Any advice to compensate exposure when shooting a television
screen? I seem to remember that the norm was to under expose
a couple of stops but can't remember. Shooting 7222 so especially
concerned about overexposure.
Well Nick the most common practice is to shoot at 30 frames
per second, the same frame-rate as television. I know there's
more complicated options, but they're more complicated.
The American Cinematographer Manual has a section on "Filming
Television Screens". Frame rate, shutter angle, and the
use of a synchronizing box are discussed.
You can also use a video or computer monitor that does not
flicker or have a refresh (e.g., LCD monitor). Quick way to
tell is to rapidly sweep your fingers between the monitor
screen and your eyes -- you need to worry about sync if your
fingers "strobe" as they sweep past the screen.
EI Customer Technical Services
Research Labs, Building 69
Eastman Kodak Company
Rochester, New York 14650-1922 USA http://www.kodak.com/go/motion
A basic measurement tool that I find works pretty well is
to use my Canon SLR still camera as a light meter for the
screen. I set the ASA on the camera to the same that I'm shooting,
set shutter at 1/60th and then fill the viewfinder with the
TV screen and see what exposure the still camera would use.
The other way of exposure evaluation I use is with a spot
meter. If you know where to point it and how to read it, it
also gives reliable results. The one thing you'll have to
develop an eye for though is the picture contrast of the image
on the TV. You may get the right exposure for the TV, but
the contrast may be wrong.
I suggest you get a still camera, a roll of slide film and
shoot tests. Make copious notes as you're shooting, how you're
metering, etc. and find a system/technique that works for
you. Slide film (daylight) will give you an accurate representation
and feedback of your exposure evaluation process. Also, read
the ASC manual as John suggested.
Randy Miller, DP in LA
A good starting point would be to use a spot meter to measure
the white level (or brightest white) on the television display
set up to give you a visually pleasing picture. Likely to
be somewhere near 40 footlamberts. Then adjust your set lighting
so the reflectance from a white card in the main subject area
is nearly the same. Finally, your camera exposure should be
based on that level of light. Be careful not to "wash
out" the video display with your lighting.
You are shooting B&W. But for color, remember that most
television displays are set up for a fairly high color temperature,
typically 6000K to about 9000K. Some monitors let you adjust
the display white color temperature, with others, you may
need to gel it down.
You need to decide if you want the color display to match
the color temperature of your set lighting, or want it to
stay fairly blue.
Something that will affect your TV exposure, or at least mine,
is what you're trying to accomplish with the TV. Is it the
sole light source in a dark apartment in a wide shot? Or are
you shooting just the screen or pieces of it for some stylised
video to film transfer? Or a family on a couch watching a
sitcom? Each will probably mean a different exposure decision.
As far as contrast of the set goes, I would err on the side
of less rather than more, but again, what are you trying to
do? What is your source tape content?
Randy Miller, DP in LA
Thanks for the help.
I guess my question wasn't very clear. I am aware of the shutter
angle and frame rate solutions for the flicker problem and
have taken care of this, but I am more concerned about the
screen itself being over exposed. I did shoot still tests
but it looks like I won't get them back in time.
The film is intended to look naturalistic, like a documentary.
The scene has two shots with the TV One is a master with a
guy watching it the other is a close-up of the TV. It is a
day interior, the only motivated light source, other than
the TV, being a large window that faces the camera, about
8' across and 6' high. No dialogue in the scene and the audio
on the TV is narration. I plan to shoot this scene at 29.97
on an SR1. The footage will be telecined and never go back