Location work is always fun because you get the opportunity to overcome challenges that don't exist in a studio environment.
In today's episode we look at some of the unique challenges a location can offer up when the scene requirements dictate the lighting plan. It isn't always easy but the problem solving is the most enjoyable aspect of the job.
This commercial was one of many we shot on this job over a period of days and in later breakdowns we will look at some of the other looks so you can compare and contrast the results.
New Course: Mastering Exposure - Launching August 2nd
Just a quick heas up that a new course is launching August 2nd. The course focuses on exposure and how a certain methodology for examing exposure changed my entire evolution as a cinematographer.
I can honestly say without a shadow of a doubt that the biggest impact any one element has had on my ability to get work as a cinematographer has been unlocking the ability to accurately judge and predict exposure.
If you are interested in checking out the new course a preview will go up in a few days time over at:
Patreon Podcast - The Stranger
This week's Feature Film Breakdown is The Stranger shot by Sam Chiplin. As I mentioned in the podcast I chose this because it has a number of scenes that posed a very similar problem to what we dealt with in the commercial broken down in this week's podcast episode.
It is always interesting to see how another cinematographer solves the same issues and I thought it would be a good time to share so that you can see how different the looks can end up being with so much of the lighting coming from the same sources.
If you'd like to support the show and get access to all of the Feature Film Breakdowns as well as the bonus content available each week you can check out the link below for more info:
The Spot - The Flat Layers
Shot #1 - The Wide
Our hero male talent enters the frame from the right looking for his keys. The foreground family stay put as the husband and wife exchange a few words.
Outside camera left we had the whole truck out for HMI units. If memory serves me correct it was a 12k, 2 6ks and a 4k pushing through a series of rages. The diffusion is set as far back from the window as possible and then on top of the interior of the windows is sheers.
The set was a giant white box so the battle quickly became how can we still manage to see every direction with the camera and maintain some amount of shape and interest.
All the walls that aren't in the shot are covered with black to help dial in a bit of contrast.
Shot #2 - The Longer Lens
This is the B Camera angle of the previous wide set up.
Same as above.
Shot #3 - The Handheld Single
All of the action is played over again but this time we are covering off his action from a handheld camera that is following him.
Same as above except we were able to bring in some 4x4 floppies to help boost the contrast a little.
Shot #4 - The Reverse
I am pretty sure that we actually shot this angle the previous day to the other stuff. This is the mother reacting to the husband in the wide for this angle.
Same as above except we swung the lamp heads for a better angle on the back walls and brought the negative fill just off camera left as close as possible without being in the shot.
Shot #5 - The Key Shot
This was the money shot for the entire series of ads. This is a close push in over a period of about 10 seconds as our hero talent reveals to the audience that she has information no one else has.
Same as above but everything closer plus the addition of a Creamsource Vortex pushing through a 4x4 frame of diffusion to help wrap the window light a little more. Also the slash on her should is being done by an Area 48 LED Source 4 lamp.
Shot #6 - B Camera Key Shot
The B Camera angle of the previous shot.
Same as above.