Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face.
Having a schedule is great, planning to get the most out of your day is essential, but in the end when you are shooting exteriors it is a crapshoot for weather. THis variable means you have to be ready to implement plans B and C at a moment's notice.
This week we are looking at a commercial I shot where we had to do exactly that. Start shooting in clear skies, end the day in a slight drizzle and hopefully everything matches.
Latest Course: Mastering Exposure
Mastering Exposure is out now. It is the latest course in the line up and so far the reviews have been awesome.
In the course I detail how I learned exposure and I share how I would get up to speed the fastest way possible if I was starting over today.
Cinematography can seem incredibly complex but underneath it all there are some fundamental decisions that must be made if you are going to get images you are happy with. Exposure and understanding how to best manipulate exposure and why one way is better or more efficient than another is absolutely essential if you are going to work with a crew and on schedule.
THis course is my attempt at sharing my exact process so you don't have to struggle to find answers like I did.
If you are interested you can check out the course here:
Feature Film Breakdown - Glass Onion
Glass Onion is the feature film breakdown this week. Shot by Steve Yedlin ASC you know you are going to be in good hands and this knowledge allows us to understand some key decisions made throughout the film.
An interesting look at an ensemble cast with lots of challenging coverage due to the sheer number of people and angles required in the majority of scenes.
If you want to watch the video or check out any of the past content you can find it all by clicking the link below:
The Spot(s) - 4 Seasons in a Day
Shot #1 - The Wide
The first shot of the day was the final shot of the ad. Our hero car pulls away as the camera booms up to reveal the logo in the sky.
Make sure the sun is in the right spot on the tech recce before the schedule gets dialed in and keep your fingers crossed that you can match the rest of the day with the big wide.
Shot #2 - The Bird's Eye View
A VFX bird element will later be added frame right. This is an over the shoulder shot from the bird to the woman down below.
The dreaded sun sandwich makes an appearance on the podcast. You hate to do it but the contrast was too extreme to be able to match it to the later stuff so we added a 12x12 Ultra Bounce Frame right.
Shot #3 - The Tighter Look
Our hero talent first realizing that a bird is talking to her from on top of the lamp post.
This was all back lit by the sun then wrapping neg around the entire set to help pull some contrast out of the flatness.
Shot #4 - The Head to Head
This was the most important shot of the morning to nail before the sun came around and we no longer had any control.
The sun is doing all the hard work here. If we had let it come around a little bit more we would have had some serious problems.
Shot #5 - The Two Shot
Our hero smiles as the bird is proved wrong thanks to the help of the company woman working on the vehicle.
THe sun had disapperaed over lunch and so we rotated the car in case it did come out. THen we added a 9k HMI as our sun source from the left and had a 12x12 Ultra with an m40 for closer in from the right.
Outside of that there is neg everywhere to help control the flatness caused by the overcast sky.
Shot #6 - The Shut
The hood slams shut as the car is repaired.
Same as above.
Shot #7 - The Travelling Two
The camera dollies from left to right to follow the service lady approaching the vehicle.
We used the 9k as a back edge for the most critical part of the shot and the rest is done with Neg everywhere the camera isn't looking to help fight the flatness.