Movie set still photography tips.

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by DIRT, Apr 20, 2005.

  1. DIRT

    DIRT TPF Noob!

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    I have been contracted to shoot stills for a director making a short film. I dont really know to much about it. I work in hollywood in post production film/video so I have an idea of what they want but I figured I would ask if anyone had done this and any tips.
     
  2. Hertz van Rental

    Hertz van Rental TPF Noob!

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    I've done this a few times.
    Make friends with the cameraman. He's in the same line of business as you and talks the same language. He also organises the lighting and he can suggest the best spots to stand if you have to do any shots of live action. As well as appropriate film. Find out what stock he's using and get the same or similar. You should get pretty much what he gets then.
    For the same reason talk to the 1st AD. He's second in line to the boss and is in charge of everything. If you upset him you are toast.
    As you know lots goes on on a film set - it's a hive of furious activity and there is equipment and cables everywhere. Move carefully. And never ever shoot whilst they are actually filming. Dark clothing, soft shoes and they shouldn't notice you are there.
    You also need to clarify with the director exactly what he wants you to take and for what purpose. I doubt it's for continuity as that is done by the continuity person. Is it for publicity purposes? Advertising? Poster and packaging? Each one requires different shots.
    I used to end up shooting lots of rolls during the rehearsals (although I did have a quiet camera with a blimp so I could use a telephoto and get shots when they were actually filming - a very good method for location shooting, but don't let anyone know you are doing it) and then when they were re-rigging I would get the various actors to pose for publicity shots.
    If there are lots of extras and bit players make sure you get reasonable shots of them all as they will usually buy some copies off of you.
    You also need to negotiate a contract and rights with the director and/or producer. If it's not a movie with a reasonable budget you may have to talk Lo, No or Deferred.
    Deferred is best if money is tight. I did a very low budget movie once and taking sympathy I did it just for film cost. The film went on to make quite a bit of money and they used my shots for packaging, publicity, the works and I never saw a penny.
    But most of all working on films is fun.
     
  3. DIRT

    DIRT TPF Noob!

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    What is a blimp???
     
  4. DIRT

    DIRT TPF Noob!

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    Okay so I shot the stills and you can see them @

    www.jfreeman.smugmug.com

    some look a bit blue/purple due to different white balances and all batched the same but, i will fix those. tell me wht you think.
     

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