David that is a really interesting story. Thanks for sharing
David that is a really interesting story. Thanks for sharing
Received The Astronaut Farmer from Netflix yesterday and really enjoyed it.
Knowing you were the DP, I paid more than usual attention to the cinematography.
You did some beautiful work with the big sky settings. Were these done by great timing or were some done in post? The funeral scene comes to mind but there were many others. Loved the young daughters playing in the field.
Also wondered how you lit the rocket. (Billy Bob Thornton and Bruce Willis)
and last let me ask about the square dancing scene at the county fair. Did you light it with just the china ball practicals or was there other lighting added?
The Polish brothers did a great job with this clever little film. Mark was good as the FBI agent and Logan and Jasper Polish were great as the two young children.
I've got Manure in my Queue (not available yet) .
Love your work and thanks for all you do here on reduser
The big skies were all captured in camera, no efx work. I used ND grads and Polas to enhance the sky, and perhaps in the D.I., I added more contrast to the clouds to bring them out a bit more. We got lucky with all the sunsets, including the funeral scene. I used a Coral grad on the sky rather than an ND grad, but it was mild. Some shots of the funeral procession where they were walking towards the camera, not silhouette in profile, were shot earlier in the day and we had to monkey with the sky in the D.I. suite to get it to feel like the later sunset.
Basically to shoot all of that in one afternoon, I started on top of the hill and worked my way down the hill, looking up at the hilltop, figuring that if I lost the light, I could still get enough exposure for a silhouette against the sky. I did the same thing for that blue dusk scene at the funeral reception where Farmer is questioned by the bank auditor looking at his cattle. So as it got later and later, I went lower and lower, and down the hill, to just get figures in silhouette against the fading light in the sky.
I saw the rocket being built in a garage space and noticed that the curved surface of the rocket acted like an anamorphic lens, spreading a single fluorescent worklight down the surface as a sheen. So for the lower-half of the rocket in the basement set, I had fluorescent worklights just at the top of frame to create a reflection. For the barn set and the upper two-thirds of the rocket, I had the art department put tungsten worklights on the vertical beams of the barn, creating multiple spots on the surface of the rocket. I got that idea from an old NASA photo of the Atlas rocket in the Assembly Building, surrounded by hundreds of small lights. The windows of the barn in daytime also naturally reflected in the surface. So basically I didn't have to add any movie lights to the rocket, it was self-lit (though it became hard to shoot night for day in the barn because of that, the rocket was a big mirror.) I did add an HMI PAR spotted on the black Mercury capsule on the top of the rocket, that was a black hole compared to the Atlas rocket.
The Atlas rocket, with a Mercury capsule, was nearly 100' tall in real life. The production designer felt that this would make the barn too large in size to fit the rocket inside; and thus would look out of scale compared to the house next to it.
I suggested that we only see the top two-thirds of the Atlas and imply that the base was underground in a cement pit. This cut the height down to a manageable 60'. But later the Polish Brothers decided it would be nice to see the bottom of the rocket so the art department built a separate set for that. Another change happened when we decided to show that the ceiling of the barn had a retractable roof, rather than fake it in post (hard to simulate in post all the daylight that fell into the barn once the roof was opened up, so we did it for real.)
Since the helmet of the spacesuit reflected everything, including whatever was outside the small window of the capsule, I had to build the lighting into the capsule set using small fluorescents. For the passing sun, I swung a Parcan on an arm draped in black across the window, with a large black solid above that. For the fire lighting effect during reentry, I had to bounce orange light off of blowing steam and smoke passing the window -- the light reflected off of the smoke and into the face of the actor, so basically I was using smoke as a bounce card. But at least then all you saw in the helmet reflection was hot orange smoke blowing across the window. But it was hard to get a usable exposure in anamorphic -- I shot wide-open at T/2 on the Primo anamorphic lenses and pushed the Fuji 500T stock one-stop.
The square dance was mostly just lit by the Chinese Lanterns and the string lights -- I shot at T/2.8 on Fuji Eterna 500T. In the far background, I had some small minibrutes on telephone poles for backlight of the fairgrounds, but that didn't add much to the dance floor area.
In close-ups, I added a bit more soft light to get the stop up to T/4, always preferable in anamorphic.
Luckily I had a chance to shoot a real fairground at night two weeks earlier, with the kids available to be in shots. That was all available light stuff, but it gave me a sense of how little lighting I could add to the fairgrounds when the booths returned two weeks later for the production to shoot the main scenes in. I just had the art department add a lot more string lights basically, then augmented for close-ups. I had a #1 GlimmerGlass on the lens to get all the lights to glow and flare more.
Hey David, I was wondering if you knew about figuring the difference in focal length between standard 35mm film and full-frame DSLR's. Is there still a difference, and if so, do you know how to calculate it? Thanks!
I just figure out the difference in horizontal view, which is the reason you pick a focal length most of the time. A Super-35 aperture is 24mm wide and Full-Frame 35mm aperture is 36mm wide. That's a 1.5X difference.
So the equivalent of a 50mm lens on a Super-35 movie camera / APS-C DSLR would be a 75mm lens on a FF35 DSLR or film camera.
To be more precise than that, you need to know exactly the dimensions of the recorded area off of the sensor in comparing two cameras.
I see... good thoughts. Thanks! That brought up another question. Photography wise from a DSLR... calculating f-stop conversions. For example, say an f-4.5 on a 1.6X crop sensor... how might that be converted to 35mm?
The f-stop is the f-stop, it doesn't change when the lens is put on different cameras with different sized sensors.
If you are asking how to compensate for the difference in depth of field when you switch to a shorter focal length on a smaller sensor (or cropped sensor) to match the view of a longer focal length on a larger sensor, the magnification factor is a rough guide to the number of f-stops you have to add or subtract to match depth of field.
So if the difference between S35 and FF35 is 1.5X, then it's also a 1.5-stop difference in practical depth of field once you match field of view, at the same distance to the subject.
So basically if you were using a 75mm lens on a FF35 camera and then switched to a 50mm lens on a S35 camera to maintain the same field of view, you'd have to shoot that 50mm lens 1.5-stops wider open on the lens aperture to match the depth of field of the 75mm lens on the FF35 camera. Or to put it another way, if you had the same f-stop on both lenses, the 50mm lens on the S35 camera and the 75mm lens on the FF35 camera would create more or less the same image... but the 50mm image would have more depth of field. To get the 75mm image to match it, that lens would have to be stopped down by 1.5-stops.
You don't have to change the f-stop for exposure reasons if the two cameras have the same ASA and shutter speed though.
Very insightful, thank you! Watched Astronaut Farmer the other day, great stuff. I was so pleased to notice the chinese lanterns at the fair (:
My DP has said he would prefer not to use Zeiss T1.3 (MK3's) lenses with Red on our next short, as they look plasticy, and don't yield an organic image. I just wondered what your thoughts are on this.
|« Previous Thread | Next Thread »|