This is why you buy the T2i.

All you rich folk (no disparity intended), with your expensive light gear, expensive crew, expensive camera, can take your expensive time shooting. Us poor folk need to move things along at a little bit more of a rapid pace. I'm not saying I wouldn't trade places with you. I'm just saying.

Anyway, the following was shot with nothing more than a regular-old household ceiling-lamp, on the T2i. No, of course it doesn't get as good a shot as any of the aforementioned expensive setup. But if you're really in a rush, and you can't do all that time-consuming expensive stuff, and/or don't have access to the needed gear, imagine how great it is to setup a scene by flipping a switch. Try getting something like this, under the same conditions, with a traditional HDV camera.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vHhmXC6h1Ao
 
Hmmm...the color temp is too warm, and it could use some grading of course. I also think the cam op is focused on the beer cans on the table and not the guys face. I think he's a little soft.

It would definitely be more interesting a shot if more time was taken to light it properly. Right now it's too flat. And the background is too bright and distracting.

But hey...I'm just saying. :) I like the T2i.
 
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directorik

IndieTalk's Resident Guru
I would not want to get a shot to look like that.

No personal offense intended, Cracker Funk, but it looks like that
shot was simply a camera set up and a switch flipped. If that’s
the look you’re going for, then you win. But I think the focus
looks soft (M1chae1 is right - it looks like the focus in on the
beer can) and the lighting flat with no depth other than the
foreground is out of focus.

I can get a great looking shots with my cheap SD camera, a few
lights from Home Depot and a little work. What you call “time-
consuming” I call the work needed to get a shot that looks better
than that.

Any fixed lens HDV camera with absolutely no attention to lighting
is going to look exactly like that. But I’m glad you love that look and
that you feel you have purchased the right camera.
 

chilipie

Pro Member
indiePRO
-
I agree with Michael that your focus is a little out… it looks a lot better than the same shot would do on some cameras, but I still think with a little bit of extra work it would look better still.

Pretty lighting doesn't have to be expensive - take this shot, raw and ungraded, from last weekend, my first time with the 550D/T2i:

cheaplighting.png


The 550D footage already has a gorgeous look to it, and for less than £70, begging, borrowing and bargain hunting, I've got something I'm more than happy with.

Best of luck with your feature!
 
One thing you can not have is a soft focus. If you master one thing in shooting, it's a sharp focus every...single...shot. You maaaay be able to use the sharpen filter to save this...but if it doesn't work, you *have* to reshoot it.

It has to be totally sharp...it has to hold up on the big screen. And if your shot is even slightly soft, it's going to look horribly obvious when blown up.

You don't need to spend a shit-ton of money to light something properly.

Here are a few T2i example that cost very little, and look good:

http://www.vimeo.com/12577885

http://www.vimeo.com/12821193

http://www.vimeo.com/12330341

http://www.vimeo.com/12605888

http://www.vimeo.com/12013316



Unfortunately, due to the inexpensive nature of DSLR shooting, there is so much junk out there. But this camera can produce very high quality images if handled properly, lit properly and graded and corrected properly.

People get *way* too lazy when shooting with DSLR--they think they don't have to light shit. That it's just going to look 'good'...well...it may look better than stuff shot on SD and filmed the same way...but if you don't care about the craft of filmmaking...your film will show it.

Just because your camera can do something...doesn't mean you should do it...nor should you ignore filmmaking basics like lighting.

If I see one more film shot on DLSR with 'available lighting' I'm going to hang myself. OK...that's not true. But it's just annoying and sad.
 
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I would not want to get a shot to look like that.

No personal offense intended, Cracker Funk, but it looks like that
shot was simply a camera set up and a switch flipped. If that’s
the look you’re going for, then you win.

None taken. It's not the look I'm going for. It's the amount of time spent on this thing. Expedience is of the utmost importance on this shoot.

chilipie, that shot is gorgeous. By absolutely no means am I saying mine is the best look you can get with a T2i. What I'm saying is that if you want to "light" a scene by simply flipping a switch, DSLR is your only option. But I gaurantee you spent WAY more time setting up than I can afford on my shoot.

I'm shooting a feature in VERY little time, with VERY little money, and a two-man crew (me and another dude). You gotta pick your battles. I've known, from before I even had a concept, that I wasn't going to try and win an cinematography awards.

Thanks for pointing out the color and focus. A little embarrassed I let them slip by me.
 
None taken. It's not the look I'm going for. It's the amount of time spent on this thing. Expedience is of the utmost importance on this shoot.

chilipie, that shot is gorgeous. By absolutely no means am I saying mine is the best look you can get with a T2i. What I'm saying is that if you want to "light" a scene by simply flipping a switch, DSLR is your only option. But I gaurantee you spent WAY more time setting up than I can afford on my shoot.

I'm shooting a feature in VERY little time, with VERY little money, and a two-man crew (me and another dude). You gotta pick your battles. I've known, from before I even had a concept, that I wasn't going to try and win an cinematography awards.

Thanks for pointing out the color and focus. A little embarrassed I let them slip by me.

Understood. Shoot it fast. But grab a couple of work lights, diffuses, and gels, and make sure you're in focus.

If you're forced to cut down on bare filmmaking essentials due to time constraints...then reschedule and do it right...or plan your shoot with more time next production. Because honestly...there is no point in shooting something when it looks like this. I'm sorry, but you want to be proud of your work don't you?

I don't mean to be a dick...but if you're going to hear it, you should hear it here first, and not at your screening.
 
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chilipie

Pro Member
indiePRO
-
Honestly, it was a very quick shot to light. Ran through some ideas with the director in five minutes at the beginning of the evening's shoot, and probably spent less than twenty minutes setting it up - we spent longer faffing with the sheets than with the lights. Two 60w china balls as practicals, a 2K open face, some big sheets of polystyrene as bounce boards and a guy with a reflector, tweaked slightly as we moved from wide to ECU.

For the shot you posted, a single china ball and a sheet of black card/foamcore for negative fill could have made a huge difference. Nobody's saying you should spend a fortune or hours on set lighting a single shot, but it seems a shame to shoot so quickly when it's at the expense of the visuals.
 
One thing I noticed, and I did it myself the first (and so far only time) I used a dslr was too wide framing. Im not sure what it is, if its the wide nature of the kit lens etc.

I guess tighter framing looks more movie like to me. Especially a long (temporally) shot like this, too wide for too long..

But man, running and gunning.. its its own art form. A person could really get good at it.
 
I figured out the focus issue. Let my stupidity be the warning for others to heed. I'm a very recent (non-HD) miniDV convert. On my old camera, focus was a breaze. Yesterday, I found it difficult to really know FOR SURE if I was complete focused, and we see the results of that. In a conversation today, with a friend, we discussed that the most popular DSLR option is an HD monitor. Obviously, I don't have one of those (and the T2i doesn't have that option, anyway).

ANYWAY, it turns out there's this little digital-zoom button that let's you really focus in closely, say on someone's eye. I knew it was there, but I never understood the point of it. I was like, why do I want a digital zoom? That's stupid. Cuz you would never need that on my old camera. Actually, it's EXACTLY what you need. So, you frame up your shot, then use the digital zoom to see something really small, and if that's in focus, then you're good to go.

Thank God I posted that video, and thank God you guys pointed that out.

As far as all the talk of lighting, to give you guys a feel for my extreme sense of urgency -- I have access to $600 of lighting equipment, and CHOSE not to use it. One thing you might want to keep in mind is that I'm no cinematographer. Look, I'm REALLY good at editing. I'm good at shooting a scene that will cut together well. But I can't literally learn how to do EVERYTHING like an expert. Whoever it was that lit your scene, chilipie, might not be as good as I am at what I do (or maybe they are). "60w china balls as practicals, a 2K open face, some big sheets of polystyrene as bounce boards and a guy with a reflector, tweaked slightly as we moved from wide to ECU" Uhh, I kinda understand that, but not completely, and I'm pretty sure that what took you 20 minutes would take me WAY longer, and I wouldn't get the same results, so.....flip the switch! Action!

M1chae1, I'm not going to plan to shoot it with more time, because time is simply a liberty I don't have. Fast, fast, fast. Guys, I just shot 4.5 pages, with full coverage, in less than 3 hours, and that's INCLUDING rehearsal. That's fucking lightlning-fast. I know, you might think I can spend time on the lights, while they memorize their lines, but you'd be forgetting about the fact that I'm also producer, and that requires a lot of coordinating. Honestly, to wrap this thing on time, shooting with nothing, or almost nothing, is crucial. There's a reason why I wrote as many scenes outside as possible.

Oh, wheatgrinder, I appreciate the comments, but I will be editing the hell out of all of this footage. That shot will not linger for so long.

I guess, here's a better example of why to get the T2i. Again, this is the "flip-the-switch" school of cinematography. Outside, nothing but a regular porch-light. No HDV camera could get this.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CHG921sAv7M

And again, I'm not saying my way is better. You might recall I DID say that I would gladly trade places. What I'm saying is that the T2i is THE way to go, if you're strapped for funds. Heck, the shots that have been contrasted here are perfect examples. My sloppy-run-and-gun-non-cinematography definitely got much better results than if I were using an HDV, with the same lighting "techniques". And chilipie's more educated and practiced lighting produced gorgeous results with the same, inexpensive camera.

I didn't start this thread to give ya'll lessons on how to light a scene. I started it to tout the strengths of this camera (for the benefit of those who might be considering buying it).

Mumblecore!
 
People get *way* too lazy when shooting with DSLR--they think they don't have to light shit. That it's just going to look 'good'...well...it may look better than stuff shot on SD and filmed the same way...but if you don't care about the craft of filmmaking...your film will show it.

There's more than one way to skin a cat. You need to watch "Puffy Chair". I care very much about the craft. I'm just choosing my battles carefully, because I realize that in my current situation, I can't do it all. Please don't mis-read my tone as perceived anger or taking offense; I'm very glad for your comments. Anywho, cheers!
 

Uranium City

Pro Member
indiePRO
I hear ya on the time issue...a lot of my stuff is run-and-gun. So hard to connect schedules when everyone has a day job with different hours, no one can take extra time off, everyone has family pressures. Time is of the essence. But it will behoove your film if you consider lighting as you go. You'll get better at lighting while running-and-gunning the more you do. You'll be better at it by the time you finish shooting this feature than you are today, hopefully. Don't run from it...learn how to set up a simple 2 or 3 point setup quickly. Soon it will be no different and not take much longer than setting up your tripod. You can still run-and-gun with a 2 man crew + lights.

Ultimately, though, in the end, an audience will forgive a poorly lighted scene if the story is dynamite. And that's all that REALLY matters.
 
Sorry Cracker, I was regretting my post all the way home on my commute.. I did not mean to come off like I know any better...

I think Iv said it elsewhere, but let me say it again, if I had the money back in my pocket (canon hfs100 and letus extreme) Id be all over the DSLR revolution, but I gots what I gots..

The rest are just ideas, not criticisms..

A simple bounce card on both of those examples would have had a big effect. For the first example if you could have flagged off the light hitting the back wall, so the wall with the shade wasn't the same brightness as the subjects, that would have added some depth. For the second example, a string of Christmas lights out in some bushes in that "black" background space would make it feel MORE like a porch and less like a corner of a room.

Two pieces of foam core from the dollar store, and a quick raid of moms decorations box and you've got your self some options.. :)
 

chilipie

Pro Member
indiePRO
-
As far as all the talk of lighting, to give you guys a feel for my extreme sense of urgency -- I have access to $600 of lighting equipment, and CHOSE not to use it. One thing you might want to keep in mind is that I'm no cinematographer. Look, I'm REALLY good at editing. I'm good at shooting a scene that will cut together well. But I can't literally learn how to do EVERYTHING like an expert. Whoever it was that lit your scene, chilipie, might not be as good as I am at what I do (or maybe they are). "60w china balls as practicals, a 2K open face, some big sheets of polystyrene as bounce boards and a guy with a reflector, tweaked slightly as we moved from wide to ECU" Uhh, I kinda understand that, but not completely, and I'm pretty sure that what took you 20 minutes would take me WAY longer, and I wouldn't get the same results, so.....flip the switch! Action!

I'm very flattered, but I'm no expert by any means :) As far as practical experience goes, I DPed a no budget feature a year ago (and am currently editing it), and am half-way through shooting the music video that shot is from. I own no books on lighting, and the most expensive single item I've bought for lighting was a 2000w bulb.

I'm sorry if I came over as a bit critical - I know how hard it is working with such a small crew on a tight deadline (our producer was boom op/grip and the director was the lead), and if you're happy with the end result then that's fine. As wheatgrinder says though, you don't even need any lights to make a difference - don't underestimate how much two minutes and a sheet of white foam can improve a shot.
 
That scene was pretty darn good, imo. (since I don't know didly about lighting, dont' get all excited)

how come you cut the girl out of the frame? :(



-Charles

Thanks, Charles. She's out of frame because this angle was shot for one specific moment -- Weezie telling Pork Rind he's heard he takes it up the pooper. This scene is mainly composed of closeups of each one of them, and Lainee of course get's hers. There's also an angle shot just to see she and Weezie high-five.

Well, we shoot in an hour-and-a-half. I gots work to do. Cheers!
 
It doesn't take a cinematographer to get three lights (work lights, keno, peppers, whatever you can muster) and create a general three-point light setup for a shot...

Key, Fill, Rim (or hair light).

You don't always need three...but it's a good thing to stick to. You can learn the basics of 3-point pretty quickly, it doesn't take long to setup, and it will greatly improve your shot quality.

You can find many basic lighting tutorials online...and even here.
 
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