Filmmakers Academy: On Set of Fathers and Daughters (Day 3)
The past two years have been truly amazing as we continue to grow Shane’s Inner Circle. Our vision becomes clearer every day, as filmmakers from all over the world have joined together to form an outstanding community of support, growth, and knowledge – where visionaries thrive and hone their skills to become better storytellers, better artists, and better filmmakers.
Within Filmmakers Academy (formerly the Inner Circle), we have built a curriculum that is geared to every level of skill and available to you on your own schedule. My years of experience are at your fingertips, right here in Filmmakers Academy, and I am proud to continue to build more in-depth lessons and tutorials that directly answer questions about your filmmaking, allowing you to take the next steps towards landing that high-paying gig and realizing your potential as an artist.
I’d like to take this moment to show you another excerpt from one of the in-depth lessons directly from the Inner Circle to showcase the valuable knowledge you’ll gain as a member. This excerpt is just a tiny fraction of a whole series, On Set with Shane: Fathers and Daughters, where I teach you knowledge that you can apply right now to your own filmmaking.
I hope this pushes you to the next level.
Fathers and Daughters – Day 3
This was a very interesting day. It was our first day with Aaron Paul. He plays Cameron, who falls in love with Amanda Seyfried’s character Katie. They meet at a loft party and then go to a restaurant to eat burgers and talk.
We set this up, and I was able to light the scene by putting all the right practicals in the right place. This truly is the power of the Canon C500. We selected a beautiful background, which happened to be 15 feet wide by 18 feet high, with backlit whiskey bottles.
We had a table lamp that was straight out of the late 1940s, and the bulb filled in their faces beautifully. Just out of the left and right side of frame, I placed batten lights on stands, which I love to light with.
Those keyed each one of our characters. It wrapped the light around and made it a little softer than it was with the hard single bulb that was right next to them on the table. In this scene, director Gabriele Muccino wanted me to shoot three cameras at the same time. I became very concerned. Yes, I’m used to shooting 32 cameras, but that’s on an action film during a stunt. When you’re doing drama, you shoot with one or two cameras. Placing a third camera has to be done with elegance. I still needed to deliver the beautiful lighting that I knew he expected.
Cameras and Action
We had a two-shot on the dolly. We were wide seeing the bar and the background, and then we pushed into a tight two-shot. I had two MōVIs on the left and right side of the frame that were lensing raking overs: over Katie to Cameron and over Cameron to Katie. It worked out beautifully. We were able to shoot the scene in record time.
We moved to the next sequence, which was where Katie is confronted by a man called “Wall Streeter John.” He gets up in her grill and sits down while Cameron is at the bar. A push-and-shove mini fight ensue after he is confronted by Cameron.
In this scene, Gabriele wanted to shoot with three cameras again, but they were not just sitting down. They were sitting, then they were standing, then they were fighting. They were in action, and he wanted the camera to be able to move around and go exactly wherever they went. That meant that the batten lights that I had keying the two actors when they were sitting down were going to be in the frame and not going to work. I put in a new, brighter bulb diffused inside the table lamp and used the practical light from the backlit whiskey bottles.
Now with this adjustment, it’s a little softer and brighter so it can key them whether they’re sitting down or standing up at the table. We got rid of the batten lights. I taped up blue Kino Flos on walls, in the hallway, and in the deep background for a blue tone, so it was just not one tonality. The space had a very warm tone inherently, which worked well. Adding daylight-balanced light that played on the back walls created a wonderful color contrast.
It also helped the characters separate from the background. The camera moved all over the place, they looked absolutely stunning, and I was able to use three cameras. Part of your job as a successful cinematographer is to think on your feet quickly. Gabriele had an extensive shot list for the fight scene, but because we were able to make it work with all three cameras and have them move and capture the emotion at the moment, we didn’t need anything else.
Copyright Info- Movie: Fathers and Daughters, Studio: Voltage Pictures, Director: Gabriele Muccino, Date: 2015
The Bottom Line
This is just PART of 1 of 20 days, each of which I’ve broken down into in-depth articles just like this for our On Set With Shane Fathers and Daughter Bundle.
Filmmakers Academy (formerly Inner Circle) members receive articles like this every week, along with being able to network with filmmakers from all over the world. Filmmakers Academy is your global connection to a worldwide community of like-minded artists as well as an invaluable support system for your career. We could not have come this far without your support and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
All videos were edited on HP Z840 workstations using HP Z24x DreamColor monitors.
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