Cinema Admits All

First Marojin Footage in the Can

15/03/2010
First Marojin Footage in the Can

Don't you just love it when the weather goes your way and likewise hate it when it doesn't?

Well, we experienced the ups and downs of both this weekend whilst shooting on location 13th and 14th March.

Ethan and Sarah pose for their Polaroid Moment

The particular weather we needed, was a nice sunny day, but more spring than summer. The setting was for a young couple out on a date together at a beach.

Cue lots of Kodak moments, well Polaroid moments in this case.

The initial work went great driving round, cramped in the back of a vintage car trying to get p.o.v footage, lens flares and keep modern life out of the viewfinder.

But later on, down at the shore there was an unexpected kick back to the good luck weather.

Surfers, Canoeists, Doggies and Saturday Strollers.

Yes, our previously deserted beach was now populated by a variety of thrill seeking pleasure whores and their accoutrements.

I'm not against people in canoes (whatever floats your boat) or four legged poop machines (whatever messes your carpet) or surfers (whatever douches your bag). I think I just don't get it. It's shields, not Huntington Beach or Oahu.

Check out Tron Guy in the pic below. I've supersized him like it's a Tony Scott film or some shit.

Greetings Programs

I wonder what he's waiting for? I know I can't see his face, but I just feel he's somewhat depressed. Waiting for a wave that will never come. A dream that's crest has broken, it's fading ripples sliding along a sunset shore.

Another thing we've learned, is dog owners are natural performers! They really love the camera! They have an irrepressible urge to cross the lens at any opportunity, especially if you're clearly rolling! Thanks guys, great job!

It's a public beach though, so fair enough. We scouted a few times and it always seemed quiet. And the day was right for the Polaroid photos we needed, and they had to be taken before the majority of the film could be shot.

TJ Thompson's Lovely white coupe

A big thanks to T J Thompson who graciously lent us his car and drove us up and down the coast road a few times (with me and Dan tucked away inside).

Exterior Smearior

We shot some exterior stuff at night. None of which I am happy with, due to low light and light pollution.

I tried filtering to cut the orange and bring a little more into the blue channel but it still came out a little mushy. Too much gain on the dancefloor.

Graded test plate for Marojin

Above is the test grade (director would like a purple and blue wash).

You can see in the 3 examples below how much 3 chip CCD cameras struggle in low, sodium lit light situtations.

FX Plate Red Channel FX Plate Green Channel FX Plate Blue Channel

The 3 images show the different colour channels recorded by Milton (our camera).

You can easily see how much more red there is, compared to blue and green.

This has 2 knock on effects.

1. Less Sharpness and Perceptual Resolution

The green channel represents Luminance and therefore has a higher colour sample rate. If there is less green light, this represents a loss of sharpness, both physical and perceptual.

The human eye is more sensitive to luminance (differences in brightness) than colour, so more data is captured regarding luminance.

The HD camera we shoot with uses pixel shifting to cheat a higher resolution image. This aliasing can be pleasing to the eye, giving an organic look.

In this case, it's not what we wan't, and does not look good. A reminder to know your gear and play to it's strengths.

2. More noise and grain

Blue channels are natually noisy. This is because the photosensitive material (silicon) used in the chip struggles to react with blue light.

Camera makers compensate for this by boosting the blue signal (gain). But this increases the signal to noise ratio.

This is why blue is sometimes not a good colour for chroma keying (and green is) and it's also why some cameras suffer under tungsten light, because it outputs less in the blue spectrum.

Conversely, this is why tungsten is nice for skin tones, as the additional orange smoothes out skin blemishes.

You can see how laughably dark the blue channel is above, and also how soft the red channel is.

I knew this would be the case, so I tried to use blue filtration (an 80A and 80C) to cut some of the red light and bring more balance to the channels.

It didn't work as I was losing more than a stop and a half of light. There was simply not enough light to feed the sensor.

No problems, we'll come back another time when there is a little more light in the sky.

A Nice Sunday

Sarah Gargett as Annabelle

Sunday was a nice day over in Seaham. We were still short for time and under pressure but we mostly got through ok.

Thanks to Sarah Gargett for being so patient, responsive and fun to work with.

Sarah Gargett as Annabelle

"This is Only the Start"

There are 2 more weekends to go and the lions share of the production left to tame. But we're in the swing now and on our way.

Thanks to Wayne for his behind the scenes photos, more of which can be seen here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/twtfx/

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