Task: Make a good B&W still frame
This project was a chance to just practice like I did back in film school light class. The local film centre rented out Helmet Studio and their cinematographer Øystein Moe. They also got Åsa Nilsson to talk about black and white scenography. We were divided into two randomly selected groups. One could say that without a director, coming to agreement on what we should actually make was not the easiest task. In the end we settled for a compromise. For me it was very important not just to make a pretty frame, but to tell a story too. This was however very limited as we didn't have any props and only a day to get what we needed. We decided to use one of the participant's beautiful dresses.
After this I kind of just got a dump of 16 GB 6K R3D files I didn't know what to do with. Turns out the only codec I got to work was MJPEG, and then screenshotting out of that, and grading the screenshot. Enjoy the 138 Kb result haha. We agreed on having one of the participants dance, shaking off a dark power inside her. Her internal state of mind was to be shown through the shadows.
We started out with a 1k about two meters off the ground, to get an idea of how the final shot would be. No diffusion as we wanted hard shadows.
To get the boy out of frame, and still keep a shadow in frame with the same size as her shadow, we had to add another light. This produced double shadows. The streak of light from the door is just there to make the shot a bit more interesting to look at. But I also thought of it as kind of a "light at the end of the tunnel" as the evil shadow was supposed to be camera right, and the bright escape camera left.
Me plugging in the 1k in the background. The 2k and diff frame frame was used by the other group who were making a different setup. See the 650w behind the boy? My plan was to try to get the shadows to look like they were both created by her. To show that both the shadows were a projection of her internal state of mind. Problem was, double shadow hellworld, and the 650W washing out her shadow. In the end I had to give up on the idea and have his shadow come from next to her.
Øystein wasn't to keen on letting anyone else touch his expensive RED camera, so he did the operating. I moved the 1k up on the studio balcony. It's a messy place and no way to attach it to a stand, so I just had to hold it there. The 650W light took over the 1k's role. I flagged the 1k to keep it from hitting the girl, and thus producing double shadows.
Final frame again. What do you think? I wish I was able to rim light her a bit. And tilt the light a bit up. Sadly the other group occupied 70% of the studio so that wasn't an option. Oh well!
I'm a freelance gaffer. I also do basic grip work.