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21 September, 2010

A Greenscreen in Harlem.

Here's a shot of my setup for a recent day of interviews against greenscreen.  It's for two pieces, a short promo for the National Employment Law Project and a feature documentary in progress.  There was another day of interviews done prior to this one, shot by Roger Grange, so I based the subject lighting on his footage (but added a number of personal touches).

The producer arranged to use a friend's loft in East Harlem, so we had a nice amount of space to work with.  An aside, with greenscreen work, depth is crucial.  If you don't have a good amount of space between the interviewee and the background and the camera and interviewee, your day will be a nightmare.  (There are expensive options like the chromatte from Reflectmedia which produces a completely even greenscreen only visible to camera).  So we positioned the camera about 8 feet from the subject and the greenscreen 10 feet behind that.

3 brand new blown 600w bulbs
I originally intended to light the greenscreen with 2 Redheads (lamped to 600w) but one side of the loft kept surging and blowing my bulbs in one of the lights.  After the last one, I put the light elsewhere to cool and temporarily ran a small 300w fresnel (flooded and diffused) to even out whatever the working Redhead didn't get.  It worked well enough to just leave, so I did.  Both lights on the screen were also gelled a light green.

For the interview subject, my key consisted of a booklite setup for the key.  I bounced a Lowel DP (one of my favorite workhorse lights - this time lamped to 750w) into a 42" flexfill and then back through light opal diffusion.  For half the subjects, I used black foamcore for some negative fill, for the other half, I bounced some of the key back to bring their fill sides up ever so slightly.  I also employed a warm edge when necessary.  You can see this in the picture on top - it's a 300w fresnel bounced into an off-white bounce board (something I picked up recently in an art store and wanted to play with).  Then, in the interest of giving the producer the easiest key, I had a 300w fresnel rigged behind the screen for a shoulder/rim light, and a 250w Pro Light in a small softbox for a hair light.  And that's it (the large chinese lantern that's peeking into the frame above is not mine - it's a ceiling fixture in the apartment).

Just a note, the producer was unsure of what would replace the screen, so the subject lighting was a little more general that I'd have normally done (I don't usually do a helluvalot of rim/backlighting).  Usually, it's good to know ahead of time what will be back there so you can light to match. If they're going to be in a dark room, you light for that... a bright beach, you light for that.  You get the idea.

There was some great material - sad stories, uplifting stories.  I'm looking forward to seeing the final piece (link in "Follow Up...").  All in all it was a good day.

09 September, 2010

"One Night Only" Goes Platinum

"One Night Only," the Barbra Streisand concert DVD I operated on, has gone platinum.  Pretty awesome.  Kudos to Babs of course, but also to director Scott Floyd Lochmus and D.P. Roger Grange.

Here's the promo video/trailer.  You can also buy a copy through my Amazon store. Enjoy!