The Wandering DP Podcast: Episode#284 – Straight Out the Camera


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On the podcast this week we take a look at a recent spot I shot and breakdown the lighting and lensing.

Based on feedback from the last few breakdown episodes I've decided to show the uncorrected frames straight out of the camera so you can get a better idea of the levels being captured on set.

It doesn't give you an idea of the actual look but hopefully it helps show you how things operate on the day.

A few challenges in this spot but we got it all in the day so that was a win.


Advanced Cinematography: On Set Training

Are you interested in coming on set with me and seeing how I work on a typical commercial? Do you want to see the Framework in action and follow along as the various pieces are added to see the before and after differences?

If so than please check out the latest course from the Wandering DP:

Advanced Cinematography - On Set Training

This course follows a project from start to finish and you get to come on a virtual set and see how all the shots are designed. The positive feedback from students has been overwhelming and the new technology that runs the course and allows you to see lighting and framing decisions in real time has changed the way cinematographers will learn forever.

Patreon Podcast: In Time

In Time is the subject of this week's Patreon Breakdown. I love the night exteriors in this movie and for being super early Alexa I think it still looks great. Shows you what someone like Roger Deakins ASC BSC can do in challenging conditions.

Lots of the base from the framework came from a specific night scene in this movie and I don't think it will take long to recognise the influence it has had on me in my own work.

You can find this week's Patreon content by clicking the link below:

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Patreon members also get access to the Private Facebook community for the show. The podcast couldn't exist without the Patreon support and I do my best to take care of the supporters.

Straight Out the Camera - The Spot

We shot two cameras for this job because time with the horses was limited. This was also the final S35 tvc for a while now I would imagine.

Camera Gear:

This was the usual suspects for camera gear these last few years.

We shot on the Alexa Mini LF in Open Gate mode for VFX and reframing ability. We used the Sigma Cine Primes and shot the majority of scenes @ T2.0.

Everything was shot at 800 ISO except for the exterior dog scene which was 1280 ISO.

The Spot - Shot by Shot

Set Up 1 - Studio Set Up

The Shot

Our hero talent sits at the desk of what will be the giant robot.

The Lighting

The main thing that set the mood for the lighting was deciding what the capsule where our hero was going to sit inside the robot was going to be.

In the end it was decided to have the hero sit in the chest of the robot so light could come from one side rather than from above.

We used a 4k through a 12x12 1/2 grid from camera left and then an 8x8 of Neg fill from camera right.

The diffusion is as close as we could get to the talent without obscuring any of the console.

Behind is an Arri M18 through a chimera for a back light. We took a bunch of the level out as it only needed to be a hint to help seperate our talent from the BG.

The Result

Set Up #2 - The Stand

The Shot

Talent standing in the cock pit of the robot.

The Lighting

This is a continuation of the previous set up.

The Result

VFX Maestro

Set Up #3 - The Look

The Shot

Family of three stair at the face of the robot who is looking in their house.

The Lighting

Outside we had a 12x20 Green screen and angled it so it was in the shade. Above that we had a 12k HMI through a 4x4 frame of diffusion to act as our sun when the robot left the frame.

The sun was bouncing off the exterior of the house and on to the green so to eliminate that we used Neg on either side to cut the light.

Inside we had an Aputure 300D with a China Ball attachment dimmed way down to give us our room tone so the shadows were slightly lifted.

The Result

Set Up #4 - The Reverse

The Shot

The reverse of the family as the robot exits the window.

The Lighting

For this shot we moved to another room in the house and constructed the reverse of the previous angle.

For light we had the 12k HMI through 1/2 Grid as the ambient light from outside then in the BG we had a 4k HMI to push some level into the kitchen.

Inside we had an 8x8 of Neg to help create some contrast.

The Result

Set Up #5 - Let There Be Light

The Shots

Same as above but now the robot has left the window frame.

The Lighting

Same as above but an added 6k HMI.

The Result

Set Up #6 - Elevated

The Shot

Our talent sits in their appartement a few floors off the ground. In the BG the robot checks its watch.

The light has to be dmmed so we can register the blue light that is about to overwhelm the room from the television.

The Lighting

We had the 6k HMI out the window frame right and that was providing the key. For the green screen we had two image 80s from below. Inside there was an 8x8 Neg frame left and two Creamsource Vortex coming from below camera to add the TV effect and the Blue color wash that overwhelms the room on action.

The Result

Shot #7 - The Dog

The Shot

Dog watches as the Robot passes over his head.

The Lighting

We had a 12x12 Bedsheet frame right and then a 12x12 Neg frame left.

The dog ended up facing the wrong way because of where the handler hand to stand off set.

The Result

Set Up #8 - The Jurassic Park Shot

The Shot

The robot foot lands in the middle of the street as seen from inside a car.

The Lighting

Just the sun and some fun.

The Result

Shot #9 - The Exit

The Shot

Plate shots for the hero robot exterior scenes.

The Lighting

Au natural.

The Result

Shot #9 - The Exit

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