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Old September 25th, 2010, 04:25 PM   #1
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Are backdrops passe?

I've been doing "Your story in 5 minutes" stuff for years in a small studio using chiaroscuro inspired sets I designed after studying Nino Giannotti tutorials. I'm wondering if muslin backdrops and this kind of thing have become passe and I missed the memo. Seems like everything I watch these days is done in-country and on site.

I am about to do a series of 12 people from all over the world who will be local to me for a week. Before I invested in some upgraded backgrounds, I thought I'd ask if this approach is still relevant. Below are some of the sets I've used.

So, are backdrops and sets passe? What are people doing for affordable sets these days?

http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/attachme...e-img_0130.jpg
Attached Thumbnails
Are backdrops passe?-andrew.jpg   Are backdrops passe?-katy2.jpg  

Are backdrops passe?-let.jpg   Are backdrops passe?-screen-shot-2010-09-25-5.07.58-pm.png  

Are backdrops passe?-iris.jpg   Are backdrops passe?-screen-shot-2010-09-25-5.18.38-pm.png  

Are backdrops passe?-screen-shot-2010-09-25-5.17.56-pm.png  
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Old September 26th, 2010, 12:37 PM   #2
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Les,
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder - and if your clients are happy with your 'in-home' look, complete with potted plant, then great.
I suspect though that you are feeling artistically challenged - having shot the same style for a while now.
So why not experiment?
Investing in a traditional backdrop means you will probably find you are a bit limited in what you can do with it.
Maybe think about a chromakey set-up - which then allows you the opportunity to try a whole range of tone, colours and forms.
This could range from just a simple single colour background look...the only limit is your imagination and creativity.
I often find though that the key is to keep the background fairly simple - that way it won't detract from the main object, the interviewee.
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Old September 27th, 2010, 12:30 PM   #3
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I suspect the main motivation for the decrease in use of backdrops like these is more financial than aesthetic.
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Old September 27th, 2010, 03:19 PM   #4
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I *MUCH* prefer live backgrounds to any type of muslin. And my second choice is green-screen where I can insert plates behind. My last choice is the 'in-studio" type look. I have an interview series coming up in a few months, and I am not even CONSIDERING anything other than live backgrounds.

Harder to shoot, look 100x better to my eye. But as mentioned, everyone has their one aesthetic.
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Old September 28th, 2010, 09:41 AM   #5
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Sean, Thanks. I think. In defense of my artistic abilities, I ask you get in the way back machine. Some of those were from 2003. I've only done black void since 2008 and am looking to move on to whatever is "current" these days. Hence the post.

Personally, I only use green screen for comedy and music videos not serious subjects. I also don't care for the inevitable look that sometimes shows up like in your reel (attached).

I've already scouted possible live locations but for this project there's nothing I like.

The economic issue is interesting. Either you have a studio with big bucks and high end sets or no studio and simple, plain, dimly lit curtain backdrops 2 feet behind the subject. En-mass all that no-studio content sets the new norm. I get it. That's what I'm observing anyway and it's easy enough to do. I experimented with a reflective background but don't care for it (third attachment).

Perone, thanks for the breakdown. <edit></edit>
Attached Thumbnails
Are backdrops passe?-green1.png   Are backdrops passe?-green2.png  

Are backdrops passe?-testbkg3.jpg  

Last edited by Les Wilson; September 28th, 2010 at 11:45 AM. Reason: Removed question about a comment I mis-attributed to Perone. sorry.
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Old September 28th, 2010, 10:58 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Les Wilson View Post
Perone, thanks for the breakdown. <ot> So, is GH2 calling your name? I'm taking a serious look at it for B cam and tight quarters.</ot>
GH2? What for? I am VERY happy with what I have now.
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Old September 28th, 2010, 04:32 PM   #7
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I prefer live backgrounds as well, especially when using an DSLR. Heres a video I did recently, the 'A' Camera was at 50mm 2.8 while the 'B' camera 105mm 2.8.

YouTube - Pulse 8

We did also use there banner in the background.
This particular shoot the bg and light was pretty much perfect, only used one light. That said I've had other situations where the location doesn't look as nearly as good and is far smaller making it very hard to look good.
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Old October 6th, 2010, 06:09 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Perrone Ford View Post
GH2? What for? I am VERY happy with what I have now.
I assumed I'd mistakenly ascribed a comment about liking the GH1 to you but I ran across it today: "I wish you luck with the GH1. There are just SO many thing that are right about it, and just a couple utter showstoppers that keep me from buying one." -- Perone Ford

Post #4: http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/panasoni...rahy-noob.html
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