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Old January 12th, 2013, 03:06 PM   #1
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How to shoot in a workshop?

I'm going to be spending a few months filming in a car garage this year.

Today I did some test shots and looking at the wave monitor looks like I will be fighting various light sources.

There is a large garage door which is usually open and lots of bright fluorescent lights around the work area. The general light isn't that good unless it's bright outside (skylights).

Any tips on how to shoot?

Screenshot below of garage and waveform.
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Old January 12th, 2013, 05:56 PM   #2
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Re: How to shoot in a workshop?

What type of project is this? Advert, promo, doco on how to repair cars? A one off?

Will you be shooting after their work hours? Only on the weekend? Will you have to light the whole place? At night?
Will you have a professional interviewer asking questions, walking around? Is this a series for broadcast on TV? How long is each one?

Will you have any crew? imo you need at least one other pro gaffer .. hire one.

And I'd run more tests with the actual vid camera, for lighting and sound .. with the talent.

By the look of those hard surfaces, the reverb will be a problem also from outside noises, you'll need lav mics on everyone.

Lots to consider.
Cheers.
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Old January 12th, 2013, 06:15 PM   #3
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Re: How to shoot in a workshop?

One thing you will have to negotiate is the radio. If you have random songs playing in the video you could have Copyright and continuity issues. It will make you unpopular especially because the mechanics will then start talking (usually four letter words) and you have tell them to be quiet.

Definitely get UV filters for your lenses, you'll get some fluid on your camera at some stage.

Mechanics aren't good at waiting! So if you can set up a time lapse with an unobstructed view of the workshop you'll have footage of the work they do when you aren't there.

As for exposure, I usually filmed late so it was all artificial light and there were fewer people. I also exposed for the part and left the workshop floor overexposed if I was unable to have my back to the door.

I also used the BBC 5-shot rule a lot!
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Old January 13th, 2013, 03:20 AM   #4
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Re: How to shoot in a workshop?

Thanks for your input.

All those things have been sorted. My only real concern is with the light levels. Looks like I will have to sort most things out in Post.

About the shoot, it's a fly on the wall documentary where I following a company for the next 9 months as they restore classic Ferrari's. It will become a 6 episode series and will be offered to broadcast companies once completed.
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Old January 13th, 2013, 06:18 PM   #5
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Re: How to shoot in a workshop?

Ooops Syeed, the classic saying goes, 'we'll fix it in Post'

No offence, but I'd say there's no one here who goes along with that. You have to try your darndest to get it all in camera, on the day.
Post is for editing, adding narration music and titles and just cleaning everything up. Anything more than that on a 6 part series
like you're planning with your experience, could well become a real nightmare to the point where it just stops.

Ferraris eh, big bikkies, your production quality is going to have to reflect that. Definately recommend you get some pro help.

Cheers.
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Old January 14th, 2013, 03:37 AM   #6
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Re: How to shoot in a workshop?

Syeed, I just started a thread on using FL-D filters here

FL-D filters. Any users?

Not professing that this will work for you, but might be worth looking into. I'm still a bit unsure of the benefits of these, but will shoot some tests under similar setting later this week myself.
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Old January 14th, 2013, 05:52 AM   #7
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Re: How to shoot in a workshop?

Last year I shot 15x4 minute vehicle restoration segments that were located in a workshop.
Lots of challenges here and my advice is if you cant control the light which I gather being a working work shop you wont be able to this so go with the flow and work with what you have during the shoot. I would recommend some led light panels daylight balanced and preferably battery operated so no cables running everywhere.

The radio.... good luck with that.
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Old January 14th, 2013, 09:30 AM   #8
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Re: How to shoot in a workshop?

Radio? What radio?
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Old January 14th, 2013, 12:16 PM   #9
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Re: How to shoot in a workshop?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Syeed Ali View Post
It will become a 6 episode series and will be offered to broadcast companies once completed.
Perhaps things are different in the UK, but that certainly isn't how verité TV series get sold in my market, says the guy working on two right now that weren't sold TO the broadcaster per se but developed specifically along the lines the broadcaster wished to pursue funding programs in this market.
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Old January 15th, 2013, 03:25 AM   #10
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Re: How to shoot in a workshop?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Allan Black View Post
Ooops Syeed, the classic saying goes, 'we'll fix it in Post'

No offence, but I'd say there's no one here who goes along with that. You have to try your darndest to get it all in camera, on the day.
Post is for editing, adding narration music and titles and just cleaning everything up. Anything more than that on a 6 part series
like you're planning with your experience, could well become a real nightmare to the point where it just stops.

Ferraris eh, big bikkies, your production quality is going to have to reflect that. Definately recommend you get some pro help.

Cheers.
I fix everything in Post :-)


Quote:
Originally Posted by Adrian Frearson View Post
Syeed, I just started a thread on using FL-D filters here

FL-D filters. Any users?

Not professing that this will work for you, but might be worth looking into. I'm still a bit unsure of the benefits of these, but will shoot some tests under similar setting later this week myself.
Thanks. Will have a read.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Simon Denny View Post
Last year I shot 15x4 minute vehicle restoration segments that were located in a workshop.
Lots of challenges here and my advice is if you cant control the light which I gather being a working work shop you wont be able to this so go with the flow and work with what you have during the shoot. I would recommend some led light panels daylight balanced and preferably battery operated so no cables running everywhere.

The radio.... good luck with that.
I'm just going to have to work around the lighting problem. Using LED's for some of the close shots/interviews.

Biggest problem is making sure the light stand (or me for that matter) doesn't fall on a £1,000,000+ Ferrari.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul R Johnson View Post
Radio? What radio?
The radio playing in the background of the workshop.

Not a problem really as they switch it off when I'm there. Bigger problem is the grinding/banging noises!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaun Roemich View Post
Perhaps things are different in the UK, but that certainly isn't how verité TV series get sold in my market, says the guy working on two right now that weren't sold TO the broadcaster per se but developed specifically along the lines the broadcaster wished to pursue funding programs in this market.
I decided to do things differently. We're filming 3 different series, each with 6 x 1 hour episodes that aren't going to be offered to Broadcasters until a series is finished. We're in talks with a couple of Broadcasters at the moment but we won't be agreeing to anything.

A Broadcaster may buy them, but if they don't I won't lose any sleep over it.
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Old January 17th, 2013, 08:56 AM   #11
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Re: How to shoot in a workshop?

I have no idea what kind of camera you intend to use, but consider a wide angle lens, does wonders in the close-quarters shooting of a shop! Also helps to stabilize hand-held work, as motion is minimized. I always used a 0.7x and it made a big difference for me.

Thanks
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Old February 3rd, 2013, 01:15 AM   #12
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Re: How to shoot in a workshop?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Syeed Ali View Post
I fix everything in Post :-)
Looking at a known lighting issue and, rather than taking care of it, casting it into post-production is a terrible idea.

Set the DVR to record other garage shows. Monster Garage, Pimp My Ride, American Chopper. If I recall correctly, they keep that bay door shut, which will help tremendously. Relocating those horizontal shop lights would help also.
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