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Old August 28th, 2006, 08:36 PM   #1
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Scrims - Artifical clowds - Can I do this with a scrim?

Can you diffuse sunlight very effectively with a large scrim?

Like an artifical cloud? Thats what im going for.

I shoot TV commercials for car dealors and they always want to shoot in direct sunlight- in mid day - which is too bright and creates hard shadows that have such a contrast as to make the shadow areas almost completely black. So I was wondering if I could buy some kind of Giant scrim, and if that would be a wise idea to try to difuse the light and make some softer shadows on them. Throw it up on a c-stand. What should I get?

Was looking at these options: Whats the best for diffusion?
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...ar&A=search&Q=
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Old August 29th, 2006, 10:47 PM   #2
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That link didn't work for me so I don't know what items you're looking at but... A scrim is a light reducer and not a diffuser. To soften the shadows you need a silk like a poly or china silk. They come in different thicknesses from a 1/4 stop to about 2 stops. They make faces look great in the sun but they also darken them. Unless your background is already dark, you will have to then add light to the faces with reflectors or lights to make a good overall exposure of the scene. Biggest problem with silks (or scrims) is they tend to act as sails in any breeze and are almost impossible with a wind. Be careful using them.
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Old September 19th, 2006, 07:04 PM   #3
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What if in bright sunlight, you put up a big bed sheet over your actors held up on all ends by 4 C-stands. -Would that make a good diffusor i wonder?
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Old September 19th, 2006, 08:39 PM   #4
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If you watch the BTS from the most recent "Casanova" starring Heath Ledger, you'll see in the outdoor scenes they had massive scrims to soften the sunlight. a white bedsheet works well on a budget, I'm sure theirs was a bit more expensive.
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Old September 30th, 2006, 08:46 PM   #5
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You want a silk, or grid cloth to diffuse the overhead sunlight. A 20'x20' silk, overhead frame, four Hi-Rollers and a lot of sandbags should do it. You might be able to get away with a 12x, but round, shiny cars may require something large.

Whenever possible, tie off to something, or anchor the overhead to something that will not move, should your giant sail try to get airborne. You will also need some grips to help you set it up and move it. It's a giant sail, so you have to be careful.

Matthews
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Old October 1st, 2006, 07:05 AM   #6
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I used a sheet as a reflector once. I won't do that again. The flapping in the breeze in unacceptable. The scrim needs to be pulled taught on some sort of frame. For a car, you would need a HUGE scrim. Maybe you could cut down on the size by only covering half the car with a 12x12, but that cuts down your shots tremendously. It would make a nice shot with the talent in front of the engine compartment talking about the car, but full car shots will need something larger than the vehicle.

I have been thinking that some sort of strong, fine netting material may be better since it would not catch so much air. Any ideas for big white mesh?
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Old October 1st, 2006, 11:16 PM   #7
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Tyson,

They were shooting a movie, with Kirk Russell, and I was told, Russel Crowe with Quinten Tarentino Dir., (I probably misspelled everyone's names) close to my house last week.

I took a photo of their shoot. Notice in the top left a large scrim that is being held up by a boom arm. The scrim frame is made of pipe.

Large scrims are used all of the time.

Click on the pic for a larger view.

The blue tent is for the director, the sound board and monitors.
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Old October 2nd, 2006, 04:59 AM   #8
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Thanks for that picture, Jesse.

Notice the other large scrim on the far left of the screen. It is standing vertically and probably on the southern side of the set if it is in the middle of the day, on the west side of the set if it is later afternoon, and on the east side if it is morning. It looks like they are using a big HMI just to the left of the blue tent. The electric lights are probably to add an element of control to the lighting.

If working for a company that has a forklift, might it be used to hold up a big scrim? Lots of companies have forklifts.
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Old October 3rd, 2006, 09:26 PM   #9
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Marcus,

You're right. The vertical scrim is on the Southwest side of the shoot, about 5:30 PM.

I didn't even notice it before you mentioned it.
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