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Old December 28th, 2019, 11:15 AM   #31
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re: Would using a star filter for cinematography be too weird?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul R Johnson View Post
Ryan - you certain you actually understand blocking? It's got nothing to do with standing or leaning on a wall, or if they have their arms crossed or not. That's acting and needs direction. Blocking is simply where and when at its crudest. If you try to micro manage this then their acting suffers. Who is behind who - angles, heights, gaps, direction they face.

Actors do NOT do blocking, the director does this. Once they know the blocking, they start to act. You MUST get a handle on this, or the actors will do their thing despite your input.
Okay thanks, I understand that the director does the blocking, but what I don't understand is why it should be decided on set, just before the shoot, when I can decide it in advance. Why do I have to wait to the last minute to decide it, when I have all these other things I have to do then as well? Isn't it good to decide what I can in advance, instead of having just another thing waited, till the last minute, if that makes sense? It was said before so I don't get locked into a certain type of thinking, but is that bad, to know what you want in advance?
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Old December 28th, 2019, 11:37 AM   #32
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re: Would using a star filter for cinematography be too weird?

Two actors walk left to right - one is acting with a limp. He gets to the other side later. Crossing in front of the actor who has the critical line. So the director changes the limping man's destination, having him stop short, giving the camera a clear line off sight to the key actor. However, the knock on is that he needs to be able to turn the light switch on, but is now too far away. The director arranges a new move, the lead actor crossing in front of the limping man, who then can reach the switch and light it. The lead actor is now reversed compared to the way it was written. The director can then devise a realistic way to get them back, or leaves them in the new blocking position. However, the delivery man knocks at the door, but now the wrong actor might have to look through the spy hole in the door, and may have to take the line explaining who is outside.

It goes on and on. Very normal and on the day, once the actors try things, a better way. Of course, the heavy limp could have been made a light limp and the original plan would have worked - but maybe the director liked how the actor was playing it?

Surely you can dream up a million and one scenarios for changing a distance block - where you do it from the storyboard and then have to make changes to cope with more/less space, or just plain unexpected things. I did one once where the doorway was too narrow for the camera to go through it. maybe " but nobody thought to check the doorway was wide enough. These things need sorting on set.

Plans are always flexible to a degree, because if they are not, you are stuck!

Part of my job is to listen to everyone's plans and estimate their success chances, and without them knowing, formulate plan B's. Most of which are not required, but when they are I have one!
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Old December 28th, 2019, 11:40 AM   #33
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re: Would using a star filter for cinematography be too weird?

Oh okay thanks. That makes sense as to why to change blocking on set. Should I still have preliminary blocking on the storyboards as a guide though, and it can be changed later if need be?

If I do not have preliminary blocking on the storyboards, then how do I make up the storyboards then if there is no blocking on them?
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Old December 28th, 2019, 12:35 PM   #34
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re: Would using a star filter for cinematography be too weird?

Storyboards don't really do blocking well, do they - unless there is a clump of actors in them, and one has a big arrow, showing where they go? If you use storyboards as snapshots in time, then if something complex happens, then a start and end, and maybe mid-point could work? Personally, I'd rather see a storyboard and then read where the actors go? "John exits through the centre door, leaving Jane and Fred to one side, looking at each other in surprise" How you'd show that clearly in a storyboard, I don't know.
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Old December 28th, 2019, 12:55 PM   #35
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re: Would using a star filter for cinematography be too weird?

As Paul says, a storyboard has nothing to with blocking the actors, that requires more detail. They are good for the visual effects people, but it indicates nothing about the overall performance from the actors..

It's like a still photograph of a play, you can't tell anything about action before or after it was taken. It may tell where the camera is pointing at a certain movement in the scene, but unless it's an extremely short bit of action, you know nothing more about the content. Perhaps more useful in commercials than longer form productions.

I would use the plan with the actor's movements on it, together with the camera positions. Even then you need to be open to some changes on the day, it's more a starting point to cover yourself if you can't come up with anything better on the day and you know where the camera should possibility be (although subject to change).

The version that you have in your head will never match what you manage to get on the day. There are too many variables.
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Old December 28th, 2019, 01:21 PM   #36
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re: Would using a star filter for cinematography be too weird?

Oh okay, but don't do you still have to block in the storyboards, otherwise it will lead to continuity errors possibly? Like let's say you have all the storyboards, but then on set, you decide, let's have the actor get up out of his chair and walk over to the window.

Well now there is a continuity inconsistency, cause none of the other storyboarded shots, you want to do for the day, have the actor over by the window now. So if you do not have the blocking in the storyboards, how do you avoid lack of continuity like this example then, if that makes sense?
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Old December 28th, 2019, 02:07 PM   #37
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re: Would using a star filter for cinematography be too weird?

YOU'RE GETTING EFFECT AND CAUSE REVERSED!

You are quite correct, on set changes can lead to continuity problems but somebody is supposed to sort these things out. You don't use storyboards for this kind if thing, because if you tried, you'd have too have somebody constantly monitoring them to check compliance, and if you have that person, then they just do it on what's shot, not what was supposed to be shot. Storyboards have a purpose, so does blocking actors and they are both flexible. The storyboard is the visual guide too what we will see. How it is implemented is the director's version. I like to think some of the director's cut movies are more like directors original plan, that got changed in shooting. Storyboards are guides - that's all. After all, not every location gets a visit - like yours when you discovered the body road with cars in the background. You followed the storyboard but then had to dump it in a hasty script re-write. That's just how it is - especially in low budget productions.
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Old December 28th, 2019, 02:13 PM   #38
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re: Would using a star filter for cinematography be too weird?

Okay thanks. I can try to just use them as guides only then, I am just fearful of continuity being compromised if I do. Sure I will make changes if I have to do, I just don't know if it's a good habit to get in, cause I don't want to risk continuity too much.

Let's say I have a storyboard of a master shot, and two actors are sitting. Then during shooting, I decide to have one of them stand. But the actor is sitting in all the other storyboards. Does this mean I still do the same type of shot coverage, but have them continue standing, instead?
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Old December 28th, 2019, 02:44 PM   #39
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re: Would using a star filter for cinematography be too weird?

Continuity is a job on the crew, there is a person who notes all the actions and when they happen. If you don't have one, usually the camera operator has an eye on it or the director. Usually both are aware of continuity as the scene is played.

A storyboard doesn't note any of this, all it says is the framing of two people in the master shot, You might indicate with an arrow that one of them is going to stand up, but you have no indiction of when this happens or any action by the other actor that might motivate the actor to stand up.

The shot coverage could be the same, just the camera operator may have to compensate for the new situation with an alteration in the framing.

I'm surprised that someone who has done a film course doesn't know these things.
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Old December 28th, 2019, 02:51 PM   #40
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re: Would using a star filter for cinematography be too weird?

Well in the film course, they didn't go into the storyboarding part of it as much, and I tried to learn a lot more of it on my own. We mainly learned as a director, how to work with producers, but also how to produce and get funding, working with funders, etc. A lot of the business side really. We learned a lot of the filmmaking side as well, but not a lot of what I ask about on here.
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Old December 28th, 2019, 03:09 PM   #41
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re: Would using a star filter for cinematography be too weird?

From the sounds of it, "a lot" is more "somethings" about film making, the questions you're asking are basic stuff that you should be aware of, especially since there are now so many books on most aspects of film making.
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Old December 28th, 2019, 03:10 PM   #42
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re: Would using a star filter for cinematography be too weird?

Well it's just that before when being told I have done the basics wrong, I want to know every variable of the basics too, if that will help.
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Old December 28th, 2019, 03:16 PM   #43
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re: Would using a star filter for cinematography be too weird?

You can't expect people on the forum to go through every variable in film making in infinite detail. .

On Amazon there's 75 pages of books listed as being about film directing, that's where you should be looking. A forum can't go through all the details involved in the subject, especially since there can be more than one answer.
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Old December 28th, 2019, 03:32 PM   #44
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re: Would using a star filter for cinematography be too weird?

Oh okay sure, it's just from the books I have read, I feel details are left out so far, which is why I want to ask about such details, if the books do not address all the hidden catches either.
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Old December 28th, 2019, 04:03 PM   #45
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re: Would using a star filter for cinematography be too weird?

Each book fills in holes, and they will often contradict. I started out with lighting, and learned a huge amount from one author, who later I got to know quite well, and he was amazed I'd used what he called his ramblings, as the foundation. He'd never meant what he said to be taken as the 'method', just how he did it. I suspect you have not read enough versions of how its done.

How we got here from star filters, I'll never know. I actually bought one back in the 80s - never used it after the first day!
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