Инстаграм @cinematogr Cinematography
200k HMI 🔥 | First Man BTS 🔃 @reflexcinemaus ・・・ In an age of deep fakes, photoshop, and smartphone cameras I believe everyone can benefit from basic education in photography. I’m always stunned when moon landing “skeptics” drag out their limpest argument “well why can’t we see the stars in the pictures.” Every shooter on the planet must twitch when such a photographically ignorant point is made. The answer, of course, is exposure. But anyway, in First Man’s recent depiction of the first moon landing, some serious lighting had to be brought to bear. The whole sequence is shot on location in a moon-like quarry at night on 70mm IMAX. To say the least, this was not a green screen affair. It’s about as close to shooting on the moon as was possible. IMAX is stunningly bad in low light. Their film stock was rated at only 400 ISO. Their lenses’ max T-stop was 5.6. To cope with this the production went looking for the most powerful single source HMI available.. . The answer was a custom 200-kilowatt “Softsun.". At first, they tried an array of two 100k softsuns. But the result of two sources, even when stacked atop one another was a “buzz” in the shadows. That is to say two shadows, very close together. Thus, production went with a prototype 200k model with only two bulbs in existence on shoot-day. And one of the bulbs exploded in the first seven hours. After adopting a tactic of immediately dimming the 200k between takes they managed to keep the second bulb alive all the way through. The result is a stunningly realistic scene, that really does sell for the moon. But let’s do a back-of-the-napkin calculation for a second.. . . 400 ISO, f5.6 = 200k needed. . 800 ISO f5.6 = 100k. . 1600 ISO f5.6 = 50k. . 3200 ISO f5.6 = 25k. . 6400 ISO f5.6 = 12k. . 12000 ISO f5.6 = 6k. . 25000 ISO f5.6 = 3k. . 1600 ISO is generally considered the ceiling for celluloid performance. Even assuming a 1 stop margin of error to account for differences in format, the handicap is stark. This is another critical way digital saves so much money.
The technique used is called Forced Perspective, it manipulates human visual perception through the use of scaled objects and the correlation between them and the vantage point of the camera. This technique is used also in modern cinema in films like The Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter! . “Safety Last!” 1923 “Modern Times” 1936 . 🔃 @cinema.magic
🔃 @reflexcinemaus Zooms have always been controversial. They’ve so often been accused of cheapening camera movement, of being “lazy” or “unmotivated” or “unnatural.” Yeah, like any move, it can be overused. And yeah, our eyes can’t physically zoom. But, I do think we’ve all experienced focused attention where our perception has narrowed and it’s felt like a zoom. For picking someone out from the crowd, slowly revealing a landscape, or entering a character’s traumatic flashback, a zoom is perfect. But, just how noticeable a zoom is, and thus what it evokes, is all about the speed of the move.. . Like the Whip Pan, the Crash Zoom is a flashy and violent technique. But for some moments, it can be incredible. It is a very funny technique that can beautifully sell a punchline-reveal. Outside of comedy it’s also a very clean transition effect. Due to the motion blur it induces in the edges of the frame, cutting on it looks seamless. This is, of course, the cornerstone of Edgar Wright’s distinctive style. We can see how at about 3s, the character of a zoom starts to change from evoking shock to starting to evoke anticipation. This is a middle place, it’s no longer fast enough to suddenly reveal something, but isn’t calm yet. This is where feelings of “power,” “unease,” and anticipation live.. . Further, at 5s, zooms start to take on their distinctive “focusing-in” character. If the focal length change isn’t too dramatic, 5s is where things start to feel more natural too. Now at 10s though, zooms truly become quiet and subtle. They also become difficult to execute manually. Motorized control becomes a must out here. But, at 10s and beyond no one can really criticize you for being jarring. Quiet zooming lets you make sophisticated transformations from one composition to another. You can go from a wide on a landscape, to a medium close-up. Or from a medium on one person to a close-up on someone next to them. This becomes especially graceful when combined with a slide. In fact, many classic push-in are also hiding some zoom in the real move. This is a classic trick that underpins a lot of the most emotional moments in cinema.