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Exterior Shoot: Close Up of Notebook

 

Shooting The Scene

 

Lesson Info

Exterior Shoot: Close Up of Notebook

I will consult my shot list because if you try to remember too many things in your head okay, so we'll check playback check the gate make sure that we got that it used to be the gate now it's playback um so like if you depend on your memory for things you will invariably be driving home thinking dang we did not get that shot so I was I have a shot list I have a pencil I cross it off when we got it so this was this was dance m c u by the edge of the roof set up number five so now we want to kind of keep looking in the same direction here and I think we've got two choices we've got the low angle where the notebook hits the ground or we've got we've got over hope onto the notebook the shot I was talking about before that is kind of that you know that sets up with hope holding the notebook and pulls back down is gone and you know, leaves us on the last frame of the roof the dolly in the track are you know, actually really close to where they may want to be for that shot so let's take a loo...

k but at this point alex is our yeah lex is gone you're off the edge of the roof but the bag and the notebook are there and um and then we will so now does he you'll be up at your number to mark and how you feeling teresa way good all right excellent so so well assumes we get the camera live again will we'll take a look and why don't we you know why don't we just try this where if you don't mind picking up the notebook yes please yeah you know for now this is good we'll go to the notebook so then um ross can you push in just a little bit all right great and then does he can you kind of cheated open toe us a little bit more yeah sorry swivel to your left a little bit yeah there we go write something like that so now way will you were going to work on some exposure stuff here but the other thing is is it possibly for you to hold it with your arm underneath so that it's yeah like that so that you're not blocking okay great and I feel like we might wantto boom up a little bit on this but let's just give it a shot so she signs her name death will see that and now you'll close the notebook and put it down and and we'll dolly back so she does that dolly back ok yeah sorry we need teo I think we need teo start the dolly as she's putting the notebook down I'm sorry would you try mind trying that one more time yeah, well, just take it from there is no closed the notebook put it down and now start dahling, right? And then you'll cross cross out in front of the camera this way. Just like that, you step over the truck and then we let's go all the way back on the track. Yeah, so that's good. And then I don't see any of that stuff. I'm I'm the flag is right on the edge. Where is it? It's it's over there. Okay, good. I think we're clear and the one the one sort of challenges it would be nice. Well, no, I sort of feel like the notebook line. We had that in the in the wide shot and so I feel like this is just about the, you know, this city and the ledge, so I do feel like we need to go up a little higher. I looked through the viewfinder and get that I like the idea that we're staying on the same focal length lens I feel like, you know, when you change lenses too much, it just it it makes the peace not hang together. It's like, you know, people do it for practical reasons, and I'm not saying there's anything wrong with it, but like just as a unifying thing for how movie looks, how project looks it's nice if you can stay on the same you know, like picked a couple lenses that work for the whole movie will make it feel like it like it really hangs together so let's, the one thing I want to do is find the height because we're almost at the top of the baby legs here and if we go up to much higher um we're not gonna be able to go up any higher, so so let's, let me just take a look at that I'm going to find my my cable tether and say does e and lacks if you guys wouldn't mind are actually just dizzy you wouldn't mind coming in for a second? Yes, what you like about that hype? I felt like I want to look too things I felt like I want to look down at the notebook a little bit more that was that was my main thing and then I feel like it's going to help us where the camera was when I went once does he stood up and you know in relation to you the line that you know that connects the the edge of the roof with daisy, I felt like the roof edge was too low in the shot in the frame, so what I'm gonna do is we'll go here and say, does he? Would you mind holding the notebook again? I'm just going toe stand where the dolly where the camera would be on the dolly if you like this this kind of a height just seems a little better right? The notebook for the people who can see this at home you were before were about their but now I feel like the notebook fills the frame in a nicer way and then if I keep this height and dolly back let's just pretend that you've already put it down then where say yeah and stand up just just stay standing there for a second I feel like right there just that where her shoulders and and the edge of the roof align seemed just feels better to me so this seems like about the height theresa would you mind getting your tape measure on this? Okay, so is that I think we're gonna have to switch standards. Okay, thanks. Cool. So wait when we rolled you you should definitely actually right on here's oh, and because we're going to read the page we also have to read that it was a suicide note so you know and this is ah I guess it's a writer thing like what with the suicide side note say you get say I'm sorry goodbye here's but from a practical standpoint we have toa way the audience has to be able to read it in this shot so maybe, you know, I feel like if we write it in pen you know, some people especially if they're watching it on their iphone or a small computer screen might not be able to read it so maybe we should give him a sharpie or something like that and then and then maybe like if it says so long crew cruel world like that might be too funny right? But it needs to have some you know it needs to be brief enough that we don't have to hold on the screen for a long time to read it but you know, still gets the message that you know that it was that was a suicide note yes, right exactly so here I'm going to throw that open to you guys and maybe there's somebody on the internet that has the right idea for what this the suicide note say you know, the good news is I have in my in my kit I have the sharpie so that which is which will write the note with so all right, thank you so so while we'll think about that while they're changing the the tripod teo to a different height think we're going to get it with the baby legs alright yeah, we'll figure it out we'll see it's always good to you know try for it it's quicker than changing and then changing back that's for sure um yeah so it's it always works out there's like a two inch gap between where the top of this one is in the bottom of that one is and of course, I landed right in that gap because that is the artistic process. It's the nature of the artistic process. Okay, so okay, but I think we'll we'll live with that. I'd rather be a little shorter than a little taller. Just based on what I saw. So, um, so okay, do we have any thoughts about what? The suicide note? What should say? And then we need the props department, tio. Right way. Living this way. Right. Big looking better on the other side. Uh, this is too much. I'll try the next. Okay. Uh concerned this's it. We're making the prop right now, way want to make it bigger, more legible, more like elementary school type block letters. Okay, so in the meantime, in the meantime, so I'd like to know at what point we haven't really talked about depth of field quite yet. And it's building that shot. Can you talk to that and what you're you're sure that that's a great idea. You know, in this case, I you know I didn't really feel like I felt like I wanted to you know kind of see the world I wanted to hold the background in the shot not to make it too sharp but just to make it so that it wasn't completely out of focus you know that it wasn't all bow okay that there wasn't you know that it wasn't completely blurry because there's a lot of interesting detail out there I want to be able to see the city so usually somewhere around the five six you know seems right for that especially on a wide lens like this you're you know if we look att well I guess I could plug in and and look on my app of uh you know my uh pecan map and see what a depth of field would be but it's for me it's more of ah uh you know, kind of emotional setting rather than anything else all right so I just have to make sure I've got the thea um camera that I want so I scroll through so this that dave eubanks has made of every camera in the world until I get to read and we're red epic for k h d sixteen by nine all right then all right so what's our our focus was at the end was three feet on that last set up and um and so uh and our aperture was five six this is called p cam and so I can see that that you know we're actually at that distance we're only focused five feet five inches behind him and three inches in front of him and that's why I have to make sure I have the lens right? Yes twenty five millimeter ones so so that is you know that keeps the background actually pretty well out of focus but it gives the camera system a decent shot at actually nailing it it's not going to be that critical it's you know there is some there like they're there is maybe you know four inches that she could be off on dh still have it look exception acceptably sharp but it you know, it keeps some dimension in it but it doesn't make the background go so far out of focus that that it's you know it's impossible to see so you know, like unless I'm after a special look I usually try to keep my apertures between two eight and five six I don't know why it's just it's like in you know, it's kind of an experience thing where you know, people get used to what they like and you know how they like to see it and I'm I've kind of landed that even even on night scenes if I can possibly get to wait out of it I will and like once you get to be less than that that that shallow focus and lesser after a certain effect tends to be distracting like I feel like I you know I noticed the fact that some part of the actor spaces in focus or out of focus and you know and I find out a little distracting um yeah all right how's our note coming on looks all right is just about there one of one of the guys from the internet was dominic said good bye my love goodbye my life some comments yeah looks like we're ready to go right? Okay, good. We've got it it's to whom this may concern I'm sorry this is where it ends for me yours truly and then so we maybe we want to do since it seems like there's going to be a reset for this it's a time consuming reset maybe we want to do one rehearsal where you don't sign it just to make sure that all the knots and bolts works before we have to write the second note the good news is that this is the only time we ever see the note close up so each one is a little bit different nobody's going to know jim have any minute film do you like to take away on the day of shooting that's a good question it will depend on this kind of a shoot like if we if we can get through I don't know say twenty minutes of footage that's you know that we're doing pretty well between twenty and forty minutes and you know on something where they're multiple cameras and you'll end up with hours of of footage like way more than you have timeto watch between rapping and going to sleep so it's you know it varies quite a bit for me it's the quantity isn't as important as the much is the quality and you know the way like it's weird I'm still kind of stuck in this old thing of like the normal independent movie shoot you know that was one camera you would roll six thousand feet of thirty five millimeter film which was it's about that's about an hour so you know, you roll somewhere between four and six thousand so between forty minutes an hour this seems about right for a twelve hour day of moviemaking with one camera yeah kinda related to that question. How many pages of the script would you normally plan for it for a day? That's a really good question too. It depends on what those pages are so various you know there's the old joke about, you know atlanta burns was eighth of a page so that's in gone with the wind so that but a typical tv show might shoot five pages today five or six pages and a typical feature film will shoot two or three pages a day and that's, you know, that's sort of like it's a normal budgeting thing but even on the tv show you might have some days where it's a very you know, it's two characters sitting at a table talking a lot you could do six or eight pages of that if it's you know, but if there's a lot of action and I think you know moving parts you may only shoot two pages so it's you know, there's an average but then they're kind of limits I worked on tv so called getting on where we're shooting nine pages a day and I know the second season they they're they're maximum day was fifteen pages my friends who were working on that after I did and you know, so it can it can really widely vary based on your shooting style we're we're good to go all right, so so let's dolly into one well line this up to you say does he would you mind picking up the notebook and yeah, just because you'd be in the position where you would be writing okay, so yeah that's dolly all the way in this is one right here we're gonna be oh, yeah keep going a little bit farther if you can that's good okay, so um there's no zoom button on this one is that now all right, so this is looking pretty good and now so I feel like it can you angle the note just a little bit more towards me if that's not doesn't feel too weird um and then you can rotate your body a little bit to the right turning away from me a little bit turn a little more yeah, sorry go face the ledge just even a little more it'll make the note more right side up yeah good. All right, so that's that seems great and then you would write death right there. Okay and now now so now she does that and we'll start dahling back just start, darling as soon as she closes the notebook I think right and then yeah, sorry that was some bad operating there all right great that's going to be great I feel like this is good all right except I'm gonna do my bit just a little better parties like when I'm talking and you know, thinking about other stuff it's hard for me to keep actors in the frame um all right let's go backto one um the notebook was opened on the ground. Wei don't see it there. What we're gonna do is if you don't mind grabbing a book and we'll find your own position and yeah, so I'm gonna find their spot on then yeah this's so I get more or less do you want to tape it at or and then I'm just gonna double check that we're not getting anywhere here. That looks good. Go for the far side there for the writing. Yours truly good. So, yeah. So now what I think you should do does he is just, you know, you've got that position, you know, kind of flip the notebook closed and duck down and then on action you'll yeah, you'll stand up into it. So ready and action. And yeah, so sorry. No att the very beginning of the shot. So the way the way we're going to start the scene is a cz though you have already gone down and you're just about to get up. So start. Yeah, I think you start down there and and stand up, it's. Just men make sure that's gonna work nicely. Okay. Ready and action. All right, let me find my spot. All right. Good. You need to turn a little more towards me. Is where I do like the way to do this is gonna be well, you stand there. Well, slate it. Right? And then you just go down and come right? Just like doing deep knee bends and come right back up. So that way you'll think you're holding it open all that because it was open on the ground. I don't feel like I feel like we don't need to see it being open, but I do want you just to be able to bring it cleanly up into frame. All right? So let's, let's, double check the light meter reading because that's, what we do on day exteriors, right before we're going to roll, we're going to get this in one take it's going to be great, we've we've talked our way through it so much, yeah, but my stomach is definitely saying where the twelve p m mark all right, so we're good. I was getting an eight and that's, you know that for me was were saying five six was our stop before were opened a little bit for the dance stuff. I want to make sure that we're you know, we hold the highlights on the notebook, so I'm going to go back to what we were using for the wide shot um, which was, you know, rather than opened up half a stop, alright, great, so let's, uh well get ready we're rolling sound and s o why don'tyou slated back there a little bit eugene okay good on roll camera wait second sticks hit this late again please okay, good. I'm gonna frame up okay great and dizzy you'll duck down and action okay wait okay, good. So thing I feel like didn't work and maybe we have to give does e the sharpie and we'll just say that somehow yeah I couldn't read the writing could you read it on the monitor or yeah, so let's uh so when we just for the sake of time so that we're not watching the reset just used the same page but you'll get a sharpie to sign it with because because I can't see the pen writing anyway you know it'll work out and we'll be set to one and then the other note I have tell me if you disagree with this but I feel like a soon as she comes up a soon as you see her I'm finished writing that's when you pull back so that you know she'll show close the notebook she'll bend down on and put it on the ground and then stand back up again but a soon as you see her finish her name and you know and that's when you start to die back okay let's go backto one ok good, so um write so well spin a little bit to your left please does e good well that that is great all right it has just double check that's what I get right there okay yeah I'll go with what you say I don't trust the viewfinder alright ready and okay so roll and just wait I'll go for the slate eugene alright so stick it in there and mark all right everybody good okay all right good breast and okay and duck down on action towards me a little bit of weight and cut all right yes it was like there were a few rough moments in there but I feel like if we're saying should we try another time absolutely okay can we really quickly rewrite you know put in a new note page and um and you know what you need somebody who does good block printing is that you can do it yeah I think yeah yes right exactly yeah just do do that paige okay yeah yeah okay so we're going to re write the note and in the meantime we'll just we'll kind of talk through what we can do a little better so I felt like yeah I feel like a soon as you see her close the notebook after she writes that's you know that's the moment to start pulling back and I feel like you could pull back a little bit faster to feel like you know at least at the beginning yeah start start a little faster and then you know and then feather off like basically milk the last half of the move so that we're so after she's cleared there's still a little bit of movement going on but I feel like we're not getting wide and up soon enough once you know once we've read the note okay um writing a note okay, this is good um questions from the audience time yeah right now freezers winter sun what if for I guess how many times you have to do a shoot for it take if something else came up with the back and that wasn't there intentionally you know, like a truck came by with some of that kind of you know, rules read envision right originally that's like that's the classic thing that delays shoots and you know what earlier we had a siren go by which you know on what was visually a good take but the sound guys would say no forget it that's not good or you know very often you'll you'll be in a scene and this is like this is actually the classic thing like how do you deal with when when you're cutting between sun and clouds and sometime sometimes you'll start the day it will be sunny and then clouds roll in and you have to keep shooting on you know you were gonna take down grandma not safe okay? All right great I think that's that's not going to affect us too much over there. Okay good that's good speaking ofwhich yes, right anything could happen at any moment, right? That's it and you just have to adopt but thankfully we've got dance close up we've got alexis close up and that was what that was for so right now it wasn't really working that hard on this shot so so it doesn't really affect us okay, so I'm going to jump on the dolly and feels like it's this is actually helping me so if we can keep it there yeah it's a little more open to the wind uh just make sure everything's tight all right? Good. Yeah all right so um all right so when I say you know what I'm going to just you turn to your left turn to your right when I say turn more towards me that's turning to your left but I'll just say left or right all right so let's well frame up alright that's a nice now okay, that looks great right so stay there lexie let's roll on market does he combined you and you take him to the sick name alright, ready and er doc down and action okay aunt dolly all right that's better how you guys feeling about that that seem good? Could we do something better? You can barely see death for would you have it wasn't it was a little bit blocked at the end, right? Okay, how we doing on the time and this is this is what happens in your life too we're okay right let's quickly your mark make one more note this will be the last take all right and you when in doubt keep turned a little bit more to your left yeah, when you turn to your right your body blocks blocks the note so yeah, problem is you turned two bar to your left and what happens is the writing kind of turned sideways and upside down in the frame it makes it hard to read so we're finding that balance where where everything is where everything's kind of in the shot and not hidden but also, you know, not in a difficult spot. Um I have another where's jessica what did what did you think about about like her signature being cursive? Could you you feel like you could read the word or do you think she should write it? I mean, the curse of it actually it works. The only thing is just so have it more yeah, clear moral eligible yeah. Yeah ok, so yeah, I try to do you're neatest alright yeah, I feel like we ran out of space there maybe leave off the years truly wade got about six minutes last okay, way can take another shot of this or you could do the feet I feel like we do this we get this shot and we're gonna eat and we're good great yeah I love it I feel like that's ah yeah you know we we do we can and that's the decision did you make a cinematographer were on set you in the producer the director will talk through that right now and I think that we're you know also to get into a whole new set up at this point it is going to be more than six minutes yeah I think we'll we'll do this take and then murphy I mean this is going great great to see a thing it's like you know people wonder what is it that takes so long and this is exactly what it is that takes so long it's like you want every little detail to be perfect you want you know there are so many moving parts and you wanted all toe toe work at the same time in the same shot okay how you feeling desi? You ready okay all right do you think it works that there's like other versions like he would have tried writing here I think what we could do is tear that pays out yeah uh I will take the blame for anything that goes wrong all right that's it worked yes okay good. So let's double check this starting friend yeah, this exactly okay, that is going to be great, so if you hold it right there, when you write it, stay right there. That's. Perfect can should be very easy to be okay, so stay there. Let's roll camera on marker. Okay, okay, does dr ana and cut worked? What, yes, they love it at video village. All right, we will. We're still employed here.

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.