Shooting The Three Stooges.
- “current day” interiors and exteriors Eastman Kodak EXR 7248 100T
- “flashbacks” interiors and exteriors Eastman Kodak EXR 7298 500T
- “shorts” Eastman Kodak EXR 7245 50D
Shooting The Three Stooges.
In response to numerous questions via email you can get the inside scoop on how I went about shooting Sushi Tushi. A football film, with no stadium, on a small budget. The studio, the bluescreen, lighting, codecs, LUT’s, lensing, etc… I will include lighting diagrams and storyboards to give an complete look inside the shooting of a relatively complex independent film.
I have had quite a few questions regarding the candle scene frame grab I posted some time back. To answer the questions I have included a series of still frames and a brief explanation of what I was doing to get the final look I wanted. It is important to realize the final was not an afterthought but was what I was after. I therefor needed to light for the elements that were going to be important in the final grade.
Directed by Ziad Hamzeh, we shot Irrefutable Proof in Syracuse, NY December/January. The film is due to be released in the Fall this year. Stay tuned.
I used the Fill-Lite’s for the first time on the feature “Irrefutable Proof”, which just wrapped Principal Photography in Syracuse NY, essentially lighting the entire movie with them. This Indie film was shot on a very tight budget with huge locations and required an innovative approach to the lighting to keep costs down and maintain a very strong visual style. Fill-Lite make an exceptional unit and this was my first chance to put them through their paces.
Having demo’d the units earlier in the year at a seminar I gave for Band Pro, I knew their potential but did not appreciate the usefulness and versatility of these small units until I had them on set.
“The Lady Pleaser”
The quality of the light is astounding, dubbed by my crew “the lady pleaser”, great wrap and essentially the quality of a soft light thru 216 (without the 216). The fall off is relatively short which meant less cutting and shaping in tight locations and being a square emitter they could easily be panned or tilted to control spill and intensity in different parts of the set.
I used them as singles, doubles and quads, to light masters and close-ups, green screen car scenes, men and women. For women, when punched thru diffusion, the light almost becomes a liquid. I also used them skirted as coup lights for large areas where they provided the perfect amount of base shooting on the Alexa at 800ISO, as fill on overcast day exteriors and in ultra low temps (-9 degrees and color temp and output did not change). In every situation these incredible units excelled. I will not be shooting again without them.
Their small compact size and amazing light quality make them ideal for shooting in very tight locations as, at a little less than 1″ thick, they take up such a small amount of space. They are also supplied with brackets allowing them to be directly attached to set walls giving them an even smaller footprint. Compared to Kino Flo’s or Chimera’s, well there simply is no comparison, these little units outperform in every area.
No Heat-No Generator-Less Cost
Of course one of the big advantages of LED lighting in general is that they do not produce heat. Therefor almost all the electrical energy passing into the LED produces light so they are much more efficient. This allowed using the lower wattage lights off normal household circuits, so I was able to structure the lighting for the film around a lighting package that did not force us to carry a generator, other than a 6500W as a backup source or for remote locations. Any night exteriors were shot dusk for night.
Actors also loved the “no heat” aspect of the Fill-Lite’s .
Check them out at www.fill-lite.com
This one gave me a really good laugh.
“Say goodbye to moody Collateral-style movie shots: How LED street lights mean films set at night in LA and across the world will now be bathed in gray”
The story appeared in the Daily Mail and declares movies will never be the same again if global street lighting changes from Sodium Vapor to LED. It was obviously written by someone who was about, well lets just say not too old, or a movie critic, since I recall, not so long ago, lamenting the fact that the world had slowly become bathed in the ugly (and for a cinematographer difficult to control or balance) orange glow of sodium vapor lamps. Purportedly for the same reason everyone now wants to switch to LED…cost saving.
Whatever the reason all I can say is about time. The faster those awful orange sodium vapor lamps disappear the better, as far as I am concerned, and I am reasonably confident many DP’s will agree.
For the writer of the story I am confident there will be plenty of films shot under the new lights and, if an orange glow is required, I am equally confident we DP’s will have a good idea on how to achieve it.
Rob joins long time friend, Producer/Director Jeffrey Abelson on a journey to the Mississippi Delta to discover the father of the Blues.
“I Believe I’m Sinkin’ Down” is a very highly stylized, dramatized feature documentary exploring the life and times of one of the most influential musicians in America. Johnson wrote and handful of songs and died at the age of 29 but left his mark on contemporary musicians like BB King, Keb Mo, Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan and Keith Richards to name just a few. Legend has it Johnson sold his soul to the devil in return for his other worldly guitar skills.
Johnson is described by Keith Richards as “The Bach of the Blues” and by Eric Clapton as “the greatest folk blues guitar player who ever lived”.
Abelson, a veteran of the music video industry and the ineventor of the genre of music videos used to promote feature films, back in the 80’s and 90’s, is looking at shooting this year for a 2015 release. WATCH THE PROMO and get the inside scoop on Robert Johnson.
Over the coming weeks I will be posting articles with my viewpoints on various aspects of cinematography. Gained from more than 30 years experience in more than 50 countries I hope to provide an insight into seeing through the technology to the art of what we do as cinematographers.