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Canon GL Series DV Camcorders
Canon GL2, GL1 and PAL versions XM2, XM1.


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Old February 24th, 2004, 02:19 PM   #1
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Help with shooting a scene.

I need to shoot a scene that takes place at night. The scene is of a jogger running. I am a little concern of not getting a clean picture when taking some head shots of the jogger. I would like there to be a little bit of moonlight reflecting off the joggers face. Here are my questions:
1) What type of filter can I use on the GL2 for protection, and are there any filters that help out with the lack of light while shooting at night?
2)What additional lighting chould be used to achieve those head shots at night while giving the apperance to the viewer that the only light at night is the moonlight?

Thanks to anyone who can help me out.
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Old February 24th, 2004, 03:41 PM   #2
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Take what I say as a grain of salt, as I'm new to the DV scene but this is what I would try to do.

I use a fluorescent light that has a high color temp like 5000K. Then I'd either play with the white balance to get a blueish tent to the color or just do it in post, with color correction. Thats what I would do, rather or not that works, who knows I'm sure some one does.

Also I believe people use UV filters as lens protectors.
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Old February 24th, 2004, 04:07 PM   #3
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Adam,
You basically have two strategies at-hand.

1. Shoot in daylight and make the footage -look- like night, sometimes called "day-for-night" shooting.

2. Actually shoot at night.

If you choose (1) you may actually be able to make the footage appear to be nighttime in post. You will have to be particularly careful of your contrast management and you must make sure that nothing in the periphery gives the trick away.

If you choose (2) you will need to light your scene carefully...and you will need light! Blueish casts are the typical landmarks that signal "night". But these casts can be added in post.

In general, remember that your job is to give the viewer the impression of night, not necessarily to document nighttime.

If you choose (2) I recommend that you not use any "protective" filter whatsoever. Lights in a dark setting can create storms of "fireflies" -- stray reflections between the filter and the lens. In fact, I don't recommend using any filter at all. (No, there is no filter that can create light for the lens.)

To get the general hang of both methods I suggest just going out with your camera and experimenting.

I also suggest viewing some old b&w film noir films such as "Naked City", "Kansas City Confidental", et.al. Pay attention to where pools of light and darkness are placed.

Have fun!
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Old February 24th, 2004, 04:20 PM   #4
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Thanks

Thanks for your insights, I had been thinking about shooting in the day light and editing the footage in post. I'll let you know what I have chosen to do when it closer to the shoot.
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Old February 24th, 2004, 04:37 PM   #5
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Adam,
As always, there are a number of ways to simulate moonlight. You don’t say the type of location in which you will be shooting, but let’s say that your character is jogging through a park with trees. The last thing you want are multiple shadows, so you need to get one strong light source which you can mount up high. Usually the lamp will be fixed on an hydraulic “cherry-picker” and taken up to give a good spread over the area. It also helps to keep this light as a three-quarter backlight so it’s casting a nice rim on the actor. The usual type of lamp will be an HMI which has a daylight colour temperature but I usually put some extra blue filtering on it as well.
Whatever lamp you get, make sure it's powerful enough to flood a large area. You can always hang a branch in front of it to create nice little shadows.
It’s up to you to decide whether the moon is the only source of illumination, or whether there can be pools of light from street lamps in the park. You could go with the actual lights, or try and suggest them with some small tungsten lamps You’re also going to need some very gentle fill light at ground level as well. I’d go for a lesser lamp than the top one, and bounce it off some polystyrene, to get something into the face – especially the eyes - but you’ve got to keep its level really low. This is a situation where you need to see the camera output on a monitor – even a portable domestic tv is better than nothing.
As Lathe said, you can always play around with the image in post.

Robin.
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