Shooting The Scene

 

Shooting The Scene

 

Lesson Info

Exterior Shoot: Close Up of Dan

The last segment waded a little way did our first set up of the scene which is actually on the shot list it is set up number two so I'm going to cross that off because it makes me feel like we've accomplished something and so now we're are the next bit of coverage we want to keep looking in the same direction so we're going to do our r angle on dan which is it's set up number five mysteriously there is no set up number four so it's really the fourth set up by this number five so let's line that up I'm going to go find my uh my artemus up and um plug it in I can find the cable here this all right here why don't I go this way? You go that way and say so if does he and lex would mind coming over and stand in for themselves pop open artemus and see where we're at here so twenty one is up because that was the last learns that I used but it seems a little wide for this maybe maybe not let's so say does he would you mind stepping forward too about your number two position? Yeah I think we can...

go a little tighter so I feel like a wide angle you know, wide angled and is kind of the right thing for this for this show I think it's just it will add to the mysteriousness is that seemed right I'm throwing it back to the director tent does that seem that seemed good maybe you want to come and look over my shoulder here um and you know, like way could I could make it a little wider which maybe we'll add a little bit more uh distortion to it that's now worth twenty one I like how it is position now yeah. Okay. All right. So theresa would you mind putting a mark down here and then desi would you mind stepping back to your number one position yeah, this seems good and you know, I wonder whether there isn't even something a little tighter doesn't could would you mind coming to number two again, please? And we can just we could keep this clean of dizzy as well. So um yeah, a little bit like I want to be a little of this is just all it's all some kind of subjective thing. So it's said of mark here and yeah, no call this the first mark I think you just move that, um okay? And then we'll we'll go back to here and see how you know even the disease line of movement is kind of perpendicular to the wallets but the camera ends up moving off to one side and which, you know, if I wanted to do a little move in here I'm kind of coming in in a diagonal angle and um you know, the the thing you have to do is not think about it like in a theoretical way like the track has two parallel her movement but just get a you know, every lens is going to be different and every every you know set up is going to be different you want to just look through the viewfinder and find you know, find the shot that you want to do and so does he would you mind coming to your number one position again and, um and now walk into number two please so we can do this kind of mysterious little move in I liked this height and then we pushed right pastor ok good so you get a number one is that I feel like number one's a little bit more to my right like about here all right? So so there's the move and you know, so the interesting thing like with a wider lens like that the eye line isn't going to be quite a cz close to the camera that way make that decision kind of based on how it looks you if we wanted to get the island closer would you mind stepping through at number two go please does he we could go to a longer lens maybe the fifty or something like that and do this kind of a shot but for whatever reason and, you know, this is all about this style and tone and emotion of it, like I look at a shot like this and I say, well, all right, that's, you know, that is a nice shop for some movie, but it doesn't quite feel like our movie and, you know, I look at that, all right? Well, that seems nice, but, you know, I keep wanting to get closer and wider and stranger, so maybe it is the twenty five like, this is the other thing. There's no, there is no right answer, so you keep kind of going for, like, what the emotional reality is I also feel like I want to be able to get clean on down yeah, I'm sorry. Let's go to the twenty five and let's put the mark here. You've just witnessed a day in the life there everybody like yes, exactly. It happens all the time, but the good news is I've figured it out say, desi, would you mind stepping back to your number one? I figured it out before anybody had to move any dolly tracks or I said, any equipment? Yeah, like this isn't a number one to it. It lets us really see where we are so let's move the number one mark two okay, great. I will commit to this I think I can make a commitment. What do you think that seem okay, alright, cool all right, so we'll set some dolly track here and I'll get my phone back to well, you mean in terms of how the how the actors are looking in there in the shot? Well, there's you know, it's tricky because you can, you know you can definitely watch movies and there's a people like to see where the you know, the actors I line is very close to the camera and, you know, often it does it looks natural, it makes the audience feel like they're like they're involved in the conversation, if you know, for example, like right now I'm looking right down this lens, but if I pick a spot that's just off to the side that's just off the map box and talk to it, it seems like you're in the conversation, but you're seeing both of my eyes and that's, you know, that is it's, you know, it's one of those things in terms of doing kind of a standard standard movie coverage, it is one of the things you think about on the longer the lens, so you know, when you get a little bit farther back it maybe it's a little more flattering for portraiture and you know and that's you keep the keep the ill I'm very close to the lens axis and the wider the lenses the harder it is to get the actor close to the you know the center of the frame so it always seems like the actor is looking a little bit off but you know so and this is it it's definitely director it's kind of decision and maybe what we would do depending on how much time we had is due to versions of this coverage to see what you know to see what we like better in the editing room but you know and it's also a conversation with the director where we say all right is this size working for you? Is this the right move for the scene and I felt like a you know for me as a dp selling the director ahn my vision of the scene I felt like it's important that we are able teo even in the end frame keep a little bit of this wall in we want to keep the audience oriented teo you know where they are and where he is and how close you used to the edge and and I felt like keeping it a little wide keeps the sort of ghost story mood going and so if we want to do a close up my you know, if we felt like after we watch the performance here we want to get something tighter my suggestion my pitch the director would be instead of going to a longer lens that we move the camera in closer and you know but stay on the wider lens just to sort of keep that yeah, maybe a little bit unconventional little weird vibe going in the scene that makes sense yeah all right, so we'll move some dolly track in here while that's happening the other thing we want to be thinking about is the lighting so we're going we're keeping the lighting very simple the tools very simple but we want to be ableto you know, see the actor space clearly maybe you know it's always nice to see a little bit of light in people's eyes it's nice tio tio make their skin tone look, you look nice and get a little modeling so that there you know the faces and completely flat but so that there's a you get a sense of shape and dimension to it so while we're while we're move let's, why don't we get the dolly track going into the spot that needs to go? And then we'll it may be trying to do too much to do two things at once, but we'll we'll try toe set a little bit of of lighting as well um okay, so since we've got rust busy doing that hairbrush where is the where the four by stuff the bleached muslin okay, cool oh thank you thanks louise all right so let me just grab this and you know once you guys could follow me with a stand right so one of the things that sort of yes that would be great the kind of physical reality is I love to make it so that the track and her mark didn't didn't intersect I know that we're so I'm gonna try to get the tripod is close to that corner of the yeah push that way and even if we need to cheat something a little bit make it so that her mark comes right up so she doesn't have to step over track it's possible that's yeah right that should work yeah right and I'll I'll shove the tripod over as much as possible so then we just want to make sure hold on a second yeah you want to make sure how however that mark is related to this bail it's also you know that mark is related the same way so that we're you know we're keeping the direction of the movement the same all right so we'll throw the throw the dahlia on and so saying next would you mind coming over here and victor bring the stand around this way and here would you mind holding that and so could you hit your mark here and so now well the camera's getting put on the the dolly back over here I'll stand here and look att at lax who's standing in so victor let's rest yes so we'll flip that around and I think we want to play it a little bit further that way so yeah, I think you kind of want to get this kind of an angle so that I don't want it I want to make it you know, bring it a little bit more more society so maybe come around to here and that's good maybe kick the bottom out a little bit and it's you know what this is doing is it's you know it's reflecting ah light into his skin and into his eyes so we don't we don't have electricity up here we're saying, you know, on our budget level and you know or for whatever practical reasons we don't have you don't have big lights or electricity, so we're you know, we're using the power of the sun and it's you know, it's reflecting I really like bleach muslim partly because you can use it as a reflector or you can shine light through it and, you know, gives a nice soft quality so I think you know, this is you wantto angle the bounce so that it's so that it's reflecting as much of the sun back it's like a pool shot, so if I stand here and look at look at the reflector I think you need to tilt the top back a bit and when I you know I'll I'll talk him into the angle that makes it look the brightest to me and when I start to feel like it's really bright that seems good right about there so looking good from your side russ okay and um then I'll come here and look and say just take you look as though you're looking at does he there I think you could walk it that way even a little farther just kind of you know maintain that angle but not farther away from him but but farther over there yeah more assaidi exactly yeah and then can you bring it in a little closer I realize we're about to blow out one of these creative live cameras but yeah bringing in even a little closer if you can all right yeah that seems good is that bothering your eyes you're not squinting too much yeah all right so that looks good but I still feel like I want a little more contrast in the space so what what do you think I could do teo to make that happen negative phil yes exactly so and the other thing that that we can do with negative phyllis if we put it in a little bit over the top it's a little more flattering cut some of the some of the blue like that that comes you know that comes down and causes shadows under people's eyes and that sort of thing so I would just take a a solid and we can put it right up here and that cuts a lot of that blue sky light out of off of his face right? So you've got that and that is starting to look pretty good I think we could why don't we flopped the floppy all right, I'm just I'm just come looking at where the shot was there following so now now I've got you some nice modeling on the space and all of that happened basically while the camera was getting in position so you know by having some confidence by not having to light through the monitor we're keeping the day moving that much faster which means you get more set ups that means you get more timeto light and less time wasted so now let's see if this works and do you feel like we need somebody to spot there stands or you were gonna be okay? Um way a couple of students behind if one of you just you know, just hold stand near the stand you should be ableto see everything okay, but let's make sure that it's not going to blow away this is uh just worried especially if it went over the edge of the roof unpredictable things might happen, okay there's good we're a little bit behind our mark and what I'd like to do before we get to before we go too crazy here let's let's shove the tripod as close to this edge of the dahlia's we can bring it right out e think I think we can spoke sorry I think we can spend that leg yeah closer do you that's about as close to the edge is we can get oh this one's loose too all right just tightening up the spreaders and half that do the bubble is it's looking pretty good its a little high there so I think you can come you know yeah come up on this one. All right? Right there looks good. All right, great. So we're just checking the level you know which let's make sure that the arm the horizon is straight on the camera um and get the eyepiece comfortable set our stop five six all right, so it feels like it's a little high but let's go let's roll forward to about where first mark was. All right, good. Hold that stop. Yeah that's good right? And so does he. Would you mind stepping into your first mark and then you know and I will just roll into the second position moves right? Okay, that's nice and now desi, would you mind coming into your second position and show us your hand on his shoulder all right so I feel like we can back up just a little bit on this maybe overachieved just a tiny bit ok that's good and yeah so does he would you mind showing us your hand again? All right that's good and the closer I know there's a dolly in the way here but the closer you can step to your laugh the better um yeah that's nice and now show me hand on his shoulder again great all right, I feel like we need to come down an inch or so alright doing a little you're don't cut to read for a second all right and you on you in there? Theresa okay. All right. Good. All right, so let's go down like an inch or two all right, I think we can yeah weaken you and I can go all right, but it will go down all right, try that then and then there's the bubble looks like it's straight over that leg about there maybe come down to touch. All right. Ok, good. So again, we're just getting the bubble straight so that the horizon look straight and I'm just before we get to dial down let me just double check the height yeah, that feels better to me is that how anybody looking you can see the mother yeah right that's like for whatever reason yeah, and this is where it's like you just have to be tuned into your you know, your emotional response to the shot I don't know we're you know we're not that we're not going to cliches are we? But no, they're like maybe yeah it's like they're definitely genre cliches that you khun exploit or avoid and we are definitely like going down the x files path maybe not to mention anybody specifically, but but that's you know that is there's not a lot of ground that hasn't been trampled, so you know, you just have to know where you're where you're walking, but we're definitely following that we've got I feel like we've got some nice lighting, we do the you know, the script suggests that that things are bright and open and cheerful, so I don't feel like we've you know, we've made them too dark or there are moody or contrast it's like it still feels like broad daylight, but we've got we've made a little bit of modeling a little bit of shape in his face, you know, that's a nice portrait without having tio with a couple of simple things that you could fit in the back in the back of your hatchback, so I you know, I love it, I love it and, you know, it's like we will typically do this on something where there's, a forty foot truck full of stuff out there. I don't feel obligated to dump the truck every day. That's, you know, it's, you, you use what you need to use on dh, you know, and and make the shot look great, like you think about what the potentials are like. What could I possibly do? You know, if I had more resource is what and there isn't. There isn't really much. I might be on a fancier dolly, but it would still be the same dolly move in. You know, I might have a larger frame over here that would make the light source a little bit softer, but it's the same same general idea.

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.