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Old April 27th, 2006, 11:21 PM   #1
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Exit signs

I was editing some footage shot at our church today and I'm really irritated by the exit signs at the sides of our stage over the doors- they just look really stupid in the video and because of regulations, we can't get rid of them. The entire wall is painted black and is covered with a black curtain, so the red light in the signs really sticks out.

I know this may be a far fetched question, but is there any such thing as an exit sign that won't be visible to cameras but will be to people - ie is there some type of a light that won't be detectable by a camera or some type of a gel we could cover these exit signs with so people would still see them but they'd appear less obvious/black in the video?

Has anyone else ever had to deal with this in one form of another? I've considered changing camera positions, but it doesn't really seem like a solution for a few reasons especially because those angles work quite well and it would be nice to shoot without worrying about such little things.

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Old April 28th, 2006, 12:39 AM   #2
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Mount the camera high(above the audience's heads and place a small curtain between the sign and the camera.The small curtain if closer to the camera and not hanging too low,will cover the sign from the camera's perspective but all audience members will be able to see the sign.
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Old April 28th, 2006, 06:05 AM   #3
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As jack said try to block the view of the camera to the exit signs.

I dont know of anything that could do what you asked for. The only other option is in post but if have lots of movements in the footage that could be a lot of work
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Old April 28th, 2006, 09:58 AM   #4
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take the bulbs out while you are shooting then put them back. unless you are shooting during a mass. then that's the least to worry about.
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Old April 28th, 2006, 11:10 AM   #5
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sorry, i dunno how to help you, but....



i dont know if americans know that, but almost every european, who have been in states for a while have realized that there are way to much laws and regulations...sometimes its even ridiculous...for example current situation...
or while ago i read a topic, where were said that to mount a camera to your car you need a police car to be fallowed you...
you wouldn't need to do that in eu. Thats why amateur filming in eu is much easier...but on some others aspects us is better...

didn't want to harm anybody, sorry if i did...
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Old April 28th, 2006, 11:24 AM   #6
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I think placing some sort of a hood around the sign is the easiest thing to do and hopefully that'll be legal.

thanks
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Old April 28th, 2006, 12:30 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fred Finn
take the bulbs out while you are shooting then put them back.
That would be very irresponsible IMO and could leave you liable if there were an incident or even a complaint. It would be very easy to forget to replace the lamps afterwards. If you want to do this then be sure that you have someone from the venue do it themselves so you can't be blamed for any problems which might result.

Working in theatres most of my life, the annoying exit sign issue is one we grapple with all the time. It's not unusual to see exit signs which have been "gelled down" in theatres (open the sign and put some dark blue gel inside), or you could put a smaller lamp inside, depending on how the sign is configured. But of course these things would also be a potential safety violation since I'm pretty sure the building code will specify how bright an exit sign must be.
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Old April 28th, 2006, 01:59 PM   #8
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I'm pretty sure you're liable even if you only dim it. I think the only legal way to not be charged with tampering with a fire safety device is to crop it out of the frame.
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Old April 28th, 2006, 02:06 PM   #9
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Depending on your software and how much the camera is moving, you could potentially cover it with a photoshop file of an empty area of wall. I've done this on a number of occations, especially for commercial shoots.

If the camera moves, you'd probably need a good compositing tool with tracking features, but lock-off shots can usually be handled by almost any good video editing software that supports images with alpha channels or masks.
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Old April 28th, 2006, 02:09 PM   #10
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The collector's edition of "Dead Poet's Society" has a cinematography master class doc on it. They show alot of cool on set tricks in there. One of which is how to place objects in the scene and then hide them from the camera. Setup time will be an issue with this it sounds though, so you may need to plan it carefully.

Specifically, they hide a rim light that is clamped to the ceiling in the middle of the frame by painting a card to cover that area of the frame and matching it with lighting and color to the wall behind. This resides a foot in front of the lens and covers the area with the light.
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Old April 28th, 2006, 02:15 PM   #11
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If the cameras are stationary, can't you mask out the signs and replace the pixels with some pixels from a "good" region such as the black curtain (at least for this particular footage)? If not too large, perhaps you could mask them out and use something like REFill (http://www.revisionfx.com/rfil.htm)

Or maybe you can change the red to black and "turn them off"...

Last edited by John McManimie; April 28th, 2006 at 02:50 PM.
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Old April 29th, 2006, 03:03 AM   #12
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Maybe you could do this optically? Have a clean pane of glass in front of the camera. Paint over it with black paint in the appropiate area. If the camera moves, that may not work necessarily.

The glass will also reflect light from behind it. If so, you could put some black fabric between the camera lens and the glass.

2- If the red is a very saturated and unique red (i.e. not in the stage), there may be a way to key it out.
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