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Old March 31st, 2009, 03:13 AM   #1
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Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Australia
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Shooting to look like endless black space.

Hi, I am working on a television commercial at uni. We are using Sony V1P/Z1P's in this class. I have to shoot the TVC in a black space - a theatre with a black brick wall and using 'blacks' to cover the floorboards. Is it possible to light and shoot this so everything but the subject and props are illuminated whilst the background looks like endless black? We have access to read heads, c-stands and cutters.

Is this possible?

I'm not sure of the dimensions of the room, but the space is like a theatre stage, where the back wall is black and the end of the stage is about 7 meters from that.
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Old March 31st, 2009, 06:43 AM   #2
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Location: Boca Raton, FL
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What you describe sounds like a black void. Charlie Rose uses it. Is the featured interview on this page the look you want (there are some long shots in the video too)?
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If so, I've done several recently (attached). It forces you to "paint with light" and really control spill. Barn doors are required and for the most part, everything was soft light. The artifact in the background was lit with a pin hole light which was directly above the stool but only 12" from the background walls. The venetian blind was from an ellipsoidal projected directly onto the black muslin background. I have found lots of light is needed and having more low powered lights surrounding the subject is better than trying to use fewer but stronger lights.
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Old April 6th, 2009, 12:00 AM   #3
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Shooting with a pure black background is surprisingly easy. I use traditional 3 point lighting and make sure that there is no light spill against the background. As Les said, barn doors are your best friend. I also use diffusion panels in front of the front lights. You can also put gobos between the lights and the background to futher block light spill. Once set up, just make sure you have much more light on the subject than on the dark background. When your camera stops down for the light the background goes to black. The backlight is a must to make the subject stand out from the background.

Videocameras don't go to 100% black by the way. You have to adjust levels in your NLE to get that pure 000 black.

For fun, you should try getting a pure white background!
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