Constructing a Scene pt 1


HDDSLR Filmmaking


Lesson Info

Constructing a Scene pt 1

Basically, we now have two wonderful actors with will you please introduce yourselves to the to our audience here? Tracy girl so we're basically working progress what we're sending up for his psychiatrist's office it's going to be a little bit crude because I didn't have a couple of tools here that I would dearly love, but just to give everybody an idea of what I'm trying to do here, it's, sort of in the winter time so it's already after six o'clock the sun's gone down well, temptress the song you're down in seattle it in the wind for two o'clock okay, so anyways, it's after sunset, so when we're getting versatile, I suppose that night scene in a psychiatrist office and tim's been good enough to be our psychiatrists, and lorraine is going to play this demented woman s o what we basically got going here is we've got a sort of blue green, same as we did before full blue have half greeting to gain, then it's coming through her maid cook a loris uh, which should be an open up to allow the ...

light too and fall on tim quite nicely here and also do some really nice catch light on the reins hera's you can see, so that's what's going on with that one has got some I mean, obviously we we don't have a background out the windows here, but you can see it is a rather nice things on the blinds in giving them shape and giving them interest on dh what I'm not liking about this at the moment is way need a little bit of phil, which we're getting from here, the trouble is it's just going everywhere. And so what we're trying to find at the moment is a what we call a teaser, which is basically a very long flag that we can put across here on bringing him quite tight to the set so that we can take some of the light off that back wall, which is driving me nuts because it's really distracting and it's just a big bland nothing. So do we have anything like a long piece of fabric and twelve I ii or yeah, so if we got a piece of pipe on dh along a long piece of fabric, like in twelve by them, we can up and down it created teaser across here that would be a wonderful thing and, well, well, that processes going on whenever we won't weaken, jump up on the three hundred there and loved to get that just boxed in a tiny bit, do we have any m to have any snoods for the islam is probably not so yes there's some black crap and then we'll just folks that in on the rain and probably put it double in it just to give her a little bit of back right on that's basically pretending that it's coming from the the lamp on the table that we can see over there which is a bit of achievement you know again it's motivation for shaping life and that the importance of that will be coming apparent once we start moving in for our close ups of things like this so we're standing on a you a wide shot you guys able to come to this so are so are people out on the internet can see ok it was basically working on a sort of wide shot here we're just tiny bit so this is it got a master shot that we're working on at this point in time floor down here is a bit boring so but you're in dressing to be up you asked inside the top corner of the set that you couldn't see well we're room well we're fiddling with this are there any other any questions coming in just so that we can keep it keep the banter going from earlier gail um ch noren had asked again khun gail speak about ultra contrast filters I'm so very curious about his opinion of them um yeah I mean I think when you have very, very savage like they they're very useful. I used them quite a lot used them in l a because, you know, the lights and so very savage again, I would never use them on the hd dslr platform because I think they damage the files, which are already fairly fragile, but on thehe lex of the red, the genesis or, you know, thirty five motion picture camera, then absolutely, they make a huge difference, you know, sort of in which order you place them, they should always be if you want control over them, they should always be the filter that's closest to the left, especially if you're using a polarizer, oren nd or in eighty five or eighty five nd combination, they should always be the lens that's closest, closest to the actual optical glass of the lens, because if they're the furthest out, they'll catch muchmore lite than they would if they're behind the other filters. So but I think they're great builders, and, you know, they're really excellent it, you know, reducing contrast, one blurry lens who would like to know if you ever do any drawings or sketch out what you want in a set up? Or is this all going on in your head? Um, I am, you know, it's a good question I often with my my electrics I sketch out I'm a terrible artist, by the way, but I often scared chance sort of how I would see positions and lights and based on you know we on a production such as house way chopped down at least ten thousand trees a day we use so much paper that it's I mean it's actually necessary so it's not that we're just evil people and but every single said is comes on paper and it sort of a draftsman is drawing and so yeah based on that, I couldn't tell my electrical crew where I see like lights working from having spoken to the director about the content of the scene it also works really well in terms ofthe I'm asking the art department to provide a ll fittings or sconces or stuff like that because, you know suddenly once it's on paper it becomes a real thing and you start to get annoyed idea of what the set is going to look like and how big a tears and what areas you're covering. So in that sense yes, absolutely. Are there any major differences in life film? If you consider shooting exactly the same scene that we're looking at here between stills and shooting film? Well, I think you mean because um because film is built up built up off the multitude off shots they often you often tend issue much why the shots in film I'm with you on, you know of a dramatic scene just because you know very well you're going to go into close up shortly thereafter, you know, don't often instil issue didn't have to tell a story apart from a single frame where is in film you tell a story, barra siri's of frames and dialogue and all kinds of other elements so it's slightly different I would say that one should get into close up and probably not there probably isn't really very much difference but it's just the way in which you construct, you know, whole scene in film to tell the story the way you where you start for your wide shot and then how you decide to move in on the scene like that. Thank you. Now just one thing this is supposed to be a teaser and tease aries a big top job I need something like do we not have a twelve by twelve? Yeah, what what I need is a a piece of pipe and some fabric that hangs out about this far that I can put, you know, twelve for tube or pipe or something like that would be great. Do we have any twelve by twelve is a tool let's just use a single bar because those there's I'm going to do anything what when I need it, just need him you know a bar right across here in a twelve by twelve you know, half draped two third of it hanging down and then we can up and down it to use it is a teaser so time for more questions I'm sorry because I'm concentrating half on you I'm not helping the guys that are making them do double the work so they're probably kill me after inspecting can you explain what you mean when you say you're going to use it as a teaser? A tease is like a very, very long big flag and it's basically is separated from the light by quite a long way to do a lot of flagging again I've got no idea why they call it a teaser on this probably suddenly five thousand dances on the internet but it's basically just a long big curtain to control life it's hitting the whole top section of the set basically I mean they you seventy weird expressions in the film business I mean you know you often say things like can you tease light off that wall? Ten you you know, even things like clothes pins or called I don't see any around here's one here this is not it this is not a close paint this is a c forty seven in the film business and them I asked one of the guys and they said they thought it was in the nascent catalogers a c forty seven so whether that's true or not but you know nothing's obvious it's um this nickname listen thanks for everything it's a very strange business about I guess so but bernardo fellows is asking if you're lighting this scene for a particular I so probably about six fourteen um uh not having a great but there isn't an awful lot of power in the studio so where were we limited to what we could blood into the wall on dh eso we'll probably end up about six forty at the moment and no show where we are right now three twenty so like maybe three twenty or six forty but they're about you know but I didn't particularly go for the irs so it's more dictated by the lights on that was like house we tend to use much more powerful lights than these to come a larger areas it's it's rare that we working sense that in this small you know because well we actually do the thing is that often a lot of the war's a glass we haven't on awful lot a glass to deal with on harrison so you see from one room to another to another to another to another so we end up lighting vast amounts of space even though we might be working in the small room you know what I loved to do with that just to use your great I'm not going anywhere just let's just pull it down here on what we might want to do is maybe spotted in and then stick it doubling it so and then weaken box it right and so it's just literally a back edge pool here and we'll try and keep it off the wall and chinese met them aziz you can see and lighting is an incredible, incredibly tedious process and it could go on forever so I direct just hate dps basically because we take up all the time what will do with them we'll bring it right into here so it's much, much sharper yeah we'll bring the whole thing writing into across this line here so we come in just with one stand just there in them and then they come around on your end so you you end up over here that's essential really across here you could keep going keep coming forward, forward, forward, forward fort hood we get now we should start to get a bit of action from there so let me just hang down a little bit more if you can sorry guys I'm sort of I'm sort of ivory tunnel vision so I'm sort of half on the internet enough with you guys and there were probably wants it dying down a bit more than that just might just work let's try that and then just take the whole thing that sky the whole thing wait wait now was actually that's that's it time now we're starting to cook a little bit I don't know if you just up and down that you'll see what I'm trying to do it let's sorry let's bring it all down and let this hang down about another two feet have you got enough or you show it to the fabric of you go time much more fabric yeah, that would be great way could really show what I'm trying to do with this thing it's not uncommon for, you know grips electrics to think that all dps or insane by the way it's a very common feeling you can almost see it in the thought bubble is about people's heads what is this not gays asking me this for yeah let's go up with it now keep going go there's no coming down with it now I hope everyone can see what this is doing because basically what we're doing is we're controlling the light on that back wall on dh let's keep coming them so that we just feel like could you go just a fraction that way? So we can just start to feel it just start to clip on lorraine there than down here so we don't catch any light on the rain so just you can go up and none quite fascinating and see what it's doing no just on that inverse just go up and down quite fast so we can see what it thing and then we give bed there that's nice because it's it's just taken the light off the wall and now we've got more emphasis on lorraine so they're starting to work quite well on dh I think that's working quite nicely you could do the same kind of thing by controlling the band's two by lowering the band's she would effectively make that shadow line I'm sort of move up war but now we we're starting to get into a situation where we we've got a little bit of control over the wall by this being bigger and coming in even close that you you would chatter that said let's see if we can do that that's some see if we can bring that stand around to hear I mean you can if you go that way with your largest fish it round yeah that's him just coming to about just so your standards just this side of the lens that we get about that perfect okay that's it so by doing that what we've done now is to make it sharp we've made the cut line sharper so no just try going up and down again on your end yeah there we d'oh yeah that's quite nice so without affecting this light with now just take it even a bit more light off the off the wall and you can you give the audience and let's have a look that's what? We're here we'll play with this line can I just flash that guy? Oh, you know what? It's I think it's been too focused on the table let's um let's just ease it off the table and panicked slightly over this way so it's just can't ignore in a little bit more it looks like him just needs to pan left two tiny men there you go. Now we're cooking that's cool. Okay, just like that. Ok, now, if it is the somebody could somebody go outside and flash it while you were up the ladder? Yes, and everybody just have a look att what's going on here now that we put in this bank lighted it's quite believable that at least it is to me. But then I'm a terrible liar that's coming from the table and it has wide germs sorry, got my huge ass right in front of the men's just rush it again. Okay, now what we will do is because that lamp isn't actually in shot let's just slide the camera very slightly over. So we we feel that practically is always a very good idea too if you're using a practical and you're pretending that you're lodging from it to actually see it because otherwise yeah let's move it a little bit that's good. And just see if they had twists a little bit so I can feel it. Yeah, there was that video will interest to turn a bit towards me. Or is it? They wouldn't go that way? That we do? Yeah. That's. Not bad, you know, let's, just slide it slightly back because now it's sze growing out so it was it, tim tio tim growing out of tim's head a little bit just so let's slide it to the left. There we go, that's good gives you now we've got several elements of playing here. Is the audience and the eyes out on the internet? Are they looking at the image from this five day? They are good again. Yeah, I think that's pretty damn good on debt will certainly do for the moment. I mean, they're awesome finishes that I wouldn't do if we had more time. But if I really work this shot on, get it completely done to my liking, this is all we're going to do today. Things that I would do would be to take the light off the carpet down here. I would take a bit more light off the table. I'm not going to do that now because it'll take too much time to do it and I really want to show a whole variety of different sorts of things so just I mean, if you look at the image you'll see that there is an awful lot of them my eyes being pulled by this carpet down here so I would certainly be removed removing that or at least taking two stocks out of them I'd be doing that on dh taking light off the table s o there we basically are with something that's workable is unbelievable night shot that didn't take too long to do with not an awful lot of materials were basically um what how many lamps that we go? We got a one k and two k thiss one we don't actually need to play right now because that might come into play when we when we come in because we've got the practical in shot we can then use it is justification for lighting from that we've got to cook a loris which looks like a bunch of rats have had lunch up there which is doing some nice break up work on this rather bland wall in the bookcase it's also day nice things on the blinds and source's name nice things on lorraine's hair so this actually works getting very very nicely as a kind of wide shot and before we move on and talk about what coverage we might have for this scene brian let's, just sorry, tim let's just see you just I'm sitting down at the table over there and it's obviously not let too well for that position, and I'm not going to take the time to do it, but just, you know, as an intro to a scene, you know, it might be very nice to slide the camera, pass something to find this scene, you know, maybe just rest on a restaurant in l a bill on the table? Yeah, now we've got some nice that you can just play practical just like that. We just wanted an intro. You said we got some nice light on tim, so you cheat, you cheat actors, you cheat positions of lamb sees you know, if I was doing this for riel again, I might we use roscoe led panel's on dh might put one on the face of his on his monitor and twist them, monitor away a bit so you felt glow from the computer screen, things like that so we might do that. I'd probably be tempted to I mean, I'm imagining that this is a corridor, what I'm seeing out him there in a large office building or something like that so I might put a slash down that wall. Not going to do it now because we've got a lot to get through but just think about all the different components that you could do to this scene to improve it so it was the carpet the table a little bit of a bad catch john on tim's head them glow on his face might be nice to slash down that wall in the current actually that we couldn't do have we got a six fifty or something like them just yeah it's just like him if we use it sort of over there and just put a lives of keep it fairly close to the back wall and then put a top chop on it so we just put a nice diagonal line outside there we go so there's a little led that's coming to their own yeah it actually reads an inspector goes which is quite nice so that's pretty cool and maybe what we could afford to do now is just to tip the practical down a bit so it actually makes a bit more of a statement yeah, even even a bit more so we take a bit more of the practical light off tim's phase that we go now we're starting to get something interesting happening we've got some rather nice feels like a reflection can you can you go see them? I'm sure on your angle but you know is really beginning to work can probably move this over here this is probably putting us on a little table or something up here so yeah, maybe an apple walks or something just because we're looking at a large area of bland wall and you know, anything that distracts or takes the eye away from lorraine or tim is not a good idea, so just for the moment you couldn't do that. How long does it take you to light a scene? Usually well thing about tv is that you always know where you're going next and what you're going to be doing, so you always got people work he you managed to drag the director often say one what do you want to start with? What did you have in mind? So you know you're often already halfway lit by the time you're ready to move into that scene, I'm sometimes setting up a really big scene khun take it hour but then once you have done that sort of a turnaround or all the intermediate shot so generally about fifteen minutes well it's very difficult with the night too like you laurie tomb predict what he's getting to do and where he's going to want to stand and sit and those sorts of things so tends to be you know we tend to do a private rehearsal first, which is just literally actors director of photography director and writers and then you do a private house that you work out all the kings in the scene. Generally it goes smoothly and then once everyone's happy when that rehearsal and the crew were invited to see it so they know, you know, what's happening in the scene and marks and put down, you know, you feel that there are some no, we don't film it way put marks on the floor where all the actors and getting to, you know, say, hugh laurie campus looking out the window over here, they put a mark down, you know, if someone ends up over there, they put marks down where all the chair ever so everything's marked. And then we have our stand ins who are basically all chosen to look similar and be the same height is all our actors to basically, and they all take very copious notes of them. We looked at this, he took a cup, a cup of coffee. At this point, he put your brilliant at this point, he started at this point, he, you know, so they watch very carefully all the asians and the directions that the actor's face and take so that they could replicate that to help me in terms of my life, because sometimes they forget something and it's really critical. I suddenly you said me halfway through take one and you laurie goes looks in a different direction than you about and he's got no light on his face and that's really annoying because it means that and I have to stop everything and put up another lines or you know something like that which irritates everyone so because once you get going it's really good to go you know because that shooting time is so precious and expensive anyway so actually just try just try and go the other way as if it was coming from say wars constant coming down the war you had a fifty fifty chance of being right let's let's put a quarter on it and make the slash go downwards at the top yeah the obvious I mean dio come from the right but terms take the lamp I and pointed down yeah yeah that's it then raised the lamb putnam that'll do it we don't need to get mad it's just to kind of give an idea let's put a double in a single and that's a double in a single wire and then just raised yeah there you go perfect and then just put out put a double and single in it I believe it that we get always making a bit more are injured we basically ended up with quite a nice of the wide shot here at least we will once that season to be quite so bride u yeah that's fine so there you go there's a wide shot then tim just come and take a seat in the armchair you're still a little move ever so so he moves quite nicely through the light then so I probably wouldn't bother to do anything very much is rather nice that he moves through shadow and night because it gives a nice sense of movement so I'm if this was our master shot we've shot this let me ask our class where would we go after this if we wanted to do coverage on this scene I wouldn't be anywhere that we would particularly think off to go after your wife after after we've shot this who shot this is a master shot say I you guys just do something to say let's let's start over and then just do a bit of ad libbing tim just just once the rain starts ranting about something just come and take a seat to try and calm her down and then I'm just play out a little seed of two minutes in there okay and action when you're ready I've tried I I did everything you told me and it's just not working it's not working at all sorry no please go on ok we went home I made the list you told me to make with him with the pendant I told you to use it it's about the pan it all goes back to the pan anyone you can't touch it you have to touch the pants list isn't the list unless it's made with that pair used a pencil you can't hear the pence on the pencil a racism issue but ok see thing is the pen won't come off my hands ok? It gets on my pants and it won't I'm off you know what that's great that's that's perfect for the peace we need because I love the little bit of madness at the end there and that will enable me to talk to the class and the about one thing so basically what we what we would do after having shot this master scene which works quite nicely and you might cut back to it I mean the scene might end up with you getting so bizarre you throw the ball at him and storm out the door who knows so you might want to be in this wide shot for that so you'd run this this is all commit this is all really conventional stuff in you know and as you said yes it rules that there to be broken conventionally this is a very nice place to cover this scene and it's favoring mostly lorraine who really has the slightly bigger part in this because she's the demented what in the one that you're slightly more interested in her story which is why the cameras slightly over here? What I would say is because we're primarily lit in this direction, the first direction of courage you'd want to do is to come over tim here basically cover the rain not and on a couple of sizes so let's set up for that let's scrap this where our two cameras will come into play. I'm going to no worry at all about a ll the crap out of the window because if we clean up outside the window, we will get through and there's so little bit of help. In the meantime, I'll take some questions love to lose this love to just cheat tim's chair in a little bit to be able to get two cameras in here one cameras going to be a wide is too short on the other. The other camera will be a seventeen to two hundred close her shot on lorraine and that's, where we'll start to I'll show you what I was going to do with that brand to go so you love to lose this you guys can relax actually really, do you mind staying there? Timken stay can take your seat over there if you want him or whatever. So I'm sorry to ask you to do this and we knew this is quietly as possible otherwise it's really difficult for everyone, but we could take some questions while we move onto the next phase is this all working for everyone? Does this make any sense? Ok, he'll have a question from bernardo who would like to know how many inches of depth of field are you planning to use for this particular scene? Oh, I hadn't even thought about that quite honestly I have, you know, once once actually look at the shots than on the wide shot you because it's actually quite a wide shot you couldn't have quite a lot of depth it's when I get in closer that I start to be more concerned about those things him much separation on one between the actor in the background how much I wanted to blow the background, you know, because it was almost on a twenty four mill here almost the whole thing sharp anyway, this distance is not until you get in really close on somebody that you can start to then throw the background away but I never think of it in those terms I just think of it in terms ofthe what looks good to the eye. So the answer to that question from becoming a human it's no question from mike kay is how do you deal with being one third to two thirds of a stop out of exposure if you're trying to stick to the I also won sixty three twenty six forty guideline just by using the aperture I mean keep the irs so where you really like it andi just bury the aperture because that works in third of his stops and if you know to be quite john is to mean it the difference between a third of a stop most people couldn't even remember even if they saw one shot immediately after another you know, a third of the stop is in pretty fine adjustment, you know? Um ok, um let's see here are you you're also playing the role of director right now and during during a normal seen like this um who would be deciding on the camera positions? Yeah, a combination of both mostly you know, I actually ate directing much rather bid just bp, I actually don't hate it, I'm just not as good as it is I am as being a bb so that's why I chose to in my career and concentrate on mainly p moore, but very often the director, you know, some directors are very strong in terms of the framing they like to use so you know, what we're doing is just deconstructing basically a very basic scene just to you know, but brian, it could well be the director, but often it could also well be the operator that just wheels the camera in tradition and says to the direct, did you like this? Is this what we're looking for in the director might well say yeah, sure that's great or let's go longer on mexico wider or so on and so forth so it's often a combination of several people you know, I think I was kind of bring the money it's about our failure sinking like potentially if you wanted to essentially for her mental state you might be able to shoot through that glass there or to a close up of her clicking show exact claim I mean that's exactly what I was talking about I think and you know thea other thing is getting in much closer on her with a wide angle lens too you know, which is what will explore in a minute but there's those are all very valid ideas it's whatever you feel is best you know you know um so anyway so we need them well it won't be anymore because now we're going to go in it doesn't matter I mean it's just it's alighting excise him so can I tim can I see you back in this sheet let's find find is the seventy two, two hundred there that that one should come in really tight over homa tim here mo would try and feel a piece of timmerman will be is tight back to the wall is possible you said we've got a chance to get the other camera in this well who's that looking looking way way, way, way, way, way tilted his head oh okay we should go to color and uh do you mind setting that understand way have um we don't have way do have a noble remnant way let's grab that horrible frame and just soften the light a tiny bit on the rain here let's bring the open frame into here other you can have more question if you want way doing this okay quest question gail from canon chick yep is do you have any input in the editing room and very very rarely and me when we some strange mistake happens and we did a lighting affecting it's forgotten about in the edit but very very little need it's really old totally separate department and that's much more than the director's domain than the dps domain you know? Okay, another shot another question from a caden who said I noticed that all the shots are static shots and in your opinion arc raining and panning shots of more value in the cinema world andi I think movement is great the only reason I'm not getting involved in too much of it here and now is just because this is more about lighting and less about camera movement and you know we start getting involved in cranes and things like that and you know we won't get through a cz much material is I'm hoping to get through today but I think camera movement is wonderful on dh we were just a minute ago talking about how on intro to this shot might be coming into the scene from behind something rather like what we did with that swing done since yesterday coming through some glass or through some objects or from behind a bookcase or whatever so I think it is very important and especially moving movies you know so absolutely have a question from michael solomon which is how do you control reflections of your light on glass or other reflective surfaces do you simply use a circular polarized um almost told you know we have a massive amount of glass in the sets of house because it's a hospital satin and almost all our glasses designed to gimbal a little bit it'll give mobile that way or that way depending upon which way you put the pins in so way tend to avoid it that way because there's no degree of polarization that will take a direct light reflection out of a bishop glass you know it'll limited but it wouldn't get rid of it completely and it's always going to be disturbing you know um that's I'm sorry guys let's let's just bring this down a little bit closer let's bring it right in here so we can soften this sounds a tiny bit more and I'd love to bring the other camera this jason then that is cool let's bring that out the camera and say you you come alongside this camera with a wider to shot yes way might be again insanity I thought we had a former I thought we had one that was way put into fifty on it. Okay. All right let's say we get away with this wait wait he said no way yeah that way yeah, we could do that or um I'll tell you what have you got any any pure opened by itself just on a roll just added another she talking to there just to double defuse it now what I shouldn't do is way have the I'm going to put this out the redhead on this point I feel we need a tiny bit more fill this point yeah it's been a yes if we if we had another wait wait do we have the switch ability to switch between the two images him so everyone can see what we're doing okay, you know what that stands gonna have to move back a little bit is actually just a little bit of a picture so let's hide that beyond tim's had keep doing them a bit more bit more bit more about that. Cool. Okay, yeah that's the on screen you just can't take this help a little bit get a bit more light into that corner give that's starting to look quite nice so this would basically just in a conventional manner for coverage for the first part of the scene you probably want tio overlap tim coming in and sitting down from that point onwards, and then just take this even from there. So let's let's do that. Then what? Just before you moved him, I really like the framing on tim here because it's cutting him a year. So the emphasis is going much more through to lorraine to rain. If I, for example, did this, the emphasis is much more on tim, and you feel his importance much more. But in this case, I think we're much better off holding his hands down there on the bottom, right? And you see immediately there's a huge difference in emphasis in these two fames this one it's all about lorraine on this one. It's not on that's huge. When you think about framing, you could be more extreme and, you know, do something like this. Where, where michael becomes even less important. So these are very important decisions about how you decide to frame a short I person would go somewhere like this on. But again, you know, making the wrong decision can weaken can weaken the intend of your scene on but it's very important to think you think about, you know, what's important.

Class Description

For the first time in history, a camera that costs roughly $2,500 can shoot material good enough to hold its own weight on the highest professional levels. 

Gale Tattersall, renowned Director of Photography, has been at the forefront of pushing HDDSLR's in Hollywood. He shot the season finale of House entirely on a Canon 5DMII last year. In this HDDLSR filmmaking workshop, he teaches the ins and outs of making great films with HDDLSR cameras. 

Note: Neither NBC Universal, Fox Television or any other entity involved in the production of the House M.D. program endorses or is in any way responsible for the content and production of this workshop program.


a Creativelive Student

It is a very good class, with a lot of information and exercises. It´s better to watch more than a couple of times.