A couple movie questions at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > And Now, For Something Completely Different... > The TOTEM Poll: Totally Off Topic, Everything Media

The TOTEM Poll: Totally Off Topic, Everything Media
Let's talk about anything media related.


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old March 13th, 2003, 04:52 PM   #1
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Fowlerville, MI
Posts: 51
A couple movie questions

Are any night time movie scenes actually shot in daylight or with lighting, then made to look like night in editing? I know they have megabuck cameras, but my video is always grainy in low light shots.

Movie sound - it's annoying lately having to turn the volume up and down while watching a movie. There are always some dialog scenes I can't hear without cranking it up, then it's too loud for the rest of the movie.

Just wondering....

Kirk
Kirk Messner is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 13th, 2003, 05:10 PM   #2
Wrangler
 
Join Date: Feb 2002
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
Posts: 1,929
"Are any night time movie scenes actually shot in daylight or with lighting, then made to look like night in editing? I know they have megabuck cameras, but my video is always grainy in low light shots."

Film, TV, and commercial shoots tend to have big grip trucks full of big lights capable of may tens (sometimes hundreds) of kilowatts of power output. Take a good look at many supposedly "night" shoots and you'll notice there are actually a lot of light sources. Some are less subtlely disguised than others. During the shooting of American Graffiti the crew paid local shopkeepers to keep their storefront lights on at night and replaced the lamps in streetlight fixtures for the exterior sequences. Inside the cars, it's a different story, with actors having to share space with hot lighting equipment.

Blue, violet, and dark red colored gels are often used to tame and darken bright light for night shoots. Light shining from an unmotivated origin can still look convincing if it seems like moonlight. Another effect that is almost irrestible to cinemtographers is wet pavement. Its albedo shimmers light back at subjects rather than just soaking it up, while also making for some interesting reflection effects. This is why a hydrant wrench is an essential tool in any grip truck toolbox!

The most difficult part about night shooting is illuminating distant swaths of background. On one shoot I was on, the crew employed a special (and expensive!) fixture consisting of a very bright lamp inside a giant white helium-filled balloon. (The whole rig comes in a trailer towed behind a truck.) As bright as a full moon, the balloon fixture was able to light the ground of a whole street block without laboriously rigging lights mounted to trees, lampposts, etc.

Day for night processing is rarer nowadays but still used. It can involve in-camera and post filters. Usually much more successful in black-and-white than color. You might try doing a search on the DVInfo.net forums for tips on day for night shoots.

I bet Charles Papert might have a lot to say about the special considerations of night shooting and day for night.

"Movie sound - it's annoying lately having to turn the volume up and down while watching a movie. There are always some dialog scenes I can't hear without cranking it up, then it's too loud for the rest of the movie."

For this, you can blame the mixer, or in some cases, the director. Michael Bay in particular enjoys drowning out his dialogue with sounds effects and orchestration. My dad has learned the trick of just keeping the volume down and the subtitles on.
__________________
All the best,
Robert K S

Search DVinfo.net for quick answers | The best in the business: DVinfo.net sponsors
Robert Knecht Schmidt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 13th, 2003, 05:24 PM   #3
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Fowlerville, MI
Posts: 51
Thanks Robert ! Very interesting information. I see I have alot to learn :)
Kirk Messner is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 13th, 2003, 06:12 PM   #4
Retired DV Info Net Almunus
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Austin, TX USA
Posts: 2,882
If you can get your hands on a copy, the October 2002 edition of DV magazine has a "how to" article about lighting for night.
__________________
John Locke
SursumFilms.com
John Locke is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 13th, 2003, 06:28 PM   #5
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Houston, Texas
Posts: 188
Night shooting.. I have a short that is going to be about 1/3 dark / night shots. I have to shoot it mostly run & gun due to the nature of the topic. I also need to be able to shoot some interior jail scenes, but can't take more than a handful of gear into the slammer.

Any ideas on a down & dirty method? Blue filters? etc...

Thanks,
Mark
__________________
I'm humbled by the greatness that surrounds me.
Mark Austin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old March 13th, 2003, 09:56 PM   #6
Wrangler
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 6,781
Robert's words speak volumes (although I haven't seen too many hydrants cracked open--around these here parts they usually send a water truck down the street for wetdowns!)

As he described, a wide, strong backlight will help create a classic night look. If you are shooting towards a building, placing your light on the roof or in a high window straight ahead from camera. Using a theatrical blue is a typical choice, but you can elect to use an orange gel that simulates the sodium vapor streetlight look also. A china ball for front fill can be pretty; it will look more natural if the faces are slightly underexposed (if you use zebras or a waveform monitor, peg the faces at 50 IRE or under). And as Robert said, having splashes of light in the background will look nicer and be more practical than lighting the world up.

You won't need to use blue filters as a matter of course, shooting on the tungsten (incandescent) setting without color filtration is standard. And it's pretty rare these days to see day-for-night work in a film, it has a bit of a dated look (although "Jaws" is still amazing for the day-for-night footage out at sea).
__________________
Charles Papert
www.charlespapert.com
Charles Papert is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > And Now, For Something Completely Different... > The TOTEM Poll: Totally Off Topic, Everything Media

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:43 PM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network