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
 
Dude, I was referencing my life. This movie is very much my life. Even after reading this thread, you can't possibly understand anything about my life. No, in this respect, you don't know a thing. This board isn't about me trying to justify to you, why the reasons behind why I want to do things a particular way is valid. I, and only I, can answer that question. You don't know ANY of the particulars, so let's just cut off the "you're supposed to make movies this way" thread.



I don't know how to respond to that, cuz I'm afraid I don't really get your point. I'm not making movies to be seen by me. I want my audience to enjoy them. Bottom line. I'm sorry, I don't really get your point. Even with all being true, my artistic choices are still personal.



Because "perfection" is James Cameron's "Avatar", and I'm afraid my budget won't allow that kind of production. Are you telling me every indie filmmaker shoots everything they want to shoot? Nobody ever writes out that scene at the police precinct, because they couldn't secure a location that would pass for one? Nobody ever looks the other way on some subpar SFX, because they realize they just can't shoot any better? Are you telling me the ALL indie filmmakers WANT their films to take place in small locations, with limited cast-size? Are you telling me that NO indie filmmaker has ever wished he could hire John Williams to score their movie? Dude, indie filmmakers make concessions ALL OVER THE PLACE! I've made a concession that I don't want to, but have decided will make for a better film in the end. Because I'm able to do other things. Like working with my cast. And building DIY tracks. And getting permission to use name-brand products (which actually makes my film a HECK of a lot easier to shoot). And working with my cast. And paying attention to little details that tend to get lost on tiny productions like mine -- with a two-man crew, you're so busy that it's easy to forget those little things, like transitionary shots. Dude, this is where it gets personal. There's no way for you to say that your way is right. It's right for you. Mine is right for me. That's how art works.



No, that's really not a good comparison. I AM doing the best I can with my resume. You don't seem to grasp the idea that me spending extensive time on cinematography would seriously detract from me being able to do other jobs that I feel will highlight my "resume" much better. It feels to me like you think I live in this magical world, in which time is infinite. I am one person. I have one other crew member. How come nobody is commenting on how extraordinary that is? You guys know that filmmaking is a collaborative process. You know that it takes an army. Me and another dude is not an army. And yet, we are shooting a full-length feature. David and his friend are throwing rocks at Goliath.



I'm not saying you were trying to teach me a life lesson. I'm saying you don't know anything about my life, and why what I'm doing right now is absolutely perfect. For my life.

The extent of this debate is getting kind of silly. I ain't no spring chicken. Let me make my own filmmaking decisions. Your advice has been heard.

Just to hit on some of your replies.

-Nobody said they know anything about your life. Quite frankly I don't really have any desire to. No clue why you keep ranting about this "my life" business... :lol:

And of course there isn't a "you're supposed to make movies this way" way of doing things. Not sure why this was even brought up, pretty irrelevant.

-I can't make my point any more clearly. If you aren't able to grasp it then you aren't able to grasp it.

-Avatar is FARRRRRR from perfection. This is my opinion but ha ha. I didn't see anything close to resembling perfection in Avatar. It was nice to watch and look at visually but that was it.

-You see this is where I disagree with you 110%... There is 1 person out of 10 who DOES write out that scene in the police precinct...

And not to be a dick, but it can be argued that time is infinite. You, the finite being living in time is not infinite. But time on the other hand is, so there is nothing magical about it, just mere science..... Not to get technical or anything ;)
 
I see. Maybe now and then as you are filming you can look for or be open to or ask yourself like what is visually “funny” or “useful” or “interesting” in any limitation you might be faced with. For example (And not that it makes it better, just different) what if you had started tight on the people grouped together, then pulled back to reveal the theater empty? It's less realistic, but in a limitation ther might be something visually interesting for the same price.

-Thanks-
 
Just to hit on some of your replies.

-Nobody said they know anything about your life. Quite frankly I don't really have any desire to. No clue why you keep ranting about this "my life" business... :lol:

Because you're telling me how to shoot my film. This isn't my profession. I do not have unlimited resources. I cannot make the movie I would make if I had unlimited resources. The resources I DO have are particular to, ahem, my life. Seriously, dude, you're telling me how to live my life. You may not use that wording, but that's what you're doing.

And of course there isn't a "you're supposed to make movies this way" way of doing things. Not sure why this was even brought up, pretty irrelevant.

Because that's exactly what you (and a few others) are doing. You're telling me that the way I'm doing things is wrong. You're telling me that if I don't do it your way, then I shouldn't do it. You're telling me that your way is right.

-I can't make my point any more clearly. If you aren't able to grasp it then you aren't able to grasp it.

I grasp it. I disagree with it. That's allowed, no?

-Avatar is FARRRRRR from perfection. This is my opinion but ha ha. I didn't see anything close to resembling perfection in Avatar. It was nice to watch and look at visually but that was it.

I'm not getting into that debate again. My point was that FOR ME, if I could make the best movie I could possibly make, I would require a $500 mil. budget. But I don't have that. I used an extreme example to highlight the fact that ALL indie filmmakers make decisions they don't want to make, leaving things out that they don't want to leave out. I've chosen to leave out any real cinematography. You guys disagree strongly with that decision. Great. You're not me. I'm quite sure I would disagree with many of the decisions you might make as a director. But I'm not going to tell you that you should do it my way.

-You see this is where I disagree with you 110%... There is 1 person out of 10 who DOES write out that scene in the police precinct...

And then he shoots in a location that looks absolutely nothing like a police precinct.

And not to be a dick, but it can be argued that time is infinite. You, the finite being living in time is not infinite. But time on the other hand is, so there is nothing magical about it, just mere science..... Not to get technical or anything ;)

That's not science. That's philosophy. And I don't know why you said that. In real life, time is limited. There's only so much I can do with my time on the set. It's not like I'm sitting there, picking my nose. I'm very, very active. So, I chose to focus my energy on other stuff, while basically ignoring cinematography. That's my choice. It is so wrong for anybody to tell me that my decision is wrong.

Opus, I can't debate with you any more. I've been staying on these boards, in the midst of production, as a little down-time is keeping me sane. But this debate is ridiculous. Talk all you want, dude. I'm done trying to justify my decisions to someone who doesn't understand the reasons behind my decisions.
 
Just to hit on some of your replies.

-Nobody said they know anything about your life. Quite frankly I don't really have any desire to. No clue why you keep ranting about this "my life" business... :lol:

And of course there isn't a "you're supposed to make movies this way" way of doing things. Not sure why this was even brought up, pretty irrelevant.

-I can't make my point any more clearly. If you aren't able to grasp it then you aren't able to grasp it.

-Avatar is FARRRRRR from perfection. This is my opinion but ha ha. I didn't see anything close to resembling perfection in Avatar. It was nice to watch and look at visually but that was it.

-You see this is where I disagree with you 110%... There is 1 person out of 10 who DOES write out that scene in the police precinct...

And not to be a dick, but it can be argued that time is infinite. You, the finite being living in time is not infinite. But time on the other hand is, so there is nothing magical about it, just mere science..... Not to get technical or anything ;)

Are you sure time itself is infinite?

http://www.dailygalaxy.com/my_weblo...om-the-universe-radical-theory-says-yes.html#
 
As promised:

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

Let me cut you off from commenting on two things -- yes, of course I'm aware that the track is in the shot. I assure you, I tried other camera angles, track locations, decided to either do some cropping in post, or just cut it in later than it starts, once it's already in motion, and beyond the point at which you can see the track.

I really quite liked the look of that.

Had a couple thoughts on the whole track problem. Is there any way
that you could raise the camera up a few feet from the track? Maybe
then it would be out of frame @28mm so you'd have more DOF.

The other solution would be to do a sideways pan track sort of thing.
I feel like I've seen that done a lot in movie theater scenes.
 
I really quite liked the look of that.

Had a couple thoughts on the whole track problem. Is there any way
that you could raise the camera up a few feet from the track? Maybe
then it would be out of frame @28mm so you'd have more DOF.

Thanks! I did play with raising the cam to it's highest possible point on the tripod. What it resulted in was that my actors would either have to be way farther back in the theater to be in the frame, or I'd have to tilt the track up, and have the camera track down towards them. I didn't want the camera looking down on them, and I don't have any real strong telephoto lenses.

The other solution would be to do a sideways pan track sort of thing.
I feel like I've seen that done a lot in movie theater scenes.

This tracking shot serves a specific purpose, as do all the others in the montage-of-tracking-shots it is the beginning of. They're all tracking in; hopefully, if/when people on this board see the final product, it'll make sense why the tracking shots serve a specific purpose.

Both tracking shots are a little bumpy. I also think it's overexposed...especially for a theater. It should be darker, and with maybe hands moving a little in front of the light to act as flicker.

You've got a good eye for that kind of stuff. Of course I know that it's too bright for a theater; I got as much detail as possible, planning on color-correcting in post. However, you're totally right, it is just a little bit over-exposed, and I didn't see it until you pointed it out. Yeah, it's definitely bumpy. The joint in my cheap DIY track caused that; I'm hoping I can fix that in post.
 
Ok for the most part it was iffy. The light was too overexposed like others said but that can be fixed. The shaking didn't bother me all that much. I do have a recomendation though. First off is to a get a really nicely framed master shot. Then in post just use this master shot and do zoomed in shots on key events or things people are saying. Now I haven't personally operated the camera this type of thing has been done but I've seen others do it with some success. Also wouldn't have to worry about the shakiness.

But that's just an opinion, i guess after seeing the final product it could change with the whole thing.
 
Easy to use Moon Shadow (In AE) and key frame varying opacity percentages to make it bluish and flickering like a movie is playing. Also easy to mask the dolly rails with copies of the seat next to each rail, but it doesn't even need it as it can be cut in after the rails are out of frame. A little motion tracking and the flicker will hide the shake.

-Thanks-
 
The mask you could do, but to me (Not knowing what you are going for so I say it blindly) there is enough of the "Come on!" shot after the rails to not even need the mask. I don't know about the laughter reaction shot, but I would bet its about the same.

-Thanks-
 
re: The camera's use as low light, high speed shooting... yes it does
re: The speed of your shoot, I thought my 4-5 pgs/day was fast ;) I now work with a full crew, but in the past "Average Joe"(feature), "Stream, Cave, Jim and Dave"(short) have worked with 1 and 2 man crews respectively...

AJ was lit on every shot, shot only on the weekends and took 2.5 years to complete principal photography (still editing 6 years later, we had no idea what we were doing, the takes were poorly constructed on my part) - with boom stand holding microphone, me lighting and running camera. Actors will keep coming back for free, especially if it's a fun set and you feed them ;)

SCJD used only the sun, but I blocked carefully to make sure the sun was falling on the actors the way I wanted it to.

For your purposes, I couldn't possibly give any suggestions as I don't know the layout of the location, but There's generally a way to add lights to a scene without taking up much more time or having to constantly relight between setups... which doesn't necessarily mean it's the right thing to do on your set - especially if you're not very comfortable with your lighting abilities.

Time is everything we do on set, but as you know, post production can take longer to message the footage into submission and make sure it's really well done... I always anticipate that it'll take a long time to do post even on a 48 hour comp. One of our last ones "Scavengers", we turned in a good enough version for the comp, then I spent another 2 months finishing the color correction, special effects and sound design to make a better version that could get some festival legs... that's an 8 minute short that we shot in 24 hours. You've budgeted your time to focus on post, there's nothing wrong with that. I'd like to see the shot in context to see if it becomes better looking once we see it within the structure of the shot choices.

Lastly, I love the amount of detail you're responding to these posts with, you read posts fully and it's really great! Makes for very dynamic and informative conversations (and arguments).

I can't wait to see the finished product and see how the lighting choices work within the dynamic of the story and the edit.
 
+1 on this being a great thread. And Mr. Funk, +10 to you for being a good sport in the face of what must FEEL LIKE targeted criticism.

What I think would be useful at this point would be to discuss, a practical, super fast and easy set of lighting tools for the one man band problem. I could definitely benefit from a tool box like that! It seems with the low light ability of the DSLR you assume found lighting is there and that will be your key or fill or ring. So for three point, we only need two more lights. ... thoughts..??
 
re: The speed of your shoot, I thought my 4-5 pgs/day was fast ;)

We're definitely not averaging 8pg/day. That was one particularly dialogue-heavy day. We're finding that most of my dialogue is pretty easy for the actors to rehearse, as it's mostly a bunch of zippy one-line responses to each other. We'll probably get 8 pages in the can today. But some of our shots are a little more difficult. The outside tracking-shot we got two days ago took FOREVER. First, there was an old lady getting her mail. Then, a bus stopped nearby. Then, there was the mom warming up her car to take her kids to do laundry. Then, someone started a chainsaw. Then, the bus went by, again. Then, an airplane circled us. It F-ing circled us. TWICE!!! It didn't help that we only had 16ft. of track, when we needed 80, so we kept getting part of the shot, then moving the track and starting where we left off.

Anyway, by the end of the shoot, we'll average 5/day, which is, as you know, quite fast, especially for a 2-man crew. I wouldn't be typing this if I didn't have a little bit of downtime everyday, but my days are pretty dang busy right now. A bit on an indication -- I'm a super sci-fi nerd. Not surprisingly, I've been looking more forward to "Inception" than any other movie this year. I tried to watch it Friday night; I fell asleep 1/3 of the way through. Not because the movie sucked; I'm just that tired. Coffee is my friend.

Wheatgrinder, that's a terrific idea on where to take this thread. I'll start -- get a 500W energy-saver daylight light bulb. Not very expensive. It's actually 100W, but puts out the same amount of light as a 500W. So, you can screw it into a normal light socket. For all of the scenes at my main characters' house, I'm lighting the entire living room with this one bulb. I've got it screwed into the ceiling light-fixture in the middle of the room, and it's saturating everything with light. Plus, since it's coming from where a normal person's light would be (ceiling in the center of the room), the shadows it creates are very natural. I won't be winning any awards with this look, but it lights the room enough that everything is clear. AND, the color of the bulb matches outside daylight, so no need for blue gels. The sun coming through my windows matches perfectly. I can't post one right now; I gotta start getting ready for today. But I'll post an example of this extremely simple light setup tonight.

P.S. I wholeheartedly recommend that everyone write in a scene, in every movie you make, in which you get to smash a bunch of stuff to smithereens. Oh my God, last night's shoot was so ridiculously fun!
 
As promised:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2-T4NFBiu4A

I've got a million shots taken with this light setup. 1 single bulb, no gels. I chose to show this shot for 3 reasons:

1. With the door open, it's quite easy to see how well the light matches.
2. You can see the actual bulb in this shot. There it is, just sticking out of the ceiling (obviously, I didn't mean to do that, and will crop it).
3. I don't know about you, but to me, this lighting just looks natural. And I think it looks natural for the very fact that it's just a single bulb, coming from the exact location where a normal person puts a single bulb. The bulb is just bright enough to light the room, but not so bright to cause overly-hard shadows. I'll have to ask my friend where he bought it. I like this bulb a lot.

Again, not trying to wow you with cinematography. I'm just saying that this bulb wins the efficiency award, for tiny crews in a hurry.
 
Question, on the right side of the screen, is the wall painted to look like a giant Television?

Hehe. Yep, that's my projector screen.

img0248g.jpg
 
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