We haven't had a good ole fashion breakdown episode for a bit so this was fun to jump back in to discussing what it takes to put together a job like the one we are looking at today.
Fairly straightforward from a concept point of view, the ad plays out in a single room as a family has dinner. There were a few location and logistical challenges but other than that it was a fun shoot to try and push some lower levels.
Enjoy the behind the scenes look!
A Cinematography System: The Playbook Approach
You like the breakdown episodes and you want to be a better DP? Would you like to hear how I think when it comes to cinematography and steal the methodology I built up over the years?
OK. Check out the course I created at the link below:
My mindset around cinematography has morphed and changed over time as I am always seeking the most efficient workflow to get the best results I can. In the course I lay out exactly how I breakdown a scene to make sure I am maximizing the tools I have available to me.
This is the closest thing I have created to a cheat code for up and coming DPs to bypass the years of trial and error I had to put in.
Patreon Video: Dope
I got ahead of myself when I was recording the podcast this week and mentioned the Patreon breakdown would be Kleo but in fact I forgot I had already done a breakdown of the film Dope shot by previous guest of the show Rachel Morrison ASC.
Lots of interesting fixes in this one and you can definitely see Rachel angling to get max value on the screen from production, lighting, and location angles.
You can find this week's Patreon content by clicking the link below:
If you are a fan of the podcast and want more video content the patreon group is the place to be. Each and every week I release an exclusive podcast, video, or live stream just for the Patreon members.
Patreon members also get access to the Private Facebook community for the show. The podcast couldn't exist without the Patreon support and I do my best to take care of the supporters.
Permission to Tent - The Spot
We shot this ad on the Alexa Mini LF paired with the Sigma Cine Primes.
The other camera info was we used a base ISO of 1280, shot wide open for almost everything, and used a 1/8 Black Promist to open up the shadows.
The Location - Day for Night Interiors
This whole spot plays out in a single room and apart from one shot all plays out looking at almost the same background.
That meant we had to fight quite hard to get a location that had some character because without it we didn't have any fancy camera tricks or movement to fall back on to keep it interesting.
The great part about this location was, besides the look, it had a wall of windows on one side that we could sheer and add our own ambient night light to help create some color contrast with the warm interiors we were planning for.
The Spot - Shot by Shot
Shot 1 - The Initial Wide
Our hero faimly passes dishes around as they sit down to a nice meal.
We used the same base lighting throughout the spot. The key over the table was the Dedolight Panaura Octobox with a grid dimmed way down.
Outside we had a series of Creamsource Vortexes for the ambient night spill. Inside we used some practicals on dimmers to create different pools of light and in the back room frame right we had an Aputure of some sort or another. It was really just to highlight the door frame to create some shape.
There was a practical in the kitchen that we ND'ed to bring it down in line with the other levels in the room.
Add some sheers to the windows and doors plus a ton of haze and voila. We were done.
Set Up #2 - The Full Wide
Same as before but now filled with extras.
See previous set up.
It is a bit easier to see the different pools of light in this example because of all the people sitting around the main table. You can see how fast the level drops off.
Set Up #3 - The Reverse Opening
A quick follow shot from behind Dad as he sits down at the table.
Same as previous set ups but seen from the opposite angle.
Set Up #4 - The Two Shot
Here our hero son and daughter converse with their father.
We netted down the Panaura closest to camera, added some 4x4 floppies camera right and then placed a cool LED frame right to help extend what was happening at the window naturally.
We also added a 4x4 bounce to help get the overhead light under the eyes a bit more.
Set Up #5 - The Request
In this shot we see our hero daughter ask her father if she can have a drink. We will match his angle of this shot to play off one another.
Same as the previous set up but from straight on now.
Shot #6 - The CU
The CU of the previous shot. Used to punch in for effect.
Same as above.
Shot #7 - The Response
Matching single on the dad as he responds to the daughters request.
Same as before for the daughter except we went a bit heavier on the neg for Dad and a little bit lighter on the bounce return from camera left.
Shot #8 - The Stand Alone
We had a few minutes to gather up a few reaction shots of featured extras. This and the following shot are examples of that.
No change to the wide shot when all the extras were in place. We might have adjusted a few levels quickly but this was move in and shot as fast as possible.
Shot #9 - The Last Shot
Same as above.
The only change we made here was as it was the final shot of the day we de-rigged the panaura from above the table and used it lower to the ground as the key to help carry the light a bit more to the talent.
The back light is the practical overhead in the kitchen which still has the ND on it.