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Old January 19th, 2004, 09:27 AM   #1
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Settings for shooting a dance performance

I will be shooting a dance performance this coming Weekend and was wondering if anyone has come up with the best way to set up the GL2 for this.

Dark theatre with a well lit stage.

Here is what I am thinking so far:

White balance with the house lights on.

For the master shot camera, put it in the center and the back and set it to manual focus. Zoom in on object at the furthiest part of the stage and leave focus alone.


What about TV or AV mode?
What about using the Spotlight setting?
What about the depth of field?
Should I go to a 2.0 or lower F-stop?

Sorry for all the questions.

Thanks.

Joe
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Old January 19th, 2004, 09:26 PM   #2
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Joe,
I think that this thread may answer most of your questions.
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Old January 19th, 2004, 09:31 PM   #3
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Yes to the manual focus. From the back of the house, the whole stage should be in focus.

I've never had any luck with any auto-exposure mode. All of them seem to blow out the hightlights under theatrical lighting.

Go to tech or dress and shoot some test footage for review. Use zebras to avoid blowing out the hightlights. Try and determine the best f-stop for each lighting setup. If you are lucky, there will be relatively constant maximum intensity spots on the stage so you can use a single f-stop for the whole performance.

You will probably be wide open or near to it. 6db gain up still yields a good picture. If you need more consider frame mode and 1/30 of a second, this works well with dance (IMO).

-Tom-
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Old January 20th, 2004, 09:31 AM   #4
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Frame Mode?

Tom - I would love to shoot it in Frame mode. This way I can get some decent stills. But I am worries about the fast movements. The footqage might turn out to choppy. I also need to worry about matching footage with a XL1s and a Sony TRV900. I am doing a 3 camera shoot. I am so worried about the Gain as well. Gain means grain, especially in the black areas.

Thanks.
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Old January 20th, 2004, 05:34 PM   #5
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As far as gain goes, a grainy shot is better than no shot at all!

Frame mode doesn't give you choppy movements, they are actually quite liquid, if you are using 1/60 or 1/30 shutter speeds.

You will have to go with the light you are given. My experience with theatrical lighting is blown out highlights if they are using a spotlight and barely adequate light levels otherwise.

The XL1 and GL2 should match up closely. From what I have seen of stills posted, the Sony will probably deliver much better blues and toned down reds compared to the Canons. You might want to turn down the red two notches on the Canons, otherwise the stock settings should work fine.

-Tom-
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Old January 20th, 2004, 05:36 PM   #6
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Forget about the stills

Frame captures from video will look really terrible unless you keep them tiny.
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Old January 24th, 2004, 06:35 PM   #7
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Hi Joe, what i would do if i were you is go to the dressed rehersal. There will usually be one a few hours or the day before the show. Will be well worth it. You can play about with your camera, and get a few funny angles, or even some cutaways of parts of the building, adverts on the wall, moving stagelights, mixer desk etc.
I would get the cameras white ballanced, i would say on same surface, but depends what it looks like if theyre different cameras. You can sort out in post, but i just know on my xm2 i need to get white ballance sorted there and then or everything goes wrong!
If your leaving a camera for a wide angle with no operator you may want to select an auto mode, and put it on 'spotlite' mode. I once messed up some footage by not using spotlight mode, and having basically a very poor shot on back camera. The faces were over exposed, and the lights kind of 'blured' which looked good at times, but was not the plan! Its good to have at least one 'safe' camera which you can fall back on, though it sounds like your gonna have two. Id have one at the back, or in centre as you said, set to film the whole stage. This would be the 'safe shot' camera. Another, ideally with an operator, getting closer up, on one side, and yourself on the other side, preferably nearer the front, using what will be the 'have some fun' camera. use your best tripod here, and swivel round to get some shots of the audience, especially at peak bits, like applause, or at 'moments of interest' when lights may flash so you can see them. Have fun!
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