Shooting The Scene

Lesson 13 of 15

End of Day: Reviewing Exterior Dallies

 

Shooting The Scene

Lesson 13 of 15

End of Day: Reviewing Exterior Dallies

 

Lesson Info

End of Day: Reviewing Exterior Dallies

Well, we've got we have set up we shot with the red so the easiest way for us tow watch our dailies and check stuff out is with red sitting pro exits the proprietary software that red has tio tio deal with the our three d footage so and we've we've loaded in all of our takes they're all on on our computer back in the control room so so well we'll see how this plays back so ben if you wouldn't mind let's just roll this is the this is take three of our first set up from this morning which is seen one and let's see it seems like we've zoomed in a little bit no no that's good we got past the all the viewer windows so here is here is to take and I can already see there's you know as we're framing up we're waiting I would you know we haven't really done that much color correction to it it's just you know this is basically the straight off the you know straight out of the camera look but just gives it it'll give us a sense and I'm looking for things like focus I'm looking that the operating a...

smooth and that you know that there is not nothing that's weird happening in the background we're in such a wide shot there there was no there was no way for us to put any light in but you can see in in lexus space there's still plenty of detail there's still some detail in the sky you know with with a little work in the in the color correction we could bring a little bit more saturation into the sky and you know bring you know maybe give a use a power window on his face toe to bring that up a little bit but it's really not necessary it seems you know not necessary to do too much it seems like we're kind of right in the mood of the scene and so this is what could potentially be the last the last shot of the movie at she'll bend down write her name in the notebook it might have started that move a little early and this is where we figure stuff out during the course of the production but that way if we had started a little bit later we'd still have some of the move at the end here but live and learn so so that was good I think I'm you know I'm not quite sure what what comments I would have but this is you know, the the the actual process of dailies is everybody kind of gets the way and so jessica how how are you feeling about that? Was there anything that stood out to you anything that you without the picky I think is what this all about it's all about the details I think it was definitely more timing but that's nothing of your fault or the actor's fault sorry buddy I'm just timing of actions I noticed that we have the bag in this scene that we didn't have it in the first seem right no interesting yeah, we should have had it somewhere in the office, right? Yeah that's what happens like when you know shooting scenes out of order normally you'd have, you know, a props person there who would say, do we need this prop in the in the previous scene or not? And you know, if we do, where should we put it all that kind of stuff? The good news is in you know, in the script we never saw this part, but in the script we never see alex and hope leave the room and we never see them, you know? We kind of we would see them arrive on the roof, but we don't know if he picked up the bag on the way out of the office. He couldn't there's time in between those two places where he could have got in the bag. So but that's a good detail that's that you know and it is like all of those details are important and you'd be surprised how many times you know, even on the biggest movie, those details get missed but you want to you want to stay on top of all of them yeah for my my criticism I feel like I feel like we could have started the dollar move a little bit later like as I realize how this would cut into the scene you know, I wish now that that that we had started in a little later all right, so ben what's the next thing is seen to and was take one the only take that we did of that um yes, I think so. So let's take a look at that and so this is with no color correction at all we did you know, about two seconds of correction there this is a little bit cooler than I would I wouldn't want it to be but seems like it will you know, for the purposes of watching dailies part of it is you try to get the colors to go is close to your intention is you can so people get used to it so here we can see that we did get a little bit of lighting on lexis base the colors are a little bit off but it's totally within the range of what we can correct um I kind of wish we had the controls to correct it here but the same time it shouldn't turn into a color correction seminar so that seems like it worked out fine we still have a little bit of the dollar move left it and and I you know, we could have maybe gotten in a hair faster there, but let's, see, here it is this the same take again? I think it is. Yeah, it just looped around so bad. Why don't we go to the go to the next take and set that up? How how did you guys all feel about about that one seemed like it. It worked was in focus, you know, say, ben, I'm sorry. Go back to that last. Go back that last set up. Thanks. And if you could just just roll into part of the shot where he's in the frame. All right, so we are this stop. There was foreign a third. And just so that you get a sense that this is this is with a twenty eight millimeter wins. So you get a sense of what the depth of field is like if we had gone much shallower, I feel like the background would have just gone completely out of focus, you know, but here you are, it's soft enough that you that you get a sense of the depth that you get this separation between lex and the background. But it's not so soft that the city itself is unrecognizable that is just out of focus, blur and that's. So somewhere between two, eight and five six for me for most kind of normal lenses once you get into super telephoto lenses, that kind of stuff but you know, all bets are off you don't get in depth the field but you know, for the lenses between, say, eighteen and fifty millimeters the you know that range I try to keep the stops in that range is where the lens is performed best and also for me it feels the most natural in terms of the depth of field unless you know, unless I'm going for some kind of an extreme look where I you know, you only want one person you know, one eye and focused that kind of thing and, you know, you want to draw attention to the fact that you're using shallow depth of field that's you know, that's a different thing but kind of for you, you know? And so it's taste it's all taste is my taste, you know that I I don't like to see where things air inter out in and out of focus on an actor space, you know? And you know, in most shots I feel like it's drawing too much attention to the photography that takes too much attention away from the actor okay, sorry ben so now let's go to the go to the next thing and let's see what we've got I can't remember but here we go. I want to help this cot slated to eh but it's it's basically the same shot of and we dolly just a little bit later yeah, yeah, but here you can see he's got light in his eyes there you know there's some shape on his space but it's not it's not too extreme and that little bit of sun that's coming around like we kind that we caught the son angle really nicely it's like combination of planning and good block that you know what the daylight was giving us was was you know, something that we could use right? So ben let's jump onto uh to be pleased and I think the last take is bore you have take for in there somewhere reminder gym we had had this like I changed the yeah okay that's what it was yeah, the first one was a miss slate that's right? Thank you. All right, do we have my my little note here says that therefore takes a to b but if we've got one that sees that um yeah, because this was this was the first remember we way kind of worked long and hard but let's see what we what we find about this that is you can actually read that here it's not not great, but you can definitely cia yeah that was I feel like we did get it better in the in the later takes but is there can you I'm not sure whether you can look in there that if they're somewhere else um let's take three take we did of this shot okay yeah there I'm pretty sure there wasnt take poor but this this works the timing was better with the pullback death walks out okay great. So that's also a you know a possible ending for the movie I I feel like going from that little move back to the wide shot of her you know from that first set up might be good to um all right cool so yeah there it is this year's take for a reason I know this stuff is got some camera reports we kept notes um yeah so for this the one thing I would probably do in the final color correction is you know, a little bit of ah a little bit more open in the mid tones it gets a little dark and you know the sky was getting a little bit overcast a little hazy so we lost some of the blue and there and maybe there's a way to bring some of that in but yeah I overall the image would probably we warm it up a little bit but great it's like that that's the thing about watching dailies like you do they're too they're too things like you we haven't color corrected this at all you have to kind of be aware that there's a lot of room to move in color correction and when you do when you do have called corrective dailies you want to make sure that you've got somebody working on it who's who's like working working towards the same end that you are that you know that you've got you've given them notes that you've gone through a process usually during the testing of the first day or two I'll go in and visit with the colorist and sit down with him so that I've talked through what I'm looking for how I wanted to look and then he can from there he'll take it with you very little shorthand and make it look good but what happens? The director and the editor all fall in love with how the dailies look usually and said, if you if you give them something that's not what you like and then when you get to the final color correction you try to change it it can often be really difficulty so it's good to try to get them to work with the colors to get them close close as you can we didn't have obviously there was no time in the fifteen minute break toe make that to do the color correction here but that's what what I would do so why don't we check out the the next next little bit yeah lisa um I was wondering if you have some sort of thought pattern behind your camera movement especially when you were following her and the reason I mainly ask us because you see it and all of a lot of very um beginner filmmakers um usually they lose the actor before um they can pan over we're actually like they're not following the actor very well. So do you have a thought pattern behind them? You mean when I'm when I'm panning when you're following the character teo keep him in frame it's I guess that's a good question there's there's a certain amount of it there's just practice and you know and a certain amount of it that is your body will do that stuff without you thinking about it and the hard part is tio tio basically let yourself do it without a soon as you start thinking you're your brain is much slower than your body is that's that's the only way I can explain it so you have to you kind of have to be ready for what's gonna happen and and now what's gonna happen in advance and then you have to get out of your own way on dh and let your mind take over it's just like, you know it's like a hunter shooting a bird where it's flying through the air and you know you have to you're you're not only calculating where that bird's going to go you're thinking about its path you're thinking about how long it's going to take the bullet to get there all of that stuff and it happens you know like that without your brain having to get involved and your conscious brain so yeah it's it's so there's a definitely um there there's the most of my thinking is you know make I definitely like try to rehearse it a little bit beforehand to make sure that everything's gonna happen the way it's expected and then I just know that my instincts take over you know in one of the early takes of that today like she stood up out of frame my operating was terrible it was because I was busy thinking about like some other stuff and not just kind of letting my consciousness be on you know on uh daisy in the frame and so that's and I guess the only way you get there is just to practice it you know, people standing up and sitting down like I think that was the two hardest things you know for operators and you know you can you can practice it you can go home and you know get your friends to stand up and sit down a bunch of times that's it really is just just about that so all right let's let's roll on this ben you got it and so again this is no basically no color correction and there's I feel like we could have okay, we could have um we could bring the shadows down and this a little bit more but there's plenty of shadow detail there and there's also in the if we were to switch off there's like a standard lot that we're looking at now if we were to switch that off which I'm not sure we can you can see that there is a detail on the table like all of that stuff is there and you know so we can use power windows to bring it back in and you know, save ourselves from having to do a lot of lighting and some people will say that using using power windows that you know which is the ability to it's you can basically select a little area of the frame they can make any kind of shape you want out of it it can be tracked so if the camera moves you could move it with it and you can make part of the frame lighter darker you know changed change the colors of things you can pick one color and change it a different color. There are a lot of tools in post production and some will say that it's cheating but you know me coming from the still photography background I feel like movies have finally caught up to what I could do in the darkroom you know in nineteen eighty and I'm really happy for you I'm really happy for that like any of the tools of anybody's if you're familiar with photo shop any of the tools that you have a photo shop you can now use with movies so so that's you know in terms of this what I might have them do we bring the shadow's shadow levels down a little bit make it just a little darker under there, andi I probably would would make a window to darken the top of the frame and maybe the edge of the frame just a little bit just a little bit of a vignette and it would be that would be difficult to do in the camera but it's very easy to do in post production and so you've got these tools you should just use them I'm not a purist at all I'm very much about what's the what's the fastest way and the easiest way to get something that you want and, you know, like any of the standard color correct er's couldn't do this stuff very easily including I think that, you know, like the free divinci software and your there's you know, they all have power power windows capability all right then why don't we jump ahead to the next the next set up see what we've got there here's our big reflection shot so just when you could notice when when the focus was on the tea kettle when it was close on the slate, you could tell what all this stuff wass but once you focus on him and that the audiences attention is drawn to him you know, you really have to you have to sit there and think what is that a reflection off way just did that with a bunch of junk that we had hanging around it wasn't like nothing fancy I thought at first that having some some light area in there would kind of break things up and make you know, make people think it was another wall or something like that but I was kind of wrong um I'm not afraid to admit it um I think that's like and that is the other sort of lesson toe toe pull out of this like you you know, when you're doing this stuff, you try something if it doesn't work, the best thing you can do at that moment is say I you know, I tried something but it didn't work so we try something else and, you know, sorry guys, but you're gonna have to do it again you have to do it even one more time one key grip that I knew said yeah, we haven't let it three times, so I know we're not done yet I took that as a compliment I was happy I've been why don't we wait? We jump to the next one it feels like we're coming up to the end of our time and I you know I'd like to throw it open to questions to on the internet if that's if that's good in studio as well in studio too but like like we're at the end here so if there's anything that burns and screams to be known that I could tell you about I'm happy to do it so like throw out your questions it relates to the first shot of the day yeah okay cool yeah it can have nothing to do with anything that were coming here not really a question maybe maybe to get your thought on it um which worked really great uh related to the story on how with the camera but with the characters um for example when when the uh what was the characters named dan? Yes. Then when dan when they first walk out to the to the rooftop and he's very he's kind of holding back to agreeing with her or following her he's kind of like the main piece like he's yeah he's towering over her in that shot and then once he kind of agrees and kind of falls for her charm or whatever but then she kind of turns into the killer or the more powerful director in the shop and then once once they kind of get close to both dying they get on the same level because she's death and he's dying so I kind of like to get a parallel there that's cool so I thought that was a well done yeah, thank you. Yeah there's like yeah I was definitely thinking about why you I was thinking about why why's the character trying to do this and you know it'll it'll happen or what is the character trying to do it at this moment and you know, it happens with you know, between the director and the actors to when they're working at the blocking but kind of in the in this situation I like jumped into that role a little bit and yeah, it is that it's a sort of it's definitely the sort of thing as a dp if you're paying attention to what actors and directors air thinking and why they're doing it you khun come you know, come with suggestions about how to frame things and how to shoot things especially for the directors that are more you know, more verbally oriented than you know rather than visually oriented and who think about you know you think about the performance and it's not that there's anyone right way or wrong way to do it but you know certain different people definitely think about performances in different ways and you know and you know as a dp you khun you can compliment the especially the directors that you know that tend to think more verbally and they will be able to tell you what the you know I'll tell you the adjective about the scene this person is supposed to be sad this person's supposed to be happy you know they're supposed to be tentative and and you can try to turn that you can translate that into some sort of camera movement or you know, some sort of blocking and you know and so it like from in that sense I was definitely looking at this script and saying all right when does he move why does he move what's the you know and how can we kind of helped that with with what our cameras doing so yeah thank you yes today we've talked about how to work and sticks and dolly can you please talk about how dio set of you work for on the complicated shots like crane shot steadicam shots handheld shots so yeah like it's the one thing the brief thing that I say about it is that you know, having having some idea of what you're trying to do with the crane like why you have it there in the first place is you know is key and it's you know even if it's just for like I want we're doing a concert seeing we want tohave it swinging over their heads for you know, over the audience had for visual excitement that like just that is good, but the hard part when you're trying to use it in the narrative in a narrative context, is you well, I just want to get a high angle shot and, you know, but all the action is kind of happening down at ground level and you end up like, spending a lot of time clearing things out, lighting a big shot that, you know, emotionally doesn't play into the into the scene, and so I feel like anytime you use that kind of that kind of piece of equipment like ukraine, you're making an emotional statement you're saying something about the scene and I feel like you should be able to articulate why you're putting it there, you know, the swinging over their heads and a constant scene it's, it's, eye candy and that's a perfectly valid thing it's great, but but, you know, in a dramatic scene, you you feel like you should be ableto say why you want to use it that's that's, the short crane workshop. So I'll go any to you in just a second, a great one from our sorry, our internet audience and I guess if you out there, if you have more questions, feel free to put them into the ask function, but this one just came in a second ago how did you decide you are going to be a director of photography? Have you ever considered directing how much of an execution a ll roll rather than creative? Do you reckon directory directing of photography is as opposed to directing that's a good question um everyone some wild somebody will ask me if I've thought about directing and you know, it's interesting I'm curious about it it's it's a completely other different thing than than what I do and although I you know never saying never like when you know when I was a little kid being a director wasn't what I wanted to do being a photographer was what I want to do you know they're pictures of me you know, our pictures I've taken when I was seven years old that I still really like and that's you know, so I'm really happy and you know and what I'm doing right now and uh you know, I feel like making it making the transition to being a director first of all it's going to be you know, it is a big transition it's not something being a director is not something that somebody promote you to either and but the other the other the real reason is that I really like my job that's you know, I feel like I still have something to learn in and I still have something to say with it so um yeah, that's, I'm not in any rush to be a director. This might be a totally different classes. Well, so we use the red camera for the three days for like the novice the beginner who can shoot with iphone or any type of camera start independent there's somewhere software out there. But what would you recommend for someone doesn't know that saying, for example, is washing this and what would they use to edit what would be a good start? I guess. I mean, you know, my movie that's, you know, movie works great it's you know, it comes with your computer. You don't have to spend any money. You can sit there and play with it. It's got, you know, you can make all the basic cuts change sound, you know? And you think about all of the stuff that people do that you know, all the like. Now you can do professional level stuff on your on your computer with your iphone or, you know, like, stuff that looks really good without having to spend a lot of money. And I think that that's, like the the gear is not what does it like? I know that it's important to know have, you know, like, the reason why we have expensive equipment is to get the highest quality picture, but that and, you know you want that, but at the same time, if that's going to stop you, the lack of that is going to stop you from actually creating something you need to create it with whatever you got, you know? And if you can afford to buy something great, go out and buy it. But if what you have is, you know, you're handy cam and I movie make it with that you make your project on dh, you know, and then you know, you'll learn something you'll get better the next time, and you know it. And if the project you make is great people, people tend to look past the technical shortfalls of things if what you've got, if the project that you've made is really compelling, somehow, I would love you to give the people out there in studio audience like your last final thoughts call to action, go forth and conquer, you've done it. We've seen your work. What's your final advice. Yeah, I think I actually feel like that was the perfect lead up question. Because it's like there's. No excuse not to go out and shoot great stuff now, there's. No. You know, like, all the means for production have gotten so easy and so affordable and you know you can. You can shoot things with very inexpensive cameras that rival, you know, professional, you know, very expensive cameras. You can add it in your computer with software that usually comes with it for free, and almost everybody has a computer. It's. You know, it's, like the best thing I can say is, go shoot stuff, that's and, you know, find. Find a friend who wants to be a director or be a director yourself and go shoot it. Yeah, that's, that's my pitch.

Class Description

There is no greater filmmaking challenge than translating one’s cinematic vision into a practical shooting plan that produces edit-able footage. In Shooting The Scene, renowned cinematographer Jim Denault, ASC teaches you how to take a production plan and shoot efficiently, economically, and artistically.

Jim’s award-winning work includes The Campaign, Boys Don't Cry, and Game Change. In this class, he’ll share insights from his experience shooting both indie and studio films and teach you how to translate your vision into a series of filmed units (aka “coverage”). You’ll learn how to:

  • Set the aesthetic and technical approaches for each shot
  • Determine how many shots you’ll need within a scene
  • Balance practical limitations and still acquire what's best for the scene

Shooting The Scene will help all cinematographers, camera operators, and filmmakers develop a more systematic approach to planning a shoot. You’ll become more equipped to take an idea that only lives in your mind and turn it into an actionable shooting plan.


Reviews

Kevin Baggott
 

I had worked briefly many years ago on a shoot that jim was the DP for. I was very impressed with how he ran the set. It was a great pleasure to watch this course. Learnt many things. I would highly recommend it.

Kervin
 

This was a very informative class. It's great to see the thought process and solutions that go into a well executed scene.