Kinda Newbie to Shoot Movie Stills

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by AnneRiceBowl, May 14, 2010.

  1. AnneRiceBowl

    AnneRiceBowl TPF Noob!

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    A friend of mine who is an independent filmmaker and producer has asked me to shoot stills for his next movie (shooting starts at the end of June).

    The story takes place after closing hours (between 2 and 4AM), so I will be shooting in low light. I can't add my own lighting, and I am going in almost blind on this. I also mu st be like stealthy ninja while on the set so as not to add to the soundtrack being recorded and not to distract the actors and other people on the set.

    My plan is to dress in slacks because denim likes to made its own noise(s) and wear darker clothing.

    As far as what I will be shooting with, well, the only things I have at the time of this posting are a Canon EOS Rebel XS, the kit lens, and a telephoto lens. So, do I shoot with a wide aperture and high ISO for a situation like this?

    I am still learning technicalities, so don't be gentle.
     
  2. AnneRiceBowl

    AnneRiceBowl TPF Noob!

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    haha! I know! I posted that and realized what the hell I did...der...

    I suppose I will go ahead and ask if there is anything I can do about shutter noise.
     
  3. AnneRiceBowl

    AnneRiceBowl TPF Noob!

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    I remember that one. :p

    Back to reading...
     
  4. Dallmeyer

    Dallmeyer TPF Noob!

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    Making stills during takes with an SLR will be noisy. Better to use a P&S/rangefinder/bridge - i.e a camera without a mirrorbox. High ISO needn't be strictly necessary - if its a film-set illuminated for work, you can make pictures using it in the same way. Documenting the event between takes, an SLR would be fine. I think you need two cameras for this, one of each type.
     
  5. PerfectlyFlawed

    PerfectlyFlawed TPF Noob!

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    Good luck! I look forward to seeing some pictures :)
     
  6. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    +1 what Dallmeyer said.

    Shooting with a dSLR when they are making the movie requires a your camera be in a blimp to contain the mirror slap and shutter sounds so they don't wind up on the soundtrack.

    what

    You can rent one.
     
  7. AnneRiceBowl

    AnneRiceBowl TPF Noob!

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    Thank you for the link! I did come across a sound blimp in some of my reading online.
     
  8. AnneRiceBowl

    AnneRiceBowl TPF Noob!

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    Alrighty, apparently I was completely wrong on the scheduling of filming.
    Filming starts at 4 AM Sunday morning on June 6th! I thought it wasn't until the last weekend of this month when I return from shooting a wedding in Arkansas.
    What that means for me is that I now must be up at no later than 2 AM CST so I can be on the set by 4 AM Sunday morning. Then, I have to be in the studio for work no later than 10:45 AM CST the same morning and work until 4 PM that day.

    I also did some more reading online on the very severe hope that a DSLR can be silenced, and the general consensus is to wrap it with a sweater or something similar, but there will still be noise, or to use a blimp--like the one KmH linked to.

    I am going to try to find a fair-priced P&S, but I doubt I have the budget for it right now because of having to purchase so many plane tickets for this month.

    Also, I need to do more reading on shooting in low-light situations without the use of flash. The storyline for the film takes place at sunrise. (The title of the movie is "Sunrise Decisions".) We'll only be filming in the wee hours of the morning.
     
  9. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    The low-light solution is fast glass (f/2.8 or faster) and a fast body like a Nikon D3/D3s.
     
  10. AnneRiceBowl

    AnneRiceBowl TPF Noob!

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    In that case, I am very basically screwed.

    In my defense, I did tell the director/producer/friend what I have for equipment, and he still wants me to shoot stills.

    What I have for equipment is a Canon EOS Rebel XS and the kit lens and a Canon 75-300mm. I very doubtfully hope I can pull it off.

    The local camera store closes for the day before I can get there. I am going to stop in ASAP to see what I can rent and how much it will cost. I can also phone my friend who also shoots Canon and see what he has for glass.
     
  11. tommac

    tommac TPF Noob!

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    Interseting. I'd love to see the results?
    !
     
  12. AnneRiceBowl

    AnneRiceBowl TPF Noob!

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    Well, here it is the evening before filming.

    This morning was supposed to be Day 1 of Filming, but we were rained out. Day 1 of Filming is tomorrow morning. I have scheduled myself to arrive at 4 AM CST. Filming starts at 4:30AM CST.

    I am so nervous that I can't sleep, so here I am updating you guys. I have a whole crap ton of doubting myself right now. I really do not believe I can pull this off with the body and glass I have now. However, I have the batteries charged, camera bag packed and stocked for what I think I will need. I've crammed as much reading as I possibly could. If I wouldn't have had to have worked so many hours in the studio, I would have had more time to practice and ask more questions, and I could have had time to stop in at the camera shop to at least rent faster glass than what I have now. Gah. That is a lame excuse and my stubborn-self mixing together.

    Here I go, and wish me luck! I will try very hard to post pics after shooting on the set, after working 7 hours in the studio immediately afterwards, and after I have OD'ed on coffee and caffeine.

    Thankfully, I am shooting stills for an independent movie, the director is a friend of mine, and YES! when he asked me if I wanted to shoot stills for him, I explained to him what I have for right now as far as equipment and experience go, and while I am good in the studio, shooting outdoors and such is a different ballpark all together, and I wasn't sure I was/am capable of shooting on-set.

    I am rambling!
     

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