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Filter Suggestions For S-16 Docos

Published : 7th July 2004


I'm looking for filter suggestions/opinions for intvws being shot on S-16.

I'm shooting on 7218 using full S-16 gate. Film will be transferred and posted on tape. I have been shooting it straight but I'm getting bored with the look. I want/need to style it up a bit.

My lighting style leans toward (inside lighting) soft/chimera on key side with a medium hard rim/backlight opposite key and a sourceless large foamcore bounce fill opposite my key. I do light punchy def not what I would consider flat. I rarely use a top backlight. The intvws are varying from older men to young women, dark and light complexions and everything in-between.

I guess I'm in a bit of a lighting rut! I just want help blending my lighting. I'm undecided between a Pro-Mist/ BlackWarmPro-mist. Maybe a 1/8 or 1/4??? I try to shoot around T2.8 and 50mm to get nice separation from the background and make the intvws pop. I also tend to add a 1/4 CTO to my key to warm it up.

Any ideas?

Tom McDonnell
DP/Operator
New Orleans, La



Tom McDonnell writes :

>I'm looking for filter suggestions/opinions for intvws being shot on S-16. >I'm shooting on 7218 using full S-16 gate. Film will be transferred and >posted on tape.

Hey Tom-

You are looking in the right direction as the Promist are a good workhorse for interview footage. The basic difference between the two is whether or not you want the "halo" around highlights in the frame (like your medium hard rim light). If you do want that glow a regular Pro-mist is great. If you go with one of the lighter grades as you've mentioned this will be minimized. Generally the regular Pro-mists will give you a more glamorous look.

The black Pro will let you get away with a softer look without the halo. You could probably even get away with a 1/2 Black Pro if you're feeling brave. You won't get the glamour look, just a more diffused look.

Since you're shooting interviews a warming filter would do great to make the flesh tones look healthy. You can get warm versions of the regular and black Promist OR you could get a separate 812 filter. That will give you the flexibility to go with a warm or not warm look with the diffusion. (incidentally we shoot on a variety of the Vision stocks on an SR16...unfortunately not yet modified for S-16)

Dominic H. White
Director/Editor



Tom McDonnell wrote:

>I'm looking for filter suggestions/opinions for intvws being shot on S-16

On the lighting setup can I have the temerity to suggest adding one more lamp that is even softer that works as very soft underexposed "key" and using the Chimera more as a soft back 3/4 on same side. Play with the position of the Chimera, it may work better more side on than direct 3/4. It depends on the person and the environment. The light gradually gets less as it works it way around the face. Use the bounce, but as you're not limiting yourself by its relationship with the key, you will need less than you think. Maybe not use too much high kicker, keep that soft, slightly change the colour of.

PS also you could play with the CT of the 3/4 Chimera as well, maybe a little bit cooler and keep the soft under key warmer.

David "hope all that makes sense" Higgs

DOP
London,UK



Thanks for the various suggestions.

Tom McDonnell
DP/Operator
New Orleans, La