This week on the podcast, we take on a green screen monster as we break down a recent TVC recording earlier this year.
In an ideal world, we would have shot this in a lovely studio with a gorgeous grid that had all of the green screens we needed, pre-lit and ready to go.
In reality, we are in Western Australia which means there is no studio, almost no green screen, and not a single light on the truck to get this job over the line.
Add in a 100 degree shed and some noisy birds, planes, trains and cars and that basically sums up the whole experience.
There are a few pitfalls for cameramen;
1. The old combination of sitting and standing that we've been over many times.
2. The ancients let us spin this whole ad in the magic of the magical hour.
3. The old folks just use the natural light routine.
These ideas are hiding in the minds of all directors just waiting to be unleashed by an unsuspecting DP.
This week we broken down one of the oldest pitfalls in the book on the Patreon Podcast. The door talk scene. Good luck two people looking reasonably decent in a doorway.
Hot, hot outside + underground light level inside = cinematography gold.
Don't let the old door talk scenario surprise you.
You can find this week's Patreon content by clicking the link below:
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This job was all shot on a crane with the Ronin 2 as the remote head. The Ronin 2 + Wheels Combo is my favorite method between handheld gigs, so spending a day on the wheels is always a pleasure.
We shot that on the Alexa Mini LF with the … Primes.
Can you imagine what set of lenses we used? If you think you can leave a comment below with your answer.
We used every source on the truck for the lighting. Arri M90s, M40s, Sky Panels, Astera Titan Tubes, Joker 800w and more. It's rare to get a day before the light in WA, but with the size of this set, it was an absolute must.
In our pre-production process, the team decided on a location and time of day to create the most interesting angle for the scene.
We went for a lightly lit scene with a little bit of atmosphere. If the background scene was selected before the day of shooting, we were able to improve the composition on the monitors on set with Qtake to better adjust our lighting if necessary.
The virtual world:
Shot 1 – The Revelation and the Revelation
The camera moves past the foreground block and shows our hero climbing the last stretch of the mountain.
For the master key we used the Arri M90 through a 12×20 half grid. To further wrap the light we had an Arri M18 closer to the camera on the same side to wrap the light so that it penetrates through a 12×12.
Above us we hit another M40 in two 12×12 Ultra Bounces that hung directly above the set.
The green screen was lit with 4 Arri Skypanels on a trust that spanned the entire green screen set up in the BG, and then over the top for a backlight was another Arri M40 that was lit by an 8×8 grid of 1 / 2 pushed.
Shot # 2 – press closer
As above, but closer and a little higher.
Now that we got closer to the topic, we were able to use the Arri M18 and the accompanying 12×12 to envelop the light even further than before.
Shot No. 3 – The CU
This was just a static close-up of the previous scenes.
Same as above but again because we were closer we were able to modify some key pieces. We moved a 4×4 diffusion frame to the right to soften the 9k light even more and added a smaller floppy frame for contrast control.
We also added a poly for a bit of edge light emanating from the Arri M90.
Shot # 4 – The Wide Wide
The master far from the action between the hero and the speaker.
We turned the unit on the lights to save set-up time and ran with exactly the same settings as the previous center shots.
Shot No. 5 – The Switcheroo
In this series of shots we have now changed the virtual angle of the scene and are doing the reversals for the previous action.
We had to perform each scene twice, once for the stunt body double and once for the speaker, who then had his head composed on the body double.
We switched all of the main lighting to the opposite side in the morning and basically used the same setting.
It should all fit together so that the light that came from everything else apart from the side was relatively similar.
Shot No. 6 – The Yoga Medium
Variations on the previous setting with the talent in several different yoga postures.
As above, but in the close-up we added some poly or neg depending on the angle of view.