Cinematography Techniques | Pre-Production

Cinematography Techniques | Pre-Production

As a DP when you go into a project what is the first things that you do to get ready?
The most important thing is make sure the DP and the director can get on the same page. Coming and saying this is what I have to offer, and this is what I want to do. Disect what you are already thinking and ask what this should look like.

The first film that Cody and I worked together was a short called “Done with Mirrors”
I was interviewing different DPs and the whole thing changed because of this look book that you showed us on the initial meeting.

When I was in film school I always never even thought about a look book. I thought that a look book was something that the director would make, but I was listening to the Wandering DP podcast with Patrick O’Sullivan and he speaks strongly about making a DP’s look book. That’s were I got the idea for a DP’s look book with images of what I’m looking for.

One of the first scenes we did was this bedroom scene and I had so many questions. I can create a page with a lot of images that are different but also have a lot of similarities. I can then seat with the director and talk through it.

When someone is doing a look book should they break it down scene by scene?
For a short specifically I like to break it down scene by scene becasue there is not that many scenes. I like to take the script and read through. Then I read it one more time and start breaking it down by scene. I read the individual scenes and ask what is the mood I’m feeling. Then I can go and search for context.
I started to create a folder structure on my computer were I just save screenshots of a movie a come across. I can basically go in and I have interior, bedrooms etc.

Let’s talk about the lighting diagrams that you also have in the look book:
Pre production and the lighting diagram are something that allow me to stay one step ahead. I seat down and craft that look before I even get on set.

The process that I go through is kind of mathematical where it can get confusing. I use another app called Arri Photometrics were I can pick a light and it tells me if I have a sky panel that is 25ft up this is how much light is going to give us.
I can show up on set and is a matter of just tweaking.

There is this new software made by Matt Workman from Cinematography Database. He created this software called Cine Tracer. It is the most revolutionary thing I have ever seen. You can create in 3d space your entire scene, and bring in real world lights.


Arri Photometrics:

ARRI Photometrics App 4.0

The ARRI Photometrics App has just got a major update and is now available for both iOS and Android devices. 
The ARRI Photometrics App provides data on all ARRI light fixtures and ballasts as well as other tools for your ARRI products. Version 4.0 of the Photometrics App has been completely redesigned and is more streamlined with a cleaner look. 

The new EB 1.8 MAX ballast and DMX profiles for SkyPanel FW 3.0 have been added. Presets is a brand new feature which gives the ability to create projects.

Cine Tracer –

Cine Tracer is a real time visualization tool for cinematographers built with Unreal Engine.  You can buy the beta/Early Release on Steam today.

Cinematography Definition:

Cinematography (from ancient greek κίνημα, kìnema “movement” and γράφειν, gràphein “to write”) is the science or art of motion-picture photography and filming either electronically by means of an image sensor, or chemically by means of a light-sensitive material such as film stock.[1]
Cinematographers use a lens to focus reflected light from objects into a real image that is transferred to some image sensor or light-sensitive material inside a movie camera. These exposures are created sequentially and preserved for later processing and viewing as a motion picture. Capturing images with an electronic image sensor produces an electrical charge for each pixel in the image, which is electronically processed and stored in a video file for subsequent processing or display. Images captured with photographic emulsion result in a series of invisible latent images on the film stock, which are chemically “developed” into a visible image. The images on the film stock are projected for viewing the motion picture.
Cinematography finds uses in many fields of science and business as well as for entertainment purposes and mass communication.

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