"Time and Time Again" Production Blog

Chronicling the production of the stop-motion animated short, "Time and Time Again" by Mike Bates. All images, characters, weird machines, etc, Copyright 2003-2007.

Saturday, April 09, 2005

I just ordered a digital still camera to shoot some of the next scenes of the film that don't use the motion-control rig. So while I wait for it to be shipped, I'm going to try to do as much planning for the next scene as I can. The next set I'm shooting on is the same set as the one in the trailer (the one in the giant dark office with the wall sconces). When I re-did the storyreel, I tried to make the drama play better. So, to match that, I will be trying to make all the compositions and lighting better, too.

Some planning thoughts:
-I want to use primarily set-based light sources, as opposed to imaginary off-screen ones. For instance, the most obvious light source will be from directly above, giving a harsh top light, and a large pool below. That's carried over from the original set design.

-I want to add some big posters between the wall sconces to give the office some character as well as subtle exposition. I've given it some thought and instead of cutting them out and affixing them to the set, I would like to use green screen instead. The plan is to place large green squares on to the set, then light them with a second pass. (like with the green circle in the last post.) This solves the problem of lighting a small square on the set, but it also allows me do some subtle backlighting of the posters, sort of giving them the look of movie posters at the theater, lit from behind, giving a nice eerie glow.

- So now to fill out the shadows under that harsh top light, there can be:
-soft (and maybe a little hard) side light from the sconces
-very soft side light from the posters

-I love the lighting in both the Godfather and the new Sin City. But I want to be careful I don't copy them directly, I want to create a unique look. I'm looking at some great Film Noir books that have some great stills from the films. There is a great variety of dramatic lighting that doesn't have to be always:

-Lit from directly above and underexposed,
(like the Don's scenes in the Godfather.)
Although I do like that mid-tone range it creates.
-Lit directly from both sides with hard light,
creating a big shadow in the middle of the face.
(which is the great look of Sin City!)

So in conclusion, it's time to get creative!

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