Shooting The Scene

 

Shooting The Scene

 

Lesson Info

Interior Shoot: Dan Medium Shot

I think the next thing just to kind of keep it interesting let's move around to the the angle of down at the table and I feel like you know when I wrote this I was thinking that maybe there was a pushing but I'm wondering whether maybe the you know, keeping it still is better up until when hope comes in this is something that occurred to me at lunch where you know like having the stillness might be a little bit more you know, more spooky than the move what do you think is that I'm wrong about that I like that because you got a great uh dolly shot at the hand when she basically reveals that right tables yes okay all right good. So I think the next shot that will set up and we'll be able to talk a little bit about about lighting and exposure from this will move around to this side and I think again you guys I kind of have to look over my shoulder but I think that we're in this kind of an angle wait you think can we get there on babies? Are we we have do we have a high hat what's our uh w...

hat's our limit but we're going to come here on the bottom of the baby legs right about here on the twenty five millimeter lens so already even without that looking at it there a bunch of interesting problems to solve here the biggest one is this one right here? Um it's always nice like the you know you'll get props thrown at you and they'll say, well, we could put dulling spray on it or something like that but I was like I noticed when somebody's put going it's ray or no spray painted something I think that you know we can work it out you know, using the tools that we have to find ways to camouflage the camera and you know, in reflection and that's what we'll do the good news is that this thing is it's very curved so the reflections will be very distorted people are not goingto it's not like a perfect mirror they're not going to be able to see exactly what we're doing so you know what they say we we go down we're going to stay like this they're not too far I think that one came out so far on the front line yeah, all right good. I think we're all right tighten it down so okay I haven't seen this done in a long time. All right, so jim yes? Just a quick question. A question from the internet when would you add artificial light to this scene? I know we talked about it, so maybe you could talk to that I think yes that's a good point I think we're going to be adding it soon if I can get away with it I feel like we wantto we're going to want to fill him just a little bit so let's but first it's you know I think we've gone too far let's just do this this way won't try to overachieve uh yeah bring them in I think we wanted we could bring the spreaders so sort of can you waken kick this guy in can you help but which push that like you wanted lock that down okay all right a little awful little still um that lego whether that's what I'm thinking let's just go let's go up a little bit I think this about as much as we can handle yeah all right so let's stick with that there something that you usually would have a crew to or do you like having no do you liketo have a hands on I don't normally well you know what the crew doesn't usually like me to get involved in this stuff and is usually something better that I should be doing you know like if I'm moving equipment around you know on a bigger shoot it often means I'm not thinking ahead for something I should be thinking ahead about but on a small chute on something like this where you've only got two other crew people that's uh it is that's the common thing right right great we're there all right so we got ourselves in a jam but we we live to tell all right so now moving into about where my mark was okay? So we're putting on the twenty five that's a good point because they haven't changed yet somewhere around there and, um thank you and yeah, but this is looking good all right? So the height seems right so now while the lands is being changed and that's getting dialed in, why don't we, uh, why don't we come over here with our kino flo? And we'll we'll bring bring a little feel light and just from this side love to hear about how you mix the natural light with the key knows, okay, so I'm twenty five or what? Twenty eight hours but is what we wanted twenty eight go for the twenty one um it's an unfamiliar box of lenses to me it's good. So so, tina, clothes are kind of one of my favorite general purpose tools for this kind of stuff they're you know, they're cool, you can plug him into the wall and you can get, you know, probably much more daylight balanced life, then we're going to need for this situation out of just a small unit, so they're also they're very common they're pretty reliable um it's and so what? Well, what we're going to look at now is just opening up the saddle side of of alexis face just to make sure that we can you know that we can see what we wanna see and um and you know have you but still have kind of the bright mood that we're looking for so I can see I can see my reflection of the kino flo in the window here so we're going that's another thing we're gonna have to negotiate so we'll walk it a little bit lamp right so a little more there we go so it's just out of shot on dh and then can you go are you up all four on this okay yeah let's pull the egg crate out I have my theory about that is that when the egg crates inside behind the diffusion it focuses all the light just into the center part of the diffusion of the fusion is really what becomes the light source when you pull the grid out that's all of the diffusion work more evenly so makes the light just a little softer so this is looking good I feel like we can we can either rearrange can be arranged the furniture just a little bit here teo should be able to see his notebook a little more yes, that is all of us in reflection that's gonna be our next uh next challenge I want to be able to see the notebook and I want to be able to do that so from the wide shot it's doubtful that anybody's gonna notice that I'm moved that but that's you know that's one of those topics that you'll get a lot of discussion on the set but when we're looking at it from the from the other way it's hard to tell in front to back how far away something is so when you when you want something sides aside I look first that how everything in the backgrounds lining up like I like the you know, the orange painting back there I like where the windows fall behind his head so I lined framed up the shop for that and then I'm kind of moved the small pieces around until until they they end up where I liked them but one thing I am going to do is this just puts a little bit of the darker part of the wall behind lex his head and I feel like it it's just this tiny little shift you know, kind of cleans up the way the frame looks there and then like push in just a little more yeah so this is this is this is the shot where we're going toe really be able to see you know, the emotion in dance face and you know and get get the performance and now I was kind of guessing at this but lex, would you mind standing up and going to the teakettle mark please just do a position check yep and that lines up pretty well so now what would be nice is if we could make it so that we can see the phone we're not going to see the screen of the phone but we're going to see where the phone is um so I moved the the uh papaya just a little bit over move the phone like that seems like it works almost yes so on the kettle I am and we're gonna we're definitely gonna have to deal with that the first thing we can do and this is you know this is the challenge of putting something big and reflective any of the crew that doesn't have to be here we'll go hide and I feel like this you know the eyebrow on here is a little bit of a distraction but that was blocking the kino flo um so yeah so what here's what I think we want to do for you have a four by four let's just we'll put a solid up here and muslin here it'll help us blend into the background we would make a nice white square next to us they're in a black square on the other side um yeah all right so sorry jim I'll just I'm gonna grab one of these we'll have to set it so that we don't see the stands to which is the challenge because the stands are taller than the flags but let's try it like this I was going to do is just lean this up against the tripod and not use a stand is this that this stand itself is going to end up in the shot way just like that yeah leaning against the stool and then kind of the same thing over here. Okay, so three second if you slide back just a little bit yeah can you still get to the follow focus there? Okay, so do something like that you can also take a piece of foam core or show card or something like that and that is cleaned up our reflections a little bit although feeling like you just look at it on the big monitor I actually used to be one of those things were looking through the eyepiece was better but now it's not yeah and then let me let me just get on exposure on okay so getting it eleven here so maybe we do want to put some neutral density in two three go for a nd nine please which once we stop it down especially once it gets a little darker the one thing I'm seeing that is there's still bugging me is the kino flo um yeah you know what? Go go lamp left with it I think that's going to be the spot well after a little more a little more even a little more right great that yeah so still hitting him it's out of our shot hoops tables on the move all right but the other scene like this is all right um I'm gonna square this up to the table just so that the shape of it is a little bit more like uh something and you know my impulse about the the uh the white muslin is not working and that like this is the other thing is don't be afraid to be wrong and as long as you fix it so I'm gonna switch this too a solid and we'll put it yeah but it just like this you know, flip it around so that the pointy thing is not by you go there all right so now that looks better and the one thing I feel like is this little gap right here so maybe we do way have a two by three that we could either set right behind me or yes, we can see in the reflection of the kettle the bottom right there's this white square which I think it's the towel on the table oh yeah since that's not in the shock she would just yeah okay well we can take that out or do we want to leave it because it actually is a foreground piece like since we've established it helps kind of take the attention away from the fact that we've blacked out all of this other stuff so what happens if you go just like yeah either behind me here that works come out come out you know what if you go sorry away long ago here almost there you can't see anything but you can see your monitor all right, thank you. No longer it's no longer working on hand okay, yeah, maybe you can go up a little bit with akino before we get into reflection yeah, I got it and now we're almost ready to shoot him. How do you approach to keep the shot it's exposure consistence with all the different andi filters moving lives what it is I mean, my my feeling about it is that you keep you keep the mood the same and you know and used the exposure tio um using the exposure to keep the brightness our darkness there's all right? So they're like three things really there's the color of the light there's the quality of the light and and kind of the quality of the light whether it's hard or soft and if you get one of those things right you're you're matching it's you know, it really is as simple as that and you know so for us I want to keep you keep the sense of the day light coming through the windows and um and you know, that sort of opened this about it, but I also you know, I also want teo you want to make sure that you know got the mood and the tone that I'm looking for in each one, so because we're because when we were back there were looking almost directly into the windows and seeing the darker area we opened up a little bit just teo, you know, to keep the shadows but you can see you can still see shadow detail on the side of alex here and, you know, wrapping the light around keeps a little bit of light on his face, but in the difference between those two shots nobody's going teo nobody's going to really notice um all right that's that's looking good, I think it's it's hidden behind the flag yeah, so it's just you know what? Walk it even a little bit farther to the left and and it will blend in with the reflection of the window and the other thing that I've done here is I put in the end the filter so that we can open up all the way and that will make this more out of focus. Yeah, you went down a little bit you can come up if it's still working alright, good. Yeah, all right, good. So this looking through the monitor it looks right, I'll double check the exposure and here I am just take I'm kind of taking the reading right towards the camera it averages out the you know the highlights a shot by point it right to the highlight it's in a eleven and a half by pointed right to the shadow it's four and a half and if I go right to the camera it's about eight and a third so more or less you know in the middle of that it's uh like you know it makes it a stop under the bright side and are sorry stop over the bright side and two stops under the the dark side um that seems about right okay um and so are lex would you mind coming in sitting in your first position please? All right, what are we seeing and, um there's one reflection diagnosing with eugene yeah, this right here that's oh, you know what? It's the reflection of the spout and actually breaks up the the reflections of this solids nicely and the fact that it's the fact that the top of it is uneven also helps, you know, keep attention away from there on, you know, the other tool that we have in you know, in post production we can just put a little power window and dark in just that area even a little more if we were worried that we're seeing too much detail in the shadows but just even on this monitor you know, the mood feels about right is that seem yeah just goes that seems good to you I feel like it should be a little brighter uh no I like especially if hopes not going to be here a while stay consistent right? Okay, good. So and you know, I'm looking at the look at my hissed a gram here and I see that there's you know, it's not all jammed up at one end or the other end there's you know, there's plenty of detail in the shadows none of the highlights are really clipping out so there's going to be a lot of room to move this in in post production is going to a lot of room teo just this you know where we want to go with it and so we have a rough idea on this monitor but who knows whether this mother's caliber is not who you know it's it's hard to tell it's hard to judge it up with that and I don't want to I use my meter it seems about right I look at this that seems about right so we're good to go so why don't we uh what we try one do you feel do you need to rehearsal? Theresa are you good? I'm good. Okay, great. So how are you feeling, jessica ready to go all right, cool so yeah, so well say sound is rolling and slate in ok mark it okay, you're on okay? And we're set this's dan okay and that's a ce faras we're taking this one is hope isn't here to answer him so cut all right so that was a good rehearsal I feel like I figured out a couple things I could do better just in terms of kind of keeping the frame going any uh actions so I mean if there were to be an editor uh your actions were different from the first time okay cool so um I want to do is just I'm gonna set this a little bit here that's good name myself a little room when I'm in the tilted up position all right great let's just go up just ahead there you go that's that's good about seeing the gap here it's gonna fall down though is that gonna set that just alone okay you saying yeah yeah right I think we wanted yeah right exactly you want to yeah looks good right now bring it down that will make this little adjustment right? Great. I'm gonna put this outside of that that's it it's better enough it gives me a little bit more room yeah that's good. Yeah, good. All right, we'll try it again I feel like is when dan is over the tea kettle I'm going to try to find a frame that's more like this where I see the phone on dh the papaya a little bit better I want to bring the papaya intothe focusing on them I don't need to see all of that all the time she's amazing yeah, this is like the camera systems we usually zoom in they also you've got the she's got the peking turned on so that which enhances the edges and you can see when when they snap into focus all right um we're ready to go so we're rolling sound slate in camera mark okay, we're set jessica do you want to say action? All right this's dan I'm sorry who's got uh okay, so I feel like I did my part a lot better that time with you guys think all right awesome. They like it so uh all right so, um you know, in terms of in terms of everything else jessica you feeling good about this one? Right? Great. So just to talk through what you know which I would have done during the take but it was just been really distracting what I discovered in you know, that that I realized I had done setting it up was I made it so that when he stands up and walks back to the teapot I don't have to change the frame it's it's you know, I think you can watch the playback you're theresa would you mind describing back a little farther? So when he's sitting yeah and now play it from here so the camera my camera doesn't move, and he just drops right back into the shot, which is, you know, for this kind of thing where we're trying to set this mood of stillness or whatever, I, you know, I've forgotten in the first take, which was the rehearsal, I just instinctively kept his head in the shot, and I realized that it would be much better if I if I did what I was originally intending and you keep the frame still. So then the only time I had to move was when he came to teo pick up the phone, right? Great. So I think we got that you're feeling good about it. That's the other thing I always check in with the camera system and everybody, you know, the gaffer, everybody else to make sure that before we go on nobody's got, you know, everybody feels like their end of it went well, because it's hard for me sometimes to know when, you know, when the focus poehler didn't feel like they got their part, right? Or if you know, maybe there was a life that went off or something else that happened. So it's, you know, it's always important before you move on, just checking with everybody to make sure everybody's good before the you know, equipment starts flying.

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.