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Rich Harrington: I'm here with DP Jim Ball, and, Jim, we've talked all about the exposure triangle. And mastering that makes sense, but sometimes, you've set the aperture, because what you want artistically, you've dialed in the slowest shutter you could pull off, you know, without it looking unnatural. You've tweaked the ISO to the point where it's starting to get grainy. What's left? I mean I know it's going to sound obvious but a lot of people sort of just like, oh I just can't get the shot. What could we do? Maybe add some light? Jim Ball: Good idea. Wow. Yeah, yeah, of course that's the essence of it all, right? Anybody would say lighting is actually the painter's pallet and tools of of videography and cinematography.
So yeah, adding light is even if you have all these things where you want them, all these camera controls, it's about the subject in front of you and how you want it to look. I mean, changing numbers in the camera doesn't necessarily effect how someones portraiture looks or how a room looks in terms of contrast. I mean, you manipulate contrast with lighting as much as anything, and color, so, yes. Rich Harrington: And so looking at the scene we have here, I noticed we had some nice sort of practical lights that were in here, but you did some things that really helped things stand out.
Instead of letting these curtains just go to black pools, you lit them, right? Jim Ball: Sure, so we started out with a room that was basically black, there were some house lights, but they weren't very flattering on our performer so we turned those off. We positioned our own unit in a place that worked for as many of the cameras as possible. You know, this background was nothing, there was nothing there, so we added some of these new low LED lights, and a little MR45 little unit that I had there. Rich Harrington: I really like how this brick comes out. So we've got this nice dark blue, we've got some reds.
So this was not an accident. I think a lot of people when they're getting started out, they just sort of assume they have to work with what light was there. And what do you do when you come into the scene? Do you, you look at what's there and then do you say, okay, I could use this, but this has to go? Jim Ball: A lot of it is dependent on time and resources you have and the director's concept. If some of that stuff has been worked out in advance, you do, you decide on the degree of what you're going to work with in terms of what's there. In this particular room we said we lighted, we like the existing light there but we didn't really like anything else so, I, I sort of imagined what a stage might look like.
Uplights are pretty standard so we added some uplights. We wanted to make sure whatever keylight we placed on our performer wasn't so high that his eye socket started to go because eyes are everything in a performance. And we just added little nooks and things here to to build contrast, to build depth. It's all about making it as three dimensional as we can with lighting.
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