First Scarlet-W Shoot - Lighting Breakdown

First Scarlet-W Shoot - Lighting Breakdown

My Scarlet-W finally arrived! 

BTS photos by Denis Zenchenko

The brain was delivered around 10:30am, and by 11am we were on our way to a shoot in Rhode Island. We didn't have any time to do extensive setup/tests, so I won't be getting into the camera that much in this post, but you can expect a lot of content on it soon. Long story short - it's awesome!

What I'm going to focus on today is the shoot itself - Two 45 minute interviews for a documentary the guys at IndieWhip are working on. We were shooting Paul Coté - a modern artist - in his home. The motivation for splitting the interview into two parts was story driven - Part 1 would be about his past, especially the darker parts of his past, and so we wanted it to be darker, claustrophobic at times, and a little uneasy. Part 2 would be about was going to be brighter, more stable, and more traditionally framed.


Setup 1: Living Room

A still frame from our interview

A still frame from our interview

Coté is a prolific artist, and his apartment is FULL of paintings. Our director Brian definitely wanted us to shoot setup 1 in the midst of the paintings, so I picked a corner of the room that gave us some natural leading lines and some opportunities for semi-motivated lighting. I especially wanted to make sure we picked a spot that left we some room to play with short-sided compositions without running into any issues, since we wanted it to feel uneasy. Once we had picked a spot we liked I killed all the practicals in the room, grabbed a Litegear Faux-Flo and 6ft silk (which we ran over a grip arm), and we set that as our key, on the short side of Coté's face.

Roughing in lighting with our stand-in Chandler.

Roughing in lighting with our stand-in Chandler.

I decided to shoot at 4300k with our lights at 5600 so that we would get a cool look to go with our mood, and shot at ISO 640 to support the darker tonality we were going for. After quickly checking that the key was in a good place we decided to add a little light to the back of the room just so that it wasn't falling off too dark behind him. For the background light I used a Lowell Caselite with Lee 216 diffusion on it, so that the light wouldn't feel too directional. The whole interview was shot on my Contax 28mm lens at 5k, with 2.39 frame guides. It was also shot entirely on the easyrig, which gave me the flexiblity to move around and get different compositions as we went through the interview.

Setup 2: The Studio

Still frame from interview two.

After wrapping our first interview we went down to Coté's basement studio to shoot our second setup. The basement was much more colorful, with art supplies everywhere. We turned off all the tungsten practicals, but left on his two daylight balanced fluorescents. Brian opened the bulkhead door to allow more daylight to come in, and we rearranged a few things so that we could shoot into the now bright side of the room. 

For the sake of look consistency we once again keyed with the Faux-Flo/Silk combo. There was a bit too much contrast in the frame at this point, so we added the caselite as a bounce into the wall to fill in the shadow side .

Camera Tricks

I did also mess with some camera settings for this setup. I switched to ISO 2000 and -2 FLUT in order to help maintain our highlights in the bulkhead/outdoors. I also switched to 5400k white balance for a warmer look. Aside from that we stayed around t3, on the 28mm Contax and easyrig.

Stills of lighting progression - Click to enlarge.

The studio with the tungsten practicals on.

The studio with the tungsten practicals on.

Overall the shoot went super well, and the Scarlet performed like a champ. Something that I immediately noticed about the Scarlet-W compared to the dragon is the built in scratch mics, which are obviously nice for shoots like this.

If you'd like to play with grading some .r3ds from the shoot you can download them HERE.

How do you like to light interviews? Do you have any questions on the Scarlet-W?

Thanks,
 Evan

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