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Old June 3rd, 2004, 05:31 AM   #1
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shooting TV screen, exposure levels

Ok, in a short that I'm going to do, I want to have a shot where you see, among other things, the actual screen of a TV, with the contents of a VHS tape displayed on it. I don't want to chroma key it, and it's not supposed to look great. I don't care if the white balance is off, or if it's kind of flickery or fuzzy or whatever. What I DO care about is the screen not being blown out.

What I'll have on said screen is a white piece of posterboard with the words "THE END" written in large thick black letters. This should be readable.

I have the rest of the lights for said shot already set, and what I'm concerned about, like I said, is the TV screen being decently exposed when everything else is. There'll other elements besides the TV in the shot, so stoppind down til the screen's correctly exposed isn't an option, dig? I already have everything set, lighting wise, to shoot at f1.6, so the screen needs to expose corrrectly when I'm shooting at f1.6.

The first thing you'll probably suggest is a ND gel. I've been told it's really hard to make that look good, so I'm gonna say no to that. I was thinking maybe, turn down the screen brigtness on the TV? Underexpose when I shoot the "THE END" card before I transfer that to the VHS tape (the original shot of the card will be from my XL1s, and then transferred to the VHS tape to play in the VCR)? Anything else I haven't thought of?

Thanks in advance.
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Old June 3rd, 2004, 07:21 AM   #2
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There's no great mystery about shooting this set up. Play the vhs back on the TV and adjust the TV's brightness level and monitor it in your viewfinder. Same with shutter speed. You can usually find a setting where the screen image is locked and there are no hum bars moving up or down.

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Old June 3rd, 2004, 11:35 AM   #3
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An easy way to go about this would be to shoot the "The End" card a few times at different exposure settings, then pick out the one that looks best in your scene. Shoot a minute or so of each exposure, so you have plenty of footage for your scene. Since the card is basic black and white, underexposure of a couple of stops won't really hurt anything. Fine tune with "brightness" controls to taste.
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Old June 3rd, 2004, 12:29 PM   #4
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Hmmm. Yes, that sounds good. Me likey.
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Old June 3rd, 2004, 12:42 PM   #5
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You shouldn't need to mess with shutter speeds. Shooting an NTSC TV with a NTSC video camera means they will sync up fine.
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Old June 3rd, 2004, 01:09 PM   #6
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Yeah, but sometimes you get the scan line in the picture, at least I have in the past. Clearscan helps, usually. Probably what he meant by shutter speed.
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