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Old March 16th, 2004, 10:07 PM   #1
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DP's & Videographers: Lighting & Filters for HD10?

Have you lit and shot with the HD10? Then I need your advice.

I have a half hour docudrama that Ben and I are shooting for client in April.

I will be using a 10' X 10' butterfly (giant scrim) to soften the sun's contrast for the close ups and medium shots. Plus use silver reflector boards to soften the shadows. Probably try to keep the sun as key light. Use silver reflectors from behind and off to side for highlights to separate actors from the background.

Almost all the actors are dark skinned ( client is Rap Performer). I have heard that placing foamcore close to dark complexions helps make highlights to model and shape the faces so they don't look flat. Any real life experience with this? Does it work?

What filters did you use for your shoot with the HD10?
Did it help?

Did you under expose any shots? An article in American Cinematographer described how the DP of the film 28 Days Later deliberately underexposed some of the images by one F stop ( DV format). Apparently done to preserve shadow detail.

Some writers have indicated that the HD 10's colors are slightly less saturated than 3 chip cameras. Is this really a problem? Can this be totally fixed in post?

Ed Hill
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Old March 17th, 2004, 03:03 PM   #2
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<< Did you under expose any shots? An article in American Cinematographer described how the DP of the film 28 Days Later deliberately underexposed some of the images by one F stop ( DV format). Apparently done to preserve shadow detail. >>

I can only comment that the DP on 28 DAYS LATER... underexposed because they were going to film. Are you going to film? Also, going to film with 30P isn't easy and may be too difficult to do.

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Old March 17th, 2004, 09:02 PM   #3
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Thanks for the ideas. I've gotten a lot of good info on this camera from the guys in this forum.

Not going to film. Distribution will be DVDs and also HDCAM.

Thanks,

Ed Hill
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Old March 18th, 2004, 12:07 AM   #4
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Ed:

As I think I mentioned in the thread about contrast filters, I prefer to underexpose exteriors. By "underexpose", I mean from what the camera would consider "proper" exposure. The gamma curve of video is different than film, and I find by underexposing the skin tones will move closer to where they would be with film. In addition, you gain a bit of additional latitude in the highlights.

As far as your plans to use reflectors, also consider using diffusion frames between the reflectors and the subject. A 4x4 frame skinned with light gridcloth or diffusion such as opal, 250 or 216 (carrying a selection of skinned frames is prudent) will take the edge off those somewhat harsh boards. I would also consider having some frames with 1/4 and 1/2 CTO to warm up those edges and fill, as reflectors tend to cool off the light.

White panels such as foamcore/beadboard close to the subject do indeed create a good look for closeups. It's the same type of lighting one uses for shooting cars and other reflective surfaces: instead of lighting the subject directly, which creates hotspots, you light large surfaces that will reflect into the subject.

As far as keying with the sun, if you have the opportunity to shoot into a shaded background, you may do better to shoot backlit rather than frontlit. Use your bounces and reflectors to fill, and if necessary you can fly in a diffusion frame to smooth out the backlight for close-ups.

And if possible, try to avoid shooting wide shots for those hours around noon, so as not to get deep eye shadows.

I will freely admit to never having shot with the JVC, but I have seen a few things shot with it and while all the above notes will work for nearly any camera, I do know that the JVC has a hard time with highlights, so definitely keep the exposure down as much as possible, and I would check out the Ultra-Cons. For an example of how I like to underexpose DV, take a peek at the DV section on my DP reel. I apologize that you'll have to sit through about 5 minutes of other stuff first, as the DV pieces are at the end. In particular, the first one has shots that range between 1-2.5 stops underexposed (the young guy walking through the city) as it was an extremely sunny day.
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Old March 18th, 2004, 12:59 PM   #5
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Charles,

Your lighting of the DV footage looks a good bit like film.
Thanks for the great lighting techniques. Your reel looks very good.

Will probably take a few days and shoot some tests using the recommended filters and techniques. This DVInfo forum is really great.

Ed Hill
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