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Old August 6th, 2010, 07:05 AM   #31
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Location: Melbourne Australia
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hi gary,

my apologies mate you are right. i went back to davids first post

and read it this time.. sorry about that, the lighting forum threw me

being a gaffer the closest i come to writing anything is when i pay for something by cheque.

thought i would encourage david to use a gaffer (get some work going
for my fellow gaffers in the states....haha...

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Old August 6th, 2010, 03:42 PM   #32
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Well, I'll definitely try to fit that into the budget. What I was thinking actually, is to work out the budget so that I give my DP an allowance of sorts to spend on the lighting and camera departments, including hiring crew members for those departments. Of course every decision will have to be approved, but I'm going with the assumption that my DP will be more familiar with what we need and the people who can get it done for cheap than myself.
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Old August 7th, 2010, 04:02 AM   #33
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Hello folks.

This is a confusing thread.

If the intention is to hire an experienced cinematographer as stated, he or she will have a specific approach that they will want to take to light these scenes. Asking for everyone's opinions on how they would do it is basically counter-productive to the process. Let your cinematographer do his job, which is to interpret your desires for how you want the scene to look and figure out how best to do it given your budget.

If the story you are looking to tell absolutely needs to be set at a remote campsite, so be it. Consider that it might cost you a bit more than your intended budget to achieve and decide whether it's worth it, as it's going to be your money.

The single technical factor that sticks out to me is that you are intending to use a 35mm adaptor. Knowing that you will be working with small units for those night scenes, you will be far better off using a DSLR to shoot this portion of the film as they are several stops more sensitive and require a fraction of the light as an adaptor equipped video camera. Chances are your DP may even own one (they are getting pretty ubiquitious).
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Old August 7th, 2010, 05:48 PM   #34
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I'll echo what Charles said and add that if you already have a camera and the 35mm adapter that you might just consider not using the 35mm adapter during the night scenes. The background will be dark so you won't need the shallow DOF anyway. Try using a promist filter or the like instead to get a softer overall effect. You will be losing resolution if you crank up the gain so softening may also be unnecessary. An important part of keeping the budget low is to use equipment already available. If you don't already have the camera, the HDSLR route is the way to go for low-light shooting. That is a great way to go but there is a steep learning curve and you will need a fast lens or two.

The method I describe using a 12V deep-cycle battery is not simple speculation. I did this as early as 2005 for a film called Plastic Leis that was shot partly at night on the streets of Waikiki and Waikiki beach. The beach scene had absolutely no exposure in the area we were shooting although street lamps are visible in the background. I reversed what you would do for the campfire and matched the hairlight with the orange sodium street lamps. I used a huge diffuser to cast fake moonlight coming from the direction of the water. At this moment, I only have this horrible picture that was greatly darkened somehow in converting to a still frame. The original video looked fine and was shot on a Sony FX1 which is not so good in low light. This was all done with less than 100W of fluorescent light.
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