[Cinematography] Share your moving pictures

2 Marcus 2 Ravens2 Marcus 2 Ravens CanadaRegistered User regular
edited May 2019 in Artist's Corner
Is anyone here into cinematography/video making of any kind? Here’s a place to share the how and why of your adventures and experiments. And perhaps share any challenges you’re facing in upcoming shoots.

I’m a commercial DoP (of the low budget, local variety) who does the occasional short film/music video. I’m trying to get onto more creative projects and try new things, since low budget commercials can be a bit stale!

Yesterday I shot the first part of a very short film with a local theatre director, to use a promo for an upcoming play. He wanted to go black and white, and have a feeling of isolation and anxiety. The shoot was outdoors on an overcast day (spitting rain, really), and the budget was a firm zero dollars. Camera was a locked off GH5s with an and old Russian 37mm throughout.

My biggest concern was contrast. It was mostly in close up, so I could get bounce and neg fill close to the actors, which helped, but it was so overcast that I wasn’t getting a lot off them. Still, I’m pretty pleased with the results, particularly since I have very little experience with black and white.

Feedback is welcome! Especially because I have a day or two more of this coming up.




Edit: those uploaded in very poor quality, so I reattached them.

2 Marcus 2 Ravens on


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    2 Marcus 2 Ravens2 Marcus 2 Ravens CanadaRegistered User regular
    Something intimidating I've recently started doing was commercial car shoots. Just local dealerships, so they're not expecting national quality stuff, but it's a good place to learn because it's very new to me.

    Here's a couple shots from a recent shoot. To get good, even light on the car, we went for early sunrise. I had a gimbal out the side window, and someone in the back seat with a monitor and remote control to get the pans/tilts. The drivers of both cars were on speakerphone to co-ordinate. Definitely a scrappy set-up, but we were fortunate to get the road to ourselves so we didn't have to worry about safety on that front. That's one of the perks of working in a small city. Permits are much easier to get.


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    2 Marcus 2 Ravens2 Marcus 2 Ravens CanadaRegistered User regular
    The short film/promo for the play is finished, as well as another commercial for a local BMW dealer. I’m not happy with the cuts on either of them, but the pictures are my job and I’m fairly pleased with those.

    I’d love to shoot a proper film in this kind of style. It was a lot of fun to frame and light, and I’d love to try more of it. Black and white is very new to me, and there’s a few places where contrast/shadows are off, but I’m happy for a first go.


    This was a very short shoot. The dealer didn’t want us to put a lot of kilometres on the car, which makes sense, but makes shooting a bit tricky. So we had a stretch of road we went up and down a few times, and then parked it for some detail shots. The car had a matte finish so shooting with the sun so high wasn’t too bad for reflections. Normally I’d push for closer to magic hour on either side of the day to get more even light, but we wanted a sunny summer look. We shot the details parked in the shade, which worked pretty well. The driving stuff was shot by rigging a tripod out a window with some cushion for vibrations, and by hanging a gimbal out a window with a remote control operator for pans/tilts. The first and last shots were the hardest to pull off, and they’re my favourite. Some of the middle... not so much, especially with that edit. But again, mostly pleased with it! It was a lot of fun, and I’d love to tackle more car stuff with better resources.


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    2 Marcus 2 Ravens2 Marcus 2 Ravens CanadaRegistered User regular
    Shot a one take music video a few weeks back which was very loosely based on a dream sequence from Stalker. I knew I wouldn’t be able to get a dolly for the length and angle I wanted, so I used a gimbal, which worked fairly well. Not as smooth as I’d like, but it still got a bit of that creeping, dreamy forward motion I wanted.

    We filmed just before sunset to get the light and colour we wanted. The shot goes down a hill to the water, and there were quite a few slips and fuck ups before we made it to the bottom. We only got one take from start to finish, which was good, because we were minutes from running out of light.

    We got most of that blue/green look in camera by using a vintage lens that skews everything, waiting for the right light, and playing with white balance. That’s probably the part I’m most happy with.


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    tynictynic PICNIC BADASS Registered User, ClubPA regular
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    FAQFAQ Registered User regular
    edited June 2020

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