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class="style5" Close Up On A LCD Display

Published : 9th December 2004

>Hi guys,

>Just wanted to say thanks for all the beach help stuff.

>I'm shooting an extreme close-up of a cell phone display that reads, "No Service in this Area." Since, I'm unsure how to make it say that on the beach (unless there truly is no service) I figured I could just shoot it really close somewhere like in a basement.

>A few questions: How can I get that close so that its just the text on the display? I'm using a Bolex H6 Reflex 16mm camera. Also : Should I use a polarize filter for glare? Also, since it has to match the beach, should I pump the display with light...then again, it might wash out the LCD...

>Let me know..

>Thanks!

>Bobby Miller
www.bmreel.com


class="Paragraph">>I'm shooting an extreme close-up of a cell phone display that reads, "No >Service in this Area."

>I'm figuring that if you open the phone and remove the SIMM chip there WILL BE no service. The SIMM chip contains all the necessary AUTH codes and the unique identifiers that tell the cell site to allow you on their network.

>Give it a try....lemme know if it works.

>Jeffery Haas
Freelance editor - camera operator
Dallas


>Jeffery J. Haas wrote:

class="Paragraph">>I'm figuring that if you open the phone and remove the SIMM chip there >WILL BE no service.

>How about this : put some of the self-sticking plastic over the phone's screen (the type which is used to protect the screens on PDA's), and put the text on the plastic sheet with rub-off letters. You can buy those letters at any stationary/office-supply-shop, and they have 'em with symbols too, so maybe you can find one with a little antennae symbol on it as well. If you would put the phone in a case/cover, that would mask the sticky plastic.

>Cheers

>Martin Heffels

>Filmmaker/DP/editor/film school techie
Sydney, Australia


>How about just finding an elevator or basement where you don't get reception? Lord knows I seem to find them all over.

>As far as the close-up, you either need a macro lens or a longer length lens with close-focusing ability. You can always rent a diopter to throw the focus closer.

>Mitch Gross
NYC DP


>Jeffery J. Haas wrote :

class="Paragraph">>I'm figuring that if you open the phone and remove the SIMM chip there >WILL BE no service.

>You will probably not be able to "start" the phone when the SIM is removed. It's most likely the phone will tell you to "Insert SIM".

>Best Regards
Anders Thorsby
Clapper/loader & video assistant
Copenhagen, Denmark


>Jeffery J. Haas wrote :

class="style7">>I'm figuring that if you open the phone and remove the SIMM chip there >WILL BE no service.

class="style7">>You will probably not be able to "start" the phone when the SIM is >removed. It's most likely the phone will tell you to "Insert SIM".

>Ahh yes we don’t want that....my ignorance shows.

>Hiding behind my egg-proof barrier.

>Jeffery Haas
Freelance editor - Camera operator
Dallas


>A far better approach would be to figure out how to make the same point without resorting to a stupid insert shot.

>The cell phone user could merely look at his phone, mutter, "f*ck ," and put it away, and the audience would get it.

>Literal-ness is really boring.

>Jeff Kreines


class="style7">>A far better approach would be to figure out how to make the same >point without resorting to a stupid insert shot

>Its a silent film. And I don't think it's stupid.

>Jeff Kreines


class="style7">> Its a silent film. And I don't think it's stupid.

>---It really might not be stupid and I'm not going to imply it is but it might be worth considering other options unless a literal shot is crucial to the storytelling. Off the top of my pointy little head I can think of a music video artist who relies on literal shots chiefly because he likes to use them to accent his humour...Weird Al Yankovic.

>On the other hand David Lynch (not a music video artist I know) is likely to go straight to the mobius strip and invert reality and literality (is that a word???)and stand it on its ear. Could you pull off a shot of the cell phone catching fire or belching smoke more easily than getting the "NO SERVICE" graphic? If pasta started cranking out of the speaker would it do the trick?

>Would it be more exciting if some "homies" snuck up and ripped it out of the character's hand and threw it in the ocean? Could you get a shot of the lifeguard snatching it and stomping it into the sand?

>I'm only tossing out some alternates just to get you thinking in some other directions. I realize that I don’t have the script sitting in my hot little mitts but I'm constructing it out of the sum of its missing parts.

>Thanks for listening,

>Jeffery Haas
Freelance editor - Camera operator
Dallas, Texas


class="style7">> Its a silent film. And I don't think it's stupid.

>Buster Keaton wouldn't have needed an insert shot to make this point. Chaplin wouldn't have, either. Nor Harold Lloyd.

>Jeff Kreines


>He's the only one on the beach and the story depends on it being desolate. But, I think we're getting off track here.

>Bobby Miller


>Bobby Miller wrote :

class="style7">>He's the only one on the beach and the story depends on it being >desolate. But, I think we're getting off track here.

>To get back to your technical question:

>You can not use a polarizer, the screen will go black. You'll have to work with light quality and camera/source angle to avoid glare/reflections on the screen.

>Another work around would be to wrap the camera in sleeping bags and "furni" pads, get a sound guy and ditch the "silent" idea. Your character could say, "...can you hear me now?".

>Silent black and white films are cliché anyway...

>Good luck with your film,

>Anders Uhl
Cinematographer
ICG, New York


class="style7">> The cell phone user could merely look at his phone, mutter, "f*ck ,"

>NG, It's gonna take a too many rehearsals and takes to get the right pronunciation of f*ck

>Sam "just discovered my spell checker is not prudish" Wells

>P.S I just looked at my Nokia GSM phone, it displays "No Network Coverage" but the message only stays on about 3 seconds

>P.P.S If it's a Bolex just use extension tubes it's easy


>Anders Uhl wrote :

class="style7">>You can not use a polarizer, the screen will go black. You'll have to >work with light quality and camera/source angle to avoid >glare/reflections on the screen...

>Well, it CAN make the screen go black, but not at the angle that reduces glare off the clear cover, if that glare is reflecting at the requisite 35 degree angle, plus or minus. However, angling it to avoid the glare is the better approach, practically speaking.

>If you use a diopter close-up lens to get the close focus you need you'll need to have sufficient exposure to allow stopping the lens down to T/11 or so, both for depth of field and for reducing the quality loss from this attachment (spherical aberration.) Since it's an extreme CU, the best way to do it in a predictably effective way is to attach the cell phone to some sort of mount that can be attached to a support. The actor can still wrap his hand around it. This will keep it in a rigid position and in focus. You could even do it indoors with any supposed sand that is seen on either side of the phone being faked (light tan cardboard, for example) and lighted to key. It will be totally out of focus anyway.

>Do you know anyone with an old cell phone they stuck in the drawer when they upgraded? You could charge its battery and it should read 'no service', I think (haven't tried it, just thought of it.)

>Wade K. Ramsey, DP
Dept. of Cinema & Video Production
Bob Jones University
Greenville, SC 29614


>Sam Wells wrote:

class="style7">>...p.p.s. if it's a Bolex just use extension tubes it's easy

>But then you have to calculate effective aperture to adjust the exposure.

>Here is a chart I used for years:

>The first number is the product of Length of tube/FL of lens; the second number is the adjustment.

> .1 - +1/3 stop
  .2 - +2/3 stop
  .35 - +1 stop
  .5 - +1-1/3 stops
  .75 - +1-2/3 stops
  1 - +2 stops
  1.25 - +2-1/3 stops
  1.5 - +2-2/3 stops
  2 - +3-1/2 stops
  3 - +4 stops

>This worked for ECO, it'll work for anything.

>Wade K. Ramsey, DP
Dept. of Cinema & Video Production
Bob Jones University
Greenville, SC 29614


>Wade Ramsey wrote :

class="style7">>Well, it CAN make the screen go black, but not at the angle that >reduces glare off the clear cover, if that glare is reflecting at the >requisite 35 degree angle, plus or minus.

>Try it...

>Best,

>Anders Uhl
Cinematographer
ICG, New York


>Get the cheapest cell phone with Java support, let someone write you a java program which just prints "No service" on the screen.

>Done.

>Vincent Onderwaater
Not Yet Even A Cinematography Student


>Wade Ramsey wrote :

class="style7">>Well, it CAN make the screen go black, but not at the angle that >reduces glare off the clear cover, if that glare is reflecting at the >requisite 35 degree angle, plus or minus.

>Anders replied:

class="style7">>Try it

>I did. Nokia 5185 phone, sun reflection at about 35 degree angle, a linear polarizer will reduce the glare of the sun without affecting the LCD readout. But if you rotate the Pola a little off the readout goes black. Also works on open skylight.

>Maybe you need a Nokia...!

>Wade K. Ramsey, DP
Dept. of Cinema & Video Production
Bob Jones University
Greenville, SC 29614


class="style7">> Maybe you need a Nokia...!

>Thanks Wade. I guess I do!

>I can't get any effect on mine without loosing it to black. Have had the same result on a phone spot (not sure which model that was, I may have the footage somewhere).

>Best Regards,

>Anders "singing the same sad samsung song" Uhl
Cinematographer
ICG, New York


>Anders "singing the same sad samsung song" Uhl wrote:

class="style7">>Thanks Wade. I guess I do!

class="style7">>I can't get any effect on mine without loosing it to black. Have had the >same result on a phone spot (not sure which model that was, I may >have the footage somewhere).

>It also works well on my Casio digital watch LCD readout.

>I guess there are various ways to polarize the liquid crystals and it varies with the manufacturer.

>Wade "give the OK to nOKia" Ramsey


class="style7">>I guess there are various ways to polarize the liquid crystals and it >varies with the manufacturer.
> Wade "give the OK to nOKia" Ramsey

>Interesting.

>Perhaps we should move this to CML-Sigline.

>Best Regards,

>Anders "samsuNG is NG" Uhl
Cinematographer
ICG, New York


class="style7">> Get the cheapest cell phone with Java support, let someone write you a >java program which just prints "No service" on the screen. Done.
> Vincent Onderwaater Not Yet Even A Cinematography Student

>---But well on your way as you are a handy guy to have around....I tip my hat.

>Jeffery Haas
Freelance editor - Camera operator
Dallas, Texas


>Bobby Miller wrote:

class="style7">>figured I could just shoot it really close somewhere like in a basement.

>Good idea.

>Now for the screen. - FAKE IT.

>Have someone create the screen on paper, and BIG, and shoot that.

>Steven Gladstone
www.gladstonefilms.com
Cinematographer - Gladstone Films
Cinematography Mailing List - East Coast List Administrator
Better off Broadcast (B.O.B.)
New York, U.S.A.


class="style7">>We're shooting on a non synch camera. Again this is for a class and I >have to deal with the limitations of black and white and silent.

>To get back to your technical question:

>You can not use a polarizer, the screen will go black. You'll have to work with light quality and camera/source angle to avoid glare/reflections on the screen.

>Another work around would be to wrap the camera in sleeping bags and "furni" pads, get a sound guy and ditch the "silent" idea. Your character could say, "...can you hear me now?".

>Silent black and white films are cliché anyway...

>Good luck with your film,

>Anders Uhl
Cinematographer
ICG, New York