one from the anti-aircraft size cameras they were using to the classic Bob Richardson ASC top light look.

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Soft Light in Hard Places - The Spot

All the gear for this was standard issue for a TVC.  The only added element was the Movi Pro and the A! Alpha Wheels to help yours truly be able to operate in such a confined area.

Camera Gear:

Check out the gear I use on all of my commercial shoots by clicking the link below:

Wandering DP Commercial Cinematography Gear

The only kit not listed on that page is the set of Vintage Cooke Panchros we used on this one.

For lighting we went almost all LEDs with Astera Titans, Arri Skypanels, plus an Arri M18 and a Joker 800.

The Spot - Soft Light

Set Up #1 - The Two Shot

The Shots

The ad opens on a pair of pilots in a commercial plane cockpit.

We needed to be wide enough to see where we were but we still keep it interesting.

The Lighting

The area we were lighting was extremely cramped.  In an ideal world we would have built the cockpit on a stage and then had complete control of where to place fixtures and distance of the lights from the subjects.

In reality we ended up in a space that only one person could stand in at a time and still needed to figure out a way to make it look believable.

We used a combination of Arri Skypanels, Astera Titan Tubes, and a single Joker 800 to give us all the shape we could fit in to the space we had.

The Result

The Storyboard

The Final Comp

Set Up #2 - The In Cabin Singles

The Shots

The two shot raking across the two pilots.

The Lighting

We kept all of the outside lights in their previous spots.  

Lighting everything from the outside made a move like this very quick.  We turned off the lights inside to help give it some shape and made some minor adjustments to the Joker 800 to get a better angle on the hard light.

The Result

The Storyboard

The Final Comp

Set Up #3 - The Matching Reverse

The Shot

The reverse of the previous shot.

The Lighting

Here we moved the Joker 800 less frontal and then turned on one of the inside Astera Tubes to help edge out the pilot in the foreground.

Everything else remained unchanged.

The Result

The Storyboard

The Final Comp

Set Up #4 - The Approach

The Shots

This was the most challenging shot from a time perspective.  We moved from inside the tiny flight simulator in to a giant warehouse space that needed to be set and lit.

The Lighting

We used a combination of frames and lights to create hard and soft light top mimic the sun and the ambient sky levels.

We used an Arri M18 through a 12x12 for our sun edge from camera left then added a Skypanel S-60 through a 12x12 to help wrap the sun light around our talent's face.  Finally we used a bounce frame right to help add to the ambient and used a slightly cooler color temp to play more blues in the shadows.

The Result

The Storyboard

The Final Comp

Set Up #5 - The Take Off

The Shots

Top down shot of the talent spotting the airplane from the ground.

The Lighting

We rotated the turntable and we used the M18 through a 12x12 with the 4x4 frame removed to have a bit harsher shadows and a bit more contrast.  We also used the S-60 frame left to add some fill in the shadows.

The Result

The Storyboard

Shot #6 - The Fly By

The Shots

We used this shot to comp on top of the cockpit footage so that it appeared as though our talent was flying alongside the plane.

The Lighting

The only change here was adding a Joker 800 through a 4x4 frame left to help add a bit of hard edge to our talent.

The Result

The Storyboard

The Final Comp

Alternative Angle

Shot #7 - The Super

The Shots

The super shot.

The Lighting

All the lighting remained from the previous set ups as we hunted for various angles to lay the super over.  They ended up choosing a frame with some dirty foreground window elements which always helps to create depth.

The Result

The Final Comp

About The Author

Wandering DP

Cinematographer and host of The Wandering DP Podcast. You can see select examples of work at my personal site or follow me on instagram.

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