Monday, July 4, 2016

Blog #2 - Cinematography Workshop

We spent a day working in a cinematography workshop with an expert named Michael in the soundstage.
While Michael got familiar with the script, the director (Logan) showed us his directors brief including examples of how he wishes the film to end up looking. Which is important to me as now I am doing the colour grade so I have something specific to aim for now which is handy, it very much has an old-70s looking vibe as if the film has been exposed to the sun too much.
It also clarified something for me in terms of the story, but I won’t go into details for spoiler reasons.

The first major part of the day was spent talking about lighting, the use of defusing to get a soft light, inspired by the works of famous painters.
He commented that Light is Truth, the idea being that if at all possible go for one light source, the main example for us being windows.
How the lighting could be used to light the characters is also touched on, with our villain being in the dark/shadows while our hero being in the light. Surfaces on tables can be used to bounce light as well.
We worked on the idea of tricking fire by using light, at a part of our film requires the use of fire. However due to Child Services, what should be a rather simple thing has turned into a nightmare. Naturally not wanting to break any laws one possible outcome is to use light, by using a bounce board, placing a plot-plant in front can create the image if a hand is placed over the light to create a flicker. It’s a neat trick, for water it looks great, for fire I am yet to be personally convinced.
The other solution, of course is to find actors who don’t need child permits, easier said than done if you need a character who is twelve.
There has been talk of also finding a safety officer, which seems to be the likely route if we can get one.

After a break two actors were brought in to play one scene, the object of this was less about lighting and all about the camera itself. What lenses to use, movements, angles and the like. It seems to be that the 50’ lenses is a winner. I think I have now pretty much mastered the art of changing (or “pulling”) lenses.
It was pretty nifty seeing two actors play out a scene I had imagined in my head for a while. We placed down a table, placed a few props (With a “holy book” which was my notebook which I did some designs in). Curtains were pulled in order to create a door for our hero to come through.

However the main thing I could take from it all was pot plants, pot plants can be used for everything.
For background dressing, for foreground dressing and in order to push light through to have an effect.
So thank you pot plants, you’re the real MVP.