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Old June 8th, 2014, 06:20 AM   #1
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Advice on outdoor shooting

Hi,

This is my first project where I will be shooting outdoors. I will be filming a person acting out and reciting a poem. It will be shot in 3 different locations and the final product will be edited so we transition from location to location for different parts of the poem. Most of it will shot by a tree or the person might climb a tree and recite sitting on one of the branches.
I'm looking for any tips and things I need to consider while shooting this. I visited the locations and I am trying to figure out the best time of the day to shoot this. At first the plan was to shoot early morning but that won't work as the person can't be available until around noon so I though shooting in the late afternoon would be better, around 6pm or so. I do have to consider that the light might be changing quickly at that time of the day. So what would be the best time to shoot this? I have 4 cameras available but I would rather use less than more so I can handle them all. I will have a helper. I definitely need a wider shot to shoot the person and the tree. What other shots should I get? I've never recorded audio outside. I will be using a lav mic with a wind screen (wireless). Will this work? Should I consider using artificial lighting (I have Kin Divas) to fill light as there will be shadow under the branches? What other things should I think about? Any videos out there that you guys know of that I could watch that have someone recorded on a tree? Thanks for any help/tips you can provide.

Kathy

Last edited by Kathy Smith; June 8th, 2014 at 02:15 PM.
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Old June 8th, 2014, 08:24 AM   #2
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Re: Advice on outdoor shooting

Kathy:

Working around the tree, dappled light may be your biggest issue, so do plan on some fill lighting or bounce boards to bring the subject up a bit. Of particular interest will be your background...try to line up the subject where there is less light behind them, and then your fill light will be more effective.

Miking as described should be fine, just remember that outdoors has a lot of issues with uncontrollable noise. Almost guaranteed that someone will fire up a leaf blower or lawn mower 10 seconds after you hit record!

Using four cameras at once might be a bit of overkill, especially if most of them do not have an op. Might be a better idea, if you don't want to do the multiple takes (wide master of the entire performance, then do it again tight, and once more for cutaways) then you might try a locked down wide master shot, and then do "follow the action" video with the camera you are operating.

The tree thing sounds like fun. Give some thought on getting a camera up in the tree with the person, as well.
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Old June 9th, 2014, 03:17 PM   #3
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Re: Advice on outdoor shooting

Picking the locations will be the most important part of your project. You'll want to scout the locations at the same time of day you plan to shoot, so you'll know what the light will be doing, and you can plan to work with it.

As for sound, same thing. Location tests!

Here's a video I did a while back, completely outside, completely under trees, completely without any light modifiers (aside from the trees, of course.) Just pay attention everything on location, and let the trees do the work for you.

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Old June 10th, 2014, 11:41 AM   #4
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Re: Advice on outdoor shooting

Since no one else brought this up, allow me:

Sitting IN a tree reading/reciting poetry sets off my Liability Alarm - if the artist falls and injures themselves, who is responsible?
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Old June 23rd, 2014, 01:03 PM   #5
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Re: Advice on outdoor shooting

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill Ward View Post
Kathy:

Working around the tree, dappled light may be your biggest issue, so do plan on some fill lighting or bounce boards to bring the subject up a bit. Of particular interest will be your background...try to line up the subject where there is less light behind them, and then your fill light will be more effective.

Miking as described should be fine, just remember that outdoors has a lot of issues with uncontrollable noise. Almost guaranteed that someone will fire up a leaf blower or lawn mower 10 seconds after you hit record!

Using four cameras at once might be a bit of overkill, especially if most of them do not have an op. Might be a better idea, if you don't want to do the multiple takes (wide master of the entire performance, then do it again tight, and once more for cutaways) then you might try a locked down wide master shot, and then do "follow the action" video with the camera you are operating.

The tree thing sounds like fun. Give some thought on getting a camera up in the tree with the person, as well.
Hi Bill,

Thanks for a reply. I went ahead and did some audio test and it was not bad. I think I am going to go with 2 cameras. Both will have operators. I am thinking of doing one wide master and then the other just close ups. If I can have two takes then it should give me a variety.
I don't think I will be able to put the camera up in the three though.
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Old June 23rd, 2014, 01:07 PM   #6
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Re: Advice on outdoor shooting

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bryan Cantwell View Post
Picking the locations will be the most important part of your project. You'll want to scout the locations at the same time of day you plan to shoot, so you'll know what the light will be doing, and you can plan to work with it.

As for sound, same thing. Location tests!

Here's a video I did a while back, completely outside, completely under trees, completely without any light modifiers (aside from the trees, of course.) Just pay attention everything on location, and let the trees do the work for you.

Kristin Crowley - Can It Be? on Vimeo
Bryan,

Thanks. This is helpful to see. I went to check the locations I will be shooting in, around 6pm and it was still pretty bright under the tree/uneven lighting! Audio was fine.
I don't think I will use any additional lights. To much hassle...
Thanks for the video.
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Old June 23rd, 2014, 01:09 PM   #7
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Re: Advice on outdoor shooting

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaun Roemich View Post
Since no one else brought this up, allow me:

Sitting IN a tree reading/reciting poetry sets off my Liability Alarm - if the artist falls and injures themselves, who is responsible?
Not me. I didn't come up with this idea!
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Old June 23rd, 2014, 02:20 PM   #8
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Re: Advice on outdoor shooting

Doesn't matter if it's your idea or not. Make sure the "talent" signs a release of liability or you could find yourself involved in a lawsuit.
Always be skeptical, cynical and self serving when it comes to things that could go wrong and involve you in legal actions. Better to be safe than in court. CYA.
Just sayin'
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Old June 23rd, 2014, 02:22 PM   #9
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Re: Advice on outdoor shooting

Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Bloom View Post
Doesn't matter if it's your idea or not. Make sure the "talent" signs a release of liability or you could find yourself involved in a lawsuit.
Always be skeptical, cynical and self serving when it comes to things that could go wrong and involve you in legal actions. Better to be safe than in court. CYA.
Just sayin'
Thanks, will do!
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Old June 27th, 2014, 11:47 AM   #10
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Re: Advice on outdoor shooting

If shooting in pretty different locations, I'd probably want to make sure and white balance each time so that all 3 locations look similar and that will help save time in post.
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