Exterior Shoot: Position Check & Action

 

Shooting The Scene

 

Lesson Info

Exterior Shoot: Position Check & Action

Jim countrymen with a question I know treece is making some marks right now taking entertainment a cz we take this shot can we have a teaching moment on focus pulling oh, of course the thing about that is I was never a focus puller I was I started out as a gaffer I've tried being a focus puller once and I was told I should stop so you know it's that's definitely not my speciality and you know, you know I will often I have a lot of great focus pocus I work with and often turned them to say I have no idea how you did that but that was that was really great so I'll tell you what she's doing because because we did a careful check out and she's she's tested that the focus marks the distance marks on the side of this lens are you know, work with this camera so that when she's you know when she sets it to five feet for example things that they're five feet will be in focus and so without having to look through the eyepiece without having to do any of that she can measure the distance between ...

the camera and the subject that she that she wants a photograph and and know that when we're at this mark she's put some reference marks for herself down on the floor that when we're in the number two position for example were what three feet so we're at three feet, and when we're back at number one, have you measured that one yet? Or you're waiting, waiting for us to go there seven feet, so we're seven feet at number one, and so, yeah, why don't we go to one and said, does he want you gotta one? Because I feel like we're getting ready to shoot something here and what we've done, so just to kind of just kind of talked through the mechanics, what we're doing now is, like is is what we call a position check are just a of physical rehearsal, we don't need the actors to act, but usually you will take first team the actual actors and stand them on their marks and make sure that everything lines up often you're you know, you're actually framing up or or lighting with somebody else or, you know, a lot of times, nobody because the actors need to be off getting their wardrobe changed or their harem makeup so you'll get, you know, some member of the crew just and you know, so that you find the spot to frame up or you framed up when the actors were there with your artemus or your viewfinder during rehearsal put some marks on the ground, and you trust that you actually did it right on dh. You know and so when they come back and the cameras on position it should just fall into place and hopefully you don't have to adjust anything but the way you find out as you do a little position check and at the same time the the focus puller will get their marks so when theresa is feeling good with their marks here we will do we could just do a full full rehearsal with all the acting, but you know that that was a more typical thing to do with film and now because you don't want to waste the film but now that digits are so inexpensive it's you know as much as people will complain we usually just end up rolling on the first one because you never know what's gonna happen if you're going to spend the time doing it, why not record it? So I will double check my light meter reading because of the day exterior and we've been doing all sorts of wacky stuff so I'm getting a four there four and a half to the cult of four and but so I was under exposing for the wider shots I'll hold the background, but here I feel like I want to be closer tio so what the actual light reading is? I want to be ableto feel that his spaces is brighter so I'll go to we'll set the stop for foreign a third and which button is the false color again b or d d all right okay so I'll just double check that exposure is sort of what I was thinking it wass and it is his face is green which means he's about a stop under where I would put his skin tone if you know for normal exposure but the skies you know is well and exposure theirs there's nothing that there's a little bit of purple in his jacket which is the underexposed color and I looked down at the bottom that the history graham it's pretty evenly distributed so I think this I think I was right with my light meter so he would go and you know it's hard to judge through the eyepiece things don't always look the same but but it feels like you need all right so we're going to set a set one more focus mark here on okay great and it's you know I try not to judge things through the viewfinder but it's impossible to ignore what because you psychologically you're you're seeing things that you think oh this is you know this is what I'm getting so but it looks reasonable in the viewfinder as well so so I think if you're ready all right tris is just setting one more focus mark and so I feel like this is where I'm going to consult my script again sorry and we'll talk through when this movie is gonna happen um so one and the one other physical reality of the shot that we haven't done is that dan should get the entrance on here we should we should overlap this this little bit so so lax if you wouldn't mind, just step out from from the shot and rush let's go the one yet. So you want to step out to this side you're crossing in it just know you're crossing in from the from the door. So you have your bag in your book? Well, we're gonna we'll just walk this through one more time. You know what we will actually do blocking rehearsal because there's a bit of moving parts here, so we see that I you know, I've got the legend, the frame and that so now so in our wide shot, daisy had landed first she's talking to dan and, um, our script supervisor would tell us what where we were in the dialogue, but she's saying, then, are you happy? And then I feel like you should say, yeah, I guess so, as you're landing on your mark. Okay, does that seem right, jessica? Yeah. Yes, that seems right. Yeah. Okay, great. All right, good, so let's, give that a shot well, and then you just and then uh russell watch my finger and I'll give the little doll yang kyu the universal signs that dolly and you know and then we'll just kind of well kind of feel how it works I think this's definitely like a slow creep in that that kind of mirrors her s o in our ideal world will be ending will be landing it too about the time that she puts her hand on his shoulder let's see let's see how that works? Well we'll figure it out from there so okay so just on rehearsal so, um action lex are you happy wearing what? Unusual one sighing all the time when you see your mother tell her hello for me will you excuse me? Okay. And then we'll cut right? So the thing I learned from that is I feel like we should start the dolly move later on you know, I'm kind of backed I like the speed so if you can kind of take your own cue so that you you land there right about the point that she that she touches his shoulder some makes sense on dh that and the kind of teaching moment of that is like for me I try not to like micromanage everything, but I try to make sure that like every person who were who's doing something knows the part knows what their goal is rather than just like some siri's of actions so sometimes it's hard for me to figure out what their goal is to explain it but you always want want to be able to explain to the crew member not just what they're supposed to do and some mechanical thing but why they're doing it and you know and where you want things to end up so all right let's reset toe one please and how is that feeling for you guys I thought that was good the timing on the entrance and all of that like where you started the lines like felt good you know just as the mechanics and everything you you're good okay all right here we go so let me just I'm gonna double check my tripod settings to make sure I'm fully happy here I think yeah that feels a little um yeah you know what that hurt let her know I think anticipate or move a little bit sorry for sorry hold the roll for one second um I feel like um if you start on its yeah start on when you see your mother tell her hello for me when when hope has that line I feel like that's that let's start with that and you keep that speed going so now my spider sense told me that a cloud just moved somewhere um so yeah um just double check this it's off by like a third of a stop alright, great thank you. Um all right, so uh but you know what it's coming back out again yeah we'll just stay for a third alright great and let's roll so somebody would say rolling sound speed and alright yeah okay that should I think this late should have said to a take one but we'll fix that in the notes all right we're set and action less dan are you happy with what usually it's may's doing all the scythe when you see your mother tell her hello for me will you excuse me my mother died when I was twelve we'll cut right so I feel like here in my notes to myself they're coming from I'm sure video village the dolly move went too late right yeah so I think I think we could start sooner let's start on uh you know normally it's me that does all the signing I think you could even just even anticipate that go after yes I guess so and you know and then keep that same speed because I do feel like we want to be closing in on him a little bit before she makes her move it's not move isn't motivated by her movement that move his mother's day debated by uh weirdness okay excellent so that's good let's try one more time so let's go back to number one please she cheat down here so you could just refer to it yes you're right on the dollar you look right down there tripped right and you know the other typical thing on you know on a shoot they'll have what's called sides which are the you know they'll print that and miniature which as you get older it's harder harder and harder to be but I still somehow manage and or you'll get the full size thing and I normally have those folded up in my back pocket and pull them out have them open to the right page so that you know so that when these sort of discussions about what happens on what line that kind of thing you always have this script to refer teo I was keep a copy of it somewhere nearby somehow I'm able to reach it thank you I love the fact that you're kind of like bringing up stuff that you know this for me was all about like me trying to analyze the process and figure out how to explain it and you know I still I have no idea how I do what I do sometimes all right so all right good let's try it again um okay alright take two and mark hey andi what set and hold on one second I'm just noticing something good all right and action dan are you happy waits me that does all the time when you see your mother tell her hello for me will you excuse me mother died when I was okay and cut how do you feel about that? Theresa? Good. All right, um, that felt good to me. What, what what are we thinking back here? That's. Kind of like it all fell into place, right? Yeah, ok, great. So we could do another take so that the editor feels like they have a choice to make in the editing room or we can move on. In this case, I say, we move on because, like, doing another take is just the same thing, except again. So, yeah, why don't you feel like you've now that, like, you guys felt good about that, right? Yeah.

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.