BlueNovemberCreations

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Cinematography and the DVX100

I have been shooting a lot of footage by myself lately, and I am still learning this new technology. Bret's camera is a Panasonic DVX100, and it has been dropped into the palm of my hands.

We have not been able to abide by the normal details of film production, in particular, cinematography. I had good intentions of using bounce boards, nor are we utilizing the vast array of techniques for lighting that are available to us. I know that we could be very in depth with the use of lighting, shadow and contrast. For the sake of argument, we are not done with the shoot, yet. The technique applied is simple: shoot with plenty of light, in the right amount, as governed by the camera's readout. In our defense, some amazing lightwork was done by House, with his Japanese lanterns and by the crew at Nightingale with the cello scene. The fog machine was a joy to work with as well. The point is, sometimes the object is too capture the scene for the best; all other considerations come second.

As I tried to capture little Baby Jack a few weeks ago, I did not understand why the picture was so overexposed. At the Hydro shoot, I found out why...neutral density filter! A switch on the side of the camera controls the selection of either on (two choices of various, darker degrees) or off. The off position was my problem outdoors, since I encountered it again at Hydro. After a minute of tinkering, I was able to adjust the camera to my needs.

Aperture control is easy with this camera. No light meter necessary. The display screen gives you an accurate depiction of what the footage will look like. A simple thumb wheel for the iris is all that is needed. The over exposed portions appear as fluctuating lines on screen, just dial the iris until they are either gone or minimized, depending on the effect you are going for.

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