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Sony HVR-Z1 / HDR-FX1
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Old July 14th, 2009, 12:32 PM   #1
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Shooting day for night with Z1

has anyone here any experience in shooting day for night footage. I'm going to be outdoors in the countryside filming three people with the Z1 so I can't have any artificial light sources showing.
The only exception would be suggesting moonlight. In the film, the characters arrive at their location at dusk and go through right to the dawn.
Any thoughts and tips would be most welcome.

Chris
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Old July 14th, 2009, 01:09 PM   #2
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A while ago I saw an amazing tutorial on Video Copilot about doing this completely in After Effects. It was brilliant and nothing at all had to be done in-cam. It may be what you need.

The moon is a bright single light source and throws shadows similar to sunlight, so I think you are okay there, once you play with contrast, levels and color.
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Old July 14th, 2009, 03:20 PM   #3
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If you're looking for advice, I would say lookout side the Z1 forum. Shooting day for night with nearly any camera is going to be the same, so just look around as to how others do it.

Pretty much try to only shoot with harsh sunlight to mimic the moon & as little sky / clouds as possible. Then get a good color corrector.

Also look into some portable LED lights. There might be some battery powered lights which you can take with you when the sun isn't doing what the DP asks.
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Old July 15th, 2009, 01:22 PM   #4
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You can do this entirely in your editor if you wish. One hazard with doing it in your camera is if you shoot too dark, there is no way to get anything out of the footage. You can't get what isn't there regardless of what filters that you use when you edit. If you do this in your editor, you can experiment with lows, mids and highs so you can enhance detail without hurting the dark look. You run the risk of crushing your lows and even mids to an indistinguishable blob if you shoot dark.
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Old July 16th, 2009, 01:17 AM   #5
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Videocopilots tut is #44..
VIDEO COPILOT | After Effects Tutorials & Post Production Tools

There's also a 'Day for Night' Animation Preset in AE.
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Old July 16th, 2009, 11:48 AM   #6
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Thanks very much for all your replies. I will checkout After Effects, it's a program I've been looking at buying but having the time to learn it has been a problem. It's the next step for me, so I will shoot according to your advice, not too dark and also run some tests.
BTW, I edit with Sony Vegas 7 and I'm familiar with the Colour Correction settings.
I'll post back in a few weeks and let yu all know how it goes.
Again, many thanks!
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Old July 16th, 2009, 12:31 PM   #7
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You are best avoiding the sky in frame as well...
Try to use the sun as 3/4 backlight.
If there are any prac lights in shot, they should be more powerful than normal, so that when you decrease the brightness in post, thet still have some value.
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Old July 17th, 2009, 12:37 PM   #8
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I need to keep the sky in shot, that's the problem. The sky is quite important, well, a night sky actually. I will have to put stars (psd alpha file)against this sky and I can't key it in the studio so I need to use a mask here or there.
If I can simulate the general look for night-time, the rest isn't to much of a headache.
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Old July 17th, 2009, 05:18 PM   #9
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I suppose that if you have a good blue sky, then a pola filter can be rotated to get the darkest blue, which when you decrease the brightness in post, should give an acceptable "night" or neo night sky...
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